In Which Our High Concept Sounds Totally Fake

Vance: This meeting of the Daylight Society does not appear fully staffed.

Vance: I blame Nintendo.

Icaria: It's… possible.

Icaria: But I can multitask.

Vance: Icaria's Marvelous Sorcery Fuck-Up Baby Comes Back To Haunt Him.

Camena: Damn it, Naydra.

Vance: Is that a hydra, but the heads are all horses instead?

Icaria: It's like a giant dragon covered in goop.

Icaria: Anyway, surely that beast will go poof now that my sorcery skill has improved mid-working.

Camena: I am apparently shit at aiming at goop eyes while gliding at 10,000 feet.

Zanara: I am dragging Vi away from Bokoblin Murder Simulator 2017.

Vance: That or it'll draw from your Sapphire Circle power like a parasitic umbilicus.

Svetlana: All opposed to Naydra, shoot Eye!

Svetlana: All opposed to Hydras, say Nay!

Svetlana: All in favor, um…

Svetlana: …I cannot help you.

Camena: I have one last goop to shoot.

Camena: And then I'm all yours, Vance.

Camena: Well, mostly.

Camena: You've rebuffed all my sexual advances.

Vance: You last left off coming out of your sacred vision at the shrine of Qu Qukulan, and were taken in by a nearby unmasked family. As dawn breaks, at least one member of each family in this subcultural enclave gather around communal cook pots, boiling rice and spicing it with leaves and herbs gathered from nearby plants. As you wander out, you are greeted with bowls of delicious-smelling breakfast and bright, curious eyes.

Vance: On everyone's lips, there is only one question: "What did Old Man Qu say?"

Icaria: Well, he rebuffed all my sexual advances.

Icaria: Icaria does not say.

Svetlana: "Mm," Svetlana says. "Will the words I say here reach the Realm?"

Vance: The leader of the cooking efforts, a burly individual with tattoos of simple geometric figures on their upper body, gives Svetlana a look.

Svetlana: Svetlana interprets the look, scanning for Intimacies regarding the Realm!

Vance: "It is like they say: the bottoms of the floors have noses."

Vance: Roll read intentions!

Svetlana: 5 successes on (Perception + Socialize.)

Serestala: "Do… people say that?"

Vance: The emotional context here is pretty close to neutral or ambivalent, with some undertones of resignation.

Vance: "It's an indigenous idiom."

Svetlana: "Where I come from it was 'the grass has eyes,' but I think the elders were just a little confused about fundamental botany."

Vance: "If you were here at Calibration, you would learn why."

Vance: "Maybe where you are from never learned name of potato? That is the only plant that has eyes."

Serestala: "Well, where I'm from they always said 'if you look the wrong way somebody will cut you' and I think that's beautiful."

Svetlana: "I yam humbled," Svetlana agrees.

Svetlana: Svetlana's eyes turn more serious, if mostly hidden by the flame duck mask. "Qu Qukulan is hopeful that we can convince the Realm garrison not to make a very dangerous mistake. I do not want to cause concern by discussing the details until I have attempted to talk them out of it first."

Vance: "Aww, come on!" whine a pair of twin children in unison. "You gotta tell us something!"

Svetlana: "Absolutely," Svetlana agrees. "It appears that satrap Bokuro was a very, very bad man, and it is a very good thing he is gone."

Vance: You get crickets.

Vance: It doesn't seem like they know who he is.

Svetlana: "…he was the one the local Realm force ultimately reported to," Svetlana says, while double-checking her memory that this was true.

Vance: It is

Vance: "So is there gonna be a new Realm person now?" asks a green-haired girl.

Svetlana: Svetlana ponders. "I do try never to look the wrong way," she asides to Serestala. "Do you think that's why I never get cut?"

Svetlana: Svetlana's flame duck mask turns back towards the crowd. She shakes her head. "It is… possible that there will not be."

Vance: "Hold on, that mask… is there a duck lodge?"

Vance: "I didn't think we had a duck lodge," the burly chef adds.

Icaria: "No, this is the flame duck lodge."

