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File 161709152432.png - (245.77KB , 500x500 , Catalyst_title_card_part_two.png )
993796 No. 993796 ID: afe7de

A big thanks to Poltergeist Ethanoic Acid for the Title card art!

CATALYST PART 1: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/986604.html

WIKI: https://questden.org/wiki/CATALYST
DISCUSSION: https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/134892.html

============

Authors Commentary: This Quest contains 18+ content including violence, sexual content, and more. Reader discretion is advised.
129 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 994771 ID: f94934

Wakeup REAL early tomorrow and go talk to willamina about this stuff as soon as possible. If Isabella finds out she sounds liable to just snap and straight up murder someone and/or multiple people.

Also new crack pot theory:
Max survived the fire, faking his own death somehow. He orchestrated the whole ordeal and intentionally spared willamina by manipulating isabella into doing his dirty work by promising her his affection. In reality he probably still has eyes for his sister alone and plans to use isabella to get whatever he wants then dispose of her or "save" willamina from her to win back her affection. Iraphena probably works for her under some kind of duress, or whoever they both work for has some kind of semi-workable plan to save the world and iraphena has decided the ends justify the means. Or she's just a greedy bastard and is on the side that benefits her the most materially.
>>
No. 994777 ID: e71563

We need to inform Willamina NOW.
Check if she's still in the bar. If so, pull her aside. Otherwise, call her and meet Mint and Roach + a couple bodies outside and BOOK IT to Willamina's place.

It is also worth asking Mint if she knows how much time it takes to use a skill book. We may need to use ours very soon.
>>
No. 994780 ID: 094652

We have concrete evidence that Isabella is a threat; even if she isn't responsible for the fire and the burnings and all the other murders, she's mentally ill and has a psychotic separate entity that loves to burn others to death. I was hesitant about telling Willamina because she might impulsively attack Isabella without a full investigation, but now it would be self-defense.

>Mint wants to grind
"Okay.
Your orders are to do whatever you want until the next demon auction.
Your designated master is Willamina Haydee. If I die, make sure she knows everything."

>Roach
"Please don't make that face, Snopes."
>>
No. 994792 ID: e6a906

Maybe we should text Willamina and tell her we need to talk about this tomorrow morning?
>>
No. 994812 ID: 9a2966

Thank Roach for its literal sacrifice and apologize you got their main body killed - Isabella was more messed-up than you anticipated - then have a quick think.

This is indeed a lot at once. So, put all slave and world-ending related topics aside to focus on the matter approaching critical mass - Isabella, Willamina and the truth of the Hadlee mansion fire. Thanks to Roach's selfless sleuthing we've assembled enough pieces to have an initial go at putting the puzzle together.

>THE HORRIBLE HADLEE THEORY
>Disclaimer: variants and other possibilities certainly exist
The burning of the mansion and its aftermath, whether accidental or premeditated, required the cooperation of two individuals: Maximillian and Isabella.

We still don't know what power Max was sitting on, but he may have Awakened to one that was MENTAL in nature. He may have gotten SMARTER and more MANIPULATIVE as a result of it. Based on Cannie's story, his attitude grew distant and cold shortly after confessing to (and being rebuffed by) Willamina, a shift which both that event and his recent Awakening into a different mindset could explain. A mental awakening might certainly have made him stop acting like the youth he was and begin to lay plans of his own. Especially if he - much as Cat did - discovered the truth of the upcoming demonic invasion and preparing for that began to take priority. Possibly his family was an obstacle both to his incestuous love and to those preparations.

Thus, he could have leveraged Isabella's obsession with him (and own Awakening) into an advantage by getting her to burn down the Hadlee Mansion and getting her to continue to work with him (dangling the carrot of his love in front of her all the while). He either knew about or faked the Hadlees' will to give him another lever with which to monitor Willamina's status - possibly he got the Heroes' League help to set it all up! After all, his family was already a financial backer of the Walpoles (founders of the Heroes' League, I believe) and the League stood to benefit somewhat by absorbing those resources.

He could even have lied that he wanted to pretend to be dead to 'protect' what was left of his family from whatever VILLAIN burned the place down - they'd CLEARLY been after HIM, after all! And not letting Willamina have a hint of access to any of those resources until she Awakened meant she'd be protected from further villainous interests.

Then he proceeded to both work with the Heroes' League and Nunitus, playing a long game. The main link to Max-Nunitus involvement is Isabella becoming a Nunitus player - able to get her non-Awakened sister an in - and setting herself up as the superior of Iraphena (a public Nunitus member), as well as EYES being a very big component of Willamina's trauma back during the mansion fire, while also being Nunitus' main motif. That could admittedly be a red herring... though it also feels weird that all the Nunitus leads back after the mansion fire just up and vanished.

Like someone knew ahead of time which leads Aeglos was investigating - which could point to Iraphena's involvement in the cover-up.

Whaddye think? If any of this is true, we're dangerously close to knocking a conspiracy cabal over, with the attendant attention that'll bring. Speaking of which...

>CAT IS ON THINNER ICE DISCOVERY-WISE
Roach's spying - we keep a terrarium of roaches, figuring out who sent a roach to spy on Isabella won't exactly be rocket science - and our recent publicly revealed presence at Will's Awakening are both things that could trigger Isabella/Max/Nunitus to spy on and confront Cat. With Miss Iraphena tracking Willamina's potential awakening status they could straight up know Cat is the likely 'trigger' here (even if that doesn't reveal the Arcane Catalyst power) since he is the only new element Iraphena can't keep track of.

>WHAT DO WE DO
It's relatively simple. Do we ACT NOW or WAIT AND SEE?

Waiting may be safe as houses, ish. Sure, it could put Will at risk of being targeted or manipulated (we have NO idea how Isabella will react to her sudden Awakening, but I suspect it won't be a positive reaction) - and Cat might find themselves under increased surveillance by Nunitus... but neither of those are like 100% given. As long as we keep cool and don't reveal that Cat knows Isabella is messed up and talking to 'Max' on the phone we should be... pretty safe in their mind still, if an annoyance to deal with and clearly someone to bully into cooperativeness.

BUT... I do not like the idea of giving Isabella - or her 'love' - the initiative here. We should be ABLE to stop Isabella, The Incarnation of Flame, and her demonic flame spirit, if need be, and we should ensure Willamina doesn't get manipulated or abused further. To do that we need to first AWAKEN MINT.

>AWAKEN MINT
SPEND 30 POINTS TO RAISE YOUR POWER CAP to 3/9 BEFORE MIDNIGHT AND IMMEDIATELY AWAKEN MINT WITH THE BONUS 3 POINTS! After midnight we can spend another 9 points - your whole wad for the day - to UPGRADE MINT'S POWER - or however much you can manage (spending any leftovers on upgrading Roach's powers as thanks for their selfless service).

The Awakening should definitely be put towards protecting you and yours and give Mint something to work with for dungeon runs. The exact nature should be suggested on by all as normal, though the one I'd like to propose is one that would at least allow Mint to sense and fight (seal / banish / exorcise) spiritual and otherworldly entities. A shrine-maiden 'Miko' power, for example, allowing her to fight back against Isabella AND the type of entities who fucked over her world.

>GET AID
For aid, you could leverage what you know of the town's residents. Dr. Trey and Gruk are both Awakened who'd probably come to your side if you intimate Will's under threat (although you don't know their loyalties as far as the situation with Max / Nunitus / League is concerned). You've got Trey's number at least - and he might also be in the bar still, and thus approachable, if drunk.

Toni the Illusionist might be, if not trustworthy or at all approached so far, someone we can call in as a 'dude, I'll owe you a big favor it you help me out here' last minute wildcard.

Cannie could get called in to shout at her sister for being a dummy - but I don't have much hope she'll be able, as a non-awakened, to DO much other than lean on her the slightest bit.

>GET BACK TO WILLAMINA TONIGHT
Either she or you could be in danger. An Awakened Mint can only protect you both if you're together - and if this situation is to come to a head soon, you might as well kick the cabal fully over and get her to help play the cards that end up on YOUR side.
>>
No. 994878 ID: afe7de
File 161760032202.png - (10.24KB , 500x500 , C2_027.png )
994878

> Get some rest
You think about awakening mint and the implications of all the info you just learned and suddenly get just so extremely tired. It looks like that Stamina Liquor is wearing off right about now and your adrenaline is dying off. It’s probably better that you figure out what you’re going to do about this whole situation after a night of rest so you don’t make any rash decisions. You’re not used to this kind of high intensity stuff. You strip and head to bed, Mint joins you, snuggling up on your pillow beside your head.

You: I think I’m going to rest for now, this is just a lot to take in. Just… We’ll talk in the morning.
>>
No. 994881 ID: afe7de
File 161760044335.png - (24.47KB , 500x500 , C2_028.png )
994881

> Check your Texts
You cover yourself with the sheets and pull out your comm, deciding to take a look at all the messages you’ve been ignoring for the past few hours.

Cannie: Good fight, you beat me fair and square. LMK when you wanna go again.

