Eleventh Story - Brother Actually

<Hollyhock God> So, what normal god activities are we up to today?

<Lafing Cat> I'm trying to get a bridge built across the English Channel!

<Hollyhock God> How?

<Melum> I'm trying to make lighting yourself on fire into a hip new fad.

<Lafing Cat> Judicious use of Bindings on politicians, engineers, etc to make them think it's an awesome idea that they should propose, vote for, and bid low on.

<Hollyhock God> That sounds expensive.

<Immanuel> Also I'm trying to get a dragon-scale model of a rock band guitar.

<Lafing Cat> France and England can afford it

<Hollyhock God> I meant expensive in MP. Or are we talking about one Greater Binding?

<Lafing Cat> Oh hmm, Bindings are level 6, not level 4.

<Dreams> "Alternatively, you could just do the legwork yourself, being a bridge between the people who want to see this happen and the people with the resources to make it so, yes?"

<Dreams> "I'm not entirely sure of the defining principles of your Estate."

  • Dreams will be hanging around with Dan offering advice, clearly.

<Hollyhock God> Well, it lets us know what you're up to. Meanwhile, Immanuel is looking for a guitar.

<Hollyhock God> That should actually be pretty easy.

<KreenWarrior> Yo.

<Hollyhock God> Then, suddenly, a painted nephilim appears!

<KreenWarrior> Heh.

<Hollyhock God> Such is life. You try to stay busy in a normal fashion, buying dragon-scale instruments…

<Immanuel> I cast Hurt More.

<Hollyhock God> Oh, you meant dragon-sized, not one made out of scales.

  • Lafing Cat is now known as Dan

<Immanuel> Eh.

<Immanuel> Either/or!

<Hollyhock God> But anyway, that's when life throws painted nephilim at you, making deliveries on behalf of the Cammora.

<Hollyhock God> What are you delivering, again?

<Dan> Hmm, yes, Dream's idea sounds better. Greater Emulation it is!

<Immanuel> Painted, huh?

<Immanuel> How so?

<Immanuel> Tattooed? Make-up? Latex-based?

<Dan> Painted like a Jezebel.

<Dreams> Describe your character for us!

  • Immanuel stares at you. Go on, impress us.

<Cyrus> Well, basically a normal human. Except with feathers and a few little half-formed wings growing out of him at all angles. Also apparently wearing a delivery boy's uniform. :P

<Immanuel> You're not from the year 2000 by any chance are you?

<Cyrus> Black hair, brown eyes. Tends to have a bit of a harried look about him if nothing is currently going on, as if waiting for another shoe to drop (sometimes literally!).

<Cyrus> (Year 2000?)

  • Immanuel thinks Cyrus has a lot of shoes dropped on him.

<Cyrus> ("Cursed with misfortune" as an Affliction will do that!)

<Hollyhock God> An unusual creature! You should probably say hello and see what he's here about.

<Dreams> "It shouldn't be too hard to find some people who support this… oh, hello."

  • Cyrus waves. "So, apparently I'm supposed to deliver this… stuff?" (points or waves at or hands over whatever he was supposed to be delivering) "to this Chancel. And the Cammorae wishes to send condolences on the loss of your Imperator, of course."

<Hollyhock God> What are you delivering?

<Hollyhock God> Aren't you a zookeeper or alchemist or kindergarten teacher or something?

  • Dreams enjoys the idea of combining all of those jobs.

<Immanuel> "Thank you. I had almost forgotten our beloved Father's demise. Almost done with the nightly weeping and gnashing of teeth. That would be terrible."

<Cyrus> (Keeper of monstrous pets. Also, alchemist!)

<Cyrus> (Did anyone order anything?)

<Dreams> "Where is Miranda, anyway?"

<Dreams> "Say, Immanuel, do you think this is your guitar?"

<Immanuel> "So, have you got my dragon-scale guitar?"

<Dreams> "It's about the right size."

<Immanuel> "I hope so, I paid for causality-violating shipping and it didn't arrive before I ordered it."

<Dreams> "Well, when you pay for causality-violating shipping, it doesn't always have the expected result on your order's completion time."

<Cyrus> "Oh, that's what… that was. I was wondering!"

  • Cyrus begins unloading a wagon pulled by a hideous beast.
  • Dreams admires the beast, a little.

<Miranda> Sorry about that, had been trying to get ahold of my brother for three weeks…

<Dreams> (No problem.)

<Cyrus> (No worries.)

<Hollyhock God> Yet another bizarre correspondence between IC and OOC.

<Cyrus> (Heh, yeah that took me a sec to sort out.)

<Miranda> (It is so!)

<Hollyhock God> So, a painted nephilim has arrived in your Chancel to deliver a dragon-sized Rock Band guitar.

<Dan> (You two are related? "we're adopted.")

<Hollyhock God> Apparently Immanuel paid for the "causality-free" shipping option.

<Hollyhock God> This could get expensive.

<Dreams> Eh, he's filthy rich, it's okay.

<Cyrus> (But he keeps eating his gold!)

<Miranda> "Couldn't he just find one and incinerate it?"

