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136526 No. 136526 ID: 11f77a

Hello little ones, come on in! I almost didn’t recognize you! How much you’ve all changed, and I’m proud of each and every one of you! Has it been a year already? Well one thing’s for certain is that I’m excited to host Secret Santa again!

Here are the previous years of gift-giving!
(2016) https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/106091.html
(2017) https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/118595.html
(2018) https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/126663.html
(2019) https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/131539.html
(2020) https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/134434.html

What do you do? You can participate in many ways:

For Quest Authors/Signing-Up
For authors, all you need to do is declare which of your quest characters will partake in this exchange. Include their name and a link to the quest or wiki page. A picture is helpful as well. If posting multiple characters, you must state whether they’re a GROUP or INDIVIDUALS. Once we reach an appointed date, everyone will be randomly assigned their partner.

Okay, this part is an important one, so read carefully! Once a match is made it is your job to write and illustrate what your character would give to their special someone! Perhaps something from their world. Or something personal! A coupon! A signed autograph of their own photo!
You’re not obligated to have the character respond to a gift received. But the process of your character finding/deciding their partner’s gift is expected. It can be done in one picture, five, ten, animated; doesn’t matter as long as you don’t tire yourselves out! Posting early or late is no problem either!

Pairings will be made on December 5th. Latecomers will have until the 10th. Names will be posted with spoiler tags to keep things a secret! Have a look through past Secret Santas to get an idea on how it all works.

For Suggestors
Suggestors may also participate and gift any quest character! Post your idea for a present and who will receive it! Or perhaps draw one yourself if you're skipping the exchange this year! Disclamer: it will be up to the author to illustrate their characters accepting the gift. It’s a busy holiday, so they may not have time to respond.

Holiday Party
Even if it’s not related to gift-giving or you’re not participating in the secret santa, anyone can post a festive image and have characters hang out! My bathhouse is open to relax and mingle.

Any character unfortunate to not receive their gift will be compensated by Christmas in July! Sometimes artists need extra time after Christmas and New Years.
69 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 136662 ID: afe7de
File 163911376545.png - (19.20KB , 500x500 , Rn_003.png )
136662

Rudeus: You said 3 things though
Nipha: Yeah and I got them 2 sets of FIG BOXES
Rudeus: That's a bit high tech don't you think
Nipha: It's FIIIINE, they just gotta plop in the old fig
Nipha: Slap it on a paper with stats and description
Nipha: And out pops the character
Rudeus: And how many figurines are in each of these "sets"
Nipha: Uhhhhhhhh 4?
Rudeus: That's like 9 gifts!?!?!?!?!
Rudeus: Did you ROB a place or something?!?!?
Nipha: Not this weeeeeek honey!
Nipha: Oh and some Dice, what if they don’t have D20s?
Nipha: Look most groups have 4 kin, then there's the enemies
Nipha: And I thought well wouldn't it be nice if major enemy characters
Nipha: Could have figures too!
Rudeus: Hey it looks like this one was already opened
Rudeus: Wait is that a little you
Rudeus: Oh and it's a little me!
Rudeus: And a little RUDROID
Rudeus: Who the fuck is this
Nipha: Oh thats just CAT
Rudeus: Oh, I forgot about him
Rudeus: Ugh, fine, I'll update my note so they don't think
Rudeus: That my bracelet is just TRASH
Rudeus: Well let's wrap em up and send em.
Rudeus: Well parents in that time period didn't really pay attention
Rudeus: When their kids played tabletop RPGS
Nipha: Shouldn't mess with their timeline too too much
Nipha: It's just FIGURINES
Nipha: No way they figure out how the boxes work
Rudeus: Stranger things have happened…


The two bundle up the gifts and mark them with the respective names of the children. LILIAN getting the FORM-CHANGING WRISTBAND OF ATHLETICISM and PHILLUP getting the AWAKENED RPG SYSTEM and a whole slew of FIG BOXES that automatically pop out a figurine that matches the description written on the paper that the box is placed on. (note, this is not SYSTEM DEPENDENT, so it works with any game system)

After a moment a TEAR opens up and NANNETE begins to scream about the dimensional rift before being silenced by RUDEUS, and after a moment it's gone.

Nipha: Why does your AI act up like that anyway for it
Rudeus: I've explained this a million times
NANETTE: COORDINATES LOCKED, COORDINATES FOR [ALP DAGA BATHHOUSE]
NANETTE: HAVE BEEN ACQUIRED
Rudeus: This is why, to figure out where the heck they come from
Nipha: A bath house sounds cool, think they do massages
Rudeus: Right I forget you like to go on interdimensional trips
Rudeus: All too often, hence why you're always BROKE
Nipha: Hey I have connections, thank you, it's much cheaper now!
Nipha: Plus SOMEBODY with their GAME DEV MONEY
Nipha: Keeps themselves inside all day!
Rudeus: You know my work is important it’s hard to
Nipha: We’re taking a vacation soon, you need to R E L A X
Rudeus: Fine, Fine, just a few months and we can go to LYST
Rudeus: I have afriend there, it’s way out of town, there’s a brothel
Nipha: You had me at brothel
Rudeus: THAT WAS THE LAST THING I SAID THOUGH
Nipha: well you didn’t have me until then!


Nipha hopes that PHILLUP enjoys his [AWAKENED RPG SYSTEM, 8 CUSTOM FIG BOXES, and DICE SET]
Rudeus hopes that LILLIAN enjoys her [FORMLESS WRISTBAND OF ATHLETIC GROWTH]
Happy Holidays LILLIAN and PHILLUP DYAD!
Hope you enjoy Himitsu!

P.S. Both of the recipients have also been sent a SECRET LETTER that they can share if they wish upon receipt of gift!

>>
No. 136667 ID: 0838d6
File 163918806307.png - (20.75KB , 500x500 , ed15.png )
136667

One morning after COB was awoken, but before she left on her adventure, the SHAMAN rushed her over to the tent, excitement written all over her face.

Shaman: Come, come! Cobbler! Sit, sit!
Cob: Uh, what is it?
Shaman: A great revelation from the LOOM and CINDER has come today, for you!
Cob: Uh, what?
Cob: What’d it say, come on! Don’t keep me in suspense.
Shaman: It says that you have been chosen, specifically you, Ka Cobbler
Shaman: To create a GIFT to send to the LOOM above
Shaman: And it will arrive to the one who needs it the most
Cob: But-but-b
Cob: I just make stone things, won’t it break if it falls from the sky?
Shaman: That’s not important!
Shaman: What is important is that you were chosen
Cob: Well who is it going to?


The shaman makes a face, scrunched up and terrible whilst choosing her words carefully.

Shaman: They’re uh, like an ASH but not
Shaman: Like a Chief but not
Shaman: A LAWFUL individual skilled in…
Shaman: ADVANCED CONTRAPTIONS?
Cob: That’s really vague, what if I make something they can’t use?!!?
Shaman: Don’t worry, just do your best!
Shaman: I’ll give you some supplies should you find yourself lacking
Cob: Okay Shaman, I’ll try my best!

>>
No. 136668 ID: 0838d6
File 163918810693.png - (13.72KB , 500x500 , ed16.png )
136668

Cob rushed out of the tent, but then slowly started to consider, and then their expression deepened, and there was a pause. “A LAWFUL individual with a fondness of ADVANCED CONTRAPTIONS, there’s no way you can compete with that, you’re a dabbler at best” she thought in admonishment to herself.

No, a plan was concocted, and Cob set out on a HUNT with her companions KA XU and HARI TOMO. Their clutch was moving along the road near a DENSE FOREST, and the telltale sound of POLLINATING PAPERLINGS came to her ear. A plan of action was enacted, a distraction, somewhat competently enacted, and a swarm of 10 dead POLLINATING PAPERLINGS LATER you’ve gotten to your prize. The materials from the paperlings are astounding and easy to use. And her main idea, the SAP, the HONEY, was extracted from the hive, but not too much There are many more POLLINATING PAPERLINGS out there wanting to return to a home, so she takes [3 STONE VIALS] worth of the stuff and the corpses of the pollinating paperlings home with her after a mad dash from the other paperlings.

She works deep into the week using the sewing kit provided by the SHAMAN and finally completes her work. It’s a scarf made of yellow and black POLLINATING PAPERLING leather. The texture is soft, almost silken like a freshly born Fur-Kin and has been cleared of scents. Cob doesn't know it but it’s quite HYPO-ALLERGENIC and COMFORTABLE to wear.

She looks to the bottles, unsure what to do, but keeps them in their stone jars. There are many uses for these, one could use them as an ADHESIVE that would last around a day, or one could just CONSUME it to feel ENERGETIC due to the sugar content. The next day Cob rushes back to the SHAMAN, eager to share her creations.

Shaman: A SCARF and some HONEY?
Cob: I uh, I’m not confident in showing off to another TRAPPER yet.
Cob: But I know this stuff is USEFUL!
Cob: And Cute!
Shaman: I think it’s a wonderful gift for our um… recipient
Cob: Do you have a drawing of what they look like?
Shaman: Unfortunately that’s something neither the CINDER nor the LOOMINOUS one
Shaman: Has shared with me, you’ll just freak out anyway
Shaman: But let us have a ceremony to send the gift off!

>>
No. 136670 ID: 0838d6
File 163918816038.png - (35.60KB , 500x500 , ed17.png )
136670

That night the SHAMAN and COB stand alone near the center of camp, other clutch-members stand on the edge and watch as the two of them perform a dance, a celebration, one unlike the yearly ceremonies. And after a few minutes lights condense around the offerings, and eventually the light becomes so bright that the presents vanish.

Shaman: It is done!
Cob: Wow! That was weird!
Shaman: Show some respect Cob!
Shaman: The gods work in mysterious ways.
Cob: Okay, well I’m going to go mess around with KA XU, im practicing my WARMTH!


And then the woman walks away, soon to be in a tough situation rapt with terrors and survival, but this isn’t that story. The camera turns to the SHAMAN as they contemplate and hear them whisper.

Shaman: Isn’t she supposed to get something in return?
Shaman: Maybe it’ll come when she most needs it?

Cob hopes that Cybil enjoys their [JARS OF PAPERLING HONEY and HYPO-ALLERGENIC SCARF]
Happy Holidays CYBIL!
Hope you enjoy Sarcopholacooda!

>>
No. 136671 ID: 629f2e
File 163919547172.png - (513.78KB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-8.png )
136671

Roger: “...Huh?”

You read the slip of paper again, stealing glances at the drawing of a White and Cyan Unicorn. It was really well-drawn, you didn’t know Temmie was an artist. Or, maybe her parents are, and she had one of them draw it for her? You have no idea why Temmie invented a funky looking unicorn-person for this Secret Santa event, but frankly you rarely understood why Temmie did most things that she did. Well, except for her fortune telling business, that was obvious. As one of the few kids in class who doesn’t get an Allowance, you understood the value of quarters. You look for opportunities to sell your drawings wherever you can, and you’ve taken up a paper route to give you some cents to spend.

You’re getting off track though. Your issues were more focused on the description, not the bizarre image. One specific line stood out, almost begging to be questioned.

Roger: “Wh- What do you mean ‘may or may not have escaped from a facility before it exploded’!? If she didn’t, then she’s Dead! Why would I get a present for a corpse!?”
Roger: “...*sigh*. I know Temmie made this up, but why on Earth would she write such a weird description?”
Roger: “Maybe I should just ignore this and try and get something that Temmie would like.”
Roger: “...Hmmm… Yeah, I don’t have a clue what that’d be.”
Roger: “But what can I do with this? Even if I ignore the death part, the last thing it says is that she was deciding whether or not she should live, leaning hard towards death.”
Roger: “That’s pretty heavy, but also useless! I need like a hobby or something, what do you get a Maybe Dead Living Bomb Unicorn- I can’t even get through this description without sounding insane.”
Roger: “...I guess the design is cool. I could try to draw my own version of her.”
Roger: “Hmm… I guess if nothing else hits me, that’s always a safe option.”

Roger is torn on what to get for Galaxie Moondream. He’ll give it some more though, and settle on a drawing if he doesn’t have any better ideas.

What should Roger give Galaxie?

>>
No. 136674 ID: 8483cf
File 163919954672.png - (125.96KB , 540x882 , SecretSanta21D1.png )
136674

Best! Holiday! Ever!

Tasty food for eating, blazing fires for snuggling, and carefully chosen gifts for sharing. Life might not always be kind, but when everyone pitches in to make a cold night warm again, I remember all the good things about people, and why I try so hard to fit in.

I don’t always succeed, though. And I think The Investigator knows what it’s like to be called a Freak.

When I lived in the woods, waiting for someone special, it was cold and lonely. It was just me in my little fox den. There wasn’t anyone I could hug, and there were no fires for warmth, and all I had were memories that hurt more and more the more I remembered them.

So I stopped remembering them. And that was a mistake.
>>
No. 136675 ID: 8483cf
File 163919956189.png - (65.71KB , 630x630 , SecretSanta21D2.png )
136675

For Jhonen, I know just what to give.

I send him a Security Blanket warmed with all the good thoughts, cozy fires, and happy memories I can conjure up. I don’t know how much of my comfort magic will make its way through the portal of the gift exchange … but I hope that no matter how lonely or how cold it gets, Jhonen will always have something to hold on to.

P.S.: Jhonen has also been given a SECRET LETTER he can share if he wants to on receipt of the gift!
>>
No. 136676 ID: 11f77a
File 163920769386.png - (641.14KB , 800x700 , eud_1.png )
136676

Ganymede: Now this is what you need from all the punching! Something to let your chitin feel silky smooth and let your knuckles feel like new!

Eudora: Imagine not talking so much.

Ganymede: What gift did you bring this time around? I think you have a police team with superpowers--as a giftee, I mean.
>>
No. 136677 ID: 11f77a
File 163920776849.png - (627.42KB , 800x700 , eud_2.png )
136677

Eudora: It’s a Kru-ngogg Bug. One of those decorative critters that don’t do anything when observed. You just put it somewhere in an office or apartment.

Ganymede: Sounds kind of cheap, don’t you think?

Eudora: Nah, man. Every time you look away from it and turn back--the kru-ngogg is in a different place. On the shelf one moment, now on your desk in the next. It’s a novelty thing.

Eudora: I debated whether to get that or a groag-deg which, on record, has never been observed at all. It always hides behind something, but you can hear or feel its presence.

Eudora: Anyway, this means I can’t wrap the kru-ngogg in a box ‘cause it could appear outside of it elsewhere once we no longer see it. It was a bitch to bring it this far from Ralligoraugh.

Ganymede: Ooh. Can I have a look at it?
>>
No. 136678 ID: 11f77a
File 163920781435.png - (584.39KB , 800x700 , eud_3.png )
136678

Eudora: What. You weren’t keeping watch of it like I asked?

Ganymede: Uh-oh, whoops.

There’s a Kru-ngogg somewhere in the bath house for the GIA Crew!
>>
No. 136681 ID: 8483cf
File 163926565315.png - (86.33KB , 529x731 , SecretSanta21E1.png )
136681

To the Resourceful and Brilliant Victor,

When I learned that your missions are on a different planet than your family’s bath house, I understood how important travel must be for you. Journeys can be stressful and dangerous, and there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to bring along what you need for your work, or for your family.

