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152733 No. 152733
A third thread. I can scarcely believe it.

[X] Attempt to wake Daiyousei and Shikieiki while waiting for tea. Try and remove flower stuff while doing this.
[x] When tea arrives, Social combat time.

You close the door into the corridor. It’d be better to wake the others up first. Not only can you get a second opinion from Shikieiki, who apparently knows Yuuka, it’s been mildly troubling you to leave them trapped in sleep like that. Who knows what’s that doing to them.

Both of them are still exactly where you left them, slumped in their chairs around the table, laurels of white flowers in their hair. They remind you of a rich child’s collection of dolls set up for an imaginary tea party. Perfect, motionless and unliving.
It’s pretty off-putting to look at, it really is.

Poking the fairy in the arm predictably does nothing. After only a moment of hesitation, you pick Daiyousei up and shake her vigorously. This has absolutely no effect as she does nothing but collapse limply back into her seat, her arms sprawled lifelessly.

Looking through Daiyousei’s hair, you note that the flowers have only entwined themselves in deeper. You think you have a Charm that could save her but you also have a feeling that you might need to conserve your motes for Yuuka. Best to see if you can just pull these flowers out regularly first.

At first you try to tease the flowers out gently without pulling the hair. This quickly goes nowhere and well…it’s not like they can feel pain right now so you resort to just pulling the tiny flowers out as hard and fast as you can, using your corrupted jade knife to cut some of the more reticent blooms out.
You’re sure Daiyousei will be willing to overlook an impromptu haircut for this.

You dump the flowers on the table as you do so, each one immediately wilting as they are removed from her head. Strands of green hair soon join them.
After pulling the last one out though, she’s still not awake. After thinking and deliberating for a moment, you slap her across the face.

Without the flowers in her hair, this jolts her awake immediately.
“Aaagh! Wh-what was that for? …Where are we? And what did you do to my hair?

“I cut your hair with this,” you say as you brandish the knife in front of her face. “For actually a good reason too. I had to get an infestation of sleep flowers out of your hair.”

“Sleep…flowers?”
She looks quizzically at the wilted pile of petals on the table before her gaze moves up to take in the unconscious Shikieiki and the surrounding room.
“How did we get here? I thought we were flying…that’s right! You smashed me into the village! Argh! How did that even happen? Who’s this person?”

“Look, I can explain. You remember Komachi? This is Komachi’s boss. While you were passed out, a whole lot of shenanigans happened. I’ll explain later but most importantly, long story short, we landed in a flower field, got caught up there for the rest of the day by some weird spirit called Yuuka and now we’re in her creepy dream mansion. She was sedating you and Shikieiki with these sleep flowers. I just pulled them out to wake you up because we need to talk before Yuuka comes back.”

Daiyousei looks confused, clearly trying to piece the fragmented information you gave her into a single whole.
“Yuuka? I think I know her! Why would she make me sleep? She always seemed plenty nice and friendly as long as you don’t mess with her flowers. …We messed with her flowers didn’t we?”

“The answer to that is both yes and no. Do you remember a horrible acid monster covered with eyes?”

She goes pale with fright.
“Wait that thing was real? I thought that was a dream!”

“Yeah that was a-”

The door opens abruptly, Yuuka standing in the doorway. Despite what she said, she has a decided lack of tea with her. She isn’t smiling at all for once, her face a careful blank.
“I thought I told you not to wake them up.”

“Yes. That is a thing you told me. I thought you were getting tea.”

“I was. But while I was having the vampire prepare it, I heard something strange. Do you know what I heard? Screams. Like someone was murdering flowers again. In my own house.”

The pile of wilted sleep flowers looks accusingly at you from the table.
“I didn’t know that pulling them out would kill them.”

“Why didn’t you? Removing them from their bounty of dreams is just like tearing out a human’s belly. A flower would understand that. But…you’re not a flower, are you? You don’t have a place in this garden beyond fertiliser~”

Her umbrella appears in her hand out of nowhere. Thinking quickly, you decide now is probably a good time to break that promise of no mindbreaking. Good cause, right?
“Actually Yuuka. I think if you just take a closer look you’ll see that there’s noth-”

She lunges at you! The stabbing umbrella is inhumanly fast, far too fast for even you to dodge normally.
Which is why you spend a few motes and dissolve around it, reforming out of the shadows on the other side of the room. A single moment later and pure shadow covers the entire room as you activate Noon As Night Evocation, causing everything within fifty yards of you to fall into a perfect magical darkness. Everything is absolutely pitch black, to the point that one would be unable to see their own hands waving in front of their faces.
Except for you of course. Your eyes can see through any shadow. You don’t register any change in the room whatsoever but you know it’s working as Yuuka suddenly stops moving in surprise and Daiyousei gives a startled wail.

Your throwing knife is already moving, burying itself in Yuuka’s forehead. She doesn’t react to it at all until it hits, completely unable to see it coming.
You hate fighting fair.

Even in the heat of the moment though, you decline to activate any of the various poison Charms you could have coated that knife with. You swore an oath to never murder and the outcome of those who die from your Ebon Dragon poison Charms is substantially worse than death.
Instead the knife detonates in a burst of green fire, hurling Yuuka through the doorway.

You grab Daiyousei and quickly jam your hand over her mouth lest the flower youkai identify your location by sound. As you go to grab Shikieiki, Yuuka reappears, pulling the knife out of her head.
There is no blood.

You ready another knife only to be stopped by something crawling up your arm. You are no longer holding Daiyousei. Instead you find a thorny green rose bush covering your arm, trying to pull you down.

What is your first priority?

[ ] Personal escape

[ ] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.

[ ] Killing Yuuka. For good this time.

[ ] Becoming a pretty little flower

[ ] Write-In

>> No. 152735
First Thread
>>151258

Second Thread
>>151835
>> No. 152736
[x] Killing Yuuka. For good this time.
>> No. 152737
[x] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.
[x] Try to wake Shikieiki.

Eh, fighting someone dangerous in close confines, unknown territory and without a bazillion first-circle demons is just bad policy for a Fiend. Escape on the other hand, should be right up his sleeve and it'll help if we get backup.
>> No. 152738
[x] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.
[x] Harm no flowers while doing so.

No killing. Flowers included, you goddamn maniac!

I approve of his ~sub-optimal~ decision to wake Daiyousei first.
>> No. 152739
>>152738

Nash likes Daiyousei more than he likes Shikieiki. But really, as he noted back in the last thread, an awakened sober Eiki is going to be less than friendly to him so he decided to wake Daiyousei first and Shikieiki second.
>> No. 152742
[x] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.
- [x] Do not kill Yuuka. Use this fact to indulge in Kimbery's Act of Villainy.

If we can pull it off, plucking the petals of the offending flowers one by one while forcing Yuuka to sit and watch should also do nicely for Szoreny's Act of Villainy. The 'forcing' part may perhaps be accomplished by means of Immolating Terror Technique, or other attacks with social components (none of which come to mind, unfortunately).
>> No. 152743
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152743
>>152738
Clarification of >>152742: by 'the offending flowers' I mean specifically those flowers that are growing on Nash, Daiyousei, and/or Shikieiki.
>> No. 152744
[x] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.
- [x] Do not kill Yuuka. Use this fact to indulge in Kimbery's Act of Villainy.

I like the cut of your jib.
>> No. 152746
So Yuuka can sense us even though she can't see us?

[X]Become Yuuka's evil twin. Make her your bitch through the manipulation of flowers.
>> No. 152747
[x]None of this escaping shit. If you're leaving, you will leave your enemies bloodied and battered.
[x]Black Mirror Shintai
[x]Distract Yuuka by killing as many flowers as you can with your newfound flower powers
>> No. 152748
>>152746
>>152747

>[After activating Black Mirror Shintai], the Infernal’s flesh, soul and Essence undergo an agonizing metamorphosis that leaves the Exalt paralyzed and unable to defend until his next action.
>> No. 152749
[X] While once a proud ancient youkai, it has become obvious that Yuuka is being controlled by these evil flowers. Liberate her from this nightmare.
>> No. 152750
[x] Waking Shikieiki.
[x] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.

Let's get the fuck out. We do need allies though.
>> No. 152751
[X] While once a proud ancient youkai, it has become obvious that Yuuka is being controlled by these evil flowers. Liberate her from this nightmare.
>> No. 152752
[x] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.
[x] Try to wake Shikieiki.
-[x] Don't be afraid to use charms that are needed.

Can't be conservative now, shit has officially hit all the fans.
>> No. 152753
>>152748
So we use the "create tentacles" Kimbery charm and have them use the Defend Other action to protect us.
>> No. 152756
[X] While once a proud ancient youkai, it has become obvious that Yuuka is being controlled by these evil flowers. Liberate her from this nightmare.
>> No. 152757
>>152756
MC doesnt even know what a youkai is.
>> No. 152758
[x] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.
- [x] Don't be afraid to use whatever charms are needed.

If we can simply escape, do it. If we need maximum destruction, do that. If we need to rape Yuuka's mind, it's fair because she's going for full on mind, body, and soul rape.
>> No. 152760
[x] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.
- [x] Don't be afraid to use whatever charms are needed.
>> No. 152761
[x] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.
- [x] Don't be afraid to use whatever charms are needed.
>> No. 152762
If she realises we are the creature, she's going to do absolutely anything to get us. Didn't she mention the possibility of leaving the garden to track it down? Yeah, probably would be best not to let on that you're it.

[X] Escape with the other two.
[X] Unless totally necessary, avoid turning into acid-thulhu.
>> No. 152763
[X] While once a proud ancient youkai, it has become obvious that Yuuka is being controlled by these evil flowers. Liberate her from this nightmare.

Let's save poor Yuuka.
>> No. 152771
[X] Killing Yuuka. For good this time.
-[x]Killing humans or gods is one thing, killing evil wyldfae is another. Don't hold back.
-[x]Either she can communicate with that bush on your arm, or she sicced it on you in the first place. Either way, she knows where you are now. GET IT OFF!
>> No. 152774
Escape. We can almost certainly prepare an ambush for her and capture her. At which point we mindrape her into being less crazy. Killing her is unlikely to get us many friends.
>> No. 152780
[X] While once a proud ancient youkai, it has become obvious that Yuuka is being controlled by these evil flowers. Liberate her from this nightmare.
>> No. 152788
[X] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.
[X] Try to wake Shikieiki.

Runningrunningrunningrunning...
>> No. 152799
By the way, guys, I'll point out that while we use Black Mirror Shintai, our Motivation will change into an antagonistic copy of Yuuka's; since Yuuka's Motivation is almost certainly "protect my flower garden", ours in Black Mirror Shintai will almost definitely be something like "Destroy Yuuka's flower garden".

As a result, when we destroy that Garden with Yuuka's flower-manipulation powers, we'll count as Completing our Motivation, giving us the opportunity to raise our Essence without spending several months training. This will allow us to reach Essence 6 and become a Devil-Tiger, a hybrid of Exalt and a Primordial based on our own personality, writing our own cosmic principles across the fundament of reality.

If we pull off a 2-die stunt in the process (and we should be entirely capable of doing so), we'll get a bonus Experience Point as well to spend on doing just that.
>> No. 152805
>>152733
Actually thats not a bad idea since Yuuka MIGHT be more powerful than us. BMS basically made us into an exact copy of our target statwise.
>> No. 152807
>>152799
I bet Yuuka considers all flowers, ever, part of her garden. Good luck with that.

Copy Cirno. Become the weakest. Mission complete~
>> No. 152808
>>152807
No, in that case it'd be more like "Stop Cirno from becoming the Strongest", which can only really be completed by social-fuing her into giving up her dreams of being the strongest person around.
>> No. 152812
>>152808
Would we gain Cirno's social-fu abilities?

If so, that would be a hilarious conversation.
>> No. 152837
>>152805

Too bad Yuka can create a copy of herself. Duel Spark, remember?
>> No. 152849
>>152837
Then couldn't we split ourselves too equal the odds? if we gained her power we could probably get rid of the flowers on shikeki easily too making it 2 on 1... providing she doesn't get us mixed up.
>> No. 152852
[x]Kill Yuuka, and maker her stay dead.
[x] Fairies are small and convenient pets, place Daiyousei in a pocket.
>> No. 152853
>>152849
Yes. With Black Mirror Shintai, you gain all of the target's powers and abilities, and lose all of your own (other than the ability to end Black Mirror Shintai). When I called it becoming Yuuka's evil twin, I wasn't joking.
>> No. 152861
>>152799
Well, it's a little more complicated than that, unfortunately.
We need a specific Charm/magic for that (we've got the pre-requisites for it, so that's not a worry), before we can ignore the age limitation and go to Essence 6.

Anyway, this is going to take some effort to fix...
Well, we've got some social combat stuff, so it should be alright.
Fervor-Driven Antagonism Technique, and we do still have some Golden Years, Tarnished Black magic, if we need to win in social combat against Yuuka.

I don't think we want to put up that acid-thulhu Shintai, because it certainly doesn't strike me as a good idea.
>> No. 152864
I kinda want Shikieiki to die right now, if possible. Purely because she'd meet Komachi, who she just killed.
>> No. 152865
>>152864

That would be a pretty awkward meeting.
>> No. 152866
>>152865
Exactly. Ideally, Nash would die too and kick ass all the way out of the afterlife. But that'll never happen.
>> No. 152867
>>152864
I don't think it works that way - Shikieiki is a spirit (supposedly she's a promoted Jizou statue) and it's questionable whether spirits can die without being destroyed. They can end in the sense that they're sentenced by the Yama, tossed into one of the hells to purge their sins and then reincarnate according to the merits, but that's not the same as a mortal creature dying and letting loose its soul.

Besides, to say that Shikieiki killed Komachi is pretty exaggerated.
>> No. 152869
>>152852
I believe Daiyousei is the size of a little girl.
>> No. 152870
>>152864
That seems needlessly harsh on the girl...

>>152866
Mostly because he'd lose his Exaltation, which means he doesn't get to keep using his magic.
Dying is not something we should want to happen to us, ever.
>> No. 152871
>>152870
I'm cool with losing our Exaltation. Dropping the compulsion to lie and mistrust alone would be enough reason to get rid of the thing.
>> No. 152872
>>152871
So . . . being reduced to a pathetic shade that is compelled to reenact melodramas in a futile attempt to capture the ardor of the still living and depressingly likely to end up either being eaten by hungry ghosts or forged into screaming soul-steel is preferable to you than supreme cosmic power?

Well, different tastes and priorities, I suppose.
>> No. 152873
>>152872
Yep. I love melodrama.
>> No. 152874
>>152871
What?
Our Exaltation is where all of our magic comes from.
Every last bit of power that we have, is powered by it.

It's the ultimate source of all of our power.
Without it, we're nothing but, at best, a ghost, and ghosts suck compared to what Exaltations give you.
Ghosts certainly can't do anything nearly as impressive as what a Green Sun Prince can manage.
(In short, there would be no kicking ass out of the afterlife, given the kind of power any opposition to that plan would have, while we would be utterly powerless to do anything about it.)

I'm completely against giving up our Exaltation, ever.
>> No. 152875
>>152873
Even though that shade is literally no longer really you but a piece of you? Even though there is no actual compulsion on you to lie and any mistrust is purely the result of living in a world where there are any number of potentially hostile entities ready to use/eat/mindfuck you? Especially when you become a lot more susceptible to these outcomes once you lose the Exaltation via shuffling off of the mortal coil?
>> No. 152876
>>152873
Well, good for you, I guess?
I'm just so incredibly relieved this isn't happening, because your desire for us to lose our Exaltation (by dying, which would lead to us becoming irrelevant) sounds the exact opposite of what I want to deal with.

So, yeah, here's a vote for making sure we don't do the whole 'dying' thing, and let's go with making sure the Yama doesn't die either, because why not.
>> No. 152877
>>152874
Well . . . I think hun ghosts are still supposed to retain some of their supernatural martial arts and po ghosts reflect their living power. Such a shame that the character has no martial arts.
>> No. 152879
>>152875
Actually, yeah, this is a fair point.
There's nothing actually forcing us to lie, or to mistrust anyone.
Hell, Nash has been pretty decent thus far, and hasn't actually done anything really hurtful to either Daiyousei or Shikieiki (we've got a Limit point to prove this point, as well)
Hell, we saved both of them, didn't we?

We've got a choice, when it comes to stuff like that.
Which we wouldn't have, if we became nothing but a ghost.
>> No. 152889
[x] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.
- [x] Don't be afraid to use whatever charms are needed.
>> No. 152900
We really shouldn't need to use the acid-thulhu magic, here, to borrow the expression from another poster.
There is, for instance, Ebon Dragon magic that lets you perfectly escape when you are trapped.
Which has the nice bonus of not requiring us to let Yuuka know we were that thing which killed all 'children', and thus not instantly turn all her super-hate towards us.

It's called "Cracked Cell Circumvention", and is pretty damn handy, for situations just like this one.
I'd definitely recommend we use that to get out of this.
>> No. 152919
Slow writefag is slow.

[X] Escaping with both Daiyousei and Shikieiki regardless of difficulty.

Looking down, you quickly locate Daiyousei, the diminutive girl obscured under the quickly growing flower bush. She blows part of it off of her with a quick energy blast before it binds her hands and gags her.
You barely react to the plant gripping your arm or to the pain of the thorns. You can barely feel it. You can barely feel anything beyond the shock.

How?
It touched you. And more importantly, it reached you without you realising it at all. That shouldn’t be possible. Once again, you find yourself at the borders of something impossible, something you can barely conceive.

It made contact with you without your permission.

That should be completely impossible!
Your surprise negation Charms mean that as long as you have motes to burn, no attack or contact would ever be unexpected, even if you were sleeping at the time. Your Perfect Defence Charms mean that as long as you have motes to burn, no expected attack or contact would ever touch you unless you willed it to.

The combination of those two meant that for the majority of your extended life, you have been untouchable, a monster that could never be marred by the imperfect world. Except for those rare occasions where you had completely depleted your power stores, you have nearly always foreseen every attack, every moment of physical contact and none of them ever reached you unless you permitted them to.

Your surprise negation has a small flaw but it is one that Yuuka could never qualify for. And yet here you are, with the rose’s grasp having taken you completely by surprise. What.

