Breakfast At Obares

[The curtain rises.]

Elliott: This is a story about Radegesis Ichneumon and the Tri-County Chapter of the Rider's Abstinence Society.

It begins, as these things so often do, in the Tri-County Public Access television studio, where Radegesis is…

What is your latest program, you who are dying of itching and hatching?

Radegesis: You know, I've been thinking about ways to give back to the community. Really shine a spotlight on some of the folks around here. I think it's time for a new show: Diners, Drive-ins, and Deaths.

The deaths are optional but I don't expect they won't happen. Mostly mine. Sometimes chickens, I guess?

Elliott: What exactly happens on these shows?

Radegesis: Well, I go to a place. I eat some food. We wait and see if it gives me food poisoning. So far it's been… probably just the Denny's I hang out behind.

Maybe with a guest star!

Semegastes: The Technical Kids may not comprise a "star," or even a "guest," but they are absolutely coming along to any free food opportunities as part of their… technical duties.

Radegesis: Oh, hell yeah. Can't, uh, technical on an empty stomach.

"And here we've got, uh, the Greasy Piece. These guys don't fuck around when it comes to naming shit."

Elliott: Are we filming on location?

Radegesis: Oh, man, I don't know if it's funnier to say yes and have shit go down in a diner, or to say no and have a shitty diner set on campus.

Also I don't know what our budget is. Thoughts?

Semegastes: I think being out on the town is funnier/more narratively-dynamic.

Radegesis: Then it sounds like we're crammed into a booth at, uhhhhh… a diner I haven't looked at the name of.

Sadabus: This is beneath my dignity, yet here I am.

Semegastes: Is it for free food?

Sadabus: Well, I'm not paying, so.

Radegesis: I thumb over my shoulder at Eric, vaguely, and mouth "comped."

Gailizia: I wanna play with my Anchor, so I'm gonna say Gailizia sent Annalee as a "special guest".

Gailizia is busy making bodies!

She'll have to teleconference in.

Semegastes: Bodybuilding clowns.

Radegesis: Radegesis has very graciously pointed out a "blue pancake" to Annalee that costs a whole extra dollar. Sounds like the least greasy thing on the menu.

Gailizia: She nods.

"Do you think it's actually blue, or is that just their printer's ink failing us?"

Radegesis: Rad squints.

"Could be worse. Could be… like, puce."

Gailizia: "Mmmm. Gailizia's voting for the party pancake with the rainbow sprinkles, but I'm overruling her."

Sadabus: Sadabus is above… wait, Sadabus loves baked goods, what am I saying?

Semegastes: "Huh," goes one of the Technical Kids — the one who you know as being into D&D and stuff, but not, like, their name.

Radegesis: (mentally dubbed Nerd, unless they're cute)

Semegastes: "So your Strategist lives inside your head, too? I thought that was just how Semegastes worked."

Sadabus: Sadabus has acquired a set of beautiful, perfect, fluffy, non-greasy pancakes that are way better than y'alls.

Semegastes: "Not… how clowns work."

Gailizia: She laughs.

"No, she's just busy with that bear but didn't want to miss this, so she's working from home."

Radegesis: "Gailizia's just kinda hard to get out of your head sometimes."

Gailizia: She smiles at that comment.

Semegastes: "Did you… smoke some clown weed, or something?" asks the Technical Kid who's actually into engineering and thus does 99% of the work.

Gailizia: "Yeah, something like that. Drank deep of the well of laughter and now we share a lease."

Semegastes: "Oh cool, splitting rent. We just got our crappy dorm."

Gailizia: "It helps when one of you is a professional. She does the therapy thing but it's irregular."

Semegastes: "Yeah, Seme… does not make a lot of money."

Gailizia: "It beats her doing feral clown art in the European countryside, at least."

Radegesis: Rad takes another… forkful? Maybe spoonful? Maybe it'd be better to get a look at what she's actually eating. At the vague linoleum-vinyl-fake-wood-paneling impressions surrounding her. What the hell is this place called again? :spotattention:

Elliott: This place is Jahamba; a local eatery that serves impressive all-day breakfast. The decor is fancier than any of the staff would like—it was all bought second-hand when this place used to be a Cheesecake Factory, so there's this odd mixture of cartoonish opulence and then really simple booths, none of them matching.

There are pillars.

There oughtn't and needn't be any, but there are!

Elliott: (Mrs. J, who owns the place and is happy to comp meals if she's gonna be on TV, likes the pillars. Thinks they look classy. Her two sons disagree.)

Sadabus: This sounds like a job for an evil wizard and a cursed pancake shack.

Sadabus: A pillar is just a caryatid column waiting to happen.

Semegastes: "I still say we need to convince 'em to do the cuttlefish thing," says the one who's a business major and motherfucker.

Radegesis: Mrs. J is on the fucking money.

Semegastes: "I just don't know if the cuttlefish thing fits my image!" Semegastes protests from three mouths.

Radegesis: Rad takes another bite.

"So, decor, ten out of ten. Take your date here. Dress up. I shoulda worn my cocktail dress."

Elliott: Mrs. J scoots into the back of the frame, both thumbs way up.

Sadabus: "The pancakes are excellent," agrees Sadabus to Mrs. J. "Your sons shall be released from my enchantment."

Radegesis: "Don't cuttlefish do a camouflage thing? That fits every image."

Semegastes: "Finally! Someone gets it!"

Radegesis: "Sad, quit enchanting people before you know they're into that kinda thing!"

"And if they are… this is a PG show, man!"

Radegesis reaches over to fistbump the technical kid.

"What's the cuttlefish thing anyways?"

Gailizia: "…What's the cuttlefish thing?"

Semegastes: "Don't… don't get 'em started."

Sadabus: "The important thing is knowing that they are 'into' making me a truly superlative pancake."

Semegastes: "No, shut up, the cuttlefish thing is the next step in the psychocultural evolution of the celebrity!"

Gailizia: "And true to their word, the blue pancake is very blue."

Radegesis: "Depends on the celebrity. Some of those cuttlefish things you can't say on a PG show, though. Hey, this place got mimosas?"

Semegastes: "First, fame was in person. Like, in the cave man days. And then the cavemen invented word of mouth advertising. And then there was art, and then radio, and then moving pictures, and then the internet."

"And then… cuttlefish telepathy satellites."

The other Technical Kids are rolling their eyes so hard

Radegesis: "Oh, fuck yeah. Beam me some squid, boys."

Gailizia: Annalee is nodding as she focuses on cutting her pancake into neat squares.

"So are the cuttlefish in the satellites or just talking to them?"

Radegesis: "Hehehe. Lil' robot tentacles all dangling from the solar panels."

She does a squiddy motion with one hand. "Cuttle cuttle."

Semegastes: The Technical Kid with the engineering background puts their head down on the table. "It's… a telepathic AI… that uses cuttlefish as neurons."

Radegesis: Then she stops. In retrospect, that seems like it may have been an uncool thing to do.

Radegesis: She motions to whoever's got a camera to cut that bit.

Gailizia: Annalee nods while chewing a bite of pancake.


