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File 12771680631.png - (32.74KB , 800x600 , 73.png )
196970 No. 196970 ID: f98e0b

Choose your protagonist.
Expand all images
No. 196972 ID: 9a15d2

No. 196973 ID: 716eb0

I chose the protagonist. The one with the ability to use illusions to send messages back to the one still in the cell.
No. 196974 ID: e31d52


No. 196977 ID: 059120

Jai. Save Dio for after.
No. 196980 ID: 55e935


Alright guys, we need a game plan. I say we use our illusionist powers to compromise the Queen's mind.
No. 196981 ID: 911d56

He can give Jai a play-by-play of the conversation, and if they both fail to convince the queen, Jai will be a type of magic they're unfamiliar with, and more able to dish out massive damage since she's on the plane her magic's focussed around.
No. 196982 ID: 5a2e05

For talkan, send Dio. Jai is in reserve as a secret weapon. So far they have illusionists, I doubt they know anything about other kinds of mages.
No. 196985 ID: e67080

I also vote Dio. Illusionist scamp that he is.
No. 196986 ID: d6cb21

No. 196989 ID: 4c7b39

A good point is made. Have Jai make an escape, then let Dio go.
No. 196992 ID: 40cb26


And for goodness sakes man, don't piss her off.

Oh is that Underwear Hat? Maybe you can call him Fastest Spear, or suggest an alternate name, perhaps the brand name of the underwear would be nicer sounding. Or "Briefs" or something.

...Or you know, not bring up touchy subjects with him, or any subjects.
No. 196994 ID: 716eb0

Those are totally boxers though. Boxer Hat?
No. 196997 ID: 9a15d2

Just boxer. Explain to him that it's another name for underwear, and is also what we call people who can hit things really well.
No. 197013 ID: 8f4b25

Dio, definitely.

Dio should be messaging Gryph with an update and a "if you get called, it'll probably be soon", by the way. Want her to be ready if things go horribly wrong.
No. 197026 ID: 4590c4

Dio is the best choice I think.
Also, see if telling Underwear Hat that wearing boxers on one's head is a sign of virility improves his disposition.
No. 197033 ID: 2eac65

>Maybe you can call him Fastest Spear,
This sounds like a good idea.

>perhaps the brand name of the underwear would be nicer sounding. Or "Briefs" or something.
This doesn't. He didn't mind his name until he found out what it meant; he probably won't appreciate a synonym as an alternative.

>Also, see if telling Underwear Hat that wearing boxers on one's head is a sign of virility improves his disposition.
Neither does this. Even if he believes us, it'll just make him angrier when he finds out otherwise.
No. 197069 ID: becad2

If he' s still insecure about it, you can always give him the "A thing is what you use it for" talk. Seriously. If its warming your ears, its not underwear, its ear warmers.
No. 197085 ID: c2c011


And remember to call this guy fastest spear. It might make him lower his guard some.
No. 197086 ID: 701a19

Damn. The first time we get a chance to control Jai, and we have to pass it up because Dio is a far better option.
No. 197192 ID: f98e0b
File 127723127225.png - (128.40KB , 800x600 , 74.png )

"Come with me, small creature," says Underwear hat, pulling him out of the cell and pushing him forward with his spear. Dio looks back at Jai, who is gazing after them with a worried expression.

"Is she going to be able to talk to the Queen too?" asks Dio.
"No talking," says Underwear Hat.
"Sorry, Boxer," says Dio.

They walk on in silence for a minute. Then Underwear Hat, in quieter tones, says, "What did you call me?"
"Boxer," says Dio.
"What is that?" asks Underwear Hat.
"It's another name for the underwear on your head," says Dio. "It's also another name for a fierce warrior who beats his enemies with his bare hands."
"It is both of these things?" asks Underwear Hat.
"Yeah," says Dio.
"Then I shall be called Boxer Hat now," says Boxer Hat, sagely. "It is a name fitting a great warrior like myself. And I do not even need to take this underwear off my head. It is comfortable."
They keep walking. Boxer Hat seems less spiteful now, and his spear is no longer pushing against Dio's back.
No. 197194 ID: f21281

"If, and this is a crazy if, we all end up as friends after all this, I know a guy who could give you a few tips on boxing. Ever heard of a Shoryuken?"
No. 197195 ID: 701a19

Alright, lets go see the queen.
No. 197198 ID: 6164e0

If he seems even the slightest bit interested, describe boxing as the following:

A means to contest strength between two warriors through the power, speed and precision of their arms, the swiftness of their feet, and their resolve to continue fighting even as they get injured. It is a method built on strength and determination, should you ever wish to learn.
No. 197206 ID: a594b9

With the spear no longer pushing against your back, you would be able to substitute yourself with a dummy like you did against that shifter you first summoned... and he wouldn't notice if you made yourself invisible at the same time.

Of course, we can't actually do that. Oh well!
No. 197210 ID: c2c011

Well lets get on with it. We have a queen to talk to. Not sure how much good the talking will do. But I'm sure we can wing it once we're there.
No. 197212 ID: f98e0b
File 127723358895.png - (129.13KB , 800x600 , 75.png )

They enter a huge room Dio can only assume was once a gymnasium or auditorium. The ceiling is covered in catwalks, that hold lights that are now smashed and dark, and which disappear into darkness. Kithik climb all over them, chittering, staring at him. They are in the bleachers, too, all around him, and perched on the throne, made of detritus gathered from the fort. Atop sits the Queen. Dio can barely make her out from this distance.

"My Queen," says Boxer Hat. "I have brought the prisoner before you."
No. 197213 ID: f98e0b
File 127723366173.png - (146.42KB , 800x600 , 76.png )

"I know," she says, descending her thone. "And he is FABULOUS~"

oh spirits the queen of the kithik is a CROSS BETWEEN FREDDIE MERCURY AND DOCTOR FRANK N FURTER
No. 197214 ID: 701a19

"Mister Mercury-furter, did you know that the Qal are immune to HIV and have a thriving transsexual community?"
No. 197215 ID: c2c011

Hmm, she doesn't look that big. Anyway, get down on your knees and tell her it's a great honour to meet her.

Then tell her that you have come to talk to her in the hopes of avoiding unnecessary bloodshed. If she does follow through with her plans of invasion then it's quite possible that she will find that the price of it is alot steeper than her people might be able to pay.
No. 197216 ID: f98e0b
File 127723386575.png - (253.56KB , 800x600 , 77.png )

((I am really really sorry guys MrQ made me do it))
((now we return to your regularly scheduled quest))

She does not respond, but simply sits upon her throne, her head perched in one hand, her eyes closed.

She appears to be waiting for him to say something.
No. 197217 ID: 4590c4

No. 197218 ID: 701a19

Say nothing until you are spoken to.

Hey! Dream buddy! Want to take a look inside that noggin of hers?
No. 197219 ID: 4531bc

'Tis a glamor.
No. 197221 ID: a594b9

Say "Greetings, your Majesty." and bow.
No. 197226 ID: e67080

Get down to one knee in respect and say "Greeting to you, queen and strongest of the kithik, I am Diometricus. Formerly the unknowing mentor of horned, my pleasure to be granted your audience"
No. 197228 ID: f98e0b
File 127723518717.png - (84.63KB , 800x600 , 78.png )

"Greetings, your majesty," says Dio, bowing.
She grins, showing a toothy maw rivaling Gryphona's.
"GrEeTiNgS, mOrSeL," she says, in a voice even more shaking and flickering than her subjects. "HoW PoLiTe yOu aRe."
"Thank you, Queen," says Dio, trying not to shake.
"YoU ArE A MaGe, ArE YoU NoT? mY ChIlDrEn hAvE ToLd mE."
"Yes, Queen," says Dio. He can't lie, now that he's taught half of them how to cast spells.

"AnD YoU HaVe bUt oNe eYe? LiKe tHe qAl bUt... DiFfErEnT? aN AlIeN?"
No. 197233 ID: c2c011

Well you're an alien on this plane. So tell her that yes you're an alien.

Ask her why she wishes for a wholescale invasion rather than negotiate to gain territorial concessions.
No. 197234 ID: 8bdb6a

Say that you used to have two, but now it's just the one because you're a mage. Compare it to horned Kithik. Say you're a creature from another plane, but you visited here as a rite of passage, to help people here. Say that there's peaceful interaction between all three planes, and ask why she's waging a war.
No. 197244 ID: f98e0b
File 127723686270.png - (120.33KB , 800x600 , 79.png )

"Yes, Queen," says Dio. "I used to have two, but now I have just one. I'm a creature from another plane, here to help-"
"A CyClOpS?" she interrupts. "So yOu aRe oNe oF ThE GrEaT FaThErS Of tHe kItHiK, oF ThE PeOpLe, ReTuRnEd."

She opens her eye, her single eye, her huge, bloodred, staring eye, and gazes down at him.
"YeS. i sEe."
No. 197245 ID: e31d52

No. 197246 ID: 604703


"There are many other races besides the Qal, Highness. My people are friendly to them - that is why I chose to travel here - but reside on another plane. There are yet other races on other planes still, some of whom we are fortunate to call friends as well."

Essentially, deliver some polite exposition, while subtly, as an aside, trying to get across the idea that eradicating the Qal will have further ramifications, that the world is bigger than she might be aware of.
No. 197248 ID: 604703


Woah ok keep calm. You probably won't be able to keep yourself from being surprised, and its probably a bad idea to try bluff things. Perhaps you can present your youth as an excuse for not having an inkling of this before, and maybe angle for some information out of her?
No. 197251 ID: a594b9

Ah, I think this is one of the Ark Fraternity's backup plans in case another war broke out. It's a bit out of control now though! Just like the Arkers themselves. Maybe we can convince her that she's working cross-purposes with the Fathers.
No. 197252 ID: c2c011

Well now that is truly quite interesting. She probably found something that the Arkers left behind a long time ago, probably from the Wars or even the cyclops purge, a sort of revenge from beyond the grave thing by the Ark that they might have forgotten about since then.

Ask her what she knows of the cyclops.
No. 197254 ID: 5a2e05

Single red eye? This is not good. Either the arkers have a hand in this, or worse.
No. 197262 ID: 55e935

Don't let her intimidate you. It's time to launch Operation Domination.

We are going to use illusions to mind control her. Bear with me. Pull a Nervelock+Greater Glamor combo. We never tried it before. This should either effectively lock her into her own mind/Dreamspace, or place her in a state where she'll believe anything and is prone to suggestion.

After that it's going to be a bit hairy, but the damage we needed to do will be done. Her consorts will learn the spell. Shouldn't take long for them to burst into a power struggle once they can see they can control her.
No. 197265 ID: 701a19


Show this to Jai, and tell her to send word to Orpheo.
"Fascinating; I hadn't heard of any Kithik Cyclops. Oh! Right! There's a speech for these kinds of things! Err... I can't remember it, exactly, but the gist of it is that since you have an oculus I'm supposed to offer to take you back to the Arcanopolis so you can be taught to the extent of your gifts."

This is completely true for all you know.
No. 197272 ID: a594b9

Hey uh... let's not attack right now, instead of trying to talk to her and seeing what her reasons behind war are. Here, let me actually write up dialogue.

"Might I ask more about these Great Fathers? My people visit this realm regularly."
No. 197283 ID: 8bdb6a

When someone asks if you're a god, you say yes.
No. 197289 ID: d6cb21

Returned? People have been coming and going from this world for quite some time....
No. 197293 ID: d6cb21

And we need to be sure to convince her that the Arkers mean bad news, if she indeed is connected with them.
No. 197299 ID: becad2

FUCK! She' s The One Arker!
No. 197320 ID: 9bddc8

No. 197487 ID: b133a1

I said a mage was involved in making this happen, and I was right.

God she's ugly.
No. 197511 ID: f98e0b
File 127727156574.png - (242.37KB , 800x600 , 80.png )

((queen's accent reduced for the sake of readability))

"I..." says Dio, staring up at her. "I am young for my species."
"Is that why your eye is not red?" asks the Queen.
"Yyyyes," says Dio. "I admit I had not heard of the kithik's ties to us, perhaps because of my inexperience. Would you enlighten me?"
"It was twenty-nine moons ago," says the Queen. "That is four weeks and a day. We the people lived in darkness, knowing only Base, Animal things. Eating scraps. Fighting over carrion. Hiding. Fornicating. Then, we were Chosen, I know not why. By you. The Alien Visitors. The One-Eyed creatures." She leans forward in her chair. "It was they who granted me, the Queen, this new face, and the power that came with it, and other gifts, gifts that would spark knowledge and sentience among the kithik. And they, you, gave us something else, a purpose, told us to adapt, to learn and grow, and to spread our influence over the Plane Arcana. And look what we have done!" she grins delightedly. "We are on our way to becoming dominant and fulfilling our purpose for you, our masters. See, I am become more than an Alpha. I am a Queen, and live in a Queen Palace and sit on a Queen Chair. Have we not done well?"
No. 197512 ID: 701a19

"I don't believe that exterminating the Qal was intended, but besides that you've done very well.
Perhaps you would like to come with me to the Arcanopolis, so you can be rewarded with training?"
No. 197514 ID: 55e935

"Yes, you have done very well.

Now that you explained this to me, this is beginning to sound like our planar colonization program. Our people give the gift of knowledge to younger races, and in return, we assign them to build us cities where we and they may live. The Qal were our first servants here in the Arcane. I was not aware we had placed a second here. Either way, it is my duty to bring you to Arcanopolis, our home, so we may teach you our ways and you may return to lead with the greatest wisdom."

Epic bluff, but it will give them something to do with all this might and manpower they built up AND it compromises their Queen.
No. 197517 ID: e67080

From what you and horned have told me, your efforts to spread influence are indeed powerful. But I must ask, why through war have you decided? Horned seemed to be certain you would not be swayed of this, and there is more than war and conquest to garner influence.
No. 197518 ID: f9f4d9

"spreading, grow and adapting is all well and good but influence is more then raw power. you have enough force that you don't need to wage war to have influence over this realm, and the other realms would not stand for it."

also, maybe teach her the summoning circle for shifters but leave out that line for the star so the summoned thing would be very... interesting.
No. 197521 ID: f9f4d9

oh wait. maybe tell her the story of the war and how she needs to stop this and skip the mistakes of the past.
No. 197531 ID: 8bdb6a

Tell her to make her people the dominant species, not the ONLY species. She doesn't need to start a hugely destructive war against all other sentient beings in this plane. She could just lay down borders such that her people have plentiful access to resources and living space, and build it up into a successful nation. If they've come this far in a few weeks, in a few years they can be the undisputed masters of the arcane plane, superior even to the cyclops in magic and science.

Tell her that the Kithik have had the power to kill for centuries. Only recently did they gain the power to think. Ask which of these two powers will make them great.
No. 197536 ID: 2eac65

"No, you have not done well. You were uplifted to become more than animals, not to start a genocidal war. That is not adaptation or growth, merely destruction. You must cooperate peacefully with the Qal, as only thinking beings can."
No. 197548 ID: 45be60

do not antagonize the queen. we need her on our side, and we are not in a position of power here. She has done an impressive job, but yadda yadda other things not the best way.
No. 197550 ID: c2c011

I bet this is going to make the Ark love you even more, you finding evidence of them tampering here and upsetting their plans.

Tell her that she has some quite impressive work. But you're there to give her a new set of instructions due to a change in policy. She doesn't have to take over the entire arcane plane anymore. Just the areas that were the Kithiks natural habitat before. And you're there to make sure negotiations over that happens with the Qal.
No. 197551 ID: 2eac65

"Change" implies that her initial interpretation was correct. Make it a "clarification", as if peaceful co-existence was what they were meant for from the start.
No. 197598 ID: 059120

Message Jai, tell her send word of this to Orpheo or someone back at the Arcanopolis. They need to know about this as soon as possible.

This. The praising the newfound ability to think is important.
No. 197635 ID: 6294c5

We shouldnt berate her, it will only serve to push her away. What we need to do is to establish with her that there are many different kinds of mages some good, and some (and this is the important part) are evil, such as the Arkers. We should congradulate her on her race's ascension, but warn her that there are others that would seek to exploit the Kithik for thier own benefit.

To sum it up we say that:
1. They have done very well in becoming sentient
2. Not all of the "fathers" are on the same side
3. The "fathers" that call themselves the Ark Fraternity or "Arkers" care only for themselves and would not think twice about using the Kithik as mere playthings.
4. The arkers are trying to manipulate them.
5. We are an enemy of the "arkers" and therefore her ally.

I dont know HOW exactly to say this, so I'll leave the wording to someone else. Saying all this at once is probably going to be a bit much.
No. 197637 ID: bc1727

She may find that she relates more to the arkers. If that is the case, we may put Dio on the wrong side of the war again if we tell her that. Just a thought.
No. 197643 ID: f98e0b
File 127731569643.png - (120.87KB , 800x600 , 81.png )

"Uh, yes," says Dio, carefully, feeling the eyes of the room on him. "You've done extremely well spreading the influence of the kithik across the plane." She grins broadly. "But is war and conquest the best way to go about this?" he asks. "I wish to clarify your purpose. It's not to exterminate the Qal, or fight an unending war across the planet. We have given you the ability not to fight, but to think. Given time, you could easily become masters of the plane through thought, surpassing the Qal. You always had the power to kill. Only recently have you gained the power of knowledge." He feels a surge of confidence. "Which do you think will make you great?"

The Queen sits back, frowns. "I do not understand. Your orders were quite clear. Learn, adapt, and kill. Grow strong and take the Arcane Plane for ourselves, then prepare for when we are needed. There was no mention of giving quarter to the slimebeasts. In fact, I believe we were told to spare none who would oppose us if we wished to be great." Her expression hardens. "We were also warned of those who would come here and try to turn us from our goal. Are you one of them?"
"No, I-" says Dio.
"Why is your eye not red?" she interrupts.
No. 197645 ID: becad2

"I'm from a different caste. Have your masters not said anything about where they are from?"

"You know nothing about the cyclopean? About Eivr?

"Why haven't they say a thing about us? About where they're from?"

Time to pump some info from her, while still keeping her in the dark. A bit.
No. 197646 ID: c2c011

Ugh, such an annoying question.

Tell her that you have a very important story to tell her, it's going to take time to get through it and you hope that she will listen and then make a judgement when she has the entire truth to work with. Then tell her the story of your people Dio. Of how the Ark was founded, what it has grown into these days and what she is risking to put her people through.

Hopefully, if she agrees to listen to you she will be able to form a better decision. If she doesn't want to listen then I think it might be time to get out, inform higher ranking mages of what is going on here and hopefully get a somewhat sane Arker here to set things right. This thing doesn't really seem to be planned by anyone high up in their hierachy, the plan seems to disregard what happened the last time there was a planar war that Arcanapolis got involved in. And it's unlikely that the mages will just stand around and let something like this happen.
No. 197648 ID: 059120

Glamor your eye red if it wouldn't immediately be noticeable as a magic effect. Someone else think of an excuse why it was blue. Like, "we were keeping our power under limits" or something.
No. 197649 ID: 059120

Voting against this. The Kithik are incredibly loyal from everything they've shown. We tell them they've been working for the Ark, and that we're working against them, everything goes to hell.
No. 197651 ID: a594b9

"Alright, let me lay out all the facts. Those of my people with red eyes are known as the Ark Fraternity. Originally they were formed to fight against others like us that had two eyes, but hated us and tried to exterminate us all. They continue to seek to protect us by gathering as much power as possible by any means necessary. I think they want you to be an army to serve them in a time of need. I say this is unnecessary, as relations with the two-eyed people have improved drastically and we are no longer in any danger. The Ark Fraternity has served its purpose, yet still they continue to gather power, destroying everything in their way for this outdated purpose. You don't have to serve them. Serve your own people; not all of them are happy with this war. Many of them shall die fighting for a fruitless cause. I beg of you, Queen. Stop this conflict and make peace."
No. 197657 ID: f98e0b
File 127731930885.png - (120.63KB , 800x600 , 82.png )

"Have your masters not told you?" says Dio. "There are many cyclopean castes. Why haven't they told you about us? About where they're from? Let me tell you our history."

The Queen sits up, the corners of her mouth lowering.

"The ones who came to visit you are called the Ark Fraternity," says Dio. "Originally they were formed to fight against others like us that had two eyes, but hated us and tried to exterminate us all. They continue to seek to protect us by gathering as much power as possible by any means necessary. I think they want you to be an army to serve them in a time of need. I say this is unnecessary, as relations with the two-eyed people have improved drastically and we are no longer in any danger. The Ark Fraternity has served its purpose, yet still they continue to gather power, destroying everything in their way for this outdated purpose. You don't have to serve them. Serve your own people; not all of them are happy with this war. Many of them shall die fighting for a fruitless cause. I beg of you, Queen. Stop this conflict and make peace."
His plea echoes off the walls in the following silence.

"I see what you are doing," says the Queen, quietly. "You think we are animals, yes? Mere tools for this Ark Fraternity. The Poor Noble Savage, exploited by those in power. Told nothing. And you think" she says, waving her hand in the air, "that you can simply waltz in here and open our eyes to your ways, to the smarter, clearer path. Yes? Guide us into a brighter future because clearly the poor stupid Queen and her poor stupid subjects can't make their own decisions. The Red Eyes told us all we need to know, Vidder. Could it possibly be that we are not ignorant? That we are simply loyal to those who changed our lives, changed the future of the entire Kithik people, enough to follow their word?" She stands up.
"My people were lost. We were animal. I fought with vermin to secure scraps of rotting carrion to feed them. The kithik merely existed. Then the Ark arrived and showed us how to live. They gave us life. Do you know how that feels?" Her eye flares. "To live forever in darkness, the be suddenly bathed in light? We were nothing before them, and now we are poised to have everything. I will not forget what they did for my children. Never. And what have you done, Masked, besides kill kithik? Tell me. Shall I listen to my saviors or to my butcher?"
No. 197659 ID: 059120

Lie like a motherfucker. Glamor your eye red, say she passed the test.
No. 197660 ID: bc1727

I told you so.
No. 197662 ID: b567a8

"they are the butchers, they are using you to destroy the qal and when your mission is complete they will take what they have given you back and cast you back into darkness because they see no further use for you."
No. 197663 ID: c2c011

Ah, good old unquestioning obediance. How nice it is to see it.