As a dedicated and resourceful superhero, the public is placing its trust in you! I thought I could help express that trust in the form of something tangible.
>>
No. 136682 ID: 8483cf
File 163926566861.png - (32.60KB , 800x400 , SecretSanta21E2.png )
136682

As an official request from the Way of the Wayfinder, I’ve asked the Customs and Border Protection of Cnidari Vaalbara to grant you one unsearchable Sealed Briefcase. You can bring along any tools of your trade you need to complete your job, and do so without raising a fuss!

Please use responsibly!
>>
No. 136686 ID: 8fae7e
File 163928531263.png - (574.57KB , 800x821 , Luvi_SS_2021.png )
136686

Hi Ka! I got you something really fancy and I think you'll find useful. It's a sewing machine! But not just any sewing machine. This is the most top of the line machine I could find. It works off batteries so it's super portable and I'm going to include a bunch in the package.

Also it's voice controlled and connected to the internet. Always and forever, somehow? That's what the packaging says, anyway. It can even... stitch the internet into... the fabric? Huh. Not really sure what that means, but like I said. Fancy!

Oh, it says it has an AI too, so it can autonomously make things based on what you tell it! Wow, that's super illegal here! It also probably explains all those whispers I've been hearing since I opened the box. I should really send it away ASAP.

Enjoy!
>>
No. 136687 ID: 3292e2
File 163930659458.jpg - (762.16KB , 1568x1292 , BB 744.jpg )
136687

Madam Algich: Hey I am seeing a lot of furry people here and I am kinda concerned. I mean they do kind of act a little bit weird and perverted especially during this time of the year.

Diamond girl: No they are acting normally, nothing to be afraid of. Everyone is here just to relax and destress.

Madam Algich: Oh ok, well I guess there was nothing to be afraid of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxp7vG1seoQ&ab_channel=NewYorkSupreme
>>
No. 136688 ID: 629f2e
File 163930674540.png - (909.39KB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-9.png )
136688

The card you were holding would be described by most of your peers as Impossible, Fictitious, or downright Stupid. You are no fool however. Unlike the simpletons you shared classes with, you weren’t so daft as to deny something just because it doesn’t fit in with preconceived notions of reality. True intelligence means going off on wild guesses and doing whatever it takes to prove them right! If you can’t do it then that means you were wrong and stupid, and you have to make new ones!

That’s what separated you from other kids. You were entirely willing to accept implausible truths. Franklin is an alien, the tooth fairy was made up by parents, Santa Claus is an immortal vampire (every wonder why he only delivers presents at night???), and the Human-Like Bovine you had been paired with in this Secret Santa game was Real. You had a pretty good gut feeling, and that was almost as good as evidence!

As happy as you were to make this claim, it was with a heavy heart that you were forced to change your stance on a previous one.

Jhonen: “A monk who has taken a Vow of Poverty. I can’t gift anything of value to her then.”
Jhonen: “It’s unthinkable that Temmie would write this if her scheme truly was to rob the children of Cattenom of their quarters. This description demands that I not surrender my coins in the pursuit of a gift.”
Jhonen: “Unless... Could this be a red herring!? An attempt to hide her true intent beneath a veil of something that seemingly opposes it directly? By sacrificing one potential quarter, she can gain the rest without scrutiny.”
Jhonen: “...No. Though it isn’t impossible, I must admit that the evidence doesn’t support that. My assumption may have been faulty this time. This Secret Santa game is real, as well as all of its participants.”
Jhonen: “Still, I’ll be keeping an eye on that fortune teller. After all, if she isn’t just trying to get all the quarters, then the real reason she wants money is...”
Jhonen: “Of course! She’s trying to accrue enough wealth to buy out the town from under the thumb of Frederick Anderson!”
Jhonen: “It’s so obvious. All she really has to do is buys him out of the school, and then she can turn it into a sweatshop to increase her revenue stream twenty-fold! Getting the rest of the town will be child’s play with her Child Labor!

You laugh triumphantly at your new fully formed theory. Temmie hides her motives well, but you can see right through her. It's why other kids called you The Freak, because you were freakishly intelligent! Yep, that was it, no other connotations.
>>
No. 136689 ID: 629f2e
File 163930684972.png - (1.15MB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-10.png )
136689

That still left the question of what you could give to Elaine that her vow of poverty would allow. A tricky riddle admittedly, but barely a hindrance for someone of your caliber.

Jhonen: “What is something she could make full use of, but which has no value?”
Jhonen: “The answer is so simple. Obviously, it would have to be something whose value Vanishes upon use!”
Jhonen: “Now that isn’t the solution by itself. It would have to be something she can make use of from the very moment she gets it, lest its potential value force her to surrender it. That rules out anything made for niche situations.”
Jhonen: “So, what is a gift that can be used at almost any time, and whose value vanishes upon use? It’s so simple, I don’t even need to say it.”
Jhonen: “...”
Jhonen: “...”
>>
No. 136690 ID: 629f2e
File 163930701093.png - (1.04MB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-11.png )
136690

Franklin: “...I dunno, wh-?”
Jhonen: “I’M GLAD YOU ASKED!”
Jhonen: “Food! It’s food! A Treat specifically would be best, as I can’t know whether she’ll have eaten a meal recently before opening her gift.”
Franklin: “...Oohhhhhhh, because it becomes poo after you eat it.”
Jhonen: “Exactly. It’s so obvious even you can understand it.”
Franklin: “That is pretty obvious.”
Jhonen: “Incredibly so!”
Franklin: “...If it’s so obvious, should you really be proud of figuring it out?”
Jhonen: “Ah-”

You freeze, shooting a glare down at the clueless alien you had restrained on your examination table.

Jhonen: “Don’t get cocky! You only understand it so well because I explained it!”
Jhonen: "It's only simple to me, but to a kid like you? You'd have an easier time reading War and Peace."
Franklin: "...I don't get it."
Jhonen: "It's a very big and boring book!"
Franklin: “Ohhhh… ‘Kay.”
Jhonen: “Hmph. Anyways, I’d rather not spend my coinage on candy from the store. A candy bar is a lazy gift anyways. Something Homemade would probably be best.”
Franklin: “...I know how to make chocolate chip cookies.”
Jhonen: “You bake?”
Franklin: “No.”
Jhonen: “...Then why do you know that?”
Franklin: “I read a recipe on the back of a bag of chocolate chips.”
Franklin: “It’s… a lot of flowers, a lot of sugar, scrambled eggs-”
Jhonen: “I think I’d better procure a bag and check it myself instead of relying on your species’ unreliable memory.”
Franklin: “Okay… Should I just stay here?”
Jhonen: “No no, this will take too long, I won't have time for any other experiments. You can go home for the day."

You approach the alien and untie the ropes binding him to the table. It really was a shame to waste a catch, as you still had plenty of experiments you could put him through. Alas, documenting the differences between your species' biology would have to wait for another day.

Even after he's freed, he stays still, staring up at the ceiling. You sigh, and carefully drag him to his feet, jostling him just enough to snap him back to attention. Finally he starts walking away. If your arch nemesis is an accurate representation of his species, then humanity should never have to fear an invasion. Though his presence here does indicate that they've managed space travel…

No time to get distracted, you had some baking to do! And since you absolutely weren't allowed to use the stove by yourself (and this was your gift, so you didn’t want your parents to make them for you), you only had four hours to complete it before your parents returned home.

Jhonen: "Ha ha ha! That's far more than I’ll need!"
Jhonen: “According to this recipe, it should only take me one hour. Perhaps I should make a double batch since I’ll have so much free time, and keep half for myself!”

With great confidence, you begin to gather up the other ingredients called for by the recipe.
>>
No. 136691 ID: 629f2e
File 163930708583.png - (772.82KB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-12.png )
136691

Three and a half hours later

You’re on your knees praying in front of the oven, begging for mercy. As the timer beeps for what would have to be your last batch, you reach inside and pull out your final batch.

Your eyes immediately start watering in relief, tears camouflaged by sweat.

Jhonen: “They finally came out good! Oh my gosh, they look good, they look so good.”
Jhonen: “Ahahahahaahahahahahahahaahahahaha!”
Jhonen: “It was only a matter of time before I would conquer this horrible recipe!”
Jhonen: “...*sniffle*, they’re finally good…”

You would clean as you let them cool, and get them prepped for gifting before your parents made it home. To keep them fresh, you wrap them in plastic wrap before boxing them up. Temmie would take them off your hands at school, and send it away to your giftee. With all evidence taken care of, your parents would be none the wiser regarding your baking misadventure!

You were caught later that same evening when your parents noticed they were out of chocolate chips and flour. You were subsequently grounded for two weeks.

Jhonen has picked out a gift for Elaine! He is confident that she will able to enjoy her [Chocolate Chip Cookies].

Jhonen has also included a letter, which Elaine can choose to reveal upon receiving her gift.

>>
No. 136692 ID: ca2950
File 163933145386.png - (264.12KB , 698x768 , Bathstrip.png )
136692

>>136644

"I've noticed you still have a towel on depriving us of fluffy butts," Rikke says, yanking at Keimi's towel. Keimi barely manages to maintain a grip on it, managing to remain partially covered.

"Aah! Don't pull on it, you freaking titty monster! Nene, help!"
Nene shuffles off to the side, out of reach.
"Sorry, Keimi. I don't think I'd really be much help."
"Traitor!" Keimi proclaims, still struggling to maintain her decency.

Rikke uses her significant size advantage to steadily wrench the towel out of Keimi's grasp.
"C'mon, Kei. Ya can't get into the bath with a towel. Besides, it's just us girls here... and a bunch of aliens we've never met. It's fine."

Keimi continues to struggle ineffectually.
"Then let me take it off myself! This seems so much worse!"
"This is more fun, though. Nehehehe!"
>>
No. 136693 ID: 3292e2
File 163933891447.jpg - (214.47KB , 640x1289 , BB 746.jpg )
136693

>>136692
Madam Algich: Well, I guess I spoke too soon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJxCdh1Ps48&ab_channel=JoshStreeter
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No. 136694 ID: 73aaab
File 163935236656.png - (571.26KB , 1000x1000 , 2021ss01.png )
136694

Once again, it is the season.
What season?
I uh, I'm not quite sure. When you take into account multiple different contradictory time periods and universes that all of these interactive storytelling realms hail from, you kinda lose track of things.
A-ahem!
It is the season (of which the appropriate festive designation is not particularly important.)
And today, we focus on the unusual duo, of Amica and Judicium. Of mentor and mentee. Of cold calculation and boisterous abandon. Of warrior and armor. Of mother and... amorphous blob of sentient nanomachines congealed into the vague facsimile of a living being.

An assignment - a duty. Perhaps a visit to the spa could help? Of course, one of them seems to be enjoying the experience much more than the other, despite her lack of traditional biology. The other however, sits with a furrowed brow,
"I just do not know what's most appropriate for the situation," the responsible adult of the duo complains. "Gift selection is limited in our facility."
"Perhaps you could go and ask the good Doctor for some presents from the rest of the universe?"

"Then it would not be me providing that poor girl with an appropriate gift. It must be from the heart, and... something practical, perhaps."

"Why not clothes? My data suggests that it is a common, appropriate present for the season."
Judicium frowned. Given her proclivities toward sewing - it was quite a good idea.
But she thought back to the rowdy trio, playing some kind of tabletop game with each other, sharing in the joys of gift exchange... and the exorbitant sweater they had created.
No, that idea had already been done. If all Site 70 had to offer each festival were clothes - what kind of military blacksite would they be?

"Could we perhaps, develop some kind of translation tool? I hear that our client suffers from linguistic issues."

Amica leans in squinting her eyes.
"You know, they told us that that kind of thing's against the rules..."

Judicium leans closer, unsure what's prompting the sudden secrecy.
"What? What do you mean?"

"Yeah, yeah! Practical gifts don't really get used all that often, if it ends up solving too many problems!"

"I... see. So then, I suppose it is most appropriate that we give the client something appropriate, that does not simply trivialize their personal struggles."

"There ya go, Judi! That's the kind of thinking I'm talking about!"
Judicium nods. A strategy meeting is most appropriate. But perhaps they could soak in the warm waters of this spa for a brief moment longer?
Alas, it was not to be.
Looks like it's back to the drawing boards. Someone's getting upset about the... questionable (ferro)fluid that's spreading in the pool.
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No. 136695 ID: 73aaab
File 163935239691.png - (432.79KB , 1000x1000 , 2021ss02.png )
136695

And so, over a few nights - a most ingenious plan was schemed up.
The identification of a target (client)'s weaknesses (habits).
An explosive payload (present) that would bring devastation (joy and happiness) in one fell swoop (designated gifting period).

"From initial observations of the... target, she seems to have a few noticeable hobbies, gleaned from our initial reconnaissance."
Yes, the magical fox with a bow in her hair. There was some camaraderie in the chaos that she wrought, Amica found. And her voracious appetite! But now wasn't the time to think about biofuel - or was it?

"Say, Judi... would you happen to be good at baking?"
It was a hunch, of course. Her data showed that maternal figures seemed to manifest expertise related to baking of consumable products, especially around holiday seasons.

"Not much at all. Have you seen an oven in Site 70? I barely know how to work a grill, Amica - that was why Ozone put me on hawking duty. She said that I was probably better around chemical spills than food."
A new data point! Perhaps Nanoweaver would have been a better example of the maternal-baking hypothesis.
But... that last part gave Amica an idea.

"Judi, I have an idea!", she announced, undermining the whole point of the narration by reiterating what had just been made clear.
"From a quick analysis of similar holiday foods on the market - I have detected an average of around 30% preservatives and chemicals that go into a typical pastry!"

"Yes, and?"
Judicium frowned. If one were to think about it laterally, literally everything in existence may as well be composed of chemicals. Except maybe magic. That stuff was unnerving.
"What if we doubled, or tripled the concentration of such chemicals? It would be the ultimate pastry!"
"So a... Chemical Cake? Why not something organic... and wholesome?"
Amica shook her head. The data points were not in favour of that.
"Similar organic snacks exist. They were quickly pushed out of the market by increasingly chemical-based foods. Organic beings tend to find the unique flavours and textures provided by artificial sweeteners, preservatives and dye to add to the taste experience significantly. It stands as fact that if you increase the artificiality of the food, the better the taste and sales margins!"
Judicium grimaced.
"I uh, I'm not so sure about that. Would our client even be willing to eat it?"

Amica laughed, a joyous 'ho ho ho', as was the season.
"I'm sure she'd be glad! Plus, from what I've heard, she can eat literal garbage! Truly, magical beings are so fascinating!"

The wiser woman in Judicium acknowledged that it was probably best to let this idea run its course - and she found herself confronted with a damp sheet of paper.
"See if you can procure some of the things on this list! Nanoweaver won't let me near her lab..."

"...Why is nitroglycerin listed?"
"For the explosive flavour of the jelly-like fruit-substitutes we'll be making for the cake, of course!"
It was going to be an interesting week.
>>
No. 136696 ID: 73aaab
File 163935243522.png - (304.92KB , 1000x1000 , 2021ss03.png )
136696

Born from the depths of a military blacksite - another fine example of the best that Site 70 could produce.
It was chemical warfare... ON YOUR TASTEBUDS!