Semegastes: "You say that like it's some kind of incredibly stupid thing, and not extremely good and all the investors are going to love it."

Gailizia: "So, you want to invent this?"

Semegastes: "Oh, no, just make money off of it."

Gailizia: She's pouring herself more coffee and offering it to anyone else.

Semegastes: "They're gonna invent it," business major bro says, pointing at the engineering one.

Radegesis: "I'll put a seafood place on the roster for the next DD&D."

Rad accepts coffee and adds a healthy dose of Irish.

Elliott: Hey Rad, someone spots you from the parking lot! She's waving!

Gailizia: "Oh, you do telecom stuff?"

Radegesis: Rad half chokes on the coffee and has to gulp it down. Wave! Shit, that's hot!

Wait, who the hell is that?

Gailizia: Annalee pushes some chilled cream towards her from the other side of the table.

Elliott: It's one of the witches! Not Thorn, though.

Semegastes: Thorn has Hex Girl practice to be at.

Sadabus: Thorn is busy being fused into Meltigemini.

Radegesis: Thorn has a moon to deal with!

Uh, fuck, are we rolling right now? Will I get in trouble if she comes over? Like, do we have to pay her union rates?

These are problems that Rad would worry about if she were sensible. Instead she motions for her to get the heck over here.

Gailizia: "Oh? A friend?"

Semegastes: "Is it Radegesis' hot friend?"

Radegesis: "Yeah this is, uhhhhhh…"

"I mean, who's not a hot friend?"

Elliott: "Call me Smith," she says, looking out at the assembled lot of you.

Gailizia: Annalee giggles like someone who isn't physically present just told her a joke about Radegesis and her hot friends.

Sadabus: I examine this witch. I toss a :spotlight: upon her!
I wish to examine her mystical credentials.

Gailizia: "Call me Annalee."

Semegastes: "Call us…"

"…Neva." says the D&D Tech Kid.

"Sal." says the engineering Tech Kid.

"Valentine!" says the venture capital Tech Kid.

Radegesis: Radegesis attempts to remember these names, and almost certainly fails. For Valentine, at the very least.

Elliott: "Charmed to meet all of you," Smith says. She's a pretty sturdy woman—not quite like Slab, but strong and sweet, with freckles and an enormous sun hat.

Radegesis: Sweet…

"So, uh… come here often?"

Elliott: "Yeah, I love this place," she says, winking at Mrs. J. "But I was actually just heading across the street. Thorn said she was going to check out this new place and I haven't heard from her in a couple hours. Not answering my texts, either," she adds with a pout.

Semegastes: "Wait, Thorn?" Neva yelps. "Rad's hot friend Thorn?"

"No, I'm pretty sure Smith is the hot friend."

"You're both wrong; it's the one with the hand."

Radegesis: "Lots of people have hands. Also," Rad leaps to her feet.

Gailizia: "Oh?"

Annalee is very practiced with her lean-in, one eyebrow raised.

Radegesis: "Sounds like we have to get over there right the fuck now. What if she's kidnapped, or dead, or someone's making her do math homework?"

Sadabus: "Undoubtedly your friend is held in durance most vile," agrees Sadabus.

Elliott: "…is that likely?" Smith asks, breathless with worry at the idea.

Sadabus: "Most restaurants in this part of town have that problem."

Semegastes: "Or maybe she's having a very cool time and we can hang out with her," Neva optimizes.

Radegesis: She double-takes at Annalee's eyebrow, chugs her mostly-Irish coffee, and throws down like three dollars.

Semegastes: The Technical Kids supplement this with… a single, some quarters, and a joint.

Elliott: Mrs. J seems unsure what to make of that, but she's really just glad for publicity.

Gailizia: Annalee rolls her eyes and gives her her credit card.
"Gailizia is gloating because she was right about the bill."

Radegesis: Rad begins to charge, visibly does not charge in a straight line, and slows to a chivalrous jaunt.

Elliott: Across the street is an enormous, boxy building with a huge sign that reads: S E V E N W O N D E R S F U N P L E X

Gailizia: Annalee and Gailizia are gonna :spotreckoning: that place! What's its local history? What's the vibe?

Sadabus: "As I suspected."

Sadabus: "A locus of the most hideous evil."

Elliott: It's new! Very new! Grand Opening Weekend! You remember Eric talking about it—or at least, half-remember because Eric is a lamb but he doesn't seem to know when his stories are failing to grip their intended audience. It's supposed to be a huge arcade, with go-karts and slides and apparently also booze for the of-age crowd.

Semegastes: "Oh, fuck yeah," the Technical Kids generally assent.

Radegesis: "Oh, fuck yeah."

Sadabus: "Never trust a cheap clown," warns Sadabus.

Gailizia: Annalee nods sagely at Sadabus' comment. Their household has opinions on cheap clowns.

Sadabus: Yeah, Gailizia is one of the good ones.

Elliott: Everything is neon; every sound is filled with the dopamine-flushing ping of leveling up.

Radegesis: Radegesis kicks in a door and yells "And I'm all out of bubblegum!"

Semegastes: The Technical Kids are fanned out behind Rad making fingerguns.

Elliott: The folks inside… seem rather unperturbed by Radegesis' attempted badassery?

Like, a few turn to look briefly, but mostly they are In The Zone with whatever game they're playing.

Sadabus: They've already become mindless puppets!

"Avert your eyes, Radegesis, lest your thoughts cease to be your own!"

"We are in the midst of the worst kind of evil."

Sadabus: "By which I mean, amateurs."

Radegesis: "Hah! Can't steal my thoughts if I don't have any!"

Semegastes: "Hey Radegesis' hot friend? Rad's hot friend? Are you here? Hey! Hot friend! You here?"

Semegastes: Semegastes suffuses Neva's words with Intensity.

Radegesis: Rad flaps a hand at that Technical Kid. You can't just say things like that!

Semegastes: It is going to take an Ability 3 action to flap that hand.

Radegesis: …she will Fail.

And wince away instead.

Elliott: Neva definitely turns some heads, but Thorn does not appear to be within earshot. A young man does approach y'all, though. He's got a very prim little vest and shorts-over-leggings like an anime protagonist.

Semegastes: "You…" the Technical Kids and Semegastes intone in unison, "…are not Rad's hot friend."

Sadabus: There's nothing wrong with leggings.

Elliott: "Hi! Welcome! I can't help but notice that you're all screaming!"

Gailizia: "I'm not screaming."

Elliott: "Can I help you with anything? Maybe something un-scream-related?"

Sadabus: "Silence, fiend! Your wicked scheme ends here!"

Sadabus: "Henceforth all scheming in this demesne shall be done by Sadabus Argand, bishop of the dark!"

Gailizia: "We're looking for someone's hot friend."

She gestures to Sadabus.

"Also, he thinks this is a fiendish trap, so play nice lest he curse you."

Semegastes: Semegastes slides into command of the vocal cords. "Oh, I'm a very famous e-celebrity, come to check out your emporium of delights!"

Semegastes: "You've probably heard of me."

