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959244 No. 959244 ID: f57349

You're running through the grand salon, an oval room 60' east-west by 45' north-south. Eight thin white pillars encircle a colorful 15' square mosaic in the floor, a lens of pale yellow glass in the ceiling 50' above, and a chandelier suspended halfway between, consisting of glowing orbs hanging from the hilts of twelve upturned golden swords. Elaborate gilded-bronze vines decorate the walls, framing small balconies on two upper floors.

Your shortness of breath, overheating, and shaky muscles imply recent prolonged heavy exertion, but you have no recollection of the specifics. Given how thoroughly ice-encrusted your clothes are, at least part of that hard labor must have taken place in a blizzard, and since your most recent memories of being outdoors were late spring or early summer in a temperate climate, far from any snowcapped mountains, the gap in your memory likely encompasses at least half a year.

There's a howling creature in your way, with shaggy white fur, possibly something an ape-demon sired on a polar bear, brandishing a severed human arm with not only clear killing intent but alarmingly supernatural expertise. Maybe you should do something about that first, sort out more nuanced strategic details afterward.
177 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 963959 ID: f57349

>I'm actually super curious about the mechanics of how this works out from a mathematical perspective out of character when factoring complex fuckery.
Imagine a simplified system with two knobs and four panels, A, B, C, and D. When panel A has both knobs pushed in, which is to say it's set to {0,0}, it connects only to itself - which is to say it's effectively disconnected from the rest of the network. Setting A to {0,1} connects to B, {1,0} connects to C, and {1,1} connects to D. Therefore, setting panel A to {0.5,1} connects partially to B and partially to D - and if you flip panel A from {0.5,1} directly to {1,0} with just the right timing, you can exploit the spring-loaded switchboard mechanism that normally resolves ambiguous connections, 'tricking' panels B and D into connecting fully to each other without touching either.
No. 963985 ID: f57349

He seems fairly confident in being able to out-wrestle somebody on the grounds that his arm's approximately the size of your entire body. Also, doesn't like that whip very much, might be looking for an excuse to get rid of it.

Pyrian excellency and Savant background are both, separately, ideally suited to restoring order to a trashed first age workshop, and their benefits are cumulative. It's like watching a tornado in reverse, tools and spare parts swirl around until everything lands in it's proper place. Bellows can be partially disassembled to extract the damaged portion, might be possible to stitch up the tear and seal it airtight by mundane means but a casting of Incantation of Effective Restoration would be better.

Manacles are indeed an artifact designed for restraining essence users. In addition to supernatural durability, looks like they'd steadily drain motes and disrupt the focus needed to activate most charms.

With the forge sorted out, you can get to work restoring the actual bath. Circular room directly north of the boiler has a green tiled floor and fresco walls which once depicted trees and shrubs, now obscured by mildew.

There are actually three pools: centrally located one is twelve feet in diameter, while two others, a foot higher and partially overlapping to the northeast and southeast, are each eight feet in diameter. Wall behind the northern pool has a scene of icebergs and distant mountains, and the bottom lined with unmelting ice that provides an eerie blue glow, while the southern is decorated like a tropical beach with actual sand in the basin. Overflow from hot and cold sections would feed the temperate 'forest pool' in the middle.

That pattern of three overlapping circles, with those specific relative sizes and positions, has something to do with the alchemical nature of water, and in this case it also forms a chevron pointing west from near the western edge of the manse, so whoever designed the place clearly knew their stuff... but then why is there mildew growing on the walls, and corrosion clogging the brass spigots? Harmonious essence flows normally prevent that sort of thing, unless there's some broader esoteric maintenance requirement that's being neglected.

Regardless, clearing sediment from the boiler, unclogging pipes, replacing spigots (fortunately there's a whole bin of spare parts), sharpening an axe to fetch firewood from the attic (?), and generally getting the baths in working order is all reassuringly familiar, straightforward work, but it'll be well past dawn before you're done.
No. 963990 ID: f57349

> "But since you mention it, there's still a lot of that ancient stuff that's still working, right? Pretty strange if you ask me. If I were in their shoes, makin' these devices, I'd give them a bit of spitshine, sure, but I ain't reckon I make a device that lasts a thousand years. Man don't live that long, so how could they predict that it'd keep so well? If you ask me, they what be time travelers or something back then, only way to explain how they made devices and materials that keep, because there ain't much other explaining beyond 'divine intervention'..."
Even in the modern day, dragon-blooded can and do slap around lesser gods the way a mortal might discipline an unruly dog. One of the main teachings of the Immaculate Faith is that the Anathema once bossed around dragon-blooded much the same way. It follows quite logically that divine intervention was not in short supply.
No. 964007 ID: afdebc

rolled 8, 5, 2, 5, 5, 8, 6, 10, 7, 8, 7, 3, 7, 5, 7, 5, 7, 9, 8, 5 = 127

While this turn of events is frustrating, Jan Do cannot fault her guide's actions. To try and rescue a comrade is the honorable course of action, and issuing a formal challenge (instead of attacking anyone) does not violate the horned ape's oath to serve as a guide. A challenge accepted is not unwarranted violence against a travelling companion or host.

After the initial impassioned declaration and pause, the Peacebringer steps into the awkwardness and introduces their new guide to her travelling companions, and vice versa. "Are either of you willing to answer this challenge? Your claims in this matter are greater than my own." Desert Locust was, after all, the victor who had bested the yet in combat and Shining Icicle Maiden had sought to become the prisoner's warden.
No. 964009 ID: 5f0ee2

rolled 8, 7, 5, 9, 9, 9, 3, 8, 1, 9, 6, 7, 4, 9, 6, 3, 2, 9, 8, 4, 9, 10, 3, 1, 10, 5, 1, 6, 2, 2, 9, 10, 1, 1, 9, 8, 9, 8, 7, 4, 10, 6, 2, 3, 4, 10, 8, 5, 8, 2, 2, 5, 10, 10, 6, 4, 6, 9, 4, 1 = 356

>The blood ape following Jan asks who has custody of that prisoner tied to one of the pillars, and without waiting for a response, challenges whoever it is to arm-wrestling - in mechanical terms, a quick contest of Strength + Larceny, similar enough to a feat of strength for the Full Moon anima to be applicable - with the aforesaid prisoner and a 'magic whip' as the stakes.

"A magic whip seems less than helpful to us currently, whereas keeping known threats bound and incapacitated is very much in our best interest. I'm glad you seem interested in talking things out, but I've got no interest in your proposal. I don't suggest you try to take me by force either, unless you've got friends in this room willing to help you, in which case he's all yours, no desire to get the shit kicked out of me for fistos sake. Might feel more comfortable if there were some assurance this wouldn't break bad for us, or if there was something on the table that met immediate needs."
Des scratches her head, looking pensive for a second.
"Would probably help if I could articulate what we actually need, but to be honest I'm not too sure right now. Kinda lost in a weird mansion stuck in a blizzard right now, so if you've got anything to help out there, that'd be appreciated."

Mechanically... inviting the blood ape to join debate I guess? Des and Fox never got their join rolls established so I'm not sure where we are in the tick order, so just have some dice, use 'em as needed.
No. 964026 ID: ac57f8

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

> Manacles are indeed an artifact designed for restraining essence users. In addition to supernatural durability, looks like they'd steadily drain motes and disrupt the focus needed to activate most charms.

So 4 dot Manacles of Night from Oadenol's Codex?

> Harmonious essence flows normally prevent that sort of thing, unless there's some broader esoteric maintenance requirement that's being neglected.

Ada Grumbles as she has no way of knowing what exactly the precise issues could be, but she was going to need to do a lot of work already, and she couldn't help but try and do the conceptual calculations for what that could be in her head as to what exactly could cause the build-up of limestone as she did the otherwise mundane work, but she knew that was mostly a moot point until she attuned to the building herself, and could feel the essence flows around her.

Also, Ada is going to spend 3 exp on finishing buying off the 2nd purchase of First Pyrian Excellency.

EXP count (including this post) 13/27 EXP Debt 0
No. 964046 ID: ac57f8

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

"That's a tempting offer, and on my honor, both as the warden of the prisoner and as someone who prides herself as skilled at arm wrestling, I'm implored to take up your offer. After all, you should be a fine enough teacher even if I lose."

She offers her hand, and as soon as the match begins, her arm immediately swells and turns into a talloned paw as she takes the form of a snow lion, contorted with the natural flexibility of a cat and the immense strength behind her in the instant that she was shapeshifting eclipsing even the strongest of Blood Apes, and pushing herself as hard as her muscles can go with reckless abandon.


Str 9+Larceny 0+Stunt + WP for 1 auto-success
No. 964158 ID: f57349

rolled 5, 2, 9, 2, 10, 3, 2, 9, 8, 5, 7, 8, 10, 3, 10 = 93

>4 dot Manacles of Night from Oadenol's Codex?
Technically predating that book, but yes.
The blood ape twitches and snarls with incoherent hatred, twisting his wrist for better leverage as acrid smoke rises from talons wrapped around the paw of what is, unmistakably, some type of cat.

Strength 6, Larceny 3, channeling Conviction.
No. 964164 ID: f57349

Blood ape wins the arm-wrestling contest with four threshold successes, flipping the moose-sized snow lion cub over onto her side.

Everybody with at least three dots in Occult, or any specialized training at all in demonology, will recall that erymanthoi hate cats more than anything, and have difficulty calming down after battle without at least a small taste of blood.
No. 964373 ID: afdebc

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

In moments the samurai stands above the stricken feline, before the enraged Erymanthus. One hand on the hilt of her sword, tense but not yet drawn, and in the other, a bared dagger. Deliberately, she places the blade against the shoulder of the great cat and then drags it across her hide, drawing forth an offering of blood.

"Enough! You have your victory. The prisoner is yours- claim your prize."

So that's a two-action flurry.

That's a called shot with a dagger, against a prone opponent, pulling the blow to do as little damage as possible while still making Fox bleed. Dex 5 + Melee 5 + Specialty 3 + Stunt - Multiple action penalty 2 if we're rolling that / if Fox tries to apply DVs, with an external penalty of -1 for pulling blows, I think.

Followed by a Compulsion-keyword social attack against the blood ape, to back down before this turns into a fight, augmented with an offering of blood from the hated cat to try and sate its bloodlust. Charisma 3 + Presence 2 + Stunt -multiple action 3, Jan will channel Temperance for 5 more dice (she's advocated self control- it should apply), plus 1 auto-success from the Second Presence Excellency. Mastery of Small Manners is up, which makes her effective appearance 4, and provides a non-specific bonus towards following hospitality (which in this case, would mean not attempting to murder one of the blood ape's hosts, or overstepping the terms of the challenged arm wrestling). On the other side, the blood ape has an intimacy of hatred for cats boosting its MDVs, but Jan tried to invoke the prisoner- hoping a possible intimacy towards that creature might offset that. Might be a more potent virtue or motivation boosting its MDVs regardless. The Blood Ape is also likely under an Emotion effect, which will reduce its pools when not acting on that emotion.