You stand there unmoving for a few more moments as Yuuka advances on you, the supernatural darkness no longer bothering her in the slightest. She’s probably homed in on your position through the rose bush.

She stops a few paces away from you and for a tiny moment the room is completely silent save for Daiyousei’s muffled screams. And that’s when your mind kicks back into gear.
“Miss Yuuka please! You’re…you’re so powerful. I should never have done it. Please just let us go! I’ll do anything!”

She snorts in derision.
“I cannot think of anything you could ever do for me to make up for the atrocities you’ve done here. This may even be the only suitable punishment. Those roses can hold a rampaging oni. They’ll bleed you to death slowly but…inevitably.”

You roll your eyes and pull your hand out of the roses, Daiyousei along with it. They slide off you ineffectually, not even attempting to grasp you.
Yuuka’s expression is a thing of beauty. You love Cracked Cell Circumvention so much.

Now you could just run away. It would be the easiest and safest way. It would have been something the old you would have done without a thought. Hell, even present you wouldn’t mind doing it.
But instead you find yourself reaching down and grabbing Shikieiki and picking her up as well before jumping over Yuuka and crashing through the door.

As you thought, now that the flowers are gone, she can’t see you. She can certainly hear you though and you cover your retreat by throwing another knife at her chest.

You don’t see what happens with it because you’re already running down the corridor, Daiyousei having grabbed onto your back.
“Augh! What’s going on? I can’t see anything!”

The room behind you explodes as Yuuka evidently just decides to spray energy bullets in every possible direction. Ducking and weaving, you run for cover, keeping ahead of the wave of destruction.

Turning a corner, you find a dead end. But there’s no time to go anywhere else, the energy blasts are right behind you so you do nothing but grit your teeth and keep running directly onwards.
Escape confinement, escape confinement, escape confinement…this counts, right?

++ 4/10 Willpower ++

You slam straight into the wall and keep running, the stone wall crumbling harmlessly into nothing as you touch it.
Breaking through the wall, you find yourself soaring in mid-air thirty feet above a large courtyard of some kind. The darkness fades as you move entirely out of its range, leaving a fifty-foot sphere of darkness in the buildings behind you.

Daiyousei gasps as she can suddenly see again, only to be falling. Her wings beat frantically without letting go of you, dropping you to the ground softly.
Looking around, you confirm your earlier impression of being in a courtyard. A paved square of ground surrounded on all sides with colourful buildings. There is no sky.
Each building and tower seems to rise forever and at some point uncounted hundreds of miles above you; they all spiral together to form a false sky that is really just the same goddamn mansion.

Daiyousei is patting herself down frantically, brushing leaves and green petals off of her.
“What is going on? Why is Yuuka attacking us? Where are we?”

“We’re in some kind of ‘dream mansion of some kind and Yuuka is attacking us because she is completely insane. Now help me pull these things out of Shikieiki’s hair.”

The fairy does but doesn’t stop talking as she does so.
“Yuuka isn’t insane! She’s strange but who isn’t? She doesn’t go around murdering people. What did you do?”

“Nothing!”

You’ve nearly gotten Shikieiki free when the ground around you blooms. The paving cracks and breaks open as sunflowers rise from the ground all over the courtyard.
Daiyousei immediately takes to the air, evading their reach.

You run past them, leaping over their still-growing heads and landing vertically on the wall of one of the buildings. You don’t slow at all, continuing running vertically up the wall.
By the fifth story Daiyousei swoops up and flies beside you.
“They’re still coming!”

Flipping around and running backwards, you observe that the flowers are still growing. Each one is thrice the size of a man now and their rate of growth is accelerating even more.
One of them lashes forward in an immense growth spurt. If you hadn’t momentarily dissolved into shadow, it would have impaled you.
You can see how it’ll be. She would crush you between the flowers and the impossible sky.

Hmph. If you cast Death of Obsidian Butterflies you could probably destroy the whole lot. But you’re focussing on escaping, not pointlessly wrecking some flowers that you’re pretty sure Yuuka can just regrow.

So instead you just slam your foot through a window and fall through it, dragging Shikieiki behind you into another corridor, identical to the last. Unfortunately, this leads to the Yama being banged around a little on the walls as you do so.
A few white flowers slowly drift off of her scalp, the impact dislodging the remnants of the dream flowers. A moment later and she stirs, her eyes looking straight up into yours.
“If you don’t put me down right now, I will destroy you.”

You let go, dropping her to the ground.

“Eugh my head. I don’t remember much…”
Shikieiki sits up and pulls out her mirror, looking at it for a few seconds. Her face changes from confused to surprised to furious.
“You are despicable. I trusted you.”

Oh shit she found out. You figured that it was a possibility that when she woke up she would remember just what you did and do so without alcohol or emotions to cloud her perception this time.
Not even the getting drunk and making her a public embarrassment part is that bad really but the part where you just used her emotions and trust to manipulate her probably is, particularly since the latter ended up leading directly to the former.

Behind Shikieiki, you can see the flowers overtake your former position and continue. You don’t know where Yuuka is at all. And that’s very bad.
“Look, I don’t think we have time for th-”

“I trusted you! And you took advantage of me! You used me. And those poor humans! Do you have any-…no. Of course you don’t. I don’t imagine something like you ever would.”

Daiyousei chooses this time to interrupt.
“What are you on about? We need to get away!”

“Not with him I don’t. I’m stopping this escape right here until I finish yelling at you!”

Looking at her, you can practically feel her eyes boring into you, filled with betrayal and disgust. The totality of what you did wasn’t really that bad but it seems she’s taking it very personally.
She’s long passed the point of being rational about it.

[ ] Ignore her and continue escape. She can stay behind if she wants.

[ ] Quickly make her remember it all as fun good times that was had by all. You cannot afford to be slowed at this time.

[ ] Ask her about Yuuka. Attempt to steer conversation back to the fact that you are all trapped in a mansion with an enraged Yuuka that could be anywhere right now.

[ ] Just stand there and brace for lecture. Maybe she’ll get it done quickly.

[ ] See if you can just grab her and keep running.

[ ] Throw the dying sleep flowers back at her face. Naptime.

[ ] These choices are terrible. Write-In.
>> No. 152921
[x] Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running.
>> No. 152922
[x] Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running.

I wonder if Komachi is still waiting judgement. I mean, this whole thing happened cause we wanted to to get Shikieiki to forget about that, right? Is so, it seems to have worked.
>> No. 152923
[x] Just stand there and brace for lecture. Maybe she’ll get it done quickly.

The Yama wishes to lecture. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will stop her from lecturing. Yuuka will have to sit quietly and wait.
>> No. 152924
[x] Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running unless she wants to become a pretty flower instead of a Yama.

If she does, to hell with her. She pine for Komachi or whatever on her own time.
>> No. 152925
[x] Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running.
>> No. 152926
>>152922

Yes theoretically Komachi is still hanging around whatever passes for the foyer for the afterlife wondering what's taking so long.

It's probably one of those uncomfortable foyers too. The ones with the weird carpet and the faint smell and the temperature that's always just a little too high.
There's some magazines put out to read but they're all obscure and weird. You end up reading them anyway though because the only other thing to do is watch the clock, which incidentally, is one of those clocks that tick really loudly and does this every second.

You're the only person here but even if there were other people, the only thing you would all do is look awkwardly at each other and not talk.
>> No. 152927
>>152926
Eh, she should be happy that she isn't sitting in the foyer of one of the old-fashioned, torture-happy Yamas. Sure, you got out once your sins get cleansed - but considering the cleansing process, syncretistic, East Asian pseudo-Buddhist hells aren't exactly happy fun places.
>> No. 152929
[x] Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running unless she wants to become a pretty flower instead of a Yama.
>> No. 152936
[x] Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running unless she wants to become a pretty flower instead of a Yama.
-[x] "Hey! I could have just as easily used my magic to make you a brainwashed sex-slave instead!"
>> No. 152937
So, uh what'd we do that pissed her off?
>> No. 152938
>>152937
Shikieki, I mean.
>> No. 152942
>>152937
Nash attempted to manipulate her into saving Komachi, and she appears to have found out what green light in a mirror means as well as his past.

>And those poor humans! Do you have any-…no. Of course you don’t. I don’t imagine something like you ever would.”
>> No. 152943
[x]Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running unless she wants to become a pretty little flower.
-[x] If she nags on too much remind her that she was the one who decided to fly drunk, and we have since saved her ass on more then one occasion.

Heroism has benefits, time to cash them in.
>> No. 152944
>>152943
This.
>> No. 152946
[X] See if you can just grab her and keep running.

Try to avoid, or at least postpone the lecture until there is no more imminent danger to anyones life and/or non-flower soul.

Besides, if it's about what he did when they were drinking, he was just trying to fix the mess he had unwittingly created for Komachi, when he tried to cheer her up after helping her get up from under that tree.
Shikieki might not have liked his methods but, well.. When your only tool is a hammer, all you can do is treat all your problems like nails.
As for the village, that was HER drunk flying, he had nothing very little to do with that.
The field.. Well. He was just trying to avoid all of them getting killed in a tragic drunk flying accident.
Again, her drunk flying. If anything, she should be lecturing herself.
...While running.
>> No. 152948
>>152942
Whatever impression she's gotten - it's probably not a complete, full of details one. Her tone seems to suggest that she doesn't think Nash is human and that he doesn't act somehow within human limitations. Considering that we've seen no evidence of more transhumanistic charms (Murder is Meat, SWLIHN's super-virtue charms, etc.), it seems probable that her opinion is based on a few brief impressions at best.
>> No. 152950
[x] Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running unless she wants to become a pretty flower instead of a Yama.
-[x] If she nags on too much remind her that she was the one who decided to fly drunk, and we have since saved her ass on more then one occasion.
-[X] Carry her Bridal Style - it will be much easier to keep up your speed if you can decide on the tempo on your own, that way!

I kind of like the image more of carrying the girl while she lectures us, compared to both of us running while there is lecturing to be done.
It's just amusing, to me.

Anyway, here's to hoping that she also saw that we're not exactly working for any bad guys right now...
And we have saved her, which would be to our advantage (so Witness to Darkness shouldn't screw us over, I think)

Also, I think Daiyousei might want to re-evaluate her opinion about Yuuka.
>> No. 152963
[x] Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running unless she wants to become a pretty flower instead of a Yama.
-[x] If she nags on too much remind her that she was the one who decided to fly drunk, and we have since saved her ass on more then one occasion.
>> No. 152967
[x]Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running unless she wants to become a pretty little flower.
-[x] If she nags on too much remind her that she was the one who decided to fly drunk, and we have since saved her ass on more then one occasion.
>> No. 152969
[x] Grab her bridal style and keep running. If she complains about your attention being partially on escaping, tell her to deal with it unless she wants to become a pretty flower instead of a Yama.
-[x] If she nags on too much, remind her that she was the one who decided to fly drunk, and we have since saved her ass on more than one occasion.
>> No. 152985
[X] Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running unless she wants to become a pretty flower instead of a Yama.
-[x] If she nags on too much remind her that she was the one who decided to fly drunk, and we have since saved her ass on more then one occasion.

Works for me~!
>> No. 152990
First
[X] See if you can just grab her and keep running.
and if not successful/any delays
[X] Throw the dying sleep flowers back at her face. Naptime.
>> No. 153002
[X] Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running unless she wants to become a pretty flower instead of a Yama.
-[x] If she nags on too much remind her that she was the one who decided to fly drunk, and we have since saved her ass on more then one occasion.

This will do.

>>152990
>Throw the dying sleep flowers back at her face. Naptime.

You'd think that wouldn't actually work on Yuuka considering she most likely handles a variety of poisonous flowers on the side; including sleep-inducing ones.
>> No. 153003
Oh boy, that write-in. You somehow managed to make a chase scene even more exciting.
>> No. 153004
>>153002

They're for the Yama, not Yuka. What did you think we were talking about?
>> No. 153006
File 132809074119.jpg - (8.80KB , 192x136 , OnlySomewhatRelatedReally.jpg ) [iqdb]
153006
[x]Grab her, keep running and tell her to lecture while running unless she wants to become a pretty little flower.
-[x] If she nags on too much remind her that she was the one who decided to fly drunk, and we have since saved her ass on more then one occasion.

“Look, I realise you may feel betrayed by what I did. But I really think you need to consi-yoink!”

You suddenly dart in close to her, grabbing her by the hand and running down the corridor. For a moment she just limply drags behind you, as if she can’t believe what you’re doing.
“If you really must yell at me, do it while we’re running! Unless you want to spend the rest of your life in her garden!”

“Put me down!”
She flails around for a few seconds as you turn a corner before her feet find contact with the ground. She digs her heels in and the world turns upside down as you suddenly find yourself moving at great momentum while holding a now immovable object.
You salvage yourself halfway through your sudden flip and land on your feet rubbing your arm. Damn, it nearly feels like she dislocated it or something.

Looking at Shikieiki, you note that it doesn’t look like she just used an immense amount of strength to dig her feet in since the carpeted ground looks mostly undamaged.
She just stopped and became perfectly immobile for a split second.

Daiyousei makes the appropriate startled-yet-amused oohs and aahs at this feat; as if she’s already forgotten the mortal peril you are all in.
“Neat! What just happened?”

“A useful gift from my heritage,” the Yama replies. “You can no more move me or sway my course than you could shift the roots of mountains.”

“Really? Your course was doing plenty of swaying when you were busy drunkenly laying waste to that village, if I recall correctly.”

She goes bright red though you’re not entirely sure if it’s with rage, humiliation or both.
“That is another-”

You don’t let her keep speaking.
“Don’t try to blame me for that! It wasn’t my idea for you to drink an entire jug in a single drink! And it sure wasn’t my plan to go flying drunk through the village and ending up in Yuuka’s territory! No! That was all you! You nearly went off flying without us and who knows what would have happened then! All I was doing…all I was doing was just trying to help Komachi since it was my fault she got into this mess!”

You note out of the corner of your eye that Daiyousei is ignoring your little pocket of drama entirely and is busy opening the many doors of the corridor to see what’s inside.
“And while what I did was wrong, I think you can find it in your heart to just give up the lecture until we escape!”

Your face is only inches away from hers now, you having unconsciously sidled closer to the point of shouting directly in her face. She makes eye contact with your for a moment before recoiling.
“And another thing! Since our little adventure through the village, I’ve helped you how many times? I helped cushion and slow the landing-”

“I would have been fine even if I collided full speed actually.”

“I negotiated with Yuuka!”

“I wouldn’t use the term negotiate for what you did. And arguably, that only made things worse anyway.”

“I pulled those sleep flowers off of you!”

“Solving a problem that you caused doesn’t count as helping.”

“Both of you SHUT UP!
A shrill yell pierces the corridor as Daiyousei loses her patience. Both you and Shikieiki turn and look at her, causing her to quail momentarily before stiffening her back.
“Can we just get out of here first?”

Shikieiki pauses for a moment before nodding.
“As chance would have it, I think I know a way out. Follow me. But there will be words later.”

“Looking forward to it.”

She opens a door, revealing yet another perfectly identical corridor. She takes to the air and flies down it, you and Daiyousei in quick pursuit.

As you round another corner, Shikieiki speaks again to you, neither of you slowing down or breaking pace.
“Now what exactly are your intentions towards Komachi?”

“Pardon?”

“Do you desire her romantically? Is that your reason for all of this?”

“What.”

“I’m not hearing a no.”

“No that is not the bloody reason! Why would you think it is? Can’t someone try to rescue a girl from death for any other reason?”

“Not to my knowledge.”

“Eh?”

“The Sanzu River and the barrier covering that which lies on the other side have only been forcibly trespassed thrice by the living in all history. And all of them were attempting to rescue lovers.”
The look she’s giving you is strange, like some kind of odd mixture between a reproachful aloof look and a perverted leer.

“Precedence hardly implies causation. I’m doing it because I want to fix my mistake. …Also, you seem to have a remarkable amount of interest in Komachi’s sex life. If I had known that all this firing business was just a lover’s tiff I probably wouldn’t have gotten involved.”

The conversation ends in Eiki spluttering and choking in incoherent rage.

Eventually, your route ends in a pair of immense wooden doors that rip themselves open as soon Shikieiki even looks at them. The Yama draws to a halt as she sees what lies beyond.
“This was not here when I was here last.”

The doors open to a majestic ballroom. The red walls are panelled with dark wood and shining gold, oil paintings adorning all of them. Six giant crystal chandeliers hang from the roof, their gleaming branches just begging for a hero to dramatically swing himself from them.
Beyond them, the room is lit with a thousand candelabra, each one fashioned in the appearance of a metallic rose. Their light makes it easy to see what’s in the room, whether you want to or not.

Hundreds of people, both adult and child, both man and woman, moving slowly to an unheard beat. There was a vast difference in the clothing and style of each one, as if each had been plucked from different times and situations.
And none of them are human. You don’t know how exactly you can tell as they all look perfectly human but when you look at the way they move, the cultivated patterns they form, all you can see are flowers rustling in the breeze.

This Garden of the Sun is the least of my gardens and it is the only one where my flowers wear their true shape.

“Yuuka oversteps her boundaries.”
The Yama’s voice is as hard and unfeeling as slab of marble.

“Do I?”
The crowd parts to reveal Yuuka standing alone, umbrella in hand. She slowly starts to walk through the dancers, dragging her fingers along their faces as she does so.
“None of these are new additions to my gardens. They are all old flowers from before I ever visited Gensokyo.”

“Flowers…?”
Shikieiki looks uncertain but hesitates only slightly before continuing.
“You’ve forgotten your place, flower youkai. It is only your unnatural age that gives you strength to do this. Your origin in the Dream should not give you the authority to interpret the limits of your domain through dream logic! They are not flowers. What they are, are souls who should have long since passed on. Which makes them mine!”

The dancers all disappear, leaving only flowers behind. Yuuka backs away in surprise as Shikieiki advances.
“What’s wrong with you Yuuka? This is not the Yuuka I once knew. She didn’t do things like this.”

The flower youkai looks around in confusion, stepping back further.
“As you said, O Yama, I’m not a real youkai as much as I am a dream of one. Dreams change into nightmares quite easily.”