Well lets go with the lying red eye plan. The ones you killed were in self defence, they attacked you, also tell her that they were weak, only horned was strong enough to survive the encounter and learn from it. That way he proved himself worthy.
No. 197664 ID: 4590c4

We seem to be losing our audience. Hopefully we won't lose anything else..
Still, we could see the kithik had grown beyond being 'animals' once we spoke to them. We fought and killed to protect ourselves and our allies, but we also showed mercy when it was asked. We have come before this Queen to hope for something similar. The Kithik are powerful, numerous, and intelligent, and we have come before them, as captives, completely at their mercy to sue for peace. Alliance with the Qal and the other people of the world can only strengthen the kithik. Attempting to exterminate the Qal will turn their allies against you.
No. 197665 ID: becad2

Time for some childhood story.

"I know, how it is, queen, to be given hope. I was a mere slave, an animal in the eyes of my kind, deprived of freedom, of will, of choice. To live or die under someone else's whims was my destiny, but I was rescued by other mages. They gave me a new eye, this blue one which I now see the world with.

They took me to their City, and taught me their ways. They send me here, to the Arcane, for many reasons, one of them to learn."

I'm at a loss on where to follow up from this point.

Maybe something like, I am loyal to their ways, and war is not one of them. Which brings me here. They understand loyalty.
Or, question if she was given the same chance. How was she taught? What did they teach her? Anything but just mass trampling and destruction?
Do not question the butchering. You did kill one of them. You speak for the Qal; they did used to kill them.Do not question it, do not confirm it, do no contest it.
No. 197666 ID: 4590c4

(Also, may the grammar Gods forgive me for my stream of consciousness post.)
No. 197667 ID: e67080

Not to question the red eye plan, but what do we hope to do AFTER convincing her we are the of the Ark?

My though is we should instead ask her what it is she wants then. Explain that you are not telling her what to do, but only what you think of the situation as you know it. Say that you are ignorant right now, but as Horned could attest we are willing to learn. You also have no motive to stifle their growth, just that you wish to see less deaths on all sides.
No. 197670 ID: 059120

Start giving her orders. Hopefully orders that will end up having the Kithik lose the war, and possibly even start an internal rebellion.

Or we kill her.

Either way we are in a much safer spot to run away from.
No. 197671 ID: 2a421d

You think the Ark cares for it's tools? Any poor bastard could have done what the Ark did... I raised your mate to sentience by mere chance and would have killed him just as thoughtlessly had he not proven himself more caring for life than a very clever beast.

You are drunk on the newness of thought, of power, of magic. But knowledge is a well that makes you drunk on a little... but sober in the depths. Perhaps you will Annihilate these Qal, what then? You will not be satiated by the cries of the dead. Perhaps you will expand further, to other lands and other species, but still their plunder and lands will give no respite. You know of that of the Divine Plane? Where the souls of the dead go to petition for their reward of their deeds among the living sooner or later, one day you will find yourself there, but what will those who have come to those lands before have to say of you?

Do you think that becasue you are now smarter than a beast that it somehow justifies your claim to anything more than a mortal life of suffering and pain? I was born a slave to slaves... did I deserve more than the child next to me merely becasue I had magic? That child is still in slavery while I walk free, is that just?
No. 197672 ID: b567a8

yes, how we were uplifted as well.
No. 197673 ID: a594b9

"I didn't know the Kithik were smart until just recently. The instant I found out, I stopped killing and started talking. I know you're not stupid or ignorant. You're learning faster every day, and at this point I find myself wondering if you've already accomplished what the Ark wanted. There's 5 million Kithik out there ready for war. You already outclass them in military might, so why not work on economic and cultural strength?

Did you know they really like our people, those with one eye? They feel some sort of kinship with us. I really don't know why the Ark would want you to kill them, aside from paranoia."
No. 197674 ID: becad2

"I merely find, very, very hard to believe, that if you knew the whole drill, the whole story, you would be so willing to sacrifice yourself and your kin for them."

Nah, maybe not. There's no way that line wouldn' come out sounding subversive.
No. 197675 ID: 4531bc

The queen knows magic. Will the red eye plan fool her?
No. 197676 ID: a594b9

Oooh, I almost forgot! We can offer to get more people to teach them magic. Point out that the Ark did not, despite their obvious talent.
No. 197678 ID: becad2

"Of course I can assume you don't know a thing! You don't even know why my eye is blue!"

Ok, not in this tone.
No. 197681 ID: a594b9

Oh yeah, we never brought up the 'genocide begets genocide' thing. Here let me just copypaste that.

"The Qal have allies that wouldn't care much about a simple land war, but genocide?
Well... last time something like that happened it ended with a third of an entire plane turned to sand and ash and millions of dead on all sides. There aren't millions of kithik."
No. 197683 ID: 4f6e37
File 127732416127.png - (289.33KB , 800x600 , 83.png )

"My Queen. Please." says Dio, dropping to one knee. "I know how it feels to be saved. Long before I was a cyclops I was a slave, forced into servitude against my will. I was brought up and out by the Magi. They gave me a new eye, this blue one which I now see the world with. They took me to their City, and taught me their ways. But would I kill an entire race for them? No. One of the greatest joys of self-awareness is self-determination, surely you see this. I find, very, very hard to believe that you would be so willing to sacrifice yourself and your kin for the Ark, if you know of their flawed doctrine. Last time there was a war of this magnitude on the Material Plane a third of it was reduced to ruin. Genocide begets genocide, and loyalty must have its limits."

The Queen stands. "So you too were brought up from the Dark. I see we are not quite as far removed from each other as our philosophies would suggest. Perhaps if you were kithik or I was cyclopean we could have been comrades." She looks down at him, grimly. "As it stands, I shall spare your life, and the life of your friend. Your intentions were noble, I am sure, but, so long as I am Queen of the kithik, I will honor the loyalties I must. You shall remain a prisoner of the Kithik until such time as our conquest is complete and the Plane is ours. Then we will return you to your city. Have you anything else to say?"
No. 197684 ID: c2c011

Ask her if she would accept it if an Arker told her to stop.

Which leads to the next part. Use the fact that you have cell coverage to get in touch with Orpheo and Everett. Together they should be able to find someone in the Ark that is decently high on the hierarchy and isn't a total nutjob who wants to plunge the Arcane plane into a genocidal war just to get some loyal Kithik to act as attack dogs in case of a new purge. Especially not when they can get loyal Kithik without the genocide.
No. 197687 ID: 8bdb6a

"Yes. Your mate, Horned, learned in days spells that took me years. Frankly, it makes me scared. At the same time, it hurts to think of that kind of talent, in him or in others, being lost to the tip of a Qal blade. Just think, when you make your decisions, of what kind of raw potential might be sacrificed."
No. 197690 ID: becad2

"Well, you are cyclopean. You're loyal to your people, and loyal to your masters. But you have the Eye."
No. 197691 ID: e67080

"I have no reason why my being a cyclops precludes me from being your comrade, oh queen. If you wish me a prisoner, such is your will, but that does not mean I would consider your kind not worthy of comradeship. I have learned much in this sort time from you, and am certain I could offer you much. If it is your will, I would like to petition to work at your side instead of being a prisoner. The Ark has not left you any trained mages to teach you, and I have knowledge in other things such as trigonometry and the like. It is not my right or power to stop you, but with time maybe we can learn from eachother, and both gain in the long run."
No. 197693 ID: a594b9

Specifically we should mention that we were responsible for teaching him those spells, and that we thought that we had become friends since then... he even implied that not all Kithik were happy about fighting this war, but did so anyway because the Queen ordered it.

If all this fails, we may just have to challenge her to a duel for the position of leader.
No. 197699 ID: 0d5620

Challenge her to the oldest game.
No. 197711 ID: 8f4b25

>Have you anything else to say?
"While I counsel against your current intentions, times and desires change; if you want my honest opinion on anything for the duration of my stay here, I would be glad to give it."

We'll need to tell Gryphona to stop the Qal from coming to try and extract us. It would only ruin what credibility we have.

>If all this fails, we may just have to challenge her to a duel for the position of leader.
Somehow, I don't see that ending well. Even if we won, we'd still lose by virtue of supposedly being in charge of millions of kithik who hate our guts.
No. 197712 ID: 8bdb6a

Challenging her to a fight for control of the hive might be our only chance. I'm pretty sure that wouldn't work, but I don't have any other ideas.
No. 197769 ID: bc1727

They may hate Dio's guts, but we already know how they feel about the queen. Not all of the Kithik love or even agree with the queen but follow her together with (at the moment) unquestioning loyalty.

If Dio won...well that's better than the alternative I guess.
No. 197771 ID: a76809

Well, they still seem to have a perogative, to some level at least, to follow an alpha, so beating the queen, current alpha, would probably be useful.
No. 197816 ID: 46baaa

You know, when we came here we knew this wasn't likely to just end. But we still have an opportunity. You are an illusionist, since diplomatic efforts have died, I think maybe it's time for a little assassination. It's going to be difficult but I'm confident in Dio's abilities.

Can we create an illusion that would block the Kithik's view of us? A three sided image of what the room looks like now? If we can, we could throw that up over us and the queen, entomb her so she can't call for help, wait for her to die while Dio is still hidden in a sizable area by his illusion, and then use the illusion to fake her killing herself. We then extend the same illusion to the back of the room and use it's cover to make an escape into the hall. Once we are outside, an illusion of something dangerous to impede their advance (a fire? If the terrain is flammable. Or some sort of structural collapse? Maybe we could actually summon a boulder to block the doors.)

I hope you memorized a way back to Jai's cell. If you could relay data on her whereabouts to Gryphona and ask her to go there in an attempt to affect a rescue, that would help.

Of course, you could go back to your cell, wait with Jai for the Kithik to do their work, and then leave the Arcane plane. It'd be safe, they've offered you an exit, but something tells me you don't want to just leave the Qal to their fate, particularly now that you know the Ark is involved.
No. 197823 ID: 8f4b25

I'm disinclined to think that assassination will work. It'll piss the kithik off to no end, and at this point we know that the queen isn't the one directly pushing for war- it's the Ark behind her that's doing so.

Also, I don't think that they actually have a cell which can effectively hold us. Considering our ability to conjure up any object from nothing... escaping us just a matter of some ingenuity, should we choose to do so. I'd like to at least see if we can play nice a bit before making such an irreversible move.

Also, we don't know how capable the Queen is with magic. A botched assassination attempt could potentially be endgame for us.
No. 197857 ID: 4f6e37
File 127734244453.png - (36.62KB , 800x600 , 84.png )

"I have no reason why my being a cyclops precludes me from being your comrade, oh queen," says Dio, his heart pounding. "If you wish me a prisoner, I can't force you away from it, but that does not mean I would not consider your kind as possible allies. If you want my honest opinion on anything for the duration of my stay here, I would be glad to give it."
"I see," says the Queen, stiffly. "If that is all, then-"
"My Queen," says a chittering kithik voice. All eyes turn to its source. Horned is standing in the bleachers. "Wait."
"Horned." the Queen says, her expression softening. "What do you need?"
"I... perhaps it would be wise to be less dismissive of what this boy says," says Horned. "I spoke with him on the journey here. He is not one who would harm the Kithik. We should give credence to his warnings."
"Your counsel is valued, as always," says the Queen. "But you of all should know of the ties of loyalty that bind us. Do you break them?"
"My loyalty is to you, O Queen, and to the people, not to faceless red-eyed masters," says Horned.
"I see," says the Queen. "Does anyone else think this way?"
There is murmuring erupting throughout the hall. "Well, he does have a way for names," calls out Boxer Hat.
The Queen stands. "Now hear me," she says. "You know of the love I bear for all of you. The fealty you give I reciprocate in turn. But I say to you now, to this crowd and to you, Masked, that as Queen it is my duty to fulfill my assigned fate, and I will not be turned from it."
The room grows quiet once more.
"My Queen..." says Horned.
"I am sorry, love," says the Queen.
"In that case," says Dio...

"I'll return to my cell. Please think about what I've said and consider speaking with me again."

"Here before your subjects I challenge you to a one-on-one duel for the leadership of the Kithik."

((Attempt an assassination))
No. 197860 ID: a594b9

No. 197862 ID: becad2

No. 197863 ID: 5d84fb

duel. but start up a displacement so that her opening attack would strike not you.
No. 197865 ID: e973f4

I don't see that we've got much choice here. I'm saying Duel.
No. 197866 ID: f21281

Duel. But ensure that it is a NON-LETHAL duel. The last thing we want to do is to kill her and then have EVERYONE hating us.
No. 197868 ID: 6cf050

Maybe we could see if Jai can help convince her before we start dueling it up.
No. 197876 ID: 8bdb6a

Duel. oh shit oh shit
No. 197877 ID: 158c5c

No, go back to the cell. We can plan something out from there.
No. 197880 ID: bc1727

Woah, I just realized that there is a parallel here between this situation and the dream Dio had at the beginning of the chapter.

Maybe he -is- destined to usurp control of this Kithik kingdom.

Duel, and I write this while crossing my fingers.
No. 197881 ID: e973f4

Oh well wait. I guess we could have Jai try her hand, and then if that doesn't work pull the duel then.


No. 197883 ID: e31d52


No. 197900 ID: d6cb21

No. 197905 ID: 4f6e37
File 127734689170.png - (76.54KB , 800x600 , 85.png )

"In that case," says Dio, "Here before your subjects I challenge you to a one-on-one duel for the leadership of the Kithik."

A deathly silence descends on the hall.
The Queen looks from Dio to Horned, then all across the room at her gaping subjects, then back to Dio.

"I accept," says the Queen.
"My Queen, wait-" says Horned.
"Silence." she barks. She turns back to Dio. "You are the challenger. Name the terms for this duel. But I warn you, attempt no coward's competition or gambit. We will fight. I will kill you."
No. 197910 ID: 5d84fb

the first to surrender or be rendered unconscious loses. you can use any powers at your disposal.
No. 197912 ID: 8bdb6a

She's really got you beat in close combat, so the rules are that we pick weapons. Then pick a shield and a big fat sack of throwing knives.
No. 197913 ID: becad2

No spells. No melee. Foam hammers only.
Summon a few of them.
No. 197917 ID: a594b9

No melee combat. Ranged spells/weapons only. WE will not be attempting to kill the Queen. See if she'll agree to stop the fight on first blood or something.

We need a good arena without much chance of killing bystanders, and the arena should be relatively flat without cover.

The duel should happen soon... We need to get it done with before the army starts to move against the fort, so that when we win we won't have to chase them down.
No. 197918 ID: 55e935

Magic and magic byproducts only. Location: right here.

Send a mental not to Grypona telling her to shapeshift into a dagger and throw her in the combat. Flying, Queen-seeking dagger. Don't let her cover be blown.
No. 197919 ID: bc1727

We're so boned.

Whatever we do, the way I see it, we need to let the Queen live. Dio kills her and he no longer has an ally in Horned.

Let her live and maybe we can use that as a reason to let her go and forfeit the kingdom to Horned, who seems much more reasonable.

Honestly, I think Dio would get bored of being king quick.

As for actually beating her, fuck if I know. Anything not hand-to-hand.
No. 197920 ID: 6922af

Damn it, /quest/, why is it when I get home from work and check Eivr we're always in some shit? One on One means we can't even use Gryphona, damn it. Okay, we don't know what sort of powers she has which is hugely problematic but we've just gotta roll with the punches I guess.

Seeing as the Kithik seem capable as climbers and their bodies blend rather well with the dark, an open area with a good light source is a must.

As for the nature of the bout, I agree with this >>197910 so hopefully she will as well.

Making it a head on battle of strength seems like a bad idea though. I figure Kithik have a high amount of stamina considering that they had no problems scaling the mountain. If we have the bought at the fort entrance that should make for an open enough area.

Oh, and have them release Jai as well (if they agree). Even if she can't help Dio, last thing we need is her as a bargaining chip if things go any more sour.
No. 197924 ID: bc1727


Seconding holding the battle nearby the fort. Dio doesn't need anymore against him than he already has.
No. 197925 ID: e31d52

>Honestly, I think Dio would get bored of being king quick.

Which is why we make Horned king.
No. 197928 ID: bc1727

>Which is why we make Horned king.

No. 197929 ID: e67080

"A three on three battle, where surrender, incapacitation, or death of both members must occur for victory to be declared. By bound of honor, anyone who surrenders must not be harmed, and must exit the battlefield and give no assistance from there on. Killing or intentionally harming a person who surrenders is a loss for the entire side. No outsider may be allowed into the duel. For my side, I choose myself, my mentor Jai, and a summoned dream creature of my control named Grypona. For your side, you may choose yourself and two others, or three champions of your own. The battle shall occur in front of this fortress you now call base. On my end to recognize the piked Qal as behavior I wish to see end, and for you because it is considered a show of your power. Combat can begin upon the arrival and a short rest of my final ally."
No. 197931 ID: e67080

Ah, to fix my own errors.
1) All three instead of both, I originally was writing for a 2v2 format.
2) if its not obvious, any natural or trained weapons, in addition to magic an be used. As the cloaks are magical Dio and Jai have, allowing enchanted weapons seems fair (else weapons on all side can be lost, since the Kithik have natural weapns, and Dio's side are mages)
No. 197933 ID: a594b9

>Horned as king

Uhhh... I don't think he would get much respect if he was just placed as a leader instead of reaching there via his own strength. I suppose we could ask him about that though. I don't think Dio wants to be stuck here!
No. 197938 ID: bc1727


It isn't strength that makes a good leader, which is exactly why it should be Horned up there on that throne and not the queen.
No. 197941 ID: 6922af

Already declared a one on one. Considering much of their developing society still appears to put a focus on personal strength (which in turn assists the community), suddenly having Dio change his mind to a three on three would be a show of weakness.
No. 197952 ID: 716eb0

Damnit guys, that was so abruptly changing the flow of the conversation. Dio was all "well, I guess if you need anything... we fite naow! You made brom write bad dialog. :p

In an attempt to salvage conversational threads and public opinion, make sure to say to the Queen, and those gathered here, that you are making this challenge because you too have a role you are bound to fullfil, and loyalty you cannot ignore. You have a responsibility to do everything in your power to prevent needless conflict, and save as many lives, both Kithik and Qal, as you can.
No. 197958 ID: e3f578

Make note that while you will be dueling her, you did it out of respect for her, her people, the Qal, and the rest of the denizens of this plane. You only do this because it is your duty to save the lives that would be lost in this conflict. You will for the sake of further sentience and growth of all people and that peace must be made, etc. etc.
No. 197999 ID: 8f4b25

This sounds good. We should also request that Jai be allowed to witness the duel, since we'd hate for her to get a misimpression afterward and do something foolish.

I am tempted to try for a no melee rule, but that's a blatant statement that we can't take her if she uses her melee abilities. We had better appear as strong as possible, and that means no holds barred.
No. 198011 ID: 46baaa

This is going to be bad, we know NOTHING about her capabilities. Before the duel even starts we should create an illusion that displaces us by a bit. Something she shouldn't notice but would cause her to miss if she attacked us.

As for rules, she knows some magic, but we don't know what. We should still have the advantage in a magic duel, since shes known magic for four weeks and Dio has known magic for much longer, so a wizards duel seems appropriate.

Or we could challenge her to the oldest game. That'd be a larf, but I doubt she'd accept.
No. 198029 ID: a76809

Make it a contest of magic alone, if she objects, say something along the lines of

'does not your power, and by extension the very basis for your claim to lead, stem from the power, magical in nature, you gained from the Ark? If you do not feel that sufficient to defend your cause against another's magic, then how could you claim it justifies your leadership or your choices?'

Stipulate that magically created items count as magic, only so long as they are made wholly by the caster, rather than reformed from matter around you (as otherwise that isn't just magic, but magic and the corporeal combined)

Best idea I have on swaying this battle to be stacked as much in your favor as possible without making it seem you are actually stacking the odds, what with EVERYTHING YOU KNOW HOW TO DO BEING OKAY BY THESE RULES... barring punching her in the face, but i imagine you weren't planning on that anyway.
No. 198032 ID: bc1727

I really wish we could do this without outright killing the queen, but I just can't think of an ability Dio has that would force her to yield.

Maybe we can create a challenge that they must complete -while- dueling to win. The only example I can think of is a game of capture the flag: You win if you capture your opponents flag and/or kill them.

I know that's not very creative, but I'm hoping someone can come up with something better. That is, unless we really want to leave our friend Horned heartbroken without his misguided queen.
No. 198040 ID: 701a19

We drop a big ball of paste on her.
She'll be forced to the ground and rendered unable to breath.
Wait about two minutes, then dispel the paste and revive her.
No. 198051 ID: f95872

"We fight with nothing, save our magic and the fruits thereof. First to be incapacitated or to yield will lose."
No. 198137 ID: becad2

... what it we too her to the City for a little spar in controlled conditions?

Armor, jewels, everything? Could we bring that setup to here? Imean, the point is to make this as real as possible without killing her, right?
No. 198227 ID: 4f6e37
File 12773967986.png - (220.27KB , 800x600 , 86.png )

>>197952 ((I justify it by having Dio realize there's nothing he can say to stop her after her little speech to her people and her most trusted advisor. -ed.))

"No melee, no claws," says Dio. "Magic and magical byproducts only. We duel in front of the fortress on the plain. And let Jai free, too."
"Very well," says the Queen. "She will be able to watch your death."
"Fight to unconsciousness or surrender," says Dio.
"No," says the Queen. "A challenge of this magnitude must be resolved by death."

They walk out to the grass in front of the fortress, and the mass of kithik follow them, crowding the ramparts up above to watch. Jai is brought out by Boxer Hat, and looks down from the walls as well. She watches with a look of trepidation on her face.

A glamor of Horned strides out between them. "The duel's rules have been specified, the place is here. You may begin when I give word."
He lopes back toward the ramparts, but pauses near Dio. "Please." he whispers. "Spare her."
No. 198228 ID: 701a19

Remember how you used to eat paste?
Make a gigantic glob of that and drop it on her. As a distraction, surround her with a glamor of blindingly bright light.
No. 198230 ID: e973f4

Nod to Horned. I have no idea how viable it is, but the ideal result here is that you win the duel and no one dies. :V
No. 198231 ID: e67080

considering the wording used is magic and magical by-products, and considering Gryphona is a summoned creature to an extent. Getting her here seems prudent. Also, as soon as this starts, Glamor and do not be where you currently are.
No. 198232 ID: a594b9

Tell Horned "I'll do my best."

When the duel fights, start off with a whole lot of clones. Vary their undies. In fact you should glamor your own. Wait, you're wearing a robe already. Hmm, would your Tell change?
No. 198233 ID: 8bdb6a

Can you glamor up a big physical transparent shield sitting between you two? Do so as soon as the match starts if you can. She seems the type to lead off with an attack.

