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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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File 157929647843.png - (1.76MB , 1280x1024 , Solar Sanctuary.png )
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?
Expand all images
>>
No. 953726 ID: d9acdc

This is a play-by-post 2.5e Exalted game, run by me with help from my players as an exercise to teach me the ropes by jumping in headfirst. Those wishing to play may either post a finished character sheet or join our discord and learn to play. https://discord.gg/2DsNYzg

XP will be awarded after every scene according to the number of objectives completed. Current known objectives include:

-Find a Way into the Manse
-Find the First Statue
-Find the Second Statue
-Find the Third Statue
-Find the Fourth Statue
-Find the Fifth Statue
-Find the Sorcerers Panoply

Drop in/drop out players may find their characters subject to the dangers of the Wyld as they wander away from the safety of the jade obelisk, so be careful!
>>
No. 953745 ID: f57349

>who are you,
Suuzen (pronounced with an odd rising inflection - she speaks Rivertongue and Old Realm fluently enough, but is clearly native to neither) seems like a relatively typical self-taught outcaste sorceress, probably wood-aspect. Reluctant to show off her anima banner, claims she doesn't like how it makes her look - dazzling classical beauty most of the time, but all whirling splintery horror during any serious fight. Her clothes are mostly coarse homespun fabric, but well-tailored, and she's got four minions, presumably bound demons. Whenever she starts to talk about details of her life before being Chosen, one of them bluntly calls the story false.

From smallest to largest:
fist-sized spider-cricket, which handles grooming, food tasting, and medical care,
child-shaped mass of tar, which shapes stone so her fancy boots need never touch the muddy ground and builds a small fortress wherever she stops for the night,
wrinkly hairless hominid with a loincloth and a whip, lie-detector and probable assassin,
hulking fungal mass with extendable limbs, miscellaneous muscle. On the road, carries a pair of sturdy ironwood doors.

That first one is obviously a sesselja, though notably less hideous than most. Tar baby seems to be connected to her spellcasting, maybe some weird custom familiar rather than a standard demon. Big guy might be a sub-par blood ape severely mutated by exposure to the elemental pole of wood. Last one... a firmin, but with no quills?

Sometimes a bright green light - uniformly described as unpleasant - shines through the walls of the workshop on the top floor of the disposable fortress. Obviously this is the exalt's anima banner.

>why did you come here,
To get rich, and pull a pin out of the map.
>and what sort of magical oaths did you swear before coming?
Suuzen swore not to attack or otherwise behave inhospitably to her traveling companions, except in strict necessity of self-defense or as part of a formal duel with witnesses, to order her bound servants likewise, and to share any and all loot equitably, according to mutual agreement, rather than withholding relevant information about valuable items or valorous deeds for personal advantage.
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No. 953757 ID: afdebc

>who are you
Diana Maku appears to be native to the east, at least from her appearance and accent in Forest-tongue (though she's also displayed fluency in both Riverspeak and Old Realm), dressed fairly conservatively in white and green and bearing worn but well tended lamellar armor. This contrasts slightly with the rest of her kit- of a quality and level of preparedness of suggestive of wealth or backing. An impression only reinforced by that fact on the day of their meeting, she came prepared with exceptional gifts for-as-of-yet-unmet companions- a trident for the Sorceress Suuzen, and a set of throwing stars for the other.

An archer by trade, Diana carries a Short Powerbow on her back (starmetal, to those who even recognize the rarest and least ostentatious of the magical materials), bowstring affixed with overlarge ribbons. She's demonstrated some ability as a ritualist- familiarity with astrology (perhaps an apprentice or student of whoever predicted what gifts to bring? At other times it seems almost unconscious, as if she is guided by her dreams), and a bloodletting rite used in conjunction with her cache egg. When the group stops to camp, she'll sometimes bring out a glazed ceramic vessel flute- low in tone, and mournful sounding until coaxed otherwise, to pass the time.

In what combat the party has seen thus far, Diana has displayed the hallmarks of Wood Dragon Style, to those who recognize such things, though she certainly doesn't appear to be an Immaculate Monk- no shaven head, no holy symbols, no denunciation of the anathema in their midst. Wielding one of the Glorious Dragon Styles would seem to mark her as one of the Exalted (such arts lie beyond the ken of mere God-Blooded!) but it's not clear if that makes her an outcaste with a renegade master, a renegade dynast herself, or simply a dynast touring the threshold; nor has she yet displayed an anima banner. Ironhorn seems unconcerned- apparently the two were introduced by a trusted mutual acquaintance (neither has seen fit to elaborate beyond this point). What Diana has shared about her past hasn't seemed worth remembering, anyways.

>why did you come here
Orders. Whoever is backing the archer would seem to have an interest in this mission's success.

>and what sort of magical oaths did you swear before coming?
>>953745 The oaths here seem fairly comprehensive, although the clause about summoned servants is non-applicable in this case.
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No. 953764 ID: f57349

>>953757
> (such arts lie beyond the ken of mere God-Blooded!)
The other four Immaculate styles, yes, but supposedly a scion of Joyous Youth Juritsu once mastered Wood Dragon without actually exalting. Is your presence here perhaps part of some scheme to unseat the current Censor of the East?

Regardless, Suuzen proposes we advance along the sandy southern shore, with herself on point paving a stable stone path for the others. If nothing too valuable or dangerous makes itself obvious before then, lay camp near the southeast corner and start searching caves in the morning.
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No. 953767 ID: ac57f8

>Who Are You?
Smashes Crime in Darkness is never what you think of if you're thinking of someone that's alive. He's got a voice that sounds like a gravel road, his skin is charred and burned and makes horrible, albeit quiet, crunching noises as he moves, and while he wears a cloak that largely hides his face, but the people that do get a good look describe it as wholly inhuman, like two black pits with the end of the world behind them threatening to pull their souls out of their very body, and a shadow that never seems to quite follow his movements.

His clothes are simple and practical, mostly black robes over a simple traveler's tunic and gloves, just enough that his skin is rarely visible from any angle, preferring not to unnerve his temporary traveling companions, speaking well enough in Old Realm with a heavy Forest-Tongue accent. He's stalwartly refused any attempts at actual emotional closeness or discussions of people's pasts, but remains polite enough to the entire party.

>Why are you here?

To find a weapon capable of disrupting the Guild's slave trade both within and without of creation in some meaningful way.

>What magical oaths did you swear?

The general oath so far is a good boiler plate.
>>
No. 953784 ID: e6479a

Ironhorn swore to that oath quite contentedly, and you set about your way.
Time is less straight forward in the Wyld, but she was able to keep rough track of the passage of days; she believes the journey took a month, and so now five remain until calibration.

During the trip there was ample time to get to know each other and to stumble upon little secrets, and the following is a recounting of your guides demonstrated assets and capabilities.

Ironhorn has the head, fur, and hooves of a bull, her name somewhat self explanatory. Formerly a pit fighter, brought in to maul gladiators as one might use a lion or other such fearsome beast. Normally prone to bloodlust and rage, she surprised her masters by striking an accord with the other gladiators and burning the arena to the ground. She warns not to get too close when she's angry, as she has a tendency to lose herself and blindly attack anything around her. She finds this quite distressing, and hopes to one day live in a peaceful world where she can meditate within serene gardens and focus on art, despite her self professed lack of talent currently.

During the thankfully few encounters that required violence, she seemed to conjure armor and shield from pure essence, easily wielding the massive ax in a single hand. She slept only thrice on the journey here, and would spend her downtime fashioning crude clay pots in a similar style to the flute Diana plays. She only converses with others in Old Realm, clearly still somewhat uncomfortable with it. She carries a mess kit, two fifty foot spools of hempen rope, one smaller knife and one larger, a ten by ten canvas, a waterskin, and a carefully wrapped handful of cloth bandages.

Riv is somewhat more eloquent but also more reserved. It seems she formerly served in Lookshy as a sort of scout, suffered during her training and later again in the field, and has since left offical service, looking for more esoteric methods of defending her country. She has demonstrated knowledge of Old Realm, Forest Tongue, River Tongue, and High Realm, along with the art of cooking and Alchemy.

She sleeps in her armor, an understated breastplate somehow always visible despite the wide brimmed hat and flowing cloak she wears. Two plasma tongue repeaters occasionally make their way into view, which she seems to load and fire abnormally quickly. She primarily assists Ironhorn by listening to the whispers of the earth in order to avoid oncoming surprises, and offers this benefit to her companions as well. She also wears a pair of perfect boots and a somewhat new experimental climbing apparatus. She says it was designed for tighter spaces, but the four spindly legs which extend from her back seem quite useful for scaling terrain.

>>953764
>Suuzen proposes we advance along the sandy southern shore, [...] lay camp near the southeast corner and start searching caves in the morning.
Riv double checks that you mean the intersection between the sandwall and earthen cliffside- cardinal directions here may be confusing, given your position in the Wyld, and the non-traditional layout of creations elements as you see before you.

On the edge of the water, you're able to do some calculations- it looks like the inner perimeter of the sand wall is about three and a half, maybe four miles long, and with the walking you've already done today that'll be an appropriate place to stop. You could also swim to the wooden huts and boats floating on the water- strange small forms watch you, nearly purple in color, but the details are difficult to make out at this distance. You note that a glinting golden structure appears to be hitting out of the sandwall, maybe two miles up? There's also the possibility of climbing the outside, trying to get onto that glowing Orichalcum sphere (clearly a manse of some kind) or splitting up to attend to different tasks. Ironhorn and Riv are amiable to hug the walls and set up camp, but there is some worry about getting closer to the local populace without knowing more.

What would everyone like to do?
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No. 953793 ID: c23715

> There is some worry about getting closer to the local populace without knowing more.

“If that’s all you’re worried about, that sounds both ignorant, and like a call to action for the only person here that looks like they’re suited to getting that kind of information. Well, you’re coming in loud and clear. I’ll go ‘investigate’ the locals, and you keep on headed to the part of the sand wall where the manse is sticking out. If I’m not there in two days, assume the worst. Maybe try to work on seeing what kind of perimeter defenses the place has.”

SCiD didn’t leave much in the way of room for debate, but he wasn’t leaving yet in case someone actually did have objections.
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No. 953794 ID: f57349

>>953784
> strange small forms watch you
If stealth is already blown, despite us being miles away and silhouetted against chaos, Suuzen says we should either sing loudly as we walk, or Ironhorn should flare her anima. Locals will know things we don't, and appearing as diplomats rather than raiders leaves us more options.
> a glinting golden structure appears to be hitting out of the sandwall, maybe two miles up?
That'd be something valuable making itself obvious.
>>953764
Adjust this proposal to create black stone stairs, angled upward along the sandwall, to check out that structure from up close before stopping for the night.
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No. 953796 ID: f57349

rolled 9, 3, 1, 10, 1, 9, 4, 3, 2, 8, 5, 1, 3, 2, 7, 6, 8, 4, 6, 8, 1, 7, 5, 3, 9, 6, 8, 9, 5, 8 = 161

>>953793
>I’ll go ‘investigate’ the locals, and you keep on headed to the part of the sand wall where the manse is sticking out.
"If you're going to scout, baldy should go with you. It's good at swimming, reasonably sneaky, and can help interrogate anyone you capture." Left unsaid, Suuzen might also prefer some time away from the thing for her own sanity. "Hard to be sure at this distance, but I don't think that golden thing in the sand is actually a manse - only the central orb."

Rolling Perception + Occult + site rating to check for manses and demesnes, per Oadenol's Codex p. 47. Can we get a teamwork bonus by comparing our observations among the group? Maybe unpack some geomantic surveying equipment?
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No. 953822 ID: afdebc

Diana is receptive to Suuzen's proposals- if we have already been observed by the locals, we may as well attempt a peaceful overture. If they are not receptive, well, that would have needed dealing with, regardless.

Adding one bonus dice to the cooperative manse survey roll >>953796 (how many other characters are participating, and who, from the sorcesses' group?).

She's less enthusiastic about the prospect of dispatching scouts across miles of water where the remainder of the group is ill-suited to intervene, if necessary. If this plan goes forward, the archer will press to mark him, so she will be able to track his location if he is unable to return. Her method only lasts a day, however, not two. 'Baldy' may pass unmolested, as the mark is painful to spirits, and it would not serve to impair his performance.
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No. 953823 ID: afdebc

rolled 1, 1, 7, 1, 3, 1, 3, 3, 3, 1 = 24

Closing her eyes momentarily, Diana opens her senses to the music of essence. She hears the now-familiar concert of her companions (the eerie echo and tremelo of Suuzen's disguise, the hash cords of the Grimcleaver, the bound sesselja's piccolo...), and beyond that, listens to the melody of their surroundings.

Committing 5m to Telltale Symphony for the geomantic survey roll. Rolling dice for the reflexive (Intelligence 2 + Occult 2 + Stunt ) that goes with AESS to attempt to identify unknowns perceived, if necessary.
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No. 953850 ID: c7496c

>>953796
>Adjust this proposal to create black stone stairs, angled upward along the sandwall, to check out that structure from up close before stopping for the night.
The walls of the dome are curved- can you still created stairs or a path if you're walking at a hundred degree angle?

>>953796
>Hard to be sure at this distance, but I don't think that golden thing in the sand is actually a manse - only the central orb."
>Perception + Occult + site rating
9, 3, 1, 10, 1, 9, 4, 3, 2, 8, 5, 1, 3, 2, 7
Difficulty 6 to detect a Manse four miles away. Five perception, four occult, and a five dot manse, no notable description of your analysis, looks like you might be short that last die you need...
>>953822
>Adding one bonus dice to the cooperative manse survey roll
>Committing 5m to Telltale Symphony for the geomantic survey roll
But a rhythmic brassy tone is enough for Diana to confirm your suspicions, point you in the right direction.

The orb floating in the sky is manse, and a powerful one to be sensing it this far out- the golden pillar sticking out of the sandwall also seems to be part of it somehow.

>Rolling dice for the reflexive (Intelligence 2 + Occult 2 + Stunt ) that goes with AESS to attempt to identify unknowns perceived, if necessary.
rolled 1, 1, 7, 1, 3, 1
Two die stunt, so you can claim back some of the motes you spent if you'd like, and while you can't make out any details with only a single success, you can hear another part of the manse is situated on the water, not yet visible to the eye, somewhat hard pinpoint over the frantic scraping of an untuned string instrument emanating from some sort of supernatural being wandering around the waterfront. Don't appear to be any other noticeably supernatural treasures or creatures nearby, but this place is large enough that it's hard to hear everything clearly. From the center you'd probably have a pretty good vantage point to hear anything out in the open, although you know thick enough barriers can muffle or hide the music inherent to essence.

>>953794
>Suuzen says we should either sing loudly as we walk, or Ironhorn should flare her anima
Riv grimaces at the first suggestion, and Ironhorn appears uneasy at the prospect of the second. The idea though is clear, and pretty sound- make an obvious approach so people kow you're not trying to sneak up on them. Occult zero means Ironhorn might not get the full context of why an Eclipse caste marking would be important for a diplomatic meeting, but hers is clearly visible upon her brow, despite not having spent any motes.

If Suuzen and Diana are both suggesting the diplomatic route, Ironhorn is content to sing an old time keeping song on the march ahead, albeit in a tongue unfamiliar to you all. They're not going to stop you all from operating in your areas of expertise though; now that you're in the sanctuary there's a lot more space for each person to purse the objectives as they see fit.

Riv makes it clear that protecting each other is not their primary goal here though. The group may not be able to commit to a rescue if it would cost them more than they'd save. Shatters Crime in Darkness has made it obvious he'd like to remain somewhat professional, and Riv is happy to avoid personal ties herself. Her loyalty is to the mission at hand.
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No. 953857 ID: f57349

>>953850
>The walls of the dome are curved- can you still created stairs or a path if you're walking at a hundred degree angle?
A few tens of yards, sure, but not across those kinds of distances, and even short unsupported paths seldom last more than an hour. Ought to be possible to alternate thin stone paths with sturdier structures, though. Probably haven't got enough sapling poles or willpower to cast Raising the Earth's Bones that many times in succession... but, does Riv Maheka know the War charm Ramparts Of Obedient Earth? Four cubic yards of material drawn out and compressed into a solid J-hook shape for every 25-30 yards of progress could be enough to walk indefinitely far underneath a flat ceiling. If the surface is merely close to vertical, a one-cubic-yard solid foothold each interval should do the trick.

Absent sufficient earthbending or flight, let's call that one inaccessible for now and just march along the shore. Suuzen in front (path won't form properly otherwise), bottle bug in her stomach, baldy keeping an eye on the water, big lug dragging the fingers of one hand along the sand wall to feel for vibrations which might indicate a burrowing threat, tar baby on his left shoulder, watching the village and sky while hiding in the shadow under the doors.
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No. 953859 ID: afdebc

rolled 2, 10, 9, 1, 2, 3, 8, 4, 6, 1, 3, 8, 3, 4, 9, 10, 10, 5, 10, 6 = 114

>The orb floating in the sky is manse, and a powerful one to be sensing it this far out
Is the elemental aspect discernable from here? (Presumably solar, but if it were otherwise, that would imply the manse predates the solar sanctuary... or that the adamant-circle caster who established the sanctuary wasn't actually a solar).

>Riv makes it clear that protecting each other is not their primary goal here though. [...] Her loyalty is to the mission at hand.
Diana Maku feels compelled to point out the logical fallacy inherent in this reasoning: we are the assets on hand to accomplish this mission- failing to protect one another or recklessly spending lives compromises our ability to complete it. Especially as we are not operating under a time constraint or other pressure that would make such trade-offs necessary. ...or is there something you have not told us?

>>953857
Diana will join the sorceress' procession, several paces behind on the stone path, keeping a keen eye and essence-sensitive ear open for threats or points of interest, now that's we're scouting the sanctuary itself.

Not rolling for anything in particular, but here's dice if you need em.
>>
No. 953863 ID: c7496c

>>953857
>does Riv Maheka know the War charm Ramparts Of Obedient Earth?
No. Her strategic capabilities primarily include tireless marching and avoiding ambush, along with standard lookshy military training including long distance communication and self defense. She considers Ironhorn to be a much more credible threat in a fight though, as long as she is not caught unawares.

>Absent sufficient earthbending or flight, let's call that one inaccessible for now and just march along the shore.
>>953784
>She also wears a pair of perfect boots and a somewhat new experimental climbing apparatus. She says it was designed for tighter spaces, but the four spindly legs which extend from her back seem quite useful for scaling terrain.
Vertical movements is as easy as horizontal movement for her. It would be trivial for her to scale the walls if we need to inspect that portion of the manse.

In addition, stress testing the walls indicates they hold weight and offer plenty of hand holds. The primary challenge would be stamina, as climbing for miles may not be achievable for everyone here. Riv will not grow tired, and could likely climb competently, so someone else could take the spider leg apparatus if needed.

Ironhorn is a better short term climber than Riv, with higher pools for strength, stamina, athletics and resistance, but while she can go without sleep for longer, Riv is actually better at shaking off fatigue from other forms of exertion. If they stop to investigate the part of the manse in the wall, she thinks Riv and Suuzen should go, as the sorceress seems highly adept when it comes to examining the occult.

>If the surface is merely close to vertical
If an eighty degree angle is close to vertical, and a ninety degree angle is completely vertical, a one hundred degree angle means climbers would end up upside down after a certain point.

>big lug dragging the fingers of one hand along the sand wall to feel for vibrations which might indicate a burrowing threat
Good idea. Let's roll (lower of Int or Perception)+Awareness to gather and interpret information, based off Feeling the Dragons Bones, with a two die stunt. Riv also activates All Encompassing Earth Sense and spends two additional motes to extend the benefits to Diana for the rest of the scene. She cannot be surprised by any means so long as she keeps her feet on the ground.

>>953859
>Is the elemental aspect discernible from here?
>2, 10, 9, 1,
Solar aspected, rated at five dots.

