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File 158459984985.png - (2.78MB , 2732x1410 , Grand_Salon_003.png )
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.
Expand all images
No. 959246 ID: 9aa12d

Whatcha got on ya
No. 959247 ID: f57349

Discussion: https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/120347.html and/or https://discord.gg/ZuGRZKD
Houserules and patches to Exalted 2.5: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10VAUEYEqWYWcQ9gz4bk9uok8OkAIYl1cy50KEw2y75o/edit

Everybody in the initial party should roll up two characters: a Solar, Abyssal, or GSP, and the Lunar mate of whoever's seated to your left. Anyone joining late, or replacement for those incapacitated or slain, defaults to an outcaste dragon-blood. No single player (other than the GM, of course) can control more than three at a time, or introduce more than one new character per week - in or out of game, whichever is longer. Any exalts left OOC unattended long enough that it becomes a serious inconvenience to the other players will revert to NPC status, and (due to the Great Curse, among other factors which will gradually become clear time) are to be presumed hostile.

As an alternative, you can pass off control of a character to someone else. If you know you'll be away from the game for a while (real-world problems, loss of interest, or whatever other reason), tying off the loose end by naming a successor is more polite than just ghosting.

Each post of consequential, mechanically-resolvable action earns one XP. If I can't figure out what you're trying to accomplish, or it's too trivial for a roll ("dice 60d10" in the e-mail field), it won't count. Something as simple as "Walk through the east door, look around, what do I see?" could be fine, since this is at least partly a haunted-house story, meaning you might find vital clues or stumble into a trap. Pictures are encouraged but not required - even a crappy MSPaint scribble can greatly clarify relative positions and other tactical necessities.
No. 959255 ID: f57349

BP math for Noir looks alright to me, but there is no S in "reflexive," and the entire calculator tab seems to be leftovers from a previous character. Mote commitments should be 1 to the windblade (plus 10 uncomitted per hour of operation), 1 to the needle, and 10 to the armor - not to Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit, which isn't even on the list of charms.
No. 959279 ID: d9acdc
File 158463571605.jpg - (98.12KB , 1024x929 , spider noir.jpg )

rolled 6, 10, 1, 9, 10, 5, 4, 9, 3, 5, 10, 3, 1, 5, 2, 3, 9, 3, 3, 6, 6, 5, 6, 8, 1, 4, 3, 6, 3, 9, 4, 8, 8, 4, 5, 2, 9, 3, 7, 7, 10, 2, 3, 3, 3, 1, 10, 7, 10, 5, 7, 10, 5, 8, 4, 5, 8, 1, 6, 9 = 332

A rain of yellow glass announces the presence of Noir, a one armed man in all black making his grand entrance by smashing through the ceiling on his windblade. It is unclear how he got separated from his arm, given that there's no bleeding and it's currently fifty feet away being used as a teaching stick, but he intends to get it back, whatever good that will do.

Pledging five dollars a month on Patreon gives characters unconditional permission to act on OCC information, such as knowing that's your arm the blood ape ripped off. Further tiers with more powerful rewards are available as well.


Rolling to join battle, and enhancing it with the charm One Man Cavalry by spending five personal motes.

That's a Charisma + Ride roll opposed by the Blood Ape's MDV. If Noir beats it's MDV, it suffers a three dice internal penalty to all attacks against Noir/his windblade, and a one die internal penalty to all attacks against his allies, who the strangers below will inexplicably count as. This can be resisted for (six-target’s Valor)wp and provides immunity to the charm/it's effects for the scene.

That's wits three, awareness five, and stunt for join battle, then charisma four, ride three, windblade specialty three, and stunt for One Man Cavalry.

Currently at 4/19 personal motes (five spent on one man cavalry, ten on using the windblade for an hour), 28/40 peripheral (twelve committed), and 10/10wp.
No. 959319 ID: f57349

Technically it's a half-fiend yeti, not a blood ape. I'm planning to hold off on resolving those initial actions until other characters are ready (and you've finished details like intimacies and iconic anima), but for now I would like to note that not a single speck of glass from the lens makes it all the way to the floor - fragments swirl and orbit around the room, rising higher as they join up into larger segments, then by tick 30 (assuming no further disruption) the lens is good as new.
No. 959339 ID: ac57f8
File 158467654255.png - (326.87KB , 600x800 , cb0a2ae21b1b66f81a0bf7e41def59b7.png )

rolled 1, 6, 4, 7, 4, 7, 8, 2, 6, 7, 6, 6, 4, 5, 5, 7, 4, 4, 5, 10, 3, 10, 5, 7, 8, 2, 4, 4, 8, 5, 6, 7, 3, 4, 3, 6, 6, 6, 4, 1, 9, 2, 10, 4, 5, 2, 6, 5, 1, 6, 3, 7, 9, 2, 6, 6, 9, 10, 5, 2 = 319

"For thousands of years I have slumbered. Who dares disturb my slumber." The blue haired western woman said in Old Realm, then took stock of the situation, and immediately dropped several levels of aggressive as she sauntered up to the demonic yeti, not a trace of murderous intent in her.

In control at the moment was Thousand Blossoming Sunsets, first age Twilight and past life of The Adamant Strix. Of course, this body was fragile and had so little essence compared to the day that she was overwhelmed by her legions, and all of it was so thoroughly polluted, but she at least had some something to work with as she dipped into a stance.

(The Adamant Strix, Defiler Caste Infernal, Motivation: Build her own 5 Dot Manse, Urge: Organize Wavecrest into a truly self sustaining nation capable of throwing out the Realm. Intimacies:

She Who Lives in Her Name (A Shining Example to follow)
First Age Textbooks (Love to read)
List-making (Favorite Way to Start a Day)
Building Artifacts (Self Reliant Pride)
Amilar Kraik (Deep personal respect)
As of yet Unnamed Abyssal Character undefined
Noir (Interested Respect)
Desert Locust (Terrified Respect)
Clever Fox (Confused Respect)
As of yet unnamed Lunar character undefined

Thousand Blossoming Sunsets
Motivation: Read or Write a comprehensive history of everything that's happened since the Usurpation.
The Exalted Host (Mourning)
Sidereals (Righteous Fury))

Mechanically: Activating White Veil Stance (4m personal) and rolling join battle.

12/16 personal, 23/33 Peripheral (10m committed to Mind Hand Manipulation), 10/10 WP 3/3 Compassion, 2/2 all other virtues.
No. 959340 ID: ac57f8
File 158467857127.jpg - (107.15KB , 564x846 , 36ebe52a7ef2d978c06bfb54063044b8.jpg )

While everyone was looking at the demonic yeti, one member of the group decided to look in the opposite direction, taking a look around the room to see what they're all being distracted from with the big distraction ball in the middle of the room. She let her senses fall aside as she ran through a list of questions.

1. Why was the last thing she remembered sitting in a tea ceremony with her father back in Icehome?
2. Where was she?
3. How could she find a way out?

As long as she had those three anchors for her thought, she could keep focused. From her clothes, she had been outside in a Blizzard, so that would put them sometime in Ascending or Resplendant Air, so it would probably be a season before they could formally leave safely if it's that cold outside.

So, to answer question 3, wait out the storm and try and find an Icewalker tribe during the melting seasons, shorter term, she was going to need a map, or more likely to make one.

But, she's going to look in the meantime to see if anything could explain missing months of memory.
No. 959573 ID: d9acdc

rolled 4, 7, 4, 1, 7, 7, 10, 3, 3, 10, 9, 8, 1, 10, 1, 10, 3, 5, 3, 9, 3, 10, 3, 9, 6, 1, 7, 2, 8, 3, 4, 8, 5, 8, 5, 4, 10, 3, 7, 4, 6, 5, 7, 9, 8, 2, 9, 7, 10, 3, 2, 3, 10, 9, 2, 6, 6, 6, 6, 10 = 351


Desert Locust doesn't know whats going on, but theres a... not so much a voice, as it is a feeling, an urge in her soul. Never flee. Never surrender. And with the woman in blue putting herself in harms way, now was absolutely the time to act. No one was going to lay a hand on her, not even a severed one. There would be time later to examine her confusing feelings towards the stranger, or whatever the ehll was going on with her legs for that matter; right now, she would need to spring into action.

Not wanting to waste time fighting against her own momentum while turning heel, she instead begins tumbling forward, planting her hands on the ground in front of her as if performing a cartwheel. Instead, she pushes off the ground, shooting straight up in a corkscrew motion. As her body began to rotate and face the beast, she lets her legs unwind into a roundhouse kick. Rolling to join battle.

Wits three, awareness three, and stunt.

If resolving an attack, she has Dexterity five, Martial arts three, and a one die specialty in kicking, in addition to stunt bonuses.
No. 959612 ID: afdebc

rolled 3, 3, 5, 8, 3, 9, 6, 7, 4, 5, 6, 8, 6, 3, 7, 9, 4, 5, 5, 5 = 111

Jan Do knew not where she was, not how she came to this place. She did not know how the enmity of the creature before her had been earned. What she did know was that she stood with allies (a familiarity she was certain of, if lacking on species), that a challenge had been clearly given, and that blood had been drawn. Honor could demand only response.

Just ahead of the entrance to the room, the samurai sets her sandals in a combat footing, places hand on a familiar hilt, and one smooth motion, draws her blade.

Rolling join battle. Wits 3 + Awareness 1 + Stunt

>alarmingly supernatural expertise
While she could not remember her immediate circumstances, one thing the Dusk Caste has not forgotten is the violet-hued katas of the martial art that slew her, or her own search for information in the period afterwards. Is this limb-rending art one such supernatural style she recognizes from her research?

Reflexive roll to attempt to recognize an Obvious martial arts charm / martial arts style. Intelligence 3 + Martial Arts 5 + (Possibly motivation resonant) Stunt. I'll also spend 2m personal to add one auto-success from the yasal crystal's Second Martial Arts Excellency.
No. 959613 ID: afdebc

rolled 5, 3, 2, 8, 6, 9, 3, 3, 8, 2 = 49

The No Moon stared in equal parts concern, anger, and impotent frustration at the tableau before her.

He was hurt again. That thing had taken his arm clear off! What is he even doing crashing through windows at a time like this- that injury needs immediate medical attention! And she can't even provide it with him flying around like a fool, or with that ape swinging the severed appendage like that.

No there's... nothing to do now. All she can do is wait, worry and concern gnawing at her, as she waits for her allies to bring an end to this madness. Then she can see to his injuries, call him the fool he is, and... figure out the lesser problem of where we are, or how we got here.

Drawing behind her buckler, she braces herself in the hallway behind Jan Do.

Rolling join battle, Wits 3 + Awareness 1 + Stunt. I'll channel a wp for an auto-success.
No. 959614 ID: f57349

With five successes on the academic knowledge roll, Jan could recite from memory everything the Wyld Hunt's own training manuals have to say about Infernal Monster Style - all the tactical necessities, and various historical trivia as well. No apparent gloves or glowing fist-scripture, so apparently the shaggy creature in front of you hasn't fully mastered the style. Unfortunately, with only two successes on Join Battle, those insights might be coming too late.

Jan also recognizes the use of Stubborn Monkey Hesitation, a technique from the (equally brutal and honorless, but less legendarily powerful) First Pulse Style. Having initiated this fight, it allows the user to automatically act on tick zero.

You already have White Veil Form active, and the ice eater likewise has assumed Infernal Monster Form. Thanks to that penalty you're applying to everyone else present, the initiative counter currently looks like this:

Tick 0: Noir & Ice Eater
Tick 1: Desert Locust
Tick 2: Adamant Strix
Tick 3: Clever Fox & Doc
Tick 4: Jan Do

So, critical question is, what's that one-armed windblade-riding maniac going to do first?

>taking a look around the room
>find a way out
Ground-level exits at all four compass points. North is the only one with significant light visible, and appears to lead directly out to a garden.
Balconies, likewise, at the cardinal points. Seven foot vertical jump (impressive for a mere mortal) would be enough to grab that cornice with outstretched hands and maybe pull yourself up; a six-yard jump (easy for any reasonably athletic exalt) lets you clear the railing and land on your feet.
Decorative vines are partly inset into the stone, not protruding like ropes, so the walls would be possible to free-climb but not easy.
Upper row of balconies are in the south only, have no railing, and withered brown vines - actual plant matter, not metal - spill out of them. Ten yard leap to grab the edge there, twelve to land on your feet.
No. 959618 ID: d9acdc

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

Taking notice of the creature's burning green eyes, Noir makes a mental note to keep his one remaining arm out of harms way. Taking care to interpose a large pillar and as much space as he can manage between them, he focuses his ears to keep track of exactly where the creature is, and makes a precision throw of his space warping needle. Let's see just how agile this creature is

That's going to be a two action flurry, first one being a thrown attack, second one being a ride control. He's then going to spend one extra peripheral mote to retrieve the space warping needle afterwards.

Attack is going to be dex five, thrown five, accuracy 1, multiple action penalty -2, and a stunt. Potentially counting as unexpected, or applying some sort of penalty to the defense as Noir attacks from a blind spot behind a solid wall? Hoping that Keen Hearing and Touch Technique will negate any penalties Noir would face for not being able to "see" what he's attacking.

Ride check is dex five, ride three, windblade three, multiple action penalty -3, and stunt.
No. 959619 ID: f57349

rolled 4, 8, 5, 6, 10, 5, 9, 9, 2, 1, 3, 9, 3, 10, 8, 2, 8, 9, 8, 2, 5, 2, 6, 7, 5, 10, 5, 5, 10, 5, 7, 6, 6, 4, 2, 10, 6, 3, 10, 2, 7, 5, 9, 9, 4, 9, 3, 4, 8, 8, 3, 5, 2, 10, 6, 9, 5, 10, 4, 5 = 362

Three-attack flurry using Joyful Cessation of Restraint, targeting the doc. First attack is a leg sweep aiming to hook the severed arm behind your knees (enhanced with God-Smashing Blow, automatic knockdown if it hits), then a diagonal upward swing that might connect with the groin, ribs, chin, or hammer Noir's detached elbow into your kidneys, depending on how you deal with the first. Follow-through arcs back around in an overhead fient, distracting from a vertical slash with the off hand, aimed at grabbing the medical satchel - incidentally completing a midair tracery of Jupiter's sigil.

If doc ends up prone, the two extra attacks are kicks with the fierce blow modifier, hoping to use Fists of the Old Ones to launch the doc all the way across the Grand Salon... as a distraction, while it runs off with the bag that has the neck of a celestial winebottle poking out the top.
No. 959621 ID: f57349

Eight successes on that attack, and I'll say it does count as unexpected in this case. Rather than hiding behind one of the pillars, which are relatively narrow, it'd be simpler to say you went for a classic Tuxedo Kamen entrance: sudden projectile to interrupt enemy action, then only actually appear after the musical cue.

The shaggy beast takes one lethal health level of damage, but declines to activate Retribution Will Follow.
No. 959650 ID: afdebc

As the yeti barrels past those who actually meant to meet it's change, the doctor drops into a crouch while turning to the side, putting her left arm and shield in the path of the severed limb aimed at her legs, her right side and shoulder-slung satchels facing away from harm. She's not going to be able to patch anyone up if she (or her supplies) get pulverized!

If successful, that should mean the ground-shattering force of God-Smashing Blow is directed horizontally into Doc's shield, hopefully shoving her backwards out of range of further attacks, rather than shattering the ground below her feet. (Stunting GSB to not be an overhead strike cuts both ways). Either way, the severed limb slapping against the board should produce a fresh blood-spatter on the floor or wall.

Doc's got a base Parry DV of 4 with her exceptional buckler, plus whatever that stunt's worth. (And I count 5 attacks on the first 11 dice of that preemptive attack roll).
No. 959654 ID: afdebc

Doc is also going to reflexively commit 6m personal to the No Moon anima, which will impose an internal penalty of 3 on incoming attacks, unless the yeti has darkvision.
No. 959662 ID: f57349

Stunt focused on shielding the medical supplies resonates with your Motivation, so five successes on eight dice bounce off of DV 7. For the second attack, though, visible anima power means the shaggy beast has realized it's up against potentially overwhelming opposition in the form of a celestial exalt, so it channels Conviction for a total of twelve dice. Your DV is also at -1 due to onslaught...
> 2, 1, 3, 9, 3, 10, 8, 2, 8, 9, 8, 2
Just barely hits, threshold zero. Raw (pre-soak) damage is 14B, and you're being launched up and to the left, most likely impacting the side of one of the southern exits, then falling back to the ground and down a very short flight of stairs (three steps) to a rougher gray flagstone floor.

On the other side of those three short parallel stairways is a squarish room, about 30' east-west by 40' north-south. East and west walls have bas reliefs of strangely elongated lions, south wall has double doors of bronze-bound stone, each 11' high and 5' wide (so the overall doorway is 10' wide) flanked by windows. Your group seems to have come from that direction, but the snowy footprints only reach about two-thirds of the way to the door.

Falling damage is relatively negligible, since you're barely covering more than two yards either time and have more than enough natural bashing soak, and that wall is apparently even sturdier than it looks so there's no crater, but everybody else within eight yards (except the monster) needs to check for knockdown at difficulty 3. You'll be landing prone, and at a further -1 DV from high ground thanks to the stairs... unless you can succeed at a Wits + Athletics roll to grab the wall you were flung into, in which case relative elevation will actually be working in your favor against the remainder of the flurry.
No. 959671 ID: afdebc

Gonna redeclare my defenses against the second attack in the flurry, since ending up prone and pummeled to death would be a bad thing.

Wincing at the further damage to Noir's arm, the Doctor is driven backwards a step, away from the fleshly-splattered patina of blood decorating the wall, and an empty brass sconce. She desperately braces for the second blow (noting the increased fury in the infernal beast's eyes as she draws on her anima). She can't fall here, not while he needs treatment, mere yards away!

Channeling compassion, and adding one Solar Bond die to the pool, to enhance DV.

That brings base Parry DV to 6, +Stunt, -Onslaught 1.

(That puts Doc at... 6m committed, 2/3 Compassion channels, 3/4 Solar Bond dice, and 9/10 wp)
No. 959672 ID: f57349

In that case, the second attack is blocked by a comfortable margin, and nobody gets knocked down. Spending one willpower would've been enough, even without the virtue channel or solar bond. Third attack is effectively a called shot to disarm, but only at a -1 external penalty since large bag hanging off the shoulder is an easier target than a weapon in hand. DV is at -2 from onslaught but even on a hit you'll also get a roll to hold on.
No. 959674 ID: afdebc

Right, if we're carrying the same stunt through then,

Parry DV 4 + Stunt 3 -Onslaught Penalty 2 + Willpower Channel 1
No. 959675 ID: f57349

The shaggy white ape has been stabbed with a needle, and wasted a lot of essence flailing ineffectually at the least battle-ready member of your group. Now it seems to be running away, arm still in hand, and at the current rate will reach those aforementioned double doors on tick two or three.

Desert Locust is ready to act. Noir could also be moving around with the windblade.
No. 959710 ID: d9acdc

rolled 4, 9, 4, 9, 2, 6, 3, 6, 3, 2, 7, 3, 3, 10, 2, 10, 1, 10, 2, 7, 9, 2, 9, 7, 10, 1, 2, 4, 3, 5, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9, 5, 7, 1, 3, 8, 7, 9, 5, 8, 4, 5, 7, 8, 6, 2, 2, 1, 1, 3, 9, 6, 7, 9, 1, 9, 3, 6, 3, 8, 5, 2, 2, 3, 9, 4, 2, 8, 2, 6, 1, 3, 10, 1, 7, 1, 7, 5, 1, 1, 5, 5, 4, 3, 7, 5, 9, 6, 9, 1, 5, 6, 5, 8, 10, 7 = 523

>at the current rate will reach those aforementioned double doors on tick two or three.

At the current rate, it will most likely reach nothing but the ground, as Desert Locust prepares to connect with a five attack flurry via Principle of Motion. There's a sense of calmness that it brings her, as foot spins into place, blade prepares to connect with bone; fighting to protect others feels almost natural, a sense of methodical rhythm to the movements and work ahead.

