Fourteenth Story - Death Proof

<RandBrittain> Tonight: space! Or possibly book-theft.

<ADamiani> Space!

<Benhimself> Book-theft!

<RandBrittain> The Cinque Dragownes shall punish your crime!

<ADamiani> …I could steal the book, but he offered it to me. That makes it awkward.

<Benhimself> We need to get Miranda on the railroad to acceptance-ville, and a spectacular failure in raising Praxael would probably help that most.

<RandBrittain> Yes, I've run out of stages that aren't Acceptance to name chapters after.

<ADamiani> You think? Hm. Think it has to be something other than success or failure.

<ADamiani> Also, swords.

<Benhimself> Well, what do you think would actually be likely to accomplish it?

<RandBrittain> Well, if you won't steal it or accept Remus' terms, maybe you can think of some other way to get access.

<RandBrittain> Get him over a (solid gold) barrel!

<Benhimself> I mean, honestly, resolving Miranda's personal arc is the thing I want to see happening most before the campaign ends.

<ADamiani> Hm. Then I'd better do it, then.

<RandBrittain> Or find what Wealth wants more than anything.

<RandBrittain> This week can be your turn to offer him the irresistable MacGuffin.

<ADamiani> This, of course, being problematic.

<ADamiani> Given, you know, his estate.

<ADamiani> How do you bribe the man who has everything?

<RandBrittain> That's what makes it fun!

<RandBrittain> What is Wealth, anyway?

<Benhimself> "But I'd trade it all… for a little more."

<ADamiani> Commerce would know.

<RandBrittain> Who?

<RandBrittain> Heh, actually I don't think Commerce and Wealth ever understood each other.

<ADamiani> Tall guy? On first-name basis with a balloon psychologist?

<Benhimself> Mmmm, their total lack of getting each other was something I actually quite enjoyed.

<RandBrittain> Oh, me too.

<Benhimself> The whole having-it-versus-getting-it dichotomy.

<RandBrittain> Hm, I wonder who else shall arrive?

<RandBrittain> So: space or books?

<ADamiani> OK. So. I turned down the book because it would mean giving up on the quest. My fallback was talking to Secrets. Who never showed up again. My fallback to that was Maxiel, who's never awake. My fallback to that was the library which confirmed its existence but offered few clues.

<RandBrittain> No one said this job was easy!

<RandBrittain> Really, I think my trouble here is that I understood this as being a personal journey of Mad Science and bad choices.

<RandBrittain> But when I offer you mad things to do you don't bite.

<RandBrittain> What's the misunderstanding here?

<ADamiani> Mad Science?

<ADamiani> I thought the bad choice was to not take the book.

<RandBrittain> But it was so useful!

<RandBrittain> And then I assumed you could get more and more desperate as the clock started to tick.

<ADamiani> Hence, bad choice.

<Benhimself> No, not choosing the book is clearly the sane choice.

<ADamiani> Not choosing the book because his condition is not doing this forever is not the sane choice.

<ADamiani> You can't just…. not take the book, then take the book. If he were hoarding it away and refusing to share it, then it'd be easy to justify.

<ADamiani> But I can't just make that choice and go back on it, because it undercuts it.

<RandBrittain> It seems to me that you're choosing to take it on your own terms, but put it however you like.

<RandBrittain> Well, we've got to move forward somehow! I'd hoped I could convince you to do a heist, but we'll have to think of something else.

<ADamiani> She's not Danny Ocean.

<RandBrittain> I was hoping Dan would be here if we were going to do space, but we'll just have to make do!

<RandBrittain> Or actually…

<RandBrittain> Heh. Heh heh heh.

  • You are now known as Hollyhock God
  • Benhimself is now known as Dreams

<ADamiani> Grrrrrr.

  • Melum is now known as Immanuel

<Hollyhock God> My chortling inspires rage? Yes, this is just as it should be.

<ADamiani> Oh! I should note that I can't make it next week. I'm sorry. My folks are coming into town for my birthday, we'll be in San Francisco, it will be highly scheduled.

  • ADamiani is now known as Miranda

<Hollyhock God> So, you're sitting about the Chancel doing the things you do, when Miranda finds a package on her doorstep.

<Hollyhock God> She opens it up and what does she find but a neatly-handwritten copy of Fehim's diary.

<Miranda> (How much would it piss him off if I ignore this?)


<Miranda> ?

<Hollyhock God> An attached note reads "From a true friend."

