Fifteen- Keeping Up With The Homo Sapiens, Part Two

<Hollyhock God> So, is everyone up on the events of last week? But then, I guess most all of you were here for most of it.

<Ryan> We mostly just made party plans?

<Ryan> (I could use a refresher; it's been an awkward week at work and online for me.)

<Ebba> We summoned the Watcher, and found out where Shame was.

<Ryan> (Ah, yes, that's right.)

<Hollyhock God> And paid a terrible price for the knowledge.

<Ebba> And that Maliq was probably addicted to the apples.

<Ebba> Isn't that just getting full value on the terrible prices we've already paid?

<Marcus> We did?

<Hollyhock God> That was a joke Ryan made.

<Ryan> Mmmm.

<Ryan> Nobody understands my subtle sense of humour; it's all right.

<Ryan> Or pays attention to me.

  • RyanSherbrig sniffs.

<Marcus> I don't remember that one, but 'k.

<Alexa> Subtle?

<Ebba> We follow your orders to the letter, mighty leader!

<Ebba> But I think the joke was about making us feel sorry for Maliq.

<Hollyhock God> "The Watcher is trying to make us feel sympathy for Maliq! I warned you that we might pay a terrible price for dealing with such forces!"

<Alexa> Aaah.


<Ryan> Yes, yes. Anyway.

<Marcus> Aha, right. That one.

<Hollyhock God> So… now what?

<Marcus> Now our invited guests show up?

<Ryan> "So… now what?"

  • Ryan makes a few stately gazebos in particularly lovely portions of the garden for entertaining guests in.

<Ryan> "Ebba! You can do Imperial-level gardening now as a trivial task, yes? Do you think you could improve upon these flower arrangements?"

<Ryan> (Ebba can perform Aspect-7 gardening as a simple miracle! Hilariously.)

<Ebba> (Commence primary ignition?)

<Ebba> (And don't we also have plenty more CP to spend?)

<Ryan> (Maybe? I admit I've lost track completely.)

<Hollyhock God> Yes, yes, convince flowers to grow jet engines to help them point themselves toward the sun.

<Hollyhock God> Well, we ended the "Science in My Perfectly Good Magic" story, so that's another.

<Hollyhock God> Any other party preparations or details to consider?

<Ebba> (A pulse jet engine should be possible; it doesn't require moving parts and can be run on alcohol…)

<Marcus> (We have 44 points total, I believe. 30 to start plus one a story.)

<Ebba> (Plus we were Durant, or something, for free.)

<Ebba> (But since everyone is here, me running off to play shoulder angel for Maliq will have to wait.)

<Ebba> And instead we are waiting for E'jah, Dana, anyone else?

<Alexa> Karen.

<Ebba> That's the new Power of Water?

<Alexa> Yep.

<Alexa> Though we don't have to have invited her if you didn't want to.

<Ryan> Well, Ryan wouldn't have stopped Alexa from inviting her or anything if she wanted to.

<Alexa> What's the agenda for this meeting?

<Ebba> From what I remember:

<Ebba> 1: The peoples are now having the Aspect.

<Ebba> 2: The power comes from the First Lord, so it'll be mostly bad.

<Ebba> 2a: Unless we do something about it.

<Ryan> Yeah. OH NOES MIRACULOUS, with a side order of spooky self-destructive Dark tendencies.

<Ryan> Also, the whole 'leadership of the Light' thing.

<Hollyhock God> Agenda set!

<Hollyhock God> Dana decelerates to a stop a few hundred yards outside of Eden.

<Hollyhock God> E'jah's geometrical shape fades into view at the front gates shortly afterward.

<Hollyhock God> Karen arrives last in an environmentally-friendly steam-powered Jeep.

<Ebba> (I'm not sure how an external combustion engine can be that environmentally friendly. :D )

<Marcus> (Enviro-friendly steam… now there's an accomplishment!)

<Ryan> A path lined with red flowers of Concordance rise up out of the ground to welcome them in!

  • Ryan looks at Marcus. "That wasn't too tacky, do you think?"

<Marcus> "I've learned that it is quite difficult to overdo it among the Nobilis."

<Ryan> "Pink flamingos for all!"

