<Uqbarian> Hi, Ben!
<Benhimself> Was game secretly canceled or something?
<RandBrittain> No, I'm here.
<RandBrittain> Just drove back home for the holidays.
<Benhimself> Mmm. More wondering about the other huge chunk of players not here, actually.
<RandBrittain> I command that they should appear!
<Benhimself> I'm debating which inquisitorial plotline from Treachery I should run first.
* crusher_bob has joined #childrenofeve
<Benhimself> Either the one where Lord Entropy tells them "fake a case against this guy who is prophecized to overthrow me" or the one where they have to chase the mimic to the world where currency is the sentient race, and buy/steal him from the auction house.
<Uqbarian> Hey, Bob!
<Uqbarian> Rand's command appears to be working.
<Benhimself> I know! I'm very impressed.
<RandBrittain> I prefer the Radiant Emptiness plot.
<Benhimself> Yeah. I'm a bit wary at making their first inquisitorial plot a fake one, but it is a nice one that lets them get a feel for the setting ("Entropy is a jerk").
<Benhimself> Plus, they just did some bargaining with Helissent for passage through the maze with their Giant, so another plot that revolves around bargaining that quickly… yeah. Anonymous messenger raven it is!
<Uqbarian> Is that your PbP game?
<Benhimself> The Hot Potato one ("Here's an Imperator. He's trivially easy to determine that he's a traitor to creation, but he's also Sacrosanct. Whoops!") is fun, too, but I'm saving that for later.
<Benhimself> Wherein I actually run out the Treachery campaign from the back of the book. It's fun.
<Uqbarian> I'll have to check it out. I need to steal more ideas for my next PbP. :)
<RandBrittain> Hopefully Uq can force his players to come up with concepts.
<RandBrittain> Mine was gratifyingly fast!
<RandBrittain> That is the benefit of having so many NPCs on tap, I can scoop 'em up for myself.
<Benhimself> Heh. Mmmm.
<Benhimself> I admit totally stealing my idea for the power of Memory from my PbP for a PC in another PbP that sputtered and died due to the HG vanishing.
<Benhimself> Although if I actually use him now, I'll probably change him somewhat, from a Constant Lesser Destructions dude to something else. Maybe Elemental.
<Benhimself> "You remember meeting the power of Memory here a while in the past, at which point he asked 'Oh, how are you doing?'"
<Uqbarian> What would a Memory Elemental look like?
<Benhimself> A flashback.
<Benhimself> Although Nobilis would be able to tell, upon reflection, that it wasn't truly one of their memories.
<RandBrittain> Where are you, boro? I summon thee!
<crusher_bob> seems to have been on rpg.net recently
<crusher_bob> Last Activity: Today 10:05 AM
<Uqbarian> Try it again!
<crusher_bob> Hmm, it does seem to adjust to my clock, so that was around 30 minutes ago.
<RandBrittain> Borogove, I summon thee!
<Uqbarian> Hmm. Perhaps only bob took the Summonable restriction.
<Benhimself> Maybe it takes a group effort.
<Benhimself> Mimsy one! We beckon thee!
<crusher_bob> Ia ia borogove ftagan?
<Uqbarian> O Borogove, the pipes, the pipes are calling!
<RandBrittain> Melika name name natu melikaname!
<RandBrittain> Hm, what shall we do?
<Benhimself> Play on without him? Cancel game yet again? It's mostly your call.
<RandBrittain> I guess we may as well do something.
* You are now known as HollyhockGod
* crusher_bob is now known as Ebba
* Benhimself is now known as RyanSherbrig
* Uqbarian is now known as Ananda
* Ananda is now known as Alexa
<HollyhockGod> Oh, dear.
<HollyhockGod> So, last time, we were doing something or other. No doubt Fiona is absent because she was too embarrassed to relate exactly what went on.
<RyanSherbrig> It was awkward.
<HollyhockGod> So, Alexa, how did you describe the goings-on with Wanda to the Familia?
<RyanSherbrig> "Yes, tell us how that was."
<Alexa> "Wanda told us to watch our step.
<Alexa> "She doesn't want anything to upset the war effort against the Excrucians.
<RyanSherbrig> "Really? She acknowledge the universe outside of her own personal source of despair? How unusual."
<Alexa> "I think a lot of that despair stuff is an act."
* RyanSherbrig raises an eyebrow.
<RyanSherbrig> "How interesting."
<Alexa> "And she implied she's disposed of Powers who have got in her way before."
<RyanSherbrig> "Perhaps she should take it up with our Imperator, then."
<RyanSherbrig> "Until our orders change from the source, I'll just have to add her to the list of obstacles to overcome in pursuit of our mission."
* borogove (~zn.oc.artx.lsda.D44487F1-ratScigaM|rednaxelA#zn.oc.artx.lsda.D44487F1-ratScigaM|rednaxelA) has joined #childrenofeve
<RyanSherbrig> "Along with the First Dark Lord, and possibly an Angel, and many other things besides."
<Alexa> (Hey, gove!)
<borogove> sorry I'm late, everyone.
* borogove is now known as Fiona
<Ebba> "Did she mention any specific Powers? Knowing more about her means and methods would certainly help."
<RyanSherbrig> "We could test them by throwing some nasty monster at her and seeing how she disposes of it."
<Ebba> "It would also help to know if she is speaking for her Familia and Imperator, or simply acting alone."
<Alexa> "She hinted that she's gone through three Powers of Electricity."
<RyanSherbrig> (I remember OOC that she implied she was acting alone, but that's just OOC.)
<RyanSherbrig> (Something about condescending Dana's ability to do what was necessary.)
<Alexa> "She didn't appear to be speaking for her Familia — her opinion of Vesper, for instance, is pretty low, and she doesn't think much of Dana either."
<Alexa> "I don't know about their Imperator, though."
<RyanSherbrig> "Ah! Fiona. How was Romeo and Juliet, on that matter?"
<Fiona> "Odd, I think, sums it up fairly well."
<Alexa> "I should say, she said straight out she wasn't speaking for her Familia, but I don't know how far to trust her."
<RyanSherbrig> "I trust you successfully dealt with the Excrucian influence, then?"
<Alexa> "If there actually was any."
<Fiona> "Sort of?"
<RyanSherbrig> "What, wasn't Macbeth afflicted as was Hamlet?"
<Alexa> "I think it might have been… ah… staged."
<Alexa> "If you'll excuse the expression. Fi, how was your date?"
<RyanSherbrig> "Wait… what?"
<Alexa> "Did you knock him back?"
<RyanSherbrig> "Are you implying… Vesper set this whole thing up just to go out with Fiona?"
<Fiona> "Well, he did admit as much."
* RyanSherbrig frowns.
* Alexa grins.
<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. We'll have to pay him back, then."
<Alexa> "Kind of sleazy, but also kind of romantic."
<Fiona> "I thought replacing the entire cast with rosebushes would have given him the hint, though."
<RyanSherbrig> "I'm sorry, I fail to see the romance in having mountain-sized kings trying to crush one's Familia."
<Alexa> "Did you let him down gently? How did he take it?"
<RyanSherbrig> "Do tell me you nettled him as you rejected him."
<Fiona> "I hope so. Well, I think."
<Ebba> "Kind of romantic? Does this mean that if I really threaten Creation in order to date one of you, if would count as really romantic?"
<Fiona> "Um, I kind of like having allies."
<Fiona> "Only if we like you."
<RyanSherbrig> "Someone who is willing to lie to us for their own personal gain hardly strikes me as the sort of ally we need."
<Alexa> "Do we have any evidence at all that there was any real threat to Creation?"
<RyanSherbrig> "Well, lies about threats to Creation will certainly hurt his credibility if he encounters any real threats that require our assistance in the future."
<Alexa> "I'm not sure he'd see it that way. All's fair in love and war."
<RyanSherbrig> "Oh, then he won't mind if I send some assassin from beyond after him as a 'thank you for the enjoyable evening' note."