All in all, not the best odds, but this may the best chance to salvage this before swords are drawn.
No. 964407 ID: f57349

Can't normally combine personal-combat and social-combat actions in the same flurry like that... but it is (just barely) possible to pray during personal combat time, and appeasing a spirit with offerings of blood clearly qualifies, even if the individual to whom you're praying happens to already be physically present. Only problem (apart from the obvious potential complications of stabbing an ally) is that would be a Performance-based roll, rather than Presence.
No. 964586 ID: f57349

rolled 5, 7, 3, 6, 9, 10 = 40

Okay, regardless of whether it's an argument or an actual brawl, this situation is tense enough to warrant paying attention to the timing. Fisto's tied up and drugged, but everyone else in the Grand Salon (Jan Do, Desert Locust, and Clever Fox) should roll initiative. I'm rolling for the yet-unnamed blood ape hireling, Wits 3 + Awareness 3, not bothering to stunt it.
No. 964589 ID: afdebc

rolled 1, 4, 1, 4, 1, 10, 5, 8, 6, 5 = 45

Wits 3 + Awareness 1 + Stunt, if whatever I last posted carries through. Doesn't really make sense to take another action.
No. 964602 ID: ac57f8

rolled 3, 6, 8, 1, 1, 10, 7, 6, 6, 6 = 54

Clever Fox started rolling the second she lost the arm wrestling contest. She had her plan to go ahead and dodge out of the way of any harm, which was coincidentally out of the way of the blade coming to try and blood-let her, quickly the feline transformation fading back into her 'true' form, with elaborate sashes, flowing sleeves, and an ivory comb in her hair.

Within a second she was in the air, and violence had started. Since, by all accounts, she hadn't violated the letter or even spirit of the challenge, and the Blood Ape had violated a binding agreement and gone into a murderous frenzy, she had a hunch that Jan's code of honor wouldn't let the demon live, and if it died, then he wouldn't be able to take possession of the prisoner, so nothing lost, and nobody would have the magic whip, so a net gain just as if she had won.

That just relied on everyone being capable of murdering the aggressor.


Perception 3+Awareness 3+Stunt (2?)
No. 964603 ID: d9acdc

rolled 6, 8, 3, 1, 8, 5, 4, 3, 1, 6, 3, 8, 5, 10, 7, 9, 2, 9, 10, 10, 5, 3, 6, 6, 10, 4, 10, 2, 8, 6, 6, 9, 9, 6, 10, 3, 4, 1, 4, 8, 5, 5, 3, 10, 4, 7, 10, 5, 9, 10, 8, 8, 1, 9, 3, 9, 8, 8, 2, 6 = 368

Seeing the new guide read to kill Icicle, Icicle ready to kill the guest, and Jan Do ready to pull a knife, Locust tries to intervene and give the nice lady with the nasty sword a chance not to use it.

Rolling to join... Whatever it is we're joining, and using Worldly Illusion.

That's five personal motes spent on Worldly Illusion, putting Des at 19/24 personal, 30/48 peripheral (18 committed) and 9/10 WP which I'd like to restock with a stunt reward if this counts.

Mechanically Join pool is Wits 3, Awareness 3, stunt.
No. 964618 ID: f57349

rolled 7, 7, 10, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 10, 10, 9 = 93

>the Blood Ape had violated a binding agreement and gone into a murderous frenzy
No, so far he's just growling at you in a feral sort of threat display and pinning your arm to the floor. Jan's the one pulling a knife. Roll (Strength or Dexterity) + Martial Arts for the clinch, at -2 if you're going for a two action flurry of grappling + shapeshifting. May also want to consider a rise-from-prone action at some point, since you lost at arm-wrestling hard enough to get knocked down. Blood ape has Strength 6, MA 4, an applicable +1 specialty, bought a success with the second excellency, and once again isn't even bothering to stunt.
> Perception
Should be Wits, which is only 2 for Clever Fox.
Fox and the hired guide are both acting on tick 0, Des on tick 2, Jan on tick 6. Worldly Illusion can target four people apart from the user, so who are you bringing in to the timeout?
No. 964623 ID: d9acdc

Worldly Illusion includes Jan Do, Clever Fox, Blood Ape, Desert Locust... and let's also say Flea Upon the Flank of Pasiap. Deliberately not including the prisoner, although being unconscious might prevent participation anyways.
Since the antagonist needs a name, how about Floating Ribbon?
No. 964630 ID: ac57f8

rolled 3, 8, 3, 1, 9, 6, 6, 4, 9, 5, 10, 2, 10, 3, 5, 7, 10, 7, 8, 10 = 126

> Should be Wits
Sorry, that one is My B.

> Grapple
First of all. Fuck. Second of all, FUCK. Third of all, the Lion form, even if it is weaker than a fully grown lion cub, is more than stronger than the overgrown ape, and she's a better fighter. Her body twists and writhes in un-natural shapes as she starts to shrink and shift into a more humanoid shape, but as she does she uses all of her strength to break the hold of the Ape, her fluid form turning the otherwise ironclad grip into something she could hopefully deal with.

Strength 9+Martial Arts 5+Stunt (2?)+Valor 3-Multiple Action Penalty 2 for 17 dice
No. 964633 ID: f57349

rolled 6 = 6

Ten successes against fifteen, blood ape twists Clever Fox's arm around behind her and yanks at her snowy mane with his off hand, grinding horns against painfully contorted shoulderblades. In mechanical terms, two threshold successes to restrict the torso (applying a -12 internal penalty to her dodge DV and next grapple check), one to the right arm/foreleg (-6 dice to actions using that limb), one to limiting the range of motion of her neck, and one to crush - looks like soak reduces that to minimum damage, but thanks to Bane Weapon that one die is aggravated.

Not much else of significance can happen before tick 2, so Santova should describe the cosmetic effects of the time stop.
>how about Floating Ribbon?
The blood ape responds to this proposal with a look of confusion; Jan Do could use the reflexive motivation-reading from Mastery of Small Manners to note that he considers the name insufficiently macho, and will dislike the "magic whip" even more than he did before if he finds out that's what such weapons are formally called.

After a few deep breaths, he gives Clever Fox some awkward backhanded praise, claiming that if she hadn't "stopped being a cat," he would have been in some sense obligated or compelled to extract and consume all, or at least most, of her bone marrow, which he suspects his new boss (Jan Do) would have disapproved of. He claims not to want such a thing to happen, but frames the possibility as if he lacked any personal agency.
No. 964662 ID: 343d06

rolled 3, 8, 10, 1, 5, 2, 3, 8, 5, 8, 7, 3, 1, 4, 8, 5, 1, 8, 3, 4, 4, 6, 9, 4, 10, 4, 1, 8, 8, 8, 10, 1, 7, 9, 7, 1, 1, 1, 8, 2, 10, 9, 8, 3, 4, 3, 10, 3, 3, 8, 9, 4, 2, 4, 10, 6, 5, 2, 10, 4 = 323

The party finds themselves no longer in hearthstone room of a cold, twisted manse, but instead upon the hide of a great beast, too large to comprehend. Their fingers sink easily into it's flesh, and the pulse of blood flowing beneath the surface is as natural as respiring essence, encouraging all to drink through their skin, growing fat and bloated on power.
"How's 'Feasts on Lions Torment' fit your fancy then?"

Mechanically, I suppose I'll aim, waiting until Jan Do's tick to try and act simultaneously in support of her, doing the whole coordinated action thing. I forget what dice pools that requires, and would appreciate someone explaining how it work again if it's not frustrating to do so.
No. 964818 ID: afdebc

rolled 2, 5, 7, 8, 1, 3, 4, 7, 5, 7, 9, 1, 4, 3, 5, 7, 3, 7, 10, 6 = 104

>he would have been in some sense obligated or compelled to extract and consume all, or at least most, of her bone marrow, which he suspects his new boss (Jan Do) would have disapproved of. He claims not to want such a thing to happen, but frames the possibility as if he lacked any personal agency.
"Indeed I would. Is the matter settled then? You are the victor in this contest, and custody of the prisoner is yours.

"What are your intentions regarding Fisato? If you intend to release the yeti, I must require you to either escort your prisoner home, or accompany them to the perimeter for guard duty. Unlike yourself, we have no accord with them, and I will not trust my companion's safety to the unrestrained whims of an Infernal Monster."

Just meant as dialog, but if dice are needed for social combat, have some.

>How about stationing the demonic goons out front as guards, and moving the food cache to the cold storage room in the basement, instead of bait for wandering monsters where it currently is?
>Stationing them out front as guards means they'll be more likely to get in a fight with some subsequent wave of intruders, rather than, say, already-wounded PCs.

So it looks like the join battle and impromptu wrestling match interrupted Jan before she could do her bloodletting or make her plea- so I get that 2m for the Presence Excellency and the Temperance channel back, as they were never spent in the first place. Stunt award from join battle is another 4m restocked.
No. 964876 ID: f57349

Guard duty outside sounds good - sooner away from this place the better. He also says you should probably bring all that meat to the cold storage room in the pantry before it attracts more trouble. Heard there's a fighting pit down there somewhere, too, complete with some sort of demon-safe lights, if you want a rematch.
No. 965035 ID: d9acdc

rolled 5, 3, 2, 5, 8, 9, 4, 6, 1, 8, 6, 3, 7, 10, 1, 10, 4, 4, 1, 6, 7, 9, 3, 4, 10, 8, 6, 9, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 10, 5, 2, 9, 10, 8, 2, 4, 3, 2, 9, 10, 5, 9, 2, 7, 6, 6, 1, 6, 2, 3, 8, 7, 2, 3 = 336

"You really wanna drag Fisto, maker of bad decisions, out into a blizzard while he's paralyzed and unconscious? Given that both of you have all but admitted you'd come out swinging if given a chance, I don't really like the idea of pairing you two up alone and out of ear shot. Doesn't this strike you as a needless risk boss lady? I don't really want a mob of white haired demon baring down on us, especially when this cursed mansion is so inviting and totally safe to run around in."

Charisma two, performance zero, stunt bonus, and a WP expenditure for an automatic success.
No. 965131 ID: f57349

>You really wanna drag Fisto, maker of bad decisions, out into a blizzard while he's paralyzed and unconscious?
"Given that he's immune to cold, but obviously not to all the dangerous stuff in here, yes I do want that."
No. 965219 ID: afdebc

rolled 10, 7, 1, 7, 2, 3, 3, 5, 9, 3, 3, 9, 3, 2, 8, 4, 4, 9, 2, 6 = 100

Jan Do raises one eyebrow in the direction of her concerned carapace'd companion.

"If you are concerned with either departing and seeking reinforcements, would it not be easier to watch for this in a single location?

"Besides, the Erymanthous has won custody of Fisato; it is not our place to separate them. Our guide prefers to remove its ward from the dangers of the environs, and I prefer to the danger of an Infernal Monster removed from my companions. This would seem to satisfy both parties."
No. 965420 ID: a08df9

rolled 5, 10, 8, 8, 1, 5, 2, 6, 7, 1, 10, 4, 7, 4, 6, 4, 10, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 1, 6, 4, 9, 4, 5, 4, 7, 5, 1, 8, 1, 9, 2, 3, 3, 5, 2, 9, 8, 1, 4, 6, 4, 5, 6, 1, 5, 10, 7, 1, 4, 9, 4, 5, 1 = 301

"Didn't seem like the infernal monster stylist posed too much of a threat to us once we had a chance to catch out wits and actually engage. Kinda feel like stationing a single sentry to watch the our friends who can get the jump on us and take the jade in a wrestling contest isn't much safer when we could be working as a group, watching eachothers back so no one gets ambushed.

