Fifteen- Keeping Up With The Homo Sapiens, Part One

<Rand Brittain> And the theme for tonight is "stuff happened last time; what are you going to do about it?"

<Benhimself> Recap?

<Rand Brittain> We have logs for that!

<Rand Brittain> But in general: ohnoes humans developing spontaneous miraculous powers!

<Nentuaby> Ehm, so game was called last week?

<Rand Brittain> Yes, for lack of peoples.

<Marcus> Right-o, then.

<Hollyhock God> So now you must decide what you're going to do about it.

<Ryan> "I confess I fail to see a problem with the situation. The reawakening of humanity's miraculous nature was one of the intended consequences of reclaiming the Garden of Eden, was it not?"

  • Ryan Sherbrig putters about with formulae, studying the citric immortality.

<Marcus> "I can't answer that, but it certainly strikes me as your typical double-edged sword. Which, describes, really, pretty much anything you hand humanity more advanced than a ro… scratch that. Anything you hand humanity."

<Ryan> "Mmm. But they already possess the capacity to destroy themselves utterly a dozen times over, if not a hundred. The Light will have to remain vigilant, but we've always been so."

<Marcus> "Precisely my thrust. Though it does occur to me that we, as a Familia, could stand to spend some time increasing our Earthly presence. And probably smoothing over some diplomatic relations."

<Ryan> "Yes. I'm hoping Dana accepts my invitation to come to the Chancel to discuss recent events. But I've also been considering a convocation of the Light in general for the same purposes."

<Ryan> "It also occurs to me that if these miraculous incidents represent some sort of… metaphysical leakage of our Chancel, it might be within our power to manipulate it."

<Ebba> "We may wish to delay an official convocation until we can inform several people quietly. A convocation can not help but be public."

<Hollyhock God> Ah! But consider this.

<Hollyhock God> It is likely that either the death of the First Lord or the retaking of Eden caused this, yes?

<Hollyhock God> Consider the implications if it was the first of those possibilities.

<Ryan> "Hence my wanting to talk to Dana. We could add other people to that list, certainly."

<Marcus> (The implications being… that this has always been a natural part of humanity, and there was an estate that suppressed it?)


<Ebba> (Didn't the rise of the First Lord happen basically immediately after the people showed up?)

<Ebba> (So if this was an original capability of humanity, almost no one would know about it now?)

<Ryan> Have the majority of these miraculous awakenings been in as destructive a fashion as the one we say?

<Ryan> More world-destroyers, less wonders and beauty?

<Hollyhock God> Signs (fragmentary ones) point to yes!

<Hollyhock God> But neither of those was really what I was thinking of.

<Ryan> You should be more explicit with your hints, then!

<Hollyhock God> You should consider harder!

<Hollyhock God> Consider until your eyes water!

  • RyanSherbrig considers the events at hand.

<Ryan> "Marcus, has your study of the scientist in question yielded any results?"

<Ryan> "It is a bit… worrying that our fragmentary reports seem to indicate the people being miraculously awakened have tended towards… destructive inspiration."

<Hollyhock God> He seems quite normal with the crazy bleached out.

<Marcus> "Not particularly. He experienced what seems to be a spontaneous miracle of Aspect, with no prior cause I could determine via divination."

<Marcus> "Do they? Hmmm."

<Hollyhock God> To get to where I was going, note that the Dark is made from the miraculous potential that would have been humanity's.

  • Alexa has joined #childrenofeve

<Marcus> "That may be because the miraculous energy powering them was once, itself, the First Lord."

<Hollyhock God> It's Burn Girl!

<Alexa> "Burn it."

<Alexa> (Sorry! What's the sitch?)

<Ryan> "What, all of humanity?"

<Marcus> "More your department than mine, Sister." Marcus smiles cheerfully. "I wouldn't know particularly where to start burning causa causans."

<Alexa> "Yeah… oh, wait, we're not supposed to burn humanity, are we?"

  • Alexa smiles.

<Ryan> "I admit, I've been tempted once or twice, but it does seem counter to our aims."

<Alexa> "Not yet, anyway."

<Ebba> "Only once or twice?"

<Ryan> "I am supremely dedicated to the principles of the Light, yes."

<Alexa> "It's like you're made of light or something!"

<Ryan> "At any rate. If what you suggest, Marcus, is the case, perhaps what we need is some sort of… giant metaphysical filter of some sort that sorts out the First Lord's destructive impulses from the power."

<Ryan> "Or we could kill a few Light Imperators to balance it out."

<Ebba> (I'll get The List.)

<Hollyhock God> Ah, I see Ryan arrived at my destination.

<Ryan> "That latter idea would probably upset people, though."

<Alexa> "Did you have any in mind?"

<Marcus> "It seems impolitic, yes."

<Ryan> "Ugh. Politics."

<Alexa> "I wonder if…"

<Alexa> "Have we heard anything about the First Lord's surviving Nobles?"

<Marcus> "Unless our own happens to like the idea, but I'm not sure how much she would help the problem of humanity wanting to burn the world down."

