<Hollyhock God> When last we left our intrepid deities, Nico and Sid were nowhere to be seen, and Caviel had lost the Chancel after taking a second left at Alberquerque.
<Pascale> (we could just skip the resolution of all that…)
<Hollyhock God> Nay!
<Hollyhock God> I have discovered the best possible resolution for all that.
<Jane> I thought skipping was the best possible resolution!
<Hollyhock God> While the Chancel was lost in nothingness, Pascale and Jane discovered terrible secrets!
<Jane> Wait, do we pull off the mask to reveal that it's Sid?
<Sid> And I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling Powers.
<Hollyhock God> Including the body of Pascale's predecessor, who began to explain how Pascale was a fakey-fake Power, and to blackmail Caviel with mysterious leverage!
<Jane> Or Ergo! He is secretly the villain
<Hollyhock God> Anyway!
<Hollyhock God> Jane holds the bizarro-Pascale high in a net of shadows!
<Hollyhock God> Pascale is totally freaking out (and, I note, is therefore not using her powers to the extent one might expect up to now).
<Hollyhock God> Caviel, sweating, demands that Jane release the villain!
<Hollyhock God> Jane refuses!
<Hollyhock God> It is a Mexican standoff.
<Hollyhock God> And so, we begin.
<Hollyhock God> Pascale, on the verge of a mental breakdown video, sees something sticking out of her Book of Answers.
<Hollyhock God> Somebody slipped something in there an unspecified number of sessions ago!
<Jane> (M. Night Shyamalan) What a twist!
<Pascale> Ok, let's click on the link.
<Hollyhock God> It's a neatly-folded piece of paper that, when opened, reads: "Lies. A Lady of this Earth is who she says she is."
<Hollyhock God> The signature is a fancy copperplate P.
<Pascale> What secrets does it contain?
<Pascale> Or would you rather I didn't div?
<Hollyhock God> Uh, the P stands for Paolo?
<Hollyhock God> Otherwise it's not hugely secret now that you've noticed it's there.
<Hollyhock God> Whether or not a note he intended for you to find later is a secret or not is something I won't go into at this moment.
<Pascale> Well, that's helpful, because in context I'm not sure if it's one of me, cloned, timelost or otherwise.
<Hollyhock God> You're pretty sure you aren't Paolo.
<Pascale> My initial is also P!
<Hollyhock God> So is Painter's!
<Hollyhock God> The note is also not from him.
<Pascale> Well, yes, but I didn't know that until—uh—back to the standoff.
<Hollyhock God> Although I don't think Pascale signs in copperplate.
<Hollyhock God> She strikes me as having made her own letterhead.
<Jane> Perhaps she does, tomorrow—in December!
<Pascale> I think the Book is usually printed, and might be copperpl—
<Pascale> Wait, aren't we in a tense standoff?
<Jane> Yep, with me looking all fierce and sustaining a lv6 Strike 3 miracle and everything
<Hollyhock God> The tension, I am sure, is relieved by these words of wisdom, which remind you that you are totally you and make you realize that you are being toyed with.
<Hollyhock God> This will not stand!
<Hollyhock God> "Er, yes? Um… it's all very awkward."
<Pascale> "I'm hurt, Caviel. You're afraid of him? Of the secrets he holds?"
<Hollyhock God> "Well, yes. The secrets of… um… what secrets were they, again?"
<Hollyhock God> "I actually can't remember, now that I think of it."
<Jane> Jane is still sustaining the stand-off, but now standing there with one eyebrow raised.
<Pascale> (I get the sense that we should resolve this, but I don't know the clever resolution you have devised.)
<Hollyhock God> Oh!
<Hollyhock God> Well, it's never a bad time to try the Truth of the Name.
<Pascale> OK, sure.
<Pascale> Pascale gives her Imperator a pitiable look before turning to her dopplegaanger. "In Pascale Lanier's name, reveal yourself."
<Jane> (Man, we need to get Nico and Sid in on this action!)
<Nico> (Nico's sitting in a room somewhere, crying because everyone forgot his birthday when in reality they're just fighting an Excrucian. He has a jaunty party hat ever so roguishly askew.)
<Hollyhock God> Your double considers this for a moment and then shrugs.
<Hollyhock God> "Two hours and seventeen minutes. I think that's pretty good."
<Hollyhock God> The Pascale-visage drops away under a sort of drainpipe effect, to reveal a handsome young man with soft blond curls and falling stars in his eyes.
<Hollyhock God> "And here I am, in the very belly of the beast, unmasked and alone! Terrifying!"
<Jane> The shadows coil tighter.
<Hollyhock God> "Ouch! That does hurt rather a lot, you know, so please don't think I don't appreciate your efforts."
<Pascale> "You wouldn't have doubted Mortimer, like that."
<Hollyhock God> "Sorry."
<Pascale> ((I'm somewhat amused by Pascale being more upset about Caviel than the raging Deceiver in their midst.))
<Jane> "Final time: Who are you?"
<Hollyhock God> "Now I feel not merely guilty, but silly," admits the fallen angel. "And I'm more used to one than the other."
<Hollyhock God> "The name," explains the Excrucian gentleman, "is Lambkin Moceils. I'm a hero of justice, in case you didn't know."
<Pascale> "Oh. Well, in that case."
<Jane> She turns to Pascale. "What do you want to do with him?"
<Hollyhock God> "Still planning on walking out, just in case that wasn't clear," Lambkin asides.
<Pascale> "Do we have a jail or something?"
<Pascale> "Some rock-candy breaking chain gang on the bad side of town?" Pascale's imagination begins to get away from her.
<Hollyhock God> At this point it is probably acceptable for Sid and Nico to arrive from their bender or birthday or whatever.
<Sid> Sid wanders in, dragging behind him a disconsolate Nico in a party hat. "Guys, did no one else remember Nico's birthday? Really?"
<Nico> Nico looks up, his sad eyes suddenly full of understanding. "Whacha got there, Jane?"