And for the record, Tiger Wrestler extrordinaire, Fiasto doesn't have anything to fear from me if he behaves. I didn't want to tie him up in the first place, but it was clear that despite being thoroughly and easily overpowered, he'd rather throw his life away than act civilly. I'd wager that having extra friends watching your back would make him safer, at least safer than having his limp body dumped in a snow drift. You guys don't have to worry about blizzard monsters or anything like that? Rogue spirits who make their courts in storms, or whatever guards this place finding you and coming after you? I'd feel more comfortable if we were all on the same page and trying to help eachother, but if neither of you can control your rage issues, I worry about what you'll get up to out of earshot."
No. 965456 ID: f57349

>You guys don't have to worry about blizzard monsters or anything like that? Rogue spirits who make their courts in storms, or whatever guards this place finding you and coming after you?
You're talking to a rogue spirit, who explains that Fisto IS a blizzard monster - one of those things like Arad the Hunter or Genai or Mount Mostath, but younger and correspondingly less impressive. Until the jsde tablet gets dealt with, this frozen nightmare hellscape is all they've got.
No. 966088 ID: dbae9d

rolled 7, 5, 1, 4, 1, 4, 6, 9, 4, 9, 1 = 51

Coming back in strong with the relevant discussions on guard rotation, Fox offers that keeping them together isn’t a significantly dangerous risk, and they could reasonably be a good help since by all accounts two extra hands was better than 1.

The way that everything should probably play out is the ape, yeti, and Jan all help carry in the meat while Fox rests and Des watches the inside, since Jan can help work in the snow without worrying about the blizzard and it DOES need to be done.

That should probably take three to four hours, and then they swap rotations with her watching the inside of the base and Des standing guard with the Yeti and Blood Ape, then rotate like that until we’re all at operational capacity.

And as a final flourish she adds that it would be an impossible challenge for anyone to teach their martial arts to her as a compulsion keyword nmi effectively issuing a challenge to use Valor to her advantage with manipulation 4, Performance 2, pretending to be helpless 2 and 2 successes on with excellency and 1 from willpower.

Final dice total, 8 with 3 automatic successes.
No. 966100 ID: f57349

Social attack succeeds. Blood ape is willing to teach you First Pulse Style. Fortunately the initial day's training is almost entirely simple movements that can be effectively practiced while hauling heavy stuff through the manse: correct slouching, correct shuffling, correct breathing, correct swaggering, correct up-and-down-stairs, correct dumping-corpse-into-canal (or more generally how to handle a large object without wasting energy or hurting yourself), and something called "slicing the pie" which has almost nothing to do with actual edible pie.
No. 966120 ID: f57349

Des could stand guard on the front porch, watching the horizon with snow-ignoring essence sight, thus keeping Fisto mostly separated from the blood ape but still technically free, while Jan Do stays closer to the wounded, with area-effect surprise-negators as last line of defense against anything sneaky already inside the manse.
If Fisto makes an unexpectedly quick recovery, Flea Upon The Flank Of Pasiap's combat charms would be fully effective, since that initial fight in the hearthroom was direct interference causing measurable delays in Des's efforts to attune to the manse.
Any objections? Other subjects to address before dismissing the Worldly Illusion?
No. 966137 ID: d9acdc

rolled 1, 8, 2, 3, 6, 8, 6, 9, 2, 1, 2, 1, 7, 5, 9, 5, 8, 9, 9, 7, 5, 7, 5, 7, 7, 5, 1, 2, 10, 10, 2, 5, 3, 1, 10, 9, 6, 2, 3, 10, 4, 6, 6, 7, 10, 10, 5, 7, 5, 9, 2, 6, 8, 1, 8, 3, 6, 6, 10, 5 = 342

"Alright big guy" Des says, gesturing at the blood ape as the illusion crumbles and fades "Looks like I'm outvoted, so I'll help you haul your buddy into a snow drift, or wherever it is you wanna dump his body, just stop pining Icicle there so we can get to work packing the meat into the kitchens. Jan Do, probably best if you take watch with Tasnim, and I'll stand guard out here. Icicle, you already took a nap right? Feeling up to some heavy lifting, or did that contest mess up your arm?"

Worldly illusion is dismissed, time continues as normal. If standing guard is perception + awareness then I've got a base pool of six before stunts.
No. 966180 ID: afdebc

rolled 5, 5, 10, 5, 8, 8, 5, 3, 9, 8, 7, 5, 1, 8, 2, 5, 2, 5, 5, 4 = 110

Want to get a move on, some have some quick non-dialog responses.

>it would be an impossible challenge for anyone to teach their martial arts to her as a compulsion keyword nmi effectively issuing a challenge to use Valor
Well, it looks like Jan Do and Clever Fox are both already MA 5, and that Jan doesn't know any form type charms, so the claim is literally correct- nothing to teach.

If pressed, Jan will probably affirm a willingness to aid as she can, and perhaps present patience as a virtue.

Sounds good. Here's some dice for watch, if necessary.

>take watch with Tasnim
The good doctor is otherwise occupied with more pressing duties (surgery) and is not available to take turns in the watch rotation. (Jan will avoid discussing the details of our wounded and vulnerable allies until after the less trustworthy creatures have left the room, if possible).
No. 966184 ID: 0640da

rolled 2, 7, 8, 1, 6, 5, 2, 4, 3, 10, 6, 6, 7, 8, 1, 5, 5, 9, 4, 9 = 108

Patches quietly slips into the Grand Salon after the exalted are finished dealing with the intruders. It's near dawn, and the predators have left the stage-- she walks into the northern end of it, near the False Garden, and starts trying to pry at floorboard and tile to access the pipes in there. This room is almost the last on her shortlist, besides some pipes in the Parlor which she hasn't touched for fear of messing things up and getting on that chucker's bad side again. She intends to kneel down and check the pipe, pulling out one of appropriate size from downstairs and halting the flow of water through this room so she can exchange the bad piping for one that doesn't... well, leak all the pressure out into the room below. Something's not pumping the right volume of water to the room north of here, if the pressure in other parts of the manse is any indication, and she's pretty sure if she fixes that up then she can get water flowing to the northern side of the room again... what is north? She doesn't know, but she's going to check it out when she's done here, see if she can fix that piping too. It wasn't high on her priorities list when she was getting the baths to work.

"Just that room with the angry chucker after this, right, got that throwing hand what hurt my ears and all..." She mumbles to herself, not really giving the ones on watch much attention as she works. "Can't be none mad, Patches, you were as polite and ethical as you could be what with the tools you were given... can't all be good and right, none of that..."

Dexterity 3 + Stealth 0 as Patches attempts to quietly murmur, pry away floorboards and get to work without attracting attention. She wouldn't want to draw attention to herself. Destiny is not invoked, yet. :o)
No. 966191 ID: f57349

Alright, moving on toward midafternoon the next day when Noir's arm-reattachment surgery is finally complete. Hot bath and garden fountain are in semi-functional shape, but it'll take a few more days to scrub accumulated sludge and slime, tighten up various minor problems. Fisto is laying down outside and groaning in pain from time to time. Clever Fox and the blood ape tentatively identified as "Feasts on Lion's Torment" (or "Felt" for short) hauled more than half a ton of stuff in sixty-pound bundles: ten of smoked mammoth meat, one each of dry legumes, wheat, rice, oil, and candied cranberries, and five more of miscellaneous expedition supplies, including a 10' square leather tent and a set of windblade maintenance tools in a padded case with a fancy lock. Perishables have been stowed in a walk-in icebox in the basement, though the door to that room was left open long ago and is now jammed by accumulated frost. Fox has also gotten a day of training in First Pulse Style - one of three needed for the charm Lightning Mental Armament.

There's been some time to rest, a steady fire in the parlor/surgical theater, and fresh apples from the Traveler's Staff planted in the attic, but most of you are still tired, cold, hungry, travelstained, and a little bit disoriented.

Who's taking charge of food prep, and how much are you delegating to the butlerbots?
No. 966207 ID: 5f0ee2

rolled 8, 8, 9, 4, 5, 1, 3, 4, 5, 4, 1, 7, 2, 3, 1, 9, 1, 2, 7, 7, 8, 2, 6, 2, 4, 9, 4, 7, 6, 10, 8, 8, 5, 5, 1, 7, 4, 2, 1, 9, 2, 6, 7, 4, 1, 8, 9, 1, 7, 6, 9, 5, 6, 6, 1, 1, 10, 5, 9, 1 = 303

Desert Locust has no applicable skills when it comes to cooking- she's used to eating trail rations, bartering labor for meals, or simply going hungry. She is however very suspicious of the butlerbots and their food preparation. She keeps her own food separate from the stuff brought in from outside, and, after doing her best to clear the ice blocking to doorway so it's slightly more functional, will attempt to watch the food prep for any foul play. I imagine that's a Craft (Water) or Larceny roll, both of which she has at zero, so base pool of three dice from whatever mental stat is applicable, before adding stunts.

The comforting warmth of the fire is the first thing Noir reacts to as he awakens. He sees Tasnim, resting wearily by the hearth, and begins to quietly panic. He doesn't recognize his surroundings, or the other body in the room, and as such starts running through plans to escape. Medical tools nearby have clearly been used, but this seems unlike any temple or healers hut he's been too- a back ally operation then? Can't afford to be on the hook for whatever treatments they've done, or whatever they're planning on doing to him; organs are best inside their original bodies, he thinks. He's going to attempt to feign unconsciousness until an opportunity to slip away presents itself, making sure to listen closely for footsteps or hollow spaces to avoid wandering into rooms full of people.
That's probably a lot of rolls- Larceny and stamina maybe, to feign unconciousness? Perception + Awareness to scan for rooms to safely sneak into? Dex + Stealth to sneak away I feel confident on.
Mechanically, activating Keen Hearing and Touch Technique.
No. 966252 ID: afdebc

rolled 6, 2, 10, 9, 5, 5, 5, 2, 2, 8, 6, 1, 8, 4, 1, 7, 5, 9, 7, 10 = 112

Tasnim felt worn out. An entire day of nonstop delicate surgery was not nothing- and now, that she had finished, she was left alone with every burden she had pushed to the side. There just wasn't time for how she felt about him, the confusing mystery of why they were here, the holes in her memory, or her own close call against that fur rug.

When the damn fool finally woke, she rushes from her position by the hearth, weariness and other concerns forgotten.

Poking and checking, trying to assure herself she couldn't find any lasting damage, she begins babbling and berating her companion in skytongue "Oh you're awake you idiot how could you do something like that picking a fight with an arm-tearing ape do you have any idea how worried I was or how long it took me to put you back in one piece! If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times you need to be more careful not flying around on that fool board..."

Noir finds himself confronted with a familiar-seeming tied woman in spectacles, a blue dress, and furs (the doctor, evidence suggests) fussing over him and in-between what seem like medical checks, babbling at him breathlessly in a tone that alternates between worried consternation and frustrated scolding (his attempt to play sand-possum well and blown). A sense motive check would reveal these emotions to be genuine, but he, of course, can't understand a thing she's saying to him.

Dice for dice's sake.
No. 966263 ID: afdebc

rolled 5, 9, 3, 4, 10, 2, 7, 4, 1, 8, 1, 10, 2, 4, 5, 10, 3, 1, 5, 4 = 98

>If Jan Do is standing guard at the east end of the grand salon, with Hearing The Unspoken Word active, and you haven't got some sort of magical stealth powerful enough to stop people from hearing you think, she notices more or less as soon as you enter through the west end.

Jan Do finds he watch shift interrupted by the largest rabbit she remembers seeing, carrying an assortment of tools and an oversized quill pen towards the garden-that-was-not-garden. The sight could almost be considered comical, but the Dusk knew well from her own companions that such creatures were not to be underestimated, and an artifact weapon remained potent no matter how fanciful in design.