Elliott: "My wicked schemes don't end until"—he stops to check his watch—"like, 5:30, when the next shift starts."

Sadabus: I bop him on the head and turn him into a golden retriever.

Radegesis: "Oh, my god, Sadabus, do not scheme at this guy; he's just on the… oh. Too late. Too late."

Elliott: The boy's expression goes nova as he looks and realizes who you all are.

But also now he's a dog.

Sadabus: That's a Stunt, by the way? Can we just go on assuming every weird magic thing I do is a Stunt or Greater Stunt?

Semegastes: Wait! A stranger recognizing me!

That finishes my quest!

Sadabus: He's not a stranger, he's my new pet.

Sadabus: I take one of velvet rope barriers and attach it to his collar, keeping the other end in my hand.

Gailizia: Annalee tch-es.

Gailizia: "Sadabus, could you at least let him finish before you indulge in your weird public petplay thing?"

Elliott: The dog evades your fetters elegantly, not stopping as it trots backwards like a tour guide.

Elliott: "Anyway," the dog says.

"It's so cool that you're all here! I've seen you on TCPATV!"

Radegesis: "Sorry. Sorry everyone."

Rad is apologizing to just everytone they pass, but in a preening kind of way.

"They're with me."

Sadabus: "This is no ordinary hound! Clearly it is the Black Dog of legendry."

"Or if not before, he is now."

Semegastes: "Sadabus, he is a golden retriever."

Radegesis: "And a fan!”

Elliott: "I mean, it would be great if you would turn me back," the dog says, giving literal puppy dog eyes.

"I'll even give you a gift!"

Radegesis: "Quit fucking transmogrifying our fans! That's how you… lose ratings, I think!"

Sadabus: "It would indeed be the action of a pure and kindly soul."

[Sadabus considers turning some of the ensorcelled gamers into his monstrous servants so that they could help him catch the dog, but fears this would merely trap him in an endless cycle of minion redundancy.]

Elliott: "Please, Mr. Wizard? I promise to be very scared."

Gailizia: "Hey, dog guy. Maybe try calling it a bribe? Appeal to his wicked self."

Radegesis: "Yeah, like, prostrate yourself. Or something."

Semegastes: "Oh, actually, if we're doing bribes, can I… have…"

Semegastes does not want to say what comes next.

Radegesis: Rad kinda does and doesn't want Semmy to say what comes next.

Semegastes: But… the Technical Kids are right, about the crappy dorm. And Everett's mortgage isn't getting any cheaper.

And Slab's cooking would be a lot better if she had more to work with than ramen and beer.

Sadabus: "Though I may be ancient beyond the counting of this world, I am not blind to sarcasm."

Semegastes: "Can… I… please… have some money?"

Radegesis: "Jeez, Sad, chill it for a minute. Betcha she's not even in here."

Gailizia: "Hey, Sadabus, why don't you face this place's seven nefarious trials with his dogdom in the balance?"

Elliott: "I'm not being sarcastic! I find this very upsetting, and think it a properly wicked thing!"

Radegesis: "Oh, shit yeah. Do that for sure."

Radegesis: Intensity to get Sadabus into that.

Sadabus: "Oh, fine. If we don't find… whoever it is you were looking for… here, bound in sorcerous chains, I shall release this balehound from my service."

Elliott: "Well, I suppose it's in my interest to see that mission expedited, isn't it?" the dog asks, tail wagging. "Who are you looking for?"

Radegesis: Huh. It occurs to Rad that this is… not great odds.

Sadabus: "…who were we looking for, again?"

"I quite forgot."

Semegastes: "Rad's hot friend."

Gailizia: "Thorn, I think. Some kinda hot witch?"

Sadabus: "Coming from Radegesis that means less than nothing." :fuguechip:

Radegesis: " My friend Thorn."

Semegastes: Neva is kinda humiliated at Semegastes begging for money out of her mouth.

Radegesis: Embarrassing!

Semegastes: She has successfully wrested away control of her vocal cords in shame.

Sadabus: "As for the money, I suppose I can make that happen as well," says Sadabus, concealing his irritation but not very well.

Elliott: "The dog jumps up on a counter and begins consulting a computer, pausing only to look at Sadabus and say: "This would be easier with thumbs…"

Sadabus: "Accept my blessing, anchor of darkness."

I put a curse on Neva.

The usual Midas gift.

Elliott: Oh, dear.

Radegesis: Rad is… not going to deal with that. Instead she is going to remember that she has Flore, you fucking moron.

Radegesis: And she's going to Administration into Thorn's head, and combine it with a :spotreckoning: to check out where Thorn is and if she's okay.

Gailizia: While this is happening, Annalee goes to help the dog, as well as ask him his name.

Sadabus: I shall call him Fang.

He can have a different name if he escapes my curse.

Elliott: So, Radegesis displaces some mote of herself into Thorn and suddenly finds herself in a land of magic and swords and unruly outfits that are 70% buckles.

Radegesis: Oh, son of a bitch.

Sadabus: Oh, look; I win.

Elliott: Thorn has an enormous spear, twice her height in hand.

Radegesis: Oh, son of a bitch.

Elliott: She's fighting a giant slime!

Sadabus: Easiest soul I ever claimed.

Elliott: But the slime is like… a jello mold?

Inside, there are chunks of the folks who have already died to it, like a corpse casserole.

Semegastes: This is just normal aspic.

But Thorn is doing okay.

Better than okay, even!

Look at that blue health bar over the slime!

Elliott: It's over 60% gone!

Elliott: The dog introduces himself to Annalee, offering her his paw gently. "It's a bit of a weird family name, but my name is Apox."

Gailizia: "Eh, I've worked with weirder."

She shakes his paw.

Radegesis: Hey, Thorn. You… good? Where the hell'd you get that spear?

Elliott: Rad? Rad, is that you? Oh, you have got to try this game! It's so awesome.

Radegesis: Oh god. The jiggle on that slime is teaming up with the whiskey against Radegesis' ability to not be nauseated/fall over.

Radegesis: Sounds kickass. What the hell game is it?

Sadabus: Sadabus wanders the halls of this forsaken palace, looking for clues. Who is the master of this evil den, and how can Sadabus most efficiently usurp his throne?

Elliott: Thorn thinks for a second.

Elliott: It's the big VR game. I don't remember what it's called, though.

Gailizia: "So, need help with the keyboard?"

Radegesis: Okay, cool. Uhhhh… if we find you there, a guy might be a dog forever, so, this might be a good time to… not be there?

Elliott: "No, no; I think I've got it now. You were looking for a patron named Thorn McIntyre, right?"

Gailizia: "Sounds right."

Elliott: Sadabus rounds the corner to what's clearly the arcade's big VR attraction at the same moment that Apox tells Annalee that it is called:

Ninu-Online. :fuguechip:

Sadabus: I narrow my eyes.

Gailizia: Annalee and Gailizia frown.

Radegesis: "For the love of fuck."

Sadabus: "Just as I suspected."

Gailizia: "Oh, that's just tasteless."

Semegastes: "Once I get some money I'm totally hiring a lawyer."