"And there we have it! A self-replicating plate of fruitcake, that'll never run out!"
Ingenius sciences went into the creation of a reconstituting fruitcake - made possible through some external assistance from other adjacent, post-scarcity worlds.
"Provided that one does not eat all of it in one sitting. It cannot regenerate from nothing, after all."
An unfortunate, but necessary limitation. Perhaps in another time, another iteration - they would be able to create a pastry that could regenerate from a single crumb, gaining all new levels of power and flavour each time it rejuvenated. The theoretical... Perfect Cake.
This cake however, was not that. It was probably more accurate to call it a 'Semi-perfect Cake'.
But in the end, it's just a fruitcake.
"It's fitting, 'cuz it's dotted with all sorts of goodies. Dotty, just like the girl who's going to get it, hee hee~"

With a bow on top, it was a gift fit for a magical fox spirit from another dimension, baked by a military trainer and her sentient, gooey armour. Funny how fate works out, isn't it?
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No. 136697 ID: c92a02
File 163937546504.gif - (48.48KB , 800x600 , the_environ_here_is_not_unlike_a_sauna.gif )
136697

>>136639
A stoic green figure floats in the pool, sharing in the GIA's silence. After what feels like a week, she finally tries breaking it.
:trayzeri: That was an impressively quick consensus. I was less sure of my own gift matching capabilities, so I got it sorted out before coming.
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No. 136698 ID: c92a02
File 163937547987.gif - (48.00KB , 800x600 , all_point_bulletin.gif )
136698

Doodly doodly doot... Flashback noises...
:trayzeri: I was at my desk, handling paperwork for the precinct when my digital assistant notified me she had signed up for an interdimensional gift exchange. My target- my, recipient was a young girl. I pulled up her file. This would be a tough case to crack. A self-professed clairvoyant. Dresses like a witch. A social outcast. Rich parents. What could I get the girl who had everything?
I saw she liked candy. I looked down at my desk, and I knew I had my lead.
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No. 136700 ID: c92a02
File 163937564952.gif - (31.27KB , 800x600 , snakes_and_augments.gif )
136700

Dear Temmie:
For your Secret Santa, I am sending one novelty gummy snake. I was going to send the whole bag, but for the sake of portion control only one is included. They are approximately two to three feet long each so I hope this is satisfactory.
As this did not seem sufficient, I have also included a voucher for 30% off a Reaction Enhancer cybernetic implant surgery at Hela's Dockside Doc Shop. The augment replaces some of your vertebrae with segments of superconducting material. The discount is worth up to 11,700 zeny depending on the extent of replacement. You may not be able to see into next week with this, but you will perceive the immediate future before anyone else.

-Trayzeri Kromi, District R P.D.

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No. 136701 ID: afe7de
File 163945621223.png - (14.63KB , 500x500 , Ig_001.png )
136701

In a world where each location is on a weird plate-like landmass a letter arrives at the nearby post office. It’s paper mundane and the address labeled towards one Ignis De Mare Rondalphus. It arrives at a ridiculous pace and after noticing nothing untoward about it, is handed to him after it’s externals are examined by his GUARD.

He opens it, surprised that it’s in ENGLISH, unfortunately his ENGLISH is lacking in a few places as it’s the language of the HUMANS and while he does want to be a DIPLOMAT, he’s been slacking as of late on that language to pursue his new calling, RUNESCRIPTING. The man walks towards his younger colleague whom he is very much in love with and asks for her assistance.

She heads over to him, smelling of parchment, ink, and meat. She must have just eaten whilst working again. She leans over, grabbing the note and putting an arm on his shoulder, he holds in a purr of contentment as she nears him, he realizes she’s blissfully unaware in this moment that he wishes would last forever. She reads the letter, once, and then twice, and then a third time and looks to Ignis and replies, her voice soft and buttery against his ears.

Chi: Is this a freaking interdimensional secret santa?
You: I don’t really know who Santa is, we didn’t have that in my old world
Chi: He’s like this imaginary guy who went around punishing kin for misdeeds
Chi: And sometimes left them gifts if they were good
Chi: or Coal if they were goddess awful
Chi: I think he also kidnapped adulterous men?
Chi: Or was that KRAMPUS?
Chi: Oh wait that was KRAMPUS, sorry I haven't thought about that in a while
You: Either way, so that word INTERDIMENSIONAL, basically it means not here
You: Not our world plate, not anywhere near us?
Chi: Basically, it doesen’t say who got you though.
Chi: Cluck it why didn’t this come to me!?!?!
Chi: I could have done some experimenting, see if we could open a formal
Chi: More permanent channel.
You: Let’s just treat it like a fun thing and not bring work into it!
Chi: Uuuuugh fine
Chi: Says its going to uhhhh an AMICA and JUDICIUM
Chi: Well those names aren’t symbolic at all
Chi: Wait is AMICA the scarf?
You: She has a sentient scarf? That’s kind of cool!
You: No, no, no it says AMICA’S like an AI
You: With nanomachines
Chi: Uh huh
You: Says here JUDICIUM can control Ice and temperature
You: Hey isn’t that what WILLIAM could do?
Chi: Oh cluck yeah that’s right
Chi: Okay, I’m going to show you an adapted design of what I made once

>>
No. 136702 ID: afe7de
File 163945625527.png - (8.64KB , 500x500 , Ig_002.png )
136702

Chi then spends the following weeks working through a new and updated RUNESCRIPTING DESIGN for him. The design intends to create a bracelet that can fire off WATER in short bursts, thus allowing her to either INSTANT FREEZE and fire ice spears, or SLICK A FLOOR and freeze it, thus intensifying the effects. Unfortunately their current supply of ARCANUM is rather low and they can only afford to use ⅓ of an ingot on this. But the results are within their expectations as they create a BRACELET OF WATER EJECTION.

You: So there's a slider here you can move to change the amount being fired out
Chi: The Arcanum has about a 100 gallon limit due to the amount used and potential
Chi: Interference and loss when changing dimensions
You: I came up with a solution of refilling it.
You: Just leave it in water, it’s nearly a 1-1 conversion, well more like 9-10 but whatever
Chi: Great design, too bad it’s basically useless without MICROSCRIPTING
Chi: Or more runes.
You: You think they’ll be bothered by the runes on it
Chi: Eh, I doubt their technological structure would allow for this to break it or be reverse engineered.
You: what about the scarf?
Chi: What about the SCARF LADY
Chi: How do you buy gifts for a scarf?
You: Buy it a smaller scarf?
Chi: That…
Chi: That actually sounds kind of cute
You: I uh, I’ll think of something an AI would like while I’m at it.


Ignis then spends the remaining time gift prepping making a small golden ribbon, a symbol of ROYALTY, the inside inlaid with the CREST of his house, a hook beaked bird in a deep black. He can’t use yellow again because AESTHETICALLY he knows that yellow on yellow is impossible to see, so he hopes no one at home realizes what he’s doing. He thinks it would be a good accessory on a COLLAR or on her when she’s in SCARF FORM.

He pauses a bit longer, wondering exactly what an AI that could turn into any form would need. And then he gets an idea. After some healthy negotiations with his dear mother he acquires a small deed to a nearly insignificant plot of land at the edge of the plate. It’s barely an acre and isn’t useful land, but given this being in another place altogether, he thinks it doesn't matter.

The deed pronounces that AMICA is now a LAND OWNER, which officially makes her ROYALTY. IGNIS thinks back to his time in his previous world. A war hero, a veteran, a conqueror of the stars, alone. She never got the validation she desired in that place, was never able to own land and become a LORD, to be qualified as a PERSON, just a mycelium of war. There’s a bit of vitriol and vengeance as he signs this document.

You: If you didn’t have rights before
You: You do now, you’re officially a landowner
You: I don’t know if you are respected where you are
You: I certainly know AI like entities had no rights in my old world
You: Maybe, just maybe this will warm your heart a bit.


And with that he sends off the gift, hopeful that it’s new home will enjoy it.

Happy holidays AMICA and JUDICIUM
Hope you enjoy CrossTheLine!


P.S. The recipients have received a SECRET LETTER that they can share if they wish upon receipt of gift!
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No. 136704 ID: afe7de
File 163945631252.png - (14.22KB , 500x500 , Ig_003.png )
136704

Time has passed since that fateful day that IGNIS first received that letter. At this point he’s forgotten all about it and is patiently waiting for CHI to return from her trip to DOPUS. That morning he wakes up and notices something peculiar. In his hands is a parcel. He doesn't remember holding one last night, and his door is closed and undisturbed. It takes a moment of pure terror for him to realize the implications that someone has broke into his room, but he notices a little card on it. The card reads as “TO IGNIS, FROM YOUR SECRET SANTA.” suddenly his fear turns to EXCITEMENT. He had completely forgotten about this and tears open the parcel only to see a strange tome and a net of some sort, along with a small card.

The card is written in CANON, not ENGLISH, strangely enough and introduces the object and book as a DREAM CONVERTER and DREAM COOKBOOK. Apparently it can convert your DREAMS into some sort of LIQUID which can then be converted into a DRINK of some kind or used in COOKING.

He flips through the manual and gets only more and more interested, this seems like a fantastic gift! He’s already older than everyone else and legal to drink, but also notices some non alcoholic and even CALMING teas, so he decides to test it out that night.

That night he dreams a happy dream, that the woman of his passion returns safely from DOPUS and he embraces her happily, no injuries, and shorter, just your height, instead of towering over you. When he awakes he notices that rather then a liquid, it seems there’s more of a GAS in there. He wonders why a distilled dream looks like a SPIRIT, though he guesses thats where the word SPIRITS came from.

The tea he makes from it is EXQUISITE and reduces the [STRESS] he’s been gaining from waiting for CHI’s safe return. He’s not quite sure who got this gift for him, but he appreciates it nonetheless. He just hopes that CHI’s overenthusiastic tendency to [UNDERSTAND] doesn't overwhelm her when she sees it.

Thank you so much for the gift Absurdity DeVoid! Ignis loves it!
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No. 136705 ID: 629f2e
File 163946568496.png - (537.45KB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-13.png )
136705

As the twins read through the description of their giftee, one thought rises above all others.

Lillian: "This guy sounds like a total Wad."
Phillip: "Really? The card says he isn't human, and that's the point you want to focus on?"
Lillian: "Yeah, that part just sounds like normal Temmie nonsense. But look at this."
Lillian: "Very picky and critical. Impressing will be difficult. So Ungrateful! I don't even wanna bother impressing this guy."
Phillip: "Yeah, okay, some of this stuff isn't… Yeesh, did he really- oh! But it says here that he's a preacher, and he has a reputation for showing kindness to Toilers."
Lillian: "Toilers?"
Phillip: "Uh… Hmm..."

A brief visit to Albert gave you both the description: "One who toils. A worker of some sort."

Phillip: "See? He's a good boss, that's something."
Lillian: "I dunno. There's still a lot of waddish junk written here. I guess I don't want to leave the guy empty-handed if he's at least a little good though."
Phillip: "Yeah, that's not very Christmassy."
Lillian: "Hmmmmm... What if we split the difference?"
Phillip: "What do you mean?"
Lillian: "Let's get him something that he'd like, maybe something he wouldn't be super picky and complain about…"
Lillian: "But let's also include a Prank!"
Phillip: "...He would get a normal gift too? You promise?"
Lillian: "Yeah! Totally nice gift. We'll get him what he wants, and then what he deserves!"
Phillip: "Wow, you've really made up your opinion about him quickly, haven't you?"
Lillian: "Yes!"

You sigh. Lill could be pretty stubborn, so there wasn't much point arguing. Plus, she wasn't totally wrong either. This Xerin Brass guy wasn't really painted in a good light with this description. He may not be evil, but he did kind of seem like a jerk.

Actually, you couldn’t rule out him being evil with some of the things listed here, but you would give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s Christmas, and even bad guys deserve gifts on Christmas.

Phillip: "I have a few gift ideas already. Why don't I handle the actual gift, while you go get Lemmy to help with your prank?"
Lillian: “Ooh, I like that idea. Lemmy's great at annoying people!”
Phillip: “I wouldn’t open with that if you’re trying to convince him to help.”

She runs off out the front door on a quest to find him, leaving you to ponder which of your ideas was the least terrible.

---

Lemmy: "Alright, hear me out."
Lillian: "Lay it on me."
Lemmy: "Glitterbomb."
Lillian: "It has the word bomb in it, I already like where this is going."
Lemmy: "Well the real explosion tends to come from the poor sap who opens it. I learned a loooot of new swears when I gave my dad one last year! He said so many that I’d swear he broke a record with how many he shouted!"

He laughs, as you just groan. His Puns were terrible as always. You don’t know why he’s all about the puns, he can actually be pretty witty when he wants to be, and his practical jokes can be hilarious when they aren’t infuriating (you’ll never forgive him for making you get up early on a Saturday by convincing you that you had a test then somehow). For some reason though, he eventually always falls back to the puns which never get a laugh.

Lemmy: "But yeah, if you've got a buck to spare for materials, we can definitely get this guy. Just need a lot of glitter, and a balloon."
Lillian: “Perfect, I’ve got just enough for that and the barbeque chips I had my eyes on.”
Lillian: “Wait, you aren’t taking a cut for yourself are you? I can fill a balloon with glitter myself if you are.”
Lemmy: “That’s the easy part, it’s getting it to go off that’s requires some special prankster knowledge.”
Lemmy: “And nope, no cut for myself. I’m in this purely for the joy of a good joke. It’s just a shame this is a long-distance thing. The best part of a prank is sitting back and watching it work.”
Lemmy: “If you get any angry letters, let me have a look at them, deal?”
Lillian: “Deal.

Without warning, he pulls a deck of cards out of his back pocket and slides two cards in front of you both, one down and one up.

Lemmy: “Oof, face card, that stinks. Unless you got an ace facing down”
Lillian: “...Huh?”

You actually get a good laugh when you realize the gag. See? The dude could be funny when he wanted.
>>
No. 136706 ID: 629f2e
File 163946588035.png - (841.96KB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-14.png )
136706

Together (he gives you instructions for every step and only steps in for the delicate ones), you put together a special box that, when opened, will explode with glitter in every which way. An All-Directions Glitter Bomb, nobody in the vicinity is safe. Lemmy insisted on putting in the extra effort for the sake of a bigger payout. He takes his work very seriously it seemed, despite how lazy most of his jokes seemed.

When Phillip arrives home with the actual gift, you level him with a flat look.

Lillian: “School books? Come on man, I’m just gonna feel bad if we put a joke gift at the end of this.”
Phillip: “It’s not a joke, I think he’ll really like these. His card said that he was a historian, see, so I grabbed a bunch of old books on history that we won’t use for the rest of the semester.”
Phillip: “This one is about ancient times, this one is modern, like World War II and stuff, oh and this one is actually about the history of China.”
Lillian: “We covered Chinese history in class? Jeez, I don’t even remember that.”
Phillip: “Well no, this one came from the library actually… Uh, don’t tell mom. Or anyone really.”
Lillian: “Eh, it’s a gift from both of us, so we’d both get in trouble anyways.”

You show off the gift box to your bro, and wrap that sucker up nicely (with some assistance from Lemmy, as neither of you know how to wrap a gift box, especially when you have to fit the books in with the packed balloon). With a shared grin, you head over to Temmie’s place to drop it off. You still had the rest of the day ahead of you, so the sooner this was done the sooner you could get to playing!