>we are the assets on hand to accomplish this mission- failing to protect one another or recklessly spending lives compromises our ability to complete it.
>The group may not be able to commit to a rescue if it would cost them more than they'd save.
Riv agrees emphatically- that's exactly what she meant. Hot headed charges for vengeance and rash plans that incur higher risk for lower reward are liable to to cost more assets as you so aptly put it. When a poor swimmer rushes in to save a drowning man, you now have two casualties on hand, and those who could intervene now have an even more difficult job.
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No. 953864 ID: ac57f8

>>953822

>Lasts one day

Alright, that should actually be long enough baring anything unfortunate happening, but that does rely on a substantially truncated schedule to do all of what he wants to do. If it is safe though, he'll flash a bright golden light across the lake to signal such and provide an introduction so that they aren't attacked. Otherwise, he'll head back with news of hostility or otherwise.

He's similarly not opposed to the bald assassin, though he does emphasize that it needs to be able to keep up.
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No. 953867 ID: f57349
File 157946517165.png - (1.01MB , 1021x512 , layout from GURPS 4e Tower of Octavius.png )
953867

rolled 9, 2, 9, 8, 5, 2, 7, 3, 9, 4, 9, 9, 5, 6, 8, 2, 4, 5, 4, 5, 1, 10, 8, 8, 6, 8, 10, 7, 2, 1 = 176

If there's anything useful in the water, the scrawny assassin will dive in to collect a few samples as we march along - confident that it can swim fast enough to catch up, but still careful not to range beyond shouting distance. Upon return, live wriggling fish and frogs are fairly distributed to teammate pockets or cloak-hoods as a catlike gesture of hospitality. Rolling Intelligence 5 + Survival 1 + Medical Foraging specialty 1, two autosuccesses from Mother Sea Mastery, maybe a circumstantial penalty for limited area and time due to being on the move, stunt might resonate with my Urge though admittedly that's a bit of a stretch. Mainly looking for Blood-Staunching Compress ingredients. If there are particularly clever-looking fish I'll dive to establish stealth, then tag 'em with Unshattered Tongue Perfection to make things easier if they prefer to ransom themselves by granting magical favors. We're still quite close to the Wyld here, stranger things have happened.

Assuming the trip goes smoothly, attached is the plan for the blockhouse. Hexes are one yard, gallery windows and front door on the main floor should face toward the artificial sun, kitchen door ideally leads to garbage pit and concealed escape tunnel. Top floor is private, deeper dungeon levels are adjusted based on terrain but always include a water supply when possible.
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No. 953868 ID: afdebc

>>953864
>Smashes Crime in Darkness seperating to scout, agrees to be mystically tagged
Diana places her hand on her consenting companion's cloaked arm, warns "this will hurt for a moment", followed shortly by a sudden sharp pain in his head (which mercifully, quickly passes). A brand of wood essence- trilling with the melody of life (and whispering venomous imprecations in a minor key) now plays from behind the sullen stillness of his permanent charms.

Committing 3m to Soul-Marking Strike, which will free up almost immediately as the scene changes from our initial discussion to splitting up. However, the secondary effect of the charm will remain in effect for 25 hours without committed essence.
>>
No. 953869 ID: f57349

>>953863
> Vertical movements is as easy as horizontal movement for her. It would be trivial for her to scale the walls if we need to inspect that portion of the manse.
>In addition, stress testing the walls indicates they hold weight and offer plenty of hand holds. The primary challenge would be stamina, as climbing for miles may not be achievable for everyone here.
In that case it should be simple. Riv skitters on ahead to find (or create) footholds, points them out to Suuzen, and so long as they're no more than 27 yards apart as the crow flies the rest of the party can walk or rest on a solid (albeit temporary) yard-wide causeway. No handrails, unfortunately, so it might be wise to tie the group together with a rope. Big guy can go last, since rooted feet and extendo-arms should be helpful for catching anyone who slips.
>>
No. 953884 ID: cdde6a

Taking the fact that everyone else is taking off to go inspect the manse, SCiD figures his job of trying to discuss this is done. So, he walked over to the water’s edge, and his robes started turning into an inky black viscous liquid that flowed and hardened in a new shape, perfectly suited for swimming with a few oddities of air pockets being sewn into them, and leaden belts to counteract their buoyancy.

As a defensive maneuver, he lounged for a few moments in the shade of a large tree with goat’s fur in place of leaves, his shadow formed into a big ball in the air and brought several scoops worth of air into his pockets before he sealed them.

Then, with a final burst of effort, and a brief but deafening scream to essence hearing, he was erased from all senses, and he dove down into the water, finding the drop off steep and close to shore, and he dove 200 meters deep into the relatively clear water, relying on how little light made it down this deep to gauge his progress. And then, he proceeded to push onwards, his shadow wrapping around him to turn him as much as possible like the underwater predators of the deep he’s seen, sitting in black isolation as the sounds from the surface are dim for him, but his gaping wound in the fabric of creation that replaced his eyes could navigate perfectly in the pitch blackness of a stormy calibration, and this was much less dark.

Mechanically, diving deep enough so that there is a low enough light level to count as darkness, using his IRA to have some pockets of air for him to breath, and using the compliant Umbral Panoply to scoop a good bit of air into his elsewhere pockets to be able to breath for as lo by as possible down there.

I’m not sure what dice you want for that.

Also, stealth. Dex 5, Stealth 5, +3 “In the Darkness” specialty, +double the stunt rating (assumed to be two), and a full excellency for 6 motes (5 to make 5 dice, then double it for 10, 1 to make it mute) for an end total of 23 and 4 stunt dice. On top of that, because invisibility, everyone takes a -2 external penalty to see me.
>>
No. 953885 ID: cdde6a

rolled 9, 7, 4, 1, 2, 6, 6, 5, 5, 8, 4, 1, 5, 3, 2, 7, 6, 4, 1, 9, 9, 7, 4, 1, 6, 5, 1, 1, 2, 1, 9, 10, 6, 8, 6, 5, 10, 8, 3, 7, 5, 10, 7, 7, 7, 10, 4, 2, 7, 3 = 266

>>
No. 953892 ID: f57349

rolled 1, 6, 8, 6, 6, 5, 2, 10, 10, 5, 3, 2, 4, 4, 4, 9, 4, 4, 2, 10, 1, 8, 5, 3, 10, 2, 3, 4, 3, 9 = 153

The most human-like of Suuzen's four servants takes up the masterful bronze trident (a gift from Diana, bamboo haft hollowed out to double as a breathing tube) in one hand, and a palm-sized flake of boot-transmuted basalt in the other. Bare feet shuffle across fuzzy, uneven roots, finding a point of balance.

With a twist at the waist and a flick of the wrist, the stone flies out, skips once, twice... lunging forward with a kata of Black Tide Style, a dive to impale the ripple of that first point of impact as if walking through an open door.

Black stone glances off the water's glittering surface a third time, and when it sinks in on the fourth, no ripples remain.

Rolling to follow Smashes Crime in Darkness, but preferably at a somewhat shallower depth so I won't be crushed by twenty atmospheres of pressure. Dexterity 5, Stamina 3, Athletics 1, Resistance 0, Stealth 5, Survival 1, passive bonuses from Mother Sea Mastery and Sprawling Marsh Indulgence should both be applicable, if I can stunt in a few aquatic plants for concealment, but I've got no excellency or other relevant charms to actively use. Spending willpower for extra successes, too, might as well not let stunt and motivation-progress awards go to waste.
>>
No. 953901 ID: d9acdc

>>953867
>If there's anything useful in the water, the scrawny assassin will dive in to collect a few samples as we march along - confident that it can swim fast enough to catch up, but still careful not to range beyond shouting distance. Upon return, live wriggling fish and frogs are fairly distributed to teammate pockets or cloak-hoods as a catlike gesture of hospitality.
9, 2, 9, 8, 5, 2, 7, 3, 9, 4,
I really like that description- I don't quite catch who's willfully deceiving their superiors and/or being humiliated, so I'm not going to say it matches the urge, but I am going to count it as a three die stunt and offer you the choice of one xp as an alternative stunt reward, based off Core p273.

>Mainly looking for Blood-Staunching Compress ingredients.
>particularly clever-looking fish
>live wriggling fish and frogs
Harder than you expected actually. The water makes up the other half of the sphere, so after you dive into the water you can swim as deep as you'd like, but most animals and plants here look like nothing you've seen before. Not quite as strange as what a demon or Raksha would be accustomed to, but certainly unfamiliar. Going to say there's a -2 external penalty for the strange biome, but Mother Sea Mastery counteracts that, and the five successes are more than enough to find food and medical supplies. Insect like creatures, one to two knuckles long at most, surge through the waters in large cloud like formations. Easy to eat, even with the shell, with a slight iridescent sheen when removed from the water. You can get ahold of as many as you can carry, and find a rootless plant that grows in colonies along the walls under the water that'll work in your compress (not in in a meal though).

>>953863
>Let's roll (lower of Int or Perception)+Awareness to gather and interpret information, based off Feeling the Dragons Bones, with a two die stunt.
>>953867
>9, 9, 5, 6,
On the creeper that looks like one die from int, one die from awareness, and a two die stunt. Just taking spare dice from the roll for foraging. Two successes is probably enough for the shambler to figure out that some areas of the wall are thinner than others,

>>953868
Two die stunt, although motes are once again committed.

>>953869
Despite having no issue climbing up, Riv seems to take her time finding appropriate places to create footholds. If she wanted to use Flaw Finding Examination every seventy five feet that'd take about a hundred and forty motes, two and a half hours *before* waiting for all that mote regen. That seems unreasonable, so lets just call it a bonus success for Suuzen as Riv helps her find handholds and whatnot.

>>953884
On the outskirts of the dome there's plenty of strange, untamed wood growth. As you approach the entrance however, there's a stark difference. The massive hemisphere of water has very little noticeable life- the sandwall doesn't appear to have much more life to them than a patch of lichen. The most obvious plant life is above you in the canopy overhead. Simple enough though, to duck into woods outside the sphere and double back to dive into the waters unseen. Looks like...
>>953885
>9, 7, 4, 1, 2, 6, 6, 5, 5, 8, 4, 1, 5, 3, 2, 7, 6, 4, 1, 9, 9, 7, 4, 1, 6, 5, 1,
Seven successes, and the two die stunt reward.

>Mechanically, diving deep enough so that there is a low enough light level to count as darkness, using his IRA to have some pockets of air for him to breath, and using the compliant Umbral Panoply to scoop a good bit of air into his elsewhere pockets to be able to breath for as lo by as possible down there.

>I’m not sure what dice you want for that.
Having a ball full of air seems trivial, no need to roll. Harder part will be making good use of it, as you'll need a seal of some kind to make sure only air is getting into your lungs, and that it's not escaping elsewhere.

>>953892
>Rolling to follow Smashes Crime in Darkness, but preferably at a somewhat shallower depth so I won't be crushed by twenty atmospheres of pressure. Dexterity 5, Stamina 3, Athletics 1, Resistance 0, Stealth 5, Survival 1, passive bonuses from Mother Sea Mastery and Sprawling Marsh Indulgence should both be applicable, if I can stunt in a few aquatic plants for concealment, but I've got no excellency or other relevant charms to actively use. Spending willpower for extra successes, too, might as well not let stunt and motivation-progress awards go to waste.
>1, 6, 8, 6, 6, 5, 2, 10, 10, 5, 3, 2
Ten dice from dex five and stealth five, two from stunting, and four bonus successes, for nine successes total. How will this help you steal a Jade Obelisk?
>>
No. 953910 ID: f57349

>>953901
> How will this help you steal a Jade Obelisk?
There's one in the center of the settlement we're swimming out to spy on, and I can't very well be expected to steal any physical object without first getting close to it, or at least learning about the defenses in place around it.
> one xp as an alternative stunt reward
Gladly accepted.
> a rootless plant that grows in colonies along the walls under the water that'll work in your compress
Hastily assemble a seaweed toga for camouflage and storage purposes, surface for air, continue toward the center. Snack on bugs along the way.
>>
No. 953952 ID: d9acdc

>>953910
Swump and SCiD are both nigh impossible to detect, with nine and seven successes on their stealth checks respectively. How close do you guys want to get? Commandeering the first canoe you see, going straight for the obelisk, or trying to make it all the way to the other shore? Going to try to strike up conversation, pick off locals to bring to a secondary location, or remain totally undetected?
>>
No. 953953 ID: afdebc

>Upon return, live wriggling fish and frogs are fairly distributed to teammate pockets or cloak-hoods as a catlike gesture of hospitality.
>Insect like creatures, one to two knuckles long at most, surge through the waters in large cloud like formations.
Diana endures the 'gift' of a messy mash of aquatic arthropods trust upon her with strained grace. While on one level, it is reassuring to see at least one member of the group seeming to make gestures of goodwill, that is still not how foraged supplies should be stored.

A tiny frog, similarly disgruntled, escapes the the mass of its one-time predators in the archer's cloak-hood, and ends up perched upon her shoulder.
>>
No. 953960 ID: 7e986b

>>953952
SCiD is planning to watch before politely inquiring about local customs, and genuinely polite rather than his normal approach considering he didn’t want to sour the other group’s arriva. So he should really get to the opposite shore, and try to find a nice tavern or something to hide in and observe.
>>
No. 953962 ID: f57349

>>953952
Circle the perimeter first, try to get an overall sense of layout and numbers. How many people? What sort of recognizable subgroups among them? Who's carrying weapons, and what sort? How far underwater do the structures extend?
>>
No. 953974 ID: d9acdc

>>953953
>A tiny frog, similarly disgruntled, escapes the the mass of its one-time predators in the archer's cloak-hood, and ends up perched upon her shoulder.
Rare find! Probably no larger than a finger nail, and surprisingly persistent, found clambering back on if it falls or is removed gently.

>>953962
Hard to get an accurate read on the numbers, lots of them seem to holed up in/near the cave entrance. Outside, around the water based structures there's probably about a hundred and fifty.
No one appears to be carrying any sort of weapons or armor, hardly even any clothing. You do spot some woven baskets, but nothing like knives or even mortar and pestle. The buildings and walkways don't appear to have much underneath the structures, simple wooden flotation devices lashed together with vines and plant fiber. Walls are wooden with dried mud calking, rooves made from leaves and plant fiber. Probably twenty five huts or so, scattered about the waters with no real pattern, although they're roughly centered on the jade obelisk. Floating walkways spider between them, but many of the structures are in some state of disrepair. Obelisk itself is on a solid pillar of stone which seems to go all the way down. There do appear to be some visual distinctions between people;
Main features are purple skin, large black eyes, stubby tail, small short legs, and bat like arms/wings. Smaller in frame, on average three feet tall maybe? Wings probably don't enable true flight, more likely useful for gliding. A relatively small number deviate from this however, and they tend to fall into patterns of deviations:
-Wide splayed toes and thick white fur.
-Hollow fangs, opposable toe, longer thicker tail.
-Webbed feet, shorter and stouter build, short slick blue-green fur.
-Blunt claws which turn to the side along with thick hooked talons on the wings joints.

>>953960
Takes about two hours to head towards the opposite shore. Light from the manse seems to be dimming ever so slightly. No apparent buildings for eating/drinking, although there is one which might pertain to food preparation- stockpiles of desiccated plants, strange gem like bits being removed from the fresh ones, seemingly sorted into five categories based on color: white, brown, red, blue, and grey. Language isn't familiar, so it's hard to truly get a read on what's going on, but people are shuffling about without seeming to do much, no jobs getting done, no rushing from place to place. Lots of huddled conversation and glancing around, faces and bodies gathered by the cave entrances to peer out. Gonna need a sense motive check or confirmation that you want to reveal yourself. Are Swump and SCiD still separated, or did one person head back towards the other? How are you guys staying informed about eachothers locations whilst also maintaining stealth?
>>
No. 954003 ID: ac57f8

rolled 10, 9, 1, 8, 7, 9, 10, 9, 7, 1, 10, 9, 7, 2, 10, 2, 9, 8, 7, 2, 5, 10, 1, 3, 4, 8, 5, 9, 1, 5 = 188

>>953974
Well, that's unfortunate, but the first thing is first then. He's got to find the biggest population gathering place, smelling the still beating blood of all the creatures in one place, oblivious to his presence.

And he watches, listens, and learns, paying more direct attention to the tone of the words being said as he tries to parse out the general tone.

Although, just because he wasn't focusing on trying to translate, he was running it through, trying to pick up any linguistic similarities to either forest tongue or old realm.

(Perception 3+Investigation 3 read intentions, assuming one dot stunt.

Int 3+ Linguistics 1 decipher language action, spending a willpower for one automatic success.)
>>
No. 954067 ID: d9acdc

>>954003
>I don't think you have supernatural senses, but given that the whole smelling blood thing resonates with abyssals I think that's a fair two dot stunt.
>10, 9, 1, 8, 7, 9, 10, 9
If we round down the difficulty to read motivation for these villagers is usually one, meaning you've beaten their defense by an order of magnitude. No listed benefits past the "double successes needed" threshold, but if anyone would like make an arguement as to what the next logical steps up would be I'd be happy to hear it. Namely thinking more intimacies revealed, or a more detailed understanding of motivations beyond what might just be present in the scene.
Regardless, you get to know the dominant emotion and if they harbor a positive or negative intimacy towards another character in the scene. Lots of different people around the entrances to the caves, and the dominant emotions seem to be fear, anxiety, or hope. Most of them have intimacies towards each other, and since they haven't met the only non-extra characters in the scene yet, gonna say you mostly pick up on how they feel in regards to each other. Most have a sense of loyalty, kinship, or other such positive intimacies with each other, not a lot of negative intimacies going around in that regard.

>7, 1, 10, 9, 7, 2, +1 automatic success from willpower
A quick scan through the core book doesn't detail a decipher language action, so I'm going to ballpark what six successes would be- input from other players would again be helpful.
Lowballing it here to avoid stepping on the toes for linguistics charms, I think you can tell it stemmed from old realm, and drifted pretty significantly during however long these people were isolated. Given that you speak Old Realm, I'm inclined to say six successes would be enough to get the general gist of what people are talking about, but I'd like outside input before doubling down on that.
>>
No. 954092 ID: f57349

rolled 8, 10, 8, 8, 5, 6, 6, 8, 4, 7, 2, 4, 1, 7, 5, 9, 4, 3, 10, 8, 6, 10, 2, 9, 4, 6, 6, 8, 7, 5 = 186

Plan was we report back in about a day, right? While SCiD's chewing on language and culture, the wrinkly assassin will build a scale model (thin branches for paths, barnacles for houses, inedible shell of one of those tasty bugs for a storage building, and so on) with the butt of that fancy new trident as a stand-in for the central pillar. Spending a mote and rolling Wits 1 + Occult 4 for the apprentice-level Art of Husbandry procedure "Thanks for the Hunt" https://docs.google.com/document/d/1N-8geUuklKlno_TGuFZezYnvvkWWOQCPev4rXa4cyRQ/edit#heading=h.5u191a523dxm to improve the quality of the materials for crafting purposes, then, bare chest still smeared with a rune made from bug guts, rolling Attribute 5 + Craft (Wood) 0 and spending WP for a bonus success on the actual assembly.

If there's doubt about the scouting team's ability to coordinate their movements and arrange rendezvous points more conveniently accessible than swimming all the way back to the rest of the expedition, that seems like a job for the War skill. Would a "hit & run" specialty be applicable? We're kinda skipping the 'hit' phase, but clandestine regrouping still seems relevant to that sort of strategy.
>>
No. 954161 ID: d9acdc

>>954092
>inedible shell of one of those tasty bugs for a storage building
My phrasing was unclear earlier; when I said it was easy to eat, even with the shell, I meant you didn't have to remove the shell and could easily consume it along with the rest of the sea-bug. No shucking, vein pulling, or other prep needed.

Two die stunt means you get seven dice on the thaum roll
>8, 10, 8, 8, 5, 6, 6,
Five successes is enough to best the difficulty two roll.

>Attribute 5 + Craft (Wood) 0 and spending WP
Dex, Perception, and Int are all at five, they seem like the only ones which would likely be relevant. Building a scale model seems more like Craft Air than Wood, since it's all about fine detail and you're not using strictly wood and textiles. Doesn't matter in this case though, both at zero, meaning you rolled
>8, 4, 7, 2, 4, 1, 7, 5
Looks like Luna blessing couldn't quite get you to the next success, but that's still four successes if you count from from WP. Sounds like plenty to actually impart useful details and keep a good scale, only problem would be moving it. What size scale are you making it in, and where are you making/keeping it?