<Ryan> "I'm kidding, of course."

<Marcus> "Yet not impossible."

<Hollyhock God> "Salutations," says E'jah. The other guests make their own greetings. Karen stands by Alexa, attempting to look demure.

<Hollyhock God> "I was interested to receive this invitation," admits Dana. "There was something you wished to discuss?"

<Marcus> Marcus strides forward to greet the newcomers. "Welcome to Eden, Lord and Ladies. Our pleasure at your presence."

<Ebba> (Hmm?)

  • Ebba smiles at E'jah

<Alexa> "Hey, folks. Glad you could make it."

<Ryan> "Indeed. A handful of matters, actually. To the Pavilion of Discourse!"

  • Ryan mentally crosses his fingers and prays the flowers do not, in fact, have jet engines.

<Ryan> "Would you care for any specific kind of refreshments to be there when we arrive?"

<Hollyhock God> "Something aromatic, perhaps?" asks E'jah.

<Hollyhock God> "Just ice water, if you don't mind," says Dana.

<Marcus> (You know what's fun? With two Tempests and a Regal, you can fill your Chancel with a Major Creation as a simple miracle.)

<Ryan> (Sweetly burning fires it is!)

<Hollyhock God> "I don't mind at all," admits Karen.

<Ryan> (If only we had a Regal handy other than Fire.)

<Ryan> (Well, Rebirth, but I assume you're counting as Tempest duty.)

<Marcus> (Indeed.)

<Hollyhock God> Karen fills the Pavilion with glasses of pure mountain ice water, and also a few other beverages that may only contain water.

  • Ryan makes some sweet-smelling tea with elaborate fractal wisps of steam rising from it, as well.

<Marcus> "Please, make yourselves at home. We will be along in a moment- there is one last item of business we must take care of beforehand." He looks significantly at Ryan and Alexa as he falls behind the party.

  • Alexa offers a packet of cigarettes around, then lights one for herself.

<Ryan> (Take that, Ebba!)

  • Ryan falls behind as well. "Yes, Marcus?"

<Ebba> (Hmpf. :D )

<Hollyhock God> Ebba can grow tea leaves with Aspect 7 now.

<Alexa> "Hmm?"

<Hollyhock God> This could well end in an arms race.

<Marcus> "The shepherd, of course. We probably ought to flush him as a precaution before we discuss sensitive matters."

<Alexa> "You reckon he's still here?"

<Ryan> "It might be seen as impolitic to flush the Chancel with cleansing fire while we have guests, even if we exclude them for the burnination."

<Ryan> "We don't even know the strength of his Auctoritas."

<Marcus> "He well could be. It's impossible to say. Better to be safe than sorry, though. And it needn't be harmful stuff- a purely visual display would serve our purpose, as long as it burns through illusion."

<Alexa> "You could have mentioned this earlier, Marcus."

<Hollyhock God> "Shepherd?" asks Dana. "You don't mean Night, do you? Has he troubled you?"

<Ryan> (Curse you, Aspect-based eavesdropping!)

  • HollyhockGod now believes Joseph to be an invincible space Jesus, owing to too much Mass Effect 2.

<Hollyhock God> There's no point using fire! He can counter it with the ultimate weapon: upper-left blue.

<Marcus> Marcus nods. "I do. Not troubled, exactly, but certainly behaved suspicious around us."

<Ebba> (The power to destroy a planet is insignificant next to… )

<Hollyhock God> "Even with my eyes, I found him quite difficult to spot. If he might be spying, some kind of overcompensatory countermeasure might be as well."

<Hollyhock God> "Why would he be spying on you, anyway? I've never been able to find out much about him."

<Ryan> "Well, the power of Shame asked him nicely."

<Ryan> "I admit I've done some investigating of my own."

<Hollyhock God> "Truly? Well, that seems to indicate that the rumors about his allegiance are true. We must all be cautious if he appears nearby."

<Alexa> (Did Ryan ask the Watcher where Night is?)

<Ryan> (The Watcher couldn't pierce Night's wards)

<Ebba> (Looks like the Watcher didn't have enough Penetration.)

<Alexa> (Ah, yep.)

