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101657 No. 101657 ID: ea2bfa

Hey! Believe it or not, I do a ton of writing as a hobby. And even though I've already got short stories set in this universe, I want to write some specifically for these quests. So here's where I'm gonna do it! Hope you folks enjoy it.
No. 101658 ID: ea2bfa

He had no idea how long he'd been here, if he was being honest with himself. Years, probably. But it was always hard to tell the time, in The Wild Place. And even harder to tell the time in a place like this, where the time of day only changed if it made thematic sense.

He couldn't put a number to the times he'd fallen asleep in blistering sunlight, only to awaken in the cold of night. Even with all the knowledge bestowed upon him by his task, he couldn't do that. But it must be done.

He knew so much now, so much more than when he'd began. One history book had turned into thousands of tomes, some of their pages scattered to the winds but inevitably recollected in his grim task...

He wasn't doing this for himself. No, he didn't suppose he had the sort of free will to do something like this for himself. No, he did it for Her, to show Her how much he truly loved her. She had given him life. The books had told him that much.

Each one whispered its secrets as he consumed the pages, each letter a new scale, each sentence a new piece of knowledge. He wondered if there was some limit to the knowledge his mind could contain. Was he truly up to the task? Would he devour and devour until, one day, he just stopped?

There was no time for thoughts like that. None at all. Do it for Her, he told himself. Do it for Her love. She trusted you with this task, to reorganize the knowledge She had collected over her eons of existence. Above all of Her most devoted servants, She had chosen you, the newborn serpent, to do Her work.

You were never prouder than that moment, when She chose you. You hid it just beneath the surface, playing the nervous child who didn't quite know if he could do it, but beneath that you were practically singing your joys, that She had picked you. You were going to make Her proud. Because even if you'd been held to some other's chest as you grew, you knew that She was the one who had created you, who had breathed life into the thoughts that gave you form.

You swallow another mouthful of ancient paper. An ancient research paper on the origins of Chimeras, some pseudoscientific babble more interested in portraying the uplifted animals as some sort of savage species than any real scientific work. But it provides you knowledge nonetheless. Maybe not about Chimeras, but about the prejudices common to the time, and how they were justified by those less enlightened.

You grab another book and crush it beneath your fangs with a crunch of the leather-bound cover and the crackle of tearing paper. A cookbook. You have no idea what it's doing here, but the knowledge of how to prepare the perfect Tiramisu floods your head nonetheless, a recipe that would make even the gods weep if they didn't know what was in it...

Perhaps, even if they did know what was in it... This book certainly suggests some interesting replacements for oil and eggs, after all...

You wonder just who wrote this so called "R'ylean Baking Guide", but then quash those thoughts. No need to think, just keep working. You slither through this cleared room, long-hidden carpet parting beneath you. Just a few more rooms left. A few more decades or even centuries of work. Then you'll prove yourself to Her, earn Her undying love as one of Her most faithful...

You enter the next room, and all is dark. You try to traverse by scent alone, but all you have is that neverending potpourri of ink and parchment...

And then, something else crosses your senses. Something long-familiar.

"My darling child..." The voice says. It's Her. "You have done well for me. Your service is appreciated, and the knowledge you have recovered shall be vital for us. The rooms ahead of you, though..." She pauses, apparently searching for the right words.

"I can do this!" You tell her, your voice enthusiastic, still tinged with that bit of childish innocence the untold number of tomes you've devoured just can't quash.

"I know you can, my child..." She tells you, reaching up to caress your face. "But... are you sure you want to? This knowledge is... perhaps, best left unknown. I will not stop you my child..." She says. "But if you stop here, I will be proud of you. Perhaps even more so... There are some boxes, child, that cannot be closed when you open them... no matter how much you may want to..."

You consider stopping. She wouldn't be telling you these things if she didn't want to... right? There has to be a grain of truth, or She wouldn't be saying it!

But... you think back, to the strength demonstrated by those above you. Her servants must be the best of the best, after all...

And if you cannot be the best through raw, physical talents... what else is there but the collection of knowledge?

"My Queen..." You tell her, doing your best to make your huge, serpentine form bow before her. "I appreciate your concern... But I feel I must do this. It's necessary to properly collect Your knowledge into its full potential..."

She nods once, sadly. "I understand, my child..." She pats you on the side, and begins slowly fading from view. "Good luck... And please, no matter what, remember your vows to me..."

When she disappears, you take a moment to steady yourself. The pages in this room are innumerable, vaster than even the largest of The Queen's library. But you're ready for this.

Taking a deep breath, you begin your grim task...
No. 101662 ID: ea2bfa

You close your eyes, and place your fingers on the keys. You take a deep breath, and you begin to play. The therapist had told you that, perhaps, involving yourself with an instrument might help some of your stress. The focus required in playing properly may chase away some of those "bad thoughts".

You get into the music, the notes flowing through you... and then a finger slips, and the entire thing is thrown off. You cringe slightly at the sour note, and you pause, reconsidering the sheet music in front of you.

