<Vauncey> Oh riiight, Nomen accidentally broke civilization.
<Vauncey> Poor Nomen, he wasn't even trying that time.
- Sarabande buzzes in shock and horror!
<Nomen> (So, civilization ended, right?)
<Hollyhock God> Something like that.
<Hollyhock God> Anyway, you emerge from the Chancel, exiting via infinite hole, into a large patch of nothing that used to be a major European city.
<Hollyhock God> Except for Nomen. Where the hell is Nomen and why is he responsible?
<Nomen> (Oh I was worried for a second. Babylon isn't in europe!)
- Vauncey strokes his beard thoughtfully. "I wasn't expecting that," he admits.
<Sarabande> "We would have expected warning from people's Estates! The destruction of civilisation endangers many of them, surely?"
- Vauncey reaches out his consciousness into the taxosphere, searching for nearby hotspots of taxation or taxable goods, and threats to his estate.
<Vauncey> (Lesser Divination.)
<Hollyhock God> Nobody is being taxed… anywhere!
<Hollyhock God> <dramatic sound effect>
<Vauncey> "Nobody is being taxed… anywhere!" says Vauncey. He does not make a dramatic sound effect, though.
- Sarabande searches, likewise, for Cooperation!
<Vauncey> Do we have some of… procedure for getting back to our Chancel or wherever it is Nobles do business?
<Hollyhock God> Cooperation is still sort of happening.
<Hollyhock God> Like, on the hunter-gather level.
<Hollyhock God> Although not in the giant scar that used to be the Fertile Crescent.
<Hollyhock God> Kind of a dead zone, cooperation-wise. Or anything-wise.
<Hollyhock God> Vauncey: Iunno, do you?
- Sarabande hums.
<Sarabande> "There appear to be survivors, except… over there."
- Sarabande forms a map; the dead zone does a distinctive dance to indicate it is the part being referred to.
<Vauncey> It seems like the sort of thing we would have.
<Vauncey> Let's find the cooperation first, though!
<Hollyhock God> You summon your flying Volkswagen made of bees.
- Vauncey peers at the bee-map. It's hard to make out detail since the resolution is limited to bee size.
<Hollyhock God> Thankfully all your Chancel stuff is from another timeline.
<Hollyhock God> You find some hunter-gatherers.
<Hollyhock God> They're, you know, hunter-gathering.
<Hollyhock God> I'm sure their lifestyle is totally valid for them and in many ways more healthy and less demanding than modern existence.
<Hollyhock God> But seriously it sucks and you have to destroy this timeline and bring back McDonald's.
<Hollyhock God> It's better for the world this way, or at least the part of it that is you.
- Vauncey introduces himself! "Good afternoon, gents! It seems we're a bit lost. Could you help orient us a bit — where are we, what year is it, what's the history of civilization, and so forth?"
<Sarabande> A bee whispers in Vauncey's ear: "Can you ask Taxes when the last Taxes were?"
<Hollyhock God> You find these guys to be very friendly and knowledgeable about local geography.
<Hollyhock God> But not about anything else.
<Vauncey> (I suppose I can! But do you think that's Lesser or Greater Divination?)
<Hollyhock God> You will probably have to go to ancient Babylon or something to find the plot, because I'm not doing research into hunter-gatherer culture just because you broke time.
<Vauncey> (Or something else, one supposes.)
<Hollyhock God> Plus Nomen is waiting patiently there for you.
- Deathblossom is somewhere, I suppose?
<Vauncey> It seems a safe bet.
<Hollyhock God> Yeah!
<Vauncey> In any case, Vauncey will do the divination thing to inquire as to the End of All Taxes
<Sarabande> Conversation, no? that's a miracle type I think?
<Hollyhock God> It was totally in ancient Babylon, before taxes were ended, alongside hope and civilization.
<Vauncey> I'm not sure if Conversation requires taxes be present.
<Vauncey> OK, I will relay this information to the rest of the group. THis seems to support the Nomen hypothesis.
<Hollyhock God> By some sort of worst, most despair-inducing incident in the history of mankind.
<Nomen> (Well, I guess I did somehow end civilization.)