Simultaneously make a flashy magic-looking blade in your hand.
No. 198235 ID: 4f6e37
File 127739856152.png - (268.24KB , 800x600 , 87.png )

"Ready?" asks Horned. "Begin."
Dio instantly summons an elaborate, gold-hilted sword with a gem inset into the blade, and throws up a glamor of a shield to get behind, which proves to be a good idea. The Queen howls and leaps forward, ripping a long, skullheaded snake demon out of Hell and sending it hurtling toward him. As it nears the shield, she hisses and sends it twisting around, as opposed to directly at Dio, which gives him time to react.
No. 198240 ID: c2c011

Drop the glamor and hit her with an entomb. Lets see how good she is on controlling a demon when she has no air. Go on the offensive also with some thrown knives.
No. 198242 ID: 701a19

Hit her with Entomb and Mind Jolt. Also, keep in mind how a thaumaturge works. If you face some Angelic thaumaturge magic to get her to focus on offense then you might trick her into overloading on hellspawn.
No. 198243 ID: a594b9

Drop the glamor, launch your sword at the fire demon thing, and hit her with a Mind Jolt.
No. 198245 ID: 701a19

Wait, lets deal with the attack first.
Summon a slab of rock and knock that fireball back at her.
No. 198246 ID: a594b9

I wonder if I need to tell Dio to dodge?

Dodge, Dio. Throw up a Lesser Glamor clone to confuse things.
No. 198247 ID: 8bdb6a

Drop the shield, summon a glamor clone congruent with yourself, duck back and out of the glamor, then stab the snake thing with your awesome sword when it (presumably) goes for the illusion.
No. 198250 ID: 8bdb6a

She is a Thaumaturge, which means she needs to balance offensive and defensive spells. We should try focusing on defenses to make her unbalanced, and then counterstrike.
No. 198251 ID: 4f6e37
File 127740087032.png - (254.20KB , 800x600 , 88.png )

Dio moves back, summoning a heavy boulder between himself and the demon. It slams into the rock and explodes, violently. Dio hurls his blade at the Queen, but she bounces the abyssal energy back through the Divine into a shield of her own that the sword harmlessly bounces off of.

A quick primer on thaumaturgy: The Queen has just evened out her abyssal and divine energies. Thaumaturges make use of two separate sources of energy; abyssal and divine. Abyssal is mostly damaging, attacking spells involving demons, with a few exceptions, and divine is mostly self-preservation and defense, with a few exceptions. If you cast one energy type exclusively for a while, it powers up the next spell of the opposite energy type while weakening the same one over time, so if you cast shields for most all of a match your ending attacks can be truly punishing. Too much casting of either energy type can result in dangerous and violent backlashes, so to any thaumaturge knowing your own limits, technique, and variation is key. Go overboard on one end or another and there's trouble. Dio knows this. He wonders if the Queen does.
No. 198253 ID: c2c011

Hit her with an entomb and mind-jolt and see how she likes it.
No. 198255 ID: 8bdb6a

Okay, new plan: Ever heard of Rope-a-dope?

Dive behind your big rock. As she hits it with some big attack, drop to the ground and summon an illusion of yourself. Make said illusion seem off-balance and vulnerable.
No. 198256 ID: a594b9

Throw a glamor dagger at her while splitting up into a bunch of clones using the same Lesser Glamor spell. Toss a Blind on her, then start putting glamors up of fake grass and background that you can hide behind. Maximum confusion.
No. 198261 ID: 4f6e37
File 127740279418.png - (247.55KB , 800x600 , 89.png )

Dio takes a play from his fight with Dahlia, and slowly starts growing the grass all around his side of the field, to take cover and concealment in. He'll maintain the glamor until he needs to drop it.

He leaps behind his stone and drops to the ground below the tall grass. At the same time, behind cover of the rock, he throws up a glamor of himself. He feels the boulder above him disintegrate below the force of the Queen's next attack, and his glamor falls back, stunned. The Queen grins, then screeches and sends another demon screaming through the air toward his doppelganger. It isn't quite as large or impressive as her first two, but he feels the heat of it graze his back and is thankful for the cloak.
No. 198267 ID: a594b9

Let the glamor get hit, have it drop to the ground and try to put out its flames. Have it throw a (fake) dagger at the Queen that will obviously miss.

The next spell she casts, throw an illusion on it to make it look just as strong as it should be. Meanwhile, begin moving off to the side. keep yourself cloaked so she keeps looking at the clone.

Oh yeah, send a quick message to Jai telling her not to worry, but to act worried.
No. 198270 ID: 8bdb6a

If the dio clone isn't already dead, have it dive into the grass, in a different direction than you did, of course, and have it do its best to dodge. If it successfully dodges, so much the better. If it doesn't, have it stumble to its feet, badly singed. Have it summon an illusory sword and put another illusory wall in front of it, because that worked so well before.
No. 198281 ID: 55e935

Okay, Dio, next opening you get (and remember this one for later), I've got a great offensive illusion fro you to try out.


With any luck, this will make her believe she's on fire and be totally unable to do anything but try and put it out. Any magical attempts to put out the fire will fail because, well, she's not really on fire.
No. 198282 ID: 4f6e37
File 127740487535.png - (270.35KB , 800x600 , 90.png )

Dio's glamor leaps out of the way and rolls through the tall grass. It comes up with a sword and a glamored wall protecting it. But Dio's maintaining quite a few glamors at this point, and he feels sweat starting to bead on his brow.

And when the Queen's next attack comes he reacts the shield wall too late, letting it simply punch through. The Queen hisses confusedly, then sees the grass growing out all along Dio's side.
"Show yourself, Illusionist," she hisses, and brimstone glows around her feet. Looks like she's prepping an Area of Effect spell.
No. 198284 ID: 701a19

Put your clone back up before the smoke clears, have him dive into the grass away from you, let him drop. Then hit her with an Entomb.
No. 198285 ID: 55e935

Shit's she's a chargin' her lazer!

Do it now! Kill her concentration!
No. 198286 ID: a594b9

Area of effect spell? Well. Time to try that flying trick, I suppose. Or just summon up a big object to stand on top of.
No. 198287 ID: 701a19

Have your clone stand up off to the side and chuck a dagger at her.
When she responds summon a stone wall to protect your clone then let the clone drop.
No. 198288 ID: c5d2ca

drop the illusion of yourself and summon a big ass rock dome over yourself right before she uses it to deflect the attack.
No. 198290 ID: a594b9

Guys we're trying to get her to overextend herself and get OWN'T by backlash. Attacking her is going to cause her to shield herself, which means no backlash.
No. 198292 ID: 059120

It's going to be more Abyssal, so should be severely weakened. Summoning a shield should be enough to block it.
No. 198293 ID: bde1b8

Drop all current glamers except for the tall grass, and summon up a new glamer standing up somewhere away from you. Immediately protect it with a rock wall, then dismiss it too.
No. 198294 ID: e973f4

Don't attack.
No. 198296 ID: 8bdb6a

Dispel the clone and sword and wall. Summon a tiny concrete bunker over yourself, covered in grass so it looks the same as before.

Get ready to summon some illusory fire to make her spell look more flashy. Also, pray that this step is necessary.
No. 198297 ID: 059120

Oh, if you can, drop all the other glamors and make her spell look as impressive as possible.
No. 198299 ID: e973f4

This. Seriously.
No. 198300 ID: 4f6e37
File 127740651259.png - (297.36KB , 800x600 , 91.png )

Dio drops his glamors and throws up a stone bunker, covering the top in fake glamored grass. Then he focuses on turning the Queen's increasingly fizzling spell into an over the top, dazzling inferno of a display.
He hears her laughing from outside as she pumps more abyssal energy into the pyre. "You had no idea what you faced, Masked. You never did." the Queen is howling over the flames. "I am Queen through Strength, and no amount of cowardice will save you from me!"

Dio is easily shrugging off the spell inside the bunker. It's toasty, of course, but his cloak keeps him safe.
No. 198303 ID: 701a19

Combine the grass and the fire into a single glamor and have it turn to ash, then put a glamor on yourself of serious burns and some scorching on your eye and dispel the bunker
"You haven't won yet!"
No. 198305 ID: bde1b8

Do this, but stay down low. Have the ash glamer cover yourself, and the burned you be your second glamer. Have it stand up and walk towards her, in a staggering sort of manner. Be sure to taunt her!
No. 198306 ID: a594b9

Let the 'grass' get burned to a crisp and drop that glamor. Begin glamoring the bunker so that it looks like it's failing. Start screaming like you're being burned alive.
No. 198308 ID: 8bdb6a

Dispel everything but the bunker and the fire.
No. 198312 ID: e973f4


Also, taunt her right back. Piss her off, if you can.

I bet if she gets angry enough she won't even notice that her spells are slowly going to shit.
No. 198314 ID: 059120

"Through your strength? Your power is that of the Arker's! You would be nothing without their gift!"

I like this plan. Make sure the fake you isn't heading straight forward, keep if off the line between you and her.
No. 198320 ID: 8bdb6a

Also, call her a casual.
No. 198321 ID: a1ac99

Start screaming, but after a few seconds, turn it into a laugh, then go from there, low blow after low blow, make fun of her abilities and that she doesn't know how they work, et al. Hit every single possibly sore spot.
No. 198322 ID: a594b9

Oh god only do this if the fire has stopped. We do not want to be burned.
No. 198325 ID: e67080

Ill agree with the taunting, waiting until a backlash is achieved, and then using the opportunity to use something like Entomb or Nervelock to disable her.

"Strength you say? so far I've seen nothing but claims of power, and anyone can talk. Ive seen more power from a mage who just woke up!" (you have too, the first time forgot that rune of shielding when dealing with Jai a few years back)
No. 198327 ID: 701a19

No, we are not going to tell her that she doesn't know how her abilities work. We are going to act like a sore loser.
No. 198328 ID: 8bdb6a

No. 198330 ID: 34470e

I actually like this idea.
No. 198332 ID: f95872

Okay, I laughed. Then I considered this on its merits, and I think that insinuating that the reason she possesses only borrowed power is because she has not invested the effort to understand her magic properly would not be unwise.
No. 198333 ID: 4f6e37
File 127740898493.png - (205.83KB , 800x600 , 92.png )

Dio lets out a few good throaty screams before the spell ceases, then lets the flames die down and reduces the grass to ash. He hunkers down and covers himself in illusionary ash, tosses up another mimic, and dispells the stone dome, causing it to crumble.
He lies on his belly, and sneaks a look at Jai. She is just staring. He's not sure whether she knows his plan and is just faking it or if she's horrified. It'd take an extra glamor to talk to her he can't afford.

His double coughs and hacks, violently, then turns it into a low, rasping laugh. "You think you've won?" he says. "I've been hit harder by mages that just woke up."
"Silence," howls the Queen, throwing another spell at him. The fake Dio dodges desperately out of the way, while the real Dio quietly amplifies it. "You have already lost, and I have won, and now nothing you can say and nowhere you can hide and no cowardly thing you can do will keep me from killing you."
No. 198334 ID: a594b9

Have the fake RUN AWAY and dodge erratically.
No. 198335 ID: e973f4

"You want me to shut up? Come over here and make me!"

Keep the illusion of the spells not fizzling up, man.
No. 198337 ID: 701a19

"Go ahead and try, weakling!"
Remember to glamor her spell into matching her rage.
No. 198338 ID: 8bdb6a

"Yeah? Well. You're ugly."
No. 198341 ID: 2a421d

I'm thinking something like this... don't make it too obvious that you want her to attack again. She may guess we are goading her intentionally.
No. 198342 ID: e67080

"I still don't know how you got to be queen if thats the best you can do! did you just glare at them with your eye to make them back down, or break the code of your own race and cheat your way into it"

Prepare the glamor to dodge again, potentially going to ground, and then feebly standing back up.
No. 198344 ID: 701a19

Glamor her pants ripping and exposing a penis jutting out of her crotch, then say "At least I'm not the one showing my cock to the audience"
No. 198346 ID: 4f6e37
File 12774108164.png - (441.18KB , 800x600 , 93.png )

"Yeah?" says Dio. "Well you're ugly. Ugly."
"What," says the Queen, striding over to him. "Be silent."
"Make me, uggo," says Dio, his clone glaring up at her with a reddened, ash-choked eye.
No. 198347 ID: 4f6e37
File 127741086136.png - (317.10KB , 800x600 , 94.png )

"Oh, I will," says the Queen, gathering her energy for another spell. "And I will enjoy it greatly."
No. 198348 ID: 4f6e37
File 127741088468.png - (311.79KB , 800x600 , 95.png )

The spell fizzles.

"Wait, shit." says the Queen.
No. 198349 ID: 4f6e37
File 127741090382.png - (241.09KB , 800x600 , 96.png )

No. 198350 ID: a594b9

Okay now quickly jump up, dispel all your glamors, and double-summon a big, nasty looking blade and aim it right at her, demand she surrender.
No. 198351 ID: c2c011

Hit her with an entomb and mind-jolt, summon up a blunt weapon and knock her the fuck out.
No. 198353 ID: 8bdb6a

Drop all illusions. Cast Blindness and Nervelock on the arm she wasn't using to cast with. Demand surrender.

...if she's alive, that is.
No. 198354 ID: a594b9

Remember that we said no melee. We'd have to launch stuff.
No. 198355 ID: 701a19

Drop all the spells you have going and Mind Jolt+Nerve Lock her.

Then say:
"Horned. By the terms I set she has lost. By her own terms she would lose by forfeit if any of her people helped her of their own volition.
I am now going to take a short break, thirty seconds or so, before I kill her. Do you understand?"
No. 198356 ID: 4f6e37
File 12774123996.png - (473.54KB , 800x600 , 97.png )

The kithik Queen stumbles backward, clutching her arm. She tries to rebalance herself, but stumbles, and sits heavily on the ground. She stares at the grass below her, then up to the point of the blade Dio has to her eye.
"Yield," he says.
"I hereby yield my throne and people to you," she hisses. "Kill me quickly."
No. 198357 ID: e973f4

"I would like you to announce that, much more loudly."
No. 198358 ID: 8bdb6a

Say "No. I don't know what effect losing your oculus would have on the rest of the kithik. For that reason, I won't kill you, and I forbid you to kill yourself."
No. 198359 ID: a594b9

"Why would I kill you? I came here to stop the killing."
No. 198361 ID: 701a19

"Louder, so that your former subjects can hear you."
No. 198362 ID: 059120

Make sure she admits defeat and that the fight is over, too.
No. 198365 ID: a76809

Ask her upfront, if she could live with not following the orders to kill, and instead aid Horned One in building Kithik CULTURE, rather than Kithik STRENGTH, to make their people a true race rather than simple weapons of the Ark.

If she can't agree to that.... then yeah, kill her, while saying you are sorry it came to this, but hopefully one death can prevent millions more.
No. 198366 ID: 5eabae

This, with a little of >>198358 mixed in.
No. 198369 ID: 4f6e37
File 127741385513.png - (477.32KB , 800x600 , 98.png )

"Louder," says Dio.
"I hereby yield my throne and people to you," barks the Queen.
"And would you be able to live, if you pledged your loyalty to Horned rather than to the Ark, and helped him build kithik culture rather than kithik strength?"
Her eye widens. "Is he to by my successor?"
No. 198372 ID: a76809

Answer the question: Could you accept a new life priority of building kithik culture, and building relations with other races, to show your newfound mental abilities are not just for war, and do so under the new leadership of the Horned One, or not?
No. 198373 ID: 059120

If he accepts.
No. 198375 ID: 8bdb6a

Say "Eventually, if I decide he's up to it. For now, I'm emperor."
No. 198379 ID: a594b9

"That is my intent. You care about him, right? You won't try to take the title away from him like I did to you? He should make a fine leader, from what I saw. He is strong, assertive, compassionate."
No. 198381 ID: e973f4

No. 198382 ID: a594b9

Actually yeah let's hang around for a bit, enjoy being King while we have the chance.

First order of business is recalling the army.
No. 198383 ID: 059120

(If you can work with part in without it sounding like backpedaling do it.)
No. 198389 ID: 55e935

"He will be your emperor in you absence."

Wait for shock to hit her, then continue.

"Meanwhile, you're coming with me to Arcanopolis. For re-education."

Make that last word sound particularly nasty.
No. 198390 ID: a594b9

Yeah, something like "I want to give this King thing a shot for a little while first."
No. 198391 ID: 701a19

"Not now, but soon enough. The Kithik are very intelligent, but lack the wisdom that comes with experience. He has much to learn about ruling a nation, but he will take the crown when he is ready.
For now, I will keep the position and find him a skilled teacher.

Your personal loyalty, however, is now to him. These are the terms before you."
No. 198393 ID: 3b7265

Don't hold the blade so close. She might be able to BS win by injuring herself on it, thus breaking the no melee rule. Or is that still the glamor you? In which case, awesome. (I can't keep up with your awesome illusion-fighting.)
No. 198394 ID: c2c011

I second these. You do after all have those dreams Dio. Wouldn't it be good to be emperor? And think of the achivement you would bring home. Not only did you unveil a plot and avert a genocidal war. You built up a great new culture. That one would be really hard to top.
No. 198395 ID: 4f6e37
File 127741520358.png - (123.74KB , 800x600 , 99.png )

"Well, I'm going to hang around as the emperor for a bit. But maybe eventually," says Dio. "After I leave for the Arcanopolis, yeah. Horned can take over. That is, if he wants to."

And so it came to pass that on the first day, Emperor Diometricus called before him his vizier, Horned.
"Horned," quoth that wise king. "Would you accept this position, and would you make peace with the Qal rather than war, and work on the betterment of the culture and knowledge of the kithik rather than the gain of power?"

"Of course, my king," Horned did say, and emperor Dio did nod, saying, "And can I name you Aaron, by the way? Is that okay?"
"Yes, King," Aaron did say, confusedly.
No. 198397 ID: becad2

I second the motion that involves taking her to the city. Imean, seriously. She is one of us. Might be a tad complicated to keep her away from the Ark and stuff, red eye and all, but...

... I still think we should bring her with us, but now it doesn't sounds like a very good idea.
No. 198398 ID: 059120

Glamor yourself a crown! You can't be king without a crown!
No. 198401 ID: 3b7265

Pat yourself on the back. No, really. Glamor-clone, pat. "Good job, Dio." "Thanks Dio, I'd really like to thank Dio for this, though." "You two leave me out of this, you weirdos."

No. 198402 ID: 8bdb6a

Recall the armies, but make a note to establish a border that 500,000 kithik can actually become successful in. (Is it actually 500k?)
Take down the impaled bodies. Talk to the Qal prisoners and send them back with the good news.
Try and get a better idea of how everything works here.
Message Dahlia with the good news. Ask if the bet is about how long before you each do something good enough to be finished with alienation, or how long until you actually return.
No. 198406 ID: 059120

Go high five Jai!
No. 198407 ID: a594b9

Smile and wave at Jai. I wonder if she's mad at you for using that particular plan?

Let's not release all the prisoners until we get some good diplomacy going. We need to serve as an intermediary between the Kithik and the Qal, find out how peace can best be acquired.
No. 198408 ID: 701a19

Have Arron take his wife to receive treatment and have some quiet time to adjust.
First order: Take down the Qal bodies.
Second order: Release any remaining Qal prisoners.
Third order: Send word to the troops that the queen has been deposed, and the war is canceled.
Fourth order: Ask Jai to lead any surviving Qal to the fort to explain the situation, and make some Kithik accompany her to carry the bodies of the dead Qal to their people.
Fifth order: Text Orpheo saying "I just stopped a genocide and became a king. Am I supposed to write a report on 'How I spent my Alienation' or something? What's the process?"
Sixth order: Text Dahlia saying "I don't know which of us will be free first, but if it's you then you should totally come here. You can be my queen and we can have royal sex, 'cause I'm officially a king. Seriously!"
No. 198409 ID: e973f4

Truly there is no better suggestion.
No. 198411 ID: 8bdb6a

>Fifth order: Text Orpheo saying "I just stopped a genocide and became a king. Am I supposed to write a report on 'How I spent my Alienation' or something?
Don't forget the iambic pentameter.
No. 198412 ID: 716eb0

Oh good. I was worried people were just gonna go "K, everything is fine now, lets go!" and have the shortest alienation ever. The important task Dio will accomplish is not putting a bandaid on a volatile situation, it is helping to build a new civilization from the ground up.
No. 198415 ID: 701a19

Releasing the prisoners and having Jai escort them back is all we need. The people at the fort know and respect us, so having Jai there will confirm that we ARE the ones running the show now.
No. 198416 ID: 55e935

Summon Gryphona so you have an extra set of eyes running around to watch the ex-queen and make sure she doesn't pull anything sneaky.
No. 198417 ID: a594b9

More like summon Gryphona to tell her we're glad she could help but I guess we didn't really use her enough to justify the slavery bit. Apologize, send her home and wipe your hands of that bit of dickery.
No. 198418 ID: 2eac65

And see if you can get her something as an apology gift. Like the next book in that series.
No. 198419 ID: 701a19

If we're going to do that, then give her your cell phone number so she can properly bitch you out.

Although to be honest, I think it doesn't really matter as long as she's happy. Or thinks she is, which is really the same thing.
No. 198420 ID: c2c011

Yeah bring Queenie back to the city with you. She could use some proper training and know a bit more of the story behind the Ark. Maybe even met Everett and someone else from the Ark, someone sane that doesn't think planar genocide is a good plan.
No. 198426 ID: 3b7265

We should keep Gryphona around. Have her help out with stuff. Then, once we finish and are about to leave the plane, free her. The terms were 'to help on the arcane plane' after all, right? But yeah. The gift for helping and such would probably be a good idea. Heck. Even when she's on the plane, an occasional 'thanks for being around' gift might be good.
No. 198433 ID: 55e935

Ask Orpheo if there's even a signal on the Dream Plane. THEN give her your number and full permission to yell at you when you unsummon her. Hopefully you can apologize correctly to an unbrainwashed Gryph and possibly have a friend in the Dream Plane.