<Miranda> "Dan! Can you figure out who touched this last? Connect back to them?"

<Miranda> "We're being manipulated."

<Hollyhock God> Dan who?

<Miranda> "BRIDGES!"

<Hollyhock God> Nobody answers.

<Miranda> "…. tell me he's not off with Seeds."

  • Miranda sighs, heavily.
  • Hollyhock God subscribes to roleplaying organicism: only those characters whose players are here exist!
  • Immanuel looks up from Dragons Magazine.

<Immanuel> "He's visiting his glowy spore children."

  • Miranda does not subscribe to any such notion. I have object permanence!

<Hollyhock God> Anyway, the book looks as though someone hand-wrote out a copy page-by-page, either from the real thing, or from memory.

  • Dreams looks up from Modern Architect Weekly.

<Dreams> "Has he named them, yet?"

<Miranda> "Well, obviously, I'm going to have to make another copy of this. And contact Remus. Odds are this version could be subtly altered."

  • Dreams rolls his eyes.

<Miranda> "You disapprove?"

<Dreams> "Do you want me to to be brutally honest?"

<Miranda> "Not particularly."

<Hollyhock God> do eet

<Dreams> "I just think, for somebody so obsessed with raising Praxael from the dead, you find a lot of excuses to not actually follow through with any of the potential leads you get."

<Dreams> "I mean, a bit of caution suits your nature as Shields, but still. A Regal's nature is to cull as well as to create."

  • Dreams gets up and takes a look at the book.
  • Miranda glares.

<Hollyhock God> You don't recognize the handwriting, but it's quite legible Egyptian.

<Miranda> "You're suggesting I should have used the Actual?"

<Hollyhock God> Here's the story of his grief…

<Miranda> "Or found some poor bastard to slaughter in ritual human sacrifice."

<Hollyhock God> Of his determination to resurrect the Sun…

<Hollyhock God> Of his searching into hidden knowledge…

<Hollyhock God> …and of the spell that he created.

<Hollyhock God> Oh, here it is.

<Dreams> "You're not going to accomplish something as dramatic as raising an angel from the dead without consequence."

<Hollyhock God> Let's see, about three pages of chanting, a power source bound to life, a soft place in reality, and some luck.

<Hollyhock God> That's all it takes!

<Miranda> "I am not? I thought this was a we thing."

<Miranda> "I thought we were committed to making this right."

<Hollyhock God> Oh, and here's some stuff about how it totally worked and how happy he was and there were no consequences that weren't awesome.

<Hollyhock God> :]

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<Miranda> "We know this isn't true."

<Dreams> "I mean, I could probably do it with a single miracle. Mind you, it'd involve Actuals up the ying-yan, and probably undo whatever Praxael gave his life to accomplish, but still."

<Miranda> (Hey! Thought you weren't going to be able to make it!)

<Dreams> "Technically, we don't know that this is true. There's an important distinction, there."

<Miranda> "No. I went to Locus Maxiel. There were consequences."

<Miranda> "If you can do it, Dreams, then do it."

<Lafing_Cat> Er, did I remember to say I was going to be gone? I'm at the beach and wanted to let you know.

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<Dreams> "No, because I don't want to break the world, and as I said, Praxael, as the angel of Shields, probably gave his life to accomplish something significantly important, and making his death merely a dream would probably undo that as well."

<Immanuel> Bwahaha

<Miranda> "You have no evidence! Everything we know about His death— nothing suggests it was planned, some sort of noble sacrifice! It was a senseless tragedy, not some act of great meaning and purpose!

<Dreams> "Having you tried actually looking at his death to confirm this? I mean, in one sense or another, he had to have had a shield handy."-

<Dreams> "I mean, divinations of the Spirit World are tricky, but they're not impossible."

<Dreams> (Barring the HG saying otherwise of course.)

<Miranda> "Yes."

<Hollyhock God> It's hard to say whether any given death in a battle is "important" or not.

<Miranda> "Of course I tried looking at his death, through diviinations on the shields that failed him"

<Dreams> (Mmm, but possibly 'met it knowingly versus surprises stab in the back' could be determined?)

<Miranda> (He's also Angel of Secrets, the latter seems unlikely too.)

<Hollyhock God> Also a thing that this difficult to know, what with the timelessness and all.

<Hollyhock God> But you being able to argue about it is precisely according to plan!