Gailizia: "Where can we find it?"

[She pulls out a nearby paper map, all done up to show how COOL and CUTTING EDGE and FUN their seven lands of wonder are, like a themepark map.]

Elliott: Apox paws at its location dutifully, but also hops down to guide the rest of you there.

Gailizia: Annalee is going to take advantage of Gailizia's Perfect Timing to get there before Sadabus does anything too rash.

Radegesis: Rad's gotta be honest with you guys. There's a lot of flashing lights and dinging noises right now, and you know how casinos always smell of smoke that's all up in the carpets? This place isn't a casino but the mere thought is enough to evoke the memory…

That plus snapping back and forth between herself and Thorn puts Radegesis about five seconds away from hurling.

Semegastes: Neva absentmindedly pets Apox, but Sadabus's gift appears incapable of transforming him.

He is, after all, already a golden retriever.

Sadabus: Well, that's just logic.

Radegesis: Aaaaaand hlorf
You know how these carpets always have those weird blobby designs? This one would be indistinguishable if it wasn't so… chunky.

[Radegesis marks off "get sickened as a result of neglecting your duties".]

Sadabus: Someone else spotlight this wicked machine since I've already done the casino.

Then, I can destroy it!

Semegastes: :spotreckoning:

Elliott: There should be a big line to get into the game itself—which appears to be an enormous black sphere, the surface of which seems sunless and strange, like home—but Apox winks and trots y'all to the front of the line.

Sadabus: "Good boy."

Elliott: It's some whole room or complex, maybe? Like, it's big.

Sadabus: Bigger than the outside of the building?

Elliott: No, but suspiciously big, as if the building had been built around it.

Radegesis: "Come— [oh, ughhhh] —c'mon, Sad. You know how these things work."

She cracks her knuckles.

"We gotta take it down from the inside.”

"And then I guess the building will probably implode or something, so watch out for that."

Sadabus: "Or we could take it down from the outside, and avoid lowering ourselves to their level."

Elliott: "Don't worry; this isn't a load-bearing attraction."

Radegesis: "Also, uh, isn't your infection about finding quests and stuff? You should maybe watch out for that."

Sadabus: "Yes, I should watch out for such dangers, such as by destroying it, from the outside, with the power of destruction which we bear."

Gailizia: "Mmmm… If it's a waylet or lacuna it's probably not formally inside the building, anyways."

Elliott: "Besides, you don't want to miss the fun, do you, Mister Wizard?"

Radegesis: "(I got plenty of load-bearing attractions to deal with already.)"

Elliott: Apox smiles, suddenly looking almost foxlike. "You should give it a chance! I'll play too; we can group up and take on a boss!"

Elliott: What does your Infection look like, Sadabus? Because it just spiked up a point.

Radegesis: "If you just Destruction that thing it might come down on Thorn, dude. That's the kinda thing you worry about when you're not evil."

Elliott: Also:





Especially when Apox is inviting you to game with him!

How cool is that?!?!

Gailizia: :spotwitness: "So tell me, what're the class options?"

Radegesis: Shit, dude. That might be… cool.

Semegastes: "This e-celebrity…is putting on an impromptu live-stream!"

Sadabus: I don't want to play things that spike my Infection!

Sadabus: My Infection that starts out with the world becoming increasingly magical and quest-like!

Sadabus: And ends with me needing to embark on a three-day saga just to pop round to the drugstore and get some ibuprofen.

Semegastes: Semegastes poses the Technical Kids together.

Radegesis: "That's how it goes every time I get ibuprofen. I've had this headache for like three months."

Elliott: Annalee approaches the Thing, and it becomes—to her at least—a beauty. An incitement. It soars with the curves of art, like something straight from a gallery.

Sadabus: "This beast is probably simply seeking a new quartet of boss monsters for the newest raid tier."

Radegesis: "Besides, Sad. We haven't actually found Thorn yet. You gonna welsh on a bet?"

Radegesis: "I guess you could just… lose."

Sadabus: "Ugh. I do hate losing."

"Very well, all the powers of darkness at your command."

Semegastes: "It'll be just like that time with Fortnite!"

Gailizia: No, actually. She thinks it doesn't.

How much Cost to resist?

Elliott: This is probably around 4… I wanna say Fugue?

Gailizia: This place is well-made and clever, yes… but her experiences with transcendent art leaves her eyes critical, her admiration precise. Her engineering leaves her watchful for the design of the thing, the purpose of artifice and the immanence of infrastructure at mind.

[Gailizia gains 1 XP from spending 4 Cost, while also spending another 2 for Greater Vision.]

Elliott: What are you trying to get from the Vision?

Gailizia: Having it on.

To see with.

You know, perception, that good horrible shit.

Who knows what I might wish to look at!

Semegastes: "You remember Fortnite, don't you?"

Radegesis: "Oh, my god, Sem, you sound like my dad. If I had a dad."

Elliott: She can see, from the player's guide nearby, a suite of classes: Knight, Enchanter, Apiarist, Vulcan Flautist, Burgher, Ninja, Sea Marine…

Semegastes: The Technical Kids make sounds of mental exertion as Semegastes tries to make them do Fortnite dances.

Radegesis: Radegesis briefly pictures herself in a burger mascot costume before Thorn backprojects into her mind to tell her that's not what a Burgher is.

Radegesis: She goes for Apiarist, to make full use of her waspfigs, but at the last second something hot and sparking stings her fingertips and she lands on Knight instead.

Radegesis: I hear that shit's violence.

Elliott: Indeed.

Gailizia: Annalee picks the Knight class.

Radegesis: Double knights. That's tactical!

Call that… Fortknight? Is that anything?

Semegastes: Sal goes Artificer. Valentine goes Burgher. Neva goes Dungeon Master.

Or the closest equivalents thereto.

Sadabus: As usual, I pick Evil Wizard.

Sadabus: Should this be absent, I perform the usual shenanigans.

Elliott: Apox paws at the controls for a second, doing a complex joystick maneuver that seems to unlock some hidden class. A door into the sphere opens, with a sigh of fog that you can tell is just normal fog-machine fog, but is still just… like, really well done; good cues, very nice engineering.

Radegesis: "Hwaet!"

Rad charges in lance-first.

Sadabus: Meanwhile Neva turns the controls into gold by picking her class.

Or possibly the Dungeon Master class itself turns gold, and unlocks special abilities.

Elliott: Anyone else charging in? It's pretty dark inside.

Gailizia: Annalee can see in the light, the dark, and the non-visual primal before-being of nonexistence right now, so she is unphased.

Elliott: She is indeed.

Semegastes: The Technical Kids can't but, what the fuck.

Sadabus: I suppose I may as well power-walk behind the charging maniac, tumbling clown, and crowd of raucous children.

Gailizia: Please, Annalee is an engineer, who has not been forced to unlock any of Gailizia's clown-sutras.

Sadabus: I could curse you to never be funny.

Then you would be safe.

[Sadabus is so helpful!]

Gailizia: Sadabus is a fool who does not understand the nuance of the clowning emotional spectrum.