Hell, maybe you could even visit her some day.
No. 198437 ID: bc1727


Hate to gloat, but I totally called it! Woo!
No. 198443 ID: 4f6e37
File 12774202662.png - (162.62KB , 800x600 , 100.png )

Jai rushes outside ahead of the throng of kithik approaching to meet their new king.
They both start talking at the same time.
"Jai I'm sorry I didn't tell you my plan but I was in the middle of a fight and I couldn't spare a glamor and I was thinking maybe you'd like act differently and give something away if you knew so I didn't let you know I'm sorry but we did it"
"Dio holy shit you were amazing out there I was like freaking out when she was torching you but then I remembered how you operate and I realized exactly what you were doing and holy shit we're going home-
No. 198444 ID: 4f6e37
File 127742028658.png - (193.59KB , 800x600 , 101.png )

No. 198446 ID: 4f6e37
File 127742033587.png - (161.92KB , 800x600 , 102.png )

No. 198447 ID: d98958

start babbling incoherently!
No. 198449 ID: c2c011

Did you just kiss her? I think we will just put that off to high spirits and feeling good for winning and stuff. Don't make anything super serious out of it.

Anyway, lets send Gryph with a message to the Qal. Invasion averted, Kithik pacified and oh yeah, I just became their emperor.
No. 198451 ID: bc1727

Fuck! Well, Unfortunately I didn't see that one coming. Dammit, Dio!
No. 198452 ID: 2eac65

The alienation is supposed to be a learning experience. So what have we learned from this?
No. 198453 ID: a594b9

Oh god Dio what did you DO


Pose as a team, cuz shit just got ROMANTICALLY COMPLICATED.

Or not, because it was just the stress and excitement. Probably. Well okay maybe not. You've been her best friend for kindof a long time, Dio; it's not surprising you've got feelings for her. Question is, what are you going to do about your feelings for Dahlia?
No. 198455 ID: 3b7265

'Mentor', eh? IN BED!
No. 198460 ID: d98958

get out your to do list and add "have whole gang sit down and sort out feelings"
No. 198466 ID: bcf25c



Threesomes, maybe.
No. 198470 ID: 6cf050

Looks like you have some admirers back there.
No. 198475 ID: 8bdb6a

Dio: Continue being overwhelmed with rush of euphoria. You just saved at LEAST fifty thousand lives. You can kiss whoever the hell you want right on the mouth.
No. 198476 ID: bcf25c


No. 198479 ID: 4f6e37
File 127742339868.png - (328.64KB , 800x600 , 103.png )

They both stare at each other. Dio can still taste her on his lips.

She snorts, then starts laughing, nervously. He joins in.
"Heat of the moment?" asks Dio.
"Heat of the moment," says Jai. "We both have to get laid soon before we start fucking the kithik."
"That can wait until we're home, no?" says Dio.
"Home!" says Jai. "I totally forgot about that place. The arca- arca- uh-"
"Arcanopolopolis," finishes Dio.
"Anopolis," says Jai. "Shit. Yes. I need a shower. A hot arcanopolis shower." She licks her lips. "A cold arcanopolis shower."
"Well I think I'm king now," says Dio. "There's king stuff to do, first."
"Oh, really?" says Jai, her smile losing some of its force. "What kind of king stuff? How long are we staying?"
No. 198480 ID: c2c011

Yeah, starting of with the former Queen, tell her to give you some suger as well and then say that it's good to be king.
No. 198481 ID: c2c011

Well with the rate Kithik society seems to develop I think you could be out of there in a month or so. Say two months just to be certain that things are going to be fine.
No. 198482 ID: a594b9

Eh, maybe a day. Depends on how long it'll take to make sure the Kithik and Qal are going to talk to eachother peacefully and bang out a treaty.
No. 198484 ID: a76809

I encourage this wholeheartedly on the grounds I refuse to believe Dio is not a Mel Brooks fan to such an extent that the realization this may be his one chance to make that line truthful pass him by.

No. 198486 ID: 55e935

You mean Sam Raimi. Or Bruce Campbell.
No. 198490 ID: becad2

We still have to take the Queen with us. Aaaand she has to teach the ropes to Horned. Aaron.
No. 198492 ID: 8bdb6a

We can't come on to the queen after we called her ugly. We'll have to find some other kithik poon.

Say "Probably a week, but whatever it takes to put a lid on this thing. You can go, if you want. I think the alienation proper is about done."
No. 198493 ID: f95872

>"What kind of king stuff?
A formal alliance with the local Qal groups would be a good start. We should look into the developing social structures too; shaping them into a healthy society would be wise.
>How long are we staying?"
I doubt it would take much more than a week.
No. 198494 ID: 716eb0


You have some fundamental changes to their society to effect there Dio. Some of the Kithik clearly agree with your ideas. but not all. You need to make sure that things aren't going to degrade back to square one as soon as you leave. Help them carve out a decent land for themselves, make the Qal more valuable as allies than as victims, see if we can't find a better method to select leadership than "I am the strongest."

...Though that last one might be as easy as "Okay guys, you feel like you have to have a king, so I am still king, but I have delegated out all my responsibilities to skilled statesmen, and I am leaving now. Anybody who wants to be king has to get me back here, challenge me before the people, and then accept having little actual authority because all the duties are handled elsewhere. Make Horned-I-mean-Aaron your steward while you are away.
No. 198495 ID: 6cf050

We should apologize to the queen for the ugly remark.
No. 198502 ID: 8bdb6a

Changing my vote to 'Have frustration-relieving celebratory sex with Jai.'
No. 198506 ID: e3202a

Let thoughts of home cheer you, Dio, and what will wait you there. Soon you will be back, for you have earned the trip home for sure with this. Take the time to take care of things here with high spirits in your heart, and hold pleasant thoughts and pleasant dreams for fulfillment soon.

You're a hero, boss! Think of the story you can tell that little lady waiting back home, and the fun you can have conspiring with her to get your mentors together.

Perhaps a message to her would not be premature? She must be worrying about you.
No. 198513 ID: 6cf050

It could take anywhere from 1-2 weeks to 2 months depending on how things go. We want to make sure there is some decent diplomacy in place before we leave. Also I bet there would be plenty of mages back home who would love to take a look at the Kithik.
No. 198515 ID: 7f74d1

Long enough to stop the qal from going to war with the kithik, now that we've stopped the kithik from going to war with the qal. We'll need to set up some sort of recognized international borders. Get the whole violent shebang thus far smoothed over.

We'll also need to start getting kithik society rearranged, which will take... however long it takes. Hopefully not too long, but as Jai pointed out so recently, you'll live a long time. What's a week, a month, a year, or a decade? Your friends can come visit.
No. 198517 ID: f95872

I agree with this.
No. 198520 ID: 4f6e37
File 127742702339.png - (335.99KB , 800x600 , 104.png )

Dio resolves to get the job done before he goes home, which will undoubtedly involve crafting a peace between the Qal and the Kithik. He messages Gryph to tell her to inform the Qal of what has happened, but not to come up until he signals, since he is not sure the kithik have fully stood down yet.

Aaron looks to his new king, then walks to the former Queen, sitting away from the crowd, still staring at the ground.
"Let me help you up," he says.
"I am not Queen anymore, Horned," she says. "The eye means nothing. You need not be my mate."
"It was not the eye I fell in love with," says Aaron, "Nor the Queen. Nothing so superficial as a belt buckle or a piece of underwear or a red shirt. It was you."
"I love you, Horned. Aaron."
"I love you, Once-Queen. What shall we call you, now?"
"How about Red Eye?" asks Red Eye. "It is descriptive."
"I do not think it is," says Aaron. "I like Wildflower. It's a pretty name, isn't it?"
"It is not very descriptive," points out Wildflower.
"Nor is Aaron," sighs Aaron, taking her paw. "We will manage."
No. 198524 ID: 8bdb6a

Become concerned about the return of the Arkers. They won't be happy that you've stopped their evil plan.
Start trying to figure out how they made the Kithik intelligent, and how to stop them from reversing this process, as they'll undoubtedly try to do.
Call Orpheo to bring him up to speed and ask for his advice on these things.
Call Dahlia to apologize for having sex with Jai.
No. 198527 ID: 6cf050

Let her know that you have won a kingdom. Then send her the paperwork for joining your harem.
No. 198528 ID: 2a421d

>Call Dahlia to apologize for having sex with Jai.

But... we... haven't.

Anyhow, we do need to call some people, we may be mages but do we really have the first idea how to set up a nation state of people who are literally pants-on-head ignorant of how civilization works? We need some professional advice or something.
No. 198532 ID: 0b2a05

"Dahlia it's Dio

They made me their king"
No. 198535 ID: 88a316

YES! perfect!
No. 198537 ID: e67080

let Aaron and Wildflower have their moment, take a minute to rest and soak in what you just did, We have alot of work ahead of us Dio. Priorities include learning more about your new people and their motivations, giving them things to learn, making up some lost tutelage to both Aaron, Wildflower (she deserves to know something about her magic and Oculus), and any other mages. And some direction is needed in deciding where to move their civilization forward.

Also, give Deliah a message before she jumps through the planes and strangles you for being stupidly heroic and noble.
No. 198544 ID: becad2

I still think we should take Queen Redeye Wildflower with us to Arcanopolis. That is the proper environ for teaching her das ropes.
No. 198548 ID: a76809

I think we may want to abstain on that until she discovers more respect for life/eschews more of her drive to serve Arkers until we bring her to where there ARE Arkers.
No. 198549 ID: a594b9

Plus they'd probably kill her for defecting. That's kindof what they do.
No. 198555 ID: e67080

I'm certainly in favor of potentiality taking the kithik mages if they wish back home with Dio, but I think before then he has a duty to give them some basic education in the matter while hes helping them out. Going with my theme you could say of some basic mage morals, Wildflower deserves to know what her magic does as far as Dio knows, that it can send part of her soul away (as we learned before in the battle vs Jai), and that overuse of one type can cause such reactions as before so she dosen't end up harming herself.

Plus, Aaron deserves a mentor! hes been a nice guy. Plus he may have found a spell that Dio dosen't even know yet potentially, or the reverse.
No. 198557 ID: 4f6e37
File 127743037617.png - (445.88KB , 800x600 , 105.png )

Dio sits down with his phone during a quiet moment and sends a fuckton of text messages.

master orpheo the alienation was a success. im king of the kithik now and it appears they have mages w. them reply when you get this ill tell you more

Orpheo doesn't really have his phone with him all the time, so he's not expecting a rapid response.
He messages Dahlia.

dahlia its dio they made me their king
>no shut the fuck up
>im holding an ancient dinner plate in front of me that i was really excited about just a second ago
>it belonged to our magic forefathers. i found it in these ruins
>they ate like magic ancient shit off it
>uh wow dio i thought i had you beaten
>what the shit
>you are telling me everything and also you are going to have to bring back a kithik servant or 2 or 5 ok
they have big claws
>i am waiting for a good reason
>that seriously seems like a draw we would never have to be on time for anything ever again
well see
>think about it
>when will you be back you think
unsure. week? 2?
>ok well maybe ill at least beat you home this place is a gold mine of stuff
>oh fuck me pyramus just set off some sort of weird boulder trap thing for the fifth time talk ltr runnign
No. 198559 ID: 2eac65

That's a good point. When we have the time, tell them about when they kidnapped you and tried to hold you hostage to force your friend's friend to join them. They need to know how the Ark Fraternity treats "friends" who don't go along with their plans.
No. 198561 ID: d6cb21

Is Dhalia having a......A DUNGEON CRAWL?
No. 198562 ID: d6cb21

I second this action.
No. 198563 ID: e86257

remember that this place wont be run like your dream. think first thing would be diplomacy and giving all prisoners back and a cease fire/truce/whatever. also let's get some farming techniques going, good farming, even if it's just the arcane equivalent of cattle will go a long way in minimizing the amount of land they NEED.
No. 198565 ID: 059120

What time is it? I think we've accomplished enough for today. The only vital things we need to do are call off the army and maybe deal with the prisoners. After that we should have a feast and call it a night. Tomorrow we can start negotiations and setting up a real kingdom.
No. 198568 ID: 7f74d1

Do the kithik need farming techniques? If they're already supporting a population of half a million, then they obviously have some sort of decent food production method. What do they eat? How do they get enough of it to support those numbers?

Regardless, logistical matters are probably secondary to politics, at least in the short term. We'll need to get a great deal of information on the kithik's current activities before attempting to significantly alter their economics. International relations and even governmental structure are far easier, since we can change them by decree. Theoretically, anyway.

Should still apologize to the queen for our harsh words during the duel, and tell her that we would value her input as an experienced advisor as long as we're ruling the kithik.
No. 198569 ID: a594b9

I do not think we need to further lecture her, but a simple warning about how the Ark is dangerous might be wise.

Shall we send someone to let the 500,000 man army know that they can stand down and come back home? Then maybe get something to eat. What do they eat around here? Do they hold feasts, perchance?
No. 198571 ID: e86257

wait until we have the tape for proof so she can't claim we are lying.
No. 198572 ID: 8bdb6a

Well, there's always the old royal standby of booze, fine food, and bitches.
No. 198573 ID: 4f6e37
File 127743230086.png - (230.05KB , 800x600 , 106.png )

And that is why Dio does not want to hang around all that long.

He remains in the plane for now, however, and for the night he has a feast (the kithik are going to have to take a while before their idea of a feast is not a freshly gutted wild animal). He privately apologizes to the queen over the, ah, intestines, but she seems to be taking things fairly well. She and Horned disappear to the ramparts directly after the meal and Dio decides it would be best to keep anyone from intruding. Kithik do not appear to be quiet lovers, and their howling and hissing echo across the mountain. Good for them, even if it's sort of keeping him up.

He's relieved to see negotiations starting two days after between the Qal (with Deve acting as ambassador) and the Kithik. He is just as relieved to learn Qal negotiation is not quite as forward as Qal therapy.
Deve and Horned speak at length and both parties walk away seeming more than satisfied with the results of the first meeting, with a tentative agreement to expand kithik territory through the entire Shai mountain range, which Deve admits they were not using anyway. They are two of the more reasonable members of their species, of course, but Dio has a good feeling about where the Delv and the Kithik are headed.
No. 198576 ID: 8bdb6a

Are you SURE you can't take a few servants home? Temporarily, even?
No. 198578 ID: 7f74d1

Should speak at length with Aaron and Wildflower on the nature of magic, such as we know of it, history, techniques, that sort of thing. Odds are that the Ark will try to reassert control at least once and will need to be brushed off, perhaps forcibly.

A question on the nature of summoning, by the way. From what I've gathered so far, any race except the dominant one on a plane is subject to summonings and compulsions, right? Does that mean that we kithik are as well? If so, is there any means by which they can avoid that sort of thing... or any means by which we could arrange to have summoned kithik servitors of our very own, loyal to us through more than mere magical compulsions?
No. 198581 ID: 8bdb6a

Also, take lots of pictures!
No. 198582 ID: 059120

Yeah, I think you could ask some kithik if they'd come along and be your assistants or something but also to act as emissaries to the Arcanopolis would be an okay idea. Unless Orpheo says not to do it or something, either because it's against the rules or the Arkers would try and kill them or what.
No. 198583 ID: e67080

Don't forget while we're here to nominate Boxer as a bodyguard or knight sort of role. He would probably do well at it now that his mood is better.
No. 198588 ID: 4f6e37
File 127743451285.png - (164.29KB , 800x600 , 107.png )

The job loses its luster quickly. Being a kithik king is rapidly shaping up like being a collective kithik dad.

When Dio's not educating the illusionists or trying to keep Wildflower from blowing herself up, he is dealing with the masses. They all come to him with questions or concerns. Lopsided Eye's mate is having issues with his leg. How will they hunt properly? Boxer Hat thinks the newly appointed Royal Guard (consisting of Boxer Hat) should have bigger spears than the other guards. Pants Leg says that Tree Climber has been rooting around in his food supply. Tree Climber accuses Pants Leg of taking more than his fair share. Boxer Hat has designed new uniforms for the Royal Guard and needs Dio's approval. Chain Rattler wishes to petition Dio for new lands to set up the first kithik farm, which Backwards Cap and Keen Claw both vehemently oppose, saying their ventures would be more appropriate in placement. Boxer Hat thinks that the disrespect among young kithik is quickly becoming too much. They even flaunted their own skill in the face of the Royal Guard.

Aaron and Wildflower are always on hand to give him advice, but it's still less party and more hard work. He has newfound respect for authority.
No. 198589 ID: a594b9

Ok maybe we should get going. Politely hand over power and...

uh, how do we leave?
No. 198591 ID: 8bdb6a

What's important is that Dio sets an example of what an authority figure is like. With the problem solving and the no-genocide. So, suck it up for awhile, and then push the job off to Aaron.

Also, you can't be the first mage to end up as king of some place. Surely there are procedures for this. Take Orpheo's advice, unless he's being ironic about the authority figure thing. Maybe he can recommend a list of government structure and basic laws that you could adopt without too much hassle?
No. 198593 ID: e67080

Well, this isn't unexpected. The major thing to do is establish some of the major points before you go, a sense of purpose for the populous at large, maybe establish a new form of government to navigate the issues before you step down. Also, make sure Jai has fun to do, so you can totally hold it over her head when you want her to do something for you.

... and let him have a bigger spear for the love of!
No. 198598 ID: 7f74d1

Take heart, Dio; if you don't like the minutia of your job, it's probably a sign that you're trying to do it right. Good kings know that ruling is a lot of work.

Call home for advice on governments, try to get some sort of general principles of rulership instilled. A week or two is nothing to you- well, possibly it's highly unpleasant to you, but suck it up- and could mean a lot to the collective kithik future.
No. 198602 ID: 8bdb6a

Also, how is that whole 'Kithiks are stupendously fast learners' thing shaping up? Anyone gaining five IQ points a day? Aaron learning spells you've never heard of? That sort of thing? Any really brainy types you think you can delegate authority to either by territory or by department?
No. 198606 ID: 4f6e37
File 127743742558.png - (188.92KB , 800x600 , 108.png )

Orpheo writes back quickly, and then they strike up regular correspondence on how to deal with the Kithik's issues.
The insane learning streak has finally begun to cool with the intelligence of the kithik roughly on par with the average Qal, perhaps higher.
Gryphona makes frequent runs up the mountain through the portal back to the Arcanopolis, and cheerily comes back with textbooks and other supplies for educating the young horned magi in the ways of magic. Currently there are only illusionists from Dio, arcanists from Jai, and thaumaturges from Wildflower. They learn quickly and eagerly, not only in magic but in farming techniques and law. All Dio needs to do is provide the proper motivation or idea, and they pounce all over it.

It's certainly no dream, but Dio watches the kithik grow, magically and culturally. A week goes by, and the supplies from the Arcanopolis and the Qal taper off and begin to fade as the kithik organize their hunts and begin clearing land and planting seeds for an eventual harvest.
Dio's tired and homesick, but proud.
No. 198608 ID: 5a2e05

I think it's nearly time to call it in. You done good, kid.
No. 198609 ID: 8bdb6a

Offer some warning about the Arkers, and how they probably won't be happy about what you've done.

Give rulership to Aaron, but give yourself some kind of cool sounding, mostly-honorary title, so you can brag about it later. Also, so that if you come back here, it's kind of a big deal and you can't be put to death for some dumb reason, even if something happens to Aaron.

When you get home, give the alienation council an official recommendation (in addition to all the unofficial ones you've given Orpheo by now) to investigate what made the Kithik become intelligent, to prevent the Arkers from destroying them.
No. 198611 ID: 4f6e37
File 127743926383.png - (173.85KB , 800x600 , 109.png )

Eventually the time is ripe for Dio to step down. He names Horned King, with himself as official Arcanopolitan Liason and Ambassador (just in case he needs to brag).

He warns Aaron about the Arkers, one last time. "Loyalty is a virtue, but it has to play second fiddle to common sense and the truth," says Dio.
"Yes," says Aaron.
"And, uh, Aaron." says Dio. "About your magic. And all the magi.
"I apologize for such harsh awake
To the path of magic you undertake.
I've done my best to train you, as is right
As an illusionist, in dream your might.
At least do what you believe to be good
Do not abuse, do no unneeded harm
Give none reason to hate those with the gift.
In cases of power, do as one should.
Do not abuse your power, just to charm.
Let magic be for its sake, not to rift.
"Don't forget how I won the duel. Strength is for naught without the control of your power and moderation you need."

"Thank you, Masked," says Aaron.
"Call me Dio," says Dio.

Is there anything else to do here, or is his Alienation finished?
No. 198613 ID: a76809

Bow to both, and say it was an honor to meet them before leaving. Good finishing note, all that. Swing by the Qal base just to double check no one is planning some stupid 'BLAH LETS KILL THE UPPITY KITHIK ABOMINATIONS'

Not saying it will happen, but really, just to be sure...
No. 198615 ID: a594b9

>>198611 Go say goodbye to your Qal buddies. Are they your buddies?

DO NOT FORGET ABOUT UNSUMMONING GRYPHONA. She is likely quite miffed at us for keeping her here for so long. Apologize for the trouble you put her through. In fact give her your phone number so she can yell at you after you send her back.

Take lots of pictures.
No. 198618 ID: e67080

Give a great thanks to everyone, and don't forget to give Jai an impressive title also!
No. 198620 ID: 2a421d

Yeah we shouldn't really need her around anyhow now the situation has stabilized. Thank her for the help and send her home.
No. 198621 ID: 059120

Say farewell to the Qal, ask if any kithik want to come be like apprentices to you, and I guess we wanted to deal with Gryph? I'm honestly not sure what to do with her. Ask what she would probably do if you unbinded and unsummoned her.
No. 198622 ID: 46baaa

Don't give him full leadership, just appoint him as leader in your (entirely permanent) absence. Since the Kithik seem to have settled into a sustainable culture you should be free to leave.

Awesome work Dio. You prevented a genocide! I think that means we can officially title you hero. Your professors are going to absolutely love this. Time to return home to accolades.
No. 198624 ID: 701a19

This, but also to say goodbye to the Qal.

I'm pretty sure Dio sent her home when she wasn't making runs.
Also: I'm opposed to removing the spells, but if you're going to do that then at least buy her the next book in the series in addition to giving her your number.
No. 198627 ID: 8bdb6a

Quit dicking around here and go home.
No. 198638 ID: e67080

Actually, we should take something back upon our return from our alienation... aren't we supposed to present something?
No. 198640 ID: 4f6e37
File 127744325332.png - (259.98KB , 800x600 , 109.png )

And just like that, it's over.

Dio returns to the Qal at the barracks. The commandant slaps him on the back and gives him a solemn oath not to make war with the kithik. He also removes his beret and puts it on Dio's head. "Something to remember us by," he says, "for the kid who became a warrior king to keep his friends safe."

There's just one more thing to do, then.

