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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?
80 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>>
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.
>>
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.
>>
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.
>>
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.
>>
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.
>>
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
>>
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?
>>
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.
>>
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).
>>
No. 955917 ID: afdebc

>>955901
>Respendency of the Crow
Excuse me, miswrote, that should be "Respendency of the Rising Smoke".
>>
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."
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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.
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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)."
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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."
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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.
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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.
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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."
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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."
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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."
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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.
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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."
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