<Dreams> "Well, there you go. Try it without 'that failed him' in your divination."

<Miranda> "I'm not a creature of semantics, Dreams. My miracles don't work like that.

<Dreams> "Are you sure?"

  • Miranda shoves him.

<Miranda> "I'm not a rookie anymore, Dreams! I've been doing this for years! For decades! While you were off playing in other-realms with other forms of existence! I was the one here, keeping things in one piece!"

<Miranda> "I'm not making this up!"

<Miranda> "I saw what I saw!"

<Dreams> "Yes. Because playing in other realms with other forms of existence couldn't possibly give me any insight into what goes on in the spirit world. Fine. So what are you going to do about this book, then?"

<Miranda> "You think I don't want to believe that there was some higher purpose here, that His death was a choice? It wasn't, goddammit! He died because I was too weak to save him, and no other reason. If you can bring him back, do it, and let me contain the consequences."

<Dreams> "You think, if we could make a meaningful difference in the Valde Bellum, we wouldn't be in there, fighting side by side with our Imperators? Our duties and responsibilities are here, on Earth, and in our chancels."

  • Miranda shoves him again. She's clearly distraught.

<Miranda> "You're every dream ever dreamed! You bear that responsibility with you. When someone Dreams something, they express a bit of your nature, they do this through, and because of you."

<Miranda> "Shields are everything that stands between someone else and harm."

<Miranda> "Shields failed Him."

<Miranda> "If you can bring him back— if you really can— and are just choosing not to, out of some.. sickening sense that it's the default, that what happened should stay happened…. I don't want anything more to do with you."

  • Miranda picks up the book.
  • Miranda slams it shut because we needed SFX. There's probably reverb.
  • Miranda storms off.

<Dreams> "Hmmm. Yes, I think it's definitely time to get the Order of the Green Snake involved."

<Hollyhock God> A climactic argument! Now I shall go and serve a plate of dinner while we consider what ought to happen next.

<Immanuel> (What are we having?)

<Miranda> (A Climactic Argument. :) )

<Hollyhock God> A climactic barbeque.

<Hollyhock God> Actually, the idea of having Miranda trying to complete her ritual while avoiding the men in white coats is kind of appealing.

<Dreams> ("Your hot dogs go too far!" "Too far? TOO FAR? NAY, I SAY! NOT YET FAR ENOUGH!")

<Miranda> (Stop making me hungry! I have nothing in the house but toast)

<Miranda> (Toast and jam…)

<Miranda> (… and I think some mashed potatoes…)

<Miranda> (BRB)

<Hollyhock God> :)

<Miranda> (BAK with potatoes)

<Hollyhock God> Hm, the Estate of Potatoes…

<Hollyhock God> Potatoes have many eyes…

<Immanuel> Potatoes power clocks.

<Hollyhock God> Potatoes are not as good for you as they are good.

<Immanuel> Potatoes are full of vodka.

<Hollyhock God> Yes, potatoes generate power.

<Miranda> Mmmm…. Potatoes.

<Dreams> Potatoes grow beneath the ground!

<Dreams> From beneath you they watch with their many eyes, waiting.

<Immanuel> You mean they grow in the ground. If they grew beneath the ground they'd be like, in the molten core.

<Dreams> To be eaten, because they are delicious.

<Dreams> Yes, that too.

<Hollyhock God> I was just reading Science of Discworld 2 today, where Rincewind keeps the Queen of the Elves out of his mind by thinking sexual thoughts about potatoes.

<Dreams> Mmmm… lava potatoes…

<Hollyhock God> So, is Miranda going to storm off and work mysterious magic, or what?

<Miranda> I guess there's no real alternative.

<Miranda> She's been accused of hypocrisy.

<Hollyhock God> Hm, so you'll need a power source, and a weak spot in reality, and some chanting.

<Miranda> Damn.

<Miranda> Where am I going to find chanting?

<Immanuel> Chant. Record yourself. Play it back.

<Dreams> Look up the Power of Chanting!

<Miranda> I have the Sanguinary. I have the Actual. And I can chant.

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, is Dreams making arrangements for a room with soft walls?

<Dreams> Something along those lines, yes.

<Dreams> I'll give the Order the salient details and trust they know the best way to proceed.

<Miranda> (You fool! That keeps people from harming themselves! I am a room with soft walls! MWUAHAHAHAHAHA!)

<Hollyhock God> Well, you can begin when ready!