Vance: "I don't think we have that species of duck in these parts."

Icaria: I produce Rubean from under a rock.

Vance: "Woah, you're magic people!"

Icaria: "Ey," says Rubean.

Icaria: "Nah, she's just shorter than she looks."

Vance: "So, the Flame Duck Lodge is for sorcerers? Some kind of secret society?"

Vance: The twins tug on Rubean like small children playing with a large dog

Camena: "Traveling lodge," Camena says, idly. "Aboard a ship, mind you."

Vance: "That sounds incredibly fake to me."

Camena: "And yet, here we are."

Icaria: "…we're a work in progress?"

Camena: "How else would we have these beautifully-carved masks and this beautifully-bound flame duck?

Svetlana: "When there is a patron god," Svetlana says, "and a purpose, and a craft, there is a lodge, is there not? My patron god is the end of darkness, the end of suffering, the coming of an age of hope. My purpose is to bring that time to fruition, by whatever means come to hand. My craft is light."

Vance: Roll whichever of Charisma or Manipulation fits that.

Svetlana: 5.

Svetlana: (Er, that's with Presence, not just raw Charisma.)

Vance: "I can't argue with that logic!" the green-haired youth says. There is a general murmuring of agreement, with people commenting as to how they always figured there were secret lodges of various sorts.

Svetlana: (Anyone in the crowd who considers themselves less powerful than I am can have a Major Intimacy of respect for me, apparently if they want one. Well, if they want one and a later bonus.)

Vance: Is that Bureau-Reforming Thingy?

Vance: Oh, it's Sun King Radiance.

Svetlana: (It was the only Integrity Charm I could fit with her at all, and when I shifted to a Socialize build I suddenly qualified.)

Vance: Your words do resonate deeply with many of your listeners.

Vance: Svetlana the Flame Duck Woman—surely a powerful figure, to be respected!

  • Icaria plays a new cover of Gold Dust Woman.

Svetlana: It's an important lodge!

Vance: "Well, while you're bringing about an end to the age of suffering, do us a favor and remember us among the unfortunate."

Vance: This gets a lot of laughs, but the sentiment feels radiantly sincere.

  • Icaria looks around for types who might be suitable for his sorcerous plots.

Svetlana: "That's the plan," Svetlana says. She glances over. "This is Icaria," she says, "incidentally. A mighty sage and renowned author and shaper of the world. Serestala, one of the mightiest warriors in the world. My cousin, who literally burned down the well of fate—ah, local idiom—when it disagreed with her. And Zanara, who speaks for Heaven. I am… just the janitor, as it were."

Vance: "You're basically talking to the janitors of this island, so don't sell yourself short."

Vance: The chef, in between doling out bowlfuls of rice, whispers something to a young child. They run—Svetlana can track the foot steps and scent into and then back out of one of the houses—carrying something wrapped in a bundle.

Vance: "I'm sure you have very important places to be soon," they say, unwinding the cloth. "But please, take this with you. It wasn't doing us any good just sitting there."

Vance: And they hand Svetlana what looks like… the tip of a daiklave?

Vance: It's a broken fragment of moonsilver, about a handspan long.

  • Icaria examines this mysterious thing.

Svetlana: "Of course not," Svetlana says, smiling. "If I didn't think the world needed janitors, I'd… well, I'm sure I could do something else. I just want to make sure you know when it might be better to talk to one of them—" she turns to listen to those presenting the thing, and then looks at the thing. "oh!"

  • Camena perks up at that, eyeing it with powerful interest.

Vance: What exactly is Icaria trying to figure out about it?

Serestala: A broken sword is too familiar a sight for Serestala. Though this one is quite pretty.

Svetlana: "You're extremely kind," Svetlana says. She's actually kind of obviously touched, because this plus the nectar may be putting it over the top of how welcomed she's ever been by a community when actually being herself.

Camena: "Worth its weight in silver," Camena offers by way of understatement.

Vance: "Worth less than a chicken. Good luck selling that on this island."

Vance: "It seems like the kind of thing a sorcerer would collect."