This calm is momentary, as she feels her legs tense up, wondering why she bothers with a fleeing beast when she stands in a place of power. Had she not already leaped in the air before it starting fleeing, she might have taken these complaints a bit more seriously. For now though, she's content to cleave a steady path down the creature's flank and work out the details of what to do next when she's back on the ground.

Five attacks each at dex five, martial arts three, specialty in kicking one, accuracy three, and stunt. Shouldn't be facing multiple action penalties, although her DV will be penalized by whatever the single highest source of a penalty would be, which I think is only a penalty of one? Yeti is presumably under the same penalty, although I'm not sure. Not having actually spent any motes yet, no need to activate Meat of Broken Flesh, no other supplemental charms that would be relevant I don't think.

Currently at 24/24 personal, 30/48 peripheral (18 committed) and 10/10wp.
No. 959712 ID: f57349

Twelve successes on that second attack, and plenty more for the damage roll. The shaggy beast is thoroughly incapacitated by some combination of blunt force trauma and endoskeletal liquefaction.

Soon as you all leave combat time, adrenaline rush wears off and delayed hypothermia slips in to pick up the slack. Hits like the equivalent of six hours hard labor: Desert Locust feels a bit chilly and winded but could easily keep going, Jan Do and the doc are mostly fine but will be at -1 from fatigue if they try anything else strenuous without rest, Clever Fox is shivering at -3 and near collapse, while Adamant Strix and Noir will be falling flat on their respective faces, out cold for at least an hour and possibly suffering further damage from some combination of frostbite and overexertion, unless a Conviction channel is spent immediately - which would, as it happens, be just enough to get both of them exactly back to the same 'near collapse' level as Fox, though that's only -2 for Ada and -1 for Noir.
No. 959741 ID: ac57f8

Ada took one step forward, and promptly fell on her face, passed out without the adrenaline keeping her going, leaving a small gash on her face where her forehead bounced off of the mosaic, but shallow enough that over the course of a minute it was already healed over.

Of course, then the muttering started, her mind working on the most recent problems she personally remembered, that being her work at Valkhawsen that had pushed her so far now seeming trivial, so it seemed like her plan to force an Exaltation worked, for the most part.
No. 959762 ID: d9acdc

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

Thanks to Master Horseman's trick, Noir is bit better off when his unconscious body glides gracefully to the floor, delivered neatly at Tasnim's feet by the windblade.

Desert Locust drags Adamant Strix over to the group of strangers, making the pile of unconscious bodies now number three. She begins to remove her dirty tattered poncho and take some supplies out of her bag, namely the spare parka and extra set of pants.

"Okay folks," she intones in Rivertongue-
"I'll be the first to admit that I don't know where we are, or what's going on. My legs seem to have a mind of their own, and given their appearance, i think there might be something wrong with them. I'm pretty sure I know this girl in blue, although I don't know why or how. Something tells me you all aren't here to swing arms around and knock people down, so maybe let's catch up and talk? I'm potentially going to pace around while doing so, I've got this weird feeling that I need to do something here."

Let last part trails off a bit, as she realizes the woman dressed like she's attending her own funeral and poor girl shivering in a kimono weren't quite grasping what she was saying.

"Let's just start by taking inventory, shall we?" she begings to mutter, partially to the woman with the medical bag, but mostly to herself. "Strange land, strange people, no one seems to be out to get you though. I've got boots, some clothes, some charcoal, really shouldn't leave that loose in there it's getting on everything, some wine and rice, that'll come in handy, don't mind if I do-"
she then interrupts herself to take a sip of wine, before continuing-
"and a bedroll, okay. Well, lets start by laying her out..."

And then Desert Locust begins to fuss about, trying to make adamant strix comfortable. Eventually, she'll realize that the people who don't speak rivertongue speak old realm, and that she also speaks old realm, fancy that, and names can be properly exchanged, everyone caught up to speed on not know exactly what's going on right now.

If possible, I'd like to make a check to attune to the Manse. I believe it was mentioned this was the hearthstone room, but I don't know for certain? Here's some dice.
No. 959781 ID: afdebc

rolled 10, 1, 9, 6, 10, 6, 9, 9, 6, 1, 4, 2, 10, 9, 9, 6, 9, 2, 3, 6, 10, 5, 7, 10, 1, 6, 5, 4, 4, 6, 1, 6, 10, 3, 6, 9, 3, 5, 3, 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 3, 10, 4, 9, 10, 4 = 296

Belated character sheet:

The Lunar doctor is wide-eyed, back against the wall, and still breathing too quickly. Gradually coming to terms with the fact that she made it through the assault unscathed, she gives her buckler an appreciative pat +1 scene towards forming a positive intimacy, and then quickly moves back towards the Grand Salon, and the assemblage of wounded.

...just in time to hear Desert Locust's lopsided and inappropriate priorities. While Tasnim may have sympathies for the casteless and her unfortunate predisposition towards spontaneous solar combustion, and appreciate the timely rescue, that tolerance has limits.

"We don't have time to indulge your feet!" she snaps back in Riverspeak. "It will take hours to attune to the manse, and our friends are bleeding now."

Doc's make a social attack, natural mental influence compelling Desert Locust to resist her urge and assist in the immediate effort, with the wounded at stake. Charisma 3 + Presence 1 + Stunt (likely resonates with motivation). No appearance modifiers, but Des' MDVs should be reduced due to her positive intimacy towards the patients she's being implored to help.

Assuming Jan's plan (below) goes ahead, Violette will begin performing Diagnose Patient actions to assess the condition of the wounded (Noir, Adamant Strix, Clever Fox, and potentially the Yeti) in order to determine how urgently care is needed, and of what nature. Should be several Perception 3 + Medicine 4 + Stunt rolls.
No. 959782 ID: afdebc

rolled 5, 2, 6, 10, 4, 6, 1, 7, 5, 6, 2, 1, 10, 3, 2, 7, 3, 10, 2, 6, 1, 9, 10, 1, 8, 2, 5, 3, 10, 9, 9, 5, 6, 6, 7, 4, 7, 7, 1, 2, 6, 1, 3, 10, 6, 6, 5, 1, 3, 2 = 253

After an awkward pause, before statements uttered in riverspeak are quickly translated into old realm and skytongue, Jan Do responds (in Old Realm), looking Desert Locust in the eye

"Indeed. Half our number are wounded or unable to defend themselves, we know not the environs, we have been attacked once already, and this room holds entirely too many entrances to be defended.

"You and I are the only warriors fit for combat- our companion is a healer. Please, stand watch over her and our companions, while I check the adjacent rooms. We cannot afford to overlook an enemy waiting in the wings, and we badly require a safer location which to retreat, to treat our wounded, and rest.

"You are welcome to attempt to lay claim to this place of power once these needs have been met. However, if the honorless beast we have fought already is any indication, I do not believe the lord of this manse will accommodate your request."

That's another Charisma 3 + Presence 1 + Stunt social attack. (Possibly they count as coordinated?).

Assuming Desert Locusts agrees, Jan Do is going to start checking each ground level exit to the Grand Salon, clockwise from the hallway where the yeti fought the doctor and the lunar dervish, seeing what lies beyond each portal. Not sure what to roll for scouting, but have a pile of dice.
No. 959793 ID: afdebc

Jan's going to commit 3m peripheral in order to activate Hearing the Unspoken Word for this scouting.
No. 959794 ID: d9acdc

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

>"You and I are the only warriors fit for combat- our companion is a healer. Please, stand watch over her and our companions
Desert Locust holds her arm at a right angle, and brings it down with an affirmative nod, somewhat like an inverse fist-pump.
"Got it! You guys can count on me."

As she steps forward, her form seems to grow, jointed arms split from her back, and a hard chitinous shell begins to glisten over her skin, a dull yellow dappled with black splotches.

"Okay, THAT'S new."

Shapeshifting into war form.
No. 959797 ID: ac57f8

rolled 1, 3, 9, 10, 1, 9, 10, 6, 10, 5, 10, 1, 8, 9, 4, 7, 9, 10, 9, 7, 4, 1, 7, 6, 8, 4, 5, 5, 10, 4 = 192

Clever Fox, being lumped into the 'wounded' category didn't particularly mind that, though as soon as the others were out of sight, she decided that she should at least set something up if she was going to be left with the wounded, she might as well do something useful.

And so, she shifted her skin and bones, going from her current form as a woman in fine silken robes with a floral pattern into a strapping man from the east with a cloak made of leaves and a large crown made of branches.

And then, he quickly took off his cloak, and tore apart his crown, and proceeded to build a small fire-pit with the cloak as kindling and the branches as the fuel, tied up with twine for easy transportation into a new room.

Her work then done with that, she shapes herself into the form of a Hearthcat, and joins the resting pile of people less experienced with the cold, purring to help keep both of them warm.
No. 959808 ID: f57349

Apart from those you already know about, four empathy-pings below and to the southwest, one above and southeast, all fairly weak - no virtues rated 4+, not remotely hostile, near the limit of your range, possibly asleep. There's also a much more passionate mind, possibly partly concealed, spread out like the wind over the entire volume you can sense, or both, slowly spiraling inward and focusing angry attention on...
Clever Fox, who has managed to produce a small pile of kindling, dry leaves, and a bow-drill seemingly from nowhere, and is shakily building a fire between the disabled yeti's outstretched legs, which have been molded into a more nearly circular shape like taffy but are still covered in fluffy white fur, suitable for use as tinder.

Perimeter of the grand salon has black obsidian mirrors (large as doorways, but with no apparent way to actually pass through them) alternating with doors or arched niches. Any noise made in the first two niches you check echoes clearly through the rest of the room - presumably musicians could play there, leaving the center of the floor open for dance.

First actual new room you check, to the east, seems to be a dining area. Five circular tables of white marble, but only four chairs. Thirty feet east-west by fifty feet north-south, proper fireplace with a chimney and everything in the middle of the west wall.

You're coming in from the northeast corner, down a few stairs. Two other obvious exits in the south wall, one at the far end of the east wall, one in the west wall directly opposite where you came in. Tapestries cover the walls and ceiling, mostly in deplorable disrepair, might be concealing other routes. Alcove behind a curtain in the center of the east wall, opposite the fireplace, holds three humanoid figures with porcelain masks, decrepit hooded robes, and spindly brass limbs. They seem to be mindless and inanimate.

Northern exit from the grand salon initially appears to lead outdoors into an elaborate formal garden, but a patch of battle damage on the far wall spoils the effect, revealing the distant scenery as hyper-realistic paintings. Closer inspection reveals leaves and flowers of colored silk, shrubs of twisted wire, tree-shaped pillars supporting a sky of blue glass. The central fountain is real, but inactive, and filled with murky, stagnant water. Since the whole garden is saturated with architectural trickery, there might be dozens of hidden passages you'd need a thorough search to locate.

East door leads to another 30'x50' room, mirror to the dining hall but with less furniture (two knee-high padded platforms, suitable for someone to lay down on with the thick segment at one end as a headrest, plus a single large chair with a protruding footrest held up by oddly articulated bars), broken glass and crockery strewn across the threadbare carpeted floor and ornamental ledges on the walls instead of tapestries, and a large locked cabinet in the alcove rather than three creepy butler-bots behind a curtain. Four other obvious exits and another fireplace, all in the same places apart from being flipped east-for-west.

Apart from the grand salon and the false garden, all the rooms you've seen so far have had ceilings about 12' high, though cloth hangings obscure most of the dining room above seven or eight feet.
No. 959809 ID: f57349

> First actual new room you check, to the east
Sorry, that should be "to the west."
No. 959846 ID: d9acdc

rolled 9, 2, 4, 10, 2, 10, 7, 6, 6, 10, 10, 8, 4, 6, 7, 10, 9, 3, 1, 10, 1, 3, 5, 9, 3, 10, 10, 10, 9, 6, 2, 4, 3, 2, 3, 9, 5, 9, 5, 10, 3, 10, 4, 1, 10, 9, 1, 6, 2, 8, 2, 8, 10, 9, 9, 6, 10, 5, 9, 5 = 379

Desert Locust currently has motes committed to amethyst awareness- can she see the malevolent force, or other immaterial forces? If not, I feel like we can assume Jan Do relays this information, even if I'm not sure how we can act on it.
No. 959904 ID: f57349

The Grand Salon is clearly the hearthroom of a powerful manse, so there's a tremendous amount of essence circulating through from adjacent rooms and even the surrounding landscape, but it's moving in patterns unlike any you or the Flea have felt before. The main thrust is earth-aspected, but intensely focused on finely tuned application of what would normally be subtle secondary or tertiary associations. Rather than straightforward eternal solidity, everything here turns inward.

The north passage out of the grand salon, down marble stairs to the garden, is three doorways with two approximately rectangular pillars between them. Both pillars have large obsidian mirrors, as part of the same equally spaced ring of sixteen around the Salon's entire perimeter.

Through the mirror on the left, you can see a figure vaguely resembling the Emissary of Nexus (although the mask is gold, rather than silver, and includes eyes) sweeping up snowy footprints in the south hall with a simple straw broom. Nobody's there when you look at the spot directly, though the trail really is vanishing.

Through the mirror on the right, the same figure is visible standing over Clever Fox, hopping and flailing in a frantic, but futile, effort to attract her notice without overstepping a servant's position. "Please, young master, don't invite your wild friends out here to start fires in the ballroom," or something like that.
No. 959913 ID: afdebc

rolled 1, 5, 2, 7, 3, 6, 5, 5, 2, 4, 3, 1, 7, 7, 10, 1, 7, 8, 1, 7 = 92

>There's also a much more passionate mind, possibly partly concealed, spread out like the wind over the entire volume you can sense, or both, slowly spiraling inward and focusing angry attention on...
>Clever Fox, who has managed to produce a small pile of kindling, dry leaves, and a bow-drill seemingly from nowhere, and is shakily building a fire between the disabled yeti's outstretched legs
The Dusk approaches her lunar mate, places hand on her a shaking shoulder and gently (without rancor or reproach) says "Not here."

Of the three rooms explored so far, the false garden seems the least suitable for setting up camp, even if it does provide a source of (unclean) water. The dining room and sitting room both provide fireplaces, furniture upon which to rest, to use as work surfaces, and potentially act as barricades. Currently leaning towards relocating to the sitting room, due to the risk of the statues in the dining room being animateable.

Which way do our wet footprints lead? Jan would like to check beyond that door- if the outside world lies beyond that portal, she could plant the traveler's staff.

(Not rolling for anything in particular, but here's some dice in case).
No. 959915 ID: f57349

Double doors at the far end of the south hall open inward, gilded vines looping to provide handles - which would also serve as adequate brackets for the door to be barred shut. Outside (also visible through the stained-glass windows, though a complex pattern of angled facets between stone tracery slightly distorts the view) it's windy and there's a lot of snow coming down, so visibility is limited. First forty feet beyond the door seems to be the front porch, in two tiers with a few more steps between them, then at least a hundred feet (as far as you can see) of scattered rubble and boulders on a 30 degree downward slope.

If what you're really looking for is a place to grow plants, those withered vines and branches spilling out of the railing-less third floor balcony might be the better lead to follow up on.
>rolled 1, 5
Jan Do does not gain Resonance for the current scene's efforts at protecting and/or promoting life.
No. 959918 ID: d9acdc

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

Desert Locust is happy to start moving bodies, although she's not the strongest.

"Jan, can you start preparing the room, clearing tables, helping Icicle here build a fire that won't upset the stewards? I don't know if you guys can see those weird masked guys in the mirrors, of if that's just me, but they don't seem to want a fire in the ballroom. I'll start moving people, but I want someone to keep an eye on the bodies- this place gives me a weird feeling, don't wanna leave anyone unconscious unattended.

Alright Doc, gimme a hand here, preferably one still attached to a body, I don't wanna make things worse by moving them the wrong way or something like that."

Spending one mote to figure out the time, and another five mote one WP to re-invoke Principle of Motion so I get those banked actions back, all of which are peripheral.

Currently at 24/24 personal, 24/48 peripheral (six spent, 18 committed) and 9/10 WP.
No. 959927 ID: afdebc

rolled 2, 1, 3, 10, 8, 10, 7, 8, 4, 4, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 2, 2, 6, 6, 10 = 112

>I don't know if you guys can see those weird masked guys in the mirrors, of if that's just me
Once made aware of the spirits in the mirror, Jan Do will formally bow in their direction, apologize (in Old Realm) for any disruption their intrusion or conflict may have caused, and that they request shelter and hospitality.

Activating Exquisite Etiquette Style for 1m.

>Jan, can you start preparing the room, clearing tables
Jan nods and accedes without complaint, pulling a broom from besides the large cabinet.
No. 959937 ID: f57349

It's three hours forty-five minutes past noon. The moon is full, but will enter the waning gibbous phase just over fifty-two hours from now, and for the next little while you also know the exact time precisely enough to count which fractional seconds you're stashing away with Principle of Motion.

Must have spent some other peripheral motes recently, because those six bring your anima up to the 8+ "aura bright enough to read by" level.

Easy to spot the golden mask now that there's a decent amount of direct light. When Jan bows to one of the mirrors, it appears in her place when she looks up, but bowing far more deeply, as if to a venerable king. Gestures convey eager acceptance, along with a neatly symmetrical apology for any inadequacies in the hospitality it's able to offer.

Four successes on reflexive Read Motivation (from a combination of Exquisite Etiquette Style and Hearing The Unspoken Word) reveal that the spirit seems sincere, genuinely respectful rather than mocking with that bow, and overall desperately lonely, but also confused and frustrated by the “Shining Icicle Maiden” who... somehow turned into a cat just now? Well of course, nobody ever knows for sure what she's up to.

Image soon flickers and vanishes, but ambient sense of presence remains relatively constant.

>pulling a broom from besides the large cabinet
Broom's handle feels like some sort of ceramic rather than wood, bristles are slate-gray with an odd texture, but it's sturdy and functional.

Once kindling is transferred to a fireplace, it ignites easily, and not only burns brighter and warmer than you'd expect, but also consumes the fuel more slowly than should be possible. Amethyst Awareness reveals this as a result of power from the manse directed through inset slabs of stone imported from in or near the Elemental Pole of Fire in the uttermost South.

Where exactly are you setting up for rest and/or surgery? What furniture is being moved, and who's doing the heavy lifting?
No. 959946 ID: afdebc

>also confused and frustrated by the “Shining Icicle Maiden” who... somehow turned into a cat just now? Well of course, nobody ever knows for sure what she's up to.
Hmm. Jan Do is fairly certain she was aware of the Immaculate tales that certain anathema were capable of assuming the shape of animals- even before she died and became one, much less joined a travelling fellowship of the same. What does it mean if the golden masked spirit is less familiar with such widely known teachings?

...Shining Icicle's transformation in particular though, feels rather more familiar. The samurai is certain this is far from the first time she's witnessed her companion in this shape.
No. 959947 ID: afdebc

rolled 7, 2, 1, 1, 6, 1, 6, 6, 5, 6, 7, 2, 7, 5, 3, 6, 5, 4, 7, 8 = 95

>Where exactly are you setting up for rest and/or surgery? What furniture is being moved, and who's doing the heavy lifting?
The 'sitting room'- east of the grand salon, and mirror to the dining room. If they're moveable, the padded platforms could be used as stretchers to carry those unable to move themsevles.

If they are moveable, it may also be a good idea to respectfully borrow chairs from the dining room, making clear our intent to return them to their proper location later to the watching spirits. (Probably a job for Jan or Des, as the Doctor is reluctant to leave her patients).

The doctor will assume her spirit shape- that of a great bear- in order to do the heavy lifting (carefully- she has no desire to harm her patients, and she is much stronger in this shape than as a human, and bears claws besides), assisted by Jan Do and Desert Locust as they are able.

Dice for dice's sake.
No. 959953 ID: 11fd45

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

Alright, there is a big white Yeti problem in the room and, since she's going to plan to take responsibility, she turns into a big as fuck snow lion and starts to drag the yeti by scruff into the sitting room.

As soon as she sets it down, and shifts back, this time into the shape of an emerald eyed man with black hair and an open green kimono, draping his arms on a table after they finished bringing the rest over.