You decide to interrupt this little…whatever’s going on.
“Soooo…what’s going on? Because I’m not really following this at all.”

“Yuuka Kazami is a youkai from the dream world,” Shikieiki explains to you. “She’s normally fine as long as flowers are unharmed. But dream youkai don’t always behave like regular ones. I’ve never heard of her turning things into flowers before. Something’s changed her.”

Okay. You don’t know how regular youkai behave either but still.

Yuuka laughs, a not entirely unpleasant sound.
“There’s a reason for all of this, even if I can’t quite remember it. Now if you excuse me Shikieiki, we have a hunt in the morning. We all need to sleep.”

Daiyousei immediately falls out of the air, slamming against the floor. She’s already snoring before she hits the ground. Shikieiki staggers back as if from an invisible blow but remains standing.
“What is this?”

“I’m a gardener. All flowers grow as I instruct them to, no matter how important they think they are. So just go to sleep.”

Shikieiki nearly falls over, her eyes closing before snapping wide open.
“Stop that! I can’t fix you Yuuka but I-”

“Sleep.”

“…Can force you to stay here until I-”

“Sleep!”

“…Find someone who caaaaannn.”

Shikieiki stumbles again, her voice slurring. Yuuka starts to step forward.

“You’ll be a pretty little flower, Eiki. I can’t wait until you join my gardens.”

“….Yes…pretty little flower…”

Shikieiki seems just about completely gone, doing nothing but muttering Yuuka’s words back to you. You grab her by the shoulder but she’s fixed herself to the ground again like she did before.
“Stop this Yuuka!”

The flower youkai laughs.
“I can’t stop it, even if I wanted to! She’s just my flower now, who can do nothing but grow to serve me.”

“…Serve Yuuka…”

Shit. Shit. You need to break her hold over them somehow! Maybe something big and lethal and distracting like…
In the corner of your eye, you see Shikieiki wink at you. You stop your plan and instead focus on looking like you’re really terrified.

Yuuka walks the length of the ballroom until she’s right in front of all of you. She reaches down to touch Shikieiki’s face like she had done to the dancers.
“Such an interesting flowAaarrgh!”

Shikieiki whips her across the face with her weird looking stick, having seemingly pulled it out of nowhere.
“I don’t know what happened to you Yuuka, but it’s clearly made you an idiot! I won’t be moved by parlour tricks like that.”

The flower youkai falls over from the blow, staring in uncomprehending shock. You take this as your cue to lunge in, unsheathing your Shade Knife as you do so. Raising the blade, you find yourself hesitating. She can survive this but…this comes uncomfortably close to what you said you’d never do again.

Putting it out for mind now, you push the three-foot Shade Knife into Yuuka’s stomach, impaling her. She spasms before letting out an ear piercing shriek as the blade ignites inside of her, pinning her to the ground with a sword of green fire.
There’s still no blood.

“Good work. That’ll stop her from moving for some time.” Shikieiki says. “Now we should probably be running.”

Your unasked question is answered as the room explodes around you, the roof sliding back and the walls falling down.
Standing outside, you see the true form of the dream mansion. A twisted hollow sphere who’s interior is covered in the buildings of the mansion, each one looping around each other. An endless mansion that’s spatially twisted into a mobius loop.

“When I said that I’d never been in much Wyld before, that wasn’t really an invitation to start dumping me in it repeatedly.”

“Who are you talking to?”
Shikieiki is behind you, holding an unconscious flower Daiyousei. Really, today has not been a good day for the fairy’s ability to stay awake.

“Myself.”

“Ech. This is why I dislike the dream world. You’re just asking to be crammed into some nonsensical geography and it’s equally odd inhabitants. I thought Yuuka was one of the more sensible ones.”

“You said you knew a way out?”

“Yes. No matter what forms her mansion take; Yuuka has always had a single immutable entrance linking it to a certain point in Gensokyo that never changed. Or at least, the old Yuuka did.”

“That sounds less than promising.”

“ Well we have to keep moving anyway. Yuuka isn’t going to stay immobilised and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the mansion becomes hostile towards us.”

Following her lead, you once again start making your way through the endless network of corridors and rooms. This time though, they aren’t always identical. There were huge parts of the mansion that were entirely different types of architectural style, as if Yuuka had never gotten round to updating her mansion’s style fully.
Running through a corridor hewn roughly out of green stone and filled with paper lanterns, you’re still coming to terms with the loss of your Shade Knife to hold Yuuka in place.
“Well, at least I still have this scythe!”

“Give that back to me!”

“No! It’s mine now, Eiki!”

Eventually, you find yourself and Shikieiki standing in an atrium of white marble, in front of an ordinary brown door. The Yama seems pleased with herself.
“She might change its appearance but it’s always here, the border between dream and reality. And I imagine that her two guards are too busy tending to their mistress to be here.”

Walking through the door, you find yourself on a small island in the middle of a lake surrounded by mountains. A moon hangs in the night sky above you, disturbingly similar to the one you knew in Creation.
Shikieiki puts Daiyousei down on the ground before marking a seal of green and white light across the doorway, causing it to vanish completely. That job done, she sits down next to you by the shore.
“That should prevent anything getting out of that world for a few days. Enough time for us to get Yuuka exorcised.”

“So she’s not normally like this?”

“No. She’s usually one of the most balanced dream youkai to exist. And this ‘flower’ idea of hers is…terrifying. She nearly had me. I don’t know what’s happened to her. Maybe…”

She gazes up into the night sky unhappily.
“The dream world reflects our own in more ways than is obvious. Perhaps if some terrible event was happening to Gensokyo, the change would first be felt in the world of dreams.”

“Like the way a weathervane tells you which way the wind’s blowing?”

“Perhaps. And the fact that a thing like you ends up in Gensokyo the same day is worrying.”

“Oh, a ‘thing like me’. That’s real nice. And I’m really not causing whatever it is. All I wanted to do was get a drink with a girl and take her scythe.”

Shikieiki glares at you, not taking well to being reminded of her inability to make you let go of the scythe.
“Those scythes are a shinigami’s honoured tools, passed down through centuries. You’re lucky I don’t just beat you silly and take it off your body.”

“I’d like to see you try.”

“Anyway, I don’t think you’re the cause of it, even though I don’t know just what you are. I think you’re more of a symptom than the actual disease, just like Yuuka.”

“I think that’s even less flattering, actually.”
You pull a small golden candelabra out of your cloak, just one of a few interesting morsels you appropriated from Yuuka’s fancy ballroom. Taking a bite out of it, you feel Shikieiki’s gaze landing on your visible Caste mark again.

“I have far too much work waiting for me. I’m off.”
She goes to rise into the air only to be interrupted by you grabbing her leg.

“Hey, what about me and Daiyousei? You just leaving us here? On this island? And what about Komachi?”

Shikieiki shrugs before ripping free of your grasp.
“Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten about what you did. If anything else, I’ll be back at some point to lecture you on the values of truth and good living. As for Komachi…we’ll see.”
She flies off into the night sky, leaving you to bury the temptation of throwing something after her as she does so.

You lie down with a sigh, cramming the rest of the candelabra into your mouth. Oh yes, that’s certainly much more palatable than dirt, leaf mould and pebbles. Gold must be one of the kings of epicurean metals.

Yawning mightily, you think about your current situation. It hasn’t been a terrible first day really. Not in this strange place that mimics Creation so well in some respects while being completely wrong in others.
It’d probably be good to sleep here for a bit. That door’s not coming back anytime soon, so it should be safe. Daiyousei will probably wake in the morning too.

Maybe then you can finally get to that fucking human village.

[ ] Sleeping here’s fine.

[ ] Why not get to the other shore, where you aren’t sleeping next to the sealed portal?

[ ] See if you can find a way back into the dream mansion (why?).

[ ] These are some really lacklustre choices. Write something cooler in.
>> No. 153007
[x] Why not get to the other shore, where you aren’t sleeping next to the sealed portal?
-[x] Wake up Daiyousei.

Sealed it may be, sleeping next to a portal to a hostile dream world sounds like a bad idea.
>> No. 153008
[x] Sleeping here’s fine.

>>153007
If everyone knows a portal to a hostile dream world is usually here, then sleeping here could be safer than sleeping elsewhere. If the portal is really sealed, that is.
>> No. 153010
>>153008
Yet you're completely ignoring the fact that clearly [s]logic means nothing to something of dreams[s]. For us it's logical she cant get out of something that's sealed, But for her its childsplay. Especially since, you know, We accidently broke the seal and got in there in the first place.

[x] Get Daiyousei to fly to you the human village.
-[x]Flightly broads... Yeesh.
>> No. 153013
>>153008
It's not that you don't have a point, but I'd rather not go to sleep (I.E., something that makes you dream) right next to a dream portal to our enemy, however sealed it may be.

[x] Why not get to the other shore, where you aren’t sleeping next to the sealed portal?

By the way, what's our motivation, if I may ask?
>> No. 153015
>>153013
>By the way, what's our motivation?

Do you mean motivation as in 'Nash's current reason for doing things' or in the Exalted Mechanic sense of 'the capital M Motivation that drives your character' deal?

If it's the latter, then none. Nashar has no Motivation of his own beyond what ones he can get from becoming someone's evil twin. A fundamental spiritual part of him is hollow.

On the other hand, the Ebon Dragon Charm that cored his Motivation out of his soul also gave him some nifty mental defenses so hey, pretty good deal.

This incidentally, is also why Nash was originally content to sit around in a hermitage doing nothing for a long period of time when most Exalted are driven to change the world.
>> No. 153016
>>153015
He really dipped deep into the Ebon Dragon's playset, didn't he?
>> No. 153017
[x] Summon a first-circle demon - call forth one of the agatae, the beauteous wasps. This way, we can travel via air by ourselves if need arises in the future.
[x] Why not get to the other shore, where you aren’t sleeping next to the sealed portal?
>> No. 153018
[x]Why not get to the other shore, where you aren’t sleeping next to the sealed portal?
>> No. 153019
>>153006
>“The Sanzu River and the barrier covering that which lies on the other side have only been forcibly trespassed thrice by the living in all history. And all of them were attempting to rescue lovers.”
>The look she’s giving you is strange, like some kind of odd mixture between a reproachful aloof look and a perverted leer.
Oho~
Miss Shikieiki, are you interested in knowing more about romance?

Nicely done, Drei - I'm really liking your version of Shikieiki!
Nash's interaction with her is amusing, as well.

>“Don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten about what you did. If anything else, I’ll be back at some point to lecture you on the values of truth and good living. As for Komachi…we’ll see.”
Hey, this wasn't so bad - the girl doesn't actually think we're responsible for whatever is happening in Gensokyo.

And she will come back to talk to us, so after the lecture we should have some opportunity to offer our own argument.

>>153015
...Huh.
Nash has gone that far?


Well, anyway, this place isn't that bad for us - we're close to water, which the Kimbery magic we've got really likes.
And we're now around a place sealed specifically by the Yama herself.


[X] Why not get to the other shore, where you aren’t sleeping next to the sealed portal?
-[X] Make sure to sleep in a place where you can keep watch over the sealed portal area, no matter where you sleep.
You've got a feeling that if Shikieiki comes back without being able to find you, things won't end up pleasant.
>> No. 153020
[x]Why not get to the other shore, where you aren’t sleeping next to the sealed portal?
>> No. 153021
>>153020
Dupe due to server hang.
>> No. 153024
[X] Use Daiyousei as a pillow so she can't just fly off and leave you stranded.

Also, excellent update Drei.
>> No. 153026
[X] Use Daiyousei as a pillow so she can't just fly off and leave you stranded.

Hahaha, I like this write-in.
>> No. 153027
>>153008
Changing for superior write-in.

[X] Use Daiyousei as a pillow so she can't just fly off and leave you stranded.

Also, that update was awesome in several ways.
>> No. 153028
[X] Use daiyousei as a pillow so she can't just fly off and leave you stranded.

How can anyone say no to green-hair fairy pillow?
>> No. 153029
[X] Use daiyousei as a pillow so she can't just fly off and leave you stranded.

We're going to have at least one fairy pissed at us when we wake up.

(Also, I hope we meet Kisume, as she looks quite like what you'd get if Shiki and Komachi had a kid and shoved her in a bucket. The teasing opportunities are endless.)
>> No. 153030
Hmm. Odds that this might be the result of some sort of contact with Autochthon's sleeping mind? The inhabitants of Gensokyo do have some fairly impressive magitech, after all, that might serve to forge a connection with him.

As for our action,
[X]Sleep in the stream, for extra recuperation. Yay Kimbery charms.
>> No. 153032
>>153030
The Great Maker doesn't have an exclusive claim to magitech and Gensokyo isn't nearly as magitech-heavy as anything associated with that particular Primordial - Autochthonian influence is pretty distinct.
>> No. 153033
[x]Why not get to the other shore, where you aren’t sleeping next to the sealed portal?

Aren't there one or two Primordials that were neither slain nor imprisoned? I don't mean Gaia and Autochthon, I mean ones that fought in the Primordial War and fled into the Wyld instead of taking the surrender oaths. Gensokyo and the area its residents think of as the outside might be connected with those missing Primordials. Or I could be fabricating those details from nothing at all.
>> No. 153034
>>153033
There were an undetermined number of Primordials who left Creation before the war and one Primordial that escaped the war - the other Primordial, Rametheus, returned during the First Age and was responsible for the Aftershock War.
>> No. 153036
[X]Sleep in the stream, for extra recuperation. Yay Kimbery charms.
-[x]Take Dai with you and see if you can use her as a riverside pillow while the rest of you enjoys the bath.
>> No. 153042
[X]Sleep in the stream, for extra recuperation. Yay Kimbery charms.
-[x]Take Dai with you and see if you can use her as a riverside pillow while the rest of you enjoys the bath.
>> No. 153045
Votes called.
>> No. 153057
File 13282350363.jpg - (5.53KB , 192x256 , WonderfullyGenericPicture.jpg ) [iqdb]
153057
Slooooowwwww.

[x] Why not get to the other shore, where you aren’t sleeping next to the sealed portal?

But first, you should probably move. You don’t doubt Shikieiki’s sealing abilities (much) but it’d probably be better to get some rest a bit further away from a malevolent dream world.

Hmmm. The other shore of the lake should do nicely. Don’t want to go too far after all. It shouldn’t be too hard just walking across. You pick up Daiyousei, who’s still asleep from whatever mental whammy Yuuka put on her.
She’s a lake fairy, right? So she should be able to breathe underwater. Maybe. Probably better not to risk it.

As you step into the clear lake, you work a small magic over yourself before turning the same magic on Daiyousei. Once again, it doesn’t quite work the way you want it to.
While the invocation of Fathomless Poison Haven works perfectly on you, you find yourself being forced to use somewhat more Essence than usual to do it to Daiyousei. As the Charm affixes itself to her, a faint puff of excess Essence surrounds her, covering her briefly in a scattering of green stars.

What an odd notion.

The proper Charms affirmed, you continue walking towards the shore. Before long, you and Daiyousei are both completely submerged.
Underneath the surface, the lake is a beautiful and serene place. The sand is silver and the native life scarce and timid, shoals of fish darting away at your approach. You and Daiyousei breathe freely, your Charm protecting you from all liquid for as long as you wish it to.

One of the fish gets a little too close and you grab the slimy thing, quick as blinking. The candelabrum was good but it’s been awhile since you’ve had live seafood. You force it into your mouth and feel it wriggling down your throat before your stomach furnace incinerates it.
Good stuff.

Walking up onto the other shore, you stick Daiyousei in a grassy hollow. It looks comfortable. Maybe. You’ll know if she wakes up with neck pains or similar.

As for you? You don’t need to sleep. Not by that definition anyway. Not when there’s such a convenient body of water nearby.
Walking back into the lake, you find an appropriate depth and submerge yourself in the water fully.

Considering that you became enlightened about fifty years ago without having to put any effort into it whatsoever, you’ve never been particularly inclined to respect meditation to any great degree.
So instead of the traditional pose and thoughts of pure Yozi perfection and transcendence, you lie down and start playing a mental game of Gateway against yourself.

Three hours and 783 turns later, you stretch your arms and walk out of the water, feeling completely refreshed, both physically and motonically. Much better and superior to sleeping, really. Less than half the time and without any of those pesky cryptic meaningful dreams getting in your way.

And not only that but you have your question to how your mote regeneration has been working in a world without Essence. Judging by the rate you observed while you were submerged, the main source of your regaining motes is no doubt the hearthstone around your neck.
Digging underneath your tunic, you pull out your pendant. Set in the middle of the tainted starmetal, the Mortality Entangling Gem stares back at you. As usual, your eyes can only briefly slide along it before it turns itself inside out or momentarily blinks out of existence, taking a subtly different form each time.
“In all this commotion I nearly forgot I had you.”

You’ve been gaining motes from this pendant, no doubt about it. The only question is how. How do you still have a connection to your Manse, the Seven Thread Spinner? How has it been supplying it to you despite being in an entirely different state of existence?
Yet more questions you cannot answer.

Daiyousei’s still asleep so you poke her with a convenient stick until she wakes up. Between the drink and the magic flowers and weird Yuuka hypnosis, she’s had more than enough sleep already.

“Eugh? What is it?”

“Rise and shine, Daiyousei! The night’s still young and we have stuff to do. You still haven’t guided me to the human village yet.”

“And that’s my fault? It was you that-”

“Allll in the past, Daiyousei. Now where do we go?

The fairy looks at you malevolently and shrugs.
“No idea. I told you I didn’t travel far from the Misty Lake! I don’t have a clue where we are or where we can go.”

“Fair enough…so…what now? Are there any local fairies you can ask?”

“Probably but they’re unlikely to know anything.”

“Hmph. Well what are you waiting for Daiyousei? Take to the skies and scout us out.”

She gives a long-suffering sigh but does as you ask, flying up and dwindling into a tiny green/blue dot in the night sky. You sit down and wait, playing out a few more moves of your unresolved Gateway game against yourself.
Damn, your opponent is as skilled as he is devilishly handsome. This’ll be close when you move into the mid-game.

Such a thing probably wouldn’t happen until at least your thousandth turn in these circumstances though so Daiyousei ends up interrupting you long before it happens.