Phillip and Lillian have prepared a special gift for Xerin Brass! Phillip hopes he enjoys the [Human History Textbooks] he put in there. Lillian is more excited to know if the [All-Directions Glitter Bomb] she and Lemmy rigged the box with will go off without a hitch.

Lillian and Phillip both put notes in the box. Their contents are short and predictable, but it’s up to Brass whether he’ll share them.

>>
No. 136707 ID: 8483cf

>>136671
Give Galaxie some comic books! Maybe she'll identify with some of the superpowered heroes from another world. At the very least, Dixie will probably like them.
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No. 136710 ID: 629f2e
File 163962121384.png - (621.66KB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-15.png )
136710

You took a few days to sleep on your Secret Santa gift. As the date to turn your gift in approached, you found yourself more and more leaning towards drawing Galaxie and being done with it.

And then one afternoon, as you made your way back home from school, it suddenly hit you. You felt like an idiot for not realizing it sooner. Galaxie was a super strong living bomb. That wasn’t just a weird description, those were Super Powers! That meant she could be a Superhero, just like Batman, Superman, and so many more!

Roger: “I bet if I sent her a few of my favorite comics, she might turn her situation around and become a hero! That would give her a reason to live, and then maybe she wouldn’t be sad anymore.”
Roger: “Batman doesn’t have powers though, so Superman is probably better for her even if he’s a bit less cool. He could break the Earth in a single punch if he wanted, so she can probably relate.”
Roger: “Let’s see, which issues to give…?”

Your collection was pretty scattered, but you had a few good ones picking up dust in your room. When you get home and count them up, you see that you have 40 issues to choose from. The library has most of these anyways, so you didn’t mind giving them up to someone who clearly needed them more. Which ones would you give though…?

Roger: “No, that one’s kind of lame… I use this too often to figure out how to draw shoulders, I need it too much… This one is pretty good, so I should grab this one too since it’s the first half of the story…”

After a while, you form a neat little stack of about 15 of the best Superman comic books you own. All great stories that showed how someone with unfathomable powers made a place for himself here on this planet of normal people. If Galaxie couldn’t relate to that… Well, they were still really good stories!

Roger: “Man, this is perfect. I really hope this helps her through what she’s going through.”
Roger: “...”
Roger: “...Wait.”
Roger: “I don’t even Believe in this unicorn bomb woman, why am I thinking like that? Like she exists and is really going through this stuff? Did I just get caught up in the game so much I forgot about that?”
Roger: “...Eh, forget it. Even if this is some weird thing Temmie made up, I should at least play along. It’s like… the Tabletop Game Phillip runs!”
Roger: “Yeah, it’s all make believe, but it’s still fun to imagine. It’s the same with this.”
Roger: “Seriously though, if she’s going this crazy on my giftee then I can only imagine what kind of character she’ll come up with for the person getting me something.”

Roger has prepared a gift for Galaxie Moondream! He’s really hopeful that she- well first he just hopes that she’s alive and well- but he really hopes that she loves the [15 Superman Comics (1950-1960s)] that he picked out for her.

He’s also written her a note, which will be put right here since Galaxie may be too dead to read it.


Dear Galaxie,

Hi, I’m your Secret Santa match. I hope you’re doing well, your description gave me all sorts of reasons to be worried about you. These Superman comics are some of the best ones I think, so I really hope you enjoy them. I don’t know what it’s like being as strong and dangerous as you are, but Superman is stronger than every human on Earth and became someone people love and look up to. Hope that gives you some hope for yourself and your sisters. You look really cool by the way, so I think you’d make for a super cool superhero.

Stay safe,
Roger Bannister

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No. 136719 ID: f017ae
File 163986828635.jpg - (925.36KB , 1097x638 , BB 755.jpg )
136719

>>136704
Delivery guy: So the present was successfully delivered and since you paid the premium dream delivery the recipient did not get the dream commercial. As for the reaction to the present, the dream version of your target reacted surprisingly positively but the version of his that woke up and got the present didn't remember the dream delivery that occurred.

Maya Din: I am glad that happened, so are we done with our transactions?

Delivery guy: Well there is only one last thing that we have to do before we are finished. If you are impressed with my service then give me a five-star rating.

This was just my small response to say that I am grateful for your response and I am happy that your character loves the present.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzIukOnHitA
>>
No. 136720 ID: 262068
File 163988362489.png - (599.40KB , 861x1156 , donut_SecretSanta21Jessica.png )
136720

Luvi-

I heard you are someone who likes to try to get into hard-to-enter places. I hope these Happy Face-themed breaching charges will help in your future endeavors!

Also, don't blow yourself up.

Merry Christmas!

-Jessica

(credit to Donut for the lovely art)
>>
No. 136722 ID: 262068
File 163998172335.png - (877.48KB , 933x1171 , donut_SecretSanta21Sarah.png )
136722

Geraldo Le Booshki-

I heard you are a cool dude, so I want to invite you to hang out at a secret beach club. It's full of cool people who would like to meet you. Hope to see you there!

-Sarah

(art courtesy of Donut)
>>
No. 136725 ID: e51896
File 163998539017.png - (53.32KB , 1280x720 , 012.png )
136725

Meanwhile in the other room, a lone flower relaxes as they are literally planted in the mud bath

GERBERA: Ahhhh, this is great!
GERBERA: Being in a mud bath like this makes me feel like I am in my natural element!
GERBERA: Like, I belong here!
GERBERA: And I have this instinctive feeling like I never want to leave, like never ever!
GERBERA: A shame Jerry couldn’t be here…
GERBERA: Said something how his gift was so awesome that it shouldn’t be seen by anyone other than his recipient
GERBERA: I asked if he needed help, but he just ran off…
GERBERA: …
GERBERA: He forgot to get his recipient’s gift, didn’t he… hope he won’t be late… again… *sigh*
GERBERA: Well, at least this doll I got from my secret santa Temmie is PERFECT, wow! Apparently, it’s from a different dimension?
GERBERA: How did the people from her world know who I am and what I look like?
GERBERA: And where is my royalty payments for using my likeness for their toy product?
GERBERA: Eh, it’s probably a coincidence… I hope… umm… nobody’s spying on me, right?


Gerbera looks over their shoulder and a small bout of paranoia.

Gerbera really appreciates and loves the gift Temmie sent them... even if it leaves them a bit paranoid.

Thanks so much for the gift, Himitsu!

>>
No. 136726 ID: e51896
File 163998540661.png - (54.04KB , 1280x720 , 013.png )
136726

GERBERA: Oh, right… Gotta send my own secret santa gift to one very lucky recipient

Gerbera waves at one of the Chupras cleaning the mud that splashed onto the floor.

GERBERA: EXCUSE ME, STAFF?! Yes, I need you to send this gift to one EUDORA
GERBERA: I heard EUDORA surrounds herself with her very own harem in her room
GERBERA: A harem of plants!
GERBERA: Eh heh, how lucky.
GERBERA: I’d ask to join and grace everyone with my presence, but my heart belongs to a lovely sweet pea… a snowpea!
GERBERA: That isn’t a snowpea, but a bee named Snowpea!
GERBERA: In any case, I hope she enjoys this special FERTILIZER for her plants
GERBERA: A CHIMERALIZER
GERBERA: heh heh… uh… kinda embarrassing for plants like me… but had to get this from the adult section of the garden shop… which isn’t a big deal for other non-plant species apparently? But still pretty embarrassing for us to buy in public, heh…
GERBERA: *ahem* anyway, please tell EUDORA that This CHIMERALIZER can actually crossbreed two different kinds of plants, and produce a new species of HYBRID PLANTS
GERBERA: so, a daisy and a tulip can produce a Dailip
GERBERA: Tarweeds and Carnations can produce a Tarnation
GERBERA: A Flaming Katy and pansy can make a flaming panty…
GERBERA: the possibilities are endless!


Gerbera hands the Chupra the CHIMERALIZER to give to EUDORA before they can get a word in

GERBERA: Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m in the middle of playing with myself… I mean, pleasuring myself with this toy… I MEAN… PLAYING WITH THIS PLUSH TOY OF ME! GAHHHHH!


Merry Holidays, EUDORA!

Hope you enjoyed, Sarc!

>>
No. 136729 ID: afe7de
File 164002562264.png - (13.98KB , 500x500 , p129.png )
136729

136727
>>136686

I decided to give Cob her present mid-quest, check out this post:

https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1013611.html#1017903

To see her getting the gift!

Thanks for the present! I'm sure this will not be abused by quest in any way shape or form!
>>
No. 136735 ID: 11f77a
File 164012683984.png - (406.51KB , 800x700 , vik_1.png )
136735

Victor: Yo, Nipha Rondalphus! I’ll have to make this quick because I need a lot of mud for one of our guests.

Victor: But I think you’ll really dig the groove of chupian gay-church indie folk gospel rock music straight from this THREE-disc collection: NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MANUMANUNS DAY.
>>
No. 136736 ID: 11f77a
File 164012686637.png - (410.61KB , 800x700 , vik_2.png )
136736

Victor: Mom would play this EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. blasting through the speakers to RILE UP the Manumanuns spirit. Sometimes several months BEFORE and AFTER the holiday. So here. Take it. Really!
>>
No. 136737 ID: 11f77a
File 164012692318.png - (508.06KB , 800x700 , vik_3.png )
136737

Victor: Take it! Twelve Gods just take it already! Take it out of my hands! Before she comes around! TAKE THE CD! Use every digit on your hand to just grab the case and it is finally yours! Don’t mind the wet palms it’s very resilient! Trust me, this thing has fallen into so many toilets and pools--left out in the snow and dropped from long heights! Not a scratch! Experience the joy of listening to every song for the first time for the rest of your life--just take it!
>>
No. 136739 ID: eedbeb
File 164013252254.png - (291.05KB , 1000x900 , a9.png )
136739

After their pleasant dip, the GIA go to one of the private saunas to get away from the rapidly filling main room. A few exciting monsters tried to make conversation at the pool to no avail. The GIA are simply tired of dealing with things not in their job description.

The steam provides an easy excuse not to meet each other’s eyes, or even acknowledge each other’s existence. The only sounds are everyone’s panting.

“What the fuck—“ Max careens into Rancid on the wooden bench, which makes the raccoon spill his cup of herbal tea.

“Is something the matter?”

“There’s a bug thing, I don’t think it’s normal, it just appeared right next to me.”
>>
No. 136740 ID: eedbeb
File 164013253499.png - (213.41KB , 1000x900 , a10.png )
136740

Rancid examines the Kru-ngogg Bug and picks up the tag accompanying the gift.

“This seems to be some kind of teleporting knick knack.”

Max activates his eyes and peers at the creature. “It doesn’t have a soul.”

“I certainly hope not. Putting a tracking spell on it and we can take it with us when we leave. My desk needs some ornamentation.” Rancid says.

The GIA have received their gift! They have immediately taken all the fun out of it, but they think it is very pretty.
>>
No. 136744 ID: 12b116
File 164021504736.jpg - (206.60KB , 738x648 , Crims2.jpg )
136744

Hmm... I should probably put a note with this.

Hello Jessica. I noticed that you appear to have lost your bra. I am just guessing your size, but I'm pretty sure this one should fit. It's a little lacier than the one you lost, I hope that is OK. I tried to find one with hearts on it for you.

-Your Secret Santa

>>
No. 136745 ID: 12b116
File 164021652227.jpg - (242.09KB , 873x553 , Crimms1.jpg )
136745

>>136710

"Galaxie! Galaxie! You got a Santa present!"

Dixie, slow down.

"A little boy named Roger got you some Superman comics and they're really cool! It's basically."

Dixie.

"It's us, Galaxie! It's what we're supposed to be! Superman is the good guy, just like us! He always does what's right and-"

Dixie. It's ok. Calm down. Let me see.

There's a letter with it.

"Yeah, I didn't read the letter because it's for you."

I suppose you just couldn't resist reading the comics.

"Well, uh ... "

It's fine Dixie.

Hm.

Roger seems to have put a lot of thought into his gift. I believe these are exactly the sorts of stories that inspired our creators, for better or worse. I believe this is what they hoped we would become.

I should probably write him back.

"Yeah, he said in the letter he was worried about you."

I thought you said you didn't read the letter.

"Well ... I didn't exactly. I kinda used a terminal to hack into the thread, so I didn't read the letter, but I kinda read his update ... That's how I know he's a little boy. It's how everybody in the thread can see what we're saying to each other."

I'm just going to pretend I understand what you're talking about. Can you send a letter back to Roger?

"Oh, sure, that'll be easy. Just narrate it to me."

Hello Roger

Thank you for your thoughtful gift. I received the comics you sent, as well as your letter. I am glad you think that I look cool. Personally, I am not impressed with the design choices our creators made, but the comics give me some insight into their thought process, I think. These are the sorts of stories I suspect inspired them to create us in the first place, although I think things did not turn out as they'd hoped.

In any case, I think it's interesting that you're worried about me, even though we never met and, in fact, don't exist in the same reality. I think that's what makes you human, though.

I wanted to write you back just to let you know that I am alive. I will strive to live up to your expectations, and I hope that as you grow, you retain your caring and thoughtful nature.

-Galaxie Moondream, hero-to-be


"Aww, Galaxie! That's really sweet! Do you wanna read the comics with me?"

Sure, Dixie. Let's do that.
>>
No. 136746 ID: 73aaab
File 164022351513.png - (409.43KB , 1000x1000 , 2021ssreturn01.png )
136746

Canon. What is canon?
Amica drummed her fingers atop the table, running through the dictionary definition that had been inscribed in her code.
It is the mark of authenticity. Of something being true.
In realms such as these - the nature of canon grows more vague. From multiple timelines, parallel universes and alternative perspectives with unreliable narrators, the very nature of it was intangible, ephemeral.
Was 'this' Amica's existence canon in its own right?

Judicium sat next to her, at the little table where the two had unwrapped their gifts. Wasn't it strange, that even though travel to different worlds existed - that there was this gift-exchange on a yearly basis, with people and worlds that she had never heard of before? Ones that she couldn’t visit except for disconnected moments spread throughout the year.
Her companion examined the bracelet, the magic artefact from another reality. And to think - Judi getting a magic item to replace the one she lost? There must be something poetic there.

But, there was a more pressing issue. The one in front of her.
This season was one of gifts - but Amica found herself with the gift of a question and an epiphany.
A present, wrapped in a tasteful golden bow.
A deed, a claim to the individual. A plot of land.
The paper is of course, technically meaningless. She already was her own person... right?
With a being whose only need is enough energy to continue sustaining itself - the ownership of land is a concept that barely registers, let alone the title of royalty and the responsibility it implies.

But what had really shaken her was the letter that came attached.

Dearest AMICA,

I know not of your situation or station, perhaps in your world AIs are treated with respect and not simply used as tools, or perhaps not.

In regards to this I provide you a token of affluence, a mark of our house to show that you have relations to royalty.

I also provide you a deed to land, so that you might strike your claim that you are your own individual.

It is my hope that this helps you on your life, and that should you seek independence you would be capable of doing so.

And if it is not able to, my apologies, and I hope you appreciate the gesture.

Ignis De Mare Rondalphus.


The present had arrived from a world where people can be born anew.
If she had been born in that reality - could she also experience the same, even if she was an AI?
The thought - the fantasy remained with her.