<Sarabande> oh shit
<Sarabande> evil teddy bears imminent
<Vauncey> While you can probably contrive a Greater Animation sufficient to justify basically anything, it would be less gauche if we had some kind of time travel device or service we could rely upon to go to ancient Babylon.
- Sarabande hmms.
<Sarabande> "Cooperation forms lasting bonds, so we should be able to find Nomen even if our time-travel is quite inaccurate."
<Hollyhock God> Level a tax on the planet and confiscate the last few millennia!
<Hollyhock God> Or just walk there.
<Vauncey> See, this is what I was hoping not to do.
<Vauncey> It seems gauche.
<Vauncey> Though I could use some millennia.
<Sarabande> We can walk there?
<Vauncey> How far is it?
<Hollyhock God> About 4300 years.
<Hollyhock God> You can probably get there by candle-light.
<Hollyhock God> Both ways, even!
<Hollyhock God> So, you do, I guess.
<Sarabande> If it's not a difficult task, yeah!
- Deathblossom chills in the Chancel, still reconciling his new identity and seemingly contradictory Estates.
<Hollyhock God> No, you don't!
<Hollyhock God> Get out here and be useful!
- Hollyhock God yanks Deathblossom straight through continuity and drags him onstage.
<Hollyhock God> What do you know, he was here all along! Only quietly.
- Deathblossom suddenly appears in a flash of black petals.
<Hollyhock God> Anyway, you arrive in the past via walking about seventy miles in the direction indicated by Sarabande's Cooperation-vision.
<Vauncey> Do we know what the deal is with Deathblossom?
<Hollyhock God> Probably. Although I sure as hell don't.
<Deathblossom> You know that he's a Giant Woman. Except not a Woman.
<Vauncey> Seventy miles! God damn.
<Hollyhock God> Everyone knows that, Vauncey.
<Hollyhock God> How many miles to Babylon? Three score and ten.
<Deathblossom> "…Why is the world… not?"
<Hollyhock God> You find Nomen reigning over the Fertile Crescent from atop his skull throne.
<Vauncey> "We're not entirely sure. It seems Nomen got stuck in the past when we went into the clock, and then civilization was destroyed. Ah, speak of the devil!"
<Nomen> "Hey! Took you a while. Or not, I guess; time is relative these days"
- Vauncey breaks away from the group to greet Nomen. "It's good to see you again! We came from the future and it seems civilization gets destroyed around now. Can you think of anything you've done since you got here that might destroy civilization?"
<Sarabande> "Such as reigning from atop a skull throne?"
<Deathblossom> "So Nomen is the problem?" Deathblossom asks. "Should… should I make him dead? I feel like that's a thing I do now."
<Nomen> "Nah, I incentivate progress!"
- Vauncey pauses in thought. "I don't think it could be just the skull throne; that's not that unusual by itself."
<Nomen> "Don't worry, the skulls aren't mine."
<Nomen> "By which I mean, my skull is still in my head."
<Sarabande> "We would consider that more reasonable. Were you sensibly embodied in multiple independent lives you could make a throne from dead elements without any people being ended."
<Sarabande> "We could make our Queen a throne of exoskeleta quite without difficulty should we so desire!"
<Nomen> "That sounds coooooool."
<Sarabande> "…Even if we were not capable of creating bee exoskeleta from nowhere. But we are getting distracted."
<Nomen> "Gotta tell you Sarabande, your "BUZZ" is a lot more hardcore than I thought. Hard as chitin!"
<Hollyhock God> Courtiers cower behind pillars or try to look inconspicuous, as if to say "Oh, gods, now there's four of him."
- Deathblossom approaches the courtiers, beckoning them with a hand the size of a small wolf. "Come, my lovely mortal things. No one here shall harm you."
- Sarabande scouts around to listen to the courtiers' quiet whispering!
<Nomen> "That's not quite true, I think the lions are still loose!"
<Hollyhock God> The courtiers are not convinced!
<Hollyhock God> I don't think they're whispering at all.
<Hollyhock God> Partly because of the god of death, and also because lions, apparently.
<Deathblossom> There's a twinkle in Deathblossom's eye. "Should I make the lions dead?"
<Nomen> "Then you'll attract the giant mice."
