Adventure Time

Elliott: This is, after so very long, finally a story of Sadabus Argand and his colleagues in the Tri-County Chapter of the Rider's Abstinence Society.

We begin before the beginning, in a flashback to a thing that presumably happened some time after Gailizia caught the slug.

Well, what's left of the slug.

Sadabus: Stupid slug jacked my intern's godhood.

The curtain lifts. Gailizia is seated, wearing an unfamiliar mask. Stars can be seen in the dark of the eyes, and it has a pointed grin. Static crackles.

Gailizia: Sadabus. I'd like to play a game.

Gailizia: A fun game.

Gailizia: A cruel game.

Gailizia: A game starring yourself.

[She begins toying with a glass sphere, rolling it around her hand and fingers like magic. Suspended inside is the dissolute remains of a slug.]

Sadabus: Go on.

[a pause]

Gailizia: It's simple. I will fade into the background, and help you draw the Noble out. You simply… be yourself.

Gailizia: Your handsome, charming, nefarious self.

Gailizia: I'm tired of this intruder. Its games bore me, because it fails to take the stage. No showmanship at all.

Gailizia: So with a Strategy, I lay its cue. It will slip up, and be in your grasp, and maybe we will have some answers, as the bit ordains. Maybe blood? Probably somebody's blood.

[A sound in the background, and for a moment her hand stops, before picking up. A sense of threat to her builds.]

Sadabus: You had some particular idea?

Gailizia: Life goes on, like it does. Drama intrudes, like it always does. I work the backstage, like I do. The Noble gets drawn into the moment, something trips, and the bit is committed to.

Gailizia: Maybe it doesn't take the bait tonight, maybe it does, but it will fall prey, because let's face it.

Gailizia: We're surrounded by messy bitches.

[The sound grows closer. Gailizia rises.]

[Lesser Misdirection to hide Gailizia, combined with a Lesser Strategy to entrap the slug Noble in the deed instead of having it run off like a smug bastard.]

[Gailizia begins running as the sound intensifies and the lights are cut.]

Elliott: The lights go down, and then they come up again.

We open on a line.

It's a full half of Sadabus' employees, milling about in a queue outside a door that definitely wasn't there until recently.

Sadabus: Well, that's just Tuesday.

Has somebody opened a new pipeweed stand?

Elliott: Not that anyone can say on that count.

But Miranda, the tiny old stitchwitch, comes out of there, smiling contentedly and humming a happy tune before the next goes in.

Gailizia: Annalee looks up from her phone and looks around.

Where are we, anyways? :spotreckoning:

Elliott: You're in Sadabus' evil station! They still broadcast things, because they've got better kit for certain kinds of shows than Tri-County does.

Gailizia: Sure, but what's up with this line? Is there a sign or something? Maybe gossip?

Radegesis: Payday? I'm sure Sadabus is very good at giving out regular amounts of money that was issued by an actual government.

Gailizia: Unclear how much he believes in money.

Elliott: Ah! What's up indeed? There's chitchat about a new HR director, who's apparently taking care of… well, almost everything and everyone! There's better spirits than you've seen at the station since it was first conquered.

Sadabus: I don't remember hiring this person.

Elliott: You definitely didn't.

Gailizia: Annalee quirks her head.

"Hey, Radikas, when did Sads get into having an HR person?"

Sadabus: "It's probably the applause woman."

Radegesis: Rad shrugs. "Beats me. I'm just here for sweet, sweet handouts." She lowers her voice conspiratorially. "But I did hear… uh…"
What's that gossip she's been hearing? :spotcreation:

Sadabus: "This sounds like something she'd do. Some arts are too dark even for me."

Elliott: No need to spotlight for that, I think Gailizia's still covers it. The gossip is mostly just that this new director — Mr. Korbb — is helping to undo a lot of the various damage that's been dealt to the workers, especially in the aftermath of the whole Jackson episode.

Semegastes: :spotreckoning: What happened to these guys in the whole Jackson episode?

Elliott: Remember, everyone was getting evicted and subpoenaed and taxed and audited?

Gailizia: Oh, that.

Sadabus: I would like to think that I probably did something about that.

Radegesis: Oh, right, that problem we totally fixed normally.

Gailizia: Well, we enNobled Jackson.

[Sadabus spotlights his own heroic efforts to solve all those problems. :spotlight:]

Gailizia: I don't think anything happened about cleaning up the paperwork.

Elliott: After which the Battle for Broadcasts ensued almost immediately.

Gailizia: Or perhaps… Sadabus did help?

Radegesis: Well, apparently you heroically hired a HR manager! Presumably this good deed was so uncharacteristic, you immediately repressed it.

Gailizia: Are you focusing your good deeds into being.

Sadabus: Not good, just good planning.

True evil schemes responsibly. :fuguechip:

Radegesis: Rad shuffles forward another spot in the line. "Well, I'm asking for a raise, either way."

Elliott: I mean, if you want to spotlight it, tell us what you did.

Sadabus: It mostly involves me threatening Jackson 5 with fiery obliteration, and just general fire, unless he fixes everything that various "he"s did.

Various lien-holders may have been threatened and/or transmogrified as well.

Elliott: Jackson VI.

Sadabus: He can have another increment once he cleans up Jackson I's mess.

Elliott: Okay, so, Jackson has been trying to help you do that, but it's been kind of a work-in-progress, since he's been pretty busy learning how to be a god — especially a god who can hear everything in the universe at once.

You definitely got a lot of the agencies off your people immediately, but things still look bad on paper.

Sadabus: Paper burns.

Elliott: And that's what this Mr. Korbb seems to be addressing, with alarming efficiency.

Gailizia: Annalee touches Rad's shoulder.

"You mind if I follow you? I wanna see what's up and I'm not employed by Sads."

Radegesis: "Uhhhhhhhh, yeah, sure. Always room for one more, huh?"

Semegastes: "You don't technically need to be employed," Semegastes-in-Valentine says. "Sadabus doesn't… what's the word…"

"Opsec?" Valentine suggests.

"…give a shit," Semegastes concludes. :fuguechip:

Gailizia: "Listen, I'm already in thrall to one of y'all, and she's the one who pays half the rent."

Sadabus: "It's more that I feel that ultimately, everyone will be subject to my reign."

"Quibbling over who is or is not my employee is beneath me."

Radegesis: "Hey, man, I'm not gonna stop you from paying me more."

[Sadabus gives Radegesis a pastry.]

Radegesis: "I got a little brother to pay for now, you know? He's gotta eat non WcDlonald's eventually, I think."

"Maybe, like, some broccoli."

Gailizia: "Oh, is that apricot? I thought those were out of season. Lucky, Radikas."

Sadabus: "…what? Are you feeding Cole now? What are you feeding Cole now?"

Radegesis: "Oh, hell yeah."

Sadabus: "All right, you are all officially banned from making your own choices about what to eat."

Sadabus: "Report to me at 9 AM, 1 PM, and 7 PM for regular meals. Bring any family members you may have acquired." :fuguechip:

"Thus do I bind you!"

[Sadabus uses Greater Intensity to bind his damned-fool chapterinos with a geas of regular balanced meals.]

Gailizia: "I'll bring a salad for the dinner. Gotta trick them into eating their greens, I swear."

[Sadabus nods sagely.]

Sadabus: Of course, tricking Radegesis into taking her vitamins will require truly nefarious cunning, but this is well within my means.

Gailizia: I think you can just hide them in some peanut butter. :fuguechip:

Sadabus: "Hm, that does work on Apox."

Gailizia: Annalee hands Radegesis a napkin someone handed her as they move up another step in line.