Nipha: Yeah Kazu really broke out of his shell.
Nipha: Rudy’s made these cool little spider robots that do all our housework for us and he uses to make gadgets, they’re pretty cool.
Nipha: You’ll get to see one of them when we head over.
Nipha: Oh and my new hoverboots.
Nipha: I’ll shoot you a text when I get there MONDAY.

Willamina: 🧊💕🧊

SPAM LIKELY: Ratiolatry isn’t as scary as you might think, come down to Lyst’s Ratiolatry group meeting this sunday at 9AM at the Community center!
SPAM LIKELY: Tired of your old penis? We at Beast-Kin’s Phallus emporium can offer you a brand new cock of any species you like, increase the virility and potency of your seed or even make it prehensile, all at a low low cost of $99 a month, [CLICK HERE] for more details!

God these dumb spam texts are back again, guess moving to a new area has gotten your number put on a few lists. At least they aren’t calling you and leaving voice-mails.
>>
No. 994882 ID: afe7de
File 161760045258.png - (25.81KB , 500x500 , C2_029.png )
994882

> Warn Willamina
Hearing this information has got you on edge even more and you feel that you should at least say something to Willamina.

To Willamina you reply: I might just be paranoid but be careful tonight okay? Talk to you in the morning.

You then put your phone on the charger and curl up into a ball, letting the sweet, dark embrace of sleep consume you. You don’t dream, but you feel a soul-crushing weight pressing down on your stomach the whole night. Your left leg constantly cramps and your right shoulder is in pain. Not to mention your back is killing you. It might be a good idea to buy some painkillers. You wake up the next morning and look at your COMM. It’s SATURDAY MORNING at 9:30AM. You feel more TIRED than usual. You’ll probably be fine in an hour or so. But you’re most likely still in pain from the fight yesterday. You sluggishly drag yourself through the shower and bathroom, lazily performing your morning routine before dressing, and popping back in the room. You grab your COMM, no new messages, but you hear the telltale sounds of a stomach growling coming from Mint.
>>
No. 994883 ID: 0fae41

Get some Cat food, and food for the cat too.
Is the libarby open to return your book?
>>
No. 994884 ID: b1b4f3

>>994882
Talk to mint about awakening. Ask her what kind of power she'd like most if she awakened. Then text Cannie to ask her what kind of powers she'd want most.

Get some food for Mint. What does she want from the bar?

Use a favor to get 5k, with the intent to buy that property. Also tell Iraphena you heard from Cannie about how fucked up Isabella is and you're kindof worried now; can she protect you? Would she even be able to predict Isabella attacking you? Oh she should be able to protect Willamina at least, could she do that for a favor?
Oh right today is when we check out potential item trades, too.

Do we have to work today?
>>
No. 994889 ID: 8483cf

Time to begin Operation: Delegation. Bring Mint up to speed on who is important to you, who can be trusted, and if she feels comfy about helping plan defenses.
>>
No. 994894 ID: cb6eac

Things are going to start moving very quickly today. We need to go to Willamina's place straight after breakfast to better inform her. Over breakfast though we should discuss with mint if she feels better suited to the Lightning god power, or if she believes it might be a better idea to awaken her normally.
>>
No. 994898 ID: e51896

I find it kind of eerie that we didn't get new texts. Lets eat... food for us will be free, but we may need to pay for Mint's food.

We are taking roach with us today. We might need him to help us talk to Willamina.

Too bad our days off isnt on saturday. At least we got sun and mon off. Potential plans after work: talk to Willamina about her inheritage (she mentioned she can use it to protect you and her), we can also talk to Iraphena and look into artifacts she has after work, but also, we could consider going to the remains of the hadlee estate after work.

During breakfast, talk to Oriel, mention about being happy for Willamina, and ask about Trey on how it felt like he's been making efforts to avoid you even though you've never introduced yourself to him and ask if he is like that to everyone. Also look into your phone about Ratiolatry.
>>
No. 994907 ID: 9a2966

As far as options for food goes, you'll have breakfast at Oriel's, but I'm wondering if it isn't smarter to just hand Mint some money and have her buy some herself. She could join you in-person at Oriel's and you can do the 'official' meet-n-greet in public, or she can sneak off to the Lyst-y-Mart and buy whatever she needs for herself.

Both Roach and Mint will need marching orders for the day. We might want Mint to hang around for protection - as an Awakened! - for the time being, especially if we're gonna dump some more shattering revelations on Will or if we encounter Isabella.

Roach could... spy on someone less dangerous? I'm wondering if we shouldn't just give Roach some time off to shake off the loss of their primary body. He should be careful as well around town now, especially since Isabella's flame spirit might be on guard against spy bugs, or might even actively seek them out for extermination. Basically, they should be careful not to go anywhere 'alone' - and maybe not even be all collected in the terrarium either.

And here's an idea: if you could keep a roach with you - in safe, air-permeable bag or something - Roach would only need to transfer their consciousness over to you in order to talk. If the range of the hive mind is wider than the range of the telepathy that might be an easier way to get in touch. Might not be comfortable for the bug in question - though roaches are pretty durable!

I still feel like we should spend our achievement points on enabling a more powerful awakening for Mint.

Then again, saving up for checking the power use history of Awakened might still be smart and could give us more information. We'd get a lot more context on how their powers work, for one. Imagine looking at Iraphena's uses - it'd be like looking through someone's browser search history for clues.

Anyway, deal with breakfast, deal with Awakening Mint, then consider whether going to Will before the job begins.
>>
No. 994952 ID: 0c5bfb

Im thinking we bring roach along to introduce to Willamina at work,

Mint should consider working at the friendly bean, or Ruffled haunch. She might be able to get more info and get money through there.

One thing to consider is giving Willamina your phoenix ring in case Isabella attempts murder
>>
No. 994955 ID: ce39da

We should check to see if Gadgetry already counts as Mint being "Awakened" before attempting anything with her. If it doesn't count, then we should definitely talk to her about whether we should use our power or the lightning god book - her preference. Being a practicality-minded catgirl, she'd likely recommend that we use the book on her and save the points for upgrading Willamena.

Whatever we end up deciding on, it'd be best to do it now rather than later; we want to have more power on our side by the time Isabella decides to spring her attack.
>>
No. 994957 ID: b1b4f3

Hmm, it occurs to me we should probably find out how law enforcement handles capturing supers. Do they have magic shackles or something that neutralize powers?
>>
No. 995011 ID: afe7de
File 161769232307.png - (10.31KB , 500x500 , C2_030b.png )
995011

> Return book
You haven't finished it yet! Though you guess you could go to the Libarby later to check out a different book.

> How does law enforcement handle Supes
You remember them using these strange foam guns on supes to contain them, but in most cases they send another supe after them if they cant be contained or controlled. You’re not actually sure what happens after they’re captured. You guess they’re jailed or something.

> Look up Radiolatry
That spam message is on your mind so you do a quick PAWNGLE search Radiolatry. They're a religion that started out as a cult around 50 years ago, they generally believe that we live in a machine or are in a simulation of some sort, with the advent of the internet you could see people sprouting up with theories but this only really came to prominance when the first individuals started awakening. When people could start seeing their status windows and collect artifacts that granted powers they took this as evidence of their theory and began worshipping what they called [THE SYSTEM] that managed our universe.

Then you've found some news articles of individuals going out into crowds, shouting "LOG OUT" and using teleportation based powers to incite mass hysteria, these events were apparently caused by extremists of the group. A few of them were caught due to security camera footage but were let off on minor sentences due to the nature of their "pranks."

There's a seperate group that spun off from Radiolatrists that believes in something called [THE BOX] theory, but the articles on it are sparse, something about what lies outside of [THE SYSTEM]. Apparently accidents keep happening to worshippers of this specific theory so not much else is known about it.
>>
No. 995012 ID: afe7de
File 161769233437.png - (12.23KB , 500x500 , C2_031.png )
995012

> Have breakfast with Mint
You look up from your phone and realize you're at a table with a now kin form Mint, food freshly placed in front of you. Huh, you must've gotten too focused on that news article and didn't realize what you were doing. Oriel is staring at you expectantly, it looks like she asked you a question.

You: Huh, uh, could you repeat that?

Oriel: Sure shugah, I asked if you were gonna introduce me to yer friend?

You: Oh, yeah. This is Mint. She's an old friend from my early College days.

Oriel: Hi, I’m Oriel Walpole, you know, like the famous Marth Walpole, one of the founders of the Heroes League?

Mint: I'm uh, I don't know much about the Heroes guild sorry.

Oriel sighs and is about to step away when you speak up.

You: Cool how Willamina awakened huh?

Oriel: Oh yeah! It's stellar. Kind of jealous if I'm being honest. I'm in my 30s and haven't awakened yet. SIGH Maybe one day...

You: Hey, if it can happen to her it can happen to any of us. Anywho, just one more question. Did I uh... offend Trey or something? I get the feeling he's avoiding me.

Oriel: Oh that, nah, well its not YOU per se. More like he just avoids City folk. Anyone from the big city and he just avoids them like the plague for some reason. I'm sure you could have an actual conversation with him if you scheduled a checkup though.