Svetlana: "We shall treasure it," Svetlana says. "And the fact of it being given."

Icaria: Hm, can I introduce a fact about its origin?

Camena: "Fair point."

Vance: Sure

Icaria: I look at the shape of the object.

Vance: stabby

Icaria: It's got a piece of ornamentation at one end like a crescent moon at the tip of a blade.

Svetlana: Svetlana doesn't want to hand it over to someone in front of the crowd but is also the least equipped here to analyze it so she frantically tries to think of how this works in the theater. Possibly if she walks in this fashion, it'll look perfectly natural and normal to pass it back and forth with Icaria or Camena while chatting heartily about it, and then once we're out of sight she can just not take it back? Or possibly someone has already lifted it from her hands while she was fretting, that would work too.

Vance: sure

Icaria: "Only one fool would add that kind of overdecoration to a weapon this size," I say.

Icaria: Then I wonder why I said that.

Svetlana: "… line?" Svetlana murmurs, because obviously someone is narratively supposed to reply with a correct or incorrect suggestion but she can't think of one.

Icaria: I didn't bother using an Excellency and still got seven successes. It must be fate!

Vance: That's enough successes to introduce just about any history that isn't absurd

Vance: Factually absurd, not comically absurd.

Icaria: Icaria attempts to trace this memory.

Icaria: He has a feeling that he was once close to the person who made it?

Icaria: It's super-old and I don't know any swordsmiths, so I guess this is a past-life memory.

Icaria: Icaria perks up at the thought of encountering destiny and having it be useful for once.

Icaria: "I could write a whole book about this," he muses.

Vance: So, where do y'all want to go next?

  • Icaria attempts to remember a sexy swordsmith of ages past, and an appointment they made to meet again. Unfortunately, you can't make fanprose about your life true just by wishing.

Vance: You can remember the first half of that, once you realize the truth that everyone is sexy

Svetlana: "Let's talk to the Immaculates," Svetlana says.

Vance: There's a pretty heavy Immaculate presence in public—they sort of have to, what with all the gods around. You could just go up to one of them if you want to talk to a monk.

Svetlana: Like, here, or just, on the island?

Vance: On the island.

Vance: Mainly around lodges, which are rife with potential for illicit exchanges

Svetlana: "Here's what I want to do," Svetlana says, when only the Circle can hear her. "The garrison can be withdrawn, but the Immaculates can't. We can win them over, or we can con them. I want to try one of these. Circle's choice. If we fail, I want Icaria to include them in the spell. If that… uh… makes sense, Icaria?"

Icaria: This time I get to add something cool to my Lore specialties.

Icaria: "\nWin them over like how?"

Zanara: “They do tend to be rather set in their ways.”

Svetlana: "Well," Svetlana says, "Zanara, you walked up to Jaspindar and Vi and told them that the Realm needed to go, and they agreed."

Icaria: "And yet, there they are."

Svetlana: "Yes, they are likely to be much more wary of our golden tongues, as it were, but it's also a lot simpler than a con big enough to do this, so it's like, both ways have risks?"

Icaria: "All I'm saying is, what are we offering them?"

Svetlana: (feeding cat, who just showed up and asked.)

Zanara: “With Jaspindar and Vi, I was able to show them, in detail and in a way they could not deny, the pain they had caused. I’m not exactly in a position to do that this time. And they weren’t Immaculate monks, either.”

Serestala: "Well, we just need to put you in a position where you can, right?"

Zanara: “Every time I’ve talked to one, they’ve ended up trying to kill me,” Zanara says.

Svetlana: "I don't know what we're offering them," Svetlana admits. "I don't even know what they want, really. Anyone know what makes a monk tick, you know, deep down?"

Serestala: "Are we talking on some kind of spiritual level? Because it's all blood and sinew when we get down to the basics," Serestala says.

Svetlana: "I mean, like, what makes them get up every morning, besides bigger monks."

Svetlana: "And smaller, better-trained monks."