"What's that?" asks Gryph as Dio enters the summoning chamber with a crisp hardcover book.
"Warriors of the Shifting Wastes, volume 3," says Dio. "Here. It's got my number on the inside cover, if you want to call when you're home. Tell me what you really think of me."
"What, Guv?" says Gryph. "I mean, I... thanks. Why?"
"It's the least I could do," shrugs Dio.
"I mean but I'm just a shifter," she says. "Not even a person, really."
"If there's one thing I've learned on this alienation," says Dio, "it's that the word 'people' is what you make of it. Here."
She takes it, gingerly, almost reverently. "Thanks, guv."
"I don't need you here anymore," says Dio. "I'm going home. It's the least I could do to send you back too."
"Really?" says Gryphona, her face lighting up. "You're willing to do that?"
"Why not?" asks Dio.
"Well, most of the time if a mage yanks a shifter and he's satisfied with their service he'll keep them until they kick the bucket," she says.
"I wouldn't do that to you," says Dio.
"Thank you," she says. "I- but wait..."
"What if, after you send me back, I mean... what if I hate you? I don't want to hate you."
No. 198641 ID: 0b2a05

Tell her if she hates you you'll just have to get her to like you again. The hard way if necessary.
No. 198642 ID: 45be60

"I don't want you to hate me either. But I REALLY don't want you to like me because I forced you to. So um... just please don't hate me?"
No. 198643 ID: a594b9

"That's why I'm letting you go; so you'll be able to make up your own mind about whether or not you hate me."
No. 198644 ID: e973f4

This is pretty much verbatim what I was going to suggest.
No. 198645 ID: 059120

If that's actually true, write that down. As a reminder, in the book.

(Also everything else is gold right now.)
No. 198648 ID: e67080

Don't forget to add "and do try and send my apologies to anyone who was disturbed or bothered by my borrowing of your time. Don't worry if you hate me too much, we don't have to get along too much just to get along."
No. 198650 ID: 8bdb6a

"If you really don't want to hate me, then you won't."
Go quiet and sag your shoulders, because you're tired of being an enlightened authority figure. That's not you.
"Listen. I really want to keep you around. You're cool, I like talking with you, and you seem nice. I also would very much like to have a powerful, shapeshifting bodyguard. I also know that some day I will find myself in a dangerous situation, and will kick myself for not having a shapeshifting bodyguard. And then maybe I'll die. But I also won't get you killed to protect me. And I won't have to lie awake at night, with you as a kitty in a cute little top hat sleeping on my feet, and know that, no, this isn't what you wanted. This isn't what you want to do with your life."

Shrug, and add. "Just don't try taking revenge on me, or something. For your own good. There's some powerful mages where I live."
No. 198651 ID: 4f6e37
File 127744464126.png - (296.35KB , 800x600 , 110.png )

"If you really don't want to hate me, then you won't," says Dio. He feels tired, all of a sudden. To the bone.
"Listen. I really want to keep you around. You're cool, I like talking with you, and you seem nice. I also would very much like to have a powerful, shapeshifting bodyguard. I also know that some day I will find myself in a dangerous situation, and will kick myself for not having a shapeshifting bodyguard. And then maybe I'll die. But I also won't get you killed to protect me. And I won't have to lie awake at night, with you as a kitty in a cute little top hat sleeping on my feet, and know that, no, this isn't what you wanted. This isn't what you want to do with your life. And know that yeah, you don't hate me, but never know if that was you or if it was magic. So. Bye."
"Bye," says Gryphona, sofly. "Guv."

Dio mentally loosens her chains, and she vanishes in a flash of blue.

He's alone now and he's done.
No. 198652 ID: 8bdb6a

Go home so you can stop being important for awhile.
No. 198653 ID: 701a19

"I don't want a slave, I want a friend. If I tried to force people to be my friends then I wouldn't deserve any at all.

Ok, here's the part that's hard to say:
I used you, and that's a terrible thing to do to somebody. What I did was wrong, and the reasons why don't excuse it. I'm not going to defend my actions, because they're indefensible.
My only solace is that I tried to treat you with the utmost respect and care; I kept you out of harm's way, I tasked you with as little as I could, and now I'm going to let you go.

I'm not going to ask for forgiveness, but I hope you'll at least find some comfort in having stopped a genocide and become a hero to a new people.

It's a lot of words to say it, but...
I'm sorry."
Then hug her.
No. 198654 ID: a76809


Then go home.
No. 198657 ID: e973f4

Yeah, go home. You done good, I think, but you deserve a freakin' break.
No. 198658 ID: 701a19

Go home, turn in your Alienation project, then go see Dahlia.
No. 198662 ID: 5a2e05

You have earned some wicked chill time. You need a vacation.
No. 198672 ID: e3f578

Wait... oh shit you have to grow a Vidder beard now like I suggested if Vidders grow beards. Get a manly goatee one day and just manly pose over a cliff and face an entire army of Arkers and say "Well, it seems like my enemies have their work cut out for them." then light a cigar like the man you are.
No. 198677 ID: f95872

Before too long, there will be young Kithik wearing Dio shirts. Assuming the Kithik get a clothing industry going.
No. 198709 ID: c2c011

Well then, time to go home and celebrate with Dahlia. You should probably lock the doors and turn off your phones before you start on the celebrating.
No. 198720 ID: becad2

I think the next thing we should do, is to go back home (maybe even with beret and without mask), talk to Orpheus, and get a new alienation on some other plane.


If you make these events the theme of your alienation, you'll be famous for it and the Arkers are gonna separate your head from your shoulders.

... huh. I imagine if this was someone else's alienation pet project. Uplifting the Kthik.

I wonder if more people will keep coming to the Arcane to make alienation projects out of them.
No. 198723 ID: 63ab82

I guess we have to be an arker-hunter in the future -- one who constantly mess with Arker's plans, get rid of their army, freeing their slaves...
No. 198732 ID: f95872

Your description sounds more like an Arker Troll
No. 198781 ID: 87ad1f

This. You deserve some downtime. Go see Dhalia
No. 198783 ID: 87ad1f

After you turn in your project, of course.
No. 198790 ID: 2eac65

Remember our birth control charm. We still have that, right?
No. 198791 ID: e513f1

Replace mask with trollface?
No. 198798 ID: 4f6e37
File 127749118916.png - (235.44KB , 800x600 , 111.png )

The rest of the day proceeds in a whirlwind, as Dio bids goodbye to everyone, desperately tries to figure out his camera's timer so they can get a good group shot in, and packs up all of his stuff with Jai. There wasn't any time to do sudoku. He was hoping to get some done. Oh well.

And before he knows it they're making the hike back up the mountain to the portal, and then finally Dio steps through back into material.

Wow. Everything feels so light and breezy here now. It's a far cry from the increased gravity of the Arcane Plane. Dio hops up and down a couple of times, marveling at how easy it is to shoulder his pack.
"Spirits, but it's good to be home," says Jai. "First thing I am going to do is sleep, I tell you."
"That sounds tempting," says Dio.
"Not yet, Hero Boy. You've got people to see. I imagine half the school'd like to talk to you for one. Oh, and you'll be needing a new helmet. I'm not so sure about the beret look."
"Best be trolling, Vostra."
No. 198799 ID: a594b9

Dio would you stop running around naked and put your damn mask back on?
No. 198800 ID: e31d52



we should totally plan to pamper Dahlia when she gets back

study on massage and learn to cook and stuff

that would be so awesome
No. 198806 ID: 701a19

Make an illusion of a mask.
I'm thinking a mask in the same style as Dahlia's, but with a large circle in the middle.
With a giant monocle.
No. 198810 ID: becad2

No masks.
Beret only.
Final destination.

Alternatively, wear mask and beret. Mask should look like your face.
No. 198811 ID: 8bdb6a

Find out if Dahlia's back, and then visit her if she is.

Otherwise, talk to Orpheo, or the Alienation Council if it's being held now.
No. 198814 ID: 40cb26

Make a Kithik-styled mask.
No. 198820 ID: 4531bc

I think we can compromise: Kithik with a monocle.
No. 198822 ID: c2c011

Make sure your helmet can have the beret on top of it.

Oh, and get some supplies to make for a romantic evening with Dahlia. And don't forget that medalion you made for Jai that she gave back to you.
No. 198904 ID: 63ab82


We must do this!
No. 198911 ID: 4f6e37
File 127750593059.png - (93.45KB , 800x600 , 112.png )

"Okay, who's next?"
"Diometricus Phrale Eregiorium. Incoming."
"Aha. Yes. Diometricus. He likes Dio, right Orpheo?"
"Well, uh, I don't think there's much to say we haven't all heard by now. This kid. Wow."
"What? What did he do?"
"Arguably, he saved the arcane plane."
"Oh right. That kid. Do we have a medal for that?"
"No, but I think it's safe to say he passed."
"Right. Bring him in."
"Do I dim the lights again? Should we do the spooky thing?"
"Do you really think anything we do is gonna intimidate him anymore? Come in, Dio."
No. 198918 ID: 4f6e37
File 127750654297.png - (117.29KB , 800x600 , 113.png )

Like how? What kind of supplies? Dio's not going to say he's nervous and entirely new at this, but he's nervous and entirely new at this. He's only ever dated Jai before, and that wasn't really serious and only really involved doing normal friend stuff.

Dio walks into the alienation office to enthusiastic applause.
"Okay people, quiet down, he's gonna get plenty of that later," says the man with the bone white mask. "So. Diometricus. Says here you got up to some very interesting activities in your Alienation."
"Yes sir," says Dio. He looks up to Orpheo, sitting with the council, silently glowing with pride.
"We're going to cut to the chase here, Dio," says the man with the holographic helmet. "You have earned your place at the Arcanopolis five times over. There."
"And as such you will be rewarded with i. a new, more appropriate helmet of your choosing and ii. full marks for your Alienation and status as an Advanced pupil for whatever college you choose to enter, and of course a fully paid scholarship," says Plague Doctor Mask. "Your mentor Ms. Vostra will be raised to Prefect status."
"And may we simply at this point extend our extreme gratitude," says the short one. "Officially that's the maximum we can do for you but if you have anything else you want the Alienation office can get you let us know. Because wow."
"Right," says the woman with the clipboard, making a note on it. "So traditionally there's a fairly major celebration for a return from an alienation, which I think will be even bigger in your case. Normally we'd check with the Alien's family, but I see here you don't exactly have a traditional one, so. Any preferences as to when?"
No. 198923 ID: e31d52

Well, fum diddly.

I'm half a mind to see if Dahlia's here and then have a MASSIVE ILLUSIONIST PARTY WOOO but I dunno what do you guys thinks
No. 198924 ID: c2c011

Well here you have a perfect chance. Make a demand of a twofold party. First a more private one, romantic dinner with Dahlia. Fix up some scented candles and massage oils for after the dinner as well.

And then the big public one, invite all your friends and everyone else that feels like showing up for a huge party with a huge amount of drinks and food.
No. 198925 ID: c2c011

Oh right forgot, the big public one should be a day or maybe more later than the private one with Dahlia.
No. 198927 ID: 711ab4

also, if she isn't here yet then take this day to just sleep.
No. 198929 ID: 8bdb6a

Whenever's convenient for everyone. You just need some time to unwind. You weren't trying to score big, you just wanted to help. Though you also feel like you totally deserve the important hat.
No. 198930 ID: 059120

Make sure to ask whether the Arkers are going to try and kill you (even more) because of your reputation, and if there's anything uo can do about that.
No. 198935 ID: a594b9

SHHH! Not in public.

The party... How about in a couple of days? I dunno if we should ask for a private party, that seems a bit presumptuous.
No. 198938 ID: 2a421d

Yeah lets not announce any kind of 'private party'. We can take care of that ourselves.
No. 198939 ID: 40cb26

Is Dhalia and Pyramus back yet? If not the party will have to wait for them. Otherwise...

"What's the minimum amount of time from now it will take to set up a party at least big enough? Because that's exactly when I want it."

Uh, the private party can just be private, no need to have anyone else help with it. It can also be tonight.
No. 198949 ID: 4f6e37
File 127750904745.png - (116.91KB , 800x600 , 114.png )

"I really just want to unwind for a bit," says Dio. "I wasn't trying to do anything tremendously impressive. I just wanted to help and ended up getting a beret out of the deal." The room nods, approvingly, especially Orpheo. "Humble," says Plague Doctor Mask.
"Uh. Question." says Dio. "Is Dahlia zu Veltkrick home yet?"
"Zu Veltkrick..." mutters Clipboard, scanning her papers. "We are actually expecting her in, uh, 3 days, in fact. Her celebration is that evening, since she's not exactly as spent as you are. You can call her and arrange a double, if she's a friend of yours."
"Oooh, those are fun," says Holographic Helmet.
No. 198950 ID: e31d52

Yy let's have a double then have a super seekrit private party afterwards~! We'll be able to sleep for THREE WHOLE DAYS so we can be truly prepared for EPIC PARTYING (and wild 'rolling in the hay')
No. 198957 ID: a594b9

Hmm. We need to ask Dahlia first. If you have a double party you might wind up stealing the spotlight, leaving Dahlia feeling unappreciated.
No. 198960 ID: 8bdb6a

If Dahlia's cool with a double, then that's fine. If not, have yours before she gets back so she feels extra not-upstaged. Also, so that she has no excuse at all not to do your laundry for a month.
No. 198969 ID: c2c011

A double sounds promising if Dahlia is ok with that. Don't forget the candles and the massage oils, and maybe some nice chocolate with strawberries to go along.
No. 198980 ID: 4f6e37
File 127751153876.png - (116.91KB , 800x600 , 115.png )

Dio tells the council to hold on, and messages Dahlia.

guess who has to do whose laundry for a month
>god dommot dio are you done kinging around already
>there are all these stone idol things and i needed to id them that doesn't count
yes it does
>yes it does fine you gloater
>are you here to gloat
no actually i heard your partys when you get home want to have like a big megabash thing
>sounds like a plan
>wait is that a euphemism for sex
>oh ok well yeah a doubles great
>i miss you
miss you too
Dio informs the council of their decision, and it is duly noted.
"Now all you have to do is get yourself a good monocular helmet," says Clipboard. "We've got a ton of these things, so you can choose whatever you want. Just tell the smiths we sent you."
No. 198981 ID: 4f6e37
File 127751170016.png - (80.86KB , 800x600 , 116.png )

Dio heads for the store he's been looking at for a helmet ever since he remembers, Leyton's Lids. He looked in here at all the monocular masks when he was tiny and could barely keep his head up in its thick metal shell. Now it's finally time to graduate.

He picks out a few options for himself, which of course are flexible. He personally likes the classic sphere shape, but if you have anything else to suggest go for it.
No. 198985 ID: e31d52

Cyclopean looks rather classy, right after neo-dio
No. 198989 ID: 2eac65

We'll want something simple to make him easy to draw recognize from a distance. I liked the pokeball design that we considered earlier.
No. 198992 ID: 54af1f


No. 198996 ID: e3f578

Neo-Dio baby. We need to go classic
No. 198999 ID: 8bdb6a

No. 199008 ID: a594b9

I like neo-Dio best... but only because it's so simple. A Cyclopian without as much bling would be nice.
No. 199009 ID: d47be3

Fishbowl. Make people wonder which direction you're facing with no illusions at all.
Maybe kinda swirly and mysteeerious like an illusionist should be.
No. 199011 ID: 7f74d1

I'd go with the lens design for the cyclopean and the non-lens decor from neo-dio. Not to be excessively picky or anything.
No. 199012 ID: e31d52

No. 199013 ID: e75a2f

De Homem-Christo!!!!!

No. 199014 ID: 01e059

fishbowl if you can make it so it has an always swirling outside, if not then the christo.
No. 199015 ID: becad2

Neodio. Bangalter is cool, but a bit too daft punk.
No. 199022 ID: 63ab82

I am disappointed that there is no kithik mask, but I will go with fish bowl and illusion some kithik onto it.

We shall be known as Dio of Kithiks. Like Scipios Africianus.
No. 199031 ID: 4c7b39

Neo-Dio, right after DHC.
No. 199040 ID: bc1727



Going for Fishbowl too.
No. 199042 ID: 46baaa

I also like the idea of a neo-Dio with the cyclopean eye.
No. 199044 ID: 34470e
File 127752036437.png - (9.28KB , 549x445 , THAT3.png )

How about something like this?
No. 199046 ID: 4f6e37
File 127752083071.png - (171.48KB , 800x600 , 117.png )

Dio makes the purchase, heads home, and then the Savior of the Arcane Plane, the Warrior Emperor of the Kithik, the Student-turned Revolutionary-turned-King-turned-Student, sleeps.

He sleeps for most of the rest of the day, too exhausted to do much else. Jai spreads the word that people are to keep their distance until the party so he can recuperate, so he goes relatively undisturbed. Is there anything he needs to do to prepare or forgot to do, or can he just rest and recover until the celebration?
No. 199048 ID: 4531bc
File 127752093661.png - (66.83KB , 800x600 , diohelmet.png )

DHC, reticle, and neo-dio all look good.

However, I think that for extra awesome-ness, your mask should be animated in some way, shape, or form. Some suggestions are attached.
No. 199049 ID: 4531bc

Ah, I see I'm late. oh well.
No. 199050 ID: 7f74d1

Speak with Orpheo. Explain the situation with regards to the Ark, and ask if he'd recommend taking any particular sort of precautions since they're probably going to be gunning for you. A party like this is just the sort of time that someone particularly interested in making a statement might strike. They'd have to also be a total dick, but... yeah.

Check up on what you'll be doing now that you've passed your Alienation, so that you can talk about it reasonably at the celebration. May also want to bring up the topic of further studies with Orpheo, actually, since he probably has some thoughts on where your talents could be applied and mind engaged.
No. 199051 ID: 8bdb6a

Tell the university operator that if you get an angry call from the Dream plane, go ahead and send it through.
No. 199054 ID: 78ef58

other then this, no, can't think of anything. sleep, dio.
No. 199056 ID: 4f6e37
File 127752228742.png - (379.28KB , 800x600 , choose.png )

Dio meets up with Orpheo on the second day.
"What I didn't want to raise in conversation with the council was the possibility of retribution by the Ark," he says. "The Kithik were enchanted into this new knowledge by them, after all. I feel like they could be gunning for me now."
"Possibly," says Orpheo. "The Ark is dangerous, and I'm glad you brought this to my attention But for now, you have earned peace of mind, I think. Leave your worries of the Ark to me. And to Euro, as well, since he now has a fairly major vendetta against them. We have certain...conduits into the Ark. Connections. We'll figure this out and make sure you're in no danger, I promise you."

"Okay," says Dio. "So what's next in my education?"
"I haven't a clue," says Orpheo. "I am no longer your mentor, Diometricus, although I'd feel privileged to call you a friend."
"Of course," says Dio.

"Well, then, Dio, I can't give you any requirement on your next step," says Orpheo, "but I was thinking. A mage of your talents could easily begin advanced eldritch studies at this point in his career. So I was thinking, perhaps you could continue to study under me for a time, and further your illusionary prowess. I'm confident that not only could you learn more advanced and powerful illusionary techniques, we could get you into a three-mind split if we work hard enough on it.

"Or, if you prefer, you could find another mentor of a different school of magic and work on your archmage certification. That would mean an entire new domain of your choosing, evocation or thaumaturgy or arcane. And all of the spells could be used in combination and tandem with your split mind abilities. It'll take a daunting amount of work either way, and I wouldn't even make a decision or think about it until you get some more rest, you've done enough for one lifetime, spirits' sake, but there is your next step.
No. 199057 ID: 4f6e37

((Note: A decision does not have to be reached now, nor would it be final. In fact maybe you could hold off on it if you are undecided or move it to the Questdis thread, because Damn. Over 800 posts and we aren't quite done yet. -ed))
No. 199058 ID: a594b9

Make sure your 'crossbow' is still on hand and ready.

Think about what kinds of things you can do while out on a date with Dahlia. Does she like to fight in the arena? Go out for a swim? See a movie? Hang out at the pier again? Take her somewhere nice to eat.
No. 199059 ID: 7f74d1

Thank Orpheo for his help; his promise to take care of it is certainly reassuring. Tell him you'll think on the matter and move on to other things.

Get some more sleep, catch up with any friends who are around, make sure they're all invited to your party. Talk to Jai about the whole Prefect thing, get her thoughts on that. Nothing too stressful. Message Dahlia enough that you're sure she has the details of the upcoming party. Then to the celebration.

((...this has a discussion thread?))
No. 199062 ID: e67080

Make a gift for the return of Dahliah and Pyramus! I dunno for Deliah right now... but I think Pyramus might deserve a crossbow of his own as a thanks for working you out. Maybe a wink and nudge towards Jai also, plus obligatory teasing.

as for Dahliah, I don't know right now, but still. Maybe the beret? it is spiffy.
No. 199066 ID: a76809

Why not go with the whole 'clock-king' motiff as the fixture about the actual eye port, keep the soft purple glow (you DID become a king with glowy purple gaze, why ditch it?), and get the floaty stuff to allow shifting the lens for zoom?

That way, CLOCK KING SNIPER DIO style mask.
No. 199068 ID: 7f74d1

We should really not give away that beret. It has more meaning than merely its spiffyness; we were given it specifically in remembrance of the Qal. That's not the sort of thing you re-gift.

Presents in general are probably a good idea, but also a lot of work. Let's just skip it after giving Jai the idea to buy something for Pyramus to celebrate his return as an unsubtle hint of interest.
No. 199073 ID: 0a290e

Can you build up the 3-split on your own time?

Perhaps talk with Dahlia about which to take?
No. 199076 ID: 4f6e37
File 127752599650.png - (460.71KB , 800x600 , 119.png )

Dio drops some subtle hints about a gift for Pyramus to Jai. But he isn't exactly sure what to get Dahlia. He isn't sure at all about anything with Dahlia. He feels a combination of arousal, fear, anticipation, and nerves whenever she's brought up. Yes, he has the charm or whatever. But he does not know how to do this. Beat a kithik thaumaturge? Sure. Yeah, he's done that. Make love? Different story.
He texts with Dahlia about which path to take (she is militantly for continuing with Illusion) and the conversation turns to his worries.

>dio trust me itll be fine
assuming its not an awkward mess
>ew bad word choice
>well listen i havent done this before either
>but how hard can it be
>if you learned blind as easy as you did then
>sex will be a nonissue. tab a slot b, no?
>listen i was thinking after the party let out
>at that quiet beach you showed me once would be the best place/time
>whaddya think
No. 199080 ID: 701a19

"We aren't master and student anymore, but can we be father and son?"
No. 199081 ID: e3f578

It's not like you HAVE to have sex other than you're going through a period of intense sexual tension.