"So, about the Yeti. I think we should keep it around. It's useful to keep a would be sifu for any strange martial arts styles that we can keep on a 'tight leash'. And I believe we can definitely keep this one on a tight leash."
No. 959966 ID: d9acdc

rolled 5, 7, 5, 5, 10, 5, 10, 1, 8, 7, 5, 8, 8, 5, 9, 2, 6, 7, 4, 3, 3, 2, 6, 6, 9, 1, 6, 2, 4, 2, 8, 7, 8, 6, 7, 6, 10, 1, 6, 5, 4, 5, 3, 9, 6, 4, 1, 5, 8, 7, 1, 10, 2, 5, 5, 3, 8, 4, 7, 9 = 331

First thing Desert Locust does is insist that either her or Jan Do stay with the wounded and stand watch. Doesn't matter to her which does which, but she's not happy about the idea of ever leaving someone wounded or unconscious where someone more capable can't see them.

>"So, about the Yeti. I think we should keep it around. It's useful to keep a would be sifu for any strange martial arts styles that we can keep on a 'tight leash'. And I believe we can definitely keep this one on a tight leash."

As bodies, furniture, and lips start moving, Des finds herself agreeing with Icicle/Cat/mystery man?

"I kinda agree- what I'm about to say might not get a very warm response given the level of hostility we just witnessed, but I think we should let it be for now. When it comes to, it might be more receptive to helping us figure out what the hell is going on if it's not being treated like a prisoner, if that makes sense? I get that it might be smarter to tie it up but hey, I can't quite describe why, I just think maybe we treat it like the other wounded and hope for the best."

If it comes down to dice, that's just charisma two, no other relevant social skills. I imagine Jan Do might feel strongly enough to object, and not take that feeling to heart without more serious mechanical weight behind it.
No. 960010 ID: f57349

Chairs and lounges are heavier than they look, and the upholstery is surprisingly scratchy-feeling fabric, but by four hours after noon you'll be all set up and ready to start the surgery to reattach Noir's arm. Absent some magic or stunt to speed things up, you'll need to be working on that surgery continuously until three hours after noon tomorrow, and anyone providing a teamwork bonus will be committed to actively assisting during most of that time, rather than being free to rest or stand guard.

Whoever's arguing about what should be done with the Infernal Monster stylist, roll Join Debate, and try to keep the whole thing under fifteen long ticks if you want to avoid interrupting the surgery. If your dice pools seem inadequate, remember the option of channeling virtues, and 'aiming' with a monologue or by waiting for the right moment to interject.

Which paths are being scouted out further, which are barricaded?
No. 960019 ID: afdebc

rolled 3, 2, 6, 2, 6, 1, 8, 9, 5, 9, 6, 9, 10, 6, 10, 10, 6, 9, 8, 7, 2, 7, 6, 1, 6, 2, 4, 10, 6, 3, 2, 10, 5, 1, 1, 4, 5, 4, 1, 1, 6, 3, 3, 9, 5, 7, 9, 7, 9, 7, 2, 8, 10, 8, 10, 6, 8, 5, 1, 1 = 337

No languages specified- given that Desert Locust understood Clever Fox, and the only language they share is Old Realm, presumably that's what's being spoken. Jan will respond in kind. (Which neatly cuts the doctor out of the conversation, as the one person who would have the strongest objections to storing the yeti in the room, unrestrained, with her patients).

Reckless disregard for the safety of allies / those in her charge would definitely be against Jan's code of honor, so her base Dodge MDV is 8 vs Desert Locust's attack. Also +1 modifier for going against several intimacies.

"I am afraid your compassion, while commendable, has taken leave of your better senses. In our short battle, our opponent demonstrated proficiency in the Infernal Monster Style- a martial practice promotes rage, loss of control, and the suffering of one's opponents as strength. To wield our companion's severed arm, the Hero Sundering Hands was likely used- a technique that mains a helpless opponent as a cruel child might a fly, accompanied by mocking laughter. When three warriors rose to the Yeti's challenge, it instead chose to attack a non-combatant. And when this attack failed, it attempted to flee.

"Our opponent is without honor, and cannot be trusted with the safety of our friends and companions. While we should not mistreat a prisoner, neither must we abdicate our duty to our allies, and leave a monster unbound to attack the helpless, or interrupt surgery."

"I would suggest we restrain the beast in the central hall, against one of the great pillars."

Fox's argument seems to be simply for keeping the prisoner around- and as the alternatives are summary execution, or leaving a threat unchecked, is not something Jan Do disagrees with or needs to resist.

"I do not believe anything this creature has to teach is worth emulating, but a 'tight leash' seems apt. Are you able to provide one?"

>Actual mechanics
I'll spend 1XP to raise presence from 1 to 2 (no training time, favored).

Join Debate is Wits 3 + Awareness 1 + Stunt

Then a flurry of two social attacks, I think.

First is aimed at Desert Locust, natural mental influence (illusion-keyword) attempting to convince her of the folly of her proposed action, and that the yeti needs to be treated as a prisoner. Charisma 3 + Presence 2 + Stunt - Multiple Action Penalty 2. I'll also spend 2m on the Second Presence Excellency for an auto-success. Des' MDV is likely at a -1, as the argument is against playing fast and loose with the safety of people she has positive intimacies towards.

Second aimed at Clever Fox trying (likely futilely) to convince her not to pursue learning Infernal Monster Style and First Pulse Style from the yeti. Charisma 3 + Presence 2 + Stunt - Multiple action 3, and another 2m for an auto-success with the Second Presence Excellency. Not sure if her intimacies for Jan and martial arts conflict here (so net 0) or if they reinforce (so +1 MDV). She should suffer a -2 from Solar Bond.

Asking Clever Fox if she can provide a means to leash the yeti is not meant as an attack.

Committing 1m to Exquisite Etiquette Style, so Jan's appearance is effectively 4 for these interactions. This ties Jan with Clever Fox, and puts her one above Desert Locust.

Overall, that's 1XP spent, 4m personal spent, 1m personal committed.
No. 960030 ID: d9acdc

rolled 2, 5, 6, 4, 1, 2, 9, 6, 8, 8, 10, 9, 9, 2, 7, 3, 5, 8, 6, 5, 9, 3, 2, 9, 9, 9, 7, 6, 9, 2, 2, 1, 4, 5, 3, 8, 2, 4, 3, 4, 2, 9, 4, 9, 4, 1, 3, 4, 6, 5, 6, 10, 6, 8, 8, 4, 3, 7, 4, 10 = 329

>When three warriors rose to the Yeti's challenge, it instead chose to attack a non-combatant. And when this attack failed, it attempted to flee.

"Could be, could be. I don't know how far back you remember, but last thing that comes to mind for me was getting ready to check out of Nexus, go to greener pastures. I'm not ruling out the possibility that we were the ones in the wrong- could be we stole that guys wine, or that it has a sick friend, or that it just wanted to make a quick buck, rather than the whole "honorless attacking of the undefended" thing you've got on your mind. Truth be told though, you seem to know more about the whole mystical monster powers it's got going on, so I can't really say how those fit into the character profile. I think chaining it up or whatever is probably the move that's safer for us, so I'm not gonna try and disagree with you there. Waking up in chains would definitely provoke a more violent reaction in me though; anything in that style to break out of restraints or turn into smoke or something like that? Probably want someone keeping a close watch on it, isolated from the rest of the group, in case it can explode or something.

Not going to resist the social attack, although she may have to spend a WP for an "agree to disagree" scenario? Her Dodge MDV is seven, penalized to four for her previous attack, Jan's higher appearance, and something about an intimacy. If Jan Do got a three dot stunt (asking since JamesLeng reacted in the chat after reading it) then that'd be six success, meaning a two dot stunt or one WP would be enough to shake off the effect, so mainly I need to know if I spent the resource for book keeping later.

Not sure anything is being scouted further- kind of want Jan Do to wait with Tasnim and the wounded, while Desert Locust waits in the hearthstone room with the prisoner and starts to attune.
No. 960032 ID: ac57f8

rolled 6, 5, 1, 6, 4, 5, 5, 9, 10, 5, 1, 2, 5, 3, 1, 7, 1, 10, 2, 5, 2, 3, 3, 5, 7, 6, 2, 5, 9, 7 = 142

"I disagree with the notion that anything in creation has absolutely nothing valuable to emulate. But, I'll concede your point if, and only if, you can satisfactorily explain the difference between your sword and the beast's martial arts."

He took a second to gesture to Jan, putting her firmly in the spotlight as she conveniently left out exactly what the leash was. After all, it was Jan's turn to have all lights on her.


Join Debate is Wits 2+Awareness 3+Stunt

Going for Parry DV using Manipulation 4+Investigation 2 (Socratic Method +2) for base 4 parry DV, activating 2nd Manipulation Excellency for +2 Parry DV and the two intimacies absolutely are interfacing because she's both using this as a teaching moment about martial arts, learning martial arts, and she's playing up the rivalry if not the romance, so that's 7 -2 for Solar Bond plus stunt ratings for a minimum of 6 Parry DV.

Also making a Compulsion-Keyword NMI attack to get Jan talking about her code of honor and/or how it relates to her sword.

Manipulation 4+Investigation 2+Specialty 2+Stunt
No. 960053 ID: f57349

Let's play out the full social combat in the Discord server channel set aside for such purposes. Next scene probably picks up six hours later (four hours after sundown). At that point, Desert Locust has had time to attune to the manse, snow's stopped coming down quite so hard, 25% progress has been made on the surgery to reattach Noir's arm, various fatigue penalties are gone or at least reduced to a manageable level, mote pools are most likely refilled, fire has almost entirely consumed that initial handful of kindling, and the ice eater is starting to regain consciousness.
No. 960077 ID: ac57f8

rolled 7, 8, 2, 9, 4, 3, 5, 7, 9, 3, 1, 10, 10, 10, 1, 8, 8, 6, 6, 9, 4, 10, 4, 4, 9, 8, 8, 7, 9, 2, 5, 10, 8, 9, 9, 1, 9, 2, 9, 4, 7, 3, 4, 1, 5, 10, 5, 4, 5, 4, 9, 5, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 8, 8, 6 = 350

As soon as Ada wakes up, and upon hearing about the statues, she's going to take great haste in trying to see if she can get them working, enough that she trips over the Yeti's head entirely on accident, kicking him really squarely in the face.

(Dex 5+Martial Arts 5, probably at a -5 internal penalty since she genuinely is kicking him on accident.)

And after brushing herself off, she goes to the other room where the Statues are, and she's going to sit down, and all three of her eyes open up in a shower of emerald green light as she's going to analyze them to see if they are indeed artifact golems, and see if she could find some way to activate them under her control.

(Not sure what the dicepool would be, but Int 5+ Occult 4 or Craft (Lightning)/Lore 3 with a full excellency with the Twilightoid anima power and Essence-Dissecting Stare)
No. 960243 ID: afdebc

rolled 5, 9, 7, 6, 3, 10, 6, 3, 6, 2, 4, 2, 6, 3, 1, 10, 3, 4, 3, 8, 7, 5, 10, 7, 1, 3, 7, 4, 6, 3, 2, 5, 5, 6, 3, 1, 7, 10, 8, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 2, 4, 6, 1, 1, 10 = 255

The social combat ends with Jan Do letting the compulsions past her defenses.

The warrior inclines her head in acquiescence. "It would be my pleasure to instruct you on such matters, as soon as the more pressing concerns of our security are seen to." This counts as a promise or oath, and it would go against Jan Do's personal code, valor, and temperance to break it.

Desert Locust's relic reveals the existence of its Moonsilver Razor Widow venom, as a means to restrain and disable the prisoner (so its host can get on with the business of attuning to the manse).

While the Doctor beings surgery, Jan do will attempt to secure the room. Using what furniture is movable (possibly including borrowed chairs from the dining room), she'll attempt to block / jam the doors in the sitting room besides the one connecting to the grand salon. She'll attempt to lock these doors with the Thrice-Warded Gateway ritual (Dex 5 + Occult 1 + Stunt), using stands of hair, requested from Shining Icicle Maiden. "Would you be so kind as to lend me your favor in the defense of this chamber?" (Character hook, and making the fortification about her lunar mate).
No. 960257 ID: ac57f8

"It's said that the skill of a swordswoman is in her hands rather than her tongue." She reached up and undid the braid she had most recently put her hair into, opting to have golden blonde hair and a snow white gown with sheer accents, her unbraided hair falling to the floor in heaps.

"But that is not true for you, Fair Jan, for none have ever asked this maiden for a token of my favor such as this." She made a show of plucking five hairs from her scalp each measuring in at 20 feet, and carefully folded them up into a gossamer handkerchief, sealed with a kiss, passing it gently.
No. 960408 ID: afdebc

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

Resuming her human shape, Tasnim offers a parting shot to the scantily clad woman/cat/man fellow shapeshifter in skytongue "You are showing early signs of exposure or possible frostbite- warm yourself, for goodness sake".

The doctor then makes it clear to her allies she's going to need hours to get this right, and trusting them to see to security, turns to her makeshift surgical theater, and her patient resting on one of the two padded platforms, the contents of her medical bag emptied and arranged for ease of access. All she has to do now is reattach the severed arm of someone without the sense to fly away from danger, and hope no more monsters show up before she's done. No problem, right?

Rolling to attempt to reattach Noir's arm! Tasnim is going to throw everything she has at this. Full excellency, compassion channel, and her full pool of solar bond dice (might be 3 since I used one before, but if she got a three die stunt on any of her diagnosis actions >>959947 , the stunt award could have been used to restock to 4). Also spending motes on Flesh-Sculpting Art (as many times as is necessary) and using whatever consumables from her supply are required (a Wound-Cleaning Unguent will likely be needed, and it might be wise to use the touchstone to check for Infernal taint, with the samurai's report of the ape wielding "Infernal Monster Style").

If the No Moon power to speed up information processing is relevant here, she'll commit 6m to that as well.

Starting with personal motes, but she's plenty willing to flare all the way to iconic if needed.

Intelligence 5 + Medicine 4 + Stunt (Motivation-Resonant) + Exceptional Tools 1 + First Intelligence Excellency 5 + Compassion 3 + Solar Bond 3 (or 4).
No. 960457 ID: ac57f8

While she might have otherwise considered it in poor taste to call a formal gown, but she did accept that she had come close to frostbite recently, so she shapeshifted one last time, this time into Haslanti hunting clothes made out of caribou skin, opting for gloves instead of mittens since she wasn't out in the snow right now.

"If you're so familiar with Frostbite, you should know I could be naked and still get better since this room is warm enough to keep blood flowing. A hot bath would be nice, and probably speed the process, but you've got more important things than help me scrub, and we don't have a tub regardless."

Far be it from a Haslanti (even with Medicine 0) to not know anything about treating frostbite.
No. 960499 ID: f57349

Looks like the "statues" are a simplified, ruggedized variant of the classic Folding Servant - notably omitting ability to fold up into a cube for storage, toolkit hands, and most of the power supply. If the manse's essence flows were less disordered they might be able to operate indefinitely while within a mile, but as it is, somebody will need to charge them up through that inch-wide gold disk where the shoulders meet the spine.

Factory-new they should be able to hold a charge for a day or two of continuous operation, maybe more, but after sitting out there with no maintenance since before the Contagion? Safe limit would be five motes per butlerbot, at least until you've had a chance to check them over in a proper workshop, and don't count on staying active for more than an hour per mote - maybe as little as twenty minutes per mote for anything more intensive than they're really designed to handle, like heavy lifting, combat, or philosophy.

The interior doors all slide into closely-fitted recesses or otherwise lie flush with the wall, and tend to stick in place. Opening or closing a door requires either reflexively spending a mote to 'lubricate' the decrepit mechanism, or a feat of strength - easy enough with a prybar, but slow. Holding a door half-open is possible, but without someone's active attention it'll start to wobble and soon slam fully open or shut. Thrice-Warded Gateway somehow links into preexisting defensive magic - invisible bars are still at 92% six hours later, when you'd usually expect them to be gone after one.
No. 960505 ID: f57349

Six hours in, you've managed to restore blood flow, bone's back in the socket and major tendons are at least approximately aligned if not exactly restrung, but even the finest tools Nexus can reliably provide are barely up to the task of splicing nerves, so there's a lot of delicate, tedious work still ahead. Making steady progress, though, and work so far seems to be stable enough that you could take a short break if necessary, though if the patient moves around much - even sitting up - chances are it'd tear loose and you'd have to start all over.
No. 960532 ID: ac57f8

rolled 1, 6, 3, 2, 8, 10, 4, 10, 3, 2, 4, 6, 9, 1, 9, 10, 5, 1, 10, 4, 5, 3, 4, 5, 3, 2, 9, 8, 6, 4, 9, 6, 7, 8, 1, 9, 8, 10, 7, 7 = 229

Well, in that case, she would need to repair them a bit more, since she definitely always wanted a robot ally.

But, she scooted back, and started chanting "She Who Lives in Her Name is the Gate and She Who Lives in Her Name is the Key..." and as she did so, she touched the golden disk with a mind hand manifesting as a small bolt of lightning, depositing 3m and committing it to the golem, and as long as it didn't immediately try and attack her, she's going to ask it for as complete a layout of the manse as is possible, pulling a small sheaf of parchment and some ink out to build a map.
No. 960539 ID: f57349

Mechanical waiter accepts the paper and ink with a bow, then promptly leads you out of the dining hall, up a flight of stairs, across a room with elaborate portraits on the walls, down a hallway, through a large long-abandoned bedroom, and into what's unmistakably an architect's studio, about 30' east-west by 40' north-south. Slant-topped draftsman's table up against the west wall, between a window and the door you came in through, 1/15th scale model of the manse and surrounding mountainside on the east wall. Another window to the south, other doors (closed) to the north and northeast.
No. 960575 ID: afdebc

For some reason this almost seems to catch the samurai off guard- she was not expecting so strong a response, perhaps?- but she quickly marshals her composure and accepts the token, using a portion of the over-long hairs to seal the doors.

>Thrice-Warded Gateway somehow links into preexisting defensive magic - invisible bars are still at 92% six hours later, when you'd usually expect them to be gone after one.
This seemingly helpful interaction draws the Dusk's suspicion- does this supporting magic mean we might be unable to unbar sealed doors at need? Could someone with control of the manses defenses disable this magic- collapsing an entire series of wards we would otherwise believe would hold for hours?

For the moment, the forsaken opts merely to monitor the situation and not test if the wards would resist being unwound. It would not do to disturb the doctor if there were a violent reaction.

She will, however, bring matter to the attention of her more more mystically minded companions for investigation. (Adamant Strix or anyone with Essence Sight might want to examine what's going on in more detail).

>It's three hours forty-five minutes past noon
>Six hours in
When sunset approaches, Jan Do will break her vigil and approach Shining Icicle Maiden, staff in hand, and request assistance in accessing the third floor balcony, that she might find soil in which to plant it.
No. 960576 ID: afdebc

Preferring not to leave the matter to chance, Tasnim will not be taking a break from her task unless it becomes necessary.

(Stamina 5 + Resistance 1) means she can handle at least 6 hours before fatigue penalties start accumulating, and assuming a stamina excellency can modify that static value, that can be pushed up even higher.
No. 960604 ID: ac57f8

rolled 8, 3, 6, 1, 5, 5, 1, 5, 10, 6, 1, 1, 7, 1, 8, 8, 6, 10, 3, 2, 8, 8, 9, 7, 5, 1, 5, 8, 5, 5, 4, 7, 3, 7, 6, 2, 5, 6, 4, 10 = 212

"Yeah, I actually want to get a good feel for the geomancy of this place actually, since this place needs a lot of work, so figuring out if this place has a control room, and a whole lot of nasty surprises that a Manse like this could hide that are laid bare in their Hearthroom."

While she was waiting on the Golem to process her request, she might as well take a quick look while her eyes were open to the essence of the world, first to the door, and then to the Grand Parlor they first 'came to' in, looking to see what enchantments are on the door, and figuring out as much as possible about the manse.