Patches finds herself challenged by a pale woman, of short stature and dark hair, in loose clothes (fine and formal, but visibly worn) and wearing a sheathed sword. She speaks in skytongue:

"Your face is not known to me, and, despite other failings, I do not recall a fourth Lunar among our number. May I ask who you are, and what your business is here?"
No. 966267 ID: 0640da

rolled 3, 9, 6, 6, 7, 2, 2, 8, 6, 7, 8, 5, 3, 4, 4, 9, 10, 9, 6, 9 = 123

"Oh, what me? Lunar? Awwh shucks, gonna make me blush an all with praise like that. I ain't not one of them gods like me da, I'm Patches. Put 'er there." She offers a paw, seemingly unphased by the danger in the room. "I'm a plumber. Been a plumber. Artist, really, and adventurer most of all, but I'm just doin' what passes fer plumbin in this fancy building and such fer now. Trying to suss out the source a them low water flow." She tamps the floor a few times with her paw. "I woulda made myself known sooner, but with them-- what did you call em? Erymanthous. Yeah, I listened in a lil, bad habit, sure, but I ain't doin' nothin illegal or somenot, just tryin a fix some pipes. Wasser name, then? Hope it's not Fisto, them that there's an awful name."

Let's try to make a good first impression! Charisma 4 + Socialize 1. She's offering a handshake, but doesn't need the Abyssal to take it.
No. 966277 ID: afdebc

rolled 9, 9, 6, 2, 10, 10, 2, 9, 9, 7, 9, 7, 3, 7, 1, 9, 1, 8, 8, 8 = 134

The stranger introduces herself as Jan Do, and returns the ritual grasping of hands (hand and paw, rather) with preternatural poise and grace.

Exquisite Etiquette Style (in addition to helping provide a perfect handshake) provides more than enough autosuccessess on read motivation to confirm that, yes, Patches is earnest in her intent to repair the plumbing.

"May I ask, what turns brought a craftsperson such as yourself to this remote palace, situated as it is far from civilization, in the domain of a powerful spirit and beset by demonic forces?" The Dusk's own memories of reaching this location are conspicuously absent.
No. 966279 ID: ac57f8

rolled 6, 1, 5, 4, 1, 8, 5, 6, 3, 1, 6, 5, 10, 7, 4, 1, 4, 2, 4, 3, 7, 3, 6, 6, 3, 9, 4, 9, 4, 1 = 138


Finish pipes at shortly after dawn, so she takes 5 hours to attune to the manse, throwing an appropriate excellency at it for Int 5+Lore 4+Excellency 9.

So, around 5, Ada finishes up with that and decides to come back to the group, telling Jan as she comes around in Old Realm.

"There is now hot running water, found a way to communicate from almost literally any room of the manse to another, and I met a rabbit, and I'm willing to bet we'd disagree which one is the most important news." Then she notices that Patches is presently there. "Ah, good, I see you've met each other."
No. 966296 ID: 0640da

rolled 5, 4, 8, 1, 3, 3, 1, 1, 2, 1, 8, 10, 4, 3, 9, 9, 3, 3, 2, 3 = 83


"That you'd think so fondly of me, Miss Strix, I ain't none worthy of what kind'ess supposed upon my persons." Patches politely lets go of the handshake, although she really wants to practice making a fuss with it. Her dad always told her if she read her book, she could apply her strengths in all kinds of ways. "I meant to add, Miss Strix, if'n it being you don't need me, I was going to suss out the low water pressure in the north. Ain't none sure what I'm doing here or what designs they had on me when they brought me here, but what I do know is that if'n there's pipes from ancient civilizations, I'm bein one of those most qualified to deal with them, what doin' so all my life. Your assistance... is not necessary, Miss Strix, as it's clear to me that this doin' is a waste of yer considerable talent. Better to let me do it so you can rest."
No. 966298 ID: f57349

Noir can walk, and flex the fingers on that recently reattached arm, but is suffering a total of four levels of lethal damage for an overall -2 wound penalty, that arm won't be back at 100% until those are fully healed, and is at a further -1 internal penalty from thirst. The room is large but sparsely furnished and lit only by a low fire, so stealth seems plausible even by mundane means, if you can avoid tripping on scattered debris. Several exits, but all of them turn out to be locked except for the one with an armed guard, which could reasonably be taken as a bad sign, or at least inconvenient.
Assuming Noir powers up the armor's cloaking device the moment you're distracted, that's not enough successes to confirm his continued presence even if he was doing jumping jacks right in front of you in broad daylight.
Soul Sea Meditation succeeds; unless Des vetos it, Ada is now attuned to the manse.
No. 966301 ID: cea281

“I disagree with your notion that my help won’t be necessary. First, because 2 hands between 2 people is faster than 1 person with 4 hands, as the saying goes, and it’s standard operating procedure to not do ANY kind of maintenance on a magical structure without someone who knows about the mystical side of things to double check that that work doesn’t damage the whole, and for this situation you need a master geomancer who can read the way the essence flows, or someone attuned to the manse who can feel where blockages in essence, and thus the pipes as well, are and I’m both of those things. So, you are stuck with me for the time being while we get this place into tip top shape.”

Spending 16 exp on E3, going into 8exp debt for the 3rd purchase of first pyrian excellency. 16 posts and 3 days remain until Ada has overcome her current hurdle of not having the tools she wants.
No. 966302 ID: f57349

There's a locked box full of magitech tools - specialized for Windblade maintenance, but some will surely have broader applicability - among the supplies Clever Fox hauled in off the porch. Forging a set of lockpicks would be Craft (Air), and using them would be Dex + Larceny, or you could try tracking down the original key, or just forcing the case open if you're feeling particularly reckless and impatient.
No. 966329 ID: 0640da

rolled 10, 9, 3, 5, 5, 3, 5, 5, 1, 8, 8, 10, 7, 9, 5, 4, 5, 10, 10, 5 = 127

Patch's face collapses into one of frustration, and she tries not to show her obvious displeasure at being told that she requires help to do her job. Even if it would be faster, she really does not believe she needs help. "Miss Do! Were't you doing anything that you would need Miss Strix's help with? As I'm sure your concerns are much'm more important than mine... I understand yer wish to help, Miss Strix, but as ye say, two hands are better than one. Ain't it better we accomplish two diff'rent goals fitting of our statures than y'all doubling in on a simple thing even a mortal like me could do? I ain't clueless about thaumaturgy and such."

Attempting a Charisma 4 + Socialize 1 'servitude' attack on Jan Do, hoping she invents a snipe hunt or something to distract the overbearing Exalt. Invoking Destiny for +5 dice.
No. 966331 ID: cea281

rolled 3, 1, 1, 2, 7, 7, 10, 3, 4, 5, 9, 4, 2, 5, 1, 8, 3, 10, 7, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 8, 3, 9, 8, 4, 2 = 137

“I understand that you’re used to working on pipes, and I can see why you might believe that doing pipe work is beneath me. But I have to ask if you’ve ever been in a manse capping a demesne this strong? You might not be able to tell, not being Exalted and all, but this manse is strong enough that it could legitimately change the balance of power in the north in proper condition. With that comes a certain risk of horrific accidents, like tornadoes of Orichalcum that can turn a human into ground meat in under a minute, or live wires of essence carrying thousands of motes that just melt you to death and subsume your soul by virtue of being more powerful, and with how damaged it already is essence overload is a serious risk. So at the very least, for safety reasons, any changes to the architecture of the manse have to be approved by me, and that includes fixing pipes and the methods that you’re using, since I’m at least a certified geomancer, and it’s really easy to build without being resonant to the local essence flows.”

Join debate: Wits 2+Awareness 3 (+Stunt?)

Charisma 2+ Performance 3+Stunt +Pyrian Excellency 5(compelling obedience and following basic safety protocols for arcane devices seems relevant)
No. 966335 ID: f9af3e

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

"...and ye see, she can't trust me, which is why I am asking for summat that help in calming her down and assuring I will not be trippin any one of these calcous tomatoes." Patches attempts to ignore Adamant Strix, and Joins Debate

Wits 3 + Awareness 1 to join debate!
No. 966415 ID: afdebc

rolled 3, 6, 2, 8, 7, 4, 6, 5, 3, 6 = 50

Right, if this is going to formal social combat, I'm going to roll join debate to see what order actions actually need to get resolved in before responding to either social attack, as Jan would be targeted by both of those.

Wis 3 + Awareness 1
No. 966570 ID: afdebc

Okay so with two successes, Adamant Strix acts first on tick 0 with her performance attack, and with one success each, Jan Do and Patches in reality act on tick 1.

Adamant Strix rolls 5 success on her attack, and her argument is one for restraint, caution, and adherence to responsible procedure as opposed to recklessness- that sounds to me like it resonates with Temperance, so Jan Do's MDV would be -2.

Which is good enough to beat my MDVs, unless I bolster them with charm, stunt, or reflexively turn on my anima power. Which I don't think I'm inclined to.

So, hit! The Dusk gives a polite nod of agreement towards the Defiler. (Although I think Illusion or Servitude keyword might make more sense here- since Jan's being convinced of something or talked on board with the cause of safe manse repair, rather than being Compelled to take immediate action).

Thanks to Gwen for counting success and figuring out tick order.
No. 966578 ID: 0640da

rolled 3, 10, 2, 5, 7, 1, 7, 10, 4, 6, 4, 2, 4, 8, 9, 5, 9, 8, 3, 3 = 110

Patches has enough MDV (6) she can outright ignore Adamant Strix, but enough sense she realizes that there's no talking to her when she's like this-- and the Abyssal just sided with Strix as well, meaning her position is untenable. Knowing that, she sighs and decides to propose a different avenue of attack-- this time, at Lady Strix herself.

"You said yourself that if'n there was someone with geomantic instruction in their background OR bein' attuned to the Manse, that they'd be able to suss out the blockages without damaging the geomancy. So, I am willin' to give thbeneft of the doubtums if'n you give me an opportunity and let me attune to the manse." Patches walks over to the heart of the manse. "I ain't none stupid. This place feels powerful. Heart of the manse probably ain't none far. I could attune to it if y'all'd give me a shot'n all that. Then you can't go back on your word, right? I'd be followin' proper operating procedure, from that point on, and I wouldn't need supervision because I'd be Attuned. And since you worded it as an 'or' thing and not an 'and' thing, I suppose that means one substitutes for the other? So state your objections, cause I think that I found an adequate workaround and you should acceptin' it and such."

Attempting an Investigation (3) + Charisma (4) attack on Adamant Strix, abandoning her initial avenue of attack as the turn order has changed. However... as she is asking to attune to a manse-- something a mortal would rarely even get an opportunity to do, let alone something many powerful figures never get an opportunity to do-- I would like to appeal for her Motivation to apply to this roll as well-- to chronicle and experience wondrous and worthy stories (+3?).
No. 966582 ID: ac57f8

Motivation doesn't count as a dice adder, it counts as a +/- for MDV, but since it's playing off of existing.

Since that was at least a 1 dot stunt:
> 3, 10, 2, 5, 7, 1, 7, 10, 4, 6

So 6 successes compared to Dodge MDV 6+Stunt (when factoring in the penalty).

"No, that's a big security risk letting a mortal attune before all the rest of the Exalts, and I'm personally not going to allow you to attune unless you agree to follow standard operating protocol of making sure that any proposed repairs won't explode in your face like literally any third party contractor working on systems in a manse rather than like a petulant child throwing a tantrum that they aren't allowed to fiddle with the nuts and bolts of a doomsday weapon."
No. 966607 ID: d9acdc

rolled 10, 4, 7, 4, 3, 4, 6, 1, 5, 1, 9, 3, 6, 9, 2, 6, 1, 3, 6, 2, 9, 6, 5, 6, 5, 3, 2, 4, 8, 6, 1, 9, 7, 10, 2, 3, 7, 5, 6, 7, 5, 1, 6, 2, 4, 6, 2, 8, 3, 9, 9, 6, 8, 5, 6, 6, 9, 6, 2, 10 = 316

As the armed guard leaves her post outside the makeshift hospital, Noir formulates a plan.
Clearly this woman cares about him- she must have been the surgeon. He'd like to talk to her more, but, even ignoring the other potentially very relevant complications, there's no time right now to talk safely. His window of safety is closing quickly, and even if he has this strange feeling of trust, he doesn't know if she'll blow his cover, or get tracked by someone else- can't risk taking her with him now, not until he knows more.