Sadabus: "…wait, why are we waiting in line? This is my castle."

Semegastes: "We're polite!"

Gailizia: "I don't think HR people like getting bum-rushed?"

Radegesis: Rad swallows with effort. "Honestly I was just doing what the next guy did. You wanna call your guy and set up a meeting or what?"

Sadabus: "No, no, we've started this joke; now we have to finish it."

Radegesis: Rad shrugs. "Glad you and Gailizia agree on something."

Shuffle up another space.

share a meal with a minion

Gailizia: "So what's up with you and Cole now, anyways? Does he like… live with you? Do you visit his house? Gailizia was never very clear on that." :spotreckoning:

Radegesis: Rad shrugs. "I crash at his place sometimes, make sure he's doing… homework? Eating meals. We play Nortnite sometimes. Generally pester. You know."

"Honestly it's probably at least a little traumatizing for him to still be living where he maybe erased his parents but I'm working on getting him outta there without traumatizing him more."

Sadabus: "Yet another problem that can be solved with delicious food."

Sadabus pulls out an evil notebook and writes "TURKISH DELIGHT".

"Hm, pumpkin curry? Yes."

Gailizia: She nods. "That's fair."

Semegastes: "Does he need someone who's a bit more… parental? I could have Dee ask Poppy about it."

Sadabus: "Um, evil father figure right here."

Semegastes: "No one would buy you as a dad."

"You're too avuncular."

Radegesis: "Pretty sure you're firmly evil gay uncle, Sad."

Gailizia: "Not sure Dee is the one to ask right now? She's got her own thing going on, what with him and the burning, but, like. In a positive way?"

Radegesis: "Oh yeah. How's that going, by the way?" :spotcreation:

Semegastes: "…she still hasn't stopped making fun of me for the poggers thing."

SERIOUS WOUND: Not in touch with youth culture.

Radegesis: "Neither have I, you crusty old bitch."

Sadabus: "Nor have I."

"Seriously, Semegastes, get with the times."

Elliott: And thus did Semegastes realize the terrible truth:

That their audience of adoring tweens was watching them… ironically. :fuguechip:

Semegastes: "I must away, to blue check Twitter."

[Radegesis emotes shock!]

Gailizia: "She's… coping? Gailizia and I stopped in the other day to check in on her and she's still on fire and in a funk about Cole, but I think she'll get over it? I know what it's like to catch feelings and have it not work out — even with the nonexistent bonfire of yearning, she'll move on."


"Not sure if she took up Gailizia's offer for therapy, she's really good at enforcing HIPAA regulations in her head."

Elliott: As the lot of you wait, anyone who's got the spoons to actually notice things might notice that there's been a little bit of redecorating. Not just in this hallway, given the door that didn't exist last week, but just kind of throughout the station. There's lots of weird little… like, they look kind of like old-fashioned TV antennas? Just stuck in things variously.


hotquackbatarang: :semegasteschamp:

Semegastes: Fail.

Sadabus: I use Vision.

Radegesis: Can it be? Will Rad manage a whole Focus?

Sadabus: Obviously station decoration is my top priority!

Elliott: Vision or Focus both work.

But no time for that now — it's your turn!

Gailizia: "Hey, Radikas, I think you're next."

Radegesis: "Hey, does this look kind of — oh, fuck, hi."

Elliott: Into the office you go, and find yourselves in a… supernaturally boring room, given Sadabus' aesthetic choices. Drop ceilings and a big desk, just a few steps better than "okay," and a few plastic chairs, and a regulation allotment of ficuses and knicknacks.

Sadabus: This is horrible.

I curse it with better decor.

Elliott: Sitting behind the desk, with his dark-ringed eyes fixed on a spreadsheet, is Mr. Korbb. Or — I guess you know him as Wendell, Osamunda's pale, rumple-haired brother. He hasn't realized that you've entered yet.


Two of the ficuses become animate sculptures of fire.

Radegesis: Ah, dogshit.

Elliott: He does notice that.


This is the song of Evil Chair
Bad decor should be everywhere
Your sense of taste says you should run
But Evil Chair Decor says “this room looks fun!”

Elliott: "Ah!" he says, pushing his keyboard in and leaping to his feet. The man is easily seven feet tall, all of it stretched and lanky and awkward.

Sadabus: A long drink of water.

Semegastes: "Flowers!"

"…' brother."

Elliott: "I understood that reference," he says, making an even more dated reference.

Gailizia: Annalee looks to either side.

"…we haven't met?"

Elliott: He stops for a second and looks pointedly into Annalee's eyes, pretty obviously confirming that they're, you know, eyes.

"Wendell Korbb," he says, extended a hand.

Radegesis: "Wendell, this is Annalee; she's speaking for Gailizia. Annalee, this is Wendell; his sister wants to kill us."

Gailizia: They're quite real! And quite pretty, depending on who you ask.

Radegesis: No comment.

Gailizia: She takes it and gives a firm shake.

Elliott: "So!" Wendell says, and turns to Sadabus, looking sheepish. He does the thing some tall folks do where they slouch, not to condescend but by way of apologizing for all the space they're forced to take up. "Sorry to surprise you like this."

Radegesis: "Yeah, uh, quick question, before we get started with our super professional meeting: what the hot fuck?" :spotcreation:

Elliott: What are you focusing us in on?

Radegesis: How he came to be here! What he's doing here! Maybe if he's hot in a really trashy way, but only as a side effect!

Elliott: He is hot in a rumpled way, with dark doe eyes and good dimples. I dunno how much that tweaks things for Rad, given that he's very un-MILFsome.

Sadabus: Back off, sister. :fuguechip:

"Surprises are a part of life," says Sadabus smoothly.

Radegesis: I'm just warming him up for you!

Sadabus: It's true; I'll look much more like husband material by comparison!

Oh, and it'll really annoy Osamunda.

No downsides!

Semegastes: Oh, I can get in on any plan that annoys Osamunda.

Elliott: "I just wanted to… uh… do what I could to help smooth things over. You know, here. Lots of people needing things filed. I mean, I'm sure you're great at this stuff, but I just popped in and saw folks still with some dark clouds over their heads and… well, that's kind of my wheelhouse. So I thought I'd do a little bit of vigilante freelancing."

Radegesis: Rad leans over to Valentine to whisper. "See, Sem, now this is what we call poggers."

Sadabus: "Marvelous, marvelous; glad to have you aboard."

"Oh, and dinner's at seven. No need to dress."

Semegastes: Semegastes' mind is monetarily filled with static.

Sadabus: "Unless you're Radegesis, in which case you do."

[Sadabus begins looking for a suitable outfit for Radegesis.]

Radegesis: Rad flashes fingerguns. "I will be dressing, and I will be dressing poorly."

Gailizia: "I can help her."

Semegastes: "So… guessing your sister doesn't know about this little venture of yours?"

Sadabus: Sadabus searches the internet for the right sort of garment to ask the stitchwitch for.

Elliott: "Ah. I'm not sure if I can stay quite that long, you know. And there's an 'eating with the enemy' thing to think about. But I did want to see if… did you know that you had a few people still squatting in the station?"


Radegesis: "Over my dead fucking body."

Gailizia: "Sads. No."


"I mean, slap a few shoulder pads on and this is basically my outfit."

Elliott: "My sister does not know," Wendell tells Semegastes. "And I would consider it a kindness if she was to remain unaware for the rest of eternity. Possibly longer, if she's actually inherited the Flowers immortality. She hasn't really been keen to test."

Gailizia: "…"

"Radikas, we're gonna find something with leather."