Now that she mentions it, you havent really gotten a good look at his face, just profile shots and looks from his back. Maybe he's someone who used to be important in the city? You speculate a little bit as you bite into the toast prepared before you. Mint on the other hand has nearly finished her meal in record time. It looks like she was starving. You give her half of your meal, you’re not that hungry anyway and she gets back to eating.

You: Thanks, do I owe you for the breakfast?

Oriel: Nah, the room comes with food enough for two visitors so it's alright.

Oriel heads off back into the kitchen and it's just you and Mint. You feel something in your pocket though and when you poke your hand in there you get a resounding "HEY, WATCH IT." Looks like you took Roach with you too.
>>
No. 995013 ID: afe7de
File 161769236186.png - (7.92KB , 500x500 , C2_032.png )
995013

You start going over the situation with Mint, and then take a moment to check to see if mint has a Power, when you mention that you're about to do that she instead mentions you could just look at her status window, confused you do just that.

Mint Bubastis
Age: 39
Powers:
NONE
Innate Skill:
BEAST SHAPE
This creature can morph their body into bestial forms related to their race and back at will.

Turns out because you OWN her you can see her relevant information and her Innate Skill, Neat! You then quietly explain your power to her through roach and she gives you an incredulous look.

Mint: Alright, no, with a power like that, hmm. Okay, a lot more might be possible then I was thinking. Maybe you won't be a good for nothing master.

You give her an eyeroll and suggest awakening her through your power or through the book and she stops you.

Mint: If I had to pick I'd go with using your power, maybe spend your Achievement points to give yourself a larger pool only because then I'd potentially get a power more suited to me and my style. Lightning sounds great and all, but I'd prefer to hope for a potential stealth power or an actual specialization in Tinkering or something. I’d actually caution against that one you’ve been eying, the history one. In all likelihood it’s probably there to waste your points and would just tell you the date and times of the power use and not what it was used for, at least it seemed to function that way in my world.

Mint: I'll caution you though. ANGELS have a vendetta against awakened without the light attribute, they'll leave civilians alone, but 9 times out of 10 when a conflict arose with ANGELS, DEMONS, KIN and I guess HUMANS, they would almost always indiscriminately slaughter the awakened as well.

You ponder this, right now pure fighting power is kind of needed, you might encounter angels at some point, but with your power you can probably have the numbers to support you if this happens. Though now that you're thinking of logistics the most important thing to deal with right now has popped up. Money.
>>
No. 995014 ID: afe7de
File 161769237498.png - (10.84KB , 500x500 , C2_033.png )
995014

You: So now we get to the meat of the problem. I'm broke. So that means you'll probably need to get a job Mint, that way we can afford an apartment or something. There's openings at the Lyst-Y-Mart and the Ruffled Haunch, or you could go to the city hall and figure it out.

Mint: That would put us behind schedule. Couldn't you just sell one of your more useless artifacts so we could gain the capital needed. I might not know a lot about this world but I'm sure there's some guild or auctionhouse or something that would be willing to trade for the item. Or maybe wait for Willamina to get her inheritance and use that as starting funds?

Roach: THERE'S ALSO THE FAVORS FROM MISS IRAPHENA FOR A QUICK INFLUX OF BUX. AND I DO REMEMBER THE ABANDONED PAPER MILL BEING ON SALE AS A POTENTIAL BASE OF OPERATIONS.

Mint: What would be great is if we could find a dungeon in this town.

You: Arent... Aren't dungeons crazy huge and run by Demons and Fairies?

Mint: That's not the only kind of dungeon out there. There are some naturally formed hidden dungeons, and if you get a dungeon core you can even MAKE ones. If I had time and BUX I could make a device that could measure the ambient mana in the region and use that to track down a hidden site. I'm SURE there's at least one somewhere in a 10 kilometer radius of us, especially if this is an Auction site.

Mint: But you don't look like a fighter so it would probably be hard for you. Though if we could get you to experience a GROWTH that might change, I wouldn’t be surprised if you never experienced a GROWTH by the looks of you.
>>
No. 995015 ID: 031458

Mint, I've been awakened for almost a week.
So no, I haven't. Please, enlighten me.

Ask what artifact your holding would be the easiest for mint to recreate it you had the resources.

Also consider that bux probably won't be a problem if you successfully Navigate Willamina through the coming fire and she receives her inheritance. Though in that case you should use your favors on bux to get started.
>>
No. 995017 ID: 62e901

Well, besides growth, there's gadgets. How much do those cost? Somebody's probably made power armor, but that also probably costs a lot, if they sell it at all. Though if they do, it might be worth it to lose 1 artifact for the survivability it offers.
>>
No. 995025 ID: e51896

hmm, if we sell an artifact, we could probably sell the Coiling Ring and use our backpack again to carry stuff. We should grab our backpack before work in that case. But I also vote waiting on Willamina's inheritance.

How much does the paper mill cost? does Oriel know?

Also ask for a good idea on what Mint can do while you are at work. You were thinking you could introduce her and roach to Willamina and help explain the situation with, or maybe have her pose as her house cat to protect Willamina if we do awaken Mint with a power to protect her, or having her get a job regardless if only to listen in on people. But she's been having really good ideas so far, that I'd like to hear what she would do during your time at work.

But I think for now, we should awaken Mint. I was thinking of awakening her to the power I wanted to give Willamina, Enigmatic Inhibitor >>994121 though stealth or tinkering sounds important too.
>>
No. 995026 ID: 0fae41

You should probably trade one of those favors for bux outright. It’s simply a necessity at this point and will let mint begin work on a dungeon finder ASAP.
>>
No. 995032 ID: 9a2966

Huh. I had forgotten that Oriel was a Walpole. Descendant of Marth Walpole, master energy swordsman and Heroes League founder.

>ANGELS WILL MURDER EVERY AWAKENED WHO IS NOT LIGHT-ASPECTED
Note to self: see about awakening someone who can give other Awakened a light aspect. Or banish angels for the crime of being alignment pricks. Secondary note: anyone you Awaken will have a bullseye painted on their back if/when angels show up. Tertiary note: Mint was a demon slave, so this could be straight up bull or some skewed perspective stuff.

>Upgrade your basic power so you can make more powerful Awakened
Agreed - slot those 30 points into your awakening capacity. Re: the 'power history use' expense trap... aw man, that is disappoint. Still POTENTIALLY useful, mind. Just not as handy as hoped.

>Spend a Favor on cash
Probably the wise move and we really should've done it yesterday. You can do it later today as you have the artifact trade lined up after work. Mint could come along for that, couldn't she? Her opinion or advice on what kind of artifacts might be valuable could be useful - and it's not like Iraphena won't see her about town soon enough anyway and she can put two and two together when she discovers you're hanging together.

Give Mint the overview of how the auction went, what you snagged and what Iraphena wanted. Mention the utility of the Demon Eye Amulet and the Ring of the Phoenix and how you want to keep those two in particular. The skill book, lucky egg and coiling ring are 'sort of want to have' but also expendables. Note that Roach could also keep you two in mental touch, allowing you to converse between yourself silently.

Mint herself is not for trade.

>Dungeon
... sounds like a mid to long-term plan, honestly. A dungeon of your own would give your group more than a fucking leg up, that's for sure, and given your timeline you'll probably need it. If it's a useful place to train newbie Awakened that's a real score, too.

>GET TO WILLAMINA'S PLACE / TO WORK
Still got them obligations.

>>995025
Aeglos told us the place cost a song and a dance - at 4000.
>>
No. 995037 ID: 094652

>>995011
>Radiolatry
Well, they're not complete crackpots, the nature of the status screens would imply you live in a Meta-RPG of some kind.
They might get more followers if they re-branded though. Radio comes from another age entirely.
>[The Box] Radio-theorists have accidents
Other than the typical silencing, cult theorists are expected to have a high fatality rate from their experiments. It's kind of a pity, science of any kind should be both supported and regulated, even from cultists.
>Supes disappear to 'jail'
Yeah this just screams metahuman experimentation. How else are they going to keep a world of supervillains in check 24-7?

>>995013
So it appears that having a higher energy pool when awakening someone increases the potential array of superpowers, with more useful powers like clairvoyance requiring a higher energy pool. Well dang, maybe we should have waited before giving Willamina her power.
>Angels will kill anyone not aligned with the Light and in their way
Racists.
>Wants a tinkering power
"I'll see what I can do. You'll need to wait until I increase my max energy, how long are you willing to wait?"
>>>995014
>Sell an artifact
"No, every artifact we show off or sell garners heat from our potential rivals. If we suddenly gain wealth from someone other than our rivals, just after heiress Willamina awakened (with something other than what they know we have) and received her family's 8-year standing fortune, they're going to connect the dots. We have an advantage by keeping my power obscure."
>Why complicate this? Just use a favor.
"I don't know if your world was chaotic or orderly, but here things are a semi-oppressive mess. Right now, everyone powerful thinks we deserve to be poor, and they'll start staring at us if we aren't. We have to earn wealth in a way they'll never understand. It was never fair or reasonable, it's just what kind of scum has naturally thrived."
>What do
"I'll keep building a network and finding influential/skilled people we can trust, trading power for wealth. Roach continues spying, you start researching. When the time comes to fight, we need half the town informed, and prepared, and on our side."
>>
No. 995050 ID: b1b4f3

Slam 30 points into max energy. We should have done that before awakening Willamina.
Use a 5k Favor, buy the property. This won't be suspicious, you can say you and Mint pooled your funds.

