Family Feud

[The curtain rises.]

Elliott: This is a story of Gailizia Fantastic and her colleagues among the Tri-County Chapter of the Rider's Abstinence Society… and yet—

and yet

The thing that moves within the darkness of the stage — it is not Gailizia Fantastic.

It does not move with her capering aplomb!

It does not oscillate with their carnival-spirit!

Sadabus: A knock-off!

Elliott: What moves upon the darkness of the stage is Scalbrand, once called the Eintz County Actual. It labors now; it tidies, bearing boards this way and chairs that, finding purpose in whatever way it can.

When the house lights come up, we see that Scalbrand has been helping to remodel the Tri-County Public Access Television studio!

The soundstage is now dominated by a large, curved desk…

And at its head sits the channel's newest host: Yvanas Quisad!

Gailizia: Gasp!

Radegesis: Gasp!

Elliott: She is wide-eyed and clapping, and has abandoned her usual Frizzle-esque dresses for a daring blue trenchcoat with the collar popped high. She is welcoming the viewers to her new show, speaking so quickly and so excitedly that you four may not even notice that she invited you here. And yet you're sitting here, on either side of her.

Radegesis: Double gasp!

Elliott: "So, this new show — which I'm calling My New Show — is going to be a little bit British panel show, a little bit talk show, a little bit political backbiting commentary, a little bit gameshow, a little bit office dramedy…"

She just. keeps. listing. genres.

Sadabus: You’re going to ask for Well-Met, aren’t you?

Elliott: I am!

Who wants to look good for the camera?

Radegesis: Nnnnnngh; it's so hot in these lights; I'm so sweaty.


Semegastes: If that's a call for Well-Met, Semegastes Fails. They've been having… a day. A week. Something.

Sadabus: I suppose I must. A master of the dark has certain obligations.

Gailizia: Gailizia will absolutely be looking good for the camera, and her friend!

Elliott: Yeah, Seme would probably have to go above Well-Met anyway. Their life is… not together.

Sadabus: Sadabus brushes his hair, two hundred strokes.

Radegesis: At least I can look good for Gailizia's friend!

…Rad is maybe still side-eyeing her a little bit.

Elliott: Side-eyeing Yv?

Radegesis: Yeah.

Elliott: In what way?

Don't worry; we've got time to unpack this.

She's still listing genres!

Radegesis: Suspiciously! She second-skinned Cole's teacher for, like, a million years.

Elliott: "…a little bit The View, if The View recognized that viewing things is a form of violence…" :fuguechip:

Gailizia: "Don't forget a little bit of arthouse horror!"

Radegesis: I know there are nuances to that but Rad's Ability is all tied up with Well-Met-ing right now.

Elliott: Oh thank Cneph; she's done listing genres.

She's got some major Red Bull energy going on right now.

"So! Today's topic is going to be betrayal."

"What is it? How do I do it? And what does it taste like?" :fuguechip:

Radegesis: "Usually bittersweet."

Elliott: "So, panelists. Betrayal. What does that word mean for you? What does it conjure?"

Gailizia: Gailizia does an exaggerated thinking motion before pointing flamboyantly up.
"A punchline, turned cruel!"

Radegesis: Rad glances down at her phone where the Denny's witches are sending her pictures of sweaty rollergirls and the Shitkickers are sending her artsy bonfire pictures of the witches.

"Sorry, what was the question?" :fuguechip:

Gailizia: "Or," she says, straightening her more professional jacket, "the moment where someone's expectations are dashed and their understanding of what they mean to someone is shattered and crushed underfoot."

Sadabus: "The innate treachery of the world and its pretense of following rules. I make a point of never engaging in that sin myself."

Semegastes: "Betrayal… is… betrayal… Neva, say something that's my hot take about betrayal." Neva, who only got fifteen minutes' notice that she was the body on-call for this bit, and who wouldn't have spent the afternoon toking and binging anime music videos if Semegastes would've just told her earlier, says: "Betrayal is me not having any chicken fingers right now." :fuguechip:

Radegesis: Rad points at her in agreement.

Elliott: Yv is nodding in violent agreement, or at least violent attention.

"So, tell me. As experts in betrayal, how did it feel to betray your own people, not only by giving in to the wrongness of the world, but by actively abetting it? Pundits have been very interested in your decision to enNoble an enemy only a few days ago."

Radegesis: Rad stiffens, and that side-eye intensifies.

Sadabus: "Well, you see, he had it coming."

"He will suffer as he deserves, in endless blinded servitude."


clownfucker69: wait we have pundits

Gailizia leans in to a mic.

"It was a 'fuck you' to Flowers. He also had a lovely reserve of Ninuanni flowers. I ate one!"

Semegastes: "Um," Neva says. "Ms. Yv, hypothetically, if I let Semegastes call you an 'evil MILF,' would you throw anything at me? I'm very scared of you and I'm not sure how good Seme's magical protection is right now." :fuguechip:

Gailizia: "Don't worry Neva; I'd cover you."

Semegastes: "Thank you, Gailizia!" Neva says, preemptively meep-ing behind her.

Elliott: "Mmmhmm. Mmmmmmhmmm. I see, I see. And did your betrayal cause you any psychological discomfort? I can only imagine what it must have been like to strengthen one of the ancient enemies of the Void."

Sadabus: "I, for one, enjoy strong enemies! They demonstrate my status."

"Perhaps some of us are more suited to weaker foes."

Semegastes: "Look, you evil MILF, this whole war is bullshit, destroying the world is bullshit, and fancy ethical mind games are also bullshit."

Radegesis: Rad points at Semegastes-in-Neva again.

Semegastes: "Wait. I can't say 'bullshit' on air."

"Radegesis, how do you do that thing with your mouth?"

Radegesis: "What fucking thing?" :fuguechip:

Gailizia: "I enact comical betrayals on the regular as I am and shall always have been a clown, so I am somewhat neutral on the whole affair, emotionally. That said, I think we technically get 10G cell reception in the station now."

Radegesis: "Flowers was a bitch, so we screwed her. You gonna go around interrogating everybody like this?"

Elliott: "Absolutely the point of the show!" Yv chirps to Radegesis.

Gailizia: "It's the interview format!"

Radegesis: Rad grumbles. "Pretty sure interviewing is violence too." :fuguechip:

Elliott: "Our every interaction is a very small sin," Yv agrees.

"A particle."


"Not the point! Let's see what you, the viewer thinks!"

Yv gestures and Scalbrand pushes in a cart covered in old CRT televisions, all of them covered in tweets.

Gailizia: Gailizia waves!

Semegastes: "My fans… they've come to save me from this turbulent MILF!"

Radegesis: "Scalbrand, you little traitor!"

Elliott: Scalbrand waves at Gailizia, then looks at Radegesis and tilts its head to the side like a dog protesting unfair treatment.

Semegastes: observes this interesting incident with the child

Gailizia: The child has a meaningful interaction with another PC or important NPC

Gailizia would like to read some tweets! :spotreckoning:

Radegesis: Rad scowls, then flashes a smile and a thumbs up. Not Scallona's fault this dastardly milf has conscripted it! :fuguechip:

Elliott: THE TWEETS:

@gonnagacha: Who among us hasn't committed a few casual atrocities? That's right, no one.
@thejudybernesofficial2: I didn't know you could just become a god, much less that you had to be nominated.
@galileogalileogalileo: I for one welcome our new Power-loving Riders. Especially when they're pretty damn cute, ngl.
@dropsofjupiter: I mean, if they were looking for candidates…


@notask8rgirl: the more dumb shit the better and this is some premium dumb shit

Rad pockets her phone again.