Radegesis: "…I do hate it less.""

"Wait. If?"

"Oh, leather."


Semegastes: "No need to worry about that, bud," Semegastes says, liking him already. "So is she a colossal jerk to people who aren't Excrucians, too?"

:spotreckoning: What does he think about her?

Sadabus: :spotreckoning: What does he think about pie?

Radegesis: :spotreckoning: What does he think about Sad, except, only as a joke, because I already used both spotlights.


Radegesis: Now, this one does get points on sheer loudness.


Elliott: "She's… a lot. Look: I'm a little older than her, miracle-wise. She's only been at this stuff for a decade, and she inherited some bad memories from the Estate's previous holder. She hates that she can't actually take part in the War, and I think it's starting to fester in her, that resentment. She makes mistakes. Especially with family, you know. But she is family, and Leonore and I do our best to just… chill her out, a little."

Semegastes: "Wait, I thought taking part in the War was like, your whole job."

Elliott: "Hm? I mean, other Powers, yeah. But we're exempt," he says, breezily. "Frankly I don't think she realizes how cozy a position that is."

Sadabus: This sounds like yet another problem I can solve with delicious food.

Initiate Operation Pie Hole!

Radegesis: Hm.

Semegastes: "So she gets sidelined in the War and decides to mess with, like, practically the only Strategists around who aren't active participants? Instead of just striking up a conversation, bonding over the tremendous amount of stuff we have in common?"

Sadabus: First, a few pear pies with Gruyere baked into the crust, and just a tiny taste of my special mood enhancers.

Gailizia: "Why are y'all exempt?"

Sadabus: "Indeed, I think a peace offering is in order. Of course, you'd better not tell her it's from us."

Gailizia: "Also, who's Leonore?"

Sadabus: "Let me just wander into the kitchen and whip something up…"

Radegesis: Sadabus, if you start waking the dead, I want advance notice. :fuguechip:

Elliott: "I mean… do we have that much in common?" He asks it, and he looks at his shoes as he does, but there's a certain strange note of iron in it. Of certainty. "I mean, you're all doing your best not to be yourselves. But that's not the same as being part of this world, is it?"

Sadabus: "We lead lives filled with metaphysical nonsense and the shenanigans of our only peers."

"Anyway, off to bake now!"

Radegesis: Rad shrugs. "We're here, aren't we? Feels pretty worldly to me." She reaches out to, like, high-five a ficus leaf.

This decor is not hugely conducive to feeling connect…ible.

Semegastes: "You're nicer than her, and you haven't sent anyone at us for us to kill, which scores you major points for a Power, but you're still making the same mistake."

Elliott: He looks off into the distance and scrunches up his lips into a strange, pensive look. Then turns to Annalee: "Oh! Leonore is our other sister. She's Applause. I think you might have met her at some kind of call-in?"

Gailizia: "Ah! Her! We chat from time to time."

Semegastes: "Being part of the world isn't a thing you are, it's just… a thing you do." :fuguechip:

Radegesis: "Oh. Her."

"Round of applause to us for not figuring that out, I guess."

Elliott: "Look, I'm not here to talk politics. This isn't Thanksgiving, yet." :fuguechip:

Semegastes: "Our existence is, alas, political. Makes it hard not to talk politics."

Elliott: "I'm not here to bury you or berate you. But I'm not Leonore. I'm not infinitely optimistic. And I've seen what happens when Riders decide to stop doing the work of being in the world."

Sadabus: "Is it pie?":

"Because I made pie!"

Sadabus returns with pie.

And you'd better believe this smells fucking incredible.

It is pie with Intensity.

Radegesis: "Oh, shit yes."

Elliott: He brightens at the smell of pie.

Sadabus: "Please, take this for the road, if you can't stay for dinner."

Elliott: "You seem much less evil than your PR lets on."

Sadabus: "Oh, no; I am quite evil! But the pastries are good."

Gailizia: She sits down and fixes her eyes on him.

"Wendell, have you ever actually tried to know a Rider?"

Semegastes: "Do we seem like quitters… I can't call you Wendell, it's just, sorry, not remotely even nicknameable. What's your Estate?"

Elliott: Wendell goes bright pink. "Like, know?" :fuguechip:

Sadabus: "These guys are basically morally upright, though; you can't judge them based on me."

Elliott: "And if we're going to be making this official…" he says with a sigh, reaching out to his billfold to withdraw a few business cards.

Wendell Korbb
He Who is Heir to Thunder
Thirdborn of Locus Ibzuderiel

Sadabus: "Anyway, I hereby swear upon Harumaph's elbow-joint that this pie is morally neutral and will do you and your family no harm."

Gailizia: "I mean, if that's what you're into, which I can't argue with. But more broadly."

Radegesis: "I was gonna go with Korby, so probably better we go by Estate."

"Also, wink wink."

Sadabus: This is my Strategy:

I will convince Wendell to take this pie home, and feed it to the family, without disclosing its origins.

Then over time I will give him several more.

Eventually, Osamunda will come to love my pies.

Only then will she discover that it is I who makes them!

And she will be very annoyed.

This is the evil strategem of Sadabus Argand.

Radegesis: I think it's gotta be a Greater Strategy if you're not responding to a miracle.

Sadabus: I'm seizing an opportunity!

Anyway, Lesser Strategies can optionally be allowed to work for petty shit regardless, and this is the epitome of petty shit.

Gailizia: "Have you ever tried to be friends with anyone on this side of things?"

Semegastes: "O my love, you simply must stop go around introducing yourself as Wendell."

Radegesis: Also, it is definitely way hotter to call yourself Thunder. Just a little tip there.

Elliott: He looks up at Annalee, and all that boyishness goes away for a moment. His eyes go cold, and it draws attention to his wraithsome features, the hunger written into his mien.


Semegastes: I'm gonna do a Stunt of empathy to get a grasp on the emotional dynamics of that relationship.

Radegesis: Someone spotlight that! I wanna know!

Sadabus: Eh. It's not important who he was with before.

I'm not jealous. :fuguechip:

Elliott: Empath-wise? It is… oh, dear, Semegastes.

The world goes slant.

What could it be, but heartbreak?

Semegastes: Uh-oh.

Elliott: And not just heartbreak: The heartbreak of betrayal, and beyond that: grief. Profound and deep, like the aquifers of the earth.

Infection Get

Semegastes: Semegastes sits down on the floor and starts to sob.

Radegesis: "I… oh. All right, there. Happens to the best of us."

Sadabus: Sadabus sighs and cuts a slice of pie.

"I'll have to bake you another one for the road."

[Sadabus offers pie to the sobbing Semegastes.]

Sadabus: Complete with my special mood enhancers!

Semegastes: "I'm… sorry…" Semegastes chokes out, shoveling the tiniest bit of pie down Valentine's mouth.

Sadabus: I spotlight the pie's incredible deliciousness.


Elliott: Wendell backs up, looking terrified — seemingly at himself.

"I — "

Gailizia: She puts her hands together, grinning a little grin. She isn't part of Semegastes, but Gailizia still is.

"Oh, now. I see."

Sadabus: "Fear not; we have all been there."

Elliott: "I need to go."

Semegastes: It's good. It's incredibly good! It is such a good pie! And for Semegastes, it's just exactly as miserable and useless as even the best pie is when you've just lost the love of your life. :fuguechip:

Semegastes: "No, please don't; this is just… an Excrucian thing. Silly. Ignore it."

Sadabus: No, no; it's definitely good enough to cure heartbreak.

I cannot accept this insult to my piemongery.

Sadabus is offended by your continued having of sad emotions, but conceals this because, united front.