“I think I can see part of the forest I know from here! We can make it to the human village probably before daybreak.”

“Excellent. Lead the way!”


Despite what you had half-heartedly feared, no sudden distractions come out of nowhere to swerve your path. Both of you keep to Daiyousei’s described path, her flying slightly above you as you keep up a non-stop run through the wilderness.

The forest around you grows thick and hostile, filled with clouds of spores. You’ve kept your Fathomless Poison Haven on anyway so it doesn’t bother you much whether they’re poisonous or not.
“I thought you said that this was part of the Forest of Magic, Daiyousei!”

“It is!”

“The Forest of Magic I walked through yesterday wasn’t this thick! And the trees were different!”

“It’s the Forest of Magic, Nash! Some parts are different than others.”

The journey is nearly entirely uneventful. As the sun begins to rise, you and Daiyousei are gazing out of the forest to a large wooden wall, which a sea of sleeping humanity rests behind. With her flight and you keeping up a constant Adorjan run, you made good time.

The fairy floats behind your left shoulder.
“Well, that’s it then. I’d call it fun but really, it was a lot more confusing than fun, even though I did get to meet new people and see new places. Seeya!”

You turn around, surprised.
“Wait. You’re leaving now?”

“Of course. I decided to take you to the human village and this is it. What, did you think I’d follow you around indefinitely or something?”

“Well of course not. But this is a bit abrupt. How am I supposed to get into the village?”

“Just knock at the gates and convince them you’re not a youkai. Shouldn’t be too hard.”
She goes to fly off before turning around again.
“Tell you what. If you’re ever around Misty Lake, it’d be cool if you dropped in. …As long as you aren’t dragging any interesting occurrences and catastrophes with you.”

“Maybe I will. Bye!”

You wave to her as she vanishes back into the forest

With a shake of your head you make your way to the thick timber gates and strike it with your fist several times. A small section of the gate slides away to reveal a man’s eyes.
“Who is it?”

“A stranded stranger, lost and alone.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me. That’s never worked, youkai. Now stop your pranks and let us all get some shut-eye.”

You slide your face in front of the peephole.
“Do I look like a youkai?”

“Maybe you do, maybe you don’t…oh damn. You’re a guy. Holy shit, you really aren’t a youkai!”

You hear the sound of bolts being slotted back and obstructions moved before the gate creaks open.
“We are open to all humans in need of shelter for the night. Come in, friend.”

You enter the gate, inspecting it as you do so.
“You know, I can’t really imagine this helps defend against attack.”

“Eh?”

“Can’t a lot of people well…fly here? A wall is kind of superfluous.”

The man looks embarrassed. Upon inspection, he’s a black haired middle aged man dressed in reasonably well off clothing made of some kind of plant fibre you’ve never seen before.
“Yeah, the wall is pretty useless really. It only fends off the really young ones. But that’s all we need these days, really and not even that. You can’t see it from this angle but a whole bunch of town has expanded past the wall on the other side and most of the farmers haven’t retreated behind the wall for years now. Hell, some of the youths even go out to the forest at night now! Congregating at a youkai place, even. Kids these days.”

He makes a short bow, which you quickly replicate.
“The name’s Suzuki Daisuke, stranger. Are you new here? It’s been a while since we’ve had one of those.”

“I am the man with no name. Nashar, at your service. And yes, I’m new from Outside. Don’t make with the questions all at once.”

The bearded man chuckles.
“Well, are you looking to settle in? There’s some living arrangements still around for newcomers even if they haven’t been used for ages. Work? Because I know a lumber mill that needs work. Something damn strange happened to the last man and-”

“Tempting but no. I need information on some things about Gensokyo. Point me to your finest scholars and sages, my good man.”

Daisuke scratches his chin in thought.
“That’d have to be either Kamishirasawa or the Hieda girl. Only ones I can think of right now anyway. Former is a schoolteacher and I think you could certainly call her …knowledgeable about history. Yes, knows a load of it. Akyuu’s the girl who’s keeping the records, she’ll probably find you.”

He’s lying about something. Seeing this is about as easy as reading an open book. The falsehood isn’t in the general intent of what he’s saying though; he’s deliberately skipping a detail about the schoolteacher. It isn’t done with the intent to deceive either; he’s skipping over something due to embarrassment. Embarrassment on the behalf of someone else, not himself.
You wonder what’s so special about Kamishirasawa’s knowledge of history that he has to hide it so obviously and feel like he’s doing her a favour?

[ ] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.

[ ] The records girl? You’re not sure how superior that option is but at least people don’t feel the need to lie about certain things to new arrivals about her.

[ ] Get this peasant to tell the truth.

[ ] Ask him for news of anything happening recently. Learn about the effects of your accidental rampage.

[ ] Don’t see either of these choices. Go visit the marketplace, see devastation firsthand.

[ ] Write In.
>> No. 153058
[x] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.

Because Akyu isn't as interesting as Keine.
>> No. 153059
[X] Ask him for news of anything happening recently. Learn about the effects of your accidental rampage.

This sounds like the most fun.
>> No. 153060
[x] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.
>> No. 153061
[x] The records girl? You’re not sure how superior that option is but at least people don’t feel the need to lie about certain things to new arrivals about her.

Delicious record-keeper, must greet.
>> No. 153062
[x] The records girl? You’re not sure how superior that option is but at least people don’t feel the need to lie about certain things to new arrivals about her.

Lets visit some more obscure persons/places.
>> No. 153063
Hmm.... Keine would bring us slightly closer to meeting all the green haired girls in Gensokyo. Still, lets wander around town a little.

[X] Don’t see either of these choices. Go visit the marketplace, see devastation firsthand.
>> No. 153064
[x] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.
>> No. 153065
[x] The records girl? You’re not sure how superior that option is but at least people don’t feel the need to lie about certain things to new arrivals about her.

Aww, we don't get to keep the fairy. Too bad. Maybe we can visit her later.
>> No. 153066
[ ] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.
[ ] Ask him for news of anything happening recently. Learn about the effects of your accidental rampage.

These two options are compatible, right? (If not, only count the first one).
>> No. 153067
[X] The records girl? You’re not sure how superior that option is but at least people don’t feel the need to lie about certain things to new arrivals about her.

Someone with lots of records is likely to have more information you can read without hoping she will sit down and talk to you then a teacher, and probably has less people visiting her and it would be annoying if anyone recognized you while the damage was still fresh.
>> No. 153068
[X] The records girl? You’re not sure how superior that option is but at least people don’t feel the need to lie about certain things to new arrivals about her.

Someone with lots of records is likely to have more information you can read without hoping she will sit down and talk to you then a teacher, and probably has less people visiting her and it would be annoying if anyone recognized you while the damage was still fresh.
>> No. 153069
[x] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.
>> No. 153071
Aw, Daiyousei left us...
Feels pretty bad.

[X] Don’t see either of these choices. Go visit the marketplace, see devastation firsthand.
[X] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.

I figure, we can check out the market first, and then go and meet Keine.
That way, we get to see how Nash interacts with some people from the market, and might meet new touhous.

After that, though, we really should go and meet Keine.


I'm assuming we are allowed to have multiple choices, for this?
If not, might as well go with the option that will let us meet Keine.
>> No. 153072
[X] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.
-[X]Besides, it's so much more fun to degrade someone *dignified* into being your sex slave!
>> No. 153073
>>153066
>>153071

Picking more than one is fine for this choice, as long as they're not mutually incompatible.
>> No. 153074
>>153071

She will live on in our hearts, with the force.
>> No. 153076
[x] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.

Don't worry, we can go to the lake and bother her there.
>> No. 153077
[X] Ask him for news of anything happening recently. Learn about the effects of your accidental rampage.
[X] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.

Since it's apparently still very early in the morning, we can afford to waste some time talking to this guy before finding someone who actually knows something.
Besides, I don't think either of our two possible sources of information would be too happy about being woken up by some random crazy guy demanding to know where the hell he is.
>> No. 153078
>>153073
Right then.
I really do think we should head to the market, first thing first, before we go and meet Keine.

It will also give us an opportunity to read the mood of the village, and see if there's anything interesting going on.
>> No. 153079
[X] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.

Sounds good. Not only will she probably be able to answer some of our questions but we might manage to figure out what the villager was hiding about her as well.
>> No. 153080
[X] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.

Teach us, Ms. Kamishirasawa~

And I do mean teach. Impart knowledge. Educate. Headbutt.
>> No. 153082
>>153080
Oh yes calming headbutt for everyone...
Like that advice on giving lessons in Patchy Quest >>/sdm/49112
>> No. 153086
[x] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.
[x] Ask him for news of anything happening recently. Learn about the effects of your accidental rampage.
>> No. 153092
[ ] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.
[ ] Ask him for news of anything happening recently. Learn about the effects of your accidental rampage.
>> No. 153097
Hmmm...


You know, Fae and the Wyld have sometimes been associated with dreams haven't they? Mostly about how the Fair Folk devour dreams.


Maybe Nash's arrival from the Wyld, dragged in some more Wyld with him or something?

Shikieki seemed to think that both Yuuka's madness and Nash's appearance are related, so there's that.
>> No. 153149
File 132851588153.jpg - (163.63KB , 850x850 , ThatSureIsATeacher.jpg ) [iqdb]
153149
[x] Go see this suspicious teacher person. Schoolteachers ought to know at least the basics about this place.

You don’t bother asking him what he’s trying so inexpertly to hide. All that would do is draw attention. Better to get it from the source.

“I think I’ll need to talk to this teacher woman, Kamishirasawa. Can you give me directions?”

Daisuke pauses for a moment of thought before replying, giving you a list of directions.
“If that’s all you want, than I need to go back to watching the gate. Very important job, you know.”

You’re sure it is.
As you walk down the street, you hear him suddenly call out.
“Wait! You’re not going now are you? The sun isn’t even really up yet!”

You answer him with a cheery wave before walking out of his line of sight. So this is the ‘human village’? It’s a big bigger than you imagined it to be but then again, you didn’t get to see much of it on your eventful last visit.
Speaking of which…despite your speed at the time, it is not unfathomable that there might be someone in the village who would recognise you from before. That would be annoying, particularly if you plan on staying here long while you unravel the truth about this strange world.

Looking around discretely, you make sure nobody is watching you. This isn’t difficult, considering that you’re in an empty street in the early hours of the morning. Ducking into a dark alleyway, you stand halfway in, with just enough light to still cast a shadow.
Shadows are important.

A few seconds and five motes later, you disappear from the world.

Another few seconds later and a cheerful looking black-haired woman in a simple purple and red dress skips out of the alleyway. To all natural and supernatural senses, she is nothing but a perfectly ordinary human, even constructed out of that same inert dead matter that everything in Gensokyo seems to be made of.

She’s pretty enough and very noticeable, but noticeable in a fashion that makes it hard to connect her to being the same person as a certain Infernal.

You suppose you could have made yourself more drab and discreet but deep down, you’ve always loved attention. And the more attention to the strange girl, the less attention to your actual form.
Besides, you like this mask. You used to use it as an old standby, a lazy habit that only ever came back to bite you in the ass twice.

Something’s definitely strange here though. Usually this Charm involves you overwriting your own Fate to transcribe a new temporary destiny to cover your own. This doesn’t work here, leaving with you just the guise. This in itself doesn’t surprise you much. Indeed, finding that Gensokyo had a working Loom that you could interface with would be far more surprising.
It’s that while it fails, it feels like it might almost work. You can’t really explain it, but it feels like Fate is dancing just beyond your reach somehow.

Even more confusing things about this place? Whooooo.

As you walk down the street you find yourself adjusting your hair incessantly. You don’t know why, something just seems wrong about it.
Oh damn it. Your hair has blonde streaks going through it. It’s supposed to be black now, but your regular hair colour has bled through into the illusion somehow. Hair was always your trickiest bit but you’ve never made such a beginners mistake for years now.
This place is messing up your magic in some ways. At least it didn’t cost way too much than it should like Corrosive Pattern Infliction or altering Daiyousei to breathe water did. You do have a theory about the extra Essence expense though.

…Maybe you should have added a hat to your disguise clothing. Would have been pretty sweet.

You stop by a house that looks like any other, though it is set apart from the others by a fair bit of distance. Such a thing would make you suspicious of this woman if it weren’t for the fact that you already were. And it only took you a hundred more turns in your Gateway game to get here.
Yes, you’re still playing that when you get enough mental freedom to do so. There is no excuse for leaving a game before it is finished.

You knock on the door quietly. No response. You knock on the door slightly louder. After a few more minutes you shrug and walk away.
Only to come back a few seconds later with a hefty stick.

The sound echoes through the early morning air as you happily start thumping Kamishirasawa’s door. Chips of blue paint fly from the surface as you speak up.

“Hellllooooo! Kamishirasawa? Kaaaaammmiishiraaasawa?”

One of the best possible things about using these disguises is that there is never any accountability. Mostly never anyway.
Anything troublesome you do when you’re like this, you can simply avoid the consequences of by reverting forms. This has lead to an unfortunate ingrained habit of being a dick when you’re like this.
You should rein it in but hey; it was a pretty crappy door anyway.

There’s absolutely no response to even this. Is she even home? You attempt to peek through the windows but they all have curtains and blinds pulled across them. Oh, this simply will not do. Your curiosity on this woman is well and truly piqued and very little can stop you from pursuing idle nonsense when you’re putting your mind to it.

Going back to the front door, you find yourself seized by a revolutionary idea.
Maybe you could just try opening the door.

The door opens when you turn the handle. She didn’t even lock the door. So what’s going on?
You push the door open as silently as you can, only for it to stop nearly immediately, scraping against something large and heavy that stops the door from opening further.
Hrrrrmmm.

Sighing, you start squeezing yourself through the small gap. This wouldn’t have been so much of a problem if you hadn’t been disguised but that’s the price of anonymity in a village you just helped trash.

The house is completely dark which bothers you not at all. What does make it somewhat harder to move around is the toppled furniture everywhere. A large bookshelf had been pushed over and slammed against the door. The remnants of a table have been strewn around the room.

As you walk further into the house, you notice that it’s the same in the other rooms as well. Some kind of white metal food storage box has had its door ripped off its hinges and dented quite heavily for one example.
The walls and ceiling are damaged everywhere, with small holes smashed and burned into them at uneven intervals.

You have no idea if this is new or not. It could be that she always keeps her house like this. It would certainly fit with her suspicious nature. But the nature of this devastation suggests that it is fairly recent.

After treading over a broken lantern, you find what appears to be the bedroom. Compared to the rest of the house, it’s in great shape. The only damage you can see is a pile of shattered glass on the ground and what looks like it used to be a metal hatstand, before it was bent and dented all along it’s length and snapped in half.

The bed is empty, with its sheets strewn around the room as if someone had thrown them off quickly. Looking closer, the mattress has a huge rip in it, right about where someone would be sleeping.
A small blue thing that you think might be some kind of hat is lying on the ground next to the bed.
Is it really a hat? You can’t tell. It’s singed but in good shape.

That appears to be everything. You can’t find this Miss Kamashirasawa anywhere here.
And something appears to be terribly wrong.

[ ] You’ve had a look but maybe it’s not enough! Stick around and investigate more closely.

[ ] Just leave the house and walk away. Not your problem.

[ ] Take the hat.

[ ] Somebody should probably know about this. Find whoever the authorities are and inform them.

[ ] Whoever did this could be hiding somewhere in the house. Set the house on fire to smoke them out.

[ ] Write In.
>> No. 153150
[x] Somebody should probably know about this. Find the records-girl and inform her.

All crime statistics must be recorded. This is absolutely a transparent attempt to meet Akyuu.
>> No. 153151
[x] Just leave the house and walk away. Not your problem.

[x] Take the hat.

[x] Go find the records girl instead.
>> No. 153152
[x] You’ve had a look but maybe it’s not enough! Stick around and investigate more closely.

We're on the case! Time to start/keep doing good shit.
>> No. 153153
[x] Wear the hat.
>> No. 153154
[x] Somebody should probably know about this. Find the records-girl and inform her.
[x] Take hat. If anyone asks, it's evidence.

If we hand around, I have a bad feeling that someone (coughPhoenixcough) will come in and think we did this.
>> No. 153155
>>153154
That's what disguises are for.
>> No. 153157
Yeah it was because of stuff like that that he's going around in magical drag anyway.

[X] You’ve had a look but maybe it’s not enough! Stick around and investigate more closely.
>> No. 153158
[x] Somebody should probably know about this. Find the records-girl and inform her.
[x] Take hat. If anyone asks, it's evidence.
>> No. 153159
[x] You’ve had a look but maybe it’s not enough! Stick around and investigate more closely.
>> No. 153160
[x] Somebody should probably know about this. Find whoever the authorities are and inform them.
Keeping in character.
>> No. 153161
[x] Somebody should probably know about this. Find whoever the authorities are and inform them.

Let's see if our disguise gets us accused of being Nue and/or a tanuki.
>> No. 153162
[x] Somebody should probably know about this. Find whoever the authorities are and inform them

Am I the only one that thinks Nash's disguise looks like a hair dyed Yukari?
>> No. 153163
[X] You’ve had a look but maybe it’s not enough! Stick around and investigate more closely.
And if nothing of value *cough* could be found:
[x] Somebody should probably know about this. Find the records-girl and inform her.
>> No. 153165
[X] You’ve had a look but maybe it’s not enough! Stick around and investigate more closely.
>> No. 153166
[X] You’ve had a look but maybe it’s not enough! Stick around and investigate more closely.
[X] Take the hat.
>> No. 153168
[X] You’ve had a look but maybe it’s not enough! Stick around and investigate more closely.

So... today's a full moon, then?
>> No. 153200
[X] You’ve had a look but maybe it’s not enough! Stick around and investigate more closely.

You pick up the hat, getting a closer look at it. Upon closer inspection, you’re mostly certain that it is a hat. It might also be a small cloth shrine to some kind of local minor deity but most probably a hat.
After fingering the small burn makes, you pocket the hat. You never know when that sort of thing is going to come in handy, after all. Just like the scythe, which is currently hid under a bush outside the village since you doubted you could bring it with you.