<Dan> "He'd still have to pay for that one."

<Hollyhock God> Where do you just "find" a dragon-sized Rock Band guitar?

<Immanuel> "It had to be custom-made. They don't sell these at Wal-mart, you know."

<Hollyhock God> Anyway, the Cammora trades in favors.

<Hollyhock God> You'll probably have to eat something for them now.

<Dreams> "As Immanuel discovered after burning all those Wal-marts down."

<Immanuel> I would probably have eaten it eventually anyway.

<Hollyhock God> I can see that you're a platinum customer.

<Hollyhock God> Well, you've signed on the dotted line and accepted delivery of this enormous…. instrument.

<Cyrus> "Yeah, I'm pretty sure the bosses are going to want to talk to you eventually about that."

<Immanuel> At this point I'm likely an iridium customer.

<Cyrus> (The cost, I mean.)

<Hollyhock God> I guess it's time to send the painted nephilim home?

<Immanuel> Or at least palladium.

<Dreams> Hmmm. Does he show up at all to the Sight? Mercury and Dreams both being semifluid things and such, or whatnot?

<Dan> (HG: That's what she did!)

<Hollyhock God> Probably not!

<Hollyhock God> He's just some random guy with magical genetics.

<Hollyhock God> Nobody important in any way, obviously.

<Hollyhock God> Don't forget to tip.

<Dan> (Those are an OTC to the dozen.)

<Hollyhock God> So anyway, you send the guy on his way.

  • Dreams examines the hideous cart-beasts' eyes, as if he sees something interesting there.

<Hollyhock God> This action fails.

  • Miranda is futily pacing through some upper room somewhere, attempting to find out where Secrets has gotten off to.

<Cyrus> The cart-beast dreams of running after grocery carts and devouring their sweet rubber wheels.

<Hollyhock God> Cyrus, you find yourself unable to exit the Chancel in the way you came in.

<Hollyhock God> The gate just won't let you through!

  • <Cyrus> turns back around "Ha ha, very funny. Look, messing with a delivery is gonna cost extra."

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, the Will under Miranda's pillow begins to pulse in the way it does when it's about to give you some sort of unwanted task to do.

<Hollyhock God> No doubt it has done so in unrecorded stories several times!

<Dreams> Perhaps Miranda notices it.

<Hollyhock God> Remember when you had to return that rake that Praxael borrowed from Lucifer just before he was damned?

<Hollyhock God> Good times.

<Cyrus> That was fun!

<Dreams> "Hmmm? I haven't been messing with the gates. Dan? Did you Sacrifice the gates' ability to connect our Chancel to the outside world or something?"

<Dreams> I got a pet demon, and Immanuel ate it. Ah, memories.

<Miranda> Miranda sighs. "…. At times I wonder if sleeping with my dead master's will under my pillow is entirely healthy," she says, as she picks it up.

<Dan> "No, and as the gate isn't directly a bridge, it shouldn't be doing things on its own."

<Immanuel> Did I? I eat so much, it's hard to remember.

  • Dan shouts at it to let the delivery guy through on the off chance his domain boundaries are acting up in a manner usually reserved for his domain.
  • <Cyrus feeds the cart-beast a windshield wiper as a snack.

<Hollyhock God> The gate gets stubborn.

<Hollyhock God> Anyway, the Will is rewriting itself.

<Dreams> "I'm sure we'll get this all cleared up in a bit. The chancel can be a bit odd since Praxael's passing."

<Hollyhock God> That bit at the beginning where it's addressed to "my beloved sons and daughters"?

<Hollyhock God> You're pretty sure there used to be some other names there, although there's no point trying to remember who they were.

<Hollyhock God> But there's also a new one: "and my youngest, long-lost child, Cyrus, angel ascendant of Mercury."

<Hollyhock God> WTF


<Hollyhock God> Please feel free to imagine the document glowing and pulsing in rainbow colors and generally trying to drag you down the stairs.

<Miranda> Miranda is unconsciously dragged down the stairs, on account of, you know, busy gaping and lost in thought. Why are there lost names? And why is this pulsing now?

<Hollyhock God> Drag Miranda downstairs, I mean.

<Miranda> But we haven't had enough physical comedy yet, have we?

<Miranda> So, dammit, BAM!

  • Immanuel does whatever dragons do instead of smile.

<Miranda> Thud!

<Immanuel> "This is going to make Miranda's head explode, isn't it?"

<Miranda> There is a mid-stair collision! And some thudding.

<Hollyhock God> The lost names are David and Henry, so there's no point in worrying about them IC.

<Cyrus> (Heh.)

<Dreams> (Ha.)

<Miranda> (Boo.)

<Hollyhock God> I mean, unless you want to.

<Dreams> "Miranda, have you shielded the entrances to the chancel or something? Also, all you all right?"

<Hollyhock God> I guess falling downstairs while lost in thought can happen when you're Immortal.

<Dan> "And did someone send you an invitation to a Noble Pride party?"

  • Miranda coughs, picking herself up. "Ah. nothing wounded but my pride. But I seem to have— Noble Pride Party?"