<Sarabande> Most of Sarabande face…littlehookontheendofabee'sfrontleg.
<Deathblossom> "I will kill everything, down to the turtles."
<Nomen> "Their rotting carcasses might bring in the giant buzzards."
<Hollyhock God> Facecombs, apparently.
<Sarabande> "THIS IS NOT HELPING."
<Sarabande> Aha, thanks!
<Deathblossom> "Why are there so many giant things in this hellscape?"
<Hollyhock God> I don't think Deathblossom is *opposed* to rotting, as such…
<Nomen> "Well, I got my magic back, so I decided I'd try to guiide evolution a bit."
<Nomen> "Giant people aren't really working."
- Deathblossom looks at Nomen.
<Deathblossom> "…You guided evolution."
<Nomen> "I'd use the present tense. Guiding evolutions is kinda of a nonstop work in progress."
<Deathblossom> "I am a creature who devoured death, and yet still I am surrounded by people with less reasonable solutions to their problems than my own."
<Nomen> "For instance, the Tyranossauros/velociraptor hybrids are also not really working."
<Sarabande> "We hope you realise the effect this is like to be going to have has on the timeline."
<Nomen> "Their eggs taste like chicken, though!"
- Vauncey grimaces sympathetically. "Ah, well… a noble experiment, but it didn't end up too well. We came back from the 21st century, and there was no taxation at all. Still, lessons learned, and all — I imagine that if we work together we can figure out a way to preserve the best qualities of this regime without entirely upsetting the apple cart."
<Nomen> "The timeline? I got what, some 4000 years to fix it, right?"
<Nomen> "That is how timelines work? As long as I fix it like a day before we time travel everything is good?"
- Vauncey offers a gallic shrug. "It's not so much about getting it in a particular way at a particular time, really — it's time, and all. But it's important to preserve the economy and tax revenue throughout. I could have a look at your books and see if I can make any suggestions, if you like."
<Sarabande> "We believe that works only if the fix is retroactive…"
<Hollyhock God> Vauncey's phone rings.
<Deathblossom> "Your carrier's signal is impressive."
<Nomen> "Man, I miss cellphones. Can't play Clan Wars here"
<Hollyhock God> Anyway, it's the time sisters.
<Hollyhock God> "Hey! It's the time sisters!" says the elder sister.
<Hollyhock God> "You really fucked up this time," says the younger sister.
<Deathblossom> "Inform them that we need fewer lamentations and a greater quantity of suggestions for remedy."
<Vauncey> "We're working on it," says Vauncey, "But if you have any suggestions, we'll certainly keep that in mind during the next collection period."
<Hollyhock God> "I advise heedless experimentation for its own sake," says the elder sister.
<Hollyhock God> "Because we've just shunted you off into an alternate timeline where it won't matter," adds the younger sister.
<Sarabande> "Ah, excellent."
<Hollyhock God> "So, yeah, you'll be trapped there forever until it's all fixed."
- Sarabande creates a beehive fortress to see if that will help somehow.
<Sarabande> "…oops. Possibly that was a bad idea."
<Hollyhock God> "Or possibly just forever."
<Vauncey> "All right, we'll look into that, then. If you need to get in touch, you have my number."
- Deathblossom snatches the phone
- Vauncey is dephoned!
<Hollyhock God> "(we knew you were going to do that)"
<Deathblossom> "Apologies, ladies, but a quick question."
- Vauncey mouths "time sisters" to the others while pointing at Deathblossom. He also mouths a more detailed explanation, but the particulars are lost in the space between his mouthing skills and everyone else's lip-reading skills.
<Deathblossom> "Two parter: 1) How exactly do we fix it and 2) Why should I not wish you dead for trapping us in an alternate timeline?"
<Hollyhock God> "You should create a timeline that's not straight out of a bad disaster movie. Didn't you ever see Back to the Future?" advises the younger sister.
<Hollyhock God> "Also, we're totally nonlinear and will continue to show up and bother you even after being killed." adds the elder sister.
<Deathblossom> "I am very patient," he says, and hangs up.
<Hollyhock God> "All patience is but an imitation of our ways," says the younger sister, who manages to get her words in before you hang up, because time.
