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47688 No. 47688 ID: 0b2a05

Hullo. Here's what you may have missed or forgotten of the story so far.

Ramborghini Alamandrin is a 29 year old ezilot, a species of heat-sensing mammalian bipeds that originated around mountainous volcanoes. The species has fur, a tail, and a mane, all of which are highly resistant to catching on fire.

Ramborghini Alamandrin is also a blood mage, a kind of nightmare-class-magic-user responsible for several massive single-handed slaughters in history.

Blood magic covers the following.
* Ram can cause any extent of damage nearly instantly to any living organism, so long as he has physical contact (contact with head or spine or similar structure makes things happen even faster).

* Ram can warp the biology of any living organism, including himself, in any way, but healing damage and creating/changing structures will cost him. This also requires physical contact.

* The cost of healing or creating/changing structures in an organism's biology is massive pain. Blood loss will also occur, if the change is major (restoring lost fingers and limbs, changing bone structures, etc.), and the greater the change, the more it requires. It is possible to become anemic because of this.

*The cost can be split between multiple organisms, Ram can take the whole thing, another person can take the whole thing, or they can each take some, though the effect is slightly greater if that happens (about 65%-65%).

*Ram can slow the processes from nearly-instantaneous to taking longer, but the effects of this have not been greatly explored.

*By touching an organism, Ram instantly perceives all of their biological systems perfectly. He can recall whatever he has 'seen' this way, with incredible accuracy.

*Ram can see ghosts, as can all spirit mages.

*He does not need to eat and drink as much as other people, but it can help him if he does.

- - -

The story starts with Ram entering a restaurant to get something to eat. The waitress is a stuttering kobold, and two other patrons are a goblin and a flight curelian (a kind of, in this case winged, dinosaur-like neotenous creature). Ram finds a bomb under his table, and dives away when it explodes, but the waitress notices what he's doing when he heals a blast injury with his very disturbing, very controversial magic. He finds the goblin dead and the flight curelian gone.

Prompted by something he can't completely explain, Ram decides to resurrect the goblin who had been dead only a very short time. Enlisting the help of the hapless waitress, he manages (at great pain to the both of them) to do so, and the goblin seems confused as to who she is and what's going on. After a few moments she regains her composure, and Ram leaves out the back, finding a strange piece of metal and a dumpster with a large amount of blood in it (which he consumes).

From inside the restaurant, Ram overhears the waitress neglecting to tell the policemen that he was in the restaurant, and he exits. He finds that his apartment has been set on fire, and goes with the firemen to tell them about his faulty heating vents (that were the likely result). The firemen in Paroza are also responsible for explosives, however, and he runs into the waitress again.

With some discussion, She tells Ram that since her roommate is away on business, he can spend a night at her apartment. He does so, learning that her name is Fizz-Tongue, an unusual name for a kobold. He offers to heal her of ailments, and she agrees. She even agrees to let him experiment on her, saying that Ram seems like a nice person, and that's good enough for her. Fizz tells Ram her aspirations of being a professional chef, and proves her skill. Her stutter is shown to be psychological, and Ram confirms he cannot heal psychological ailments. During the night, Fizz is beset with a nightmare.

In the morning, Ram exposits a little of what he knows about mages, naming configurations as something that determines who gets what magic, and the two types of mages as spirit mages and the less common but still prevalent physical mages. He also states that he has trouble using blood magic on dead things.

Robbed of finance, Ram decides to get a job as a fireman, but first goes to the library to research. With the help of a library mage, Ram learns that summoning demons is an arduous process that changes depending on the kind of demon summoned, and that symbols, standardized focus signs that act as anchors for magical energy, are definitely required due to the sheer difficulty. He also learns that you can banish demons spiritually, or kill their bodies to get rid of them. Ram gets a job as a fireman, and is given a badge that flashes a location when a fire breaks out, a uniform, and a bag of fire-extinguishing powder.