<RyanSherbrig> "I joke, of course. That'd be a waste of good power."
<Alexa> "Not if it was a pretty assassin. He might ask it out."
<Fiona> "Only might?"
<RyanSherbrig> "Yes, I'm sure he would."
<RyanSherbrig> "I still think it would be a good idea to make an example of him, to tell the world that we aren't to be trivially messed with. But you all still consider him an ally, I'll belay that revenge for later."
<RyanSherbrig> "You know, after we've saved Humanity from the Dark and everything."
<Alexa> "One other thing. Wanda wouldn't say explicitly whether she has any contacts with the Dark. I don't think she's told anyone on that side about our plans yet, but I'm not certain."
<Ebba> "Perhaps we should simply invite him to our own evening of 'entertainment'?"
* Fiona frowns slightly
<Ebba> "And have any of you heard from Pandora recently? I have not seen her in some time."
<Ebba> (Let's get the game back on track.)
<RyanSherbrig> "No. I assume she was off doing reincarnate-y things."
<RyanSherbrig> (The track is what we say it is!)
<Fiona> "As Ryan said."
<Alexa> "Nope. I'm getting a bit nervous about that too."
<HollyhockGod> Yes, what are you going to do about Pandora?
<HollyhockGod> How long has it been now since you've seen her?
<RyanSherbrig> Since the whole worldlet episode, at least, I think.
<Alexa> "She hasn't left anyone a note, then? 'Gone to pick up box, back next Age'?"
<RyanSherbrig> "Perhaps the Phoenix will know."
* RyanSherbrig divines the Realm's Heart to see if anything is unusual there.
<RyanSherbrig> (Oh, wait, she had Realm 0 just like everybody else, didn't she?)
<HollyhockGod> Pandora still isn't in the Realm's Heart.
<RyanSherbrig> "Well, let's try praying to Pandora before we get too alarmed. Maybe she's just reading a really good book or something."
<Fiona> (Apparently Realm is only for boys.)
<RyanSherbrig> (And phoenici.)
<Fiona> (And angry volcanoes.)
* RyanSherbrig creates a nice emblem of Pandora's Design on the ground.
<HollyhockGod> No response.
<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. No immediate response."
<RyanSherbrig> (Could a Major Divination with sufficient Pen tell me the last time she was in the Chancel and what she was doing then?)
<HollyhockGod> I'm disinclined to allow it.
<Alexa> (A Major Divination of Realm could find the last inhabitants of the Chancel who saw her, though, right?)
<RyanSherbrig> (Yeah, thought so.)
<HollyhockGod> That should work, Alexa.
<Alexa> (Setting aside the fact that those inhabitants could have been tricked/altered etc.)
<RyanSherbrig> (Great! Get right on that.)
<RyanSherbrig> (Oh. Right.)
<Alexa> (Yeah, Realm-boy.)
<RyanSherbrig> (Hmmm. This is the point where I really do need to decide if I want to go full Tempest, Emperor Beyond, or more assorted Gifts.)
<Alexa> (Emperor Beyond means we can't let you play in our clubhouse!)
<RyanSherbrig> (Eh, I've got RMP to burn, I'll decide later. Major div of inhabitants who have seen Pandora ahoy!)
<RyanSherbrig> (Not necessarily!)
<RyanSherbrig> (I've got lots of excitingly foreign and exotic friends I can bring to parties!)
<RyanSherbrig> (Sexy assassinatrixes and such.)
<HollyhockGod> Hm, the last person who remembers seeing Pandora was her lady-in-waiting, a burrowing giraffe named Tanya.
<RyanSherbrig> "Sometimes I admit our lady's choice in forms for the human souls we gather perplexes me."
<HollyhockGod> Upon being summoned, she admits that she last saw Pandora just after the worldlet episode several weeks ago.
<HollyhockGod> (Also, Tanya has clearly styled her hair to mimic her employer's last 'do.)
<HollyhockGod> "Yes, m'lord, she was only in for about fifteen minutes, and then she slit her wrists right on that balcony over there."
<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. Nothing abnormal, then?"
<HollyhockGod> "I disposed of the body as per usual, and cleaned up the blood, and she has not returned since."
<HollyhockGod> "No, not even a message. Her clothes are all still here as far as I can remember, although there are too many for me to keep an exact count."
<Alexa> "How do you usually dispose of the bodies, Tanya?"
<Ebba> (She eats them, of course. :D )
<RyanSherbrig> "Fiona, Alexa, can either of your Estates know where her Scarab was last seen?"
<RyanSherbrig> (She's a burrowing giraffe. She obviously buries them out back.)
<HollyhockGod> "Either I feed them to Most Great Monothaia, or I give them to Bert to use as fertilizer."
<Alexa> "I was just thinking of that. Maybe she left it under the couch and she's been stuck there for a month."
<RyanSherbrig> (There's an entire graveyard where all the tombstones just say "PANDORA".)
<HollyhockGod> It's a Focus, so there's no way to tell.
<Alexa> "What did you do with this latest one?"
<Fiona> (Major Divination looking for it out of flowers? If we know what it looks like, anyway?)
<RyanSherbrig> (Or at least, anyone talking about Pandora in a non-mythical context since this last appearance.)
<HollyhockGod> Hm, none of the flowers or fireplaces have seen it.
<HollyhockGod> None of that, either.
<Ebba> "I'll go preform an investigation on her clothing, and other remaining objects"
<HollyhockGod> "I gave it into the grace of Most Great Monothaia."
<RyanSherbrig> (Although, if they're trying to be sneaky, having mortals talk about her in front of burning flowers would be a bit much.)
<Ebba> (And left over cell phones, notebooks, suspicious dirt on the boots?)
<Alexa> "Thought as much. Thanks, Tanya."
<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. So, should we talk to Monothaia, or the Phoenix?"
<Alexa> "I'll go and ask Her Volcanoness if she knows anything."
<RyanSherbrig> "Right. I'll talk to the Brightest Lady."
<RyanSherbrig> "Or try, anyway."
<HollyhockGod> Alexa approaches the volcano goddess!
<HollyhockGod> I never finished it, but I shall assume you didn't let her eat Maebara.
<Alexa> (I was about to ask. :) )
<HollyhockGod> "Now what," asks Monothaia, lounging in the lava, looking at you upside down.
<RyanSherbrig> (Maebara is there in something skimpy, fanning her with palm leaves.)
<Alexa> "Hello, O Mighty Monothaia, Queen of the Fire Isles. Have you seen Pandora lately?"
<RyanSherbrig> (You compromised.)
<Ebba> (This could be you, Ryan Sherbrig!)
<Ebba> (Ebba quickly produces Jack-Chick-like tracts explaining how you should henceforth devote all your time to making your sisters happy.)
<Alexa> "Hey, Maebara. How's it going?"
<HollyhockGod> "Not in months, not since I ate the last shell she dropped off. Can't that twit just learn to take a taxi?"
<RyanSherbrig> (I've got 4 Realm! You should be making ME happy!)
<Alexa> "Yeah, she's odd. Listen, was there anything odd about that last shell? Is any of it left?"
<HollyhockGod> I have difficulty believing Alexa forced Maebara into indentured shirtless servitude to a hungry volcano goddess.
<Alexa> (Does he have better things to do?)
<RyanSherbrig> (Charlie's Angels clearly demonstrates that the sexy and competent squad of women are at the beck and call of the guy who stays at HQ all the time.)
<HollyhockGod> "What, did she forget to take an earring off or something? Well, if she did, it's melted now."
<Alexa> "Did it taste funny or anything?"
<HollyhockGod> "No funnier than usual."
<Alexa> "Right. Do you have any ability to trace her spiritual location after having, well, eaten her body a lot?"
<HollyhockGod> "Paying attention to your goings-on is not a magical power I have taken pains to develop."
<RyanSherbrig> (Oooh, snub! Teach her some respect!)