<Deathblossom> "They have been the source of all our troubles," Deathblossom says. "I suggest we murder them brutally."
<Nomen> "Oh yeah, nice idea!"
<Nomen> "I've got my assassins somewhere!"
<Hollyhock God> They're currently in another timeline. How would you manage that?
<Nomen> "Vauncey, can you check behind the flesh-eating rose vase?"
- Vauncey checks, taking care not to have his flesh eaten.
<Sarabande> "We do not believe this will help! Should we not use the timeline they have provided us and attempt to find a solution?"
<Vauncey> "Do alternate timelines have different versions of Nobles?" he asks as he looks for the assassins. "I can't recall."
<Sarabande> "Possibly something like that film about the traditional American festival involving a burrowing mammal."
<Hollyhock God> Nah, you'll be all alone.
<Hollyhock God> From their perspective you just vanish.
<Vauncey> Good to know!
<Hollyhock God> It would be a great way to imprison you forever except that your Estates will go untended.
<Nomen> Damn, Excrucians gonna win the war at this rate.
<Hollyhock God> So it's probably more of a way to imprison you for ten thousand years until you figure out how to clean up your own mess.
<Hollyhock God> Maybe learn a lesson about friendship and civic responsibility or some shit.
<Nomen> Do we have Excrucians in this timeline?
<Hollyhock God> …good question!
<Hollyhock God> You don't know the answer, though.
<Deathblossom> "Remind me to destroy the sisters," Deathblossom says, to no one in particular.
<Nomen> "…We should reach out to possible Excrucians, find ourselves a Strategist, have him destroy the timeline!"
<Nomen> "All while we use one of those other kinds that are lame, to protect ourselves in a special bubble and bring all the good from here to the main timeline!"
<Vauncey> "I don't think the assassins are back here," Vauncey says, distracting the rose with his handkerchief. He drapes the handkerchief over top of it and heads back to the skull throne to confer with the others. "Well, we've got a few options, in any case," he says. "That isn't one of them, though."
<Sarabande> "ANY PLAN THAT INVOLVES COOPERATING WITH EXCRUCIANS IS A BAD PLAN."
<Nomen> "We can add my treasury to our vaults too. Man, you wouldn't believe the amount of gold exists in the world!"
- Deathblossom stands stunned—stunned I tell you—by the new heights of terribleness to which Nomen's ideas have aspired.
<Hollyhock God> Yeah, that's the kind of plan where hyu lose hyu hat.
<Hollyhock God> That's why Strategists all have hats.
<Nomen> "Whoa whoa, there are no bad ideas in brainstorming."
<Vauncey> «ooc: ehehhe »
<Deathblossom> "We're going to put a pin in that one."
<Vauncey> "We could have a go at working together to patch things up, make sure long-term sustainability is a priority in the timeline. On the other hand, if it's already an alternate timeline, we might be best off just leaving it as it is and finding a way back ourselves."
<Deathblossom> "And also many pins in any Excrucians you contact."
<Hollyhock God> The badness of Nomen's ideas erupts forth from your brainstorming session and spreads over the palace like a cloud of bleakness.
<Hollyhock God> Then it expands outward infinitely.
<Hollyhock God> It is the worst, most despair-inducing event in human history.
<Sarabande> "What did you doooooooo!"
<Nomen> "They're used to it, don't worry."
<Nomen> "Everyone here is kinda jaded and doesn't care about pain and death. Like in a Dwarf Fortress game."
<Deathblossom> "Have your people invented scissors yet?" Deathblossom asks Nomen.
<Deathblossom> "If so, have them bring me scissors."
<Hollyhock God> All of humankind realizes simultaneously that there is no hope and no meaning in the universe, and descends into an anarchy that will continue for seven thousand years.
<Nomen> "Sure. Where are my servants now…"
<Vauncey> We're still here though, right?
<Vauncey> Let's try to un-anarchy it.
<Hollyhock God> Oh, yeah. If Nomen's terrible ideas drove you guys mad you'd all be….
<Hollyhock God> …..
<Deathblossom> "Or a knife, I guess. That'd work too."
<Hollyhock God> …that may explain a lot.
- Hollyhock God check's Vauncey's eyes for spirals.