When Ram returns, Fizz expresses her disappointment at how difficult it is to get hired when you're three feet tall, and she lets Ram experiment on her with blood magic. While experimenting, Ram finds a scar on her that exhibits strange properties, namely that he cannot heal it for no apparent reason, and it is only visible when directly looking at it, not when viewed in a mirror.

Ram accidentally activates the strange metal shard, and finds himself teleported into a police station. He quickly uses it to teleport back, leaving just as someone spotted him from behind. Resolving to turn the metal fragment in to the police anonymously, Ram goes to sleep.

Ram wakes up the next morning, and returns to the library to research the strange mark he found on Fizz's back and ask about souls. The information he garners is sketchy, but he learns that souls generally reincarnate when their physical body dies. After speaking to a helpful alchemist, Ram learns that the mark on Fizz may be an anchor point for a dormant demonic possession, a vengeance demon in particular, a kind of demon that Ram finds to be poorly documented.

Before Ram can inquire about soul mages, he is called to a burning building. Arriving first, he realizes that the fire spans two buildings, and one of which is the restaurant where the goblin was murdered. After checking the restaurant and finding it empty, he enters the building behind it, and rescues a curelian that had a lungful of smoke and a crushed leg, both of which he lessens the damage of. He rescues an air mage before continuing.

Searching through the rest of the rooms, the floor caves in and Ram falls into a hidden room with a scorched table and melted slag, as well as some occult symbols that he doesn't recognize. He memorizes them, and exits the building, whereupon a one-eyed curelian, the same that was at the restaurant before, tries to assassinate him with a poisoned throwing knife. Ram neutralizes the poison and gets tackled from behind by a nevrean, who injects him with the antidote anyway as the curelian escapes.

The nevrean reveals herself to be some kind of earth mage, and encases Ram in stone while revealing the one-eyed curelian to be an assassin named Un-Sight, and herself to be some sort of member of the police. She offhandedly mentions her personal vendetta against someone, and that the safety of her friend depended on the information. She takes Ram to the police station and starts interrogating him.

The nevrean loses her temper repeatedly during the interrogation, and says that someone is summoning demons, and that it is difficult, dangerous, and downright stupid to do so. She reveals that all of the people that were trying to do so seemed to be connected in some way. This connection she says seems to be strange scars that she found on the summoners that Ram notices look exactly like the symbols in the burning building. She again mentions her friend, and barely controls herself while mentioning that she herself was kidnapped and given a similar scar before she broke loose, and has been somewhat hiding ever since. She then reveals that she saw Ram around the day of the goblin's murder.

Ram tries to placate the police by giving them details of the table, slag, and symbols that he saw on the table, as well as mentioning that the kobold at the restaurant had another strange symbol on her back. He draws them for the police, and they say that they don't recognize the one on the kobold. He then gives the metal fragment he found behind the restaurant to them, which completely startles and stuns them into silence. After dressing his wounds, they decide to put Ram in a cell, for protection from more assassination attempts and possibly more questioning later.

Once the nevrean leaves, the goblin from the restaurant moves through the bars of her cell and into Ram's, revealing herself as a morphic demon (enuzian) rather than a goblin. She mentions how thankful she is that he brought her back to life, and says that her real name is Eikoesta, or Eiko for her friends. She says that her killer was a wild demon (nivis, a demon she describes as a “giant ice wolf”), but she seems elusive as to the reason that she was in the restaurant in the first place. She responds to Ram asking about how she was summoned in the first place by saying that she'll tell him once they're both out of the police station, but Ram says that he needs to stay to keep the suspicion away from him, and that if she wants to help, she'll look after Fizz, whom he mentions may have demons trying to find her.

Ram notices that eating food seems to be destroying mass. He has no explanation for this.