<Hollyhock God> "Saddening," remarks E'jah, "to think of such wickedness in one so young, or apparently so."

<Marcus> "Mmm. Yes. Now, shall we take our 'overcompensatory precaution' before discussing further? My suggestion is simple- fill the entire Chancel with flame that burns harmlessly through illusion. Do not use Penetration. Watch for voids in the light show."

<Alexa> "Er, what? Burns through illusion? How would that work?"

<Hollyhock God> A wizard will do it.

<Hollyhock God> That wizard is you.

<Ryan> With two of your wizard buddies to get major miracles for free!

<Alexa> "Okay. Let's give it a shot."

<Marcus> "It should be easy enough to redefine the flame created thus, yes? We are discussing a miracle of considerable power, with my power and Ryan's behind yours."

<Alexa> (It won't work if he's using a Major Change, though, will it?)

  • Ryan takes charge, directing the miraculous energies into the form of a large, showy orange blossom quickly sprouting from the fertile soil, its petals slowly uncurling into fiery apocalypse.

<Hollyhock God> No, it won't.

<Hollyhock God> But if he isn't, it will!

<Ryan> (Well, the 'find the hole in the flames left by his Auctoritas' plan is a decent one, as well.)

<Marcus> (Major Creations can create a single instance of weird stuff, because they can encompass Lesser Changes. They just can't totally reconfigure the Estate like Major Changes can.)

<Ryan> (Fire everywhere only burns through illusion!)

<Ryan> ("Ha ha, just kidding, humanity.")

<Hollyhock God> Fire rushes through Eden, burning away your illusions!

<Alexa> (Not ours! We have Auctoritas!)

<Hollyhock God> Ryan's chambers are suddenly full of garbage and untidiness!

<Ryan> (Clearly, Night is responsible! I would never make such a mess!)

<Hollyhock God> But no sign of a burning shepherd is found.

<Ryan> (Not when I can spam Lesser Creations and Destructions at will.)

<Ryan> "Hmm. Either he has already left when he heard our plans to flush him out, if not earlier, or his methods of escaping detection are powerful enough that his presence has essentially become an unfalsifiable theory."

<Hollyhock God> "Nothing?" asks Karen.

<Alexa> "Nothing."

<Hollyhock God> "I don't care to believe the second," says Dana. "Let us assume the first."

<Ryan> "Indeed."

<Ebba> "So we can start the meeting, then?"

<Hollyhock God> Your guests seat themselves, or maybe just hover near a chair.

<Alexa> (Have our visitors been introduced to each other, or have they all met before?)

<Ryan> (Introductions are for lesser gods!)

<Ebba> (Karen is now, and might not have met everyone yet)

<Hollyhock God> I believe they're acquainted, since they were at your last gathering in Eden.

<Alexa> (Righto.)

<Marcus> "Indeed. That concluded, then…" Marcus takes a seat and a cup of fractal-tea, which he sips from with perfect dignity. "Let us first say, again, thank you for coming. I am afraid the purpose of this meeting is, to an extent, to seek your wisdom on the matter of cleaning up a mess."

<Ryan> (Oh, thank god; I thought Ryan would have to try to be diplomatic.)

<Ebba> (It's not a mess; we intended that result!)

<Marcus> (Yes, well, you set out to make a mess. :P)

<Alexa> (Oh, just to check, would a Greater Divination of Fire with 4 points of Penetration achieve anything that the illusion-burning flames didn't?)

<Hollyhock God> "This often happens," says Dana knowingly.

<Hollyhock God> (How would a Divination of Fire help?)

<Ebba> "The power of the First Lord appears to have been dispersed to humanity in general, and ordinary humans now seem capable of the occasional miraculous action."

<Alexa> (Seeing through the flames that we made a minute ago.)

  • Ebba cites evidence.

<Marcus> "In itself, this is happy news. Unfortunately, one must consider the source. We have determined that the miracles born of this power are, perhaps unsurprisingly, skewed to the destructive."

<Hollyhock God> "Hm." Dana thinks about this.

<Hollyhock God> "I won't discount it, but it seems as though it's also possible that you were deceived by powerfully hidden miracles, much as you were unable to adequately find the sneaking shepherd."

