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1073931 No. 1073931 ID: 706b74

Adult content 18+

First thread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/860238.html
Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Moot_Point
Previous chapter: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1049539.html
602 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 1090422 ID: b491ec

um, excuse? good to know there are living(?) things here that aren't maybe a fate, though one wouldn't think so given... souls go here, not even to stay
No. 1090506 ID: 613a07

Uh, folks, I think we might actually have just encountered our
first of the Fates: “ MINERVA, the moon, preserver” (appearance tracks: a huge white owl, see the post referenced above in Chapter 4 https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/872282.html )

In this case, what seems to ace been preserved is Gabe’s ass, perhaps from whatever spite is left of Muir in this realm if my intuition is right.

Ask if your guide is known amongst mortals by the name, or serves, Minerva, and what they mean by “followed”? Followed through the gate just now, or followed in a broader sense?
No. 1090612 ID: 8a1605
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“There’s things living down here?!” Kol asks, once the shock wears off. He eyes the carcass of the thing, which appears to be oozing liquid mana from its broken exoskeleton.

“A few.” Comes the reply in Gabe’s voice, “It’s a harsh environment, so they tend to be… robust. Most are benign, but some take interest in travelers. I would take care if I were you.”

“Uh… sorry, but was… was all of that a test?” Casey asks, reeling from seeing the immensity of the guide.

“All what?” Comes the reply in Kol’s voice.

“Uh, us getting separated and lost? Finding one another again?”

The voice that replies is her own and it seems slightly amused, “No, you did that to yourselves. I don’t know why you people worry so much. After all, I’m always nearby.”
No. 1090613 ID: 17abec

I'm curious as to why she used our voices for a while there, but I'll just chalk it up to vague mischievous entity reasons. Let's get back to the task at hand though, I'm sure there's no time to waste. Unless time moves slowly down here or what have you. Is she the all-knowing all-seeing kind of ethereal entity or do we have to fill her in on the barghast situation?
No. 1090616 ID: d87606

If we did that to ourselves, then it's to us not to do it again. Stay close; make use of Casey's tether, hold hands or tie tails if you have to.

But do ask the guide if we might speed along. As fascinating as the experience is, we don't have much time to indulge our curiosity.
No. 1090618 ID: fa3034

Sorry, it's a mortal thing to worry. Now that we're together again, where to?
No. 1090619 ID: 273c18

"nearby". That's why Casey couldn't keep up, because Minerva decides to always be at a set distance from any mortal in the Spirit Realm. A kind of omnipresence, I suppose.

Anyway, ask where you're going next. Follow the souls?
No. 1090663 ID: 64f49c

"always nearby" is definitally a little weird, still think "guide" is a Fate posing as a sheet ghost. well at least we can't get seperated again.
...it would probably be a Very good idea for Kol to ask if he can use his spirit magic here safely
No. 1090710 ID: 8a1605
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“Oh fuck. You- you’re one of the Fates…” Casey stares, stepping back as realization finally hits. “M-M-M-“

The figure turns and two eyes open, revealing a pair of blazing, golden rings that burn with the radiance of the sun. The intensity of their focus sweeps over the mice like a scythe, rendering them mute as pillars of salt.

After a few moments, the eyes shut, mercifully hiding themselves behind the veil of invisibility.

A voice quite unlike anything spoken by a mortal advises, “You might want to keep moving, unless you intend to stay here…” It sounds like a silence followed by a brief squeak in the dark, or the snap of jaws around a neck, or a last breath beneath a snake’s coils. It is the voice of death itself.
No. 1090715 ID: 17abec

Well that's about how meeting god would go, yeah? Yeah. Let's follow god's advice.
No. 1090716 ID: fa3034

Yes. Of course. Let's, do that..

Remember to breathe, everyone
No. 1090717 ID: 273c18

We're probably going to be meeting each of them in this journey. Also, that was MUUT, not MINERVA. The "absence" we've been seeing was mistaken for the white feathers of MINERVA. ...heh, death is always close, isn't it?

Get moving. Respectfully.
No. 1090718 ID: 17abec

Damn, there really was a muut to this point
No. 1090719 ID: 64f49c

WELL, that was intense, at least we will be able to try bracing ourselves for the other two
we REALLY should get going, anyhow
No. 1090725 ID: 21ba3c

I'm guessing it's probably not a good idea to try and speak their names. Not here. Names have power.
No. 1090742 ID: 124485

This is why Uncle Sifr said that you're not supposed to talk about anything when you leave this place.

