First Story - Denial

<Hollyhock God> Life in Locus Praxael has been unpleasant lately.

<Hollyhock God> I won't repeat the exact sequence of events, since I doubt any of you will ever forget them.

<Hollyhock God> Most of you have been very busy with the things that had to be done: funerary rites, breaking the news to the Chancelfolk, sending out messages to the Council and your peers.

<Hollyhock God> Now the funeral, which was as complex and sad an affair as the Angel of Death could design, has ended.

<Hollyhock God> It is time for yet another ritual: the reading of the Will.

<Hollyhock God> You didn't know that Praxael had a Will until he died and it suddenly turned up, but that's clearly what it is.

<Hollyhock God> It insisted that it be read after the funeral, and as a result you scheduled a small ceremony with just a few representatives.

<Hollyhock God> …where did you decide to hold this function, again?

<Grayson> I offered the Tower of Fog and Smoke, which can guarantee us privacy

<Immanuel> I offered the very deepest hall in the Vault of Ashes.

<Hollyhock God> What's the consensus here?

<Immanuel> Of course, we could compromise and meet at Locus Praxael's heart.

<Miranda> I argued for the Campanile of St. Mark's.

<Dreams> Mmmm. I would agree with the realm's heart. It seems fitting.

<Grayson> That would be acceptable

<Miranda> The heart it is.

<Hollyhock God> Okay, but what *is* the Realm's Heart?

<Immanuel> Hmm.

<Immanuel> I figure it's either a) the Doge's palace or b) St Mark's Piazza.

<Dreams> (What's the rundown of our Estates again?)

<Hollyhock God> I guess it can be in St. Mark's, for simplicity.

<Grayson> Agreed.

<Dreams> (Also, what have we decided about our chancel? I'm hearing a lot of place names dropped here.)

<Commerce> Piazza San Praxael?

<Hollyhock God> The Chancel is magic Venice.

  • Immanuel is now known as Immanuel_Fire

<Dreams> (Aha.)

  • Grayson is now known as Grayson_Secrets
  • Miranda is now known as Miranda_Shields

<Hollyhock God> Noooooooo!

<Hollyhock God> Yet more find/replace for my logs!

  • HollyhockGod returns to doleful matters.
  • Immanuel is an Agent of Chaos.

<Hollyhock God> While I discuss matters of estate planning, please consider what you're wearing.

<Grayson> (The Tower of Fog and Smoke is my hidden office building/spy lair.)

<Hollyhock God> The first guest to arrive is the Power of Death, but she has little to say. You can sense her embarassment; clearly she had to be here, but she feels she has little to contribute that anyone would want to hear.

<Immanuel> Hmm. Yes, I think the top floor of the Campanile is probably the heart.

<Dreams> (Dreams hasn't spent much time in the chancel in the past decade or more, so didn't really have any specific suggestions when he came in for the funeral: hence the Heart.)

<Commerce> I give Death a little wave. "So, do you know what's happening with this Will? I'm not sure if that falls under Death, or if it's more a matter of Law."

<Miranda> (Possibly the Piazza itself for the heart proper, but not as good for a meeting. So we're at least heart-adjacent)

  • Grayson wears an immaculately tailored tuxedo, every part of it black. Barely visible shapes flit around him; presumably secrets given form.

<Dreams> "Some things are more than one thing."

<Hollyhock God> "It's out of my hands," she tells you, raising her heavy black hood (not her usual wear at all) for a moment. "Of course, an Imperator's death is usually out of my hands, but… no. I'm sorry."

<Commerce> "Welp."

<Commerce> "Let's get to reading it, I suppose."

<Hollyhock God> Being Power of Death at this sort of occasion is kind of a faux pas all by itself.

  • Miranda is wearing black from head to toe, along with a black veil and gloves. Definitely in mourning. She daubs her eyes with a small black cloth.

<Dreams> ("This is all YOUR FAULT!")

  • Immanuel is wearing a black suit, with a dark red tie that glows like a dying ember. His face is a stone mask.

<Hollyhock God> The next group of guests are the representatives of Heaven, the Powers of Matiel, with whom you frequently collaborated on various tasks set by Praxael.

  • Dreams is wearing an elegantly simple black suit, and surrounded by little floating symbols that probably are meant to convey an extreme mixture of emotions, but don't do it very clearly.
  • Immanuel mutters to himself, "Another thing of Beauty passes from the world."

<Hollyhock God> Noel Kingleon, Power of Lightning; Rhys Bellamant, Power of the Sun, and Whitsunday Fine, Power of Light. They're all so suffused with the brightness of their Estates that wearing black would look ridiculous, so they compromised on grey linen suits.

  • Commerce is attired in a fine tuxedo hand-tailored from threads of night, accented by a crimson bowtie. It's a bit too stylish for the sad occasion.

<Hollyhock God> They're eager to express their condolences, Rhys with open-armed embraces; the others with more restrained sympathies. This is about as nice as Duchess Fine has ever been to you; she's a known hard-liner.

<Hollyhock God> Possibly she'll never be quite so friendly again.

  • KreenWarrior (||M_sirhC) has joined #lastmiracle

<KreenWarrior> hey

  • KreenWarrior is now known as Henry_Ambition

<Hollyhock God> I think I'll just let the rest of the Nobles in attendance speak for themselves when they feel the need; no sense in doing an introduction for everybody.

  • Dreams returns embraces with embraces, and restrained condolences with restrained gratitude.

<Hollyhock God> Suffice it to say that you have about a dozen Powers of various affiliations in attendance for the reading of the Will.

  • Grayson greets the Powers. Something about the way the shadows flit around his shoulders seems designed to make them vaguely uncomfortable; whose secrets are those he's keeping so close to him at this moment?

<Hollyhock God> But it would be tactless not to mention the presence of the final attendee.

  • Immanuel stiffly embraces the Duchess of Light, shakes hands with Sun and Lightning.

<Henry> (So we're at the funeral/Will reading?)

<Dreams> (Yup! The latter.)

<Grayson> (Will reading, post-funeral)

<Miranda> (The funeral has been held already)

<Hollyhock God> Ananda enters after all the other guests have arrived. His apocalyptic beauty has been shrouded in heavy grey wrappings, so that you can (almost) bear to be in the room with him. He represents the Council of Four in this matter.

<Grayson> (At the heart of the chancel, St. Mark's Piazza)

<Hollyhock God> Who is presiding over this ceremony?

<Miranda> Presumably the will had an Executor. As none of us knew about it prior to…. the event, I'm guessing that makes it Grayson.

<Immanuel> Assuming it was not Death.

<Dreams> "It's a distribution of Praxael's worldly things, yes? Commerce?"

<Henry> Henry is dressed sombrely, and greets the other Powers there warmly. But he seems to be holding something of himself back.

<Dreams> (Assuming this is an aside earlier)

<Hollyhock God> It's not a will. It's a Will. It's a self-executing document.

<Dreams> (And not quibbling over… aha.)

<Grayson> It's a revelation of Secrets.

<Immanuel> Hmm, then the Will itself is an act of Will.

<Hollyhock God> I suppose it's a moot point since the actual reading will be handled by the document itself.

<Commerce> "It's not quite Commerce. More of a Bequeathing, or maybe a Gift. Maybe I could fit it in at the fuzzy edges…"

<Immanuel> Does it require an executor? It would seem to be the very expression of our dead Lord's desires.

<Hollyhock God> Expressions of Imperial will do in fact tend to work like that, although they don't usually take the form of legal verbiage.

<Dreams> "I believe the Will may render the point moot."

<Hollyhock God> Still, I suppose it's natural for the Angel of Commerce.

<Commerce> (Shit, guys, I've gotta disappear for the next half-hour or so)

<Hollyhock God> The will clears its throat and speaks in Praxael's voice, cutting off the voices of the gathered Nobility.

<Miranda> (OK, then probably not Commerce.)

<Dreams> (Curse you, Summonable!)

<Hollyhock God> "Beloved of Creation, I, Praxael, born of Heaven, have gathered you here today to hear this expression of my dying instructions."

<Grayson> (what does the Will look like?)

<Hollyhock God> "That you have arrived here to listen to these words indicates that I have fallen."

<Dreams> (Giant glowing document floating in the air?)

<Immanuel> (With words of Fire, no doubt)

<Hollyhock God> (It's a long scroll rolled between two wooden rolling-things, like pictures from Bible stories. With the usual magical accompaniments.)

<Henry> (does it come with cherubs?)

<Hollyhock God> (That just sounds tacky.)

<Immanuel> (I think we're the cherubs)

<Hollyhock God> "Yet you must not grieve, for my spirit lives on in those I chose to carry it. Unless they are also dead, in which case, disregard this."

<Hollyhock God> "Here are my instructions, to be carried out with the strictest fidelity:"

<Dreams> The symbols around Dreams flicker: and he tries to hide a smile.

<Hollyhock God> "First, that the Estates that came into being with me belong after my death to those to whom I bestowed them and that none shall question their right to hold them in my absence."

  • Immanuel looks away; he begins to smolder.

<Henry> Henry looks a little surprised that havnig his Estate stripped was a possibility.

<Hollyhock God> "Second, that the Chancel I built upon the Earth is theirs in common, to belong to them jointly so long as it endures. I further instruct that they should remain in residence there for not less than a century after the hour of my death, as Heaven reckons time."

<Henry> "…"

<Grayson> The indistinct shapes that had been flitting around Grayson slowly begin to settle on and then into his shoulders.

  • Dreams doesn't outright frown, but his smile vanishes.

<Hollyhock God> "Third, I bestow upon each of them a one-seventh share of those material goods I own, to be divided amongst them as they so choose."

<Hollyhock God> "Fourth…"

<Hollyhock God> At this point, the voice begins to lose a certain amount of its clarity, as though Praxael had started off with very clear intentions and had then come back later to add one-off bequests, specific instructions about vaguely relevant matters, and the like.

<Hollyhock God> It trails off a bit and becomes quiet enough that you can speak and be heard.

<Hollyhock God> (I don't know that anybody necessarily wants to hear me read the whole thing.)

<Immanuel> (Just mention the salient points?)

<Dreams> (I don't know that we would interrupt it even if there were opportunities to do so, but yeah, you can skim ahead unless it has any dramatic revelations to impart.)

<Hollyhock God> (And also I shall gleefully invent addition instructions and bequests that you'll have to carry out when it suits me.)

<Miranda> would never dream of disrespecting her imperator by chattering away during the reading of her Imperator's will.

  • Immanuel looks at Rhys and Fine, his comrades-in-shining-arms, with a downcast expession

<Hollyhock God> Eventually, the Will concludes "…and other bequests as written in the sub-appendices," and finishes speaking.

<Dreams> (So some of the Will is dreamlike in that we forget all about it until it becomes suddenly relevant? Gotcha.)

<Henry> Henry might, but currently he's more thinking, "wait, can Patrael actually force me to come back and live here?"

  • Grayson looks around. Had any Powers of Hell attended this reading?

<Dreams> (Well, if the Will is an Imperial miracle, he can't force you, but it could be unpleasant to resist.)

<Hollyhock God> Mathilde Eriskdottr, Power of Logic, is a Power of Hell in attendance, but she hasn't said anything yet.