For the Door
Int 5+Occult 4+Stunt+2 Successes from Defiler Anima Power, maybe +3 for Master Degree (Geomancy) and maybe motivation resonant for 11-15 dice with 2 automatic successes.

For the Hearthroom
Int 5+(Lower of Lore/Occult)3+3(Master Geomancy Degree)+Stunt(Motivation Resonant?)+2 successes from Defiler Caste for 13-15 dice with 2 automatic successes
No. 960611 ID: ac57f8

"Well, I definitely can help get you enough mud to plant your staff in, but that will probably take a lot of playing in the dirt, for both of us."

She took a second to gauge Jan's reaction before she continued.

"So, I'll make the dirt for you, but you're in charge of collecting it and gathering it in a pile for planting. And when we find one, you owe me a bath."
No. 960620 ID: afdebc

Jan Do appears slightly nonplussed by the offer.

"I had hoped for your aid in ascending to the third-story balcony- growing things can be seen above already, and... I had an instinct that you had the means to take such a shortcut." she says, making reference to that strange sense of pervasive familiarity- of having fought besides someone until it became natural, their own capabilities as familiar groves as one's own's skills- despite the gap of memory.

With a small frown, she continues, "I would not ask you to sully yourself, nor deplete your reserves on such a task. Accumulating a tree's worth of soil here would be making a mess for our hosts, besides."
No. 960624 ID: 028443

“You would be right about the fact that I could go up to the third floor and collect dirt, but consider the following.

“One, taking the dirt from elsewhere in this manse and using it to grow a tree in a readily accessible location for everyone else isn’t less messy than creating the dirt Carte Blanche.

“Two, plants require a lot of conditions to grow, so introducing an entire Trees worth of root or taking dirt from there both run a lot of risk for those plants, and killing our host’s plants is almost certainly a bigger violation of hospitality than making a mess we can clean up.”

She wasn’t doing much to hide that she mostly just wanted Jan to give her a full body massage and to share a bath with her, but obviously she couldn’t ask outright since that wasn’t the kind of thing a lady could properly ask a knight first. And while that didn’t matter to her, she knew that kind of courtly manners did matter to Jan.
No. 960626 ID: f57349

>control room
After backtracking, butlerbot points out an array of small bejeweled buttons on the railing of the second floor south balcony overlooking the Grand Salon/Hearthroom. At the far end of the room with the portraits, there are eight waist-high marble pillars each topped with a head-sized ball of honey-colored crystal, which contain obvious latent magic.
Which door?
>accessing the third floor balcony
Stairs adjacent to the dining room continue further up and down.
No. 960683 ID: d9acdc

rolled 9, 4, 2, 7, 2, 10, 8, 6, 2, 9, 9, 3, 10, 6, 4, 9, 8, 8, 5, 5, 2, 2, 8, 7, 9, 8, 8, 7, 6, 5, 1, 5, 5, 1, 5, 5, 3, 10, 6, 5, 3, 9, 3, 6, 7, 9, 6, 6, 3, 10, 7, 8, 3, 6, 4, 9, 9, 1, 10, 9 = 362

Locust taps on the door, her back leaned against it.

"Hey, I've been talking to my feet, and I think I can keep the big hairy guy under. You want someone to climb up to those vines? Cause I wasn't much for it when I was younger, but whatever is going on with me right now, I feel like it wouldn't be too much of an issue."

For a moment, she considers asking why no one's tried to drive her out with fire and strong language, but she thinks better of looking the gift horse in the mouth. Best not to talk politics if it's liable to get you run through with a pitch fork.

If Jan and Icicle are amenable, Desert Locust will grab that knife she had kicking around in her bag, and start making her way up the wall, relying mostly on her extra arms and bladed legs, occasionally stabbing the knife into the wall as a makeshift handhold when she needs to, not too worried about blunting or breaking it.
No. 960689 ID: ac57f8

> What Door?
The door that has the weird positive feedback with Thrice Warded Gateway that's led to it lasting roughly an estimated 77 times longer than it is supposed to.

> Control Room

"Alright, there is definitely a Control Room, and it looks like it's visible from here. I'm not actually good at climbing, or attuned to this Manse. I'm probably going to sit and attune to the Manse now, so I can get a better personal feel for the Essence Flows, any arguments against that?"
No. 960710 ID: f57349

Turns out the knife isn't necessary, you can just hop up from the floor, grab the balcony railing, scramble up to stand on it, then jump again to reach the withered vines.

Attic seems to have much the same layout as the ground floor, at least with regard to load-bearing walls, but the peaked roof gives it a higher ceiling with scattered upward-facing windows. Decorations are sparse or absent, and the floor is crowded with low earthenware tables overflowing with dry soil and dead plants.

Directly above the dining room (well, presumably some other room is in between on the second floor) there's a jagged-edged hole in the roof. Assuming you plant the Traveler's Staff under it and commit three motes at around the right time, upper branches and leaves of the resultant apple tree plug the hole, mostly stopping the cold breeze, and allowing snow on the floor to start melting faster than it accumulates.

Four doors have been locked thus, with functionally identical results, at least within the usual tolerances of field-expedient thaumaturgy.

You're IN the control room, having been led there by a butlerbot, and can look down into the Grand Salon from the southern second-floor balcony. Any east-west traffic on the second floor would probably have to either pass through here, or climb along those narrow cornices in the Salon's walls.

Before you can even begin the relevant Soul Sea Meditation, Desert Locust hops up, mashing the banister-keyboard with three hands, at least one foot, and a knife, which sets off a veritable storm of multilayered essence-displays within - and even extending through air below - that cracked lens in the hearthroom ceiling. Then she leaps up and away, carelessly leaving the blade wedged upright between two rows of buttons.

When Adamant Strix starts to poke at the railing interface more cautiously, it's completely unresponsive. Every button and switch yields only a single synaesthetic feedback, somewhere between the shock of touching grounded metal after shuffling across carpet in socks, warning honk of a goose, and the flick of a courtier's fan as they pointedly refuse eye contact.
No. 960711 ID: ac57f8

Alright, since she saw all of that happens and still has Essence Sight up and motes still committed to the Twilightoid Anima Power, a number of questions, what did each individual button press trigger, playing the data that she saw over and over again in her head, focusing on the exact moment of impact with each of the three hands, the knife, and the foot with the control panels, and what it's doing when she touches it.

What she's trying to figure out:
> Is attunement necessary to work the controls (assumed yes)
> Is the denied noise because of my lack of being attuned, or was it broken in the flurry of activity
> Does removing the knife fix any of the above issues?
> Which button press caused which essence display
> Are the essence flows in this room out of focus, and how to fix them if they are.

I figure that each of those is roughly an Int 5+Occult 4+Geomancy 3+Motivation Resonant Stunt (studying a 5 dot manse up close is super useful for building a 5 dot manse) for 14-15 dice and 2 automatic successes to each roll. Since that's about 9 rolls and probably a hot minute of deep study that's a lot of dice.
No. 960712 ID: ac57f8

rolled 3, 8, 8, 1, 9, 7, 10, 1, 3, 7, 2, 3, 6, 5, 4, 9, 1, 5, 10, 10, 1, 7, 5, 9, 7, 3, 2, 7, 2, 3, 9, 7, 8, 3, 7, 5, 4, 7, 2, 2, 10, 5, 9, 3, 2 = 241

No. 960713 ID: ac57f8

rolled 10, 6, 5, 3, 6, 10, 4, 7, 5, 4, 9, 2, 3, 10, 9, 5, 6, 2, 6, 5, 3, 5, 4, 3, 4, 4, 6, 4, 7, 8, 1, 4, 2, 7, 5, 2, 10, 2, 5, 2, 4, 6, 8, 7, 5 = 235

No. 960714 ID: ac57f8

rolled 7, 10, 2, 9, 10, 6, 10, 7, 3, 9, 7, 2, 3, 3, 8, 7, 1, 8, 2, 3, 8, 3, 5, 9, 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 2, 9, 4, 6, 4, 6, 3, 8, 3, 1, 10, 8, 4, 6, 3, 10 = 256

No. 960715 ID: b621a0

I realized this after posting, but I’m going to make a quick timeline of the last 25 and change hours.
0:00 Sunset
0:30 Moonrise
6:30 Midnight
12:30 Moonset
13:00 Sunrise
19:00 Noon
22:30: Fight with Yeti
0:00 Sunset/Desert Locust mashing the buttons and planting the staff
3:30: Ada Wakes, current scene begins. Surgery 25% complete.

So disregard the above trying to figure out what each button did when pressed from above.
No. 960717 ID: f57349

> Is attunement necessary to work the controls (assumed yes)
> Is the denied noise because of my lack of being attuned, or was it broken in the flurry of activity
It'll be a lot easier to assess the severity of the damage once you're attuned, but there's clearly a non-zero amount.
> Does removing the knife fix any of the above issues?
> Which button press caused which essence display
Too many buttons were pressed simultaneously, while an Essence 4+ individual was obstructing the relevant part of your visual field, to really be certain, but you've got some good guesses. Looks like a map of a mountainous region and associated weather patterns, on the order of dozens of miles wide. Hundreds of highlighted points scattered across the region, mostly clustered in valleys, some sort of color codes shifted more than once while feet were scrambling around.
> Are the essence flows in this room out of focus,
> and how to fix them if they are.
That's not something you can figure out for sure in the time immediately available.
No. 960731 ID: ac57f8

rolled 7, 1, 10, 2, 5, 1, 9, 6, 9, 1, 5, 3, 3, 5, 2, 8, 4, 5, 3, 7, 1, 5, 9, 8, 1, 9, 10, 7, 1, 9, 3, 10, 6, 4, 9, 9, 1, 8, 9, 1 = 216

> Repair 3
> Needs Lore 5 Occult 4 Craft 4

Lens-work is Craft (Air) and I have Craft (Air) 2, Lore 3.

Both are favored, so that's 21(3+5+5+8) exp to get to the point where I can repair the lens and another 5 before I can do any big repairs to the actual projector.

> Looks at EXP

0/9 including this post. So, it will be a few hot minutes before I can actually do repairs, even ignoring that I'm presently without the tools to do such.

"Butler-Bot, can I ask you where the tools for maintaining everything in this Manse are? And if yes, where are the tools for maintaining everything?"

She should probably fix the problem of having naked hands to do repair work before she sits down for 5 hours to get attuned to start doing maintenance in earnest.
No. 960740 ID: f57349

You can ask. Butlerbot, however, seems to have strictly preprogrammed skills which do not include the technical details you're interested in, and loses all memory of events when powered down. Arguably that's a useful security feature: sensitive topics can be discussed over dinner without worry that a mechanical servant would later repeat what it overheard. In particular, butlerbot does not know where to find the sort of tools you're looking for.

Craft (Air) would be the skill for repairing a lens's physical structure, but circuitry and 'dry nanotech' are Craft (Lightning). Physical access to attempt such repairs may require going outside and clambering around on the roof at some point.
No. 960743 ID: afdebc

rolled 9, 10, 6, 4, 4, 6, 8, 3, 9, 8, 10, 7, 3, 6, 5, 9, 4, 9, 9, 5 = 134

>She wasn’t doing much to hide that she mostly just wanted Jan to give her a full body massage and to share a bath with her, but obviously she couldn’t ask outright since that wasn’t the kind of thing a lady could properly ask a knight first. And while that didn’t matter to her, she knew that kind of courtly manners did matter to Jan.
The Dusk spends 1m personal on activating Exquisite Etiquette Style, and confusion quickly gives way to understanding.

"Perhaps you might accept an invitation to share a meal instead?" she attempts deflection and compromise- perhaps giving her companion the a start towards the opening she seeks, while staying on track with immediate concerns. "It appears, however, that we may require the use of the stairs after all" she finishes, in response to Adamant Strix's noises of protestation over the abuse of the manse's control panel.

>Decorations are sparse or absent, and the floor is crowded with low earthenware tables overflowing with dry soil and dead plants.
>Directly above the dining room (well, presumably some other room is in between on the second floor) there's a jagged-edged hole in the roof. Assuming you plant the Traveler's Staff under it and commit three motes at around the right time, upper branches and leaves of the resultant apple tree plug the hole, mostly stopping the cold breeze, and allowing snow on the floor to start melting faster than it accumulates.
Assuming Fox accepts the invitation, the pair will head up to the attic via the stairs to attempt to plant the staff where indicated. I'm not sure what one rolls for proper magic-tree placement, but have some dice.

Before heading upwards, Jan will thank Desert Locust for scouting the room, and ask that she return to the first floor so the surgery is not unguarded in the Dusk's momentary absence.
No. 960747 ID: ac57f8

Damn, I wouldn't have expected useful knowledge like where tools should be to be considered confidential information.

But, that just means she's got to make a choice to make, and since there are other people looking to go do things, and she's already on the second floor, she's going to start trying to start exploring to try and find the tools first. After all, it would be super dumb to not keep tools in a place you would need tools to repair, especially this far out from most civilizations that would have been here even in the first age.

But, before she got too far ahead of herself, she got an idea. "If you can't tell me where the maintenance tools are, can you tell me where they are supposed to be independent of outside forces?" If that doesn't pan out, she's going to try and navigate to Clever Fox and Jan Do to see if they might trip along tools to do big repairs, and then if they didn't she would attune to the manse rather than go off exploring on her own.

"So, I've decided, I'm going to fix this place up, but I need a lot of tools, and I don't even know how long time wise, but I might as well try and tag along while you're out and about, since you might trip over a cache of tools I can use."


Spending 5 exp on Lore 3-> 4, in caste so training time instant
Spending 5 exp on exp debt from 2nd purchase of 1st Pyrian Excellency, 3 exp debt left
No. 960780 ID: ac57f8

Clever Fox of course accepts, keeping a calm and level mood to help hide the fact that she was actually quite pleased with the deal (spending 2m to invoke mask of white jade if pressed).

She did, however, insist on holding hands 'for protection.'
No. 960781 ID: afdebc

Jan offers the maiden her non-sword hand, and allows Adamant Strix to accompany them on their journey to the attic.

Committing 3m to Hearing the Unspoken Word as a precaution.
No. 960782 ID: f57349

It can direct you to the boiler, kitchen, forge, conjury, or rock-loom, as well as workshops for glassblowing, pottery, and sculpture, but when you try to explain basic magitech tools such as veblen arbitrators and hyperion keys it just tilts it's head like a lost puppy and "requests clarification" until the superficial description adds up to something it can plausibly interpret as, say, forge tongs or a salad fork, which it hesitantly suggests and offers to fetch for you.
No. 960784 ID: ac57f8

That's a good idea, since technically I think this is a new scene, Ada is going to double up on the Essence Dissecting Stare for 4m.

"So, full disclosure, I am going to need to attune to the manse before I can get any real work on fine tuning and fixing this manse up, but I want to stretch my legs a bit. One thing I'm not looking forward to is having to go up on the roof to get into the machinery of the big projector in the Hearthroom. Do you have any suggestions on how to get up there, and not die of a blizzard in the meantime?"
No. 960845 ID: ac57f8

I had missed this last night, but here it goes.
> Boiler
Not 100% sure what that has to do with crafting OOC
> Kitchen
Craft (Water) Workshop?
> Forge
(Wood)? I know out of character that it's a device for spinning rock into thread, but then working that rock-thread into normal clothes feels like it should be (Wood)

So it looks like there are integrated workshops for each of the 5 mundane crafts, and a boiler and a sculpture room.

So, as soon as Ada helps with the apples and firewood, going to the sculpture room and the boilers seems like the most reasonable place to start.

Fortunately, having done a deep dive magical analysis on everything she could find, it was apparent that this was all pre-shogunate, so even in disrepair it should be as simple as just re-calibrating everything, and maybe replace a few parts designed to break as opposed to having to re-build entire components wholesale like a similarly delapidated shogunate era version of almost everything.
No. 960933 ID: f57349

No hostiles detected, though the attic presents an abundance of places to hide, from crawling under tables to shifting shadows among the ribbed-stone rafters. Only living thing up there (that you didn't bring with you) seems to be some sort of moss or lichen on the broken surfaces of that hole in the roof.

Remember to include a roll.

>Not 100% sure what that has to do with crafting
Boiler room is where the plumbing and fuel-gathering tools go when they're not in use. Pottery is actually also Craft (Fire), while Craft (Earth) covers carved stone - but painting or other fine detail work on sculptures might be Craft (Air) instead. Butlerbot's description of the rock-loom sounds at least a little bit like an automated production line, which would almost certainly involve at least some magitech parts, and it's also the closest - right through a door to the south of the dining room. The most direct route to the boiler actually goes through there, while the sculpture studio is off in the opposite direction. So, which way first?

> deep dive magical analysis on everything she could find
Search for clues takes 15 minutes by default, assuming a specified target area comparable to a small room, and you need to be declaring it as an actual action. Essence sight and anima power provide bonuses, but neither negates the need for time and attention. You are not an elf with the ability to passively check for secret doors.

That said, yes, the manse and original furnishings are clearly pre-Shogunate, but this place was a rustic hunting lodge by the standards of the day, with minimal automation as a deliberate aesthetic choice, and also some unique design features which were likely never subject to rigorous testing and peer review because secrecy was the whole point. Possibility of core systems needing full overhauls shouldn't be ruled out. Truly thorough analysis, of the sort needed to sort out bugs inherent to the original design or build a functional copy from scratch, can easily take months or years.
No. 960947 ID: afdebc

rolled 7, 5, 3, 4, 8, 3, 9, 1, 4, 6, 5, 9, 1, 4, 9, 10, 3, 4, 9, 8 = 112

With the attic reached without difficulty, Jan Do will plant the staff below the opening in the roof, as previously discussed, without releasing her lunar mate's hand, and committing 3m to grow the tree for her.

Gather apples and firewood to bring back downstairs would likely see hand-holding activities interrupted, however.

>Remember to include a roll.
Whups. There was an unused roll back here if you needed one >>960743
No. 960988 ID: ac57f8

rolled 6, 7, 10, 8, 1, 7, 5, 5, 10, 5, 2, 3, 10, 9, 2, 2, 10, 9, 5, 4, 2, 2, 8, 4, 1, 3, 6, 2, 4, 3, 9, 10, 4, 9, 1, 1, 2, 6, 5, 6, 1, 5, 7, 6, 1, 4, 8, 10, 1, 10 = 261

Well, since the quest to plant the staff was over incredibly quickly, she might as well go examine the rock loom first. Upon entering, she's going to take some time (30 minutes at the longest if she doesn't find anything interesting longer as decided if she does) to search the room, her eyes shining like spotlights illuminating every secret before her eyes, deep in study as she looks for both a tool kits, and insights into the manse itself.

Perception 4+Awareness 3+Stunt+7 Excellency (+Essence successes for anything magical)

Int 5+Occult 4+Stunt for any charm effects that come up
No. 961000 ID: 5f0ee2

rolled 6, 5, 10, 6, 8, 2, 7, 10, 5, 8, 9, 2, 10, 2, 4, 5, 4, 4, 3, 9, 6, 4, 5, 4, 10, 7, 9, 8, 7, 8, 7, 5, 6, 10, 7, 1, 5, 3, 6, 2, 5, 8, 6, 6, 9, 6, 3, 9, 8, 7, 10, 5, 1, 3, 6, 8, 8, 1, 8, 8 = 364

>Before heading upwards, Jan will thank Desert Locust for scouting the room, and ask that she return to the first floor so the surgery is not unguarded in the Dusk's momentary absence.
Locust pouts a little bit after her trip up the walls proves to be unnecessary, Jan Do brining the staff and a friend up via a staircase.

When she makes the trip back to the sitting room, she quickly realizes talking to the doctor while she works is a poor plan; it's unclear if that was meant to be a grunt or a growl, but obviously she needs to focus on the task at hand.

Not able to pace around, Locust fidgets for a bit, trying to think of what to do to occupy herself, and starts inspecting the doors with the unusual locks.