<Alexa> "I can understand that. You have a nice day. Stay warm."
<HollyhockGod> Monothaia blows lava at you as you leave.
* Alexa blows her a smoke ring.
* Alexa goes to visit Bert.
<Alexa> (How's everyone else?)
<Ebba> (Any luck with CSI-like investigation of Pandora's stuff?)
* RyanSherbrig sits in a nice quiet room and politely prays to the Phoenix.
<HollyhockGod> The Phoenix responds, lighting up the room lights with orange and red.
<HollyhockGod> CSI work reveals that Pandora had a bunch of clothes you never saw her wear that were even more outre than you'd imagined.
<HollyhockGod> "Is something the matter, Ryan?"
<RyanSherbrig> "The Familia has been worried about Pandora. Nobody has seen her in a while. Do you know anything about her current location or status?"
<RyanSherbrig> ("Where were you the night Pandora disappeared?")
<HollyhockGod> "Hm, she has gone to… oh. Oh, dear."
<HollyhockGod> "I can't find her. That should not happen."
<HollyhockGod> "Absolutely nothing should be able to prevent me from finding her share of my soul unless she is dead, in which case it should return to me."
<HollyhockGod> "Tell me about her disappearance."
<RyanSherbrig> "The last time anybody has seen her in the Chancel was her servant, who saw her slit her wrists in her room."
<RyanSherbrig> "We've been unable to determine the location of her scarab, what with its Focus-nature and everything."
<Ebba> (Does all of the clothing seem to come from Earth? Or should we be expanding our search to cover some other worlds?)
<HollyhockGod> (You have no idea! But she has a hat with a bird's nest in it. Can that possibly be natural?)
<RyanSherbrig> (We should probably be checking the Lands Beyond Creation, too.)
<RyanSherbrig> (Especially with that piece of evidence. I mean, really.)
<HollyhockGod> "If she has not reappeared, the Excrucians must be involved, if her location is masked from me."
<HollyhockGod> "This emergency therefore falls to you, Ryan. Call up all your powers and locate Lady Pandora before something hideous happens to her."
<RyanSherbrig> "As you command."
<HollyhockGod> "Fail me not."
* RyanSherbrig goes and spends several days in the High Summoning chamber!
<HollyhockGod> End transmission.
<Fiona> (Ryan, really?)
<RyanSherbrig> (Well, probably, but I'll tell you guys what I'm doing first.)
* RyanSherbrig finds his sisters.
<Alexa> (Alexa is in the garden, making sure Pandora hasn't been buried alive.)
<RyanSherbrig> ("Knew I shouldn't have bought Durant. What was I thinking?")
<Fiona> (Fiona is in the garden, helping. and also because that's where she normally is.)
<RyanSherbrig> "And Fiona."
<RyanSherbrig> "The Lady Phoenix has determined that Pandora's location has been blocked from her, which is almost certainly the result of Excrucian interference."
<RyanSherbrig> "I have been charged with employing all my powers to resolving the matter, which will require me to spend some time in the High Summoning Chamber. Probably a few days at least."
<Alexa> "Do you need any help from us?"
<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. You could continue the investigation if any leads present themselves in the meantime."
<RyanSherbrig> "Barring that, keeping any distractions or interruptions along the lines of a certain loquacious 'ally' of ours would be appreciated."
<RyanSherbrig> ("Keep him away with Fire, if at all possible.")
* Ebba comes back
<Fiona> "We'll tell him you've wandered off to romance a volcano or something, and if he wants he can go complain to Mono about it."
<Ebba> "Investigating her clothing seems to have generated no leads."
<RyanSherbrig> "Ha! By all means, we should introduce the two."
<Alexa> "No suspicious wardrobes?"
<RyanSherbrig> (Of course, knowing our luck, they'd actually hit it off and become an item.)
<Alexa> "Oh! You know who else we should check in on?"
<Ebba> (Not sure if we are supposed to know about the husband, or not.)
<Alexa> "Marcus. Her husband."
<Alexa> (She must have mentioned him.)
<RyanSherbrig> (I think it was an assumption that we knew about him but were politely discreet on the matter.)
<Ebba> (Well, she does have a flaw, related to people knowing about him.)
<RyanSherbrig> "An excellent idea."
<RyanSherbrig> "That sounds like a good thing to look into while I'm busy summoning."
<RyanSherbrig> (And conveniently enough, I have to head off OOC, too!)
<Alexa> (I'd forgotten about the flaw… and about her double! Ooh!)
<Ebba> "So it's off to look for her husband, then?"
<Alexa> "I reckon."
<Fiona> (Do we know what he looks like?)
<RyanSherbrig> (I look forward to seeing the logs of this investigation.)
<Ebba> (Part of what I has hoping to get out of looking at Pandora's stuff was his telephone number.)
<borogove> Anyway, hopefully next week I won't get distracted around the time the game is supposed to start and thus need reminding (Thanks, Uqbarian!).
<Uqbarian> No worries!
<Uqbarian> Yeah, did Pandora leave a little black book? Or a diary?
<RandBrittain> Hm, good question.
<RandBrittain> Hopefully it doesn't say "here is the location of my sexy husband who I love."
<Uqbarian> "Number of times killed self: 2. Calories spent: 300. Number of times snogged Marcus: 6. V good day."
<CrusherBob> Making the safe assumption that Pandora's husband is an Anchor (which he is, of course)…
<CrusherBob> This makes him immune to direct miracles, yes?
<CrusherBob> So we can't just use a divination to find him directly.
<Uqbarian> As long as he's still her Anchor, I think.
<RandBrittain> He was an Anchor in the first chapter.
<RandBrittain> Wee, four/five grades in.
<CrusherBob> But can we do stuff like Divinations on stuff like property records, phone books, etc. to try to find him that way?
<RandBrittain> Yes, almost certainly.
<CrusherBob> Guess we'll be oppressing Vesper soon; since a Major Divination of Words sounds like good place to start.
<CrusherBob> And he can do it without spending any MP.
<Uqbarian> Fiona should give him a call.
<CrusherBob> Any other simple ways to try to find him?
<CrusherBob> Also, don't anchors tend to die, go mad, or have other terrible things happen to them when the Power dies?
<Uqbarian> That's only if the Power renounces them, I think.
<Uqbarian> There's stuff about succession that implies Anchors can often survive their Powers.
<Uqbarian> Rand, can we assume the Familia knows the stuff about Marcus that's up on the wiki?
<Benhimself> Gah, sorry I'm late everyone, overslept a bit.
<Uqbarian> Hi, Ben!
<RandBrittain> Hey. Still short one, though.
<Uqbarian> No, surely all the important people are here.
<Benhimself> Let's not taunt the near-world-destroying tree-people.
<borogove> Surely if you were going to, when they aren't around would be the time to do so?
<Benhimself> You never know when something from the logs might resurface and destroy us all.
<Uqbarian> Eh, trees burn.
<borogove> (Isn't Ebba Immortal?)
<Uqbarian> Hmm, good point. Aren't we all?
<borogove> I'm not.
<Uqbarian> *kills borogove*
<borogove> (I don't think you actually have enough miracle points to do so.)
<borogove> See, this is why I have Spirit 4 and Durant. to make it harder for my Familia to murder me.
* Uqbarian sells out to the Dark for more MPs.
* Uqbarian kills borogove.
* borogove dies
<Benhimself> Should have gone for the full Immortal.
* borogove takes the 'Dead' restriction, comes back.
* crusher_bob (~moc.rotagivten.4F1E013-ratScigaM|b_rehsurc#moc.rotagivten.4F1E013-ratScigaM|b_rehsurc) has joined #childrenofeve
<Benhimself> I am Unkillable!
<Benhimself> Now that's timing.
<crusher_bob> Hello, everyone.
<crusher_bob> Sigh, spent time yesterday waling up and down hills.
<crusher_bob> And now am stiff and sore.
<Benhimself> Argh, I forgot to post the list of 5 new summons I had come up with, didn't I?