Sadabus: I'm putting a curse on that sentence, to put ironic quotation marks around pretty much every word.

Radegesis: Listen. Charging into fog is rarely a good idea. Even fog machine fog. I mean, it's a good fog machine! And it's Ninuan, and it's dark.

Sadabus: (Sadabus secretly really likes Gailizia's harlequinades but mostly shows this by being mercilessly dismissive of all other clowns.)

Gailizia: D'aw.

Radegesis: Listen. Darkness isn't the problem. Darkness could be hiding anything. It's practically fucking pregnant with night horrors and monsters and the worst thing you can imagine.

Gabrelt's tip burns like a tiger's eye in the gloom, but that's it. Any minute now, something horrible will loom up before it, swallow it, be the serpent meeting the knight coiled before the princess.

Could this be the end of Radegesis Ichneumon?

Sadabus: Wait, which of us is the princess?

Semegastes: Anyone who isn't a witch.

Or a prince.

Or, possibly, a cow.

Gailizia: I think it's nose goes rules.

Who hasn't picked a class?

Elliott: I think everyone named a class?

Radegesis: It's Thorn, you assholes!

Radegesis: Obviously!

Sadabus: If she's here. And if she is, I win the bet and this interloper becomes my hound for eternity!

Elliott: Radegesis charges into darkness, into uncertainty—through strange mists and bleakness, with a wailing weapon at hand. And she emerges—presumably with others shortly behind—into the stony chamber where Thorn is locked in deadly combat with the wicked aspic!

Semegastes: That's totally just some random dude.

Radegesis: Radegesis, blanking on an appropriate warcry, yells "Eat shit, shit-eater!" and Stunts to crash into its side.

Elliott: Time slows down a little, and Thorn does that anime thing where she turns mid-attack to see you land the killing blow, her face alight with surprise and delight.

What is even the direst slime to an Abhorrent lance?

It explodes into a shower of confetti and gold coins.

Gailizia: "…is that it?"

Elliott: The confetti, apparently, is XP, because there's this little electric thrill when it settles over you, but the coins hurt like a bitch.

Radegesis: Wow. Radegesis really, as she made contact with it, thought that was gonna end with her getting slimed.

ow ow ow ow fuck ow

Semegastes: Semegastes has their Anchors pocket some coins.

Gailizia: Annalee, being armored, is impervious to small change fire.

Elliott: "Rad! I'm so jazzed to see you!"

"Come on, let me introduce you to my guild!"

Radegesis: "Oh, heh, no sweat — wait, you have a guild?"

Gailizia: "Hey, I'm Annalee. How long have you been playing, exactly?"

Elliott: Her expression goes a little vague at that.
"Two…wenty min…ths? You know, I'm not sure. But that was the midway boss for this leg of the dungeon, so we can warp back to town and get something to eat."

Gailizia: Annalee says "Waylet?", waits for a response none of you can hear, and nods.

"Yeah, sure."

She looks around for Apox.

Semegastes: The Technical Kids are off in the background setting up Semegastes' stream.

Radegesis: "Oh helllllll motherfucking no."

"I already promised Sad we weren't gonna let this thing go full Infection on him."

She didn't, but kinda assumes she did!

Elliott: Annalee sees Apox — he's a guy again, it looks like — but he warps somewhere just as soon as his model loads.

Gailizia: Does he look… Noble-ish?

Elliott: He looks like he did before: Prim little vest and anime accessories.

Well, and a coat.

A very fancy coat.



Tassels and whatnot.

Gailizia: So he looks like one of ours, then.

Radegesis: Son of a whore.

Semegastes: I think dogs should be able to murder the earth.

Gailizia: "Did any of you get a look at that guy's eyes coming in?"

Semegastes: "Not before Sadabus turned him into a dog."

Radegesis: "What? No. I did pet him a couple times, though, and I don't know if that's weird or not."

Gailizia: "Yeah, I think he may be one of y'alls."

Radegesis: "Classic 'holodeck trap maneuver'. Only way out is through."

She cracks her knuckles, a lot less effectively since they're gauntleted.

Semegastes: Semegastes' stream is rudely interrupted as the Technical Kids eyes all go wide and they start asking Radegesis which Star Trek is her favorite.

Gailizia: She smiles.

"Oh, Rad… there're so many more ways through a game than just to play it."

Radegesis: Rad was drunk at a Star Wars marathon once. There are… xenomorphs?

Gailizia brings Radegesis to a screeching halt. "What, like that time we slipped jalapeno oil into Shadow's vodka during Not-King's Cup?"

Semegastes: Semegastes reclaims control over their Anchors' voices. "I believe our friend is talking about the e-celebrity's secret gamer technique… speedrunning."

Sadabus: "Not everyone who wears a pointy hat is a wizard," grumps Sadabus.

Gailizia: "That's one way. Games are just structures, and structures are rules you can break."

"Or twist beyond all reason."

Elliott: "That's not very sporting," someone says.

Semegastes: "Shush, Apox. Dogs can't stream."

Elliott: Apox is not here.

Semegastes: Semegastes stands by their comment, wrong as it is.

Elliott: Instead, it looks like these are some of Thorn's guildies.

Semegastes: :spotreckoning:

Gailizia: "Depends on what's being played."

Radegesis: "Are you thinking… we're on some kinda hunt?" She waggles her eyebrows to signify that this is maybe a Vidamir thing.

Gailizia: She gives the guild another lazy, welcoming smile, eyes bright and watching.

[Radegesis takes psychic damage. A little -1 floats up over her head and everything.]

Semegastes: "This doesn't seem like Bigfoot's description of him."

Radegesis: "Anyways, who the hell are you guys?"

Gailizia: "Yeah, Gailizia doesn't think it's him, either."

Elliott: There's a couple of them, but the one who stands out is a slender woman in a black, puffy dress. She has dark blue hair and iridescent shades. "You must be Thorn's friends! I'm Sara."

Gailizia: Annalee nods. "Annalee."

Semegastes: "Semegastes Sarcocystidae. Have you been here long?"
"I'm streaming. Need the pro strats."

Gailizia: "…Also Gailizia Fantastic teleconferencing in."

Radegesis: "Hey. Radegesis. You can call me Rad."

She winks, but it's not like she can afford Well-Met, so it's one of those where the other eye half-blinks.

Elliott: She gets the same vague look that Thorn had when you asked her that.

"I dunno. Probably just a few hours? I mean, that'd make sense, right? Right."

Sadabus: Sadabus remains silent, sensing that "I am a wizard" is not going to have the impressive ring he normally expects here.

Semegastes: "It's more likely that you're swallowed in the gullet of the void, and time's gone sideways to normal, and you're trapped here by some evil dog."

Semegastes: "But it could also just be a few hours."

Radegesis: "Aw, hell. Is this one of those hour-inside-year-outside deals? If we miss my next film slot, Eric's gonna kick my ass."

Semegastes: "You can never tell with these things."

Gailizia: "Eh, from the inside it's basically the same."

Elliott: "Wait, what?" Thorn asks. "What are they talking about, Radish?"

Radegesis: Another little -1 floats up.