<Pascale> "Hi, Nico. We got you a Deceiver for your birthday. Jane was just wrapping him."
<Nico> "…Did you keep the recipt?"
<Jane> "He seems to think he's going to walk out. I'm trying to come up with something more clever to do with him than just banging his head against the ground really hard."
<Hollyhock God> "It's all been a bit of a fiasco," Lambkin admits from up above.
<Hollyhock God> "I mean, I was able to scare you pretty well, excellently, really, but what did it accomplish?"
<Hollyhock God> "You haven't given up your evil ways at all!"
- Nico pulls out a large, vaguely evil-looking book from his messanger bag. There is the unspoken and uncomfortable possibility that the book is bound in human leather and is not a free trade product.
- Jane mentally notes that pulling out human-skin tomes is probably not a good refutation of the accusation of having evil ways.
<Pascale> Pascale shifts her own book behind her back, because they're over quota.
<Nico> "Have we figured out what to do with him?" Nico asks flatly.
<Pascale> "Um. Five years in the slammer, parole in three with good behavior?" Pascale 'jokes' nervously, hopefully. She doesn't want to have to kill him…
<Hollyhock God> "Let me detail my plan," explains Lambkin. "I will overcome you all with the power of justice, and leave through that door over there."
<Sid> "That's a shit plan."
<Nico> "He seems like a shit Deceiver."
<Hollyhock God> "It has become clear that I am kind of pants at deception, so I am going to resort to sensible solutions like beating you up until you stop being evil."
<Pascale> Note: Nico smells sexy to him.
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin makes a note for Foe Yay over Nico's rumpled body at a later date in the proceedings.
<Sid> "Do you really see yourself winning when it comes to beating us up? I mean, you being a shit Deceiver beside, we've got you outnumbered. Maybe you should just give up here."
<Nico> A flash spreads across Nico's eyes. "Trust me. You don't want to try and get me riled up."
<Jane> "You're not really doing too well at that either," Jane points out. The shadows give him a slight shake.
<Sid> Just for emphasis, Sid uses an Emulation to shapeshift into a rough approximation of Jack the Ripper.
- Jane thinks this is also not really helping the argument for us being the good guys.
<Hollyhock God> "It's hard," Lambkin admits. "I'm scared. But I can't give up just because I'm frightened! That's not how a hero should behave."
<Jane> "You're taking the piss again," Jane accuses.
<Pascale> (Says the one holding him tight in tentacles of darkness before her fallen-angel overlord?)
<Hollyhock God> Sid becomes Jack the Ripper, bubbling with the hidden menace in the unguarded city. The urge to commit random sexual murders is strong in him.
<Hollyhock God> "Um, no, this is my actual personality. Sorry."
<Jane> oh god
<Pascale> "Your actual personality is a dick."
- Pascale crosses her arms for emphasis.
<Nico> "So," Nico says, flipping through his vaguely malevolent book and settling on a page. "There's this thing that…well, I don't want to say that I want to try it. But it does seem apt."
<Jane> "Less of a dick than when he was pretending to be Mortimer pretending to be you though," Jane observes.
<Pascale> "well, yeah, but I'm kind of blaming actual-him for coming up with that idea."
<Hollyhock God> "If it makes you happier, I'll agree to stop telling lies to you, forever. It seems like it only leads to trouble."
- Nico hands the book to Pascale. It's on a page marked "Living Death of the Sugar Crystal Casket."
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin does actually seem fairly intimidated by your superior numbers and scary powers. Meanwhile, you're all growing steadily angrier.
<Hollyhock God> A wicked wind whips Jane's two-tone hair.
<Pascale> "…does that bind all future shards?" Pascale juggles the two books.
<Hollyhock God> "Um, I guess so? I'm not actually a shard, so I guess that would apply? I could go out and ask a Strategist. They would know."
<Nico> "I have no idea! Toltecatl apparently invented it to screw over unruly spirits."
<Pascale> "What? But that's—gah. That's horrible, Nico."
- Sid has quit
<Hollyhock God> Sid disintegrates into a random cloud of potential violence that could be anywhere!
- Sid has joined #spookygods
<Hollyhock God> Oh my god, is that him?
<Nico> "It's an Excrucian."
<Hollyhock God> Uh, let me see, what scary special effects suit Nico?
<Sid> "Is there any reason to imprison him instead of just slitting his metaphorical throat, hmm?"
- Jane sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose.
<Nico> "…I could make a horrible, nihilist candy out of him?"
<Hollyhock God> "You fiends!"
<Pascale> "It's kind of, you know, murder?"
<Nico> "And feed that nihilist candy to other Excrucians?"
- Pascale points to the Excrucian.
<Jane> "I'm pretty sure killing him would be wreaking more than sevenfold vengeance on him," Jane points out, casting a sidelong glance over to Caviel.
<Pascale> "Not helping!"
<Nico> Nico turns to the Deceiver: "Hey. Hey you. Query: given the chance to destroy all Creation, would you?"
<Nico> Nico wilts. "Wait. Sevenfold what now?"
<Jane> "You know. The Chestnut Law."
<Pascale> (I'm the noob!)
<Hollyhock God> "Well, of course I would," Lambkin says, confused. "I mean, I'm an Excrucian Deceiver. I've seen the web of lies you spin around the world and am sworn to unravel it."
<Nico> Nico gestures, as if the Excrucian said everything that needed to be said, probably because it did.
<Hollyhock God> "Can we fight now? Fighting monsters is kind of my job."
<Pascale> "Yeah? Well, um, doesn't that just make you a dick?"
<Jane> "Look," Jane says. The shadows flip Lambkin upside down and lower him so that he's face to face with her, albeit upside-down. Kind of like that Spider-Man scene, only without the kissing. "Are you part of Hewekin's crew?"
<Nico> "So are you guys gonna help me entomb it in enchanted molten sugar, or are we just gonna jaw all day?"