Also, it seems like they don't want you to say their name.
No. 1090751 ID: bcb9b2

Not sure how you would describe them, if were you allowed
No. 1090754 ID: eb0a9c

That does not look like any of the original ménage a trois.

Moving on!
No. 1090767 ID: 184595

As you dash away, don't forget to hold hands. Staying together will be what gets you through this ordeal.
No. 1090882 ID: 8a1605
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“Y-yes sir! Er, y-your honor! Er your Fatedness!” Casey squeaks, and the trio retreat in a scramble. They slide and half-tumble down a dune, trying to get away from the Fate of Death’s lair.

As they escape, the voice of the Fate follows them, as though spoken just over their shoulders. “Head for the lights, towards the Palace of Memories.”

When they finally stop running, they look back to see no sign of Muut. With his duty fulfilled, the Fate seems to have left to stalk other prey.
No. 1090883 ID: 17abec

Oh heavens the palace of memories, that sounds like a place that's gonna get in our heads and tempt us with sex and/or exposition (sexposition?)

Anyway that Muut guy was kinda spooky, but surely that was the worst of the fates, right?
No. 1090884 ID: eb0a9c

I think it's going to tempt us with crazy fantasies, tricking us into getting distracted so we stop guiding the team.
No. 1090895 ID: fa3034

Don't push yourselves too hard. Death has passed. Keep a brisk but manageable pace. Be proud you met one of the Fates.
No. 1090896 ID: 273c18

Well this part of the trip should be more straightforward. Refresh your memory on how to recognize the Fates, keep watch on the sand dunes for any weird creatures, and move towards the lights.
No. 1090897 ID: 273c18

In particular, watch your step Gabe. Something's weird about that sand you're stepping on.
No. 1090929 ID: 7b65e9

Don't forget to walk without rythm!
For death, he was quite civil.
I recommend making sure the "ariadne's thread" is still tied around you three. You never know
No. 1090932 ID: bcb9b2

I'd say try not to let any paranoia lead you astray, nothing else is quite as good as destroying you as you.
Palace of Memories... seems like the name of a place that you reflect all that has happened to you, combine that with the fact Muut has left you alone and there is likely another Fate in there waiting for you, only question is which?
...not much of a question, given the nature of this next place is so closely Minerva, for how could we understand without Memory, and Melek Taus is the last stop on the journey through here, governing creation and presumably recreation
No. 1091028 ID: 8a1605
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“Okay, lesson learned: don’t say the Fate’s names.” Casey says on the behalf of the group.

Gabe catches his breath, hunched over with his hands on his knees. “Didn’t think they’d be so touchy about it.”

“Well, names are power.” Casey explains, “And power attracts attention.”

“Don’t draw attention. Got it.” Gabe sighs, sitting up.

“How about it, Gabe? Think you can gate us over there?” Kol points towards the horizon and the strange lights.

The Sender nods and waves his hands, opening a gate for them.

As they land on the other side, gate closes with a thunderclap that seems to echo oddly across the desert.

“Huh, weird. I thought I got the distance right.” Gabe says to himself, as he looks out over the sand. Its still impossible to pick out details, but the distant shapes seem to look like a collection of towers, or buildings.
No. 1091035 ID: 273c18

The desert is probably messing with your senses. The thunderclap might attract attention too, but... I'm not sure we have much of a choice considering we're pressed for time. Can't just walk all the way there can we?

...could the shapes be shadows cast by something smaller than you think? Look lower in the dunes.
No. 1091039 ID: fa3034

Almost seems you could just reach out and touch it.
No. 1091041 ID: 124485

Perhaps this is part of the test? You might have to get there the old fashioned way, with no using portals for shortcuts.
No. 1091043 ID: dcda60

may be a case of optical illusion, may want to experiment a bit, you can look through a portal without going through yeah? open one up above and look through it, much more likely to see truth
No. 1091057 ID: debc82


I suspect "distance" here isn't normal. You might not be able to necessarily calculate this one, so much as feel it out.

Gates were old fey magic, were they not? Perhaps its time to try and understand their very foundations.
No. 1091099 ID: 7c1f1c

Space may be different here, or the look of things confusing. Can Gabe look back and identify where the mice came from? It might be possible to recalibrate his intuition, if so.