<Nomen> "Then we might as well look for the chefs…who I kinda lost as well."
- Vauncey is made uncomfortable by the physical closeness.
<Vauncey> To the HG.
<Vauncey> I guess.
<Nomen> "Eh, just find a lion, and the lion will lead you to the giant mice. Last time the chefs were trying to deal with all the mic"
<Hollyhock God> There's no need to be uncomfortable.
- Deathblossom takes whatever sharp implement is offered, conjures the full and terrifying majestic strength of his being, and slices at the fabric of spacetime.
<Nomen> "Giant cows make a lot of milk…and all the cheese."
- Hollyhock God goes through Vauncey's pockets. Metaphorically speaking.
<Hollyhock God> Space-time collapses.
- Vauncey checks his pocketwatch. "I get the feeling that if we don't do something about this anarchy, it will last for at least seven thousand years. So probably we should. Does anyone remember what nihilistic anarchy is weak against?"
<Vauncey> "Wait, hold that thought."
- Sarabande idly Divines for giant bees out of curiosity.
<Hollyhock God> Sorry, the past and future have been scissored.
<Nomen> "Oh well… I guess we left all the good stuff back then."
<Hollyhock God> There's no now to know anything about.
<Hollyhock God> You hover in an endless Never, with the past and future lying bisected on the floor.
- Sarabande hums anxiously.
<Sarabande> "This is unsettling."
<Vauncey> I must still have a past, surely, since it's always relevant to the situation! Perhaps if we wait, spacetime will congeal around that.
<Hollyhock God> Hm!
<Vauncey> I'm not sure how waiting works outside of time, admittedly.
<Vauncey> It will either be very easy, or very difficult.
<Hollyhock God> You could probably glue the past and future back together using his highly-applicable history as a sticking-point.
<Sarabande> Especially if we use a miracle of cooperation to make his highly-applicable past have the Cooperation-nature of Forming Lasting Bonds!
<Hollyhock God> Yeah, that works.
<Hollyhock God> I'll even be nice and let you scissor off the last five minutes first.
<Hollyhock God> Thus leaving the worst, most despair-inducing incident on the cutting-room floor of time.
<Hollyhock God> The timeline thoughtfully rearranges itself around Vauncey, who finds himself sitting on the throne as time starts up again.
<Hollyhock God> "Hail, King Vauncey, bringer of civilization!"
<Nomen> (Do we remember the old timeline?)
<Vauncey> "I suppose I should try to tell you a bit about myself, then, to reify the experience a bit, as it were. My earliest memory is from when I was crossing the Atlantic in a fishing boat. I had to paddle, you understand, because my motor had given out…" and so on.
<Hollyhock God> "Reason! Culture! Order! Taxation!"
<Vauncey> Is the throne still made of skulls?
<Hollyhock God> Nah, it's made of tax money.
<Hollyhock God> The vast amounts of gold lying about the place remain unchanged from the Nomen administration.
- Deathblossom ponders.
<Vauncey> "Ah! Very good, then. Yes, that seems right. In all the excitement I had quite forgotten I was the king of civilization. Well, let's have a look at the books and see what needs doing. We can all work together!" He pauses in thought. "Ah, Nomen, why don't you draft a whitepaper with some possible policy initiatives."
<Deathblossom> "This was not my intention, but I cannot say I do not find it an improvement."
<Sarabande> (I hope my contribution there is 4 or less Persona because I'm crap at Persona :-P )
<Nomen> "Eeeerm… sure."
<Hollyhock God> Yeah, 4 is about right for an Enchantment.
- Nomen magics up some white sheet of paper.
<Sarabande> coolcool :-)
<Nomen> "Here, a white paper. That's what I got from what you said."
<Sarabande> That's a bunch of MPs but not exploding my face. :-P
<Vauncey> "Okay, great. Excellent. Um… take five. Don't break anything."
<Hollyhock God> Now, it's time for you to supplant Vauncey, so you can create the Giant Bee Timeline.
- Vauncey calls for his Royal Ledger and Royal Translucent Green Visor and sits down with the others to work out a seven-thousand-year economic plan.
<Hollyhock God> I thought the green visors were for poker?
