Interview With A Constellation
  • HollyhockGod pulls back the curtain

<HollyhockGod> When last we say the Lords of the Heavens, they were at a very fancy brunch at a slightly less fancy house that was unavoidably, undeniably pink.
<HollyhockGod> Drinks were consumed, croquet was played, and you had the opportunity to make the acquaintance of several interesting nobles, a few questionable hangers-on, and one very strange ersatz-detective.
<HollyhockGod> Ultimately, Halifax Meriwether offered your sister Aisling the chance to become a Cammora operative in exchange for information about the thieves who stole Nasukan…and that decision has weighed heavily on her mind for many days.
<HollyhockGod> But today is just a normal day.
<HollyhockGod> At least, as normal as Locus Odylla ever gets, given that it is a divine space ship.
<HollyhockGod> With a bit of time on your hands while you sister gives the matter thought, what exactly is it that you all are doing?

  • Ina is now known as Aisling
  • Aisling imagines several possible futures, trying to pick out the ones that seem feasible.
  • Astara spends some time catching up with her uncle, and then tries to find out what was up with that detective guy.
  • PrincessAzure is getting back in touch with her human contacts, trying to see if there is anything subtle she can do to help them. Maybe trying to do a greater divination on who screwed up the skys.

<Maili> Maili was absent the party due to circumstances concerning her Estate. She spent time dealing with a vaccum someone had created inside the atmosphere, via a miraculous paradox. She dealt with it, but whoever was behind it got away from her. But did she get any clues (hrowing a hook for the GM here :3)
<Irina> Now that she's had a little time to relax, Irina's probably busying herself trying to pay back everybody she convinced to lend some help with the sky. Her nature makes it a bit tough to leave debts unsettled too long. At the moment, some rather dull busywork to promote the estate of Magnets.
<HollyhockGod> (Azure, warning 1: That's not copasetic. That was actually called out as something players can't do in the recruitment thread)

  • PrincessAzure also checks up on the poet that made her. He's an old man now, and she is considering getting him eternal youth..but..

<PrincessAzure> (Fair enough. Just threw it in there. It's not like it would be likely to work if the person who did it was at all smart. Her's is an easy estate to hide from)
<PrincessAzure> (But if we are OOC not alowed to thats fine too.)
<HollyhockGod> (It was literally the only thing Rand asked of players)
<HollyhockGod> (Since…the mystery is basically the whole story)

  • Maili is on her return from patching up the crazy in-atmosphere void thing she'd been off, handling. A gentle breeze dances through the ships' ventilaltion,a dn gently disturbs Irina's papers, before Maili materalizes, sitting with a furrowed brow on the othe rnoble's desk. "… Did you all have fun at the party…?"

<PrincessAzure> (I remembered it as "don't make a character that can trivially solve it with a diviniation" not "don't do diviniations.." but your the HG.)
<Irina> "Ah, well, it was interesting." 'Interesting' from Irina usually meaning something between 'mildly awkward' and 'a disaster, and I hope nobody finds the bodies for a while.' "I did agree to free the oni that Astara and I fought, but I'd like to interrogate him first."
<Maili> "… Reasonable, I suppose. I'l catch up on the details, later. What are you doing, now?" she asked, getting off the corner of the desk and turning to take a lookove rher paperwork. She frowned. "Is this for all those favors you called in? Well, I guess we do owe you for helping us keep things together, but it's an awful lot of work. You need a hand?"
<Irina> "They are my debts to pay," Irina says seriously. Mostly because if she racks up debts in order to pay her debts, she'll never have a moment to herself. "Although some help with the oni would be appreciated. I wasn't able to get much out of him before. I expect that a week or two of near-nonexistence has made him a bit more cooperative, but…"
<Maili> "Well, I could try, but about the only thing I could do is rough him up more. If you think that would help, I 'm all yours."
<HollyhockGod> Sounds like it might make a fun Familia outing. Oni interrogation, followed by pizza.
<Irina> "I'd prefer to be relatively gentle. He is apparently a servant of Mr. Meriwether."
<HollyhockGod> Mrs. Meriwether, actually.
<Irina> Er, right, that.
<Maili> "Well, I could try asking it some questions…" (though, frankly, as a player I'm awful at investigation, aspect 5 says I've got the talent :P)
<PrincessAzure> "I would help with the paperwork..but writing is very tireing for me."
<PrincessAzure> "I'm pretty good at playing good cop though not always ruthless enough."
<Aisling> "Gentle like a meteor impact or gentle like a feather?"