Camena: "Devotion. Piety. Righteousness," Camena says, side-eyeing Zanara with a wink. "But also pettiness. Vanity. Desperation. Ties up a lot of your identity in being something worthy, yea?"

Camena: "Plus a lot of them are third children or later in their family lines. Not much in the way of prospects."

Svetlana: "Fair enough," Svetlana says.

Serestala: "Seems kind of against the scam though, doesn't it? Hey we're those people your leaders always warned you were going promise you all the things we're about to promise you."

Camena: "Definitely breaks kayfable."

Vance: >.<

Svetlana: "A con's good, then," Svetlana says. "Let's start by befriending one. My brain-gears are rusty on the best way to do this."

Svetlana: "Probably start with walking up and slugging them in the face, and then—"

Serestala: "Really?" Serestala grins.

Svetlana: Svetlana laughs. "That's right, although I'm trying to remember how the rest of it goes. It has to end up with laughing and getting drinks, you see."

Camena: "I could always disguise myself as the Elemental Dragon of Fire. But really, I don't know where we'd find whale oil and ironwood on this backwater island. I mean, there's improvising and then there's…"

Camena: "We could stop thinking of them as monks, too."

Svetlana: "Hm?"

Icaria: "I'm not seducing a monk."

Camena: "Met my fair share of them, you know. And they all have their own vices, their own little levers. Granted, for a lot of them, that means some…really, really niche scrolls and sutras. And not the training kind, you know."

Icaria: "They're peddlers of superstition and falsehood, and so forth."

Camena: "I'm saying that I've made a lot of money on esoteric pornography."

Vance: They do technically count as training sutras for Wood Dragon style

Camena: "But also on drugs, and sweets, and liquors."

Camena: "Everyone finds their own way to make themselves happily unhappy. They're not monks, cuz. They're a bunch of monks."

Camena: "We could always go in under cover, Svet. Make like we're young, doe eyed Terrestrials on pilgrimage."

Serestala: "So we all try to shakedown a monk and see which way works then?"

Camena: "You know, there's a lot of appeal to that, too."

Svetlana: Svetlana closes her eyes for a moment. "How's this? Let's get in a fight with a monk, wail about some made-up traumas and how it's all the Immaculates' fault, don't fight hard enough to be a threat, and not that long in save pedestrians from a crumbling building or whatever."

Camena: "Put enough arrows in the air and something's gonna bleed."

Icaria: "Anyway, I'll need another week before my monk-seducing magic will be ready."

Svetlana: "And let ourselves be won over by the monk's virtuous nature."

Svetlana: "Maybe even show up one by one, maybe one of us attacks the others instead."

Svetlana: "We could do it like in 'Not Exactly a Dragon'"

Icaria: "Oh, well, when you put it like that…"

Svetlana: "Or 'Drunken Danaa'd?'"

Camena: "Or we could kidnap a pair, impersonate them, and ruin the temple's rep?"

Camena: "Is there someone with the authority to disband this temple?"

Zanara: “Probably some monk or another, higher up.”

Svetlana: "Well, ultimately, I just want to have an easier time persuading them that there's about to be weaponized Great Contagion let loose on the island and Realm better skedaddle forever plus it sounds like a lot of fun, but yeah, we could work our way up the ladder in disguises too."

Icaria: "We're already about to impersonate everybody."

Svetlana: "I haven't been in a staged fight since I got nightshiny'd!"

Vance: The Unconquered Sun doth facepalm.

Svetlana: "Anyone have an opinion? Fake fight friendship or disguise-kidnap-ladder? Coin flip? Something else?"

Svetlana: "Or we could just post an eviction notice on their door and kill them if they stay, option three."

Camena: "I could crash a boat on them."

Camena: "Not the Sparrow."

Svetlana: "I endorse this siege tactic in general."

Svetlana: "We should attack all enemy fortifications in the future by dropping boats on them."

Svetlana: "The more inland the better."

Camena: "When we do rule this little island, we should set the folks on making heavier, sturdier boats. For dropping."

Svetlana: "Iron boats, with sharp keels, and maybe a smooth curve on them so that they fly back up afterwards."