Elliott: "I told you I wasn't here to hurt you and I can't even do that right," he says, and bites down on his thumb in anxiety. Those with Focus or Vision notice that he draws blood.

Sadabus: "You'll get the hang of it. It just takes practice."

Semegastes: "Please, stay a second. You're not the one that's hurting me."

Gailizia: "The lightning-flash of heartbreak and the thundering roar running from that shard of burning time. If you want to talk about it, I know a professional."

She offers a card of her own. Gailizia's therapist card.

"But in the meantime, don't worry too much about it. You couldn't have really known."

Radegesis: "Whoa, hey, man, it's all good. This is the kind of thing that just happens."

"You're lucky it wasn't a custard pie, or I'd be doing the same thing about eggs."

Elliott: "How can you live with that?"

Semegastes: "I try my hardest."

Sadabus: "Sometimes we don't."

"We die horribly on a semi-regular basis."

Radegesis: "And the rest of the time, we eat pie!"

Sadabus: "That is the source of our famous poor attitude."

Gailizia: "They really don't. And at the end of the day, I help with the wounds, where I can."

Semegastes: "The world is wrong. I know you can't see it, for your Powers it's like seeing your nose, but: it's wrong. It shouldn't be possible for you to love someone, and then it all falls apart and your heart feels like it's been trampled into a million pieces and then carried away to hell by ants. But it is. It's broken, it's fucked up."

Elliott: "I'm fucking this all up," he says under his breath.

Semegastes: "But… we still choose love."

Radegesis: "Hey man, welcome to the club. Practically all we do is fuck up."

Semegastes: "It's worth the wrongness, worth the dying, even, to see the beauty at the heart of the world."

Radegesis: "Well, except Gailizia. Maybe Sad. They seem to do okay sometimes."

Semegastes: "And that, Thunds, is what we have in common."

Elliott: He goes icy at that.

"Don't tell me what we have in common."

This is a voice that thunders; that shakes the world atom by atom; that is inflected in the manner of kings.

Sadabus: I cast quickened protection from sonic.

Radegesis: Rad meets it, coolly, with a Stunt of untouchability.

"Fuckup's a fuckup. Don't like it, quit fucking up."


Elliott: Something changes in the atmosphere.

Semegastes: "I'm literally dying of your heartbreak, Thunder. Maybe it's not my place, maybe I don't have the right, and yes, your voice is really cool and scary. But even if you don't want to hear it, I can't pretend that I'm nothing like you."

Elliott: "I could pulp your heart in your chest with a word," he says through gritted teeth, but it's more like… it's more like he's trying to hold something back. Not himself. Something else, something —

Gailizia: I would like to perceive him with Vision, to hear what's not being said, to see what's underneath the skin.

Elliott: This is probably going to take some Greater Vision, actually. Whatever you're looking for it, you'll have to look deep.

Gailizia: Greater Vision, then.

Elliott: So:

There, in the pit of his spiritual stomach, is a familiar blue parasite — something slick and offensively blue.

Radegesis: OH FUCK OFF.

Sadabus: Oh, here's another sister who needs to back off.

Gailizia: "Sadabus," says no one in particular, "that would be your cue."

Sadabus: I cast body adventure. :fuguechip:

Elliott: That is not a D&D spell.

Radegesis: Third-party supplement!

Elliott: …I have decided to allow this on the grounds that it is awful.

Sadabus: The world grows large, vast, and mysterious.

Each of us experiences the thrill of adventure as we fly towards and then into Wendell's throat.

Body adventchaaaaaaaaaaaa

Semegastes: This is neither thrilling nor adventurous for Semegastes.

Gailizia: Does Wendell also enter Wendell's throat?

Sadabus: …sure, why not?

Radegesis: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Semegastes: Just like Marilyn Manson! :fuguechip:

Sadabus: "That is just an urban myth, Semegastes."

"These days Marilyn Manson just goes door-to-door trying to shock people."

Radegesis: Oh, my god; it took me way too long to remember that reference.

Elliott: I'm also going to say that you pull like… a shard of Wendell with you. A shade. He is deeply confused about this.

Sadabus: Well, he'd better buckle up, buddy, 'cause there's no brakes on the Sadabus Express.

Elliott: [A VERY LONG CHAPTER BREAK. Take 2 XP since we got close, and also it lagged so that's only fair.]

It's the Yellow Brick Throat all over again.

Semegastes: "Hey, Sady?"

Sadabus: "Yes, my dear Semegastes?"

Semegastes: "What the fuck."

Sadabus: "You see, our enemy slug lurks within the abdomen of this charming young man. Thus, body adventure!"

[Sadabus indicates the enemy slug.]

Semegastes: "Oh!" Semegastes says, entirely satisfied by this answer.

Elliott: "Why am I in me?" Shade-Wendell asks. "And why are all of you in me too? And also, oh, my gods, is this my tongue? My papillae look huge."

Semegastes: "Thunds, did you know that there was a slug inside of you?"

Elliott: "A slug?"

Gailizia: Both Inside and Outside Wendell, a voice that is not there speaks into his ear, hands running down his arms, securely.

"Be not afraid, I think is the traditional phrasing. But I am not an angel, merely a fool."

"There is an interloper within your heart. Another Noble, a slug who has infected those around us and brought their heartbreak and manias to the fore."

"Please, play along. The path has already been laid for us, but the final bit has yet to play out."

Sadabus: "Dark forces lurk within your corpus. But have no fear, for you are under my protection."

"Now, over the teeth and past the gums; look out, stomach, here we comes!"

Elliott: Wendell's shade shatters in a blast of thunder that rattles… well, his own teeth.

"If this is what I think it is, I am going to do an absolute murder."

Sadabus: "That's the spirit!"

Semegastes: "What do you think it is?"

Gailizia: "Oh?" the voice that is not there giggles. "You know them, then?"

Semegastes: "Because so far, we're just on 'this asshole.'"

Elliott: "I'd rather not say until we know. And then when we know, I'll say it loudly. Or maybe I'll wait until I'm out of myself? Because the scream will be a lesser apocalypse."

Gailizia: "Not so dreadful as our own shattering apocalyptic screams, I hope. But you do you, I suppose."

Elliott: How are you lot going on the process of… you know…

Getting all up and down in him?

Semegastes: Semegastes has some experience with this kind of bodywork; they're going to Navigate a path for the rest.

3 Fugue, 1 XP

Gailizia: Location is absolute, anyways.

Sadabus: It's not really hard to find the stomach.

Just gotta watch out for those divine white blood cells.



His Imperator.

Lurking in the pit of his stomach like an acidic gnome.

Elliott: Throw a spotlight on it unless you want it to take some time.

Semegastes: :spotreckoning:

Semegastes: The veins, the fascia, the ligaments and the skellington, these are roads well-traveled for the Sarcocystidae, and wherever that vile slug might be enthroned, they can find it.

Elliott: Through careful capillary action, Semegastes-as-Valentine leads the lot of you through the body of Wendell Korbb, Heir to Thunder.

Unfortunately it leads you straight to his stomach — and it is filled with both the dangers of natural acid and the divine ichor of a Power.

Radegesis: "Whoof. What did you have for lunch? Well, pie, I guess."

"Wait. You can't have digested that fast."
:spotreckoning: on the chunks of pie I presume to be floating in his stomach.

Sadabus: I don't think he ate any pie, but he probably is eating pie now.

With his consciousness here with us, his body is probably just doing what comes naturally.

ie, eating an entire pie

Elliott: There is indeed an iceberg of pie, striated with cinnamon veins. But all around it swim and swarm lightning-fish and gullet-sharks, the inexplicable micro-organisms that roost in a divine gut.