Gailizia: Gailizia reads all these aloud, using her clownish tricks to make her twitter handle, @themarvelousgailinofficial, appear under her name in the broadcast

Semegastes: "Oh, god, wait the people on a Twitter can see me?!" Semegastes realizes.

Gailizia: "Seems like the local twitterverse is into us!"

She gives a big wink and then tilts her head towards Jupiter with a smile.

Semegastes: This is, unfortunately for Seme and Neva, a #selfie moment.

Elliott: The tweets go on in this manner until eventually a trend emerges: Somehow, it gets out that there's still another Estate left to invest… and everyone wants it. Sometimes in a lowkey, ironic way; sometimes with fire and frenzy.

Jupiter winks at Gailizia.

Radegesis: "Man, fickle audience, huh, Yvalash? Talk about betrayal."

She winks at her.

Sadabus: What fun!

Gailizia: "Seems like we're a hot topic, Yva! We're trending!"

Sadabus: I spotlight that Estate and its history! :spotreckoning:

"Only a great hero could reasonably claim such power!"

"Pure of heart… mighty of thew…" :fuguechip:

Radegesis: Rad elbows Sadabus from like two seats down.

Semegastes: "Sady, isn’t that the exact type of person who would be super excited for the Bellum Magnum? We should pick someone who’s… chill. Laid-back. Hot."

Sadabus: "That is a contradiction in terms," says Sadabus.

Elliott: The Estate is Broadcasts — now that Jackson VI has taken on the mantle of Listening, Uugaruu still has the Estate of Broadcasting left. You're not entirely sure what happened to the last such Power, except that between Uul and the Maw, it probably wasn't fun and involved either metasticizing or mastication.

Radegesis: Oh, yeah. Maw. We should probably do something about that guy too.

Gailizia: Set him up with Sads, probably.

Radegesis: what that mouth do :turnback:

Gailizia: what if we wrestled in the yellow brick throat, and we were both boys

Elliott: There is a faint rumbling throughout the studio, as if Uugaruu can perceive your memery and is either amused or annoyed. It's hard to tell, even if you speed Chthon.

Sadabus: We can pick a new Power and stick his head on that body.

Elliott: "Well, good news! We're going to solve this problem right here and now on MY NEW SHOW COLON THE CHOOSENING!"

Gailizia: Gailizia begins applauding in a cloud of confetti.

Semegastes: "Ummmmmm," Neva umms.

Radegesis: "Please don't choosen my colon."

Gailizia: "Wait! Why are you into this?"

Semegastes: "Maybe… an em-dash."

Gailizia: She hasn't stopped clapping, or manifesting confetti.

Elliott: Are you asking Yv?

Gailizia: Yeah.

Radegesis: Rad points at Gailizia through the increasing cloud of confetti. "Yeah, weren't you all burn-the-law-beings a minute ago?"

Elliott: She doesn't answer. She seems too lost in the reckless euphoria of her new persona!

Semegastes: :spotreckoning: her motives.

…and maybe some level of Focus or Vision if necessary.

Elliott: Hmmm. It's probably going to take an action to investigate those.

Sadabus: "What fun!"

Gailizia: The spotlight at least counts as Lesser Focus, IIRC.

Semegastes: Let's try Greater Vision.

Sadabus: "Of course, you’ll understand that we have very strict standards."

Sadabus glares his message across via wizard telepathy: use your Hollywood powers to bring me hunks.

Semegastes: 4 Fugue from spending too long gazing into the Milfbyss, +1 XP

Elliott: Yeah, but Lesser Focus isn't going to give you much that isn't already clear in this case.

Gailizia: You know what will?

Radegesis: Careful, Sem. She's gonna gaze back into you.

Gailizia: :spotreckoning: Gailizia would also like to scope this out.

Greater Stunt: Licensed Therapist

Semegastes: x2 Spotlight Combo

Gailizia: And Vision!

Elliott: Hmm. So, Vance, you can claw back your spotlight and Cost, or you can act as a slight force multiplier here.


Semegastes: Oh, I'm sunk into this milfcost.

Gailizia: They're lost in the milfsauce.



Radegesis: Ripoff! Mine didn't even come with a MILF!

Gailizia: One day Radegesis will double-hatch and become the MILF she wants to see in the world.

Elliott: Gailizia, Semegastes: This is well and truly out-of-character for Yvanas. Even in the little time you've known her, she's struck you as eccentric, yes, but also vulnerable, uncertain, and deeply-introverted when you drag her outside of her classroom. If this was someone else, you'd assume: Oh, they're being adversarial. They've got something at stake here. But that's not the case here; it's just like she's testing you for some reason, maybe?

Semegastes: Secret Warmains!

Gailizia: Ah, playing one of those classic Deceiver Mind Games as a coping mechanism for her self-doubts and alienation due to her extended absence.

Elliott: Maybe? There might be some of that, but—


It's so fucking hard to keep things together when you're literally coming apart, but you see a glimmer of something as you study her. A wrongness. Or maybe a rightness? There's something Creational at play within her Excruciaura.

Radegesis: Rad swats the therapist-talk thoughtbubble out of the air around her.
"Alright, if you're not fucking with us. How're we choosening?" :spotreckoning:

Elliott: Yvanas claps her hand and the studio is transported!

You all stand now in a large coliseum, half-lost to ruin and time. Around you are hundreds of people from the Tri-County Area. Yvanas sits atop a raised dais, dressed in the finery of a Ninnuani inquisitor.

Sadabus: I look for persons of heroic countenance.


Radegesis: "Damn it! Nobody expects the Ninuanni inquisition!"

Elliott: "In the tradition of the historical epic Star Trek, this Choosening shall be determined through contests! Of speed, and of power! And of messy dramatics!" :fuguechip:

Semegastes: "And of three-dimensional chess," Neva adds.

"Also, homoeroticism."

Elliott: "So much homoeroticism."

"And this time, it's text."

Semegastes: "Oh, and doing like a 20's mobster thing in the holodeck."

Gailizia: Gailizia is lounging on the dais in the dress of a Ninuanni vizier.

"The homoeroticism is the point, really."



Elliott: Sadabus scans the gathered folks. Is there anyone or anything in particular that might catch your eye, O wizard? I mean, other than the obvious.

Semegastes: Greater Stunt of e-celebrity to help Neva steal the spotlight from Yv.

3 Stilling, 1 XP

Elliott: (This is a new chapter, BTW, previous one is 1 XP each.)

Sadabus: Someone willing to use power to oppose me in a ♠ kind of way!

Radegesis: Rad definitely shoos that Homestuck thought bubble away.

Semegastes: Radegesis: is Homestuck [cool]?

Radegesis: Absolutely not.

Semegastes: Neva will remember this.

Elliott: Sadabus might find himself drawn to any of a few possible candidates: There's a few tall, dark, brooding folks around. One particularly handsome one in an overcoat might stand out, his fair hair wavy and coifed; his shoulders broad and posture straight but unpretentious. There's something about him.

Yvanas fights to get the spotlight back from Neva, but finally decides to just lay out the rules: "Each of us will have the opportunity to choose two candidates for the Entitlement, who will be randomly pitted against one another in whatever manner I decide is the most fun."

Radegesis: "Oh, bracket match, huh? Lessee, who here looks like hot shit…"

Gailizia: "Hey, Yva," Gailizia asks from across the dais, speaking quietly enough to not be picked up by the mics. "I'm asking as what I hope is a friend, but — what's the play here?"

Lesser Intensity

the lights dim

Sadabus: "Kind of you to seize control of the decision. Well, kind of whoever dragged you into this."