Vance: "Dropping a boat on your enemy is poor strategy," a shaven-headed passerby in saffron robes notes.

Svetlana: Svetlana punches him.

  • Camena begins rolling for sorcerous motes.

Vance: Make a punching roll

  • Camena gets closer to a botch than ever.

Svetlana: 4.

Vance: You sock him good in the jaw

Icaria: Guys, Rule One.

Serestala: Serestala is looking surprised that her circlemate just punched a stranger.

Vance: He rolls with the punch, showing some serious martial arts skill, and regathering himself.

Vance: "Um, what?"

Vance: A crimson anima flares around him.

Svetlana: "You stupid monks killed my Onion!"

  • Camena is now sitting at 7 sorcerous motes.

Serestala: "Am I supposed to start punching too?"

Zanara: “I’m… not certain.”

Vance: "You are upset, but that doesn't mean you have to be violent. Tell me about Onion. How did this horrible thing happen?"

Serestala: "I mean she seems to have it pretty under control. I could just hold his arms."

Svetlana: Sveltana looks back and forth between them and the monk, her expression growing gradually more unbelieving. "You all… you… agh!" she screeches, and then throws herself somewhat clumsily at the monk. "Talk talk talk," she says. "All you talk he was not a god he was my friend."

Vance: "Losing a friend is never easy, no matter what. I'm sorry."

Vance: He probably could dodge, but doesn't.

Serestala: "Who's Onion?"

Vance: The monk will read Svetlana's intentions here, probably

Vance: What's her Guile?

Svetlana: 8.

Vance: He very much fails

Svetlana: Svetlana hits him a few times awkwardly, and then pauses. "I can't just… you have to fight back," she protests, vaguely.

Icaria: Thankfully I have no idea what's going on, so my Guile is impenetrable.

Vance: "I am a monk. Restraint and self-sacrifice are virtues."

Vance: "If I fought everyone who was upset and hit me because of that I would be doing very poorly at those virtues."

Svetlana: Svetlana gathers herself, a little awkwardly. "That's fine," she says. "That's just great. Until suddenly you're killing and then you do not get embarrassed because everyone is just standing around talking or letting you hit them while you are trying to fight."

Vance: "Most people come to me for spiritual guidance, or comfort in times of despair. That's all I have the reflex for!"

Svetlana: "He was a dog, OK? Even if he could turn into… he was just a dog. You didn't have to kill him. Nobody had to kill him. I saw you hunting Anathema once, you know. Well, not you you. But, you know. I don't know if there was actually Anathema. My dog wasn't Anathema. I don't think dogs can be Anathema. Can they be? But it was terrifying. You were terrifying."

Svetlana: "I don't need spiritual guidance," Svetlana protests. "I in absolutely no way am attacking you to get spiritual guidance."

Svetlana: "There is no such thing as spiritual guidance," Svetlana asserts.

Vance: "That is an awful mistake. I can't make it better."

Svetlana: Svetlana sighs and sits down against the wall.

Vance: "But don't talk about him like he's gone. He's not, not forever."

Vance: "The wheel of reincarnation turns even for a dog. His Essence will continue to sound amid the symphony of Creation. Something of him, and of his love for you, will last forever."

Vance: "It's admittedly little comfort."

Vance: "But some people find that a nice thought."

Svetlana: Svetlana sighs. "Whatever," she says. She looks away. "I'm Kiri."

Vance: "Hello, Kiri. I'm Brother Kujoro."

Svetlana: "This was really dumb. I just wanted to drop boats on people and hit somebody."

Svetlana: "Wham."

Vance: "Uh…sorry. Xira Kujoro."

Vance: "Kiri, have you ever learned martial arts?"

Vance: "It's great for wanting to hit somebody. You can punch boards and bricks until you smash them to bits."

Svetlana: "Pfft," Kiri says. "I'm not all… like… water dragon stabs the leaf spider hawk punch clever."

Svetlana: Kiri experimentally does the water dragon stabs the leaf spider hawk punch.