<Ryan> "Well, I'm sure there are Light Imperators out there who would gladly sacrifice themselves for the cause if they could be convinced it was necessary. But we should try to ensure that it isn't, first."

<Hollyhock God> That's a big assumption.

<Ryan> "Marcus, can you do some… divinations of the miraculous energy's rebirth in people, to determine if it is indeed tainted by the First Lord's nature?"

<Ryan> (Imperators are defined by their willingness to sacrifice everything for the cause!)

<Ryan> (But yes, it is an assumption.)

<Hollyhock God> But no, he can't.

<Marcus> (Unbound causa causans is pretty much the definition of "outside all Estates.")

<Hollyhock God> I would argue that plenty of Light Magisters don't consider "humanity takes charge of itself" to be a victory for the cause, but that could be cynicism.

<Ebba> (Well, when you are smarter than them, it easy to see that you would be much better at running things…)

<Ryan> "Well, all of these theories are well and good, but we really shouldn't take action until we have a way of proving one of them."

<Ryan> "The effects seem resistant to direct divinations, so… any suggestions?"

<Marcus> "Hmmm. It occurs to me that the- what were they called, Worldshapers?- would be entirely intrigued by this. I admit, I don't know the metaphysics of the situation well, but it might constitute that unbound causa causans they've been so hungry for. "

<Ebba> "Hmm, another possibility is that so much of the miracles are destructive because it's the world that's bad, not the people."

<Marcus> "Their expertise might be helpful. On the other hand, that might be good enough reason to keep them in the dark."

<Ryan> "The very nature of the problem suggests that the problem is that it is bound, just to the wrong cause."

<Ebba> (So we should kill Lord Entropy; that'd fix everything :D )

<Marcus> "Partially only, I think. THe destructions is a preponderance, after all, not a law."

<Alexa> (We could have taken him!)

<Ryan> (A plan everyone could get behind!)

<Ryan> "Well, they doubtless have tools that would assist in studying the nature of the problem. Ebba, do you trust E'jah enough to let him in on this, say? You've spent more time with him than any of us have with any of them."

<Ebba> "He already helped us with our other impolitic problem without any hitches, so I don't see why trusting him with this one would cause any difficulties."

<Alexa> "Hey, who is the First Magister of the Light?"

<Hollyhock God> The First Lady of the Light, Dana's Ymera.


<Ryan> (Eternity, Grief, and Mystery, was it?)

<Hollyhock God> Regret, but sim'lar.

<Marcus> (Oh yeah, that lot were a laugh riot.)

<Hollyhock God> I recall Dana and Pandora became fast friends!

<Hollyhock God> Mind, Dana was heavily involved in protecting you from Lord Entropy's… displeasure.

<Ryan> Mmm. Hence why I want her friendship!

<Ebba> I'm sure that's just because his displeasure would get in the way of her own…

<Ryan> And, y'know, convincing her to step up and claim leadership of the Light.

<Hollyhock God> Well, the shielding came before Ryan was appointed.

<Hollyhock God> Presumably it was because the entire Noble body of the Light showed up that Entropy went with politics instead of wiping the Weirding Wall with you.

<Ryan> The Defender's Blessing 5 didn't hurt. But yes.

<Hollyhock God> The "Leader of the Light" thing is an odd position, which is suitable since it was wished on you by someone who hates you all. You don't actually have to lead the Light, but Entropy will only accept communications from you as coming from the Light.

<Hollyhock God> And if something goes wrong with "the Light", he has an excuse to blame you. Defender's Blessing won't save you from Imperial miracles of awfulness!

<Alexa> (Or if something goes wrong with Dark-Light relations, or humanity…?)

<Ryan> Yes, but we can make sure it's widely recognized that he's being very petty and immature.

<Alexa> (Not like us at all.)

<Marcus> (Or pretty much anything that gives him a political excuse, yes.)

<Ebba> It also gives us another reason to make fun of Ryan, too.

<Ebba> So it's not all bad.

<Ryan> Nuh uh! You guys claimed that the 'you' refered the entire Chancel! Not just Ryan!

<Ryan> You wanted the perks, you get to bear the awesome responsibility.

<Marcus> (Anyway! Let's say something in character!)

<Alexa> (Alexa did, yes.)

<Ryan> "You wanted the perks; you get to bear the awesome responsibility."

<Ryan> "Anyway, I've got my escape plan for when things go literally to Hell."

<Alexa> "So if we kill the First Lady and her Familia, we could restore the cosmic balance and remove the closest threat to our leadership?"

<Ebba> "So we have Dana and E'jah on our consult list. Anyone else?"

<Alexa> "Don't you just."

<Ryan> "I… was just joking. You know I do do that from time to time."

<Alexa> "So was I."

<Marcus> "I might point out that I played no part in the whole debacle. Entropy probably wouldn't care if I did, of course. And… I really, really don't like this 'killing more Imperators' direction. It's one of those plans. Hats will be lost."

  • Alexa grins.

<Ryan> "Ah."

<Alexa> "Heads would very probably roll."