* Benhimself shoveled a driveway full of snow, knows the feeling.
<Benhimself> And I get to do it again Sunday/Monday! Yay, New England.
<RandBrittain> Ah, we all appeared.
* You are now known as HollyhockGod
* crusher_bob is now known as Ebba
* borogove is now known as Fiona
<Uqbarian> Hey bob!
* Uqbarian is now known as Alexa
* Benhimself is now known as RyanSherbrig
<HollyhockGod> So, where were we? Ryan was summoning something hideous, I think.
<Ebba> Ebba's current plan is to sneak into casa de Vesper and surprise him with tea.
* RyanSherbrig blinks.
<Ebba> And explain that either she is his cousin, here to help him with his social life and get his help in finding Marcus…
<Alexa> I wonder if Vesper will be there waiting, wearing nothing but a strategically-placed dictionary.
<RyanSherbrig> (Mmmm, let me go find that sheet of paper, I'll start typing up the things I was summoning in the threads while others do other stuff.)
<RyanSherbrig> (Since it will take, er, a few days to do summoning things, won't it?)
<Ebba> …or she is the representative of a Familia who his recent behaviour towards has freed from certain tedious laws laid down by Lord Entropy and she could have a horde of assassins from beyond Creation in her pocket, summoned by her surprisingly vengeful brother.
* Ebba reaches into her pocket.
<RyanSherbrig> (Yes, one of them is an Aspect 5 immortal shapeshifting monster that conveniently fits inside pockets.)
<Ebba> With an Aspect 9 miracle, Ebba could fit a whole host of assassins from beyond in her pocket.
<Alexa> "Is that an assassin in your pocket, or are you just…"
<Ebba> At least, for a little while.
<Fiona> I am kind of confused as to why "ask nicely" isn't Plan A?
<RyanSherbrig> It's Vesper.
<RyanSherbrig> You're all nice just because he fancies you, but most of us see him as a jerk. Especially those of us who had to suffer through Daikaiju Hamlet.
<Ebba> And wouldn't Vesper much rather sit down with his cousin, have tea, and tell us where Marcus is?
<HollyhockGod> It's important to decide between vengeance, seduction or politeness before you begin!
<HollyhockGod> It's embarrassing to switch horses in midstream.
<Fiona> Seduction to politeness is possibly the worst of those, I guess.
<HollyhockGod> And if you do vengeance -> seduction you perpetuate negative stereotypes of women.
<RyanSherbrig> The opposite, too. It's a hard life.
<Ebba> Heh, one of those eastern vs western social cue things, possibly.
<Ebba> Ebba is attempting to demonstrate several things without outright saying them.
<Alexa> Hang on, why is Ebba sneaking into Vesper's place?
<Ebba> To demonstrate the capability to do so.
<Fiona> Or possibly because she doesn't like the idea of being polite.
<Ebba> To show that if he does really irritate her, she can just walk into where he lives.
<Alexa> Is it possible that Vesper might misinterpret this action?
<Ebba> That's why the opening of the conversation is the offering of tea.
<Alexa> Vesper: "Wouldn't you rather have something stronger?" *waggles eyebrows*
<Fiona> A better question: is it actually possible for vesper to not react like that?
<HollyhockGod> You must find his secret weakness. Like his porn collection.
<HollyhockGod> Once he knows that you know his secret fetish, you'll be able to deflate him with an eyebrow twitch.
<RyanSherbrig> Or a knowing smirk.
<Ebba> Due to Ebba's Virtue (Discreet), she can hardly threaten to reveal his secret weakness.
<HollyhockGod> He still knows you know!
<RyanSherbrig> And he doesn't know you're discreet. You could be discreetly discreet.
<RyanSherbrig> So, what is Vesper's reaction to a surprise offering of tea from Ebba?
<HollyhockGod> I don't know until she does it.
<Ebba> Anyone have objections?
<HollyhockGod> I certainly don't.
<Ebba> Even if it does go wrong, it should be interesting.
<Alexa> I'm keen to see it.
<HollyhockGod> I would ask how you know where Azrael's Chancel is, but I don't care.
<HollyhockGod> It's in Ireland!
<HollyhockGod> How are you getting there?
<Ebba> Depends on where I can get out of our Chancel, I guess
<RyanSherbrig> (*World-bearing-supergiant tree form!* *single step* *Ordinary dryad form*)
<Ebba> Portals in volcanoes in Iceland, maybe?
<Fiona> (In character, Fiona has objections. Out of character, feel free to go for it.)
<RyanSherbrig> (Also, we have normal magics, which might include flight, or even teleportation, of a fiddly less-reliable-than-Gift kind.)
<HollyhockGod> The Chancel exits are all into the mid-pacific.
<Fiona> (I think teleportation is probably outside of normal magic.)
<HollyhockGod> I'm sure there's a Chancel resident who can fly and carry you.
<Alexa> (Yeah, has Ebba told the Familia about this in advance, or is she going off on her own without mentioning it to anyone?)
<Ebba> She'll say she is going off to see Vesper, to get his help in finding Marcus's mundane life.
<Ebba> Since the Word's-Regal can certainly look through paperwork faster than we can.
<Alexa> (Righto. HG, do we know the info about Marcus that's on the wiki?)
<HollyhockGod> Proooooobably not, although I'm sure you know that he exists and is a doctor.
<HollyhockGod> I guess I'll just let you detail your plan.
<HollyhockGod> For reference, Locus Azrael is an infinitely large castle called the Unbounded Keep.
<HollyhockGod> The outside is an abandoned castle in Ireland, with portals leading into the inner part.
<Ebba> Since I can only get out in the Pacific, my best bet would seem to be to exit near an Asian travel hub (Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul).
<HollyhockGod> Supposedly, it stretches all the way up to Heaven, but who knows?
<Ebba> And catch a flight to London, then to Ireland.
<HollyhockGod> And to get inside?
<Ebba> Worldwalker, to avoid any security they have on the gates.
<Ebba> And then select from Ebba's grab bag of stealthy abilities to find Vesper.
<HollyhockGod> All right. You step out from behind a curtain into an empty hallway inside the Keep.
<HollyhockGod> To be more precise, a long balcony.
<HollyhockGod> Above and below you, you see other balconies, staircases and rooms, stretching out at odd angles for as far as you can see (thousands of miles).
<HollyhockGod> The only thing differentiating it from a standard Escher tangle is all the bookcases and a few doors and rooms that are frosted over with ice.
<Ebba> I look around, listen, etc., for other people.
<HollyhockGod> In the distance you hear voices murmuring something about trays.
<HollyhockGod> As you shrink down to avoid notice you see a few liveried servants passing by.
<Ebba> I follow them, looking for kitchen or similar food preparing place
<HollyhockGod> You eventually find yourself in a huge kitchen (although it might be more modest if you were larger at the moment), filled with fires and roasting meat. There's a lot of food going but I wouldn't call any of it special.
<Ebba> I transform into a gossiping meme, so that I can find out what the servants know.
<Ebba> Just sort of ride around in their heads, getting them to gossip with each other.
<HollyhockGod> Can you actually read minds that way? Well, I suppose you can make them talk.
<Ebba> I'm trying to find out where Vesper is, and what he is up to.
<Ebba> Can't read minds.
<Ebba> But can make them want to gossip.
<Ebba> And then just listen.
<HollyhockGod> They're all very concerned over who's sleeping with who.
<HollyhockGod> But as far as you can see, nobody has claimed a tryst with Vesper.
<HollyhockGod> Of the several dozen female servants you see going in and out while you're gossiping, none are what you could call attractive physically.
<HollyhockGod> It's all very soap opera.
<Ebba> Hmm, have I found the right bunch of servants?
<Ebba> What other groups of people do they talk about?
<HollyhockGod> It looks as though they're very low on the totem pole. It seems as though this area of the Chancel is only used for parties, and in the interim they're caretakers.