Elliott: It's an infuriatingly intimate nickname.

Sara sees that and throws a heal on you; if the cruciform staff is any clue, she's a priest or something heal-y.

Gailizia: "Radish?” Annalee says, rolling it around her mouth enough for the two of them.

Radegesis: "Sounds like this is a big ol honeypot, Thorn. There's fuck shit going on, and we gotta get to the bottom of it."

"Let's quit fucking around. Uh, everyone either get next to us or get away from us, whichever's safer, and Sadabus, blow a hole in whatever direction seems boss-wards."

If Radegesis thinks about Gailizia having access to that nickname, she'll die. So she doesn't!

Semegastes: "Okay, fans, we're doing a wizard-assisted any% run. Keep watching!"

Sadabus: Powers of darkness, online!

Simply press F6 and use the targeting circle to indicate what you want Sadabus to destroy.


look north
sphere of annihilation north

Elliott: This seems like it might play best as SFS.

Gailizia: Who has spotlights left?

Semegastes: I'm out.

Gailizia: I'm out, too.

Sadabus: I'm out.

Radegesis: Lucky ol' me, I think.

Radegesis: "This is a dungeon, right? Inwards and downwards. Saddy, let's see what's behind floor number one." She points down at the ground. :spottest:

Sadabus: Sadabus angles his palm towards the ground.

Fire crackles forth, fire tinged with the holy darkness of the Not.

Radegesis: Secretly, Radegesis is chanting for Total Annihilation. Fortunately this wasn't :spotwicked: enough for that.

Sadabus: Though, no fire of Creation ever flew forth in such a pure and constant stream, nor did it seem to sing.

Anyway, it's more than hot enough to eat through a floor, for this is no fire of sorcery, but the true destructive magic flame of Wyrd.

Radegesis: Rad can't seem to refrain from making sound effects under her breath. Hopefully the actual sound effects are loud enough to cover, because that seems awful [uncool].

Elliott: Sadabus bores a tunnel straight down, smooth as glass and perfectly even — as befits the scope of his power and the purity of his will.

Gailizia: "Hey, did any of your guildmates bring rope?"

"I've just got really long lengths of handkerchiefs tied together."

Elliott: Sara fiddles with her inventory menu and manifests a big bolus of rope.

Radegesis: "All right, man. See ya down there."

And Radegesis takes a flying leap.

Gailizia: "Hey, Sadabus, punch a hole right here so I can secure the rope"

[Sadabus does this thing.]

Sadabus: Actually, you know what?

I'ma use rope trick. :fuguechip:

Semegastes: Neva goes ape.

Radegesis: The image of Sadabus looking at the rope, saying "okay", and casting rope trick, is very good.

Semegastes: "Sadabus, OMG… you're like the best Strategist ever."

Sadabus: "Correct!"

"I'm glad you said that now, instead of waiting until after you tried climbing down a rope that turns to gold in your hands."

Radegesis: "Don't encourage hiiiiiim!"

[Rad dopplers down into the darkness.]

Elliott: You pass through darkness for a long time, and feel the pulse of this place as if you were inside the chest of a behemoth.

Gailizia: Annalee follows after with perfect timing.

Elliott: When you finally reach a chamber after what feels like forever, you find… a very annoyed Apox Obares, caught mid-job filling chests.

Semegastes: "DOGS CAN'T STREAM, ASSHOLE!" :fuguechip:

Elliott: "You really don't know how to get into the spirit of a thing, do you?" says Apox, who is a dog no longer.

Sadabus: I re-dog him.

Elliott: (Also the weird, disjointed trip down the hole counts as a scene change.)

Semegastes: Semegastes is aware, but has decided he still counts as one.

Radegesis: Radegesis does the superhero landing, then brandishes Gabrelt at him.

"Sure fucking do. Your spirit's about to be a ghost."

"Cause I'm gonna kill you."

Elliott: He remains undogged, beating aside your spell with a lazy palm.

Elliott: Apox looks at Gabrelt and then at Radegesis with this look of… purity. Of sincere joy.

Elliott: "Oh, sister, that is the spirit!"

"But… why me? Why not… well, just about anyone else. Point your lance at something Wrong."

Sadabus: "Speaking of, by the terms of our deal, you must remain in the form of a dog for eternity as my fearsome hound," Sadabus reminds the crowd.

"For we have successfully located… whoever it was."

Radegesis: "You betcha, bitch. Get it? Dog? Whatever. Draw!"

"Only wrong thing is you thinking you can coop us up in here."

"That's my g — my friend you got trapped up there!"

Gailizia: "Mmmm… Not so fast, Sads. We haven't actually established that this is a trap yet."

"You did specify sorcerous chains."

Elliott: Apox leaps back at that — the fancy anime kind of jumping back where he doesn't have to turn or anything.

Sadabus: "This is pedantry."

Gailizia: "That's gambling for you."

Radegesis: "That's curses for you."

[Sadabus sulks.]

Sadabus: Still, rules are rules.

Radegesis: "Come on, pony up! Are we gonna have a boss battle or what?"

Radegesis has watched a Denny's witch play a video game before. They know how it goes!

Elliott: "I had half the flipping Chancery walk up on my doorstep and one of you turned me into a flipping dog. I'm trying to think on the backfoot here, honestly, and it's a bit rude of the lot of you."

Gailizia: "Hey, Apox, is this a trap-sorta-deal or do you just really like making immersive games for humans?"

Elliott: It seems like he's trying to score points with Radegesis with that one, but doing it wrong.

"I mean, I do really like making immersive games for humans."

"And this one is really fun!"

"Do I have an ulterior motive or seven? Sure, but let he among us without schemes be the first to condemn."

Gailizia: I use Greater Vision to listen to what he isn't saying.

Radegesis: Radegesis hates that she kinda appreciates the flipping thing. Dumb, but at least it's fun.

"Hey, I've never schemed in my life!"

This is false. Once she walked so close to Thorn that their hands touched. :fuguechip:

Sadabus: Okay, I want to make a strategy to entrap Apox into spending eternity in the form of a hound.

Elliott: What he's not saying is — I mean, he's definitely got at least one nefarious plot in motion here. He doesn't seem to have any directly hostile intent towards you all.

Sadabus: Presumably this means tricking him into binding Thorn in sorcerous chains somehow.

Gailizia: I think you need to make her a princess, so he's obliged to imprison her.

Elliott: "What if we made a deal?" he says, gesturing expansively.

Gailizia: "What're you thinking?"

Semegastes: "Then you came to the right person," Valentine says. Probably Valentine, although maybe Seme?

Sadabus: I suppose I could curse her with imprisonability, Sistah-Spooky-style.

Elliott: "I mean, of course you're free to leave. Well, mostly. There's a procedure, but it's no big deal, surely, for a whole calamity of Strategists. But also: I have some lovely parting gifts that I could be persuaded to… part with. Huh. That sounded better in my head."

Radegesis: "Happens to the best of us."

Semegastes: "You aren't good at villain monologuing."

"Or dealmaking."

Elliott: "I'm not!" he admits.