<Ryan> "Yes, yes, I'm sure Lord Entropy will be entirely forgiving of your association with us by reason of the fact that you're technically innocent."

<Ryan> "Oh, wait, he's a petty and immature bastard."

<Ryan> "So probably not."

<Ryan> "Yes, Night, I called him a petty and immature bastard, feel free to disagree with us."

<Hollyhock God> Joseph does not reply.

<Marcus> "Heads certainly would- one way or the other. They would most likely be ours! So we should probably focus on the other plan. The denaturing-it-of-Darkness bit."

<Ryan> "Yes."

<Marcus> "Which, since we can't work our miracles on it, and acquiring an Imperial Miracle of that scale seems a steep challenge, suggests alchemy. Unless you know an eldritch abomination that might be of use, Ryan?"

<Hollyhock God> Is that even possible?

<Ryan> "None that it would be a good idea to summon."

<Ryan> "I could do some research. But I wouldn't remain hopeful."

<Hollyhock God> I mean, some Powers of the Dark would argue that the potential for self-destruction is necessary for independence.

<Marcus> (We don't know! It's an avenue of investigation.)

<Alexa> "I was thinking, maybe one of the surviving Nobles of the Sable Gardens might be a lightning rod for draining out the power."

<Ryan> Powers of the Dark have a biased interest in the matter!

<Alexa> "That couldn't possibly go wrong."

<Ryan> Besides, we're not interested in humanity's independence. Or at least, Ryan isn't.

<Ryan> He's Light, not Wild.

<Marcus> "That's a good point. A very good point."

<Alexa> "That too. And probably aren't keen to do us any favours."

<Ryan> "We should find out if any of them are still running around."

<Marcus> Marcus strokes his beard. "Actually, if we could partially resurrect the Dark Lord- weakened, and not in control of Eden- it would allow us to maintain our original goal while still undoing part of the damage you lot caused in obtaining it."

<Alexa> "Though… maybe the First Lord had enemies within the Dark? It's not like we're a monolithic faction."

<Ryan> "Give me a few hours, I'll summon the Watcher In The Abyss. You can send out invitations and possibly try to resurrect blasphemous humanity-hating Imperial beings."

<Alexa> "'You lot'?"

<Ryan> "Marcus is carefully distancing himself from all of us so he can attempt to escape when it all inevitably goes to Hell."

<Alexa> "Oh, if we're going down, you're going with us."

<Alexa> "That's what family's for, right?"

<Ryan> "I've already got my ultimate escape route planned. I don't know about the rest of you. At any rate, I'm off to the Gazebo of High Summoning."

<Alexa> "I'm off for a smoke."

<Marcus> "Do you mind if I watch? I'm curious about this process."

<Hollyhock God> Which do you want to do first; invitations or High Summoning?

<Ryan> I figured they could do invitations while I High Summoned.

<Ryan> So let them go first, that'd be over first chronologically.

<Ryan> "Of course. The usual disclaimers about not touching anything apply."

<Marcus> "I have been around sorcerers before, yes."

<Ryan> "If some of these circles vary by a hair's width, all hats everywhere could be lost."

  • Ryan Sherbrig heads off!
  • Marcus follows, manifesting a very respectable bowler in the process.

<Hollyhock God> Okay, tell me about your chanting.

<Ebba> "Well, to the letter desk then"

  • Hollyhock God desires details today.

<Ebba> "doomDOOMdoomDOOM ?"

<Ebba> (I suppose we should also be on the look out for suspicious sheep hair? And maybe leave candy out and see if it disappears?)

<Ryan> The chanting is in the strange unlanguages from beyond Creation! Impossible to describe to those who haven't heard it, bizarre and cognitive-dissonance-forming to those who haven't made a lifetime of the study.

<Hollyhock God> Avoiding the question! No MP discount for you.

<Ryan> Strange tools that look a little like a compass and divisor.

<Hollyhock God> Shall you cause the Watcher to manifest itself boiling out of Marcus's skin, or shall we scare the newbie later?

<Ryan> Dividor? Whatever that geometrical tool is, the pronged pencil.

<Ryan> Well… I won't tell it not to.

<Marcus> (That's the compass.)

<Hollyhock God> Mouths appear out of everywhere, including the bowler hat!

<Ryan> Caliper, that's it!

<Ryan> (You know, I think I'll spend some extra SMP for willing compliance, instead of grudging.)

<Ryan> "Watcher in the Abyss, I call upon you to honor the oldest of pacts. Answer our questions until dismissed!"

<Ryan> "Do any of the powers of the First Lord of the Dark remain alive?"

<Hollyhock God> "Yessssss. The Powerrrrr of Sssssuicide desssstroyed himssssself, but the naturrre of hisss power allowed it to find a ssssucesssorrr without Imperrrial intervention."

  • Marcus maintains his Noble dignity, though he does frown a bit as he wonders at his sense of deja vu.

<Hollyhock God> "The Powerrr of Shame took rrrrefuge in the home of the Domina Invidiae, yourrrr peerrr.

<Alexa> (Ha. Ha ha ha.)

<Hollyhock God> Eyejacking!