<Dreams> "You seem oddly more rainbow-lit than usua… ah, the Will."

<Dan> "Well, it's glowing rainbow."

<Dan> "Oh, it's the Will. Never mind."

<Dreams> "No, no, remember? It did that when we had to do that thing with Cedron's garden."

<Dan> (I… don't actually remember that.)

<Dreams> (Dreams may have just made it up!)

<Cyrus> (so who all is downstairs? Everyone? Me and Miranda? Just Miranda?)

<Dreams> (Or maybe it happened between stories.)

<Miranda> (It happened in a dream! Why don't you remember!?)

<Hollyhock God> Let's assume we're all downstairs.

<Hollyhock God> For convenience!

<Dan> "I either forgot that or wasn't there for it."

<Dreams> (I think we're all still at the landing, and Miranda joined us by way of faceplant.)

<Cyrus> (That works.)

<Cyrus> (Ah okay, my visualization was failing.)

<Dreams> "It may not have actually happened. My memories sometimes get odd."

<Miranda> "It seems, our Will is a living document."

<Dreams> "Oh? Did you take it to the Cityback or something?"

<Hollyhock God> The tail end of the scroll snakes out to wrap itself around Cyrus' arm.

<Cyrus> "This is gonna cost you guys a lot extra!"

<Cyrus> "Ack!"

  • Dreams reads the scroll to see what's changed, if anything.
  • Cyrus waves his arm about trying to shake it off.

<Hollyhock God> You find yourself beset by memories of a father you never knew, and who never knew you.

<Hollyhock God> Beset, I say!

<Miranda> "I meant in the sense that the Brandeis court interpreted the Constitution. Although, in point of fact, it's changing its text more than its interpretation. Or possibly the full meaning of its text is only unveiled with time."

<Hollyhock God> Also your soul begins to crack open and expand as you become one with the true nature of the world.

<Hollyhock God> As experiences go this one is pretty complex.

<Cyrus> "What? But?" General sounds and impression of confusion as this happens.

<Dan> "It looks like it's text isn't all it's changing."

<Dan> "So, who is this delivery guy?"

<Dreams> "And what exactly is happening to him, here?"

<Hollyhock God> He's the god of Mercury. Obviously.

<Cyrus> "Gurk."

<Hollyhock God> It's like you guys don't even have the Sight.

<Dreams> "Oh. That's interesting."

<Dan> "Do share."

<Hollyhock God> Of course, Dan probably forgets to use the Sight all the time.

<Hollyhock God> That part makes sense.

<Hollyhock God> (Dreams probably never turns it off.)

<Miranda> "Good for him. But honestly, we don't have time for this noe! We, apparently, need to track down this Cyrus person, before he begins to disintegrate for not living in the Chancel."

  • Dan does not need his magic laptop to make this connection. "I'm pretty sure the Will just found him."

<Cyrus> (Am I coherent yet?)

<Dreams> "Yes, that seems to follow."

<Dan> "Or at least someone who could lead us to him. Seems unlikely to be completely irrelevant to the change."

<Hollyhock God> Aspect miracles allow you to be coherent regardless.

<Hollyhock God> Incidentally you can do miracles now.

<Hollyhock God> Well, I guess you had Treasure before, being an alchemist.

<Miranda> "Oh. Well. That's good then."

<Cyrus> "My name… is Cyrus. And I… seem to be a Noble!"

<Dan> "Oh good, someone newer to this business than I am."

<Miranda> "Oh. Is there any chance you may be Angel Ascendant of Mercury?"

  • Cyrus flows like Mercury for a moment, becoming liquid, then reforming. "…pretty good chance."

<Hollyhock God> Dan is now officially promoted to middle child.

<Cyrus> "WTF?"

<Dreams> "It seems likely. I mean… look at him."

<Hollyhock God> Dan levelled up! Dan gained +1 apparent authority! Dan gained +2 Wits!

<Dan> (Speaking of leveling up, how much Destiny would I need to acquire for a level of domain, which is what I'm working on ATM?)

<Dreams> "Dan, you're the now-second-most recently ennobled amongst us, care to give him the rundown?"

<Dan> "Sure, I'll take a stab. Correct me where I'm wrong or I leave something out."

<Hollyhock God> About 15 per level applied to some sort of power-gaining Project.

  • Miranda is burying her face in her hand, pinching the bridge of her nose.

<Hollyhock God> Less explaining the game rules! More family drama!

<Dreams> (Miranda, predictably, has you covered.)

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, various Chancelfolk whisper: "Is she pinching her nose? Oh, god, she is! We have to get out of here."

<Miranda> (Before he shakes hands with you as part of the meet-and-greet_

<Dan> "Hi Cyrus, I'm Dan, your new brother. You're now in charge of a portion of fundamental reality, which you will need to protect from forces trying to detroy all of existance, not to mention from other bits of existance who may or may not be trying to destroy you but aren't your friends."

<Cyrus> "…seriously, what the fuck?"

<Miranda> "No. KIDDING."

<Hollyhock God> My next character is going to involve seeing how fast I can blow myself up to Domain 5 by focusing on it like a maniac and stealing every bit of power I can get.