OOC, how does two hours sound for the crafting project, and are you going to be creating/providing a map to go along with your scale model?

>If there's doubt about the scouting team's ability to coordinate their movements and arrange rendezvous points more conveniently accessible
When you're both nigh undetectable, have no long range communication tools/magic, and are traveling miles away from each other without notice, that seems like a reasonable doubt to have. Last plans I remember consisted of:

>If I’m not there in two days, assume the worst. Maybe try to work on seeing what kind of perimeter defenses the place has.
>Alright, that should actually be long enough baring anything unfortunate happening, but that does rely on a substantially truncated schedule to do all of what he wants to do. If it is safe though, he'll flash a bright golden light across the lake to signal such and provide an introduction so that they aren't attacked. Otherwise, he'll head back with news of hostility or otherwise.

Both suggested by Shatters Crime in Darkness without much of a response.

>Would a "hit & run" specialty be applicable? We're kinda skipping the 'hit' phase, but clandestine regrouping still seems relevant to that sort of strategy.
I'd say so, yeah. A mechanical description of how you're using it also seems like it should be included, if/when that becomes relevant.
>>
No. 954172 ID: f57349

>>954161
>What size scale are you making it in, and where are you making/keeping it?
Building it around the butt end of that fancy new trident, as I said.
>OOC, how does two hours sound for the crafting project, and are you going to be creating/providing a map to go along with your scale model?
Model is supposed to BE an effective map of the village. Little bit like techniques used by IRL pacific islanders, but representing a much smaller area in a more literal way.
>>
No. 954180 ID: d9acdc

>>954172
Where are you while you are building it around the butt end of your trident, and if you move the trident, what will happen to the rest of the model? Will it still be attached to the end? Or will it be located somewhere else independent of the trident?

As for scale, if we say the trident, representing the seven yard tall Jade Obelisk, is five or six feet long, then you're building a at about a quarter scale. For an area that spans miles, that seems impractical. If we instead use the a bug carcas as our point of scale and don't worry about the trident being accurate, well, I'd like someone to check my math on this one, I was preoccupied at the time of mathing it all out.
To make it easy, bug is one square inch on the map, representing a but covering an area of about thirty feet, or 4320 square inches, so 4320 = 1. Village covers a rough area of 13.5 square miles, or about 54196000000 square inches. 54196000000/4320 means your model would cover ~12545370sq inches, or about 87000sq feet, larger than a football field. Let me know if I'm messing up somewhere along the line, but it seems like any scale replica would take significant time and space.

>Model is supposed to BE an effective map of the village.
My question was whether or not you, JamesLeng, would be finding or creating a visual that we the players could see, to represent the model being built in game which the characters have access to.
>>
No. 954231 ID: cddd54

Alright, following through from the linguistics conversation the other day, SCiD is going to find a nice dark corner of whatever place these people (which I am going to call Eloi for the time being until a better name is suggested) trying to peace out as much of their language as possible, writing down diagrams of how their language deviates from Old Realm as best as I am able to figure out.

Then, when I am comfortable that I will be able to communicate with them, at least a bit, I’m going to head to whatever communal gathering site they have, and drop stealth as the fantastically charming Man with the Iron Mask has decided to pay them a visit, and with a flourish of his midnight black cape laden with astrologically accurate stars embroidered in star metal and a glowing orichalcum sun for a clasp, he offers a warm greeting and a how do you do to them, with as much as he was able to pick up watching casual conversation and old realm to fill the gaps.

Not really sure what needs to be rolled (outside of another Perception+Investigation to keep reading motivations), but this feels important enough to throw 40 dice at it.

Also, it bears stating that I am activating the Orichalcum Appearance +4 bonus.
>>
No. 954233 ID: cddd54

rolled 2, 1, 9, 5, 7, 9, 10, 1, 4, 2, 2, 8, 7, 10, 9, 5, 7, 2, 2, 8, 4, 2, 1, 7, 4, 7, 5, 7, 3, 8, 2, 8, 8, 4, 4, 4, 10, 6, 5, 2 = 211

>>
No. 954236 ID: f57349
File 157980572409.jpg - (78.01KB , 960x960 , 23120246_10154658396945834_3522102619400174260_o.jpg )
954236

>>954180
Only building a model of water-based structures in the immediate vicinity of the obelisk, the ones occupied by about 150 people, not the entire sanctuary - and particularly not including those caves that are still miles away.
>>
No. 954254 ID: 5f3f48

rolled 2, 5, 10, 4, 8, 8, 1, 6, 7, 7, 4, 6, 4, 4, 10, 8, 8, 10, 7, 4, 4, 2, 5, 2, 2, 4, 1, 7, 2, 8 = 160

> Rare find! Probably no larger than a finger nail, and surprisingly persistent, found clambering back on if it falls or is removed gently.
After her companions disappear beneath gold-tinted short-lived ripples, Diana Maku falls into the rhythm of the task at hand and contemplation of her newest companion.

The thumbnail frog was not a species she was familiar with (not that herpetology had ever been a focus of her studies). How long had its kind lived in this isolated pocket? Were they lost to the wider world, slain by the Contagion, invading fairies, or the encroaching Wyld tide? Or had they never spread beyond this small valley to begin with?

...it's kind of cute.

With an affectionate prod of the finger to the green blob stubbornly hugging the hem of her collar, the Chosen of Endings affirms that this creature's ending has not yet come to pass- merely its isolation.

Making an attempt to befriend the thumbnail frog! Sort of a combination of good intentions and figuring out what it needs, so rolling Charisma 5 + Survival 1 + Stunt, then spending 1 Endurance from my Resplendent Destiny of the Ewer to activate Sweet Flirtation Smile and add another Charisma 5 to the roll.

Let's also attempt the Apprentice-Level ritual, Judge the Pure Beast to help assess it, as that only takes a minute and has no resources cost, and I'll channel 1 wp for an automatic success. Perception 2 + Survival 1 + Stunt + 1 Success.
>>
No. 954316 ID: d9acdc

rolled 10, 6, 10, 7, 5, 9, 8, 10, 9, 4, 6, 6, 1, 9, 9, 8, 4, 3, 6, 9, 5, 10, 9, 8, 5, 6, 1, 8, 10, 10 = 211

>>954231
>trying to peace out as much of their language as possible, writing down diagrams of how their language deviates from Old Realm as best as I am able to figure out.

Deviates enough that a day of studying from the shadows won't do you any good. Counts as a unique language- maybe a tribal dialect, so you can buy four with one dot, but you still actually need to buy the dot in the first place. I'd allow you to purchase it as a training effect and go into XP debt provided you spend eight hours a day studying with a tutor for the next three weeks, preferably someone who shares a language with you. Speaking of:

>the fantastically charming Man with the Iron Mask has decided to pay them a visit
If you spent two hours swimming and another eight hours studying, then the Orichalcum sphere has definitely gone dark by the time you step out and reveal yourself. The "Eloi" as you refer to them don't carry any torches or lights, but still manage to spot you immediately, and a crowd of them gather around you. Their tongue isn't remotely comprehensible, but with a roll of 2, 1, 9, 5, 7, 9, 10, 1 you get five successes, just enough to pass the difficulty four threshold to understand the dominant emotion, but not to figure out if any of them have an intimacy towards you. As discussed via discord, it would normally only be difficulty one to get a read on most of them, but with the language barrier, different physiology and cultural drift, that's bumped up to difficulty four.

Something that I think would still be up for debate is whether or not it's difficulty four and difficulty eight, or if it's difficulty one and two, with a an external penalty of three successes applied.

Dominant emotion differs from person to person- anxiety and relief are the two major ones, although some of them definitely seem angry. That's most likely directed at each other though, not at you, since some of them seem to be arguing amongst themselves about something. A few tug on your arms and cloak, one rushes to a different hut and brings out a handful of the colored plant-gems, and one starts shoving another when they grab your hand. All this stops however when you throw out some Old Realm speech. They start quietly murmuring, before a pair nudge you from behind and lead you to a hut near the obelisk. Inside you find three more Eloi, one prone with the other two tending to it.

Int + Medicine check has three dice plus two from stunts, so you rolled 4, 2, 2, 8, 7 and two successes is definitely enough to tell this is some kind of fever. There's probably enough other complications going on, what with unfamiliar physiology and language barrier, that you're not really sure of much more, including why you were led here.

>>954236
Hardest part is finding something to act as a base, since a lot of the walkways and huts are free floating, but there's woven baskets, plant fiber, or other such supplies you can grab without being noticed. Doing much with the trident aside from holding it upright while moving careful will risk damaging the model though, especially if you're attempting anything violent.

What next, now that you've had an opportunity to scout and record strategic information?

>>954254
>Making an attempt to befriend the thumbnail frog! Sort of a combination of good intentions and figuring out what it needs
>2, 5, 10, 4, 8, 8, 1, 6, 7, 7, 4, 6, 4
Lets say building it up into something background-worthy will follow the same rules as a one dot artifact. Right now you're in the process of figuring out what sort of care and habitat would be ideal for this guy- we'll call it a difficulty three roll, requiring ten successes, with every five accumulated threshold successes giving you meaningful headway into understanding something that'll make it comfortable or what have you. The idea that you can only roll once per season here seems impractical though; instead, you can roll once per day, as long as the roll is a new approach (and by extension a mechanically different roll) and enhanced by a Quiver, Ewer, or Sword destiny. Three threshold successes accumulated so far!

If you just want to be friends with it without any sort of special mechanical differences, that's fine too, although some study to figure out what it subsists off of and how it stays comfortable might assist with that.

>Discord discussion
So, as I understand it, Suuzen is climbing up with Riv to examine the bit of the manse sticking out of the wall. If we assume a mile per hour, with a bonus from another climber providing help along the way, maybe some rope and whatnot, I don't think there's much real risk of a fall here- we'll roll for a botch, but otherwise you can get up there no problem. Athletics two, dex three.

Once you get up there, the key thing will be actually examining the manse. This represents a specific power the manse has, so I'm going to say examining it needs a minimum of three lore and three occult to examine it. Suuzen and the tar baby both lack the pre-requisite skills, but I'll say they can act as supernatural assistants, so the two of them working together are able to add an additional success to Riv's roll.

It juts out about two yards from the sandwall, shaped a bit like a shoe wedge, or the prow of a ship, with a flat top and a smoothly curved underside. The top, which provides a convenient place to stand/sit/rest/etc is about a yard wide, and it's also about a yard tall at the widest part, where it enters the wall. The top and sides are covered in vein-like grooves, thicker the closer you get to the wall, then blossoming outward like creeping vines across it's surface. Dotted throughout these grooves are deeper, geometric nodules, and the whole thing smells faintly akin to firedust.
>>
No. 954326 ID: d9acdc

>Athletics two, dex three.
>10, 6, 10, 7, 5
Suuzen had no problems on the ascent, and will have no issues on the decent either.

>actually examining the manse
>9, 8, 10, 9, 4, 6, 6
As per Open-Eyed Dive Meditation, Riv is going to suffer a two success external penalty. Also going to say that working without tools imposes a penalty of four dice. That would be four successes on the first two dice, reduced down to two, but with Suuzen and the tar baby there to act as assistants, it gets bumped up to three, just enough to succeed.

The two assistants realize that the grooves are actually places for plants to grow- Suuzen has spent a lot of time out in natural, after all. Riv explains that, look, if follow the channel, see right here, where it actually funnels inside the orichalcum? This is clearly some sort of locking mechanism! It's not clear yet how it functions in conjunction with the rest of the manse, but the right input here should help you gain access to the main body somehow.

No problems as you slowly descend, and as I understand it the plan is currently to meet at the transitional point where the sand meets the stone, call it there for the day. No major impediments along the way, but wherever you decide to camp along the wall you'll have one major issue. See, the walls of the dome go straight down into the water- there's no large natural ledges or flat ground, with the exception of the floating wooden structures or the entrance, back the way you came. The "path" you're walking along on the outer edge is only about six inches across, looks to have been worn down rather than created naturally. You could put the cut saplings into the wall for Raising the Earth's Bones, and Riv could lend you the spider legs so you could effectively pace along it, just note that it would probably be emerging out of, or burrowing into, the wall of wherever you cast the spell.

So, what do Suuzen, her minions, and Diana want to do next? No actual rolls or challenges will be involved in setting up camp, although how the layout of the bunkhouse changes by virtue of coming sideways out of the wall might be tactically relevant, as would big flashy displays of power that typically accompany sorcery. Ironhorn would like to refresh herself and rest for the night, as she's nearing her limit, and Riv is confident she can keep watch without much risk, so long as she can keep her feet on solid ground.
>>
No. 954328 ID: d9acdc

>Let's also attempt the Apprentice-Level ritual, Judge the Pure Beast to help assess it, as that only takes a minute and has no resources cost, and I'll channel 1 wp for an automatic success. Perception 2 + Survival 1 + Stunt + 1 Success.
>4, 10, 8, 8, 10, + 1 success.
Forgot to respond to this, but that's definitely enough successes. This beast is a normal specimen of it's kind, which does include some magical capabilities. It is not wyld-tainted, it can live in creation without support, and could create viable offspring if it had a mate.
>>
No. 954341 ID: f57349

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

>>954316
Once it becomes clear that SCiD is doing the overt-contact thing but having language barrier problems, my scout will tag a few locals with Unshattered Tongue Perfection - preferably leaders or thaumaturges or others who seem to know what's going on, but really whoever can be reached without breaking stealth - then take advantage of the distraction to slip into an unattended kitchen or alchemy lab, barricade the door, and start brewing up a nice big batch of Blood-Staunching Compresses.
>>
No. 954343 ID: ac57f8

rolled 3, 10, 7, 9, 4, 9, 10, 3, 2, 1, 10, 10, 3, 9, 5, 7, 2, 4, 6, 3, 4, 5, 4, 2, 1, 4, 10, 8, 1, 2, 2, 3, 6, 6, 10, 7, 1, 9, 5, 7 = 214

>>954316
> The "Eloi" as you refer to them don't carry any torches or lights, but still manage to spot you immediately, and a crowd of them gather around you.

I should hope so, considering that I'm glowing a soft gold like a torch to the point where mundane stealth is completely impossible.

> Int + Medicine check has three dice plus two from stunts, so you rolled 4, 2, 2, 8, 7 and two successes is definitely enough to tell this is some kind of fever. There's probably enough other complications going on, what with unfamiliar physiology and language barrier, that you're not really sure of much more, including why you were led here.

Well, that seems easy enough to guess, they have correctly deduced that I'm an Exalt by the fact that I speak Old Realm rather than a directional tongue and have some swanky high first age clothes, and am glowing gold like a solar. And they want help.

Well, he may not know much about even the human body outside of how to end it effectively, but there were a few tricks he knew, like how to sense other parts of the underworld, and he was going to try to focus that down to a laser focus.

So, he clasped his hands together, a chill wind emanating as if from nowhere, black essence coagulating in his hands like black lightning. He ran the electricity through the fevered Eloi's head, pumping the death essence like a probe through the essence flow, finding every block, every foreign essence in their spiritual veins.

Even as he felt the cold grasp of the Neverborn warning him that he would be going too far if he did anything with this knowledge, he pressed on to learn as much as possible about the deviations from the norm of this abnormal biology.

Rolling Int+Medicine+Stunt and spending a willpower to roll conviction for 8+stunt dice to diagnose.
>>
No. 954353 ID: ac57f8

It was pointed out in Discord that I should have listed Int 3 + Medicine 0 + Conviction 5, and while I didn't list it and should probably not get the bonuses accordingly, the Umbral Compliant Panoply is effectively a +2 tool bonus that can almost always apply to at least one thing at a time.
>>
No. 954364 ID: afdebc

rolled 10, 6, 5, 5, 5, 2, 6, 4, 7, 3, 1, 4, 5, 5, 5, 1, 10, 10, 2, 4, 3, 10, 3, 5, 8 = 129

>So, what do Suuzen, her minions, and Diana want to do next?
Diana proposes we establish a base camp here to facilitate investigating the "lock" of the manse in greater detail in the light of the next day.

After the usual fort has been raised, Diana can be found sitting cross-legged upon the stone floor. The fading illumination catches and glints on a blade held in left hand above her right palm- small and ornate, more reminiscent of a surgeon's tool than anything intended for workmanship or battle. As the false sun 'sets' she recites quiete poetry in old realm—"...'There’s always an ending,' she said."—and cuts deep into her own palm. Blood wells... and then fades away.

Moments later, her chache egg appears from thin air, and Diana begins preparing equipment for the next day.

Rolling Stamina 3 + Occult 2 + Art of the Dead 1 + Excellent Ritual Dagger 1 + Stunt, to convert 1hl to a mote of essence with the Blood Magic ritual, then spending that 1m + 16m personal + 3m peripheral to summon the cache egg, while keeping my anima banner at the lower level.

As the night continues and I regain personal motes during rest, I'll use Wood Dragon Form to heal the lethal damage, and once I'm topped off again, will repeat the entire process to store the egg. (Which likely requires getting up in the middle of the night to ensure full motes again by morning).

After logistical necessities are seen to, Diana will try her hand that evening at crafting a destiny.
>>
No. 954399 ID: d9acdc

>>954343
>So, he clasped his hands together, a chill wind emanating as if from nowhere, black essence coagulating in his hands like black lightning. He ran the electricity through the fevered Eloi's head, pumping the death essence like a probe through the essence flow, finding every block, every foreign essence in their spiritual veins.
One of the aids who was tending to the patient lets out a shrill squeak and tries to tackle you in response, nearby fellows soon joining in. However, keeping your hands focused, a few gentle redirection with your leg sends them scattering hopelessly. By the time you finish your diagnosis, the waterfront is almost devoid of life, people streaming back towards the caves.

>Rolling Int+Medicine+Stunt and spending a willpower to roll conviction for 8+stunt dice to diagnose.
>It was pointed out in Discord that I should have listed Int 3 + Medicine 0 + Conviction 5, and while I didn't list it and should probably not get the bonuses accordingly, the Umbral Compliant Panoply is effectively a +2 tool bonus that can almost always apply to at least one thing at a time.

More information makes things faster and easier for me, so it's definitely appreciated.
>3, 10, 7, 9, 4, 9, 10, 3, 2, 1, 10, 10,
Infection in the lung, of which the fever is a symptom. It's not-boil-your-brain-alive temperature- even with the modified physiology, I think eleven successes warrants an understanding of the severity of the disease. Treatment should mostly revolve around controlling the temperature of the fever, ensuring they get plenty of fluids to help stay hydrated and keep the airways clear of excess phlegm or secretions, and plenty of bed rest. Steam could help keep airways clear, but the patient seems older, so you'd want to moniter them careful if they were in an sauna-like environment for extended periods of time.

Outside all that, as you feel your essence flow through the body, you can sense strange incongruities in the patterns. Everything feels natural, the flow is smooth and undisrupted, but there's strange changes in style. For you, it would be akin to seeing a crime seen left behind the guild, a syndicate, or a random piece of filth roaming the streets independently. You can recognize certain features as having their own signature, as distinct from one another, obvious which kind of weapon left which kind of wound on society. It's as if disparate parts of this creature were grafted together to create one new organism, on a spiritual level rather than a physical one.

>954341
Your map is still a WIP, probably will be for a while, but the current build is posted in the discord with structures highlighted for you so you have at least something to look at.

>Once it becomes clear that SCiD is doing the overt-contact thing but having language barrier problems
After the short and relatively nonviolent tussle in the sick hut, there's no one around for SCiD to have a language barrier problem with.