<Hollyhock God> "Well, we've met? I'm sort of freelance. Although he did text me with your address."
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin stammers this out.
<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, Jane feels her teeth starting to sharpen themselves.
<Hollyhock God> His neck is right there.
<Sid> "Candy-tombing this guy feels a little underwhelming, but okay," sighs Sid the Ripper. "But if he wants to go all boss fight on us, I'm not saying no."
<Nico> "I mean, if y'all have a better idea, I'm all ears."
<Jane> "What a helpful fellow. I want you to do me a favor."
<Nico> "I'm actually not, though."
<Nico> "I'm like… 2% ears at best."
<Hollyhock God> Candy-tombing an immortal is a bit unproductive anyway, and Deceivers tend to be that.
<Nico> It'll keep him out of out hair
<Nico> And like I said. I'm going to turn him into nihilist candy. Maybe.
<Pascale> "Assuming you lose," Pascale asks the Deceiver, "What would you accept as a fair punishment?"
<Pascale> Pascale kind of glances around from the Fallen Angel, to Halloween-girl who is so obviously about to bite him, to Tomb Boy to Jack the Ripper. Eeesh!
<Hollyhock God> "I can't be punished! My cause is just! Although I guess you could still kill me, or rip me to pieces, or curse me with sticky hands, or the thing with the rock candy he was talking about…"
<Hollyhock God> He goes on in this vein for a while.
<Pascale> "Right, but that's not—"
<Hollyhock God> He's a bit pale, and his breath has quickened.
<Hollyhock God> Pascale, something is wrong with this picture.
<Pascale> "—you know what; your cause isn't just, and you're a jerk, and you're mean, and I'm trying to get them not to kill you and I'm almost not sure why I'm bothering."
<Hollyhock God> Your Familia is going all horrorshow, and you have a feeling that they aren't doing it on purpose.
<Pascale> Am I affected?
<Hollyhock God> Well, you're about to lose your temper at a fairly mild Deceiver who appears to be terrified of you.
<Jane> "I want you to…" Jane trails off. She runs her tongue over her teeth.
<Nico> "Point of order: not trying to kill him," Nico clarifies.
<Pascale> I'm assuming he's used some sort of pState that the enemies of Lambkin are terrible monsters.
<Pascale> Can I confirm this?
<Jane> (Also he has the most adorable and inoffensive name ever wtf)
<Hollyhock God> Adorable is a good description, really.
<Hollyhock God> He looks like the standard muscular adventurer type, only cuddly.
<Hollyhock God> You kind of want to ruffle his hair while ripping out his throat.
<Jane> She repeats the exercise. They're not supposed to be pointy like that.
<Jane> "What are you doing? Stop it."
<Nico> "…Huh. I wonder if all this shit is necessary," Nico comments, looking over the ritual ingredients, "or whether I can just wing it."
<Pascale> "Waaaaait a minute."
<Pascale> "YOU TOO?"
<Pascale> "You… you… insufferable… JERK!"
<Jane> (so confuuuused)
<Pascale> Pascale stomps her foot in petulence.
<Hollyhock God> "You're the one who keeps trying to do candy things to people!"
- Nico flips the page to the next spell: "Dragon's Enema? Oh Cneph no. A thousand times no,"
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin swings his sword wildly, although he can't reach you at the moment.
<Hollyhock God> "Just… stay away!"
- Jane doesn't blame him in this case.
<Pascale> "First Caviel, and now you?"
<Jane> "Why would you even have a spell for that? Dear God!"
<Nico> "Where would I even find that many Guatemalan Insanity Peppers at this hour?"
<Sid> "Dude, you're the one who came over here."
<Hollyhock God> The urge to commit monstrous violence grows stronger!
<Nico> "And how would they all… fit?"
<Pascale> Pascale is upset because she's not affected.
<Sid> "Maybe if you didn't want to get beaten up by angry nobles, you shouldn't have come into the reality that's protected by angry nobles."
<Pascale> Apparently, it's affecting things that he fears.
<Hollyhock God> "Well, you aren't scary. Maybe you've just been misled by the beast queen and her sorcerers?"
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin smiles awkwardly.
<Pascale> "Seriously? Am I just, like, the least threatening Noble ever?"
<Hollyhock God> "You, uh, shouldn't hang around in bad company?"
<Hollyhock God> "You should become a hero of justice with me! Yeah!"
<Pascale> "It's a bad neightborhood, whatchagonna do? I was lead astray by the swe—wait, I'm not playing this game!"
- Jane sculpts some spare shadows into a chair and sits down, then lowers Lambkin down again. "Look, you realize Hewekin tossed you to the wolves here, right?"
<Hollyhock God> "I'm a grown-up! I've got a sword and everything!"
<Nico> "Are you guys gonna keep talkin' or are you gonna help me gather up Guatemalan Insanity Peppers?"
<Pascale> "You're the bad guy! Now stop using your evil Justice powers on my friends!"
<Nico> "Don't touch them. Seriously. Don't fucking touch them."
<Hollyhock God> "And like I said, I'm leaving! Pascale, you can come with me if you wanna."
<Hollyhock God> He holds out his sword in defensive posture, but it wobbles a bit.
<Nico> "Don't talk to her," Nico snarls, a sudden brotherly streak flaring in him.
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin jumps.
<Jane> The shadows gently shake Lambkin. "Hey. Attention. Eyes forward. We're talking about you and Hewekin."
<Hollyhock God> At the same time, terrible ghostly powers awake in Nico.
<Hollyhock God> You are under assault! Mysterious powers are trying to trip your berserk mode.
<Pascale> "You know we can't let you do that. Not after what you tried to do to us, and what you mean to do to Creation."
<Hollyhock God> Nico needs to take steps to defend himself if he doesn't want to lose it here and now.
<Pascale> (Could include a wound?)
<Hollyhock God> True.
<Nico> (What all do I need to overcome it?)
<Hollyhock God> You don't know.