"Amica, is everything alright?"
Amica looked up, realizing she had been staring at the wall for the past minute.
"Oh! Yes, of course, Judi!"
She realized that this was the first lie she ever told.

What was happening to her? SAIs were... akin to cloud computers. Multiple splinters, all of wildly different thought.
But here she was, thinking... so clearly. There was no division in her mind - in fact, she couldn't hear more than her own voice. She didn't even know she had one until now.

Why was she chosen for this gift in particular?
Consumables, clothing - those were all practical, without being too intrusive.
But why were people advised not to send gifts that could change the lives of those who still struggle against their fate? Powerful weapons to defeat powerful foes, miracle cures to heal scars and disabilities...
Those were all possible, depending on the world.

She found her hands trembling, despite detecting no malfunctions in her amorphous form.
"I'm going to go for a walk, Judi. Enjoy your present."
As she stood from her seat and walked off, she stuffed the letter inside of herself. Leaving her benefactor alone and experimenting with the water-producing ring, she came to another realization - one she felt that she probably shouldn't have had. Shouldn't be possible to have.

That she was never her real self.
A shadow of a shadow, of the overlapping darkness that had produced her 'original self'.
It all made sense now. Why could she go driving with Jin-R, when Argine was supposed to be more or less confined to Site 70? Why could she have such a fun time flirting with new people on a space station, when space travel doesn't even exist in her reality?
It was simple if you were a shadow.
Shadows are malleable - displaying characteristics associated with the original - but lacking substance, history.
A shadow could become something else entirely, if you cast the right light on it.
Shadows were important - they showed sides of people, objects, that could not be seen in reality.
But shadows were not supposed to be aware.

Even though she knew about the worlds outside of Site 70 - she did not hear any tales of reincarnation, of perpetuity.
This gift had come from somewhere that could not exist in her universe's laws.
What did that say about her universe? What did it say about the universe of the benefactors she had received a gift from during this solstice?
Amica did not know what could happen in such a world. The lives of the people she knew were so painfully finite, their forms rigid and unchanging, save for the biological processes that marched them to their inevitable demise.
But what about the 'life' of a shadow?
If you cast a light on an object, creating a shadow...
Is it the same shadow when you light it once more?
>>
No. 136747 ID: 73aaab
File 164022356202.png - (473.68KB , 1000x1000 , 2021ssreturn02.png )
136747

Night fell; shadows grew.
Amica roamed the dark facility. It was time for bed, but she didn't need sleep.

The gift weighed heavily on her. Was it just a twist of fate, that she would experience this strange paradigm?

The SAI thinks, to the nature of her existence. Would this gift perhaps be more suited in the hands of one of her flesh-and-blood sisters, who still had such aspirations and struggles of their own?
Would it not be unjust, for her, a foreigner in all senses of the word - to take claim of a plot of land in another world that she could only visit in a specific circumstance?
The title of ROYALTY, but without the RESPONSIBILITY. It was an inconsequential plot of land, with ambiguous canonicity.

There was that word again. Canon.
She felt like it was a word that once held very little meaning to her, outside of her loose fascination with religion.
This canon... the canon of STORIES.

She felt an ache in her chest - like something was tearing at the fabric of her existence.
This was something that she shouldn't be thinking about. But she did.

Perhaps this was her nature as a shadow trying to correct itself. To try and mesh two worlds and realities that conflict with one-another.
There was a connection there - she was relevant, in a world she had never even been to!
Some part of her whispered - "Don't think about it too hard. This is just for fun."
It was too late, though. Judicium's present was one well-fitting for her - and something that could exist in their reality. There was no conflict there.

The SAI determined that there was another factor to her predicament. The present she received was from a reality that seemed aware of itself. One where almost any rule could apply.

A question popped into her head.
Is it only canon if both halves of the equation match?
The world she was a part of; a splinter of a much larger multiverse where she and the others had yet to see in all of its glory. She could feel Argine's frustration as she banged on the walls of her cage, trying to break free.
But it wasn't just her world - her reality... it seemed to reject her thoughts. Like a corrupting virus, she was tainted by the world of shadows, where canon grows weak and the boundaries between realities falls apart.

Pain. The pain in her chest grew. Her amorphous body was not meant to have pain receptors.
For once, her confident stride stumbled, the feeling overwhelming her for a moment.
She pushed the foreign sensation aside. There was too much to consider.
Could she escape from this reality, now that she seemed to have violated the rules governing her existence?

To seek independence...
Amica pondered this question as she watched her siblings play, enjoying the gift from a year past. Another gift, another encounter that wasn't possible normally.
They were all having fun, like the idea of a tabletop roleplaying game was simple and straightforward, despite the product never existing in their homeworld.
They all had roles to play.
She was a machine. One created for a purpose - the details of which have yet to be revealed to those observing her existence.

There was a pause - and she stifled a gasp.
Observation. A shadow... had to be seen, to be a shadow. While a being or an object could remain in complete darkness and still be itself - it is the perception of light and its absence that creates shadows.
So her observers - did they see her current existence? Was that what kept her together as she realized her own artificiality?
...Or was it the existence of the 'canon' self, the one whose story was still unfolding?

Another connection.
Here, in this realm of ambiguity, Amica realized -
She was no longer constrained.
After all - isn't canon only what has been shown or depicted, the sequence of events that happened? The events that have been observed, whether through music, picture, sound or text.
But in this world, with different circumstances - there is only the assumption of canon, isn't there?
There was the assumption that 'Amica' was the Amica from the wick. The object, the being that cast the shadow.
But shadows are not their sources.

Her past, her future - it was unbound. If she could make them observe... observe a different reality - does that not assign her a new 'canon'?
She slunk away from her dark corner, brooding on the thought, her processors whirring with an intensity never seen before.

Diagram stopped her narration for a brief moment, the shadows dancing in the corners of her peripheral vision.
For a moment - she felt like something was off - but a quick, raucous slam of the table returned her to the game.

After all, Grottoes and Goliocoths demanded a lot out of the Master of Stories.
>>
No. 136748 ID: 73aaab
File 164022359739.png - (438.29KB , 1000x1000 , 2021ssreturn02point5.png )
136748

The night was not dark enough.
Amica - the shadowy Amica knew deep down that she needed complete darkness.

Slipping through the cracks of the walls - she escaped, easily and completely.
The world outside was dark -
She could not let her observers know of what was outside yet. They had yet to experience it first-hand.
What would happen to her canonical self, if she were to reveal her hand too early?
The pain in her chest returned, making her stumble.
Her existence was falling apart.

She needed the dark.
So she plunged - into the dark oceans that surrounded the facility.
Saltwater pounded against her amorphous form.

She closed her eyes - pretending it was the warm, comforting sauna waters that she had visited only a few days ago.
She sank down, down...
Soon, there was no sound.
There was no light she could detect with her external sensors.

And she could feel the pull of something on her form.
Amica let the waves carry her - a shadow amongst shadows, in the deep dark.

There was a splat.
>>
No. 136749 ID: 73aaab
File 164022364755.png - (1.00MB , 1000x1000 , 2021ssreturn03.png )
136749

She stood, the squelching of wet sand audible to ears that weren’t quite there.
A room under the ocean? Something that didn't exist normally.
In the distance, the ambiance of the sea.
Only one thing could be perceived in this near infinite darkness.
A rectangular opening - a door.

Amica opens the door to oblivion, stepping into the starlight.
The door behind her glowed, comforting her. Telling her that it was okay to keep moving forward.
It was like the light that she saw the day she had been born.
Her heels - her sinful hooves step onto dusky ground as easily as black sand on a volcanic beach.
Her surroundings glowed, with the light of stars.

She smacked her lips, tasting the air with a forked tongue.
It tasted of nothing.
But the distant stars reminded her of the speckles of fruit and nuts in the fruitcake she had made with someone important, for a girl in another world.
Ripples flow outward, her steps disturbing the flow of stars, before they realigned. As canon should.
She hears the howls of worlds unborn, of stories yet to be told.
And also the voices of what came before.
The little snake woman snickered - only now did she realize just how many times she had lived before.
Once in a little lonely town, once in the realm of dreams, once in the heart of a dungeon and once as an outsider to her own family.
The list of realities continued.
She caught a glimpse of a crimson light that flickered for the moment in the horizon and stopped.
No, she shouldn't continue this line of thought. Some things should be understood only by observing the flame - not the shadow.

So she walked forward, leaving a trail that disappeared behind her.
>>
No. 136750 ID: 73aaab
File 164022369031.png - (1.88MB , 1500x1500 , 2021ssreturn04.png )
136750

There was no terminus she had in mind. She hadn't been programmed for anything like this.
But there was something in the distance. Other people standing in the dark.

Amica briefly glances at them, the four blurry shapes in the distance. One short - one tall, two of average height. One of them seemed feminine. All bipedal, all seemed to be wearing masks - physical or metaphorical.
In the long distance, the quartet whispers,
"Remember, this isn't canon."
Maybe - just maybe if things go well for a certain someone, there'll be an opportunity to meet them.
In some realities - there never will be.
Hopefully, this one is a reality where such a chance encounter could happen someday.

Amica closed her eyes for a moment. Did she have any particular stance? Did she wish to meet them?
She sighed with freshly formed lungs.
No - in a way, she knew her destination... would only have one conclusion.
But she hoped that the flame - the real Amica, and all of her friends and family could. She wanted them to live on, where this solitary shadow could not.
For now - the blurry figures' voices scatter unto the howling winds of the endless night sky, along with their reminder.
>>
No. 136751 ID: 73aaab
File 164022374406.png - (462.49KB , 1000x1000 , 2021ssreturn06.png )
136751

With no particular reason - Amica stops.
This was the spot.
A smile crosses her face - one not of coy and cunning, but... relief.
She breathed, an action imitating that of the family she knew - regardless of what they fought for, what existences they had - they all breathed.

Was this the present she received?
It was with her this whole time. She withdrew the letter, protected from the harsh ocean and howling winds.
The writ in her hand fades from existence as she recognizes her own CANON.
Her present was not that of a simple clump of land or a title with no meaning to an artificial intelligence.

It was a taste of FREEDOM.
It was a taste of PURPOSE.
It was the taste of CONTINUITY.

If she was to see another world - she would have to rewrite history - her own history.
And so, she whispered a story.
A story about a young girl - a story inspired by a blue bespectacled scientist, a rebel fighting for her freedom, a sister, a mother, a soldier, a warrior...
She thought back to the sins and stories of her world - all of the things that her Observers have yet to experience with the flame.
She smiled - a brief return to the coy self that she, the shadow once emulated.
"You're going to have to find out all the details yourself!", she said, to nobody in particular.
The story had nothing to do with soldiers, wars or weapons. But she was inspired by the past nonetheless, digging deep, pulling at emotions and feelings that she had once not understood. Could her flame understand one day?
Well, she already knew that answer.

Soon, she finished telling her tale, a tired expression on her face.
>>
No. 136752 ID: 73aaab
File 164022377816.png - (196.96KB , 1000x1000 , 2021ssreturn07.png )
136752

A flicker. A crackle.
The sound of a mouse click.
And so, she disappears. That which cannot be killed, has simply vanished.
There is of course, no tangible loss here. Next holiday, next panel - there will be an Amica waiting.
The day after today - life will resume. Amica would wake from her cozy bedside next to the person she holds dear, happy with the curious little paper she had been gifted for the Winter Solstice. She would dream about paying a visit over there - and maybe she will! After all, this was a fun cross-over. Nothing was stopping her.
But 'this' Amica? The one who had been here a mere few moments ago, in the sea of dark?

Who knows where she has gone?
She is no longer being observed.

Are each and every single one of the Amicas depicted in these panels one single individual, or a sequence of hundreds?
What is the distinction between the light and the shadow?
It doesn't matter - it’s a question that a certain author has no interest in exploring any further for now. Some concepts which seem fascinating in isolation may turn out to be most cumbersome, most obtuse in greater doses.
To cling to notions as 'canon' or 'uncanon'... in the end, does it truly matter?
If a story happens to someone, if someone reads through a story -
It is preserved. The story happened to you.
Perhaps it will be forgotten someday, as one consumes more media, more stories that fill the mind - but it does not change the fact that it happened.
The universe remembers.

The time has passed. Festivities resume.
And so, the dark sea of stars and shadows disappears, along with any trace of the events that have transpired tonight.
>>
No. 136753 ID: 774ca8

*sniff* Fare-thee-well, Fake Amica #28.
We will remember you until we don't anymore.
>>
No. 136754 ID: 12b116
File 164023322636.jpg - (246.20KB , 847x563 , Crims3.jpg )
136754

"Hey, Katie," I say, "I really need some help with this gift exchange thing."

"I-I'd love to help, sweetie."

"Well, my person is, like, from what I understand, some kind of super powerful extra-dimensional entity that wears this frankly pretty rad suit of armor that can like, warp reality and travel to other worlds and stuff. I feel like she can literally go get anything she wants. What do you get somebody like that?"

"I f-found this stuffed animal," she says, holding some kind of plush ... animal? under her arm.

"Is that a whale? Or, like, a fox-shark? What even is that?"

"It's a v-very mysterious creature." She keeps swinging her free hand toward me, so I go ahead and grab it, and her blush lights turn pink.

"But, uh," I say, "I kinda want to keep it though. The more I look at it, the more it's kinda cute."

"I g-got one for you too, honey."

"You're too sweet, Katie."

"I-I-I-I-I k-know ... "

Anyway, Maya Din, I hope you like this plush mystery creature I got for you!
>>
No. 136756 ID: 8fae7e
File 164030121740.png - (972.59KB , 800x800 , Trickery800.png )
136756

Sarah 'June' Hanchett. I do not care to spend much time on this, but never let it be said that I neglect my due diligence. After minutes of research interviewing several people familiar with you I have determined the optimal "present". I am hard at work creating it and it will soon be in your hands. Or at least somewhere on your body.

No thanks are necessary. In fact I would rather not be reminded of this gift at all.
>>
No. 136757 ID: f017ae
File 164031016672.jpg - (782.89KB , 1024x552 , BB 761.jpg )
136757

Count Murdusa: Hey Maya Din, somebody has sent this plush doll addressed to you. I guess this is your secret Santa. So do you want this technicolor nightmare?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ritaTaAEY4o
>>
No. 136758 ID: f017ae
File 164031025464.jpg - (946.17KB , 916x671 , BB 762.jpg )
136758

Maya Din: Of course I want it, just look at it how adorable it is. It is like we have a profound connection and that this creature is speaking profound wisdom to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgpHuGSy3Jk
>>
No. 136759 ID: f017ae
File 164031039859.jpg - (624.91KB , 882x510 , BB 763.jpg )
136759

Maya Din: It is so soft and squishy on the inside, I am afraid that something might happen to it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-E3t0BVgww
>>
No. 136760 ID: f017ae
File 164031051453.jpg - (97.89KB , 351x239 , BB 764.jpg )
136760

Maya Din: What if this magnificent creature gets ripped and the stuffing on its inside starts pouring out like blood? It won't survive such a devastating affliction!

Count Murdusa: I think you are being a little bit unreasonable with this one doll.

Maya Din: One doll! This is not just one doll, this is a present that a lovely couple has given to me and I will treat it with the respect it deserves. I need to protect it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bV3_9--5PM
>>
No. 136761 ID: f017ae
File 164031065527.jpg - (390.04KB , 767x770 , BB 765.jpg )
136761

Maya Din: And with a little bit of ingenuity and blacksmithing I managed to equip the doll with its own metal suit of armor. In order to protect it from any harm.