Does essence sight reveal anything unusual in the attic of sitting room? All mental stats are at three, as are awareness and occult, but lore is only at one.
No. 961047 ID: f57349

The room is filled almost literally wall to wall and floor to ceiling with machinery - for the most part badly damaged, but it looks like it should be relatively simple to repair, given a few weeks, particularly if you start by reassembling and translating those shattered clay tablets with what appears to be the instruction manual. Whole thing is arranged more like a tinkertoy proof-of-concept than a serious production model, clearly designed to keep core functionality visible and easy to adjust, even at the expense of absolute efficiency. One of the largest fragments identifies the inventor as Iatrixian the Weaver, an acquaintance of your shard's previous incarnation, and laments that such a simple and beneficial technique may be lost to the world, since this is the only copy.

Alternatively, you might be able to cannibalize the device (particularly sensors linked to indicator needles) into a serviceable set of basic magitech diagnostic-and-maintenance tools, but passing up such an obvious opportunity for absolute monopoly on a First Age industrial process would mean going against your Urge.

In the attic on the far side of the hearthroom from the newly planted apple tree you find a few plant bits that are more or less edible (though extremely dry), a thumb-sized piece of silvered glass glued to one of the rafters, and two sets of stairs in the gloomy northwest corner: on the right, a narrow spiral leading down, and on the left, a broad, gentle ramp leading up.

The ramp is barricaded with what appears to be a jumbled pile of stone chairs, partially melted like warm wax and fused into the walls and each other. Essence sight confirms that this was not part of the manse's original design (nor were most of the skylights, incidentally, though far more effort went in to harmonizing them with the structure), and that the melted-looking stone truly is seamlessly connected - but no significant heat or other non-earthen essence (like what your feet do) was directly involved at any point. Something smoothly reshaped the stone without breaking or even softening it.

While Jan's gathering food and firewood, who's guarding the prisoner?
No. 961056 ID: afdebc

>particularly if you start by reassembling and translating those shattered clay tablets with what appears to be the instruction manual
OOC (as neither of my characters is yet aware of Ada's discover) but it occurs to me we may have the tools for that- either by learning Incantation of Efficacious Restoration from Tasnim's spellbook, or by using Blood Calligraphy Technique to rapidly transcribe the tablets onto paper.

>While Jan's gathering food and firewood, who's guarding the prisoner?
Plan had been to leave Desert Locust to stand guard while Jan Do ascended (hence the last line of this post >>960743 ) but if Des' exploration is taking place concurrently (and not before she returns to the first floor, or after Jan returns) this may have broken down. The prisoner has also been dosed with moonsilver razor widow venom, discussed in
>>960683 and >>960243 .
No. 961064 ID: ac57f8

rolled 5, 6, 9, 9, 2, 5, 7, 9, 3, 10, 5, 1, 1, 9, 10, 8, 9, 10, 1, 5, 9, 4, 5, 2, 6, 7, 1, 7, 2, 2 = 169

Well, re-assembling them seems like the harder part, but might as well start by trying to assemble them into one place to start trying to piece them together, and pull out a sheaf of parchment and charcoal to start making a rubbing as soon as I've gotten a tablet assembled.

And, I already speak Old Realm, so what would I be translating it into?

I'm not really sure what skill a rubbing would be, so here are dice.
No. 961075 ID: f57349

>I already speak Old Realm, so what would I be translating it into?
More familiar dialect (Solar Deliberative vs. present-day Malfean), technical vocabulary, filling in any gaps from shards you can't find, that kind of thing. Some of the best High First Age educational resources, like the Abscissic Guide, convey complex concepts to almost anyone with barely more than a glance, but this is not one of those. There's a reason it's "Iatrixian the Weaver," rather than "Iatrixian the Poet" or "Iatrixian the Clear and Concise Note-Taker."
>I'm not really sure what skill a rubbing would be
Craft (air), though the main challenge is reassembling it all like a jigsaw puzzle. Butlerbot helps enough with gathering the pieces to provide a teamwork bonus, fetches you a light meal (apples and a bowl of snow), then wanders off at some point while you're distracted.

>The prisoner has also been dosed with moonsilver razor widow venom
Which wears off after an hour per dose.

Fortunately, when you get back downstairs, the beast is only just regaining consciousness. It's also been tied up more thoroughly than when you saw it last, climbing rope from somebody's pack binding arms palm-out behind with a pillar between the elbows, and is being watched by the butlerbot activated earlier, who bows before asking whether this prisoner is to be provided with food, water, and/or medical care.
No. 961078 ID: ac57f8

rolled 3, 10, 2, 3, 6, 4, 2, 3, 9, 8, 10, 5, 6, 6, 1, 10, 9, 4, 9, 6, 10, 10, 1, 6, 1, 9, 9, 4, 8, 4 = 178

Considering that I learned Old Realm from the Volkhawsen rather than Malfeas, I probably have Old Realm (Shogunate) but filtered with a Seatongue accent for speaking same as Riverspeak honestly.

>Rock-spinning can be learned as a Craft charm by any solar exalt or solar half-caste with Shattering Grasp and two dots in both Craft (Earth) and Craft (Wood). CNNT speeds it up and negates the need for a drop-spindle or equivalent tool as normal, while the cost remains 3m per hour, not per unit. Reverse-engineering the machine would be equivalent to inventing a master-level procedure in the Art of Elemental Earth

Since translating would be the training time to learn the charm but I'm not a Solar, does that mean that translating in this case follows the rules for inventing a procedure, and takes a total successes of Int+Lore at a difficulty 4 until I have 20 successes, or does having a mostly functioning proto-type speed that up significantly?

Or, does that mean that it would be the time to learn that Heretical Charms are possible, and then 6 days to learn Pelegrina's Fury and 3 weeks to learn a Heretical Combination of Mind Hand Manipluation and Pelegrina's Fury that would thus allow me to spin rock into thread?

Or, since I'm not a Solar who can learn craft charms, would it just be an Int+Linguistics check to try and translate the document into something I can use to reduce the time-scales of any of the above things?
No. 961092 ID: afdebc

rolled 2, 4, 10, 7, 8, 4, 5, 4, 9, 4 = 57

>Fortunately, when you get back downstairs, the beast is only just regaining consciousness. It's also been tied up more thoroughly than when you saw it last, climbing rope from somebody's pack binding arms palm-out behind with a pillar between the elbows, and is being watched by the butlerbot activated earlier, who bows before asking whether this prisoner is to be provided with food, water, and/or medical care.
Jan Do takes note that the automaton defers to her, rather than the prisoner, suggesting the yeti does not have prior claim on the manse or its servants. That or the mechanical being is entirely feckless, and defers to her group only because Adamant Strix supplied it with power.

"Yes, you may provide all three" she answers in Old Realm, the same tongue in which the request was made. Even in war, proper conduct must be followed- even when it benefits those who hold themselves to lesser standards.

Jan Do will allow the machine to perform its ministrations, and delay questioning the yeti until after it has been seen to.

For questioning the yeti- do we want to treat that as social combat in discord? If so, here's join debate. Wits 3 + Awareness 1 + Stunt
No. 961098 ID: d9acdc

rolled 6, 7, 2, 1, 9, 1, 10, 4, 10, 5, 2, 6, 7, 6, 2, 2, 9, 2, 10, 6, 1, 4, 1, 1, 3, 2, 6, 7, 10, 1, 7, 3, 7, 1, 7, 3, 10, 9, 9, 1, 1, 7, 7, 1, 3, 6, 9, 3, 10, 4, 6, 9, 2, 6, 4, 4, 3, 1, 2, 6 = 294

>Plan had been to leave Desert Locust to stand guard while Jan Do ascended
Desert Locust would have neglected prisoner duty in favor of watching over Tasnim and the wounded, as described. Seems simple enough for Clever Fox or Jan Do to peer over the edge of the attic into the ball room to watch the prisoner while the other grabs firewood and fruit.

As for questioning the prisoner, Locust releases a silent breath of relief, intended to be private but probably easy for Jan to read into.

"Okay, so, if things get hairy, I think I can facilitate a discussion, like a sort of safe parley zone. Do you want to do this where you can hit it with a sword if it acts up, or in some sort of neutral ground? I'll be honest, I've never tried this before, not sure exactly how it would work, but I think it's some sort of instantaneous mental discussion- say whatever you want, as long as you want, and when you blink it'll only have been a moment but you'll still have a grasp on the whole thing."

Desert Locust is ready to join debate as well, and activate Worldly illusion if needed.

Wits three, appearance three, stunt>
No. 961103 ID: f57349

How much preserved food did you bring along, and what do you seek to learn from the prisoner?

Reassembled tablet (it'll be in usable shape around the same time Noir's arm is reattached, though Incantation Of Effective Restoration would aid legibility and make it much safer to transport) counts as a tutor for learning the relevant charm, though it's little more than a reminder of the existence of prerequisites. Broken machine counts as a suitable research facility for "inventing" that single procedure, which could occur concurrently with repairs to the machine itself, and reduces the roll interval for doing so to two weeks. Spare parts may need to be scrounged or fabricated, but that should be easy enough if you can locate any unnecessarily elaborate mechanical deathtraps.
No. 961107 ID: ac57f8

rolled 9, 6, 10, 2, 1, 10, 10, 3, 8, 1, 8, 1, 1, 4, 2, 10, 2, 4, 4, 10, 4, 10, 7, 2, 7, 3, 4, 3, 6, 7, 6, 7, 2, 1, 6, 9, 8, 3, 10, 2, 10, 6, 2, 2, 6, 8, 3, 6, 5, 6, 4, 3, 3, 5, 5, 6, 5, 5, 4, 1 = 308

Ada works on piecing together the tablet, but as it becomes clear that it's teaching her a way to do it that she can never follow, or so her heart of hearts warns her, she decides that she's going to have to come back to this. She still will get the tablets together, but since she's reasonably sure at this point that it's less important, she's going to explore elsewhere.

Since Butler-bot abandoned her over the course of the ~hour she spent on the tablet, she was going to need a map, only she remembered that she was already shown something better than a map, and she navigates back to the Architect studio/abandoned bed-room in order to examine the model of the manse, and she was going to look for a way to pull the thing apart so she could examine the floor-plan.

Activating Perception 4+Awareness 3+Stunt+7 excellency dice (+2 auto successes vs magic) for examining the model

Int 5+Occult 4+(Geomancy +3)+Stunt to examine how the geomancy of the manse is supposed to be vs how it is today from what she's seen

Int 5+Occult 4+Stunt (+2 Successes) to examine any magical effects that I find.

Spending 4m on Essence Dissecting Stare, 7m on 1st Pyrian Excellency, and 5m on Twilight Anima Power as necessary, assuming that this is a new scene.

0/16 personal motes, 21/22 peripheral motes 10/10 wp all channels remain
No. 961119 ID: f57349

Scale model doesn't include those skylights in the attic, nor does it accurately depict interior rooms which lack windows. When you nudge one slightly out-of-place pillar, it triggers some concealed mechanism, causing the roof to fold up and reveal a coffin.

Inside, robes of orichalcum-veined marble frame a grinning skull at one end and bare toe-bones at the other, with the rest of the partially mummified corpse presumably in between, pinned under a massive memory crystal, broad as a kite shield and more than three inches thick.

"Use of Ambient Essence in Architecture, by Kal Bax"

There's a twilight caste mark by the author's name, and a further warning that mortals should not attempt to physically lift it unaided. Appears to be a comprehensive treatise, starting from child-friendly instructions on how to forge a hammer and chisel to square off stone blocks, continuing through the thaumaturgical fundamentals you're already familiar with, and then steadily on past local tweaks to the laws of physics into truly brain-twisting esoterica. Mechanically, it's a 4-dot artifact, counts as a tutor for Craft(Earth)(Fire)(Metal)(Wood), Lore, and Occult all to the 6-dot level, master degree in geomancy, and more, but can only be used by one person at a time and weighs half a ton.

There are two more butlerbots inactive back down in the dining room, and their dependence on the manse seems to come with instant knowledge of it's current floor plan despite their lack of episodic memory when fully discharged.
No. 961131 ID: d9acdc

>what do you seek to learn from the prisoner?

Primarily personal questions; those of interest to Desert Locust will be listed in no particular order:
-who are you
-why were you chasing us
-do you know anything about how we got here
-can you tell us anything about ourselves that you observed before entering this room
-what is this place
-are there any settlements nearby
-who is the local authority, what customs and rules would we be punished for breaking
-what would it take to get you to work with us instead of against us

Locust is unfamiliar with herself or the area, clearly most concerned with relevant personal or political details that might affect her. General pleasantries, like names, types of food you enjoy, the traditional sort of social ice breakers, would also probably be exchanged.
No. 961161 ID: ac57f8

That's probably less useful for me personally then it has any right to be, since Twilight Caste don't need tutors on any of those things (unless it can accelerate the 1st dot of Wood, Earth, and Metal to less than 3 weeks),and already having a master's degree in Geomancy, but you'd best believe that the noise Ada will make upon discovering this find contains an utterly inhuman level of joy.

But, for as much as I can interact with it, does it have any secret 1st age thaumaturgy rituals that Lookshy wouldn't have taught a foreigner, either because super secret or they just don't know?
No. 961164 ID: ac57f8

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

This is likely going to take far longer than a single scene, but Fox is going to start work on building her 'leash' and forming intimacies of allyship and building a sense of shame over it's actions so deep that it would make a Catholic Priest look like a nudist.
No. 961179 ID: afdebc

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

>How much preserved food did you bring along, and what do you seek to learn from the prisoner?

>Tasnim's the strongest, when she goes mammoth
>Alright, then, you find 600 pounds of slightly frostburnt trail rations in a pair of oversized saddlebags, concealed under a thin layer of snow on the front porch.

All right, if we don't want to do the interrogation as social combat then Jan Do's questions are as follows:

-The prisoner's name, rank, and allegiance
-To explain itself. Why did it engage us in battle?
-What it is doing here
-Information about the local area
-If the prisoner is aware of or a member of any local forces or factions, information on those.

Rolled here >>961092 , here's more dice if needed.

It seems like trying to start a long term conditioning campaign might get in the way of an interrogation?
No. 962180 ID: f57349

>any secret 1st age thaumaturgy rituals
Quite possibly, but there isn't a convenient "stuff the Seventh Legion doesn't already know" section in the index.
The beast's accent in Old Realm is atrocious, and all but admits that if you untie a hand enough to write, it'll be Join Battle time again shortly afterward.
"Fisato" or possibly "Fisehto." Going by inflection this seems to be more like a job description: 'one whose hands inflict harm.' With radiant pride, it further claims a lineage of martial instruction traceable back to Gorol, First Iron Wolf of the Forty-Nine Chambers of Suntarankal.
Aspirant to citizenship, unconfirmed solely for lack of access to a suitable priest.
Cordial Slug-Mother of the Dal'sharr. Based on honorifics, seems to be talking about a spirit who can be summoned and bound, but not by just anybody, and who maintains an entire species of subordinate spirits as her personal retinue. Roughly comparable to a lesser elemental dragon? Not an individual you've ever heard of before.
>local authority, nearby settlements
Dal'sharr collectively have more-or-less undisputed control over territory outside this building for... some great distance in every direction. Multiple days on foot, but it's very rough terrain, and Fisto here isn't particularly confident dealing with numbers above three. They've got either a vast enchanted city, or a tiny glitzed-up trading post surrounded by a few tents (hard to pin down scale with so little basis for comparison), down at the far end of this valley. Twenty or thirty miles, maybe?
>why the violence
This manse is cursed, and a hateful quality of that curse extends to everything and everyone associated with it. There's a jade tablet hidden somewhere which must be manipulated in some manner and/or destroyed in order to break the curse. Doing so would earn the eternal gratitude of all Dal'sharr.

Also you seem to have food and medical supplies, which make good bargaining chips, since there's never enough of either to go around.

Shame over having messed up and gotten caught is easy. Convincing Fisto the Yeti to forsake current allegiances and serve you instead might be trickier, but under the circumstances is more likely to come down to questions of cost/benefit rather than whether such a thing can be done at all. Talking an Infernal Monster stylist into regretting their history of violent assault on moral grounds, though? Definitely going to need to explain how you're framing that, and some plan to make sure the philosophy you're inflicting adds up to anything more than dust in the wind as soon as you're out of earshot.
No. 962208 ID: afdebc

rolled 10, 2, 6, 6, 5, 10, 7, 9, 10, 1, 8, 5, 9, 3, 5, 10, 3, 9, 9, 10 = 137

So we are within the territory of a powerful spirit and her followers. The curse upon this house must be potent indeed for such a place of power to lie unoccupied and unclaimed in spite of this.

Can you tell us anything else about the manner of this curse?

>There's a jade tablet hidden somewhere which must be manipulated in some manner and/or destroyed in order to break the curse. Doing so would earn the eternal gratitude of all Dal'sharr.
This is the reason you are here then? Braving the dangers to prove yourself, or questing to destroy this jade anchor, that you might be rewarded?
No. 962243 ID: ac57f8

rolled 10, 2, 9, 9, 3, 3, 3, 9, 5, 9, 5, 8, 6, 1, 5, 6, 2, 7, 9, 1, 6, 9, 5, 6, 10, 9, 6, 10, 9, 7, 7, 9, 8, 7, 2, 8, 1, 9, 7, 7 = 254

I'm not looking to have him serve us and break allegiance, I'm looking to have him not attack us in the future and teach us (probably just me since Jan Do doesn't like dishonorable martial arts) both Infernal Monster Style and First Pulse style, and my first reaction was that shame was the best way to accomplish that.

But, there is another, better way.

"Well then, I suppose that it is a shame that you haven't a priest to teach you the right rituals to proclaim yourself a citizen, even here, and have none of the priesthood deny you, but in my travels and years a diplomat, I may have come across ways to integrate yourself into any society as a citizen, Malfeas included, paperwork be damned. Of course, my memory seems to be failing me recently."

So, she's opening up discussion aiming to get the Yeti to offer the only valuable things it had on it, the prodigious line of mentors that passed their knowledge on (and maybe some of its complementary knowledge of brutal martial arts, she doesn't want to be someone without a tool in her tool-kit)
No. 962245 ID: ac57f8

I forgot to add dice totals and mechanics.

Manipulation 4+Bureaucracy/Presence 0+Stunt (presumably 2) for 6 dice.
No. 962611 ID: f57349

Who's watching the perimeter while you're interrogating the prisoner? If nobody's standing guard, the masked figure in the mirror might try to politely get your attention, pointing out another humanoid with white fur on the front porch, poking at the supply cache with some unidentified type of magical weapon.
No. 962643 ID: afdebc

rolled 10, 8, 3, 1, 6, 1, 1, 1, 5, 10, 5, 6, 8, 7, 10, 9, 1, 5, 2, 8 = 107

Admant Strix is investigating the library and/or the tablet, Tasnim Violette and Noir are engaged in surgery, and Jan Do, Clever Fox and Desert Locust are in the main hall, questioning the yeti. No one is on perimeter guard, except perhaps the blizzard itself.

As Clever Fox has not finished her discussion with the prisoner and uninterested in cutting the discussion short, when the spirit catches their attention, Jan Do will bade her companions to remain while she investigates.

Heading to the porch to meet the interloper, 3m committed to Hearing the Unspoken Word.
No. 962647 ID: f57349

Snowshoe Hare's daughter wakes up shivering, under a familiar travel blanket in an unfamiliar bedroom. It's like something out of a ruined palace: 20' square and 12' high with bare walls of beautiful blue-gray stone, narrow stained glass windows to the left and toward the foot of the bed, closed door in the middle of the right-hand wall. A broken-stringed lyre sits on a stand in the corner between the windows, floor is strewn with debris. Seems to be night outside, or at least very heavily overcast.

On examination, bedframe is one of those types that's actually a sort of wide, flat, slow-burning oven, keeping the sleeper comfortably warm without wasting energy on the rest of the room. Fuel must have run out while you slept.

Window's angled facets distort images slightly, but you manage a good look at the newcomer: seems to be an albino gorilla, with almost antelope-like forehead horns. Apart from the coloration, it's clearly an erymanthus, type of demon commonly brought forth by sorcerers and bound to violence or brute labor. Doesn't seem to have noticed you yet; it's gnawing some of the meat off an elephant's thighbone held in it's right hand, left on the ground with three fingers wrapped around and through... is that a basket hilt? Every detail of the attached blade's appearance slips out of your memory the instant you look away from it, apart from the fact that it's almost ten feet long.