Hmm, when Nipha gets here you'll definitely want a space for her. Is she awakened?

Text Cannie and ask her what kind of power she'd want most if she Awakened. She's the next best target for the book right now. ...maybe the Mayor would work? Since she's been helping Willamina and we can give the book to her without revealing Cat's power? Plus she seems to be amused by the shock gadget. Unless of course she was helping Willamina on Max's behest, and isn't actually loyal to her. I think we need to ask Willamina about what people in town we can trust.
>>
No. 995067 ID: 9a2966

I don't think we should get in touch with the Mayor this weekend. Maybe on monday? Would probably need to talk to her to get the permission to buy the paper mill anyway. We can try to present Mint as a tinker from the Big City who wants a place to set up a workshop and the paper mill place sounds like a potential fixer-upper. Should also probably LOOK at the place before we buy it.

One more thing - can Mint explain this 'light-aspect' angel thing a little better?
>>
No. 995073 ID: 27e0fa

We'll introduce Willamina to Mint and Roach today before work.

Im wondering if we should save that favor for something else if we are patient about Willamina's inheritance.

Whatever the case, the papermill does sound good for privacy but we'll be further from town if we lived there in case emergencies happen that needs us there asap, and it is suspiciously cheap. Meanwhile living in the apartments will give us people to hang out with, and bring us closer to town, but the privacy might be bad, and living space might be smaller...

Id say we need to check both places before making a final decision
>>
No. 995074 ID: 0d245d

Additional issue with that paper mill outside of town, it sounds like a pretty flammable place for you to be holing up in, and you're dealing with a fanatic who's clearly displayed their willingness to burn things down.
>>
No. 995082 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, and let's try not to speak secrets out loud too much in case Aeglos is listening. We don't know how he'd react to finding out about Cat's power.

>>995074
That's something we can easily fix, if it's even true. It's not made out of paper, you know. It's likely a concrete building.
>>
No. 995091 ID: 0fae41

>>995074
Clearly we just need to do a controlled burn to get rid of all the flammable residue.
>>
No. 995107 ID: b1b4f3

>>995091
That could work but it'd damage all the wiring and a bunch of other shit we'd have to replace. Probably better to just rent a pressure washer and hose down all the walls. And make sure it's got a fire extinguishing system.
>>
No. 995141 ID: afe7de
File 161778147893.png - (7.30KB , 500x500 , C2_034.png )
995141

> Growth?
You: What’s this “GROWTH” thing you’re talking about?

Mint: You mean you don’t know? Uh, how to explain it. It’s like… most kin where I came from had it around twice in their lives. The sensation is like of opening your eyes and seeing a beautiful landscape for the first time. Your body improves dramatically and you feel a qualitative change in it, like being reborn? Its like… something about the accumulation of life experience. Kin usually experience it more often when fighting monsters. Like, how can you not know about something so basic, you have dungeons and monsters and stuff here, do your kin not share information or something?

You: This is just the first I'm hearing of it. I guess that’s another motivation to go on dungeon runs, does it affect awakened powers too?

Mint: It varies from kin to kin but usually it has some effect on it, it’s one of the easier ways to get stronger after all.
>>
No. 995142 ID: afe7de
File 161778148934.png - (7.58KB , 500x500 , C2_035.png )
995142

> Light aspect thing?
You: Can you explain what you mean by this ‘light aspect’ angel thing a bit more.

Mint: So everyone’s got a base element affinity, mine has been neutral for the longest while with a slight leaning towards DARK. It’s not something you’d find in your status window because it only really is important for mages and tinkers to an extent. Basically your elemental affinity indicates what aspect of magic you’d be good at casting. Some people speculate it also is a representation of your temperament but that’s a philosophical debate in itself. Anyway, awakening kind of supercharges your aspect, making it easier to do stuff in that domain, like if someone awakened to a wind power, they’d be YELLOW aligned, Ice or water would be BLUE, etc. You can have more than one aspect, and there are 6, well TECHNICALLY 8 aspects.

Mint: Anyway, back to your question. Angels can see your aspect, well, they can see mana and if you’re awakened you kind of glow to them, so if you aren’t of the right element they just see you as a demon. Or so our research has shown.
>>
No. 995144 ID: afe7de
File 161778152288.png - (43.45KB , 500x500 , C2_036.png )
995144

Mint: Oh, and because you probably definitely don’t know this. You don’t need a specific power to cast magic, it’s just WAY EASIER if you have one. For example.

Mint creates some harmless sparks around her paws and they dissipate relatively quickly.

You: Woah could you teach me some magic!?!?!?

Mint: Um, yes Master. Of course. But maybe you should get ready for work, that is if you still want to do that. And umm, if your aptitude isnt good and you’re INTELLIGENCE is too low you won’t be able to learn any. I’m not calling you stupid master, I’d never do that, but um. If you can’t learn it then you just might be…

She gives you a smirk and you take that as a personal challenge to take up later.

> Upgrade your base power
You decide to pump your Achievement points into upgrading your ENERGY TOTAL. It increases to 9 and you’re left with an empty Achievement point bank. Your energy total is sitting at a nice 9/9 so you finish up your meal and head back up to your room with Mint. You close the blinds and pick up your backpack, moving roach to it.

> Awaken Mint
You’ve been thinking about this for a little bit but there’s very few downsides to Awakening her right here and now and she might prove to be a very important asset.

Do you Awaken Mint? If so, what power does she get? Feel free to use the Book instead if you prefer. You can always put this off till later.
>>
No. 995145 ID: 6c227a

so like... Tinker is a POWER but it is also a skill set about building stuff, so some people can do it at a basic level even without being awoken? She said she'd like a specialization in tinker, and I am not sure if that is a thing that we can DO or if it's like, something else.
>>
No. 995148 ID: e51896

Awaken her to either Enigmatic Inhibitor >>994121 (hopefully dungeons will have monsters we can delete abilities from in dungeons to level it up)

or for stealth:

Out of Body Experience

- Anytime you sleep, instead of having a dream, you can choose to have the dream version of yourself have an out of body experience in the real world to travel within a 5(maybe 10 mile) radius from your body. (or maybe the amount of miles it takes to travel through half of the town of Lyst at least)
- Can travel into other people's dreams by entering their mind
- The dream version of yourself can only be seen by other people who are dreaming (unless someone who is awake has an artifact that lets them see them)
- Warning: going too far from your body can make you lose connection to your dream version, making you unable to dream or have an out of body experience again until you are close enough your dream version of yourself again.
- Warning: any pain you receive when visiting another person's dream can cause temporary pain to your physical body when you awaken.

or

Invisibility

-Can spend energy to cast invisibility on your body
-cannot be used with an innate skill (like transforming into a cat and being invisible at the same time)
-items and equipment cannot be invisible as well

or for tinkering:

Mental Craft

-Any object you can imagine that you want to craft, you get a list of materials in your mind needed to craft, or repair said object, and where exactly to get the materials needed to build it nearby.
-Once you get the materials needed, instead of needing to build it, your mind merges the materials you gather together, and forms it into the object you want to craft instantly
-the more complex the object you want to make, the more energy it takes
>>
No. 995150 ID: e51896

I also want to introduce Mint and Roach to Willamina at work. Roach can even talk to her a little bit and we can explain the situation. Though should we introduce Mint in her cat form, or humanoid form?

I'm thinking introduce Willamina to Mint in her cat form for now if Willamina is going to help deliver the mail with us today, just so that Mint can follow her around at a safe distance to make sure nothing bad happens, like if Isabella starts harassing Willamina for example, Mint can become humanoid and ask Willamina to follow her to the post office as she is looking for Cat and get her out of there since Isabella won't do anything to Willamina with a witness nearby.
>>
No. 995151 ID: 6c227a

I say tinker, and also a low key stealth power like:

Cloak of Static - By an act of will about as difficult as holding a fist, the cat can cause surveilance equipment pointed at her to glitch out in a plausible but not necessarily subtle way, and also render herself similarly undetectable to unusual enhanced or power-based senses. Normal mundane vision, hearing, etc remain unaffected, so it becomes a fair game of hide and seek.
>>
No. 995152 ID: e51896

>>995148
Forgot to mention for out of body experience ability, you can phase through walls, and levitate to some extent.
>>
No. 995153 ID: 9a2966

>>995145
We've already seen one Tinker power - Rupert, the goat fellow in the Libarby has the "Tinker: Stabilization" power. If we take a leaf out of that, we can probably offer her any amount of interesting Tinker specialties (should tell Mint about Rupert and the tinkerin' club, by the way, she might be interested in using it for fun / new world socialization practice).

>Magic can be cast without powers
Doesn't surprise me, actually. Powers seem like, well, shortcuts to do amazing things, but don't necessarily confer SKILL, GROWTH or CREATIVITY with the power (as evidenced by the fact that if you have a power you can get 'stuck' with it).

>Job, still want to do that
For now, yes, you want to use the job as your cover. It's a good excuse to get out, socialize and get to know the townsfolk, too.