  • Astara determinedly roasts some soybeans his time

<Astara> "This is probably unnecessary, but I like to be prepared."
<Irina> "Gentle like a 'this oni isn't going to go say very bad things about us to his associates.' Maybe we could even replace those fingers I took." Irina clasps her hands excitedly. "Well then, shall we get to it?"

  • Maili shrugs gently. "We'll see what we can do. Let's be off."

<Irina> (It'd be a Lesser Animation to summon him remotely, right?)
<HollyhockGod> (I'd think a Lesser Animation to summon the void-him and then a Destruction to make him solid again)
<Irina> (Right. I was just making sure I had the right level for the Domain stuff, since that's costly for me.)
<HollyhockGod> (Or Sacrifice, actually. Yeah)
<Maili> (remember youc an work lower level effectsinto higher level miracles)
<Maili> (You need only use a miracle of sufficient level fo rthe highest effect)
<HollyhockGod> (Normally, yes. But these are across Attributes)
<Maili> (ah.. Well,nevermind, but I'd still allow it :P)
<Astara> 3 MP discount in chancel. Don't forget!
<Irina> (Ooh! Right!)
<HollyhockGod> (Doesn't apply here. The animation, at least, reaches outside the Chancel)
<Irina> Irina heads outside, since oni and offices get along about as well as bulls and china shops, then idly waves her hand, summoning the void-oni in front of her. With that, she also sacrifices some of his void-ness, making him visible and audible, although not solid just yet.
<HollyhockGod> The oni reappears, mad-eyes and unblinking but also very, very still. He seems to be in a slight catatonia.
<Astara> (Um, since we're on the subject, what is the strength of our chancel boundary? 2 is fine by me)
<PrincessAzure> (I thought we had decided at 2..but I could be totally wrong.)
<Irina> (If that's the case, then spending 4 DMP for the miracle itself, 2 TMP for Strike to overcome that.)
<Irina> (This is one expensive oni.)
<Irina> Irina was a little afraid of this—her estate isn't the most conducive to life. She clears her throat to get the oni's attention. "Yoshi, we would like to speak with you."
<HollyhockGod> Yoshi doesn't seem to respond. At all.
<Maili> ".. What'd you do to him?"
<Irina> "Well, he *was* a void for a week or so. Not everybody finds it as relaxing as I do. Think a sensory deprivation tank, only moreso. I doubt there's much of him left in there."
<Maili> "And that's supposed to not mess him up?"
<Astara> "He was trying to kill us at the time."
<Irina> Irina nods. "Yes, things have changed a little sense then."
<Irina> *since
<Maili> ".. I could try and hit him to wake him up."
<Irina> "I doubt he'd even notice, but you could try."
<PrincessAzure> My presence inspires him to try and escape. (Persona 3: applying the "The Blue Sky drives those who see it to escape" as an affliction to my self., strike 6, (three from my "I cant ignore the trapped" bond. Three from chancel discount.)
<Maili> "Oh. He'll notice…" She stepped back, and raised one hand, open-palmed.. and she swung at the air. (Aspect 7 Local impossible metaphorical effects, and using my air control to smackhis void-face with a smack of air to wake him up)
<HollyhockGod> (Strike doesn't qualify for Chancel discounts. It's not actually a miracle)
<Maili> (using the chancel discount to get aspect 7 miracles from Aspect 5 :P)
<HollyhockGod> Is it the strike? The sigh of the great blue skies? No one may ever know, save for Yoshi himself…but he rouses from his catatonia in a moment of utmost clarity, takes a deep breath, and launches himself through the ceiling with a powerful, bounding leap, arms thrown up like a mad, Japanese Superman.
<HollyhockGod> If Superman was red.
<Astara> "Oh, great, more stuff to fix."