Opening the door would be a diceless miscellaneous action, after which you would be able to reach the blood ape with a 5-yard reflexive Move. Going out, attacking and/or grabbing part of the supplies (with a feat of strength), returning, and closing the door behind you all in a single tick might be possible as a flurry, provided one of those actions was Dash.
No. 962652 ID: 0640da

rolled 2, 1, 1, 6, 3, 4, 9, 6, 8, 1, 5, 3, 4, 2, 7 = 62

Patches in Reality rubs at her eyes with a paw, before springing to alertness... it's unclear how she ended up here, since before now she was perfectly upright, sitting at the trunk of a tree and sketching a building in the distance. She wasn't really confident she knew where she was then, and she certainly doesn't know where she is now. First her paws go to examine her artifacts, and on confirming she still has them she starts to relax... then she looks inside the Nibsplitter to check for her journals-- still there. Good. She does, however, deem that she's been resting long enough on the oven-bed, and hops right off and onto the floor... careful of debris, she makes her way over to the lyre. It looks damaged, but perhaps it just needs a restringing. Whomever found her resting wherever she was must really treasure this instrument. From what she could tell the instrument just needs new strings, but the repairs might need to be... more extensive than even that. (Rolling Craft (Air) 3 or Craft (Wood) 1 + Performance 1 to examine the instrument and determine repairs needed.)

With her back turned to the door, she might not notice someone coming in right away, but she's not so distracted she couldn't see someone trying to get her attention.
No. 962657 ID: f57349

>Intelligence 4, Craft (Wood) 1, stunt 2, darkness -1
>Dexterity 4, Athletics 0
>rolled 2, 1, 1, 6, 3, 4
Two ones and no successes is a botch. You gingerly pick up the ancient, brittle lyre, turn around and walk back toward the bed to sit down and examine it, then step on something small, round, and hard, which slips out from under your foot, ricochets off the bed, and beans you square in the forehead. 'Not the face' flinch response would have lifted the lyre up just enough for that projectile to snap something...
>Destiny 5
>9, 6, 8, 1, 5
...but instead it passed through a gap left by broken strings. You fall flat on your butt, flailing and juggling for a few embarrassing seconds, but nobody else saw that and nothing seems to be broken that wasn't already. Mark off a level of bashing damage in your -0 health box.

Lyre turns out to be carved from black ash wood (famous for it's resistance to decay), sixteen or seventeen hundred years old, and in surprisingly good condition apart from needing the strings replaced. Crossbar seems like some type of ivory, but on that you're less certain.
No. 962662 ID: 0640da

Patches groans and rubs her paw where she slipped... weird things like this are always happening to her. Little things she does turn into chain reactions that end up beaning her in the face with wayward debris. Rubbing her head now, she sets the Lyre to the side of the heated bed and decides that she doesn't really have the tools to fix this right now, and she'll just have to meet her benefactor in person to thank them directly... hopping off the bed, she pads over to the door and attempts to open it and head outside. If it weren't for her mutant fur, she might be chilly, she thinks...

"Hello? Anyone there?" Patches calls out. "I'm awake!"
No. 962665 ID: afdebc

rolled 4, 1, 7, 7, 4, 4, 2, 3, 5, 3, 3, 1, 8, 10, 1, 1, 2, 1, 8, 7 = 82

Taking a moment to place herself in the same state of martial readiness as the interloping false-antelope, Jan Do pauses to ready her weapon in one hand, and then, with the other, opens the door.

Addresses the demon in it's native tongue, she challenges it in Old Realm. "Greeting, Stranger. It is custom to ask before inviting one's self to anther's hospitality, or to knock, at the very least."

Rolling Join Battle or Join Debate, depending on if the Bloop Ape responds with words or violence. In either caste, that's Wits 3 + Awareness 1 + Stunt. If Join Battle, Hearing the Unspoken Word adds 2 dice. Either way, I will also spend 4m personal on the Second Awareness Excellency for 2 auto-successes.
No. 962673 ID: f57349

rolled 3, 9, 4, 4, 9, 6, 3, 5, 10, 10, 9, 7, 3, 1, 7, 10, 5, 8, 9, 10, 7, 10, 8, 8, 3, 6, 10, 3, 7, 6, 10, 2, 3, 3, 8, 6, 2, 10, 10, 2, 5, 8, 9, 8, 1, 2, 7, 5, 4, 7, 2, 8, 9, 7, 2, 6, 6, 9, 5, 7 = 373

Apparently the demon is willing to talk, though hardly in a friendly tone.
"Was this meat meant as an offering or an insult? It's not very fresh, and some [obscene epithet] drained all the blood out!"

Literal translation of the word in brackets would be 'person who enjoys the taste of gold,' but it's clearly intended as a term of contempt.

Mechanically, the blood ape's going to start with a Monologue action, setting up a Manipulation + Presence attack to extort worship and/or valuables. Stunting off of the context of hospitality you established, and tying into own Motivation by way of literal thirst for blood.
No. 962678 ID: f57349

No answer, and the door seems to be stuck, but right next to it there's a bronze panel with a funnel surrounded by eight small knobs. Twisting doesn't seem to do anything, but pulling or pushing on them in various combinations changes the sounds audible through the funnel - mostly empty rooms similar to or larger than the one you're in, several carpeted or otherwise covered in something that absorbs echoes better than bare stone. At least one has a slow steady drip into a pool of standing water, probably large enough to swim in, and another sounds like it might be filled with some sort of dense clutter.

You'll need to roll to figure out a pattern to how the speaking tubes connect, or to contact the other PCs, or force the door open. In fact, it's preferable to always include a roll.
No. 962679 ID: f57349

Jan Do wins Join Debate by two successes, and as such has two minutes (ticks zero and one) to act before the blood ape launches into that initial monologue.
No. 962690 ID: 0640da

Chk chk. Clunk. "Good morning!" Chk chk, clunk. "Good morning to you!" Patches opts at first for a 'try several combinations at random' strategy, pulling out a notebook from her inventory and recording the results for knobs in specific positions. If a knob is pulled, she writes a triangle, and if a knob is pushed, she writes a circle-- if she has it in between, she makes it a square. For each room she writes down what sounds she can hear, and in each room she contacts with the device she says 'Good morning!' and checks for a response. If there's a response, she writes down 'Success' and specially marks the combination for later, otherwise she just records what sounds she hears.

Once she's compiled enough data from the responses she's been given, she can start making inferences-- at least, that's the Whitewall academic way. First, record the world as it is-- then, make a hypothesis. Draw conclusions from testing your hypothesis, and follow ethical rules when running an experiment. Patches pauses. She's not exactly sure what the ethical rules are. She was kicked out of the program for exposing that murderer... well, no, not because she exposed them, but because she made her teachers look like idiots and ruined the image of the school while she did it. She's sure if she'd stayed in the program she wouldn't be where she is today, but now she's worried that she might be manipulating the experiment by saying 'good morning'. She clears her throat before continuing. "Ethical good morning!" That should do it, Patches thinks to herself. She moves to the next combination, pulling one knob at a time and keeping the rest depressed to begin, listening out with her superhuman hearing as she continues roll call.

(Investigation 3 is probably a good way to approach this one. Destiny too, but I think you just used it without me saying so and I'm not sure this qualifies as a second scene.)
No. 962691 ID: 0640da

rolled 4, 4, 8, 7, 9, 1, 8, 2, 4, 3, 1, 9, 10, 8, 10 = 88

No. 962701 ID: f57349

Midway through a delicate nerve-splicing procedure, Tasnim Violette is startled by a panel on the wall next to the fireplace making odd whooshes and clicks and then shouting "Good morning!" in Skytongue, with a Whitewall accent, despite the fact that it's clearly late evening.

Squares seem to produce muddled mixtures of sounds, and the middle position isn't firmly defined, whereas the knobs naturally click into place when fully in or out. Furthermore, two of the knobs don't switch the connection at all - it's not clear what they're doing, if anything - and pressing all eight in at once yields only a dull disconnected silence, so you're pretty sure there are at most 64 panels in the network.
No. 962704 ID: ac57f8

rolled 1, 2, 3, 10, 6, 7, 2, 2, 6, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 4, 6, 2, 5, 2, 6, 5, 10, 1, 9, 1, 2, 9, 1, 3, 6 = 146

Geomancy, the art of understanding the flow of essence. It was quite possibly the least well remembered Thaumaturgy (at least if you would listen to Sohei Linweck, who had given this speech while they charted the 'safe' parts of the buried Anathema cathedral under the Valkhawsen). Divination, spirit controlling, the average person understands them, and they're useful in day to day life, every bit as much art as science. But Geomancy, much like Alchemy, required rigor, and a thorough understanding of both how and why what you're doing works, and that was why Ada had leaned so heavily into Geomancy during her time there. She had considered Alchemy, but that didn't lean as heavily as understanding the principles behind how to build maximally efficient circuits.

That sprang to mind as her study of Geomancy, from the perspective of a first age master of the craft rather than a master of this fallen age as she had as a mortal, was interrupted by a stranger who's words she didn't understand, drawing her attention to the intercoms system. She took a quick look at the 8 knobs, and then looked beyond the panel, at the magitech behind the panel, and armed with the information she'd just been studying, her own master's degree in geomancy, and the fact that she could see the essence running through the dry-nanotech circuitry, she was intent on forcing the tube to connect to the previous connection that had hailed her in a strange language.

"Sound off, 1-2." She said in Old Realm as soon as she was satisfied with her attempt to engage the proper comms channel, having taken a simple call and response she learned from some of the soldiers she was studying with.

Dice pool:

Int 5+Lore/Occult 4 maybe +3 Geomancy for 12 dice +Stunt, throwing 5 dice from 1st Pyrian Excellency at it for 14 or 17 dice+Stunt
No. 962731 ID: f57349

Rather than elaborate magitech wiring, essence sight reveals the speaking tube system as a thing of elegant simplicity: air-filled pipes connect through a rod-logic junction box somewhere deep inside the walls. You understand which combinations connect to which rooms, how to use the seventh knob as a silent side-channel, even how to arrange 'conference calls,' or a connection between two rooms you aren't in.

Assuming Patches accurately describes where she's stuck, particularly the relative positions of the windows and door, a quick comparison to the scale model confirms that there's only one place she could possibly be: the bedroom in the southeast corner of the ground floor, almost directly below where you are. Scale-model room corresponding to the one outside that bedroom door features musical instruments and at least one large cabinet, which might have been moved over as a barricade.
No. 962757 ID: 0640da

rolled 10, 6, 10, 9, 3, 4, 1, 4, 4, 10, 3, 3, 9, 5, 7 = 88

"Sound off? No, sound is on! Good ethical morning, friend! I am conducting an ethical experiment to deta'min the use of this device in information gathering and communication, yes'm! You are currently speaking to Patches, may I know your location and the whereabouts of this partic'lar knob configuration?" Patches' voice is clear and enthusiastic as she gets her first success on the channels, speaking back in Old Realm to the person on the other line.

Straining to listen to the other side, Patches takes her pen and flips to a new page, starting to sketch out the person she hears on the other end as best she can based on context clues. She's yet to determine who they are, but isn't this mysterious and interesting? Maybe if they speak more, she can even draw them accurately, but she's just going to draw what she feels they might look like.

(Patches would like to start Conducting an Interview-- Investigation 3. I think this is a social attack? I'm not quite sure this rises to that level yet, but I'm rolling anyways.)
No. 962778 ID: ac57f8

"That was military call and response, so I'm going to guess you're not from somewhere with a heavy military presence. As for the location of this room, if I'm right the tuning information on your side should be, '-1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1, x, x' assuming that the system was built with efficiency in mind, and I'm not wrong on where the tubes are leading right now.

"Actually, it's pretty interesting that this whole comms system was developed in Ternary as opposed to the binary you'd typically find in magitech comms systems. But, give me a second and if you could tell me exactly where the window in the room is, I'll be there in person in just one second."
No. 962781 ID: f57349

The system isn't ternary, and it isn't really magitech. Six knobs, two positions, 2^6 = 64 proper room addresses. Pushing all the knobs in to the wall connects any given panel to only itself, so you can close an undesired connection by simply slapping the panel with your open hand or throwing something at it.

Middle-position trickiness only comes in when you're trying to connect to two different panels at the same time, effectively a three-way call.
No. 962784 ID: 0640da

This gives you pause. Strange voices talking about military and numbers. You're not quite sure if you want to meet them face to face-- but, then again, you are stuck and would rather seek assistance than starve, which you're quite sure would happen in a locked room. No adventure really came from a locked room, anyways. Even so, you should try to get more information out of your target before offering some of your own. "I'm not quite sure I know what ternary is, but I am sure that I intr'duced myself! You've done a fine job talking around my questions, but don't you think it impolite to not at the least greet me with your own name?"

You know the voice on the other line has done some digging with their questions, but they've actually given you quite little to go on, all things considered. Trust is earned, and you have a lot of trust to share, but you'd like some answers first. "I'm Patches, from Whitewall! Unt'n, t'be exact about things, which a number lady like you probably appreciates and all! So... if you won't tell me where you are without using fancy number words, can you at least tell me who you are and where you're from?"

(Pile of dice just in case because this seems like social attacks but again; not sure. I feel like calling out someone for being impolite is explicitly listed as an attack.)
No. 962785 ID: 0640da

rolled 7, 5, 9, 9, 10, 3, 5, 5, 2, 4, 1, 4, 2, 8, 10, 6, 7, 4, 8, 10 = 119

No. 962813 ID: afdebc

rolled 6, 3, 2, 1, 9, 9, 6, 4, 6, 4, 6, 7, 6, 1, 3, 5, 8, 8, 1, 6, 3, 6, 1, 6, 8, 4, 7, 5, 4, 4 = 149

>Midway through a delicate nerve-splicing procedure, Tasnim Violette is startled by a panel on the wall next to the fireplace making odd whooshes and clicks and then shouting "Good morning!" in Skytongue, with a Whitewall accent, despite the fact that it's clearly late evening.

>Pushing all the knobs in to the wall connects any given panel to only itself, so you can close an undesired connection by simply slapping the panel with your open hand or throwing something at it.

The cheery and twice ill timed greeting is met by a short outburst of cursing in riverspeak (the invective seems local to Nexus, somehow accusing the target of both obstructing trade and trying to cheat another at the same time), a dense cushion from one of the padded rests is thrown at the offending speaking tube.

Afterwards, the doctor does her best to salvage the situation, and continue the surgery.

Dexterity 2 + Thrown 0 + Stunt + 1 auto-success by channeling willpower for the cushion
Intelligence 5 + Medicine 4 + Stunt + First Intelligence Excellency 5 for continued medical efforts, if an additional roll is required after the interruption
No. 962815 ID: ac57f8

rolled 7, 4, 3, 4, 5, 4, 5, 3, 3, 10, 7, 6, 9, 4, 2, 4, 5, 9, 6, 2 = 102

Ah, I thought
> "Twisting doesn't seem to do anything, but pulling or pushing on them in various combinations changes the sounds audible through the funnel"
meant that they were either Pushed, Neutral, or Pulled, which is a Trinary state, even if the neutral position is only used for multi-room calls, and I'm actually super curious about the mechanics of how this works out from a mathematical perspective out of character when factoring complex fuckery.

"Of course it's rude not to introduce myself by name, but it's also probably less than a smart idea to talk on an unsecured communications line, since until about 30 seconds ago I didn't know this thing existed.

"But, since you went ahead and took the risk of something nasty figuring something like that out, I might as well do the same. The name is The Adamant Strix, Sohei of Lookshy. Anyway, there should only be about 7 people, including the weird yeti that tried to kill us, in here, so I'm sure you'll excuse wanting a quick solution to figuring out what's going on and where everything is in relation to everything."
No. 962816 ID: f57349

Turns out that "pillow" is actually quite securely attached to the frame. Not too heavy to flip over with a feat of strength, though, since you're angry enough to get willpower involved.

Surgery room's speaking tube panel now has a piece of furniture leaning on it. Springiness of the padding means it will continue to automatically disconnect, and there's a further -1 external penalty to hear anything through the barrier even if a link is somehow maintained.

That interruption wasted almost an hour of work, and might cause further complications in post-surgical recovery, but probably nothing irreversible.
No. 962823 ID: 343d06

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

When the beast admits it's penchant for violence outweighs concerns for it's own life, Des frowns, and sits down on the ground about two yards away.
"Sorry, I really did think if we treated the guy like other wounded we'd have a better chance of getting it to work with us instead of against us. I would have made the wrong call, you were right to try and treat it as a prisoner."

When the unburried swordswoman gets up to leave, Desert Locust rises as well.
"Sorry Icicle, but I'm going to have to cut your conversation short for the timing being. If we've got other visitors out in the snow, I don't want to risk a distraction giving Fisto a chance to make his move. I'm putting him under for now, you can ask more questions about martial arts after the doctor lady is done doing medicine and we're relatively safe and secure.

Normally subduing a heavily injured and thoroughly restrained opponent wouldn't be needed, but something about this place has Locust on edge.

Mechanically, I imagine that'd be an attack with a called shot to incapacitate rather than harm, and to administer another dose of the Moonsilver venom so the prisoner is paralyzed.
No. 962824 ID: 0640da

rolled 6, 10, 2, 6, 1, 9, 2, 3, 10, 5, 2, 4, 1, 4, 4, 6, 6, 8, 5, 4 = 98

"Oh! That sounds advent'rous, Lady Strix. Certainly worthy of observation at the very least!" You're not sure what a Sohei is. Maybe if you think about what you've read you might be able to pry more information out of well... history. But you're fairly certain you know what Lookshy is! Never been. "I would love to bear witness to this yeti you describe! You will likely find me in a room with broad stained windows and a harp, the door of which might be a little jammed... but surely a fearless mathematical genius, expert at fightin' a yeti or somesuch, has herself a key of some description to let me out?"

(Not trying to pry information about what a Sohei is because of the incredible difficulty for Patches, probably -3 from her Bureaucracy 0, but she does have Lore 3 if that's applicable. Beyond that, attempting to ask for help with Charisma 4 + Socialize 1 and the keyword Servitude.)

While waiting for rescue, you continue to dial through channels until you get that response. The loud clunk hurts your ears badly, and you give a (now thankfully muffled on Tasnim's end) squeak and roll back on your butt. That smarts! You'll mark this room as a positive response, but a rather rude one... maybe you woke someone up who was sleeping.
No. 962826 ID: afdebc

rolled 10, 1, 10, 10, 4, 1, 3, 10, 6, 6, 8, 1, 8, 3, 4, 1, 1, 2, 4, 9 = 102

>Jan Do wins Join Debate by two successes, and as such has two minutes (ticks zero and one) to act before the blood ape launches into that initial monologue.

"I see you sup at our table, and eat of our meat, though we have not yet been introduced. May I inquire, am I speaking with a careless guest or a thief in the night?"

Tick 0, Charisma 3 + Presence 2 + Stunt + 1 auto-success from the Second Presence Excellency. I'll also commit 1m to Exquisite Etiquette Style, for effective appearance 4 and an automatic read motive. Compulsion or Servitude keyword, I think. Trying to get the blood ape to make a formal apology or otherwise offer redress for the taking of food uninvited, and not following the proper rituals to request hospitality. Playing off the old traditions that taking more than your due or than is offered from hospitality imposes an obligation on the taker.

This is indented to give the blood ape the opportunity to be protected by hospitality law- at the cost of accepting an obligation to make amends for its slight. The alternative, of course, if the blood ape is not a guest who has overstepped, is that it is a thief.
No. 962833 ID: ac57f8

rolled 7, 7, 2, 3, 2, 7, 8, 6, 1, 8, 10, 6, 5, 1, 3, 10, 2, 2, 7, 8, 9, 6, 8, 4, 10, 3, 10, 7, 4, 4, 4, 8, 4, 6, 8, 2, 6, 5, 5, 3, 8, 3, 8, 8, 4, 7, 6, 8, 6, 10 = 289

"Well, it looked like an Erymanthoi sired a child with a Polar Bear, rather than a normal Yeti, but also I'm absolutely not fearless, or even much good in a fight. But I can tell you're about 20 feet from me based on that description, and I can probably get the door open."

