Interlude: A Secret Colleague



<HollyhockGod> Ah, well, with nobody here I only have one plot for you, and it is small.

<HollyhockGod> This is the plot! It concerns the aftermath of Ryan's giant-sized summoning last session.

<Ebba> That was the 'mouths in everything' summoning, right?

  • Benhimself is now known as RyanSherbrig

<HollyhockGod> Yes, mouthy mouths.

<RyanSherbrig> And a few other things.

<RyanSherbrig> Mostly quaint little assassins and the like.

<HollyhockGod> Ryan is straightening up all the books and mystic tools that were blown about by mystic backlash.

<HollyhockGod> It's slightly demeaning, but you can't let just anybody touch the Lex Viciographica.

<HollyhockGod> I mean, look what it did to the guy that owned it before you!

<RyanSherbrig> Let's not think about that.

<HollyhockGod> So, anyway, putting things back where they go, yes? And then, while you're putting your copy of The Grim King back where it goes, something falls out.

<HollyhockGod> Envelope. White. Fine linen paper. No stamp. Smells like incense.

<HollyhockGod> Addressed to "Lord Ryan Sherbrig, Dominus Nitorus, Emperor Beyond."

  • RyanSherbrig hmms, and opens the letter.

<Ebba> (The rabbit goes around the tree and down the hole…)

<HollyhockGod> "Most esteemed merlin and master sorcerer, long have I observed your career from afar."

<HollyhockGod> "In another time I once thought I would claim you as a servant, but a greater power than myself took you in hand first."

<HollyhockGod> "Since then I have seen your accomplishments grow to rival my own, and in a certain field, surpass them."

<HollyhockGod> "Thus, I now write to you as an admiring sorcerous peer."

<HollyhockGod> "I have for some time been attempting…."

<HollyhockGod> At this point the letter grows magitechnical.

<HollyhockGod> It asks you a difficult question about how you think mystic circles should be incorporated into Earthly magic spells of abjuration.

<HollyhockGod> "Your advice will be muchly appreciated by one who knows its true worth."

<HollyhockGod> "Yours, your secret colleague."

<HollyhockGod> "Postscript: You may send your reply by way of my messenger, the South Wind, whom I have always found quite reliable."

<RyanSherbrig> "Reliable in that 'I DECLARE ETERNAL BLOOD VENGEANCE UPON YOU' sort of way, I suppose."

  • RyanSherbrig smiles.

<HollyhockGod> The spirit of the south wind is a distinct creature from the Duchess of the Four Winds.

<RyanSherbrig> (Mmmm, but one I imagine she would have power over if she chose to exert it.)

<HollyhockGod> Perhaps your secret colleague also has power over it for some reason.

<HollyhockGod> Maybe it's the Power of the South!

<RyanSherbrig> Perhaps! Mysterious!

  • RyanSherbrig considers the problem, mildly perturbed that someone is aware of his activities, but happy that Ebba isn't the only one with appreciative colleagues.

<HollyhockGod> These little mysteries add spice to a life of public service, which might otherwise grow quite dull!

<HollyhockGod> I did rather assume that Ryan is the kind of person who lets himself be known as a master sorcerer.

<Ebba> After all, strange masked men can only blow up Parliament once…

<RyanSherbrig> This is rather true.

<Ebba> It's one of his bonds, in fact:

<Ebba> "His reputation as a skilled High Summoner (3)"

<RyanSherbrig> It's not like I don't bring my High Summonings with me to social events or anything.

<HollyhockGod> Any investigation you'd like to do?

<RyanSherbrig> Hmmm. Are there are well-known High Summoners with Estates over things that might include the south wind?

<HollyhockGod> Not to your knowledge.

<HollyhockGod> Of course, it's possible that the South Wind just likes carrying letters.

<RyanSherbrig> Mmmm. It's times like this that I regret not being able to fire off Major Divinations at the drop of a hat.

<RyanSherbrig> I suppose I will just draft a return letter!

<HollyhockGod> And everybody who can is currently in the tanning bed, or something!

<HollyhockGod> I was looking forward to getting to play my Ink's-Regal in another game, but it seems to have died.

<RyanSherbrig> I spend a bit of time working on the letter's problem, first, so as to have some valuable insights to include.

<HollyhockGod> At least I can eventually upgrade my Duke of Order. Being able to know vast amounts of information about patterns and shapes is quite useful.

<HollyhockGod> Anything particular you want to say?

  • RyanSherbrig after giving the problem significant consideration, drafts a return letter, thanking the mysterious correspondent for their respect and admiration, regretting that he could not return the favor due to their secrecy but understanding the occasional need for discretion in such line of work due to the prevalence of misunderstanding of the nature of such things, etc.

<HollyhockGod> And you summon the South Wind to carry it away?

<HollyhockGod> It does indeed turn out that there's a spell for that in one of the Chancel's books.

<RyanSherbrig> I include the well-pressed flowers of my Design as way of signature in the envelope.

