Story Five- Poisoned Words, Part Two

<HollyhockGod> I ought to share some of the Gifts I made- they're excellent additions for "common Gifts" which I crafted through the power of twinkery.

  • crusher_bob is now known as Ebba

<HollyhockGod> It's possible that I'm the only Nobilis powergamer on the planet.

  • borogove is now known as Fiona

<HollyhockGod> Interesting Fact: You can craft Gifts giving you simple-activation limited-use Aspect 6 for one CP.

<Uqbarian> Explain?

<HollyhockGod> Aspect 6, self only, limited use, simple miracle, uncommon. Total, one CP.

<HollyhockGod> Hence, "Lord's Charm," which gives you Aspect 6 planning/leadership/tactics, costs 1 CP.

<HollyhockGod> Or "Liar's Charm" which does the same for deception.

  • Uqbarian is now known as Alexa

<RyanSherbrig> Hmmm. I think Liar's Charm would need to be 'one target' rather than 'self-only'.

<RyanSherbrig> Unless you're going for impossible levels of self-deception.

<HollyhockGod> You're altering your own ability to tell lies, not changing somebody else.

<Ebba> It's just a fleash wound

<RyanSherbrig> Well, by that logic, I wouldn't need penetration for aspect miracles, because I'm altering my own ability to punch people.

<HollyhockGod> I admit that one is arguable.

<RyanSherbrig> That's just my mileage, of course. Mmm.

<HollyhockGod> But I'm certain the price point is correct for Lord's Charm, which makes it a very effective way to lead an army.

<Alexa> Simple miracles cost 0 MPs, right?

<HollyhockGod> That's right.

<Alexa> Oh, I also decided way back to take the Limit you suggested that my Flight only works while I'm in Elemental form, but I never actually sent you the PM.

<HollyhockGod> Works for me.

<Alexa> How many MPs is that worth? :)

<RyanSherbrig> So, I remember myself and Ebba were going to Hamlet, who was going to Macbeth and who was going to R+J?

<Ebba> I think it was Alexa + Vesper to R & J.

<HollyhockGod> I'd say one.

<HollyhockGod> I think it was Vesper + Fiona.

<Alexa> No, I'm pretty sure I was going to Macbeth with Little Miss Woe-pants.

<Fiona> Call her that. I want to see what happens.

<RyanSherbrig> You could chime up. "Oh, I'd much rather visit the penultimate romance with you, Vesper! Tee hee!"

<HollyhockGod> "Woe, woe! The Lady of Fire mocks me!"

<RyanSherbrig> I use penultimate entirely inappropriately here.

<HollyhockGod> I think I'm not going to try to run everything concurrently this time.

<HollyhockGod> Which group wants to go first?

<RyanSherbrig> (Do we want to do that thing suggested in the book, where players not present in scenes grab NPC roles?)

<Alexa> Drinking, brb.

<RyanSherbrig> (I'm cool if our HG is a miserly control freak against such shenanigans, but thought I would suggest it since we are splitting up three ways.)

<Fiona> [I'm off briefly. Back in maybe 10 minutes?]

<HollyhockGod> That would leave me with no characters except Hamlet.

<HollyhockGod> And I don't want to be Hamlet.

<HollyhockGod> Believe me.

<RyanSherbrig> (We could play Shakespearean characters!)

<Alexa> What's wrong with being Hamlet? He's so dynamic!

<HollyhockGod> Alexa, you can be Hamlet, then.

<RyanSherbrig> (Mind you, our representations may be off, it's been a while since I've read/seen the plays, but that could be due to Excrucian plague and whatnot.)

<RyanSherbrig> ("To be, or…" *silence as Ebba cracks his neck.*)

<HollyhockGod> Forsooth! Wanda and Alexa, following Vesper's expert instructions, read themselves into the narrative of Hamlet!

<Alexa> (Wait, which version? ;) )

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, I should remind you," says Vesper five minutes ago.

<HollyhockGod> "I can't be having with this First Folio and quarto nonsense, so I compiled all of Shakespeare into an Authorized Edition like forever ago.)

<HollyhockGod> There they stand upon the battlements of Elsinore Castle. It's cold.

<Alexa> Lesser Creation of Fire, warms self.

<RyanSherbrig> (Wait, weren't Ebba and I going to Hamlet? Ah, we can take Macbeth. Vesper may have been distracted.)

<HollyhockGod> Take your pick, really.

<Alexa> (Hey, yes! I wasn't serious about wanting to go to Hamlet. Or about picking a version.)

<Ebba> So Ryan, here's why you really want to betray lord Entropy…

<HollyhockGod> Okay, Ryan and Ebba stand upon the battlements of Elsinore Castle. It's cold.

  • HollyhockGod does the thing where Alexa and Fiona blink into Ryan and Ebba, like on TV.

<Alexa> (Lesser Creation of Fi… haha!)

<HollyhockGod> Yonder, a ghost walks!

<RyanSherbrig> "So, do we want to approaching this with subtle grace, or… not?"

<HollyhockGod> "Mark me," says the ghost to Hamlet.

<Ebba> I am sorely tempted to make this a story about the uselessness of introspection, but I'd assume that Wanda likes the original version.

<RyanSherbrig> "Vesper said he could fix it if we break it. But fair enough."

  • RyanSherbrig Guises.

<HollyhockGod> "My hour is almost come, when I to the inevitable end of all that is, must render up myself."

<HollyhockGod> "Really?" asks Hamlet.

<HollyhockGod> "So I am informed," admits the ghost. "All things are doomed, and we must submit to that which we cannot overcome. But first you should murder your uncle for murdering me. I'm still ticked about that."

  • RyanSherbrig checks around with the Sight and occasionally peers into Mythic fpr Excrucian plague.