That should probably be a compulsion keyword attack rather than a servitude, but that was something she was already going to do, so she doesn't apply her MDV to the attack as she leaves the Architect's Chambers and goes to the Music Bedroom, and places a hand on the door, and with her three glowing Emerald eyes (her Crown Chakra serving as a helpful third eye as her caste mark glows) and examines the door for any blockage, and how she could best non-destructively open it.

Int 5, Not sure what the skill is.

Posting from the discord for OOC explanation on some of the things.

I can't edit past posts, but I had misspelled Shonai as Sohei, that's my bad.

> Shonai: This enlisted class operates, maintains, administers and manages the Seventh Legion’s equipment and support personnel. They are also counted on to offer counsel, advice and solutions to support the command. Reports to chuzei, but is often called upon by officers of higher rank

Patch's lack of War would probably be the reason why she wouldn't know that it would be weird for a sorcerer-technician (minus the sorcerer part) to be doing this far north and by themselves.

Lore and Occult would probably indicate that she's a graduate from the world famous Lookshy School of Sorcery: The Valkhawsen.
No. 962835 ID: ac57f8

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

"Oh no, you may have made the wrong call on the nature of the beast. But, incapacitating it right now shouldn't be necessary. Or do you believe that a heavily wounded chained enemy is dangerous enough that anyone watching them like a hawk can't put them back down if he truly does escape from the ropes?"

Rolling Manipulation 4+ Investigation 2 (Socratic Method +2) compulsion keyword social attack to convince Desert Locust that the Yeti is safe if she's watching it. She's going to spend 4 personal motes to fuel 2nd Manipulation Excellency for 8 dice+ 2 automatic successes + Stunt.
No. 962909 ID: f57349

The blood ape apologizes, somewhat reluctantly. and proposes an exchange of oaths: he to provide some narrowly-defined ongoing service (details negotiable) and otherwise trouble you no more, "may Sondok strike me down if I lie," if you in turn swear on your blade to seek and destroy a particular jade tablet so as to free his people.
No. 963046 ID: f57349

Northeast door out of the architecture studio leads to a semicircular stair down to the music room (and past a door to another bedroom, with a heavily vandalized label). Bedroom door you're interested in is labeled "Liwet Ohazia," and barricaded from the outside by a cabinet full of woodwind instruments. The cabinet is heavily enchanted, in fact actually intelligent (within a very limited scope) and capable of speech, but physically shoving it out of the way should be sufficient to access the door, which can then be trivially unlocked.
No. 963156 ID: ac57f8

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


Assuming the cabinet weighs less than 550 (or however heavy she can push with Mind Hand Manipulation) pounds, Ada just pushes it out of the way, picking it up slightly so as not to scuff the floor, and unlocks the door.

She made sure to scan over the room, her eyes glowing with a burning emerald light shining spotlights on the room.

"A jolly good afternoon to you. Now if you don't mind me asking, what exactly are you doing here? Let alone as a human?"
No. 963157 ID: 0640da

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

"Lady Strix, you're the first person to call me a human! Not that I don't appreciate it, it's just usually people lead with 'freak', 'anathema-adjacent' or 'mutant', even when they're bein' polite and frien'ly and all..." Patches beams at Adamant Strix while standing up. "But the truth is I ain't exactly quite all cracked up to be there as they claim me to be, or I'd know why I'm in this place! Short of needing a plumber or a magician, can't see why anyone would abduct me when I was sleeping just softlike on my own under a tree..."

This mutant is a bountiful reserve of energy, walking up and offering a paw to shake-- taking a hand to shake herself if necessary. A picture she'd made of Strix without actually knowing what she looks like lay open in a book next to her on the floor... "So I'll just assume it's the spirit of adventurin' or somesuch which leads me in places like these, since it ain't no use fussing about how or why at this point in time. I'm sure all's for a good reason or something, right?"

After getting a handshake-- or trying to get a handshake, anyways, she goes to pick up her things and holster her Nibsplitter on her back. She wants to travel with Strix back where she came from.
No. 963214 ID: dbae9d

“Well, people that say that are pretty dumb. Except for the mutant thing, but that’s hardly a disqualification for humanity quite like being a full spirit. But, that’s a shame, since missing memories is kind of a theme right now.

“Anyway, I was mostly just looking for my tools to fix up some of the broken down everything in this place. Amazing what a few thousand years of nobody taking care of something will do when most of the time pre-shogunate stuff is damn near immune to falling apart from disuse.”

She quickly pulls out a piece of parchment and a grease pencil used in a lot of engineering capacities and jots down a quick map of the place based on her studying the geomancy and architectural model and crosses out the rockspinning room, grand hall, the dining room and sitting room, and architect’s room and the current musician bedroom.

“Those are all the places I know there aren’t tools. But, you said you knew plumbing, so we might as well grab some metal working tools and take a look at the boiler room.”
No. 963240 ID: f57349

If you're going to draw a map, include the actual map.
No. 963248 ID: dbae9d
File 158765387290.jpg - (49.91KB , 602x397 , E0D5410E-2613-4637-9ED0-E38778E5646A.jpg )

Starting with the attic
No. 963249 ID: dbae9d
File 158765390386.jpg - (117.41KB , 844x593 , 8F096FD7-6271-4697-AC99-436FF3495FEF.jpg )

The first floor
No. 963250 ID: dbae9d
File 158765396079.jpg - (92.17KB , 916x616 , F0452D8D-D5C6-4B2F-8E80-36D616D229A1.jpg )

And the basement. Those are the only three floors I have, but I feel like I’m missing one.
No. 963253 ID: f57349

You're missing the second floor.
No. 963257 ID: dbae9d

Then I don’t have that map anywhere since I deleted the PDF as soon as I got those 3 maps out since I wasn’t reading carefully to avoid spoiling the module
No. 963259 ID: 0640da

rolled 3, 7, 7, 4, 7, 8, 9, 7, 7, 9, 2, 1, 7, 3, 2, 1, 6, 3, 3, 3 = 99

"That was a hypothetical, Lady Strix. I mean, out in Unt'n I did plenty of work, includin' plumbin', but I don't know all that much about pre-Shogunate stuff. I mean, sure I've fiddled around and whatnot with the whozits and whatzits that make up the old machines in Whitewall, and it ain't like I'm not completely afamiliar with one of them magical-magnetical devil's boxes, but you sit me down in front of a box and I'd be scratchin' my head for hours figurin' out the ins and outs. I deal with pre-Shogunate plumbin systems that what been refurbished for lots of years, I think in all, but they're practically unrecognizable from what the originals were. They gotta be, what with the obvious cracks in the walls and the clearly different pipe materials used in different sections..."

Patches likes to talk.

"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'..."

Patches is going to keep her eye out for tools as they head to the Boiler Room-- there's no sense in not trying to help Adamant Strix on her roll to get some metalworking tools.
No. 963272 ID: dbae9d

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

“Well, if you already have experience with Deliberative age plumbing from White Wall, it’s the same kind of job. Only instead of having been marred by the Shogunate to keep it going at full capacity, so probably easier.”

She would head through the crossed out spinning room into the forge room, looking around for tools that could be done to fix up any plumbing work.

“As for why all this stuff is built to last thousands upon thousands of years is because Exalts just live that long, and only a tiny handful have ever died of old age.”
No. 963306 ID: 0640da

rolled 9, 5, 2, 10, 1, 2, 5, 4, 2, 9, 2, 4, 4, 6, 5, 10, 5, 10, 10, 8 = 113

"Y'all got some issue with them what Shogunate, Lady Strix?" Patches scratches her cheek. "Soundin' a bit like yoo thinkem responsible for all this or somethin'. Far as I can see all them fellers rulin Whitewall did keep em goin, which is more than I can say for them fellers that what lived for thousands of thousands of years. Far as I can tell even my da don't got no involvement in the city, not really, though everywho and podunk want their names on the city of Whitewall and say they made it who they is, right. Dynasts always comin in an out but bein real quiet like with their preachin, not that I haven't heard em talk none in the baths when they think nobody lookin, I just don't say their names cause it's all private, not my place. Then we got those Syndics run around pretendin' like they own the city, like they fixes the pipes and not us, and I ain't doin none favors tryin' to downplay their contributions and all, but it's clear that one feller got his name on the temples and they're all jus' tryin to eat somma that clout. Them Exalted fellas are the real heroes for makin the pipes in the first place, and our walls, that's what I think. Hey, wait, what side am I takin? Shoot, I think I just convinced myself otherwise."

Patches seems to have done a 180 from where she started-- she's a person very much rooted in the present, and a malleable mortal at that. She doesn't have a strong impression of gods or really any indication of their strength to one another, but she seems a little irreverent because she doesn't understand the distinction all that well either. Sure, she knows plenty from her studies and her time with her dad, but reading a bit about it in a book and hearing a few stories from her dad is really different from understanding what separates a Solar from a Lunar from a Land God.
No. 963319 ID: ac57f8

"To address your points mostly in the order they were brought up, I don't particularly have anything against the Shogunate, just that they didn't have the technical mastery necessary to do the repairs to keep the old devices running perfectly without repairs.

"Kind of like if someone built a device that turns trees into life-saving medicine, but only they understand how it works on a fundamental level. Then you kill that person, and kill all of the trees in the world. You can't properly keep it going, but you have a stockpile of wood, and you have grass and other things that don't work as well, and kind of jam up the system because it wasn't supposed to be used for that, and you don't understand how it works well enough to take it apart to un-jam it, so you need to invent solutions to fix the jam that makes the whole system work less well. Then out of nowhere 90% of all life dies and the remaining 10% are attacked by the unshaped masses of un-reality and in the fighting someone drops the machine that makes life-saving medicine from a big cliff and cracked something inside, but it's still ticking."

"That's basically how all of the pre-shogunate technology was treated, with the Shoguns not knowing how to do the minimal maintenance necessary, and inventing solutions that were more sustainable but less effective for a few thousand years, and then dying in the Great Plague and the Baloran Crusade.

"As for your other point, I'd say that the Exalted were powerful and great, rather than heros. They weren't knights in shining armor correcting every injustice by way of a shining sword. Some were, but they were more kings sitting on shining thrones shaping reality to their great whims with powers more than capable of razing all of creation into nothingness if they so chose. They were overthrown by the Dragon-Blooded for a reason, and that wasn't completely unjustified.
No. 963411 ID: 0640da

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


"Huh. Can I write this down? This would make fer a really good analogy when I tell my da' all about my adventures." Patches gives her brush a twirl and it tosses out a journal, which she grabs and starts writing in with her big brush... "Y'all really think the Exalted jerk kings? Cause you're the first to say so to me specifically, you don't mind me sayin' that stuff. I overhear things, but it ain't like I go seek out heretical knowledge on my own. Not that there ain't none wrong with heretics, I'm sure. Everyone's nice enough when yoo get to knowem, and I ain't met none fae or dead yet but we send em 12 of our citizens each a year so they can't be that bad." She sketches out a little illustration of Strix while she's at it, somewhere on the page. "...Great Plague... Baloran Crusade... raze Creation into nothin'ness on a whim..."
No. 963418 ID: dbae9d

“I wouldn’t use terms like ‘jerk’ for the ancient Solar kings. It’s more like they were capable of such enormous acts that you could scarce imagine it, since they were like humans, but infinitely more. To go to the example of a device that turns trees into medicine, they would spend a few centuries to breed the absolute perfect tree to make into the most potent medicine, but in the process breed a species of sentient beetles as self aware as any human who keep the tree alive through ritual mass death and rebirth, and neither of them would be less natural than breathing.”

“Honestly, engineering entire new species to automate processes was one of the highlights of the deliberative, but the Shogunate committed genocide on all of the Solars’ creations for fear that the Solars had programmed them to take revenge on any possible murderers, which was a not insignificant part of the reason behind the technological decline.”

“On the Fae, I say it was a whim, but that’s a bit of a lie. The Raksha don’t have souls, or emotions. They are cavernous gaping maws in the fabric of reality, but they put on masks to fake it, in a sense. One of the biggest threats to creation is the long standing grudge against creation for being hammered into consistency rather than inchoate madness like the Wyld. That was why the Solars invented all of the directional languages, and Jade currency to reinforce creation against their invasion, and built the Sword of Creation that the Scarlet Empress used to end the Baloran Crusade, and establish the Realm on the Blessed Isles.”

“And I’ll admit, I’m not entirely sure why the deal is with the dead. They were created by the murdered titans who created creation and were thus killed or imprisoned by the Exalted host, and they were studied, but results were less than conclusive.”

Patches may live to talk, but Ada loves to dump information. If she had her way, she would have to build a printing press and send out a history book with all of this information.
No. 963446 ID: 0640da

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


Patches is writing this down furiously as Adamant Strix dictates for her... "Lemme focus this in a bit, y'all clearly know your stuff but maybe we're tryin' to swallow too many topics at once. Yoo sayin that the Raksha don't have souls or emotions? Is that conjecture, or do you have conclusive proof n all of that sorta deal? Seems like uh, a bit presumtive to be tellin some alien species from..." Patches checks her notes. "Outside creation? That their emotions and feelin's and all that don't matter none. Seems like what onna them people trying to unperson someone else would say and all."
No. 963457 ID: ac57f8

"Absolutely none of this is conjecture. A Raksha, in their most pure form, is an unimaginably large mess of essence that defines itself by it's shapelessness. They put on masks of emotions and play in elaborate games that have impossibly complex rules because when dealing with other Raksha, nothing matters. A Raksha in the depths of the Wyld can stab another Raksha to death for some perceived sleight that's in the role of mask they've donned, and the murdered party will only be dead so long as they decide to stay dead. They have a set of graces, which you could say represents the quality of their masks they put on, and they allow them to more convincingly behave like they can feel emotions, but ultimately, they feed on emotions, and buy human slaves to devour the souls of by the millions from the Guild, and then sell those emotionally and mentally dead humans back to the Guild to sell at a profit to people who need unskilled labor, or put them to work on their opium farms in the far east.

"As far as 'Out of creation' goes, that's also without any trace of either speculation or exaggeration. If you took one step outside of here, and started heading north until you passed the Elemental Pole of Air and the concept of north meant nothing anymore, you would be in a realm where the rules of creation no longer apply, and your very body would be torn apart because your un-mutable body and soul would be like a beacon of stability amongst hungry predators with a grudge against creation for being static and unchanging in their eyes.

"Of course, a lot of the actual hard information about the ultimate impossibility that was the Wyld was lost during the Usurpation. But, if you ever develop the ability to look at essence patterns, it would be quite revealing to look at a Raksha, since they are kind of like a blob with gnawing mouths all over their body, given shape in the minds of everyone looking at them according to the story they're playing."
No. 963481 ID: 0640da

rolled 10, 9, 6, 3, 2, 4, 7, 3, 1, 8, 7, 9, 2, 3, 8, 6, 10, 2, 9, 5 = 114

"Elemental... pole... unmade. Well, that's very informative-- I should probably get a Raksha's side of the story to be sure. If'n I just told my da what others told me without experiencing it for myself, can I really be said to know what I'm talkin' about? That bein said, some precautionary measures probably ought be taken' if I'm going to visit a mass of mouths that feeds on emotions, in case Lady Strix knows her stuff..." Patches isn't really making it clear if she's speaking to herself or the person she's talking to.

"Say, Lady Strix, that true what you said about the Guild? They'd really drain folks of emotions and use em to mine opium? That'n seeming a little sad, you know. I can't imagine smokin' something made with such terrible practices. Do you smoke opium? Gettin off track. It seems like somethin people would wanna know before smoking their opium and all. Is there any source of good in the Guild, or what is all their businesses like that? Ran by emotion-dead slaves?"
No. 963483 ID: afdebc

rolled 8, 10, 8, 5, 2, 6, 10, 7, 8, 6, 1, 2, 9, 10, 8, 1, 5, 4, 2, 8 = 120

>The blood ape apologizes, somewhat reluctantly. and proposes an exchange of oaths: he to provide some narrowly-defined ongoing service (details negotiable) and otherwise trouble you no more, "may Sondok strike me down if I lie," if you in turn swear on your blade to seek and destroy a particular jade tablet so as to free his people.
This draws pause from the warrior, both for the unlikely victory of polite conduct, and for the seriousness of the oath offered. Running her thumb along her blade she answers.

"On my sword, is it? No trifling oath is that; nor one I would make in haste or ignorance. But it sits ill with me to allow an injustice to fester. Pray-tell, what manner of curse afflicts your people? This is the second time today I have heard tale of this fell jade tablet, but I know naught of what ills it portains."

Trying to get additional information on the curse. Jan's leaning towards taking the deal- she's not inclined to leave a people cursed for no good reason, and the offer of service in exchange for heroic deed is something she understands. But she's not quite fool enough to agree to make a promise in ignorance- there are far too many myths of one who swears a mighty oath before understanding the terms.

Between Mastery of Small Manners and Hearing the Unspoken Word I should get a pretty good read on the story he offers.

Haven't gotten into the terms of the Blood Ape's service yet, but I think the most useful role would be as a sort of guide- we are in a foreign realm, ignorant of how we got here, and surrounded by the court of a powerful spirit. Someone who can provide information on the locals, who can provide introductions and directions, warn about local hazards, lead us from place to place- that would be invaluable. (And one advantage from the Blood Ape's perspective- that's certainly a good excuse to pick fights with those hazards in the name of doing his job).
No. 963489 ID: ac57f8

"You could ask a Raksha their take on emotion, but you'd likely get a lie. After all, if you were an emotionless being who hungers for essence, and your very existence relied on successfully convincing both reality and yourself that you can feel emotions, have long-term goals, and behave like someone, and you've already lessened yourself from the beings in the Wyld that remain ignorant that creation even exists, and someone asked you to contradict your lie that keeps you from facing a fate alike to death, would you agree with them?

"Actually, I just thought of a nice human relevant way to describe a Raksha. Imagine if instead of fading away into nothingness when you wake up, your dreams lived a life of their own. They were no less temporary or less connected to reality, but still wholly independent of yourself. Now a being of flighty impossibility and impermanence is in a realm of permanence and cold hard reality, and reality is winning as it erodes them. To stave off that fate of being turned into one solid pattern. To fight that, they have to feed on the same ephemeral energy that makes up themselves wherever they can take it, and that typically is human souls, one piece at a time. They're not necessarily good or bad on their own, and some Raksha have played the part of a being that can feel emotions for so long that even they don't remember how to cross back over the threshold into shapelessness, but as a whole, Raksha despise creation for being everything they're not just as a dream would hate the waking world for being anathema to dreams."

"As for the Guild, they don't sell people to Raksha in order to get mindless humans who lack a Po soul or the capacity for higher thought for menial labor, they sell humans to the Raksha as slaves for impossible treasures and virtually endless wealth, the Raksha then devouring the human's dreams, virtues, and very soul, and then the Guild buys them back at a significantly lower than the Raksha bought them for, and then sell them again to people that need menial labor."

For once, she paused as she thought about how to respond to the last question.

"The question 'is there any good in the guild' is also a misleading one, since the Guild just is a group that exists with an almost untold amount of power in this fallen age, but good and bad only mean something in comparison to another situation, and the reality of economics when it's not being guided by the hands of a golden god capable of fine tuning markets for millions of miles by arranging populations and heaven itself over thousands of years is incredibly complex, but is it better to have one man of impossible power making sure that goods flow from far away locations, or a group of corrupt men who can be killed and replaced without plunging the world into a millenia long downward spiral if they overstay their hands?"
No. 963498 ID: f57349

"Once there was a great man, and like all great men he had enemies. So he came out here, fifty miles from nowhere, and built himself a little house which nobody else could see. Only, like most great men, he didn't actually want to do much of the work himself."

The demon sets that mammoth thighbone upright and mimes playing it like a cello, with the unidentifiable blade for a bow.