Gailizia: I simply destroy that quality in me that is reactive to acid. Not like I was using it for anything.

Sadabus: As usual, I use protection from acid.

Radegesis: It was an Intensity pie!

Elliott: The creatures swarm and throng around you, circling, hungry, strange.

Sadabus: A pie, I will note, that was liberally dosed with my special mood enhancers.

Radegesis: That's what's making em strange, I'm sure.

How happy they are to see us!

Sadabus: …I should probably note that in this extended Pushing Daisies reference, "mood enhancers" refers to thinly-veiled antidepressants rather than a thinly-veiled aphrodisiac.

Radegesis: For Sadabus? Yes, you really should.

Sadabus: I assumed that you were all familiar with Pushing Daisies.

Elliott: God, I miss that show.

Radegesis: God, I miss that show.

Semegastes: Semegastes will use Greater Guidance to suffuse Valentine's body with divine power, allowing them to fjord the acid with an effective Ability 7, and 2 Edge.

Elliott: That's probably enough for Valentine to skip across the snapping jaws like an Atari game.

Gailizia: Gailizia finally drops the Misdirection proper.

"Please, come one and all — I am the Marvelous Gailin, clown for every occasion, and we are here to see a show! Perhaps you'd care to join us instead of eating anyone?"

Lesser Intensity

Elliott: Unfortunately, they are already paying quite a lot of attention to you, hungry-eyed and malicious.

Radegesis: But it's not like they can proceed past attention to eating!

Now, Rad does have a plan, so feel free to move towards a sort of minimum safe distance.

Gailizia: Please, go ahead, lest I remove them from the play.

Radegesis: "Hey Wendell. You got, like, Tums on you, right?" :fuguechip:

Gailizia: Above, Annalee rummages through his desk for some Tums.

Radegesis: "I mean, not that it matters, but this is gonna suck for you if you don't."

She points towards the pieberg with Gabrelt and enacts a Destruction upon it. :fuguechip:

Semegastes: Rad's Destructions make things hatch, right?

Radegesis: The pie, being organic, bursts into approximately a jillion lambda-wasps. The eruption is violent enough that chunks of pie scatter across the stomach, providing convenient stepping stones to hop across.

Elliott: Gabrelt thrums in your hands.

Radegesis: The wasps are just lagniappe.

Elliott: YES, it says in your mind, its voice a crackling fire, a piercing point of attention. NOW BURN THE POWER. BURN THE WORLD.

Radegesis: Rad scowls internally, to match her scowl externally.

Can it, toothpick, I'm busy here. It's just pie.

Semegastes: It's a good thing Valentine is suffused with superhuman vitality, or they'd be pretty queasy right now.


Radegesis: Plus, busy not paying attention to the warm, soft meat surrounding them.

Sadabus: This is no way to treat good pie.

Radegesis: I said fucking *can* it.

Call it… Focus to repress what Gabrelt's saying?

+1 XP if so.

Elliott: Yeah, that works.

When the lot of you have crossed, you see it at last: it clings to the lining of the stomach, dark blue psuedopods sent deep like taproots into the systems beyond your sight. It turns the head it doesn't have to regard you with the eyes it lacks; whatever animates this creature, it does so in the language of someone bodied.

Gailizia: Ain't no beyond my sight.


Radegesis: Rad's Focus prevents her from imagining Gailizia in a Widowmaker skin. But she is very consciously aware of what could have been. :fuguechip:

Elliott: By this, I mean only beyond what physical senses reveal: if you cross-sectioned it, you would see tiny tendrils burrowed through the organs, wrapped delicately around the spine and its many precious nerves.

Gailizia: "How grossly physical."

Sadabus: "Well, this is a fine how-de-do."

Elliott: "You entered this body?" the thing asks. "My brother's body?"

Radegesis: "Takes one to know one, slimeboy."

Semegastes: "…Thunds, you have got the worst siblings."

Elliott: Wendell's shade is paralyzed with white-faced rage.

Semegastes: :spotnudge: Nudge him out of it.

Radegesis: Ooh, nice.

Elliott: And also the creature has tightened its grip on… well, it's not a physical nerve, but rather a mythic one; something in the Power's spiritual body.

Gailizia: Let it out! It's what his sibling was wanting all along!

Elliott: "I am going to murder you, Gull."

Sadabus: A battle for his very soul!

How romantical!

Elliott: The stomach… barely rumbles.

Whatever this Gull has grabbed hold of, it seems to diminish poor Wendell's power.

Gailizia: "No. I think not."

Gailizia destroys its grip.

Lesser Destruction

Sadabus: I send a telepathical message.

"James, I need you!"

"Bake more pie."

Elliott: James leaps from his desk, mitts already in hand.

Gailizia: "Sadabus, how emotionally-releasing of a pie can your man make?"

Sadabus: "With my assistance, extremely, although in this case quantity may have to do the work of quality."

"There's room in here for Gull… or for forty pies… but not both."

"Because that's as many as four tens."

"And that's terrible." :fuguechip:

"A most terrible pie… indeed."

Elliott: The creature moves to… there's not a good word for it. Move forward, but in such a way as to fold in on itself? An escape tactic, almost certainly, but…

There is a Strategy in play.




Gailizia: Thunder reverberates within as without. There is no escaping it.

Sadabus: I'm going to use Ignition to set James to using my incredible pie-making skills on the fly, resulting in forty pies liberally-dosed with my special mood enhancers.

At a cost of a mere 5 Immersion.

Meanwhile, James and everybody else in the studio will begin a bucket brigade to ferry pies into Wendell's mouth.

Elliott: This is not a pretty sight.

Force feeding a nigh-catatonic man forty pies.

Gailizia: [waves hand] He has Aspect!

Elliott: Oh, he'll be fine.

It's just unsettling for certain staff members.


[Sadabus hums.]

Sadabus: "I want to do bad things to yoooooou—"

"oh, right, falling pie"


Elliott: Bits of flaky crust and sugar filling begin to rain down from on high, a meteor swarm. Well, until the savory pies arrive, and it's a meatier swarm. :fuguechip:

Radegesis: Where's that lethal Fugue chip i threw at Rob last time?

Sadabus: We need an animated version of the Fugue chip emote that deploys spikes.

Gailizia: So are we trying to force the slug out with pie, and also strengthen Wendell's mood?

Sadabus: It's basically an exorcism.

Radegesis: Unprescribed medication is always a great idea!

Gailizia: I think the trick it's been doing…

What are Gull's pronouns, anyway?

Elliott: Gull is he/him or they/them or an assortment of other, more exotic options from other worlds of the Ash.

Radegesis: Now, a clarification. When you said Gull was trying to escape, did you mean out of Wendell entirely? Or just like… into his intestines?

Elliott: Presumably entirely. He has shown the ability to disappear before.

Sadabus: Sorry, buddy!

Dimensional lock!

Semegastes: Semegastes wonders if, when Gull disappears, they can opt not to bring along anything that might happen to be inside their body at the time.

Let's find out!

Radegesis: "Hey, Sem, want a lift?"

fastball special fastball special

Semegastes: "Absolutely."

Greater Stunt to infect Gull on impact.

Gailizia: Oh, we're bringing them with us.

Radegesis: Comboed with a… it might actually be Ignition of Gabrelt. I forgot rollerderby doesn't actually involve throwing!

Gabrelt will also provide a handy bridge for whatever else Gailizia's Strategy involves.

Elliott: I'm going to say that it's going to be an extra 2 points of Cost (or Wear), since Semegastes is still halfway in Uul's clutches.