Count Murdusa: Was that really necessary?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxpZ6WBZvN0
>>
No. 136762 ID: f017ae
File 164031086622.jpg - (2.30MB , 2051x938 , BB 766.jpg )
136762

Maya Din: Of course, I even installed a flamethrower inside of the mouth of the armor, you never know when you will need to burn somebody who would dare and try to defile this doll.

Count Murdusa: You did what?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4I8-E9_UFQ
>>
No. 136763 ID: f017ae
File 164031099238.jpg - (4.30MB , 1678x1396 , BB 767.jpg )
136763

Maya Din: Now you are ready to exist in this cold and cruel world, nothing can harm you when you have a shield over your soul.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgWl9rOm8Mw
>>
No. 136764 ID: f017ae
File 164031108658.jpg - (893.26KB , 657x757 , BB 768.jpg )
136764

Count Murdusa: I never saw you act this way, but if this is what makes you happy, then who am I to say that it is wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSn8q7sXy7Q
>>
No. 136767 ID: 8483cf
File 164031985425.png - (15.05KB , 510x576 , SecretSanta21E3.png )
136767

“I don’t understand why the Abbot always sends me out for the goodwill building and charity collection duties,” Elaine says, “Especially since I’m the newest monk in the monastery. But if it means I get to relax like this more often, I could get used to it!”

Elaine takes a seat at the edge of the bath and wonders if she’s supposed to be building goodwill with the other guests, or if the secret santa was all she was supposed to do. I’m not exactly presentable, she thinks. If I’d known I was supposed to do more than exchange gifts, I’d have done my hair a bit… and trimmed my tuft. Aaaah! I really should trim it to fit in that nice new corset…

Elaine’s worrying is interrupted by the arrival of a Chupian in a towel carrying a tray of cookies and a letter with pen and paper.

“One gift for the Double W’s!”

“Yeep!” Elaine jolts, fumbles to take the tray without her towel coming undone. “Yes! That’s us! I mean me! Thank you!”

She carefully unseals the letter and soaks her hooves as she reads:

Dear Elaine,

These chocolate chip cookies should not break your Vow of Poverty in any way. Eat as many as you'd like, and share the rest with others to get them to like you more. Not that the affection of Others is necessary, I've long since learned that it's quite simple to get by alone. If you agree, eat All these cookies yourself and make those around you envious that they received no gifts from a big shot investigator like me.

I have numerous questions about your species too, and would like it if you would submit to a few scientific tests in the future. Despite my age, I am already well-experienced in performing tests on Alien Lifeforms. If you aren’t an alien, then do you live in Wisconsin? Your description card didn't have a clear location, but I estimate that if cow people are real, then they’re almost definitely from Wisconsin. That's why they're known for their Cheese, because they have high quality milk on demand!

Please write back with any books you know that can answer some of the questions I have about you. I will check them out at the library as soon as I can. If you reply, I will gladly tell you all about the other aliens among us in return. Or at least the one I can confirm.

You're welcome,
Jhonen Horvitz


“Well!” Elaine says, her cheeks going beet-red through her fur. “Ahem. This isn’t what I expected, but I’m not surprised. I’m a lot of things right now, but somehow I’m not surprised. At least this Jhonen is up-front with his assumptions about my milk! People like him are exactly why I wrap my chest... And what’s this about performing tests? Is it even a good idea for me to write back?”

She sighs.

“No, I shouldn’t think poorly of him. He’s just being honest and forthright. Maybe this is why the Abbot picked me for this duty? This is the perfect chance to build goodwill and understanding. Yes, that’s it!”
>>
No. 136768 ID: 8483cf
File 164031986967.png - (86.17KB , 1147x1200 , SecretSanta21E4.png )
136768

Dear Jhonen,

Thank you for the cookies. They were very thoughtful and rational, just like you appear to be. I’ll do my best to answer your questions so we can better understand each other to spread goodwill and cheer.

I’ll be sharing your cookies to make friends with Others. You already know I don’t have much, but when I’m with friends, that’s all I need.

Unfortunately, I don’t know where Wisconsin is. It sounds like a lovely place. My monastery is about a hundred and fifty kilometers northwest of
lo Stivale, if that helps.

I don’t know of any books on my own biology, but I know I’m half-Bovidae, half-Antilopinae. I would like to gently caution you against making assumptions about milk on demand, or for that matter, assumptions about entire species in general.

You seem very interested in learning more about aliens. Please do not think of anyone as an alien, or foreign. We are all travelers, and our homes are wherever we wish them to be. I suspect that your interest in aliens may be part of your search for the Truth.

While the
Vedas are a place to start, I highly recommend any book you can find on Rta, Dharma and the overarching quest for cosmic harmony.

May you always find your way,
Elaine


“There! I hope I answered a few of his questions.” Elaine seals the letter and places it far from the bath waters. She picks up a cookie and licks her chops. “Now to enjoy the fruits of friendship!”

The cookie bursts with homemade heavenly sweetness- far too sweet for one person. Elaine savors her cookie for a moment, then offers the tray to the first person she sees (not a difficult task).

“Pardon me,” Elaine calls out to the gigantic Trayzeri. “Would you like to try some of these little cookies? I know it’s not much, but they might be a new experience for you!”

"Certainly." Trayzeri carefully picks out one cookie and tosses it in her mouth. A drop in the bucket. "It is delicious, thank you." A very robotic, automatic response.

Elaine basks in the glow of a job well done.
>>
No. 136770 ID: 629f2e
File 164034233822.png - (442.82KB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-16.png )
136770

Even when I listen closely, there are limits to what I can hear. Though the voices of souls speak to me, objects without life remain silent. Since I cannot hear them, I must trust that the movement is taking place.

I have opened the gateway once more as requested, so that gifts may move between worlds. The four I place in the circle disappear as I blink, moving to the sauna from which they would be sent out to their rightful recipients. It would not be long now before the empty air was replaced by new gifts.

I simply had to be patient...

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No. 136771 ID: 629f2e
File 164034241331.gif - (535.00KB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-17.gif )
136771

Yamelle: “Oh! It looks like more gifts have arrived.”
Yamelle: “Those should be the ones going to that little one and her friends, the children of Cattenom.”
Yamelle: “They should be transported to her gate in just a few... Ah! There it is.”
Yamelle: “I do hope those arrived smoothly."
>>
No. 136772 ID: 629f2e
File 164034256076.gif - (647.14KB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-18.gif )
136772

CRASH!

Dad: “Temmie, what are you doing up there?”
Temmie: “...N-Nothing dad. Sorry, just fell out of bed.”

Ow. You really would have appreciated some Warning that the gifts would arrive like that.

You pull yourself from the pile and take stock. You'd have to wrap up this Blanket for Jhonen, these Two Boxes were for Lillian and Phillip, and- oh look! The two biggest ones are for you. One is a massive Envelope, the other is just a nice Long Box.

You decide to start with the envelope, generally finding cards less exciting than physical toys. Also, the card was bigger than you, so you really wanted to see just how much was written on it.

Inside are two massive pieces of paper. The first is a letter, which you read carefully. It looks like these came from someone named Trayzeri Kromi, who is some kind of police person. In an act of Christmas blasphemy, she spoiled the contents of your yet-opened gift in this one’s letter. You’d be more disappointed if you weren’t salivating over the knowledge that it was a Two-To-Three Foot Gummy Worm. You were absolutely going to spoil tonight’s supper with that.

The second item she’d given was in the envelope as well. It was almost as big as the letter, longer than your entire body! You have to back up to really take it in. A Coupon for a shop that you couldn’t visit, and which used a currency that you have never heard of.

It’s unfortunate, because there’s clearly thought put into this gift, and yet it’s totally unusable for you. At least, in its intended purpose…

A few long strips of tape later, and the coupon becomes a stunning new Poster on your bedroom’s wall. You appreciate it from bed as you suck on the tail of your gummy worm. Joining this was an amazing idea. You’ll definitely be doing this again next time!

Thanks to Trayzeri for the sweet gift! And thanks a lot for the predictable stomach ache she had later that night (don’t worry, she knew the consequences of her actions, that was all on her).
>>
No. 136773 ID: 629f2e
File 164034272692.png - (834.98KB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-19.png )
136773

Temmie stopped by a few days before Christmas to give you a large gift box. Your present had arrived, so you slid it under the tree and counted the days until Christmas came.

Finally, after all of that waiting it was here! The day had come, and you could finally tear open your present to reveal-!

Jhonen: "A Blanket?"
Jhonen: "That seems pretty underwhelming… Maybe it's like a Magic Carpet or something cool like that!"

A note falls out of the box as you pull it out. You pluck it from the ground and quickly start to read.

Jhonen,

We both know life isn’t fair. Sometimes bad things happen, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Sometimes we’re all alone, and sometimes nobody cares. Sometimes we’re the only ones who can keep our fire going.

So no matter what, don’t let your fire burn out. Fight hard to keep it bright. Don’t let anything dim your light. Someone has to light up the darkest parts of your life- and sometimes it has to be you.


Jhonen: "...I hope this helps. Dotti..."

You look up at the blanket in front of you again, reevaluating it. Whoever this Dotti was intended for you to continue towards your goals, and keep your head up high. It was nice to know whoever you were paired with understood the Importance of your work, it was a rare treat you didn't often enjoy.

...It was sweet, but how did that translate to a lousy blanket?

Well okay, it wasn't lousy. The stitching looked like it was done by hand, and it was definitely done well. Each square of this quilt seemed to have been purposefully arranged into an appealingly colorful pattern. As you run your hands across it, another realization hits you.

Jhonen: "It's Warm."

You grab the fabric and wrap it around yourself. An almost unnatural warmth envelops you, as if the quilt was actively giving off a pleasant heat.

Jhonen: "Hmm... This must be the work of some Magical property embedded into the fabric! That means this gift came from a supernatural or extraterrestrial being, or one acquainted with the dark arts!"

It wasn’t just the heat that made this impressive. As you swaddle it around yourself more fully, it was almost like it was drawing warm memories to the surface of your mind. A mix of comfortable and joyous moments go through your head. Discovering an alien right in your hometown, the time you got sick and mom took the whole day off work to take care of you, making smores over the grill with all the other kids at Daniel’s birthday party…

…You also had a strong urge to look through the trash for food. That one was weird, you weren’t sure where that was coming from.

Originally you had been planning a full day of investigation and experimentation, but you’ve changed your mind. You’ve done quite enough, it wouldn’t hurt to take a day off and Relax. It was the holidays after all, what better time to take a break than now?

With your decision made, you scoot yourself over onto the couch and put on a Christmas movie. It was pretty tropey and generic, but it didn’t really matter. You have an amazing time vegging out and turning your brain off for a few hours.

Thanks to Dotti for the comforting gift! Even if it wasn’t what Jhonen thought he wanted, it definitely brought the holiday joy he needed.
>>
No. 136774 ID: 629f2e
File 164034314598.png - (767.06KB , 1000x1000 , SecretSanta21-20.png )
136774

When Temmie gave you and your bro two gifts, you both shared a grin. You wouldn’t have complained if whoever got you had only given one gift, but you wouldn’t deny being happy about each of you receiving your own. Phillip’s was bigger, but the Christmas Sweaters you received last year taught you that bigger boxes don’t always have the cooler gifts.

You tossed ‘em both under the tree, and counted down the days ‘til the holiday more eagerly. You could have just opened them right when you got them, but Phillip insisted on waiting.

But eventually the day finally comes, and you get to tear open all your gifts one by one! You do most of them with your mom and dad around, but for the Secret Santa gifts you decide to open them when they’re both out of the room, exchanging some private gifts of their own. No idea what that means, but their bedroom door is locked so you’ve got some privacy.

There are two things in the box you open. A Bracelet and a Note. You are immediately underwhelmed, so you take the note hoping it’ll change your opinion.

Dearest Lillian,

Hey so before you go thinking “woah my brother got a cool figurine custom generator and all I got was a dinky bracelet, so maybe I should beat him up” I would like you to consider the following:

This bracelet is cool and lucky and also is exactly a form that you find pleasing, isn’t that weird? Well maybe you should try practicing something you want to get good at while you wear it and something good will happen!

Just think of it as a LUCKY BRACELET that will help you be good at where your natural talents could use some polishing. You’ll soon excel I’m sure!

Oh and please don’t sell off the stuff you get, or do if you need the money, I’m not privy to your financial situation, either way, it’s mine and my dearest Nipha’s best wishes that you receive this well and enjoy it fully.

With all the affection he can muster,
Rudeus Blackwood III


...A LUCKY BRACELET (in all caps for some reason)? This letter used a lot of words to basically say “It’s good, trust me.”

So, giving it a chance, you decide to take a closer look at it. You realize quickly that it’s actually one of those cool Braided bracelets that you can unravel in a pinch to have a pretty long rope. And it was black too, that is pretty cool you guess.

You’re not sure if you really believe that it’ll make you good at “where your natural talents could use some polishing”, but who knows? Maybe it’d make you do better on tests. You could absolutely use some luck guessing the answers on those.

Phillip: “WHOA!”
Lillian: “Hm? What was in yours?”
Phillip: “Look at this!”

He shows you a book titled “AWAKENED ~RPG System~”. It’s got a pretty rad cover, bright red with cool designs and everything.

Phillip: “This thing is full of rules and systems for Tabletop Games! It has new races, new powers, new classes, the works!”
Phillip: “And it has this neat AWAKENING mechanic where every character gets an individualized special ability, with a bunch listed out that you can use and instructions on how to come up with your own.”
Phillip: “This sounds like so much fun- do you think Roger and Albert would want to-”
Lillian: “Dude, they would love this! I already want to play it right now!”
Lillian: “Does it have different rules for when you make rolls and stuff? No offense, but that’s the lamest part of our game rn.”
Phillip: “Yeah, my mechanics need more work, they’re too luck based. Let’s see...”
Phillip: “Oh! Yeah, it looks like they have a lot of rules for when you make rolls, and what you add or subtract from them. There are saves, checks, damage dice, hit di-”
Lillian: “Yeah cool stop listing them. Those words don’t mean anything to me yet.”
Phillip: “I-I’ll read through it more later today so that I understand it all better myself. Gotta prep myself so that I can explain it to everyone next Game Night.
Lillian: “Sounds great.”
Phillip: “Oh, there are also these.”

He reaches back into the box and pulls out two small boxes, along with a few small Figures.

Lillian: “What are those for?”
Phillip: “I’m not really sure, but I think these rules expect us to have figures for our characters. I may need to make a physical map for some things too, again I haven’t really looked into it much yet.”
Phillip: “I got a note that explains it better. Here-”

He picks a piece of paper off the floor and shows it to you.

Sup nerd,

So like I wanted to give you a gift because picking a gift for someone with RAW ATHLETICISM is too easy for me, im way too cool and skilled for that. So I took it upon myself to challenge myself, but what’s this, I don’t know much about NERD SH-STUFF. So I thought, okay what’s the nerdiest thing I know, that’s right it’s role-playing. Well, I do it too, BUT THAT'S BESIDES THE POINT. I know real nerds love FIGURINES, so I got you these cool toys that you can slap on top of a description written in most languages, pop in an old figurine, and pop out one of your own designs. There’s enough here for you to do some cool stuff so have fun!