<Cyrus> (Heh.)

<Dreams> (It'd be fun to run with 2 in each attribute and do that for all of them.)

<Miranda> (I'm going to bet you can do it during chargen if you try hard enough.)

<Dan> "These are the rest of your siblings, Miranda, Immanuel, and 'Dreams'"

<Cyrus> "Look lady, I'm not exactly happy about this myself. Sure, I always wanted to know who my father was but I wasn't exactly expecting this!"

<Dreams> Dreams looks over the will. "Hmmm. An actual blood relative of Praxael, then? That's even more interesting."

<Dan> "Ah yes. Your dad is dead. This is a problem, because you know that "embodying an aspect of reality" thing I mentioned? Yeah, he was sort of responsible for guarding our bits against the strongest of the things that want to destroy it."

<Dan> "So we, and now you, are dealing with that."

<Dan> "You might want to read the Will, there's probably something in there that applies to you now rather than just your name."

<Cyrus> "…great. Just the inheritance I always wanted."

<Cyrus> "A phone call would have been sufficient!"

  • Dan points out the glowing document that just finished metaphysically violating Cyrus.

<Miranda> "Phone. Call. Right."

  • Miranda is… tense. More so than usual.

<Cyrus> "Maybe a "sorry you're covered in feathers" card?"

<Hollyhock God> Well, you do get ultimate cosmic power. So there's that.

<Cyrus> (hey, it's a complicated time for him!)

<Hollyhock God> Honestly, "covered in feathers" isn't even on the top ten list of strangest looks your Siblings have seen.

<Cyrus> (Yeah, but it makes playing with Bobby and Susy Mortal difficult)

<Dan> "And let me be the first to say that while it is a crazy thankless job, and there will be an infinite number of complications, it does come with a few perks and a nice benefits package."

<Cyrus> (Susie.)

<Dan> (SUSY.)

<Dan> (She's half immaterial on her father's side)

<Cyrus> "That's… good?"

  • Cyrus calms slightly and tries to get a look at the Will.

<Dan> (And entirely unproven. <_< )

<Dreams> (Ah, Space Cadets, it's been so long.)

<Hollyhock God> You mean, Space Cases?

<Dreams> (It's been so very long indeed.)

<Dan> (Space Cases?)

<Hollyhock God> I'm pretty sure she was Suzy.

<Hollyhock God> Who was smarter than a million books!

<Hollyhock God> Which makes no sense in a non-animistic universe.

<Hollyhock God> Also she replaced Jewel Staite, which was sad.

<Cyrus> (Heh.)

<Dan> (SUSY stands for SUper SYmmetry. It's a physics theory.)

<Dreams> (Aha. Susie is also the name of an imaginary character on an old Nickelodeon show. Anyway, on with the game!)

<Hollyhock God> Okay, so a painted nephilim has arrived in your Chancel and a piece of paper says he's your long-lost half-brother.

<Hollyhock God> Would anyone like to say, "It must be a trick!"

<Hollyhock God> ("REMUUUUUUUUUS")

<Miranda> So, Miranda is upset. Partly that it's just. NOT. RIGHT.

<Miranda> Partly that she's got someone else to keep in one peice.

<Miranda> But there should be some damned ceremony to an enNoblement.

<Miranda> But then again, what the hell, Mercury?

<Miranda> Makes no sense at all.

<Cyrus> (Was the last part in OOC or IC?)

<Hollyhock God> It definitely wasn't one of Praxael's Estates.

<Miranda> IC but silent.

<Dan> (I'm going to assume the Will would be harder to trick than us, based on no information at all.)

<Cyrus> (OOC it was sort of latent in Cyrus himself)

<Miranda> (I'm going to assume we're really easy to trick.)

<Dan> (Hah.)

<Hollyhock God> Of course, he's not a Noble ascendent.

<Miranda> ?

<Miranda> What does that mean?

<Hollyhock God> I don't know; that's just how the Will described him.

<Hollyhock God> As an angel ascendent.

<Dreams> "Right. So. Long-lost half-brother, evidently? Care to tell us a bit about yourself?"

<Miranda> Miranda takes a deep breath. "I can't deal with this right now."

<Cyrus> "Err… why not. I was raised by my godmother, part of the Cammora. I do work for them, like deliveries and take care of magical beasts for them."

<Dreams> "I wonder if they knew about your relationship with Praxael. Hmmm. Pity Grayson isn't around."

<Cyrus> "She told me I was half-angel, but never who my father was. And I honestly wasn't sure whether to believe her. It sounded pretty far-fetched."

<Miranda> "Grayson hasn't been around for weeks. He's vanished. Exactly when I needed him. Remus must have known."

<Hollyhock God> Blaming Remus when in doubt has been pretty safe so far. Maybe we need some new antagonists.

<Miranda> (OK, so, um. Plot-wise. Can we get hit by ninjas or something?)

<Cyrus> (Not a bad idea!)

<Dreams> (An Excrucian attack on Mercury! What timing!)

<Hollyhock God> I suppose so. Dan, someone's about to blow up a bridge.