<Hollyhock God> You find yourself seeing through eyes not your own. Hands made of inky void gesticulate fluidly in front of you as you speak.

<Hollyhock God> Maliq, pale and sick-looking even by her standards, rests against a laboratory table with her head in her hands. Her eyes are bloodshot and many things lie broken on the floor around her.

<Hollyhock God> "Maliq," you say, in a voice as thick and dark as vacuum soup, "you must have a little pride. They'll never share with you, never."

<Hollyhock God> "Not after all the attacks they've already made. But you must be strong. No one can let themselves be chained to such a thing and call themselves Noble."

<Hollyhock God> "An apple is only an apple, after all, however mystically potent. Don't let yourself give in to the craving."

<Hollyhock God> Maliq makes a sound you can't quite interpret.

<Hollyhock God> "You have to be able to stand on your feet, or what was all this for?"

<Ryan> (Oh, snap.)

<Ryan> (I didn't even consider that.)

<Hollyhock God> Eyejacking ends.

<Ryan> "Hmmm. That was… interesting."

<Hollyhock God> (HG Secret, btw: The only reason I didn't tell anyone to read Maliq's character entry in the peculiar book carefully some time ago is that I didn't want you to realize I spelled her name wrong.)

<Ebba> Hmm?

<Ryan> "And the others?"

<Ryan> (The Watcher in the Abyss is trying to make us feel sympathy for Maliq! I warned you, the price of dealing with such entities might be beyond imagining.)

<Hollyhock God> The Watcher is unable to show you the new Suicide because I haven't decided who it is yet. Feel free to make suggestions.

<Marcus> (Dr. Jack Kevorkian?)

<Ryan> (Juliet!)

<Hollyhock God> Terry Pratchett? ….too soon?

<Marcus> (Yes.)

<Hollyhock God> (That's too bad, because now I feel inspired to make up a fictional celebrity and use that concept.)

<Hollyhock God> (Think of another before it's too late!)

<Ryan> (The archetypal Suicide Girl?)

<Hollyhock God> The Suicide Girls were an Excrucian attack on the Estate. Sorry; thought you knew.

<Marcus> (I was pretty serious about Dr. Kevorkian. Making it a right-to-die-for-terminal-patients type would give Marcus' relationship to him a lot more texture than your typical DO EEEET Suicide, given his Code.)

<Hollyhock God> Ah, you have a point there.

<Hollyhock God> I'll wait to decide until I figure out whether you're planning to tie the NPC to a lightning rod once you find him or not.

<Ryan> (Wouldn't that be Perry Tratchett's association with the Estate as well, though?)

<Hollyhock God> Any more questions for the Watcher while he's up?

<Ebba> Or how about bringing back imaginary Ophelia? You can demonstrate your will by ending your life!

<Marcus> (It would, but Kevorkian establishes the same principle without being nearly so Too Soon.)

<Ryan> "Is there anyone who is aware of what's causing the spontaneous reawakening of humanity's miraculous nature, and intentionally distorting it to their own purposes?"

<Marcus> (Now, see, that's exactly the sort of question summons like to answer "Yes" or maybe "You." Good thing you spent the extra MP!)

<Ryan> (And why I told it to answer all our questions, so I could ask followups. Although I said 'our,' so this might be Marcus's chance to get a few in.)

<Hollyhock God> "Eye cannot judge intent. No one hassss spoken of the matterrrr in my knowing except forrr you and yours."

<Ryan> "What is Dana saying about us behind our backs?"

<Marcus> "To be certain… Was the one speaking to the Domina Invidiae the Power of Shame?"

<Hollyhock God> "Yesss."

<Hollyhock God> Hm, Dana. /thinks

<Ryan> (Yes, it's just a "What does she really think about us?" sort of question. Feel free to come up with an answer later.)

<Ryan> (It won't change our immediate plans.)

<Ryan> (Unless it's something like 'Yes, Excrucian masters, kill them all for me!")

<Hollyhock God> Eyejacking! Your exquisitely manicured, perfectly toned arms rest on the settee as you chat with Mystery. Or probably Mystery. Who knows?

<Hollyhock God> "Well. Sherbrig," you say. "And the others, of course. They've made quite the name for themselves, haven't they? Not that they don't deserve it. I almost wish I had done it, but of course then I would be crazy."

<Hollyhock God> "Not sure what it cost him; nobody has seen his Sister, Rebirth, in months. Of course, she never liked me, but her head seemed to be on straight. Perhaps they fed her to the Deceiver."

<Ebba> (nomnomnom)

<Hollyhock God> "And now they have the position that once was yours," says Mystery topically.

<Hollyhock God> "Oh, you know we're a non-hierarchical movement," says Dana expansively. "I would never begrudge anyone for being more successful than me if they're good enough to deserve it… and of course he'd never dare try to order me around."

<Hollyhock God> "It's magnanimous of you," says Mystery, "to be so kind to someone who the Darkest Lord will inevitably kill sooner or later."

<Hollyhock God> "I am sweet, aren't I?" you say, as the eyejacking ends.