<Sarabande> But Vauncey is a legitimate authority! We must cooperate with him!
<Vauncey> I think they're also for accountants? But really, accounting and poker are very alike.
<Deathblossom> "This timeline is also unacceptable," Deathblossom says, running his finger along the edge of the knife.
<Vauncey> In any case, this is an alternate timeline, so who knows.
<Nomen> (Wait, bees weren't really cooperating with me on the last timeline!)
<Sarabande> Thrones of skulls are a sure sign of not-legitimate authority.
<Sarabande> Also I forgot I had that :-P
<Nomen> Well, I had courtiers in my palace, so clearly I was accepted by the population.
- Vauncey looks up from his papers with a pained expression. "Listen, old boy, we haven't had very good luck with that method. We might as well have a go at doing this business properly, and see what falls out, yes?"
<Vauncey> "But destroying spacetime was wholly counterproductive."
<Nomen> "If you mean we hadn't very good luck, you mean creating his timeline was bad luck yes?"
<Sarabande> "Ancient Babylon could plausibly have been ruled by a Tax King!"
<Nomen> "Meaning, we should try again cause this is a timeline created from bad luck."
<Nomen> "Go on, blossom, tear it up."
<Sarabande> "Please wait."
<Nomen> (That was an actually logical argument.)
- Deathblossom waits, but only at Sarabande's request.
<Sarabande> "Weeeeeeeee do not actually have the rest of an argument, we just think that bad-luck based argument is profoundly facile."
<Sarabande> "But we would like to try to make this timeline work. We think it is consistent with the one we came from! Probably."
<Sarabande> "Gilgamesh might have loved taxes. Or something."
- Deathblossom sheathes the knife somewhere in his terrible, ever-shifting plant flesh, then puts a hand to his chin. "I am compelled to consider your argument, Sarabande. But not all among our Familia are immortal, and 7,000 years is a significant time to wait."
<Nomen> "From what I remember, Gilgamesh was a lot more like me."
<Nomen> "I mean, the story does start with like, him oppressing the people, who ask the gods for help."
<Vauncey> "I believe I can get things in order and leave them with a large contingency fund and stable revenue streams, though some of these measures may be a bit politically unpopular. We could leave things in the best state we can, then try walking back to the present and investigating. It's only about seventy miles, though it's mostly uphill on the way back."
<Hollyhock God> So, you do that.
<Hollyhock God> You return to the present to find it under the iron rule of Tax Emperor Enkidu.
<Vauncey> Well, this is an improvement.
<Nomen> (He means an improvement from Vauncey's rule, since Nomen never saw the future of his own timeline.)
<Sarabande> "Not quite right, but we've caused civilisation!"
<Deathblossom> "…Familia, has anyone else ever been filled with the urge to solve problems such as this with slaughter?"
<Nomen> "Usually, I try, but I don't like mindless killing of mortals."
<Sarabande> "No, we believe slaughter is somewhat counter to our preferred method."
<Nomen> "Well, humans."
<Nomen> "Things like gods, rampant slaughter it is!"
<Nomen> "I suppose they consider themsleves immortal though. Poor fools."
<Vauncey> "We haven't had very good luck with slaughter, honestly. No disrespect meant to your estate, but it seems to have led to as many problems as it's solved for us."
- Vauncey converses with Tax Emperor Enkidu's taxes, inquiring as to how fiscally responsible and honest his tax policies are.
<Hollyhock God> It appears that all of Earth's taxable resources are all concentrated in one place.
<Hollyhock God> All future taxes must be collected in IOUs.
<Hollyhock God> From ghosts.
- Deathblossom challenges the Tax Emperor to a wrestling challenge.
<Vauncey> That seems problematic, we should probably endeavour to correct this.
<Vauncey> I'm going to wait and see how the wrestling challenge goes.
<Hollyhock God> Deathblossom wins, and claims Tax Emperor Enkidu as husband and chattel.
<Hollyhock God> You are now the ruler of the ruined Earth, and owner of, wow, quite a lot of stuff.
<Hollyhock God> All of the stuff.
<Deathblossom> "I rescind my prior concerns with regards to this timeline," Emperor Deathblossom says from atop his throne.