<HollyhockGod> "O God!" cries Hamlet.

<HollyhockGod> Things seem normal except for the bad, nonstandard dialogue.

<Alexa> (Is this wh… oh.)

  • RyanSherbrig harrumphs at "All things are doomed" a bit.

<HollyhockGod> "Murder most foul, as in the best it is," says the ghost to his son, "so hurry up and get it done before Creation slides into the pit."

<RyanSherbrig> "Right. That's enough of that, then."

<RyanSherbrig> (Crusher_Bob, you don't mind OOC if I be all instigatory, do you?)

<Ebba> I was about to do something myself.

<Ebba> :d But go ahead.

<RyanSherbrig> Elemental! Glorious!

<RyanSherbrig> "Fear not! For the power of the human spirit shall triumph over all travails!"

<HollyhockGod> "Forsooth!" cries Hamlet."Must I then murder my nuncle, as my father's restless shade commands?"

<HollyhockGod> The ghost, in the Radiant light of Ryan, vanishes like a shadow caught in the high beams.

<RyanSherbrig> "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. We must uncover this corruption and strike it clean."

<Ebba> "Nay, the sins of the father need not be the sins of the son."

  • Ebba attempts to infect Hamlet with some self-determination.

<RyanSherbrig> (Ryan's still a bit sketchy personally as to how he views fictional characters in the humanity/not-humanity spectrum.)

<RyanSherbrig> (So, not quite about to advocate murder, but isn't ruling it out yet.)

<Ebba> He'll have to decide to whack his uncle for himself, not because someone tells him to.

<HollyhockGod> "Command me, O blessed angel! What must I do to heal this benighted country?"

<RyanSherbrig> (Glorious makes a mockery of your puny 'self-determination'! Ha ha ha!)

<HollyhockGod> But will it continue to work in your absence?


<RyanSherbrig> (Hmmm. It's priced as a Major Creation of Beliefs, so I would hope so, but could probably be overwritten after I leave, yeah.)

<RyanSherbrig> "We must find the root of evil, and wrest it from the ground. To the castle!"

<RyanSherbrig> Aside, to Ebba, in True-Tongue-of-Heaven "Shall we investigate the other major characters, first?"

<Ebba> "Did not the Lord make thee with free will? And you are casting it aside so quickly? Thou are more that halfway to the pit already."

<Ebba> (There, how's that?)

<HollyhockGod> Poor Hamlet is now extremely confused. He lacks the training in metaphysics needed to identify the two viewpoints being thrown at him.

<Ebba> (Isn't confused what Hamlet is supposed to be?)

<Alexa> (What? Didn't this Hamlet go to university?)

<RyanSherbrig> (Yeah, he's practically the Duke of Indecision as it is.)

<HollyhockGod> That's arguably correct, Ebba.

<Ebba> (That's where he knew Rosencratz and Guildenstern from, yes?)

<HollyhockGod> "To kill, or not to kill; that is the question," says Hamlet. "But in either case I can't do it out here. I'll demand that my uncle tell me the tru….. no, that would be rude."

<HollyhockGod> "I'll go and strongly hint that there's something he should tell me!"

<HollyhockGod> "Yeah, that'll fix it."

<RyanSherbrig> "Right."

  • RyanSherbrig goes along with to make some strong hints of his own.

<Ebba> "Well, we'd best look at the uncle and the mom, right?"

<Alexa> (The rest of us are in the other plays, right, not actually watching this one?)

<RyanSherbrig> "Right. Ophelia, maybe the actors. I wouldn't put it past the Excrucians to hide their taint in the play within the play."

<RyanSherbrig> (Assume everything I direct at Ebba is in True Tongue)

<HollyhockGod> (That's so, Alexa.)

<HollyhockGod> Unless one of you wants to start playing Hamlet. Yes?

<HollyhockGod> In fact, go ahead.

<Alexa> (No! I was thinking more about throwing popcorn and shouting suggestions from the audience.)

<RyanSherbrig> ("Antici…" "SAY IT" "…pation.")

<HollyhockGod> Somebody else should take it, then.

<RyanSherbrig> (So, Fiona?)

<Fiona> (I probably shouldn't. Mostly because I remember very little about Hamlet.)

<HollyhockGod> Even better!

<Alexa> (He has to say 'Let's put on a show!' at some point.)

<HollyhockGod> Yes, yes.

<RyanSherbrig> (Dither a lot. We've already set him off the 'basic' path.)

  • RyanSherbrig strides forth purposefully to the throne room.

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. Which was IS the throne room?"

<HollyhockGod> (No, go wild! Seduce the hell out of Ophelia! And then take the throne for yourself!)

  • Fiona is now known as Hamlet
  • Hamlet dithers.

<RyanSherbrig> (It's true. We've given him both self-determination and divine mandate.)

<RyanSherbrig> (It's a potentially scary combination.)

  • Hamlet follows Ryan, somewhat like a moth.

<HollyhockGod> Ryan bursts into a room that turns out to be the kitchen.

  • Ebba will go looking for Ophelia, unless the HG doesn't want to split things further.

<HollyhockGod> Meanwhile, Ebba goes to find Ophelia.

<HollyhockGod> You can tell it's her because she's gone mad! Mad, I say!

<HollyhockGod> (Possibly somewhat ahead of schedule.)

<Ebba> We'll see about that…

<RyanSherbrig> (Hamlet hasn't even gone mad yet! She's winning! Race her to the punch!)

<RyanSherbrig> "Right. Which was IS the throne room? Hamlet?"

<Hamlet> "This one, O divine one."

<HollyhockGod> "Tomorrow is Saint Valentine's Day, lady! Alas, that the world will end before my love is fulfilled!"