<Ryan> (That's why the invitations were a polite request! Right, Ebba and Alexa?)

<Marcus> (I note that she, too, appears to be taking Ryan, specifically, as the one in the hotseat. :) )

<Hollyhock God> Go-go least blunt members of the Familia!

<Alexa> (You're not thinking of me, then. :) )

<Hollyhock God> It's hard to write them as well when they're talking about five people with few traits in common.

<Hollyhock God> Dana probably has nastier things to say about, say, Alexa, but they wouldn't be as topical.

<Alexa> (What did I ever do to her?)

<Hollyhock God> You showed up at her costume party not wearing a costume.

<Ryan> (The nerve!)

<Hollyhock God> For Nobles that's a killing offense.

<Marcus> (At least.)

<Alexa> (Oh, that.)

<Hollyhock God> Marcus needs to get a rival who can keep killing him for all his killing offenses. That would be hilarious.

<Marcus> (Marcus is a tolerant, dignified, and diplomatic person with thousands of years experience, so it'll have to be a pretty irrational rival. But yes, he really does.)

<Ryan> (HG, would you be annoyed at me if I asked something like "What do I need to know about that I wouldn't know to ask?")

<Ryan> (It feels a little mildly abusive, so I won't if you would.)

<Hollyhock God> I won't be annoyed, no.

<Ryan> "What do I need to know about that I wouldn't know to ask?"

  • Hollyhock God thinks about this.

<Ryan> (Lord Entropy steeples his fingers. "Unleash the diplomats.")

<Hollyhock God> Owing to not having much A-plot planned out into the future, I currently have no answer to that question.

<Hollyhock God> But it's still a fair question.

<Ryan> Okay, I can get a retroactive answer later.

<Hollyhock God> No, but you can ask again.

<Hollyhock God> Yay, Celestial Time!

<Ryan> "Marcus, can you think of anything else we should ask?"

<Ryan> (The Watcher answers for him!)

<Marcus> "I can, yes. Has there been recent sign of my wife in Creation?"

<Hollyhock God> I'm torn between "No," and "She stopped in for twenty minutes to grab some new shoes and a latte and then left."

<Ryan> (Pandora, at a local town hall, getting divorce papers. Oh, the cruelness of our enemies.)

<Hollyhock God> That would actually be a great flower rite.

<Hollyhock God> She wants to move on and become a new person and he wants to stay the same.

<Hollyhock God> But doing it probably isn't in character for Pandora.

<Ryan> She's a new person, capable of new things! But, mmm.

<Hollyhock God> So, anything more?

<Marcus> (You haven't told us what the answer actually is yet…)

<Ebba> (So the Power of Shame is now wearing Maliq like a puppet?)

<Alexa> (Anything about the First Lord's power? Or about Dark assassins coming to kill us?)

<Ryan> (I would consider that part of the 'tell me what I need to know' command.)

<Ryan> (And nobody else has been talking about the First Lord's power in unwarded conversations.)

<Hollyhock God> The answer is no, unless you think Pandora dropping in for lunch and to buy shoes in in theme.

<Ryan> "Can you determine the power of Night's current location?"

<Hollyhock God> Ebba: No, he's just living with her and giving her advice.

<Hollyhock God> Mmm, what are the mechanics on the Watcher's divination Gift?

<Ryan> Major divination with penetration 5, I think?

<Marcus> (Well, no, but it could just be a sarcastic statement of "she's running minor errands into Reality.")

<Hollyhock God> I'll go with no, then.

<Ryan> It should actually be in one of the threads. Recruitment one, maybe?

<Hollyhock God> "Eye cannot perceive the Sssshepherd of Night at this time."

<Hollyhock God> If it's just a Major Divination, that won't be good enough; the PC Joseph's Gift is based on a Major Creation, and the NPC version with 50-ish CP will be as good if not even better.

<Ebba> Hmm, so giving Maliq advice requires tying her up first. I'll keep this in mind.

<Alexa> (Tying her up? Why?)

<Hollyhock God> (Maliq isn't tied up. She's at home, feeling absolutely dreadful and holding her head in her hands over a lab table.)

<Hollyhock God> (Although that conversation probably took place in the past.

<Ryan> (I think it explicitly allows past and cloudy future stuff, yeah.)

<Ryan> "What has he spoken of, in unguarded conversations if there have been any, regarding his intentions towards us?"

<Ryan> ("He has had exactly 0 unguarded conversations since enNoblement.")

<Hollyhock God> Hm.

<Ryan> (I figured as much, really, and certainly don't mind there being countermeasures to Ryan's supersurveillance)

<Hollyhock God> Eyejacking!

<Hollyhock God> You stand, close to the ground, looking up at a man made of darkness. "I want you to tell me what's going on in Eden, Joseph. I don't know anyone else who can do it without getting caught."

<Hollyhock God> "Am I your servant today, then?" you ask, raising your eyebrows.

<Hollyhock God> "I'll make it worth your while," he tells you. "You know that I can make your life much more amusing by keeping out of your way. If you watch over them for a time, and alert me to anything unusual, I won't be ungrateful."