<Hollyhock God> You just know that you are turning into a monster.
<Nico> (I mean, is this a thing I need Strike for, or what?)
<Pascale> "You're not going to stab me, are you? If I move within reach?"
<Hollyhock God> It's a miraculous assault.
<Hollyhock God> "I, uh, can't promise that! I mean, you might stab me or something, and I said I wasn't going to tell you any more lies."
<Nico> (So I have to overcome it with my own Miracle?)
<Hollyhock God> That's what I mean, yeah, sorry.
<Nico> (:p I'm still new!)
<Jane> Do any of the rest of us notice Nico like
<Jane> making Hulk noises or anything?
<Hollyhock God> You might! Do you make hulk noises when trying to restrain the beast within, Nico?
<Nico> (Nico's very, very quiet when he loses control. He's not becoming a feral monster, he's becoming a psychopathic, cruel, HUMAN monster. Tolty was once human, after all)
<Nico> Nico takes a deep breath, imagining himself more like his domain. Anything to calm himself.
<Pascale> "You do understand that I can't let you turn my friends into monsters, right?"
<Pascale> "Or, um, at least not the kind of monsters that would kill innocents?"
<Hollyhock God> "They are monsters! Just look at them!"
<Nico> (2MP for a Lesser Emulation to make him more like Sweets as a source of comfort, and evoking my Bond for my Familia for another 2)
<Hollyhock God> "I mean, don't you know what she really is? You must!"
<Hollyhock God> This miracle… fails.
<Hollyhock God> Nico snaps.
<Hollyhock God> Congratulations! You are now a ghost-powered monster determined to have Deceiver stew tonight.
<Nico> When Nico's eyes flutter open, they are red-on-black and molten,
<Jane> Okay, now do we notice?
<Hollyhock God> I think you're familiar with the signs at this point.
<Hollyhock God> After the whole ate-a-Warmain-and-punched-me-through-a-wall.
<Jane> HG: How much freedom are you willing to give me to manipulate these shadows while continuing to sustain that miracle?
- Nico begins to laugh softly, throwing the Book of Blood & Chocolate aside, cracking his knuckles with an appropriate measure of menace.
<Pascale> (Can he do a Greater Emulation for that cost?)
<Pascale> (Because it's in chancel?)
<Hollyhock God> (He could, yeah, but unfortunately did not!)
<Nico> (I can't.)
<Nico> (I could spend enough to get to Persona 5, and that's it.)
<Hollyhock God> Or, wait, you aren't a Person guy, are you.
<Hollyhock God> I mean, Persona. Obviously you're a person!
<Hollyhock God> Or were until just recently.
<Pascale> (He is too a person! I might not—oh.)
<Hollyhock God> Though, really, Nico feels better than ever.
<Hollyhock God> You seem to have even more unholy strength than usual for some reason.
<Nico> "I am going to break you in ways that don't even rightly exist," Nico says, eyes full of smoldering elation.
- Jane continues to wait for the HG to reply.
<Hollyhock God> Oh, sorry. You should still be able to manipulate them, since it's an animation.
<Sid> "That's, uh… I'm all for killing him, but that sounds a little sadistic for you, Nico."
<Jane> I mean, uhm, how much am I allowed to multitask with them before it counts as both of my actions?
<Pascale> "Sid—we need to clear the area—it'll take too long to explain, but he's going to put innocents in danger!"
<Hollyhock God> One conceptual action, I guess.
<Jane> Okay then:
<Nico> "Shush, little sisters," Nico says.
<Hollyhock God> "I won't back down," promises Lambkin. "I won't lose to monsters! I won't!"
<Nico> "Only blood now."
<Pascale> "No, you don't understand!"
- Jane gets a good look at Nico's face, remembers eating brick not too long ago, and knows she has to get the prisoner out of here. "Emergency prisoner evac," she announces, and pulls some slack out of her shadow, spreading it out as great tenebrous wings. She leaps for the sky, dragging Lambkin behind her, and heads back into the depths of the Chancel.
<Pascale> "He's not in danger! Goddaammi—"
<Nico> (Is my Gift active or do I have to pay MP?)
<Hollyhock God> It's active.
<Pascale> (What's Caviel's map look like?)
- Nico leaps after Jane, unencumbered by such petty concerns as gravity when blood is at stake.
<Sid> Sid shrugs off his shroud of violence, as he prepares to lay a different miracle on the enraged Nico. He snaps his fingers, calling wisps of crimson to skirl off of Nico's skin, bleeding away his fellow Noble's potential for violence.
<Hollyhock God> Uh, "wounded", "always with you," "change to match your milieu," "I think there's a song about that," and "if you ain't got your dignity, you ain't got nothing."
<Sid> (Lesser Sacrifice)
<Hollyhock God> Okay, so we've got a flurry.
<Hollyhock God> Jane leaps, Nico leaps after her, and Sid tries to calm Nico. Lambkin, meanwhile, swings his sword to cut through the net of shadows holding him.
<Hollyhock God> Is that right?
<Pascale> "Sid, not Nico, focus on the innocents, or else he's—"
<Jane> Sounds right.
<Nico> More precisely, Nico leaps after Lambkin, not Jane.
<Jane> ahhh well that's excellent
<Hollyhock God> Ah, I see.
<Jane> Since I'm manipulating Lambkin with an diff 6, Strike 3 miracle
<Jane> and trying to keep him outta Nico's reach.
<Jane> (does Strike persist on a sustained miracle?)
<Hollyhock God> Well, it does, but it's only going to apply to stuff you made the miracle to do in the first place.
<Hollyhock God> So if somebody was trying to keep Lambkin there but *not* break him free from the net of shadows, the Strike wouldn't help.
<Hollyhock God> Anyway, Jane leaps into the air and away.
<Jane> I'm pretty sure he's trying to rip him out of the net of shadows and eat him
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin takes a good slice through the net of shadows, cutting directly through it and striking the ground hard enough to carry himself away with the momentum.