Vance: "Okay, so you're either lying or a born natural."

Vance: "Either way, you're welcome to train with me."

Svetlana: "Well, fine, but that's because I made up the water spider stabs the leaf dragon hawk," Kiri says. "I mean, anyone can do that with their own moves."

Svetlana: "It's like when you're dancing and you step on someone's toes and say, 'ha, that was just my toe-stepping magma dance foot.'"

Vance: "But martial arts isn't the point. You're angry."

Vance: "At me. At what I represent. All of us monks."

Vance: "My job…is to try to help you make that right."

Vance: "I don't know if I can. But I've gotta help!"

Svetlana: "I thought you'd beat me up," Kiri says. "But I'd be all like, stronger for the… I dunno. Fine. I… I can …"

Svetlana: She rubs under her eyes a bit, then sighs and extends her hand sideways without actually looking. "It's nice to meet you, Xira Kujiro," she says, and attempts to create a positive Tie.

Vance: "Good to meet you, Kiri. Kiri's friends."

Svetlana: "I would totally have beaten you up if it weren't for the intense social awkwardness," Kiri notes. "I don't uh know if I'm apologizing or bragging."

Vance: "It's okay. I don't know what I'm doing most of the time, and they still let me be a monk."

Svetlana: Kiri snorts. "Pfft."

Svetlana: "I bet nobody knows," Kiri says. "Not even your boss."

Vance: "Hope you're right."

Svetlana: "The only person I've ever met who knows what they're doing most of the time is that guy," she says, and indicates Icaria, "and he, uh, thinks we're in a book."

Vance: "Maybe I should be asking you how you do it," Kujoro says, approaching Icaria and the rest of you. "The Immaculate Texts don't say we're not in a book."

Svetlana: "Can anyone train? I… can't… I mean, we've gotta stick together, y'know? Even if they totally don't help me with fighting an Immaculate kung fu monk and just gossip."

Icaria: "I shan't desert you. The critics wouldn't like it."

Svetlana: "Critics," Svetlana scoffs, mental mask slipping for a moment.

Vance: "Sure. All five of you. All it takes is two arms and two legs, my teacher said, and i know folks who don't even need that."

Camena: "Don't suppose there's anyone a'fights with their feet?" Camena asks, thickening her Dreaming Sea accent which is apparently kind of Appalachian.

Svetlana: "And no legs?" Kiri says, aghast.

Camena: "You know what I meant, kiddo."

Svetlana: Kiri stares at Camena for a long moment and then realization dawns, along with a blush on the visible part of her face.

Vance: "Sure. Devil Leg style is nothing but feet."

Zanara: “And for those of us who’ve never so much as thrown a punch before?”

Camena: "So…after the feat of learning it, I bet it brings yer enemies de-feet?"

Svetlana: Kiri looks up, aghast again for a moment, but realization is nigh-instantaneous this time. Unfortunately by the time she gets there she has a new reason to be aghast.

Svetlana: "They're… really good people," Kiri says, as if someone were arguing. "Mr. Kujoro. And very smart."

Vance: "I can teach you how to throw a punch. Or you can sit around, drink tea, and watch your friend train, while shouting encouraging trash talk."

Zanara: “Oh, trash talk, I can do,” Zanara says, smiling.

Svetlana: "Zee!" Kiri protests.

Svetlana: "You have to save some of the tea."

Svetlana: "You can use that stuff to keep bugs away," Kiri observes, to Kujoro. "And it smells fancy."

Vance: At this point, Kujoro probably wants to try to launch a narrative transition to the training yard of the Immaculate compound

Vance: But he does not know the characters he's attempted to ensnare in his screen wipe are Solars!

Svetlana: "I don't want to… just …" Kiri says. "I don't want to just pretend nothing ever mattered and go hang out and be all posh with you and ksha and kapow but I also am afraid that I won't find you again and everyone will hate me and laugh at me and point fingers and say, 'hahaha why didn't you go with the monk.' So I don't know. Maybe I can close my eyes and we can go. Only if I open my eyes because I don't want to trip on the way you can't laugh at me, none of you."