>my scout will tag a few locals [...] preferably leaders or thaumaturges or others who seem to know what's going on, but really whoever can be reached without breaking stealth - then take advantage of the distraction to slip into an unattended kitchen or alchemy lab, barricade the door, and start brewing up a nice big batch of Blood-Staunching Compresses.
>>953974
>You do spot some woven baskets, but nothing like knives or even mortar and pestle.
Definitely some people hanging around on the outskirts of the floating settlement if you still want to tag people. Your attempts to search the properties around the are uniterupted but yield no useful tools outside wicker baskets and oddly shaped sailboats (strangely no oars). With everyone gone it's a simple task to rummage through buildings unseen, so I'm assuming you don't intend to barricade any doors- doubly so, since none of the huts come equipped with them, so any such barricades would involved tearing stuff down to pile in front of an entry way. Given pretty much free roam across the floating walkways however, you do find some medicine which will supplement your compress supplies. We suggested the tools should apply some sort of penalty to the roll for being inadequate, I'm thinking -1 external penalty to all procedures requiring tools, as the bog-junk isn't exactly the same as high quality medical tools.

Medicine one, int five, two die stunt,
>5, 8, 3, 9, 2, 8, 3, 1
If that were two die internal penalty, rather than external penalty, that'd be a success- let's say you take your time, get one extra success from going slowly, and spend two hours creating one batch, with supplies left over for another roll at another time.

>Discord
>Alright, no obvious trap or taboo sites, that's useful intel. Probably haven't got the skills to distinguish social dynamics, so I'll go back to meet up with SCiD.
>Walk up uncomfortably close behind him and break stealth by asking whether we're going to treat the one with the fever as a prisoner.

Bald assassin with the penchant for calling out "lying" in the middle of conversation makes a show of whispering in your ear, tells you that the traffic patterns leading into the cave probably rule out trapped or taboo entrances, and what's the plan for the body?

For both SCiD and Swump, you guys broke camp in the Wyld around dawn, or so Ironhorn tells you. After six hours of travel, you reached the edge of the sphere. It has since dimmed, gold plates rotating and sliding to expose more and more softly glowing white, until the whole area is bathed in the equivalent of a full moons light. If that manse sheds light in accordance with the days of creation, you've been up for at least sixteen hours. For Swump, the swimming has mostly been light work, but for SCiD you'd been exerting yourself with mild regularity throughout the day- keeping in strategic stealth can wear out out even if you don't actually do anything, just through tension and sustained focus. Where are you going/staying? Swump specifically, how are you storing the medicine so it doesn't get contaminated by water, grime, etc?

>>954364
>Diana proposes we establish a base camp here to facilitate investigating the "lock" of the manse in greater detail in the light of the next day.
Riv sends out two uses of Wind-Carried Words, one to baldy and one to Shatters Crime in Darkness:
"We camp halfway along the sandwall, rendezvous there before the beginning of our third day here, I or Ironhorn will stand watch and greet you."

With that, she is content to help set up camp and stand guard throughout the night.

>Rolling Stamina 3 + Occult 2 + Art of the Dead 1 + Excellent Ritual Dagger 1 + Stunt, to convert 1hl to a mote of essence with the Blood Magic ritual, then spending that 1m + 16m personal + 3m peripheral to summon the cache egg, while keeping my anima banner at the lower level.

Two die stunt means nine dice,
>10, 6, 5, 5, 5, 2, 6, 4, 7
Just barely scraping by with the three successes needed.

>As the night continues and I regain personal motes during rest, I'll use Wood Dragon Form to heal the lethal damage, and once I'm topped off again, will repeat the entire process to store the egg. (Which likely requires getting up in the middle of the night to ensure full motes again by morning).
>3, 1, 4, 5, 5, 5, 1, 10, 10,
Success without issue, the rest of that stuff is trivial, but if you're waking up in the middle of the night for ritual bloodletting regularly enough you might face some sort of penalty for disrupted sleep. That sort of thing seems like it shouldn't bother an Exalt as much as a mortal, but without dedicated anti-sleep charm tech you probably can't keep that up forever.

>After logistical necessities are seen to, Diana will try her hand that evening at crafting a destiny.
Looks like a Cha+performance roll followed by an Essence+College roll. Doing anything fancy to enhance your prayer roll? I don't know what Xun is, but asumming it's relevant, that's still normally on seven dice on a difficulty six roll, so I imagine you have some sort of plan.
>>
No. 954421 ID: f57349

rolled 10, 3, 2, 5, 6, 6, 10, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 10, 3, 7, 8, 1, 1, 5, 9, 9, 10, 2, 5, 7, 2, 5, 2, 6 = 161

>>954399
Gathering up a sample set of those little gem-like things they're extracting, for the sorceress to look at, and checking for a latrine before we leave. If the map can't really be ready in time, and locals won't seriously fight to hold this place, don't bother bringing it.
>how are you storing the medicine so it doesn't get contaminated by water, grime, etc?
Wrap it up inside oilskin pouch, scrounge a pair of really tightly-woven wicker baskets and put the pouch between them, with the trident threaded through the middle. Center tine in one set of handles, haft through the other, facing each other like clamshells. Swim with it slung over one shoulder like a bindle. Important stuff should stay well above water surface. Even if there's a mistake, would have to soak through two separate mostly-watertight layers.

Can't carry people that way. If SCiD's too tired to swim and wants to keep the old sickly prisoner, point out a boat. Shadow can be oars.
>>
No. 954436 ID: ac57f8

>>954399
> Info dump on biology and what's wrong

Alright, I wasn't expecting that, I am tempted to think of something other than Eloi, but I can't for the time being, so I'm just going to keep calling them that.

Also, I either managed to luck out and find the luckiest one here, or these guys have no real violence or accidental injury, or they have some kind of super human but sub exalted healing factor to avoid having any improperly healed injuries in the past. But, regardless, I channeled conviction into figuring out what was wrong with him, will of the neverborn be damned, I'm going to make sure that this person survives. So, taking him back to camp.

> but for SCiD you'd been exerting yourself with mild regularity throughout the day- keeping in strategic stealth can wear out out even if you don't actually do anything, just through tension and sustained focus. Where are you going/staying?

Well, that's simple, the diagnosis is done, so I'll just step onto the water, the dread touch of the Exalt of the Dead throwing up intense fog over the lake, thick enough to cut with a knife and rising several feet over the water, small black stepping stones forming under his feet as it slowly congealed around him as a canoe with a side car around his feet, rising from the surface of the water slightly as it grew legs like a sea horse, webbed rather than hoofed. As he constructed it to do so, he laid down, the captive in the side boat, and himself in the main boat, and he rested, taking a moment to instruct his shadow to take him to the shores of where the Wind Carried Words told him the camp was going to be. And since movement isn't actually an action, he is going to set it in a straight line and just have it paddle there while he naps, small tendrils reaching out into the water and into his ear allowing him to keep an ear out for any motion in the water.
>>
No. 954454 ID: d9acdc
File 157999607172.png - (11.60KB , 800x800 , Boat.png )
954454

>>954421
>If the map can't really be ready in time, and locals won't seriously fight to hold this place, don't bother bringing it.

Sorry, that was poor phrasing on my part- OOC, I'm not finished making a map to represent the scale model you've created. What I posted in discord is a representation of the progress I've made so far, but it does not reflect the completed model you've made.

>Gathering up a sample set of those little gem-like things they're extracting, for the sorceress to look at, and checking for a latrine before we leave.

You can grab about as many as you can carry without any real difficulty or effort. There's nothing resembling a latrine anywhere out here on the waterfront.

>Wrap it up inside oilskin pouch, [...]
Yeah, that sounds reasonable to me. Are you heading back to the campsite, or pursing other goals? Now would probably be a good time to mess around with the Jade Obelisk if you have any ideas you need to test out.

>If SCiD's too tired to swim and wants to keep the old sickly prisoner, point out a boat. Shadow can be oars.
Let's say that SCiD hasn't accumulated any fatigue yet, but is at the threshold where anymore strenuous activity, like swimming, rowing a boat, or carrying a heavy load, will now add a point of fatigue every hour.
The boats are somewhat of a strange cross between canoe and sailboat- carved from a single piece of wood, no joints or anything like that, with two seats, one in front of the other. First seat rests inside the log, at the nose. Directly behind the front seat is a fibrous sail, and directly behind that is the second seat, which has a curve to it that would keep anyone sitting in it almost upright. Strange harnesses made of woven wood are crumpled in a heap in each seat, but any attempt to put them on is met with frustration, they don't seem to be designed to fit your body type.

>>954436
>And since movement isn't actually an action, he is going to set it in a straight line and just have it paddle there while he naps, small tendrils reaching out into the water and into his ear allowing him to keep an ear out for any motion in the water.
Gonna rule that you can't have constructs created by CUP move without conscious direction, so no napping, but you can also arrive at the camp without harm- just sitting in a boat while it sails itself is not difficult, and nothing on the water disrupts your travel.

When Diana wakes up to banish her cache egg, she finds SCiD and Riv discussing an unconscious bat-like mortal, sick with fever. Up to the PCs how much information they want to reveal to the guides and each other about the events that transpired- Riv is primarily worried about whether or not this is a kidnapping, and the resulting backlash that come from such things. If it's safe for them to take care of him though, tend to his needs, he might be a good source of information once he's awake.
>>
No. 954492 ID: f57349

rolled 7, 5, 8, 1, 7, 9, 6, 8, 4, 2, 7, 5, 9, 5, 6, 10, 7, 5, 1, 5, 4, 6, 5, 10, 10, 10, 1, 3, 10, 10 = 186

>>954454
Demonic humanoid makes a full report up on the private third floor, then Suuzen promptly and accurately shares everything of plausible tactical or strategic relevance with the rest of the group, omitting only the occult nuances of exactly HOW certain information was observed, or feats were performed.

"... said 'tongues may grow back,' but it's not talking about a physical injury, rather the affected 'eloi' will have lost the ability to speak their native language. This is a... service... which it has provided for me before, so don't worry, there's a spell to hurry that recovery along if necessary. Complications shouldn't linger much beyond the psychological stress of any close brush with omen weather."

Tar baby, meanwhile, relays the un-expurgated report to Mother Bog, and listens a while for follow-up questions.

Gem-like plant products are portioned out among the group, per plunder rules, but only after checking them (and the tasty iridescent bugs) for wyld or demonic contamination or other known hazards with various alchemical touchstones. Some of Suuzen's portion will then be subjected to a more thorough destructive analysis.
>>
No. 954510 ID: afdebc

rolled 4, 1, 8, 7, 7, 1, 1, 1, 3, 4 = 37

>>954399
>I imagine you have some sort of plan.
Destiny crafting resolved in discord combat thread. The thumbnail frog is now tagged with the following ascending destiny:

College: The Ewer
Providence: Artless Prodigy Blessing
Trigger (simple): Developing a relationship with Diana Maku
Scope: 2 Points (The thumbnail frog, and immediate kin)
Duration 1 (season)
Frequency 2 (Daily)

No paradox gained.

>When Diana wakes up to banish her cache egg, she finds SCiD and Riv discussing an unconscious bat-like mortal, sick with fever.
>Riv is primarily worried about whether or not this is a kidnapping
Death and illness were no strangers to a Chosen of Endings, and more than the condition of the newest mortal in their midst in his shadow-wrought sickbed, or the potential political pitfalls, Diana finds herself wondering more what motivated the act. She can think of several reasons (compasion, leverage, intelligence gathering, favor trading, targeting the weakest...) but which led to this outcome would lend insight into less-forthcoming companions.

"Why did you bring this man here?" she asks simply of Shattered Crimes in Darkness. Unaware of the intricacies of Dark Fate, and the possible consequences.

Rolling read motivation to gauge his response! Perception 2 + Socialize 2 + Stunt, and Diana will spend a willpower for 1 success. Base difficulty is Scid's (Manipulation 3 + Socialize 2) /2, round up = 3.
>>
No. 954565 ID: d9acdc

>>954492
>Report home
Commander in Chief wants information on how remote/well hidden this place is, how well defended against a serious incursion from Wyld forces it would be, and a full report on the manse. Any notable spoils should be brought back for appropriate examination and distribution, as per normal guidelines.

>said 'tongues may grow back,' but it's not talking about a physical injury, rather the affected 'eloi' will have lost the ability to speak their native language.
Sick elder is operating under the effects of Unshattered Tongue Perfection, which may become relevant if/when they wake up.

>Gem-like plant products are portioned out among the group, per plunder rules, but only after checking them (and the tasty iridescent bugs) for wyld or demonic contamination or other known hazards with various alchemical touchstones.

Tasty bugs don't have any wyld-taint, but there's definite demonic influence- other tests for illness-causing pathogens, necromancy, and other issues of uncleanliness come back negative, so they're pretty much guaranteed safe to eat.

Swump would probably recognize certain similarities to demon locusts, and for Diana they're almost impossible to miss. Instead of wings they have fin-like protrusions for underwater propulsion, and them seem capable of absorbing oxygen via water instead, but pretty much everything else is the same. Same to assume they can inflict some sort of mutations, taint your essence and paint you as unholy in the eyes of creation, but only if you don't supplement your diet with something else. Sufficient analysis from SCiD is enough to recognize similarities in the spiritual structure (and spiritual weirdness) between the water-bugs and the village people. It's been successfully integrated over generations it seems, but best guess is that these guys used to be typical easterners, and the morphological changes were deliberate. Bugs show similar signs of intelligent engineering, the grafting of new and alien elements into it's body plan. Mutations noted among the locals include:
-Glider like wings and hollow bones.
-Purple skin and short stature.
-Eyes which take in more light, likely useful for more acute vision at night and higher sensitivity to motion at the cost of color vision and general acuity.
-No sweat or bodily secretions of any kind.
-Adaptations to improve the ease of foraging in desolate climates.
-In the same way a mortal can eat onions and mint which might poison a housepet, there seem to be internal systems for metabolizing elemental essence, like that produced by a Dragon Blooded anima banner. This would probably provide minor resistance to such harmful effects outside the body as well.

What might surprise someone familiar with Cecelyne and her handiwork is that there are no apparent changes to facilitate hiding, and certain threats inherent to deserts would still pose an issue- sandstorms, overheating, sunburn, etc. Seems whatever is going on here is quite similar to tales of southern mutants and the official dossier on the effects of eating demon locusts, but slightly to the left, not quite fitting the box correctly.

>Int 5, Occult 4 (Art of Alchemy +1), two die stunt
>7, 5, 8, 1, 7, 9, 6, 8, 4, 2, 7, 5
I count six successes to examine them, plus teammates could help out, provide bonus successes,

As for the gem like extrusions, playing around with them reveals high concentrations of directional essence. Light and fragile, they crumble under any concentrated pressure, sometimes with a pop of heat and light, sometimes with a sudden frigid burst, and sometimes with other such effects clearly related to specific kinds of essence. Seem harmless for the most part, but a skilled alchemist could probably do something with crystallized essence, and the powder of the red gems has much in common with firedust, or so Riv tells you.

>>954510
>Two die stunt
>4, 1, 8, 7, 7, 1
Means that with the success from wp expenditure you just manage four successes, but SCiD is allowed to react and bolster social defenses I believe, so it's mostly up to Gwen whether or not Burtnman gets read.
>>
No. 954645 ID: ac57f8

> Four successes
> 5/2 rounded up is 3

Oohb boy.

>>954510

"I decided he wouldn't die. He's not dying. Simple as." He was speaking with an intentionally flat voice and an iron mask obfuscating his facial expression and his cloak hiding his body language.

Clearly, he was a tough nut to crack as he sat down on the ground.

>>954565
It's also worth noting that they seem to posses a regenerative factor better than most mortals, since he doesn't have any improperly healed wounds like most old mortals do.

SCiD also has his mouth open up a hole to eat the weird bugs from.
>>
No. 954656 ID: f57349
File 158019031221.jpg - (152.50KB , 1799x656 , Lying Cat.jpg )
954656

>>954645
Hairless hominid is listening in on this discussion, analyzing any remotely suspect statement with Factual Determination Analysis and near-mindlessly announcing the results.
>>
No. 954680 ID: 5f3f48

>>954645
>"I decided he wouldn't die. He's not dying. Simple as."
Diana narrows her eyes at her reticent companion—it was clear he was not sharing the whole story (in that he had hardly shared anything at all) regardless of "lying cat's" cackling one way or another.

"If he is not to die, then needs be something done about that.

"There is medicine I will set aside, but as my supplies are not limitless, I would suggest you first have your sesselja attempt treatment, Suuzen."

>Riv is primarily worried about whether or not this is a kidnapping
It would seem our friend did not intend to take this man for ransom (or any other reason). Which leaves the matter to us to decide.
>>
No. 954720 ID: c7496c

>>954645
It's also worth noting that they seem to posses a regenerative factor better than most mortals, since he doesn't have any improperly healed wounds like most old mortals do.

The lack of scars was not an intentional omission nor was it meant to be a relevant detail, just didn't occur to me to describe any. Probably has bones set and healed improperly, old scars along the wings, that sort of thing, no notable healing factor.

Speaking of relevant information I forgot to include- Swump was in the middle of the village, right next to the jade pillar during the medical misunderstanding. Absolutely would have noticed that there's another component of the manse built into the pillar the jade obelisk is on- grooves much like root clusters or ivy vines cover the orichalcum surface, with deep geometric grooves. Look about the same size and shape as the little plant-gemstones gather from the village, don't really "slot in" when you mess around with the two though. Want to examine it more closely, and/or see if you can triangulate any other nodes of the manse from the center of the village?

>>954656
>>954680
Definitely not being forthcoming, although the eclipse oath doesn't seem to be perturbed- lying cat specifically pings off the statement "Simple as."

>"There is medicine I will set aside, but as my supplies are not limitless, I would suggest you first have your sesselja attempt treatment, Suuzen."
If the sesselja needs help, Riv could brew up an alchemical draught to allow him to heal like an exalt.

>It would seem our friend did not intend to take this man for ransom (or any other reason). Which leaves the matter to us to decide.
Well, they should certainly heal him, Riv states, but whether or not people will come looking for him, and how this will affect relations with the village seems important. Does SCiD or Swump think they should rouse the others, or will they be safe for a full nights sleep?
>>
No. 954752 ID: f57349

rolled 10, 3, 10, 4, 6, 9, 1, 4, 3, 2, 8, 4, 6, 5, 1, 9, 6, 4, 7, 9, 3, 6, 3, 4, 6, 8, 6, 5, 1, 2 = 155

Suuzen takes a couple of deep breaths, left arm over her gut, right forefinger raised in a 'wait one moment' gesture, then bends over and horks up a ball of snoring brown chitin. As she's wiping her mouth and reflexively apologizing, the stomach bottle bug wakes up, starts to groom itself.

"Is that...?" Sniffs the air, eagerly squeaks, "It is! Somebody here has pneumonia! Merciless gods, I haven't had so much as a sip of really good thick infected lung-mucous in ages, can I please," skittering over toward the patient, licking grime off the floor as it goes, "oh pretty please with sulfur on top may I provide a full course of treatment right here, without having to wait any longer?"

Somehow held itself back just before touching the patient, glancing anxiously among the various exalts in the room as it vibrates with anticipation.

Assuming nobody objects, it'll dive into the old bat-man's flesh with Landscape Travel, then start slurping dangerous impurities out of his vital organs. Mechanically speaking, buffing disease resistance with Benefaction and Touch of Eternity, administering treatment with Creation of Perfection and medicine excellencies, and/or providing an outright instant cure with Touch of Grace if possible.
>>
No. 954760 ID: 1a6f80

>>954656
what that image from?
>>
No. 954761 ID: afdebc

>As she's wiping her mouth and reflexively apologizing
A handkerchief is offered with quiet aplomb.

>Assuming nobody objects
Diana sees no reason to countermand her own suggestion.
>>
No. 954779 ID: d9acdc

>>954752
Three die stunt as nominated by Magey, making you two for two! No xp on the table yet, as it definitely hasn't been the equivalent of a full session in my mind. Still working out what that'll actually look like though.

>providing an outright instant cure with Touch of Grace if possible.

Charm description is incredibly detail light, but based on discussion in the discord I'm gonna rule that this cures it, no major complications or other issues to address.

Man starts to sputter, which is quickly mixed with a strange song made of cricket-esque chirps, but after the sesselja walks out of his throat and shakes itself off his breathing seems to ease considerably, and he settles back into a peaceful slumber.