<Miranda> Feels too abrupt, doesn't it?

<Hollyhock God> Well, you can also investigate this mysterious incantation!

<Miranda> OK. What's to investigate?

<Miranda> What's Immanuel doing during all this?

  • Immanuel is watching his stories.

<Hollyhock God> The Power of Silence takes Dreams' call and listens silently. Then he nods and indicates that steps will be taken.

<Hollyhock God> You aren't sure how you know he's nodding over the phone, but you do.

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, I'm not quite certain what sort of investigation Miranda might be doing? Trying to check the book against the original? Or asking some expert on such things if it would work?

<Miranda> I'm not sure either. I was going to investigate, but we got into a spat and it feels like the only thing to be doing now is running off onto the Ash to mount an attempt in some sort of baroque quasi-suicide.

<Hollyhock God> Nonsense, it's certain to work!

<Miranda> Does it make sense at all?

<Miranda> I mean, what's the likely outcome? Can I follow its math, as it were?

<Hollyhock God> It looks like real magic, although even with all your maniacal studies you aren't an archwitch.

<Miranda> Do I know any?

<Hollyhock God> If you've got a power source, it's definitely going to do something.

<Hollyhock God> Probably call something back from somewhere.

<Hollyhock God> I mean, it's definitely going to compile, as it were.

<Miranda> Archwitches, I mean.

<Hollyhock God> Mathilde.

<Miranda> Any likely to reduce uncertainty?

<Hollyhock God> Marley could probably tell you things as well.

<Miranda> Marley will be more interesting.

<Hollyhock God> Well, you know her number… if you dare!

<Miranda> No, this is the sort of thing you do in person.

<Miranda> I'm going to place a call on Death.

<Hollyhock God> Ding… DOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

<Miranda> KNOCk! KNOCK! KNOCK!

<Hollyhock God> You are grimly ushered into the bungalow of Death.

<Hollyhock God> Marley meets you in the deathly pink drawing-room.

<Miranda> "… not the decor I might have expected."

<Hollyhock God> "I like pink. What can I do for you?"

<Miranda> "Hello, Marley. I need you to convince me you didn't lie to me."

<Dreams> ("What, you've never read Sandman at some point? Oh, right, you're not one of the meta ones.")

<Miranda> (Haaaaaaaaa.)

<Hollyhock God> "That might be difficult or even logically impossible. Which statement are we currently discussing, just for clarity?"

  • Miranda tosses the book on the coffee table with a deathly thud.

<Hollyhock God> Marley reads the book. This is a long and tedious process, but Marley causes it to terminate swiftly.

<Hollyhock God> "Huh. Read it through already, huh?"

  • Immanuel is going to pass out, please don't draw on his face

<Miranda> "And made copies."

<Hollyhock God> "I see. I think I have a copy of my own. Let me see…."

<Hollyhock God> Marley passes out of the room for a moment.

<Miranda> "So you did know."

<Hollyhock God> The door closes behind her. And locks.

<Hollyhock God> And disappears.

<Hollyhock God> There is a faint hissing noise.

<Hollyhock God> Do not fear, the gas is only mildly poisonous.

  • Miranda decides to save time and use a divination on Marley's statement that no one had brought an angel back. If it was a lie, was its intention to Protect From Harm, and if so, in what way?

<Hollyhock God> You determine that the intention of her statement was to protect you from harm that might occur if you tried it.

<Miranda> Can I divine the nature of the harm?

<Miranda> At least it's to protect me, rather than The Sanctity of Her Esate.

<Hollyhock God> I don't think so, but yes, protecting you was her motivation for that statement.

  • Miranda taps her foot impatiently as the room fills with poisonous gas.

<Hollyhock God> Also, your chair is trying to encircle your arms and legs and pinion you.

<Hollyhock God> Also, ectoplasm.

<Miranda> Well, then she'll stand, obviously.

<Miranda> "Seriously?"

<Hollyhock God> You cannot stand, because, pinions!

<Miranda> Now, Marley knows I'm not destined to die, in a way that is apparently somewhat problematic for her to affect. So either this is just a passive thing that happens, or else it's someone else's doing.

<Hollyhock God> I do not recall destiny being A Thing.

<Dreams> (Or she's just a fan of the dramatic, and wants to express her displeasure at your actions.)

<Miranda> I have it on good authority that I Never Die.

<Miranda> Mostly hers, mind.

<Miranda> It's not something I'd test against the limit of her power, but… these are half-measures.