Semegastes: "Unless Yvanas' manner sucks, in which case I can overule her by a 2/3rds vote of Semegastes hosts."

Sadabus: "My dear Gailizia, is it not obvious? The law-beings have entangled her in their games."

"Anything beyond that is details."

Gailizia: She rolls her eyes as she waits on an answer and considers her choices for champions.

Elliott: "The play is exactly what you see, my dear Gailin. The play is to play. To strive. To see what happens for both champion and patron. Isn't this all terribly exciting?"

Semegastes: "Oh, I know my candidates." Semegastes says. "Neva? Slab?"

Neva does a little "yes!" dance.

Slab steps out from among the crowd of competitors and nods casually Neva's way, being there as a matter of Trust.

Radegesis: Oh, shit, right, we don't have to grab them from the audience. Rad nominates Thorn aaaaand…

Annamal, team captain of the Shitkickers!

Wait, shit, if this works they're gonna get enNobled. Oh, well, too late!

Gailizia: Gailin sighs at the redirection before jumping up as though all was well, pulling a microphone from… somewhere.

"Well, let's see…"

She pans over the crowd with one hand over her eyes, searching dramatically, before stopping.

"Jupiter! Do you accept?"

Radegesis: …hey, wait a minute. Where's Scalbrand? :spotreckoning:

Elliott: Scalbrand… is here, towering over some of the other folks assembled, and certainly drawing a fair bit of attention.

Sadabus: Well, this hot guy seems like a good choice. Oh, and I've got James!

Elliott: Jupiter smiles up at where Gailizia is enthroned. "I'm afraid I don't! I've seen where this kind of bullshit goes. But snaps for thinking of me, Fantastic."


Is that the guy from the gender reveal terrorism?

Sadabus: Yeah, my intern!

Elliott: Okay, so we've got Slab and Neva for Semegastes, James and the handsome stranger ("Ivan Dosbrokov," he says, offering Sadabus his hand. He seems very handsome and very sweet and also weirdly starstruck?); Thorn and Annamal are in play for Radegesis, and Jupiter has declined Gailizia's first offer.

Sadabus: Hm, Excrucian-lovers are literal starfuckers.

Radegesis: :spotreaction: on Gailizia's choices! I feel like she's gonna make the best decision here anyways.

Gailizia: "Up to me to provide the wildcards then, isn't it? Unlike you all, I'm not really into offering up my flores! So!"

She dramatically points into the crowd.

"Dr. Berns! How would you like to become the avatar of broadcast and inherit a citadel of wire and meat!?"

Sadabus: I'm going to use :spotcreation: myself, as I find out the down-low on Ivan. I need his stats/powers, personal interests, and likes/dislikes.

I should find out what James' interests are, too, other than dark magic and annoying his parents.

Elliott: Judy… well, she does that anime thing where a shadow falls across her face and her glasses gleam, her smile spreading wide and wild. :fuguechip:

Sadabus: "Take chances! Make mistakes! Get MIRACULOUS!" :fuguechip:

Radegesis: Oh, now that I have to chip.

Elliott: Ivan, it turns out, is a math teacher, former semi-professional lacrosse player, Rhodes scholar, and also he's the grandson of Miranda, the stitch-witch who basically keeps your station humming along.

That is canonically what she said, now.

Semegastes: Sadabus vs. Nepotism.

Sadabus: "This is no nepotism! Not that I actually object to nepotism, being evil. This is recognition of the hard work of my staff and a recognition of their part in all our wicked enterprises."

Gailizia: "Next up… this field of contenders is human. Too human! For my second selection-"

She points up as the lights dim, and a red light slowly blinks in the darkened sky above, atop a towering antenna.

"The spirit of the station antenna! Someone with some real skin in the game." :fuguechip:

Elliott: What do you imagine such a spirit might be like?


Radegesis: Rad raises Gabrelt in phallic solidarity.

Sadabus: "Now, Ivan, James, here is your chance for greatness! Well, for eternal suffering. But also incredible power!"

Gailizia: Tall and slender with skin electric; the hum of transmission and a voice that carries itself across the world. Cold wind and a blinking light in the night, seen from a car through sleepy eyes. Wires and cords alive with sight and sound. :fuguechip:

Semegastes: Neva is looking respectfully.

Elliott: "I am called. And yet, I too am the caller — the beckoner, the one upon the horizon. I will accept this challenge."

Radegesis: Rad is looking as respectfully as she can, which is admittedly not very. :fuguechip:

Elliott: Yvanas looks a little askance at this, but sighs. "Well, I suppose I need my two, too."

Sadabus: Sadabus looks smugly knowing.

As if to say "Ah, now we get to see the catch."

Elliott: "I pick the sadsack and the child."

Radegesis: ???

Gailizia: "Could you be… more specific?"

Radegesis: "Yeah, I'm ineligible!"

Sadabus: "She means Mr. Neff and Cole."

Radegesis: "Oh hell of no."

Semegastes: "Uh," Semegastes hems. "I'm hoping she means a different sadsack, because Ev is a little bit passed out?"

Elliott: "Hmmm? I don't mean that, Sadabus; do try not to assume. You know what they say! It makes an ass out of you and then razor wires samba through your ear canals."

Sadabus: I have no spotlights left, so I must assume.

Semegastes: :spotreckoning: on Yv's choices.

Elliott: She gestures and the spotlight falls first upon Eric, and then upon Scalbrand.

"The sadsack and the child from your station."

Semegastes: "Um."

Gailizia: "Ah."

Semegastes: "Scalbrand is basically an Actual."

Sadabus: …which one is the sack?

Semegastes: "I don't think that works?"

Sadabus: "I told you no good would come of this! Now look. They think it's people." :fuguechip:

Elliott: "I know!" she says excitedly. "Won't this be interesting?"

Semegastes: "Like… an Imperator can't just woosh Actuals into being their Nobles, right?"

Gailizia: "I don't… think so?"


Elliott: "Is that a question or a stroke, Gailin?"

Sadabus: "I think my compatriots and I have agreed to bar the Actual from consideration, for many excellent reasons."

"Instead you can have Mr. Neff, and double up on sad sacks, or possibly children."

Gailizia: "Rhetorical, darling."

She paces a little, greasepaint barely concealing no small amount of concern as she does some complicated metaphysical antical math in her head.

"Well, I can't make all of its decisions."

She speaks into the microphone.

"Eric! Scalbrand! Do you accept?"

Sadabus: I teleport Scalbrand away! I can't be having with this!

Semegastes: "Sady, he is unconscious. Also, last time I checked, he’s not interested."

Sadabus: "Well, who else do we know?"

[Sadabus tries to remember if he knows anybody.]

Elliott: Eric accepts, and Scalbrand seems to move to do so — at least, before disappearing.

Radegesis: Rad sighs in relief.

Sadabus: "This is clearly some kind of law-being gambit."

Elliott: Yvanas rounds on Sadabus.

"Bring it back, Sad."

"I refuse. It's metaphysically gross, and also you clearly have some weird, compromised reason for wishing it."

Radegesis: Rad slides in front of Sad.

"Sad can do whatever wizard fuck shit he wants, ma'am. Roll again."

Sadabus: "As a counter-offer, you can have my wizard vampire."

[Sadabus summons Helena, who was busy trying out new parasols.]

Elliott: "I chose my champion. It is for the Actual to decide. Or, at the least, its guardian."

Sadabus: "Well, far be it from be to break rules you randomly made up, just because I'm evil and also want to."

Gailizia: "No, Sadabus."

She reaches down to take its hand as it steps from behind her.