Looking around the bedroom, you note that the pile of shattered glass likely came from an empty frame hanging on the wall above it. A mirror of some sort? Was it broken in whatever fight took place here? It’d be a bit strange if it were though.
You don’t see any other damage in the wall around the former mirror and the bedroom is frankly, too undamaged for it to have been collateral damage from some kind of wide-spraying attack.
Breaking mirrors can have a power all of their own sometimes.

Your first thought about the ripped mattress was that perhaps the teacher was ambushed while asleep. She escaped and continued the fight into the rest of the house, leaving the bed to take the would-be murdering strike.
But going through the small house a second time, you’re not so sure.

The heaviest damage in the house is in the entry hall, right inside the front door. The lightest amount of structural damage and disorder is in the bedroom, which is also the furthest room away from the entry hall. Though some are worse than others, most of the rooms in between the two form a sliding scale of destruction.
As if whatever the source was started out most destructive upon entering the house but slowly ran out of energy or will the further they got. That’s one possible interpretation but not the only one.

Crouching down over the ruined food storage box, you help yourself to a small hunk of cheese. Operating on a whim, you move a hat out of your pocket to look at it again.
It’s singed. What burned it? There are a few holes in the walls with burn marks as well. Maybe those energy bullets that everyone seems to be packing here?

You take a small bite out of it, just to make sure. Eagh. Nothing but burned cloth of some kind. The hat doesn’t seem to be special to this in any way.
You balance it on top of your head. Now if you were a person who wore this hat, how difficult would it be to knock the hat off? That is assuming that it was knocked off, of course. If one accepts the idea that she was sleeping before an attack, the hat could have easily been on the hatstand in the bedroom, getting damaged in whatever what snapped the stand in half.
Wait. Why the fuck are you focusing on this hat anyway? It’s unimportant.

Unfortunately, looking through the house doesn’t yield much that you haven’t already found out. Some kind of conflict happened here, whether it was between a group of people, two people or even just one person.

Looking in the wardrobe doesn’t give you much either, just rows of identical clothing and undergarments. Nice shoes though.

Walking back to the entrance, you tip the bookcase that was blocking the front door over, moving it away. Maybe the books could be useful.
And maybe they are. You certainly can’t tell. They’re completely illegible, written in a language that you’ve never seen before in your life.
Every book, without fail, is written in it.

You assumed that since everyone here has been speaking Old Realm, that they would have written in Old Realm too. But there are none of your familiar pictographs here, just endless columns of gobbledegook script. Maybe they use a different writing system? But scanning through the book more closely, none of these symbols seem to match up in any way to typical grammar constructions.
You slip one of the smaller books into a pocket of your dress, for further study later.

As you’re pulling the books out, you notice something unusual. The bottom shelf has a false bottom. Poking around it, you manage to lever it open. A small compartment, it contains nothing but a slim black leather volume bound in silver.
There’s a strange feel to it, as if its leather is slowly crawling under you touch.

The door slams open as you pick it up. Twisting to the side you see…a silvery-blue haired woman in the same kind of dress you saw in the wardrobe, wearing an exact copy of the hat you found earlier.
The first thing she sees is you standing in the middle of her ruined house, wearing her hat while looking at the book she felt the need to hide away in a secret compartment.

She’s looking pretty surprised.

[ ] Apologise, everything was like this when you get here, really.

[ ] Act as if there is nothing wrong, just ask her the questions you wanted to ask.

[ ] Ignore her completely, go back to looking at the secret book.

[ ] You don’t even know if she’s the teacher or not. She could be the teacher’s murderer, returned to the scene of the crime in the stolen clothes of the victim.

[ ] Run

[ ] Ask her what she’s doing in your house.

[ ] Greet her politely and ask her why she destroyed her own house.

[ ] Write In
>> No. 153201
[x] You don’t even know if she’s the teacher or not. She could be the teacher’s murderer, returned to the scene of the crime in the stolen clothes of the victim.
[x] Act as if there is nothing wrong, just ask her the questions you wanted to ask.

Healthy paranoia is healthy.
>> No. 153202
[ ] Ask her what she’s doing in your house.
>> No. 153203
[X] Act as if there is nothing wrong, just ask her the questions you wanted to ask.

While I doubt the question will be answered, it will force her to begin the conversation regarding the house and/or the book without any input from us. She may incriminate herself or drop hints she would normally be unwilling to offer, all gained without tipping our hand.

It's also in line with Nash's casual disregard for social mores while in this form. The more consistent we are, the more convincing the disguise.
>> No. 153204
[X] You don’t even know if she’s the teacher or not. She could be the teacher’s murderer, returned to the scene of the crime in the stolen clothes of the victim.
>> No. 153205
[x] Ask her what she’s doing in your house.
I analyzed all the choices with a team of scientists and this was proved beyond the shadow of a doubt the choice most likely to lead to entertaining results.
>> No. 153208
[X] Act as if there is nothing wrong, just ask her the questions you wanted to ask.
>> No. 153209
[x] Greet her politely and ask her why she destroyed her own house.
>> No. 153211
[X] Act as if there is nothing wrong, just ask her the questions you wanted to ask.
>> No. 153212
[X] You don’t even know if she’s the teacher or not. She could be the teacher’s murderer, returned to the scene of the crime in the stolen clothes of the victim.

Claiming this is your house might be funny, but we can't rely completely on out charms to save us from the response of someone who clearly blew up large portions of their own house. That's ignoring the whole history powers thing Nash doesn't know of yet.
>> No. 153213
>>153162

That's a very good question.
>> No. 153214
[X] You don’t even know if she’s the teacher or not. She could be the teacher’s murderer, returned to the scene of the crime in the stolen clothes of the victim.
[X] Act as if there is nothing wrong, just ask her the questions you wanted to ask.

Assume the worst, and if she IS the murderer, she will slip up and expose her crime when we start asking questions.
>> No. 153216
[x] Greet her politely and ask her why she destroyed her own house.

We were just investigating her possible kidnapping and/or murder.
>> No. 153219
[x] Act as if there is nothing wrong, just ask her the questions you wanted to ask.
>> No. 153222
[X] Greet her politely and ask her why she destroyed her own house.

This can't go wrong with us looking like evil(?) twin of Yukari.
>> No. 153225
[x] Greet her politely and ask her why she destroyed her own house.
>> No. 153226
Guys, metaknowledge is bad.
>> No. 153227
[X] Greet her politely and ask her why she destroyed her own house.
>> No. 153230
>>153226
It's one of the listed options, not metaknowledge. Clearly Nash can tell this is apparently the owner of the house.
>> No. 153233
[X] Greet her politely and ask her why she destroyed her own house.
-[X]SOCIAL COMBAT! Ebon Dragon Excellency, if you can do it without flaring our Anima.
-[X]If she doesn't know a thing and thinks you just destroyed her house, claim to be an official detective-type person sent to see what happened to her house. Try to give an impression of an eccentric, overly suspicious rookie, then leg it and change back at the first opportunity.
>> No. 153234
[x] Ask her what she’s doing in your house.
>> No. 153236
[X] You don’t even know if she’s the teacher or not. She could be the teacher’s murderer, returned to the scene of the crime in the stolen clothes of the victim.
[X] Act as if there is nothing wrong, just ask her the questions you wanted to ask.

If she isn't who she says she is then the passive charms will punch (figuratively) through her lies. If she is, well, paranoia is always healthy.
>> No. 153241
File 132876636032.jpg - (9.61KB , 245x206 , TangentiallyRelated.jpg ) [iqdb]
153241
[X] Greet her politely and ask her why she destroyed her own house.

You adjust the singed half-eaten hat on top of your head to a more rakish tilt as you turn to face her.
“Miss Kamishirasawa, I take it? How are you?”

You toss the strange book from hand to hand, feeling it’s curious texture. This kind of leather is unknown to you. Despite your first instinctual reaction, it’s not human. Has entirely the wrong feel to it to be that. Must be from some kind of magical creature. Normal leather does not feel so warm; neither does it slowly move under your touch.
You gnaw on the edge of the binding for a moment. Tastes like old dried spices and sour grass.

The woman is still staring at you, her mouth agape. You can’t imagine this is a regular occurrence for her. It’s not every day someone breaks into your house like this. Most of it is probably from the book though. She really should have done a better job of hiding it if it was that important. Suspicious, really.

Now that you can get a closer look, you note that she looks very tired. Bags under her eyes and slackness of figure, not to mention how drawn her features are. Her eyes are also red as if she’d been crying not too long ago. Excellent.
This can only support your idea.

“It’s a nice place you have here, Miss Kamishirasawa. Or at least, it was. Tell me, why did you destroy your own house?”

The question rattles her, even more so than she was already. That tells you all you really need to know. You activate your Ebon Dragon Excellency as you advance upon her, letting it boost your words to superhuman effectiveness, regardless of their actual content.

“Some of this looks far too methodical for it to have been a fight between two or more people, you know. And while it could have been someone else, you’re not that surprised by the fact the door is unlocked are you? Because you left it unlocked, Miss Kamishirasawa, when you had a temper tantrum and ruined your own house. I’m sure being a teacher is a harrowing and stressful job at times but this is a little odd!”

The teacher looks as if she’s swallowed her own tongue. You step in closer, aggressively invading her personal space to set up further discomfort and to keep her off-balance.
She manages to find her voice in response to this.
“Who are you? What are you doing here?”

“I’m new around here, they sent me in specially. A concerned citizen wanted to speak to you and found your house like this. I’m a special constabulary detective, name of Damask, you probably haven’t heard of me.”

Normally this lie wouldn’t hold much water to someone as familiar with the humans as her but the Ebon Dragon Excellency can make your lies seep through the cracks of the conscious mind. Enough for her not to dismiss you out of hand anyway.
Her suspicious gaze moves from you to the book you’re holding and her eyes widen as if she’s only just now realised the ramifications of what she’s looking at.
“Put that down.”

“This is evidence. I’ve been inspecting your house, Miss Kamishirasawa. This is part of your house, no matter what importance it has to you.”
You go to open the book only for the teacher to attempt to tackle you to the ground. You sidestep the attack, flipping through the pages as you do so.
Nothing but that same language you cannot understand in the slightest. Something about the book seems familiar to you but you can’t place your finger on it.

“Don’t worry, Miss Kamishirasawa. I can’t read this language anyway. Your secrets are safe.”

“They aren’t my secrets to keep! You shouldn’t go near it, for your own safet- You can’t read Japanese?”

“Is that what all of these books are written in? Than no, I cannot.”

She adjusts her hat, which had started hanging precariously from her sudden tackle.
“You can speak it but you can’t read? Why would they have an illiterate detective?”

You grasp the implications of this immediately, especially considering that it was building off your earlier suspicions.
“Miss Kamishirasawa…do you have a proper name?”

“Keine?”

“Keine, I want you to tell me what this is.”
You gesture at the toppled bookcase.

“…It’s a bookcase?”
She seems completely puzzled by your sudden tangent.

“Yes that word will do fine. Say ‘bookcase’ again but slowly this time, syllable by syllable, glyph by glyph.”

The teacher looks even more confused but complies, saying something completely unintelligible to you in every sense that nonetheless manages to form the Old Realm word for bookcase by the end of it.
You thought it was a little odd that everyone here spoke Old Realm, despite being an entirely different world. And they haven’t been.

Something is fucking with you.
And unlike some of the weirder effects that some of your Charms have been having, you can’t even claim it to possibly be an accidental effect of interaction between two radically different paradigms of existence. There is no way this isn’t intentional.
Someone is fucking with you.

But you can’t focus on that right now. Right now you have a Keine to talk to and if you keep thinking about this, you might let it show on your face. You’ll need to do a lot of thinking about this later though. You might have to re-examine all of the assumptions you’ve been making on how this world works with you.
Keine doesn’t wait for you to finish though, as she has other things on her mind.

“Give my hat back!”

“Ah, right. Of course.”

You pass her the second hat and she wrinkles her nose at its disreputable condition.
“It’s burned…and are these tooth marks?”

“Wouldn’t know, Keine. You’re the one who set fire to it.”

“I didn’t mean to damage the hat…”

“I’m sure you didn’t. But why did you do that in the first place? I take it this isn’t regular behaviour for you?”

Keine lets out a low groan before she sits down on top of the fallen bookcase watching you crouch down to return a fallen book to it’s shelf.
“I suppose I have to tell someone. There…there was just too much going on. I assume you’re aware of what happened yesterday?”

You nod without turning around to look at her.
“The market? I’ve only heard a basic account. Is it true?”

“Yes. Something blew through the markets yesterday. Not only did it collide with a lot of people, it set part of the village on fire. By the time we calmed everything down, fifteen villagers were confirmed to be injured and two dead.”
Her voice is flat and empty of emotion.

You wince inwardly. Fuck. You killed some people accidentally. Or at least, Shikieiki did. This is terrible.
“I’m very sorry to hear that. Did they get a good look at the attacker? Some monsters need to be caught.”

Keine shakes her head.
“No. We’ve got nothing on whatever did it and we won’t have anything for another month. We’ve sent some runners to the Hakurei Shrine but we haven’t got a response yet. How am I supposed to be the village’s guardian if I can’t stop hit and run youkai attacks like this?”

“And that’s why you did all of this?”
You make a sweeping motion to include the entirety of the ruined house around you. You also make a note of ‘finding out in another month’. Will have to ask about that later.

Keine nods, her fists clenching.
“I have to be calm in public but the fact that someone did this. It just makes me so angry. But it’s not just that.”

She ends the conversation there, not mentioning what other factors that were driving her. You’re pretty sure you know what it is though.
You hold up the slim black book once again, noting how her eyes are drawn to it immediately. You run your finger down the completely illegible yet somehow so very familiar columns of text.
“This book has been written pretty recently, a few days ago at most. Keine, you wrote this book didn’t you?”

She nods slowly.
“I wrote on the full moon, on the night before the last.”

Two nights ago?
Counting this recent night, that would make the night of the full moon the night that directly preceded your awakening in Gensokyo. This cannot be a coincidence.
Shikieiki’s words on how there might be some great underlying problem or corruption and that the oddness of the dream world and your calling here were both symptoms of it come crawling back into your head. This is likely the same thing.

“This book…it reminds me of something, though I cannot say what.”
That gets her attention, causing her to look at you suspiciously. In her eyes, you can see the truth dawning. You deliberately let your lies lose sway.

“You’re not a detective, are you?”

“No, Miss Keine, I am not. I’ll explain but first, you should tell me how you came to write this book. You can feel how wrong this is, can’t you?”

“Y-yes, I can. It happened on the night of the full moon, two days ago.”

“Hang on. What’s so special about the full moon?”

She hesitates but keeps on talking. In a way, she must know that this book is not a thing she should keep secret. No wonder it might have aggravated her already volatile feelings. Just the awareness of this must have been pressing on her mind like a lead weight on a rubber sheet.
She knows she has to tell someone about it, about the words she wrote when the moon was full.

“I’m a were-hakutaku.”

“Both of those terms are meaningless to me, Keine.”

“A hakutaku is a spirit beast with power over history. On the night of the full moon, I partially transform into one and gain it’s powers. Among other things, one of those powers is a complete sight of history.”

You blink. Such a power is effectively omniscience! That’s more than a little terrifying. You say nothing though and let her continue.

“On the last full moon, there was something in the skeins of history that wasn’t there before. It was propagating backwards through time. It was words and pictures and ideas. They were terrible things, a backwards time reality of…of Gensokyo as it could become. I could barely understand it but it was written into time, into history! So I could see it. I could see all of it.”
She wrings her hands tightly, her skin turning white.

“And I wrote it down. Gods help me, I saw it and I wrote it down.”

Complete silence falls, punctuated only by you dropping the book as if it was on fire.
It hits the ground with a sound that is more akin to dropping an anvil than a book.

“You didn’t just write it, Keine. You read it. I wish I could help you, but nothing will take this knowledge out of your mind.”

You stare at the book lying on the ground in front of you, as if getting it to surrender it’s secrets through glares alone.

The Broken Winged Crane.
You know some of the story behind the book. Written far in the future of Creation, when it is unrecognisable from what it was now, the book called the Broken Winged Crane spreads backwards in time from it’s origin point, leaving imperfect copies of it to be written in every time period.

Each copy is different in both form and nature. Some of them are written as books, like this one. The Broken Winged Crane has also appeared as a series of stone carvings, strange imprints left in the dust after a rainstorm, as a maddening tune in a brass music-box etcetera.

But each copy tells the same basic story. Told as a historical narrative written after the event, it speaks of an inevitable Yozi triumph over Creation, the final crippled freedom of the creators of the universe. Though it might be an inaccurate imperfect copy, the Broken Winged Crane will always hold deep and terrible secrets.

You’ve only read a copy once and it was more than enough. If it hadn’t been for your Exaltation, you could have easily gone insane. And Keine didn’t just read this flawed copy. She saw the whole thing, written in the timestream of history. Not only that but she wrote it down, kept it and it still took a disaster striking her village before she flipped out temporarily and ruined her house.
This woman must have the grounded sanity of a fucking mountain.

But that is for Creation. What is a copy doing here? Keine mentioned that it told of a horrible future for Gensokyo. What is this, the Broken Winged Crane: Gensokyo Edition?
What futures does it tell? How did it get into Gensokyo’s future and history?
Is it another symptom of whatever is causing all these disruptions or is it the cause itself, bringing itself into existence retroactively?

Just then, there is a sudden banging on the door, a voice yelling out the teacher’s name. Keine doesn’t respond, still staring hollowly at the thin volume.

[ ] Answer the door in her place.

[ ] Get her to answer the door.

[ ] Activate creepy mind-altering charms for therapy purposes. You can’t make her forget but you can wipe the pain.

[ ] Set fire to the book.

[ ] Ignore everything, start reading the book.

[ ] Write In.
>> No. 153242
To head off any potential questions like last time, yes you can pick mulitple actions provided they aren't contradictory.
>> No. 153243
The Yozi are the ones who want to tear Creation apart back into Chaos, right?

> [Keine] must have the grounded sanity of a fucking mountain.

Props to her then.

I'll hold off on voting for now, as I have no knowlage of the Exalted setting.
>> No. 153245
[x] Activate creepy mind-altering charms for therapy purposes. You can’t make her forget but you can wipe the pain.
[x] Ignore everything, start reading the book.