<Immanuel> (Unless you've got some kind of affliction:Lives with parents…)

<Hollyhock God> With the will reading complete, Whitsunday Fine sees her chance to speak: "I confess I'm a bit confused," she says. "Has nothing been said about the testaments of Accord?"

<Hollyhock God> "We were all extremely concerned to know what would become of them after the loss of their keeper."

<Grayson> (Do we know that Praxael was the keeper of the Accord?)

  • Immanuel gives Fine a Meaningful Look.

<Hollyhock God> (Yes, it's public knowledge. The documents are in a vault somewhere that you have a key to.)

<Immanuel> We'll keep them as we've always had. Nothing has changed.

<Grayson> "The Accord, my dear Duchess, was a material possession of the Great Angel Praxael. The Will's terms on material possessions seemed fairly clear."

<Hollyhock God> "Is the position of keeper properly regarded as a property interest?" asks the Dominus of Wealth, Remus Finn, as he leans on his cane.

<Henry> "I assume it wouldn't be practical for each of us to get a page, for example…"

<Hollyhock God> "Even if it is, can the rights of the keeper be transferred under the terms of the Accord?" asks Fine. "I confess I don't know."

<Dreams> "I suppose we shall have to consult the Accords to find out, after the proper division of his material goods has taken place."

<Dreams> "The only sure test, of course, would be making some changes and seeing if they take."

<Hollyhock God> "The Will didn't specify how they would be divided, except by mutual agreement," says Noel evenly. The implications of this, he implies, are up to you.

<Dreams> (And suddenly I realize Dreams can be a little unintentionally tactless.)

<Hollyhock God> "The possibility of that is exactly why I am concerned," the Duchess confirms.

<Commerce> "I'm sure that being Keeper of the Accords is as much property as it is privilege. I think we've got this one."

<Commerce> (Reappear!)

<Hollyhock God> "All the formal obligations of Noble society rests on the Accords. If they are handled indelicately…"

<Grayson> "I'm not sure what you're implying, Duchess Fine."

<Immanuel> We are the inheritors of his Estates, and his estate. I fail to see a source of confusion.

<Hollyhock God> "Simply consider what might happen if you abused your authority. Most of the Noble signatories would simply resign from the Accords. The miraculous machinery that maintains the Orders would halt."

<Dreams> "Rest assured, we will not do anything with the accords lightly."

<Henry> "Are you impugning our abilities, Duchess?"

<Dreams> (Partytimes!)

  • Miranda remains quiet, watching the discussion.

<Dreams> ("Resigning is no longer an option!")

<Miranda> (I think my semicolon somhow broke that apart)

<Hollyhock God> "It might take centuries to replace these agreements. It took at least that long to form the original Accords. I do not mean to insult you; I am merely being cautious."

<Dreams> "Thank you for your honesty. I certainly hope we can avoid the downfall of Noble society."

<Grayson> "Unless you can point to some alternate source of authority, I believe that at this point the proper division of responsibilities vis a vis the Accords is a matter for our Familia."

<Commerce> "I don't think her concern is wholly without merit, my honored Familia. After all, Praxael pretty much couldn't be untrustworthy at all, he was terrible at it. Eager and willing as we are to take up his responsibilities, we aren't him. Some sort of watchdog might be called for?"

<Immanuel> Do you think we are unable to maintain our beloved imperator's domain?

<Hollyhock God> Ananda speaks: "The Council of Four does not intend to interfere in the division of Praxael's property as he saw fit. However, we will be forced to take steps if it appears that the machinery of the Accords is threatened."

<Immanuel> "We shall enact his will as we always have, and with all due prudence."

<Commerce> "And there we go! Ananda, how'd you like to be the formal, um, observer of the Keeping of the Accords?"

<Miranda> "…!"

  • Grayson glares at Commerce.

<Hollyhock God> "Perhaps," Ananda muses, "the responsibility could be divided if you allowed yourselves to be adopted by other Ymera, who could act as observing forces."

  • Miranda turns to Commerce in shock.
  • Immanuel huffs, and smokes slightly.

<Grayson> "I'm sure the honored Councilman has far more pressing responsibilities than simply babysitting a task we are perfectly capable of carrying out."

<Hollyhock God> "It would also serve to protect your Estates in the event of your deaths. As it stands, an Excrucian assault in force might end any one of them."

<Immanuel> "Perhaps, in the age to come, but until then I have no intention of discarding my responsibility, Brother.

<Henry> "It seems contrary to Praxael's wishes for us to divided amongst other Imperators."

  • Grayson nods at Henry.

<Immanuel> "Indeed, his Will was quite clear."

<Grayson> "While I appreciate the offer, we are a Familia and this is our Chancel. We have no intention of forsaking eother for any other."

<Hollyhock God> "Is that Praxael's will or your own?" Ananda wonders. "You could easily join another Familia and remain in residence here. One might almost call it selfish to do otherwise."

<Dreams> "Your point is an excellent one, Lord of Expectations, but clearly a matter that will require some extended discussion amongst us, and this is not the time and place to do so."

<Immanuel> "We will do as He wished, which was to preserve our Domains, and His chancel."

<Grayson> "If an Excrucian should mount an assault on one of our domains so formidable that our combined might could not beat it back, I am sure the many Powers loyal to the War would be happy to help us regardless of familial allegiance."

<Dreams> (Let's stop arguing with the source of all Murder, gentlemen!)

<Henry> (heh)

<Grayson> (I'm arguing politely!)

<Hollyhock God> Ananda shrugs somewhere under his veils. "I see no profit in attempting to force you."

  • Miranda finally stands to speak.

<Dreams> (Wait, I forgot, Shields is supposed to be the sensible one!)

<Dreams> (I'm the irresponsible older brother!)

<Miranda> "Gentlebeings. Honored guests. I believe we can agree that our esteemed Imperator's passing has left a hole that will be difficult, even impossible to fill. Our future is clouded with uncertainty, and many matters remain to be determined. However, this is not a forum for deliberation, but for the formal airing of His final wishes. Now that this portion of the ceremony has concluded, the Familia would like to invite you to a reception in the palace. Refreshments will be served."

<Hollyhock God> Nobody is pleased with this, but what can they do?

  • Dreams visibly relaxes now that someone else has clearly taken up the mantle of 'responsible one'.
  • Grayson falls into step beside Miranda.
  • Immanuel composes himself, and ceases smoking.

<Hollyhock God> The scene transitions to a reception at the palace.

<Grayson> "Thanks for that. Ananda freaks me out. He glows with secrets brighter than the sun, and I dare not touch them."

  • Miranda is obviously very choked up about all of this, but *someone* had to stop things before we got steamrollered by the Lord of Infinite Murder.
  • Commerce constrains bashfulness behind his sunglasses - apparently "Make nice with Ananda" isn't the best plan ever.

<Hollyhock God> Miranda finds Lightning standing beside her, although she didn't see Noel move.

  • Immanuel wishes Ananda would go back to the future or whatever it is he's supposed to be managing.

<Hollyhock God> "I think you're right not to make any decisions yet," he tells you. "You're in no shape to make any big changes."

<Grayson> (Speaking of glowing with secrets… Grayson glances around the room using the Sight. Of course all Powers have their share of secrets, but other than Ananda is there anything that particularly catches his eye?)

  • Dreams tries, at the reception, to catch some hor dourves, as they keep slipping away from him. He glowers, focuses for a moment, and they cease to do so.

<Hollyhock God> Nobody here has any secrets whatsoever. They gleam with the brightly burnished shine of an untroubled conscience.

<KreenWarrior> (That's just weird!)

<Hollyhock God> Actually wresting secrets out of a Noble is going to mean miraculous combat.

<Grayson> True.

  • Miranda looks to her left with a bit of surprise, rolling her eyes a tiny bit with recognition. "And what shape, exactly, is it that you imagine us to be in?" she says, to, frankly, a perfectly sensible statement she would have agreed with immediately, had it come from a non-asshole source.
  • Dreams has something a bit of a secret, not a particularly dirty one but a cherished one, that he's been deliberating on since the whole 'residency' thing.
  • Immanuel mingles with the Sun and Light. Mostly Sun; he gets along well with Rhys but has always had a tense relationship with Duchess Fine.

<Hollyhock God> "You're in shock," he tells you. "Even if I didn't know it from context, I can see it written in your neurochemistry. It's in your posture, and in the way you hold your body. Everywhere, really."

  • Grayson strolls over to Dreams.

<Hollyhock God> Duchess Fine is mildly furious, but this is perfectly normal behavior for her.

<Grayson> "Even in these dark times, it is good to see you again, Brother. How goes your home in the mortal world?"

  • Immanuel rolls his eyes at Fine.
  • Immanuel smirks.

<Miranda> "Your perceptivenss is duly noted."

<Commerce> "Ah, my Lady Fine, you're looking, dare I say, fine tonight?"

<Immanuel> "Perhaps you should lighten up. It is only a funeral."

  • Commerce sidles up between the Duchess and Miranda, hoping to take the brunt of Light's attention off his sister.

<Hollyhock God> Fine radiates disapproval, but she can't rip your eyeballs out at your own Imperator's wake.

<Dreams> "Well enough. In truth, my duties and projects kept me from it more than I would like, and I can't imagine that will change much even if my official place of residence is here. And one is entitled to the occasional vacation."

<Hollyhock God> Lightning shrugs. "It's perfectly natural, after all. You don't have to pretend that you shouldn't care."

<Hollyhock God> Commerce, around this time, is sidelined by Uncertainty, a lithe young woman in a deep purple gown.

<KreenWarrior> Henry goes to find the bar, if there is one

<Hollyhock God> "What's going to happen?" she asks you. "Obviously you don't know, but I want to hear what you think."

  • Dreams decides to steer his conversation with Secrets in the direction of the bar as well.

<Dreams> "And you, brother? It's been so long, and I apologize for that. I meant to visit."

<Dreams> "I suspect Shields isn't even speaking with me."

<Grayson> "As exciting as always. And Miranda will come around."

<Hollyhock God> Is anybody going to try and stop Immanuel from provoking the Duchess into an impromptu incineration?

  • Immanuel turns from Fine to Rhys.

<Hollyhock God> I should mention that from what you know of her that will eventually happen.

  • Miranda believes herself to be annoyed by having been so easy to read. In fact, I think she's more annoyed that Lightning is being so very reasonable. "We all mourn in our own ways, Noel."

<Grayson> "If you haven't yet reestablished a residence her in fair Venice, you're welcome to stay at the Tower of Fog and Smoke."

<Immanuel> "So, how that's whole shining in the darkness thing going?"

<Miranda> Damn, the /me command strips out the quotation marks?

<Commerce> "Ah, Uncertainty, so good to see you, shame it couldn't come at a better time, and all that. I think this will all turn out…well, amenably. Certainly a bit brighter than everyone else seems to anticipate."

<Miranda> (OOC, is there a better notation for combined action/speech?)

<KreenWarrior> (Where are we right now, anyways?)

<KreenWarrior> (Chancel or Earth?)

<Grayson> (The best way is probably just to split them up.)

<Grayson> (Chancel.)

<Hollyhock God> "I wasn't judging you," he tells you. "That would be less than pointless."

<Immanuel> (Quotes for speech? "Good for you," he said wryly.)

<KreenWarrior> (Did we decide on what the Chancel was exactly?)