<Dreams> (It could be… Abhorrent poison gas!)

<Hollyhock God> The best condition for starting a fight is after your opponent has been placed in a disadvantageous position by half-measures.

<Miranda> Still not concerned.

  • Miranda passes the time by divining the myriad things that Protect Marley. Mostly: Protect Marley from Me.

<Dreams> (I think it's very Nobilis that Miranda is more insulted at the perceivedly half-hearted effort of trying to kill her than the fact that Marley's trying to kill her at all.)

<Hollyhock God> Fine, so you're pinioned to a chair being groped by ectoplasm and breathing in quite a lot of poison gas, and doing divinations.

<Hollyhock God> Firstly, Marley is immortal in her own person, much as you are.

<Hollyhock God> Second, the house is full of her personal army of invisible vampire ghosts.

<Hollyhock God> Third, if anything bad happens to Marley the house will drop out of Earth and directly into the lowest point in the netherworld.

<Dreams> (Meanwhile, Dreams, to Immanuel: "I'll trade you two wool for a wheat.")

<Miranda> "Hon-estly, is the groping actually necessary? I still haven't lived down the chandelier incident."

<Hollyhock God> Maybe Dreams and Immanuel can arrive at the proper moment with a straitjacket to rescue Miranda.

<Miranda> Is that all, HG? Nothing else?

<Hollyhock God> Fourth, you don't know because after the first couple of impressive things Marley starts killing your divinations as you make them.

<Miranda> Isn't that contested?

<Hollyhock God> Also, you are tied up and full of deadly neurotoxin.

<Hollyhock God> That's her way of contesting.

<Miranda> Not sure they're alive.

<Hollyhock God> Anyway, a hole in the ceiling opens up and something small and shiny is lowered into the room on a platter.

<Hollyhock God> It stops directly in front of your nose. It looks like a sphere too bright to look directly at.

<Hollyhock God> You hear the sound of fingers snapping, and Marley saying "Three, two…" before the ceiling closes up again.

  • Miranda doesn't.

<Hollyhock God> In fact, it's basically a very small star.

<Hollyhock God> Which now dies.

<Miranda> You know…

<Miranda> It's not so much that she's trying to kill me…

<Miranda> as that her place has such better stuff than we do.

<Miranda> Greater Destruction of Everything Protecting Marley From Harm.

<Hollyhock God> Is that a valid Domain miracle?

<Miranda> Activating Divine Mantle.

<Dreams> (First, there's an awkward black hole to deal with!)

<Hollyhock God> Supernova, but who's counting?

<Miranda> Oh, yes. But I figure she's much better at dealing with it than I am.

<Miranda> So I'm just taking away those things that Shield her from the same fate.

<Hollyhock God> I'm not sure that things doing shielding-things according to Persona are necessarily valid targets for Domain-based destruction.

<Hollyhock God> Hence, loyal people can't be Destroyed via Domain (Dogs).

<Miranda> ?

<Hollyhock God> Domain governs literal shields, not figurative ones.

<Hollyhock God> Although admittedly it can destroy the floor between her and this dying star.

<Miranda> Yes. But anything protecting her is a literal shield.

<Miranda> Except possibly her immortality. That may be intrinsic.

<Miranda> (Technically anything protecting her from harm.)

<Hollyhock God> I don't think her army of vampire ghosts, or her immortality, or the traps that go off if she dies are literal shields.

<Miranda> The army is definitely shields.

<Dreams> They're meatshields!

<Hollyhock God> Maybe if they were immediately standing between her and you.

<Miranda> Or if they conned as such when I was divining them.

<Hollyhock God> But if they're trying to keep her safe by killing you, it gets murkier.

<Hollyhock God> That was because they were deliberately put there as defenses.

<Miranda> Right.

<Miranda> Shields.

<Miranda> If I had persona, I could remove the property that makes them keep us apart.

<Miranda> But I don't.

<Hollyhock God> It is my position that performing a shielding-type action at a given moment does not make you a Shield that can be wholly annihilated by Destruction of Shields.

<Hollyhock God> In the same way that the Power of Dogs can't vaporize someone in a dog costume.

<Miranda> These are things that were deliberately placed there as defenses.

<Miranda> That's their function.

<Hollyhock God> It is my contention that you may therefore use Domain to affect their shieldosity but not their whole person.

<Miranda> I can't affect shieldiosity; that's persona. Domain just affects the whole. It's cruder that way.