<Alexa> (Ouch.)

<Hollyhock God> "It's worth looking into in any case," says E'jah. "It's a fascinating topic for research."

<Hollyhock God> "Given that none of the First Lord's Estates have disappeared, his nature must have dispersed somewhere."

<Ryan> "We would welcome any evidence that our conclusions are wrong, of course."

<Ebba> (Erm, except for that bit where an Excrucian artifact was involved… :D )

<Ryan> (Shh!)

<Marcus> "Indeed. As well, we have determined that certain of his Nobilis have remained active in the world, or found successors."

<Hollyhock God> "Too much to expect that they'd just commit sepukku," frowns Dana. “A nuisance from beginning to end.”

<Marcus> "Well, one of them seems to have. Unfortunately," Marcus smiles wryly, "that one was Suicide."

<Ryan> (I was just about to type "Well, we haven't found evidence that Suicide is among the survivors")

<Marcus> "His Shard passed on. Shame, meanwhile, appears to have survived intact. He has lodged with our dear friend the Domina Invidiae."

<Ryan> "When he's not pulling Night's strings."

<Ryan> (Night's probably not the sort to rise to bait like that, but it doesn't mean Ryan won't try.)

<Alexa> (Nice one.)

<Alexa> "Has this sort of thing happened before? Presumably Imperators have been done over by non-Excrucian enemies in the past."

<Hollyhock God> "Once or twice," admits E'jah. "If the two Imperators are of compatible stock, like the Old and New Gods, sometimes the Estates are eaten by the victor."

<Hollyhock God> "Of course, absorbing additional Estates changes an Imperator's full nature. Doing it too many times is almost like suicide."

<Alexa> "We're pretty sure that hasn't happened."

<Alexa> (We'd have noticed, right?)

<Hollyhock God> "It's one of the legacy benefits of maintaining a stock of Powers, of course, being able to know that your Estates can survive you."

<Ryan> (Well, the Phoenix has been sleepier than normal. DUNH DUNH DUUUNH.)

<Hollyhock God> (Ryan's been performing Lesser Destructions of Shame constantly. It's the only solution.)

<Ryan> (I miss my scarab of doom.)

<Hollyhock God> Call Pandora and ask to borrow another.

<Ryan> "An idea was proposed of some powerful device to… filter the loose spiritus dei of Dark resonance, although none of use were sufficiently trained in Alchemy to know just how feasible such an effort would be."

<Ryan> (And we're still kind of waiting on that Stone of Antiheroes, too.)

<Ryan> (Although the two are surprisingly similar in principle, if you think about it.)

<Hollyhock God> Dana admits, "That might well be necessary if these claims prove to be true. I'd like to perform an analysis alongside my Familia before I delegate the amount of resources such a project would demand, however."

<Hollyhock God> "It will certainly have to be a full-muster project if it really is true," notes E'jah.

<Alexa> "Seems fair. How could we show a difference between an individual using a miracle and someone else making it look like that individual was using a miracle?"

<Ryan> "Of course."

<Hollyhock God> E'jah thinks about this.

<Ryan> (We're also going to need an Entropy filter, when you're done with the Excrucian filter and the Dark filter.)

<Hollyhock God> "You probably can't. Ultimately, only a preponderance of evidence will make one possibility seem more likely than the other, given the difficulty of direct observation."

<Hollyhock God> "Or perhaps an alchemical… but I don't have the time myself given… various other important projects."

<Ryan> "I could look into a solution using High Summoning… the mention of unfalsifiability is ringing a few bells. I'll have to look into some of my books."

<Ebba> (That would hardly ever go wrong!)

<Hollyhock God> "Lady Ebba might be able to contribute a device that would be helpful. Her mastery is incomplete, but she should be able to create an acceptable tracking device."

<Hollyhock God> "Indeed, I would be pleased to see the fruits of her study in action."

<Ryan> ("I bet you would.")

<Ryan> (It's a good thing nobody can read Ryan's thoughts.)

<Hollyhock God> (How do you know E'jah can't? He's covered in his own alchemical fruits!)

<Hollyhock God> (The strawberries of telepathy! The plums of being kind!)