<HollyhockGod> None of them have seen any of Azrael's Powers in weeks.
<Ebba> Time to find out where to go next then; surely there is someone trying to elevate themselves up the social totem pole?
<HollyhockGod> Nobody is talking about higher-ups besides the Sovereigns, so it seems as though they are not.
<HollyhockGod> It occurs to you that in an infinitely large building, one section of the staff probably never sees any of the other segments.
<RyanSherbrig> (Aspect 5 persuasiveness! 'You should visit Vesper's rooms.' "Why are the voices in my head talking to me?" "Don't worry about that.")
<Ebba> Anything 'large' like that would leave my miraculous fingerprints, wouldn't it?
<RyanSherbrig> (Aspect's miraculous fingerprints are measured in, what, seconds?)
<Fiona> Aspect wears off pretty quick, if you don't need miracle points for it.
<HollyhockGod> That seems like it would convince people they were crazy.
<RyanSherbrig> (Hmmm. Just drop Elemental, and Guise, maybe?)
<Ebba> How about this?
<Ebba> I'll convince someone they think they were supposed to be scheduling a party.
<Ebba> And they should contact Vesper's guys to confirm.
<RyanSherbrig> ("I'm new, but incredibly convincingly a member of staff, and I need to get these 'party favors' to Vesper's room. Where was that again? Also, ew?")
<Ebba> And then try to brainjump to the guy who gets called.
<HollyhockGod> Why would a flunky who carries trays plan a party?
<Ebba> Since maybe he missed the note about the party; he should go and check Vesper's schedule.
<HollyhockGod> What's more, as you listen to them talk, it becomes increasingly clear that they've never seen anyone from outside their segment of the castle, and that the only people who come in are the Powers, who have odd ways of getting around.
<Fiona> (You'd be better off just abusing Aspect to make someone escort you to Vesper's chambers.)
<RyanSherbrig> (You're better off leaving and finding some other section of the castle.)
<Ebba> Not sure they know how to get around or even communicate from section to section.
<HollyhockGod> Yes, essentially only Vesper, Katriana and Marley know how to move around the castle as a whole.
<HollyhockGod> Everyone else is stuck in their part of it with infinite spaces separating them.
<RyanSherbrig> (Good thing you're a Worldwalker, then.)
<Ebba> Yes, but a direction to go would be helpful.
<HollyhockGod> I fear that even Worldwalker can't map a literally infinite space.
<Ebba> You mentioned bookcases, will try some of them.
<HollyhockGod> You check a bookshelf as a maid dusts it. Cookbooks!
<HollyhockGod> The Joye of Snacks.
<Ebba> To see if any of the books have stories in them that I could try world walking through ( a la hamlet) to get where I need to be.
<HollyhockGod> That would take you into fiction, not further through the Keep.
<HollyhockGod> The literary world is part of mythic Earth, not part of the Chancel.
<HollyhockGod> Anyway, everything on this shelf is some sort of cookbook with an author's name starting in O.
<Ebba> (Any suggestions from someone who knows the rules better?)
<Ebba> (Some sort of non-brute force approach I'm missing?)
<RyanSherbrig> (Hmmm, besides Wayfinder and Worldwalker, if they're HG-fiated into not working, I'd say you would have to try to get help from Ice or Death.)
<Fiona> Worldwalker lets you see secret passages and the like, and see where they end. so just wander around for a bit, looking for them?
<HollyhockGod> It's not really that they don't work.
<HollyhockGod> There's just an infinite amount of space between you and what you want, maybe.
<RyanSherbrig> (But Worldwalker doesn't really rely on travelling the space between where you are and where you want to go, doesn't it?)
<HollyhockGod> Worldwalker doesn't guarantee you navigation once you get *into* a sealed space.
<HollyhockGod> No, it doesn't, but it relies on you knowing where you want to be in a spatial sense.
<Ebba> (Yes, the main problem seems to be I don't know where I'm going, not that I can't get there.)
<HollyhockGod> Which in this case necessitates processing a map that is infinitely big.
<HollyhockGod> If she'd been before, she could walk back.
<Fiona> [Aside: I have to go in about 10 minutes.]
<RyanSherbrig> (That's what an AMP for impossible mental feats is for!)
<RyanSherbrig> (Alternative, pray to the power of the Infinite. I'm sure he's cool.)
<Fiona> That'd be, what, level 8 Aspect?
<RyanSherbrig> (I'd assume 6 or so. That's impossible for anyone, right?)
<HollyhockGod> Universally improbable.
<Ebba> I could try a Lesser Divination of Resolve, to try to find Fiona's flower of friendship that she gave to Vesper.
<Ebba> And head that way?
<HollyhockGod> For impossible you'd need seven or so.
<HollyhockGod> How would that work?
<RyanSherbrig> (Oooh, pray to Fiona, and ask where the flower is)
<RyanSherbrig> (Alternatively, a divination of flowerings might help, since his bedroom is the polar opposite of the concept of deflowering. Zing!)
<Ebba> Depends on how much flowers keep the feelings in which they are given, I guess.
<Ebba> How miraculous a flower was it?
<Fiona> Well, since it didn't exist until I gave it to Vesper, probably about as miraculous as a mundane flower can get.
<HollyhockGod> I suppose I could let that work.
<Ebba> (The Hogfather can!)
<HollyhockGod> I suppose that upon locating the flower, since it was gifted as a symbol of intent, you can Worldwalk to it.
<HollyhockGod> You arrive, very small, inside a glass case on a shelf somewhere very high above someone's bedroom.
<HollyhockGod> It appears as though Vesper's shelves go up several miles in his private chambers.
<Ebba> "I can see the point of having a volcanic eruption every so often. It really cuts down on the excess stuff."
<RyanSherbrig> (Is it the shelf of failure?)
<Alexa> (Well, when you have infinite storage space…)
<RyanSherbrig> (I gotta be off. Good luck, Ebba!)
<Ebba> (I shall oppress the imagination of the GM, and demand he describe everything!)
<Ebba> (Be glad we are not playing In Nomine, where you can ask things like 'what is the most honorable thing this person has ever done, and what is their relationship with their co-wokers like? :D )
<HollyhockGod> I guess we may as well be done for now if people are leaving.
<Fiona> (I'm off too. laters people.)
<HollyhockGod> That saves me from describing it all!
<Benhimself> So what did I miss last week?
<RandBrittain> Without you, we didn't do anything.
<Benhimself> Ah, sorry.
<Benhimself> Even though my character was engaged in things while the others were off doing other things?
<Benhimself> Speaking of which, I actually have various Horrors from Beyond preliminarily statted up, give me a few minutes and I'll type them and post in the forum thread.
* Uqbarian prepares warding rituals
<Benhimself> Oh, there's no escape.
<Uqbarian> I hope you keep them under control!
<Benhimself> For certain definitions of 'control'.
<Benhimself> Insomuch as creatures from the land beyond creation can be subject to properties which can be defined.
<Benhimself> Etc, etc. It'll all work out.
<Benhimself> Coincidentally: did you know at high summoning 5 one no longer feels compelled to obey one's Imperator?
<Benhimself> I assure you my commitment to the cause is maintained through free will, however.
<Uqbarian> What level are you at now?
<Benhimself> I decided to go with spending those three character points I had on the fifth level.
<RandBrittain> That is a lot of points.
<Benhimself> Mind you, we've got how many Regals in our Familia?
<RandBrittain> Only two now.
<Benhimself> Mmmm. That's still half.
<Benhimself> Hmmm, just noticed, reading the thread, that Borogove won't be making it.
<RandBrittain> This is so.
<Uqbarian> Which of us plays Ebba again?
<Benhimself> Crusher Bob or Cusher Bob, wasn't it?
<Uqbarian> I think so. I get confused.
<Uqbarian> All you humans look alike to me.
<Benhimself> Yeah, I get the two plant-women's players mixed up from time to time.
<RandBrittain> And he isn't here, although he's got plenty of time yet.