<Dreams> "I appreciate the offer, but imagine my presence might prove disruptive to your lodgings. I can arrange something. If Praxael did put the weight of an imperial miracle behind us establishing residency here, I imagine it will prove almost suspiciously easy."

<Immanuel> (We're in the Doge's Palace, in Magic Venice.)

<KreenWarrior> (Gotcha.)

<Hollyhock God> "The sun continues to shine," Rhys tells Immanuel. He remains unmoved by Immanuel's rudeness, and possibly hasn't even noticed it.

<Grayson> "True enough."

<Immanuel> (To be fair, I've only been rude to Fine.)

<Hollyhock God> In your experience, being rude to Rhys pretty much resembles swearing at the Sun. It won't notice or care.

  • Immanuel sips at a rum and coke.

<Immanuel> "You know, I've always felt Light to be a bit unnecessary, between Fire and the Sun."

<Hollyhock God> I really need to stop trying to maintain three conversations at once.

<KreenWarrior> Henry decides to interrupt the potential conflagration. He takes a pair of drinks over, offering one to Immanuel before realizing he had one already. "Well met, brother. It has been some time."

<Immanuel> (I am an agent of Chaos.)

<Grayson> "Now perhaps I should head off an altercation between our more excitable brother and the Duchess of Having a Stick Up Your Ass."

<Commerce> (Take them one-by-one?)

  • Dreams knocks back a gin and tonic.

<Dreams> "Most sagacious. I'll assist."

<Miranda> (Seemed to be going reasonably well, actually.)

  • Immanuel grabs the other drink and consumes it, glass and all.
  • Grayson waves a hand at the bartender, who suddenly remembers a quite rare bottle of whiskey hidden in the counter and pours out two generous helpings.

<Hollyhock God> "Is that so?" asks Whitsunday Fine.

  • Immanuel used a level 3 Persona miracle to allow him to safely consume the glass.

<Grayson> (That was a Creation of Secrets on the mortal bartender.)

  • Grayson takes one and brings the other to the Duchess.
  • Immanuel turns to his Brother Ambition, rather than respond to Fine.

<Grayson> "Duchess Fine. May I say you look lovely in that suit? I don't know whether you've met my brother, Dreams?"

<Hollyhock God> She demurely brushes a few motes of dust off her dress. Rhys, recognizing this as the prelude to hideous miraculous assault, wraps a restraining arm around her. "Please remember he's bereaved," he tells her.

<Immanuel> "Yes, it has."

<Hollyhock God> Or wait, I did say she was wearing a suit, didn't I?

<Immanuel> (Mandatory costume change between scenes.)

<Hollyhock God> In either case, she's furious because someone just called her Estate irrelevant and she doesn't want whiskey.

<Dreams> (How long as Immanuel been ennobled? It's possible he and Dreams haven't even met before the funeral.)

<Immanuel> (I'm supposed to be the youngest. So despite my speech of always and forever defending our Imperator's Will, I'm putting on airs.)

<KreenWarrior> Henry doesn't blink at his brother's hunger. "Now now, light is still important. Without Light, Fire and the Sun would be singularly unremarkable."

<Hollyhock God> "If you feel the need to criticize my worth," she says in perfectly enunciated tones, "perhaps you'd like to put your money where your clever mouth is."

<Hollyhock God> "Even if you have suffered a tragic loss, I will not suffer such words lightly."

<Grayson> "Duchess Fine, my brother has been intemperate in his speech, but I would like to remind you that you are a guest in our Chancel."

<Hollyhock God> "Do you often treat your guests so?"

<Hollyhock God> Lightning is forced to abandon his post at Miranda's side, suddenly appearing behind his Sister while your attention was diverted and placing a hand on her other shoulder.

<Grayson> "No, and I offer you my apologies for any insults you have suffered."

<Immanuel> "It is not a question of your worth. Merely your context. Perhaps if your context were one other than that of carrion fowl inspecting a corpse…"

<Commerce> "Lady Uncertainty, it appears a member of my Familia has accosted Light's-Regal. Would you care to make a wager on the outcome?"

<Hollyhock God> Unlike Rhys, he seems to share his Sibling's opinion of Immanuel, but he doesn't want a scene…

<Hollyhock God> "I'll put seventy-five OTC on Duchess Fine," says Uncertainty, eagerly.

  • Dreams visibly stumbles a bit as he walks up, and speaks unevenly as if drunk.

<Grayson> "But if any threaten to spoil this wake with open conflict, I would be forced to request that they instead vacate our Chancel."

<Immanuel> "The earth is freshly turned and already you're angling for the Accords?"

<Hollyhock God> Oh, it's way too late for that.

<Dreams> "Brother! Fire! Sorry, I'm horrible with names! We must catch up."

<Dreams> "I'm sorry I missed your commencement ceremony. You know, Actuals unleashed, end of the world, that old song."

<Hollyhock God> Fine ceases to become a localized phenomenon, evaporating outward and out of her Sibling's restraining arms.

  • Miranda so should be intervening to cool things off here. However, she's toddled off in search of Death.

<Hollyhock God> You lose track of her position instantly, as she is both a particle and a wave.

  • Immanuel's eyes start to burn, like a volcano's heart.

<Commerce> "And I'll wager a week of good dreams that she ends up with egg on her face."

<Commerce> "Metaphorically speaking, probably. Maybe not!"

<Hollyhock God> "This is assuming one-on-one, right?" Uncertainty asks.

<Miranda> Which, frankly, is not a good idea in the best of times….

<Immanuel> (Uncertainty's blessing is hardly reassuring.)

<Hollyhock God> If Immanuel wants to avoid being fileted, he should probably declare a miraculous action.

  • Immanuel_Fire smiles, his teeth shining like flashlights.

<Immanuel> Hmm.

<Immanuel> Can I remove the burning quality of light using Persona 5?

<Hollyhock God> Which light?

  • Immanuel points at Fine.

<Immanuel> That one.

<Hollyhock God> Where is she?

<Grayson> "Someone that uptight must be hiding something deep," Grayson mutters to himself, preparing a Greater Divination of Secrets.

<Immanuel> Ah.

<Hollyhock God> I'm not really sure what you're trying to do here.

<Grayson> (Me or Fire?)

<Immanuel> Render light neutered by removing its destructive capacity.

<Hollyhock God> Fire. So far, there is no burning light here.

<Immanuel> But I've had a better idea.

<Immanuel> I'm going to become a fire that consumes light instead of generating it.

<Immanuel> Or grant myself that affliction anyway

<Hollyhock God> Is that a Lesser Emulation?

<KreenWarrior> (She's not actually light, just acting like it in one facet, right?)

<Immanuel> Yes, unless you think it requires a greater miracle

<Grayson> (I'm asking my Estate to tell me what it knows about Duchess Fine)

<Immanuel> Or it could be a level 5 miracle.

<Hollyhock God> Duchess Fine secretly thinks that beating up the Power of Fire will serve no useful purpose, but she plans to do it anyway.

<Immanuel> If I'm removing the quality that allows it do so.

<Dreams> "THAT IS ENOUGH."

<Dreams> "There is a time and place for duels, and the reception sacralizing OUR IMPERATOR'S DEATH is NOT THE PLACE."

<Hollyhock God> Declare that it was all a dream!

  • Dreams uses a ghost miracle of Dreams to create a sudden lurching sensation that draws attention to him.

<Dreams> "If you kids don't stop this, I will PULL THIS REALITY OVER."

<KreenWarrior> "Perhaps we can postpone this for a more appropriate time or place?"

<Grayson> (No deeper secrets about her past or whether she engages in any activities she wouldn't want her Familia to know about? That's what I'm really looking for. which is an act of miraculous combat she can defend against, of course.)

<Dreams> (Actually, Auctoritas Magister, that's still a five foot radius, yeah?)

<Hollyhock God> Fine temporarily localizes, still furious.

<Hollyhock God> Nobody has raised an Auctoritas Magister yet.

<Hollyhock God> Also, I don't really have any secrets planned for Fine, so I'm not sure how to respond when you ask me for some.

<Immanuel> (Oh, it's not automatic now?)

<Grayson> Fair enough.

<Immanuel> (She's Light. She's an open book!)

<Dreams> (Yeah, but I'm considering it if it will make miraculous assaulting people nearby on anybody's parts difficult.)

<Immanuel> (This wouldn't be bad for a demonstration of miraculous combat, though…)

<Hollyhock God> "I will not stay where I'm not wanted. But I think your Sibling has aptly demonstrated why we would be ill-advised to trust your judgment unreservedly. I bid you good day. Pray I do not bid you anything further."

<Grayson> (Hmmm. 3-point discount in-Chancel, right? With 2 PMP, I could make it so she's no longer exciting, dangerous, or desirable.)

<Grayson> (Or attempt to, at least.)

  • Commerce frowns, and hands a small pouch of OTC to Uncertainty.

<Hollyhock God> With that, the Duchess nonlocalizes, this time apparently for good.

<Immanuel> (Huh. With a 3-PMP discount I could've thrown down Greater Emulations.)

<Hollyhock God> Uncertainty waves it away. "Aw, that was barely even a fight."

<KreenWarrior> (What's OTC?)

<Dreams> (Ofelli trade currency.)

<Hollyhock God> Ofeili Trade Currency.

<Dreams> (Ofelli is a world where money is sentient, and 'people' are more or less autonomic processes that move it around.)

  • Immanuel sniffs at Commerce.

<Immanuel> "I made her flee, clearly I was victorious."

<Miranda> There's no way you can spend 2 PMP on a miracle, sans Strike. It's 0,0,1, or 5+Wound in-Chancel.

<KreenWarrior> (…did I miss a Chancel-building session?)

<Hollyhock God> I'm not sure if you can get the discount for attacking her from the Chancel after she's left.

<Immanuel> Not now.

<Immanuel> I meant if it had continued.

<Grayson> (Well, yes. Now that she's gone I don't plan on doing anything)

<Immanuel> (^)

<Dreams> (Nah, that's a bit in the GWB.)

<Hollyhock God> Lightning says evenly "Yes, clearly she was completely terrified."

<Commerce> "Hey, she didn't end up embarrassed. I should be mad at you for losing me that bet!"

<Commerce> :<

<Immanuel> "You should've bet that she would flee with her tail between her legs"

<Dreams> "Fire, I will expect either a formal apology or a formal request for a duel from you to the Duchess. These enmities can't be allowed to fester."

<Hollyhock God> Miranda, having lost Noel, realizes suddenly that she's talking to Ananda.

<Grayson> (Ah, you can't do miracle level 3, then spend 1 MP, 2 MP, 4 MP, or 8 MP + a Wound?)

<Dreams> "And where the hell is Shields?"

  • Miranda has been looking for Death. But I guess Murder got in the way?

<Dreams> (Ha, I was typing that up just as the HG cut to her)

  • Immanuel takes Rhys' hand.

<Hollyhock God> "Perhaps this event has made you reconsider my words?" asks the Lord of Murder.

<Immanuel> "Do offer my condolences to your sister, this must be a trying time for her."

<Miranda> (Grayson: You can do a Level 3 miracle, and spend 1 MP, 2 MP, 4 MP, or 8 MP + Wound, but my understanding is that it is a 3 MP discount, not a 3-miracle-level discount.)