Icaria: And one of them, the master of dramatic timing!

Vance: "Don't pretend. Don't forget." This dialogue, players willing, occurs as Kujoro is showing Svetlana some of the basics of a Snake style fang strike.

Vance: "It did matter. It does matter. You're angry. You can't just stop being angry."

Vance: "You're going to have to find the answer that will let you move on from it. But first, you have to find the question."

Svetlana: "'Why?'"

Vance: "Because if you cannot, that anger is going to rule you for the rest of your life. You have to rule it."

Svetlana: Svetlana pokes around the abbey with her ears and nose in a metaphorical way as she snake fangs Mr. Target. "'Why? Why? Why?'" she says with each strike. "'Whysssssssss? Wise?'" she adds, trying to be more snaky about it before hiding her face because that was dumb.

Svetlana: "It would make more sense if I could slither up, whoosh, with a snake-tail machine. Do Immaculates have snake tail machines? Like, for… when you really want to be a snake? I'm sorry nevermind."

Vance: "Living is hard. The hardest thing we ever do. And if you lose yourself in anger, or vice, or ambition, or self-hatred, you don't get to live life as it goes by."

Svetlana: "You don't get to live life very long anyway," Kiri points out.

Vance: "Well, not that you remember. The soul reincarnates, so you have all the chance you need."

Vance: "…sorry. It's really mean, talking about reincarnation."

Vance: "We have to, because it's true. But I don't think it really makes people feel better about anything."

Svetlana: Kiri has stopped snake-fanging at the reincarnation talk and is frowning. "One time I was so hungry," she says. "I didn't even really realize it until I had food again, but I was so… the desperation was thrumming in me. It was in my blood. It was in my bones."

Svetlana: "I can't make her, uh, not hungry," Kiri says. "Though I'm fine right now."

Vance: "What happened to your parents?"

Svetlana: Kiri shrugs. "Not good enough for 'em," she says. "Don't think right."

Vance: "Those fu—I mean, that is very sad. A mother should care for her child. But you do have friends. That's good."

Camena: "Such friends," Camena says over her tea cup, slurring her words a little. What's in that demitasse? Nothing she didn't put there.

Vance: "Are you able to take care of each other? Do you have food, a place to sleep?"

Svetlana: "Just how it is," Kiri shrugs, and attempts to rip open the target with a Black Claw move disguised as a snake fang.

Vance: Roll Manipulation + MA

Svetlana: 6 successes (4m)

Vance: A successful con

Vance: Kujoro is impressed with your progress. "Wow. I guess I'm going to need to stitch that back together."

Svetlana: "Water hawk pink dragon snake smite!" Kiri exclaims, pleased.

Svetlana: "Or 'snake fang,' I guesssssssss,"

Svetlana: "Is it lonely?" Kiri asks, suddenly. "Being a monk, I mean?"

Svetlana: (Svetlana is checking to see if he'll say, "Oh, of course not, there's brother X and sister Y and abbot Z and here are their guard patrols and their weaknesses.")

Svetlana: (Like one does.)

Vance: At this point, a pair of monks enter the courtyard, both clean-shaven. One is a tall woman with the build of a grizzly bear; the other is a beady-eyed man with teeth stained yellow from a poorly concealed tobacco habit.

Vance: "Hey, Lost Egg, did you literally adopt a herd of orphans?"

Camena: "Nah. I have parents. They're just awful."

Vance: "Did you figuratively turn around and find them following behind you like adorable ducklings?"

Svetlana: Kiri flushes bright red.

Vance: "Koma. Yufir. This is Kiri. She punched me in the face, so you'll probably get along great."

Svetlana: Kiri thinks, . o O ( "It's flame ducks," ) but does not say it out loud because she's not sure if that would give away that we have a sorcerer, it probably would. So she just thinks it.

Svetlana: "I thought he'd fight back!"

Vance: "Lost Egg is spineless. It's not surprising he'd let an urchin bully him into sharing his tea."

Vance: "We'll have to help our poor brother, won't we?"