<RandBrittain> So, unspeakable horrors were invented?
<Benhimself> Oh, yes, sorry, writing up a post for my horribly-neglected PbP game as well.
<Benhimself> Got distracted when I saw it had actual new posts when I went to the Nobilis tag.
* Benhimself will go and type them up now, saving the PbP, which can wait a bit longer.
<RandBrittain> For some reason nobody has posted to my PbP today or yesterday.
<RandBrittain> It was going quite strongly before that!
<Benhimself> Hmmm. Could be a weird weekend lull.
<Benhimself> All it really takes, I've found, is one hesitation, and then everyone takes their cue from that, as if nervous to break the e-silence.
<RandBrittain> It was a mistake to loan the GM some of my NPCs.
<RandBrittain> I feel nervous talking to them.
<Benhimself> Mmmm. NPCs are weird in PbP games. The exact extent to which a player can say stuff for them, etc.
<Uqbarian> Which PbP is this?
<Benhimself> Because going back and forth seems to take ages and ages.
<RandBrittain> Mine is "Fallen Ascendant," where I'm playing the Power of Order.
* crusher_bob (~moc.rotagivten.B1F7902A-ratScigaM|b_rehsurc#moc.rotagivten.B1F7902A-ratScigaM|b_rehsurc) has joined #childrenofeve
<Uqbarian> Hey, bob!
<RandBrittain> Ah, a full muster (mostly)
* You are now known as HollyhockGod
* crusher_bob is now known as Ebba
* Uqbarian is now known as Alexa
<Ebba> (From what I remember, Ebba had just gained access to the mile-high shelves of stuff in what appears to be Vesper's bedroom.)
<Ebba> (And just as I was threatening the HG for a description of all the stuff, the game ended. :D)
* Benhimself is now known as RyanSherbrig
<RyanSherbrig> (I am partway through typing up the promised horrors.)
<HollyhockGod> Oh, but I was so looking forward to them!
<HollyhockGod> Ebba lurks upon the shelves!
<HollyhockGod> My original plan last week was to force her to find the bedroom by following the Dewey Decimal System.
<HollyhockGod> That was going to be extremely entertaining.
<HollyhockGod> Ah, well, now there is only STEALTH.
<HollyhockGod> Do you have a particular lurking plan?
<Ebba> (Heh, now is it worth buying perfect timing so the tea doesn't even have a chance to get cold?)
<Ebba> (After all, cold tea might cause the end of Creation as we know it…)
<HollyhockGod> Heat it up with a ferocious glare.
<Ebba> (Not by holding it up to my forehead and imagining fire?)
<HollyhockGod> I'm not particular.
<HollyhockGod> Is that what you're going to do?
<Ebba> (Well, I better get a move on, so that the other players will have a chance to appear in this game :D)
<Ebba> I'll hop down, using the seed trick to convert the energy of falling into the energy of spinning.
<Ebba> So that Ebba will rather resemble a anthropomorphic top by the time she reaches the ground.
<HollyhockGod> I don't know what that means but I assume it works.
<HollyhockGod> So, you're going to drink all Vesper's tea?
<RyanSherbrig> (You fiend!)
<Ebba> (Basically, some seeds fall slower by having a single wing and converting falling into rotary energy so they don't hit the ground as fast.)
<RyanSherbrig> (You know, those spinny things that fall off trees.)
<Alexa> (Drink his tea! That'll show him we mean business!)
<RyanSherbrig> (Then nettle him over it!)
<Ebba> That would be impolite in a way that bringing horrible assassins from beyond Creation into his bedroom wouldn't.
<HollyhockGod> No doubt Vesper has many unthinkably horrible bonds, but I doubt tea is on the list.
<Ebba> of course, Ebba doesn't currently have any horrible assassins from beyond Creation.
<HollyhockGod> No doubt Ryan will soon have them to spare.
<HollyhockGod> But, anyway, what exactly is Ebba going to do now that she's infiltrated the boudoir?
<Ebba> (Since I assume that we want to move onto another scene.)
<Ebba> Stopping spinning, taking her tea service from out of her pockets, brewing up, and having two nice cups of tea ready when Vesper shows up for his talking to…
<HollyhockGod> Let us assume that Vesper does in fact arrive.
<HollyhockGod> His papery curls are mussed, and his jacket is draped over his shoulder. He is whistling and walking with his eyes shut.
<Ebba> (Sigh, now have to remember what it is I wanted to say :D)
<Ebba> (Some combination of threats and asking for assistance in finding Pandora's husband, I have no doubt…)
* Ebba makes a small noise somewhat similar to a throat clearing.
<HollyhockGod> Vesper opens his eyes and sees you sitting in his nice chair.
<HollyhockGod> "Have all my dreams come true in a single day?"
<HollyhockGod> The jacket is tossed to the floor.
<HollyhockGod> "Fair lady, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visitation?"
<Ebba> Have a cup of tea, dear cousin, and I'll tell you all about it.
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<Ebba> (? Many spectators today?)
<HollyhockGod> We've become de mode. Trendy.
<HollyhockGod> "Anything for you, Lady Ebba," says Vesper, and drapes himself haphazardly along the other armchair.
<RyanSherbrig> (Okay, I got a bit lazy describing the last few, but unspeakable horrors posted, Assume Ryan banished all his old ones.)
<RyanSherbrig> (I'm totally stealing the Protean gift for a future character, though.)
<Ebba> In part, I have come in an attempt to smooth any ruffled feathers caused by your last interaction with my Familia.
<RyanSherbrig> (I only plotted to murder him a little.)
<Ebba> Because, it makes me sorrowful to say, if feathers became more ruffled, instead of visiting your bedroom with this wonderful tea service in my pockets…
<HollyhockGod> "Ah, I hope my little practical joke did not offend anyone," says Vesper, straight-faced.
<Alexa> ("Is that a tea service in your pocket, or…?")
<Ebba> I might instead find myself visiting your bedroom with my pockets full of horrors from beyond Creation, called forth by my rather annoyed Brother.
<HollyhockGod> 'This would of course be horrible."
<Ebba> (In part it's a Casanova joke, since in one of his writings, he gives this whole list of breakfast stuff he supposedly carries around with him all the time.)
<Ebba> Now, I am, of course, certain that your intentions toward our sister were entirely honorable.
<Ebba> But many of us feel that invoking that shadow of the Excrucians went a bit too far.
<HollyhockGod> Vesper looks uncomfortably up towards the ceiling as though wondering whether someone might be listening.
<RyanSherbrig> (And suddenly I'm glad I don't work for the Angel of Death.)
<HollyhockGod> "My dear Ebba, I am sure that you can see that no harm was done. And indeed I believe I did provide a most entertaining week-end for each of you."
<Ebba> Of course you understand that any future entertainment must be, ah, of rather straightforward nature.
<HollyhockGod> "I would naturally be most unwilling to take any action that might offend you and your Familia, Domina."
<Ebba> I'm glad that we seem to have reached a better understanding of each other.
<RyanSherbrig> (Strike now! Exemplar teacup to the face!)
<Ebba> Now that that matter is happily behind us, I fear we must move on to considerably more serious business.
<Ebba> More tea?
<HollyhockGod> "Oh, please."
<Ebba> We have not seen our sister Pandora for some time. Upon making enquiries with Phoenix, she herself was unable to locate our sister.
<Ebba> You can see how this has suddenly become a matter of some urgency
<Alexa> ("Did I mention the tea is poisoned?")
<RyanSherbrig> (Vesper coughs, and hopes Ebba doesn't wander over to his harem chambers.)
<HollyhockGod> "I admit it is not unusual for a Power to leave her Chancel for long periods, but to drop out of contact with her Imperator implies that some force from Beyond must be involved."
<Ebba> We would like your assistance in locating an associate of our sister's. He should currently be leading a mundane life, so your domain should have no problem locating any mundane records about his current location and activities, yes?