  • Maili raises he rhand as the Oni surges upward through the ceiling,. She seixzes control of the air itself, and usesit to grab and drag the Oni back down ti their level (Aspect 7 Miracle to restrain him with the air.)
  • Irina sighs. "A bit too effective, perhaps."

<PrincessAzure> "I appologize.." Azure says meekly.
<Maili> (Goddamn, throwing around Aspect 7 is FUN)
<HollyhockGod> He curses loudly and creatively in Japanese. Specifically, 15th century Japanese, for any of you with ear and mind enough to care for the distinction. He tries to rise from his prone position as he falls to the station floor, but cannot seem to shake the burdensome air.
<Irina> "Yoshi," Irina says sharply. "We would like to speak with you. Afterward, *if* you answer our questions to our satisfaction, you may leave. Do you understand?"

  • Maili squeezes just a litttle tighter, for good measure, keeping her hand extended (Sustaining this miracle)

<HollyhockGod> "I am Yoshi, 33rd Child of Scorn. Whatever else you wish to know, I do not care," he says in deliberate, venomous English.
<Maili> "That's a shame, because when we don't find out what we need to know, we get -upset-." She said, sternly, lifting him off the ground entirely, to suspend him upside down.
<HollyhockGod> He looks at Maili sternly, almost comically unamused. "On the day that the 33rd were born, our father broke every bone in our bodies, one by one, to teach us their names and the depth of pain. You are making blood rush to my head slightly faster than normal. Is this meant to threaten?"
<Irina> "I want to know everything you can tell me about Nusakan. I'd suggest you cooperate if you don't want to spend the rest of eternity as a formless nothing."
<PrincessAzure> "An eternity wishing for release that shall never come."

  • Maili smirked. "I'm being nice. If you decided to be a problem, I could easily pop your lungs or something, if that'd be more interesting for you."

<HollyhockGod> "Nasukan is the Third Jewel, a star in the Corona Borealis, put there in the Age Before Ages by the Rajah of Boundless Light and, more recently, lost by your motley familia," he offers, taking grim satisfaction in that last bit.
<Irina> Irina crosses her arms. "And how it ended up in a power plant?"
<Maili> "What about after its loss?" She demanded (Stil maintaining, but activating another Aspect 7 Effect 'Exxtract information from Captured oni' — becaus eI'm bad at investagatory play :3)
<HollyhockGod> "From what I understand? You bumblers are lucky the Cammora recovered it and decided to employ it in their own plans. Now put me down or kill me; I have said my peace."
<Irina> "So you are to understand that the Cammora recovered it from a third party?"
<Maili> "… I see. And do you know where the Cammorra recovered it from?"
<HollyhockGod> "What do I look like? A detective? I am merely a nuclear technician."
<HollyhockGod> Maili's inductive reasoning presents her with a convincing image of Yoshi as a graduate student in a laboratory full of slightly terrified nerds.

  • Maili can't help but start giggling at the image

<Astara> "Who in the Cammorra /would/ know?"
<Maili> "I reall don't think he'd know. But we'll need to find out. "
<HollyhockGod> "What air girl said."
<HollyhockGod> "Now put me down or I won't be held responsible for vomitting up a powerful corrosive venom," he says, somewhat urpily.
<Irina> Irina shakes her head. "We were already told at the party. 'The Children of Kteb,' whoever *that* is. I just wanted to confirm that Yoshi's story agreed that the Cammora didn't steal it directly."
<Maili> "Maili." She said, firmly, then lowered the Oni to the ground. "I don't think you know anything else about it, do you? Do you know who was involved with these Children ofKteb? Or what Kteb is?"
<HollyhockGod> "Ugh," Yoshi says, wiping a bit of spittle from his lip. It falls to the floor and leaves a sizzling hole. "I don't. Sounds a bit before my time, all things considered."
<Irina> Irina turns back to Yoshi. "You've given me what I needed, so I'll consider all debts between us to be paid. If I return you to material form, can you find your own way home, or do you need us to drop you off?"
<HollyhockGod> "Ugh. Save me the indignity of being delivered home by the Daughters of Odylla. I would be a laughing stock from the 33rd all the way down to the 45th."