"You're forgetting something."

"I have a fucking plan, and nobody in Creation can stop it."

She's going all in on this if it wills it. :spotdecisive:

Trust miracle to return Scalbrand. Claiming 5 XP for Scalbrand getting involved in a miraculous conflict, completing Taking Care of a Small Child, increasing my Flore by 1, and venting 10 Fugue. Spend 2 Immersion.

Begin In Defiance of the Night


Radegesis: I wish to god I had a spare spotlight to anime shocked react right now.

Elliott: Scalbrand appears in a twist of silver light and subtle ribbons, a determined look in its eyes.

Sadabus: "Ah, well, if you have a scheme, then who am I to interfere?"

Elliott: The board is set! Are there any preparations that you wish to make with your champions before THE CHOOSENING begins?

Sadabus: Yeah, hold on a second.

Semegastes: "Hey, I probably shouldn't be, like, super stoned for this, should I?" Neva asks.

Elliott: That seems like a ship that's sailed.

Sadabus: I cast bear's endurance, bull's strength, cat's grace, eagle's splendor, fox's cunning, darkvision, owl's wisdom, spider climb, haste, and water breathing on my two champions.

Gailizia: I need a sec to update my quest data and also consult my Strategy miracle.

Radegesis: Rad holds a quick huddle. "Okay, listen. We don't give a shit about winning. Yvy is running some weird rigged game here. We're just here to fuck shit up to the maximum. And, I guess, run interference for Scalbrand if necessary. I don't trust like that."

"Got it, coach," Annamal salutes with mock seriousness.

Sadabus: Oh, I guess I'll use them on Neva, also, because of favoritism.

Semegastes: Yay!

Sadabus: "Now, my champions, go forth and claim unholy might!"

Semegastes: Neva has received something from a rival.

Sadabus: James bulks up slightly, but Ivan appears unchanged and perhaps only mildly-impressed.

Still, I have You wield magic or power to do something amazing and transformative'd.

Elliott: So, I'm gonna tell you this: Your magic sluices off Ivan.

Sadabus: That's so mysterious! And yet I lack the capacity to ask proper questions about it at this time.

I guess I remain entirely focused on his hotness, which checks out.

Elliott: Is everything in readiness?

Sadabus: "Just, please, don't let the horrible teddy bear win."

Gailizia: Yeah, i think my ducks are in a row.

Semegastes: Team Semegastes is ready.

Radegesis: Annamal cracks her knuckles menacingly. She's got, like, a lioness theme.

Thorn brandishes… a wand? It's unclear what magic the Arby's witches actually do but I guess we're about to find out!

Semegastes: Beefomancy.

Sadabus: They make regular fries into curly fries.

Gailizia: Gailizia unsticks Dr. Bern from reality, such that if she focuses enough, she can adapt herself to the challenge. That's the faery magic way!

Scalbrand does not need this manner of assistance.

Elliott: I think Thorn was established as the divination witch from the seance?

Radegesis: I think so, though I'm struggling to find it.

It was another witch, but I assume they all practice the same craft.

Elliott: You can have different specialties. It's fine.

Sadabus: What incredible magical powers did I even give James?

Gailizia: They have a specialty, and then they subspecialize in whatever their gf(s) specialize in at the time.

Radegesis: Either which way, I'm thinking of it as a vague conjury.

Sadabus: I suppose he is also a vaguely D&D wizard, like Sadabus, only not as good.

Elliott: He's only got 1st level spells, sadly.

Maybe 2nd at a pinch.

So here's the format: Each round, if it's one of your folks, throw out their basic strategy, and any power you're putting behind it. And we'll work out who wins, without needing to get too far into the weeds unless it's a contentious match.

Sadabus: Man, he didn't get much for his soul.

Gailizia: He is but mortal.

Sadabus: Well, okay, he also got eternal life.

Gailizia: But not, like, mortal mortal.

Immortally mortal.


Hard mode immortality.

Sadabus: Also, frankly, I'm not sure what consequences selling your soul to Sadabus actually has.

Radegesis: Is he a warlock now? Not that that means much to Sadabus' ancient 3e self,

Sadabus: It may involve passing into Ninuan upon death, or it may involve nothing except angels asking you some very pointed questions before you get to reincarnate.

…actually, yeah, I'm gonna say he's a warlock.

Semegastes: 3e had warlocks!

Sadabus: That makes more sense and doesn't result in him running out of spells.

Radegesis: Ooh.


MATCH 1: Thorn vs Slab
MATCH 2: Ivan vs Judy Bernes
MATCH 3: Eric vs Scalbrand
MATCH 4: The Spirit vs Annamal
MATCH 5: James vs Neva

Gailizia: The cruelty of pitting her own champions against each other!

Elliott: Yvanas looks up at the pairings as they appear in midair, frowning when she sees her two get matched.

Radegesis: Did she… not do that on purpose?

Gailizia: "Wow. Shit luck on that seeding."

Elliott: She ran them through an RNG.

Radegesis: (Also, new chapter?)

Elliott: Yes, new chapter.

2 XP for the previous.

Sadabus: Well, we've established that she's compromised.

Elliott: "I suppose it would make me a bitter hypocrite if I just…" she reaches out and starts to peel Eric's name off one of the brackets, looking at the Chanceryfolk as if to gauge their reaction.

Semegastes: Neva and Slab are both frowning and shaking their heads, as if saying, "wow, not cool; this is not a MILF whom we condone," in large part to cheer Semegastes up.

Radegesis: Rad shrugs. "You're already kind of a hypocrite, aren't you?"

Gailizia: Gailizia coughs "more discreetly."

Elliott: "Fiiiiiiine," she says, letting it drop.


Gailizia: What are you expecting the good doctor to do in this one?

Same for you, Sadabus.

Gailizia: What's the match?

Like, what are they trying to do?

Sadabus: I don't actually know what Ivan can do?

I guess I'm just going to cast sleep on Dr. Bernes before the match begins.

Elliott: Ah! Right! So this particular match is…like, Yvanas has clearly been making up for lost time by binging television, and this is clearly Double Dare. They've got to run an obstacle course covered in slime and dig a magical flag out from a giant nose.

Ivan is a very normal hunk, with semi-pro level athleticism and also he seems like he might be low-key immune to magic and maybe other weird shit?

Sadabus: Oh, I see.

Well, I can't cast fly on him, but hopefully drugging his opponent will work.

Or I guess I could just destroy all the slime that's in his path.

Gailizia: I counter that someone with a Ph.D., she has a class immunity to sleep effects.

Semegastes: Residual coffee poisoning.

Sadabus: Fine, fine. I cast mass flesh to stone.

I'm just gonna stone everybody who is made of flesh and isn't one of mine or Neva.

Which I guess leaves out… Scalbrand and the antenna?

Elliott: Yvanas looks on as a full majority of the candidates are transmogrified.

Radegesis: If you do this to Rad's contestants she may rollerderby you.

Gailizia: Hmmm, slime… I think physically she's not on par with Ivan, but since she's been glamour'd she can also redefine her relationship to things in a sciencey fey way, floating, small illusions, that kind of thing.

Elliott: "This is very not predicate."

Gailizia: Also means she could ignore the stone if she pays hard enough attention to herself.

Semegastes: Slab is too cool to be affected.

She says "no" to getting stoned. :fuguechip:

really, Vance?

Sadabus: Anyway, it's well-past-time for the big sweeps episode where we fight each other.

Wizard versus skater grrl.

Those are always great for ratings.

Radegesis: Listen. Rad doesn't give a shit about winning and neither do her contestants. But throw your evil shit elsewhere!