<Hollyhock God> London Bridge!

<Hollyhock God> This is the perfect time to serve your Estate and educate your new Sibling at the same time.

<Miranda> (Dan?)

<Dan> "Cyrus, remember how I said people were trying to attack our bits of reality? Someone is trying to attack mine. London Bridge is going to be falling down, falling down, if I (and by extension, we) don't do something about it!"

<Dan> "To the Bridgemobile!" (Which is actually just a bridge.)

<Cyrus> "Ah… right!"

<Hollyhock God> Somebody needs to put Cyrus' sheet on the wiki at some point, btw.

<Hollyhock God> Anyway, bridge magic away!

<Dreams> (Yeah, I tried to hunt that down earlier; was disappointed it wasn't there.)

<Cyrus> (Oh, sorry, will post a link and transcribe it when I have time.)

<Hollyhock God> Anyway, it's a fairly standard attempt to blow things up by a caped supervillain. Except that caped supervillains don't usually happen in Nobilis.

<Dreams> "You know, I'm still not entirely sure where these magic bridges of yours actually take us through, Dan. We should look into that sometime."

<Hollyhock God> No doubt Miranda could just shield the thing, but that wouldn't give us a learning experience.

<Cyrus> (I'll probably rework his Bonds/Afflictions a little over the week; I should probably have at least one more Anchor to get the use out of my Treasure.)

<Miranda> "I could just shield the thing. But that wouldn't stop them from trying again. Do you think it's Excrucians?"

<Cyrus> "Do they blow things up a lot?"

<Dreams> "Not their standard uniform, but they are known to be tricky sometimes."

<Dan> "If I were to guess, they probably don't take us anywhere nice. Bridges carry us over obstacles, after all, so all that should be under them is, well, obstacles."

<Hollyhock God> No Excrucian would wear this guy's outfit. Orange and purple together, seriously?

<Miranda> We can see him?

<Hollyhock God> The Children of Harumaph are stylish villains.

<Dreams> "Perhaps some day we could go bungee jumping off of one, anyway. I mean, it can't be worse than when Miranda sent us to the netherworld."

<Hollyhock God> He's standing on top of the bridge, ranting, while holding a big detonator in his hand, so yeah.

<Dan> "Let's see, as I understand, the standard practice with supervillains is to get them monologuing, then hit them while they aren't expecting it."

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, his henchmen, half in purple and half in orange, are engaged in a shootout with police at both ends of the bridge, and generally carting dynamite around.

<Dreams> "I…. actually don't have as much experience with supervillains, so let's follow your lead, here."

<Dan> (Can I guise as a superhero since there's a supervillain here? XD)

<Dreams> (Quick sidebridge to the costume store!)

<Cyrus> "Are there superheroes and villains? Is that a thing too?"

<Hollyhock God> I don't think any of you have much experience with supervillains. It's kind of an extrusion of an unnatural genre into your diceless/narrativist existence.

<Dreams> "This is the first I've run into outside of my Estate."

<Miranda> "No, there are not."

  • Dan pull-down-menus himself into a superhero costume. "Standards Man!"

<Hollyhock God> Based on the ranting, this fellow calls himself Doctor Garish.

<Dreams> "But you do tend to run into the unexpected a lot in this line of work."

  • Dan floats up on a nearly invisible bridge and cries out "Doctor Garish, I should have known! What foul plot are you up to today?"

<Hollyhock God> So, you've got a supervillain with a bomb, and lots of mortal witnesses.

<Miranda> "This is not the sort of thing that just happens. Dreams, can you deal with the explosives? I need to protect the police."

<Dreams> "What explosives?"

<Dreams> (I only say that if my Enchantment of the explosives is successful, mind you.)

<Dan> (The explosives were only a dream!)

<Cyrus> "Err…" With a flash, Cyrus's delivery boy outfit becomes shiny like mercury! This effect is somewhat costume-like, and at least no less awful than the villain's outfit.

<Hollyhock God> "Standards Man!" cries the demented villain, inexplicably knowing your not-name. "Once I destroy London Bridge, my Garish Zeppelins will be the only means of transportation in England! And there's nothing you can do!"

<Dreams> (You are successfully less Garish than Doctor Garish. Congratulations!)

<Cyrus> (Hurray!)

<Miranda> "The explosives that they brough— oh. Well, fine."

<Miranda> OK, so the police have body armor, right?

  • Dreams looks about for any smirking Excrucians or others who show up to the Sight, just in case.

<Hollyhock God> I sure hope they do.

<Hollyhock God> No, no explosives.

<Hollyhock God> Not sure why I thought that.

  • Dan cries out "Your transportation monopoly days are over! London Bridge will withstand your plot just as all bridges withstand the test of time and toll of daily traffic!" as he swoops down to heroically punch out Dr. Garish (Aspect 1 backed up by "If people really try, they'll succeed" for a level 6 Intention.)

<Hollyhock God> No Excrucians, either.

<Hollyhock God> Punch!

<Hollyhock God> Evil plan stopped.