  • Maili drops her two Miracles then, remaining on guard. "Very well. I'll at least show you the exit."

<Irina> "Very well." Judging by her pleasant tone, you wouldn't think the oni had just insulted Irina to her face. She waves dismissively, banishing the last of her estate's grip over the oni. "You're free to go."
<HollyhockGod> Yoshi follows Maili and the other Daughters to the nearest airlock, which he insists on being jettisoned out of. But not before he stops and offers Maili a strange little smile, offering her his hand.
<HollyhockGod> "I have enjoyed our violence."

  • Astara mutters something about Kismesis and quadrants. Quietly.
  • Maili smirked a little, raising hers. "You fight well. Next time, then." She offered a light wave, and gestured him to head on in. "You'l lbe fine without air to breathe on the way back?"

<HollyhockGod> Assuming she doesn't stop him, he even gives her a peck on the cheek before making a very hasty exit. "I breathe hate!"
<PrincessAzure> "Oni are strange."

  • Maili is surprised!

<Maili> (he just liked being tied up :3)
<Irina> "I've seen far stranger." Once the oni is on his way, Irina turns back to the rest of the group, now sipping at a mysteriously-acquired glass of red wine in apparent celebration. "It would seem we have our next lead, then."
<HollyhockGod> If you look out the window, you can see him, streaking through the sky like a very angry meteor!
<Astara> "Hmmm. Kteb, Kteb. It's probably a long shot, but hang on a sec."
<Astara> (OOC: The Cult of the Night Sky is a Mystery Cult that has been around a while. Their main skill is Astrology, but the stars haven't been reliable of late.)
<Astara> I open a conversation channel to the cult as a whole. Treasure 0.
<Astara> "Have any of you ever heard of the 'Children of Kteb'?"

  • Irina shakes her head.

<Irina> (Oh, duh. Scratch that.)
<HollyhockGod> (You'll have to use Strike to piece your Chancel boundary)
<Maili> (What's your bond to them?)
<Astara> (The anchor bond gives me 1 strike, to which I add another with 1 TMP)
<HollyhockGod> (Awesome. Can you quantify how old they are, then?)
<Astara> (They've been around in some form for as long as people have been looking to the Stars for guidance.)
<Astara> (However long that is)
<HollyhockGod> The whispers of the many minds of the Cult of the Night Sky stretch back to Hij, the first man to look up and wonder. In all their eras of life, though, they have only twice heard of Kteb in passing, as one of the terrors locked beyond the world by the
<HollyhockGod> "cage of starlight."
<Astara> "What is this 'cage'? It sound like something I should know about."
<HollyhockGod> As far as Astara can tell, it is a poetic term for whatever property inherent to starlight makes it a powerful component for miraculous binding.
<HollyhockGod> After all, at least three zodiac signs are said to have been genuine actual monsters in the Late Iron Age.
<Astara> "Alright. Thanks guys." Astara relays that info to the rest of the Familia. "It sounds like some seriously old stuff. Maybe we should be asking lady Odylla, or other Imperators."

  • Irina nods. "If it's beyond the world, investigation is a little awkward."