  • Immanuel gives a smug grin to Sun and Lightning and goes to join his Familia.

<Commerce> "A mild spat, milord. Surely we shouldn't let a little bit of mischief form the basis of our important legal decisions, that'd hardly be responsible, don't you think?"

<Hollyhock God> Rhys looks at Immanuel with mild concern. "I'm sorry for your loss," he tells you. "But you should realize that Fine is going to kill you."

<Grayson> (Ah.)

<Hollyhock God> Noel says to his Sibling, "Oh, don't spoil the surprise."

  • Grayson turns to Rhys.
  • Miranda bows humbly to the Lord of the Infinite.

<Immanuel> "She's more than welcome to try. At least we'll have something to talk about at the next meeting of the Illuminati."

<Immanuel> (The Illuminati being a social club for radiant Powers. Clearly.)

<Immanuel> "Well, shine on you two. And do tell the Duchess that if we tear the accords to shreds as she wished, I'll save her a semi-colon."

<Miranda> "Of course your words are always heeded; but we need time to discuss matters amongst ourselves and determine how best to proceed."

<Grayson> "I appreciate that my brother is an ass and your sister is angry, but I would suggest you attempt to talk her down from any attempts against members of my Familia. After all, we all have secrets that we would prefer not to out."

  • Dreams just puts his head in his hands.

<Miranda> (And that's our allied Chancel!)

  • Immanuel looks at Grayson, clearly wounded.

<Dreams> "Politics. Drama. This is why I left. This is exactly why we're losing this war, in fact."

  • Dreams walks off without waiting for a reply.

<KreenWarrior> "I suggest you challenge her to a formal duel. It might help clear the air."

<Immanuel> "I want her to simmer a bit. It'll make it all the more satisfying when she loses."

<Grayson> "Come, Brother Fire. What you need is a number of drinks. The bartender keeps a special bottle for me."

<Hollyhock God> Ananda shrugs again. He's good at it. "I won't expect you to know everything. But if you can't keep up at least a pretense of maturity than you will find the world ready to treat you as a child."

  • Immanuel dies down to a gentle flame, clearly pleased with himself.

<Commerce> David gives Uncertainty a look. "A thousand OTC and a year of life says that Duchess Fine is going to come out looking like an idiot by the end of this."

<Hollyhock God> "Done," Uncertainty agrees. She gives you a sidelong look. "What makes you so sure the firebrand will win?"

<Miranda> Did I say something that lacked the pretense of maturity?

<Hollyhock God> Ananda is referring to the Familia as a whole.

<Grayson> (Maybe he's speaking of our Familia in general, rather than you in particular?)

<Grayson> (Yeah.)

<Commerce> "I just like him better."

<Miranda> Ah. Well, that works. I was worried for a moment.

<Dreams> (Pretense of maturity is where she's a viking!)

<Hollyhock God> "Good enough for me," Uncertainty agrees. "I don't know that we've been introduced, have we? Rinne Murthesdaughter, here to pay my respects."

  • Immanuel is still maintaining his level 3 *fire consumes* affliction, and is using it to devour several wine bottles.
  • Dreams finds himself a drink and someone else to talk to in that order.

<Dreams> (Possibly stumbling across Miranda/Ananda or Commerce/Uncertainty if you don't want to cause another split.)

<Hollyhock God> Dreams sits down beside Will Murtheson, Power of the Wave, who is sitting vaguely at the bar, looking outward at the room without any apparent opinion on it.

<Hollyhock God> "This is heavy stuff, am I right?" Will asks you. He's a young-looking fellow who has certain stamps of age on his face. You aren't sure if that indicates wisdom or just weathering.

<Dreams> "No. It's trivial posturing. Cats hissing and spitting at each other. I can't believe I have to live with it. For a century."

<Dreams> "Or were you refering to the drink? I'm sorry. Dreams." He extends his hand.

  • Grayson hangs out at the bar with Fire, hoping to head off any further blow-ups. The bartender mixes a series of increasingly complicated drinks, each time looking at them in confusion after he finishes.

<KreenWarrior> Henry will drift over to Dreams. "Greetings, Dreams. Did you enjoy your time in the mortal realm? I found mine very pleasant."

<Hollyhock God> Will shakes your hand solemnly. "Well, kids will be kids," he says. "Even if they're grown-ups."

<Dreams> "Yes. I had thought Shields was keeping an eye on them, but don't even know where she's found herself off to."

  • Immanuel idly begins reshaping glasses with his Persona miracles, turning them into vitreous chrysanthemums and peonies.

<Hollyhock God> Will shrugs. "You can't keep people out of trouble once they decide to get into it."

<Grayson> "Immanuel, can I convince you not to engage further in this spat with Fine? We have enough to deal with right now without warring with another of Heaven's Chancels."

<Dreams> "Well. Fire is an estate that tends to consume its wielders with passion. I worry… Manny, was it? Well, we'll see."

<Immanuel> "Oh, don't worry about me. There's not much Light can do to Fire," he says, deliberately misinterpreting you.

<Dreams> "As to your question, Ambition, I've kept busy. Joy in service, yes? And you?"

<Hollyhock God> Commerce and Uncertainty find themselves mingling with the Power of Wealth, who hasn't had any lines in quite some time.

<Grayson> "I'm not worried about you. I'm worried about the time the rest of us will have to spend running around and putting out your fires."

<Hollyhock God> "Family, eh?" he asks you, and shrugs. "Can't live without 'em."

  • Dreams toys with an udi in his fingers.

<Dreams> "Apparently."

<Immanuel> "Fires put themselves out. That's the Beauty, and the tragedy of them."

<Grayson> "They put themselves out when they consume their fuel. When you fuel your fires with your life, well…"

<Commerce> Nng'Ketesh drifts over at about this point, his barbed tentacles clutching a tray of wine glasses and cheeses. A startling burble from one of his sweating pore-maws invites Commerce, Wealth, and Uncertainty to enjoy.

  • Immanuel is still working on his glass flowers.

<Commerce> "So, Wealth. Would you care to get in on a little wager between the Lady Uncertainty and myself?"

<KreenWarrior> "I have busied myself achieving mortal ambitions, to better understand them. It has been quite enjoyable."

<Hollyhock God> "Mm, I've always been up for a bit of gambling," says Wealth, "but not if it's about this spat between your young one and the Duchess. That kind of quarrel leads nowhere good."

<Commerce> "Mm. A side bet, perhaps?"

<Grayson> "But then, I suppose we both possess the self-destructive nature of our estates. You risk burning yourself out, and I surround myself with secrets that I know can't last forever."

<Dreams> "Excellent. I've been assisting other powers with flower rites here and there, the works of Laodice Ruff, Orderic, Scelto, various other Excrucians. That one thing with the Actual. Some help with the NCS. A few personal projects. It's hard to keep track of where the time goes."

<Hollyhock God> Remus raises his eyebrow at Commerce's suggestion.

<Dreams> (Noble Cartographical Society)

<Immanuel> "What's the point of a secret if you can't taunt people with them?"

<Grayson> "Are fires only good for burning people?"

<Commerce> "Is commerce worthwhile if you can't find a Starbucks?"

<Miranda> (No.)

<Immanuel> "Fire burns. This is the nature of fire. The same process that warms in winter is the process that consumes human flesh."

<Hollyhock God> (Meanwhile, Remus raps on the bar and orders black coffee.)

<Immanuel> "You might as well ask Rhys if he's only good for skin cancer."

<Grayson> "And secrets, too, have their nature. They add excitement and danger to life, they inspire desire, they demand protection, and one day, like your flames, they burn out."

<Hollyhock God> "Staring into the Sun is dangerous," admits Noel. "But Rhys doesn't going around poking himself into people's eyes."

<Hollyhock God> Rhys, meanwhile has left, probably in order to find and soothe his sister.

<Immanuel> "I could say he's always poking himself into people's eyes. If I were the contentious type."

<Hollyhock God> "You just did say that."

<Immanuel> (Noel is in the same family as Rhys and Fine, correct?)

<Hollyhock God> Yes, he is.

<Hollyhock God> "I won't argue with you, because it would be pointless."

<Immanuel> "Are you calling me contentious? No one loves the Sun more than Fire!"

<Hollyhock God> "Lady Miranda, I at least am prepared to aid your Familia in any way necessary, but please keep your pet leashed if you want it to grow to manhood."

<Grayson> "Can I buy you a drink, Noel, before my brother inspires another act of violence at this wake?"

  • Immanuel casts a Persona 1 blessing on his bouquet of glass flowers, which he has scribbled absurdly florid things on, like "I never meant to set the world on fire"

<Hollyhock God> Noel ignores Immanuel. There is a flash of lightning and quite a lot of noise, and he is gone.

<Grayson> "Probably for the best."

  • Immanuel looks around for Noel.

<Hollyhock God> The Powers of the Angel of Lights are all exceedingly good at getting places in a hurry.

<Grayson> "You bright types are awfully showy."

<Immanuel> "Harrumph. I wanted him to deliver these flowers to the Duchess!"

<Commerce> "You could hire a courier."

  • Grayson sighs.
  • Immanuel sighs as well.

<Immanuel> "Isn't that like Lightning? Never where you expect."

<Grayson> "I'm glad our conversation had such an effect on you, brother. Now, if I stroll off for a moment, can I count on you not to burn the building down?"

<Miranda> (Oh, am I right there? I thought she was neglecting the chance to intervene in favor of her unwillingness to let go…)

<Hollyhock God> I presume you're about somewhere.

<Immanuel> "I don't burn buildings down. I just allow that they could."

<Grayson> (Well, we're all presumably in the same room.)

<Grayson> (But I imagine it's quite a large room.)

<Hollyhock God> At last glance, Ananda was telling Miranda that if she doesn't want to be adopted she ought to try and stop her Siblings from acting like children.

<Hollyhock God> Possibly with the veiled threat of "or you'll be adopted forcibly."

  • Grayson looks around for the Power of Logic he had seen earlier.
  • Immanuel hands his bouquet of glowing glass flowers to Commerce.

<Immanuel> "You'll see that she gets them, won't you?"

<Hollyhock God> Mathilde has taken a seat at a table with her liqueur and is watching the commotion with gleeful interest.

  • Commerce pins them to his lapel.

<Commerce> "They look quite dapper. As long as they won't burn through my flesh and melt me to the bone."

<Hollyhock God> Am I juggling too many NPCs at once? Are people confused?

<Grayson> (I'm OK as long as you are.)

<Dreams> (Nah, although it might help to mention who is saying what to whom.)

<Immanuel> (What he said.)

<Commerce> (Ditto.)

<Immanuel> "Don't worry, they only shine. Flowers that shine in the dark for a woman whose beauty shines in the dark!"

  • Immanuel snatches the glass rose back from Commerce and scribbles that on it, before putting it back.
  • Grayson takes a seat next to Mathilde.

<KreenWarrior> (Yeah, that'd help.)

<Grayson> "Lady Eriskdottr, I wanted to thank you on behalf of my family for coming to pay your respects."

<Hollyhock God> Let me see, Grayson is moving up to Mathilde, Power of Logic. Commerce is talking to Rinne, Power of Uncertainty, and Remus, Power of Wealth, and Immanuel is in there somewhere. Dreams is at the bar with the Wave's-Regal. Miranda is still talking to Ananda as far as I know.