<Dreams> Wasn't it advised, with concrete physical estates, to give PCs a bit of leeway in interpretation?

<Hollyhock God> I suppose, but it seems wrong that performing a defensive action gives Miranda the power to annihilate you.

<Miranda> It's not performing a defensive action, it's being a defense.

<Miranda> Dreaming doesn't let Dreams annihilate you. But being a Dream does.

<Dreams> We could look to her estate properties. Are there any of them that these things don't fall under?

<Miranda> "Shields protect the vulnerable from harm."

<Miranda> "Shields are tough."

<Hollyhock God> So any police officer who might be called up to protect someone tomorrow is a Shield?

<Miranda> "Shields keep things apart."

<Miranda> Police are shields, yes. That's the character's central metaphor.

<Miranda> Only when they're functioning, of course. A police officer going to the movies or taking a bribe… isn't a shield.

<Hollyhock God> But they're always functioning in potential. They can be called into duty at any moment.

<Hollyhock God> If "only when functioning" is a thing, then why do the invisible vampire ghosts count? They haven't done anything yet.

<Miranda> Is the army of vampire ghosts only 'in potential' or are they on duty?

<Hollyhock God> It's milling about unmanifested. I'm not sure if "on duty" is a designation that's meaningful as applied to the restless dead.

<Hollyhock God> Really, though, I don't know that our disagreement is about Shields, really.

<Hollyhock God> My concern is whether "this things has the Properties of my Estate" is necessary and sufficient for you to use Domain miracles on it (either in part or in full).

<Miranda> That's not what I'm saying.

  • Hollyhock God is glad that at any rate we've stopped dithering and moved on to some serious semantic quibbling.

<Dreams> What else would we use to determine if you can use domain miracles on it?

<Miranda> I haven't made that claim.

<Hollyhock God> Dreams: Whether or not it's a shield in the physical sense, ie, a barrier that interposes itself between you and harm.

<Hollyhock God> It seems odd that someone acting as a shield can be destroyed in that instant, but not on the turn before or the turn after.

<Miranda> OK, so what if I don't destroy them. What if I use the same miracle level as a Motion.

<Hollyhock God> You mean, just to toss everything between Marley and the supernova away?

<Hollyhock God> That seems more workable, since you can say you're only manipulating the bits of them that are shieldy.

<Miranda> No. She thinks she's safe from the supernova, right?

<Hollyhock God> Probably!

<Miranda> Assuming this to be true, she thinks she's safe because she's protected. By distance, by armies, etc.

<Miranda> Correct?

<Hollyhock God> Mostly by the reinforced floor.

<Miranda> Right. These things are no longer protecting her.

<Miranda> They are protecting me.

<Hollyhock God> But yes. I mean, I don't think she thinks she's completely safe from the angry mad goddess downstairs, but I see where you're going.

<Hollyhock God> …heh. Heh. Heh heh heh.

<Hollyhock God> Oh, that's a good one.

<Hollyhock God> So, how does that work in the case of the floor?

<Miranda> That's a good question.

<Miranda> Do we switch positions?

<Hollyhock God> I guess that's the least complicated thing.

<Miranda> (So sorry to be a screen hog, guys.)

<Hollyhock God> Okay, so you're sitting upstairs in the deathly library of your bungalow, which is full of comfortable leather chairs and old books.

<Miranda> At which point the star goes off?

<Miranda> Via flurry rules?

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, downstairs, your mad prisoner is being exploded by supernova.

<Hollyhock God> That's about the way of it!

<Hollyhock God> The floor shakes a bit.

<Hollyhock God> Should you order the invisible vampire ghosts to attack once everything settles down?

<Miranda> "Any invisible vampire ghosts that would care to go downstairs and deal with the prisoner, this would be an excellent time to do so."

<Miranda> Now. OK. So. We're in the Library of Death.

<Miranda> I don't actually want to kill her.

<Miranda> But killing death would be awesome, so as a player, I'm cool with it.

<Hollyhock God> You find yourself falling because your chair no longer exists.

<Miranda> But that said… maybe I can use this time to FIND something in the library?

<Hollyhock God> Oh, like what?

<Hollyhock God> Yes, start looking for books on raising the dead!

<Miranda> I assume the power of Death at the time had notes on the Maxiel Incident.

<Miranda> What level of Aspect Miracle would it take to search the library Really Quick Like?