<Ryan> (Use your powers to help another!)

<Marcus> (The bananas of lewd suggestion!)

<Alexa> "Any other thoughts on precedents for results of Imperatoricide? Any archives we could look into?"

<Ryan> (Now… jump!)

<Ryan> "Perhaps Troy?"

<Ebba> (Of course, I'm not even sure of the right question to ask, but once we figure that out, I can try some alchemy.)

<Hollyhock God> "Ah, the death of Jehannum. That mystery was never uncovered to my satisfaction."

<Hollyhock God> Well, you could try to create a device that uses Imperial magic that can trace miracles to the doer.

<Hollyhock God> "You might interview Helen, but she's notoriously closed-mouthed," E'jah tells you.

<Hollyhock God> "I spoke to her once myself," says Dana. "She's not much interested in explaining how her men killed an Imperator."

<Alexa> "Helen's still alive?"

<Hollyhock God> "Maybe she just doesn't really know," says Karen.

<Alexa> "The Helen?"

<Ryan> "Well, we're more interested in the consequences than the how."

<Ryan> ("Obviously, we've got the how covered ourselves.")

<Hollyhock God> "She is Noble, and no one has killed her yet somehow, so she remains, although she rarely leaves Locus Troy in this era."

<Marcus> "Oh yes, famously so," says the least experienced member of the Familia, "didn't you know that?"

<Alexa> "Though the consequences might depend on the how. But yeah."

<Alexa> "No, I don't think it came up before."

<Hollyhock God> "Her Estate is Weaving, and she spends most of her time in craftsmanship at home."

<Ryan> ("Alexa, we really do need to loan you a copy of the GWB sometime.")

<Hollyhock God> "Jehannum's Estates…" considers E'jah. "Do you know; I'm not sure what they were."

<Hollyhock God> Not all of use have memorized the entire thing. That's probably just me and Ben.

<Ryan> (When we're not citing deus ex machina.)

<Alexa> (Alexa doesn't know it all IC.)

<Ryan> (It suits Ryan's nature to be a guy who knows things.)

<Alexa> "So we don't know of any obvious examples of Estates or Imperial power draining out into a wider populace, but we can't be sure it hasn't happened before. Is that right?"

<Marcus> (And it suits my sense of funny to poke at Alexa. ;) )

<Hollyhock God> "I don't recall an Estate being vested in a… wait. The merrows!"

<Hollyhock God> "Although, the merrows are an Imperator who was ripped into shreds, not the inheritors of a dead one, so, not quite the same," he admits.

<Marcus> "Would that count? They are, after all, still alive, if in their fragmented state."

<Marcus> (Jinx.)

<Alexa> "Sounds relevant to me."

<Alexa> (AFK a minute or two.)

<Ryan> "These are certainly all things we could look into."

<Marcus> "Also, they were a Mimic. That may or may not really be the same thing as an Imperator at all."

<Marcus> "But, yes, I suppose they're worth investigating."

<Hollyhock God> "Yes, please make whatever findings you come up with, via alchemy or more esoteric methods, available. I'm very interested," says E'jah, glowing slightly yellow.

<Hollyhock God> "I have no access to such powers," admits Karen sadly, "but I have a fair amount of standard divinatory power to put forward, and I see much. I'll start keeping tabs on apparent superhuman performances."

<Ryan> (Plus, if we want to question the merrows, really, Karen would be the best friend ever to have.)

<Hollyhock God> "I'll set Dame Mystery onto researching the problem," offers Dana. "Her skill at untangling nots is definitionally second to none."

<Alexa> "Yeah, Karen, are you on good terms with the merrows?"

<Alexa> "Do you know much about their history, that sort of thing, besides what's common knowledge?"

<Hollyhock God> Karen does a hair-flip and looks smug, dropping the demure look for a second.

<Hollyhock God> "They know they can't compete with me." She looks pensive for a second. "Unless perhaps they all met me in a body?"

  • Alexa raises an eyebrow.

<Hollyhock God> "They haven't done it even in Lady Anna's tenure, when security tended to be less strict, but I'm told their powers are immense when they act in concert."

<Alexa> "A school of merrows? A merrow-go-round?"