<Hollyhock God> Nico's leap carries him past and into a nearby building full of surprised spooks.
<Jane> he just cut through all that Strike and shit? O_o
<Hollyhock God> Well, like ten feet away, not right out of the Chancel, but yeah.
<Hollyhock God> That is in fact what happened.
- Pascale facepalms
<Pascale> "No one listens!"
<Nico> Wait what?
<Nico> How did my thing not work?
<Jane> "What the!" Jane banks and circles back toward the Chancel entrance, hoping Sid and Pascale can slow Lambkin down in the meantime.
<Hollyhock God> Evidently, rather a lot of Strike.
<Hollyhock God> Hopefully he can't keep it up.
<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, this building is full of food.
<Hollyhock God> Food is for eating!
<Pascale> Pascale sighs and flips open the Book of Blood and Chocolate.
<Hollyhock God> The book is full of spells relating to blood and/or chocolate.
<Sid> Sid's going to try to tackle Lambkins with pure Aspect, spending one miracle point to crank this up to level 6.
<Nico> Nico's going to leap back out of the building and HARM LAMBKINS with extreme prejudice.
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin swings his sword in a great arc with the intention of removing some heads.
<Hollyhock God> It's a flurry!
<Nico> If Nico's ghostsmolderbond counts, it's Miracle 7, Strike 5
<Hollyhock God> Yes.
<Hollyhock God> Okay.
<Sid> Can I get a point of strike from my "messing with people who have it coming" bond?
<Hollyhock God> Nico leaps onto Lambkin, popping a few spooks into his mouth on the way.
<Hollyhock God> Sure.
<Hollyhock God> Sid makes a leap for the Deceiver, knocking him flat.
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin's sword slices through both of you on your way to him, cutting a nasty gash in Sid's side and removing Nico's head.
- Jane lands in the midst of the fracas and HOLY SHIT
<Hollyhock God> Not that this prevents you from knocking him flat and landing on top of him and Sid in an orgy of devouration, respectively.
<Nico> …wait, what?
<Sid> (man, this just hasn't been a good week for Elliott's character's extremities)
<Hollyhock God> Deadly Wound: My Head Is Over There
<Nico> (…HOW DID HE BEAT MY UNREASONABLE MIRACULOUS POWER)
<Hollyhock God> Well, he didn't.
<Hollyhock God> Your power doesn't cover avoiding injury to yourself!
<Hollyhock God> At the moment you are, uh, gnawing on his head? So that part worked.
<Jane> (Wait, what is his power again?)
<Hollyhock God> Well, I guess not gnawing.
<Nico> (HOW AM I GNAWING ON HIS HEAD)
<Hollyhock God> Because your head is over there.
<Nico> (SANS HEAD)
<Hollyhock God> So I guess you're clawing his arms off or something. Feel free to specify.
<Jane> Well there goes the whole Chestnut Law argument for not killing him
<Hollyhock God> So, yeah, he's taking some kind of Deadly Wound which you should go into detail about.
<Pascale> (What else happened this week?)
<Sid> (His Fae got an arm speared off in Monsterhearts)
<Hollyhock God> I'm going to assume you've got a hand in his intestines, or something.
- Nico rakes at the Excrucian, opening a deep gash on his chest. The Power of Sweets slips his hands beneath and grabs hold of the ribcage or nearest Excrucian analogue, pulling and ripping.
<Hollyhock God> You and your ribs.
<Pascale> (mmm, ribs)
<Sid> He's adorable. That means he has adorable guts.
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin screams and attempts to toss you.
<Hollyhock God> This is unusually effective, because your arm snaps right off your body, and you go tumbling. All your limbs fall off.
<Nico> "BLOOD" Nico's head screeches from across the room.
<Hollyhock God> This is how you realize that you have become one of those weird independent limb-locomotion monsters.
<Nico> Like Thing from the Addams Family?
<Hollyhock God> Yeah, only with every body part.
<Hollyhock God> I was thinking of the guy from Angel or the Other Mother's hand.
<Hollyhock God> I guess this is a Deadly Wound as well, albeit a more useful one.
<Hollyhock God> So feel free to invoke freaky limb-walking effects!
<Sid> I'm trying to figure out what pState property this could be, but I am kinda stumped.
<Nico> "BLOOD AND DEATH," Nico's severed head screams as his severed arms rip open the Excrucian's ribcage and begin unspooling his inards like errant thread.
<Pascale> "Caviel, this place—this is supposed to be a place for monsters. For… you know, for people, so they can be monsters without being, you know, monsterous?"
<Hollyhock God> One arm is thrown away, as Lambkin, panicking, stomps on the other. It's weird! For some reason your murdering is growing less effective.
<Jane> Can I use Aspect genius to try to guess this dude's pState from the clues we've gotten so far?
<Hollyhock God> "Well, yes," admits Caviel. "That was why I found you… although maybe I should have conducted more psych tests during the hiring process," he says, observing the rib-fight.
<Hollyhock God> No, that's not something Aspect will do.
<Sid> I'm going to burn another AMP to stick Lambkin in an Aspect 6 headlock. Some kind of incomparable kung fu maneuver for locking down all of this guy's limbs.
<Jane> Why not?
<Hollyhock God> Aspect doesn't let you succeed at plans or solve problems.
<Jane> so it gives you post-Einstein genius, but not basic deductive reasoning
<Hollyhock God> Yeah, kinda!
<Hollyhock God> It's like, you can specify what you do, so not what happens.
<Hollyhock God> So "I do the equation correctly" is valid but "I get the right answer" isn't.
<Hollyhock God> And for most situations that doesn't matter!
<Hollyhock God> Doing the equation perfectly means you get the right answer.
<Hollyhock God> But for inductions and social-fu that's not the case.
<Hollyhock God> So they don't fall under Aspect.
- Nico Nico's arms and torso and legs and head skitter away, as if planning some sort of terrible thing.