- Vauncey nods. "This seems to be working out pretty well, yes. Though you'll want to inject some economic stimulus, likely."
<Hollyhock God> "Now I truly have everything," says Tax Concubine Enkidu, "now that I have experienced love."
<Hollyhock God> Mostly he says this to himself.
<Sarabande> "We are not sure this is the timeline we desired."
- Deathblossom attempts to commune with his true estate of Blossoming to better intuit how this timeline could be made to bear the fruit of their desired, normal present.
- Vauncey shrugs. "You never get quite what you expected out of life," he opines, and takes a swig from his flask.
<Hollyhock God> Hm. Blossoming suggests that you should take all the wealth extracted from this timeline and use it to seed a more promising sprout elsewhere.
<Vauncey> That sounds like the sort of thing all of our estates would be suited to!
- Deathblossom hefts Enkidu over one shoulder and then collects taxes with a free hand which transforms and elongates into a terrible plant-vault scoop thing.
<Deathblossom> "Come," he says. "We are trying this again. And then never again."
- Vauncey keeps an eye on the tax-shaping to ensure that no free-rider problems or moral hazards are created inadvertently.
<Sarabande> "You have each ruled - at least briefly," Sarabande intones.
<Sarabande> "Now it is time for our way."
- Sarabande leads the way back to Ancient Babylon, but darts ahead over the last mile.
<Sarabande> When the others arrive, they see a threefold beeswax throne.
<Sarabande> All over the dais are tiny bee-sized thrones.
<Deathblossom> "I welcome our Queen," Deathblossom says with a slight bow, one which makes Enkidu—still carried on his shoulder—jostle and giggle and also worry for his safety
<Sarabande> On the tiny bee-sized thrones are bees!"
- Vauncey looks over the fractal bee throne with a thoughtful frown, then nods approvingly. Yes, that will do.
<Sarabande> "Now let us see what we can achieve - together!"
- Nomen whispers to Vauncey "Watch out, I think they're democratic."
<Sarabande> Bees usher the others to a throne each.
<Deathblossom> (Does Enky get a throne too? Perhaps a smaller throne?)
- Nomen magics his throne into looking like skulls. Made of wax, sure.
<Hollyhock God> Would you like some?
<Sarabande> Of course there's a small throne for Enky!
<Sarabande> Bees sidle away from it as you notice it, having totally not just made it right now in the nick of time.
- Deathblossom kicks off his shoes and sets down some roots in the throne room, breaking through carpet, marble, and stone if necessary. "Ah. It feels good, this Cooperation."
<Hollyhock God> He can have a little collar made to match your crown!
<Hollyhock God> Anyway, you rule under the gentle buzzing leadership of cooperation, and transform the Earth into a paradise.
<Hollyhock God> All mankind is joined as one in love and understanding.
<Sarabande> paradise ain't what we left
<Sarabande> not sure this is working :-P
<Hollyhock God> Yeah, this isn't getting you home, either.
- Nomen pokes humans with a stick.
<Deathblossom> "Perhaps more cancers?"
<Hollyhock God> "We understand," say the humans. "We understand why you're like this."
<Nomen> "Maaan, these humans are broke."
<Hollyhock God> They pat Nomen gently on the head.
<Nomen> "STAHP! I AM THE NIGHT!"
<Hollyhock God> The humans begin singing "Tender is the Night" in unison.
- Sarabande hums along with the harmonies.
<Hollyhock God> Or possibly I meant "Patient is the Night."
<Hollyhock God> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fMsowmxKzA
<Deathblossom> "Sarabande," Deathblossom says, with one hand idly holding Enky's golden leash, "We fear that this is not a viable route back to existence and also suggest that the singing stop."
<Hollyhock God> That would be more in theme.
<Sarabande> "Yyyyyes. Yes, we think we may need to go and be the shadowy conspiracy that makes history happen, rather than wonderful leaders."
<Nomen> "Aaargh, this is like reading the last chapters of A Wheel of Time. This is the future where teh Dark one dies. Someone fix it!"
- Deathblossom and his husband nod their agreement.
<Nomen> (it's actually nothing alike)
- Vauncey scrawls an elaborate glyph on a napkin. "We can use this as our secret conspiracy symbol. It was originally for another secret conspiracy I was part of that didn't get very far."