>>954760
Critically acclaimed comic called Saga, a sci-fi epic about love and family, disguised by all the political intrigue, action, and wide cast of POV characters. First issue is available to read for free online here: https://imagecomics.com/comics/series/saga

>>954761
Companions safely returned, SCiD as distant and cagey as usual, business with sick done for the night, Diana is able to sleep, and, perhaps more importantly, dream.

She finds herself surrounded by four tapestries, each egged with a different color- warm yellow, sharp black, even blue, and fiery red. In each she sees a reflection of herself, dressed in a separate attire, adopting a different expression, holding a different set of tools. In her yellow aspect she wears a loosely fitting kimono, and stands with her arms spread and open, her inviting smile framed by unkempt hair. A tiny green frog adorns the thumb of her right hand, and an empty sword sheath is balanced in left. A pomegranate tree bears fruit behind her, in a hand made vase decorated by pictures of swans. In her black aspect she wears a straw hat and cloak, with simple peasant garb. She is gaunt with dark circles under her eyes, mouth pursed and thin, but stands tall. Her left fist is extended towards the viewer, and drips blood onto a trident submerged in snow and knee-high water. In her blue aspect, she wears a karategi, immaculately maintained and free of wrinkles, not a single strand of hair loose, sandals placed neatly in line beside her. She sits, eyes closed, holding a calligraphy brush to parchment with her right hand and a book of accounts with her left. The book is turned to it's last page, and a ring of keys sits on the back wall above a bonsai tree. In her red aspect she wears a suit of glorious O-yoroi, helmet shining brightly. She scowls atop a rearing horse, a blade half-drawn. Behind her, a lion fishes stands over a small pond, inspecting a koi it has in it's right paw.

As you decide which tools to draw on in the coming day, each one offers wisdom to guide you.

"Love blooms in many forms. Encourage it's growth, and you shall be rewarded." You take from her a pomegranate. She sheds a single tear as the tree behind her withers and rots. In her hand she cradles the remains of the frog.

"You have all that you need to succeed. Persevere, and avoid distractions born of failure." You take from her the trident. Her palm scabs over as the snow melts, giving way to grass. Her belly is filled with fish and rice.

"Low hanging fruit will tempt you. Ignore bitter grapes, and do not rush forward on uneven paths." You take from her the keys. She leaves the office, and closes the door. It grows dusty from disuse.

"He who makes a fool of you will do so again unless disciplined. Do not suffer those who laugh at your failures." You take from her helmet. She hangs up her blade, and retires her steed. The lion starves after the pool runs dry of koi.

As the Orichalcum sphere shifts, white circles are eclipsed by golden rings, and sunlight once again graces the dome. Riv and Ironhorn have foraged a small contingent of reptiles for breakfast, despite no one seeing such creatures here. Ironhorn performed similar magic on the trip here, via Food Gathering Exercise- the portion is small though, so it would be wise to supplement it, or dedicate about an hour to assisting her, since it works better if more people forage at once.

The old man has not yet awoken, Riv states, although once they prepare the food that will likely change. What's the approach? Who will speak for you, and what should we try to establish? Riv and Ironhorn wish to ensure he is well first, and that he is not kept here against his will, but would be willing to offer bribes for information if he is not interested initially. Both express that they're not particularly good with socializing, and would rather someone else take the lead her if such a thing is smart and/or reasonable.
>>
No. 954859 ID: f57349

rolled 6, 8, 7, 2, 6, 1, 2, 2, 5, 4, 10, 8, 6, 7, 2, 4, 9, 6, 8, 10, 8, 10, 10, 9, 6, 9, 4, 6, 7, 5 = 187

Since the contents of Diana Maku's cache are in temporal stasis while Elsewhere, it should be possible to transport not only fragile but also perishable supplies that way without significant risk of spoilage. So, baldy's going to wake up before dawn and head down to the fort's basement kitchen to fry up some breakfast for everyone.

Specifically, some hearty "Tower of the Olivine Spear"-style omelettes, substituting chicken eggs for the usual type, and less intense spices in the sausage out of respect for typical human sensitivity (as well as limited expedition supplies). Rolling attribute 5 + Craft (water) 1
>>
No. 954878 ID: f57349

>>954859
To clarify, my whole team is helping with the food-gathering exercise first, drawing on stored supplies only to fill gaps in the local variety rather than for the bulk of the calories. Spices and tools from Diana's stash, selected and wielded with the expertise of a master exorcist, should minimize the risk of wyld energies from previously gathered firewood contaminating the food. Main precaution is simply directing the heat through an iron pan. We've had at least a month to test out any other necessary details, with alchemical touchstones to check how well they're working, and thanks to that obelisk we're no longer actively surrounded by ambient wyld energies beyond Ironhorn's immediate presence.
>>
No. 954889 ID: ac57f8

rolled 6, 5, 10, 6, 4, 8, 1, 9, 4, 5, 3, 8, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3, 9, 4, 1, 4, 1, 9, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 6, 10 = 164

> Food concerns

I'll just eat the lizards and the weird locust things. Not like someone who is actively rejected by creation needs to worry about being further rejected by the sun.

> Diplomacy

After eating like a mad-man possessed, SCiD took one look at the Manse nobody else seemed to be able to pierce.

"No, I did my part. I've got a date with that giant orb in the center." As he talked, blood started seeping through the eye holes in his mask. As it did, blood in an unbroken ring started pouring from his forehead.

Then, the earth started to shiver as a cold wind ran, and plants started to die as the whispers of the Neverborn threatened to touch the very edge of conciousness of all the onlookers. And then like an explosion of light, the world became brighter, as though illuminated by sunlight, but only because SCiD was lit up by sunlight turned inward, illuminating the world by contrast to the perfect darkness of Oblivion.

And then his shadow reached out and filled the crack, shaping his anima, and solidifying it in pitch black bat wings, tattered in appearance, but carrying his weight as he launched straight up like a rocket into the fake sun.

Mechanically, spending a single mote to activate my Anima banner to the 8-10 section, and using that as a shadow for the sake of my Compliant Umbral Panoply that will protect it from the light of the sun as I get closer.
>>
No. 954906 ID: afdebc

rolled 8, 8, 6, 8, 5, 6, 7, 8, 6, 3, 2, 7, 10, 2, 3, 10, 10, 1, 1, 4 = 115

>>954779
In her dream, Diana eats of the pomegranate offered by the yellow aspect, as the surrounding tablues fade away, replaced by stone etched with growing patterns of vines- decorated in the same manner as the overlarge 'key' found the day prior. Small toads emerge, hopping between growths.

Today, Methodology of Secrets will be set for the speciality Occult (Art of Geomancy +3).

After she wakes, under the light of a new day (or the artificial manse-light day?) Diana will return to the 'key' examined by Riv and Suuzen previously, activate Telltale Symphony, and make her own attempt to search for additional clues, bringing along those willing and qualified to assist. That would use be an Open-Eyed Dive Meditation, so:

Perception 2 + Lore 3 + Geomancy Degree 3 + Stunt + 1 per qualified assistant (possibly including Suuzen, her bound servants, Riv) + 1 automatic success from wp

>>954889
As the deathknight takes flight amidst a dire duet of disharmonious darkness, oblivion and ophidian melodies striving, the Reckoner notes simply that he has finally dropped pretense.

>What's the approach? Who will speak for you, and what should we try to establish? Riv and Ironhorn wish to ensure he is well first, and that he is not kept here against his will, but would be willing to offer bribes for information if he is not interested initially.
Diana of the bow observers that the curing of a serious illness, as well as the offer of hospitality and fine foods (especially in a venue as desolate as this) should be underestimated as fonts of goodwill. Surely, such earnest efforts can be parleyed for an exchange of information, especially local legends and history.

It would simplify matters if we were also in a position to offer easy transport back to his home, she adds with a disappointing frown in the direction of the retreating ball of shadows.
>>
No. 954947 ID: f57349

rolled 7, 4, 3, 3, 1, 10, 4, 8, 4, 1, 10, 4, 10, 4, 3, 3, 4, 5, 7, 6, 9, 10, 6, 1, 5, 6, 2, 7, 1, 6 = 154

>>954906
> It would simplify matters if we were also in a position to offer easy transport back to his home
When the semi-kidnapped local wakes up, Suuzen is ready and waiting to offer him a warm meal and a friendly face. First question after the initial pleasantries and introductions is whether he can actually fly with those wings, or just glide, or what. Whether he has any information he'd be willing to share about the statues we're looking for is probably also on the docket. She's got effective Appearance 5, Performance 5, Presence 4, Investigation 2, spending 10 motes and rolling Dexterity 3 + Performance for the Dance of Influence which should provide more dice.

Her musclebound moss-man, meanwhile, is safely away from the delicate diplomatic situation, poking at the hemispherical region hollowed out of the sand-wall by the same spell that created this fort, tapping and clawing in an effort to find pre-existing burrows that might serve as alternate exits.
>>
No. 954950 ID: d9acdc

>>954859
>>954878
So, that's Ironhorn, Riv, Suuzen, Lying Cat, Tar Baby, Big Lug, and Sesselja all foraging, to feed nine dependents- six of the seven listed, plus Diana, SCiD, and the Old Man for today at least. Accounting for travel time and such, Ironhorn actually only invokes the charm seven times, spending fourteen peripheral and nineteen personal, causing an iconic totem of golden wings to envelop you all for a brief moment. Your current camp location will be pretty easy to find for a while.

Sounds reasonable to me that you worked out the details for safe food prep- let's say you've got fifteen hours worth of fuel left after this meal, for about a weeks worth of cooking time if you're preparing breakfast and dinner warmed up.
Two die stunt, teamwork success from Riv who's got craft (Water) 3, means that...
>6, 8, 7, 2, 6, 1, 2, 2
You've got three successes, a meal that caters to everyone's dietary needs and culinary preferences. You don't need to cook, so let's give it some mechanical incentive, aside from ingratiating strangers: hot cook meal before bed means you've got an extra die on any rolls to regain wp at night, and in the morning it gives you an extra hour of strenuous activity before fatigue penalties start to kick in.

Speaking of the benefits a hot meal can provide, your patient-turned-guest is roused by sizzling fat and blazing golden light.

>>954947
> Suuzen is ready and waiting to offer him a warm meal and a friendly face.
Blinks a few times, clears his throat, then bows deeply, kneeling with his forehead pressed to the ground, wings splayed above the head. Pretty obvious that this is a gesture of submission, leaving himself blind and vulnerable, unable to retaliate. He does not touch the food, or make eye contact but speaks in perfect Old Realm, assuming you don't counterspell Unshattered Tongue Perfection.

"Honored masters, it seems you have kept me safe and warm during the night, and for this inconvenience to yourselves my insignificant worth is eternally grateful. I can never amount to the greatness which your time could be put to use, but all I have to offer is yours, as is proper and befitting of you. Your brilliance and wits can only be imagined by the likes of me and as such I could not guess for what reason your shower me in kindness."
>First question after the initial pleasantries and introductions is whether he can actually fly with those wings, or just glide, or what.

He's caught off guard for a moment, stumbling as he responds.

"I... yes, your brilliance, your understanding is expectedly flawless, I may only hold myself aloft with my limbs, I cannot gain altitude."

>Whether he has any information he'd be willing to share about the statues we're looking for is probably also on the docket.

"...I think you should speak with the lord of the realm."

>7, 4, 3, 3, 1, 10, 4, 8, 4, 1,
That's four successes, assuming she's got Illusion of Life up and running.
Specific questions or mechanically supported rolls from PCs are appreciated at this time.

>>954889
>I'll just eat the lizards and the weird locust things.

If you're ditching before breakfast is fully prepared to avoid talking with the old guy, that's about enough for a full breakfast, provided you eat everything Ironhorn and Riv procured. It's a difficulty four check to forage here, for which it looks like you have a pool of intelligence three, survival one.

>Mechanically, spending a single mote to activate my Anima banner to the 8-10 section, and using that as a shadow for the sake of my Compliant Umbral Panoply that will protect it from the light of the sun as I get closer.

Based on prior discussion I'm going to allow it as a stunt, but you'll need to think of new approaches in the future.

As you examine it, you find the sphere to be a constantly moving set of orichalcum rings and circles, twisting and rotating, passing overtop or sublimating under each other- lots of handholds, but they seems to rapidly change and disappear out from underneath hands and feat. This is unstable terrain, about as difficult to maneuver on as a floor covered in marbles.

Luckily for you, you're flying! Unluckily for you, you don't know the first thing about Manse design. Lore two Occult zero means trying to figure out how this thing is supposed to work ain't gonna be easy. Could examine the outside for weak points, but you don't really have a firm enough grasp on physics to understand what a weak point even looks like. What you can do is spend the day looking for traces of prior use, watching for patterns, and of course examining it all over for obvious ways in.

Perception, Int, Awareness and Investigation are all at three, so lets say you've got six dice, plus two for a stunt. CUP could provide two more dice to that, since being small isn't a problem for a lot of fine instruments and tools used for deduction, so ten total, giving you...
>6, 5, 10, 6, 4, 8, 1, 9, 4, 5
Four successes. From that, you can mark a few things off the list.

1) There are no regularly scheduled entrances or exits- no clockwork timing, nothing set to the brightness of the sphere, no hand scanners or visual ports, nothing.
2) Easiest way for the Eloi to reach it would probably be gliding down to the top of it from the canopy, but there's no safe landing zones, no where easy to stand or rest or balance or anything like that. No handlebars or ladders on the outside, no places where the walls are obviously thin or transparent or anything like that.
3) However people get in and out of this must involve magic, as there are no physical traces or evidence of prior passages anywhere. Nothing's worn down, eroded, discolored from used- every single part of this is a radiant and perfect as any other.
4) The movements of the sphere's surface does not in any discernible pattern. This seemed to be the case at first of course, but over the long run larger patterns might show themselves, overall trends might appear, etc. Careful observation leaves you empty handed however- following any one piece on it's erratic dance yields no more answers than than observing the whole, or any spectrum of size in between. The undulations of the sphere hold no purpose which is meaningful to your eyes.

>>954906
>Diana will return to the 'key' examined by Riv and Suuzen previously, activate Telltale Symphony, and make her own attempt to search for additional clues

This'll happen later in the day, after the proceedings with the old man happen, but
>Perception 2 + Lore 3 + Geomancy Degree 3 + Stunt + 1 per qualified assistant (possibly including Suuzen, her bound servants, Riv) + 1 automatic success from wp
>8, 8, 6, 8, 5, 6, 7, 8, 6, 3
Six successes on your own, assuming appropriate tools were drawn form the egg last night- Riv is a qualified assistant so she can provide one, then Suuzen and Tar baby working together provide another, even without using sorcery to call on greater powers for help and knowledge. This is part of a password system which grants access to the manse. There are four other nodes, making a total of five- one located at the base of the jade pillar, one located high in the tree tops, one located in the wall of earth and one in the wall of ice. Each one will activate to essence of a particular kind- fire, water, wood, earth, and air- and when all nodes are active simultaneously, this will count as the correct password, allowing entry into the manse. Building off previous observations from Riv, Suuzen, and the Tar Baby, it's fairly obvious that the plants which produces those essence charged gems could grow across it's surface and into the mechanism, so that's probably the primary method through which essence can be fed and received, although testing proves that alternative sources, like Elemental Bolt Attack, can work as well; in that instance, however, it only seemed to engage the lock for a moment before the essence dissipated and it disengaged.

>>954947
>tapping and clawing in an effort to find pre-existing burrows that might serve as alternate exits.
>10, 4, 10, 4
Last time it tried that I gave it four dice, but it looks like there's a couple more successes this time. Walls get thinner, like there's hollow space behind it, with somewhat of a regularity, probably every 100-200 yards or so. No apparent hidden exits or entrances, but concentrated force should make sandstone like this crumble without much difficulty.
>>
No. 954959 ID: afdebc

rolled 8, 9, 10, 10, 2, 7, 3, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 1, 9, 9, 2, 6, 10, 1, 3 = 122

>>954950
>"...I think you should speak with the lord of the realm."
>Specific questions or mechanically supported rolls from PCs are appreciated at this time.
"What can you tell us of the lord of this land? Could you direct us to him, or share what protocols must be followed to gain audience? Tell us of the great deeds went into the making of this place?"

Diana knows the solar who originally created this sanctuary should be long dead- but it would seem he is still revered, or that some other pretender has laid claim on the loyalty of the local inhabitants. Rather than confronting him on this, sticking within his own context and understanding seems like the best approach.

That's a social attack to persuade him to share more information, based on an earnest appeal and tailored to the character of the target, so that's going to be Charisma + Performance. I'll also spend an endurance from my resplendent destiny of The Ewer (brining that total down to 18) to activate Sweet Flirtation Smile to add Charisma again.

Charisma 5 + Charisma 5 + Presence 1 + Stunt
Diana's Appearance 3, for the purposes of determining MDV modifiers.

>elemental nodes, Elemental Bolt Attack
As an earth aspect, Riv knows at least the earth variant of that charm- it would appear earth is not the key for this particular node. This makes a degree of sense- the area is divided in elemental zones, a node stored in a matching area might unlock from incidental exposure.

The carvings suggest the correct element for this node is wood- perhaps Suuzen could apply her anima banner?
>>
No. 954961 ID: afdebc

>so that's gonna be Charisma + Performance
Sorry, typo. Presence.
>>
No. 954969 ID: ac57f8

>>954950

> What you can do is spend the day looking for traces of prior use, watching for patterns, and of course examining it all over for obvious ways in.

> Learn basically fuck all because it's effectively an intellectual dead-end at this point and I'm not good at manse stuff.

Alright, if there is anywhere to survive most easily, it will be the wood ceiling, and I doubt anyone else can easily get up there anyway since gravity is NOT orientated towards the nearest wall.

So, that's the direction I'll head up to. I don't know what to look for, but in order of what I hope to find:

Something to progress the plot along.

A big monster to fight 1 vs 1.

A way to survive while everyone else does the whole 'getting to the dungeon' thing.
>>
No. 954970 ID: ac57f8

rolled 2, 9, 8, 4, 2, 2, 10, 2, 6, 9, 6, 4, 4, 2, 5, 8, 9, 9, 4, 1, 10, 6, 5, 7, 5, 9, 9, 10, 4, 3 = 174

>>
No. 954997 ID: f57349

>>954959
> The carvings suggest the correct element for this node is wood- perhaps Suuzen could apply her anima banner?
After making sure the old man understands he has permission to eat his fill before breakfast gets cold, Suuzen puts her path-carving boots back on (she generally tries to avoid wearing them indoors since they mess up carpets), climbs out through the gallery windows, and walks down a spiral staircase - each step appearing just before she would have lost balance and fallen - until she's underneath the wood-sensitive spar. There's a flash of sickly green light from the bald hominid, who climbed down along the shadowed side of the spiral and activated Hungry Devil-Weed Growth causing a cluster of gray-barked trees and thorny vines erupt from the wall. "Did that work?" she shouts.
>>
No. 955007 ID: d9acdc

>>954959
>"What can you tell us of the lord of this land? Could you direct us to him, or share what protocols must be followed to gain audience? Tell us of the great deeds went into the making of this place?"
>>954997
>After making sure the old man understands he has permission to eat his fill before breakfast gets cold
Ironhorn is fidgeting nervously, looking over your shoulders, but seems to be put at ease by this, calms down and a bit and makes her way over the right hand side of the old man where she sits cross legged and finishes her meal.
The guest raises himself tentatively, barely meeting Dianas gaze at first, but eventually over the course of your discussion he does ease himself into a somewhat more natural pose, and slowly picks away at the food offered.

>Charisma 5 + Charisma 5 + Presence 1 + Stunt
Thirteen dice
>8, 9, 10, 10, 2, 7, 3, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 1

You guys could pile on coordinated actions, aim, or pull out other tricks to whammy this guy with social attacks. If he spends WP to resist it, currently your requests are counting as natural mental influence as I understand it, so he might be able to prevent himself from having to spend any more wp for the rest of the scene, even against ten successes. That said, I don't think he's going to try to resist you.