<HollyhockGod> "Had she gone into danger on her own, or do you suspect that she was actually snatched from your Chancel?"
<Ebba> (Her maid last saw her committing suicide in the normal manner, yes?)
<HollyhockGod> That's right.
<HollyhockGod> "Of course, I can search any record on Earth for you to locate this man. Do you have the name?"
<HollyhockGod> Vesper seems relieved that the prior incident is being allowed to lapse.
<Ebba> (Marcus something? right)
<Ebba> (Heh, perhaps he'll recall that Ebba's Design translates to something like 'watchfulness and remembrance' and not rest so easy…)
<HollyhockGod> "Oroboa, Oroboa…" says Vesper, and cocks his head to one side.
<HollyhockGod> The inky blackness of his eyes begins to fleck with white, and you realize that his completely dark eyes are the result of countless printed words passing back and forth in front of them eternally.
<HollyhockGod> Eventually, the track seems to clear out until you can read the document yourself in reverse as Vesper recites it to you.
<HollyhockGod> Dr. Marcus Oroboa is currently stationed by the Red Cross in the Sahara.
<HollyhockGod> A single letter dated yesterday mentions that he hasn't been heard from in several weeks, but it may be some time before anyone can be sent out to look for him.
<HollyhockGod> Oh, and there are addresses and things.
<Ebba> Thank you, this should help speed our investigation.
<Ebba> May we call upon you further in this matter, or will you be busy with other affairs?
* Ebba eyes Vesper's jacket.
<HollyhockGod> "My lady, should you ever invoke me, I shall rush to your side."
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<Ebba> (Curses! I knew I should have shot down the Sun or something; That'd keep those spectators riveted to their desks.)
<RyanSherbrig> (That's Nobilis for you. For all the sun-shooting down and whatnot, there's just as much polite conversations over tea.)
<Ebba> Now, dear cousin, unless there is some other matter between us…
<Ebba> I fear I must take my leave.
<Ebba> Ebba stands, bows at Vesper and departs.
<Ebba> In rather Batman-like fashion, the next time you look at it, the tea service is gone too.
<Ebba> (Does anyone else want the spotlight for a while?)
<Ebba> (They can go to the Sahara and look for what happened to Marcus.)
* RyanSherbrig emerges from the High Summoning Chamber 5 to 10 days later.
<Alexa> (To find the world has CHANGED!)
<Ebba> All of your sisters suddenly think Vesper is the hawtness.
<Ebba> Save us, Ryan Sherbrig!
<RyanSherbrig> ("All right. Assassins from beyond? Kill them all.")
<HollyhockGod> Dear me.
<HollyhockGod> "We Can Get Them Wholesale"
<RyanSherbrig> Yeah, pretty much.
<Ebba> Hmm, is Alexa AFK?
<Alexa> (I mean…)
<Alexa> (Alexa was looking for Marcus using mundane methods, IIRC.)
* RyanSherbrig spends an SMP to command the Grix to take the form of a small obsidian sphere and hide in his jacket pocket until further notice, and has the Daughters of Night remain stealthily nearby.
<RyanSherbrig> ("Oh look! Marcus's cell phone number, from that party we were both at.")
<Alexa> (Holy crap, those horrors from beyond are nasty!)
<HollyhockGod> And then? And then? And then?
<RyanSherbrig> (Yeah, 45 floating points is a decent amount. I need to spend SMP to get the Grix or the Watcher to grudgingly comply, though.)
<RyanSherbrig> (I'll leave the Shroud and Abyss-Watcher in reserve for now, pending mundane investigation methods.)
<Ebba> Is everyone back on the same time frame then?
<Ebba> And we shall go down to the Sahara together?
<Alexa> (Ebba presumably doesn't take very long to visit Vesper, so maybe she and Alexa went to the Sahara?)
<Ebba> Or did we have some other lead to follow up?
<RyanSherbrig> (Mmmm, seems plausible.)
<Alexa> (Alexa wouldn't have waited for Ryan to come out.)
<RyanSherbrig> (I can portray random desert spirits.)
<RyanSherbrig> ("La la la, I'm sand, sand sand.")
<HollyhockGod> At the risk of making you seem unnecessary, is there anything you can find out by going there that Ryan's horrible Cthuloids can't find out?
<Alexa> (Or you could send an Anchor along?)
<RyanSherbrig> (They could find it out without having me spend MP!)
<Alexa> (Probably not, HG, but wouldn't you know the answer better than us? :p)
<RyanSherbrig> (Oooh, an anchor, I really should get one of those one of these days.)
<HollyhockGod> Well, it can do Major Divinations of Eyes that affect miraculous beings.
<HollyhockGod> Past, present, and future.
<HollyhockGod> So in theory it can give you a rundown on everything that happened to Pandora since, um, ever.
<RyanSherbrig> In theory!
<Alexa> (But Alexa and Ebba probably don't know that until Ryan comes out and tells them.)
<RyanSherbrig> ("Where do I begin? Okay, at the dawn of time…")
<HollyhockGod> True, but I don't see the point in running out the scene if it won't turn out to be necessary.
<RyanSherbrig> (In practice, that one takes 2 MP to force into grudging compliance, which I imagine would be more or less a single question.)
<HollyhockGod> Question: "What the hell happened to Pandora?"
<RyanSherbrig> (Yeah, pretty much.)
<Alexa> (Could you summarize what we might find in the Sahara?)
<HollyhockGod> A week or two ago Dr. Oroboa stepped out to talk to some beautiful woman and was never seen again.
<HollyhockGod> The locals assume she was a demond who ate him.
<HollyhockGod> Descriptions of the woman match Pandora.
<Alexa> (Do they have a more specific description that might happen to match Pandora?)
<HollyhockGod> Okay, so let's assume that you each arrive home and Ryan eventually comes out of his basement.
<HollyhockGod> Hopefully he bathes first.
<HollyhockGod> I now give you each the opportunity to brag.
<RyanSherbrig> "So, how did your investigations go?"
* RyanSherbrig is wearing a shiny new crown of ultimate high summoning badassery whose name escapes Ben right now.
<Alexa> "Ebba made out with Vesper in exchange for information."
* Alexa smiles mischievously.
<HollyhockGod> Isn't it sukkha adharma?
<Alexa> "But the mundane trail stops dead in the Sahara."
<Ebba> I implied Vesper's future might include horrible assassins from beyond Creation hiding in his bedroom if he tried anything like that again.
<RyanSherbrig> "Entertainingly, there's three of them in this room right now."
<RyanSherbrig> (None of which are immediately visible.)
<Alexa> "I beg your pardon?"
<RyanSherbrig> "Well, all right, I wouldn't call the Daughters of Night horrible."
<Alexa> "What have you summoned this time? And what's that thing on your head?"
**<Ebba> so you say that they are the sort of HAfBC that Vesper might want to find in his bedroom?
<RyanSherbrig> "Quite possibly. So I take it we'll have to pursue an alternate source of information?"
* RyanSherbrig stands up and cracks his knuckles, as a mass of mouths appear on the floor, walls, ceiling, furniture, etc, gnashing teeth and speaking in otherworldly languages.
<RyanSherbrig> "Watcher of the Abyss! Reveal unto me what happened to Pandora since we last saw her!"
<HollyhockGod> Shouldn't that take several hours since you haven't bound it?
<Alexa> "The fuck?"
<Alexa> "Could you warn us before you do that?!"
<RyanSherbrig> Can we say for drama's sake that I just had it hidden by the Shroud?
<HollyhockGod> You haven't summoned that either!
<HollyhockGod> Look, you already have ridiculously broken divinatory powers, and I don't begrudge you them.
<HollyhockGod> But if you want to summon it into Creation it's going to take you at least an hour.
<RyanSherbrig> Fair enough. I just wanted to freak out of my Familia a little.
<Alexa> (Retcon back to before Ryan stood up?)
<HollyhockGod> If I don't enforce your limitations you can do whatever the hell you want with High Summoning.