>Awaken Mint
Assuming it can be done privately, then yes (due to the whole glowing thing and whatnot). I'd maintain her getting a power that can be useful in facing off against Isabella if need be, as well as going on dungeon runs.

As such, and given her tinker experience and suggestion she is an INTELLIGENT woman, I suggest giving her the Tinker: Substitution ability. Let Mint be able to cobble together anything from anything. Missing the Unicorn Horn core for your magitech rainbow-lasergun? Fuck, duct tape on a candy cane instead, it'll be fine. It's practically cheating.
>>
No. 995154 ID: 9a2966

>>995153
Also, pump in the whole 9 yards / points - or however much you can! If there are leftovers (i.e. you can't increase a particular power strength partially) can go to giving Roach a li'l boost.
>>
No. 995155 ID: e51896

>>995154
I have a feeling we might need to use any leftover points we have to awaken another person, just in case. If we can't find anybody, we'll wait until tonight to upgrade roach, or maybe give his buddies a power.
>>
No. 995167 ID: ce39da

Dump 5 points into >>995153's idea, save the remaining 4 for upgrading Willamena's Ice aspect as soon as we get to work; we want her as jacked as possible in the event that Isabella targets her.
>>
No. 995170 ID: 094652

>Growth is like leveling up, but once or twice
You'll need to grow like nine times if you want to survive an apoocalypse.

>>995144
You definitely need to learn magic. If you can focus on one specific spell, you'll have a cover for your power in case Isabella decides to out your ability or something. Try learning magic dedicated to scanning power signatures - and how to disrupt them.

>Awaken Mint?
Awaken her when she finds a dungeon and gets the appropriate gear and authorization. For now, upgrade Roach and awaken animals in the wilderness to earn the druid's trust.
>>
No. 995174 ID: 76bc11

With her affinity for dark element, perhaps a power to refract light around herself would fit. This can be extended to refracting all sorts of EM energy around oneself - yep, force fields.
>>
No. 995180 ID: 031458

I want to see more of mints abilities in action before awakening her.
Put it off till later.

We need to trick out Willamina's ice powers so we have some method of defence against her fire power, though even so her demon power will be rough to deal with.
>>
No. 995187 ID: b1b4f3

Rudy's coming on Monday with Nipha. He's a Tinker, so making Mint a Tinker will be redundant. Unless multiple Tinkers can work on the same project to pool their "powers" and make something more powerful than they could make on their own? Then it'd be good. I'd argue we should make her a MagiTech tinker in that case.

Anyway, Mint wants some kinda stealth power, so how about we make her a Ninja?
Agility boost plus an observation-nullifying ability that works best when someone doesn't know where you are. As in, you just hide normally and people overlook you far more than they should. At high levels, can hide in plain sight and also move slowly without attracting attention. Its one weakness is that you have to break line of sight with someone before it starts working, so the 360 degree vision spear would be a counter to it. Magical detection items/abilities are harder to nullify, as well, but not impossible.
>>
No. 995238 ID: 0fae41

Granting powers specifically to counter Isabella is a bit narrow sighted but even a generalist power should her into consideration. I propose she gets:
-NINE LIVES: Precognitive teleports out of danger when she's about to take a felling blow or critical hit. She'll know when her luck's run out, but it will recharge with time.
-CAT'S EYES: some sort of otherworldly vision that will let her perceive Isabella's imaginary friend, and perhaps sense other things of demonic origin - like magic items.
Soon she'll be abusing every one of her powers and running wild, and that's good for both of us!
>>
No. 995265 ID: 9263d2

If we give her a tinker power, give her your shitty multitool, maybe she can make it better
>>
No. 995295 ID: afe7de
File 161786859143.png - (17.51KB , 500x500 , C2_037.png )
995295

> Awaken Her
You: Let’s awaken you and see how it goes.

You reach over and give her a headpat/scratch and a familiar blue glow beings to suffuse Mint’s body, eventually radiating out from her head as a large halo. You feel the loss of 6 ENERGY as a small notification appears before being replaced with her Status Window.

… PROCESSING … CONDITIONS MET … PRE-EXISTING KNOWLEDGE HAS BEEN CONSOLIDATED …

Name: Mint Bubastis
Age: 39
Powers:
TINKER: SUBSTITUTION (4) - UPGRADE? [4]
The user can fabricate or alter existing devices beyond normal means.
Specialty [SUBSTITUTION]
This allows the user to jury-rig their devices using similar, lower quality, resources at hand at the cost of having the devices be more likely to break down. This can be offset by reducing the effectiveness of the device.

ASSIMILATION (1) - Upgrade [4]
The user can passively assimilate with things including their surroundings, higher levels allow for deeper levels of assimilation.

Innate Skill:
BEAST SHAPE
This creature can morph their body into bestial forms related to their race and back at will.

You: Huh, it looks like your skills as a Tinker were… Consolidated? It jumped to 4 in one go.

Mint: UGH hold on, headache. UGh, Great Awakener. Master I hope you didn’t pick that name, a little egotistical if you ask me.

You: UGHHHH I get the feeling literally everyone is going to be saying that. I hope I can unlock an upgrade that lets me change that shit eventually.

Another notification also appears in front of you:

Achievement: “Consolodated Upgrade” Has been unlocked. +15 Achievement Points.
>>
No. 995296 ID: afe7de
File 161786860646.png - (11.00KB , 500x500 , C2_038.png )
995296

You get the feeling that you’ll probably be running out of these easy to get achievements soon, but it’s nice to see your pool get replenished a bit.

Mint: Okay, I’m better now. Huh, I got two powers. Neat. It’s weird, it’s like I got information crammed into my brain I didn't have before and I can actualize some of my projects a bit better now. Too bad we’re still broke.

You: Hopefully we can fix that with Will’s inheritance. Oh, and two more things. We’ve got another tinker coming to town this MONDAY I think, so that’ll be a good time to talk shop.

Mint: And the second thing?

You: There’s a tinker in town, Rupert. He’s in the Libarby and has a focus on “Stabilization” whatever that means, I uh, I havent mentioned this yet but keep my power secret obviously, and he doesn't know that I know. But maybe after we figure out what we’re doing today you might want to chat with him. You suddenly flash back to the other morning when you met him.

> Rupert: Well there isn't really a club per say, more like I have a workshop that I live out of and encourage any aspiring tinkers to come by and swap ideas and make cool gadgets. I have a small budget set aside for anyone who's too broke but can come up with a good blueprint.

Hmmm, that might be a good use of Mint’s time today actually, maybe you should get her to work on that mana detecting device if he can spare the budget for Mint. You ready yourself to head to work, deciding to introduce Mint and Roach to Willamina and then figure out what she’s going to do for the rest of the day.
>>
No. 995297 ID: afe7de
File 161786861810.png - (9.36KB , 500x500 , C2_039.png )
995297

You head over to the post office, this time making TRIPLE SURE you don’t bump into that pole and enter the building. It’s 10AM and she’s already at the desk sorting mail. She looks exhausted but filled with energy at the same time.

You: Uhh, you okay Will?

Willamina: WHAT? Oh, yeah. I’m fine. Just, I was too excited to sleep last night. Like, POWERS, you know, so crazy! I called the Heroes league last night, they’re sending a REPRESENTATIVE sometime today, probably in the late afternoon to confirm my powers. They say if I’m telling the truth they’ll have the situation with my INHERITANCE squared away by this evening, so It was kind of hard to sleep for that reason too. But the STRANGEST thing happened last night. My phone overheated while I was browsing the net and like the battery melted. I even tried using my ice to cool it down but it still happened, SUPER WEIRD. So I’m probably gonna stop by the Lyst-Y-Mart and pick up a new phone TODAY.

You can tell that even though she’s fatigued, she’s mentally full of so much energy she’s nearly bouncing around. She continues to talk and eventually looks right behind you, being surprised

Willamina: Anyway, today’s gonna be different PRICK, you’ll be manning the counter and I’ll be making DELIVERIES once we sort this mail. UHH, HUH? Whose your FRIEND, I didn't see her there?
>>
No. 995298 ID: 9a2966

Hand Will your second stamina liquor and resolve to thank and repay Andrea later on - they really came in handy during a rough patch.

Consider the unpleasant prospect of the demonic flame spirit hanging around, invisibly, spying on Will, even now.

>Who's your friend
Introduce Mint. Officially she's a college buddy, fellow wannabe tinkerer and overall cool lady.

Unofficially? She's here to help you SAVE THE WORLD or some shit. She's also property.

Like, yes, you did say both of those right. Shit got weird fast after you Awakened. Like, real hell-bound handbasket express stuff. Anyway, it turns out having your kind of power MAY come with some caveats! Who knew?

Or having Awakened to powers at all really, except not everyone gets to know that? Look, you will discuss it in more detail later, you really want to let her in on things as you understand them, but she sounds real tuckered out, you both have jobs to do and there's no RUSH on anything yet. 's just... she should be aware things will get messy in the future. And that she should be careful. Don't let anyone or anything get under her skin today, m'kay? You don't think her COMM getting messed up was a coincidence.