"Since before my youth it has become... more difficult, to pass down our knowledge and understanding of the old ways. I am last left who can speak the old tongue, aside from our lord. As I understand it, the first of our blood lived in paradise, and this great land hosted entertainment, grand tournaments, and honorable competitions. It was a place for the gods to relax from their labors and indulge in fine displays of skill and valor. However, we were spiteful, and did not honor the master and his guests. Our forms were weak, and unfitting, our minds feeble, and so for our hubris and betrayal, we were stripped of prosperity, and the world was plunged into chaos. The good Lord was not without his, hhhahg, mercy, and allows us who are honorable to live safely among him, taking those who hold wickedness in their hearts to be banished, either in into the depths of the golden palace or outside our realms into the twisted beyond. He wishes to meet you, but cannot welcome you before you past the test and prove yourselves. I, and my kin, are to assist you in whatever ways we can, so long as we follow only your instructions and do not betray you by revealing the way forward and stripping you of your right to prove yourselves. If you can deduce the correct order and procedures to open the paths, you shall be able to enter freely as you need and he shall grant you the audience you desire."

>The carvings suggest the correct element for this node is wood- perhaps Suuzen could apply her anima banner?
>There's a flash of sickly green light [...] causing a cluster of gray-barked trees and thorny vines erupt from the wall.

Now that the visual difference between the "locked/open" state has been pointed out, it's trivial to figure that out, so you guys can test whether or not something works independently without needing a bunch of rolls or back and forth.
This might start encroaching on the territory of withholding relevant information about valorous deeds for personal advantage if Lying Cat gets something working but Suuzen claims she was responsible. In this case though, you guys can quickly tell that whatever vines and weeds grow into the notches and grooves don't actually seem to set it off. Studying it without other interference reveals that the plants growing on top of or inside the mechanism wither and dye, completely crumbling after an hour, even though the rest of the nearby growth seems unaffected.

>>954969
The ceiling of the dome is a mile thick canopy, a forest about as strange as those you observed in the wyld. It seems to grow from side to side, in massive twisting branches, whole trees rising like branches from hollow logs that span as far as the eye can see. In this twisting forest, light dapples the leaves from either direction, but it is truly dark in the center.

> 2, 9, 8, 4, 2, 2, 10, 2, 6
>Something to progress the plot along
>A big monster to fight 1 vs 1.
>the whole 'getting to the dungeon' thing.
Three perception, zero occult, five dot manse and a one dot stunt means you've got four successes. Directly above the main sphere there is a twisting mass of wood, which, while not uniform, when looked at as a whole is roughly thirty yards in diameter. Inside there you can feel another component of the manse- in fact, if you were feeling around for where to go from the main manse body, you could have felt all five components, on located in each section. The one above you though, doesn't seem to just be jutting out of a wall, like the others. You are able to find an entrance to the tangle of hollow roots and branches pretty easily, as there's a distinct coppery smell inside, the kind that makes your hungry. Odd that, given the lack of songbirds or squirrels or really anything else living but cricket type-creatures and plants, neither of which are renowned for spilling blood.

Well, there's also you up here, but you're pretty sure that's not your blood staining the smooth wooden steps down into this place.

Entrance is about ten feet wide and ten feet tall, and the well trodden stairs lead about thirty feet inward. Angle is such that you can't see much past that, but it looks like it opens up at the base of the stairs. Blood stains lead inward.
>>
No. 955021 ID: f57349

>>955007
> This might start encroaching on the territory of withholding relevant information about valorous deeds for personal advantage if Lying Cat gets something working but Suuzen claims she was responsible.
If Suuzen is being treated as an officer in command of a squad, she's responsible for the actions of those bound to her service, both good and ill. Obviously relevant operational details, such as that mass of plants being expected to last about a day and how easy it would be to repeat, are shared freely and accurately (with Manipulation 4, Socialize 3 to handle the odd passive-voice phrasing, "it is done" rather than "I have done it," which Lying Cat consistently declines to comment on), but if anyone presses for deeper detail on theoretical underpinnings of her native charms or sorcery she bristles - figuratively, for the most part - and says "Hospitality is not the same as apprenticeship."

Relevant details of valorous deeds would be things like the difference between 'as I stood watch, a dozen goblins attacked, so I drove them all off, taking only this single shallow wound' and 'cut myself shaving, quiet night otherwise.' Y'know, matters that might reasonably affect how big a share someone deserves, from an ethical standpoint. If Suuzen and one of her minions accomplish something together, without the rest of the group being directly involved, and the two of them have no internal disagreement about how credit should be shared, there's no problem.
>>
No. 955022 ID: afdebc

>If you can deduce the correct order and procedures to open the paths
Well that's one hint gleaned. Not only do we need to expose each element to the correct node, we need to do so in a particular order.

>I, and my kin, are to assist you in whatever ways we can, so long as we follow only your instructions and do not betray you by revealing the way forward and stripping you of your right to prove yourselves.
"Are there any threats we should be aware of that are not part of the intended design of these trials? Vengeful spirits or wyld creatures that have intruded, perhaps?"

>wood didn't work
Either that wasn't the correct element, or this node is not meant to be activated first.
We could stick around and attempt air, fire and water (although isn't it already exposed to air?) or we could attempt to locate another node for comparison, and see if the engravings differ and do indicate the proper element.
>>
No. 955025 ID: ac57f8

>>955007
Well, mysterious blood stained walls are always the most polite invitation to go forward into pitch black root caves. Really, all of the blood aside, this reminded him of better days when he would go looking for treasure in places like this. Again, sans the blood.

So, looking at the stairs going down relative to him, and deeper into the place, he jumped into the air, and his shadows formed a shield beneath him, sliding down the stairs like a sled, and right at the bottom, he kick-flipped into the air, and kicked it as hard as he could at full speed into the opening at the base of the stairs, able to see so much better that all of that pesky light was out of the way.
>>
No. 955038 ID: f57349

rolled 3, 7, 4, 9, 1, 1, 2, 10, 6, 10, 1, 9, 9, 4, 8, 2, 9, 4, 10, 5, 10, 5, 6, 8, 6, 3, 6, 9, 10, 5 = 182

Suuzen and anyone willing to follow her instructions will gather up as many of those concentrated elemental essence bits from the plants as the bat-folk make available, then apply them to accessible manse-lock nodes in all 120 possible sequences until anything interesting happens. If that doesn't work, we'll start searching the entire volume of the sanctuary inch by inch for other items of interest - boring holes in walls as necessary, possibly taking multiple years to complete a sufficiently thorough examination.
>>
No. 955122 ID: d9acdc

rolled 4, 5, 10, 5, 5, 1, 7, 1, 10, 9, 6, 6, 7, 5, 10, 9, 7, 4, 8, 1, 1, 3, 3, 8, 2, 6, 6, 8, 3, 6 = 166

>>955022
>"Are there any threats we should be aware of that are not part of the intended design of these trials? Vengeful spirits or wyld creatures that have intruded, perhaps?"

Old man looks at the air around you all nervously, trying (and failing) to hide the fact that he's looking for something watching him. As previously mentioned, you got ten successes- he's got a dodge MDV of five, but only appearance two compared to Diana's three, which I think makes him count as having MDV of four in this case. Base WP cost to resist is one, plus two for the six successes you beat him by, so he spends three wp to resist, and is immune to natural mental influence from Diana for the rest of the scene.

"There is nothing I can tell you about which threatens our village... when outside influence would destabilize things, the Lord prunes it, removes the taint. He has power of this domain you see- it is how he will tell when your trials are completed and you have proven yourself strong of body and mind. He can watch your deeds from afar, to judge you worthy. He has instructed we not to divulge the secrets of the ritual to you so he may come to better judge you- I ask that all here respect us in this way, please.

Old man is making a social attack, asking you all not to put him or the others in a difficult place by trying to make them break orders. Performance two, as he's trying to hit everyone, charisma and manipulation are both three, so that probably doesn't make a difference, and let's call it a one dot stunt since he's not really building off previously established details, and, perhaps more crucially, means he can't regain wp as a reward. Seven dice, tens count as doubles for heroic mortals, right?
>>
No. 955133 ID: d9acdc
File 158052039955.png - (4.37KB , 500x500 , Forestball.png )
955133

>>955025
Shield has no problem sledding down the smooth wooden steps, goes clattering through some scraps of metal, odd coins, and some junk/derbies that looks like the leftovers from adventurers or something like that. Most notably, a lot of this stuff is completely alien to the kind of goods you've seen in the village, and there's no bones, not rot, not even much in the way of blood stains on much of the gear. Closer inspection of the walls leads you to believe they've been gnawed on, although not particularly effectively.
Room is thirty feet long (long means running north/south), twenty feet wide (Wide means running west/east), ten foot high ceilings. Fifteen feet in, there's a door on the west wall and one on the east, then to the north at the end of the thirty foot hallway there's a set of double doors, directly opposite the stairs to the south that you came in on. Near the double doors at the end, the walls are angled, with little alcoves dug into each one. Alcoves appear to have small wooden statues in the shape of a man, maybe a foot tall, with wooden bowls at their feet, filled with a dark foul smell liquid. Statues seemed stained and pitted.

Above the door is an inscription- initially it looks like it was carved into the wood and inlaid with orichalcum but since then it's been defaced.

>9, 6, 4, 4, 2, 5, 8, 9
For an investigation check (probably using the lower of perception or intelligence, but they're both three) you've got six dice normally, and I'll call sliding in on the shield a two dot stunt since you played off the worn steps and the darkness within, meaning three successes to check for meaningful information from around the room- the inscription warns that entry into this place will have your bones ground to dust and your blood made into a warm meal for the guardians within. Standard "turn back now or be destroyed" type stuff, really. In addition, the double doors are trapped, and attempting to open them will result in something spilling down on top of you, not clear what yet though without triggering it or coming at it from the other side.

Through door west, which is open and lacks traps or deterrents, you find an room which is twenty feet long, ten feet wide, with a basin fed by a waterfall, against the west wall, opposite the door. Basin has about a dozen freshwater pearls in it. Ceiling is thirty five feet tall, as is the waterfall. To the south, there's two doors- one at ground level, and one fifteen feet above it, no obvious landing or what have you. Easy enough to climb up there, but once there you find that's it's barred from the other side. Can definitely hear something shuffling around in there though. Southern door at ground level leads into a big kitchen area, thirty five feet long and gradually expanding to become fifteen feet wide along the south wall. Southwest corner has two more doors, both of which open to tunnels leading straight up. Definitely trapped, climbing up one will likely trigger some sort of gas or liquid to be released into the chute.

Going back out to the main lobby where you entered, you can try the door on the east wall- opens into room fifteen feet long, ten feet wide. Ground looks suspicious, as if it's meant to give way if you put pressure on it. Door in the southwest corner and northeast corner.

Map is included for the sake of clarity, doesn't have everything described though, namely the stairs, chutes, and walls I was talking about. Each square is five feet, thick red-brown bars surround the black represent doors. Green splatter represents the outdoors, where you came in from.

>>955038
>Suuzen and anyone willing to follow her instructions will gather up as many of those concentrated elemental essence bits from the plants as the bat-folk make available, then apply them to accessible manse-lock nodes in all 120 possible sequences until anything interesting happens.

Village had a lot of gems, but, counting them out, you realize you'd be left with about fifteen, three of each, if you end up doing exhaustive testing. Four of the nodes are easy to find- one in the sandwall, one in the icewall, one built into the rock under the jade pillar, and one in the cave system, which the locals show you after the old man teaches you the word for challenge. The caves seem almost like an ants nest, a labyrinth of crisscrossing passageways which apparently span the whole of the domes walls. Earthen node is two miles up like the others, set further back into the caves, but has line of sight to the manse. It becomes apparent the node in the treetops is set away in to wooden dungeon SCiD has begun exploring.

Four nodes with easy access though you're able to test and find what activates them- fire for the one located in the sand, air for the one located in the ice, water in the water, earth in the earth. Seems they need quite a lot of elemental essences to "click on" as it were, and even then, they only do so for a second before flashing off. All of them have the same inlaid floral design, making it clear that plants are intended to grow within them. After some discussion with the old man, you're able to find out how to plant the gems as "seeds", a thamaturgical ritual which causes the essence within to nourish the life of strange, extremophile plants that grow rapidly after being exposed to intense essence. When planted appropriately, you can actually cause them to grow into the grooves in the nodes, the strange gems they produce fitting into the geometric holes. This powers the nodes, but not forever- the plants seem to wither and die almost as quickly as they grow. Each node's plants wither and die at a different rate- the plants grown into the fire node die after an hour, the ones in the water after two, earth after six, and air ones you estimate will die after twelve hours.

>If that doesn't work, we'll start searching the entire volume of the sanctuary inch by inch for other items of interest
First thing of note is that among the maze of tunnels there's innumerable sheets of orichalcum, spread into thin ovals about two yards tall and one yard across at the widest. They're about the thickness of a hemp shirt, and they line the walls of the caves as deep as you care to go. Some are stacked near the entrance, and when placed appropriately, they can angle the light, re-direct it into the caves causing them to light up in a somewhat dazzling display which makes it hard to see.

Second thing of note is that you find the gem-plants growing naturally in the caves- they don't seem to be cultivated, and are rare, but once you've depleted the village stocks you could attempt to find more to harvest in here. Villagers are occasionally seen eating them.
>>
No. 955140 ID: f57349

>>955133
Guessing the intended activation sequence is air-wood-earth-water-fire, then. Can we move fast enough to pull that off as a group, or do we need to split up?

Flat mirrors of uniform size should mean any given light pipe is linear rather than branching. Pick one at random, follow it away from the light source, then if there's no mission objective at the end of that particular rainbow, gather up the mirrors as plunder on the way back.
>>
No. 955141 ID: ac57f8

rolled 2, 8, 6, 6, 6, 2, 7, 7, 6, 10, 5, 1, 3, 9, 5, 3, 10, 10, 5, 4, 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 4, 2, 6, 1, 5 = 140

>>955133
Alright, so break down of options:

> Center-North: Trapped, something will pour down from the other side if I try to open it.

> West-South-Top: Barred from the other side, something shuffling around.

> West-South-Bottom-South-East and South-West: Tunnels straight up with something set to fall down the tunnel if I try and climb up.

> East: Classic pit-trap, has a door in the south-west and north-east

"Well, decisions, decisions." SCiD formed an Obol in his hand, a crude drawing of oblivion taking the place of the Empress, and he started flipping it, a string of shadow stuff connecting it to his hands.

"I could go to the end pretty quick, but I get the feeling that would be skipping the best part." He imagined he was talking to whatever monster was here, trying to intimidate a chosen of death. "So, how about this, heads, I go through those big double doors, tails, I go through that barred door from the other side." He kept flipping the coin for a few seconds, and then without any warning, fired the coin like a missile at the door, slamming into the rotten timber like it was a battering ram, throwing open the doors like a hurricane, and pulling right back into his shadow like a Yo-Yo.

Then, whenever the trap was done, he was going to just walk through and see what was there.
>>
No. 955142 ID: ac57f8

(I forgot to say this, but I'm also going to pocket 6 of the freshwater pearls to see what happens)
>>
No. 955216 ID: afdebc

rolled 1, 2, 6, 8, 4, 9, 4, 9, 7, 8, 7, 6, 3, 8, 9, 10, 9, 2, 7, 7, 10, 5, 5, 8, 9, 9, 10, 9, 3, 7 = 201

>>955122
>social attack
3 successes on 10 dice? Doesn't beat Diana's MDVs, even before applying appearance modifiers, which are in her favor.

>Lord is currently active in repelling wyld incursions, actively monitoring the situation
So they're not afraid of a boogeyman from the first age- there's one currently active, the Reckoner thinking to herself. Troubling. Songbird protocols then- avoid discussing (true) plans or information regarding the observer, take care not to disclose capabilities other than those that are already apparent.

The next time Diana shares thaumaturgical supplies with Lying Cat for protection of their camp-castle, those needed for wards against scrying will be in the forefront, accompanied by a significant look at the hairless creature.

>Guessing the intended activation sequence is air-wood-earth-water-fire, then. Can we move fast enough to pull that off as a group, or do we need to split up?
I believe we need to locate the wood-node within the complex Scid has discovered, fist. Clearing any guardians, traps, or locks preventing access to the node, so when it is time to activate that node in the sequence, we can do so without wasting time.

If it is necessary to split up, Swump is the only PC with occult caste or favored, meaning it would be a delay of a week for anyone else to learn the ritual (whereas Lying Cat will be done in a day). Or we would have to persuade our local contact to assist directly, rather than indirectly (which would violate his orders).

>Seems they need quite a lot of elemental essences
How much essence is held within one of these seeds? We don't seem to have enough of a surplus to experiment recklessly if we wish to use them to open the lock, but Diana wonders if they could be used to restore motes to an essence pool, or if they could be used as elemental ammunition. (This... would probably be some kind of Lore or Occult check? I'm not sure, but Telltale Symphony seems relevant).

>There's innumerable sheets of orichalcum, spread into thin ovals about two yards tall and one yard across at the widest. They're about the thickness of a hemp shirt, and they line the walls of the caves as deep as you care to go. Some are stacked near the entrance
This display of incredible, and readily transportable, wealth is enough to draw the interest and attention even for one used to the splendors of heaven, and living on a divine salary (a bounty of magical materials being one of the few things the sidereal could not simply convert her salary to). Placing one hand against the wondrous gold mirror, she begins a series of mental calculations.

Sheets would be approximately 60 lbs each, comparable in mass to an ingot, or a talent of silver or jade. A pound of jade is a resources 3 purchase, presuming orichalcum is worth at least that much, each sheet is sixty times that, which seems like each sheet would easily count as a resources 4 or 5 purchase on the open market.

Let's make an attempt to appraise goods: Bureaucracy 2 + Intelligence 2 + Sunt + 1 auto-success from wp. Maybe attempt to estimate how many "innumerable" is, or attempt to put this bounty in more comprehensible terms (how many sheets to a suit of armor, or a diaklave?)

Let's also attempt to determine if these mirrors are contributing the the geomancy of the underlying demesne or manse, and if their removal would could as geomantic sabotage. Which I think would be another Perception 2 + Lore 3 + Geomancy Degree 3 + Stunt, with Telltale Symphony again assisting?

I believe we've already established there are members of the group qualified to assist with the geomancy roll if they so wish, but I don't believe any of the other player characters have any bureaucracy.
>>
No. 955281 ID: c7496c

>>955140
>Can we move fast enough to pull that off as a group, or do we need to split up?

Without charms or other assistance, probably not- any given node is at least three miles from any other, and that's as the crow flies- if you have to swim out then climb up, some of them are even further.

Wind-Carried Words technique should make activating them all within an hour trivial of each other trivial, assuming that the node in the wooded area doesn't have special requirements for activation.

>Flat mirrors of uniform size should mean any given light pipe is linear rather than branching. Pick one at random, follow it away from the light source, then if there's no mission objective at the end of that particular rainbow, gather up the mirrors as plunder on the way back.

Many of the halls have the mirrors set up such that the light caught in different ways at different times, or sometimes redirected into multiple paths by several mirrors closer to the entrance. While not every tunnel has them, carrying miles and miles of worth of mirrors all at once almost certainly isn't feasible. Plenty of easy pickings among the innumerable caves dotting the cliff face, if you don't care about getting seen. The villagers do not seem inclined to stop you, although many are nervous when you draw near, cowering or fleeing- you witness several of the mirrors you take get replaced when they think you aren't looking.

Outside the mirrors, as you explore deeper into the caves you find that in a number of tunnels, there are wards against demons- strong ones too, some of them master level work, which would require familiarity with the Art of Enchantment. These wards seem to progress bit by bit- a few feet at a time, some old and faded, others well maintained, almost all are deeper into the caves, having the look of hasty wards being built with stronger ones reinforcing them from behind, slowly gaining ground in that manner. Mirrors down those pathways as well- since you have an interest in keeping up certain appearances though, don't want to assume you go exploring deeper, as it might raise questions about the nature of your retinue. There are, however, about a hundred cubic miles of twisting passageways, many of the dark and unobserved, should you wish to probe deeper unnoticed. If you get lost or otherwise need to be available for contact, Riv might be able to send a message in your general direction, but the margin of error isn't so forgiving enough that she could guarantee contact with you anywhere in the sphere.