<Commerce> (Rinne! She has a name!)

<Dreams> (I think Ambition is with me?)

<Immanuel> (Are you sure?)

<Hollyhock God> "Oh, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," Mathilde tells Grayson. "Not with such good fun to be had."

<KreenWarrior> (I was with Dreams, yeah.)

<Dreams> (Now everyone switch dancing partners!)

<Hollyhock God> "And of course I am very sad about your loss." she adds quickly.

  • Immanuel saunters over to Wave's-Regal, and Brother Dreams.

<Immanuel> "Mmm, don't worry, I'm quite done for the moment."

<Grayson> "Yes, I can't imagine most wakes are quite this exciting. Perhaps you could offer your insight on the logic behind my brother's actions?"

<Immanuel> Turning to the Wave, "So, which is it? Is Light a particle or a wave?"

<Miranda> (I thought Ananda went and ignored her in favor of addressing the entire familia? Hm. )

<Hollyhock God> Mathilde shrugs, cackling. "Children act out when they don't know what to do. Perhaps he learned it from his Angel? Children will listen, you know."

<Hollyhock God> Will answers, "Might be either." He seems to be happy either way.

  • Grayson raises an eyebrow.

<Dreams> (I think he was speaking to her, ON the subject of the familia)

<Hollyhock God> (Ananda was talking to Miranda, about the Familia.)

<Grayson> "Were you acquainted with Praxael?"

<Dreams> "Really, Fire? Really?"

<Miranda> "Do forgive my siblings, bright lord; their pain is singularly great, and they must learn how to cope."

<KreenWarrior> "So, then, Waves, what do you think? Do you prefer to operate in the mortal world or in your Chancel?"

<Hollyhock God> "We never spoke personally," Mathilde admits. "I'm just making guesses in the wind. Can't do logic without premises, after all."

<Immanuel> "Just making conversation, Brother."

<Commerce> "Wealth, I think I've come up with a bet that might be more suited to your tastes. What do you say that we gamble on the Lord Ananda's disposition towards my Familia at the end of, say, the next year?"

<Immanuel> (to Dream) "And how are you, this fine evening? Besides beset by grief from the death of our beloved Imperator?"

<Grayson> "And I possess the premises but lack the logic. Unfortunate."

<Hollyhock God> "Oh, wow," says Will, as though this were a huge and fascinating question. "I guess I'm operating all over the world. Like, right now."

<Hollyhock God> Remus considers Commerce's offer. "And how would you settle for sure what his disposition is?"

<Hollyhock God> "I'd as soon gamble on whether you managed to tame your young drake over there, but I suppose in that case I'd rather bet to lose."

<Commerce> "Maybe we could find a third person to judge that, say, based off how he's treated us. If one or more of us is dead, then he's probably not too fond of us."

<Grayson> "Would it be rude of me to ask why you decided to attend? I don't think either of us are surprised that Hell's presence here is rather limited."

<Dreams> "Frustrated. But a bit vindicated. I see my assumptions of what I've been missing in previous family gatherings to be entirely correctly."

<KreenWarrior> "Ah, at this moment?"

<Hollyhock God> "Well," says Mathilde, "I wanted to know, didn't I? Everyone was curious about who would become the new keeper of the Accords. And won't they be ecstatic to know that it's your little brother? Eheheheheh!"

<Immanuel> "Perhaps your absence is what compelled my behavior. Fire is just destruction without a firm guiding hand, you know."

  • Immanuel raises an eyebrow at Dream.
  • Dreams pffts.

<Dreams> "Don't try to lay responsibility for your actions at my feet. You're your own person."

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, Ananda tells Shields, "Learning to cope is part of life. I know this better than anyone, after all. What, then, will you do to make it so?"

<Immanuel> "Perhaps that was an all act just to remind you how vital a cog you our in the great wheel of our Familia."

<Grayson> "Yes, this little gathering has not shown our family in the best light. Perhaps if the entire thing were kept secret…" Grayson pauses in thought for a moment. "But of course I wouldn't dream of infringing on the sanctity of my peers' minds."

<Immanuel> "I've always felt that responsibility is overrated. There are causes, and effects."

<Grayson> (I also wouldn't dream of engaging a couple of dozen Nobles plus Ananda in miraculous combat)

<Commerce> "I'd say that with a year's time, we could convince Ananda to– at the very least– think of us as responsible Powers."

<Dreams> "Well, I suppose we'll all see how well that philosophy works out for you, now, won't we?"

<Hollyhock God> "I'll drink that that," agrees Wealth. "I'll wager… let me see… I have a day somewhere. Will that do?"

<Miranda> "To be honest, I have some investigation to do, before making a decision on that point. Obviously, the current situation is neither stable nor acceptable, and a number of options will need to be examined.

  • Miranda pauses for a moment.

<Immanuel> "Can't be any worse than letting someone else take care of it."

<Miranda> "It is… the only responsible thing to do."

<Commerce> "Sounds good. Uncertainty, you want in on this?"

  • Miranda places an emphasis on the word responsible, echoing Ananda's own phrasing.

<Grayson> "I suspect within the week we'll have suggestions coming in from all directions on how to deal with the Accords. But you're here now, and isn't Logic a close cousin to law? Tell me, what would you have us do?"

<Hollyhock God> Commerce, what do you want to wager against Wealth's day?

<Hollyhock God> Given the way he refers to it, you don't think he's talking about a day of his lifespan.

<Commerce> I'd assumed it was a day against a day.

<Hollyhock God> Have you got a day? In a box somewhere?

<Hollyhock God> You can't trade things with your Gift unless you already have them.

<Dreams> "You're right. We each look after ourselves. Come. Let's go find the rest of the familia and divide the estate so we can get back to doing just that."

<Commerce> (Oh.)

<Hollyhock God> "Might be useful," Wealth muses. "I have it in a box somewhere. Could be nice to have a day on hand when you need it, to get things done in."

<Commerce> "Only a day, though, Wealth? I'll wager my memories of a whole month in Venice, right before I was enNobled. Thirty days of luxury and decadence, and it'll be just like you'd lived them all."

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, Ananda is saying "I can see that you are going to handle Praxael's affairs in your own way. I cannot take this responsibility from you, so I need not try. But I remind you that you cannot do everything yourself."

  • Miranda smiles ruefully.
  • Immanuel strolls over to Commerce and Wealth.

<Immanuel> "You know, a minute is worth an hour, if it's the right minute."

<Hollyhock God> Wealth laughs. "Luxury is a funny thing to offer Wealth. Decadence has no real value, anyway. I have no truck with such things. If you want to make a wager fun, it has to be something you'd miss."

  • Dreams follows.

<Hollyhock God> Wealth raises his cane as a barrier, warding Fire off, but he doesn't bother to look at him.

<Miranda> "A limitation of which I am all too keenly aware. Of course, your counsel is always valued, bright lord."

  • Immanuel laughs

<Immanuel> "I have all the wealth I can stand, in a pit somewhere. I speak not of lucre, but Love."

<Commerce> "Just like your Estate, aren't you? No appreciation for intangibles, or services."

<Immanuel> "Why not the memory of your first love? Or the first time you saw the sky. Something of true worth."

<Hollyhock God> Ananda's shrouded face tilts downward. "In many occasions, counsel is all that I can provide. But ask for that, if I can give nothing else."

  • Dreams decides to go find another party, and wanders over to Miranda.

<Hollyhock God> "What is Wealth if not intangible?" asks Remus. "But a night of intimacy or a plate of oysters isn't Wealth, no matter how many I've apprectiated in my time. Wealth is in the things that have lasting value."

<Immanuel> "I could not agree more."

<Immanuel> "A thing of Beauty is a joy forever."

  • Miranda avoids anything that would resemble eye-contact for the obvious reasons.

<Commerce> "What if I agreed to take on your sorrows for a year and a day, so that every misfortune you would suffer would be traded off onto me? What has more lasting value than freedom from dukkha?"

<Hollyhock God> "At that point I would begin to suspect that you were determined to make a wager no matter what it cost you, and wonder why."

  • Immanuel burns with glee.

<Hollyhock God> Remus laughs.

<KreenWarrior> Henry glances at Commerce, and takes a look at his ambition. What does he want to achieve that could help provide the material for a wager?

<KreenWarrior> (Using my Gift.

<Miranda> "Thank you for this kindness; we appreciate your wisdom, and I forsee a great need for this in the days to come."

  • Dreams gives a deeply formal namaste gesture to Ananada.

<Hollyhock God> Well, that's for Commerce to answer, isn't it?

<Immanuel> "Brother, I think you might take more care with your bargains. Who knows what suffering may befall one in a year…"

<Commerce> (David is convinced that if he can get Wealth and Uncertainty in on this, the betting will cascade outward so that every Noble present is involved in some kind of wager. Lots of opportunities to come into favor there.)

<Commerce> "Call it a measure of my confidence, Immanuel. A measure of pride. I'd rather his annual misfortune befall me than know the shame of failure here–it hardly makes my lot worse!"

  • Miranda attempts to make it though a conversation with Ananda without pissing him off or making any commitments.

<KreenWarrior> (Err, I meant Wealth actually. Bah.)

<Hollyhock God> That might be so, but Wealth seems to have an odd perspective when it comes to wagers.

<Hollyhock God> Hm, as far as you can see, Wealth has no ambitions whatsoever. He has everything he wants. Which, if you're the Power of Wealth, defined as "things with lasting value," is perhaps not so odd.

<KreenWarrior> (Hmm, too bad)

<Hollyhock God> Which might explain why he's only willing to make wagers if it would be fun.

<KreenWarrior> (I could give him a desire, but that would probably be an inappropriate level of fuckery with a guest.)

<Immanuel> (Commerce wouldn't understand. He's all about the flow of goods and services, isn't he?"

<Immanuel> (Commerce is the river, Wealth is the sea.)

<Commerce> (Commerce is the awesome fun one who makes everyone happy, Wealth is the boring old miser.)

<Hollyhock God> And Wealth would probably say that he's the one who's concerned with what really makes people happy, whereas Commerce is fixated on the immediate and the material.

<Dreams> (Commerce is the one trying to win, Wealth is the one who's already won.)

<Hollyhock God> This rivalry cannot end until seven national economies have been bankrupted.

<Immanuel> "Hmm. Just how mighty is your gift of trading?"

<Dreams> "Ananda. Miranda. May I join you?"

<Grayson> (Waiting to hear Logic's response to "I suspect within the week we'll have suggestions coming in from all directions on how to deal with the Accords. But you're here now, and isn't Logic a close cousin to law? Tell me, what would you have us do?" when you get a chance.)

<Immanuel> (Could you…make two Powers switch Estates, for a day?)

<Commerce> "I think if I tried really, really hard, I could trade Imperators."

<Dreams> (That might break the world a little.)

<Immanuel> (Never mind that.)

<Immanuel> "How about you switch Estates for a day, Remus?"

<Commerce> "Bluh?"

<Dreams> (Why would he want to do that?)

<Immanuel> "It would certainly be unforgettable."

<Immanuel> "Indeed, perhaps unprecedented."