Yes, I would read the inaccurate prophecy-history-book. I would read it SO HARD.
>> No. 153246
>>153243

Long story short, the Yozi are the former Primordials, the creators of Creation. They got defeated by the Exalted in the Primordial War. The surviving Primordials were bound by oaths of submission and their King was turned inside-out and sown shut to create Hell, which they then jammed all of the surviving Primordials into.
The newly-christened Yozi were now trapped inside themselves, with the treaty allowing for their subsouls to be summoned as demons and ordered around.

The Yozi are pretty angry about this and get to spend eternity raging impotently. Infernal Exalted like Nashar were their most recent escape plan.

The Infernals told them to get stuffed but thanks for all the cool Yozi powers by the way.
>> No. 153248
[x] Get her to answer the door.
[x] Set fire to the book.

>fifteen villagers were confirmed to be injured and two dead.

Yeesh, we kinda fucked up hard there.

There wouldn't happen to be a resurrection charm or whatever, right?
>> No. 153253
>>153248

Nope
>> No. 153254
[X]Set fire to the book.

Book burning!
>> No. 153257
[x] Get her to answer the door.
[x] Once she's done, explanation time.
[x] That book puts horrible mental strain on the reader. If she's willing, you can help. You can’t make her forget but you can wipe the pain.
[x] Hold on to the book for safekeeping.

It sounds like Kiene will find out about the attack next full moon, so we should spin that, as well as enlist her aid in preventing the predictions of the book, which is presumably the entrance of the Yozis into Gensokyo. Because things likely aren't gonna end up to well for us if they get here, seeing as we left them behind.

Also, unless Kiene didn't write in Japanese, we can't read the book.
>> No. 153258
>>153257
>Also, unless Kiene didn't write in Japanese, we can't read the book.

Actually, it's explicitely laid out that Nash cannot read the book several times because of this.
I suspect Drei might be fucking with us.
>> No. 153260
[x] Ignore everything, start reading the book.
[x] Once read, burn the book.

The Broken-Winged Crane is weird in that it can appear in a number of different forms - whether that form is the usual written record, the ramblings of the ill or something stranger or more sinister. On the other hand, it's always good for a laugh and it by itself isn't really all that threatening to a prepared Exalted. It's what it can do for you that's troubling.
>> No. 153262
[x] Activate creepy mind-altering charms for therapy purposes. You can’t make her forget but you can wipe the pain.
>> No. 153270
Do we have a way to learn languages fast?
>> No. 153274
>>153270
Endless Desert wish-granting charms can let us grant our wish to learn new languages while SWLIHN charms can help us ram Old Realm into the heads of others, but we've access to neither. There's still the Exalted natural advantage when it comes to learning new things though.
>> No. 153276
[x] Get her to answer the door.
[x] Once she's done, explanation time.
[x] That book puts horrible mental strain on the reader. If she's willing, you can help. You can’t make her forget but you can wipe the pain.
[x] Hold on to the book for safekeeping.

She's been open enough with us, so we can reciprocate, even if it was under the effects of a charm.
>> No. 153281
[x] Get her to answer the door.
[x] Once she's done, explanation time. Add enough lies so you don't trigger problems with telling the truth.
[x] That book puts horrible mental strain on the reader. If she's willing, you can help. You can’t make her forget but you can wipe the pain.
[x] Hold on to the book for safekeeping.

Remember - if we out and out tell the truth, no one will believe us - it comes across as obvious lies regardless of how obviously true it is.
>> No. 153282
[x] Get her to answer the door.
[x] Once she's done, explanation time. Add just enough lies so you don't trigger problems with telling the truth.
[x] That book puts horrible mental strain on the reader. If she's willing, you can help. You can’t make her forget but you can wipe the pain.
[x] Hold on to the book for safekeeping.

Let's not burn the book. It gives us knowledge of what we have to avert.
>> No. 153284
That book is here?
Oh dear...

I am impressed she's managed to keep under control thus far, though, so yeah, not bad.

[x] Get her to answer the door.
[x] Once she's done, explanation time. Add just enough lies so you don't trigger problems with telling the truth.
[x] That book puts horrible mental strain on the reader. If she's willing, you can help. You can’t make her forget but you can wipe the pain.
[x] Hold on to the book for safekeeping.


Helping her fix her mind is definitely one of the nice things a Fiend can do with the GYTB set of magic, so I definitely think we should do that.
>> No. 153285
By the way...
Burning the book right away really isn't going to help our situation.
The damn thing will just try and come back some other way - and, well, we can't be everywhere, so we might not know where it pops up next.
Which, obviously, will not lead to good times.

It's much better to work on stopping it, when we can.
>> No. 153286
You don't just burn important plot devices, da fuck is wrong wit you niggas?
>> No. 153287
>>153286
It's kind of useless in our case - all of its benefits are either unavailable to us, detrimental to us, or can be found elsewhere in more convenient packages. The Broken-Winged Crane is cool (mocking Sidereals by using one weapon rather than a pair in emulation of the Broken-Winged Crane while using Crane style is pretty fun) but it's useless to us, potentially dangerous to us when outside of our hands, and its existence doesn't keep other copies from coming to be.
>> No. 153288
I'll point out that we don't need to lie, as long as we're revealing horrible truths instead. I'd say that this qualifies.

>>153287
I'll point out that among other things, it serves as a training book for teaching the Art of Demon Summoning, an infernal Martial Art (called Brass Tiger Style, IIRC), and probably a few other similar things. If nothing else, it'd be useful for training our minions. IIRC, it's an Artifact N/A, so it'll count as a Rating 7 Special Asset using the new Bureaucracy rules from Masters of Jade. That's *seven* bonus successes on any rolls that benefit from it in that sub-system.
>> No. 153289
>>153288
Unless the Broken-Winged Crane has received a second write-up in 2nd edition, its stats in the White and Black Treatises doesn't let it do any of those things except in a very round-about manner.

It lets us contact either a second or a third-circle demon at the potential risks of becoming mad when reading it and being sucked into hell when bargaining with the contacted demons. Sure, you could establish a deal for those demons to teach either you or your minions thaumaturgy, martial arts, and even sorceries - but there're other options available to us for getting all of those things.

We're a Peer of the Demon City who happens to be able to call up first-circle demons - we can call up first-circles with the skills that we need and then order them to teach either us or our minions if need be at more-or-less zero to minimal risk to us. Unless we want to learn either sapphire or adamant circle sorceries, then we're kind of screwed for options on that one.
>> No. 153290
>>153288
+7 vs. Bureaucracies? I can see how we can use this - we could use it to mess with the one thing our coadjutator really wants us to do right now.
>> No. 153293
[x] Get her to answer the door.
[x] Once she's done, explanation time. Add just enough lies so you don't trigger problems with telling the truth.
[x] That book puts horrible mental strain on the reader. If she's willing, you can help. You can’t make her forget but you can wipe the pain.
[x] Hold on to the book for safekeeping.
>> No. 153297
>>153289
I was going off of what I remembered of a post by one of the Ink Monkeys on the White Wolf forums. Also, keep in mind that the White and Black Treatise came out before the thaumaturgy rules in Oadenol's Codex.

>>153290
+7 vs bureaucracies for actions that having a tome of infernal knowledge would help you with, like training up a unit of demon-summoning thaumaturges or infernal martial artists. Looking it up the Black and White Codex, though, that version of it's only Artifact 4, which would "only" be a Rating 5 Special Asset.
>> No. 153322
I must confess I have no idea what any of this is really about, but this story is very enjoyable despite that.
>> No. 153334
>>153322

I know right? I got the basic idea from the wiki, but when people start talkin about excellencies and limits and shit it gets kinda confusing.
>> No. 153341
>>153334
Yeah, that's why I've been trying to keep it a little more general, when I say stuff about what Nash should do, or otherwise speculating - no need to go too much into details of everything, IMO.
>> No. 153342
[x] Get her to answer the door.
[x] Once she's done, explanation time.
[x] That book puts horrible mental strain on the reader. If she's willing, you can help. You can’t make her forget but you can wipe the pain.
[x] Hold on to the book for safekeeping.

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

A few notes for those who know little about Exalted:

Charms: The general name for the awesome stuff you can do

Excellencies: A type of charm that lets you roll more dice to see if you succeed in a task. Infernal excellencies apply when your actions resonate with the concepts of the Yozi you got the charm from. As Nash has the Ebon Dragon's Excellency, he can use it when he is being self-serving, thwarting someone else's dream, or generally being a dick.

Limit: For Infernals its roughly an indicator for how annoyed the Yozi are with how you are acting against their wishes. If it hits 10, bad things happen depending on what is the Infernal's Favored Yozi. As Nash has Kimberry, what would happen is an emotional connection Nash has would be warped and changed. As an example, if Nash was friends with Komachi, he might find that he now feels contempt for her. To reduce Limit, you'd need to commit Acts of Villainy, such as monologuing your plans or putting someone in an easily escapable deathtrap.

TLDR: High Limit = Bad; act like a bond villain to get it down

Evil: Infernal Exalts are not inherently evil. While many of their charms can be used in dickish fashions, especially anything from the Ebon Dragon, the morality of an Exalt is solely determined by how they choose to act.
X Circle souls/demons and Primordials: First, let me preface this with a simple statement: Primordials are weird. That said, the Primordials are the ones who created Creation, physics, and fate. A Primordial consists of four 'circles' of souls which loosely map to different roles in a corporation. A first circle demon is sorta like a burger-flipper at Mcdonalds, a second circle demon is like the manager at the local Mcdonalds, a third circle demon is part of the board of directors or the president, while the fourth circle demon is essentially a manifestation of the total company.
>> No. 153344
>>153342
There's not such things as "Fourth circle" demons. If you're referring to Primordial Jouten, they aren't sub-souls like demons are, but the actual bodies of the Primordials.

A better explanation: Primordials are the cosmic definition/incarnation of a set of themes, expressed through their Charms; among these charms are the charms that make them into the ultimate expression of their themes, called Shintai charms. Building on those charms are charms that turn that ultimate expression into an entirely new body for them; the bodies of the Primordials are called Jouten.

Additionally, they're so metaphysically large that one soul is not enough to express their full identity, so they shed off aspects of themselves as seperate beings. These are Third Circle demons. Among these is the metaphysical "heart" of the Primordial, called the Fetich, who anchors their identity; if the Fetich is killed, the Primordial's current self dies as well and a new, similarly-themed Primordial arises. This is what happened to Adrian the River of Torments, for instance; his Fetich was slain, and he dried up (both physically and metaphorically) and became Adorjan, the Silent Wind.

Now, Third Circles themselves are also too large to be entirely self-contained, and automatically produce seven Second Circle demons, who are much less powerful but still godlike compared to normal humans, and a decent challenge for most low-Essence exalts.

Then there are the First Circle demons, who are created by any of the above, for a variety of purposes. Blood Apes were created as thug-soldiers. Neomah as concubines and reproductive agents, stitching together demon-flesh to make new demons. Stomach-bottle Beetles as medics and cleaners. Perronele as living armor. Et cetera, et cetera. You name the job, there's probably a First Circle created to do it.
>> No. 153345
>>153344
Minor correction - Adrian was female. Elloge, the Sphere of Speech, is the one who became female after being brought down in the Primordial War.
>> No. 153349
>>153347
Hmm, we have All Things Betray and Cracked Cell Circumvention. Once we hit essence six, we can go for Swallowing the Scorpion. Do we have any other excellencies than the Ebon Dragon's?
>> No. 153423
File 132926794647.jpg - (5.58KB , 275x183 , ThatSureIsALaWaitWhatTheFuck.jpg ) [iqdb]
153423
Ugh. Lots of things going on in Real Life that delayed this update but you could say it was mostly me being a lazy faggot.
If I ever take more than a week to ever post an update, you should all collectively punch me in the balls through the internet somehow. I'll deserve it.

[x] Get her to answer the door.
[x] Once she's done, explanation time.
[x] That book puts horrible mental strain on the reader. If she's willing, you can help. You can’t make her forget but you can wipe the pain.
[x] Hold on to the book for safekeeping.


The loud noise echoes through the ruined house, the door shivering under the blows. You can hear the panicked cries of humans outside. And yet she does nothing. It’s as if they are in an entirely different world from her, far away and ignorable.
You could just answer it for her but no; that would just raise questions on yourself and what you’re doing here. Besides, she has to be snapped out of this fugue at some point.

“Are you going to answer the door? It sounds like someone needs you.”

She doesn’t answer, still staring at the book resting on the wooden floor. Her brown eyes are unfocused, looking back into memories equally as much as they are into reality.
Damnit, dredging up her memories probably didn’t help her much. But then again, she’s strong. She can snap out of it.

“Hello? I’m not going to do this for you.”

Still no response.

“Kamishirasawa.”

You grab her by the shoulders, flipping her to turn and face you. Pushing your face directly in front of hers, you speak.

“Keine.”

Her eyes refocus and her vacant expression shifts as she switches back to reality. She looks confused and then startled by your sudden proximity.
“What just happened?”

“People need you, Keine. Can you hear them now?”

She gets to her feet groggily as she goes to the door, her voice lost amongst the incredible babble waiting for her outside of it. If the villagers took any notice of her house’s condition, you can’t hear any sign of it. This is bad. Merely reading the Crane can break unprepared minds, let alone channelling it and becoming the genesis of one of its extensions. Keine’s eroding mental stability is a problem that you’ll have to fix immediately, especially if you want to get more information out of her.

That’ll require some mental breaking and entering, getting your grubby little fingers all over her subconscious. And if she can truly see history once a month, you might have to do this repeatedly.
Well, what use are promises if you don’t end up breaking them for a good cause?

But first, you need to get that book out of her possession. You pick it up while Keine is preoccupied with the townsfolk, flipping through the pages as you do so.
If she hid it away out of shame and desire to stop anyone from reading it, why didn’t she just burn it? Was it fear? Morbid fascination? Turning to the last page, you note that the writing continues past the back page and onto the inside of the back cover, a last frantic symbol being only half-written as she ran out of space.
Thankfully Keine is not an artist. There are no pictures.

Normally, this book would be useless to you. You’ve already read the Broken Winged Crane once and what practical information it does impart on the mad princes of Malfeas isn’t much compared to actually living there and talking to them on a semi-regular basis. This book is probably completely useless to you.
But this is one apparently tailor made to Gensokyo. You’re more than a little interested in its dire predictions this time around. You’ll have to learn to read Japanese at some point since asking Keine to recite it from where it’s been burned into her memory would probably be …unhealthy to her.

Best to just hang onto it for safekeeping now, letting nobody but you look at it.

You slide the Crane into your dress pocket, letting it join your other pilfered book. Though your coat might be doing duty as a different type of clothing right now, having stupid amounts of pockets will never change.

As you do so, it occurs to you that Keine probably deserves to know the truth. She already knows you aren’t some kind of investigator and that you know things you shouldn’t. After whatever this little crisis is dies down, you’ll have to give her The Truth.
Well, a doctored and cleaned up version of the Truth at least. But it’s the thought that counts.

Now what’s gotten all of these villagers up and needing her? There are about three townsfolk outside her door, all attempting to drown each other out with their own problems.
She mentioned being the ‘village guardian’; perhaps she faces this problem regularly? You’ll have to wait until they leave before you can start your earlier plans.

You turn back to inspecting the odd language. It reminds you of High Realm script in style somewhat, though remaining completely incomprehensible to you. Considering that you have a teacher on hand, it shouldn’t be too hard to have a mastery of the language in a few weeks, tops.

Your thoughts are interrupted by overhearing parts of the villager’s words. Your ears prick up.

“…Causing a ruckus at the…”

“…Something about the lake?”

“…Won’t leave that poor medicine girl alone…”

“…can’t get Kotohime, she’s still in bed after yesterday morning…”

“…Acid burns, I think. Poisonous acid burns.”

Oh? That sounds interesting. And disturbingly familiar.

When Keine leaves with the small group of townspeople in tow, you creep out of the front door and start trailing behind them.
As you all walk closer to the scene, you find yourself in the midst of a still-forming crowd. You happily lose yourself in it, becoming part of the mass gathering around the disturbance.

“I’mgoingtogetherrightaway!”

You arrive on the scene just as someone else scurries off through the streets in the opposite direction. You only catch a glimpse of purple hair and long rabbit ears.
One of those rabbit people that Daiyousei told you about?

The apparent cause of the commotion is a silver-haired woman in an odd frilly uniform of some kind. She appears to be very agitated, several villagers almost hiding behind Keine as the village guardian approaches.

“I don’t have time for this!” the woman snaps. “For something like this, we need Eirin.”

You don’t have time?”
Keine seems to have regathered her composure for now. The black and white woman doesn’t answer her directly, instead giving her a withering glare.

“Keine. You can eat history, can’t you?”

She can? What does that even mean?

“You know I can, Sakuya. Now what’s going on?”

“They didn’t tell you?”

“They only told me fragments, considering that they were far more concerned with someone coming in, throwing their power around and threatening people. Especially after what happened yesterday.”

Sakuya has the honesty to look embarrassed at this.
“Eirin might be too much time. I can’t go and get her, not with the forest the way it is, not all the way to Misty Lake. I’m not sure about you Keine but you might be the only choice I can get.”

“Wait, what do you even need me f-”

Keine vanishes mid-sentence, the silver haired woman vanishing with her. The crowd pulls back, muttering to themselves. You are left to hang around watching the area they used to be in.
What the hell just happened? Just what did that girl do? Among the many footprints, you can’t find a single clue of what happened. What the fuck? Was it a means of travel? A hostile action? Something worse?

You’re about to ask one of the villagers when mental klaxons go off inside your head. Something is about to make contact with you while you are unaware. Given retroactive warning about a potential attack, you twist around and raise your arm to intercept Sakuya appearing out of nowhere behind you, catching her raised hand in yours.

She gapes at you for a moment before stepping back.
“How did you…No. You are Damask?”

“Yes. Who wants to know?”
It must be something to do with Keine, considering that you gave that unimaginative false name to her alone.

“Sakuya, head maid of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.”
She looks at you as if she expects that to actually mean something. All you know is that it’s a mansion near Daiyousei’s home lake and that things called vampires, whatever the hell they are, own it.