  • Hamlet strides forward, dithers in the entrance way.

<HollyhockGod> "Stop dithering, Hamlet," says the King. "It's atrocious!"

  • RyanSherbrig drops his Elemental/Glorious, checks around for Excrucian taint.

<Hamlet> "But, my lord, I am possessed of both self-determination and a divine mandate- what else could I do?"

<Ebba> "Then dear Ophelia, you need to do something about the fulfilling of your love, or the end of the world. Or even better, something about both."

<Ebba> Where did you want to start?

<RyanSherbrig> (Love before the world, Opehelia!)

<HollyhockGod> "What are you going to do? That is the question!"

<HollyhockGod> "How do you justify your existence?"

<HollyhockGod> "I sit upon the throne of the world," says the king. "My judgment determines what shall and shall not be. Why should I permit a Hamlet to exist in Denmark?"

<RyanSherbrig> (Any overt signs of Excrucian influence in here?)

<RyanSherbrig> (Besides, um, that.)

<HollyhockGod> For a moment, his eyes shine like falling stars, but perhaps it was only a passing comet, or a shadow.

<Hamlet> "Maybe I should shirk responsibility to both divine mandate and the ghost of my dead father, and elope with Ophelia."

<HollyhockGod> "Never!" cries the king. "For one thing, I can't allow you to date a crazy girl."

  • Hamlet should probably actually be paying attention to the king, but isn't.

<RyanSherbrig> Elemental! Glorious! "Poisoner!"

<RyanSherbrig> (Although I wish I had my Exemplar with me for backup. Ah, well. Immortal!)

<HollyhockGod> "That's right," says the king, nodding. "I determined that the previous King was a thing that should not be, so I forbade him existence."

<Hamlet> "But surely I am crazy too, what with this whole divine mandate thing?"

<RyanSherbrig> "You are a thing that should not be."

<HollyhockGod> "Regardless of your mental health, it's your responsibility to obey a divine mandate."

<RyanSherbrig> "That's true."

<HollyhockGod> "I'm on the throne of the world," the king reminds you. "You aren't in a position to judge me!"

<RyanSherbrig> (Somewhere, Ebba's Estate twitches.)

<RyanSherbrig> "I am the throne of the world."

<Hamlet> "I guess I have to murder you, then. or something."

<RyanSherbrig> (Well, one of them, but that's less dramatic.)

  • Hamlet dithers, again.

<HollyhockGod> Disregarding genre conventions, the king's throne rises out of the ground on a rapidly growing mountain, towering over you as the king becomes a titanically immense figure.

<HollyhockGod> "REALLY?" he asks. "IS THAT SO?"

<RyanSherbrig> (True Tongue) "Balls."

  • Ebba is busy making sure Ophelia's madness, if any, is more akin to that of Alexander the Great than, well, Ophelia's.

<RyanSherbrig> (4 DMP! Blinding Radiance on top of the fact that I'm already a living being of pure radiance!) "YES."

<HollyhockGod> Ebba and Ophelia find themselves dangling from a parapet, with Ebba preventing Ophelia from falling into the abyss, and also explaining self-actualization.

<HollyhockGod> "IRRELEVANT," says the King, and idly lifts a foot to flatten Hamlet.

  • Hamlet goes blind.

<HollyhockGod> Ophelia also goes blind, but she was going to fall to her drowning death later anyway, so, not much of a loss.

  • Hamlet starts some sort of irrelevant soliloquy.

<RyanSherbrig> (Hmmm, about what Aspect would it take to shove Hamlet out of the way in time?)

<Alexa> ("To see or not to see, that is no longer the question…")

<Ebba> "Come on, you need to do something about Hamlet, and it looks like the world needs me. No time to let something small like blindness get in the way."

  • Ebba drags Ophelia in the direction of all the shouting.

<Ebba> Looks like the poor dear could use a sword too, heroes always have them.

<Ebba> And aren't we in a castle, which tends to have them on the walls, and stuff?

<HollyhockGod> Oh, say Aspect 2; I'm not harsh.

<RyanSherbrig> Ah, heck. 4 AMP! I grab Hamlet and toss him in the direction of Ophelia in a manner that probably won't permanently damage him.

<RyanSherbrig> Or her.

<RyanSherbrig> (I think I'm pretty close to going for the A GOD AM I achievement, here.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Wait, I don't have 4 AMP, I guised earlier. Eh, I'll last-trump some spirit points.)

<HollyhockGod> 2 seems fine either way.

<RyanSherbrig> ('Kay.)

<HollyhockGod> Shoving him into Ophelia doesn't seem supremely improbable.

<RyanSherbrig> (In that case I've got an AMP left.)

<RyanSherbrig> (I was unsure how far away they were after the castle turned into the throne of the mountain king.)

<HollyhockGod> So, you're standing atop an endless fictional abyss, menaced by an infinite father-figure, armed only with two blind protagonists.

<RyanSherbrig> "You and yours shall never persevere!"

  • Hamlet helps Ophelia up.

<HollyhockGod> "IT IS THE NATURE OF HAMLETS AND OPHELIAS TO DIE," says the king.


<Alexa> ("Let the gall'd jade wince; hope withers / While Prince Hamlet blindly dithers…")

<RyanSherbrig> "Then we shall CHANGE the universe!"

<RyanSherbrig> (Ebba, feel free to back me up with a universe-changing blow.)

<RyanSherbrig> "Ebba, feel free to back me up with a universe-changing blow."

<Ebba> "There, Ophelia, see how things are already running your way? Hamlet is here. Didn't you have something you wanted to ask him?"