Stunt to retaliatorially knock Sadabus off his ass.

And hope it breaks… concentration?

Sadabus: Sadabus is knocked off his ass, to levitate magisterially above the floor.

"Oh, are we doing this now? Shouldn't we get the cameras?"

Gailizia: Gailin gestures at Jupiter.

Sadabus: "Right, right. Very well, I accept your side bet!"

Radegesis: "Naw, Sad. This isn't the fight. Just a reminder."

"Save that for dessert. We got a weird… game show… to worry about."

Sadabus: "This is the arena, my dear Radegesis. There are no rules against cheating! Why, anyone can cheat. It's practically fair." :fuguechip:

Radegesis: "Again, do not give a rat's ass about cheating. I'd be cheating myself if I gave a shit about winning. Don't transmogrify my friends."

Sadabus: Speaking of which, I've surreptitiously disintegrated the flag that was supposed to be in Dr. Bern's nose.

Elliott: Sentences that badly need context.

Sadabus: "May I teleport them to France instead?"

Radegesis: That brings up Rad short. She considers for a minute.

"…yeah, that'll do. Try and aim for a wine shop or something. They got good wine, right?"

Gailizia: Unfortunate! Dr. Bern has no special tricks for clandestine disintegrations aside from cheating and taking Ivan's flag through fey chicanery and science gloss

Sadabus: "They do. Speaking of which—"

Gailizia: Will she figure it out in time???

The drama!

Radegesis: Her Investigation proficiency points to 'yes'!

Sadabus: Sadabus conjures phantasmal francs and hands them out to all the other contestants before teleporting them to Paris.

Radegesis: Or at least a tense 'maybe'!

Elliott: Who is left now, after the great Francening?

Semegastes: Slab returns a few seconds later via Trust, carrying a bottle of wine and a baguette that she spent Sadabus' ghost francs on.

Sadabus: Come on, that's at least a Greater Trust.

Gailizia: (I do not particularly care if Dr. Berns wins this or not aside from my own fondness for the character, but I also don't have many tools to help her aside from overt divine intervention that Gailin isn't into using for this.)

Sadabus: (It does kind of seem as though Sadabus has a distinct advantage insofar as he is willing to blatantly cheat.)

Gailizia: Scalbrand and the station antenna are immune to the wiles of french bribery.

Sadabus: (At least, if nobody else is planning to.)

Semegastes: That's probably right, 4 Immersion for Greater Trust, +1 XP.

Gailizia: (My faves in this race are the antenna and Scalbrand with Bern as the darker horse.)

Elliott: I think, unfortunately, the good Dr. Berne had an unfortunate matchup.

Gailizia: If only she had the luck for a trivia segment!

Sadabus: Also I quite want to win because I'm likely to finish The Wizard's Black Heart Is Touched before this session ends and… my heart has not been touched! People keep snaffling all the NPCs for their dramatic arcs!

Elliott: Against someone who is both immune to weird shit (she threw a moltov cocktail of what you're 80% sure was λ-glycerine against Ivan, only for it to become inert upon contact) and also good at having a body.

Radegesis: Are you intending your heart-toucher to be… Uugaruu?

Sadabus: No, but if my terrible intern could become a god it would be convenient.

Radegesis: Ah.

Sadabus: Or my hot nepotism stranger.

Meanwhile, Ivan wins! Let's do an interview segment with our host.

Some kind of get-to-know-you.

Radegesis: I'll :spotreckoning: that!

Elliott: So it looks like a few matches are now… kind of already decided, because France? Thorn vs Slab goes to Slab by virtue of Being Here; Eric vs Scalbrand goes to the bear; the Spirit vs Annamal ends up with the Spirit, and then there's James vs Neva!

Radegesis: Well, hang on, now. Thorn does want to at least put on a show!

Sadabus: I'm sure the Parisiennes will love her.

Radegesis: And by that I mean Rad does. So Thorn will exercise her conjury to… summon a vaguely-elemental goetic spirit-guide thing!

Elliott: In the meantime, Yvanas interviews Ivan. Of course, she's also still up on the dais, but Interview!Yvanas is wearing a very handsome pantsuit.

Radegesis: She's using a baguette as a wand, just offscreen. It's very magickal.

Semegastes: You could also Greater Trust her back!

Sadabus: Bread! Slab's one weakness! :fuguechip:

Radegesis: Nah, like I said, this isn't about winning. This is about a tense homoerotic duel-by-proxy.

Semegastes: Slab puts a hand on the vaguely-elemental goetic spirit-guide thing's shoulder.

Sadabus: Regrettably, Yvanas' interview questions have all been replaced somehow.

Semegastes: "Hey." :fuguechip:

Sadabus: The first one is "What do you look for in an archfoe?"

Elliott: She gets into a really touching human interest bit with Ivan: Apparently he's been helping his gran, since she's been bombarded with all sorts of tax fraud and subpoenas for the past month. They basically lost their house, but they're getting time to bond!

Sadabus: "That's… so sad! Why didn't they come to me?"

"Have no fear, Ivan, any man, woman or child who attempts to move into the house that is rightfully yours will die horribly."

Radegesis: The conjury-spirit raises an eyebrow made of pine-bough and smoke. It's got way more game than Rad!

Elliott: They… well, they've actually been living in the studio.

Sadabus: Good choice! That's what I do.

Elliott: Remember way back when something tripped the alarms in the attic?

Gailizia: Was that them?

Elliott: It was.

Semegastes: Slab pursues a strategy of understated wu wei flirtation.

Regardless of the nature of the contest.

Sadabus: Sadabus is in danger of having his heart touched. So many problems that he could easily solve, right under his nose, if only people would ask him?

What's even the point of being willing to kill people for anybody who asks, if nobody asks you to murder their enemies?

Radegesis: It's a silver quest, right? You've basically doomed yourself to a slow burn.

Sadabus: I'm on a blue.

Radegesis: Oh, well, I got nothing.

Sadabus: Although, who knows, I have no particular reason to justify buying Lore off my recent activities.

The only thing I've done to an Arcanum so far is fry it.

Hm, fried Arcana. I've just come up with a new recipe!

Semegastes: Ability is also blue!

Semegastes: Basic competence is a forbidden art

Sadabus: Anyway, I'm going to get back to politely observing this duel of game.

Sadabus has no ability to perceive lesbian energy but he's an eager student of game theory.

Elliott: Slab vs. Thorn turns out to be a dance competition.

Sadabus: Oh, it did? I thought they were actually trying to flirt each other into submission.

Gailizia: Same thing, Rand.

Semegastes: So remember Catra in "Princess Prom"?

That is basically Slab's dance style.

Radegesis: The thing i remember about Catra in "Princess Prom" is not the dancing.

The spirit holds out a hand for Slab to take, in this waltz. Their arms describe the motion of smoke in the air. Their body becomes the spin of the whirlwind. Birdsong is the music of their voice. Their feet describe the summoning circle that is them, around them, and around Semegastes in Slab. :spotattention:

Sadabus: Sadabus takes avid notes.

Semegastes: Slab is simply mortal flesh and mortal bone and bits of god-parasite scattered here and there, but… she's danced a time or two.

Radegesis: :spotattention:


Slab: does a gay little dance
Everyone: :spotattention:

Sadabus: Attention intensifies!

Gailizia: Attention, but with motion blur.

Semegastes: Slab leads with the effortless self-assurance of someone who has long since freed herself of the chains of caring that other people are looking at her, fingers confidently twining around the spirit's, eyes playfully glancing into its own.

[Sadabus considers a curse of motion smoothing.]

I need to use that later.