“That must be nice.”

“Keine’s is asking for you. She says she needs your investigative expertise.”

Your investigative expertise? But she didn’t buy into that investigator lie that you fed her. Ah, of course. She wouldn’t want to say it outright for this shifty lady to interpret but she knows that you’re related to the Broken Winged Crane in some way and needs that knowledge.
What did she find?

“Where is she anyway?”

“The Misty Lake. I’ll take you.”

Without any more words, she reaches down to grab you by the shoulder. After finding no mistruths in her words and driven by curiosity to find out just what is happening, you decide to let her do this.

The world flashes and

Something

Is


Wrong


Ev er yt hi ng go es gr ay fo r a mo me nt



The world snaps back into place with you and Sakuya standing by a shore of a large lake. Mist floats heavily across the early morning vista.
You keel to the side, feeling your gorge rise. What. The. Fuck?

Sakuya is staring at you with some concern in her eyes.
“Are you alright? Nobody’s ever reacted that way before.”

“What was that? A transport sp-No. Don’t care. Where’s Keine. Let me speak to her alone.”

The maid nods, disappearing abruptly. You stare in her last known direction for a few seconds before heaving an almighty shrug. Not the time to wonder.

You stagger over to the blue figure. Keine is kneeling in front of a large pair of ornate gates. Past the gates you can see a large bright red mansion dominating the skyline. No prize for guessing what that was.

Keine is doing …something that you can’t quite perceive. As you get closer, you see that she’s kneeling over a tall redhead in a green uniform. The prone woman is not unattractive though the fact that something is clearly terribly wrong with her takes away part of the appeal.
She’s as pale as a sheet, her face covered in a slimy sheen of sweat.

“What are you doing, Miss Kamishirasawa?”

“Hello Damask. Reisen didn’t have anything that this woman needed and Sakuya decided that bringing me might work and will at least be a stopgap until Eirin gets here. And before you ask, yes I’m eating the history of her illness. That’s part of what being a hakutaku means.”
She rushes through the latter part of the explanation. You get the feeling that she’s probably had to explain that a lot of times.

“…Right. What did you need me for? What did you find?”

“This is Meiling, the gatekeeper of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. She spends a lot of her time down here, where the Lake ends and the Mansion begins. I think she drank some of the water from the Misty Lake. And the moment I saw the Lake, I knew I needed you.”

You walk over to the edge of the lake, taking a look at its calm waters. At first nothing appears to be out of the ordinary. And then out of the corner of your eye, you see the early sunlight catching off a rainbow gleam on the water’s surface.

Kneeling down and getting a closer look, you see that water is covered with a faint rainbow sheen and that underneath the surface, strange dark things move and spread through it. An acrid smell permeates the air closer to the water.
Oh no.

Looking around the bank, you can already see the etch marks the ‘water’ has carved into the stone with it’s acidity. Dropping a pebble in, you watch as the water around boils and froths before the small rock is eaten away to nothing.

Reaching down, you dip your upper forearm into the water. A hiss rises in the air as the dirt and dead skin on your arm is burned away and eaten by the acid. It certainly feels like it…but it can’t be. Not here, not now.

Cupping some of the fluid in your hands, you open your mouth and stick your tongue into the acid. It tastes absolutely terrible but in a very familiar way.

Keine steps in behind you, her voice sounding hollow again.
“I-I saw this. I wrote it down. The waters of the Great Mother, Kimbery. The Sea That Marched Against The Flame.”

You can’t help but feel a little surprised.
“You know?”

“Know it? Of course I know it. I wrote it. It told me all about the Yozi and their subsouls. It told me everything.”
As she speaks, you become aware of her leg sliding in between yours before it spins, sweeping your legs from underneath you as the palm of her hand suddenly pushes against your back. You can see her motive for this already and let it happen. If it makes for a good way to start this discussion, why not?

You tumble forward into the lake, forcibly submerged into the corrosive waters. Thrashing around you find your feet and rise from the depths, grabbing the bank. You pull yourself back to your feet, saturated in acid.
Giving yourself a quick shake, you thank providence that your clothes share in your protection. That could have been awkward.

“I knew it. What are you?

Wringing the acid out of your hair, you leer at Keine.
“If you just wanted to get me wet Keine, you only had to say so. I’m not wearing white though so you won’t get the best effect.”
You thrust your chest out at her, projecting the most lewd grin you can manage.

This has the desired effect of driving her completely off course and giving you control of the conversation.
“But to be more serious, there wasn’t any need to really do that. I was going to tell you anyway Keine.”

She starts, still resolutely looking everywhere but you.
“You were?”

“Yes. And might I add about how terrible of an idea that was? What if acid could actually hurt me? I could have died!”

“I saw you stick your bloody arm in a few moments ago. This was just confirmation.”

You look at her wordlessly, without dignifying that particular assumption with an answer.
“There are so many things wrong with this. I don’t even care about saying which anymore. Now let’s get down to explanations. Just how much about Malfeas did that damn book tell you in the first place?”

She represses a small shudder.
“A lot. A lot of things. And to take a form so convincing, you must be at least Second Circle.”

“Ah…alright then. Well, I should probably lay it out. I am not a demon of any Circle. Really. This is my natural form. I am as human as you are. Er…well maybe not you considering your condition but actually sure why not. As human as you are.”

Eugh, this is getting dangerously close to actual truth that your words are starting to stumble over themselves. At least saying that this was your natural form was enough of a lie to carry it over. But if this keeps up you’re going to need a more direct method than mere speech to get your status across.

“Well then what are you? If you’re not a demon than-”

“Motherfucking boo!”
Your Caste Mark flares to life on your forehead at your command. It lasts only a second before flickering back into nothingness. That’s more than enough time for her to get a good eyeful.

“Infernal?”

You nod in what you assume to be a sagacious manner, or at least as well as it can be while being soaking wet.

“…I think I expected a Green Sun Prince to be…taller?”

“I’m plenty tall. Anyway, I’m not on the side of Hell. Haven’t been for ages. You should know that we got free will.”

“But how can I trust you?”

“I’m a Fiend. The fact that you’re still capable of not trusting me is a very good reason for why you should trust me.”

“Point.I didn’t write down much about your kind. It mostly mentioned the….ugh.”
She pales, having recollected the contents of what she’s seen too many times in such a short time. You catch her before she can fall.

Leaning against her, you whisper in her ear.
“Keine. I can take this pain away from you. I can’t erase your memories, but I can make them easier to bear. But I won’t do it without your permission.”

Staring blankly over your shoulder, it takes a few seconds before she replies.
“Yes. …Please. Having to think about some of these things has made these last few days some of the worst in my life.

You step back, dropping her onto the ground. She gets back to her feet, looking irate. You ignore this as you empty what was left of your Peripheral Essence pool.
“What was that for?”

“Hey Keine. Do you remember writing the Broken Winged Crane?”

“Of course I do! How could I forget such a beautiful thing? Didn’t I just tell you how this past day since I wrote it has been one of the best days of my life?”
Her expression has changed to a happy simplicity, the face of someone who is not burdened by horrible truths but instead embraces and loves them.

“Don’t you have to look after that Meiling person?”

“I stabilised her. Why would I even talk to you without doing that first?”
Despite saying that, she skips back over to the prone gatekeeper leaving you alone by the edge of the corrupted lake.

Didn’t Daiyousei claim some part of this lake as her home? You hope that she’s alright. Fairies might be able to reincarnate but poisonous acid baths still aren’t fun.

You idly throw another rock into the lake, watching it froth away. You have a lot of thinking to do. Your link to this world is not as simple as anticipated.

First of all, the extended Essence cost to affect anything of the outside world. What did that really mean? For a Charm’s essence manipulation to even work, there has to be Essence present in the system in the first place. Not to mention that you aren’t even respiring or regaining Essence normally in the first place. The only thing that’s still gaining you Essence is the hearthstone around your neck, which is still linked to your Manse somehow.

You have a hypothesis on what’s going on but even that is secondary to the fact that someone is fucking with you.
Whatever language they have, you keep hearing it as Old Realm. And when you speak Old Realm back, they hear it as their language. How? What’s doing this to you?

And more to the point, what’s causing all of this? The destruction of the language barrier is probably part of it. The appearance of the Crane, the twisting of the dream world, what’s just happened to this lake, your own appearance here…
It’s all connected by an unknown cause of some sort. But what?

To tell the truth, it all stinks quite clearly of some kind of metaphysical Yozi invasion. But that doesn’t even make any sense. Their bindings prevent them from even passing into Creation, let alone into unknown further worlds.
But what else fits the circumstances?

As you wait for Keine to finish, you find yourself going back into your mental Gateway game against yourself that you started earlier.
In your head, you make the thousandth move, pushing your Dragon back into its Pole, signalling the end of the Early Game.

The Early Game is the easiest part of Gateway, having a very predictable flow. It is the time when both opponents set their pieces up, taking the valuable strategic positions on the separate boards while making few if any captures.
But then a point is reached when posturing and jockeying means nothing, heralding the start of the Middle Game.

The Middle Game is the most chaotic time of Gateway, when both forces bring their pieces against each other. Dry memorised strategy is quickly replaced by quick bluffs and counter bluffs and the relatively safe atmosphere of the Early Game is replaced by a quick exchange where no playing piece is safe.
More to the point, it is when all the pieces have been finally set and the true problem begins.

Your imaginary opponent makes the first offensive move, descending his Red Siaka from a higher board to directly contest one of your minor dragon lines.
You nod in approval and prepare to reciprocate in kind.

End of Part One

Options

[ ] Gather your team, Mr Investigator

[ ] Friends first

[ ] The lay of the land

[ ] Sight unseen

[ ] Give me proper choices, asshole. Nobody does this vague shit anymore.
>> No. 153424
>>153423
Oh I forgot to add my name and tripcode too. Wow. I am herping the thousand derps.
>> No. 153425
[x] Gather your team, Mr Investigator
[x] Stick around - Eirin's headed here.

If it ever comes down to us facing one of the demon princes, we'll do better with help, lots and lots of competent, non-mortal help. Since Eirin is one of the smarter and competent people around, we might want to consider talking to her afterwards.
>> No. 153426
[x] Gather your team, Mr Investigator
[x] Stick around - Eirin's headed here.

If it ever comes down to us facing one of the demon princes, we'll do better with help, lots and lots of competent, non-mortal help. Since Eirin is one of the smarter and competent people around, we might want to consider talking to her afterwards.
>> No. 153428
Um, I hate to possibly seem demanding, but could we put an emotional context of something like "I now know of a threat to the human village/Gensokyo and have a chance to stop it."?

[x] Gather your team, Mr. Investigator.
>> No. 153429
>>153428

Good question. And I don't mean that in the 'Good Question, I'm not going to answer that' sense that I usually use either!

You can safely assume that that is most likely going to be the emotional context that pops up after 'just rampant curiousity' dies down.

Nash is a dick but he's not a terrible one.
>> No. 153430
>>153429
Glad to hear.

By the way, a second look at Glories that Never Were has made me notice that the emotional context is chosen by the victim's player rather than the Charm user. While this probably won't change this situation much, I consider it only fair to point out my misinterpretation of the rules just in case it changes something.
>> No. 153431
[x] Gather your team, Mr Investigator.
[x] Stick around - Eirin's headed here.

Somehow I thought that "sleeping" inside the lake made it like this, but since Nash doesn't even think of that.
>> No. 153432
>>153430

I am aware. This really was the best possible outcome it could have gotten her when it comes to stability.
Unless it goes too far in the other direction. But what are the odds of that happening?

>>153431

Different lake. The lake that you 'slept' in was an un-named lake surrounding the entrance to the border between reality and dreams, somewhere in the mountains. This lake is the one near the Mansion, populated by Cirno, Letty and others.
>> No. 153433
[x] Gather your team, Mr Investigator
[x] Stick around - Eirin's headed here.

Shit is hitting the fan.

Or shit has already hit the fan and we have only begun to smell it.
>> No. 153437
[x] Friends first

Daiyousei needs a temporary hooooooome.
>> No. 153438
Making the trauma of writing the Crane easier to bear does NOT mean making her HAPPY about it.

It's not necessarily a BAD thing, Keine is pretty solid, but it is unwise to the extreme.
>> No. 153439
You know, this invites speculation on who our anti-Yozi taskforce would be.

Of the people we've interacted with so far:
Daiyousei: Almost certain she'll want to find who messed with the lake, assuming she hasn't been twisted along with it.
Shikieiki: Likely not best to travel directly with due to our Urge, but probably useful ally. At least in this matter.
Komachi: Only if we can convince Shikieiki to let her travel with us, perhaps as an example of her value.
Keine: Depends on if she's able to find someone else to watch the village. If she can, her and Nashar are probably the two most informed people in Gensokyo about whatever's happening that aren't either part of it or Yukari. We'll need to come clean about our actual form and our involvement in the Drunken Yama incident at some point, though.
Yuuka: Nope.
>> No. 153441
[x] Gather your team, Mr Investigator
-[x] Use What Lurks Beneath to summon Oliphem, so he can prevent people from hurting themselves in the lake
[x] Stick around - Eirin's headed here.
>> No. 153442
>>153439

Speaking of which, we should get in contact with Yukari.

Assiuming she isn't part of it that is. We're pretty fucked if she is.
>> No. 153446
[x] Gather your team, Mr Investigator
-[x] Use What Lurks Beneath to summon Oliphem, so he can prevent people from hurting themselves in the lake
[x] Stick around - Eirin's headed here.

If we can get Keine to help, she can tell us about how we're going to get attacked by the player characters in their vague quest to find the culprit by fighting everyone they see until someone fesses up. It's not like Marisa and Reimu ever skip a chance to go around shooting fairies.
>> No. 153447
>>153446
Assuming that Nash purchased the third repurchase, he can summon but not control Oliphem. It'll be simpler to call up a non-behemoth big sea beastie and assign it the duties of making sure that no one is stupid enough to treat the vitriol as water and that it doesn't kill them while doing so.
>> No. 153449
>>153447
We'd probably also have to give it a mutation so it can survive the acid.
>> No. 153450
>>153449
Good point, depending on whether we call something up from Creation's depths or from Kimberry's heart-waters. She's a horrible, horrible Primordial, but I don't see her as the type to create sea critters for no purpose than to suffer horribly in her depths.
>> No. 153452
>>153450
On second thought, I forgot about her 'art', though I don't think summoning up the Great Mother's 'art' is going to help us, not even by the littlest bit.
>> No. 153457
>>153447
It shouldn't be too hard to get Oliphem to protect people around the lake. That's literally what he was created to do. Hell, if Kiene's there when we summon him, we could ask her if she knows any Touhous that could ressurrect his favored species; I know Gapbitch could, and Eirin might be able to do it as well, with her Science.
>> No. 153458
>>153457
According to the COTD, Oliphem's motivation is to protect ships that sail upon the sea. It's not too a big stretch to assume that he could be persuaded to help people not kill themselves in vitriol. It'd be simple if we promise to help him fix his lens and end his pain - there's no real need to go around re-making the Primordials' pet-species.
>> No. 153461
File 132934579217.png - (140.66KB , 400x400 , 12746686146.png ) [iqdb]
153461
>>153458
>Oliphem's motivation is to protect ships that sail upon the sea.
>> No. 153462
>>153461
Heh, it's a shame that Oliphem's good old fashioned eye beam is busted at the moment.
>> No. 153466
>>153462
Is it? We're from after the default start-time of the setting in RY 768; it's entirely possible someone's gone and fixed it by now.
>> No. 153467
>>153466
Good point, Oliphem might be fixed by this time or some random celestial Exalt might've reduced him to scrap metal by this time. No real point in speculation unless we summon the chap.
>> No. 153476
So Kimbery's moving into the Misty Lake?

We'll want to keep an eye on the Forest of Magic, or at least have its residents keep an eye out for odd things such as silver leaves, in case it starts channeling Szoreny, the silver forest. Same will go for the Bamboo Forest once we learn about it.

As powerful as we are and as small as Gensokyo is, there are plenty of places for things to go wierd, and we can't hear of all of them like we did the lake. In my opinion, our best course of action would be to fix the lake if possible, find some way of learning of any oddities such as making a lot of friends in various places or convincing somebody with a bunch of subordinates to have some of them look for odd happenings, and then either work on our essence or learn Japanese. We also should find a replacement for our Shade Knife.
>> No. 153487
[x] Gather your team, Mr Investigator
-[x] Use What Lurks Beneath to summon Oliphem, so he can prevent people from hurting themselves in the lake
-[X] Give him a sign, of your own making, to show that you have summoned him here.
[x] Stick around - Eirin's headed here.

Summonig Oliphem definitely seems like a good move, for starters.
The water here should count as hostile territory, so we need someone who can be trusted to do what we need.

Also, I went with giving Oliphem a sign, so we can perhaps get some Acts of Villainy stuff going, to help us out.

>>153439
Yuuka would depend on if we can get, say, Yukari to agree to help us out, so we can pin her down and work on fixing up her mind.
If we do, Yuuka is just about the best possible option for helping us out, with whatever will come - talking to any flora, turning others into "flowers" and more.

Getting Shikeiki as an ally isn't actually that bad - we just need to actually start using our Acts a little, to help relieve our mental stability.
And, even if not, we won't get constantly, 24/7 hit by the desire to mess with her - and, even if we did, there is nothing that says how bad our actions against her have to be.
Agreed about us eventually being forced to reveal more about ourselves, but it's not like that would be incredibly bad.

Now, for others.
Given that we're waiting her for Eirin, I kind of think we should see about checking if she can spare Reisen, to come along with us.
Being able to make an enemy go crazy, is very handy, and the girl does know about medicine around Gensokyo, which sounds like it could be helpful, if this is going to become intense.
>> No. 153490
>>153487
We should bring along Keine because she's in the know and probably better suited to investigation than we are. We should see if we can talk Shikieiki into assigning Komachi to our mission - both because this isn't serious enough yet for Shikieiki to abandon her duties and because we should try to talk Shikieiki into assigning the mission as a punishment detail for Komachi (one of the last chance deals plus it might fit under our Urge). Reisen is a little bit problematic because her canon portrayal suggests that she doesn't react to combat all that well (surprise, surprise), but her medical capabilities are a big plus unless we can talk Eirin into an adventure.
>> No. 153492
>>153476
I'm not sure if the Silver Forest has leaves. The "Trees" of it are actually its upside-down roots, after all.
>> No. 153493
>>153490
Maybe once we have backup we can calm the urge and fulfil an "evil" scheme by moving to spring Komachi with an over the top super-villain style plot to subvert gensokyo's afterlife system by springing Komachi..