Goddamn, why the beach man you want sand up your naughty places
No. 199082 ID: bcf25c


A wonderful, moonlit beach walk...

All alone, together...

Just after pissing off the Arkers a bunch and probably partly intoxicated from the party.

Wait, shit.
No. 199089 ID: 57b4a3

the beach right outside the school. besides they can illusion up some cover.
No. 199090 ID: 701a19

Get her a beret of her own.
The Beach sounds fine, but keep yourself disguised.
Ask Dahlia's dad if he can smooth things over with the Arkers. Something like pointing out how a red-oculus Kithik committing genocide against the Qal would turn everybody against the cyclopians again and give the cyclopians a murder-on towards the Ark. Basically pointing out how Dio saved them from their own stupidity.
No. 199094 ID: a594b9

Naw, it's all good. We've got folks watching out for us.

Just don't forget a towel, Dio. And relax for pete's sake. The more tense you are the shorter sex is. Granted, your first time is PROBABLY going to be short and unfulfilling anyway but there's always seconds after the recovery period.
No. 199097 ID: 8bdb6a

Say that sounds great.
Make a comment promising a royal treatment.
If she plays along and makes a joke about being a queen, become really weirded out.
No. 199098 ID: f95872

"Sounds like a date" I guess.
No. 199100 ID: 57b4a3

and if you want some extra privacy just summon up another rock dome.
No. 199104 ID: 2a421d

Or a glass sphere under the water that would be pretty awesome... wait that could be bad trying to concentrate on so much at once.
No. 199108 ID: 4f6e37
File 127752971614.png - (179.77KB , 800x600 , 118.png )

sounds like a plan, Dio writes. ill bring a towel or something.
>ok. we'll steal shampanya from the drinks table or something. itll be good, dio
royal treatment.
> <3
He flips the phone shut.

And later, on the third day, heads to the Tanmouth Hall, one of the ritziest places on campus. Euro Zer Veltkrick has rented it out for the celebration, and is refusing to let any detail escape his eye. The party's not for a couple hours, but when Dio arrives he's already removed his mask (it IS going to be a feast, after all) and is balancing a wine glass in his hand as he yells at the hired help.
"Take the goddamn banner down. That thing is sloppy as hell. What, are we in grade school, here? No, don't make a new one. We don't have time. Just... nix it. Goddamn. Where is the DJ? Well call him and tell him that if he doesn't show up in five his wife has a date with a pair of concrete shoes and a very deep river. No, not really. That was a goddamn joke. How crazy do you think I am? Don't answer that. Ah. Dio." Dio walks up to watch the proceedings with him. "Lesson one in business leadership, legal or otherwise. Do not be afraid to micromanage the incompetent ones. Yes, I am talking to you!" He yells over his shoulder at the guy pouring drinks. "You have worked too damn hard on your alienation for this to be anything less than perfect. I respect that fact even if Jerry over there does not."
"It's Terry," protests the drinks guy.
"Shove it up your ass. You did well on this Alienation, Dio. Extremely well. Fucking kithik would have overrun the entire plane if it wasn't for you. You have full approval from me to date my daughter. Remember what I said, though."
"Yes, sir."
"You're a good kid, Dio. You ever need someone to look out for you, a friend or a job or something, I've got you. Watch the fucking ladders, people! Spirits, you are all going to break your fucking necks."
No. 199110 ID: 57b4a3

well look for the helmet rack and get ready to party.
No. 199111 ID: 701a19

"Convincing the Arkers that their plan was stupid would help. I'd rather they consider it cleaning up their mess than hamstringing their efforts."
No. 199113 ID: a76809

"......That, or piss the HELL out of them by thanking them for the opportunity to do such an awesome Alienation. I'm still not sure if I want to shove it in their face and troll them for incompetence politely, or... you know, NOT have their attention on me. Not that much experience with the whole politicking... which is strange, since I guess I was king for a bit there. Anyway, how have things been back in the Material plane while I was out? I spent most of my time since getting back doing some catchup on sleep."
No. 199115 ID: 57b4a3

just party and maybe later we ask that after they would of had plenty of time to blow off some steam so that it would be easier to convince them of it.
No. 199129 ID: 8bdb6a

Politely thank him for the offer and the party and that you're looking forward to seeing Dahlia again. Don't bring up anything about the arkers yet. Maybe later. That's much too large a favor to ask right now.
No. 199132 ID: d6cb21

How about a bit of both?
No. 199134 ID: 40cb26

"Micromanaging incompetence? Better than trying to organize the newly sentient. Would you believe (insert most ridiculous first day anecdote leading the Kithic here)? But hey at least they learned, good luck trying to set these guys straight."

And don't worry about stealing drinks, just tell ol' Terry back there to sneak you a bottle and a couple glasses later. You are the once warrior-king of the kithik and on the absolute best side of the mob boss who owns his ass. He will comply.

I don't that that's the best way to say it, but letting him know helping deal with the Arkers is all the favor he needs is a god idea.
No. 199141 ID: 4f6e37
File 127753314993.png - (208.21KB , 800x600 , 120.png )

"Thanks for the party, Mr. Veltkrick," says Dio.
"Euro, kid," says Euro. "It's no problem. Just don't ask where the money comes from and keep your conscience clean."
"Okay, Mr. Velt-ah, Euro."
"Like I said. You need something, you ask it."
"Well, for starters, you could try to convince the Ark not to kill me," says Dio. "Or maybe piss them off by thanking them for the amazing Alienation."
"Heh," says Euro. "Sounds extremely hazardous to your health. And fun. Like most hazardous things."
"How have things been back home on the Material plane?" asks Dio.
"Quiet," says Euro. "Ark hasn't made too many moves, besides a botched attempt to weasel in on my operation and keep an eye on me. Three guesses how that turned out. Don't really guess, that's rhetorical, we killed him."
"Right," says Dio. "That was going to be my guess."
"And Dahl found a lost city," says Euro, proudly. "Not quite plane saving, but I wouldn't call it too shabby, neh?"
"Not shabby at all," says Dio.
"She talks about you, you know," he says. "Dio's like this, Dio told me that, Dio deedah deedoo. You've made an impression on her."
"I- yessir," says Dio.
"If you ever do have to let her down, let her down easy," says Euro. "I think she likes you a lot. I have to go make sure the lighting guys don't burn the place down. See you in a couple hours."
No. 199146 ID: 701a19

"See you then."
Go check on Dahlia~
No. 199148 ID: fdaabb

Dig the tie, Dio.
No. 199155 ID: e3f578

I don't know why but my whole "this guy is going to betray you down the line" sense is tingling. And its not the mob boss thing or imma kill you if you hurt my daughter likliness. It's just... man I dunno you read and watch stuff, Dahlia too. The dialogue you just had their screams "You're a righteous dude and an ally but one day I will betray you feeling."
No. 199156 ID: 2eac65

>"If you ever do have to let her down, let her down easy,"
So if we feel that Dahlia isn't really the right one for us, we can still break off the relationship. That's good to know.
No. 199172 ID: a76809

glamor the tie so it's patterns randomly shift really slowly, see if anyone notices, claim ignorance, trollface while doing so.
No. 199174 ID: 701a19

I'm getting more a vibe of "Do right by her, and I'll do right by you. *brofist*"
No. 199188 ID: e3f578

That's the vibe he wants you to feel.
No. 199305 ID: 6922af

Oh god, he's in Dio's head.
No. 199351 ID: 5a2e05

You don't get this far in "the business" without being damn good at that.
No. 199354 ID: 701a19

Dio, I'm putting my vote in for becoming a master illusionist and taking up Arcane magic as a hobby.
Aside from being the overall best school of magic for you to learn, you would get to spend time with Orpheo and Dahlia.
Orpheo so you can develop your sort of father/son relationship, and Dahlia so that you can see how well you do when you're around each other all the time, and to see how you both really feel about each other.
If you're still together and happy at the end of your training, marry her.
No. 199382 ID: 0d154c

Mingle. See who got there ahead of you.

As for your further education, Taking Illusions to the very limits of your abilities, and developing a threefold mind sounds like the very eye of awesome. Maybe from there you could fiddle with a few of the other arts, just to gain a broader understanding of magic as a whole. And for insane combination spells.
No. 199385 ID: 0d154c

Also, an interesting first choice when branching out might be Enchanting. It just screams 'combo power'.
No. 199388 ID: 8bdb6a

Yeah, but he's still a pro, which means we can trust him to be consistent.

Dio: Look around for other people to talk to. If there's no one, check your messages or something. Don't fill up before the party starts.
No. 199420 ID: 4f6e37
File 127758277694.png - (319.57KB , 800x600 , 121.png )

Dio surveys the hall. Eventually, earlier people start to filter in, including Orpheo (always approximately 34 minutes early for everything he does), who does not take off his helmet. He looks a bit less comfortable in a suit than in his violet illusionist robes.
"Are you going to eat anything?" asks Dio, shaking his hand.
"Perhaps," says Orpheo. "If they bring out pigs in a blanket I believe I will find myself unable to keep from indulging. Ah, I see miss Jai has arrived."
Dio looks over and sees Jai with two viddera he doesn't know, but has to assume by resemblance are her parents. She waves cheerfully at him.
No. 199421 ID: a76809

Go over and say high, obviously.
No. 199424 ID: 0b2a05

Say hi say hi!
No. 199425 ID: c2c011

Go greet them. Meeting the parents of your friends is quite natural, and it usually pays to make a good impression on them.
No. 199427 ID: 398c41

tell them how you couldn't have done your alienation without her, she really saved your bacon.
No. 199430 ID: 701a19

No. 199431 ID: a76809

IF there is an awkward pause anywhere near this line, default to a random babbling about the deliciousness of bacon.
No. 199435 ID: a594b9

Let's not exaggerate too much... although I guess she had a lot of useful information about the realm and came in handy during that first fight. Saying that she 'helped a lot' would be quite accurate.
No. 199447 ID: 8bdb6a

Thank Jai again for her help. Introduce yourself to her folks. Mention your indecision about what field of study to pursue next.
No. 199452 ID: 4f6e37
File 127758597873.png - (358.72KB , 800x600 , 122.png )

Dio goes to greet Jai and her parents.
"What up, Dio?" says Jai.
"'Sup, Jai," says Dio. "Are these your parents?"
"Yeah," says Jai.
"How do you do, I'm Dio. Your daughter saved my bacon on the arcane plane," says Dio, extending his hand. Jai's father, a large, heavily scarred man, takes it in a powerful grip and vigorously shakes it.
"Very good to meet you, it is," he says. "Jai has speak of you much times before."
"This is my dad Sandir and my mom Jarkata. ๓ค๓ค, คгค єเคtค Diometricus. เรtเ๏ ๔ค๓є єเtค คlเєภคtเคt, zค? Sorry, mom only speaks Old Furlesian."
Jarkata, a slender, beautiful vidder, simply bows and flashes a dazzling smile. "๓คץ ץ๏ยг ςђเl๔гєภ'ร Ŧlєรђ ๒є Ŧєгtเlє," she says, in a heavy accent.
"That's a, uh, traditional greeting," says Jai, embarrassed. "It loses a little in translation."

She pulls him off to one side as her parents find a seat. "So hey, has Pyramus showed up yet?"
"No, I don't think so," says Dio. He scans the hall. There's still no sign of Pyramus or Dahlia. People are starting to settle in their seats waiting for the speeches to start. They're running a little late.
No. 199457 ID: c2c011

Thank Jai's mom for the kind words.

Tell Jai that you're assuming they're running a bit late since everyone knows that it's fashionable to arrive a bit late. Text Dahlia anyway and ask her if she's coming.
No. 199463 ID: a594b9

Jai's parents already went off to sit.

Part of me wants to just wait a little longer for Dahl and Pyramus without texting them and looking like a worrywart. Although I guess Jai is worried so we could message Dahlia saying that she wants to know when they're going to arrive.
No. 199464 ID: 716eb0

>"May your children's flesh be fertile?"
No. 199469 ID: 0b2a05

Probably means "may your children have children and have a nice big happy family"
No. 199483 ID: ddff16

>People are starting to settle in their seats waiting for the speeches to start.
Wait, are we giving a speech? What are we planning to say?
No. 199485 ID: 46baaa

Jai is looking pretty good. You should compliment her.
No. 199493 ID: e24759

Or "May you have plenty grandchildren."

Call Dahl and Pyr.
No. 199495 ID: 4f6e37
File 127759231419.png - (165.69KB , 800x600 , 123.png )

Dio isn't saying anything. Everyone else is just going to get up and be boring about how great he is.
"I like the, uh..." says Dio, gesturing at her clothes.
"It's called a кเtzค," says Jai. "It's an ethnic thing."
"Well, nice kitza," says Dio, as Jai cringes at his pronunciation.
"Thanks," says Jai. "Do you think Pyramus'll-" she's drowned out by applause.
Pyramus is here, in a Waani squire's tunic. Dahlia is rushing in behind him, checking the time on her phone. "Are we late?" she asks. "We're late, aren't we."
"Sorry, folks," says Pyramus. "Bit of a mix up with the skiff folks."
"Mix up meaning skiff people are all extortionists," mutters Dahlia, snapping her phone shut. "Tell me we didn't miss anything."
No. 199496 ID: c2c011

Go up and greet Dahlia. Tell her she didn't miss anything important, just some people talking about how awesome ex-emperor Diometricus is. Say that last part with a playful smile so that she knows you're not insuffarably stuck up about your achievements.
No. 199499 ID: a594b9

"No, but I missed you."

Take your helmet off, Dio. Starting to look conspicuous, what with everyone else having theirs off.

Pyramus's eye look pretty neat. What's up with that?
No. 199501 ID: e67080

Walk towards them both, give Pyramus a high five and thanks for things you'll tell him about later. Then fail to resist urge to hug Dehlia despite the number of people probably looking in your direction.

also, as an aside, I like Pyramus' look
No. 199507 ID: bc1727


No. 199529 ID: 8bdb6a

Say hey to Dahlia, then take your helmet off, smile, and say hey again.
No. 199533 ID: 4f6e37
File 127759709096.png - (256.40KB , 800x600 , 124.png )

"Not much," says Dio, removing his helmet and walking over. As he passes Pyramus he holds out his hand, and Pyramus high fives it. "Thanks, Pyramus" he says.
"Ye're welcome, lad," says Pyramus. "Wait, for what?"
"Tell you later," says Dio.
Dahlia gives him a quick hug, leaving the vague scent of lilac behind. "I missed you, Dio," she says.
"Missed you too, Dahl," says Dio. He's about to say more when the crowd starts to chant Speech, Speech, Speech.
They're herded on stage and Jean Luc stands up to deliver the first one. He starts talking about how proud he is, how outrageous zer growth of zese kids has been, and how he is privileged to have been zere to see it and perhaps to contribute to it...
Dio sneaks a look over at Dahlia and Pyramus. He's scratching at a bug bite on his arm. She's watching Jean Luc. She looks over at him and grins, as does Pyramus.
"Pyramus' eye looks cool, huh?" whispers Dio.
"Yeah," says Jai, whose eye is glued to the evoker. "Cool."
No. 199539 ID: a76809

'And all that exercise he made me do paid off-and jeez, it makes me wonder how freaking fit the guy is that he thought that was just beginner stuff. Maybe you've seen some of his matches, has he ever gotten physical? I mean, I only ever saw him in the gym, and he was coaching me at the time, but DAMN, his training was useful in the Arcane plane, dude must be buff as hell under the robes, right?"

Yes, I am trying to have Dio make Jai VERY distracted during the speech.
No. 199541 ID: 8ce2bf

Casually mention that you could bounce a quarter off Pyramus' ass.
No. 199543 ID: a594b9

Let's not get Jai too worked up. If she comes on too hard or seems desperate, Pyramus might get a little spooked, much as he likes her. Also, people are watching.
No. 199544 ID: a76809

>people are watching

why do you think I am suggesting saying this to her now?
No. 199546 ID: 8bdb6a

Stand up straight. Dude's got spikes on his shoulders. That commands some attention.
No. 199548 ID: 4f6e37
File 127759946739.png - (185.74KB , 800x600 , 125.png )

"And there's also the fact that you could bounce a quarter off his ass," whispers Dio.
Jai flicks him on the ear. "No distractions. Speechy time."

Dahlia's master comes up and talks about her unswerving dedication to the art of illusion for a while, then Orpheo goes up to do the same for Dio. His is the last speech, and despite the glowing words he says, Dio's itching to get on with it. Finally, Orpheo says, "And now that I am sure I have kept you waiting well through the feast cooling to room temperature, it is my pleasure to let you and these amazing young people go and enjoy yourselves." He turns back to the four students behind him. "You have certainly earned it."
No. 199552 ID: a76809

parting words to Jai

'Clearly it worked if you're cool with hitting your student in front of a crowd, ha-hah!'
No. 199555 ID: c2c011

Time to go spend some time with Dahlia. Ask her about that lost city she found.
No. 199564 ID: 8bdb6a

Eat some food before it really does cool to room temperature. Catch up with Dahlia. Ask if that one plate she found was destroyed by that Raiders of the Lost Ark boulder trap.
No. 199566 ID: a594b9

...meh, I don't like it. Also, Orpheo is watching right now. No talking during the speech!

Uhhh... try not to cheer too loudly about the speeches being over.
No. 199593 ID: 4f6e37
File 127760663681.png - (209.38KB , 800x600 , 126.png )

"By the way," Jai whispers on their way back. "All you have to do for the Protection charm is just set it down nearby or have her wear it afterward for a half an hour or so and you should be set."
"Don't you need it?" asks Dio.
"Nope," she says. "Made one for myself yesterday. Crossbow, blah blah blah."

"Is 'at really Miss Jai's eye? Is 'at like makeup or something?" Pyramus mutters to him as Jai heads to get them a table.
"I've never seen it not like that, including after a three hour vertical climb encased in an iron helmet," says Dio.
"Wow," says Pyramus.
"Wow?" says Dio.
"It's...ye know... lidded, and such," says Pyramus.

They sit down to eat, and after three courses and a few glasses of wine (just enough to hit that sweet spot where everything looks sharp and bright and simple), they're talking and laughing about their Alienations.
"...And so he's just standing there stunned on a pillar, just aiming his bow off into space, tears rolling off his face," says Dahlia, "and we were sure he's fucked by now, right? And... you tell it, Pyramus."
"And so I say to the lass, thassit, uncloak me, I'm going in, Ark be damned," says Pyramus. "And I just march right up behind the guy, man on a mission, right, and then wham! Suddenly Loper's just whipped round and stuck the mage right in the eye. And I was right behind him, right, so I near jest shit a brick right there."
They laugh, Dahlia's trailing off into a burp. She squeaks and covers her mouth. "That's his fault," she says, pointing at Pyramus. "You got me all unladylike with your fucking whatsitcalled. Aura."
"Guilty as charged," says Pyramus. "Well what about you, Dio?"
"Yeah, how was being a king?" asks Dahlia.
"King, hell," says Pyramus. "What I want to know is how does it feel tae just stare down a big scary ark eyed queen in front of all her subjects and challenger her to a duel? How big a pair do ye need?"
No. 199594 ID: 8ce2bf

Drop your pants and say "THIS BIG"
Or continue with the humble thing I GUESS.
No. 199596 ID: 57dbd6

'it's not the size it's what they are made of, solid steel. hahaha'
No. 199597 ID: e75a2f

Conjure up a 150 lb dumbbell.

Then point at it and say "Those".
No. 199598 ID: 57dbd6

dahlia is RIGHT THERE, being a little crude is fine since he asked but don't go too far with it.
No. 199599 ID: e973f4

Yyyyyeah those are a bit much.
No. 199600 ID: ddff16

Don't do or say anything crude.

Tell Dahlia that being king was more stressful than anything else, since you had to constantly keep everything from falling apart. Still, now that it's over, you feel really goo about what you accomplished and that's probably what's important.
No. 199601 ID: a594b9

"It was the last option I had. Either that, or save my own ass and let the Qal die. Plus I kinda figured she didn't have any formal training so she didn't fully understand her own power. Turned out I was right."
No. 199603 ID: 8bdb6a

"It was just so strange, you know? The evil magic queen and these blurry shadow monsters everywhere and corpses on stakes and stuff. Like being in a movie, or something. So, the hell if I was going to be the only normal thing in the room. It seemed like the best idea, so I went with it. I had to leave my gee-this-is-crazy reflex at the entrance. Still, good thing she didn't talk to me right after I made that climb, though. I'd have just nodded along to whatever she said. 'Yes ma'am stabbin' a bunch of dudes, yes ma'am new dominant species, yes ma'am my execution is at dawn, may I please lie down now, ma'am.'"