<HollyhockGod> "Actually," says Ophelia, "your inspirational speech has reminded me that I don't require a male protagonist to want me in order to achieve personal significance. Instead, I think I'll start a career as a blind seeress. It's a growth industry."

<HollyhockGod> "Hmm. My first prediction is that we're all going to be stomped into nothing by a million-foot-tall King Claudius. But that's impossible- let me try again."

<RyanSherbrig> "Fine. Invisible Beast! Slay him!"

<RyanSherbrig> (Let's see if he's actually an unblemished-guise Excrucian, or what.)

  • Hamlet dithers again.

<HollyhockGod> What's the Invisible Beast's preferred slaying-mode, again? I forget, because of the invisibility.

  • Ebba pokes Hamlet with her toe.

<RyanSherbrig> Mostly an Aspect 3 rendy-claws-and-teeth sort of attack, I imagine.

<RyanSherbrig> "Devoured by invisible demons in broad daylight" is the image to be gone for.

<HollyhockGod> All right. That's 2 SMPs, either way.

<Ebba> "See what all your dither has gotten you? Even your love interest has declared your insignificance. There is still time for you to make something of yourself. But you'd better hurry it up."

<RyanSherbrig> Hmmm. It was a level 3 creature, so I should get grudging compliance with one. Which I'll spend.

<HollyhockGod> King Claudius is slowly eaten away by invisible teeth, and begins to topple over as his ankle vanishes.

<Ebba> "Divine mandates tend to take care of themselves, but your own self-determination requires a bit more than sitting around worrying."

<RyanSherbrig> "See how those who would falsely claim the throne of the world fall and tumble!"

<RyanSherbrig> (Or you could see, if you weren't all blind. Cough.)


<Ebba> "We even have this spare sword, since Ophelia no longer seems to want it."

  • Hamlet stumbles off the edge of a battlement.

<HollyhockGod> "Have you ever been inside a television when it was switched off," asks the ghost of Hamlet's father, appearing to provide cryptically evil insight.

<RyanSherbrig> "I don't know, that seemed fairly dramatically appropriate to me."

<HollyhockGod> "That's what it's like to have your existence wrenched onto the path of self-discovery by crudely-veiled deus ex machina!"

<RyanSherbrig> "We came out of no machines."

<Ebba> "Bollocks."

<RyanSherbrig> "But maybe we should leave."

<HollyhockGod> "NO ESCAPE!" screams the dying King, as the universe begins to shrink around you.

  • RyanSherbrig grabs Hamlet and tries exiting the play!

<HollyhockGod> "I predict that this fictional universe will contract in on itself in about thirty-five seconds," prophesies Ophelia.

<HollyhockGod> He already fell off the battlement.

<Alexa> (No machines: not to be confused with snow machines.)

<HollyhockGod> How do you leave, again?

<HollyhockGod> It's important to ask these questions in case you have to leave in a hurry.

<Ebba> "There's possibly still time for you to stab Claudius. If you wanted to."

<HollyhockGod> There was a clearly marked exit when you got here, but I think the King fell on top of it.

<Ebba> "It's hard to find employment, even in a growth industry, when the universe has ended."

<RyanSherbrig> "Ebba, could you shove the king off our exit?"

  • Ebba sighs.

<RyanSherbrig> (On the other hand, we're both Immortal, it could be fun to see what happens!)

<RyanSherbrig> (But I'd like to try to save at least one of these NPCs.)

<Ebba> (I was hoping to save the playscape.)

<RyanSherbrig> (I'm willing to entertain ideas.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Save the dramatic narrative!)

<Ebba> (That's why I was spending so much time with Hamlet and Ophelia.)

<Ebba> (But then Hamlet had to go fall off a cliff.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Ebba may have been the wrong choice of someone to curb Ryan's indiscretion.)

<Hamlet> (Which of the other characters would have been better, though?)

<RyanSherbrig> "Well, it's a long fall. He might still be plummeting."

<Ebba> (But since we still have Ophelia, we might can salvage things as a story for teenage girls instead.)

<HollyhockGod> I should really have brought Marley along so I could have an NPC in every pair, in hindsight.

<RyanSherbrig> (Alexa may have at least said something.)

<RyanSherbrig> (It's ironic that I view the Power of Fire as our voice of reason.)

<Alexa> (Ha!)

  • Hamlet is now known as ghostHamlet

<RyanSherbrig> (Whoops, too late.)

<ghostHamlet> "Woo!"

  • ghostHamlet wanders around on the edge of the battlements.

<RyanSherbrig> "Right. Ebba, comitragic ghost-romance? Or should we just exeunt omnes?"

<Ebba> (So back to saving the remnants of this story as a drama for teen girls?)

<Ebba> (Think we still need Ophelia to take some dramatic actions.)

<Ebba> (Do we still have killing Claudius available as an option?)

<Alexa> (Isn't the universe collapsing?)

<HollyhockGod> (Well, he's twitching and flailing.)

<RyanSherbrig> (We're working on it!)

<RyanSherbrig> (Er, stopping it.)

<Alexa> :)

<RyanSherbrig> (Despite appearances.)

<RyanSherbrig> "Right, Ophelia! Strike him down now!"

<Ebba> "So, Ophelia, I hate to give the appearance of jogging your elbow here. But the universe is beginning to collapse. Doing something other that predicting our imminent doom seems to be indicated."

<RyanSherbrig> "You must overcome your limitations to seize the throne of the world for all humanity."

<Ebba> (And you'll get a pony. :D )

<RyanSherbrig> (The limitations that I, er, may have imposed on you. Ryan's gonna have to think about this one.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Later.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Also, trying not to think about how this is turning into a parable for leading humanity into rebellion against Lord Entropy.)

<RyanSherbrig> (It would look really bad if Baalhermon or such were reading Hamlet right now.)