Weakly, and somewhat awkwardly given that he clearly needs to avoid moving his other arm right now if he can, Noir attempts to pantomime food and water- when the Dcotor turns around to grab a bottle of wine from her bag, he takes his chance and slips outside through the previously guarded door, suit doing it's best to cloak him despite the as-of-yet unrepaired seam.

Noir is activating the stealth capabilities on his suit, and heading up to climb the wall into the attic where the fruit tree is planted. Initially he just wants to gain a better vantage point, watch whatever argument is unfolding from somewhere higher up, but he is pleasantly surprised to find something to eat at his destination of choice.
No. 966610 ID: afdebc

rolled 9, 5, 1, 6, 2, 1, 9, 9, 5, 10, 7, 8, 10, 2, 8, 8, 10, 1, 9, 8 = 128

We she turns around, Celestial wine in-hand, the No Moon is greeted by the sight of a now-empty room, as her patient had apparently chosen this moment to fly the coop.

"Emissary take that idiot!" she curses in her native rivertongue. "I knew I should have stripped him out of that fool suit, or tied him down for good measure. Can't even stay put long enough for me to finish...!"

She hurries, moving quickly towards the door to the Grand Salon, hoping she'll be able to catch the Night between her and the others before he has a chance to vanish to who knows where.
No. 966611 ID: 4bf9ee

rolled 5, 1, 8, 3, 4, 2, 7, 3, 4, 10, 4, 5 = 56

As JL has pointed out, I botched compassion somewhere in all of this. So, MDV fist in addition to Dodge MDV applies.

As Patches makes her argument, a tension that had been building quietly like water being raised by a fraction of a degree per minute broke, and a rope made of white hot fire snaked around her neck, pulling her as high into the air as she could manage.

“This isn’t a debate, and I’m choosing to treat you like a grown adult who should understand the basic principles of command chains and deference to expertise. You should also understand that ‘Don’t make changes to something that doesn’t belong to you without permission’ is one of those things that children around the world learn. So if you don’t want to be treated like a child, behave like an adult who is doing labor under an architect.

Join battle is

Wits 2+Awareness 3+Past Life 3+Open Palm Caress for 3 successes +Stunt+1 WP success and everyone watching has to have a higher dodge MDV to not think that patches started it, including patches.

Also spending 1 WP on suppressing delusion if it doesn’t beat my dodge MDV of 6 right now
No. 966815 ID: 0640da

rolled 4, 2, 7, 8, 3, 4, 1, 9, 4, 7, 8, 6, 2, 8, 10, 9, 4, 7, 3, 4 = 110

Adamant Strix's megalomania compelled her to try and teach the insubordinate rabbit a lesson, but things may not have worked out for her as she'd hoped in the end. Her open palm caress confused one of the targets-- Tasnim, a doctor lost and confused in the chaos as she sought out Noir, who arrived late and left early, slipping out to watch and leaving with hoverboard in hand, injury not completely healed. Adamant Strix made good use of her powers to send psychic tendrils to capture her victim, but Jan-Do responded swiftly when she saw the code of honor was not being followed. Resisting the cries of the Neverborn, she struck out once, twice, a dozen times with her blade, trying to sever the connection with force-- and glimsed a past life where she had done just that. During the chaos, Destiny saw the threat the Infernal posed to her favored child and intervened in the only way she knew how-- with an explosion. This explosion disoriented Adamant Strix, but not as much as what would come afterwards-- in the bright demon-searing lights of the chandelier, the confused infernal tried to direct everyone with steps to seal the essence venting in the room, but made a critical mistake even a novice bricklayer would have noticed-- and did, before getting thrown out an open door. Before she could point this out, Tasnim made her own moves to end the conflict and seal the eruption, shifting into a giant mammoth and trying to snatch the bunny away from the psychic hold. Jan Do struck out as well, capturing the lost feeling of severing this force and giving control of the rabbit to the mammoth, who promptly threw the rabbit-- percieved to be the one who started this whole conflict. As she splashed into the slimy waters of the fountain, Patch's head became clear and she achieved a sort of minor enlightenment-- she knew the steps that could be taken to seal the venting essence, and also knew herself to be the only one who could do so.

-4 XP to buy Craft (Earth) to 3.
No. 966816 ID: 533b4f

Summary of the combat (possibly ongoing but there is a lot)

After the initial grapple, Ada lifted patches in the air, Jan tried to get in on the action and free Patches, failed, Noir scrambled up the vines, and then destiny conspired to make the manse explode kind of proving Ada’s point for her.

As Ada was going to use the far better example of why doing repairs without checking for how they hold up with the local geomancy, Tasnim turned into a mammoth and helped Jan pull Patches from the force choke, and threw the rabbit into the gardens before Ada was capable of expressing her feelings on the subject in a more eloquent manner.

And now the present.
No. 966817 ID: 0640da

rolled 8, 6, 10, 5, 1, 5, 10, 5, 3, 4, 4, 1, 6, 6, 1, 5, 6, 4, 9, 5 = 104

Patches throws up her arms in surrender and tries to pull herself out of the muck. It's not worth getting into a fight about anything right now, she's got something incredibly dangerous to do and she might be the only one who can do it. Her movement is slowed by the pond slime but she hopes the fight doesn't continue.
No. 966822 ID: afdebc

rolled 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 3, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 5, 6, 1, 4, 5, 4, 7, 10, 7 = 96

Seeing Adamant Strix recoiling in pain from the now-lit chandelier, the pachyderm moved her great bulk in front of the illumination, granting relief and shade. A trunk jab in the direction of the ongoing burn of the manse's essence, and a trumpet that was more an frustrated huff served to wordlessly convey the message to deal with that.
No. 966954 ID: 0640da

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

"She ain't able to do it." Patches speaks up from behind the mammoth, moving by. "Ain't got the mindset for it. Somthin' you develop'n all after years of experience." Her paws leave mucky prints as she walks by, stretching her shoulder and rotating it. "I ain't seen nothin' like this before, but that don't mean I ain't none unfamiliar with what has been goin on. I hit my head a bit when you threw me, but I think it's clearer than it has no none right to be." Patches makes a gentle push on the beast. "Move it and take her to safety. I ain't want nobody hurt if I'm wrong..."

Patches pulls out her brush, and pulls out a cloth. She wipes off the bottom of her soles, then puts the cloth back into her brush and turns it a few times on the handle. There's a couple clicking sounds... the ink on the end of the tip turns a cool, shimmering blue, like a sky. Putting some of her essence into the area around her... "Mighty pologoies about them lights, Miss Strix. Didn't realize they was what was angerin' you and gettin you in a tiffy, but this room here's about to get bright. I need to see everythin' I'm doin, so if ya'll move to a safe distance..." She fuels the chandeliers a little more, making sure they won't go out during her patch job. Then she takes her brush and starts to move... delicately, she wishes. It would be great if she looked like she was dancing, but to the outside observer, it looks like a bunny taking a few steps, pausing, slashing at the ground a few times with a brush and leaving strange markings on the ground. She doesn't exactly inspire confidence... her fur glistens with sweat. She doesn't know what'll happen if she fails-- doesn't want to know. What's more important, right here and right now, is to run her brush against the surface of the manse floor, painting out diagrams-- soothing pictures, she thinks.

She don't know much about manses, but she knows about cities. The thing about cities is, even if you don't believe in that sort of thing, they breathe. Pipes take in liquid and move it somewhere else. Vents take in air and move it somewhere else. Cities breathe, they grow, they contract, they expand. Through mundane means, at times-- a man moves his business, destroys a family home, devastates a thousand jobs. A city sector, shuttered-- like it up and died. But sometimes, that sort of movement lets the city breathe, lets new life flourish, lets new faces take the wheel, makes room for smaller businesses-- revitalizes an economy, breathes it new life. And sometimes, just sometimes, art can have an influence on how things turn out.

When she was 7, she painted a picture on a wall. Her favorite baker, a nice old woman who'd give her bread even when her mother died and she didn't have any money to speak of, had passed. The neighborhood was in mourning. But she liked to think that mural she drew... she spent months on, it brought some comfort. It healed that neighborhood, averted the worst outcome. She doesn't know if that was the truth, that her painting pushed others through hard times, or if people just forgot... healed on their own. But she knows that it made her feel like the world was healing, and through her eyes, it felt like the rest of the world knew it too. She's hoping that maybe manses are the same way. Maybe, if you paint them just right, a calming picture, they settle down... that their essence vent-- essence vent? What a fancy word. Could relax. Get some time to breathe. Maybe not melt down half the manse, yeah.

When she finishes, a spiraling diagram of dozens of wildflowers, bushes and trees, reaching into the swirling vortex that made her skin tingle-- an offering, like the one in the garden that she saw, that inspired her with the answer. Someone made that beautiful garden out there that just felt so real... maybe a house like this needs a garden to feel calm. This might make for a poor substitute, but... she's hoping it'll do the trick.

Patches performs a Patch Job with the lowest of Intelligence 4 + Occult 3 / Lore 3 / Craft (Earth) 3, and takes on all the risks so nobody else needs to get hurt. Trying to interfere with this terrifying storm of essence might scare off lesser creatures, but she held no fear as she brushed against the sparking energy building up in front of her-- hopefully able to apply her Valor 5. And, if this is a new scene, why not Destiny 5 as well-- it's her own destiny that caused this rupture so much as will fix it, too.
No. 966956 ID: d9acdc

rolled 4, 9, 1, 6, 9, 10, 6, 1, 3, 6, 2, 1, 4, 7, 2, 10, 4, 10, 10, 8, 6, 6, 1, 10, 10, 6, 2, 8, 5, 4, 3, 2, 8, 2, 10, 4, 6, 1, 10, 9, 8, 6, 7, 3, 6, 2, 2, 10, 6, 1, 8, 7, 6, 6, 7, 1, 6, 2, 1, 1 = 322

As the wine-defending doctor carries her precious cargo into the grand salon, following Noir's tracks, he's thankful she gets distracted before finding her quarry. Not too quickly, so as to maintain a quiet profile (not realizing there's a certain Belle-Letterist nearby who can hear his heartbeat no matter how well hidden he is) Noir begins to lay some false tracks, heading towards the hole in the attict, then carefully walking backwards over his steps to return to a lower balcony with a better vantage point. Hopefully it will appear as though he has left the building, throwing off potential pursuers while he keeps an eye on things below, and finds an opportunity to restock his vital needs.

I imagine counter-tracking would fall under survival just as well as tracking would- maybe larceny applies though, for throwing people off your trail? Int or Perception seems like the natural attribute. Zero, four, three and five respectively.
No. 966969 ID: f57349

Patch job succeeds with a threshold of ten. Not only is the vent closed off good as new by marks on the floor that seem like an elegant extension of geometric motifs from the central mosaic, the whole manse's magical structure is slightly less tangled and turbulent now, and a thin trickle of (initially) clean water has begun to emerge from the fountain in the garden.
No. 966970 ID: 0640da

rolled 5, 8, 6, 7, 10, 8, 9, 9, 10, 8, 3, 7, 1, 8, 7, 2, 3, 7, 9, 9 = 136

"...whew! Now weren't that one a real worrybother. Someone should probably help me make this mural permanent sometime, cause this thingamajig only buys us time as is and the paints ain't exactly walkway compliant." Patches finally lets out a sigh of relief and slides down against a wall next to Jan Do, trying to strike up conversation. "You like it, Miss Do?"
No. 966972 ID: f57349

That's either a failure or a botch. Mammoth isn't providing effective shade (probably neglected to account for the mirrors all around the perimeter), and may be inconveniencing other escape efforts.
No. 966981 ID: de7d73

Given that much, and the fact that she had little to worry about for the essence vent since she was aware that it was going to be done in the next few seconds, she quickly exited to the temporary hospital room/forward operating base in these unexplored territories, and since she’s basically burning fumes already, she quickly falls asleep to take a nap to start recovering from fatigue penalties and hopefully recover some motes while the people not being actively unmade did whatever they were intending on doing.