Then explain what you were thanking him for.
No. 199604 ID: 0b2a05

Conjure the barbells, laugh, then tell them how much being king actually sucks.
No. 199605 ID: e973f4

I like the way this sounds.
No. 199608 ID: 911d56

"I have to keep 'em in their own pocket dimension to walk around. But seriously, if someone offers to make ya king, I'd reccomend screaming and running away, unless you like dealing with the biggest kindergarten fights you've ever seen, back to back."
No. 199612 ID: e67080

"It was a wild and crazy ride, being attacked at first by a creature I was soon enough going to learn was essentially my apprentice, ally, and by my hand made their leader. I ended up climbing more than I ever expected to in my entire life when I was taken prisoner. I met a Kithik who was wearing underwear on his head, yet could probably have torn me apart. And turned him into my friend and royal guard when I named him Boxer... although he may have been the biggest child of all. Wildflower, the queen was on some levels terrifying, but by then I could hardly think of anything but that I had to do what I was doing right there and then... I had to use knowledge she didn't have, wait for her to overuse abyssal energy to bvackfire, and then make her surrender in a duel that she planned on killing me over....

and yet, despite all that. It was like watching... I dunno, a child grow up? between Aaron and Wildfires love and talents as mages, the Kithik's squabbles over sometimes useless and sometimes real imporant things, and being a king for just a moment. I don't know how to say it... but I think I learned what it was like to feel... humanity? maybe Kithik-manity, heh"
No. 199620 ID: 4f6e37
File 127761034652.png - (177.48KB , 800x600 , 127.png )

"I have to keep 'em in their own pocket dimension to walk around," says Dio. Dahlia snorts in the middle of a gulp of wine and ends up coughing. "Really, though, it was mostly just because it was the last option we had. That, or save my own ass and leave the Qal to die. It was pretty much a wild shot in the dark hoping she wasn't as well trained in the use of her powers. Turns out I was right." He pats the coughing Dahlia on the back. "It was just so strange, you know? The evil magic queen and these blurry shadow monsters everywhere and corpses on stakes and stuff. Like being in a movie, or something. I felt like the best way to fit in was to pull some big damn heroes shit and it seemed like the best idea, so I went with it. I had to leave my gee-this-is-crazy reflex at the entrance. And I mean it's a good thing she didn't talk to me right after I made that climb, though. I'd have just nodded along to whatever she said. 'Yes ma'am stabbin' a bunch of dudes, yes ma'am new dominant species, yes ma'am my execution is at dawn, may I please lie down now, ma'am.' Thanks for that, by the way, Pyramus."
"Eh?" says Pyramus.
"If you hadn't trained me physically I would have fucking died up there," says Dio. "I only made it because of you,"
"And wow, Dio, but you got buff," purrs Dahlia, feeling his arm. "It must have been the extra gravity or something."
The song the DJ was playing ends, the thumping bass ebbing off. He starts up a new one, dimming the lights. The lanterns on the tables flicker on, and soft, low music starts flowing out of the speakers.
"Oh hey," says Dahlia. "'No Other Eyes Upon Us'. That's like my favorite slow song."
"Cool," says Dio, nervous about where this is going to go.
"Come on, Dio," says Dahlia, grabbing him by the arm. "I'm done eating. Are you done eating? Let's dance."
"I, uh..." says Dio as Dahlia leads him to the floor.
He does not know how to slow dance.
No. 199621 ID: 4f6e37
File 127761053165.png - (182.16KB , 800x600 , 128.png )

Jai and Pyramus are left alone at the table.
They laugh nervously. "Young love," says Pyramus.
"Yep," says Jai.
"People're calling them the Double D's," says Pyramus. "That's great. Wonder who came up with that."
"Me too," says Jai.

Ok how does Dio go about doing this he does not want to step on toes oh spirits
No. 199622 ID: ef6305

put one hand in her's the other on her hip and sway while slowing turning, that's all there is to it.
No. 199623 ID: 8bdb6a

Pay very close attention to the position of her body, and move yours to compensate. Remember your sparring match.
No. 199625 ID: 0b2a05

Resist the urge to grab her ass.
No. 199627 ID: e3f578

Dio, its simple... be Jai.
No. 199628 ID: 6834bc

And if you can spare the concentration, glamor up some writing on the table urging Jai and Pyramus to "just kiss already, dammit."

...But only if you can spare it without stepping all over Dahlia.
No. 199629 ID: a594b9

Then let her lead. Tell her to teach you how to dance.
No. 199636 ID: a594b9

I think Dio's constant pushing those two together might get on Jai's nerves.
No. 199640 ID: d47be3

"Be gentle? I'm... uh... not very practiced at dancing." Relax. Mind your feet. Mind HER feet. Mind your combined balance.


Mind that her father is in the room and don't get too grabby. (Save that for the after-party~)
No. 199641 ID: 40cb26

Don't resist the urge to grab her ass. Just be real subtle about it.
No. 199649 ID: 701a19

Ask Dahlia to project an illusion of you not fucking up horribly while you are fucking up horribly.
Let her lead.
No. 199654 ID: a76809

the put it on Jai's forehead, right above the eye, since that's what Pyramus claimed he was looking at, and it's not like she could see it.
No. 199660 ID: 8ce2bf

Just don't grab her ass with both hands, that's going too far.
No. 199669 ID: bc1727

Don't let/make her lead -- just put one hand in hers, and one hand around her waist, not grabbing her ass or anything. Guide her gently and she'll get the idea. It's hardly more complicated than swaying side to side.

That, or do this.

No. 199690 ID: 46baaa

Since I've been hoping you'd pair up with Jai, I shouldn't suggest this, but might as well do things right.

The great thing about slow dancing is that it's slow, so it's easy to be careful. Just do what you've seen other people doing, you'll get over that nervousness quick.

But hey, lets make it magical. Project an illusion around you so it's like your dancing in space with large colorful planets around and stars everywhere. You know, like something out of one of those "nature of the universe" education shows, except in this case it will be romantic instead of educational.
No. 199726 ID: 4f6e37
File 127762470481.png - (205.63KB , 800x600 , 129.png )

Dahlia and Dio just sort of sway with the music for a while, until her hand hesitantly goes up to his shoulder. He takes the opposite one and carefully places his left on her hip. They talk as they sway.
"The sheriff. Loper. He reminded me of you, somehow," says Dahlia. Dio raises his eyebrow. "Not in like how he was a great warrior, though you've got that. And not because he had a killer body, though you're getting there," She squeezes his shoulder, appreciatively. "You both just seems so driven."
"I wouldn't exactly call it that. You just seem, whatthehellstheword, guided, I guess. Like you're going carefully over everything you do before you do it. To make sure it's right." She moves a little closer, and he can smell lilacs again. "I like that."
They start stepping a little, more shuffling, really. Dio's leading and he has to look down every few seconds to make sure he doesn't mash anyone's feet, especially Dahlia's. Give and take. Back and forth. Sparring.
"Checking out the pups?" asks Dahlia, as he glances down again.
"Try the feet," says Dio, hastily shuffling one way to avoid Jean Luc dancing with a frail-looking librarian. "There is one way to make this more awkward, it involves broken toes, and I'd like to avoid it. I'm not very, uh, practiced at this."
"Relax, Dio," laughs Dahlia. "You're making this sound like a calc test. Now I'm getting freaked out, and I'm wearing heels. Just go with the beat, ya Grey boy." She leans in, and says, a little more quietly, "I'm not going to test you or something. That'd just be so, so selfish. You fought your way through a kithik queen and saved an entire plane. I think you've done enough to get to me." Her lips brush his. "If you want me, you've won me," she whispers. "When do you want to get out of here?"
No. 199731 ID: ef6305

would say as others start filtering out would be the best time to just slip away.
No. 199733 ID: 701a19

Wait until the party starts to wind down. If you sneak off early then people will know exactly what you're doing.
No. 199734 ID: 2eac65

>You just seem, whatthehellstheword, guided, I guess. Like you're going carefully over everything you do before you do it. To make sure it's right.
So she's attracted to us. That's quite interesting.

"It's not every day we have a party in our honor. Let's enjoy it while it lasts."
No. 199756 ID: 40cb26

Wait a little while, go off somewhere inconspicuous for mingling or snaking or whatever. Then visit the drinks guy Terry and sneak a bottle and a couple glasses and head out. Or, you know, just make him give them to the local warrior king and mob daughter. Remind him what her father would think of someone snitching on her.
No. 199790 ID: a76809

Yeah, but head out under glamor and set up an illusion of an old couple that aren't mages sitting on the peer holding hands and if you have a way, anchor it so that you don't need to actively maintain it.

All for privacy, but as others have said, the Arkers DO have reason to hate you, and alone, intoxicated, distracted... yeah, not the best place to be in.
No. 199794 ID: 46baaa

Well Dio, if you're ready, might as well go (and make a grand exit). Start up an illusion around your spot of you and Dahlia doing a crazy complicated dance, and then make a quick exit under another illusion. Might want to send a small illusory heads up to certain people that you are leaving.
No. 199821 ID: e3f578

I got scared for a second there that my "Dio is Oren thrown back in time and ungrown" theory had just got more evidence than a missing tooth.

Tell Dahlia she's not something to win, we gotta look out for the both of our feelings and shit.
No. 199825 ID: e75a2f

>I think you've done enough to get to me." Her lips brush his. "If you want me, you've won me," she whispers. "When do you want to get out of here?"

Oh that's raunchy.

That's enough raunch to drizzle over my salad like dressing.

Also why so it so quickly? You got a friggin party going on, for you two. You're supposed to have fun, and then when the party ends, go home and have MORE fun.
No. 199858 ID: 8bdb6a

Just go with the flow. You've been waiting for weeks. You're more interested in making this special than making it quick.
No. 199867 ID: 4f6e37
File 127767130648.png - (254.94KB , 800x600 , 130.png )

"Let's just go with the flow," says Dio. "We've waited for weeks. I think we can afford to wait a couple more hours."
"'Kay," says Dahlia. "Sorry if I sound a little hasty, but last time we were this close your eyes disappeared and you disappeared for a month. I'm paranoid your arms are next or something and you'll have to go save another species from extinction."
"It's fine," says Dio, sliding his foot out of the way of two laughing battlemages who have had a bit much to drink.
"Hey, check it out, it's Bailey," says Dahlia. "Want to go say hi?"
"That'd kind of be awkward right now," says Dio. "He stole Jai's boyfriend."
"Wait, what-" says Dahlia, blinking. "Everett? And him?"
"Yep," says Dio.
"Poor Jai," says Dahlia. "I never really had Everett pinned as...uh, that. Let's see if we can sashay over to one of the waiter guys before Orpheo eats all the tiny hot dogs."

Control has switched to Jai, who is leaning on the drinks table watching the dance. She's focusing intently on her punch. A couple guys have already asked her to join them, but she just said something about how her feet hurt or something.
"Slow dances, huh?" says Pyramus, walking over and making her jump, nearly spilling her punch.
"Yeah," says Jai. "Why aren't you up there, dude? I'd think there'd be no shortage of girls asking."
"Aye, it's the weird poofy pants that get 'em," says Pyramus, stretching them. "Secret Waani Technique, true story. But no, I turned 'em down. I'm just gonna wait for the music to pick up again. I don't really slow dance. It's kind of goofy."
No. 199872 ID: 799545

be subtle, don't just lean over and kiss him. but remember that dio says he was asking about you, so that may mean he is interested.

try "a doorway out of the friendzone just appeared, will you take it?"
No. 199877 ID: e67080

Try an excuse like "it may be goofy, but it is probably our best chance to go sneak up on the double D's..." then drag him down.

I mean come on Jai, you were facing down a group of animal creatures and watched your friend fight for his life. You can drag Pyramus to the dance floor.
No. 199879 ID: a594b9

Tell him you like his eye. Or his muscles. C'mon Jai SAY SOMETHING.

Maybe "Ok, if you want to wait until then for us to dance then that's fine."
No. 199880 ID: e973f4

This is gold. Gotta go for this.
No. 199881 ID: 6834bc

Remember when Dio thanked Pyramus for the physical training that allowed him to make the climb up to the Kithik?
Maybe you can say something like "It's a good thing you trained with Dio. He told me all about it, you know."

If it's ambiguous enough he might try to apologize for the things he said about you to Dio or downplay them or something, then you can act like this is the first time you're hearing about it and really put him on the spot and see if he's brave enough to ask you out.

And if he isn't, maybe you're going to have to be the one who does the asking out.
No. 199883 ID: 19e705

>be subtle, don't just lean over and kiss him.
No. 199890 ID: c2c011

You know sometimes subtletly can just go fuck off. If you don't make your intentions crystal clear to him he might never figure out what's going on.

Just kiss him and whisper that you're tired of this party and you want to head over to a place a bit more interesting and drag him off. Be a bit aggressive for gods sake woman.
No. 199909 ID: 08ef1b

Play it cool. Scooch a little closer and start talking about his recent adventure.
No. 199946 ID: 8ce2bf

Grab his butt with both hands, that's going just far enough.
No. 199962 ID: 8bdb6a

Ask him how he feels about dancing faster.
No. 200037 ID: 4f6e37
File 127768786347.png - (164.12KB , 800x600 , 131.png )

Jai and Pyramus watch them dance for a little longer.
Jai stares at her punch, gulping hard to stifle the feeling caught in her throat, pushing against her chest. Breathe. You can do this. It's just a cute guy, it's not a glowy purple kithik thing. Hooftah.
"Alright, fuck this," she says brightly, looking up at him. "I'm not going to sit here and let the Double D's have all the fun. Come on. Let's dance. We'll sneak up on them."
"What?" asks Pyramus, smiling confusedly.
"Pyramus," says Jai, "A door out of the friendzone has just opened. Will you take it?"
"Okay, Dio, lad," laughs Pyramus. "Very funny. Drop the glamor."
Jai strides up to him and wraps herself around him, pressing her breast against his. "Do I feel like a glamor?" she says.
"I..." says Pyramus, thrown for a loop. "Yes...I mean no, I mean-"
"So let's dance for a bit, and then ditch this boring party for somewhere a little more interesting."
Jai takes a second to steel her resolve then goes in for the kill.
No. 200038 ID: 4f6e37
File 127768787994.png - (169.00KB , 800x600 , 132.png )

She kisses him, deeply, remembering how she kissed Dio and trying to knock it out of the park. He rocks back for a second, and Jai pulls away, suddenly unsure. Was Dio wrong? Is she molesting her arena partner? "I'm sorry," she whispers. "We can stop..."
"Spirits, no," says Pyramus, and she feels muscled arms encircling her and pulling her close.
They stay holding each other and swapping saliva until they remember where exactly they are and stop. They don't take their hands off each other.
"Holy shit," says Pyramus. "Where did that come from?"
No. 200042 ID: 1255d3

"From me"
go in again?
No. 200047 ID: 08ef1b

Way to go, except for the thinking about Dio while kissing Pyramus for the first time.
No. 200048 ID: a594b9

"I've been interested in you, and I heard you've been holding back. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. Plus, I really like your eye."
No. 200072 ID: 40cb26

"Been holding onto it for a while"
Then pull him up and get to dancing already. Don't ask him, tell him, he doesn't get a say in the matter and I doubt he'll mind it.
No. 200103 ID: 8bdb6a

Tell him, things like not wanting to seem too forward just seems so much less important now. You've been wanting to tell him for awhile, and you were growing pretty sure he felt the same way.
No. 200214 ID: c2c011

See, told you being forward has its advantages.

Tell him it came from a few close brushes with mortality during the alienation and you decided to grab hold on the good things in life instead of just waiting around.
No. 200542 ID: 4f6e37
File 127777505876.png - (299.24KB , 800x600 , 133.png )

"I heard you were interested in me, and it just so happens that I'm interested too," says Jai. "And I came a little too close to death a little too many times on the Alienation to not grab this chance when I can. Now come on," She gestures to the dance floor. "Let's dance all goofy-like, and then when we realize we don't slow dance we can go somewhere quiet and get to know each other a little better."
"Does that mean what I think it does?" asks Pyramus. Jai whispers in his ear. "Oh. Okay."

And after a couple of hours, the music starts to die down, and the celebration nears its close. Dio and Dahlia, having forgotten their social anxieties, have been dancing the entire time, and they stumble, laughing, to their seats to take a breather. Dio looks around at the enptying room, and is gratified (and in a tiny part of his brain, jealous) to see Pyramus and Jai leaving hurriedly with each other.
"Some party," says Dahlia. She glances at the table, finds a glass, holds it up. "To usss," she says. "The glorious illusionist Alienation-doers."
"The double d's," says Dio, waving his hand around.
"The double whas?" asks Dahlia. "Oh. Hah. I don't know about that one, Dio."
"Wasn't my idea. My feetses hurt," says Dio, pulling off a shoe and wiggling his toes. She makes a sudden move to tickle them, and he pulls them back.
"Heels," she reminds him, standing up and shaking her foot out. "Well hey, listen. I think I need to re-freshen the hell up after all that, so I'll see you at the beach near the pier, let's say one hour, okay?"
"Okay," says Dio, feeling the anxiety starting up again.
"See you soon," says Dahlia, heading for the exit. She pauses and snaps her fingers. "Mr. Drinks guy. Terry. Is there any fizzy bubbly stuff left?"
"Yes ma'am," says Terry, reaching behind the counter and tossing her a bottle. She catches it with a jangling of her bracelets, smiles at Terry, who raises a hand in acknowledgement, and walks off into the night.
Dio's alone with the stragglers and the hired help and the butterflies in his stomach.
No. 200545 ID: c707bd

imagine a lizard eating your butterflies.
No. 200546 ID: e3f578

Ask your father figure, Orpheo, for love advice. Why? Hell, you're supposed to and maybe we might see a side of the dude we haven't seen before and he could tell a hilarious relating story.
No. 200547 ID: ddff16

>Ask your father figure, Orpheo, for love advice.
Orpheo: "I know it'll seem like a good idea at some point, but conjured condoms are never the answer."
No. 200548 ID: c707bd

what? no. we have that magic anti-pregnancy rock for that.
No. 200549 ID: ddff16

First, Orpheo probably doesn't know that. Second, I was attempting a joke rather than a serious statement.

Anyway. As long as humor is failing me: Dio, you are drunk! You should attempt to sober up as quickly as reasonably possible if you're actually going to attempt this.
No. 200550 ID: a594b9

That's what the amulet is for anyway.

Why would we want to talk to Orpheo about this? Better to just wash up like Dahlia is doing. Maybe do a little sudoku to take your mind off of it.

Also, THINK Dio. Why are you so nervous? Is it just because this is your first time... or is it because you love her and don't want to fuck it up? I'd say the latter. It's been a while since the last time we were with her... but she's still got that dry humor and pleasant personality. She laughs at your jokes.

She's your size, too.
No. 200553 ID: 8ce2bf

Eat some stuff with fructose in it like some fruit to drop your alcohol level faster, and get something non-alcoholic to drink to re-hydrate.
Dahlia probably fucks like a tiger so you should get more than just one towel for the beach.
No. 200558 ID: 40cb26

Start drinking water, and try to sober up enough that you don't pass out before your pants are off. If you can split your mind so that only one half is drunk that would be great. If not maybe your brain-passenger can help you steer your way to home to freshen up.
No. 200577 ID: 4f6e37
File 127778004056.png - (311.26KB , 800x600 , 134.png )

Right. Okay. Dio will find some fruit and some water, and an illusionist certainly has ways of focusing their mind to keep the drink's effects minimal. It's not like it was too much, just a couple glasses.
He starts to go out to his own dorm, maybe take a shower and do some sudoku, when he catches Orpheo out of the corner of his eye, laughing dryly with Jean Luc and some other magi.

He really shouldn't. It would be awkward. Oh, what the hell. Tonight's a night he shouldn't care.

"Orpheo, could I talk to you for a sec?" asks Dio, walking up to the group.
"Of course, Dio," says Orpheo. "One moment, everyone." He grabs a cold mini hotdog from a passing platter and follows Dio over to a secluded spot.
"What did you want to talk to me about?" he asks, popping it into his mouth. "Mmm. What do they lace these with to make them so addictive."
"So, uh," says Dio. "I was going to, uh, after the party, go and um..."
"Yes?" asks Orpheo.
"Be with Dahlia," says Dio. "I was wondering if you had any advice."
Orpheo nearly chokes on his hors d'œuvre. "Oh, spirits," he mutters. "Yes. No. I see. There has been a complete lack of a fatherly figure in your development so far to aid you in matters like this one. I suppose I will step up to the plate. Uh." He takes a deep breath. "Firstly. Use protection. Please."
"Right," says Dio, feeling the charm in his back pocket.
"Secondly," says Orpheo. "If this is your first time then it's doubtless you'll enjoy it, but you will most likely not have enough, ah, staying power for Miss Veltkrick to appreciate the experience quite as much. Illusionists, however, make above average lovers in many situations, since we have ways to," he coughs, "circumvent prematurity. Simple mental numbing of the, ah, area in question should do the trick for longevity, or in a more emergent situation, you could always target yourself with, um, a gentle Nervelock. To the member."
Dio stares. "Oh. Wow."
"Yes," says Orpheo, swallowing. "I am pleased I could be of assistance now let us not mention this conversation again ever."
No. 200579 ID: f21281

This is the first time, for the both of you. Don't be afraid to...y'know...'get to know' each other, if you know what I mean. There's no need to be jumping straight to the meat and potatoes of this.

Chillax, have some fun and explore each other first.
No. 200580 ID: c707bd

thank him and agree to his terms, no need to embarrass the poor man even more. having that talk should of boosted your confidence and made some butterflies go away.
No. 200581 ID: 8ce2bf

One hour of foreplay minimum.
No. 200585 ID: a594b9

"You got it."
No. 200588 ID: e31d52

Bring a timer.
No. 200591 ID: ddff16


On to that shower, then.
No. 200597 ID: 9939f6

Be sure to thank Orpheo for braving this awkwardness for you.
No. 200601 ID: 6922af

Pffft--Hahahaha, ah wow. That was great. Well, at least you know your pursuits of mind over matter will help you out.
No. 200608 ID: 8bdb6a

No. 200612 ID: 5a2e05

What conversation?
No. 200628 ID: 08ef1b

That's right, let us never speak of this again.
No. 200639 ID: e3f578

Aww man did you have to go specific with the guy? It should have been just been the subject of ladies, it would have been less awkward and more hilarious. We could have gotten a good tale outta him of how he handled an embarrassing situation with a woman. Nonetheless the information was useful
No. 200660 ID: 40cb26

I want to say something insightful about that conversation, but I'm just going to laugh at you.


...Oh and uh, get out of here and freshen up and change and stuff. Just be sure to hold onto the pendant, and grab the beret. Because fuck yeah, beret.
No. 200772 ID: 629a0c

Better do one last extra check on that protection of yours, while you're preparing. Can't be too safe!
No. 200776 ID: 7a28df

Is it even possible for the magic to fail?
No. 200777 ID: 629a0c


Well, you never know. Maybe being lugged around through a few magical battles and dimensional portals did something. Best to be absolutely sure.
No. 200809 ID: 4f6e37
File 127783366035.png - (68.63KB , 800x600 , 135.png )

Dio thanks him and excuses himself.
Nervelocking Dio Jr. seems a little...extreme, but the advice Orpheo gave was good.
He heads home and takes a long shower to purge the sweat from his body and the haze from his mind, then grabs his beret (because why not) and his protection charm. He checks it, for no real reason other than nerves. It's warm to the touch, and the purple heart-shaped flaw in the center still dully glows. Good.