A while later Eiko returns disguised as the nevrean, saying that someone seems to have kidnapped Fizz, and she knows where they are. She lets out Ram, and they travel through the police station, overhearing the nevrean's name as Varona. Eiko and Ram run towards an unused district, and as Ram runs faster than Eiko, she turns into an amorphous liquid creature. They reach a hidden trapdoor in an unused part of the city, and Eiko demonstrates that she can take Ram's appearance. It is about this time that Ram considers the thought that he is a demon, and wonders if that is such a bad thing, considering Eiko's relatively pleasant demeanor. Ram finally gets Eiko to tell him that the reason she was at the restaurant was that she was trying to find out what happened to the chefs, who were apparently missing, and the two go inside.

Once inside, Ram modifies his hand to produce chemiluminescent light, and he and Eiko find a cultist volto sleeping. Ram interrogates her, knocks her out, and takes her with him. Eiko suddenly suffers brain damage, and Ram follows suit. He heals the damage, but the three fall into a cage. A human reveals mind control powers, and Ram immediately grabs and knocks her out. He finds the hostess elf from the restaurant (the last person he saw at the restaurant) and Fizz in a ritualistic circle.

Ram KO's the elf, and finds that Fizz has been taken over by a vengeance demon (kavistaki). The vengeance demon (Kav) tells Ram that he is killing himself, and says that they should really get out of the cultist hideout to talk more. Ram erases the cultist's short term memories, and Kav says that changing to a different body is not something she can do on her own, nor is it easy.

The four return to Fizz's apartment, and on Kav's instruction, Ram goes introspective, and finds a strange void lining and swirling inside his entire body. He finds he has some measure of control over the void, and brings it into his hand. He notes that moving it around feels appealing, but he cannot determine what effect it is having on his hand. Everyone goes to sleep, and Eiko sends a tip to the police about the cultist's hideout.

Ram wakes and resumes experimentation. He brings the void to his skin to examine, but he can only see a haze. He also states that he doesn't think putting it all to a part of his body then cutting that part off would remove it.

Eiko wakes and Ram asks her about herself. She says that she doesn't lose mass when transforming, but that the mass is simply changed to a different form. She also says that if she flat out loses mass it hurts her. When asked about vengeance demons, she can only remember something about quests and blades. Then she asks Ram how blood magic works. He replies vaguely that he isn't entirely sure, but that he knows things intuitively and that animal blood is less powerful than the blood of people.

Further questioning causes Eiko to act elusive, especially about her past and current situation. She does mention that she could probably find a soul mage when prompted by Ram, however.

Ram returns to the demon “Kav” and asks about what the strange noise in his body is. She tells him that it is a feedback of magic, where he is both destroying and recreating his body nearly simultaneously. After mentioning how to stop the process, he asks her why she's so interested in him. Aside from being a blood mage, she tells him that she saw him cure a fever, and that intrigued her. She also tells him that she can't switch bodies on her own, and forgets how.

Ram then removes the noise. He feels relief and a flood of reclaimed power after doing so. Kav recommends that Ram try the blood of a mage, and then goes into the kitchen to make food.

Ram experiments, and finds that if he pushes the void away, it becomes more difficult to change his biology. He then goes to the kitchen and asks Kav how she knows so much about blood magic. She tells him to stop acting and he'll get what he wants faster if he's honest with her. Ram responds by telling her that he doesn't know what he wants, and can't even remember his ambitions anymore after a young life of repressing himself. He says that he wants to know how blood magic works and why blood mages are different from everyone else, and he won't stand for being anyone's pawn in the meantime. She seems greatly taken aback and exits, and Ram even tells her to ask Eiko for confirmation.

Ram then speaks with the cultist, and learns that her name is Rosaline. He tells her that she should work for him, and she belatedly agrees. She says that she is a ritualist, and likely helped construct the circle that Ram found Fizz in in the cultist hideout.

Ram goes to the library to find information on vengeance demons, but suddenly a lumera (a partially-translucent pseudoamphibian, frequently likened to jellyfish) screams and runs away after staring directly at him. He gives chase and catches up to it in an alley, where he is informed hysterically that he apparently has no soul.