<Hollyhock God> "But they've become less organized over the years. Their memory of their past existence is fading. Now their egos prevent them from cooperating too much."

<Marcus> "I believe that if we are to be interrogating merrows…" Marcus tugs the gold chain attached to his suit pocket just enough to show a bit of the Scarab of Hope on the end of it. "…I would be the best candidate to take point."

  • Ryan draws Dana aside slightly as this conversation is happening.

<Hollyhock God> "I suppose they have undergone a kind of rebirth," admits Karen. "Perhaps you can relate to them."

<Ryan> "So. Dana. The other reason I wanted to talk to you was about this whole 'leader of the Light'…" {nonsense} "Business."

<Alexa> "Ah, the merrow memory. Tomerrow and tomerrow creeps in this petty pace."

<Ebba> (About time for me to go.)

<Marcus> "Relate… hmm. That too, I suppose." Marcus looks at Alexa oddly, trying to figure her little proclamation out.

<Ryan> "Obviously, Lord Entropy saddled me with the 'position' as an attack, knowing full well that I'm completely incompotent when it comes to subtle politics. But most of the Light seems caught up in the whole taking Eden thing and has, incomprehensibly, accepted this. I'd rather not drag the Light down with me when I go. I welcome any insight or advice you may have regarding the situation"

<Hollyhock God> Dana nods understandingly. "Lord Entropy will be looking to make your life difficult when the chance arises. Not if, I'm afraid."

<Alexa> "Ahem. And I keep coming back to this, I know, and I can't see why they'd help, but does anyone know any relatively friendly Darksiders who might be able to shed light on the situation?"

<Ebba> (Sigh, now i'm sure we'll be getting nuts who think that they'll have to destroy humanity's ego to unlock their true potential, or something.)

<Ryan> (Incidentality project go!)

<Ryan> (Wait, no, instrumentality. That was it.)

<Ryan> (Crap, what was the incidentality project? Uh oh.)

<Hollyhock God> (Instrumentality doesn't make any sense, though. Human Complementation Project is a better translation.)

<Ryan> (But Instrumentality sounds so badass!)

<Hollyhock God> "Well," says E'jah, "you have a small Darkling creeping about. Why not see if you can get a bit closer to him?"

<Ryan> "One thought I had was hosting a grand convocation of the Light to discuss leadership, if indeed we as a group feel we need it, of a more qualified sort."

<Hollyhock God> Dana tells you, "If I can ever give you any advice on how to organize our fellows, I'm always happy to contribute, rather than let you flounder. That would suit nobody."

<Hollyhock God> "I don't think it's up for discussion, since Entropy has recognized you as the official leadership. Any important business will have to come through you now."

<Ebba> (Byebye.)

<Ryan> "Mmmmm. But if I'm official leader, surely delegation of responsibility is within my authority, yes?"

<Ryan> "I don't mind if Entropy uses this all as an excuse to heap punishments on me for my actions. He'll find one way or another."

<Hollyhock God> "I doubt the Darkest Lord will be accommodating. If you decide to back out, he'll simply heap punishments on the Light as a whole. That's unacceptable."

<Hollyhock God> "Of course, having you as an unwilling figurehead is still worth the gains your Familia has made for us."

<Ryan> "Hmm."

<Alexa> "I'd better not burn out Night's candles, then."

<Hollyhock God> One day these puns will kill someone.

<Alexa> (Alexa's secret: she's Nettling the Power of Humour.)

<Ryan> "But yes, a figurehead was exactly what I was thinking of. I stand there for Entropy to scorn and desecrate while other people make the important decisions."

<Hollyhock God> This pleases Dana.

<Ryan> (I figured it would!)

<Hollyhock God> "Hopefully we'll eventually think of some way to get you out of the fire," she tells you. "For now, we should focus on proving or disproving your theory."

<Hollyhock God> "Does anyone else have any ideas that might help in this situation?"

<Alexa> "Nope."

<Ryan> "I'll look into my books for something useful. It's high time I reconsider my 'allies', anyway. I don't think I've actually called upon any of them except the Watcher in ages."

<Ryan> ("Why, since we killed the First Lord, in fact!")