<Hollyhock God> Just in time is 3!

<Miranda> OK, 2 AMP to scour the library for information useful to Operation: Rising Angel.

<Hollyhock God> You find a book on Miraculous Revivification: the Onyx Art!

<Hollyhock God> You quickly add it to your inventory as the room begins to go dark.

<Hollyhock God> Then it cracks apart.

<Hollyhock God> It appears that the bungalow has died.

<Miranda> "I'd rather hoped the vampire ghosts would take you longer to deal with."

<Miranda> Do I also have the book I came here with?

<Hollyhock God> You find yourself tucking the book into your voluminous pockets as the building collapses on top of you.

<Hollyhock God> I'm sure you didn't leave it behind.

<Hollyhock God> You are now buried in a pile of extremely heavy rubble.

<Miranda> Oh No You Don't. Quick lesser creation of shields?

<Hollyhock God> But you already used your action on finding the book.

<Hollyhock God> Now it is another turn, and you are buried in rubble. But unharmed!

<Miranda> Oh, was that this turn? The vampire ghosts didn't even take her an action?

<Hollyhock God> Best guess: she used a Greater Creation to kill everything, including the building.

<Hollyhock God> Which means that unless she had a spare action for getting out, she's in the rubble too.

<Miranda> Kill Everything?

<Miranda> Like, Everything?

<Hollyhock God> No, not Everything. Just everything here.

<Miranda> Ok.

<Miranda> Well. I need to get out of here. Talk to me about the way in.

<Miranda> (Actually, just making it to the door could be tense, but isn't very clever. There's a trigger here, right, where if something harms me the house plunges into the Underworld? But I can't enter the Underworld, as we've established… )

<Hollyhock God> Oh, well, a grim pair of French doors, and an echoing little hallway, and a deathly wood-panel door leading into the sitting room.

<Miranda> Just that far and I'm out of the chancel?

<Hollyhock God> Oh, the house is just outside the Chancel.

<Hollyhock God> Inside the Chancel it gets really grim.

<Miranda> … oh.

<Miranda> Well, that makes me a lot more confident here.

<Hollyhock God> You get the impression that Marley likes having a place to meet visitors that's only midly gothic.

<Hollyhock God> Or possibly the netherworld is where her Chancel is.

<Miranda> I can probably take Marley 1:1, after she's exploded a star in her face, if it's not in a chancel.

<Hollyhock God> Hadn't actually considered it.

<Hollyhock God> Yes, but dropping her into the netherworld via her own security mechanism is way better.

<Hollyhock God> As well as shieldy,

<Miranda> OK. So let's go with that. Let's have them crawl out of the rubble, exchange a line or two of banter, Death attacks, Shields lets just enough of it go through to drop the whole place into the pit?

<Hollyhock God> Delightfully reasonable!

<Hollyhock God> How are you going to crawl out of the rubble? It's heavy!

<Miranda> How heavy?

<Miranda> I've got a couple AMPs left, if I need to.

<Hollyhock God> Heavy like a building is.

<Hollyhock God> Let us say Aspect 4.

<Miranda> Crap.

<Dreams> Create a shield, and then animate it!

<Miranda> OK, sure.

<Miranda> (I actually have enough MP, but the 1/2/4/8 rule!)

<Dreams> (A giant police officer appears to help Miranda out.)

<Miranda> Creating a skintight shield, expanding it

<Hollyhock God> Whoosh!

<Hollyhock God> You reach the surface just as Marley does, deleting all the rock in her way.

<Hollyhock God> "I apologize for the histrionics, Miranda, but I'm afraid you've seen something nobody living may know."

<Hollyhock God> "Please die."

<Miranda> "So. You lied when you said that the deaths of Imperators weren't your domain, either, didn't you?"

<Hollyhock God> Immortal-killing death ray!

<Hollyhock God> Miracle level So Big.

<Miranda> …. can I activate a gift and a miracle?

<Hollyhock God> Only if the Gift is automatic.

<Miranda> …. why so it is.

<Miranda> OK, I don't want to do this. I want to use the underworld shunt thing.

<Dreams> (alternatively, if the HG is game, we could interrupt. With orderlies.)

<Miranda> But… I think I can activate my Living Shield designating Marley as an Automatic action, and using a Motion of shields to reverse it again.

<Hollyhock God> Yes, yes, please interrupt whenever it would be appropriate.

<Hollyhock God> What would that do?