Svetlana: Kiri's expression goes flat.

Svetlana: Kiri flashes a bit of, if not killing intent, punching intent at "spineless"

Vance: Yufir, the short man, produces an egg-sized piece of metal, rolling it over his fingers like David Bowie in Labyrinth.

Vance: And then he sends it flying at the teapot.

Serestala: Those teapots cost money and many a grandmother would be heartbroken if it was shattered. Serestala moves to protect the priceless (or relatively cheap) pottery from the projectile.

Vance: give it a Dexterity + Brawl roll

Serestala: 4.

Icaria: I could use War Lion Stance, but that might give the game away.

Svetlana: Kiri, who knows nothing about throwing things and in fact isn't even descended from arboreal creatures, is not prepared.

Vance: Serestala knocks it out of the air with a swift blow, deflecting it towards the ground.

Serestala: "Weren't you ever told not to toss those around in the house?" The training grounds may not be indoors but Serestala still looks smug.

Vance: It hits, but refuses to stay put, instead spinning rapidly. It begins to move in a curve, rolling back towards Yufir and eventually rising up into his hand.

Vance: All three of the monks are a little impressed—that was quality reflexes.

Vance: "You're good, duckling, but don't sass me. Unlike Lost Egg, I fight back."

Svetlana: Kiri squints thoughtfully at Yufir.

Svetlana: Experimentally, she says, "I don't think that's his name."

Vance: "It's really fine, Kiri," Kujoro says. "They think it's incredibly funny to call me that, despite the fact that all three of us our Outcastes and it makes no sense."

Vance: "Oh no," Koma says, "they're actually…pretty cute together?"

Vance: "I could see it," Yufir remarks, thoughtfully.

Svetlana: "I'm not dumb," Kiri says.

Svetlana: (Kiri is actually taking precautions against being seen as dumb if she winds up punching someone while everyone and the person she's punching stand around talking again, rather than fearing she is seen as dumb or suggesting that Kujoro is dumb, but it is a fairly ambiguous statement.)

Vance: "Not saying you are, xira," Yufir says. "We don't mean you any disrespect. Just gotta give Kujoro his daily ribbing."

Icaria: Icaria awaits further developments, having no part in the framing of this scene.

Svetlana: Kiri's metaphorical hackles settle a little. "Kay. We could fight if you wanna. But I only snake fanged one fang yet."

Svetlana: "You've probably done, like, twelve thousand and eight."

Vance: "Lost Egg, are you seriously teaching Snake?"

Vance: It's at this point that Koma breaks off from the pair, and approaches Serestala.

Vance: "You're where you're meant to be," she says, in a familiar voice. "But this is dangerous."

Vance: "Can you meet with me privately?"

Svetlana: Kiri feels that her plan at the moment is sufficiently jury-rigged that Icaria can probably afford to get involved, albeit with above-average-for-Icaria discretion. She is sort of successfully stumbling in the direction she wants but this is not an arrow's flight or a clockwork heist.

Serestala: "I don't think anybody would mind that," she says. "It wasn't that dangerous though. I knew exactly where it was going to be and how hard to hit it."

Vance: "Serestala, it's me," she says, and briefly… is another person?

Svetlana: (Koma koma koma koma koma chamelon)

Vance: No, that doesn't make sense, you must have just microhallucinated between eye movements

Svetlana: (she comes and goes)

Vance: But the person you thought you saw is one you last saw slurping noodles and wishing you good luck in your travels

Serestala: "I knew that. I think."

Vance: At this point, I think I will call a close, if only because this has gone so incredibly far off the rails of what I'd planned

Svetlana: You weren't planning to run the adventures of the five surprisingly talented quirky outcasts taken in by the local temple and ultimately used to win the big competition for Kujoro?

Vance: The final shot is a pan from Koma's quiet whispering to Svetlana's ears a-perking.

Svetlana: Thank you for running!

Icaria: Mysterious!

Vance: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to play a hip kung fu youth pastor.

Camena: Merci.

Camena: And yeah…

Camena: This guy wears slacks.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License