Radegesis: Confidence and grace make a heady mixture!

Gailizia: You've been hit by—

You've been struck by—

60 fps motion smoothing.

Elliott: This is a hard one!

Yvanas is leaning towards Slab, but she looks to Sadabus and Gailizia as the other… kind of judges?

Sadabus: Sadabus votes for the witch, because clearly the butcher is just going to take James apart.

Gailizia: Gailizia is biased towards Slab because as hot as the spirit is, Slab is dancing and Thorn isn't.

Elliott: Slab secures the win!

Radegesis: Rad shrugs and smiles. "Great dance, though."

Elliott: Yvanas bestows a very gay crown on her, and a bouquet of flowers, and shuffles her off to the side to chat with Interview!Yv.

Radegesis: Somewhere in France, Thorn takes a satisfied sip of wine.

Gailizia: Somewhere in France, Thorn pencils a date into her calendar.

Sadabus: Curses! I should have motion-smoothed the butcher while I had the chance.

Gailizia: She's still in the running; there's still time.

Elliott: I think that really only leaves Neva and James?

Gailizia: Sounds right.

Sadabus: "You can do this, James," counsels Sadabus, wisely. "Semegastes' vessels are dangerous and weird, but also extremely intoxicated."

Elliott: The next competition is…

Sadabus: O high, bleak powers of Ninuan, he prays, please don't let my intern lose to a blissed-out nerd.

Elliott: I'm tempted to say it's a competitive sobriety check.

Semegastes: "C'mon, competitive lecturing about Wacky Races…"

Radegesis: PowerPoint party?

Sadabus: "Death battle, surely."

Elliott: But I'm going to be kind and say that it is something a little more up in air:

Radegesis: Blaseball game.

Elliott: An enormous Jenga tower is conjured into being between them; it stretches up beyond what sight can measure and, oh, fuck, does it ever look precarious.

Semegastes: "Competitive demolishing a Jenga tower… okay, I can work with this."

Sadabus: James smiles.

His teeth are very straight.

Gailizia: Sinister!

Sadabus: He pulls a zip-loc bag out of his jacket pocket.

"The boss made cookies," he says.

Elliott: :fuguechip:

Gailizia: THE FIEND!

No wonder you hired him.

Sadabus: He opens the bag and conjures a light breeze to waft the delicious aroma of Sadabus' baking into Neva's nostrils.

Semegastes: "Hell yes," Neva says, easy-to-poison-ly.


He really didn't need to conjure the breeze.

Sadabus: James tosses the bag just out of reach of the out-of-bounds circle.

Radegesis: 3-dot stunt!

Semegastes: An out of bounds circle… for Jenga?

Sadabus: Would you rather be poisoned?

Semegastes: It's Jenga!

There are no bounds!

Sadabus: Fine, fine.

Elliott: Jengagames

Gailizia: The Games of Jenga Moran

Radegesis: jenga mother fucking christ

Sadabus: "These can be yours," says James, huskily. "All you have to do… is forfeit."

Semegastes: "Mmmm I did kinda want to become a god."

"I'm pretty sure gods get to like… be all hoity, and the universe arranges for cookies."

Sadabus: "But you're hungry."

Semegastes: "Looks like I'm just gonna have to cast… delay gratification."

Sadabus: "The darkest magic," remarks Sadabus.

Gailizia: The lightest magic, more like.

Radegesis: "What is this sorcery!"

Gailizia: "Damn, she's good."

Sadabus: Meanwhile, James begins levitating cookies just outside of Neva's reach, and hovering them slightly closer whenever she's making a particularly-delicate move.

Elliott: Executive function? In these Technical Kids?

Gailizia: She's the only one on screen, so she gets all their executive function for the day.

Semegastes: Neva's read enough fantasy to know a good deal when she sees one.

(Offscreen: the other Technical Kids are still binging anime music videos, entirely unaware Neva left.)

Oh, might as well spotlight Neva's Decisive Action.

Sadabus: I guess I have to use a spotlight, too, if I want to win!

Semegastes: Oh, you can probably still win.

Sadabus: I'm going to :spotlight: Sadabus's clenched hands, lightly sweating.

Semegastes: Neva's just trying very hard not to forfeit.

Sadabus: They are hidden within his robes of wicked blackness, where none can see them.

Yet, still, they are there.

Elliott: So what's it looking like, unaffiliated folks?

James the Intern or Neva Hobbitleaf?

Semegastes: Neva's played a lot of Jenga in her time, but she is still residually stoned, and the floating cookies are distracting…

Sadabus: I, too, agree that my evil intern should win.

Radegesis: Sounds like James, yeah.

Gailizia: Yeah, Neva doesn't have an edge in this.

Elliott: So, from the first round, we've got James, Slab, Scalbrand, the Spirit, and Ivan.

Sadabus: James surrenders his bag of cookies to his defeated rival, having learned to be gracious in victory from the master.

Semegastes: Neva's grace in defeat is bolstered by this chewy prize.

Sadabus: "I really appreciate you," he says. "And that's why, there's something I want to tell you first."

"Those are absolutely poisoned."

Radegesis: Maybe it'll combine with the weed and give you superpowers!

Sadabus: Delayed gratification was its own reward all along!

Semegastes: "Mmm… poison."

"Seme, make sure you scrub my blood before I die."

Elliott: "Well then, it looks like we have our five champions," Yva says.

Then she waves a hand and they disappear.

Semegastes: Can Semegastes still mentally feel Slab?

Elliott: They can, if distantly.

Sadabus: Ugh! What a terrible time to be completely incompetent in the disgusting art of entangling yourself in Creation-stuff!

Semegastes: "What's the deal, Yva?"

Gailizia: "Could you at least send a cameraperson with them?"

Elliott: "I just needed to winnow the field down a little before we got to the main event. And of course, darling, the stream should start in just a minute."

Semegastes: "You winnowed… the winners?"

Elliott: A screen cracks open before the dais.

Through it, all can see the five candidates remaining at the entrance of a vast complex. The images zoom throughout, showing off the many traps, challenges, and perils that lie within — and in the furthest reach of the place, an extremely gaudy wrestling championship belt that just has GOD bedazzled on the front, rather sloppily.

Gailizia: "Did you make this with Apox? This seems his style."

Sadabus: "Oooh," says Sadabus. "Snazzy."

Elliott: "The contests will be making their way through, by whatever means they can… and Sadabus, it's an anti-magic zone. Try it this round, and you will absolutely be arrested for sports crimes."

Sadabus: "Magic! My only weakness!"

Radegesis: "I thought your weakness was burly men."

Sadabus: "No, that's my strength." :fuguechip:

Gailizia: "Bears are highly magical creatures."

Sadabus: Okay, this is a problem.

So I'm going to use a Strategy.

Yvanas has wickedly and treacherously placed my competitors into an anti-magic zone where I cannot assist them.

Fortunately, Ivan is already anti-magic!

As you know, two wrongs make a right, which is why it's okay for me to destroy the world, which is wrong.

Therefore, I can still cast spells on him even though I couldn't normally, and nobody will ever know!

Radegesis: Rad is trying to count on her fingers.

Gailizia: Is this what you're trying to accomplish with the strategy or is there more to it than that?

Sadabus: Oh, and I'm going to use that to win for either Ivan or James.

Presumably in the end they have to wrestle each other.

That's fine; survival of the fittest, literally.

Radegesis: h*t

Elliott: Sadabus, what are you doing coming to class late?

Don't you know the State Standardized Exam is today?

And you're in your underwear!

Sadabus: h*t :turnback:

Elliott: Sit down right this instant, take out a number two pencil, and solve these differential equations!