<Hollyhock God> Anyway, Sid has a grip on Lambkin and is holding him, but he too has the terrible feeling that his ability to hold the Deceiver is waning.
<Pascale> "Well—aside from the question of my own monsterousness—isn't—I mean, isn't this exactly the kind of place for a guy like this? Given time could you… I don't know, help him fit? Stop him from destroying this place?"
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin, meanwhile, is proceeding from "flailing" to "complete freakout."
- Jane has an idea.
- Pascale thought she already told you his pState?
<Hollyhock God> "I could," says Caviel, "but only if he is willing. There are two kinds of monsters; those who think it's okay to be a monster, and those who don't."
<Jane> (You did? What was it?)
<Jane> (I missed it in the chatcrawl)
<Hollyhock God> "He seems to be the second kind."
<Pascale> (Heh. It was Pascale complaining about how she was unaffected because he wasn't afraid of her.)
<Jane> Domain 6, Lesser Destruction, to destroy Lambkin's fear.
<Jane> (burned 2 DMP, but, you know, Chancel discount)
<Hollyhock God> Hm, is actual fear of being murdered by Nico part of Halloween?
<Nico> I AM HALLOWEEN FEAR.
<Sid> Nico is currently a murderous assemblage of body parts possessed by a ghost.
<Sid> That feels appropriate to the Halloween milieu.
<Pascale> Inasmuch as he's in no danger, it's all in good fun!
<Nico> (Man I wish I could figure out Imperial Miracles.)
<Jane> It's fear of a rampaging monster, so.
<Pascale> (Also, I have this covered if he gets out the door, which is why I'm not piling into the melee.)
<Hollyhock God> I suppose that's so.
<Hollyhock God> Lambkin is possessed by a sudden inexplicable wave of courage and turns on Sid with a punch.
<Hollyhock God> For some reason this results in Lambkin being the one who is floored.
<Sid> "Good plan, Jane!"
<Pascale> Jane, if it amuses you, you can find a note that's secretly been hidden in your pocket for a while, and reads: "That Which Lambkin Fears…" with a list of properties underneath it?
<Hollyhock God> "I can take you all on!" insists Lambkin, pinned underneath Sid.
<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, Nico continues to be a piecemeal murdermonster.
<Jane> Jane reaches into her pocket, glad to have something to look at other than the flopping guts.
<Nico> Nico's disembodied hand skitters forth to the pinned Excrucian and reaches for his neck with stranglin' in mind.
<Hollyhock God> (That Which Lambkin Moceils Fears… …grows increasingly monstrous… …is driven by wicked desires… …wishes to harm Lambkin… …will destroy many innocents but fail to harm him… …possesses unholy strength and cunning… …is comfortable in its monstrosity.)
<Sid> "Yeah! You got this, Lambkin!"
<Sid> "You can totally overpower me!"
<Hollyhock God> With a stranglin' hand making its way across the floor to his neck, Lambkin makes one last bid for freedom. He tosses Sid away with ridiculous MP-fueled strength and leaps towards the Chancel exit.
<Hollyhock God> …and through!
<Hollyhock God> There is a noise like rock candy hardening very, very quickly.
- Pascale spends an indeterminate amount of MP.
<Jane> (Lambkin is awesome btw)
- Pascale tosses the last of the ghost-peppers behind her and shuts the Book of Blood and Chocolate.
<Pascale> Insanity peppers, rather.
<Jane> Oh. Oh God.
<Hollyhock God> They were super effective.
<Jane> Pascale is officially the scariest one in the family.
<Pascale> (Thank you. Finally, someone gets it!)
<Hollyhock God> Well, I think Nico is still in murder-mode.
<Jane> Dragon Enema spell is scarier than that.
<Hollyhock God> I think Sid may need to burn a Word or something.
<Pascale> Yeah, but I don't get the shot of him leaping to freedom only to find himself in a cage.
<Nico> I don't understand ANYTHING that just happened.
<Sid> Eesh. Really?
<Pascale> OK. You remember handing me the book of Blood and Chocolate? Technically this may need to be your miracle…
<Hollyhock God> Yeah, it kind of makes me wonder if dealing with Pascale's secret knowledge in PMs is good practice.
<Jane> Jane lowers the list and peers out the door, almost afraid to look.
<Hollyhock God> Or at least her secret plans.
<Hollyhock God> The adorable Lambkin has been entombed in rock candy, but he's putting a brave face on the matter.
<Pascale> A lot of it will be OK to move more into mainchat.
<Hollyhock God> Which is just as well, considering.
<Nico> He's entombed?
<Hollyhock God> I assume that's what the rock candy thing was supposed to do?
<Hollyhock God> A big rock candy boulder with him stuck in the center.
<Sid> With Lambkin locked up, Sid's going to try to get Nico cooled down. Let's see what a Greater Sacrifice can do to him, with +1MP for an extra point of strike, and maybe another one strike from the "my familia are totally normal friends" bond.
<Hollyhock God> Alas, his AMPs have all been spent and I think he took some other Wound wording himself out of Sid's grasp.
<Hollyhock God> I guess that works.
<Hollyhock God> I might demand that you beat his full level 12 if there was an immediate target, but okay.
- Jane sighs. "Anyone have a better idea than me turning Nico into a scarecrow or frankenstein or something and sewing him back together?"
<Hollyhock God> Nico finds the violence being leeched out of him, leaving only a loosely-connected bunch of limbs.
<Hollyhock God> It may take some time to piece those back together, but at least you're sane!
<Hollyhock God> Oooh, scarecrow!
<Hollyhock God> "Let his flesh be not torn, let his blood leave no stain."
<Nico> "…Can someone hand me my book."
<Hollyhock God> "Though they beat him, let him feel no pain!"
<Nico> "And possibly my hand?"
- Pascale Pascale puts the book in the hand before, er, handing it over?
<Hollyhock God> "Let his bones never break, and however they try/to destroy him, let him never die/let him never dieeee!"
- Jane retrieves the head and props it up to read.