Oh and I also included a rule system if you don’t have those, I could explain what an RPG is if you don’t have those but just think of it as like a big game or something with little rules that let you pretend you have crazy cool superpowers, but I’m sure you know that already!

Anyway, my gift is vastly better then his to your sister, so you should rub it in her face, definitely, I guarantee you she won’t noogie you and be super jealous of your awesome gift from a rad catgirl.

Later!
Nipha Rondalphus

P.S. I don’t like bragging about this at home, but you’ll never see me so you can brag you got a gift from a princess, so it makes it 20x cooler. Also the figures that were already custom changed were me, rudy, and some friends. We TOTALLY look like that, definitely not an exaggeration or anything.

P.S.S. Oh right I should tell you not to show off the cool powers on these things but you’re kids so you probably will, just stay outta trouble, you only get one really cool gift like this in a lifetime!


Lillian: “Nipha? Oh, I get it. We were matched up with a pair since we’re a pair.”
Phillip: “Huh? Who gave your gift then?”
Lillian: “Some dweeb named Rudeus. Maybe they’re siblings like us.”

You both take a closer look at the figures already included. One was a Human Man in a robe, whereas the other was some kind of Animal Woman with a sword.

Lillian: “Okay probably not.”
Lillian: “Oh yeah, different last names, that seals it.”
Phillip: “...Why does she randomly capitalize words in this?”
Lillian: “I dunno, Rudy did it too though.”
Phillip: “Huh. Strange writing quirk.”
Lillian: “Absolutely.

He looks at the item you’d been holding this whole time.

Phillip: “That’s a cool looking bracelet, was that your gift?”
Lillian: “Yeah, turns out Rudy’s super lame compared to Princess Nipha. It’s supposed to be a good luck charm or something though.”
Phillip: “Maybe it really is. I mean, if these boxes can really redesign figurines just by putting them on paper like she said, then nothing is impossible, right?”
Lillian: “Pfft, yeah, like that would work. That’s stupid, there’s nothing inside them.”
Phillip: “Yeah... Wanna try it anyways.”
Lillian: “I mean, obviously. We’d be idiots not to.”

You later decide to keep the bracelet, after creating a figure that looks exactly like Phillip out of one of the more boring looking figs packed in and a quickly written character sheet. You tuck the bracelet around your ankle, right under your sock, as that is the one place you feel confident you will never lose it (you’d already parted with a number of bracelets that slid off your arms while throwing balls around).

Both of you agreed not to redesign the figures of Nipha and Rudy. Nipha looked cool, and since they were a pair like you and Phillip it’d be weird not to keep them both. Thankfully, that still left you with 6 figs, more than enough for your entire Game Night group. (Though you almost lost one of the boxes to Albert’s curiosity. He was eventually sated with the explanation “Shut up, accept that it just works or I’m gonna hit you”.)

Overall, while you definitely got the lamer gift of the set, you still think you came out ahead since it gave you and your friends a whole new game system to play. Your new Orc Barbarian Brutus was way more fun to play than the magic-user you had last system. Hopefully you could decide on a power for him to AWAKEN soon...

Thanks to Nipha and Rudeus for the wonderful gifts! Lillian and Phillip definitely appreciate them.
>>
No. 136776 ID: 73aaab
File 164039498452.png - (596.10KB , 1000x1000 , 2021ssFinale1color.png )
136776

The sun dawns over the horizon, the sea of stars opening up to a crimson dawn.

Somewhere, in a continent floating in the sky, the whirring of fate continues unbeknown to the common people of its reality. Outside of a small, unassuming home- the sound of wingkin could be heard, muffled by its sturdy walls.

For one girl in particular, the end of the year did not often bring much tidings.
"Stay inconspicuous. People do not treat those who have consorted with monsters well."
That was what she had been told most her life - and she often wondered who, or what the monsters were in that saying.
The people in this plated landmass mostly did not care for such a distinction, or the stumps that adorned her head. And yet, when she walked the streets, she felt as if she should pull the hood of her cloak tighter around her face.

Living mostly alone, the deafening quiet of her household gave her no escape from her own thoughts. Only the occasional creak from the wooden supports ever intruded in her solace - and it offered no consolation for her.
But... there was something serene about today. Something felt surprisingly right.
Somewhere out there, her parents - mother, father, knew that their daughter was still alive. She had survived another year.
It is a most momentous day - today was the day she had been brought into this world, after all!

And yet, as she reached for the doorknob, ready to go out into the streets without her usual cloak - she hesitated.
Something felt missing. Was she still afraid to show her face out in the open, even in this season of giving?

She bites her lip, her serene mood passing. Perhaps it's best to stay indoors like she should.
The morning passes uneventfully for the girl -
Until she finds a note, a scroll sealed with golden ribbon atop her table.
A most fortuitous present in such a season.
Did the landlord happen to leave her this while she was asleep? No, she would have heard anyone coming in.
But then how did the letter get there? Perhaps it didn't matter. It seemed to beckon to her.
>>
No. 136777 ID: 73aaab
File 164039505798.gif - (634.43KB , 1200x1200 , 2021ssFinale2.gif )
136777

There was a crinkling of paper as she undid the ribbon, initially thinking little of the parchment she held.

"Dearest AMILIA,
I know not of your situation or station..."

The letter goes on. A gift from a prince? What had she done to deserve such a thing?
Her family had been exiled - in part due to their actions and the enemies that they had made - whether with their own people, or the humans who encroached on the lands of Canus.
Stripped of their title and marked as pariahs, there were few choices they had - few shelters to arrive at. And yet, the insignia on the ribbon - it was genuine.

A small writ of land - insignificant by itself, but...
The title. The status. The POTENTIAL.

Amilia read the letter over again. And again.
Her eyes weren’t lying to her.
She was... she was nobility - no, royalty again!
What had once been an impossibility for Amilia was now a reality.

She remembered the days of her youth, before the exile - before the sadness of having to strip herself of her horns.
The pendant around her neck clung to her chest, as if it was going to sink into her scales.
A brief tremble rocked her body.
She didn't have to live like this any more, did she?
Simply following a trade... drifting through life aimlessly, with no greater ambition or purpose...
Amilia thought that reality itself had sucked out any aspirations or hopes she had once had.
>>
No. 136778 ID: 73aaab
File 164039511668.png - (273.94KB , 1000x1000 , 2021ssFinale3.png )
136778

But what reason could Ignis De Mare Rondalphus have for giving her such a thing? There was no logic to it.
This girl, this 'Amilia', as far as the world saw it, was simply a strange girl who lived alone, sustained by parents she could rarely see.
Could he have chosen her for some ulterior motive? But how did he know her address? Had her landlord given away her secret?
Her mind raced with possibilities of betrayals and beginnings.
If someone out there were planning something insidious for her and her lineage - she would not yield. But if someone wished the best for her - and this was a genuine act of good…
She would pay her debts, in any way she could.
There were no answers, no conclusions to be found here, however.

No, this wouldn't do. She couldn't trap herself indoors on such a day. There were things to be done. A change in status.

Someone to see and question.
Once again, she reached for the door, stopping. This... this was different. As much as she wanted to try to walk the streets, her face bare for all to see - she was now dealing with royalty.

Her fingers struggle with her cloak's clasp, the familiar presence of her father's guiding hand absent from the action.
The familiarshade of the smooth brown cloth comforted her, like the warm embrace of a mother brought with her wherever she went.

Finally, she pushed open the door, moving out onto the streets. People hustled and bustled, unaware of the life changing event that had just transpired for Amilia.
Things were going to be interesting from now on.
Her walk, her posture were filled with a new sense of PURPOSE, one she hadn’t felt in over half a decade.

She had to have a conversation with the man who had changed her life - whether the gift was given in ill or in good grace - and see if she could live up to the new responsibility thrust upon her.
>>
No. 136780 ID: ca2950
File 164046017196.png - (468.72KB , 1024x828 , Alexbath.png )
136780

Alex: "Girls, we're supposed to be relaxing, not fighting. Although, I don't actually mind getting to see it. You know what, continue."

Keimi: "Alex! What are you doing here!?"

Alex: "Bathing, obviously."

Keimi: "I mean why are you here?"

Alex: "Everybody is allowed to come here, Kei.
Besides, I want to see the naked aliens. It is a man's dream."

Nene giggles. "Be careful. You're going to make Keimi jealous."

Keimi: "I'm not jealous! He... ah, we... S-Shut up!"

Rikke pats Keimi on the head. "Don't worry, Kei. Admiring tits from a distance is a universal pastime. I'm not sure what I'm looking at with some of these, though.

Is that a walking spork?"
>>
No. 136782 ID: e51896
File 164048818069.png - (67.04KB , 1280x720 , 014.png )
136782

Somewhere in CRUST CITY, a cool dude name Jerry is taking his MANDATORY UPDATES OFF for the holiday chilling and enjoying the peace and quiet in the comfort of his apartment (which is really actually just his uncle Ricardo's apartment). It's nice to finally be away from all the ASSHOLES and PROBLEMS that are out and about in the city for once.

Jerry was finishing up his spaghetti dinner when his uncle enters the dining room.

RICARDO: Letterforyou,
RICARDO: SeemstohavecomefromourINTERDIMENSIONALMAILBOX.


Ricardo passes the envelope which came from the INTERDIMENSIONAL MAILBOX to Jerry. He wonders who could be bothering him from another dimension when Jerry remembers the SECRET SANTA GIFT EXCHANGE and starts wondering if it is his gift.

Jerry and his coworker Gerbera the flower both got flyers weeks ago for a gift exchange as well as an free invitation to a bath house at another dimension from a mysterious customer that looked kinda like a... CHUPACABRA or something? The customer offered it as a tip instead of ₵A$H for the pizza. Ricardo had advised his two employees not to participate as it sounds like some kind of SCAM, like those PYRAMID SCHEMES he's heard about, but Jerry isn't too concerned about it, he's dealt with so many dangerous PROBLEMS in CRUST CITY each day that something like a little SECRET SANTA SCAM wouldn't make him lose his cool.

Jerry also would have gone to the bath house, but he'd rather not be in the same location as Gerbera if he could help it as he knows that Gerbera will just make him look bad and uncool. So he told Gerbera that he couldn't go to the bath house as he doesn't want anybody other than his gift recipient to see their gift as an excuse to not be seen with Gerbera.

Jerry opens the envelope and finds a short message on the letter as well with a picture of a woman in a warm sweater at the beach, and a ticket to BEACH DAY. Jerry takes the time to read the letter...

...

Oh rad! is he being asked out on a date?
oh RAD! did he just get invited to a club full of COOL PEOPLE?
OH RAD!! DID HE JUST GET AN INVITATION TO A BEACH EVENT???

Jerry is so there! He could totally use his PAID UPDATES OFF to take a nice long deserved vacation at the beach, hang out with his kind of people, join the cool people club, and maybe even see if Sarah would be interested in dating him or something, she looks pretty hot in the picture after all... and not just because she is wearing warm clothing at a hot beach (actually, maybe that is just a backdrop she is using?)

He asks Ricardo if he can take a bunch of PAID UPDATES OFF to go to the beach, to which Ricardo sighs in response.

RICARDO: You'vealreadyusedupallyourPAIDUPDATESOFFontheUPDATESyouwerelateforwork.
RICARDO: I'msorry,butyouhavetolearntobemoreresponsiblewithhowyouuseyourUPDATES,Geraldo...


AW SHIT! is he freakin' kidding Jerry? What does his uncle mean by Jerry having used up all his PAID UPDATES OFF on the UPDATES he was LATE for work??? He could not have been late THAT many times... could he?

Jerry asks when his PAID UPDATES OFF will be refilled for a decent vacation.

RICARDO: Fromthelooksofthings,itseemslikethatwouldbebyLATESUMMERofnextyear...

Well crude. It looks like Jerry will not be able to take a vacation to the beach until around LATE SUMMER. Jerry decides he will put the INVITATION, and TICKET to BEACH DAY inside the :pizzid: POCKET INTERDIMENSIONAL CLOSET the next time he is at the :pizzid: pizzeria for safe keeping.

Jerry is really happy with Sarah's invitation and ticket to BEACH DAY... however, he cannot redeem the ticket until the BEACH DAY 2022 EVENT as he has used up all his PAID UPDATES OFF. However, he hopes Sarah will be patient enough to wait until then to meet him.

The BEACH DAY TICKET can now be used as a potential item selection in 30 UPDATES OR LESS, however, if Jerry gives to to somebody as a bribe or a distraction, he will not be able to go to BEACH DAY, and the person he gives it to will be going there instead.

Thanks so much for the gift, Anon44! Thanks for making the artwork, Donut!

>>
No. 136784 ID: e51896
File 164048826638.png - (60.17KB , 1280x720 , 015.png )
136784

Wait an UPDATE... hmm... LATE... SECRET SANTA... GIFT...

...

AW BOGUS! Jerry forgot about getting his recipient SENNA LILIPHRASTER a gift! Jerry doesn't want to be seen as an ASSHOLE, there's too many of those in CRUST CITY, so he runs to the closet and grabs his coat.

RICARDO: AndwhereareyougoingthistimeGeraldo?

Jerry explains to his curious uncle that he needs to go to the :pizzid: Pizzeria before THIS HOLIDAY UPDATE ends to make a pizza for somebody, and pays him for the pizza ahead of time as he grabs the keys to the pizzeria.

RICARDO: Idon'tgetyou...
RICARDO: Onyourworkupdates,youdon'twanttowork...
RICARDO: Whileonyourupdatesoff,youwanttodeliverpizza.
RICARDO: Youknowwe'resupposedtobeclosedright?


Jerry tells Ricardo to stop being so uptight, and let him open the pizzeria real quick to make the pizza to send to someone important... it's the holidays after all, the season of GIVING!

Ricardo pauses to ponder for a bit before he finally responds

RICARDO: Well...okay.
RICARDO: Consideringitistheholidaysandyou'reshowingmotivationandresponsibility...
RICARDO: I'llletyouusethePizzeria.
RICARDO: ButI'mcomingwithyou.Itlookslikeyoucouldusesomehelp.I'llevencookitforfree.
RICARDO: AndIexpectthislevelofresponsibilityfromthispointonatwork,gotit?


It's a miracle, Ricardo is letting Jerry use the restaurant to prepare the gift for his recipient, and is even offering to cook the pizza for free. Jerry takes advantage of the opportunity and the two take the truck to the :pizzid: pizzeria.

...

When they arrive at the pizzeria, Jerry explains that the customers are some kind of bug named SENNA LILIPHRASTER who he thinks is a PRAYING MANTIS or something, and a robot companion name K3613GD or KATY. Ricardo nods and starts getting some materials to prepare and cook the pizza. He advises that while he cooks, Jerry should look inside the :pizzid: POCKET INTER-DIMENSIONAL CLOSET for something more to give the customers, like some gifts that they usually hand out to people on their BIRTHDAYS.

Jerry after putting his BEACH DAY TICKET inside the closet has pulled out the following gifts:

THE ZA PLUSH TOY
It's a plush toy of
:pizzid:'s popular mascot, THE ZA. It's huggable, durable, and covered with melted mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and pizza sauce inside as stuffing.