<Dan> (I'm pretty sure this is fulfilling some sort of adolescent fantasy of Dan's, BTW. <_< )

<Hollyhock God> Still… not quite sure why costumed villainy is suddenly a thing.

<Dreams> (Don't forget to shout "Take him away, boys!")

  • Dreams examines Doctor Garish to see if there's any lingering miracles on him.

<Hollyhock God> Ow, ew.

<Hollyhock God> Ew, ew, ew, he's full of Actual.

<Miranda> I'll just use a Lesser Motion of Shields to enusre that any shots that would hit them hit their body-armor instead.

<Hollyhock God> Some kind of infestation in his dreams that led him to act out his deepest fantasies and get reality to go along.

<Hollyhock God> Not sure of the details without close examination, which of course leads to risk of contamination.

<Hollyhock God> In fact Dan and Cyrus may be contaminated already, having played along.

<Dreams> "Urgh."

  • Dreams pinches the bridge of his nose.

<Cyrus> (Oops.)

<Hollyhock God> This whole scenario is distressingly familiar to Dreams.

<Dan> (Oops. indeed.)

<Cyrus> (Never did quite understand WTF Actuals are.)

<Hollyhock God> They're like if woglies were hegemonizing instead of hungry.

<Dreams> "Right. Dan, Cyrus, get rid of those costumes now. I'll explain shortly."

  • Cyrus does so.

<Cyrus> "So you figured out what's happening?"

  • Dan unchecks his costume box, returning to his normal business casual attire.

<Dreams> "Miranda, we're probably going to need to round up all his henchmen. You two, hold still while I check to see if you've caught it yet."

<Hollyhock God> Dan fails to uncheck the box….

<Hollyhock God> just kidding.

<Dan> "Any similarity between middle school doodles and the costume I just wore were entirely coincidental."

<Hollyhock God> They seem to be clean, but it's a lucky escape!

<Miranda> "I'm hoping the cops can do it by themselves, if I protect them from harm. How much time have we got?"

<Dan> "What are you two so worried about, anyway?"

<Dreams> "It's an Actual. Miranda, you can give them the brief while I check to see if the cops have become a part of it yet for engaging in a shootout with the henchmen."

  • Dreams follows up with a Greater Incarnation of the dreams of everyone in the locality!

<Hollyhock God> Oh, this is really bad. They're all infected.

<Cyrus> "What's an Actual?"

<Hollyhock God> This infestation has gone critical, and has probably spread throughout London, which means it's going to be spreading everywhere.

<Dan> "I.. don't know either. Apparently bad though."

<Miranda> "They're like woglies, if they were hegemonizing instead of hungry."

<Dan> "You realize that's even less helpful."

<Miranda> "Screw this."

<Miranda> I'm going to use an Aspect 3 miracle to take out the henchmen and then a Domain miracle to metaphysically shield the rest of the world from London, preventing the infection from spreading.

<Miranda> Burning 2 AMP.

<Hollyhock God> Well, the Aspect part is simple enough.

  • Miranda can do kung fu.

<Miranda> It helps when they're shooting you, and you're bullet-proof.

<Hollyhock God> I guess you can construct a shield, although if it turns out the infection has already spread outside London it won't do much good.

<Hollyhock God> Especially if this really is the Rose Actual.

<Miranda> The what now?

<Hollyhock God> Take it away, Dreams!

<Dreams> It's not my fault you're too busy mourning to listen to my stories!

<Cyrus> "How do you… stop one?"

<Hollyhock God> The only way to get rid of an Actual for good is to figure out the paradox that led to its creation.

<Dreams> "There's a lot of ugly options, one of which is getting Immanuel to burn the entire city of london to the ground. Hopefully we can figure out what broke the world to let it in, first."

<Hollyhock God> And then mend it.

<Hollyhock God> Or, yeah, kill all the vessels. That works too.

<Dan> So what sort of paradox would lead to supervillains… An acadmeny that wasn't full of fools that needed to be shown?

<Miranda> Either way, I'd like to use a shield to keep it from spreading.

<Dreams> "The most common way that it happens is if somebody like us creates a paradox of some sort, or attempts to create or metaphysically change something more powerful than themselves."

<Hollyhock God> How would that work, if we were talking about something that spreads in dreams?

<Dreams> "Don't going around making angel-factories or whatnot."

<Miranda> Miranda turns to Dreams "…over-under on this being connected to Cyrus?"

<Dan> "… the Will changing Cyrus wouldn't count, would it?"

<Dreams> "Hmmm. Praxael's deeds shouldn't do that."

<Cyrus> "…err, would that mean you have to resolve me?"

  • Hollyhock God has decided that the correct approach to making plot happen in spite of Miranda's hideously powerful protection is to demand incredible specificity about how shields work.

<Hollyhock God> Where did you lock up those udi that had the Rose Actual in them, again?

<Dan> (Miranda should make a shield against plot >_> )

<Miranda> I'm actually trying not to cut down the plot, I'm trying to lock myself down while looking cool without actually solving anything.

<Hollyhock God> Well, I'm not saying that you can't, just that you have to be specific about what it means to lay a shield down that prevents against <thing>.