[Sadabus begins to radiate powerful (and obviously, dark) Delinquent Energy.]

Banchou Aura, activate!

Elliott: Back at the dais, Yvanas looks to Semegastes, Gailizia, and Radegesis.

"I told him. Sports crimes!"

Sadabus: Is she beating my Strategy somehow?

I'll pour more Cost into this if necessary!

Semegastes: "But non-magical intervention is perfectly legal, right?"

Elliott: No, your Strategy is safe. Your ability to enact it is somewhat hampered by this very important State Standardized Exam, Mr. Argand!

Semegastes: "If, say, some sort of fun little microscopic friend were to infest all the competitors, that would just be very fun and cool of them, right?"

Elliott: "Do you really want the werewolf to become a Power?"

Semegastes: Incidentally, Greater Stunt to do that.

"She wants to."

"So, yes."

Radegesis: Oh, man, because Rad's feelings weren't complicated enough.

Elliott: I'm gonna call for a Steel alongside that, because I'm a bastard, and your colony is already cut in half.

Semegastes: That's very fair.

Radegesis: "So long as it isn't Scalbrand, I guess."

Sadabus: I sit on the floor.

There's nothing Yvanas can do about it.

I'm free.

Semegastes: I'll take 5 Wear, and Decisive Action my support for Slab.

Elliott: Now you're just sitting on the floor in the classroom, Sadabus!

And the clock is ticking!


Sadabus: I take off my shoes and socks, sit on the floor, and suck my toes.

Semegastes: O_O

Gailizia: uh

Elliott: :spotwitness:

Except give us no additional details.

Sadabus: Now it's time for me to sing a song.

Gailizia: Okay, yeah; I'm definitely destroying your boys now.


I got one sock!
Lookin' for the other.
One sock!
Lookin' for it's brother.

Radegesis: I will lend all possible aid to those who wish to destroy these boys.


When I find that sock!
I tell you what I'll do.
I'll put it on my foot
and I'll stick it in my shoe!

Semegastes: "Is this Sadabus'… true form?"

Gailizia: "I never knew he was… into that."

Radegesis: Wait! I'm immune!

Greater Stunt of Untouchable to not have to see this shit.

Sadabus: Y'all just don't have the sophistication to appreciate my S-tier referencing game.

Elliott: "I feel like the world is slightly wronger now than before."

Semegastes: Anyway, any competitor other than Slab is getting a stream of thoughts telling them to go the wrong direction.

Sadabus: Sadabus places his socks on his ears. "How's this?"

Elliott: Incidentally, the candidates are already on the run!

Gailizia: Gailizia Steels herself and ignores Sadabus.

5 Wear, +1 XP

Elliott: I guess it must have started at some point during… that?

Theme music:

Sadabus: Meanwhile, I use fire and lightning to destroy all the bits of Semegastes that attempt to infect my boys.

Since Yvanas's dread power is clearly broken by the top-tier Wayside School reference that you all failed to catch.

Elliott: But how? You're here, in the classroom.

Taking this test.

This very



important test.

Sadabus: I'm clearly not taking the test! Stop trying to make it happen!

Radegesis: Wizard qualification test! Fail this and you're not a wizard!


Sadabus: Fools!

[Sadabus uses TALENT.] :fuguechip:

The test is instantly passed with flying colors!

Gailizia: Gailizia sits down and pulls out a therapeutic tea set, pouring out a cup.

"At the start of the show, you asked us what betrayal was, Yva. Would you like to see a betrayal?" :spotreaction:

Sadabus: Ahahahahaha! Ahahahahaha!

[Sadabus blazes up, incidentally returning to his proper wizardly robes via Costumery.]

Elliott: "I know you're playing me," Yva says, lifting a tea cup to her lips. "But you know what? I really would."

Sadabus: "No more pencils! No more books! No more of Yvanas' sassy looks."

Oh, and I teleport James into the center of the maze, just because I can.

Elliott: Unfortunately, you can't.

Sadabus: …do you want me to get out the socks again?

Elliott: It is still an anti-magic zone! Your Strategy is not valid on James' behalf.

Sadabus: He is near to the anti-anti-magic field.

Gailizia: "Oh, the question of who I'm betraying is much messier than I think you know."

She watches the screen, picking at some bit of hair or fuzz on her lip.

"Scallona has a way of surprising you, doesn't it? I made it that body myself for a very special reason. I don't intend on putting it to waste."

The hand holding her teacup shakes a little with the exertion of her miracle.

[Gailizia is using a Greater Ignition with Scallona to win the prize. 5 Immersion, +1 XP.]

Elliott: :spotreckoning:

Radegesis: :spotreckoning: x2 combo!

Elliott: What does Scallona's Ignition look like when it clinches the prize?

Sadabus: …ugh.

Stop right there!

I'll use a Greater Ignition of my own!

At least, if Elliott will ignore the fact that I had not previously claimed James as a flore.

[Sadabus prepares to hand over a heaping helping of Immersion.]

Elliott: I will allow it, for a heaping helping. And then we will have a glorious showdown between James and Scallona.

So consider this Ignition spotlit too. What does it awaken in James? What truth does it draw forth and magnify?

Sadabus: He wants, very desperately, to be someone important. To have something that's his that he didn't get from his parents. To be able to claim that, in some vague and possibly questionable sense, that he won this for himself.

I'm going to spend 15 Immersion on this, to be sure of winning.

It's madness, to tie myself so desperately to Creation-things, and all to inflict godhood on somebody…

But oh, I hate to lose.

Elliott: Gailizia?

Gailizia: To be important? To make something of his own? To win something for himself?


This body is a vessel for a hunger that precedes hunger, an intelligence that precedes thought, the undead insectile strivings of a thing which precedes living and life and the horrible and beautiful fire that burns brightly with the GLORY that is your self. You scrabble for recognition, for earning love? My hunger, mine, is an ocean vaster than all the world and an abyss deeper than Heaven's light has ever reached. My desiring could snuff out the stars and darken the sun and still I would not be sated. You speak of hunger and know nothing.


Yet here before me is the opportunity, the chance to take that fire and make it my own, to succeed where so many others have failed, burnt away by the tyrants who build their empires upon our blind and wretched unliving bones, the oath that was sworn and the destiny that was pronounced, the promise to break the order of things and make this small part of the world that is all wrong well.

Whether it takes the power or Gailizia gives it freely is an irrelevant question. They'd been bound in this endeavor since she made their oath. When she speaks, her voice is not hers alone, was never quite hers alone since that night. The crucible needs an ignition, and that ignition is in reach.

"I can't let you win, Sadabus. We need it to finish what we started."

[I will spend an additional 15 Immersion to overbid Sadabus.] :fuguechip:

Sadabus: "I won't yield." Which of them said that? Honestly it was probably James since he used a contraction.

I'll spend another 15 Immersion of my own.

No subtlety, no justifications, just hunger.

Radegesis: Rad's head snaps back and forth.

Semegastes: Slab watches, accepting being a bystander in this.

Elliott: Is this conflict's current total 30 vs 25 overall?

Gailizia: I thinnnnnnk so.

Elliott: What's Gailizia's play here? There are things that should probably happen in this context, but if y'all want to bidburn one another, I've got popcorn.

Sadabus: I could always just set Scalbrand on fire. That's more dramatic.

Black flame crackles in James' hands as his polo shirt pops upwards into a wizard collar.

Gailizia: Gailizia looks at Sadabus, eyes tearing.


[Gailizia is invoking the Wailing Rite and entering her infection state. She is spending 10 Immersion to boost her miracle, effectively spending 20.]