As per discussions in the discord, it’s being decided that Ada had retroactively attuned to the manse with the Stone of Acrid Understanding, as she needs to learn skills ASAP, and 9 weeks is untenable from a mechanical perspective to finish out the suite of mundane craft skills. Since it’s a 3 dot manse that is an extra 9 exp debt (as also discussed in the Discord)
No. 966985 ID: afdebc

>"You like it, Miss Do?"

>marks on the floor that seem like an elegant extension of geometric motifs from the central mosaic
>a spiraling diagram of dozens of wildflowers, bushes and trees, reaching into the swirling vortex

The warrior offers a respectful nod in the artist's direction, and answers in skytongue "I am not well-versed in the the criticism of compositions of this nature, but the work is well-done, elegant, and pleasing to the eye."
No. 966994 ID: afdebc

rolled 9, 10, 9, 5, 3, 8, 2, 8, 1, 10 = 65

The mammoth melts away, revealing an annoyed blonde in spectacles.

"Yes, how good of you to repair the problem you yourself caused, picking fights with my colleague. Who are you?"

That's one irritable exchange in skytongue (hopefully the rabbit speaks something other than old realm, or she'll be relying on Jan to translate), without making eye contact longer than a glare- as she is busy surveying the dull-creeping vines for signs of Noir's passage (doesn't seem like they'd get much sunlight in here, but growing things are persistent, especially with time on their side).

Perception 3 + Awareness 1 + Stunt
No. 966995 ID: f57349

You spot a blurry silhouette up on the third floor (attic) balcony, about the size of your wayward patient but impossible to positively identify.
No. 966996 ID: 0640da

rolled 6, 2, 6, 10, 9, 5, 1, 9, 3, 10, 9, 2, 8, 1, 4, 9, 9, 6, 3, 3 = 115


She guesses they're speaking Skytongue now, and transitions over to her native tongue. "I ain't started nothin, as a mild rebuke to these asparagus you be castin'... not an explosion or a fight none. But I ain't here to bicker none, thems for impolite folks. Name's Patches, which is ironic cause I just patched somethin' up, but irony tends to be what how my life operates. Pleasure to meet livin' gods that what ain't my da." Patches offers her paw for a good shake. "Thanks much, Miss Do! I'm available for commission if ever you what wanted something pretty to wear to some ball or somesuch. Can't take all credit for this one though, it's based on them flowers and bushes outside. Didn't get a good look, but they're quite pleasin, you think?"
No. 967149 ID: f57349

Chandelier will stop glowing in at most three hours, if nothing else charges it up further. Could spend that time asleep or meditating, or get restless, search for a safer exit or at least something to amuse yourself. Also, how long has it been since you ate a decent meal?
No. 967150 ID: afdebc

rolled 5, 6, 3, 8, 1, 9, 5, 3, 9, 2, 8, 9, 2, 7, 3, 7, 4, 1, 1, 3 = 96

"Asparagus indeed." Tasnim mutters, taking the proffered paw. "Please try to refrain from causing any additional disasters or distractions, I already have one wayward patient in need of care, possible two" she finishes, glancing between the lighting and the door Adamant Strix left the room through.

She release's Patches hand, and inclines her head in Jan Do's direction, clearing trusting her to handle the interloper as necessary.

Tasnim spends 3 personal to change shape to a woodpecker, and then flies upward, heading for the distortion in the ornamental, artificial vines.

Not sure if that's going to be an opposed or not, so have some dice.

Tasnim probably hasn't eaten since the surgery started.
No. 967151 ID: afdebc

>I'm available for commission if ever you what wanted something pretty to wear to some ball or somesuch.
Jan Do politely demures- explaining she rarely desires to appear other than she is, and that her manner of dress holds some symbolic and ritual significance.
No. 967156 ID: 4bf9ee

She’s taking a nap, since it’s been over 8 hours of labor since her last few hour nap, and it’s been 25-50 hours since she eaten of drank anything since she’s been so wrapped up in everything she just forgot to eat or drink. So she absolutely will be facing a -1 penalty from thirst, -1 penalty from fatigue, and a -0 penalty from hunger for a total of -2.
No. 967227 ID: 0640da

rolled 6, 4, 7, 4, 7, 8, 2, 10, 7, 1, 3, 9, 4, 7, 1, 3, 10, 4, 8, 9 = 114

Patches shakes her Nibsplitter and removes a few herbs from it... she's running low. Not to mention she's out of vegetables... so she just has some tea leaves, basically. Nose twitching, she decides she's going to seek out a kitchen. "Miss Do, do you mind providing me some protection? I'm going to go look for food for us. If I have to, I'll graze..."
No. 967286 ID: f57349

The same stairwell (just east of the dining room) which Adamant Strix led you through on the way to the forge and baths continues down to the cellars, where an arched hallway 15' wide extends through almost the full length of the manse from east to west. West end is a massive pantry, 40' east-west by 50' north-south, row after row of floor-to-ceiling stone shelves, mostly bare except for those few new sacks of grain still dusted with snow from the front porch. There's a 20' square gap in the shelving around the northeast corner, where the floor is strewn with potsherds as thickly as a pile of autumn leaves.

Past the pantry is the cold room, which Desert Locust seems to have somehow locked themselves inside.

South of the cold room and west of the kitchen, directly under the baths, is a roughly 30' square room that's very dark and smells like soap.

North of the main hallway, between the pantry and the stairs, is a 30' square room covered in elaborate carvings, statue of a human figure in the exact center.

South, opposite the tomb, is a long room barely wider than the stairway with much cruder carvings on the walls.

The actual kitchen is about 30' east-west by 50' north-south. Two long stone counters with cabinets underneath, hooks and racks up above - mostly empty, but the minimal selection of pots, pans, spoons, knives, and other implements should be sufficient if there aren't any elaborate feasts scheduled, and you could always hammer out replacements in the forge. One bin is full of dried peat, usable as fuel for the fireplace in the southeast corner, and for those three large ovens with brass doors along the west wall, directly under the boiler room. Narrow spiral staircase leads up to a secret door in the south wall of the dining room.

Only unexpected feature of the kitchen is a gilded rack, almost like a small shrine, on the south end of the west wall (between doors to a small lavatory and the presumed wine cellar), holding four porcelain masks: a young woman with short hair and wide eyes, a pale woman with slightly curly hair and a serious expression, an old man with wide cheeks and bushy eyebrows, and a tired-looking woman with a small black star on her right cheek.
No. 967300 ID: afdebc

rolled 1, 8, 3, 8, 2, 10, 6, 1, 9, 10, 4, 1, 4, 8, 9, 7, 1, 7, 5, 7 = 111

>"Miss Do, do you mind providing me some protection? I'm going to go look for food for us. If I have to, I'll graze..."
As the surgical suite is not longer in need of close supervision, the Dusk escorts the circle's guest to the kitchens (though, it turns out that of the two of them, Patches has better idea where said kitchens are located).

>Past the pantry is the cold room, which Desert Locust seems to have somehow locked themselves inside.
The Abyssal gives the sealed portal a skeptical look over for traps or other complications that could have resulted in this situation (is the latch or lock on the outside?) and then, if she finds nothing amiss, tries the door.

Wits 3 + Awareness 1 + Stunt, I'm assuming. Plus more dice if any needed.
No. 967318 ID: f57349

Freezer door lock is indeed on the outside, and opens easily enough when you feed it a mote.

While Patches is unpacking herbs, a wax tablet slips out - something she picked up from the office upstairs. It's inscribed with highly formal strategic plans in an archaic dialect of Old Realm, only a single page out of dozens, but military jargon has suffered so little drift over the intervening centuries you can figure out most of the key words. Seems to be a plan for revenge against the early Shogunate, and, beyond the superficial grammar, represents reasoning about as coherent as Time Cube. Analyzing those logical flaws, cross-referenced with various tidbits of prior knowledge (including previously baffling minutia of the memory of your own assassination) would allow you to derive enough of the Scripture of the Expectant Maiden to learn the charm Secrets of Future Strife after three days of work.
No. 967353 ID: 0640da

rolled 5, 2, 6, 8, 7, 8, 5, 2, 1, 7, 3, 10, 10, 3, 6, 8, 6, 3, 9, 3 = 112

While Patches does inventory on the pots and pans, she hears the portrait crack open and her fur stands on end... she immediately swings her weapon to a readied position and faces the door. "What's goin' on there, Miss Do?" She wants to take a closer look at the masks, but she's got her ass handed to her enough for one day and wants to act more proactively to deal with danger. At least have her maul out, anyways.
No. 967354 ID: 0640da

Functionally readying weapon for a potential combat, even though I OOCly know it is not coming(?)
No. 967490 ID: d9acdc

rolled 9, 5, 5, 5, 1, 5, 1, 10, 8, 7, 2, 2, 9, 9, 10, 1, 7, 10, 10, 6, 3, 6, 1, 6, 6, 5, 1, 10, 2, 9, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 8, 6, 6, 4, 9, 6, 1, 6, 3, 7, 5, 10, 6, 3, 7, 8, 7, 10, 5, 2, 8, 8, 10 = 338

Silent as a mouse would be an understatement as Noir carefully skirted the unsettlingly canny pursuer. Hoping that false tracks buy a few minutes, he works his way around the walls, climbing from balcony to balcony until he's just above the makeshift surgery room again. Checking first to see if he's still being tailed, he listens carefully to the vibrations of the woman in blue's breath; steady, not too deep, slight whistle through the nose means she's sleeping, making it the perfect point to pilfer some parchment. He sneaks inside, makes use of her mapping supplies, and writes a quick note to Tasnim in flametongue:

"If you want me to trust you, tell your companions I am lost in the snow, and meet me alone behind closed doors. Don't worry about agreeing upon a location, I will come to you when you have safely avoided suspicions and found a secure spot away from prying eyes."

Dex five, stealth one, suit four, stunt, for sneaking away, and dex five, larceny four, stunt, for taking Ada's mapping supplies while she sleeps.
No. 967496 ID: d9acdc

rolled 10, 8, 1, 9, 3, 4, 10, 3, 3, 3, 2, 6, 3, 10, 2, 5, 5, 6, 6, 3, 5, 9, 9, 7, 6, 7, 2, 6, 10, 5, 1, 2, 9, 1, 1, 7, 2, 6, 4, 8, 10, 2, 7, 5, 3, 3, 10, 3, 4, 3, 6, 4, 6, 9, 6, 2, 9, 9, 7, 6 = 323

Des rubs her arms, teeth chattering as Jan frees her from what could have been an icy tomb.

"Thanks, I got careless trying to fix the place up so the butlers would have a good place to store food, let the door swing closed on me. If I had to bust the door down, that would have defeated the purpose somewhat. Who's your new friend? You seem to have a knack for accruing new expedition members."

Turning to patches, she calls out "That's an awful big pen you got there! You of similar disposition to blood apes, looking to swing at anything that moves, or are you more interested in deescalation?"