<Hollyhock God> "I suppose I was not busy," you say lazily.

<Hollyhock God> Eyejacking ends.

<Ebba> (Time for me to go.)

<Hollyhock God> But the invitations aren't written! Oh, well, I'm sure there won't be diplomatic repercussions if we let Alexa do it unsupervised.

<Hollyhock God> I guess it'll fly under the "Will it make us enemies we'd enjoy having?" rule.

<Ebba> (Just a polite note, asking them to come to Eden for tea, to discuss matters of mututal interest.)

  • Ebba has quit.

<Marcus> "Who was the person speaking to Night?"

<Hollyhock God> "That wasss the Powerrr of Shame, who appearrred in a priorrr vision."

<Ryan> "Interesting."

<Marcus> "Understood. I have no more questions. Thank you for your time, Watcher." Marcus leaves with no particular expression on his face.

<Ryan> "Nor I. You are free to go, and thank you for your efforts."

<Hollyhock God> "Eye am alwayssss interrrested to hearrr of your doings, Emperrror Sherrrbrig." Fade out.

<Ryan> "The occasional jokes about serial theoregicide aside, I don't think we have any real secrets to hide. Is Night potentially lurking about even a problem, really?"

<Marcus> (Marcus left already.)

<Ryan> Realm's Heart question!

  • Ryan Sherbrig heads off to see how the invitiation-writing process is going.

<Ryan> ("Letters of flame! Six feet tall! MWAHAHAHAHA!")

<Marcus> "It does leave him potentially aware of our current plans. Though I suppose they will probably involve uncomfortably allying ourselves to his spymaster, so it's not that great a problem."

<Ryan> "Our plans are for the good of the world. Hopefully that won't be a conflict of interest with him."

<Hollyhock God> Alexa, how go the invitations? And what are we inviting people to, anyway?

<Ryan> (Wait, what was Night's code? Was he Dark?)

<Marcus> (The book says he seems to probably be dark, but it's not known for sure.)

<Hollyhock God> Unknown, what with the not seeing a lot of people.

<Ryan> (Mmmm.)

<Hollyhock God> But he does seem to be followed by Dark-related phenomena.

<Ryan> "And if it does, I'm sure we could think of countermeasures to undetectable people flitting about the Chancel."

<Marcus> "If nothing else, I'm sure he'd be discomfited if we flooded the chancel with a Major Creation of Fire.)

<Ryan> "I was thinking of similar things slightly less harmful towards the garden, but yes."

<Ryan> "Dense plant life that only parted for members of the Familia and our invited guests."

<Ryan> (Especially since, OOC, fire won't do much to him.)

<Ryan> (Except feed the ravenous void that is his soul.)

<Marcus> "Nonsense. If you're going to be spending that much miraculous power on fire, it might as well be fire that only hurts things you dislike."

<Ryan> "That's fair enough. But I only want to discourage uninvited snooping, not attempt to seriously injure the man."

<Hollyhock God> Boy!

<Ryan> "Alexa! How goes the invitation-writing process?"

<Alexa> "Ebba was on that, I think. I suggested we should keep it casual, though."

<Hollyhock God> Who are you sending them to?

<Alexa> Dana and E'jah, IIRC.


<Ryan> ("PS: Be sure to wear a nice costume.")

<Hollyhock God> Just them?

<Alexa> (I think so. Can we think of anyone else?)

<Ryan> (Your girlfriend?)

<Alexa> (Oh, yes.)

<Ryan> (I forget Water's name. Kateren or something like that, was it? Or am I mixing that with RSB's new name?)

<Alexa> (But she gets a separate letter.)

<Hollyhock God> Karen.

<Hollyhock God> The author is J. Katerin.

<Hollyhock God> So, only three people and not a general convocation of the Light?

<Alexa> Hmm.

<Marcus> That was the idea.

<Ryan> For now. The convocation can be made after we get more information about this phenomenon, and hopefully get Dana on board.

<Marcus> (We wanted to save the democratic process for once that grown-ups have decided what the vote will be. ;) )

<Ryan> (What Marcus said.)

<Ryan> (Sometimes the Light has to be protected from itself.)

<Alexa> We were going to organise a convocation soon, but yeah.

<Alexa> Also, I have been assuming Alexa mentioned the convocation idea when she talked to Dana, and suggested we would like her to continue to play a prominent role.

<Ryan> And honestly, every invitation to a convocation we've gotten so far has had Dana's signature on the bottom. We'd probably need her help even knowing who to invite.

<Hollyhock God> Yes, be sure to say exactly that!

<Alexa> Indeed!

<Ryan> Unintentional patronization is just Ryan's way.

<Ryan> Maybe we should let Fiona do the talking. OH WAIT.

<Hollyhock God> Yeah, haven't seen boro in a while anyway. Darn internets.

<Hollyhock God> I guess we've accomplished our goals for the night, then.

<Rand Brittain> That reminds me, this week starts a new story, so that's another CP.

<Rand Brittain> Wasn't sure what you'd think of this week's revelations.