Gailizia: "If you're trying to go on a date you can just ask."

Radegesis: "Wh- no you can't!"

Semegastes: "Do you need like a business partner?"

Elliott: "I just do games and gaming accessories."

Semegastes: "Yeah, you definitely need a business partner."

Elliott: "I mean… business partners could be good. Could be useful. Accelerate a few time tables. Uhm… franchising… time tables. Yes. For the business. And nothing else."

Gailizia: "Is this some kinda gamer rite or something?"

Annalee starts to look around the room with her granted void-senses

Semegastes: "Of course, we'd have to talk about your business model. It's a neat game, but you could definitely be making much more profit if you were to restructure it as, like… a 3D cuttlefish immersive interaction experience?" :fuguechip:

[Greater Ignition and Greater Glorification of the Technical Kids, who have the power to pitch terrible ideas so that they stick.]

Gailizia: oh my god

Elliott: "…"

Radegesis: oh my god

Gailizia: I forgot that's what they did.

Elliott: Apox… slithers through the air, because there's no other word for the slick, swift way he crosses to whichever kid said that, a hand on their shoulder.

Elliott: "Tell me more about these cuttlefish.”

Gailizia: "Is this different from the telepathic cuttlefish satellite internet?"

Semegastes: "It's related, shh. We've got business to discuss."

Gailizia: She raises her hands and backs off, going to look at the treasure chests instead.

Semegastes: "Now, Apox, would you believe me if I told you that a simple aquatic invertebrate could be hooked up to a digital mainframe?"

Elliott: Thorn saddles up beside Radegesis, whispering: "Do you know who that is? He's like the most famous player this game ever saw! He's so cool and skilled."

Radegesis: Radegesis frowns.

"What? Isn't he, like… making it? That's… cheating…?"


Semegastes: "Would you believe that you could download the entire works of William Shakespeare onto a single cuttlefish?"

Gailizia: :spotwitness:

Semegastes: "Would you believe…" Valentine's flailing, looking to the other two advice. "That… cuttlefish… are a rising trend with Gen Z?" Sal suggests.

"Cuttlefish stock is rising like… a bunch of cuttlefish in one of those underwater currents that goes straight up."

Elliott: Annalee, these chests a THRUMMING with anticipation. When you look at one — really look square at it — it's like looking into the platonic idea of Christmas morning. What's inside? Could it be a brutalist revival sculpture? Banksy's first oil painting? A sonata meant to be played on trashcans?

Semegastes: "Some kind of cuttlefish findom pyramid scheme."

"Drones but there's cuttlefish in them."

"Use them for tax evasion."

Sadabus: This looks like a job for Greater Intensity.

Gailizia: She just focuses on them to look on the inside. Thin walls are for people who aren't using miracles!

Semegastes: "The internet of things and the things are cuttlefish."

Elliott: The thing is, even with Ninuanni sight, the insides of the boxes are hard to make out. Like… they're cycling through a billion premutations!

Gailizia: Neat, she thinks to herself, returning to the cuttlefish conversation.

"Yeah, as they were explaining to me earlier, networked cuttlefish hiveminds are the future of the online cloud."

Elliott: It's another 3 Fugue to refuse the lure to open one, Annalee.

Radegesis: Radegesis sighs. Guess she isn't dueling a monster for the princess' honor after all.

Can Radegesis like… jump in front of that bullet and get lured instead?

Gailizia: Do you want to?

Elliott: "I'm… I'm certainly open to your help. But there would have to be, I'm afraid, rather a severe NDA."

Radegesis: Hell yeah.

If you could describe these things as… full of potential waiting to hatch… then Greater Agony might grab them.

Sadabus: Agree to the NDA, Annalee!

Semegastes: "Gimme the contract, Apox."

Sadabus: Bring him into my clutches!

Elliott: Oh they are absolutely begging to hatch.

Radegesis: Isn't Semmy the one signing?

Gailizia: When Radegesis moves to open a chest, Annalee is gonna misdirect her doing that from Apox in the nick of time.

Sadabus: Pedantry, my dear.

Pedantry works for me as well.

Radegesis: Shiny…

Radegesis has never made it to Christmas with all her presents intact. Assuming she's… gotten presents before.

She Scooby-Doo sneaks over to one and pops it open.

"If I'm not getting a boss battle I might as well get boss loot."

Elliott: What's your misdirection doing, Gailizia?

Gailizia: Stopping Apox from seeing us hatch his chests, using the siren song of business opportunity as cover.

Elliott: Oh, so it still gets opened, right?

Radegesis: All over Rad's face.

Gailizia: Yeah, she's not stopping Rad.

Rad can make bad decisions on her own! And this isn't like the Actual, where she was busy making her own even worse decisions.

Elliott: What does Rad want most?

Like… what is she most wanting out of anything?

Gailizia: Oh, boy.

Radegesis: Oh, boy. Oh, jeez.

Semegastes: :spotreckoning:

Radegesis: It's really very simple. Gailizia would be laughing if all her therapy was this simple. All Rad wants is to wake up to banana pancakes and a loving girlfriend and not be a Strategist anymore.

And to not be in the war. And not to worry about being a hero. It's all one thing.

Elliott: Fumbling in the glowing contents, you can feel your hands trying to grasp something wonderful that's not even yet resolved itself.

The light within the box… it's silver.

You know it should have been gold.

It could have been.

In a better world, it would have been gold and perfect and exactly what you wanted.

But the Loot Boxes of Apox Obares are not fair things.

And you draw out a rolled cloth, which unravels to reveal the Ninuanni equivalent of a Wanted poster.

It's not quite being a hero.

But you do now know how to find — perhaps defeat — one among the Host who is unambiguously bad to both the Not and to Creation.

Radegesis: What's the name? :spotreaction:


I cut my way through the tumult-battle:
a guest to bring great pleasure to the meal.

Barbastus Deragier
who is dying of secrets

Apox whistles. "Did it drop a bounty for you? Neato."

Semegastes: "Now, Apox, my man, just imagine… printing bounties… on cuttlefish."

Gailizia: "You wouldn't need to print them! Their skin would just… do that."

Semegastes: "Yeah, like… bounty websites."

Radegesis: "Quit squidding around."

Her hand crumples the bounty in a fist.

"We've got a villain to kill."

Semegastes: "Radegesis," Seme chimes in, "I didn't think murder was really… you."

Gailizia: I'm spending a Fugue for a Greater Investigation to ask who this guy is.

Radegesis: "Well, I was gonna say fuck up, but that was a worse one-liner."

Gailizia: A loot box is basically already an oracle deck.

Radegesis: "We've got a villain to fuck is a very different scenario."

Semegastes: "But it is much more on brand for you."

"I don't think we should kill people just because a magic box says to."

Elliott: Barbastus is a Strategist who studied with — and stole the deep lore of — the Zu, perfecting himself into truly one of the most terrifying combatants in the whole Host.

He is also a badger.

Semegastes: "Even if we are going into cuttlefish related business with the boxmaker."

Gailizia: "Ah. He's a supernal kung fu badger."

"The Zu kind."