>>955216
>wards against scrying

I'd like specifics on what procedures, if any, end up getting used.

>Diana wonders if they could be used to restore motes to an essence pool, or if they could be used as elemental ammunition.

Int two, occult two, stunt two, Tell-Tale Symphony doesn't say it provides a direct bonus to rolls to analyze essence, just that it makes it possible, so let's say it's akin to having the basic tools or workshop needed to avoid penalties.
>1, 2, 6, 8, 4, 9
Two successes is enough to gauge the rating of someone's essence or artifact dots; these currently probably only count as resources one, and could serve to represent elements in thaumaturgy or something similar. Riv thinks though, given your explanation of them, that they could be developed into ammunition in the same way fire dust is, only with more widely applicable elemental variations. Normally fire dust isn't that valuable or difficult to get a hold of if you're in the right place, but this might be able to provide alternatives which can be more easily procured in other climates. Setting up, say, a powerful crafter, with a cheaper alternative to fire dust, and you might find a recipe for success and power, if you ended up needing to move chips around at some point.

>Let's make an attempt to appraise goods: Bureaucracy 2 + Intelligence 2 + Sunt + 1 auto-success from wp. Maybe attempt to estimate how many "innumerable" is, or attempt to put this bounty in more comprehensible terms (how many sheets to a suit of armor, or a diaklave?)

I'm sorry, I don't really think I can give you a better answer than what you've figured out so far- don't count that wp as expended. Miles and miles of cave systems makes figuring out how many there actually are difficult, given that there's no uniform distribution. The stacks near the entrance are already a "wealth beyond measure" kind of situation, what with any given cave you could pick housing stacks who's height would need to be measured in feet, and weight measured in tons.

>Let's also attempt to determine if these mirrors are contributing the the geomancy of the underlying demesne or manse, and if their removal would could as geomantic sabotage. Which I think would be another Perception 2 + Lore 3 + Geomancy Degree 3 + Stunt, with Telltale Symphony again assisting?
>4, 9, 7, 8, 7, 6, 3, 8, 9, 10, 9
Giving you an extra dice for the extras acting as assistants- all in all nine successes on eleven dice. Given that it takes five successes to examine how a charm works, let's use that- these mirrors, are in fact, important to the stability of the demense. Seems like crafting this place into a giant sphere of strange elemental mixes threw off the natural balance of the poles here, and would have twisted the local geomancy into a confused mess. Looks like the mirrors pump essence in and around the deepest parts of the walls, almost like breath or blood gets cycled through a body. Only about a third of the mirrors need to be in use at any one time, but they need to be periodically shifted and moved for things to flow correctly. No sing of build up or decay, so they must be doing things correctly, and you could easily take stacks home without completely ruining things.
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No. 955327 ID: 5f3f48

>>955281
>Activating rituals in response to WCWT
Currently, Lying Cat and the local elder are the only characters we know of who know the necessary thaumaturgy ritual. Is it possible for one thaumaturge to perform most of the setup, then leave an unskilled helper to "pull the trigger" when signaled?

If not, we're going to need to invest a week and 1XP per person to teach some other characters the ritual. Or we're going to have to persuade some of the locals to assist directly, in spite of their orders.
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No. 955375 ID: f57349

rolled 3, 10, 7, 3, 6, 10, 10, 7, 9, 1, 9, 1, 10, 5, 8, 4, 2, 9, 1, 4, 1, 1, 10, 9, 8, 9, 1, 6, 7, 1 = 172

Rolling for academic knowledge to try and figure out what manner of being the local Lord might plausibly be, based on whatever information villagers and mentor are willing to share. Then I'll start setting up Alarm Wards against the plausible category(s), starting with our camp's sleeping areas and workshops, extending duration with maintenance rituals. Do we have, or can we scrounge and/or craft, the tools and ingredients which would be necessary for higher-level wards?

Suuzen doesn't know the spell Private Plaza of Downcast Eyes, so Greater Wards may be necessary to block scrying. They're expensive, only last for a few days, and don't offer absolute safety. Good news, Private Plaza is only a plain featureless wall against otherworldly intrusion, whereas combining a Greater Ward with various other layers of thaumaturgy could notify those within that they're under attack, even retaliate to demoralize, injure, or kill the would-be spy.
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No. 955388 ID: c7496c
File 158081101671.png - (5.65KB , 500x500 , Forestball.png )
955388

>>955142
Freshwater pearls acquired, no noticeable ques tipping you off to any changes as a result, other than, yanno, seeing six fewer in the basin and six more in your hands. Where exactly on your person are you going to store them, just in case that becomes relevant?

>>955141
>I go through those big double doors
>fired the coin like a missile at the door
Explosion of splinters mingles with a deluge of foul smelling liquid- doesn't actually seem to be any sort of acid though, given the lack of pitting, hissing, smoke, etc. Same stuff that was filling the bowls at the feet of the statues just outside the room. With ample time you're able to hop over it, avoid getting your feet wet, but you're not sure what it's actually meant to do- maybe mark you, so you're easier to track? Assail the senses, to distract you?

The room ahead is ten feet wide, and thirty feet long, with the last ten feet elevated a few feet off the ground by a short set of steps, walls jutting slightly further out that they do in the rest of the room. Fifteen feet into the room there is a door on the west wall, and one opposite on the east wall. The north wall, opposite the double doors you came in from, is made of wicker, and can been seen through. In it, you see an orichalcum node, the surface of which is covered in grooves, similar to plants roots or veins, occasionally broken up by deeper geometric inserts roughly the same size and shape as the gems the villagers were harvesting from the plants. In the raised alcove there is also a plain table and four chairs, all made of wood. The table has some well used cards laid out upon it, as if in the middle of a game, and propped up against the corner is a purple hide drum with a wooded frame and small wooden spheres affixed to it via hempen rope such that, were the drum twisted back and forth, they would strike it's surface and make noise.

Speaking of drums, perception three, awareness three, and a two dot stunt means that you're looking at eight dice to notice the large ape-like create with deep red fur and bony protrusions sneaking up behind you.
>2, 8, 6, 6, 6, 2, 7, 7
Which you successfully do, turn around just as it approaches the double doors. It keeps it's distance, staying away from the puddle on the floor. It's also wearing a purple leather apron. Seems wary, but not jumping to attack immediately.

"You're not the usual sort. Can I interest you in a game?"

>>955327
>Lying Cat and the local elder are the only characters we know of who know the necessary thaumaturgy ritual.
Riv knows it as well, and has the necessary aperture to climb around- depending on the wood node, Suuzen's hairless aid can wait at the sandwall node, then Riv can activate the others, ending with the water node and a message for it to do the same on it's end.

>>955375
>Rolling for academic knowledge to try and figure out what manner of being the local Lord might plausibly be, based on whatever information villagers and mentor are willing to share.
Occult four, warding and exorcism three, intelligence five, stunt one for a basic description of how you attempt to gather knowledge.
>3, 10, 7, 3, 6, 10, 10, 7, 9, 1, 9, 1, 10

Twelve successes- it's the god of this place, disguising itself as the solar sorcerer who not only created this place, but also these creatures. Seems like the original was quite interested in genesis tech and demons, spent much of his time trying to use neomah, demon locust, and other malfean creatures to breed artificial races that could act as sentient tools in the same way the yozi could spawn countless servants as they desired. The villagers don't quite understand all this, but you're able to put together the pieces of legend and figure out the larger picture. See, you don't think this place was actually where the research took place, more of a hunting retreat- failed projects like these creatures were thrown in here for storage. After the solar died, god of this place eventually stepped up, decided to take power by claiming the former masters mantle- at least once the people tried to rebel, and you think they managed to actually kill it at one point, but didn't have the capabilities to make it stay dead, and life has gone drastically downhill for their ancestors since then. You're not sure of the full powers it can bring to bear, but you're pretty confident it can change it's shape, possess servants from the manse, grant boons, sense those who enter the sphere, and create illusions of itself.
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No. 955399 ID: ac57f8

rolled 2, 2, 3, 6, 9, 4, 1, 10, 8, 4, 1, 10, 10, 8, 4, 10, 10, 1, 1, 4, 3, 8, 9, 6, 3, 3, 5, 6, 4, 7, 10, 5, 1, 6, 4, 5, 9, 4, 5, 6 = 217

>>955388

> Where exactly on your person are you going to store them, just in case that becomes relevant?

I'm just going to store those Elsewhere.

> "You're not the usual sort. Can I interest you in a game?"

"Well, you don't seem to typical yourself, demon. Tell you what, you name your game, and I'll humor you while you tell me about the 'usual sort'."

He didn't phrase it as a question, pulling a well-worn and aging deck of cards that looked tenderly cared for out of his pockets, noting that he'd "Hate to muck with a game in progress."
>>
No. 955478 ID: c7496c

rolled 5, 5, 1, 5, 5, 5 = 26

>>955399
"Oh no, heh, now, I can see where you'd get the idea. I have no intention of lettin you leave here alive; just the thought of your blood runnin down my claws, soaking my fur, heheh, well, it's makin it hard to contain my excitement. Cards just don't have the same thrill. No, for this game I was thinkin of a hide and seek arrangement. Don't much care which one of us hides and which one seeks, as long as we're both playin for blood. 'spose if you got anythin to wager that I'd be interested in though, I'd play you in something before that, if yer partial to cards and what have you. Gettin material to build a sanctum has been hard recently, what with no one else left alive to guard this place and all them blood bags down there shakin in their boots after their master whipped 'em good. Would also take other offers for blood and sport but you don't look like you got any friends with you."

Gonna roll to read motivation on your response, so that's four dice on perception and two on investigation, not having quite the same stats as a typical blood ape.
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No. 955501 ID: 06755b

>>955478
“Well, you’re every bit as cowardly as I’ve heard I’ve heard from your old masters. Picking a game you expect only mortals up play where you have a supreme advantage.

“But, I guess that doesn’t matter since you made an awful wager against an Exalt, I’ll take your offer and hide, if you can’t find me in an hour, I’ll take your head.”

As soon as he finished talking, he made the 33 motions of silence with his hands, and like a chill wind in a graveyard he vanished from sight. However, he was confident in his ability to hide here, so he started skulking through the chambers, hunting the hunter.

Mechanically, Dex 5+Stealth 5+In shadows 3+Excellency 10+Stunt*2 (expected 4) and from the charm and if this is opposed, per the charm, add two successes rather than increase the difficulty.

Spending 6 out of peripheral for the excellency and 1 to keep it from anima flare, and 4 personal to activate Unseen Wisp Method
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No. 955502 ID: 06755b

rolled 7, 8, 5, 4, 10, 1, 6, 3, 3, 8, 3, 10, 6, 3, 9, 1, 1, 8, 2, 2, 6, 5, 2, 3, 8, 8, 2, 3, 10, 1, 6, 5, 10, 10, 3, 5, 4, 3, 5, 8 = 207

>>
No. 955840 ID: d9acdc

>>955501
Shatters Crime in Darkness manages to circumvent the security measures employed by the Blood Ape, and get the drop on it, utilizing the Compliant Umbral Panoply to attempt crush it from afar. Rather than maintain stealth however, SCiD was interested in utterly destroying the creature, so, despite it's attack from on high is it charged up the wall and jumped him, a quick change of outfits and a couple swift blows was all SCiD needed to readily dispatch the creature.

Assuming you wait to heal up and recover your full mote pool, the way to test all the nodes is clear- the node in the ceiling unlocks when exposed to the element of wood, and when apply the ritual to grow the appropriate gemstone plants within it, they seem to wither and die after about three hours. After the events described below, you are now at the "Three of each color of gem left" threshold.

That settled, it is trivial for Riv and Swump to coordinate and perform the rituals in descending order of effective time "unlocked". Riv skitters cross each wall using her crawlspace unit and asks that Suuzen's assassin and ward carver stand at the ready by the fire node on the sandwall, before sending notice with Wind-Carried Words Technique. After that point, all nodes are simultaneously active, and bridges of golden light extend forward from each node towards the manse, and likewise from the Manse towards each node. Five openings have appeared at the manse side of each bridge and you guys have successfully completed your objective to "Find a Way into the Manse". This will mark the end of the "first session" for game effects that track such things. Every scene from now on will award 1xp to each player- in addition, I am awarding a bonus of twenty four xp to each player and ruling that anything which could have reasonably been trained in the past week can be purchased now and retroactively assumed to have been trained during that time.

So, what new powers have you all learned, what skills have you improved upon, and what approach do you want to take now that the manse is open?
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No. 955860 ID: f57349

>>955840
I'm going to buy Wind-Born Stride, Unimpeded Perfection of Exertion, and the First Ebon Dragon Excellency and make sure all of Suuzen's friends are fully stocked up on blood-staunching compresses before proceeding into the manse.
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No. 955875 ID: f57349

>>955860
Oh, and also a second dot in War before I pick up that Excellency.
>>
No. 955901 ID: afdebc

rolled 5, 1, 1, 7, 5, 2, 9, 10, 9, 4, 5, 8, 9, 8, 7, 7, 5, 10, 3, 1 = 116

>So, what new powers have you all learned, what skills have you improved upon, and what approach do you want to take now that the manse is open?
Diana picks up:

Second Martial Arts Excellency (9 XP, 1 day)
Second Performance Excellency (9 XP, 1 day)
Performance 1 to 2 (1 XP, instant)

At some point during the week of downtime, having borrowed Riv's climbing harness for the occasion, Diana Maku finds herself on a high cliff on the outer side of the earthen wall. Chaos lies spread across the horizon, as far as the eye can see. Far below her lies a chasm cut in the irregular earth- the source of a river, winding outwards from this pocket of stability into the wylds. It originates from the lake at the bottom of the dome, fed by rainstorms that condense in the forested canopy.

Upon her high perch, the sidereal offers pray to the god of the thumbnail frog species, seeking guidance in and endorsement for the care of her newest companion. At the height of this entreatment a great golden disk is held aloft, catches the light... and then is allowed to plummet into the distant ravine and river below.

Prayer roll! For the base roll, that's Charisma 5 + Performance 2 + Stunt. I'll also spend 1 Endurance from my Respendency of the Crow (19 remaining) to activate Record-Obtaining Inquiry and add Essence 3 to the roll (So 10 + Stunt dice total). The thumbnail frog's own destiny might also kick in here, lowering the target number on this roll from 7 to 6.
Base difficulty is 7. As a sidereal (especially one with dots in The Ewer) Diana counts as a priest, which reduces that to 6. Then we subtract the Resources value of the sacrificial offering (a talent of Orichulum has to be worth Resources 4 or 5, I imagine).
Diana will also spend 6m personal to add three automatic successes with the Second Performance Excellency.

Intent is to earn more 'crafting' successes towards locking in the thumbnail frog as a familiar, as previously discussed. (Currently at 3/10).
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No. 955917 ID: afdebc

>>955901
>Respendency of the Crow
Excuse me, miswrote, that should be "Respendency of the Rising Smoke".
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No. 955935 ID: f57349

rolled 3, 9, 6, 9, 6, 1, 1, 5, 7, 8, 4, 9, 10, 10, 3, 10, 2, 5, 6, 3, 1, 9, 1, 10, 5, 1, 8, 1, 5, 5 = 163

Once we're regrouped, Suuzen proposes entry through the upward-facing gate, with Ironhorn taking the lead to attempt diplomacy. No dots in Larceny unfortunately, but can I check for traps (or other clues as to what awaits inside) with Perception + Investigation? That'd be six dice for tar baby, five for everybody else before excellencies. Spending personal essence only.
>>
No. 955941 ID: ac57f8

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

> What powers do you learn?
Thrown 3-5: 12 xp
Aid of Ill Wind 2 days: 8 xp
5 days of Occult 1 training: 3 xp (Not sure if you spend XP before or after training)

> The Manse opens

Alright, let's not do this guns a blazing, I'm going to reach out and help with my own Int+Investigation and also Int+Larceny checks, and I'll pull out a roll of parchment with some suspect black handprints on the outside, but otherwise a clean inside, and a perfect grease pen, and get stared on mapping out the entrance in as much detail as possible.
>>
No. 955942 ID: f57349

Also over the course of the past week (and maybe further back, as willpower budget allows) going to provide ablative countermagic for any allies who are interested - probably on clothing covering the torso and/or head or items likely to be used for parrying, but not the actual body so as to avoid interfering with medical thaumaturgy. Suuzen's dress and her assassin's loincloth and whip are definitely covered.
>>
No. 955943 ID: 5f3f48

rolled 1, 9, 10, 4, 2, 4, 8, 8, 2, 6, 1, 7, 9, 9, 7, 7, 2, 10, 1, 7, 3, 7, 1, 5, 10, 9, 1, 4, 5, 7 = 166

>>955941
If you didn't have a specific tutor in mind, Diana would be more than willing to make her time available when she first notices his attempts to study the basics of magic. (The sidereal had been looking for an opportunity to get a better measure of her companions, and to extend a hand to the Deathknight in particular).

Should Shatters Crime accept her assistance, he would find her a patient and perhaps over-attentive teacher. The lexicon of Occult terminology she uses seems to be rooted in a slightly different dialect of Old Realm than the one familiar to him, occasionally overlapping with musical locution, but whatever tradition she was schooled in does not suffer deficit for these oddities.

>>955942
Given Suuzen's usual insistence the others not be in the room while she's casting, I could see laying ablative countermagic on the group's clothing resulting in antics.

But Diana will accept the offer and have her clothes (though not her armor) warded.

>Investigating the manse
Diana will once again have an Occult speciality in the Art of Geomancy +3, and will have Telltale Symphony active, to study and examine manse components as they are discovered. (And she'll be making the AESS roll on anything magical that crops up, and Open Eyed Dive Meditations as necessary. Have some dice for the first time those pop up).
>>
No. 955944 ID: ac57f8

>>955943
Bold of you to assume he would even be using Old Realm for occult lessons if at all possible, preferring Forest-Tongue, and with a degree of fluency that he doesn't have in Old Realm (since that's his native tongue and grasping new concepts is easier in your native tongue than it is in foreign tongues)

> Ablative Countermagic on clothes

"No. My clothes are magic. The next best option would be my skin, and in the name of not having whatever is holding my insides in, no."
>>
No. 955945 ID: ac57f8

Actually, I'll make a change to my charm selection, I'll go for 1st Investigation Excellency instead of Aid of Ill Wind, since I can hardly be the world's greatest detective if I don't have an excellency.
>>
No. 955946 ID: d9acdc
File 158137100094.png - (18.01KB , 500x500 , Doors.png )
955946

rolled 5, 6, 2, 3, 6, 8, 2, 2, 9, 2, 1, 8, 9, 9, 1, 7, 2, 5, 2, 8, 5, 4, 8, 5, 9, 2, 9, 4, 9, 1 = 153

>>955860
Main question is how many uses does each ritual produce? I'm gonna skip rolling a whole buncha dice, say between your training time, exploration of the place and the time needed to forage for resources you can have performed the ritual successfully thirty times.

>>955901
>>955943
>fed by rainstorms that condense in the forested canopy.
Should be noted, these rainstorms are condensing under the forested canopy in the Wyld- inside the dome, there seems to be scant traces of clouds, or weather of any sort.

>10 + Stunt dice total). The thumbnail frog's own destiny might also kick in here, lowering the target number on this roll from 7 to 6.
>Base difficulty is 7. As a sidereal (especially one with dots in The Ewer) Diana counts as a priest, which reduces that to 6. Then we subtract the Resources value of the sacrificial offering (a talent of Orichulum has to be worth Resources 4 or 5, I imagine).
>Diana will also spend 6m personal to add three automatic successes with the Second Performance Excellency.
> 5, 1, 1, 7, 5, 2, 9, 10, 9, 4, 5, 8, 9, 8, 7, 7
We had a big long discussion in the discord about how many dice based on what factors- regardless of exactly how many you get, it's clear you've cleared the roll.
When you dream, a message of a separate type comes to advise you on the tools you need. A large frog with a beige underbelly and green skin sits cross legged in a dark cavern, water dripping from the ceiling into a pool below. The pool is filled with tiny frogs in much the same visage, save that they have only four limbs, and the larger one before you has six. You hear a chorus of voices in your mind, speaking in unison:
"Your plea has been heard, and your interest in my domain is a great boon. I would ask of you, before I entrust the lost into your care, that you prove this is not a trick. Destroy the false god that hides in the manse and I shall grant you that which you seek, and perhaps more beyond if it is within my powers. I have lived here for a thousand years and may be of more assistance than just the matters concerning my flock. Be warned, the villain has a sanctum where he will retreat to; however, even if his death is only temporary, it will give us enough time to act."