<Dreams> It switches from her taking the harm for Marley to Marley taking the harm for her?

<Miranda> Technically, it'd be Marley activating her Living Shield gift targeting Miranda.

<Miranda> And then firing an Immortal Killing Death Ray at Miranda.

<Miranda> Which she then interposes herself in front of.

<Miranda> Because with Strange Eons, Even Death May Die.

<Miranda> ("Strange Ians! For all your elder-god related goods! Located in Arkham since 1786!")

<Hollyhock God> I guess so, but you'd need a Greater Motion to betray your Estate by reversing your protective powers.

<Dreams> The Death Ray was just a dream, from which you all awake! Dreams coughs, and gestures. "You see my point, gentleman, ladies, and assorted."

<Miranda> Oh! I'm not betraying it.

<Miranda> I'm blessing her with it.

<Dreams> "She's a danger to others as well as herself."

<Miranda> I'm using her as a human shield.

<Miranda> (which I'm very ambivalent about because I think she may be my favorite NPC.)

<Dreams> I'm fine with saving Marley from the death ray rather than Miranda, if necessary.

<Miranda> Aww. Ok.

<Hollyhock God> The Power of Silence nods.

<Dreams> It does kind of help proving my point even more, really.

<Hollyhock God> He's a little guy in a green robe who's very calm but serious.

<Hollyhock God> He tilts his head sideways, at Miranda. You're clearly out of control, is what the head tilt says.

<Hollyhock God> Best plan: Reverse your protective immortality and take the house into the netherworld to buy time to complete the ritual.

<Miranda> "I'm not the one who tried to kill someone by exploding a star on them."

<Dreams> "I admit, the immortal-slaying death ray raised an eyebrow, and I look forward to hearing Marley's explanation of that."

<Hollyhock God> "Hey, whatever works," shrugs Marley. "But I'm afraid that Miranda must die, and all copies of what she knows must be destroyed, by authority of the Council of Four. This is on Ananda's orders."

<Dreams> "Well, we can take that up in court. In the mean time, my sister needs help."

<Dreams> (Perhaps "our" if Immanuel is present for this party.)

<Miranda> "Dreams?

<Miranda> "That stuff I yelled at you before, about all that time you spent in other realms?"

<Dreams> "Yes?"

<Dreams> (Ben sees where this is going even if Dreams doesn't yet)

  • Miranda fashions some of the rubble into a shield, rounding it, making it aerodynamic. It worked for Captain America, right?

<Miranda> "You got pretty good at navigating those, right?"

<Dreams> "I have… a bit of experience, yes? Where are you going with…. oh. Wait."

  • Miranda hurls it at him as a level seven miracle.
  • Miranda designates Dreams as her protection target.

<Hollyhock God> Miranda receives a concussion!

<Hollyhock God> Miranda is knocked unconscious!

<Miranda> "Good. I need you in one piece!"

  • Miranda THUD!

<Hollyhock God> There is a KLONK and a GLUNK.

<Hollyhock God> And then the ruined house, and Miranda with it, fall through the earth and into nothingness.

<Miranda> ?

<Miranda> …. I thought I couldn't do that?

<Hollyhock God> Wasn't that the whole point of this exercise?

<Miranda> No.

<Miranda> It's the opposite.

<Miranda> Bearing in mind that I can't be here next week.

<Hollyhock God> Oh, to drop everybody else into the netherworld.

<Dreams> (I think she was hoping her immortality would bounce her out of the netherworld, but let us drop in)

<Miranda> I can't enter the underworld.

<Hollyhock God> That works too.

<Miranda> As we established.

<Hollyhock God> Instead everybody else can drop into nothingness.

<Miranda> So next week, you get to ESCAPE FROM HELL!

<Hollyhock God> While Miranda flees with her blasphemous knowledge!

<Hollyhock God> And I flee, because I have to go home.

<Miranda> Because that's way more awesome, right?

<Hollyhock God> Next week: Escape from death!

<Dreams> Again!

<Miranda> Return of the Son of Escape From Death!

  • Hollyhock God bows out, until next time.

<Miranda> Thanks, Rand.

<Miranda> (And sorry I was a scene-hog this time)

<Dreams> Nah, it's okay, I've felt we've moved things along dramatically.

<Dreams> At least, I'm okay with it. We may have lost Immanuel to Another Browser Tab.

<Miranda> Yes. It went a long way towards restoring momentum.

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