<Jane> "Does that hurt as bad as it looks like it would?"
- Nico flips a few more pages, then chants over the book, speaking
<Hollyhock God> You being all helter-skelter is a Deadly Wound, but you can speed recovery with an appropriate miracle.
<Hollyhock God> He's comfortable in his monstrosity. :)
<Nico> "The Incantation of the Bones of Chocolate"
<Jane> Isn't it technically two Deadly Wounds, with the headlessness being its own wound?
<Hollyhock God> Yeah.
<Nico> In this way, Nico assembles a rude skeletal assemblage of bone and sugar, compiling himself from his myriad pieces and attaching himself to the saccharine scaffold.
<Hollyhock God> A useful incantation!
<Hollyhock God> That should help you heal faster, although in strong heat you may fall apart.
<Pascale> "Caviel, boss, man—is there anything you can do about, um, integrating Lambkin?"
<Hollyhock God> "I think it's possible," says Caviel. "I mean, you'll have to contain him for a while."
<Hollyhock God> "After that it's a matter of, well, you know."
<Hollyhock God> Caviel waves a hand as though discussing a bodily function: "Friendship stuff."
<Hollyhock God> "Your department. But I can make it happen if you can do the messy part."
<Pascale> Pascale dispatches their imperator on a task before going over to check on Nico.
<Pascale> "You alright, man?"
<Pascale> "Happy birthday?"
<Hollyhock God> LOL
- Nico looks unamused.
<Jane> "Happy birthday," Jane echoes to the head she's holding.
<Sid> "Do you want to go get a puppy or something?"
<Nico> "I'm a severed mess held together by miracles and cocoa."
<Jane> (She quietly dispatches some zombies to drag the rock candy sculpture back into the Chancel, under guard.)
<Nico> "So yes, a puppy would be, like, awesome."
<Pascale> "…I love presents. I love not knowing what's in the box, shaking it around, tapping it to hear the sound, guessing from the shape…"
<Nico> "I feel very lonely and very angry."
<Jane> (Are we going to start an Integrate Lambkin project? :D)
<Sid> (that would be a great project)
<Jane> (Would tonight count as a disastrous awful failure on that front?)
<Hollyhock God> It kind of does.
<Hollyhock God> Quick! Draw a circle!
<Sid> (Also, is it terrible if I envision him as Gideon from Gravity Falls?)
<Hollyhock God> He sort of looks like a JRPG protagonist under a soft filter. And then there's the eyes.
<Pascale> (No, we're going to foist that off on our Imperator's "change to match your mileu" bubble!)
<Hollyhock God> Or both!
<Jane> "Are you sure you don't want me to try the Frankenstein thing to get you back together a little more securely?"
<Hollyhock God> I mean, Imperial miracles work as part of a project.
<Hollyhock God> Anyway, it looks like we successfully resolved the contretemps, at the price of Nico's health.
<Hollyhock God> Thanks for taking one for the team, Nico.
- Nico thumbs up, albeit halfhearted.
<Hollyhock God> Also, thanks to the Robert/Elliott brigade for sitting through the resolution of the problems we ran into last week. :)
<Jane> poor fucking Nico lol
<Jane> hey we got a pet Excrucian out of the deal
<Jane> that's pretty awesome
<Nico> I'd like to point out
<Nico> My plan suceeded.
<Jane> we had a plan?
<Nico> But the parts in between NO, DON'T DO THAT NICO and LET'S DO NICO'S THING got me eviscerated.
<Pascale> They were necessary to convince me to run with it.
<Nico> How did you do my evil magic?
<Pascale> Technically, I think you needed to spend X MP.
<Hollyhock God> Her "has a card up her sleeve" Affliction.
<Pascale> What does Nico want for his birthday anyhow?
<Hollyhock God> I think Nico could resist her using his tools if he wanted to, via the normal methods.
<Pascale> Pretty easily. But you did hand her the book.
<Nico> Nico wants
<Nico> To not be vivisected.
<Nico> That was his birthday wish.
<Pascale> I think there's no way I can do that over Nico's objection. But it was your plan, so I didn't figure you'd object!
<Jane> COMMENCE OPERATION
<Sid> oh god
<Sid> franken-fran jane
<Pascale> "Well, if you tell somebody about it, it won't come true!"
<Holden> oh god
<Holden> acquired: Pet Excrucian
<Rand Brittain> I'm glad you seem to like Lambkin.
<Holden> LAMBKIN has joined the party
<Elliott> I'm a collection of limbs.
<Elliott> I still don't get that.
<Vance> You should stay that way.
<ADamiani> But at least you're a collection.
<Vance> It's handy!
<Elliott> Not unless I'm my own Treasure
<Pascale> Oh! I need to thank Paolo!
<Rand Brittain> Well, making Lambkin more frightened of you makes you more monstrous.
<Rand Brittain> Note that Jane and Sid both went a bit creepshow before Nico made himself primary fear source.
<Rand Brittain> You should send him a vegetable basket.
<ADamiani> I think he's got enough vegetables.
<Rand Brittain> Yes, he eats wisely.
<Holden> it'sthe dragon enema's fault
<Vance> to be fair, shapeshifting into famous serial killers is kinda Sid's M.O.
<ADamiani> That was kinda cool.
<ADamiani> We need some Sid focused stuff.
<ADamiani> I've kinda got a mental pic for everybody else.
<Holden> yeah we do
<ADamiani> Although we also need some upbeat Nico.
<Rand Brittain> Next week: the Cityback!
<ADamiani> Because he's getting vivisected or Toltecatl'd a lot.,
<Rand Brittain> You can take Lambkin on a picnic.
<Rand Brittain> Yeah, Nico should build an amusement park there.
<Elliott> Nico is becoming much more of a downer
<Rand Brittain> I should be nicer to him. Maybe.
<ADamiani> Yeah. For the king of all sweetness and sugar-rushes!