>AESS roll on anything magical that crops up
That same song of the untuned string cuts through the brassy notes of the manse, and you can hear other music, more faint, moving closer and further throughout the manse. One song is a muffle cacophony of symphonic, like an orchestra tuning,a and while it it constantly moving, it seems to be consistently deeper within. The second song is a buzzing, like a choir made from insects and cackles, swirling all around you, just beyond the walls, closing in and moving away, never consistent in it's origins. Your approach into this place has definitely unnerved the thumbnail frog, and it seeks to hide out of sight on your person.

>>955935
When the bridges extend, you all converged at node on the sandwall, and crossed to examine the entrance to which is was connected. A long dark tunnel greeted you, and, scrambling across the top of the manse to examine entrances on other sides, there seems to be little difference between each, save that the entrance at the top of the manse and at the bottom would be more difficult to traverse by their nature as smooth shafts straight down/up. The whirring of manse movement extended deep within, hidden mechanisms rotating in and out of place beyond the walls. Ironhorn and Riv think it best that you all take an entrances you can walk through rather than climb down, especially given that, when dropping a small stone down the top, you don't hear a soft fall.

>Ironhorn taking the lead to attempt diplomacy.
She's somewhat apprehensive about this roll, but understands that her status as an Eclipse caste might represent a sort of benefit for that. When it comes to actual negotiations though, she would prefer to oversee and sanctify agreements rather than draft them herself.

>can I check for traps (or other clues as to what awaits inside) with Perception + Investigation? That'd be six dice for tar baby, five for everybody else before excellencies. Spending personal essence only.

With the Ebon Dragon first excellency, playing to the concepts of dependability, enlightened self interest, and warped magnanimity, you're looking at ten dice. I was going to count the other members of the retinue as assistants, but they don't actually seem to have any supernatural capabilities relevant, and as normal aids there's not actually five people around. Other party members could increase bonuses but classifying them as regular aids seems inappropriate, so in lieu of that...
>3, 9, 6, 9, 6, 1, 1, 5, 7, 8
Four successes is enough to realize that the entrances are not trapped, and the bizarre whirring of hidden mechanisms are related to some other function, not one posing a threat. There is a strange sense that you are moving, like that which would accompany travel upon the sea, but the floors seem calm. You deduce that you are somehow spinning within the manse, despite the entrances lining up with the bridges perfectly, no movement detectable from the outside. The disconnect between what you can see and that which your bodies feel would threaten to unsettle the stomach of a mortal, and no doubt be disorienting for those who don't understand what's happening.

>>955941
>I'll pull out a roll of parchment with some suspect black handprints on the outside, but otherwise a clean inside, and a perfect grease pen, and get stared on mapping out the entrance in as much detail as possible.
>2, 10, 1, 4, 1, 1, 3, 10
Four success far surpasses the difficulty needed to map a single straight line- the tunnel it seems has no branches or off shoots. One noteworthy feature you do realize though, is that the length of the tunnel is immeasurable. Not that is is so long that it might be casually and incorrectly called immeasurable, but that the actual distances you're covering defy all attempts to accurately catalog their length. No matter the tools or methods, different results seems to crop up each time- you quite literally cannot accurately measure the distances that are being covered.

The puzzling nature of the manse constantly moving and resisting attempts to measure and quantify it are not enough of an issue to prevent your passage, and soon enough you all find yourself navigating by the light of Ironhorn's anima, as most of you all do not operate quite as well in the dark as you do in the light. She takes the lead as you lurk in the back, practically a shadow yourself, intermingling in the long dark lines everyone casts behind themselves. With Diana just behind Ironhorn, itching for something to get her hands on, Riv in the back with SCiD, and the Suuzen squad in the middle you all finally reach the end of the tunnel.

The dome shaped room is adorned with entrances- the one you came from matches the appearance of four others, one in the ceiling, on in the floor, and two more placed evenly along the walls. There are also five more doors, much smaller, barely shoulder width while the larger entrances like the one you came from can walk two abreast. These five doors take the form of hatches on the floor, each inscribed with a jade symbol of a different color. The room has four pillars within it, evenly spaced, and standing in the center stands a man, whom Diana notes is not the source of that untuned string song she's been hearing with Telltale Symphony. It scratches frantically in the background even as he smiles and opens his arms to welcome you all, emanating from somewhere else nearby.

"Greetings esteemed guests, and welcome to your very own dome of entertainment! Truly, it is good to have you among us- I know the challenge for entry isn't quite as entertaining as it was in days past, but I must say, you all performed admirably, and are welcome among these halls. It has been quite some time since we have had proper guests, and while I cannot say I remember sending you a formal invitation, your presence is a great honor and we are glad to open the doors to welcome you. I must ask, what brings you to the sphere of games? It has been long since we have hosted our grand competitions and daring contests, so I imagine you come to seek my expertise in the engineering of new life, or perhaps seek a sorcererous favor from me? If you have something to trade up I could offer boons for you- I've even got something in mind I could use competent help with, if you've come calling for help.

Ah, silly me, where are my manners? I am the Sorcerer responsible for all that you seen around you, sovereign Lord of this place, progenitor of all the life you've no doubt observed here and master of the games we host during our times of leisure. With whom, pray tell, do I have the pleasure of speaking?"

Not actually confident what I as the GM might be rolling for here, so I'll trow out some dice and we can resolve any contested effects that might be relevant over the next few posts.
>>
No. 955950 ID: f57349

rolled 7, 9, 7, 7, 3, 3, 10, 7, 1, 4, 4, 5, 8, 10, 8, 9, 7, 1, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 3, 7, 9, 1, 6, 1, 2 = 156

>>955946
Lying Cat will observe and bluntly announce the truth-values of statements, as is customary, but otherwise refuse to converse in favor of prowling around, peeking into hatches and delicately sniffing at any other architectural features of interest.

Suuzen, cheeks red with mortified embarrassment, hastily apologizes for her servant's misbehavior and says she was sent here by her mother to gather - among other things - information about Facet Ravensbane, supposedly known and feared by all initiates of the highest circle of sorcery.
>>
No. 955955 ID: ac57f8

rolled 6, 7, 8, 1, 10, 4, 3, 5, 8, 9, 8, 9, 10, 4, 10, 5, 2, 7, 4, 2, 4, 9, 8, 7, 10, 6, 2, 10, 4, 8 = 190

"Oh, I've seen this before, there are all kinds of openings, we're just not looking right. Happens all the time in the Labyrinth."

So, musing on the infinite and winding nature of the Labyrinth, his death honed senses naturally attuned to sorting through mazes like a Minotaur searched out for passages going elsewhere.
>>
No. 955956 ID: afdebc

rolled 10, 1, 9, 4, 8, 10, 8, 10, 9, 8, 3, 1, 10, 9, 5, 1, 9, 9, 6, 10, 6, 3, 9, 2, 6, 1, 9, 8, 1, 2, 1, 8, 1, 8, 2, 10, 7, 10, 3, 8, 9, 2, 7, 10, 6, 10, 3, 2, 7, 4, 7, 1, 8, 5, 9, 5, 7, 8, 7, 5 = 367

>>955946
>prayer response
Typical, really. You give a god a little bit of leeway, and they presume the attention means they're entitled to dictate mission parameters. And in a manner that is actively counterproductive, no less. Yes, her companion would be much safer carried into a confrontation with a hostile sorcerer-deity without the familiar bond.

(You didn't actually say, but have I hit that 10/10 'crafting' successes now?)

>distance is literally immeasurable
>puzzling manse
*cough* So a magical feature of the manse? I believe I said I would be rolling to analyze those as they came up >>955943 . Open-Eyed Dive Meditation would be Perception 2 + Lore 3 + Art of Geomancy 3, and without even adding a stunts, that's 5 successes on my last roll vs difficulty 3. (Or if that was used on anything unstated, have more dice).

>standing in the center stands a man, whom Diana notes is not the source of that untuned string song she's been hearing with Telltale Symphony
Diana takes a moment to study the self-professed lord and master of this domain (and potentially the archeny of a presumptuous six-legged terrestrial divinity), playing close attention to the melody of music. Is our self-proclaimed host the subject of any active charms or sorcery, or bearing any artifacts? (Such that they are Obvious to Telltale Symphony?) If any are, I'll make the reflexive Intelligence 2 + Occult 2 + Stunt per Telltale Symphony / All-Encompassing Sorcerer's Sight to try and identify them (difficulty 5) or failing that, to identify the artifact's rating (difficulty 2). Even if he bears no enchantments, Diana will make the attempt to gauge the Lord's essence score (difficulty 2).

Rolling a lot of dice as I don't know how many checks that will be!
>>
No. 955970 ID: d9acdc

rolled 6, 3, 7, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 4, 6, 1, 2, 8, 7, 2, 1, 3, 3, 7, 10, 2, 10, 6, 2, 4, 10, 3, 4, 10, 5 = 156

>>955950
>Lying Cat will observe and bluntly announce the truth-values of statements
>Greetings esteemed guests, and welcome to your very own dome of entertainment! Truly, it is good to have you among us
False
>If you have something to trade up I could offer boons for you- I've even got something in mind I could use competent help with, if you've come calling for help.
True
>I am the Sorcerer responsible for all that you seen around you, sovereign Lord of this place, progenitor of all the life you've no doubt observed here and master of the games we host during our times of leisure.
True?

Baldy has enough of an occult background to recognize that, at sub e4 levels, that shouldn't be possible, not to mention the issue of age. Mother Bog has that angle covered though.
>peeking into hatches and delicately sniffing at any other architectural features of interest.
Hatches don't have any sorts of locks or security system- each one contains an identical statues of marble, tightly wrapped around a central pillar such that you can only see a few steps ahead of you at any point on the spiral. Two feet wide, so you'd need to go single file, and the... Mutant Blood Ape thing that follows Suuzen around wouldn't be able to fit at all. Could go deeper down any particular staircase, two immediate reason not to though- lack of visibility means you'd have to go past the point of being able to hold the hatch up, so you'll either need to be okay with it closing behind you or get a friend, which leads into the second issue- self proclaimed Lord is doing a bad job at masking irritability over your comments and investigation. Getting more people to ignore him and help you poke around might have consequences. Where's the Sesselja right now?

>Suuzen, cheeks red with mortified embarrassment, hastily apologizes for her servant's misbehavior and says she was sent here by her mother to gather - among other things - information about Facet Ravensbane, supposedly known and feared by all initiates of the highest circle of sorcery.
A hollow chuckle and a forced smile are quickly replaced by crossed arms and a tapping foot as the behavior goes on. Definitely having trouble maintaining composure. Gonna treat her line of questioning as a social attack- "answer my question", essentially.
>let me get that verdict on whether or not you want Dance of Influence on
>Invoked in plain sight, as soon as it became clear we'd be talking rather than fighting.
The dance she performs is short, more of a subtle thing- her head sways back and forth, eyes half closed; one could mistake her circle around the perimeter as an inspection of the room, bathed in Ironhorn's golden glow. The effect it has however, is intoxicating.
Dex three, performance five, two dot stunt, means
>7, 9, 7, 7, 3, 3, 10, 7, 1, 4
Five dice added to all social rolls for the rest of the scene, since the effects are capped by appearance. So that attack gets four manipulation, four presence, two stunt dice and five bonus dice, for fifteen total dice.
>4, 5, 8, 10, 8, 9, 7, 1, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 3, 7
Seven successes, no appearance modifier to MDV, clearing the dodge MDV of three.
The "lord" will be compelled to engage you and try to respond to your questions, which it seems woefully under prepared for. His first answer might have been passable on it's own- he explains that he's long since dead, and simply adheres to this world to look after his old domain. Things go downhill from there, as he seems ignorant of that which binds a spirit, matters of sorcerer, genetic engineering, and more. It's almost sad how easy it is to paint him into a corner- despite being utterly unable to make a case however, he refuses to connect the rather obvious dots you've painted for him, that he could not be what he claims.
This scene definitely fits Baldy's Urge.

>>955955
Three perception, three investigation, two stunt dice, for eight total on the roll to investigate, look for hidden entrances or passageways.
>6, 7, 8, 1, 10, 4, 3, 5,
Four successes- there's no secret doors or hidden tunnels on the walls- everything seems hollow though- there's empty space beyond all the walls, beyond the pillars in the stairways Suuzen's Assassin found under the hatches, on the ceiling of the room you're currently chatting in- definitely seems weird if the the whole manse is just a hollow ball with this single room, and you can hear things whirring and moving beyond the walls.

>>955956
>Yes, her companion would be much safer carried into a confrontation with a hostile sorcerer-deity without the familiar bond.
To clarify, the God sees removing the hostile god as an important part of making the thumbnail frog comfortable, not just an act spurred by jealously or personal grudges or what have you. It is unclear why it would help the small creature become more comfortable, but it did hide before coming in- maybe some history between the frogs and the God of the sphere?
And yeah, you hit the 10/10, just need to supply the exotic ingredient to finish crafting the friendship. Yanno, how normal interpersonal relationships work.

>Open-Eyed Dive Meditation would be Perception 2 + Lore 3 + Art of Geomancy 3, and without even adding a stunts, that's 5 successes on my last roll vs difficulty 3. (Or if that was used on anything unstated, have more dice).
Ruling it difficulty five when equipped with the appropriate tools as discussed in the discord. That's ten dice after stunts:
>1, 9, 10, 4, 2, 4, 8, 8, 2, 6
Five successes, as you specified. Seems this place has a serious case of Puzzle Manse Syndrome- non-euclidean geometry, hallways re-position themselves while reference points refuse to move, the structure of this place is constantly moving and will definitely not adhere to traditional attempts to navigate through it.

>>955956
>Is our self-proclaimed host the subject of any active charms
>10, 1, 9, 4, 8, 10
Two dot stunt means you clear the roll with six successes- the God isn't under the effects of any charms, he is a charm. Specifically, Hosts of Spirits, which allows a spirit to create a perfect copy of themselves which has reduced essence and attributes (aside from appearance). The copy is little more than essence, as they don't naturally have motes, willpower, charms, or real artifacts/equipment (this can be circumvented though).
>Diana will make the attempt to gauge the Lord's essence score (difficulty 2)
>8, 10, 9, 8, 3, 1
Essence two, which means the actual God has Essence five.
>>
No. 955975 ID: f57349

>>955970
> Where's the Sesselja right now?
Immaterial, looking for "the lord's" sanctum entrance and maybe incidentally mapping the place from a convenient position of being able to walk through walls - though an allergy to pure things including gold might cause problems. It's under strict orders to flee rather than risking injury, since a failed scouting mission here would be inconsequential compared to losing access to our healbot for months.
>>
No. 955994 ID: ac57f8

rolled 6, 1, 6, 3, 5, 5, 4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 10, 5, 9, 1, 10, 2, 3, 6, 1, 5, 10, 7, 3, 6, 9, 2, 6, 4, 9, 5, 4, 6, 8, 8, 5, 9, 6, 3, 1 = 215

> Five successes, as you specified. Seems this place has a serious case of Puzzle Manse Syndrome- non-euclidean geometry, hallways re-position themselves while reference points refuse to move, the structure of this place is constantly moving and will definitely not adhere to traditional attempts to navigate through it.

That gives me an idea. Ash, Bone, Blood, Void, Corpse Fire, all of these exist as cruel perversions of the terestrial elements twisted to oblivion, and SCiD can feel that.

Of course, there isn't any of that available, not naturally anyway. But, he pulls back his hand, and slams the wall as hard as possible, slamming into it with necrotic essence sounding like a bell constructed out of screaming children tied to the inside of a bell, echoing through the space beyond the Orichalcum walls, reverberating, and picking up the notes of the fixed way points.

Then, orienting himself on the floor in the direction of the center, he walks neither forward or backwards, for those things have no meaning in this context, he walks inwards to the core of the manse.
>>
No. 956029 ID: f57349

rolled 2, 8, 6, 8, 5, 8, 7, 5, 1, 3, 9, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 7, 2, 3, 3, 5, 10, 1, 1, 6, 9, 6, 9, 7, 4 = 147

One last question from Suuzen, presented as an opportunity for the Lord to recover some dignity by showing off something he does know: where, exactly, are the five perimeter-defining statues which depict his glorious visage? How can they be reached for, say, maintenance purposes?
>>
No. 956133 ID: afdebc

rolled 6, 8, 4, 3, 2, 4, 2, 6, 8, 8, 3, 5, 2, 6, 2, 8, 4, 8, 7, 5 = 101

>he explains that he's long since dead, and simply adheres to this world to look after his old domain. Things go downhill from there, as he seems ignorant of that which binds a spirit, matters of sorcerer, genetic engineering, and more. It's almost sad how easy it is to paint him into a corner- despite being utterly unable to make a case however, he refuses to connect the rather obvious dots you've painted for him, that he could not be what he claims.
Delusional, and unwilling to recognize (or remember) that ghosts cannot perform sorcery.

How he believes he dies (if his madness allows him to consider that at all) may also be pertinent- if he harbors memories of the Usurpation, or who was behind it. (It is fortunate, Diana reflects, that she has not flared her anima within this domain).

>the God isn't under the effects of any charms, he is a charm. Specifically, Hosts of Spirits
This brings to light an important consideration, then. Is it the god himself who suffers this delusion, or merely his lesser copy?

>Essence five.
Which, given the resources likely to be stored here, may mean facing a hostile Celestial Circle Sorcerer.

>If you have something to trade up I could offer boons for you
"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."

>I've even got something in mind I could use competent help with, if you've come calling for help.
Certainly, insight into what the divinity before us wants would not be wasted effort. "In what manner of task did you require assistance?"

Not trying to convince the Lord of anything, so I don't think either of these questions would could as social attacks? Have some dice if it's needed, or for sense motive to see if what the Lord says reads as true (although that's probably not necessary with Baldy loudly fact checking everything).
>>
No. 956145 ID: f57349

>>956133
>Essence five.
>Which, given the resources likely to be stored here, may mean facing a hostile Celestial Circle Sorcerer.
I thought spirits needed E6 for sapphire circle sorcery, and can only learn the emerald circle at essence 3 to 5.
>>
No. 956155 ID: d9acdc

>>955975
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.

>>956029
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.

>>955994
As discussed in the discord, we'll resolve this as you heading down the hatch marked with green jade, as depicted here:
>>955946
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?

>>956133
>"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

>>956155
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

>>956155
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

>>956307
>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

>>956489
>2, 8, 9, 5, 7
Three successes doesn't hit, and thus everyone starts preparing for battle without further negotiations.

>>956505
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

>>956617

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

>>955943
>>955944
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

>>956620

"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

>>956621
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

>>956677

"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

>>956619
>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

>>956695
> 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

>>956686
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

>>956795
"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

>>956696
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

>>956807
"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

>>956617
>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

>>958073
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

>>958535
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

>>958631
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

>>958828
>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.

>>958885
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

>>958917
>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

>>958918
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 )
958990

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

>>956809
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

>>958990
>>
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

>>958990
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 )
959012

>>958990
>discord
>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.

>>958996
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?

>>958918
>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

>>959012
"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

>>959036
> 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.

>>958917
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

>>959158
"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

>>959158
>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

>>959158
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

>>959204
>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.

>>959222
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.

>>959229
> 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

>>959269
"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

>>959443
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

>>959824
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

>>959828
"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

>>959832
"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?

>>959833
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

>>959579
"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

>>959840
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

>>960050
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?

>>959222
>>959579
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?

>>960034
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."

>>962162
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

>>962820
>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

>>962834
>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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