<RyanSherbrig> (And also, perhaps transparently, so that I can ask Fiona to watch where it went later.)

<RyanSherbrig> Yes, let's see what this South Wind is like.

<HollyhockGod> You stand on your left foot for forty-five seconds and chant in Sanskrit.

<HollyhockGod> The response is commendably swift.

<HollyhockGod> A truly enormous burst of wind billows in through the open window, tossing all the papers you just tidied into disarray again and keeping them suspending in the air, flying in a circle around the edges of the room.

  • RyanSherbrig restrains a sigh.

<HollyhockGod> "I come at your command, o noble and sorcerous master!" cries a deep voice from within the wind.

<HollyhockGod> Maybe there was a suggestion of a mouth shape in the air, and maybe there wasn't.

<HollyhockGod> "What message would you have me carry?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Deliver this letter to the one who sent me that one."

<RyanSherbrig> "Actually… are you under orders not to reveal the writer of said letter?"

<HollyhockGod> "Such an order may perhaps exist. However, it is of no matter, for I was given it to deliver by another messenger, who was told to entrust it to me by another."

<RyanSherbrig> "Aha. Fair enough. I should not have implied that I would ask you to betray professional confidentiality at any rate."

<HollyhockGod> "Think nothing of it, master. Now, I go!"

<HollyhockGod> Letter in h- well, letter somewhere, the wind is gone.

<RyanSherbrig> Letter dancing in the breeze?

<HollyhockGod> Pretty much, yeah.

  • RyanSherbrig looks at the mess, and considers the creation of some servants to clean it up that could handle such books and tools safely.

<RyanSherbrig> "Maybe some sort of mandrake rootlings."

<HollyhockGod> Distressingly flammable!

<HollyhockGod> Getting good help seems to be the bane of Ryan's immortal existence.

<HollyhockGod> You should make that a Restriction!

<RyanSherbrig> I know.

<RyanSherbrig> Ha.

  • RyanSherbrig gestures imperiously with his hand, (spends 2 MP for the lesser change) and has the room right itself.

<RyanSherbrig> (Hmmm, some cheap local Realm-oriented version of Sovereign's Mastery would be interesting.)

<HollyhockGod> It would have its uses.

<HollyhockGod> It's hard to get cheap telekinesis in Nobilis.

<HollyhockGod> That's pretty much it for that subplot at the present time.

<HollyhockGod> We spent most of last week discussing plans for carrying out the Phoenix's new command.

<HollyhockGod> The major plans seemed to be a) just find Pandora and kill her, b) try to talk it out, c) create a reversed Stone of Heroes, d) try and find a way to use High Summoning to call Pandora.

<Ebba> How, in theory, would you go out beyond the Weirding Wall?

<HollyhockGod> You just walk out through a hole.

<Ebba> And equally important, how would you get back?

<HollyhockGod> Or out the top. And you get back the same way.

<HollyhockGod> A more important question is "how do you find what you're looking for?"

<RyanSherbrig> It's not half the deal everyone seems to think it is, unless you're a Wildlord.

<RyanSherbrig> I like the reversed Stone of Heroes idea.

<RyanSherbrig> We'd probably need some epic quests for components and the like, though.

<HollyhockGod> You would also probably want outside assistance.

<RyanSherbrig> Mmm.

<HollyhockGod> High Summoning is a good knowledge base and contact pool but it's a poor tool to give things the essence of Creation.

<RyanSherbrig> Mmmm. We'd really need an alchemist.

<RyanSherbrig> If only one of us had one in their fan club!

<Ebba> Any ideas for neat stuff to go looking for?

<Ebba> Fruit from the tree of life; a stone so heavy even the creator can't lift it?

<RyanSherbrig> A mirror which has reflected both Angel and Fallen Angel at once?

<RyanSherbrig> So as to encompass the core duality of Creation?

<RyanSherbrig> Then we would just need to get an Angel and Fallen Angel into the same room together, and escape with an intact mirror. Fun!

<HollyhockGod> That's troublesome but hardly epic.

<Ebba> Isn't there a very limited number of fallen angels in Nobilis?

<Ebba> Something like 10?

<HollyhockGod> No, 1/3 of angels are fallen.

<RyanSherbrig> I think getting Imperial-level beings to agree to a task you can't explain the reason for is a little bit epic.

<RyanSherbrig> Let alone getting them to cooperate with their diametric opposite. Any more than the Valde Bellum already calls for.

<HollyhockGod> Originally ten Devils were allowed out of Hell at a time, but that's ignored these days owing to the war.

<Ebba> Ah, that's where that's from.

<RyanSherbrig> I thought the 'ten devils out of hell' was for the war. Hmm.

<HollyhockGod> No, it's pre-war. One hundred percent damnation would have made the angels feel bad.

<RyanSherbrig> Either way, it was just a thought.

<RyanSherbrig> Such is the price of beauty.

<HollyhockGod> Now I just need subplots for Fiona and Alexa.

<RyanSherbrig> But YCMV and all that.