Des is using amethyst awareness to look around for foul play, checking to see if there's hidden mechanisms/doors in the ice box, some method of remotely closing or opening doors, a rogue butlerbot, or if she did in fact just get careless.
No. 967499 ID: 0640da

rolled 1, 4, 3, 1, 1, 1, 10, 6, 10, 4, 4, 8, 9, 2, 2, 4, 6, 10, 8, 3 = 97

"Ah! No, sorry. Just havin' what were normal luck, only my normal luck ain't involve gods after my hide." Patches lowers her pen and holds out a paw for a shake. "I'm Patches. You normally trap'n yourself inside an ice square pantry? Or did you get lost lookin for what em call freezy treats? Can't blame you, ice 'n all is delicious when what you add flavor. Learned a few recipes with alchemy in 'cademy fore the incidinite, what."

[b]Patches takes a look around the freezer as well, giving a helping roll to Des if she can.[/i]
No. 967507 ID: afdebc

rolled 1, 7, 9, 7, 6, 1, 2, 6, 1, 2, 5, 10, 9, 8, 1, 1, 6, 7, 5, 6 = 100

Given the standard to which the palace has been built, Jan Do silently notes the inability to open the pantry from the inside as a deliberate omission. It seems somewhat more likely that an architect or craftsperson of this level of skill wanted the ability to lock persons inside than that they would make such an oversight.

>Who's your new friend? You seem to have a knack for accruing new expedition members.
"It is a knack that does seem to pair naturally with sentry duty" she answers wryly, in skytongue.

Jan do introduces Desert Locusts to Patches in Reality, and vice versa.

The Dusk caste moves to catch the tablet before it can be damaged against any harder surface, and then finds herself momentarily engrossed, attempting to understand the fractured logic, and wrestling with the echos of her own memory. She offers distracted thanks to Patches for the find during this perusal.
No. 967508 ID: f57349

The ice is more than an inch thick in places, too thick for essence sight to clearly see through, so Patches uses the chisel-hard tip of her enormous feather pen to loosen it up. Underneath, the walls are mostly plated with what seems like green glass - actually a form of ice from near the Elemental Pole of Air, so intensely cold it can't be thawed by anything less than a roaring furnace.

Speaking of which, there's also at least one gray crystal hemisphere set in the icebox wall which Patches "helpfully" activates. That light causes Desert Locust's exposed skin to erupt in flames - no damage from the first interval, miraculously enough, and there's plenty of loose ice and meltwater within arm's reach to start on extinguishing it if you dive out the door. Big room with all the shelves between icebox and kitchen is still unlit, but if Des did somehow stick around in thus-illuminated areas, the light would also be draining attribute dots at a rate of one per three actions.
No. 967512 ID: d9acdc

rolled 5, 10, 10, 7, 9, 5, 10, 1, 3, 9, 6, 9, 10, 9, 8, 3, 4, 1, 8, 10, 10, 9, 4, 2, 3, 3, 6, 9, 5, 5, 8, 4, 3, 10, 2, 4, 1, 9, 3, 5, 3, 3, 9, 3, 8, 7, 1, 3, 9, 10, 7, 4, 4, 10, 10, 3, 3, 7, 2, 1 = 349

Des bolts for the door, and thinks about running back to the main hall to grab her poncho, but wait nearby outside the light's baleful influence to talk to Jan Do and Patches first, explaining that she "doesn't do well with sunlight." Some kind of allergic reaction which often gets mistaken as a sign she worships monsters or brings ill to towns. She's never had truck with malign beings from beyond creation before, doesn't intend to bring famine and ruin and whatnot, although the newfound ability to turn into a bug monster and the talking claw skates grafted onto her feet are new and somewhat worrisome developments.

"I don't want to go without my poncho for much longer, in case there's any more surprise lighting incidents, but I'm worried that the mechanical servants around here are going tamper with the food, mess it up somehow so it's not safe to eat anymore. This place gives me the willies honestly, like there's something nasty lurking around just waiting to get the jump on us."

If it's safe to do so, I'll try and roll to find foul play in the food prep, and some sort of knowledge check on the figures adorning the gilded rack.

All mental stats are at three, occult is at three but craft water and larceny (both of which I imagine are relevant when looking to see if someone's poisoned your food) are both at zero.
No. 967558 ID: 0640da

rolled 5, 6, 4, 4, 1, 8, 5, 2, 2, 1, 3, 3, 2, 9, 5, 2, 6, 6, 5, 5 = 84

Patches is becoming exceptionally good at turning on lights that harm people. She's a little worried if she keeps this up she'll end up 'god of harmful light' or something when she's older and has more of that essence stuff. "Anythin' else you're allergic to, stranger? I was about to prepare lunch fer all of us, although the selection's a bit lacking... only grains, as far as I can see." She wanders over to a wall panel to communicate with, punches in a few good guesses for where Tasnim might be, and speaks through the tubes. "Miss Mammoth, yer presence is requested in the kitchen. Maybe wrap things up and come what over? The contact information for this room if you wanna speak back the other what way is up-down-down-up-up-down-up-down. Thank you..." She pulls away from the panel. "But if it's tamperin' yer worried about, I gots me a solution what that could make things easier. Ever seen starch glue? I can make a modification, if I get me the ingredients... well, I ain't wanna spoil too many details, it's better y'all don't know how it's made and just how it works."

[b]Patches is going to make a few calls to some heavily trafficked rooms, based on the information Ada gave her earlier and cross-referencing it with the rooms she actually knows about, trying to call out to Tasnim. If she hasn't just used her Destiny up, I'd like to apply it here to make it go to the right room, luckily.[b]
No. 967561 ID: afdebc

rolled 3, 6, 8, 3, 9, 6, 10, 4, 5, 10, 9, 1, 3, 7, 1, 4, 6, 1, 9, 4 = 109

>Speaking of which, there's also at least one gray crystal hemisphere set in the icebox wall which Patches "helpfully" activates. That light causes Desert Locust's exposed skin to erupt in flames
Jan Do will attempt to deactivate the light, if such a thing is possible without outright destroying it, or somehow withdrawing the mote of essence bestowed upon it. In the case an "off" switch is not available, covering the offending fixture with one of the surviving pans might be sufficient to ward off further accidental exposure. If successful, this should allow the casteless lunar to resume her search.

>She's never had truck with malign beings from beyond creation before, doesn't intend to bring famine and ruin and whatnot, although the newfound ability to turn into a bug monster and the talking claw skates grafted onto her feet are new and somewhat worrisome developments.
Desert Locust's earnest attempt to reassure her companions is met with a wry chuckle.

"We are all monster here, I'm afraid. Anathema one and all, to the eyes of the Immaculate faith." Her amusement fading, she muses on the matter at hand. "The demon warned the lights were harmful- it is odd they are also selective. By whatever means this light tells friend from foe, it has so far only seen fit to sear two of our number."

>I was about to prepare lunch fer all of us, although the selection's a bit lacking... only grains, as far as I can see.
The Dusk interrupts, and directs the god-blooded hare's attention to the oversized saddle bags >>961179 that had been moved to the kitchen for storage the night prior.
No. 967968 ID: f57349

Wits 3, Survival 0, -2 wound penalty, two-die stunt, one success.
Perception 3, Survival 1, no stunt for the actual tracking, also one success. It's a tie. Tasnim isn't fooled into wandering out onto the roof, but diligently following Noir's footprints around all afternoon will bring her no closer to catching up with his current position.

When Tasnim next checks through her inventory, this note is tucked among the medical supplies, ink still wet, scribbled on a scrap of high-grade vellum in some baffling foreign language.
No. 967982 ID: f57349

One success on Intelligence + Lore isn't enough to find an off switch. The light tingles unpleasantly on Jan Do's skin but not injurious. Covering it up with a frying pan or debris is easy enough, and ice soon holds the cover in place. Dimmer glows from beneath the thick crust of mundane ice suggest other light sources further back in the freezer, which apparently produce no heat.

> knowledge check on the figures adorning the gilded rack.
> rolled 5, 10, 10, 7, 9, 5, 10
They're naturally material spirits, but not elementals. Former humans, somehow transfigured into an entirely novel category of being. Direct prayer or other donation of essence would probably be sufficient to wake any of them up.
No. 968313 ID: d9acdc

rolled 4, 4, 10, 1, 10, 1, 3, 1, 10, 4, 10, 1, 8, 10, 10, 2, 2, 10, 4, 1, 7, 6, 8, 8, 3, 5, 7, 8, 3, 8, 5, 7, 2, 6, 7, 10, 7, 4, 10, 3, 1, 5, 8, 10, 2, 6, 2, 9, 5, 7, 4, 6, 5, 2, 5, 1, 3, 9, 4, 10 = 334

Desert Locust, once again the first person to become aware that some unseen force is present and potentially listening, makes the nature of the statues know, and in a hushed tone worriedly suggests they might want to avoid unnecessary prayers given in their direction. If the uninvited-guest-turned-guide is to be believed, which Des thinks is wise given the unpleasant feeling of tension following her, then a malevolent force has twisted this place, and whatever dwells within represents a bit of a threat.

"Do you put much stock in all that? The texts I mean. Immaculates have never done me any favors, don't much care for people with big sticks telling others who's fit to live and who needs to be run out of town."

Des makes it known she wants to make her way back to the main room before being informed the lights are a problem there as well. So, she instead searches for an alternate way back to the surgery parlor that doesn't go through the grand salon.

Probably an Intelligence + lore roll for navigation? Survival would normally apply, but lore is the skill for geomancy, which seems more relevant inside a manse than wilderness skills. If I'm correct, that's Int 3, lore 1.
No. 968317 ID: d9acdc

rolled 9, 7, 1, 1, 9, 9, 10, 8, 10, 1, 6, 2, 2, 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 4, 6, 1, 5, 5, 3, 7, 4, 3, 5, 9, 7, 2, 7, 6, 2, 9, 2, 8, 9, 2, 9, 6, 7, 6, 5, 7, 5, 9, 5, 2, 10, 1, 7, 5, 6, 3, 6, 7, 8, 8 = 349

Noir, in the process of trying to actually shake Tasnim, overestimates his ability to break away, and catches himself trapped in the same room as her, trying to stay as still as possible while balancing on top of the door frame the medic "reading" his note now occupies.

A sleeping Ada mumbles something to do with a "sloped qaf" and the itchy rock she found there, although only Tasnim actually understands the barely intelligible somniloquy.

Dice for holding still in the corner of the ceiling, stealth and maybe athletics?
No. 968329 ID: f57349

The room in the basement directly under the parlor/surgical theater has more elaborate tomb-engravings on the walls, and remains of a statue which was apparently tipped over and smashed. Under the former pedestal is a four foot by seven foot vertical shaft, thirty feet deep. The moldering remains of a rope dangle from a crude pulley attached to the ceiling by an iron spike. There are at least two dead bodies down there, one of them wearing what appears to be a jade ring.

As for routes leading back upward, there's the ash-pit under the parlor's fireplace, which is a bit too narrow for anyone with a human-standard skull but could easily accommodate a swarm of insects - provided they didn't mind crawling through ashes and maybe magically intensified fire.
Alternatively, the next tomb to the north (whose statue appears to be intact) includes a spiral staircase leading upward to some yet unexplored area near the parlor.
Or, you could just take the main stairs back up to the level with the entrance hall, same route by which supplies were hauled to the freezer, but turn east instead of west. Currently that door into the parlor is still magically locked and barred, but it's a fairly sloppy low-level sort of warding, sustained by the same manse you're attuned to, so you've got plenty of plausible options for bypassing or breaking it.
No. 968334 ID: f57349

Nobody can see you. Now what?
No. 968415 ID: 0640da

rolled 9, 2, 3, 10, 5, 3, 10, 6, 5, 4, 7, 8, 3, 3, 4, 6, 4, 6, 10, 9 = 117

"Ah... I weren't be considerin' that, sorry." Patches looks bashful. "I'm so used to makin' food for myself... vegetarian. The meaty stuff gums up my workinans that all you need't know. But it's true y'all got them what something to eat with this."