<PrincessAzure> "Have any of you tallked to Lady Odylla since the accident?"
<Maili> "not as strange as you might think. We can go to the mythic constellations and see what we can see."
<Astara> "She showed up to retrieve Nusakan. But you know how she is. 'It is a beginning' was all we got."
<PrincessAzure> "That is a good idea." Azure says think of checking if the constellations felt trapped.
<PrincessAzure> *thinking
<Astara> "We can go right now, if you'd like."
<PrincessAzure> "Let's."
<Astara> I'm still not sure if I can (i.e. want to be able to) use a Lesser Sacrifice of the property of Stars being "ever distant" to teleport in general, but I'm sure I can use it to get us to the Stars themselves. 2 PMP for the strike.
<Maili> (we could just take the ship)
<HollyhockGod> Locus Odylla collapses around the familia, as if being sucked into the event horizon of a black hole. Or are they collapsing? Whatever the truth, the world becomes the size of a molecule.
<PrincessAzure> "I always find them so pretty. I don't get to look at them normally. Astara. Except for just a few sometimes right at dawn."
<HollyhockGod> They emerge from nothing into darkness, standing astride a colum of shimmering light. Before them is the Vault of the Heavens, a matrix for interacting with the sky through the Border Mythic.
<PrincessAzure> "So which should we talk to first?"
<Astara> Wings made of night unfurl from Astara's back, as she hovers in front of the Vault.

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  • Maili (ksmh.ten.d9849c25.pi.cimanyd.17.13.702.59bb6ac6|tibbiM#ksmh.ten.d9849c25.pi.cimanyd.17.13.702.59bb6ac6|tibbiM) has joined #wheelinthesky

<Maili> fabrqervge internet!
<Astara> Astara is intimately familiar with this place thanks to the past year. Which is the oldest constellation (assuming I know)?
<HollyhockGod> The first thing man dreamed into the sky was his best friend. So Canis Major.
<Astara> Conversation, 2 DMP. "Hey boy."
<HollyhockGod> The stars revolve around the familia, and Canis Major bounds towards them, tongue lolling happily to the side. The great dog of heaven is four eons high, and he bends his knees a bit towards the newest Princess of the Stars.
<Maili> "Good luck playing fetch."
<Astara> "I'm glad to see you guys are doing okay. It's been a rough year." She flies up to pat him. "We're here about the affair with Nusakan. Have you heard of 'Kteb'?"
<Maili> (Storm here is getting bad, going to duck off now :( )
<Maili> (feel free to keep going)

<HollyhockGod> brb
<HollyhockGod> The great dog speaks without a voice, his words echoing through the hearts of the assembled: "Kteb was old when I was young, but I remember her. She came from the places beyond the sky, and so it was the sky itself that became her prison. A child sealed her with the mark of her own crown."
<Astara> "What manner of being was she? And who was this child?"
<HollyhockGod> "She called herself the Empress Beyond the World, and the Child was…" he blinks for a moment, then balks.
<HollyhockGod> "I do not remember who the child was. Only what he did."
<Irina> "Well, that would somewhat explain why they wanted the sky broken…"
<Astara> "Sounds like an Excrucian, or at least a being from the Lands beyond Creation. Her getting free would probably be a bad thing, then."
<Astara> "Do you know the mark the child sealed her in?"
<HollyhockGod> Canis points to the Corona Borealis, where Nusakan burns anew in its socket.
<Irina> "… that isn't promising."

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<Astara> "That explains why someone would steal Nusakan, at least. Was the Rajah of Boundless Light involved? And who was he, anyway?"
<HollyhockGod> "That was his name!" Canis says, his memory jogged or some spell broken. "The Rajah of Boundless Light."
<Astara> "Ah! Do you remember anything about him besides his name, or is there still some sort of veil on your memory?"
<HollyhockGod> "I remember that he was very, very pretty. And very, very kind."
<Astara> (It says something about something that my mind immediately leaps to Deceiver)
<HollyhockGod> Any other queries for the Great Dog?
<Astara> Astara bows deeply, however one does that while flying. "Thank you for the information. With this I hope we are one step closer to bringing whoever was responsible for this mess to justice. If you or any of the other constellations remember anything else, would you let me know?"
<HollyhockGod> "Of course. I'll let Aquarius know. The man's an encourigable gossip."

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