<HollyhockGod> "Hm," says Ophelia. "To be a blind seeress is good, but to become god-queen of reality is better! I'll destroy Claudius and demonstate the supreme power of my will! Who the hell does he think I am!"

<HollyhockGod> "I'll do this, not for Hamlet, nor for the Ophelia in whom you believe, but only for myself!"

<HollyhockGod> STAB, SLASH!

<HollyhockGod> Ophelia stabs Ryan in the chest. "Die, Claudius!"

<RyanSherbrig> "He's over there. The giant groaning god-king."

<RyanSherbrig> (Also, laughing out loud.)

<Ebba> (Well, Hamlet does include accidental stabbings. :D)

<RyanSherbrig> (True. Anyway, Ebba, don't you have Healing Touch? You could cure her of her blindness.)

<Ebba> (As long as you promise not to burn out her eyes again.)

  • RyanSherbrig tones down the radiance a bit.

<HollyhockGod> "Ah, I can see," says Ophelia. "It's inconvenient not to know the future, but that won't matter when I control reality."

<HollyhockGod> She stabs Claudius and ascends to the throne of the world as a radiant god-empress.

<RyanSherbrig> (There's always the cave-gas route to prophecy.)

<HollyhockGod> "Now, I bring everybody back to life!"

<HollyhockGod> "Also I make Hamlet sexier!"

<HollyhockGod> Ghost-Hamlet is returned to life wearing a dog-collar and a much better hairstyle.

<RyanSherbrig> (/nick-change to sexyHamlet)

<HollyhockGod> "Later tonight I'll explain his purpose in life and put an end to his dithering for good."

<RyanSherbrig> "Fantastic."

<ghostHamlet> (I tried Hamlet++. but it didn't like that)

<HollyhockGod> "Now, everyone do the samba!"

<Ebba> (while dancing) "Don't let sound and fury distract you from what's important, dear brother."

<Ebba> "We are here to protect the world, not kill the other side."

<RyanSherbrig> "Mmmm. Right."

<Ebba> (Curtains?)

  • RyanSherbrig sambas to the exit.
  • ghostHamlet is now known as newandimprovedHamlet

<HollyhockGod> The end!

  • newandimprovedHamlet dances over to Ophelia
  • newandimprovedHamlet is now known as Fiona

<RyanSherbrig> (I wait eagerly to see Vesper's reaction to that.)

<Alexa> (Applause.)

<RyanSherbrig> (/me takes a bow.)

<HollyhockGod> Meanwhile, Vesper has led Fiona into the depths of Romeo & Juliet.

<HollyhockGod> Where they find themselves beset by a bloodstained corpse.

<HollyhockGod> "Hm," says Vesper. "It's Romeo."

<HollyhockGod> He plucks a sheet of paper from the bloody mess.

<Fiona> "Doesn't he normally make it a little further into the play than this?"

<HollyhockGod> "To Whom It May Concern: All things are doomed to end in shadow, and further life is pointless. I hereby take my exit from this meaningless stage. Farewell, Romeo."

<HollyhockGod> "Yes, even on his worst days he usually gets into Act Two."

<HollyhockGod> "Almost nobody in the comedies dies a virgin if they can help it."

<HollyhockGod> "This is clearly very bad."

<HollyhockGod> 'This play can't continue without a hero- it'll mangle the plot!"

<Fiona> "That would be bad, I guess."

<HollyhockGod> "There's only one solution- I must take his clothes- hopefully out of a drawer- and replace him."

<Alexa> ('Vesper and Juliet'?)

<HollyhockGod> "You must go, dear Fiona, and find Juliet before she offs herself too."

<RyanSherbrig> (No, he's already killed Juliet, too. Coincidentally, Fiona will have to replace her, too.)

<HollyhockGod> "If anyone should trouble you, feed them to the dahlias."

<HollyhockGod> (It's like you can read my mind.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Ha.)

<Fiona> (I pretty much saw that coming.)

  • Fiona goes in search of Juliet.

<Alexa> :)

<HollyhockGod> Oh noes! Juliet is dead! How can this be?

<HollyhockGod> "Dear world, men are horrible. Also, women are horrible. I laugh at all the gods and remove myself from this cursed existence. Yours, Juliet."

<Fiona> "Well, at least she tried women first, before offing herself."

<HollyhockGod> They're very methodical in the tragedies.

  • Fiona hides the body in a rosebush.
  • Fiona changes one of the roses into a Juliet.

<Fiona> (With less suicidal tendencies.)

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, what a beautiful morning!"

*Fiona goes to find some clothes for flowerJuliet, taking her with her.

<RyanSherbrig> (Ha.)

<HollyhockGod> Fiona encounters the Nurse!

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, hullo, Juliet," says the Nurse to Fiona. "Who's the rosebush?"

  • Fiona conjures a rosebush around the nurse, trapping her, but till letting in air.

<HollyhockGod> "You know what your father says about young ladies doing gardening!"

<Fiona> "That's not at all fair."

<HollyhockGod> "Now, is this any way for a young lady to behave?"

<HollyhockGod> "You let your old nurse out so I can dress you for the party."

<HollyhockGod> How cruel Fiona is, to torment an old lady!

<Fiona> If I have to replace the entire cast with flowers to avoid playing Juliet, I will.

<Fiona> Vesper might be a little surprised by it, though.

<HollyhockGod> This happens.

<RyanSherbrig> (Vesper may kill all the flowers in the play to get you to play Juliet.)

<HollyhockGod> I'll be kind and make it all part of one Lesser Change you sustained.

<Fiona> Ta.

<Alexa> (Has this all been a cunning ploy by Vesper to get a date with Fiona?)