Semegastes: …are you hitting Semegastes with Gabrelt like a bat?

Radegesis: GOD.

I was going to slather Sem on and impale Gull, but now that you say it like that, take the Wear for getting blaseball blatted over there.

Semegastes: I'll take it.

Elliott: BOOM! CRACK! :fuguechip:

I mean, if Gull had bones.

There would have been one fuck of a crack.

But instead there's a squamous sizzle; the uncomfortable sight of Gabrelt sliding through Gull's… flesh, I suppose?

Gailizia: And in that notional crack, Gailizia reaches over to pry them loose onto the ascending tower of pie.

Elliott: Where it touches, fire doesn't just spread — it metastatizes.

Radegesis: Gabrelt's a crowbar!

And an arson device!

Elliott: Wait, I thought Gabrelt was a lance?

Radegesis: A lance can be a crowbar if you have sufficient disregard for OSHA.

Gailizia: "Sadabus, could you end the body adventure? I wanna see what the family drama is here with them in tow."

Sadabus: "Sure, sure, dispel magic."

Elliott: Whatever the method, your attacks begin to work the creature loose, but in one pained motion, it digs into Wendell's spine — physical and mythic — spreading tiny barbs.

Sadabus: Very disturbing.

Stop that!

Be on fire now!

Semegastes: Don't set his spine on fire!

Sadabus: Fiiiiiiiiine.

I use magic missile.

Elliott: The missiles let fly but —

Radegesis: I do, yet again, have a plan that will cause Wendell immense gastrointestinal distress…

Elliott: Before you can see their unerring strike —

Before any of you can press the attack —

You fall, each alone, into darkness, and then into light.

Sadabus: I do so hate losing.

Elliott: Sadabus: You're young, now. Were you ever? You can't remember. You also can't remember any of the answers to this wizarding exam you're taking! The headmaster looks on with grave disappointment.

Sadabus: Motherfucker, you stop this, or I swear I will suck my toes again. :fuguechip:

Radegesis: Oh, I thought we were getting puked up, I— hebghrgvcm

Sadabus: I'll do it!

Don't test me!

Radegesis: In a rare instance of requiring the GM to pay wear…

Elliott: Radegesis: It's tryouts for the Shitkickers, but… you're nervous. You can't get the skates on, much less stand on them. The others look at you, with alternating contempt and pity.

Sadabus: I also remind you that I literally cannot ever fail a wizarding test.

Elliott: Semegastes: You are at the foot of a hill, and you know you must surmount it. But you are born down by the weight of your sins, which make every motion an agony. And as you near the top, rain slickens the ground beneath your feet, and you loose purchase, and slide back down. The hill remains, demanding to be climbed. The rain threatens again: You will never see the summit.

Ah, but Sadabus…

This test is for good Wizarding.

Sadabus: !

There's nothing for it.

I take off my shoes. :turnback:

[Sadabus stares unblinking into Elliott's face.]

Semegastes: :spotreckoning:, but not on Sadabus' toes.

Radegesis: On, specifically, everything but the toes.

Elliott: Gailizia: You're sitting for your licensure exam, but it's wrong. You're in a room with Yvanas on the table, her skull opened to expose her brain. Your preceptors look on, and an array of gruesome tools sit ready for you, and you know that each is a way you could fail: Overreaching your boundaries, destructive empathy, callousness.

Elliott: Each takes form in a medieval implement, sharp with the potential for lasting damage.

Sadabus: One of the tools is definitely my foot.

Semegastes: Why should Semegastes crumble under the weight of something that doesn't exist? Why ought their feet lose traction on the turf that is not? Why ought moving uphill have any difficulty, when there's no such direction?

Greater Unfettering

Radegesis: Rad stands, even if she has to hold herself up against the wall. Even if she has to stand on a bare foot to do it, even if the sweat that we're not sure Riders experience pours down her forehead. You see, neither the roller nor the derby nor even the sexy uniforms are the true heart of roller derby.

The heart of roller derby is fucking up someone's day. And in this regard, there is absolutely nothing that can stand in Radegesis' way.

Greater Talent, +1 XP

Elliott: Semegastes climbs the mountain, finding the bare inches where the rain doesn't slicken the ground. But it is slow going. So slow, Semegastes; this is the work of days, and you will not bend under the weight. You cannot bend. And still, Uul stares down at you from where it rests on your back; and behind Uul, the purpled corpse of the Angel of Solitude; and behind that, all the other calumnies that followed in the wake of Semegastes Sarcosystidae, Who Rode Against the World.

Semegastes: "Do you think, Gull, that this is any harder than my daily routine?" Semegastes asks, both aloud and by whatever traces of them may be present in Gull's nervous system. "You should've trapped me in some kind of idol competition, that might have done it. But not this." :fuguechip:

Sadabus: Hm.

Logic suggests that singing an inane song and threatening to suck his toes is the kaiju form associated with Sadabus' own Greater Talent. :turnback:

Elliott: Logic suggests this?

Sadabus: Simple reasoning, Elliott.

Radegesis: Radegesis gets up, and keeps getting up, and keeps getting up. Taller and taller, higher and higher, unfurling poses and glares filled with a threat that can no longer be contained by a mere body. Every broken tooth and bloodied nose and concussion and shattered ribcage is inherent in her form and her action. :fuguechip:

Radegesis: She echoes the thunder of Wendell Korbb, or his thunder is an echo of her: LET'S KICK SOME SHIT.

Oh and, regrettably, I make a valiant or desperate choice.

Elliott: Radegesis is the first to break free, shattering whatever vision bound her with the blade of need.

Radegesis: A stride through the roller derby arena, another into Wendy's stomach, another to come face-to-pseudopod with Gull.

Elliott: Gailizia: The price to ignore this outright is 10 Burn; less if you can find some other way to deal.

Semegastes: Stunt to open lines of communication with Gull, if possible.

Elliott: What do you seek to communicate?

Semegastes: That previous bit of dialogue.

Elliott: You do so, and Gull responds in a voice like an arthritic throb:

"You do carry the weight of your past well, Rider. It is a small credit."

Semegastes: "What's the point of this all, Gull? Just to test us, like your sister so enjoys? Does it make you happy to set these petty stumbling blocks afore us? Do you, Cneph help you, like it when Sadabus sucks his toes?" :turnback:

Elliott: "That… disturbs me greatly. But even that is instructive."

[Sadabus uses Intensity, forcing Gull to use an Ability 3 action to avert their attention from the spectacle.]

Semegastes: "What do you even want?"




Gailizia does not realize until partway through that she is screaming, her void-born soul incandescent as the vision of his miracle unfolds before her and just as suddenly is consumed in the not-brilliance.

10 Burn, +1 XP. Incidentally, this is cheaper than the alternative I had in mind that played along.

Elliott: "Oh, I hate this," Gull says to Semegastes. "He is doing it again."

Semegastes: "To be fair, he only does that when people trap him in school simulations. You could've gone with literally anything else."

Sadabus: Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it!

Elliott: Gailizia's words and will blaze, even as she fuels that flame with her precious selfhood. She will not be tested. Gull retreats from where his power touched her own, like a child discovering that the stove was still hot.

"It is my nature," Gull says by way of defense.

"Unlike you, I do not pretend otherwise."

Gailizia: "You are a fucking child to me, Gull."

Semegastes: "So you're just some petulant jerk who hides in other people's bodies without even asking and plays these amateur hour mind games? And that's the be-all, end-all of what you are?"

"That's… really pathetic."

Gailizia: "Do you know what made me break? What made me come back? Don't speak to me of the laws of your nature."