"So he whistled up some slaves. When they were done building and weaving, he knew if he let any of them go home, their masters would hear of his secret hideout, and if he killed a mother and her four hundred ninety-nine children in cold blood (there's never really been any other kind of blood around these mountains, not since the world was young) some shadows near the bottom of the well would hear of it just the same, which would be worse still. She was clever, to bring so many. Put him between a rock and a hard place. Instead, he carved a new law into that tablet, one which didn't let the Founders leave, and they've all hated him for it ever since. Turns out that law applies to me, too, after they called me up. Far as I know that's all a curse every really is, a law you don't like and can't get away with breaking. That's actually the reason why they called me, just to find that out - well, that and sex, which I'm the best at, 'cause Dal'sharr are all dickless. Buncha creepy smilers."

Seems to be telling the unvarnished truth, to the limits of his own understanding, and has no objection to serving as a guide or tracker. Would two months per year be enough, in increments of no less than five days?
No. 963553 ID: 0640da

rolled 5, 7, 1, 7, 4, 2, 10, 10, 4, 9, 9, 1, 1, 8, 8, 5, 8, 4, 5, 6 = 114

"I don't... know." Patches has to think long and hard before she comes up with that response. "But if'n I were to make a choice of preference... I don't like corruption none. That's when what they use slaves and all to do their dirty work for them. I'd prefer if they weren't none corrupt at all... if there were some sort of golden bein' able to transfer all them goods, then they'd be pref'rble, right? But that got me thinkin a little. What if the god were corrupt, I mean? So it ain't none perfect answer to just put a god in charge. But I don't really feel none right puttin corrupt people in charge of who gets bread either! If'n there were some way to just do all that locally and not worry about havin' one group mandate all a Creation, wouldn't that be better than both the dumb alternatives you what been offerin? I know it ain't perfect, but then at least each of them groups what got interest over their community and try to do everything they can to help em, rather than the Guild dippin' its fingers in everythin'. For that matter, even though y'all mentioned jade currency bein a thing to ward off Raksha, which to be clear I ain't completely none sold on just quite yet, it seems like a step backwards cause that money keep'n some from havin' food. In my city we all got fed n sure, but Outwall nothin' not like that."

Patches taps the parchment with her pen, doodling a pretty little picture of the Guild getting chased away by a massive golden hunk flexing his muscles.

"So I guess my preference leans GOOD guys with vettin' watching over all these little communities to make sure they don't none screw themselves over and replacin' any representatives that what abuse their people. Understandin' there's gonna be conflicts, sure, and some blood may be exercised between rivals, but not lettin' em hurt noncombatants and all that whatnot. That make sense? I ain't really sure it's possible, but mortal hearts ain't exactly peaceful. We could sap them their free will, wot, but then aren't we no diff'rt from the Guild? So a representative theorcracy is, I dunno. I guess where I fall and all, and not one of them cap'tailist oligmonarchy."
No. 963554 ID: dbae9d

“Make no mistake, I’m not talking about loaves of bread and the like, I’m talking about things from distant lands that improve the quality of life, like medicine, drugs, luxury foods, all that. Creation isn’t industrialized enough to offload production of basic necessities to other places anymore, and when it was it was significantly more efficient to have one set of communities work on food 25/7 in 5 hour shifts and ship the produce all over a direction to other groups of settlements. People starving today is mostly due to things like droughts and unseasonal weather destroying crops, which didn’t happen in the first age as the Solars just commanded the weather not to do that and Heaven obliged.

“But, ultimately, the Solars did go corrupt. Or at least, their perspective was so warped and alien from having centuries of experience that corruption became indistinguishable from purity and madness the same as sanity. And so that same question had to be asked by a lot of people, and their answer was the opposite of yours, since while the scope of good that innately ‘less’ rulers could do, the same was true about absolute harm. And what followed was the second most bloody and destructive war of all time, leaving countless trillions dead, scores of species exterminated to the man, an unknowable amount of knowledge to be lost forever, and the Solars were sealed away in a jade prison and any that remained hunted down with extreme prejudice and branded Anathema to prevent them from ever rising to a position where they can do as much damage as they could have and almost had done to creation.

“And now we’re back in the world, in the long term it failed, and just as the Shogunate before the Realm and Lookshy are starting to wear out their stockpile of first age technology in internal and external conflicts while their need grows every day. So, what long has stood must fall, and what long has fallen must rise again to stop the cycle from continuing.”

“As for your actual preference, who does the vetting? If it’s a voting system, would you vote for a human who you know is no better than you, or an impossibly charming figure who can provide an honest claim to the sun personally choosing them to rule over creation, provide a quality education to the entire town and make them all able to fight like soldiers who have trained their whole lives in weeks, and just generally is more? Any vetting system you would come up with would have a hard time weeding out the chosen of the paragon of virtue, and they’ve already proven they will fall in the end.”
No. 963631 ID: afdebc

rolled 5, 1, 5, 7, 3, 4, 1, 1, 7, 10 = 44

To enslave an entire people, forevermore, simply to hide. This strikes Jan Do of the Dusk Caste as the act of a coward, and not as a legacy she needs tolerate.

"I accept your offer."

Inverting her sword and taking a double-handed grip, she brings the tip of her blade down against the cold ground. "I am Jan Do, and this I do swear on my sword, the blade Dyed in Red- I will not suffer this accursed tablet to endure." As the last words leave her lips, a fell light springs up, and for just a moment, a blackened sun burns on her brow, before fading.

(Spending 1m to flare her anima, and then dismissing it shortly after).

>has no objection to serving as a guide or tracker. Would two months per year be enough, in increments of no less than five days?
Sounds good.
No. 963645 ID: f57349

The ape-demon recites a similarly solemn oath, cutting open his forearm with a claw, drawing the sigil of She-Who-Stands-In-Doorways in blood on the ground, then cracking loose a section of ice including the sigil and swallowing it whole.

Uneaten portion of the mammoth haunch is packed with clean snow, tucked back into the saddlebag, and the flap closed and secured. Mystery blade wraps around his waist like a belt, and nearly disappears beneath shaggy fur.

Assuming the first term of service is to begin immediately, he advises you to be careful not to allow anyone to channel essence into the orbs of gray glass set in many of the manse's interior walls - such light may be harmless to humans, but it burns demonic flesh like a rain of acid. Other than that, where are we headed next, boss?
No. 963773 ID: 0640da

rolled 6, 10, 6, 3, 5, 6, 10, 9, 5, 10, 6, 7, 3, 4, 7, 1, 2, 9, 2, 7 = 118

"...now, this might sound crazy, but what if... wait for it... physics determined if you were good or bad or what? I know I know. Mathy stuff. But I don't mean none like math. I mean like... a points based system, yeah? And it goes 'does this improve sommat's wellbein', and if so then it gives it points, but if it was bad or whatnot it'd be 'nah', ain't that a plum pickled herrin', you don't get to do that none cause it violates the rules of bein as good as you give out an takin what reap be sowed'. Know what I'm saying? You get that, and you bunch it up, and you don't let none people interfere with it, just some sort a cold, amoral machine doin all the figgirin out. And then you make a machine, or do some magic, and have it watch the machine and let everyone know it ain't being tampered, but... darn, no, that's a nestin problem. This is hard. Can't we just rewrite physics?" Patches is really troubled by this.

"I guess if I can't rewrite physics I don't think votin' worked out all that well for the uneducated man. Seems like the only thing that worked well fer us mortals was killin a god, if'n you believe what you're preachin. So maybe a system where we just kill gods? I... iunno, Lady Strix. This is hard stuff."
No. 963782 ID: dbae9d

“Yes, this is an incredibly difficult thing to answer since reality isn’t set up with an objectively correct answer, and even the closest thing we have isn’t one of the Shinma that defines things by its opposition. So you can’t take an action and objectively measure how much it resonates with the concept of goodness, or how little it resonates with the absolute lack of it.

“As for rewriting physics, that was one of the things that led to the Usurpation. A great Solar Sorcerer by the name of Salina spent almost uncountable resources over decades with the help of the entire Deliberative and altered physics so that anyone who develops their essence sufficiently can learn sorcery by going through its trials. The act itself wasn’t what played a big role in the usurpation, but the fact that pushing it could have easily destroyed creation, so something needed to be done to stop anyone else from making destructive changes.”
No. 963832 ID: afdebc

rolled 9, 8, 1, 10, 2, 2, 3, 9, 2, 6, 8, 9, 3, 2, 3, 8, 2, 9, 2, 5 = 103

>be careful not to allow anyone to channel essence into the orbs of gray glass set in many of the manse's interior walls - such light may be harmless to humans, but it burns demonic flesh like a rain of acid
A useful warning- especially as Jan Do is not sure whatever ethereal judge of the light would consider her companions or herself worthy. The Immaculate Order dose teach that anathema are demons.

>Other than that, where are we headed next, boss?
"Inside, I should introduce you to my companions. Tell me, are you acquainted with a martial artist by the name of 'Fisato'?"

Headed back towards the Grand Salon as we talk.
No. 963834 ID: 0640da

rolled 8, 8, 10, 10, 2, 10, 10, 6, 5, 2, 4, 9, 6, 3, 8, 3, 9, 10, 1, 10 = 134

"Woah, woah, wait a moment, Lady Strix. Hold em up. You're telling me I, me, I could learn sorcery. Go around an', I dunno, shoot lightnin' out of my fingertips or something. Be a wizard. All I have to do is develop this 'essence' stuff and bingo, I'm a sorce'ror an all?" Patches' eyes shoot wide. "Heck, I could even stop doin' this plumbin' nonsense? I mean I'm good at it, I don't hate it none, but I been a plumber most of my life, when I ain't doin one of my other jobs or marryin' a prince or gettin embroiled in assassination plots an all. I thought adventurin' was a good idea, but Sorcery? Heck, that sounds like a great new adventure."
No. 963836 ID: dbae9d

“Oh no, anyone could learn to shoot lightning out of their hands by learning to ask air to do that. It would be a lot easier and a lot quicker than sorcery, especially since it’s extra hard for humans.

“No, Sorcery, even the limited grasp that most gods, humans, and even the dragonblooded Exalts can grasp would be casting open every door for miles, shaping the earth more quickly and precisely than a thousand skilled earthmovers, commanding ships to sail on clouds as though they were the seas. And it is an incredibly useful skill, you just need to refine your essence until it’s as strong as your mortal body can take before it burns away and you become a god, and pass the 5 trials of sorcery.”
No. 963837 ID: 0640da

rolled 7, 10, 5, 1, 6, 6, 10, 7, 10, 1, 2, 1, 1, 8, 8, 1, 8, 2, 6, 3 = 103

Patches lifts a finger and kind of opens and closes her mouth a few times, before her whole face scrunches up. "Five trials? I don't want to burn up and die so a god can take my place none, pretty sure my da would be sad if her daughter burned up and died from uh, essence. What's an essence?"

Patches resolves to start talking more to the wind, now that she knows it's listening. Maybe she could introduce herself and become its friend?
No. 963838 ID: dbae9d

“That is a REALLY complex question. The simplest way to put it is that essence is energy. But more than that, it’s the fundamental building block that makes up everything. In this case specifically, you need to take the essence that makes up the very core of your being, and build on its quality, generally through months of quiet meditation and an ascetic lifestyle.

“And becoming a god isn’t the result of failing the trials of sorcery, that would just be not passing the threshold and becoming a sorcerer. Becoming a god happens because the human body is designed to contain a relatively weak essence pattern as a trade off for being capable of sapience at a weaker essence pattern, so when you cultivate your mind and essence to the point where a god would be sapient, your spirit is too strong for your body to contain, so you stop having a body since it’s not necessary for anything anymore, and the only thing that is left is your spirit, which then is a god.

“To use a metaphor, think of your body like a wooden hut, and your essence like a fire on the hearth. The house helps to shield the fire from the polar winds and the fire warms the wooden house. As your essence grows, the fire gets hotter and larger, until at some point the house is holding the fire back, and is too small to contain the fire, so the house burns down and the fire rages eternal, fueled by the essence of the world. In essence, that fire is the real you, and your frail and prone to dying human body is the house.”
No. 963845 ID: 9ff028

rolled 4, 5, 4, 7, 6, 4, 10, 8, 7, 1, 4, 10, 10, 6, 6, 6, 2, 2, 4, 6, 2, 8, 3, 7, 9, 8, 4, 8, 6, 8, 3, 7, 3, 4, 1, 8, 2, 8, 5, 4, 10, 1, 5, 9, 7, 6, 1, 9, 5, 2, 7, 4, 4, 1, 7, 9, 2, 9, 3, 4 = 325

A painless jab of the foot incapacitates the prisoner before Des can register the Fox's request- "Icicle Maiden" attempts to intervene, looking to knock Desert Locust on her ass and admonish her, but the chitinous exalt flips smoothly away, dropping into a defensive crouch out of reach.

"You okay over there Icicle Maiden? I can't help but notice you're asking me to avoid knocking out someone who wants to hurt us, then getting a little pushy about it. I didn't hear you quite early enough to stop myself, and I do feel bad, but you're making me a little nervous."

Mechanically, rolling join debate:

Wits three, awareness three, stunt. Maybe other stuff is relevant- I don't remember exactly what rules might differ for join debate vs join battle.
No. 963848 ID: 0640da

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

"Ohhh... Essence is this stuff, then?" Patches focuses, and breathes deep... before channeling her essence into the nearest structure with a strike of her palm. Pure white, snowy energy radiates from her like a glowstick, outlining her very clearly. "My da taught me to do this... not much else! I weren't sure what quite how to use it for... but yoo are sayin this here is my spirit and all? ...I don't gotta worry about burnin up, right?" Patches pulls back her palm now, shaking her paw because it hurts a little bit.

Patches is spending four motes and pushing it into the manse around her, but because of a mutation her essence (which, due to being godblooded, may or may not have a form) is now a small, candle-bright glow that is visible around her.
No. 963896 ID: ac57f8


"Yes and no, since like I said that's a super over-simplified way to put the whole thing. But you are right that that's the essence that your soul produces, and unlike most humans you have enough of it to actually use it.

"And while you don't need to worry about your own power burning you unless you use it in some really extreme martial arts that do burn you as a side effect, you don't need to worry about growing too powerful and dying, that’s normally relegated to people making a super dangerous first push to getting where you already are. You do need to worry about literal fire though. That will still hurt you."

"But, since you showed yours, I suppose I might as well show you mine" As she said that, Ada spends 1 mote to flair her anima to the 4-7 layer, a hellish green glow emanating from her, her caste mark of a pure white orb half filled in and with a flame inside emblazoned on her forehead even through the glow of her essence sight, clearly a stylized version of the mark of the Unclean anathema. The light, while no brighter, was definitely thicker and denser than the God-Blooded’s glow, like a blizzard vs a fog. The light reaching out to match the hand-shake, and feels like a more firm handshake than before.
No. 963907 ID: f57349

rolled 6, 3, 6, 4, 6, 1 = 26

Jan Do, Desert Locust, and Clever Fox are back in the Grand Salon. 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.

Meanwhile, Adamant Strix is in the boiler room, disappointed with the shortage of good plumbing-specific tools. Patches is fifteen yards away to the south-southeast, rooting through a disorganized cabinet in the smithy, and about to be stabbed in the kidney with a chisel. I'm rolling Dex + Stealth for the sneak attack, you should roll Perception + Awareness to notice it in time, and Valor to avoid panicking from the blood ape's shouted challenge (relayed through the speaking tubes) which the attack was timed to coincide with.
No. 963911 ID: f57349

Looks like that's a botch. No effective stabbing actually occurs; a chisel drops into one of the god-blood's back pockets, but when she turns to see who put it there, there's only a pile of jumbled spare robo-butler parts on the floor.
No. 963913 ID: 0640da

rolled 6, 4, 6, 3, 5, 5, 3, 1, 8, 5, 4, 7, 9, 6, 7, 9, 5, 6, 3, 1 = 103

Patches lets out a squeak when she hears a loud roar, and then she attempts to keep it together. The chisel, now nicely situated in her coat-pocket, does not help her relax. At all. She did not put a chisel in her pocket.

Patches rolls Valor 5, with no other modifications, to not suffer penalties from being near her phobia (of loud noises). This isn't channeling Valor, no Willpower is spent. ((If necessary, remaining dice are used for a Wits+Awareness check, with or without penalty from Phobia applied.))
No. 963914 ID: 0640da

*With a Perception of 2 and an Awareness of 1, adding in the penalty from her Phobia, Patches probably has no idea what's going on. Sorry for the Wits+Awareness typo.*
No. 963915 ID: f57349

Failed the roll, but getting away from that noise is as simple as slapping the speaking tube controls to disconnect, so you're basically fine after taking a few moments to catch your breath.

The forge badly needs to be cleaned and organized, but most tools one might want for working metal do seem to be present. Overall the space is the same size and shape as the music room at the other end of the manse. Pottery studio upstairs, kiln cleverly arranged to take advantage of furnace output rather than wasting heat up the chimney. Bellows pump under their own power when you channel essence into them - shame that doesn't actually move much air, since the leather part is badly torn. Altogether, a master's workshop for Craft (Fire), pending routine maintenance.

Southwest corner, rather than another bedroom, is a steel-barred cell. Manacles stapled to the wall have the distinctive glint of orichalcum, swirled together with... something else.
No. 963920 ID: ac57f8

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

"I had been aiming to make it so you wouldn't forget the lesson to not act in haste and make decisions that impact other people without asking unless you're afraid of at least some retribution. I'd imagine you probably won't forget it."

"That depends on one thing, what's the catch?
After all, I imagine you wouldn't want to risk something expensive and difficult to make like a magic whip unless you were either incredibly sure of the fact you'd win, or the prisoner is someone important to you, or more likely both."

Fox examines to make sure that the blood ape doesn't lie to her by way of a read intentions roll, turning her heightened senses to search for markers of nervousness that anyone who hasn't trained to lie well has, like elevated heart rate, a tell of some kind.

Perception 3+Investigation 2+Stunt
No. 963921 ID: ac57f8

rolled 1, 7, 2, 1, 7, 10, 3, 2, 2, 7, 1, 1, 5, 3, 8, 5, 3, 3, 9, 4, 8, 6, 5, 7, 2, 7, 1, 2, 5, 1, 4, 9, 6, 10, 1, 3, 5, 7, 1, 10 = 184


Alright, mental note of what needs to be done, in relative order.

Organize the forge room
Fix the Bellows (Learn enough Craft (Water) to tan an appropriate replacement. Maybe see if it's possible to fix rather than replace.)
Do general maintenance on everything that sorting out doesn't help fix right out.

Well, she might as well get to work on the first part, growing angry at her lack of progress on finding the right tools anywhere to do anything she wanted. So, she cracked her knuckles and starts using her mind-hands and her normal hands to start getting everything sorted and in its place just to keep busy and maybe learn something new.

As she did start doing the work of at least more than 1 person at sorting this whole place (not sure what skill attribute combo that would be) she does turn a quick bit of essence sight to the chains to confirm what she already thinks about them, considering that it's a place where only supernatural people would have ever set foot, the manacles would need to be built for supernatural people.

Int 5+Occult 4+Stunt
No. 963923 ID: 0640da

rolled 4, 4, 2, 5, 7, 6, 8, 4, 7, 2, 3, 6, 1, 4, 7, 2, 8, 2, 3, 10 = 95

After calming down a little and getting a better look, Patches is delighted. She picks up some of the metalworking tools, swinging them a few times experimentally to get used to their heft, and then starts getting to work on maintenance right away. She lacks the leather to do a good job on the bellows, and she's not really that organized so there's no hope in trusting her to tidy up, so it's time to just look over her tools and clean them off, inspecting for damage and wiping away centuries of dust off nearby surfaces. She makes a big mess and starts sneezing as she tries to figure this out...

Rolling for standard maintenance of the room, not including repairing the bellows-- Craft (Fire) 2 and Intelligence 4, maybe? Otherwise, Perception 2.

"Hey, Miss Strix? Can I draw that mark thing I what saw on yoo not long before?" They're still glowing, I mean. "Seems kinda special n all."
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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