Lower than dirt, you'd been told. Spawned of us at our very worst, connivers and fiends, one and all... and yet the ones you'd met hadn't seemed too bad, like regular joes trying to...

Nope, you tell yourself, not dealing with that. You begin the song again, getting further in this time. You relax, closing your eyes and letting your fingers move practically on their own. He gave you this particular book of sheet music, said it wasn't anything you'd find in The Normal World or Heaven...

Your fingers slip again, another sour note ringing through the room. You curse, and prepare for another attempt...

Why would they tell you these things? There had to be truth to them, right? But then, why didn't he adhere to the stereotypes? He'd just seemed like he'd wanted to get to know you. He'd seemed like a good friend, even if he was a-

You shove those thoughts aside and begin playing again. You get through the entire song this time. You can't even remember the name of the song as you flip to a new one, some pun involving mushrooms and bells. Whatever, that was the sort of dumb musical humor he loved the hell out of. This song looks promising enough. You splay your fingers out, playing a few tentative notes just to regain your bearings, and then begin again.

This time, you barely make it through the beginning of the melody before your fingers slip again.

The Judge wouldn't lie to you, right? I mean, she had heard it from The Judge, which means you were pretty much hearing it from The Judge. And... she doesn't lie, right? Lying isn't Lawful, lying isn't Justice...

But... maybe she doesn't know she's lying? Maybe she's been told a lie, and she's now championing it as the truth?

Maybe... maybe they're wrong...

You know you can't ever share your thoughts with anyone else. They'd string you up. They'd take your divinity. They'd do all sorts of terrible things if they thought you were sympathizing with Them...

But if they're willing to show so much hatred to those who've done nothing to really deserve it... then do you really need them? You ponder this, your fingers dancing across the keys without even considering it. Do you need them? Do they need you?

Maybe... maybe you just need a bit of time apart. Just to see what it's like. A lot of good relationships work that way, though you suppose that a God seceding from all the other Gods isn't exactly a "relationship"...

Silently, you consider to yourself the best way to leave without rousing suspicion... this is going to take a lot of focus...

For the rest of the night, you don't miss a single note as you play.
No. 101701 ID: ea2bfa

Tick... Tick... Tick... Tick...

The grandfather clock off to the side is somehow ringing throughout the entire throne room. The Handmaid stands rigid, her hands folded in front of her skirt. She shifts ever so slightly, attempting to get around the discomfort of the ribbons binding her skin, and the Queen raises her finger, ever so slightly.

The Handmaid stops moving.

Tick... Tick... Tick...

Hours pass, and still The Handmaid stands. She attempts to keep herself content, though, even as she stands like a statue, even as The Queen sits on her throne, hand pressed to the side of her face, deep in contemplation.

The Queen has never moved from the throne. At least, not that The Handmaid has observed. She's heard rumors, from The Gardener, that sometimes she may stand, and take a walk around the grounds of the Palace...

But those are just rumors from a Monster that spends half of his day inebriated. Nothing to take too seriously, she reassures herself. Surely, the Queen would let her Confidante know if she rose from her Throne, wouldn't she?

...wouldn't she?

Only one thing allows her to keep her sanity, as she stands and waits for Her Queen's orders, orders that haven't come for ages. Today, she has been given permission to take a few hours leave from her position.

She has no idea when that time will come. The only hint she's truly been given is "today".

Another hour passes. And then another. And another, and another, and just when The Handmaid feels fit to begin shaking with anticipation and anger, The Queen speaks.

"My child. You are dismissed, for the time being. Return in three hours time, if you'd please."

That isn't an order. It never has been, when she's been able to leave. But the Handmaid is loyal, almost to a fault. She would never abuse The Queen's trust. Never.

She thanks her Queen, stepping out of the room with legs stiffened by days and weeks and months of her duties. She thanks whoever's listening that Monstrous biology disregards things that would surely cripple other humans.

The Handmaid considers visiting her Sisters. Surely the Wetnurse and the Oracle would be glad to see her... But no, she has only one thing in mind, to ease the stiffness in her joints and the aches of her muscles. She heads for the Armory.

One dummy in particular awaits her, as it has since the first day she entered this room and took out her rages upon it. The walls and ground and even the ceiling around it are covered in deep gashes, and the dummy itself shows obvious signs of having to be repaired again and again.

She pulls a single ribbon from the dozens covering her torso, and the rest fly off in a flash of light. When it fades, a blouse covers her form, and the ribbons have taken on the shape of a chainsaw bigger than she is.

A Proper Handmaid is refined. She is quiet. She stands still and attends her Queen's every whim.

She supposes that the weapon she wields is not one that a Proper Handmaid would wield, she reflects, revving the ribbon-weaved weapon to its full power. The armory fills with the sound of a roaring engine and buzzing steel.