  • Marcus is now known as Pandora
  • Pandora is now known as Nentuaby

<Benhimself> Marcus is secretly Pandora in disguise! We knew it!

<Uqbarian> Burn him!

<Uqbarian> Her!

<Uqbarian> It!

<Nentuaby> We have no idea what you are talking about, Creatures.

<Rand Brittain> People said Maliq wasn't very rewarding as a villain, but fortunately I had a plan!

<Uqbarian> Yay!

<Rand Brittain> Not sure what you think of it.

<Uqbarian> So are we inferring she is addicted to the apples of Eden?

<Nentuaby> Or something of the sort.

<Rand Brittain> I thought that was a fun way to read her original writeup. And it also explains why she tried to approach you civilly at the gym!

<Rand Brittain> Pity you set her on fire in a fit of pique.

<Uqbarian> If you call that civil.

<Rand Brittain> To be fair, you set her on fire before she could get a third word out. After that it's unsurprising that she reacted poorly, given that she's evidently going through a really bad withdrawal.

<Uqbarian> Yeah. And if Alexa hadn't already been angry, she might not have reacted poorly either.

<Uqbarian> I had actually been thinking about Alexa sending Maliq an apology.

<Rand Brittain> Of course, now you know that she has Made-of-Space Guy telling her about how rotten you are 24/7, so the effectiveness would be questionable.

<Uqbarian> Mmhmm.

<Nentuaby> Setting aside that she is the Domina Invidiae, so it's probably largely redundant effort.

<Nentuaby> Also, I really do need to make some enemies. I've just realized that it's out of character for Marcus to antagonize even her.

<Rand Brittain> Given that you're hugely suspicious, that should be simple enough.

<Rand Brittain> That's what a character like Rhys is good for!

<Rand Brittain> Not that he'll be your enemy. He finds your story immensely believable!

<Rand Brittain> But all his friends will be keenly aware that you're an obvious Excrucian mole taking advantage of his trusting nature.

<Nentuaby> Of course. :)

<Rand Brittain> Also I thought Rhys would be good as a romantic foil for somebody.

<Nentuaby> Perhaps also, dark rumours of seduction!

  • RandBrittain will not rest until someone in this group is breaking the Windflower Law.

<Rand Brittain> Marcus doesn't count because he's already breaking all the other ones.

<Uqbarian> Rhys is a bit, er, soppy.

<Rand Brittain> It's natural to be sad when your closest relatives are cut in twain by a pirate!

<Rand Brittain> Rhys just doesn't see a point in pretending he's not upset.

<Uqbarian> So we haven't seen him at his best?

<Rand Brittain> I think that's arguably true.

<Rand Brittain> Also he has Honest as a Restriction so he got an MP for crying in front of you.

<Nentuaby> I haven't seen Rhys at all, actually!

<Rand Brittain> Rhys's mechanical strategy is to take bunches of Restrictions like "Always completely honest" and "Ridiculously naive" and rely on always having 20 MP on call when he needs it.

<Nentuaby> Perhaps his second first impression will be better.

<Uqbarian> Righto. Well, I'm off. Catch you folks later!

<Nentuaby> Adios.

<Rand Brittain> Things known about Rhys so far: He doesn't mind letting people see him cry; he likes getting drunk at parties; he is the hottest male on the planet. That's about it except for being Dominus of Faith.

<Nentuaby> How does he compare to pre-vulcanism Maebara?

<Rand Brittain> Even hotter. I think his biceps are larger, as well.

<Nentuaby> Oh noes!

<Rand Brittain> But because he has Aspect and makes whatever impression he wants he doesn't radiate an Annoyance Field.

<Nentuaby> Heh.

<Nentuaby> (Poor Ryan. Keeps getting outshone. He'll just have to console himself with ordering Cthulhu around.)

<Rand Brittain> Ryan needs adversity to motivate him. The Phoenix knew that when she chose him!

<Rand Brittain> Mind you, being able to make any impression you want is less useful when you're perfectly honest and thus must make the impression that you're thinking whatever you're actually thinking right now.

<Rand Brittain> Fortunately, Rhys is usually thinking "Hey! I don't know this person! Oh, man, I hope they like me!"

<Rand Brittain> Which is always a fairly good first impression.

<Benhimself> Ignorant and desperate: just what Nobilis society wants to see!

<Benhimself> I'm just kidding. Rhys is a nice guy. And I'm off for work. Thanks for game, all!

<Nentuaby> 'Aight. Catch you later.

<Nentuaby> Rand and I shall discuss my plans to cast off my Deceiver's skin and destroy you all once you're gone.

<Rand Brittain> Great. More editing the logs.

  • Benhimself has quit.

<Rand Brittain> At some point we really should decide something about Pandora's motivation and your arrival if you ever want to follow up on that.

<Rand Brittain> Although there is no hurry.

<Nentuaby> As for my arrival, I'm thinking there's nothing much to it- They quarrel about the whole "destroying reality" thing; Pandora takes him outside of reality briefly to transfer the shard; and shoves him back in with his memory blanked. It's only shrouded by secrecy to make it seem even more sinister than it actually, when you think about it, really is.