Semegastes: "I didn't think zoos had badgers."

Elliott: "Well, I think this has all turned out marvelously, don't you? Now, about that NDA…"

Radegesis: "I've… never fought a badger before."

Semegastes: "Hand it over, I'll have my lawyer take a look."
(By "lawyer" they mean "Everett".)

Elliott: Apox produces a sheet with a crisp flick of his wrist. On it is writ:

"We're super not going to tell anyone that A) Apox is here B) his place is any kind of magic."

Semegastes: "Oh, that's easy; I don't even need my fake lawyer for this."

Semegastes and the Technical Kids immediately sign without a second thought
And, assuming it is procedurally proper here, Cliffhanger Rite.

Elliott: "And the rest of you, I'm afraid."

Gailizia: "I'm co-locating with a clown right now so I'm not sure anything I sign is gonna be meaningfully binding."

Elliott: "You're an Anchor, it counts."

Gailizia: She goes ahead and signs, since she also has access to free Cliffhanger Rites.

"Oh, that wasn't my concern."

Elliott: "Sadabus? Radegesis? And you, I'm afraid," he adds to Thorn.

Radegesis: "She's my anchor. I'll sign for her."

And if things go bad… I can always cut her loose.

Gailizia: "You do let them out after a while, right?"

"The players?"

Elliott: "Oh, they're all free to go whenever they want! Mostly! I've only been open for like a day and a half. They're not in any danger, you know. And I can only have so many of them in here at once anyway, so I've got to keep them churning."

Gailizia: "Just wanna make sure we won't keep running into heated gaming moments like this."

Radegesis: "What? This nefarious scheme sucks dog balls."

Sadabus: "Dog indeed, Radegesis."

"Dog indeed." :fuguechip:

Radegesis: The heat of this gaming moment is Gabrelt still glowing red-hot, mad at getting edged. :fuguechip:

Radegesis: ^_^

Sadabus: And yet another campaign becomes about weird sex shit.

Gailizia: You're the one who kept trying to bring in non-con pup play.

Sadabus: Speaking of which, by virtue of our prior agreement and my miracle of strategy, I now turn Apox, once and forevermore, into a golden retriever.

Semegastes: We have a magic gimpsuit at home.

The bell has been rung.

Elliott: Remind me how you're doing that?

Sadabus: A greater stunt of dark sorcery, but also it's a completion of the strategy miracle I used earlier.

Elliott: That's what I'm asking you to remind me of, the shape of that strategy.

Sadabus: It was agreed that if I entered into this casino and found Thorn entrapped in dark magic, I could keep him a dog forever.

Sadabus: That oath is binding and empowers my magic.

Now that he has entrapped her in the dark magic of non-disclosure agreements, I may collect on that bargain.

Elliott: He never agreed to that!

Sadabus: Silence constitutes agreement.

Plus we've been building on that plan for like an hour now, so it's too late to complain.

Elliott: Oh, okay; that's a take.

Gailizia: As a compromise, he could just use Cost to soak it.

Elliott: The dark sorcery washes over Apox, and he shudders, his shape changing with every moment until what's left…

…is a shiba inu in an Excrucian coat.

Semegastes: such enemy of the world

very ninuanni


Elliott: It sits in front of Sadabus, stars fall in its eyes.

Sadabus: much wyrd

Elliott: "You think this is a fucking game?"

"Because it is."

Sadabus: "Indeed, and I find the results most pleasing."

"It is acceptable to me, that you are very evil."

Semegastes: "such game" "very menace" "wow" The Technical Kids are cracking each other up.

Elliott: Apox swipes his floofy tail at Sadabus and tries to splinter forth… something. Something from inside of him.

Gailizia: "Ooooh, so this is what Sadabus flirting looks like."

Sadabus: "No! Bad dog!"

Radegesis: "Hey!" Radegesis swipes it with the butt of Gabrelt.

Elliott: It's a hefty miracle for such a small gesture, so it's 6 Fugue to ignore it.

Sadabus: I suppose I must pay.

Meanwhile, I fix Apox with my wickedest glare.

"Mongrel of the dark, you think to challenge me? You are defeated by my arts, and fairly so. Now you shall serve as my faithful hound, until such time as the stars leave my eyes and fall from the heavens. Fail me in this charge, and you shall be immured forevermore in this realm of wrongness: a dog, and not a prince of Ninuan."

I seal the deal with Greater Intensity.

Oh, and I make him wear my cravat.

"There. The marker of the house of Argand."

Elliott: I don't think you've got the time needed for a Greater Intensity.

Sadabus: I use a spotlight!

Pay attention to me!


[Sadabus attempts to perceive this cravat as representing his heart, and thus qualifying him to claim 5 XP.]

[Elliott considers.]

Even with a spotlight, it's still a tactical time issue.

Sadabus: Very well, I shall simply make the threat and allow the Greater Intensity to manifest over time.

Gailizia: If we're not being forced to leave and he's not leaving, he could just keep talking until it takes hold.

Like, functionally, is anything preventing him from having the time to do it?

Elliott: If he senses Sadabus trying something, he will absolutely do something — if not just bolt.

Radegesis: Put a pin on him, or like a little pseudo medal or something. That's heart-y.

Oooh, a dog tag!

Sadabus: Look, I don't carry dog tags. I only carry cravats!

Elliott: Also, Apox still has a decent chunk of Cost in the NPC pool.

Sadabus: I submit that it's eleven o'clock

and we have won

and I want a dog

both because it's cute and to jumpstart my character arc.

For these reasons, I suggest that what actually happens is that I win.

Gailizia: If he does do it, it does mean that if Apox is defeated he eats 20 Cost.

And Apox is presumably doing something that will court defeat.

Radegesis: If you take Apox as a puppy, you have zero ground to complain about latex Scalbrand again.

Gailizia: There is also that!

Sadabus: It's not like anybody listened to my complaints, anyway.

Gailizia: Okay, serious question, does anyone have real complaints about that? As opposed to mock/jesting ones?

Sadabus: I am not actually upset. Sadabus just considers it undignified, as he does so many things.

Elliott: Apox condescends to follow you, albeit at the promise of keeping him — and his moonlighting now, I guess — secret.

Sadabus: Now I must arrange for his kennel, which will be ludicrously lavish as "you are unable to resist the whims of a stray puppy" is also an XP target for me.

Gailizia: "If your weird fetishes drag the war to our doorstep, it's on you."

Sadabus: "Literally everything about this afternoon was your doing."

"Don't go in the wicked box, I said."

"This building is a trap, I said."

"Don't eat that ball of grease, I said."

Radegesis: "No, that was pretty much all me. I'm still not taking responsibility for the dog… thing."

Sadabus: "I admit I cannot causally connect the ball of grease to the outcome where I defeated our rival Excrucian and made him our servant, but, the world is wrong."

Semegastes: "Just remember, that dog is our business partner."

Elliott: "Yes. Don't make this weird, mage."

Sadabus: "Excellent. Then I shall leave the matter of walkies to you."

Elliott: "…"

Sadabus: "Moo-hoo-hoo-hoo-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

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