<RyanSherbrig> (I would not be surprised.)

<HollyhockGod> (Well, Joktan probably doesn't read Romeo & Juliet very often.)

<HollyhockGod> "But soft," yells Vesper from offstage. "What light at yonder window breaks?"

<HollyhockGod> "It is the East, and Juliet is the Moon!"

<Alexa> (Probably more of a Titus Andronicus guy.)

<Ebba> (It's Ryan in a dress!)

<RyanSherbrig> (Ryan steps out. "Hey, Vesper!")

<RyanSherbrig> (Dang, beaten to it.)

<Fiona> (Actually, Juliet is a flower. Sorry, Romeo.)

<Ebba> (If Fiona had been thinking ahead, she would have put on a fake mustache and taken the part of Romeo.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Is she a winsome flower?)

<Fiona> (A rose, given that was on hand.)

<HollyhockGod> Vesper builds a bridge up to the parapet out of sheets of loose-leaf and climbs up.

<Fiona> (Ebba: No, I don't want to encourage Vesper to put on a dress.)

<HollyhockGod> Ignoring the rose-actress, he begins to serenade Fiona with sweet sonnets. They aren't even Shakespeare!

<HollyhockGod> I think part of this one is from Donne. How is it again? "License my roving hands, and let them go?"

  • Fiona points at flowerJuliet

<RyanSherbrig> (roseJuliet looks put upon.)

<RyanSherbrig> (I have to go in a few minutes, or I would play her.)

<HollyhockGod> Vesper waves a hand at her without speaking or looking at her, and she vanishes.

<Alexa> ("Before, behind, between, above, below." Ha!)

<HollyhockGod> "My lady Juliet, long have I travelled, across vast expanses of plot, to be at your side tonight."

<RyanSherbrig> (Conjure HemlockTybalt to slay him for impertinence!)

<Fiona> (It's tempting.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Crikey, Fiona's got high Spirit.)

  • Fiona stands there looking mildly uncomfortable.

<Fiona> "Sorry, Romeo, but no. Your Juliet is in another castle."

<Alexa> :D

<HollyhockGod> "Popular culture references become you not, sweet flower."

<RyanSherbrig> (Time to introduce him to the fact that Venus Flytraps are flowering plants.)

<HollyhockGod> "Especially after I went to all this trouble to get rid of both our Familia so we could be alone."


<HollyhockGod> "All the ham actors from bad movie adaptations should keep them busy for ages. Extremely entertaining ages!"

<Alexa> :D :D

<HollyhockGod> "They're turning Hamlet into a self-help book for girls. I'm seriously going to make a killing off of that- it could be even bigger than sparkly vampires, lady!"

<HollyhockGod> He cocks his head. "Is that the problem? Am I not sparkly enough? I can sparkle!?"

<HollyhockGod> Vesper tries his best to look shiny and tortured.

<HollyhockGod> Perhaps he was misled by your sudden use of pop-culture references.

<RyanSherbrig> (Wrong tactic. He should try appearing as a bee, or other pollinating insect.)

  • Fiona tries not to laugh.

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, rose of the morning, may I not write an epic upon your virgin petals?"

<HollyhockGod> (That's about as risque as I can go. I can't even approach bees.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Fair enough.)

  • Fiona conjurers a flower of friendship, hands it to Vesper.

<Fiona> "I'm sorry Vesper, but that's really all I can do."

<RyanSherbrig> (The flower of friendship's thorns cuts deep.)

<HollyhockGod> Vesper makes puppy eyes for exactly three seconds and then gives up.

<HollyhockGod> "Ah, well, it was worth the effort to try."

<Fiona> "I do want to see what's happening with Alexa and Wanda, though."

  • Fiona smiles faintly at Vesper.

<RyanSherbrig> (She is utterly uninterested at whatever travesties Ryan and Ebba are no doubt up to without outside interference.)

<HollyhockGod> "No doubt they're having a pity party with Duncan and Macduff!"

<RyanSherbrig> (Cut to Alexa setting witches on fire.)

<HollyhockGod> "But first I want to see whatever travesties Sherbrig and Lady Ebba are no doubt up to without outside supervision."

<HollyhockGod> The end!

<HollyhockGod> Cut to a witch setting Alexa on fire.

<HollyhockGod> It doesn't hurt her, but it's funny!

<Alexa> "Fire burn and cauldron bubble, eh?"

<Alexa> "Take this!"

<HollyhockGod> Alexa and Wanda materialize on the blasted heath as Vesper, standing on the Fire Isles dock, waves goodbye.

<HollyhockGod> "Woe, woe," says Wanda as the portal closes.

<RyanSherbrig> "Wait, he WHAT?"

  • Alexa Guises as a local woman.

<HollyhockGod> We've moved back in time, because these three things are happening concurrently.

<RyanSherbrig> (Aha, gotcha.)

<Alexa> "So, Wanda, have you done this before?"

<RyanSherbrig> (Misinterpreted. I have to head out, but I look forward to the logs with great interest.)

<HollyhockGod> "Okay, shut up," says Wanda and snaps her fingers as she straightens her posture. Time stops.

<HollyhockGod> A stray bolt of lightning is hung in the sky and illuminates her face, showing a lot of unpleasant shadows.

<Alexa> "Don't you tell me to shut up!"

<HollyhockGod> "I've got something to say to you, and that's the only reason I bothered to do anything important with that bewigg-ed lunatic."

<Alexa> "Oookay. Mind if I smoke?"

<HollyhockGod> For the benefit of those who have actually heard Wanda talk before, she's totally dropped her standard whiny tone of voice.

<HollyhockGod> "You'll be sorry later if you do- those things cause cancer."