<Grayson> (I don't think Fire is at all concerned about breaking the world a litte)

<Hollyhock God> Mathilde answers, after a lengthy pause for thought, "I think you should have a little fun with them, am I right? After all, what's the good of having to keep them if it does you no favors?"

  • Miranda shoots Dreams a dirty look.

<Commerce> "And unprecedented in consequences, I worry. Messing with Nobility never turns out well."

<Hollyhock God> Remus, who is still warding off Fire with his outstretched cane, ignores that entire end of the conversation.

  • Miranda shoots Dreams a dirty look— there's unfinished business between them. But in front of the Lord of Infinite Murder is not the place for a family spat.

<Immanuel> "The greatest deal a power has ever struck, now that is something that lasts far beyond the hour of its arrival."

<Miranda> "Of course you may, brother."

<Hollyhock God> "I think I'd sooner have a grand wager with you in the fullness of time than a petty one today," Remus decides. "I shall pay you another visit with a proper challenge when the time is right, I think."

<Grayson> "The Power of Logic, arguing for hedonism. Not what I would have expected."

<Grayson> "Not to say that I entirely disagree."

<Commerce> "Immanuel, there's a reason nations don't print their currency on flames." mocks David. But Remus's refusal saddens him– his devious master plan for the night has been upset!

<Dreams> (Pursuit of pleasure can be perfectly logical as long as you accept it as a premise.)

<Hollyhock God> "Hedonism is fun," says Mathilde demurely as she sips her drink.

<KreenWarrior> (Makes sense.)

  • Immanuel harrumphs.

<Immanuel> "Well, perhaps they should!"

<Hollyhock God> It's nearly 9PM, so I don't have time to keep going with your master plan tonight, sorry. :(

<Dreams> (Perhaps you'll make one that does!)

<Commerce> "It's beautiful, brilliant–and extremely dangerous. Not quite as convenient as folding paper."

<Hollyhock God> But you can have a grand wager in some future story, possibly involving a balloon race around the world.

<KreenWarrior> "Indeed, a little hedonism is good for the soul. Though I think Wealth takes it too far… without unfuflilled desire, there is insufficient passion."

<Miranda> …the Vulcans are the most logical race in the galaxy- when in Pon Farr.

<Immanuel> "Much like money, now that I think of it."

<Dreams> "Ananda. Just as a point of reference for when we discuss our possible options for the future: would you be willing to accept any of us that sought to join your Familia if we did decide upon the route of the Rite of Rescue?"

<Hollyhock God> I don't know if I've mentioned before that Remus is based on Scrooge McDuck, so balloon races are totally a possibility there.

<Immanuel> (Oh, God, yes.)

  • Miranda glances around, hoping she can spot Marley before she departs.

<KreenWarrior> (Awe. Some.)

<Immanuel> (Everyone's favorite Glaswegian.)

<Grayson> "It is indeed," Grayson responds to Mathilde. "Perhaps we should join my brothers, Fire and Commerce, and see what hedonism they are even now dreaming up?"

<Hollyhock God> "Ah," thinks Ananda out loud, "it would be pleasant if I could have more Dreams. But I doubt I would be… allowed."

<Dreams> "Quite understandable."

<Hollyhock God> Okay, now I'm going to let Miranda catch Marley before she leaves so we can be wrapped up by nine.

<Dreams> (Gotcha.)

<Miranda> "Our Lord did seem to indicate a desire not to see us divided."

<Immanuel> (Who's Marley?)

<Hollyhock God> The Regent of Limitations tries to slip out unobtrusively, but Death is hard to miss. Miranda catches her on the stairs.

<Dreams> (Death.)

<Miranda> "Ah. Forgive me, bright lord— I need to excuse myself for a moment."

<Hollyhock God> Marley Barliman is the Power of Death, who's been trying not to be noticed.

  • Miranda crosses to Death.

<Hollyhock God> Being Death at a funeral is gauche.

<Miranda> "Ah. Marley. I had wanted a word with you before you left."

<Immanuel> (Especially in Venice.)

<Hollyhock God> Marley removes the hood from her face and faces you.

  • Miranda takes a deep breath before asking.

<Hollyhock God> "I wish I could be more helpful," she tells you, ruefully.

  • Miranda nods, acknowledging this fact.
  • Miranda pauses for a second before proceeding with what she's been dying to ask:

<Miranda> "What actually happens to them…. when they die?"

<Hollyhock God> "A lot of things," admits Marley. "Some Imperators come back from death. That's not really my field, since I'm Death, not the Dead. True Gods frequently defy the distinction between 'alive' and 'dead.'"

<Dreams> (Also… have we established that what caused Praxael's death will be "off screen" for now, or what?)

<Hollyhock God> "But no Angel has ever returned from the grave since the world began."

<Hollyhock God> "They are… orderly creatures."

<KreenWarrior> (He tripped on a banana peel. Very embarassing)

<Hollyhock God> (Killed by Excrucians in the Spirit World in the course of the War.)

<Dreams> (Gotcha.)

<Miranda> Miranda nods, clenching a fist tightly. "Well."

<Miranda> "There's always a first time."

<Miranda> (Cut? Or even a line or two back?)

<Grayson> (I think that line is perfect for it)

<Hollyhock God> I suppose we can end it there if you like.

<Immanuel> (I was considering a drunken speech about how life comes forth from destruction but I'm sure it's not necessary)

  • You are now known as RandBrittain

<KreenWarrior> (Seems like a good line to end on.)

  • Miranda is now known as ADamiani
  • Immanuel is now known as Melum

<Rand Brittain> Hm, that got extremely talky. I'm sorry if everything was confusing.

  • Grayson is now known as Polotet

<Rand Brittain> Next week there can be EXPLOSIONS.

<KreenWarrior> Yay!

<Melum> I think it worked rather well.

<Melum> Indeed I think that's one of the strengths of playing online.

<ADamiani> Only got thrown by that one line from Ananda. Everything else was cool.

<KreenWarrior> I ran into my real life problem with parties where I just hang around people and listen to their conversations

<Rand Brittain> You can try to win at Remus' challenge while preventing Duchess Fine from murdering Immanuel.

  • Dreams is now known as Benhimself

<Rand Brittain> Her fury will make it difficult to win a balloon race around the world.

<ADamiani> You can inform Miranda about what the hell went down with Duchess Fine.

<Melum> Oh, don't worry about that.

  • ADamiani doesn't have enough cause for high-blood-pressure yet. This must be remedied.

<Melum> I'm working on my master plan to make her fall in love with me.

<Benhimself> We can inform Duchess Fine that murdering Immanuel, now that there's no imperator to replace him if he falls, is kind of tantamount to Excruciation and thus an act of treason!

<Rand Brittain> If your feud stops her from making kissy-faces with Lightning, there will be EXPLOSIONS.

<Commerce> Ooh, that's a good legal gambit

<ADamiani> Haaaaaaaaaaaaa.

<Melum> Or at least I'll profess my undying love for her.

<Commerce> "No, Fine, you are the Excrucians!"

<Rand Brittain> Maybe she'll just peel off most of his hide in that case.

<Benhimself> I have my moments.

<Melum> So even if she kills me it'll be extremely embarassing.

<Melum> Which will win Commerce his bet.

<Melum> You're welcome.

<Polotet> Do you want to be hurled before Lord Entropy's court? ;)

<ADamiani> Oh! I need a chance to talk with Commerce.

<Benhimself> I'm curious: what other material goods does Praxael have besides the Accords?

<Benhimself> "You must divide this one object between you seven ways."

<Melum> My Vault of Ashes.

<Melum> How does one divide an apple evenly? By turning it into applesauce.

<Commerce> Can you not just…cut it into seven slices?

<ADamiani> I want to buy rights of first refusal with a 30 day window to conclude on all offers to betray the family and/or be adopted by another familia.

<Polotet> …you're not allowed to burn the Accords and divide the ashes into even piles.

<Melum> We'll see about that.

<Melum> And yes.

<Commerce> We'd have to get the whole Familia to consent to that, but I could arrange it.

<Melum> I shall go before the Locust Court.

<Commerce> Although I'm not sure that you actually need me for that.

<Melum> To prove my bythewayfalse love for her.

<Benhimself> And what are you buying these rights with?

<Rand Brittain> Doubtless the property will continue to come up as you deal with subclauses like "And I direct that you return to Lucifer the rake I borrowed from him shortly before he was thrown into Hell."

<ADamiani> No. You. Your Affliction. About being loyal except if bought?

<ADamiani> This is about ensuring nobody buys you out without us knowing about i.

<Rand Brittain> Can't you just buy Commerce's unwavering loyalty with your own unwavering loyalty?

<ADamiani> Oh, I'm not buying his unwavering loyalty.

<ADamiani> Just the right to try to outbid whoever comes up with the clever scheme of buying him, first.

<Rand Brittain> You seem to have unwavering loyalty, so it would be treacherous not to get something out of him for it.

<Benhimself> Just the right to make counteroffers.

<Commerce> Oh, just on me? Yeah, that'd probably meet the Affliction's demands.

<Rand Brittain> I mean, God, giving something to Commerce and not accepting something in return? That's downright offensive.

  • Commerce is now known as TheDementedOne

<ADamiani> Kind of exactly what I'm thinking!

<ADamiani> I mean, OOC, I'd hate to do something that would totally nullify his cool Afflictions with regard to loyalty-for-sale.

<Rand Brittain> Use his Afflictions against him ruthlessly!

<Rand Brittain> It's what they're for.

<Benhimself> He'll get MP!

<The Demented One> Hey, it's there to be exploited!

<ADamiani> I figured it was to be used against us!

<The Demented One> If the exploitation maximizes team unity, even better!

<Melum> You better make sure she gets my flowers.

<Rand Brittain> Commerce loves being commoditized.

<ADamiani> I figure it's cool to use them to purchase some defense to stall, so the issue comes when someone makes an offer we can't match— rather than the first guy to slip him fifty bucks.

<Melum> That's step one in my illicit romance.

<The Demented One> Yessir!

<The Demented One> I'll see if Nng'Ketesh can deliver them

<ADamiani> My step one was writing it on my character sheet. Secrets outbid me, so his first step was putting it on his lifemap.

<Melum> An…unspeakable horror may not be the best delivery mechanism for proclamations of love.

<Rand Brittain> Anyway, we seem to be doing well with regard to NPCs. Miranda has a thing with Lightning, David has some chemistry with Uncertainty and Wealth, Secrets and Logic are in cahoots, Dreams has found someone to complain to, and Fire has made an enemy of everybody.

<Melum> Pffshaw.

<Melum> Me and Sun get along great!

<ADamiani> "A thing."

<Melum> He was just too busy holding Light back for us to get into it.

<Benhimself> We need to get Fire some friends. Escalation and Fallout!

<Rand Brittain> Getting along well with Rhys is… not really an accomplishment.

<Benhimself> The power of Fuel!

<Polotet> though I'll try to avoid engaging in more than one illicit Hell-related romance at once

<Rand Brittain> That's like saying you can move into the future at sixty seconds per minute.

<Melum> Well, you didn't say we bad to be BFFs. =P

<Melum> We have a social club for Nobles who give off light.

<Melum> The Illuminati.

<Rand Brittain> I'm just saying, preventing you from getting yourself murdered is your Familia's job. Not mine.

<ADamiani> Was Waves there as well?

<KreenWarrior> Heheheh.