Radefist grabs Gull by the… midsection, in the manner of one performing bodily violence to something that only kind of has a body.


Greater Contagion to force him to hatch from Wendell, plus :spotdecisive:

Sadabus: "Oh, that's just gross," says Sadabus, wandering off from off-screen now that nobody is paying attention to him being trapped in school hell any longer.

"Anyway, I'm ending body adventure now."

Elliott: In the world outside of Wendell, the man's skin begins to curl like bark shaved from a tree. A terrible blue creature is expelled from him, and the skin and flesh and sinew slowly bend back into place, knitting together with only the thinnest hint of a scar. :fuguechip:

Sadabus: Sadabus climbs out of Wendell's mouth at full-size with perfect equanimity.

Gailizia: Gailizia follows suit, in what can only be described as an angry tumble.

Sadabus: "I'm so glad that our efforts were completely successful and nobody was forced to do anything undignified."

Semegastes: "Gull, I've got a question, and you should probably answer it damn fast: why should I stop Thunder from just killing you?"

Radegesis: The angles of violence that currently make up Rad tumble out of the hole behind Gull, like the end of the Exalted Third Edition opening fiction.

Sadabus: Oh, man, we should have had an argument where we expressed our views on redemption in terms of pies.

Radegesis: You can bake Gull into a pie shortly.

Elliott: "Because I am as difficult to kill as you are, and I am inside… 60% of the people that you care about, and quite a few more that you don't. It would be a shame for their insides to go pop when the only will holding my manifold selves into coherence is suddenly snuffed."

Sadabus: Hostage situation!

Gailizia: "Don't pretend like we couldn't kill all of you at once if it truly came to it."

Semegastes: "Good answer; could use some work, but let's keep going."

"Because right now, for maybe the first time, the tables have been turned."

"I'm inside you." :fuguechip:

"I wonder what funny little problems I could get up to."

Elliott: "You can't," he says, with stone certainty. "Not here. Not while I bear the res and its protection."

Sadabus: "Ooh, an aegis," says Sadabus, the expert. "Haven't seen one of those in a while."

Sadabus: "Although, they mostly serve to protect you from people who are bound to the order of Misenchronic Engine."

Gailizia: "Don't try me. None of you seem to know what I actually do in my free time."

Elliott: As if realizing how undignified his position is, the slug begins to metamorphose, growing into a man with dark blue skin, dripping from every angle with viscous fluid.

Gailizia: "That being said, I would rather not kill you."

Sadabus: "Oh, I would, I would!"

"Please, Gailizia, may I do a murder?"

"It would be instructive and practically moral."


Semegastes: "No murdering him — not until we figure out how to avoid the chain reaction."

Elliott: "Do you know what would happen if you managed to kill me, aside from popping your friends from the inside-out?"

Semegastes: "Um. I mean. No murdering him."

Gailizia: "No, Sadabus has a point."

Semegastes: "At all."

"Unless it's Thunder."

Gailizia: "Right. Yes."


Sadabus: Where is Wendell, anyway?

Sadabus nudges the Wendell-body with his foot.

"I may have enhanced his mood too greedily, and too deep," he murmurs.

Elliott: Wendell is splayed on the ground, catatonic. He's had a day, y'all.

"The gaol that is Rosebriar Manor would be cast open, and its prisoner freed. The graves of those who failed here before would quiver, and the remains of those monsters would unearth themselves to feast on flesh and matter. The hallowed work of the Wracking Shore would be interrupted beyond repair. You cannot kill me. You cannot even fathom what I have done in the name of our renewal — all of our renewal."

Sadabus: "…I have no idea what that means."

"Do you need me to give you a lesson in delivering threats? I teach a class."

Gailizia: "Yes, it's quite good. Is this prisoner anyone we know?"

Elliott: Gull gestures towards Radegesis.


Elliott: "She knows."

Sadabus: "If you say one more enigmatic thing — just one — I am going to set you on fire."

"Exposit properly!"


Unfortunately, Greater Talent kind of makes you depersonalize for a while!

Gailizia: "Iolithae. Great soup. You gotta bring your own carrots though; it's a stone recipe." :fuguechip:

Sadabus: "I can't understand what Radegesis is saying, either. Something about soup? But at least she has an excuse."

Semegastes: Semegastes moves within Gull's brain — how polite of him, to take a form with a brain, and with a gastrointestinal tract! — and hits the right cluster of nerves to purge his gut via his throat.

Greater Stunt

"Unfortunately for you, I don't kill."

Sadabus: "But if you get tired of Semegastes, death is always an option!" says Sadabus gleefully, bouncing a fireball in his hand.

Elliott: That'll be 6 Cost.

Fucker has one shit of a Ward.

Semegastes: I'll take it, to temporarily inconvenience this fucker.

Sadabus: I'll get you for this, Misenchronic Engine!

Elliott: Gull releases the contents of this body's stomach — which is, it seems, just more of the same blue plasm from which he constructed it. Still, the creature is in pain, or at least extreme discomfort.

Sadabus: I use Contagion to cause him to suck his own toes. :turnback:

Elliott: That'll be 16 Cost.

Semegastes: Elliott, no! If you stat it, he'll do it!

Elliott: I will spend like a fucker to avoid this.

Radegesis: I don't believe that's part of your actual Curse, though it is a curse on all of us.

[Sadabus gives this very serious consideration.]

Sadabus: Sadabus' curse is magic, which is to say, the discovery that there are no rules and everything is bullshit.

Radegesis: Including toes?

Sadabus: Grown men suddenly sucking their toes in response to stress is absolutely a form of "all rules are mere illusion; chaos rules the earth."

why do you cling to your symbols, brother

Elliott: "We could sit here and snipe at one another all night, to little end except our mutual frustration. I do not kill, and you cannot destroy me. So I propose a trade."

Semegastes: Semegastes-in-Valentine swaggers up to Gull, looking incredibly pleased with themselves. "Hey, guess who I am, I'm a rude body-stealing jerk who traps people inside of really unpleasant scenarios and goes on about ominous shit," they ask their audience.


Semegastes: "Correct! And now I'm trying to make a deal to escape justice for my asshole crimes!"

"Whatd'ya want, Gull?"

Elliott: "One question each, asked and answered honestly. And then a truce of thirty days, where I will not interfere with you or anyone in your orbit, however distant."

Semegastes: "Thirty days? You can't die, and you're offering us thirty days? Extraordinarily weak."

Elliott: "Give me two questions instead, and you may have one year."


Semegastes: "You're not just negotiating with nobodies, here, I'm a superstar. I sign contracts like you look like ass. A year and a day of total noninterference, and even after that, you don't fuck with the people we care about." :fuguechip:

"I'll even give you three questions."

Intensity, invoking a title, just tell me how much I need to spend.

Elliott: He won't actively resist this bargain, so it's flat.

Elliott: "Yes, save that your Anchors are exempt so long as you have touch them with your power. I will not be rendered defenseless if you send your dog upon me."

Gailizia (and other Visioneers) might notice unseen humor in "his dog."

Gailizia: "Please, Semegastes. Don't settle. Tell him to leave them, body and mind."

"I would negotiate, but his oath will not hold to me. He saw to that himself."

Sadabus: Sadabus looks pointedly at the ceiling and taps his foot. It seems pretty clear what he wants to do.

Semegastes: "Excellent point, Gailizia, remaining in someone's body or mind would absolutely count as interference. Don't you agree?"

"If it makes you feel better, I'll leave you too."

Radegesis: HELLA

Semegastes: "Tit for tat."