He sits and tries to focus. He pulls out a pen and a sudoku book, then just stares at it. He puts it back. He is feeling a confusing mix of hope, humiliation, dread, and excitement. His hands are shaky. Oh spirits, what if his hands get too shaky during sex? Or what if they're way too cold? Or like sweaty or something? No. Positive thoughts.
He heads for the beach. It's a short walk from his dorm. Winter is long gone now after his Alienation and it's a warm spring night. There's a breeze rolling in from the sea, carrying a fresh, aquatic smell.
His shoes crunch into the sand. Tiny grans slip in the cracks and he feels them rubbing against his feet. He looks around, straining his eyes across the strand of sand, receding into the night. There's a blanket near the shore, with a champagne bottle lying in the sand next to it.
Dahlia, however, is nowhere to be seen.
No. 200814 ID: f21281

Yellow Alert, Dio. Trap-senses are tingling.
No. 200815 ID: 701a19

Go lay down on the towel and wait for her; she might be hiding herself.
No. 200818 ID: 1ddc7b

check for any magic at work and then you can panic. but stay cool until then.
No. 200819 ID: 7a28df

Maybe she got kidnapped :I
No. 200820 ID: a594b9

Look at the sand for footprints. I think Dahlia's just planning on having some invisible fun.
No. 200823 ID: 903d5d

Yeah either Dahlia is playing an illusion trick on you or she's been kidnapped again. Either way leave a greater glamor of yourself standing a bit back as a decoy and approach the blanket to check it for hidden Dahlias.
No. 200824 ID: 1ddc7b

no wait, do that thing where you look like you are a few feet away from where you really are.
No. 200830 ID: 4f6e37
File 127783587284.png - (167.06KB , 800x600 , 136.png )

Dio keeps a decoy back and heads over to the blanket, keeping a look out for footprints.
Suddenly his beret is flicked by invisible fingers. He reaches up instinctively for it and someone pinches his ass. "Dahlia?" he says, wheeling around to see fresh footprints in the sand. There's a giggle from behind him.
No. 200834 ID: 34470e

Paralyze whoever did that. It's an ark agent in disguize. Prepare torture technique: Tickle Torture.
No. 200835 ID: 1ddc7b

little cheat, using the one thing we can't do. play around a little to ease tension, and the somehow trip and fall so one of you is on top of the other.
No. 200836 ID: 701a19

Reach out and wrap your arms around the spot above the freshest footprints, then say "You have to teach me that, love~"
No. 200839 ID: e3f578

You look cool out of those robes. More grown up. OR maybe its the fact that nobody taller is nearby.
No. 200841 ID: 1255d3

Continue to act as if there's nobody there. You know.
"Hmm... where could she be..." and stuff like that.
No. 200846 ID: a594b9

I wouldn't try anything serious; you guys don't have any protective gear so you can't treat this like an arena battle.

Try a Blind+Lesser Glamor on yourself to see if that's invisibility.
No. 200852 ID: 4f6e37
File 12778380649.png - (56.78KB , 800x600 , 137.png )

"You are going to have to show me how to do that," says Dio, trying to put his arms around where the footprints end but ending up flailing around at air.
"What, and profess knowledge the great Emperor Diometricus lacks?" says Dahlia's voice nearby, playfully. He catches the smell of lilacs again, lingering on the sea breeze. "What could a humble mage teach you?"
"Is it... Greater Glamor and blindness?" asks Dio.
"Try it," says Dahlia's voice.
Blindness + Greater Glamor (targeted self) = Darkness
A cloud of blackness emerges from Dio's mind and hangs around him, obscuring his view.
"Okay, so that didn't really work," says Dio.
"Nope," says Dahlia's voice right next to his ear. He feels his beret being lifted off his head.
No. 200853 ID: a594b9

Sheesh. Maybe it's just a simple Greater Glamor. We've been using Lesser Glamor for cloaks so far, perhaps a Greater works better.
No. 200854 ID: 1ddc7b

lightning quick snatch her hand, spin around and kiss.
No. 200855 ID: 701a19

Try targeting 'not yourself'
No. 200872 ID: 270c9d

but don't take it to seriously. she is probably trying to help with the tension.
No. 200874 ID: 716eb0

yeah, you need to joke around a bit. Relieve the tension. Getting all worried about what is coming will only make it less enjoyable. Muck about, remember why you like her, let it happen.
No. 200894 ID: 4f6e37
File 127784776781.png - (100.77KB , 800x600 , 138.png )

Dio grabs for Dahlia's hand, but it's already gone, as is his beret. He's discombobulated from the darkness, so when a little push comes from directly in front of him, he falls flat on his ass. The sand cushions it quite comfortably.
Dio dispells the darkness and starts to get up, when something soft but forceful pins him to the ground.
Dio looks up and sees his beret perched jauntily in midair.
"Gotcha, Dio," says Dahlia.
No. 200898 ID: 34470e

"How do I know you're not an arker in disguise?"
When she's distracted, push her off of you and tackle her, then say "Got you." and smile.
No. 200905 ID: 8ce2bf

You might want to start mentally numbing Dio Jr.
No. 200906 ID: a594b9

"And I've got you."
Grope that butt.
No. 200925 ID: 40cb26

This, but instead say "The feeling is... mutual."
No. 200928 ID: b93050

>"How do I know you're not an arker in disguise?"

I'm not sure foreplay is the best time to bring that up, even in jest.
No. 200946 ID: 00160c

i'm pretty sure the only time to bring it up is super serious time.
No. 200948 ID: 4f6e37
File 127785545338.png - (173.16KB , 800x600 , 139.png )

Dio reaches for an invisible rump, and squeezes. Dahlia yelps with surprise, and he takes the opportunity to push her off of him. He pins her in turn grabbing what he thinks are arms. "And I've got you," he says.
She laughs, uncloaking. "Not a fair damn contest," she says. She looks up at him, grinning. "What, you were expecting naked Dahlia?"
"I was sort of hoping for it," he admits.
"All in good time," says Dahlia, sitting up and sticking the beret back on his head. "There. But you're crazy if you think you're wearing that during the act. Help me up for a sec."
No. 200949 ID: 8ce2bf

Insist that the hat stays on.
No. 200968 ID: a594b9

Okay, help the lady up. Be a gentleman.
No. 200973 ID: d6cb21

Go on and help her up.
No. 201003 ID: 00160c

sure, help her up.
No. 201009 ID: 4f6e37
File 127785998651.png - (16.74KB , 800x600 , 140.png )

"Beret stays on," says Dio as he helps Dahlia up. She walks over to the champagne, summoning two glasses as she goes.
"If you wear that hat during it I am going to summon a gorilla mask and wear it while you bang me," she says.
"Fine," he says as she sits down next to him, watching the waves roll in from the sea.
"Booze?" she asks.
"Don't mind if I do," says Dio.
They clink glasses and drink.
For a minute or two, they're quiet as they look out on the water. Eventually Dahlia turns and looks at him, the wind picking up the corners of her dress.
"So do you think we need to finish this bottle off," she says, swishing it around, "or are you ready to get started?"
No. 201014 ID: 00160c

"i don't think i could ever be 'ready' but i'm as close as i'm gonna get"
No. 201015 ID: a594b9

Answer that question by kissing her.
No. 201017 ID: 716eb0

Answer the question by saying "Theres no rush is there?" and THEN kissing her. And then? the heavy petting!
No. 201033 ID: 40cb26

"I'm done waiting, but I'm not in any rush..."

First off, please the lady and take off the beret. And then you start making out and feeling up and tasting everything and going really nice and slow like. If she ain't ten kinds of excited before anything comes off then you're doing it wrong.
No. 201095 ID: 3b13ac

No need to rush. There's some talking to do first. Talk a little of feelings, segue into how you feel about her. Turn the conversation to more steamy areas to warm yourselves up mentally.

This is special. Build up a bit. First mentally, then physically, again starting slow. Explore.
No. 201106 ID: 4f6e37
File 12778671067.png - (16.54KB , 800x600 , 141.png )

"I wouldn't say I'm ever going to be ready," says Dio, pulling his dress shirt off and tossing the charm to the ground nearby where it can work its effects. He kisses her lightly. "But I'm done waiting."
"Well then, Dio," says Dahlia, crawling closer to him and flicking the beret off his head. "We both got through the Alienation, which apparently means that you are now a man and I am now a woman." She wraps her powerful arms around him and pulls them closer together. "Let's find out what that means together," she breathes in his ear.
They hold each other close, eyes closed, mouths locked. She suddenly pulls away after a moment. "It has to be perfect," she says.
"Perfect," murmurs Dio.
"Candles. Don't we need candles?" asks Dahlia. Dio waves his hand and there are candles stuck in the sand around them. She nods her approval and leans back into him, reoccupying her lips.
No. 201108 ID: 4f6e37
File 127786717818.png - (173.76KB , 800x600 , 142.png )

Hesitantly, at first, their mouths break away, and their hands feel their way along new territory. He's almost afraid to touch her, at first, but she takes the initiative, wriggling up into his lap and wrapping her legs around him. "It's okay," she whispers. "You won't break me." He slips his hands along her curves (his hands are trembling. He knew they'd tremble), running along her small breasts, the graceful S curve of her spine, her ample thighs. She runs her fingers along his chest, rubs up against his crotch, and exhales sharply with approval at what she finds there. "Is that your tell from the arena again or are you just having a good time?" she grins.
He kisses her neck in response, his nose filling with the floral scent of lilac, and feels her shifting on top of him, fumbling with the clasp of his belt with fingers clumsy from adrenaline and trembling with anxiety. "Here," he mutters, and moves to help her with one hand while the other moves to her rump, pulling her dress up to reveal black silk panties standing out against smooth, pale roundness.
He has read a hundred books on how to kill someone with his mind and not one on this. He knows what makes him feel good. What about her?
No. 201125 ID: 8ce2bf

Ask her what makes her feel good. Good communication is key!
No. 201128 ID: 00160c

gentle but firm. start outside her panties and just rub slowly. and, if you can manage it, put your other hand on her breast and give it a fir but not hard squeeze and some rubbing too..
No. 201129 ID: 0b2a05

"I don't know what comes next"

"But I'm willing to guess anyway"

Roll backwards maybe?
No. 201132 ID: c4c2d3

stick it in her pooper
No. 201134 ID: e67080

tis a truth, although its no so effective with two people who lack experience and are nervous of course.

which is why you combine experimentation with communication. A book may say things, but only the individual truly knows what they like when they like it... the glory of pragmatism Dio.
No. 201138 ID: f21281
File 127786863885.png - (38.56KB , 393x927 , EroZone.png )

No. 201142 ID: 8ce2bf

When she's not paying close attention slip the beret back on.
No. 201145 ID: a594b9

Only if you want her to actually wear that gorilla mask.
No. 201165 ID: 4f6e37
File 12778697707.png - (203.29KB , 800x600 , 143.png )

"I don't really know what I'm doing, here," mumbles Dio, sitting back a little and letting her unfold her legs from around him.
"Neither do I," says Dahlia, rubbing up against him with her hips. She hesitantly starts stroking him with one hand. "How hard can it be?" She laughs a little. "Ha. Get it? How hard can it be."
His hand still trembling (this is it, he thinks. Pretty much the furthest you can go with someone. Home plate.) he unzips her dress, watches it fall away. He reaches up to her chest and rests one hand there, feeling the softness. His hand moves along her bare thigh and starts rubbing the space between her hips, feels something warm and soft waiting for him there. She lets out a little gasp and grinds her hips encouragingly against him.
Oh crap, his leg's falling asleep.
No. 201170 ID: f21281

Roll her over so you're pinning her underneath you. This will get you into a different position which is more comfortable and non-leg-sleepy, and also put you in the prime position to use some oral skills all over her body.
No. 201180 ID: a594b9

Then might I suggest you switch positions? Lie down instead of sitting up.
No. 201181 ID: 0b2a05

Roll forwards, don't bump into anything.
No. 201185 ID: 8ce2bf

Stroke along her tanlines, then slip off her panties. Then slip off your own panties.
No. 201194 ID: 4f6e37
File 12778706083.png - (163.29KB , 800x600 , 144.png )

Communication is key. Right. "My leg's sort of falling asleep," reports Dio, as Dahlia moves her hips back and forth on top of him. "Could we-"
"Yeah," she says, getting up a little and sitting back, raising her legs up, letting him roll forward. She pulls him down with her, letting him take command, squeezing the muscles on his back. She reaches down and peels her panties down, revealing herself fully to Dio's fingers. She starts for the tights. "Could you leave them on?" asks Dio.
"Yeah," she says, and goes to help Dio's left hand which is battling unsuccessfully with the clasps on her bra. "I'll get it," she breathes, her voice strained. "Keep going down there with your haaand, Dio, that feels so nice-"
He wriggles out of his pants, focuses on the girl in front of him. She's moist now, and making little gasps with every movement his fingers make.
Little man in the boat? What-
oh. Aha.
No. 201203 ID: 9c96eb

rolled 17 = 17

No. 201204 ID: 8ce2bf

Take a trip downtown and pick up some deep dish pizza dawg.
No. 201206 ID: e67080

As she said, keep going with your hand.

Of course, feel free to use more than your hand. Touches, kisses, or even the use of rubbing ones body on another are fine in such things. Exploring is after all part of the fun. And be sure to make a mental note when something gets the right response for the future.
No. 201209 ID: 00160c

indeed, remember you have two hands, and your mouth.
No. 201213 ID: 4f6e37
File 12778718568.png - (116.69KB , 800x600 , 145.png )

Dio and Dahlia spend a few more minutes figuring out what works and what doesn't, and where to put their fingers and tongues to make each other feel good.
Eventually Dahlia backs away and looks up at him.
"Okay," she says. "That was...wow."
"Wow? Good wow?"
"Yeah," she says. "I think I'm ready to move on to the, uh, main event."
No. 201217 ID: 98d166

rolled 7 = 7

The suspense!
No. 201218 ID: 0b2a05

Give her a kiss first.
No. 201219 ID: a594b9


Actually, be slow about it. Remember, the first time can be painful.
No. 201222 ID: 1255d3

Premature ejaculation. You know it's gonna come...
Get it? GET IT?!

Anyway: get on with it.
No. 201223 ID: 00160c

slow and steady. remember what orpheo told you, numb it a little so you don't go too fast.
No. 201227 ID: 4f6e37
File 127787298549.png - (82.45KB , 800x600 , 146.png )

Remember what Orpheo told you. Oh spirits, why did you ask Orpheo that? No. Okay. Focus.

Dahla wraps her legs around him again and rocks forward. He starts to
"Ow. Ow. Owowowowowow dio ow wait stop no ow" says Dahlia.
Oh fuck abort abort
Dio cancels immediately and pulls back. The glamors snap out of existence as his mind becomes too agitated to keep them active. "What is it?" he asks.
"That hurts like a bitch," says Dahlia. "Like really really hurts."
"I don't know, what can we do?" asks Dio.
"I don't know either," says Dahlia. "Can I maybe go on top and control the pace? Or something?"
No. 201229 ID: e3f578

"Sure, Dahl."
No. 201230 ID: b7a042

rolled 12 = 12

Women sure go on top a lot in Brom's quests!
No. 201231 ID: 701a19

Also? She's a virgin, so there might be a barrier in the way. One that is meant to be destroyed.
No. 201232 ID: 00160c

hmmm.... suggest to her nerve-locking her pain receptors. or if it hurts that bad then you need to do it like pulling off a bandage quickly. will hurt but then after a moment the pain will fade.
No. 201233 ID: 6cf050

Quick summon some lube!
No. 201234 ID: a594b9

Yeah. Calm down. Put the candles back up. Go back to foreplay for a little while before trying again, so you get back into the mood.

(also stop rolling guys jeez)
No. 201235 ID: 8ce2bf

Go back to the foreplay for another solid hour. Be gentle.
No. 201238 ID: 1255d3

if she be a virgin, there be a membrane that is very likely to break.

Also, this is why you bring lube.
You're gonna have to foreplay iher till she's wet enough. And then consider nervelock in case of too much pain.
Then again, 90% of sex is mental or something...
Learn what she wants, during the more foreplay.
No. 201246 ID: 40cb26

Well it isn't like she's dry so that ain't the problem. There's just a point where it's gonna hurt, you'll need to get all the way in and then just let it rest for a bit. She could use a nervelock to dull the pain, but that will dull it all... a few moments might work, just suggest it.

Let her get on top and control that little episode, then she can rest a bit on you until she feels better. You will of course use all means necessary to make her comfortable.
No. 201254 ID: 4f6e37
File 127787578535.png - (125.72KB , 800x600 , 147.png )

((If you don't like it, you can hide and move on to a different quest where some good old fashioned murder is going on. That said, I did sort of use your rolls to see how well he did :V))

"Sure, Dahl," says Dio, lying down.
"Thanks," says Dahlia, wiping her eye and clambering on top of him. They go through a bit more foreplay in that position to try to make sure it's as smooth as possible, then she positions herself over him and slides him slowly in, burying her head in his shoulder as she does so, letting out her lungs in a long hiss of exertion right into his ear. A warmth spreads from the point of contact up Dio's spine and branching out through his body. She feels tight and warm and wet and Dio clings to her like a newborn, feeling the perspiration slick on her body. She eventually takes him all in and just lies there on top of him, panting heavily, holding him in a vise-like grip that sort of restricts air flow a bit. "Ow. Ow. Okay. Spirits, that hurt."
"Are you okay? Do you not want to keep going?" whispers Dio.
"No, I'm fine," mumbles Dahlia. "I think we got over the hump." She laughs through her tears. "Ha. Get it? Over the... you know."
She starts moving up and down on top of him, her teeth biting down on his shoulder (ow. That kind of hurts), letting out a keening whine as they make slow love. Her squeaks of pain eventually turn into moans of arousal as they pick up the pace, Dio guiding her along and pulling her even closer, gasping with this new feeling.
No. 201255 ID: 4f6e37
File 127787579984.png - (119.96KB , 800x600 , 148.png )

Dahlia grows in energy as the pain is dulled and replaced by pleasure. She sits up, starts rolling her hips and grinding against him. It's all he can do to numb himself so he doesn't finish early. He'll keep the nervelock in his pocket, for now, he thinks.
She is not a quiet partner, Dio finds out fairly quickly, subscribing more to the Kithik school of lovemaking. She whispers his name into his ear, she moans encouragement lets out a gasp with each thrust, eventually evolving into a yelp whenever she bounces up and down on him. He's almost terrified they'll get caught, but frankly he's enjoying it as much as she is.

He doesn't know how to describe the feeling, beyond a sense of the ecstasy of belonging, of trying to get even closer to her than he already is (which is not strictly possible), so he won't try.

It's good.
No. 201257 ID: 4f6e37
File 127787589410.png - (2.32KB , 800x600 , 149.png )

And then Dahlia seizes up and takes a deep breath and starts to howl and Dio lets the Numb go and it happens.

A blankness.

A bastion. A respite from thought the illusionist has never felt in his life.
No. 201258 ID: 4f6e37
File 127787611547.png - (9.00KB , 800x600 , 150.png )

And then existence fades back in, one chunk at a time, and he finds himself lying in Dahlia's arms, their hearts hammering against each other.

"Well," she pants, stroking his chest, "that's that."
"That is," says Dio, running his fingers up her spine, "that."

And it is.
No. 201261 ID: 9ab0a4

rolled 20 = 20

Nothing to see here
No. 201262 ID: 701a19

"We need to make this a regular thing, love. 'cause... wow."
No. 201264 ID: 4f6e37

No. 201265 ID: 8ce2bf

No. 201266 ID: 34470e

No. 201267 ID: 40cb26


Now switch to how Jai's night went, maybe?
No. 201280 ID: a594b9

Would this be a good time to tell her you love her?
No. 201291 ID: 4f6e37
File 127787805174.png - (13.76KB , 800x600 , 151.png )

((I don't know who you are? But thank you. Thank you so much.))

"We need to make this a regular thing," says Dio, as Dahlia rolls off of him.
"No argument here," says Dahlia, raising her head up and looking idly for her underwear. "That was amazing. That was like a, a, a natural twenty or something."
Dio looks at her with his eyebrow raised. "Nerd."
"Well, I did say or something," laughs Dahlia, idly stroking his ears.
"So. Cuddle for a while, then round two?" asks Dio.
"Maybe this time I'll use invisibility on you," says Dahlia. "That always works in the Arenas."
"And miss out on seeing your amazing behind? No thank you."
"It'd serve you right for squeezing my ass earlier..."
"What? We just made love."
"Yeah, but I had you pinned..."
No. 201292 ID: 4f6e37
File 127787807661.png - (159.37KB , 800x600 , 152.png )

And high up above in another tower, in Jai's dorm room, another couple is just finishing up.
"Holy balls," says Pyramus as he flops back down on the bed. "I knew yer flexibility was an advantage in the arena, but... Holy balls."
"So I take it that was good for you too?" asks Jai, scooting over to lie down next to him.
"Are ye kiddin'? The gel I've lusted after for around six years now just walks up to me at a party, and says, 'hey Pyramus, want to fuck each other'? Oh, and she's beautiful under her helmet and fucks like a tiger. I'm still not entirely convinced I haven't died and this is the heavenly side of the Spiritual Gradient."
"Well if I'd known how you felt, and a little more about Waani, uh, gifts, it would have been sooner," says Jai.
"Ye're forgiven," says Pyramus. "Spirits. I feel like I jest found out unicorns are real. And they let you do them."
"Maybe a bad analogy," says Jai.
"Well, I'm sticking to it." He moves closer and puts one well-muscled arm around Jai. "Ye're beautiful, Miss Vostra. Will ye be my girlfriend?"
"Well, let me think," says Jai. "I mean I did just have your dick inside me for like half an hour there. So I think yeah."
"I'm not dreamin', right?" says Pyramus. He reaches out and squeezes Jai's right breast. "No. Obviously not."
"Obviously," says Jai, grinning.
No. 201293 ID: 4f6e37
File 127787810579.png - (107.88KB , 800x600 , 153.png )

"Right," says Pyramus, getting up and stretching. "Again?"
"No doubt," says Jai. "I'm not through with you yet."
"I'm gonna toss on some pants and grab a bite before we go again. You want me to get ye something?"
"No," says Jai, watching the muscles in his back work as he stretches his arms out. "I think I've got everything I need."

She looks out of her window into the night. There's a cool sea breeze rolling in from the Amaranthine, taking with it the smell of the ocean. It's warm, unseasonably, and Jai stands at the window for a while, looking out across the deep purple horizon. Somewhere under similar skies, her friend and old object of desire (and yet he seems so young and inexperienced now, compared to Pyramus) is gasping and sighing his way through his first time. She thinks of them, down there, and of the Qal psychiatrist and her boys, and of the stweard of the kithik and his former Queen. She hopes they're all happy. Then, humming tunelessly to herself, she turns back to the bed and to her waiting lover.
No. 201372 ID: c2c011

Told you being forward would get you further. Some guys simply aren't that good with reading subtle signals.
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