Oh! You have one other buddy, too. (Nudge Roach to introduce themselves.) Maybe you'll have them stick with her today, they could help fill her in on some things while she does the rounds.

(Mentally tell Roach to not reveal the Isabella-Max stuff to her yet - it'll ruin her day for sure - but to keep an eye out for trouble on Will's behalf. And if she gets like, kidnapped or something, to try to track where they take her and to get back to you, although holy shit if something like that goes down. Don't risk their own life! Worst case you'll approach someone else and give them tracking powers.)

Anyway, she shouldn't worry too much about YOUR shit now - cuz' today's her day, alright? Just focus on getting her power proved and approved!
>>
No. 995299 ID: 9a2966

Also
>at the cost of having the devices be more likely to break down
certainly sounds like something it'd be useful to have someone with a Tinkerer: Stabilization specialty around for, so that's a neat potential synergy to look into. Might mean we'd want to recruit Rupert, which means investigating HIS background and relative trustworthiness.
>>
No. 995304 ID: e51896

>>995299
The only concern is that he might have close connections with Iraphena since she helps budgets for his workshop.

What do? We got a lot of things we need Mint and Roach to do, so sorry if this is too much:

First, give Willamina your last Stamina Liqour.

Then, introduce Willamina to Mint, then Roach (before you show her roach, tell her that you have a cockroach that you awakened to speak to people telepathically in your bag so she doesnt freak out.)

I'm kind of worried for Willamina. Maybe we can ask if she can give Mint a tour of the town today while she is delivering mail, and Mint can fill her in on what is happening. that way if they run across Isabella, she would be less likely to try anything if there is a witness.

But if Willamina refuses to have Mint follow her today, Mint should use her cat form to follow Willamina in a safe distance, and if Willamina runs across Isabella and she starts harassing Willamina, Mint can go to her humanoid form and intervene by asking Willamina to take her to the post office, that way Isabella will be less likely to do something.

We can also ask if roach can hide in her hat and tell her that roach can telepathically tell her everything we know so far. We might need to have roach tell her about Isablella and what we found out about her when he spied on her, but make it clear to Willamina to keep it a secret that she now knows of her fire abilities. It might be most important that she knows this sooner rather than later. If she doesnt let Roach come with her, roach can let her know about Isabella right now.

Also, if Willamina allows Mint to tour with her today, ask if Mint can also speak to Rupert briefly about his workshop if they come across him.
>>
No. 995305 ID: ce39da

> Phone overheating ends in a small defeat.
We need to make Willamena’s ice powers stronger, clearly. If you saved any power energy from awakening Mint, use it on that now.

Do explain that the other people in the room are in the know to begin with, of course - you’ve awakened them, too.
>>
No. 995306 ID: 9a2966

>>995304
I considered having Mint follow Will too, but the thing here is that if something actually serious happens, Mint isn't really gonna be able to help on her own - she needs time and resources first to create devices that can help - and spending her time with Rupert first things first seems like a good way for some of that to take place (and getting a bead on any nearby dungeon seems important too).

I'd ixnay on the 'can awaken others'-ay as much as possible while there's a potential for Isabella's demonic flame spirit to be hanging about - Isabella's supposed to be keeping an eye on Will, which is why I consider that an elevated risk particularly now that she's been Awakened.

That's the reason why I expressed things so vaguely in the above suggestion and why I suggested Roach do some of the filling-in - telepathy should be harder to listen in on (could be wrong here, but it's a safer bet).

At any rate, the two things I think can help Will in a Serious Situation is A) if we empower her more or B) if we get other people to help her (by empowering them or warning them Will's in trouble) - otherwise you and Mint are pretty vanilla mortal still (Although Mint has a battle cat form! Then again, that's still not much protection from, say, being lit on fire.).

And if it's not a serious situation, well... Will's an adult and she's got powers now, so she'll hopefully be fine? Unless taking out her phone was tactical rather than petty, I think Isabella's mostly gonna stick to trying to jinx and sabotage her harder at worst. Maybe light some of her mail on fire, stuff like that.
>>
No. 995307 ID: ac3918

You can be sure the phone exploded *before* Will could read our text. She needs to be warned that she's potentially in danger.
>>
No. 995314 ID: e51896

>>995306
Good points, if it is true a demon spirit has been spying on Willamina and still is, then a worrying thought is that it would mean Isabella now knows about our real power to awaken people if that demon spirit saw us awaken Willamina during their spying.

And since Roach was caught spying on isabella by her, that would mean that if we show Willamina Roach now, the demon spirit will alert Isabella and she will be able to connect the dots and realize Cat was the one spying on her through Roach yesterday!

Hopefully the phone burning incident was just Isabella running to Willamina's house to burn her phone after somebody at the bar called her about it and not a demon spirit that is spying on Willamina 24/7,
but if a spirit is spying on Willamina constantly is true, my strategy now will be to have to hold off on showing Willamina Roach but instead still ask Willamina to give Mint a tour of the town while she works and asking if they can make a pitstop to talk to Rupert about joining his club of course. Next give Mint your backpack which contains Roach and have him from inside the backpack pretend to be Mint communicating telepathically with Willamina, telling her it is Mint's awakened power to not suprise her too much, and let her know secretly what is going on and tell her to stay silent, and eventually reveal to her it isnt actually Mint communicating with her, but Roach instead. Isabella I feel wont do anything if there is a witness like Mint near Willamina if she plans to do anything serious.

We might need to really consider seeing if one of the artifacts miss Iraphena has can see invisible demon spirits that we can trade for...
>>
No. 995318 ID: 094652

>>995297
"Willa, I have more secrets that are even more disturbing and you need to know them, but I'm afraid you'll have a meltdown if I spill them all at once.
So pick one of the following creepypasta punchlines:
- Her Love is More Than a 'Splosion
- How to Min-Max Your Relationships
- It's The End of the World As We Know It and I (Don't) Feel Fine"
>>
No. 995321 ID: 49d925

I really wonder if her fatigue is really excitement, or if it is actually stress from trauma due to her phone burning. Regardless, give her your stamina drink.

Lets see about upgrading Willamina's power a bit just for safety
>>
No. 995331 ID: 031458

Mint here is someone I trust.

There's a lot I need to explain to you, too much to go into now.

I have reason to believe however, that your phone was no coincidence. You may be in danger. I'd go to the police but my source though reliable, wouldn't exactly hold up in court.
I know it's weird ask, but would you let my friend here escort you on your route today? Put her in a uniform. Say she's a new Trainee.
It'd make me feel a lot better.

Upgrade our Max Power to 10 right quick, and Upgrade Willamina's Ice power 2 Levels if possible, otherwise upgrade them 1-1

Give Mint our gun. Tell her she can do whatever she needs to with it.
>>
No. 995334 ID: b1b4f3

>>995297
Isabella broke her phone. Petty bitch. Oh well at least we know Isabella's not gonna kill her over this. We're pretty sure at this point that the fire spirit can be used to spy, though, and... well, it's probably hanging around Willamina and will be tormenting her, so we can't talk about any big secrets with her until we've dealt with Isabella or at least have some way of confirming if the fire spirit is around.
Introduce Mint using her cover story. That should keep Willamina from talking about any big secrets in front of Mint.
Ask her if Max had an ice-type power too.

See if you can Upgrade her ice power. We've got some spare points and obviously it can't counter Isabella's spirit yet. The phone melting thing might have been an attempt to gauge Isabella's power, even. Thankfully doing this in front of Mint will keep her from talking about it and potentially blowing your cover to the spirit.

Send Cannie a text asking her what kind of powers she'd want if she was Awakened.
Get a 5k favor. Yes, I am going to suggest this every update until we have money.
Wasn't Iraphena supposed to send us a list of trade items?
>>
No. 995336 ID: 9a2966

>>995314
Spirit probably isn't out spying 24/7. We know for a fact it at some point hung around with Isabella at the house long enough to detect and burn Roach 1.0. It was also in the park, burning animals, some time BEFORE Will and you arrived there that evening.

We're not even 100 % sure that its range can take it far away from Isabella (though odds are the range of a semi-autonomous entity is at least somewhat better than our measly 1 meter).

The main fear is whether surveillance was stepped up due to Will's Awakening. It certainly must've gotten close enough yesterday to overheat her COMM.

The implicit threat of invisible spirit was actually why I was interested in Awakening a miko-like spiritual strength / spirit binding ability in Mint earlier, before she made it clear it might be better to lean into her tinker side.

Speaking of which, if we do manage to get a mana detection device out of Mint's tinkering in Rupert's workshop today, perhaps it could be made to detect spirits as well?
>>
No. 995401 ID: afe7de
File 161794765036.png - (15.00KB , 500x500 , C2_040.png )
995401

> Give Willamina the Stamina Liquor
You pop your remaining Stamina Liquor out of your ring and hand it to Willamina, thinking she could use it more than you at this point. She takes it gladly and CHUGS the thing.

Willamina: THANKS, I should at least have some energy for the rest of the day now.

> Introduce Mint but use her cover story
You: This is Mint, I knew her from college and she had a similar idea as me, moving out to Lyst to get away from the city. There's UH, a bit more backstory to it than that but we should REALLY save that for when we're able to take a breather and stress out over other stuff. Let’s just say she’s a VERY trustworthy kin.