<Melum> Yes, Waves seemed to be perfectly happy with me.

<ADamiani> And- is he a surfer-dude Power? I kinda got that vibe.

<Rand Brittain> Yes, Waves would look a lot better in a bathing suit than he did in a suit.

<The Demented One> I got more of a young ingenue vibe from him.

<KreenWarrior> Curious, is he actually omnipresent?

<Melum> And don't worry Rand. I'm going to send endless gifts to Light.

<Benhimself> "Responsiblity totally sucks, dude." "Yeah."

<KreenWarrior> Or capable of being in multiple places.

<ADamiani> We have a social club for Nobles who piss off Light.

<ADamiani> They're called Nobles.

<Rand Brittain> He's got Domain 5 and a very prevalent Estate.

<Melum> And announce in public how I was driven mad by her stunning beauty and couldn't control myself.

<Melum> It won't stop her from murdering me it'll just make her look bad when she does.

<The Demented One> Do you have a cunning scheme that revolves around being hauled up before Lord Entropy?

<Polotet> (It shares a name with the social club for Nobles who Fire antagonizes)

<Rand Brittain> The fact that she's uptight doesn't really change the fact that you started it by insulting her Estate with no provocation.

<Rand Brittain> People are going to side with her and not you.

<Melum> I was in awe of her.

<ADamiani> Which is why you trash-talked her Estate while she was a guest in your home.

<Melum> I'll tell her I was jealous of her Estate's properties and how they mesh so well with mine and that I was merely projecting my insecurities.

<The Demented One> It's like pulling her braids!

<Melum> And she mentioned divying up the will anyway.

<ADamiani> Yeah. cute if you're 13, not so cool at 31.

<Melum> I'm the youngest, this is expected.

<Polotet> Apparently Fire is 13 in Noble years.

<The Demented One> We'll have to win back her favor.

<KreenWarrior> Great.

<Polotet> I think that might be a bit of a tall order.

<Melum> I'll just keep sending her gifts.

<KreenWarrior> We can like, make lamps.

<Melum> I'm sure that won't infuriate her further.

<KreenWarrior> Lots of them.

<Melum> I'm doing that already.

<Melum> Why did you think I took points in glassmaking?

<ADamiani> Dude, her whole characterization was pissy and unlikeable. Winning her favor back would require a full Project.

<ADamiani> …. and, speaking of which… how does that actually work here?

<Benhimself> "In which I won Light's heart only to make her cry"

<Melum> But that means she didn't like me in the first place and so it's not like I really did anything wrong.

<ADamiani> I ask because it's also sort-of the XP system now and all.

<Benhimself> Heh. Light has an Affliction: "I don't like you (5)."

<Polotet> Well…I'm not sure that "Antagonizing her so much she almost physically attacked me" constitutes "nothing wrong".

<Rand Brittain> You're welcome to make a Project for it if you feel like it.

<Melum> Yes, I see lots of passive-aggressive gift giving.

<Rand Brittain> Or you could just pay her a visit and ask her not to hold your Sibling's conduct against you.

<ADamiani> So… if you make her like you… she takes two deadly wounds. And then she hates you.

<Melum> I'll make her kaleidoscopes and prisms.

<Benhimself> Gift-giving contest!

<ADamiani> That's just brutal.

<Melum> Yes. I have it all planned out.

<KreenWarrior> Awesome.

<Rand Brittain> I mean, she's not actually a bitchery machine. It's possible that if you kept Immanuel away from her you could actually establish decent terms.

<KreenWarrior> A gift-giving contest would be fun.

<ADamiani> Do we get Destiny or something, in lieu of XP?

<Rand Brittain> Hm, did anybody do something to earn Personal Destiny? I should be keeping better track of this.

<Benhimself> I think we get destiny towards projects when we have actual projects we're working on, at least. I don't recall the conditions for Personal Destiny gaining.

<The Demented One> We talked about our Estates, but I don't think we had any Destiny-worthy issues

<Rand Brittain> Change and Struggle, basically.

<Rand Brittain> Arguably Miranda is struggling with her grief.

<Melum> Fire is clearly lashing out!

<Polotet> Secrets was struggling with the urge to strangle Fire

<Benhimself> I'm struggling with being thrust out of my comfortable way of life and forced to deal with my family!

<Rand Brittain> Fire has not yet focused his struggle into the form of a question.

<KreenWarrior> Henry kind of… lurked.

<The Demented One> I don't think trying to make new friends counts as a struggle

<ADamiani> Well… I declared pretty up front that I was going to engage in a misguided and likely futile effort to bring Praxael back from the dead. How does accrued Destiny work when you realize 80-percent through that what you thought you wanted wasn't actually what you ought to want?

<KreenWarrior> I'll grow into him

<Rand Brittain> I shall award Miranda 5 Personal Destiny for answering her question "How shall I deal with Praxael's death?" with "I shall bring him back to life."

<Rand Brittain> I admit that Dreams has been met with a struggle, but it isn't answered yet, so no Destiny at present.

<Benhimself> Kay.

<Rand Brittain> We can continue struggling with that in future stories.

<Melum> I have a struggle with Light.

<Melum> Which will involve declaring my love and dying, or not dying.

<Polotet> On a slightly more serious note, one of the reasons I approached Logic was to hopefully learn more about Zaqiel from an indirect source, but I didn't actually get to that point yet.

<Rand Brittain> Has the world presented you with a difficulty?

<Rand Brittain> These are all things to bring up.

<ADamiani> Yeah, it does feel cheap to get a Revelation just by cornering Death at a party and asking her a simple question.

<Rand Brittain> In general you should remember to mention that you've been presented with a struggle when it happens so I'll remember to mark it down.

<Melum> Hmm, I suppose my almost-confrontation would count as a struggle if we actually threw down.

<Rand Brittain> If you want to make a Project for something, just let me know and we can put up a diagram for it. No Destiny for "Resurrection of Praxael" yet, though.

<ADamiani> We do have a struggle to keep Ananda from breaking up the band.

<Rand Brittain> Being an ass for no reason does not qualify as struggle.

<Rand Brittain> You have to precisely quantify your reasons beforehand first.

<The Demented One> Who all would be willing to throw in for the resurrection plot, by the way?

<ADamiani> Hes struggling with his ass-dharma.

<Rand Brittain> Then be an ass, and get paid for it.

<Melum> It was all part of ridiculously circuitous plan.

<The Demented One> (Plot as in scheme, rather than narrative junk.)

<Polotet> Secrets would probably be willing to participate

<Polotet> His relationship with Praxael was complicated, but he's not happy to see him dead.

<Rand Brittain> From the perspective of the other players, Immanuel is just making trouble for no apparent reason, so convincing us that you should get Destiny for it is a struggle.

<Melum> Well, I figured we could use a demonstration of miraculous combat =P

<ADamiani> For right now Miranda isn't being too open about it, rather paradoxically because "she's the responsible one."

<Polotet> (For which you as a player might potentially earn Personal Destiny! Please check with the appropriate Hollyhock God for your version of Earth.)

<Melum> But I'm going to amuse myself by attempting to repair that relationship over the story.

<Rand Brittain> I don't think sending presents is going to work. :|

<Benhimself> Good luck! Dreams has pretty much already written you off as a lost cause.

<Melum> I'm going to send a LOT.

<The Demented One> Incidentally, would anchoring Uncertainty be the stuff of a project, or is that beneath the threshold?

<Melum> Pfft, Estate-traitor.

<Melum> Dreams is all accomplishing the impossible.

<ADamiani> You think Anchoring a Noble might be below the threshold for a Project?

<Rand Brittain> That sounds more like something you'd need to beat her in miraculous combat for.

<Benhimself> What-happens-when-you-sleep dreams, not what-Martin-Luther-King-has dreams.

<Polotet> Yeah, you're looking for Ambition.

<ADamiani> Martin Luther King slept some times, too.

<Rand Brittain> Did you see him doing it?

<Melum> Yes, almost certainly.

<Melum> Possibly, if he passed out in front of a fire on a cold winter's night.

<KreenWarrior> Heheheh.

<The Demented One> Commerce + Uncertainty miracles with Communion would be pretty cool.

<Melum> Yes. You're clearly underestimating the scope of my gift-giving.

<ADamiani> "My brothers and sisters, I have a dream today! A dream that our nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed! And then I was alone in the classroom, and I wasn't wearing any clothes! And it was time for a test! And my third grade teacher had the head of a mantis!!"

<Melum> Like, what Rome did to Carthage? But reversed.

<KreenWarrior> Shiny new Australia time?

<Melum> That might be a bit much.

<Melum> Maybe just Australia.

<ADamiani> Then we're not underestimating.

<Polotet> What if I just use a Creation of Secrets to make her *think* she's in love with you?

<Polotet> Or at least take it as a wound and struggle not to be.

<Rand Brittain> Oh, well. If you can come up with a way to make Immanuel's status as a troublemaker into part of the story, you can probably get Personal Destiny for it.

<Melum> Fire believes in the sanctity of Free Will.

<ADamiani> I'm not sure you can create the actual emotion that way?

<Polotet> Well, I couldn't create the emotion of love.

<Melum> I'm Fire. Of course I'm a troublemaker.

<Rand Brittain> But just randomly acting out isn't really putting the question in terms that interact with the system.

<The Demented One> I suspect a secret passion would be within the bounds of a Creation of Secrets.

<Melum> You all sound surprised!

<ADamiani> Maybe Secret: We made out at the Christmas party.

<Polotet> But I could make her have a secret of "I'm in love with Fire."

<KreenWarrior> :D

<Melum> And New Year's.

<Polotet> Which might create some cognitive dissonance.

<Melum> Oooh.

<Melum> I'm going to get Secrets to figure out what gift would win her heart.

<Benhimself> Give her a secret lovechild with Fire! That'll really complicate things!

<Melum> Power of Communion!

<Rand Brittain> There's "fun trouble" and "your Familia decides they would be better off letting her kill you" trouble.

<ADamiani> Miranda grits her teeth. "Who. Told. You. About. The New Years Party?"

<Melum> I did it for us. All of us. And this is the thanks I get.

  • Melum begins creating a new star for Light.

<Polotet> Remember: it's safest to just tell Secrets things. then he can't later use them against you.

<Polotet> Too much.

<Polotet> I mean, he could still use them to mock you

<Rand Brittain> As you please! But if you incite people to murder, don't come crying to me when you get murdered.

<ADamiani> He is Confessor to the gods, afterall.

<Melum> Hmm. But what's the difference between him knowing them through his domain and you telling him?

<Melum> No, you'd have to put up a billboard or something.

<Rand Brittain> If you tell him, it's not a Secret, is it?

<ADamiani> "And the fires are going out all over Europe. They will not be lit again in our generation."

<Benhimself> Well, how many people can know something and it still be a secret?

<ADamiani> Two can keep a secret!

<The Demented One> Well, what's the threshold of secrecy?

<Polotet> Sure it is. it's one of my Afflictions: you tell me a secret, I'll never reveal it.

<Melum> Yeah but I don't have an imperator.

<ADamiani> Three can keep a secret, if one of them is dead.

<Melum> She can't kill me.

<ADamiani> Um. No, she very well can.

<Polotet> I use my domain to steal your secrets, I can do whatever I want with them

<Melum> Or it'll be like betraying the War.