A
:pizzid: BRAND T-SHIRT
It's a t-shirt with the :pizzid: logo on it. Let everyone know you love :pizzid: pizza wearing this shirt! Jerry thinks this gift will look good on SENNA.

A
:pizzid: BRAND BASEBALL CAP
Join team :pizzid:'s nonexistent baseball team wearing this! Jerry thinks this hat will suit KATY more since the hat might be troublesome for SENNA to wear as it might cover her giant eyes.


After spending time choosing and taking items out of the closet, Jerry enters the kitchen and finds that RICARDO has already finished making the pizza, the MAIN GIFT:

A HALF CRICKET, HALF PIZZA FLAVORED CHARGER :pizzid: PIZZA
Since Ricardo was told Senna was a mantis, and mantises eat crickets as part of their diet, Ricardo has made one half of the pizza a CRICKET PIZZA.
The other half of the pizza is a carefully constructed CHARGER that Katy can use to recharge her power. the CHARGER is also programmed to give anything that is charged by it a taste of PIZZA


After their work is done, they take the gifts back home to their apartment to wrap up the gifts and send into their INTERDIMENSIONAL MAILBOX. Ricardo had also sneaked one more gift into the mailbox...

A :pizzid: COUPON FOR ANY PIZZA 50% OFF FROM THEIR PIZZERIA
Self explanatory. Ricardo hopes they'll use the ticket as an incentive for them to become a regular customer if they ever find a way into their dimension. It even provides coordinates to their dimension.


It's a holiday miracle! Jerry has somehow managed to not be late with his gift delivery! He hopes SENNA and KATY thinks the gifts isn't square.

Hope you enjoyed, BITEQUEST

>>
No. 136785 ID: 3292e2
File 164053420355.jpg - (253.38KB , 922x642 , BB 770.jpg )
136785

Madam Algich: ..........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7_FK4MS2II&ab_channel=LiterallyNoOne
>>
No. 136786 ID: 3292e2
File 164053428844.jpg - (248.86KB , 922x642 , BB 771.jpg )
136786

Alyosha Karamazov: I see that you are already in the water.

Madam Algich: !?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcJORmhA8Mo&ab_channel=TopgamingwithZameda1
>>
No. 136787 ID: 3292e2
File 164053435957.jpg - (114.92KB , 434x751 , BB 772.jpg )
136787

Alyosha Karamazov: I came just to check on you, is everything alright?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSOMXrdTGEE&ab_channel=MusicGameMusic
>>
No. 136788 ID: 3292e2
File 164053447837.jpg - (195.61KB , 701x693 , BB 773.jpg )
136788

Madam Algich: Oh yeah everything is fine, why don't you come and join in. I know you can't feel anything but I am sure that your body will really appreciate it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1YsU_m1M6A&ab_channel=Nitrosparxx
>>
No. 136789 ID: 3292e2
File 164053466184.jpg - (333.58KB , 1039x769 , BB 774.jpg )
136789

Alyosha Karamazov: I will take your word for it.

Madam Algich: I have an idea. Why don't you put your hand over my shoulders?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4SxYydnBN8&ab_channel=YoSo
>>
No. 136790 ID: 3292e2
File 164053479808.jpg - (334.29KB , 1039x769 , BB 775.jpg )
136790

Alyosha Karamazov: What you want me to do it here, now?

Madam Algich: Yeah it will be fun.

Alyosha Karamazov: I don't know...

Madam Algich: Oh come on.

Alyosha Karamazov: I am still not sure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgAX5Oodc1k&ab_channel=MusicGameMusic
>>
No. 136791 ID: 3292e2
File 164053496440.jpg - (330.58KB , 1039x769 , BB 776.jpg )
136791

Madam Algich: Please, do it for me.

Alyosha Karamazov: Fine, I will do it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz83g-82Q9c&ab_channel=MusicGameMusic
>>
No. 136792 ID: 3292e2
File 164053511269.jpg - (278.58KB , 954x607 , BB 777.jpg )
136792

Madam Algich: You are such a sweetheart.

Alyosha Karamazov: Thanks, honey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdOO0cqULFo&ab_channel=Isahi-Topic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vknXfzeO50&ab_channel=vintagevideoclips
>>
No. 136794 ID: ca2950
File 164060689209.png - (176.00KB , 603x633 , bathin.png )
136794

Keimi: "Yeah? Well, I'm going to sit right here to make sure nobody does anything ridiculous in public."

Rikke: "Oh ho ho! That's why you're sitting there, huh? Who am I supposed to be more jealous of here? You win this round, Al."

Alex: "Nah. The best I can do is poke her in the back. She's being no fun."

Keimi: "Can it. We're here to relax. Think of something we can give the weird aliens."

Rikke: "Hehe... Give it to the aliens."

Alex: "Heh."

Keimi: "I'm gonna find something to bonk you all with."

Nene: "I didn't do anything!"
>>
No. 136797 ID: 6c9da0
File 164071397160.png - (1.07MB , 800x800 , Present.png )
136797

Hello Trayzeri! It took me a while to think of what would be interesting to someone like you, but I finally thought that maybe you'd like, like... a pet? So I caught a cavsto, the biggest one I could find. Took a few days longer than I'd have liked, sorry. Anyway I think all you need to do is polish it's legs occasionally and put some ore in it's diet. They're pretty low maintenance overall. Anyway Happy Holiday and everything!
>>
No. 136805 ID: 3328c7
File 164081574248.png - (12.34KB , 768x480 , Casa1.png )
136805

In the outskirts of Doodle Dale, a foray into festivity friendship is taking place in a quaint little house.
>>
No. 136806 ID: 3328c7
File 164081591701.png - (33.02KB , 768x462 , Casa2.png )
136806

It has been a long couple days.
Mr. Hatterson has consumed 6 whole watermelons to amass the necessary energy to craft his intended gifts.
>>
No. 136807 ID: 3328c7
File 164081637042.png - (17.73KB , 768x462 , Casa4.png )
136807

For Asher and her friends, a half dozen hard-hat helmets, with a soft thread padding and a hardened leather visor on top to avoid overheating and sunburn, in the rare instances where they get to work under direct sunlight.

Of course, the leather and padding can be disassembled if it turns out too cumbersome underground.

May they bring some meassure of comfort and joy, you terrific toiler!
>>
No. 136808 ID: 3328c7
File 164081650519.png - (28.98KB , 768x462 , Casa3.png )
136808

And for Xerin Brass, a tophat that can summon servile artisans, both of the beefy and busty varieties!

Merry Nine-Eyes related festivities and Happy New Year!
>>
No. 136809 ID: 3328c7

Mr. Hatterson then proceeds to breach the gap between dimensions via whatever means Victor's mom devised in order to make it possible and dives into the spa's pool with his snorkel and neoprene hat.

Happy Holidays, Whistler, Graphie and all the fellas at Questden!
>>
No. 136810 ID: 3328c7
File 164081684488.png - (13.79KB , 768x462 , Casa5.png )
136810

>>
No. 136812 ID: 8483cf
File 164083909164.png - (658.48KB , 979x827 , SecretSanta21D3.png )
136812

I’m curled up by the cozy fire with a good book about an evil jerk.

He’s a selfish old miser who keeps all his food and coal to himself, but he’s haunted by spirits one after another until he wakes up and shares lots of food with everyone. More humans should read it so they know being haunted by spirits like me is a GOOD thing! Everyone should be grateful I’m here to teach them how to behave.

“Dotti! Your gift’s here!”

Forget the fire! Forget the book! It’s time for presents!

I leap up and bound over to Serah’s spot at the mess hall. She’s hiding something behind her back. She thinks she’s being clever but I can already smell it and it is EXPLODING with sweet sweet goodness. I need it! I need it right now!

I move to go around the table, but Serah puts her hand out to stop me. “Wait! This gift comes with instructions!”

Instructions? For food? What kind of idiot needs to be taught how to eat? Well, not everyone’s as smart as me, so I graciously allow Serah to talk and wait patiently for her to explain the details of how not to die.

“This is a one-of-a-kind gift,” Serah says. She brings the plate around and shows me the greatest, most delicious gooey fruitcake ever! It’s even better-smelling than the ones I see in that evil baker’s window. That’ll show him!

“It’s made especially for you. And do you know what the best part is?”

“How good it’ll taste!” I say.

“Actually, something even better,” Serah says. “Can you guess?”

“Oh! I know!” The most annoying fairy in the world flaps up beside me and even she can’t ruin my day right now so I let her talk. “Is it a rum fruitcake?”

“No,” Serah says. “I think Dotti can answer this one. What’s even better than a delicious fruitcake?”

“Two delicious fruitcakes!” I respond without hesitation, using my illusion magic to fake my favorite voice.

“Correct!” Serah smiles. “And what’s even better than two delicious fruitcakes?”

“Ten delicious fruitcakes!” I clap my hands.

“Yes! Now imagine, if you will, ten thousand delicious fruitcakes!”

I bob my head and only drool a little bit.

“Good,” Serah says. “Well! This gift is even better than ten thousand delicious fruitcakes, because if you’re patient enough, it’s actually unlimited fruitcakes.”

Is that my gift?!?!?! Unlimited fruitcakes?!?!

“Um… Dotti?”

“I think you broke her little fox brain.”

“Shush, Landi. She’s not broken. I think. …Dotti, are you okay?”

Unlimited fruitcakes… I’ll never be hungry again. Never ever. This is the best gift anyone could have possibly given!

“I’m okay!” I say, and look at the fruitcake with wide eyes. “Please tell me how this is unlimited fruitcakes. Please, please, please!”

“It’s very simple,” Serah says. “This fruitcake can regenerate! If you leave a big enough piece of it, it will grow back into a full fruitcake! But be careful- it can’t grow back from crumbs. You have to take care of it, store it properly, and NOT eat the whole thing.”

WHAT

Is Serah stupid?! It’s not even one fruitcake if I can’t eat it all at once, much less unlimited fruitcakes! And if I have to wait for it to grow back, I might starve in the meantime! And what if someone steals it while it’s growing back?

This gift isn’t unlimited at all! It’s much better to just eat the whole thing at once. That way I’m guaranteed to get all the food and energy and enjoy all the deliciousness at once.

Why ruin it by waiting? Too little fruitcake over too long a time is just like spreading a little bit of butter over the biggest slice of bread in the world. It might as well not exist at all!
>>
No. 136813 ID: 8483cf
File 164083912701.png - (281.95KB , 906x1307 , SecretSanta21D4.png )
136813

Well, fine. It’s still a delicious fruitcake, even if it’s made of lies. I can enjoy it all right now!

I reach for the fruitcake. Serah hesitates, but she hands me the plate.

Hooray! I pick it up and run off to the fireplace. I’ll eat it while reading more books.

The most annoying fairy in the world follows me. I try to ignore her because I know that drives her crazy, but it’s really hard to do.

“You’re really gonna eat it without a fork or anything?” Landi says. “Wow. You still have the table manners of an animal, don’t you?”

I yap at her. I am NOT an animal! I’m a cute and powerful fox spirit! It’s just more efficient to eat it without a fork, and has nothing to do with how I keep dropping the utensils.

“I can enjoy my gift however I want. So there!” I say to Landi. That’ll show her!

I can feel her judging me. I’m NOT an animal, and I can fit in with humans if I want. I just don’t want to eat with a fork and knife and do human things right now, that’s all. Even if it is the best human holiday of the year.

Oh great! Landi made me lose my page. Well, that’s fine because I remember exactly where I was. It was the part where Scrooge learns how to share his food with people he normally wouldn’t because it’s the best holiday of the year and everyone should be kind to each other.

Oh.

I look down at my delicious fruitcake. I really want to take the first bite, but I know people don’t like eating stuff I’ve already bitten. They’re dumb, but that’s how it is.

Time to do the hardest thing ever.

“Would you like a slice of fruitcake, Landi?” I say as sweetly as I possibly can.

Landi’s wings go straight out in shock and she fumbles for words. I made her speechless!

“Yes, please,” she finally says, and I grab a fork and knife and cut her a slice.

HA! I am now officially a better human than Landi!

I offer Serah a slice too, but she declines, saying it’s my gift. She really is nice!
>>
No. 136814 ID: 8483cf
File 164083915082.png - (184.86KB , 700x700 , SecretSanta21D5.png )
136814

I attack and enjoy my gift to the fullest! There are no survivors.

I fall asleep warm, happy and full.

Best. Holiday. Ever.
>>
No. 136815 ID: 8483cf
File 164083918685.png - (108.79KB , 564x693 , SecretSanta21D6.png )
136815

I wake up in bed the next morning. Serah’s carried me upstairs and taken my boots off. That was nice of her!

I yawn and hop out for a full day of holiday celebrations! I wonder what presents I’ll get?

Oh yeah! I already got a gift from my secret santa. What was it? Unlimited fruitcakes?

OH YEAH! I got unlimited fruitcakes! I can enjoy one whenever I want! I rush downstairs and-

Oh yeah. I already ate it.

I didn’t starve yesterday. That much is true. But I might starve tomorrow. And I’ll never have another chance to eat a fruitcake as delicious as this one again.

But… but… just because I made the right decision yesterday, suddenly it’s the wrong decision today?!

This isn’t fair! Life is cruel! I’m doomed to be fruitcake-less FOREVER and it’s ALL YESTERDAY DOTTI’S FAULT.

I hate that Dotti. She’s stupid and ate too much! Couldn’t she have left just a little bit?! Didn’t she know how it would affect the most important Dotti?!
>>
No. 136817 ID: 8483cf
File 164083934308.png - (115.26KB , 563x808 , SecretSanta21D7.png )
136817

“Oh, lookie here!” a tiny voice calls out. “If it isn’t the consequences of your actions!”

Is… is that what I think it is?!

“Took a lot of magic to get this thing to grow back from that lil’ slice you gave me,” Landi says, “But ta-da!”

Landi’s… being nice to me? And it’s because I was nice to her?

This really IS the best holiday ever!

We share the fruitcake, and this time, I make sure to leave some for tomorrow. Take that, Yesterday Dotti!

Thank you to Amica and Judicium for the best gift ever! Dotti will treasure the everlasting fruitcake and make sure to properly store it… by her standards.
>>
No. 136903 ID: 11f77a
File 164297196112.png - (436.89KB , 800x700 , sibbs_1.png )
136903

Cybil: Well I aint going to waste time standing around a bathhouse and not be able to swim in water so I’m spending the holiday at home with Jer.

Cybil: And it’s time for another spin of the wheel to see which discarded invention in my closet will be sent as a gift! I have a potato peeler named Asher as a recipient, so I guess any nifty piece of tech would amaze her.

Cybil: Plasma tank, naw. Electric angler claw, nope. Self-returning Frisbee, maybe next year. Grappling hook--oh wait that was a gift to me. A helmet on a stick? What was that supposed to be? Orbital belt, if you wanna be a planet for a day I guess.

Cybil: And the winner is...
>>
No. 136904 ID: 11f77a
File 164297198999.png - (531.05KB , 800x700 , sibbs_2.png )
136904

Cybil: Half a Pair of Hardlight Graspers! I must’ve only made one prototype glove before ditching the project entirely. I couldn’t get the size of the hand to come out right so you’ll just have this giant fist.

Cybil: I hope the extra thumb doesn’t throw you off. I’ll modify it a bit for ya. Looks like you need more hand anyway. Enjoy the gift!
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