Elliott: "I withdraw. You withdraw. No interference from me; no hostilities from you. And two questions to me, one to you each."

"For a year and a day, sworn upon your soul and the res of the Wracking Shore."

Semegastes: "Deal."

"What's the question?"

Elliott: "My first is: Do you think, really and truly, that yours is the first Chancery?"

Gailizia: "What kind of question is that?"

"That's not my question; that's rhetorical."

Elliott: Gull shrugs.

Sadabus: "We know quite well that it is not."

Radegesis: DONT REALly give a shit."

Now that the threat is over, Radegesis shrinks and cools back down to Rad.

Semegastes: "And on and on, and on and on, unending till the shores of time," Semegastes quotes. "Ninuan is a practical infinity, how could such a thing not have happened before?"

Semegastes: "But, to answer your actual question: genuinely never thought about it."

Elliott: "You are, in fact, the third Chancery," Gull says. "Now ask your questions of me."

Radegesis: "…well, I'm pretty sure I know the question you want us to ask."

Sadabus: "What question do you most not want to be asked?" :fuguechip:

Elliott: They sigh.

"Must we play monkey's paw?"

Radegesis: "No, no, no, 'What's the answer to the question you don't want to be asked?'."

Radegesis: C'mon, basic questing moves, you should know this, Sad.

Sadabus: The answer is useless without the question!

We'd just get "42".

Elliott: "And those are two distinct questions. Which would you like to ask?"

Semegastes: We've got two, so we can ask what it is, then ask it.

Elliott: "Very well," he says.

"The question I least wish to be asked is: What would be required to kill you? To which the answer is: Shatter the res that empowers me, or trick me into breaking the terms which bind and strengthen me; for I am a custodian, bound to my long work. I will even throw this in: My poor brother can provide you with the terms of the res, but only at great personal cost to himself, for he too is a signatory. I suppose Osamunda could as well, but if you can trick her into suffering the pains that would be required, I would be terribly impressed."

Gailizia: "Well, that explains why they're not supposed to be in the War."

Sadabus: "You haven't really provided any new information, but very well."

Semegastes: "I think we should all take a moment to lightly mock Gull for the fact that the thing they're most afraid of is their own personal destruction."

Sadabus: "Ho ho ho ho ho!"

Radegesis: "Ha, ha, little chicken baby."

Elliott: They take this mockery in stride.

Radegesis: "Ooh, boohoo, whatcha gonna do, die about it?"

Sadabus: "Now, depart."

Gailizia: "No, they get another question."

Elliott: (Technically, you still have two more questions, and they have one.)

Semegastes: Oh, I'd reversed the grammar on that.

Better for us!

Semegastes: "Why us?"

Elliott: Gull considers. "Clarify."

Semegastes: "There's Harumaph only knows how many Excrucians. Why'd you pick us to harass and infest the loved ones of?"

Elliott: "Because you are here, and I am Tests. I have pressed against the bones of all three Chanceries, and found two of them wanting. Insufficiently committed to their own long work of living. And because this is my land, and my delicate work."

Radegesis: "So go beef it up with some Warmains, douchecanoe."

Elliott: "The Warmains do not come here, and I do not leave here."

Semegastes: "We can set you up on a date. I know people."

Elliott: "Well, I tell a lie. One Warmain came, once. She was unpleasant and I was glad to see her leave."

Radegesis: "Little chicken coward baby."

Hey, before I ask my question, I think I've got a spotlight left. What did Gull mean when he said I knew about the prisoner of Rosebriar Manor? :spotreckoning:

Elliott: It's absolutely Barbastus.

Sadabus: It's that guy!

The one we don't like!

Radegesis: Aw, son of a bitch.

Coincidentally, my quest about him is at 29/30.

Sadabus: Anyway, I tire of this intruder. Let us eject him from our presence.

Radegesis: Hang on, we got one question left, and I bet Gai's got something good.

Gailizia: "Mmm. You're mired in an unhealthy contextual framework for relating with and to people because you believe you can't help it. I'd say you should see someone about that but you'd make it weird, and your family isn't super great either. A difficult case."

Gailizia is splayed over Wendell's desk now, head in her hands, kicking her legs, anger seemingly abated for the moment.

"Instead, I think I'll ask you for a tip, instead of trying to be tricky or prying. I can do that on my own time perfectly well."

"You hurt me. I don't expect you'll apologize, but I'm curious — what's something you find beautiful in this world, something that makes it worth defending, to you?"

She looks away.

"Something I loved in Europe was the greens of the forest leaves after the rain, glittering like jewels. It was a beautiful, in spite of the Glitch." :fuguechip:

+1 XP: You’re uncharacteristically kind, generous, or self-sacrificing

Elliott: He tilts his head, not comprehending for a moment, but a smile cracks across his lips like the tiniest fracture in a wall of ice.

"You know, I quite like saltwater taffy. I have never seen another shore, but I have seen dreams of them, and movies, and thought-records. My—" he chokes up for a moment, the composes himself. "Feoa would bring them to me, whenever she went out into the world. We would stack them up and unwrap them and eat them slowly, and she would press her forehead against my own and tell me about the sounds of the boardwalks: the low wash of the tides, the whistle of carousels, the bleating of the seagulls." :fuguechip:

Gailizia: She nods.

Sadabus: I saw this coming, and so James wheels in a large tray of saltwater taffy.

I do not offer any to this jerk. :fuguechip:

Elliott: "You do not wish to be tested. And I did not intend this particularly as such. But know that in the ledger… that was a mark to your credit, Gailizia Fantastic."

Gailizia: "See? Weird." She gives a weak smile.

Elliott: "And Sadabus: Predictably petty, but in a precocious way. Please continue to make life unpleasant for my dear sister."

Sadabus: "At last, a test relevant to my skillset."

Radegesis: "Might just be a mark against yours, slimeboy."

Gailizia: "Practically a blessing."

Radegesis: "Quit the fuss and go listen to some birds."

Sadabus: "That's true; I basically have his permission to marry his brother."

Elliott: "…now I think I shall keep my second question, for the time being. But I should," he stops, looking down at Wendell. "I should probably do something about him. As you," he says and turns to Sadabus, "should do about your dog."

Sadabus: "Is he doing microtransactions again? Bad dog!" :fuguechip:

Elliott: "He has plans, as so many here do. I can't wait to see what you make of them. But until then," he says, and bows as if to leave — but looks to Gailizia first, as if to request her leave.

Gailizia: She gives him a little shoo, dispelling any remaining dregs of Strategy.

Elliott: He disappears in a foam of blue, and Wendell with him.

Semegastes: "Well. I am going to go collapse."

Radegesis: "Like-fucking-wise."

Sadabus: "Wendell Argand is a nice name, don't you think?"

Gailizia: "Has an okay mouthfeel."

"Feed him enough and he might fill out nicely."

Radegesis: "Better than Sadabus Korbb."

Sadabus: "Right, then, our course is set."

Elliott: Surely this is a hyphenating situation.

Gailizia: Sadabus Argand and his husband, Wendell Argand-Korbb.

Sadabus: "Foil a dog, nort a boy, feed you all supper." :fuguechip:

"Hey, who wants pie?"

Gailizia: "I haven't had a thing to eat that whole Strategy started so I'm weirdly hungry, circumstances considered."

Sadabus: "Hooray!"

Radegesis: "I'll pick up Cole."

Sadabus: "Summon your brothers and Anchors, for it is time to feast."

Gailizia: "I think Annalee left around when you started feeding him pie to get that salad."


"And the Sadabus—
yes, the Sadabus
he carved the roast-beast."

[The curtain falls.]

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