<Dreams> (I forget if I specified in my backstory or not? Yeah, just checked, the box ended up with Ananda's Powers, as far as Dreams knows. If you want to retcon it as being squirreled away somewhere on Earth, though, that's fine.)

<Hollyhock God> That is, how does it work if there's an embargo on things getting in and out of people's heads?

<Hollyhock God> I haven't decided who Ananda's Powers are yet, so you might as well go and find it wherever you locked it up on Earth.

<Hollyhock God> Just, you know, in case.

<Miranda> Well… I was hoping I could just kind of cut the city off.

<Dreams> (Not even information gets in or out?)

<Miranda> Right.

<Miranda> Trap the infection inside, sort of thing?

<Hollyhock God> Yeah, "cut everything off" becomes complicated when you're talking about a mental infestation, so, you mean that people outside London can't think about things inside?

<Dreams> "Right. Dan, I'm going to need a bridge to an art gallery in Boston, I buried the box in the foundations of the building when it was being made, and should check to see if this is the same Actual or not."

<Miranda> Well, my OOC understanding of the mechanics of how an Actual spreads are kinda shaky.

<Dreams> (At the very least they can't find out about what's happening to think about it in the first place?)

<Hollyhock God> Admittedly the information in the book is sparse.

<Dreams> (I imagine it varies from Actual to Actual.)

<Hollyhock God> Largely because its only there so the Doctor can talk about Actuals later without it looking like a sudden retcon.

<Hollyhock God> But yeah, it varies a lot.

<Dreams> (I picture some of them as just growing bigger, whereas others are more metaphysical like the Family)

<Hollyhock God> One Actual will be an ooze that just grows endless and devours everything, and some are more like a song that takes you over if you hear it.

  • Dan bridges Boston to London, being far more convenient than any transport company.

<Dreams> (And it bounces off Miranda's blockade!)

<Hollyhock God> The Rose Actual was born in dreams, so it spreads between two people who are thinking about the same things.

<Cyrus> (That could be a problem.)

<Cyrus> (We need Gates to make a Gate for a Bridge in the Shield.)

<Hollyhock God> Making those thoughts reality is its primary physical manifestation.

<Cyrus> (That's quite nasty.)

  • Dreams shares this information to help Miranda finetune her wards.

<Cyrus> (Anyone have any good ideas as to how to find the original paradox?)

<Hollyhock God> With that in mind, you can probably determine which elements of this guy's mind are dangerous, and prevent them from connecting to other thoughtscapes.

<Miranda> "Right. So I have to shield everyone on earth from the harm it's doing or… OK— here's what's going to happen. "

<Miranda> "I'm going to make a shield, a firewall, a physical barrier."

<Hollyhock God> Dreams is probably the most knowledgeable about the Actual's history.

<Dan> (Would my miracle actually conflict with Mirandas? Her shield isn't against movement.)

<Miranda> "Dreams exist only in the mind."

<Dan> (And actually, her miracle would bounce off my Auctoritas. "I can always find a way out" and her miracle doesn't have Strike AFAIK.)

<Dan> (If they did conflict.)

<Cyrus> (Ah, gotcha.)

<Dan> (Well, my Afflicition's Auctoritas anyway.)

<Hollyhock God> Ah, that's actually pretty clever.

<Miranda> "Dreams, you can take the shield and distribute it through the mental-landscape, we can create a sort of cordon around the infected."

  • Dreams will make it so with a Greater Enchantment (2 PMP) and then head off the bridge to Boston to see if anything's disturbed the Actual's old resting place.

<Hollyhock God> Dreams digs up the sealed box, which is still sealed. But there are fewer coins in it than there were before.

<Miranda> I'll make it a Greater Shield with 4 DMP if I have to.

<Hollyhock God> You're just roping off a couple of guys, it should be fine.

<Hollyhock God> I mean, it's ticklish metaphysical surgery, but you're Shields and he's Dreams, so you're kind of the experts now that you know what you're trying to do.

<Cyrus> (I thought it was throughout London?)

<Hollyhock God> Well, it probably is throughout London; you just don't know where.

<Cyrus> (Ah.)

<Hollyhock God> Not until the infections start manifesting in reality or you track it down some other way.

<Miranda> Plus I don't have to plunge half of London into dementia animus. :(

<Hollyhock God> Always a complication. Fortunately, random people naming themselves Doctor Garish doesn't cause dementia animus, just explosions.

<Dan> "So what are those coins, and why are they related to supervillains again?"

<Hollyhock God> So, we have an Actual out of Dreams' casefile, which was previously bound into a set of coins when he wasn't able to purge it completely, suddenly loose again, and also a painted nephilim.

<Hollyhock God> How will our heroes deal with this mess?

<Hollyhock God> Most likely next week, when I've thought of some better manifestations than "suddenly, superheroics!"

<Cyrus> (Heh.)

<Cyrus> (The superheroics were entertaining at least!)

<Hollyhock God> i mean we are supposed to be pretentious here

<Dan> (I actually have accumulated 15 Personal Destiny, if you think that's enough to complete my "Coming to terms with his noble nature" project and pick up a level of Domain.)