<Alexa> "Yep. Want one?"

<HollyhockGod> "Sure."

<HollyhockGod> "I don't have long to live anyway."

  • Alexa gives Wanda a cigarette.

<HollyhockGod> Wanda lights up.

  • Alexa lights up.

<HollyhockGod> "I chose to address this to you mostly because that's the way Vesper divvied us up, but also partially because I've never seen you before and there's a tiny chance that you're halfway sane, unlike the rest of your Familia."

<Alexa> "Mmmhm."

  • Alexa is looking at Wanda with considerably more respect.

<Ebba> (The rest of us are all 100% sane; you only make the halfway mark. :D)

<Alexa> :D

<HollyhockGod> "I was listening to your radiant fool of a brother at that party, and from the sound of it, he's exactly the kind of idiot I don't need."

<HollyhockGod> "We're at war- perhaps you've noticed."

<Alexa> "On multiple fronts."

<HollyhockGod> "….you too, huh?"

<HollyhockGod> *shrug*

<HollyhockGod> "Well, I'll say it anyway."

<Alexa> "Go on."

<HollyhockGod> "The absolute last thing anybody needs right now is for somebody to stir up open war with the Dark. If that happens, the current stalemate with the Excrucians is going to fall apart."

<HollyhockGod> "Bad for me, bad for you, bad for America."

<HollyhockGod> "Which is why I'm telling you: if you screw up our little peace-party with crazy firebird idealism, I will take you out."

<HollyhockGod> "Won't be the first time."

<HollyhockGod> "Are we clear on this?"

<Alexa> "You're speaking for yourself, not for your Familia?"

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, this is just me. Catch little Dana planning to have somebody iced."

<HollyhockGod> "That would be hilarious."

  • Alexa smiles a little.

<Alexa> "How often have you done it before?"

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, there were about three Powers of Electricity before we got to the current, subtle iteration."

<HollyhockGod> 'They… regretted not following my advice."

<Alexa> (OOC: Do Wanda and Vesper know that the Gardens are our target?)

<RyanSherbrig> (Well, we did sort of mention it at the party.)

<HollyhockGod> (Ryan attempted to pass off lack of discretion as a bad joke.)

<RyanSherbrig> (And now I must really be off. Although Wanda's sudden and unexpected character development is extremely interesting.)

  • RyanSherbrig is now known as Benhimself

<Alexa> "I see. Forgive me for asking this, and I can understand if you don't answer, but do you have… ah… diplomatic back-channels to Dark Powers?"

<Alexa> (Seeya, Ryan!)

  • Benhimself has quit (Disintegrated: Dramatic Plot Turn!)

<HollyhockGod> Wanda shrugs. "I do what I have to do to keep the world going. I haven't (she goes all crazy-eyes) betrayed humanity, if that's what you mean."

<HollyhockGod> "But right now, the important thing is to keep the world going, and that means letting the Dark think they still have a shot."

<Alexa> "No, that's not what I meant."

<Alexa> "I'm just asking whether you have any formal or informal agreements with Darksiders to deal with matters not directly relating to the fate of humanity."

<HollyhockGod> Wanda slumps.

<HollyhockGod> "What a strange question to ask old Wanda," she whines.

  • Alexa raises an eyebrow.

<HollyhockGod> It doesn't quite work, because there's a cigarette poking out from under the hood, but it seems that your little interlude is over.

<Alexa> "Fuck. I had one more serious question."

<HollyhockGod> Time starts up again, and a witch shrieks, "When shall we three meet again, in thunder, lightning, or in rain?"

<HollyhockGod> Wanda laughs and says, "Perhaps I'll have to introduce you to some people someday soon."

<HollyhockGod> The end!

<Alexa> "If you're still listening, Wanda, I share your concerns, and want to know whether you're still coming after us if we can pull off our aims without starting open Dark-Light warfare."

  • Alexa flicks her cigarette stub at the witch.

<HollyhockGod> "It's a funny world," says Wanda. "I'd really like to be keeping a museum somewhere- a real one, I mean. But the world's on the verge of coming apart, and if history dies my history doctorate won't be worth much, so I have to save it."

<Alexa> (Are we out of Macbeth now?)

<HollyhockGod> "Right now, the only thing I care about is keeping the world on a stable footing. Your little games come second."

<HollyhockGod> (No)

<Alexa> ("The end!"?)

<HollyhockGod> (I assumed you were done.)

<Alexa> "There's stability, and then there's stability. I think we can build a better world than this one, but I don't want to burn the baby with the bathwater."

<HollyhockGod> Wanda nods, sagely. "Yeah. I think I've delivered my cryptic warning adequately, no?"

<Alexa> "Yep. I'm glad we talked. I won't say we have an agreement, but I take your point on board. Now, do we have to deal with this thing of Vesper's?"

<HollyhockGod> Wanda tosses her cigarette onto Macbeth's head, which catches fire.

<HollyhockGod> "If you even go near those witches I swear I'll gut you like a fish!" she screams.

<HollyhockGod> Macbeth flees.

<Alexa> "'Cos if we only need to find a miraculous intervener…"

<HollyhockGod> "Sorted," says Wanda.

<HollyhockGod> "He just wants to make the flower-child do the balcony scene, anyway."

<HollyhockGod> "Typical."

<HollyhockGod> This time it really is The End, as Macbeth runs to find a body of water somewhere.

<Alexa> "Wait, what? You mean Fiona?"

  • You are now known as RandBrittain
  • Fiona is now known as borogove
  • Alexa laughs.
  • Ebba is now known as CrusherBob
  • Alexa is now known as Uqbarian

<Uqbarian> Alexa was about to burn down all of fictional Scotland, on the principle that if there was an Excrucian agent in the play and Vesper could fix any damage..