More experienced exalt players(or Nash himself) can bend the plot into something that will help limit/willpower and calm the urge aswell as get us a steadfast ally. Win-Win (apart from Sheikiki but that's what backup/being an exalt is for.)
>> No. 153494
>>153493
Reducing limit is much easier for Green Sun Princes than other Exalts, though until we know Nash's exact Virtue ratings, we don't know which Acts of Villany will help him reduce the most limit. Still, unless we want to marry, leave people in deathtraps, kill people in provocative manners, or inflict insanity on people - we're stuck with boasting of our great and terrible plans.

Obviously this means that we must begin plotting to acquire the great hat existent in Gensokyo through foul and devious means and tell everyone about our plans in nauseating detail.
>> No. 153495
>>153490
Agreed on Keine and Komachi coming along - Keine, because she's been helpful in revealing stuff to us, and Komachi because she's our friend (our magic says she is), and I really would like it if she was safe from whatever her punishment might be.

As for Eirin, well, main reason I don't want her along is because, put it simply, the main drawback of bringing Eirin along is that you're bringing Eirin along.

She's far too intelligent for me to feel entirely comfortable with having her around, since she's got no real reason to like us, as of yet.
Plus, come to think of it, she's actually supposed to have work and such, elsewhere, so I don't believe she'd agree with dropping all of that and come along for adventure, since that doesn't seem likely at all.

Reisen just seems like the best option, here - she's good at medical stuff (something that I've got a feeling would come in handy), but she's not utterly, 100% needed back in her home, like Eirin would be.

So, yeah, that's my ideal "group", here.
Yuuka, Shikieiki, Keine, Komachi and Reisen, to come along with us.
Or at least the last 3.

Would be fine if Dai would want to follow along as well.

Would love to have Yuuka along as well, but that means convincing Yukari to help, which might not be so easy, if she's asleep or something.
>> No. 153497
>>153495
Eirin probably can't be persuaded to tag along for the same reason that Shikieiki can't be persuaded to tag along - both of them have duties elsewhere taking up their time. Unless something more important comes up, they're probably not going to come with us.

I'm not so sure I like the idea of Yuuka coming along though - she sounds way, way too much like a Raksha in this story (dream youkai is a questionable term) and we're kinda low on all the fun raksha-crushing charms.
>> No. 153500
>>153494
We know he's got a Compassion of 3+, given how reluctant he is to kill people. That means that Best Enemy Recognition and Exquisite Bride Obsession are our best methods of Limit-Reduction, and since Best Enemy Recognition requires an enemy of a similar power level as yourself to work...
>> No. 153501
>>153500
Actually, we don't really know for certain that Nash has Compassion 3+ - his actions could be because of personal resolution rather than deep-seated belief, though some of his thoughts do support that theory. Ultimately though, there simply isn't any certain way to tell until we get a character sheet.

As for limit reducers, I actually forgot Szorney's Act of Villany and misremembered the requirements of Exquisite Bride Obsession. Both can work out pretty well, though I don't think either is as easily repeatable as SWLIHN's act.
>> No. 153503
Vote called. Update later today.
>> No. 153504
>>153487
I dunno, even assuming he doesn't start dissolving, Oliphem would probably be pretty pissed we took him away from a place with tons of ships to be saved from actual unavoidable dangers and dumped him in a lake of acid to keep idiots from swimming in it.

>>153494
We can also follow the Kimbery Act, which is basically letting somebody who presents a threat to us live. It sounds like it'd work great with danmaku.

>>153492
Well, leaves, tree trunks, whatever. If Szoreny shows up, something's probably going to turn silver.

>>153495
That seems like a good team, though I'd prefer Meiling to Shikieiki. I'd estimate we have about an equal chance of getting either in our party (that is, low). Having somebody with martial arts would be useful, and we would have a better chance of not gaining limit.
>> No. 153505
>>153502
Ha ha, I'm forgetting Acts of Villany left and right today. If picking up Meiling means having a meat-shield, then I'm all for it.
>> No. 153506
>>153503
Hooray!
>> No. 153509
>>153504
The Kimbery Act requires Temperance, which we almost certainly lack given our tendency to lie and deceive, and a few of our more impulsive actions (like taking a drunken yama flying).
>> No. 153527
So I fell asleep halfway through and ended up finishing it in the morning. That's life for you.

[x] Gather your team, Mr Investigator
[x] Stick around - Eirin's headed here.

Part Two

There is no doubt. This is interesting. Very interesting. Even if you were not a key figure in this matter in the first place, you would have become involved anyway due to rampant curiosity if nothing else. And whatever it is has decided to involve you personally by bringing about your arrival.
And that’s the main thing that doesn’t make any bloody sense. If you are assuming some kind of concrete unified goal behind whatever is causing this, it is a goal that you are very much opposed to. How can you not be? This may not be your land and it certainly isn’t your home. In fact, the entirety of Gensokyo defies everything you thought you knew about metaphysical constructive principles, which you admit isn’t always actually as much as you like to think. It’s a completely impossible place by the microscopic level and is far too familiar in a warped and weird sense on the macroscopic scale. A similar system shouldn’t rise out of such a different basis for everything!

But that said, you would oppose this out of principle alone, no matter where it was happening. And you like Gensokyo. Kind of. You like some of the inhabitants anyway and you suppose the place itself isn’t too bad, provided you learn to live with its creepy dead matter. Daiyousei is a credit to her people, rising above her unfortunate heritage to be a somewhat reasonable person. Komachi is certainly someone you would certainly not mind talking to again, Shikieiki’s knowing glances be damned. And you will talk to her again, since you figure that Eiki is simply far too nice for her job to let Komachi go. And the Yama herself is a perfectly decent person who is probably unlikely to ever trust you too much again but still. Oh and Keine seems nice and knowledgeable enough, you suppose. Might have made a better impression if you had met her when she was sane though.
Overwrought paragraphs aside, while you haven’t exactly been setting down roots or anything, you’ve come to like some people here. There are things here that are worth protecting, preferably by someone other than you but you can at least help.

So why would this phenomena bring you here, considering your now established desire to oppose everything else it brings? And why make it easier for you by fucking with languages somehow?
None of this makes as much sense as you would like to.

Regardless of this, you should probably do something about the lake. It’s just plain dangerous to walk near it now. Until it can be fixed, something should be put up to stop hapless wanderers from mistaking it for regular water. If only you could call up a monster from its hazardous depths and command it to stand guard. But you don’t have that Charm so…no.
Maybe you could just use signposts?

This train of thought is interrupted by the sound of footsteps. Keine looks up from her work as two figures approach through the mist. A tall grey-haired woman in a chequered red and black (or is it dark blue?) dress walks into view, holding a small black leather bag and walking with a sharp businesslike pace.
A few paces behind her is a purple haired girl, her most obvious features being the large pairs of rabbit ears growing out of her head. One of the rabbit people that Daiyousei mentioned yesterday? She did mention that they lived in a bamboo forest after all. She’s holding a bag similar to that of the woman in front of her but much larger, the rabbit girl’s back bent from carrying it.

You wonder if rabbit people were an artificially engineered race, like the various crafted slavefolk or beastmen. But why would you intentionally create a species of rabbitmen? What possible advantage could blending the two give?
Considering that Gensokyo hardly works on familiar rules though, they could just be a regular species. For all you know they congealed out of the darkness between bamboo trees and reproduce through budding.

Keine gets to her feet, backing away from Meiling.
“Ah Eirin! I’ve managed to stabilise her but she needs medical attention.”

Eirin halts next to the fallen gatekeeper, the girl behind her dropping the larger bag with an audible wheeze.
“Ah, you’re that cow-girl of Mokou’s. I was wondering who they’d have before a real doctor got here.”

Keine locks gazes with the woman in the ludicrous dress.
“I have a name, Eirin

“I’m sure you do. And while I’m sure you can make a fine stopgap treatment, did you think of how eating the history of her problem is going to affect my treatment? How am I supposed to work when I can’t even see it to diagnose it?”

Keine sucks in her breath, almost visibly biting back on her pride. Her tone of voice shifts to being saccharine-sweet.
“I guess I’ll just withdraw that right away, than shall I? I’m sure the great Sage Eirin will be able to deal with the immediate repercussions of all that painful history hitting the patient at once.”

“Yes. I can. There’s no need to assume that everyone must fall to your particular standard of…competence.”

Keine sucks in a breath, almost visibly biting back on her pride as she does so. At the same time, something swift and ephemereal flickers between her and the injured redhead. The gatekeeper snaps awake immediately, arching her back and screaming inhumanly loudly. Eirin extends her hand over Meiling’s face, causing her pupils to suddenly dilate. Her scream dies down to nothing as she falls unconscious again.
Eirin puts the suspicious smelling rag back into her bag.

“Reisen.”

The bunny girl snaps to attention, opening the bag and passing along a metal tool of some kind to the doctor. It looks very…pointy.

Keine sidles back over to you on the sidelines closer to the lake. You would normally assume that you had gone mostly unobserved by the newcomer duo but while that might be true of Reisen, the doctor had definitely seen you.
Not that there was anything wrong with that, you weren’t really trying to hide. But this Eirin carries herself with a complete confidence that you find uneasy. It doesn’t feel like overconfidence, filled with nothing but bluster, bravado and an inflated self-opinion. It was more the confidence of someone who supremely knows their own objective intelligence and power. Someone who knows her own limits exactly and also knows that they are set damn high.

You recognise it easily since after all, it’s nearly the same kind of confidence you try to carry within yourself at all times.
And as a rule, you’d rather not draw too much attention from someone like that unless you’d already planned for it. Especially due to your own, ahem, similiarities to the real problem here.

“So…cow girl?”

Keine makes a humph noise while crossing her arms.
“Don’t ask right now. Not in the mood.”

“Duly noted.”

Keine looks out towards the lake, pausing as if about to say something. You move quicker than her, drawing your hand across her mouth. You move in close, speaking in only the lightest of whispers.
“I would not talk about anything related to crippled birds while Eirin is listening in to us.”

She pauses and nods slowly.
“What about Remilia and Sakuya then?”

You blink.
“Is that the name of the mistress of the mansion? Then I figure that they’ve been watching from somewhere for quite some time now. Just be thankful that the mist is so very thick this morning.”

Leaving Keine to her own problems, you start pacing. This wasn’t going to be something you could do alone. And you don’t need people just to help you either. While the lake might be relatively undiscovered so far, it is unlikely to remain so. Give another few hours and this lake will probably be swarming with curious people. Just wait, everyone and their yeddim will be down here to gawk and to poke their nose in.
Mass scrutiny does not agree with you, particularly in light of the flying village…incident. And it would not do for some curious fool to find out that a very close approximation of what is in the lake is also literally pumping through your veins right now. That would be awkward and hard to explain.

So having a small group of friendly people would also act as a buffer between yourself and the world when necessary. But who?
Keine is the most obvious choice, being neck-deep in the business already. Aside from you, she’s no doubt the most knowledgeable about this particular matter. So knowledgeable in fact, that she has to be on your side, simply because you’d need to keep an eye on her.

Daiyousei would probably be willing. Considering that this lake is her home, all you have to do is find her. Or if she’s capable of putting two and two together, she might even find you.

Shikieiki would be really helpful and is probably unavoidable anyway since she’s already curious about these happenings. She could probably bring along all kinds of inconveniences with her though in the form of her morality. She’d probably even want you to stop lying to people! And then where would you be? Lying to people is basically all you do!

But having access to Shikieiki around would mean having access to Komachi around, which would not be bad at all. Provided that she had the spare time to do this though which is by no means a certain thing. You still don’t know what her ultimate fate was either and while you’re relatively sure it turned out harmlessly, you never know. And in which case, you and Eiki were going to have words the next time she showed up.
You would lecture the hell out of her.

You hear a splashing sound. It sounds like something in the lake itself. Well that’s ominous. What could still be out there in the lake?
At the same time though, you hear Eirin’s voice.
“We’re done here. Reisen, take the bag back and don’t drop that sample jar.”

You can hear Keine as well, who’s already moved back to the gates.
“You got it out so quickly? I didn’t think-”

“That’s why I’m a Sage and you’re just a schoolteacher.”

“Eugh I don’t even know why I bother.”

Out of the corner of your eye, you see Reisen approaching your part of the lake, a large glass vial in her hands. Seemingly without seeing you, she kneels by the shore and dips it in, filling it with ‘water’.
It lasts a few seconds before it starts melting through the glass, causing her to drop it in alarm. It falls into the lake with a quiet hiss. Reisen looks around guiltily back in Eirin’s general direction before surreptitiously pulling out another glass container, this one made of an odd smoked glass you don’t recognise.

You hear another splash coming from somewhere in the lake.

[ ] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.

[ ] Talk to Reisen, maybe lend her a hand in her task. She could be a useful source of information.

[ ] Go back to Eirin and Keine. Introduce yourself properly.

[ ] See if you can figure out where Remilia and Sakuya are. Though they’ll probably show up real soon to thank Eirin anyway.

[ ] Write In.
>> No. 153528
File 132951553230.jpg - (8.81KB , 210x240 , whoops.jpg ) [iqdb]
153528
And I forgot to add the picture. Of course.
>> No. 153529
And to forestall questions about it, that choice you made before is going to hang around and alter things for the rest of the story. It's not exactly an immediate thing.
>> No. 153530
[ ] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.
>> No. 153531
[x] Go back to Eirin and Keine. Introduce yourself properly.
[x] Get their help to investigate the noise in the water.

No reason to be impolite to the old doctor and if a fight breaks out with whatever is in the waters, it'd go better if we had assistance and needed to demonstrate less of our capabilities.

We could help Reisen to collect a sample of the vitriol, but I think that reveals too much of our nature to Eirin.
>> No. 153532
[x] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.

Seems like a possible threat. Might as well be Nash that pokes it with a stick.
>> No. 153533
[X] Talk to Reisen, maybe lend her a hand in her task. She could be a useful source of information.

Do you reproduce by budding?
>> No. 153534
[y] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.
>> No. 153535
File 132951816547.jpg - (293.16KB , 1024x708 , 4bf1f35e209ee25c8a9ec3b75e6ee46b.jpg ) [iqdb]
153535
>>153528
>artifacted thumbnail
oh dude
>> No. 153538
[x] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.

Maybe it's just Cirno and not one of Kimbery's horrible tentacle monsters. Or maybe it's one of Kimbery's horrible tentacle monsters getting frozen by Cirno.
>> No. 153539
>Or if Daiyousei’s capable of putting two and two together, she might even find you.
Yes please! I could not be more content with the direction this story is headed.

[x] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.

>No reason to be impolite to the old doctor
She's a total bitch (in a likable way). That's why.
>> No. 153541
[X] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.

[X] In particular, look for Daiyousei. If she got here before you she could be in a very bad way...
>> No. 153556
[x] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe
>> No. 153562
[X] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.

[X] In particular, look for Daiyousei. If she got here before you she could be in a very bad way...

The only things that could be splashing in the lake are horrible monsters or innocent fairys.
>> No. 153564
Wait, so is the water in the lake the actual waters of Kimbery or vitriol? Unless I'm mistaken, I think they're different things, since vitriol comes either from vitriol elementals or in pits within the Demon City.

Keine's words seem to say it's Kimbery, at least.

Either way, we should consider whether we should be worried about the sample-taking.

I think the Reisen option is for eventually getting Reisen to join our team.

[X] Talk to Reisen, maybe lend her a hand in her task. She could be a useful source of information.
[x] Remind self whether familiar taste is vitriol or Kimbery's waters, and any damage it could cause in the hands of a mad scientist.
>> No. 153566
Building the team.

[X] Talk to Reisen, maybe lend her a hand in her task. She could be a useful source of information.

If multiple stuff is allowed:

[X] Talk to Reisen, maybe lend her a hand in her task. She could be a useful source of information.
[X] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.
-[x] It might be wise to use a stealthy Charm or something.
>> No. 153569
[X] Talk to Reisen, maybe lend her a hand in her task. She could be a useful source of information.
[x] Remind self whether familiar taste is vitriol or Kimbery's waters, and any damage it could cause in the hands of a mad scientist.
>> No. 153570
>>153564
Could be either - vitriol is found in all kinds of places in the Demon City but Kimberry's waters are one of the more common sources because they make up the sewers, the lakes, and the oceans.
>> No. 153572
Yeah, I'm going with the option to work on setting up a decent team - for that, we should probably try and make a good first impression on Reisen, before anything else (we don't want the girl who would know a lot about medicine to dislike us, here)

Especially since I've got a feeling this is kind of a limited time deal, so it's our best option in getting to talk to her.

[X] Talk to Reisen, maybe lend her a hand in her task. She could be a useful source of information.
>> No. 153590
>>153535

This is what happens when I'm posting an update but ohgod I have to go FIVE MINUTES AGO and it's alright but wait shit you don't have a picture damnit do you even have any painfully generic Eirin pics shit grab some random internet pic you can look at it later it'll turn out fine.

It did not turn out fine.
>> No. 153591
>>153590
You could go without a picture. Lots of writers do it. It's even the norm.

If we had visited Akyuu first, would she have been the one with the Crane?
>> No. 153602
Wait, if the water is Kimbery, or just vitriol, shouldn't it now be made of Essence?

[X] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.
>> No. 153614
>>153591

Nope. Just like not choosing the human village path would have steered you entirely clear of Komachi's unsuccessful reaping attempt and the Yuuka Incident that developed out of it.

The Crane would have been written regardless of whatever path you chose and Keine would have been it's author each time. She is uniquely suited to it in a way that few other characters are.
>> No. 153635
[X] Check out what’s in the middle of the lake post haste. The others probably won’t notice. Maybe.
>> No. 154097
Thread 4: >>153646
>> No. 154098
Thread 4: >>153646