Somewhere in the distance, she can feel eyes upon her. The Armorer and The Smith and whoever's enlisting their services this time. Probably Babel too, the voyeur, using some magic or another to peep in on her particular brand of stress relief.

She sets to work with almost malicious glee, swinging the oversized weapon like it weighs as much as the ribbons that form it, diamond-sharp teeth clawing through stone and cloth and wood, rending everything that gets in her path.

At some point, she realizes, she's begun laughing. Stress melts away as she swings at the dummy, rending it to pieces with a smile of glee upon her face. She has no idea how long it goes on for, but when she comes down from the high of battle, her outfit soaked through with sweat and her eyes twitching from the adrenaline, she realizes the three hours are almost up.

She focuses, and the dummy reassembles itself. A spitting image of her jailor, the King who had long ago suggested the role of a Handmaid for his Queen.

She silently adjusts the crown on her dummy of Death Himself. She wonders if, some day, she might get a crack at the real thing. Then, she shakes her head. No sense in going too crazy.

She smiles, letting the ribbons disassemble themselves and cover her form again. And with that smile still covering her face, she steps back into the throne room. She bows before the Queen, and then takes her position beside the throne.

She may not be a Proper Handmaid. She may never be one, in fact. But for all her rage, she loves her Queen. And to serve her brings her a sort of contentment that even tearing Death to shreds wouldn't be able to bring.

...maybe she is a Proper Handmaid, after all?
No. 101753 ID: ea2bfa

The Judge wasn't entirely sure what had possessed her to do this. In fact, she wasn't sure at all. She'd heard rumors, though, of other dimensions separate from this one. Ones where everything worked differently and such.

She knew the opinions of SOME others who knew of such things. But then, Death Of The Author was also a paranoid crackpot too focused on "Freeing the sheep from slavery" to really focus on anything for too long.

And so, after a few long nights of calculations, she'd discovered the truth. Namely, that other universes did exist, and that they had gods of their own. A few more years of hard research later, she'd discovered a way to temporarily communicate with those other Universes. Another year, and she'd developed a small pocket universe that she and those she selected could access almost at will.

And so began her first attempt at what she referred to as "Interdimensional Cooperation and Goodwill." She'd found a universe that seemed more or less to her liking, and then found a deity that seemed to be at least somewhat powerful in that same universe. Their appearance was... admittedly, quite Monstrous, but the readings said they were a god. And the readings weren't usually wrong.

She'd contacted them, set up some basic groundwork for friendship, and then invited them to take a break from their duties and simply relax in her pocket dimension for a bit.

There would be tea and pastries. Nobody could resist tea and pastries. She'd determined that quite some time ago. And she'd been right, as a few days later she was sitting across from this other deity, who referred to themselves as "The Void".

A deity that, The Judge was quickly coming to realize, was quite a bit more fickle than she'd quite expected.

"Wow, this cake is great!" Its "main" mask said, just as another shouted "TAKE OFF YOUR SHIRT!"

"Yes, I would hope so..." The Judge said, ignoring the much bolder mask. "I had my best bakers work on it. Though as a deity, I'm sure you have those who could make something of similar quality, yes?"

The Void seemed confused. "Um, no... I've got a few adventurers, though! They're pretty great!"

The Judge raised an eyebrow. "Adventurers? You mean the sorts who traverse into dungeons, slay Monsters and gather loot? We haven't had those in quite some time, I don't think..." She reflected on when Adventurers had been in vogue. Quite some time ago, she recalled...

"You know, you need to lighten up a bit." The Void said, frowning. "You're way too serious. Try to loosen up a little." They continued, taking another bite of cake. A mask floating nearby knocked the teacup in front of it over.

"I have an image to maintain, Void." The Judge replied, sighing. "I'm afraid if I were to let the facade down, then others might see me as... less powerful."

"Do they need to see you as powerful?" The Void replied, tenting its fingers. A nearby mask took up the strenuous task of devouring the cake. "I mean... maybe you should try being more friendly? It could get you farther..."

The thought was one that had crossed The Judge's mind several times... and each time, she had rejected it. She let out another sigh, tinged with regret. "No, I'm afraid that wouldn't work out too-"

Suddenly, The Judge was aware of some odd slimy sensation around her ankles, and The Void was jumping like they'd just been... well, groped.


Suddenly, on The Void's end of the table, a strange figure seemingly made entirely of black slime coalesced. It stared at The Judge, in a way The Judge was not at all comfortable with.


The Judge quirked an eyebrow. "Excuse me, but I don't recall inviting you here. How exactly are you-"

The Void shrugged. "This is Wretch, Ms. Judge. Wretch just kinda... does what they want."


The Judge was pretty sure she was developing a migraine. "So you're saying you'd totally have sex with them right here, but won't because it might get them high?" She asked, more confused than anything.


"Al...alright then..." The Judge stood up from the table. "You two just... do whatever, I guess... I need to lie down, I think..." And with that, she walked out the door of the pocket universe.


"Yeah, I think not."


"Oh my god, yes."
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