<Benhimself> No. She might get in trouble if she kills you.

<Benhimself> Pretty sure she still can.

<Rand Brittain> I think you mean she shouldn't kill you. I don't think it means she won't.

<ADamiani> Might,.

<Benhimself> And who knows? She could kill you and then find some reasonable, hearth-and-forge inclined mortal, and feed them your heart!

<Benhimself> Actually. That's a good idea.

<Polotet> Ah, true.

<KreenWarrior> oh dear

<ADamiani> …. you realize, of course, that this means Shields is basically stuck being Fire's enabler?

<Melum> Hmm.

<Benhimself> I mean, and that would be tragic!

<Rand Brittain> I didn't mention this previously because I didn't want to spend time telling you about my characters, but she's much older and more powerful than Rhys or Noel.

<Polotet> Well, I played his enabler this time.

<Melum> Well gee.

<Polotet> Someone else needs to take a turn.

<Melum> Could've mentioned that before hand!

<ADamiani> Thanks for spotting me! :)

<The Demented One> Do her Creations of Light extend to death-ray lasers?

<Benhimself> "Whoops! It turns out that person I pissed off for no reason other than that I'm a troublemaker actually might be able to act on that anger!"

<Rand Brittain> Yes, they do in fact extend to that.

<Melum> I know, right?

<Benhimself> "My actions… have consequences? Noooooo!"

<Rand Brittain> Her Properties include things like "Light penetrates everywhere."

<Melum> Fire is impulsive.

<Melum> That reminds me.

<Melum> We need to decide on the Auctoritas of our Chancel. I nominate 5!

<ADamiani> Default is 2.

<Polotet> Hah!

<Rand Brittain> My advice is, be genuinely nice to your Siblings. Having Shields want to protect you would help keep you alive.

<Melum> It can go 0-5.

<Melum> 2 is if we can't agree on one.

<Polotet> I'm inclined towards lower rather than higher

<ADamiani> *sigh* No, I'm pretty sure I have to want to protect him.

<Benhimself> Protect him from himself!

<Polotet> Secrets likes to hang out in the Tower and sling miracles all over

<Benhimself> Your greatest challenge.

<Melum> Well I was going to talk to her but she was off with that pretty boy Imperator.

<Rand Brittain> You have to do it, yeah. But it can be a relationship that gives you strength, or being near him can bring you closer to finally snapping.

<Benhimself> Sigh. Ananda's so dreamy.

<Rand Brittain> Oooooooooo. Anaaaaaaaaaaanda…..

  • RandBrittain mimics the Furies from Angel.

<The Demented One> "Hey Ananda, wanna trade your good looks for my not-killing-everyone-who-sees-me?"

<The Demented One> "Why…why would you even offer that?"

<Melum> I dunno. When you look that good, you can do whatever you want.

<Rand Brittain> Except vote!

<Benhimself> "Hello, powers! Take a good look at your imperator. Now look at me. Look at him. Now me. Now him. Now me. Sadly, your imperator isn't me."

<Melum> Well, you can vote, it'll just cause an unspeakable calamity should you ever vote against someone.

<Melum> I'm on a horse!

<Polotet> Ananda's Secret: Old Spice

<ADamiani> I shielded my eyes. I hardly noticed.

<Melum> I put out my eyes.

<ADamiani> I hardly noticed.

<Rand Brittain> Anyway, at least we seem to have built up interesting relationships, if not fruitful ones.

<Melum> Saves me the trouble of having to sustain a mortal action.

<Rand Brittain> That said, I don't know if Commerce wants to Anchor Uncertainty until he's found out what she does for a living.


<Rand Brittain> …because she's a cat burglar.

<Melum> Catgirl burglar?

<Polotet> Schrodinger's Cat Burglar?

<Rand Brittain> NO.

  • Melum crosses fingers

<Benhimself> Insurance claims adjuster!

<ADamiani> Man. I was thinking: "You think he's not going to want to anchor a hooker?"

  • Melum sighs

<KreenWarrior> A burglar would be a useful Anchor.

<Melum> Maybe she works for the IRS?

<Melum> That could be complicated.

<Benhimself> Investment counselor.

<Benhimself> She advises people on nice shiny things to buy, and then robs them later!

<Rand Brittain> You thought you were safe inside your Chancel and that nobody could abduct you and deliver you to Duchess Fine!

<Rand Brittain> But now you're not so sure!

<Polotet> "There's a 50% chance I'll be robbing your house when I open the door and a 50% chance I won't. Until you do open your door, I'm in a quantum state including both possibilities."

<Melum> Nah.

<Melum> Good thing I bought Persona 5.

<ADamiani> Duchess Fine's name keeps giving me flashbacks to The Nanny.

<Polotet> …is Duchess Fine Fran Drescher?

<Rand Brittain> You could start calling her by her first name if you like.

<Melum> Oh sweet Jebus no.

<Melum> Romancing is over.

<Rand Brittain> No, she's nothing like Fran Drescher.

<Melum> Whitsunday?

<KreenWarrior> Heh.

<Polotet> well that's good

<Melum> Thank goodness.

<Melum> Romancing back on.

<Rand Brittain> Except insofar as both of them could shred your soul by speaking.

<Rand Brittain> Maybe not for the same reasons.

<ADamiani> Dammit, rand, I had almost quashed that.

<Rand Brittain> Maybe we should just refer to her as the Duchess.

<Melum> At least I pissed her off and not waves. Then I'd really be worried.

<Rand Brittain> She seems to have the Duchess vibe going better than most Duchesses do.

<ADamiani> Perhaps she's got an actual Duchy.

<Melum> Of course, if we fight outside the chancel it's going to be slightly harder without the discount

<KreenWarrior> Just a little.

<Benhimself> So obviously you need to do the cautious and prudent thing.

<Melum> Which is gift-giving.

<Benhimself> No, challenge her to a fight IN HER OWN CHANCEL

  • Melum starts making the world's larget kaleidoscope.

<Melum> Or maybe one of those singing cards?

<Melum> With "This little light of mine" playing.

<The Demented One> Okay, Fire needs to get all his gifts through Commerce, because his ideas are just pawful.

<Rand Brittain> :3

<Melum> What? They're great ideas! Great, I tell you!

<The Demented One> No woman, cosmically-powered or otherwise, has ever been won over by elaborate puns!

<Melum> There's a first time for everything.

<Melum> I almost want to make that my project now.

<ADamiani> And we come full circle.

<Polotet> Sufficiently elaborate puns are indistinguishable from magic?

<Melum> "Win over Light with Cosmic Puns"

<Rand Brittain> Fine, your zoo has an elephant.

<ADamiani> Oooh. That's 2 destiny!

<Melum> She'll be getting elephants.

<The Demented One> Cross-breed them with pure light. Elumiphants!

<Melum> Simultaneously pink and invisible.

<Melum> With a "Do you like me? yes/no/maybe" note.

<Rand Brittain> And then you go blind?

<The Demented One> So phase 4 of the Project will have to be training in echolocation.

<Melum> Don't worry.

<Rand Brittain> Or possibly she causes light to pass through your clothes so that you're naked everywhere you go… but that's a bit crass for her.

<Melum> "Fire illuminates" as an affliction.

<Rand Brittain> That won't help if you're blind.

<Benhimself> Fire gives off plenty of light! You just can't see any of it.

<Melum> So, these days.

<Rand Brittain> Honestly, I would be careful going anywhere she might see you.

<Melum> How does one raise an Auctoritas besides declaring it?

<Rand Brittain> You should probably stay in the dark for a while.

<ADamiani> One spends the requisite MP.

<Benhimself> Of any type! Capped by Persona.

<Melum> Well, I can remove the quality of illumination from anything

<Melum> So I'm covered in that regard.

<Melum> And I'll send her some chocolates.

<Melum> White chocolate.

<Rand Brittain> The question is how you avoid being penetrated.




<Benhimself> Why avoid being penetrated?

<Benhimself> Wait, crap.

<Benhimself> I mean "…"

<Melum> Turn into fire!

<Melum> Light can't do anything to fire. I'm already on fire.

<The Demented One> She's made out of light!

<The Demented One> She could accelerate your body to lightspeed!

<Melum> Oh wait.

<Melum> I already came up with the idea.

<Melum> I'm going to become a dark-flame that consumes light instead of generating it.

<Melum> Have fun with that, Duchess.

<ADamiani> Is it too late to join her side?

<KreenWarrior> Heh, nice.

<Benhimself> Man, did you miss Dreams already scouting out potential escape routes from this Familia?

<Polotet> I was hoping you were just taken in by Ananda's charms

<Rand Brittain> See if Waves has got room.

<Melum> Oh, yeah.

<The Demented One> Why did it have to be Ananda?

<Melum> I'll also blame Ananda.

<Rand Brittain> They've already taken Whimsy, Uncertainty, and the Wave, so Dreams seems fitted.

<Melum> Say I was blinded by his beauty

<Benhimself> Ananda's crossed off, but I've got Sennacherib, the Serpent of Radar, and Epikleros Chimeric on my short list.

<The Demented One> The Council could've sent Surolam, and then we'd have an adorable puppy.

<Melum> Man.

<Melum> That would've been awesome.

<KreenWarrior> Anyways, I should sleep.

<Benhimself> Alternatively, you could have had the power of Law hanging around when you declared that your greatest treasure was Love.

<KreenWarrior> Well, move in that direction.

<The Demented One> Who's Wealth's Imperator?

<Benhimself> That would have been cool!

<Melum> So I'm going to be simultaneously protecting myself from Light by living in darkness, sending her an absurd number of gifts, and trying to wrangle her secrets from Secrets, and trying to figure out to make the accords not apply to her

<KreenWarrior> Same time next week?

<Rand Brittain> I haven't decided who Wealth belongs to. He came alone to the party.

<Benhimself> Sounds good to me!

<Rand Brittain> Will and Rinne are from the same Familia.

<Rand Brittain> And of course, the three Powers of Heaven form a Familia, who used to be your allies.

<The Demented One> Emphasis on the "used".

<Polotet> I'm surprised Fire hadn't antagonized them before now.

<Melum> Technically, only Light hates me.

<Rand Brittain> Well… Rhys still likes you! But he likes everybody.

<Polotet> I guess Praxael kept him in check

<Benhimself> Frankly, I'm kind of impressed that they were ever our allies, what with Fire's behavior.

<Rand Brittain> Possibly he didn't show up to any of the previous parties?

<Melum> Me and Lightning didn't get much face time, I figure I can still win him over.

<Rand Brittain> He is the youngest.

<Benhimself> Mmm.

<The Demented One> I like how Fire's shenanigans completely overwrote Commerce's slip-up with Ananda

<Melum> You're welcome.

<Benhimself> Will there be notes added to the wiki on all these NPCs?

<Rand Brittain> Probably, and I'll put a log up.

<KreenWarrior> Awesome.

<Melum> Well, I know what my Project is.

<Melum> So I'm going to declare it a roaring success.

<ADamiani> Ugh.

<Polotet> Project: Keep Fire Alive

<Melum> You wanted a challenge.

<ADamiani> No, I didn't!

<Melum> Well, you got one!

<ADamiani> *sigh* I can't believe you thought we needed Banes.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License