Sadabus: And that was how Sadabus Argand realized he was on a Bindings Arc after all.

He had dug greedily, and too deep.

Meanwhile, James, unaware that Sadabus has lost heart, sets Scalbrand on fire with intent to destroy.

Gailizia: Hmmm.


To be frank, this is a moment in which "Scalbrand kills James" is, IMO, on the table.

But i don't know that that's something we actually want.

Sadabus: Yeah, I'm down with it.

Radegesis: I'm not super against it, but i feel that there are other possibilities?

Gailizia: Mhm.

Elliott: What did you have in mind?

Gailizia: I think the easiest is just that, he does that — but Scalbrand's actions can contend with miracles right now, and he has nothing on that without Sadabus, so it just sorta… brushes him aside. with the force of a bear person.

Radegesis: But at least a fluffy one!

Gailizia: He's hurt but still alive, and Sadabus is responsible for part of it.

Elliott: I can see that.

Gailizia: Is that something you're interested in, Rand?

Sadabus: Or you could kill him, and I could reanimate him as a mummy or something.

I dunno, it's less dramatic.

Gailizia: I feel like an easy reanimation would be cheap.

Elliott: I feel like if Gailizia kills him this deep in the Wailing Rite, there's not going to be anything left to reanimate.

Sadabus: Or he'll just become a horrible grinning Actual body.

Elliott: And even if he's alive, he's probably going to take some really profound physical and metaphysical wounds even for just being at ground zero of this.

Gailizia: Yeah, he's just a mortal, maybe wondrous.

Horrible Actual body also isn't interesting to me; it's easy in a way I think the "just killing him" is easy that doesn't quite sit right with me ATM.

I also just don't really want that tool in my toolkit!

Sadabus: Ah, well. Have you considered… giving up?

James stands before you, without miraculous power but with plenty of stupid determination.

Radegesis: What's Gailizia's destruction again?

Gailizia: She takes your face and person-ness.

Sadabus: He lacks the common sense to turn aside from his course merely in order to avoid getting killed.

Gailizia: You underestimate how close she is to ripping Sadabus apart with bears right now.

Sadabus: That won't actually move her any closer to her goal, since Sadabus is no longer opposing her!

All that stands between you and success is one fragile mortal!

Radegesis: Hmm.

Elliott: So…

As it stands right now:

Gailizia has the momentum as the bloodier participant, she's in infection state, and James doesn't have an effective counter.

If you've got a specific play for James, that needs to happen here.

Sadabus: Yeah, she's effectively firmly in the lead, and my only possible response is to make weakness my weapon.

In spite of the odds, James won't turn aside unless Scalbrand employs violence.

So… what's your move?

I do not object as a player if this scenario leads to the maiming or death of my evil intern.

Radegesis: I mean maybe it's the Rad in me talking, but knocking someone out of the way doesn't have to involve maiming or death.

Or, like, getting floofed behind a wall of suddenly-expanded Scalbrand floof.

You could infest his pockets with fluff, Scalbrand his pants, and walk him out of the way, like it tried with Rad that one time.

Sadabus: That is technically correct but not very dramatic.

Gailizia: You know what…

Gailizia: He tried to burn it.

Sadabus: I mean, if you don't want to be pushed into murder as a player, you can just say so.

Gailizia: I think I've been abundantly clear on my mixed feelings on murder, particularly in this game.

Sadabus: Oh, well, just do the floof thing, then.

Better to squish a dramatic scene than hurt your enjoyment of the game.

Gailizia: Elliott, what would the Immersion cost be in just ignoring any fire?

Elliott: Probably not too much? Maybe 3 or 4?

Gailizia: I'll go with 3.

Scalbrand just ignores it. James is nothing.

3 Immersion, 1 XP.

Elliott: Scalbrand powers past, the spark of its nascent selfhood driving it as it lays its hand upon the belt.

The world goes white.


You all are no longer in the world, but you know — intellectually, at least — that the ripples of the miraculous energy shed in this conflict will certainly muddy the waters.

Yvanas kneels down in this white void, reaching out a hand for anyone who will take it as she begins to retch up something hideous.

Sadabus: Uul, this is no way to behave.

Gailizia: Gailizia takes it, her grasp thoughtlessly firm.

[Sadabus is really just guessing, but whatever.]

Elliott: It takes five long, sputtering attempts for her to heave it from herself: A gruesome, slug-like thing, dark blue and barbed… and on each barb, a tiny drop of blood, flesh, and viscera.

Semegastes: Semegastes — in this place, they are in their Costumery, not any borrowed body — reaches out a hand to pat Yvanas on the back, encouragingly.

Sadabus: Sadabus takes the stance of someone who's prepared to start zapping things if necessary, even if nobody else is.

Or is somebody going to adopt this parasite, too?

Radegesis: I'm 50/50.

Gailizia: What are we looking at? Gailizia is skipping the pleasantries; she's in no mood for them.

Greater Investigation, 2 Fugue

Radegesis: I've saved one last spotlight for this! :spotreckoning:

Elliott: The slug-like creature slowly rises up, as if to stare at the Chancery with eyes it clearly doesn't have. Gailizia's rage is clean and clear, though, and it pierces through this creature. It is a Power, or a fragment of one. It feels similar to Semegastes — a being of many parts. Already, its form is beginning to sublimate into frothing particles, and whatever essence bound this piece together has already been broken.

Yvanas looks up at Gailizia, her expression like a broken doll's: "It… it had a message."

Semegastes: Semegastes cups its dissolving body in their hands, cradling the wretched thing in some vain hope that they might hold it together.

Sadabus: "Apparently we are going to adopt the spiny parasite," Sadabus sighs to himself.

"Thank Harumaph I've moved out."

Gailizia: Gailizia lashes out and destroys the Power. They'll be fine, she's sure, but she wants them to sting for it. Let them feel ill-fit in their own body for a little while.

2 Burn

Elliott: It burns. It sizzles. You feel a brief vibration as your power surges through it, down whatever unseen string connects it to the rest of itself.

When Yvanas speaks, her voice is shaken and small:

"It wanted me to ask… how much of your blood you just spent on something that was already yours?"

Semegastes: The suddenness of the Power's destruction, the final question… Semegastes can't say why, but it's just. Enough.

They break down sobbing, looking intently at their hands.

Sadabus: Sadabus checks his programming for a subroutine that's emotionally useful in this circumstance, and fails to find one.

His "evil wizard" Eide just doesn't have an answer to this one.

Semegastes: It's extremely ugly crying.

Gailizia: Gailizia slumps down next to and against Yvana.

"We were kinda stupid today, weren't we?", she says weakly, tired.

Sadabus: James passes Semegastes his pocket handkerchief, possibly the first useful thing he has ever done in his life.

Semegastes: James' handkerchief is quickly filled with snot and falling stars.

you break down and just can’t keep doing this.

Elliott: The whiteness brightens, and the world is full of the sound of cicadas.

Sadabus: "It's okay, ma'am," he says. "It's celebrity snot."

Elliott: The distinction between things finally disappears.

We all know that when the curtain lifts again, it will be on the world — on the station and the Chancery, their anchors and their enemies. It will be on Eintz, Dara, and Kolme County, and all the people who dwell therein.

We know this.

But tonight.

The curtain doesn't drop. :fuguechip:

The whiteness just dims, and the sound of cicadas grows dull, and we exit back into the vagueness between moments.

Sadabus: PS: while they're all doing this I drag James into the basement and hook him up to the basement Imperator.

Elliott: Nope sorry we were already in the dimming whiteness~

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