<RandBrittain> "You're nothing but a pack of cards!"

<Uqbarian> … a Greater Creation would either flush it out or kill it.

<RandBrittain> Well, that completes yet another story.

<Uqbarian> Hooray!

<RandBrittain> We had an exploration of Meaningful Themes (maybe), a love story (maybe), and a death threat (oh yes).

<Uqbarian> Alexa will have to settle for burning real Scotland instead.

<RandBrittain> That's practic'ly an epic.

<Uqbarian> So 'gove, does Fiona already have a boyfriend?

<borogove> No, but Vesper is really too weird to do anything with.

<borogove> Besides, I'm not sure Fiona is actually enough of a person for this sort of thing to work.

<RandBrittain> He's a vastly experienced lover! Just look at these references!

<borogove> (Relationships, that is)

<Uqbarian> Hmm?

<RandBrittain> Well, you have a point.

<borogove> Fiona- not someone with a lot of real life experience

<Uqbarian> She's waiting for the right elm to come along?

<RandBrittain> He'll be all, "So, my orchid, let's propagate the species," and you'll be "Okay" and then you summon a horde of bees.

<borogove> bee?

<RandBrittain> It's all a humorous misunderstanding!

<borogove> That would be worth it just for the look on Vesper's face.

<Uqbarian> It won't be the first time he's been stung, I'm sure.

<Uqbarian> So why did we sign up for this damn-fool idealistic crusade, again?

<CrusherBob> I don't know about you, princess, but I'm being well paid. :D

<borogove> I'm not sure we did. Phoenix doesn't seem to be very good at hearing "No, that's a stupid idea."

<Uqbarian> Yeah, we were drafted.

<Uqbarian> @Bob: :)

<RandBrittain> Because it's your job.

<Uqbarian> I want to revise my contract!

<RandBrittain> Sorry, busy fighting Excrucians; can't hear you!

<Uqbarian> Darnit.

<Uqbarian> At least we should go out in a blaze of glory.

<borogove> I should probably disappear now. laters people.

<CrusherBob> byeybe

<Uqbarian> Seeya!

  • borogove has quit (Disintegrated: borogove)

<CrusherBob> Should we be worrying about Pandora IC, or are we assuming that she is just off screen?

<RandBrittain> You should probably start to worry.

<Uqbarian> So, let's see, we have enemies in the Dark and the Light. Have we annoyed any Angels or True Gods yet?

<RandBrittain> I was going to have Wanda drop a cryptic clue, but I forgot.

  • Uqbarian worries about Pandora.

<CrusherBob> Oh, yes. What are Dynasty Points?

<Uqbarian> So she's definitely gone? My preference was for Pandora to hang around as an NPC running off-world errands most of the time.

<RandBrittain> Dynasty Points are saved-up energy any of you can use as MPs in a pinch.

<RandBrittain> Or, you can collect 21 and spend them on an Imperator property.

<RandBrittain> At the moment she's missing in action.

<RandBrittain> For mysterious reasons.

<Uqbarian> 21? I thought it was 25?

<RandBrittain> Or that.

<RandBrittain> I suppose you can spend the next story looking for her.

<Uqbarian> It's a trap!

<RandBrittain> Pandora was your childhood sled!

<Uqbarian> I burn the sled.

<CrusherBob> Heh, am liking how ebba is turning out to be a ball of contradictions.

<CrusherBob> All life is precious, but the earth must be destroyed!

<Uqbarian> Yeah. :)

<CrusherBob> Self determination is the most important thing, but you shouldn't think about it too much!

<RandBrittain> Very Zen!

<RandBrittain> Given that the Excrucians are on Wanda's mind, we need a flower rite or something.

<Uqbarian> I should mention I'm off at my book club next week.

<RandBrittain> Vesper strikes again!

<Uqbarian> That cheeky scamp!

<RandBrittain> I originally had a very Deep and Sad motivation for Vesper's actions, but honestly it isn't as much fun as just having him annoy you.

<Uqbarian> Oh! What was his motivation?

<RandBrittain> Lack of strong self-image leading him to pattern his behavior off the nearest dominant male.

<Uqbarian> Who happened to be Casanova?

<RandBrittain> Evidently!

<RandBrittain> Well, Ryan is definitely "flamboyant and tactless."

<RandBrittain> So he probably is to blame!

<Uqbarian> And shiny.

<RandBrittain> Yes, yes.

<RandBrittain> That's actually an interesting situation.

<RandBrittain> His Siblings would have wanted to keep him home all the time.

<RandBrittain> Because he'd be childishly easy to manipulate once you had the proper measure of him.

<Uqbarian> But that's not the in-game Vesper now, right?

<CrusherBob> You mean Ryan, or Vesper? :D

<Uqbarian> Ha!

<RandBrittain> Yeah, I abandoned that take on him.

<RandBrittain> Largely because we don't have enough male characters to demonstrate that quality adequately.

<Uqbarian> Righto. Are the NPCs on the wiki anywhere? I thought they were, but I can't seem to find them.

<RandBrittain> Not on the one that you can see.

<RandBrittain> Largely because I sometimes totally change their personalities on a whim!

<RandBrittain> Or something like that.

<RandBrittain> "Hey, wouldn't it be funny if Wanda up and threatened to have you all whacked?"

<CrusherBob> Woe!

<Uqbarian> I'll have to write myself a list.

<RandBrittain> Let's see.

<RandBrittain> Maliq, Rosa, Makoto, Anna, Melangell, Dana, Wanda, the Worldshapers (E'jah, Selim, and Gloria), Vesper, Katriana, and Marley.

<Uqbarian> Uhuh.

<Uqbarian> Thanks.

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