<Ryan> (We're clearly going to need a Nanny from Beyond before too long.)

<Ryan> (Man, I hope E'jah doesn't have something that lets him read OOC comments.)

<Ryan> (That'd be awkward.)

<Hollyhock God> (Metatextual demons! The most dangerous summons of all!)

<Hollyhock God> "Then we shall go our separate ways and report in a week's time what we have found."

<Marcus> a Ia Thursday Next.

<Alexa> "Sounds good."

<Hollyhock God> "Hopefully, we can determine what should be done before the Dark arrives at a plan of its own."

<Alexa> "Did you want a tour of Eden while you're here? At some point we'll have to talk about what we do with this place too."

<Hollyhock God> "That would be fabulous," says Dana silkily. Karen and E'jah are also glad to be included.

<Ryan> "I'm thinking a few more dovecotes."

<Alexa> "We're a bit short on volcanoes, but I was overruled."

<Hollyhock God> "Extra irrigation," advises Karen, smiling.

<Alexa> (Are we done for the day?)

<Ryan> (How big is the garden? Like, large-garden-sized, city-sized, small-country-sized?)

<Hollyhock God> City-sized.

<Ryan> (Just considering the actual feasibility of a lake with small volcanic islands in it.)

<Ryan> (They are actually pretty good for making fertile soil, evidently.)

<Alexa> (Alexa is just joking. The soil is miraculously fertile already, IIRC.)

<Hollyhock God> I guess that finishes the big meeting.

<Hollyhock God> Yay meetings!

<Alexa> Yay!

<Hollyhock God> Now for proactive activity next time!

<Benhimself> I'll rewrite Ryan's "Dudes I have on call" list and post it to the wiki sometime before next week.

<Rand Brittain> Oooh, dudes.

<Rand Brittain> Letting Ebba actually use her alchemy would be nice as well.

<Benhimself> Yes!

<Benhimself> "Dude 1: Alchemy 5."

<Benhimself> Ha ha, just kidding.

<Benhimself> Hmmm, a summon that had, itself, High Summoning might be interesting.

<Benhimself> That's always handy when playing Dungeon Crawl, when you summon the demon that summons more smaller demons. It's like self-generating chaff!

<Benhimself> Maybe just something that gives birth to horrible monsters.

<Nentuaby> Summon Warren Ellis?

<Benhimself> "I call it.. the Crafter of Love!"

<Benhimself> The Architect. Something with a World-Crafter's Hand sort of Gift. Hmmmm.

<Benhimself> Wait, no, the Matrix sequels ruined that name forever, didn't they?

<Rand Brittain> An imp that eats signal and turns it into noise?

<Benhimself> Hmmm, that's a thought.

<Rand Brittain> A snake that slithers down your throat and eats your imperfections!

<Rand Brittain> A bat-winged cloak made of actual bats that will let you step from one dark place to another!

<Benhimself> A scorpion that provides dramatic musical soundtrack!

<Rand Brittain> A mist that eats things and can turn itself into them later.

<Uqbarian> A pinball machine that tells the future!

<Rand Brittain> "You'll become deaf, dumb, and blind, but it won't matter."

<Benhimself> A large-mouthed beast that uneats things!

<Uqbarian> A monkey with a typewriter!

<Benhimself> It can recreate anything that's ever been eaten.

<Uqbarian> A really nice cup of tea!

<Rand Brittain> Whoa, now, niche protection, champ!

<Uqbarian> A niche protector!

<Nentuaby> Hmmm. You could go somewhere interesting with that, actually.

<Nentuaby> Something that forces qualities to be unique. It'd be bloody weird, but then, High Summoning.

<Uqbarian> Like a niche watchman.

<Benhimself> Mmmm.

<Uqbarian> To niche their own.

<Benhimself> If you've got two people with abilities, it can remove said abilities from one of them, temporarily.

<Benhimself> "I'm sorry, but we already have an Exemplar handy."

<Benhimself> "No need for two!"

<Benhimself> The Warmain pouts. Ebba smiles.

<Rand Brittain> Warmains lead difficult lives.

<Uqbarian> Righto, I'm off to lunch. I just remembered, I'll probably be late next week. Don't wait for me!

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