<Hollyhock God> You can certainly use Personal Destiny for that if you like.

<Hollyhock God> That's what it's meant to be for, really.

<Dan> Awesome.

<Dan> I shall do that with that, then, and be able to invoke a Greater Divination without busting out a Word of Command!

<Cyrus> nice

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, other plots simmer, as Cyrus learns about his new Estate and possible angelic evolution or sim'lar.

<Dan> (Also I can now do Ghost Miracles without spending MP, woo. >_> )

<Hollyhock God> I guess Miranda is still trying to figure out what Maxiel's deal is.

<Hollyhock God> And maybe steal that book from Remus if she can.

<Cyrus> Maxiel?

<Hollyhock God> The Angel of Lights.

<Cyrus> Right, right.

<Miranda> (Phone!)

<Hollyhock God> Although now that we have a spare bit of angel, I guess there's a second option now.

<Hollyhock God> Hm, did anybody get Destiny today?

<Hollyhock God> I guess Cyrus is up for some Change-Destiny once he asks himself some questions about his new existence.

<Hollyhock God> And phones his job to tell them he's quitting.

<Hollyhock God> Not sure how they're going to take that.

<Cyrus> Yeah, that sounds right.

<Cyrus> Revelation? Though getting that from the premise is probably cheating

<Hollyhock God> You already got change!

<Hollyhock God> Don't be greedy!

<Cyrus> Heh.

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile Dan becomes the first person to actually spend Destiny, so yay Dan.

<Cyrus> Failure from Dreams for apparently failing to contain the Actual?

<Dreams> (That wasn't really a project, though, so much as backstory.)

<Cyrus> Was it on your mind-map?

<Cyrus> Since character sheets are Projects?

<Miranda> (Geeeez. Everyone I know demands to speak with me today!)

<Hollyhock God> I demand an audience!


<Hollyhock God> So anyway, now that Cyrus is a thing that is happening, next week is going to be Actuals all over the goddamn shop.

<Miranda> Um. 212 Fairfax Road, Beverly, Virigina.

<Cyrus> Awesome

<Hollyhock God> Ideally, you will all be too terrified to ever work an act of hubris, ever.

<Miranda> … dude, the act of hubris is the win condition for my Project.

<Dreams> I admit I was briefly considering doing a greater sacrifice to shunt it out of dreams and into the real world, giving Dan and Cyrus a nice simple kaiju battle.

<Cyrus> Hey, that's only 8 miles away from me!

<Miranda> Good. Then you can visit his whims!

<Cyrus> Joy.

<Miranda> Now that they have been addressed.

<Miranda> Nice catch on your Auctoritas, Dan

<Rand Brittain> This game definitely rewards having everything literally printed out in front of you.

<Rand Brittain> I should print out all the Project sheets and keep them somewhere.

<Miranda> … do I have a Project sheet?

<Cyrus> nobilis is a secret plot to promote paper manufacturers

<Rand Brittain> I don't know that you actually do.

<Rand Brittain> Better write one down!

<Dan> I need to come up with a new Project now.

<Miranda> …. how?

<Rand Brittain> Start with one bubble in the first story and then keep noting your Destiny gains every time you got one?

<Rand Brittain> I mean, you've picked up Project Destiny several times.

<Dan> I suppose I could keep on with my personal Project, and just keep buying more Noble-y stuff

<Cyrus> I think Cyrus will start a Project to start a menagerie. Since he probably won't get to keep his old one

<Dan> You could steal Prince Ali's.

<Dan> I hear it's world class.

<Cyrus> Yes!

<Rand Brittain> Go mad with power! Start collecting Domain like there's no tomorrow!

<Dan> (I might. Although I like Persona better. I could start collecting Persona like there's no tomorrow.)

<Dan> Having at least one point of Domain seemed important to me in terms of "getting used to his estate" though.

<Dreams> There's instances where Domain is fairly handy compared to Persona. I've definitely been like "It would be awesome if I could just easily create some dreams, here."

<Rand Brittain> You already have a lot of Persona.

<Miranda> Yes, but specialization > diversification.

<Rand Brittain> Yes, one of you needs to start a separate campaign, so I can be a blasto Treasure specialist who gradually expands out of using artifacts into having actual powers.

<Miranda> Also, that was a well-executed ninja attack, I must say.

<Rand Brittain> Experienced as a mad dash to turn everything possible into an opportunity to gain Personal Destiny to turn into Domain.

<Rand Brittain> Really? I was afraid it would be a bit lame.

<Miranda> Well, it tied into backstory.

<Cyrus> Nah, that was fun.

<Miranda> Since the biggest issue we were having was Dreams and Henry/Cyrus not having plot connection, this session did a lot to ameliorate it.

<Rand Brittain> Next time I'll just use an ethical problem, so you can't decide it was all just a dream and say "Problem solved."

<Cyrus> Yay!

<Dreams> "The ethical dilemma was just a dream!"

<Dreams> "But is it right to solve all your problems by making them imaginary?"

<Dreams> "That question was just a dream, too!"

<Dreams> "Also, yes."

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