<RyanSherbrig> Alexa could finally resolve what happened with Maebara?

<HollyhockGod> I suppose that would be a good idea.

<HollyhockGod> I was originally hoping you'd drag him along on your fire-starting cruise so Anna could demand him as compensation.

<RyanSherbrig> Ha.

<RyanSherbrig> I should draft him as a personal assistant. Creating them from scratch has always gotten me mixed results.

<RyanSherbrig> And when his inevitable failures drive me to hatred, bang, Anchor time!

<HollyhockGod> There is that to be said for hiring the unqualified.

<HollyhockGod> Ryan is trying to hijack himself a prettier body.

<HollyhockGod> Don't think I'm fooled!

<RyanSherbrig> Preposterous!

  • RyanSherbrig looks shiftily around.
  • RyanSherbrig hides his notes on brain-transplanting Creatures From Beyond.
  • RyanSherbrig is now known as Benhimself

<HollyhockGod> Now, now.

<HollyhockGod> Body-snatching is a traditional and respected form of immortality!

<HollyhockGod> I'm sure there's a Noble out there whose Immortal works by moving his soul into the nearest suitable body.

<Ebba> Wouldn't it be simpler to just sweet-talk death?

<Ebba> She is our sorta cousin, after all.

<Benhimself> I've considered it! But she seems too professional to let personal considerations get in the way of the sanctity of her Estate.

<Benhimself> Oh well, I'm already Immortal and Glorious, technically.

<Benhimself> Although I almost considered getting comprehensive shapeshifting with my points, and saving up for Wayfinder/Worldwalker after.

<HollyhockGod> Perhaps a Gift to increase your Earthly magic potency.

<Benhimself> Mmm. Expensive if I wanted the magic to affect things other than myself, though.

<HollyhockGod> I still like my Gift that lets you give things names.

<HollyhockGod> You decide somebody is Fat Charlie, and be damned if his metabolism doesn't change to suit.

<Benhimself> Interesting.

<Benhimself> Although fairly broad. "Ah, good old Invincible Jack."

<Benhimself> I do need to break out my Names' Regal character sometime.

<HollyhockGod> Well, it probably wouldn't beat actual miraculous attack.

<HollyhockGod> But deciding he's 'Lucky Jack' is a good way to make sure he comes home from war.

<Benhimself> Too many concepts, not enough games to try them all out in.

<Ebba> I have many nations, but just one time with the goat… that's what people remember.

<Benhimself> I also want to try an Exemplar one of these days.

<Benhimself> Possibly as the Power of Exploration. Exemplar, 2 Domain, 1 Spirit, Wayfinder.

<HollyhockGod> Ebba: Exactly.

<HollyhockGod> Or you can just name him that first and then watch as the incident with the goat becomes inevitable.

<Benhimself> "Well, if I have the reputation anyway, I might as well find out what it's like…"

<Benhimself> Then someone walks in. "You mean it's true?!"

<Benhimself> "We were just calling you that because it was funny!"

<HollyhockGod> That is how it would work.

<HollyhockGod> Or a Gift for detecting the use of high magic.

<HollyhockGod> Or the power to perform impossible math as per Aspect 7.

<HollyhockGod> Or the Gift where you're cursed so that every child you father will be a devastating kaiju beast!

<Benhimself> Good old Cursed With Awesome trope.

<Benhimself> I do enjoy 'Elemental for Every Estate', though.

<Benhimself> I was almost tempted to just send the Grix in letter form.

<Benhimself> But that could have gone awkwardly if the HG invoked my imperfect knowledge.

<HollyhockGod> "Restriction: Is Prone To Tell People How Much Ryan Loves Them When Turned Into A Letter

<Benhimself> Restriction: Cannot manifest the letter E.

<Benhimself> "It is with all du rspct that I writ this lttr."

<HollyhockGod> Restriction: Pretends to be able to change its size but actually can't

  • Benhimself laughs a bit.

<Benhimself> Restriction: Accidental tentacles.

<HollyhockGod> Restriction: Is actually Ianthe playing a funny joke on you.

<Benhimself> Heh.

<Benhimself> "This isn't a mass of protean chaos at all! It's Miss Falls-Short!"

<Benhimself> "The old amusement park was going to be mine! And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling plants."

<Benhimself> Of course, Ianthe is technically a plant herself.

<HollyhockGod> That gave her away to Fiona's nose, once we gave her a Fiona Snack.

<HollyhockGod> Maybe a reference gift that lets you summon knowledge that's been written down into your spellbooks.

<Benhimself> Hmmm.

<Benhimself> I'll just keep Vesper handy at all times!

<HollyhockGod> I suppose that works. I feel like you should have some kind of spellbook Gift as a master magician.

<Benhimself> Mmmm.

<Benhimself> Maybe I'll just get a 1-point "photographic memory" gift.

<Benhimself> Anyway, I'm off for work, thanks for the short sideplot. Hopefully we'll manage the full crew next week.

<HollyhockGod> Glad you could make it.

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