Patches pads over to the meat, grabbing a knife from the selection-- possibly not one suited for cutting meat, but it makes no difference to her. She takes a chunk over to the counters, plopping it down on a plate while she clears some space, and looks for kindling for the stove-- unless that's powered by motes too. They have some kindling in the forge, so she might have to make a trip there. "If'n Miss Mammoth gets back to me and I can get what I need from her, I think I can make... eh, well, melted cheese patties on bread. Kind of like a... cheese sandwich, usin' minced meat. Maybe with some kinda sauce. But for now, meat sandwiches for everyone."

Patches is going to increase her familiarity with the tools and run through how she'd use them properly... right. If she does this and that... maybe this isn't so hard after all, huh? Cooking by the book won't do, so she'll just work from chemical assumptions and raise Craft(Water) to 3 for 4 XP. She's also going to pull out some peat to put in the stove and start it, delighted to find it here. Time to start some water to boil as well, perfect for making dough with the bags of grains found in the pantry and from there, bread to combine with the minced and cooked meat. Just normal hamburgers for everyone here... and bread for herself to eat. Better than starving.
No. 968433 ID: f57349

Making everything from scratch, and having to catch up on assorted kitchen maintenance as you go, means the big meal ends up being closer to dinner than lunch. Worth the wait, though: you manage to combine a limited selection of herbs and other ingredients into a completely new type of sauce, which pairs nicely with the flavor of those steak sandwiches, despite the fact you've never eaten meat yourself. Good hearty meal for everybody (except the obligate herbivore, though leaves from that magic apple staff might be worth investigating further when it's re-planted at sundown) and some leftovers which can either be saved for breakfast, or shared with those two demonic guard-apes out on the front porch.

As for the longer term, you've got just under a hundred pounds of meat per exalt, but it's not all prime cuts. Some of that weight is water, bone, connective tissue, and other indigestible stuff, and even the actual muscle is somewhat tough and stringy until it's been softened up by a long, slow cooking process. That's what you get from wild-caught mammoth as opposed to, say, veal. Seems to be a frozen wasteland outside, so it'd probably be unwise to count on any useful amount of forage unless someone develops magical powers to help with that. About forty pounds per exalt of dry fruit, legumes, and grain, plenty of oil, magical ration of firewood and apples, Patches might be able to survive on a diet of mostly leaves... looks like the food situation is firmly under control for at least the next month or two. With reasonable rationing and some further culinary innovation https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/craproot you could make it three. Best case scenario still leaves everyone half-starved (not to mention sick and tired of apples) well before the spring thaw, though, unless somebody can bring in more supplies.
No. 968506 ID: d9acdc

rolled 3, 10, 3, 5, 6, 9, 1, 9, 9, 7, 3, 10, 10, 2, 6, 8, 7, 3, 6, 1, 6, 7, 7, 9, 6, 5, 6, 3, 10, 3, 2, 5, 3, 9, 1, 9, 1, 6, 6, 7, 4, 7, 7, 8, 10, 1, 4, 6, 8, 6, 10, 7, 3, 5, 3, 7, 6, 6, 8, 9 = 354

Hungry and in pain, a wave of light headedness hits Noir; overcome by dizziness, he reaches out to support himself, then yelps in pain as he remembers why he wasn't putting pressure on his injured arm. Balance disrupted, his foot slips and he tumbles unceremoniously from the dark corner into a heap in front of Tasnim. He smiles weakly, attempts a wave and immediately regrets it with a wince.

Rolling to read motivation.

In the hours before Noir and Tasnim re-unite, the man in black followed the trail of food and waited for the right moment to steal a meal. As soon as the bug-woman turned her back in the ice-box, he closed the door on her and snuck past into the kitchen, making off with a few handfuls of the dried fruit and apples stored there.
No. 968518 ID: afdebc

rolled 4, 10, 4, 7, 7, 6, 5, 10, 5, 10, 6, 9, 3, 4, 4, 7, 6, 10, 9, 3 = 129

>Desert Locust, once again the first person to become aware that some unseen force is present and potentially listening, makes the nature of the statues know, and in a hushed tone worriedly suggests they might want to avoid unnecessary prayers given in their direction. If the uninvited-guest-turned-guide is to be believed, which Des thinks is wise given the unpleasant feeling of tension following her, then a malevolent force has twisted this place, and whatever dwells within represents a bit of a threat.
Jan Do perceives the somnolent statues as less of a pressing threat than her companion, but agrees that it seems wiser to wake the beings at the time and circumstance of our choosing, rather than while engaged with other tasks.

She will make a preliminary examination of the sleeping spirits, activating Hearing the Unspoken Word and Exquisite Etiquette Style in support of a Read Motivation attempt.

>"Do you put much stock in all that? The texts I mean. Immaculates have never done me any favors, don't much care for people with big sticks telling others who's fit to live and who needs to be run out of town."
"I have had the privilege to read some of the Wyld Hunt's own training manuals- whatever their beliefs, they have accumulated useful knowledge on many supernatural dangers. But no, I was not a member of the faith in life, nor afterwards. As I said, their order would have little love for any of our number."

>"Ah... I weren't be considerin' that, sorry." Patches looks bashful. "I'm so used to makin' food for myself... vegetarian. The meaty stuff gums up my workinans that all you need't know. But it's true y'all got them what something to eat with this."
"It was not my intent to cast aspersions on your own practices, merely to bring to your attention what you had overlooked."
No. 968531 ID: afdebc

rolled 8, 10, 7, 7, 4, 3, 5, 4, 10, 1, 3, 2, 10, 10, 7, 1, 9, 10, 2, 3, 8, 6, 2, 7, 2, 9, 10, 2, 4, 9 = 175

>"Miss Mammoth, yer presence is requested in the kitchen. Maybe wrap things up and come what over? The contact information for this room if you wanna speak back the other what way is up-down-down-up-up-down-up-down. Thank you..."
>Hmm, @Gilly , why did Patches want the Doc in the kitchen?
>Mammoth Milk
Since destiny was invoked, I'm going to assume Patches used skytongue, so that could be understood.

Tasnim, interrupted in her pursuit of her wayward patient by a noisy wall panel, this time deigns to answer instead of tossing furniture at the offending ornamentation.

"You want what? Is anyone injured down there? No? Then I have more important matters to attend to. Goodbye."

>Tasnim isn't fooled into wandering out onto the roof, but diligently following Noir's footprints around all afternoon will bring her no closer to catching up with his current position.
After several hours of following footsteps, the doctor's level of concern and anxiety slowly rise. She hasn't found him yet, and he's apparently intent on running around in that fool stealth suite until he collapses, or worse. This isn't working. Maybe she needs to get the others to help-

>Hungry and in pain, a wave of light headedness hits Noir; overcome by dizziness, he reaches out to support himself, then yelps in pain as he remembers why he wasn't putting pressure on his injured arm. Balance disrupted, his foot slips and he tumbles unceremoniously from the dark corner into a heap in front of Tasnim. He smiles weakly, attempts a wave and immediately regrets it with a wince.
Surprise, relief, and frustrated anger make their way across the doctor's face as her quarry falls, almost literally, in her lap. In moments she is crouched down besides the fallen Night, examining him and speaking rapidly in skytongue.

"Are you all right- if you made this worse- what were you thinking running off like that! What kind of foolhardy idiot can't hold still long enough for a surgeon to close him back up, why are you like this, you never listen to..."

An awkward pause ensues.

"...you don't understand a word I'm saying, do you. How could I remember the way you act, but not that we couldn't speak? Ugh. This doesn't make any sense. Your dressing down is going to have to wait until I can get one of the others to translate, right now you need a dressing on that. Come with me."

The bespectacled doctor in blue attempts to help Noir to his feet, and begins attempting to lead him back to the parlor, and her medical kit. If he doesn't resist, she's going to finish the wrap up of the surgery she couldn't before, and dose him with celestial wine to restore lost health levels.

Rolling Intelligence 5 + Medicine 4 + Stunt + First Intelligence Excellency 5 for treatement.

>Rolling to read motivation.
I'm counting at least two successes on your roll, and Tasnim isn't trying to hide anything, so:

Noir's presumed doctor appears genuinely concerned for his well being, although frustrated and exasperated with his attempts to evade her care and their inability to communicate.
No. 968541 ID: f57349

I'll leave it to Tasnim's player to describe exact current feelings, but that's more than enough successes to pick up on her intimacies of professional responsibility toward medical patients in general, and anxious protectiveness toward Noir personally.

Also, technically, even after clumsily falling off the door and down a few stairs, noticing Noir's presence would require four successes on Perception + Awareness unless the cloaking device either broke down or was deliberately deactivated. Six, with anima power active.

For similar reasons, Larceny-based action goes smoothly too, though those dried berries are almost painfully sour - not rotten, just intense enough it's probably meant as small portions to spice up a diet of bland starchy staple grains, rather than for stuffing your face all at once.

These are almost certainly that same group of four you noticed earlier. >>959808 They seem to be domestic servants, with a clear internal chain of command: despite a youthful appearance the curly-haired woman has overall chronological seniority, but orders from the man with bushy eyebrows will take precedence in matters of food preparation (and, by extension, general kitchen management) due to his training as a chef. None of them seem even slightly prepared to initiate real violence, or respond to it as anything other than awed spectators or terrified victims.
No. 968580 ID: d9acdc

rolled 10, 1, 5, 5, 7, 8, 6, 1, 10, 3, 7, 5, 1, 3, 6, 3, 1, 9, 4, 4, 8, 2, 1, 1, 3, 1, 5, 5, 5, 4, 8, 5, 10, 1, 1, 2, 1, 10, 3, 6, 10, 1, 1, 1, 8, 4, 4, 7, 8, 4, 1, 7, 3, 7, 9, 5, 10, 5, 3, 6 = 285

Following like a scolded puppy, Noir almost shrinks, his imposing silhouette momentarily appearing smaller in tow behind what might aptly be described as a force of nature. As she finishes dressing the wound and plying him with wine, he begins to attempt charades, drawing what amounts to a house and a question mark, trying to gather information on where he is and what's been going on. Eventually he mimes for Ada's bags, trying to go through them for clues as to what's been going on, or at least conversational aides. He finds the partially drawn maps, and begins studying what he can of the layout, looking for potential

Not sure what kind of roll that is, maybe doesn't even count as mechanically resolvable/consequential, but gathering intel based on your surroundings, looking for secrets based on architecture, and rummaging through people's belongings to find out information on them all seem like reasonable things to attempt with potential interpersonal fallout.
No. 968615 ID: f57349

First dose of celestial wine heals 3 levels of damage, eradicates an infection which Tasnim's diagnostic skills can easily confirm had already taken root in the wound (Stamina 1 + Resistance 0 + Deprivation Penalty -1 + Wound Penalty -2 = Bad News), also incidentally curing any and all other diseases in or upon Noir's body, mind, and spirit, no matter how subtle or persistent. A single dose won't guarantee lasting immunity, but on the other hand, it's also not enough for intoxication penalties. Assuming Noir manages to avoid combat, heavy exertion, or further injury, that level of lethal damage remaining in his -0 health box will sort itself out in at most twelve hours - or six hours with proper rest.

The wine also tastes great, and is potentially addictive, just like mundane alcohol but more so. Bottle has two more doses. Replacing a dose using Scorpion And Toad Mastery will cost 10m.
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