If things are indeed farther away than they appear, it might be prudent to use at least one more gate to get near the Palace, given the need for expedience, but approaching it on foot once you're near enough for the sound to be noticeable would be the most likely to avoid undue attention.
No. 1091163 ID: 8a1605
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“I’m guessing that space works differently here than on our plane.” Casey glowers at the distant palace as if it had offended her. “There’s gotta be a way to get there quicker, right?”

There’s a rumbling in the distance as a dune heaves up and then sinks. The phenomenon travels in a line, headed towards them as something massive burrows through the sand.
No. 1091169 ID: 17abec

well whatever way you want to get there, you may want to do it quietly. Or hitch a ride, whatever you guys are gutsy enough to do.
No. 1091171 ID: 273c18

I think we're gonna need to ride that worm. Casey can bind it, Gabe should be able to make a portal for everyone to get on its back.
No. 1091175 ID: fa3034

Ride it, ride it, ride it
Or at the very least, portal away if gets too close
No. 1091196 ID: 184595

This is what happens when you walk rhythimcally!

If we're gonna ride the worm, we're gonna need hooks. Can Casey provide those? Failing that, another jump might be in order, to speed the mice toward the Palace. If the previous jump is any indication, Gabe should feel free to overshoot.
No. 1091216 ID: 7b65e9

Bless the Maker and his coming
You guys should absolutely tie yourself to each other right now. I believe the terrain is about toe get unstable.
No. 1091529 ID: 8a1605
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“Okay! Time to go!” Gabe yelps, ripping open another gate.

As they land on the other side, the boom of the closing gate causes the grains of sand around them to dance like rice on a drum. A distant roar echoes back in response.

“Shit! Its the gates! The sound is alerting them!” Kol shouts.

Gabe checks their location and swears, “And we’re still miles off from the palace. Every gate seems shorter. Its like the space is harder and harder to push through.” He turns to the others, his face pale and worried. “What do we do?”

“If they’re drawn to the sound, maybe we can use that.“ Casey suggests.
No. 1091530 ID: dcda60

from what side does the gate unleash its mighty CRACK, both? that would make things difficult, simplest plan is to use 2 sets of gates, one set, with increasingly large distances so it would seem, for transport, another set simply to lure the IT away. but how shall you time the gates? Depends on how the IT behaves, learn quick!
No. 1091532 ID: 273c18

Oh I see. Yeah, you're going to need to make distraction gates. Draw off the worm with a pair of gates, and then once it's a good ways away you can make some gates for travel. You might also want to try figuring out how the math needs to be adjusted? Try opening one further out than you think is required. Aim to the side of the "city" if you're worried about slicing things. Or, I don't suppose it's possible to figure out how to make a quieter gate?
No. 1091536 ID: 17abec

Yeah but that's only if they're attracted to the sound. They could be attracted to mana manipulation in general, given the abundance. I mean, in such a strange place, what predator couldn't sense the mana around them shifting? If you're feeling up to it, maybe try using Casey's tentacles to distract (or somehow wrangle) the worm?
No. 1091546 ID: fa3034

The solution might be portal heavy and I don't know if Gabe will have enough mana for that. We should try to be as economical as we can with our placements.
No. 1091597 ID: 8a1605
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Gabe picks a nearby hill and creates a pair of gates a few feet apart. The double “boom” of thunder echoes out over the dunes, and within a few minutes, A massive creature converges on it.

The beast erupts out of the sand in an explosion of teeth and scales, coiling blindly in search of food. As the mice watch silently, the worm rapidly gulps down a mountain of sand, hoping to capture some wayward creature in its gullet.

The sandworm continues to probe for food, inching closer to the trio, seemingly unaware of their presence. Just as it turns to leave, a gate opens above its back and the mice drop into position.

Casey’s tendrils unfurl like long whips, anchoring themselves under the creature’s upper jaw as she wrestles for control.
No. 1091601 ID: fa3034

The others should support Casey maintain her grip but more so than that, all three of you should keep your balance. This thing WILL wip around to shake you off. Can Kol help control this thing spiritually?
No. 1091602 ID: 273c18

Alright, Kol, lend your strength to Casey. Help with the steering, you're the one with the raw physical strength here.
No. 1091622 ID: 17abec

hell yeah, yeeeeeeehaw
No. 1091638 ID: 7b65e9

Giddy up!!
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