Mint: It's a pleasure to meet you Mistress Willamina.

Willamina: Aw HELLS yeah, I can dig being called Mistress. And Let me guess, you have 3 other REALLY big important things to discuss.

You: Uhh, approximately yeah. Some of them bleed into the other but yeah, wait, how'd you know.

Willamina: LUCKY guess?
>>
No. 995402 ID: afe7de
File 161794766006.png - (30.01KB , 500x500 , C2_041.png )
995402

> Upgrade Willamina
You: Would you mind if we uh, went somewhere private for a moment.

Willamina: WOW, you HORN DOG you, wanting some HANKY PANKY this early in the morning. Can't get enough of these burnt HAMS over here?

You immediately flush and flail your arms around in a gesture of denial, a chuckle escapes Mint's mouth in the process.

You: N-n-n-n-not what I m-m-m-meant, I uh was uh referring to uh. Doing more of uh, what we did yesterday uh.

Willamina: WHAT, that's what I said, while I'd LOVE to grind and smooch some more, we got to sort this MAIL and deliver it, there's a lot today.

Mint: Wow Master, you had me in bed all night after you got naughty with her, and you want MORE? How salacious.

Willamina: And I thought I was the HORNY one of us two.
>>
No. 995403 ID: afe7de
File 161794767872.png - (108.98KB , 500x500 , C2_042.png )
995403

Willamina and Mint both burst into a fit of laughter at that as you feel yourself shrink into a ball from ebarrasment. Well at least they're getting along well enough. You're not comfortable upgrading Willamina in this room with the open windows and potential spirit floating around, and you don't want to bring up Upgrading specifically for the same reason, so you hold back on it for now.

> Text Cannie
You instead pull out your COMM and shoot a quick text to Cannie in the hopes to distract yourself.

You: Hey Cannie, just a weird, totally out there question, but if you could Awaken to any power you wanted, what would it be? I'll tell you mine first, I'd wanna be a Tinker! I wanted to go to college for it but they basically kicked me out because I didnt awaken.

Looks like you also have a message from Miss Iraphena.

Miss Iraphena: Managed to scrounge together 5 items instead of 3, rather not send pics rn, come by after work if you're interested. REALLY want that ring you're wearing, so I might offer 2 for it.

You pocket your phone and get back up, looks like the two were chatting while you were wallowing.

Mint: Is Mistress some kind of famed warrior? Those burns must be from an epic battle. Or maybe you have flame powers?

Willamina: Ice actually, the SCARS are from an accident like 10 years ago. Is our resident FLIRT back in action?

You: Yeah. Yeah. Let’s get to sorting already.

Mint goes to sit in a corner while the two of you get to work sorting mail, you finish a little while later and Willamina packs up her gear, getting ready to head out. You put on your postal worker outfit and sit at the front desk.

You: Oh, Mint. I forgot you were there…

Willamina: WHAT? Phew holy shit you scared the goddess out of me.

Mint: I uh just sat here the whole time.

Looks like Mint was practicing her power, you didn't even notice her there, maybe she revealed her presence as she saw you were finishing up. Seems like a convenient power.
>>
No. 995404 ID: afe7de
File 161794768625.png - (12.80KB , 500x500 , C2_043.png )
995404

> Mint should meet with Rupert
You: Yeah, uh, I’ve got work, so I guess you should go do whatever for the day. Maybe stop by the Libarby and talk to Rupert about working on that device we were talking about. And if you get a chance maybe look into the Apartments, see how good they are and the abandoned paper mill, see if it’s actually worth it. Try to be back by uhh… 4 or 5? Ugh, this would be easier if you had a COMM.

Mint: I will do as the lecherous Master wishes.

Willamina: Well look at Mr. BOSSY over here, how about she tags along with me, I can show her to the PLACES and point her towards the mill.

You: Good idea, do that. Maybe catch her up to speed on the more important things using our buddy here, please introduce him at some point. Just uh, please don’t talk about my theories on the fire starter, that’s a conversation I’d rather have with Will myself.

Willamina: You’re friends with a BACKPACK? Well who am I to judge, I used to be the same way about my DOLLS. Bye.

Mint gives you a bow and heads out of the place. It’s 12PM right now, you’ve got a few hours of work ahead of you. Who walks into the Post Office first?

A. Isabella
B. Trey
C. Someone you haven’t met yet
D. Other Pick whoever you want!

>>
No. 995405 ID: e16acb

>>995404
Trey
>>
No. 995406 ID: e51896

B. Trey is the first person. However, he walks in, takes one glance at you, then he leaves immediately before you or he says anything.

It would be very scary if Isabella came in later. Just for the creepiness factor, lets have her walk in later today.

but we should also vote to have a new person walk in later

Also sure hope Andrea doesn't walk in looking for action today *TEMPTING FATE*
>>
No. 995407 ID: b1b4f3

>>995404
A. Let's get this over with.

If she kills us, we can immediately go to the cops. Murder is still murder, even if the victim comes back to life.
>>
No. 995411 ID: 2d5a01

A. If we gotta come across Isabella, might as well be now when Willamina and Mint is already gone a fair distance. Whatever messed up shit she tells you, just jokingly say "ma'am, this is a post office" But tell her you didnt reveal anything about her power to her if she confronts you, so you dont know what the big deal is.

Also take some time to sneak some reads into your book, we gotta finish it. Maybe also text some people, like Toni. Ask if he wanted to talk to you the other day, he was giving you looks during the group dinner... send him a silly shitpost pic of yourself also, like a picture of you about to eat your COMM with the phrase: POV: You're delicious! We could use some cheering up from him to prepare for whats to come.
>>
No. 995415 ID: 9a2966

Trey

... what's up, Doc?
>>
No. 995418 ID: 864e49

>>995404
C
>>
No. 995426 ID: 094652

The auditor is early today
>>
No. 995431 ID: 8a51ec

Trey, we really should've talked to him more but that bonus was too great a risk.

...Maybe Toni later, though it probably wouldn't go well.
>>
No. 995438 ID: d7407b

Isabella. Such a nice girl.
>>
No. 995441 ID: 031458

Bobby Slurps
>>
No. 995459 ID: 52d35a

If Isabella shows up anytime today, get your water ready to calm your nerves (and to stay cool if she heats anything up). Most importantly: Secretly Set your COMM to record the conversation you'll have with her, and hide it in your pocket (assuming the COMM has an app to record audio)

Try to steer conversations to things unrelated to Willamina to keep yourself from revealing anything and to help play dumb, like talking about winning against her sister in a fight.
>>
No. 995460 ID: ce39da

Isabella visiting now might be bad for us personally... but it might also mean she's not out there assaulting Will.

... No, that's a false dichotomy; she has all day to do one followed by the other.

B: Trey
>>
No. 995510 ID: afe7de
File 161803791476.png - (13.71KB , 500x500 , C2_044.png )
995510

> Trey
Around 30 minutes of you doodling in your CAT NOTE later the door chimes as someone enters the room. It’s Trey! You look up and lock eyes with the man, you know, actually looking at him straight up for the first time gives you the strange impression that you’ve met or seen him before. But you’re not sure where. You get up to try to greet him, and maybe check his power while you’re at it.
>>
No. 995511 ID: afe7de
File 161803792356.png - (33.87KB , 500x500 , C2_045.png )
995511

Before you make it a few steps he drops what he was holding and backs out of the door. You’re confused so head over to the front door and pick up what he dropped. It’s a small box for prepaid post delivery. Guess he was dropping off a package to be delivered. You read the shipping label and it appears to be addressed to one Inspector McFair in the Big City. You put the box in your pile of outgoing mail and get back to chilling. Looking under the desk you find a book of SUDOKU puzzles. You’re bored so you pick a HARD difficulty one, this’ll probably keep you preoccupied throughout the day.
>>
No. 995512 ID: afe7de
File 161803793123.png - (76.40KB , 500x500 , C2_046.png )
995512

You keep yourself distracted and occasionally look up finding no one entering the store. Eventually you see Isabella walk by, not entering. But a few moments later you see a blurry form phase through the wall. You focus and your demon eye amulet gives you a better idea of what you’re looking at. It’s some kind of… Angel? You can see its lips move but no words come out. It’s scanning the room and hasn’t locked it’s eyes on you yet.
>>
No. 995513 ID: b1b4f3

>>995512
"Aren't you a bit early?"
>>
No. 995516 ID: 0a75ae

DEMON EYE AMULET
>>
No. 995517 ID: e51896

Is that Isabella's Demonic Flame Spirit? but then why would it label it as an angel? and also, Roach wasn't able to see it, so how can you?

Try not to make eye contact and pretend you don't see it. If it notices that you can see it, it might alert Isabella.

but try this: quickly turn on your audio recording on your phone. Maybe someday, you might be able to find someone who can hear spirits and you can play it to them to see what that spirit is saying.