He is interrupted by an olao (a monkey-like creature with high dexterity and offset circadian rhythms) that seems to know the lumera. It says that his name is Kwants, and the lumera is Emmett. Before Ram can do much more, they vanish, and when he tries to trail them he gets zapped with something bright and hot.

Ram then runs into Saea his childhood friend, and learns that she came from Meriff to Paroza to study spirit magic. She informs him that she left because nobody was taking her theories seriously, and it's been difficult to adjust. He gives her Fizz's address and mentions he's staying with a friend and they should talk more later. Then he returns to the apartment, where Kav starts asking him personal questions. He tells her his age (29), and that his first memory of his magic was around age 8. She then asks about his parents, and he informs her that they live in Meriff, and that he is NOT adopted.

Ram directly asks Kav why she ran out of the kitchen, and she says because of confusion. He pushes harder, and she snaps, telling him that he doesn't make any sense, and doesn't act how blood mages act. Ram says that he is who he is, and he doesn't care if he's different from blood mages in the past. He asks what makes blood mages different from everyone else, and Kav relents and says that it is nothingness. Blood mages are apparently associated with nonexistence somehow, but Kav says she does not know the details.

Ram tells Eiko about his encounter with the lumera, and she responds by telling him about how she was summoned. According to Eiko, a group of mages attempted to summon a morphic demon, but instead of a fully grown one, they got her instead—a complete newborn. The mages decided to raise her, and she tells Ram that she's part of a group that's trying to find out what's going on, and tells him that the cultists call themselves Artists of Zai, and that she might know of someone in the group that knows of a soul mage. She offers to introduce and vouch for him, but Ram declines, saying he might take her up on the offer later.

Eiko continues, telling Ram that they honestly can't figure out what the Artists of Zai are trying to do, nor who or what exactly “Zai” is. She says there seem to be growing groups of them that don't communicate with each other, but all try to summon demons through various means, and there seems to be one member of every group that knows what they're doing more than the others.

Ram asks Eiko how morphic demons work. She tells him that they can change into any shape, but living creatures are easier than inanimate objects. She can easily make clothes and take the shape of specific people, as well. She also mentions that morphic demons have a base form personalized from different species or just one, and that their insides are copied along with their outward appearance. She shows Ram her fluidy form, and Ram opens the book he got from the library to research vengeance demons with Eiko.

They don't find all that much. Vengeance demons apparently have affinities to metals, blades, and strong emotional responses, and are some of very few that are able to cross through dimensions on their own, though it does say that some kind of emotional surge on the other side is necessary.

Ram then speaks to Kav again, who is reading Fizz's diary. She tells him after prompting that she was put in her long ago for a reason she doesn't completely remember, and she's hazy on the details. She implies there is more to Fizz than Ram is aware of, and he takes her diary to read.

He starts reading and hits three bombshells. The nevrean that brought him in for questioning is Fizz's roommate who has been in hiding to keep up her investigation, and Fizz is likely the person that she was worried about. It isn't known if Varona knows what happened to Fizz. He also finds that she left her family to chase her dreams without getting suffocated or relying on them for help, and that her family name is Sal, the name of an extremely wealthy family that may be somewhat unlawful.

Finally, he finds her opinion of him, and realizes that she's been his friend because she realized that he must have no friends he can tell his horrible secret to. She really hoped he wasn't putting on a face, and wasn't going to go mad and murder everything.

Ram goes to speak with the cultist Rosaline, and she tells him about how she was approached by the cultists and inducted, though she says she has a foggy mind, and can't remember exactly what happened. She said that she was supposed to help summon true demons, and defines true demons as completely free from any mortal blood—perfect transfer from the demonic dimension. She says that it is an absurdly difficult task, but the other members seemed so confident in it. Ram gets the idea to go back to the library to try and stalk a cultist, but on the way he runs into Eiko.

Eiko and him relay information, and Ram changes his coloration while Eiko comments about a way to know each other if they're going to shapeshift so much. He asks her to come up with a number, and she picks 76. Ram then heads to the library.

No. 47698 ID: bfe7b2

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