<Nentuaby> Pandora's motivations, now there's a more complicated tale!

<Rand Brittain> That was more or less as I envisioned it.

<Nentuaby> Personally, I'm inclined to think she's of the opinion that she's playing some kind of Deep Game.

<Nentuaby> But that there is probably a Strategist who's worked through all 73 layers and deleted a "times negative 1" somewhere.

<Nentuaby> Mostly because going totally Excrucian would be out of character for her, but unwarranted arrogance and delusions of grandeur fit her pretty well.

<Rand Brittain> My interpretation was that her statement at the party was more or less truthful: she got tired of fighting the good fight for an infinite number of lives and decided to invoke the final boss fight.

<Rand Brittain> By becoming the final boss herself.

<Nentuaby> Not incompatible theories- trying to kick off the war on her terms would be exactly the kind of thing somebody with a Phoenix-y attitude would decided was a brilliant plan.

<Rand Brittain> It's true!

<Rand Brittain> Mind you, all she has to do in order to succeed is lose.

<Rand Brittain> Unless she wins by accident, she can't fail!

<Rand Brittain> I really do want to complete somebody's romance plot, though.

<Rand Brittain> I should probably just have Joktan show up and start spying on you to be sure you're all celibate.

<Rand Brittain> That will annoy the group into actively seeking out paramours.

<Nentuaby> :)

<Rand Brittain> I thought Alexa would be easier, in that she seems like she'd be receptive to "Hello, I think you are hot. Want to have sex?"

<Rand Brittain> But it seems that she's picky, picky!

<Nentuaby> Marcus probably will start down that path on somebody's dialogue tree, but it's going to be full of much angsting about being kinda-sorta-a-widower, so not quite the same thing.

<Rand Brittain> Huh, I hadn't considered that Marcus might want one.

  • RandBrittain considers options. Maybe a Maliq redemption storyline?

<Rand Brittain> Karen is amenable, because I think she's funny.

<Rand Brittain> Probably not Dana.

<Rand Brittain> Marley would have a fling with you if it would make Ryan jealous.

<Nentuaby> Yeah, thing about him is, he's not over his wife yet, but he's smart enough about Excrucians to know she's pretty much gone and he may as well get that way.

  • RandBrittain consults his own NPCs list.

<Nentuaby> So there will be angsting and guilt, but not an actual official drive to stay loyal to her.

<Rand Brittain> Oh, there's always Melangell!

  • RandBrittain really likes his NPCs list and is sad that nobody reads it.

<Nentuaby> I read it!

<Rand Brittain> Anyway, Benjamin was my second attempt at an Alexa romance path.

<Rand Brittain> It amused me to make a set of Gifts that was the polar opposite of Joseph.

<Nentuaby> Heh.

<Rand Brittain> Don't tell anyone, but he can do an automatic Major Creation of any form of energy.

<Rand Brittain> And then direct it as a Major Mastery of Energy with maxed-out Penetration.

<Rand Brittain> Mostly he uses it to make his car run without gas.

<Nentuaby> Oh, also, Marcus is probably bi, if that opens any ideas. I wasn't entirely joking about dark hints of seduction with Rhys. ;)

<Rand Brittain> Nobody else was bi or gay yet so I hadn't considered cast sexuality. Please hold while I consider.

<Rand Brittain> I think Selim or Lukas could be bi. All the women seem impelled to either hit on Ryan or not be important so I think they're spoken for in that category.

<Rand Brittain> …I sometimes wonder whether Ben intended his character to be the butt of everyone's jokes or if he merely bears it in suffering silence.

<Nentuaby> Since they do all come down to him being the undisputed center of attention, I doubt he minds too much.

<Rand Brittain> Writing a wide stable of love interests is hard. At some point it becomes difficult to write characters who have forms of appeal that don't appeal to me.

<Rand Brittain> That's why Maebara was a muscle-man instead of being a proper bishonen. Because bishonen are weird.

<Nentuaby> Heh.

<Rand Brittain> With the girls I have to restrain the impulse to import the cast of Firefly into Ash-tree Earth.

<Nentuaby> Heh.

<Rand Brittain> If Mary McDonnell were on Firefly it would have completely encompassed every trait I find attractive in females. Maybe stick Grace Park in there somewhere for good measure.

<Rand Brittain> This is probably a common nerd trait.

<Rand Brittain> So I have a hard time writing Benjamin's lines because his character type is "breezy British colonel" and I don't know if anybody finds that attractive anymore.

<Rand Brittain> Possibly my addiction to truly ancient mystery novels is showing.

<Nentuaby> Possibly.

<Rand Brittain> The whole Stepford-lawyer story was an extended homage to Sarah Caudwell, who wrote the best mystery-comedies in the history of mankind.

<Rand Brittain> Although I don't recall anyone's brains being rewritten there. Just a few healthy murders.

<Nentuaby> Allowances must be made for medium.

<Rand Brittain> Yes, true.

<Rand Brittain> At least Ebba's romance is healthy… although it seems unlikely to progress in the next century.

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