While you're recording audio, send
Toni a shitpost as >>995411 mentioned earlier to make it look like you don't notice it, and maybe get your water bottle out under the counter from your ring, just in case.
>>
No. 995518 ID: 0fae41

Don't look at her! If she knows you can see her, there goes the element of surprise. Focus very hard on the card rack.
>>
No. 995520 ID: afa6f6

>>995517
This, trying not to provoke it sounds good.
>>
No. 995521 ID: 8d4bb7

Idea to get the flame spirit out:
Text Andrea, tell her 'Willamina is away and Im bored, could use a show right about now. Bring potions!' That should get her here quick enough to scare the spirit away before it does something.

...though it might make more problems arise with Andrea trying to fuck us and scare away customers. (I'm not committed to this suggestion, it was more of a joke. Only use this at your own risk!)

Just put away your cat book for now so it doesnt burn and keep your eyes off the spooky ghost. At least now we'll know if we're being spied on by Isabella or not. Im assuming the amulet is letting us see Isabella's spirit. (We may need to consider giving Willamina the amulet if thats the case, despite how helpful it is to us.
>>
No. 995525 ID: 031458

Isabella is Iraphena's boss, so she PROBABLY knows you were at the auction. If she does not, she knows if your "detector" power, as you told it. Seeing the demon isn't a huge stretch.
If say straight up greet it in a friendly, non-chalant way
>>
No. 995536 ID: 9461b5

Care to do a test?

Take off the amulet.
Re-equip it.

I suspect it'll disappear while the amulet is removed.
>>
No. 995544 ID: bbc160

Pretend you don't notice it but don't let it out of your sight.
>>
No. 995545 ID: ce39da

Try not to crack up at how goofy Isabella's flame spirit looks.

Text Iraphena: "Hey, did you give Isabella the OK to be a gigantic creep around me? I don't feel safe." "Seriously, one of my sources literally overheard her expressing a desire to go behind your back vise-a-vise hurting us." "If you let her escalate, and shit goes south, you can kiss that trade session goodbye."

It's entirely possible we could still salvage our relationship with Iraphena even if things escalate with Isabella because I kind of doubt they're necessarily 100% buddies here.

> Trey avoiding us, a city folk.
> Stays anonymous in the papers even when it's not a secret locally.
It's confirmed; Trey, perhaps unrelated to the incident, had a history in the big city - one that means he doesn't want anyone from the city to find him and point it out.
> Investigators in the Hadlee estate incident.
He was either fortunate when the investigators came into town, or he already has an understanding with the Heroes' Association. If it's the latter, then it's most likely that he's in a super version of witness protection. Do you know if "Dr. Trey" brings up any memory of outed supers? The fact that he withheld his name from the papers means it isn't entirely a fake name. (We'd probably need to research this.)

Alternatively...

> Isabella standing over Willamena can't kill her for some reason.
> Trey carried Willamena out, never mentions seeing Isabella (or anyone else for that matter).
> Max(?) still in contact with Isabella.
Did... Did Max pull a switcharoo with Dr. Trey? Is the real Dr. Trey buried with the Hadlees as Max? Add the Hadlee portrait to your list of revisiting research... and we might need to grill Willamena on what happened that night now more than ever.
>>
No. 995546 ID: c50829

>>995545

>I kind of doubt they're necessarily 100% buddies here.

Agreed, one possibility I suspect could be that Iraphena is a slave to Isabella just like Mint is a slave to us.

I'd personally hold off on texting Iraphena though personally, Isabella isn't directly being a creep towards us and is doing it indirectly using her flame spirit, probably thinking we cant see it. Texting Iraphena to tell Isabella to stop may reveal to Isabella we saw her flame spirit and find us suspicious. and we probably dont want to reveal we've been spying on Isabella without getting a full story between their relationship, even if we assume their relationship isnt all 100% good. Best to keep our cards close to our chest for now until we get more info on their relationship.

>It's confirmed; Trey, perhaps unrelated to the incident, had a history in the big city - one that means he doesn't want anyone from the city to find him and point it out.

That makes sense. We should probably look into who he really is and try to remember where we may have seen him before.

Idea: Maybe Kazu knows who Trey was if we text him and tell him Trey looks familiar, then ask if Trey was a big shot in the city or something since Kazu was from the city like us.
>>
No. 995550 ID: 9a2966

>angel?
Mint said the remnants of her world was overcome by a buncha fallen angels and she was sold at a demon auction. There might be a distinction between demonic spirits, fallen angels, actual angels and straight up demons, but it seems fairly obvious they've gotta be related in some way.

>Lips moving, can't hear anything
I'm betting she can talk to Isabella and that Isabella can hear her regardless of distance. Maybe that's why Isabella was laughing to herself when Roach was spying on her? Sounds like they have a good relationship in that case. Isabella showing up nearby may also indicate the spirit's range isn't SUPER good, though. Hard to say for sure, as the spirit might've just been with her coincidentally and split off to spy when she saw Cat was in the post office by themselves.

Anyway, do not reveal you know she's there. Likely she's been around you before and you've previously shown no indication you noticed! Revealing that you can see her now might verify that we bought the Demon Eye Amulet, too (if Iraphena and Isabella suspects its actual use case), although we could definitely pretend it's because you upgraded your power's utility with achievement points.

Anyway, pretending to stay ignorant of her presence A) gives us an opportunity to potentially feed misinformation to Isabella and whoever she is with and B) an opportunity to see what the spirit DOES around people.

>Tips for spying casually back on her
'Bored' poker face it up, gaze idly at things around inside, walk and stretch your legs from time to time, check out the postcards, occupy your hands with the Sudoku or your notebook.

>Tips for feeding misinformation
Doodle misleading things into your notebook! Like, spread in art and keywords that Isabella already knows about or will soon verify to be true - such as you know being Mint's Master, or the demon auction items you plan on trading - with basic misinformation about your own power and what you actually know, such as you still needing to touch people and only getting a sense of number of powers and (possibly) their relative strength.

You could try combining any number of doodles and surrounding commentary, like so:

[doodle of grabby hands] - Detect-touching. Strong. Strength is relative? Knowledge = power? Workshop better-sounding name... (implied to be you, emphasizes that your power is detection based and you need to touch things for it to work)

[doodle of eyes] - TWO! Sees futures??? No clue! Strong + mid. (refers to Iraphena)

[doodle of hand about to poke a panic-wide eye] - Hands beat future sight? ...why? (refers to Iraphena's powers not working on you - suggesting that it's a mystery to you as well as to why might relax them)

[doodle of dat-ass] - TWO! No clue! No clue! Both strong! (refers to Isabella and strokes her / the spirit's ego)

[doodle of glasses] - THREE!! Minor healing? Pain reduction? Unnatural masseuse expertise??? Mid-to-weak. Ask for appointment when less cash-strapped. (refers to Gruk)

[doodle of postman's cap] - TWO! Ice! No pain! Both weak-ish? Cool awakening, though! (Refers to Will, and misleads on the nature of her second and stronger power - and lets us learn what the spirit thinks of terrible puns)

[doodle of stethoscope] - To do: order appointment, shake hands. Last lead on old mystery fire... (Refers to Trey, the doctor, and suggests you're nearing the end of your rope on the mansion fire investigation)

[doodle of Randolph with a crown] - KING of the AUCTION - and more! Way to throw a guy in at the deep end, dude! (refers to the auction and the things you were told)

[doodle of a book, a ring and a stylized cat face] - Sell or keep? Should have bought more stuff. (refers to your auction purchases and misleads as to how many you actually got)

----

>Engaging with the spirit
I don't advice it, but if we DO end up engaging with the spirit, I strongly suggest we play into what Isabella already believes to have revealed about our powers... and that we don't obviously tie her to Isabella.

If the spirit gets close enough - say while we're doodling in the notebook, to check on what we're doodling - just suddenly yawn and stretch and accidentally TOUCH her - at which point you go all "Whuh? Was someone there?" and stare myopically in the spirit's direction, acting confused. Acting no further on it will probably make the spirit more cautious about coming close to you, which'll make it easier to avoid being spied on in the future!

Or you can pretend you can now suddenly see her fully (from the power of your DETECT-TOUCHING) and engage by being like "...an angel? First demons, now fucking flaming angels? ...I mean. Hello?" This plays into pretending to not know the exact nature of Isabella's powers, which is arguably something she doesn't want revealed.

... also, if we do engage, try figure out where the fire extinguisher in this room is before-hand. Y'know. Just in case.
>>
No. 995553 ID: e51896

>>995550
If we decide to give the spirit false information on our notebook, There could be a chance that Iraphena might be secretly protecting us from Isabella and did not tell her we were at an auction, so maybe we can leave out the last two on the list (randolph, and our artifacts)
>>
No. 995560 ID: 9a2966

>>995553
Hey, that's intel as well! If the spirit seems particularly surprised at the mention of either of those, we know Iraphena's keeping info from Isabella. I doubt she's THAT secretive, though, especially if Isabella being her boss is fo' reals true.

Honestly if Lyst is an 'auction site' as Mint called it, then I suspect some Awakened could be hanging about town hoping to become a part of the next one (like Iraphena and CROW). And there could be more empowered items around here than elsewhere.

Remember that the awakenings have been going on for like 50 years now. Two of the families involved in the founding of the Heroes' League (Hadlee and Walpole) apparently hails from here. There's HISTORY in Lyst, sounds like.
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