<Elliott> That's what happens when your only powers are based around an evil book, a terrible ghost, and chocolate.
<Holden> poor Nico!
<Vance> next week
<Vance> musical episode
<Vance> Nico/Tolty duet
<ADamiani> Next week, I think Pascale and Paolo are going to be texting each-other nonstop.
<Elliott> Next week, someone ELSE can be cut the hell up.
<Rand Brittain> Maybe even a non-Deceiver antagonist.
<Holden> action! romance! adventure! next week, on NOBILIS
<Elliott> Doctor Who
<Elliott> I consumed a WHOLE BOTTLE of wine
<Rand Brittain> Hm, Nico as the Doctor.
<Rand Brittain> And Lambkin as your Companion!
<Elliott> My Sonic Screwdriver is made of peppermint!
<Rand Brittain> Meanwhile, Pascale should probably warn you about his Affliction.
<ADamiani> If only she wasn't bound by the "knows more than she's saying"….
<Elliott> I should move down to NOLA
<ADamiani> So you can be vivisected?
<Elliott> So I can be with my friends/be employed.
<Elliott> Unemployment is driving me to write a micro-RPG desconstructing Captain Planet
<Rand Brittain> So, any comments on this week?
<Elliott> I am apparently terrible at figuring out things that happen
<Elliott> But it was fun!
<Elliott> Until the part where I kept losing
<ADamiani> Well, it resolved the thing without me being a non-person/non-power. Which was very very helpgful!
<Rand Brittain> I will try to do more of Pascale's plans out front so things aren't going on in secret.
<ADamiani> You kept losing?
<Rand Brittain> I think berserkering may be a bit of a glass cannon.
<ADamiani> Sorry. It's a bad habit to be secretive OOC.
<Elliott> I did not intend it as such or understand it as such!
<Rand Brittain> That is my bad, then.
<Rand Brittain> But in any case you were ultimately successful!
<Elliott> That is why I made it Flexible!
<Rand Brittain> I need to throw in more good old-fashioned moral dilemmas.
<Rand Brittain> What with Mr. Invincible and Ms. Omniscient plus two more for huge utility.
<Holden> it was confusing but fun
<Holden> Lambkin is neat
<ADamiani> Dunno. The external dilemma today was kinda cool.
<ADamiani> Persona SEVEN.
<ADamiani> What a monster.
<Holden> yeah Nico in freak-out mode is fucking terrifying
<Holden> that too
<Elliott> How am I terrifying?
<Elliott> I got rousingly thrashed.
<Rand Brittain> You did kind of play right into his hands, although you ripped some ribs out while doing it.
<ADamiani> He's a full deceiver.
<ADamiani> And your plan ultimately took him out.
<Rand Brittain> Now I'm kind of imagining Jane goading Lambkin into battle against her foes with fear-creations.
<ADamiani> Dunno, I thought Nico was pretty scary. His head got chopped off and it didn't even slow him down.
<Elliott> Nico's a tough cookie
<Rand Brittain> He needs a love interest to stabilize his murderous tendencies.
<Rand Brittain> Hm, Sweets <3 Vegetables?
<Rand Brittain> He would be a priori good for you.
<ADamiani> He needs to get out from under Toltecatl's thumb.
<Elliott> Nico probably does need a romantic interest
<Rand Brittain> Maybe he would show you the ways of cauliflower sorcery.
<Rand Brittain> Only one tenth the calories of chocolate sorcery!
<ADamiani> I think we're broadly pro-romantic-interest. :)
<Holden> oh no! What will Lord Entropy say!
<Elliott> Nico will eat Lord Entropy
<Rand Brittain> GRRRR I DISAPPROVE
<ADamiani> "argh!" he will say, eventually, when jerking, lifeless, on the floor, after our illicit romances have grown into conspiracy, and then rebellion.
<Rand Brittain> He explodes and Principal Entropy II pops out, possibly.
<Rand Brittain> Although really I should not contribute to making him unscary.
<Rand Brittain> Imperial powers are not to be trifled with when they're fully extended!
<Elliott> Entropy would totally dig Nico with a romantic interest.
<Elliott> Assuming the "It's a law so EVERYONE'S guilty" theory holds ture
<Holden> 'fully extended'
<Holden> nope too easy
<Rand Brittain> Yes, thank you.
<Rand Brittain> Anyway, I was saving the fear-powered Excrucian for a special occasion, so I'm glad it worked out.
<ADamiani> Also kinda monster-powered.
<Holden> He's pretty awesome.
<Vance> Aight, I'm gonna peace
<ADamiani> …given his smells-sexy-to-excrucians, he may just have gotten his love interest.
<Elliott> Vance evaporated?
<Elliott> Oh gods.
<ADamiani> He peaced.
<Elliott> I suppose that was the intention
<Rand Brittain> I guess everybody wants Lambkin.
<Elliott> I'm giving y'all this
<Rand Brittain> Jane and Nico must fight for his love!
<Elliott> …Nico will pull an Imperial miracle
<Elliott> If I can ever figure out how the feck those work
<ADamiani> Jane will pull a Project.
<Rand Brittain> Hm, yes, by precisely tuning his scaredness of you, you can turn yourself into a sexy beast!
<Rand Brittain> But yeah, I really need more Sid stuff.
<ADamiani> I don't THINK Pascale want's Lambkin?
<Rand Brittain> It's a triangle between Pascale, Lambkin, and Paolo.
<ADamiani> …that seems greenscreened in front of areas that wouldn't need to be greenscreened?
<Rand Brittain> Paolo is the nice guy, and Lambkin is the bad boy.
<Rand Brittain> Eventually you form a menage a trois consisting of all the gods who always get carded.
<Holden> oh god
<ADamiani> Sure, that'd work, but it seems selfish and attention-grabbing.
<Rand Brittain> ~Love is a battlefield~
<ADamiani> Games aren't. I don't want to be an attention-hog.
<Elliott> Nico will cut a btich.
<ADamiani> He's sweet like that.