<Hollyhock God> I didn't know you wrote the King in Yellow!
<Vauncey> Neither did I! It seems it's so, though.
<Vauncey> Vauncey has done a lot of things.
<Hollyhock God> Hooray for accomplishments!
<Hollyhock God> So, what's the plan?
<Sarabande> "Return to ancient Babylon, become shadowy conspiracy dedicated to keeping history on the correct path, make small calculated interventions to create our desired timeline?"
<Hollyhock God> I guess that works.
<Nomen> "Let's go!"
<Hollyhock God> I assume that you'll all be sneaking in small changes to suit your own agendas, of course.
<Sarabande> Sarabande probably isn't, as the naive idealist of the group.
<Sarabande> … well no, OK.
<Nomen> Just tell me how many giant animals are there in the new timeline. XD
<Sarabande> Sarabande is probably making sure that all that "bees are disappearing!" stuff is actually because bees are sneaking off to Secret Bee Funtimes Land.
<Sarabande> Not dying of anything.
<Hollyhock God> That works.
<Hollyhock God> Also there seem to be a lot of giant animals.
<Nomen> Also, Darwin decided to name his theory "The Nomen Theory of Natural Selection" for some reason.
- Deathblossom works on fine tuning cancer into something slightly less awful.
<Nomen> The Origin fo Species has a suspiciously elaborate glyph on the cover
<Hollyhock God> Yeah, okay, that's close enough.
<Hollyhock God> This timeline is now close enough to merge with the alpha timeline!
<Hollyhock God> So that happens.
<Nomen> "Deathblossom? You wanted to kill the time sisters."
<Hollyhock God> You return to the present, bringing giant animals with you.
<Nomen> "Or destroy them. Something on those lines."
<Hollyhock God> And a husband!
<Hollyhock God> And a lot of wealth.
<Sarabande> "We still do not think that is a good idea."
<Deathblossom> "…we… are inclined to agree," Deathblossom says.
<Vauncey> "Well! That was a bit of a bumpy ride, but now we know plenty of things not to do, at least. Hopefully that was the whole prophecy thing, and it's sorted out."
<Deathblossom> "The Time Sisters may live. Without their callous disregard for my convenience, I might never have met my beloved."
- Vauncey dusts off his hands. "We should get back to the Chantry and make sure things are in order, I suppose. We have that moon to work on, and all."
<Nomen> "Fine, have it your way, you don't have to horribly murder them."
<Hollyhock God> Oh, yeah, you have to turn in a moon by next Wednesday.
- Deathblossom hefts a timeline's worth of gold, treasure, and jewels with which to decorate the moon.
<Hollyhock God> Yeah, I guess you do have an entire planet's worth of wealth.
<Hollyhock God> This is probably not related to how you wind up levying a tax larger than the Earth and destroying reality.
<Hollyhock God> Anyway.
<Vauncey> Right, then, keep an eye out for that.
<Vauncey> Make sure your accounts payable line up with your accounts received!
<Hollyhock God> The moral of the story is, that making everything better is just as bad as making everything worse, because of some reason.
<Hollyhock God> And that god-kings are super hot.
- You are now known as RandBrittain
- Nomen is now known as DukeGod
<Vauncey> that was quite a session.
- Vauncey is now known as Gayo
- Sarabande is now known as MorkaisChosen
<MorkaisChosen> TIME TRAVEEEEEEEEEEEL
<RandBrittain> Really, Deathblossom got the best deal out of this even if he never got to be god-king on his own.
- Deathblossom is now known as Elliott
<Elliott> This much is true
<Elliott> I got a kinky slave-husband and unfathomable wealth.
<Elliott> And I also punched existence.
<DukeGod> I'll take my small victories and just say, I was the one to make all this possible, so you own it all to me.
<Gayo> That didn't work out that well, though. The lesson is: we need existence
<Gayo> You also had the best line of the session, I think.
<Gayo> Also you didn't destroy anything!
<DukeGod> What line?
<Gayo> The brainstorming one.
<MorkaisChosen> didn't destroy anything apart from civilisation.
<Gayo> That was last session!