<HollyhockGod> Just make them sit in the Fortress Circle in the summoning chamber to "assist" you.
<RyanSherbrig> (Yeah, taking it to high levels does seem a bit absurd.)
<RyanSherbrig> (If some Excrucian assassin with an Abhorrent Weapon offs Ryan and I need to make a High-Summoning-free backup character, I'll totally understand.)
* RyanSherbrig stands up, again.
<HollyhockGod> So, you sit in the circle for an hour, tapping your feet, and then masses of mouths bust out of everything.
<RyanSherbrig> "Right. To the summoning chamber."
<RyanSherbrig> (And so on, and so forth.)
<HollyhockGod> I don't mind you having it; I just won't let you circumvent the limitations because otherwise you're all-powerful.
<Alexa> "Do you need us for this?"
<RyanSherbrig> "Possibly. Do you want to be around when we find out what happened to Pandora?"
<Alexa> "I guess. But I don't want to get icky summoning goo all over me."
* RyanSherbrig smiles.
<HollyhockGod> Masses of mouths pop out of the walls and floors and lightbulbs and candleflames and everything else.
<HollyhockGod> "….spppeeaaakkk…." say lots of voices.
* Alexa looks aghast.
<RyanSherbrig> "What happened to Pandora since we last saw her until the present time?"
<HollyhockGod> "….annnnd whhaaat willl youuuu offerrrr innnn returnnnnn, sssshinny onnnnnnne?"
<Ebba> (we have these sea kittens…)
<RyanSherbrig> "I AM EMPEROR BEYOND, AND YOU WILL ANSWER MY QUESTIONS WITH RESPECT." (2 SMP)
<HollyhockGod> "Verrrrry wellllll…."
<HollyhockGod> "The wooooomannnn youuuu seeeeek wassss appppprooooached by aaa Chiiillllld of Haaaarumappph."
<HollyhockGod> "Heee offerrrrred her the chance to esssscape the eterrrrnal cycle of Yggggggg."
<HollyhockGod> "To brrrring a fiiiinal ennnnd to the sufffffffering and despaaaair that all huuuuumankind knooooows."
<HollyhockGod> "Thisss offfer… she acccepteddd."
<HollyhockGod> "Witttth himmmm, she wallllked intttoo the rrrregionnnns of exissstence where mmmmmy sssssights grrrrrow meeeeeaninglessss."
<HollyhockGod> "Ssssshee has nnnnot yettt rettturned, bbbbut I foretelllll that shhheeee willll, innnn tiiiiime."
<RyanSherbrig> ("Yes, yes, I'm familiar.")
<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. Which Child of Harumaph?"
<HollyhockGod> "Eyyyyye knnnowww hiisssss naaame too be Mmmmmorrrtifffer Callllthrop, kkkeeeper of the Sssstone of Heeeeroes."
<RyanSherbrig> (Oh noes.)
<HollyhockGod> It's a race to remember what that is!
<RyanSherbrig> (Nah, I'm running the treachery campaign, so I at least know OOC.)
* RyanSherbrig nods.
<RyanSherbrig> "Your cooperation has been noted, thank you."
* RyanSherbrig dismisses the presence with a gesture.
<RyanSherbrig> (Should I assume as a High Summoner I know IC, or not? Ryan would nod knowingly either way.)
<Alexa> "So this is what you get up to in here, is it?"
<HollyhockGod> I don't mind you knowing.
<HollyhockGod> I mean, if you didn't, you could have asked.
<RyanSherbrig> "More or less. That's a bit more powerful of a presence than I dared to summon before, but my understanding of the relationships between 'entities' beyond Creation has progressed since then."
<Ebba> (Ever since, like our sister, you took the Excrucians up on their offer. :D)
<RyanSherbrig> (Nah. I'm the one who makes the offers, not the one who takes them.)
<Alexa> "And we don't need to be worried at all," Alexa says with heavy sarcasm.
<RyanSherbrig> (Someday in the far-off future I'll make a summoner who bargains and has the ZOMG-pacts Limit at 3, or maybe even 5, though.)
<RyanSherbrig> "And cannot fire burn the hand which wields it?"
<Alexa> "In my case? No."
<RyanSherbrig> "Exactly. I don't make deals with entities I can't comfortably control."
<RyanSherbrig> "Give me a little credit."
<Alexa> "And you're an Emperor now?"
<RyanSherbrig> "It's an inexact translation."
<RyanSherbrig> "But suffice to say I'm accorded a good deal of respect out there, yes."
<RyanSherbrig> "So shall we take this information to the Phoenix, then?"
<Alexa> "Okay. You're not planning on changing sides, are you?"
* RyanSherbrig thinks about it.
<RyanSherbrig> "Why would I?"
<Ebba> You of course, assume he's on our side right now?
* Ebba pats Alexa on the shoulder
<Alexa> "Well said."
<RyanSherbrig> "Yes, said the woman who almost crashed a worldlet into Earth."
* RyanSherbrig says that jokingly.
* Ebba smiles
<HollyhockGod> It may be said that the Phoenix is displeased to hear your report.
<RyanSherbrig> (We're all incinerated.)
<HollyhockGod> As you stand in the Council chamber, the room is rocked as Monothaia explodes into her most destructive eruption ever.
<HollyhockGod> Nothing living in the Chancel survives, at least for today.
<HollyhockGod> Except for the ones who were in the Fortress, anyway.
<Alexa> "Oh, great."
<HollyhockGod> "This is… unthinkable," says your Imperator.
<RyanSherbrig> (Take that, you punk-ass tree!)
<RyanSherbrig> (I mean, tragic.)
<HollyhockGod> "Of all the disasters that could have befallen us, this is the worst."
* RyanSherbrig keeps his head bowed solemnly.
<HollyhockGod> "When word of this betrayal spreads, our humiliation will be great."
<HollyhockGod> "I cannot permit this to become known. It would jeopardize our cause!"
<Alexa> (Hey, did Ebba's world-tree get wiped out?)
<RyanSherbrig> (Oooh, good question.)
<HollyhockGod> "You must destroy Pandora before her betrayal becomes known!"
<HollyhockGod> Didn't you slap a dozen wards on it?
<Alexa> (I think so.)
<Alexa> "Uh, boss?"
<RyanSherbrig> (Well, you said every living thing. That might have been ward-penetrating lava.)
<Ebba> Well, Ebba's main concern would have been bad stuff coming out of it.
<HollyhockGod> "I will attempt to reunite my soul into a single piece and reclaim the shard of Rebirth."
<Ebba> Not super volcano eruption time.
<Alexa> "How about we try talking to her first?"
<Alexa> "Maybe she has a good explanation."
<HollyhockGod> "If she was sacrificed upon the Stone of Heroes, she is no longer the sister you once knew, but an Excrucian with Pandora's face and memory."
<HollyhockGod> "And, I daresay, great power still over the Estate she once knew."
<Alexa> "We don't know if she was sacrificed, do we? Just that she went for a trip outside."
<HollyhockGod> "I must recall the shard before it becomes corrupted, but that will not break her power now that she draws her strength from Excrucian anti-nature."
<Alexa> "If she hasn't been turned, though?"
<HollyhockGod> "I am not prepared to take that risk. Destroy her with prejudice."
<HollyhockGod> "I appreciate your independent thought. But I do not wish to hear about it at this time."
<HollyhockGod> "That is all."
<HollyhockGod> Communication ended.
<Alexa> "Righto. Your will be done."
<RyanSherbrig> (Okay, I may sig that last quote. The Independent thought one.)
<HollyhockGod> This game is licensed under Creative Commons, so go ahead. :)
<HollyhockGod> Anything to say before the story ends?
<RyanSherbrig> (Poor Pandora.)
<Alexa> "So, are we all okay with this? Killing Pandora?"
<Ebba> Small problem there-" Restriction: Cannot kill."
<RyanSherbrig> "I liked her… but if she has been turned, that may be necessary."
<RyanSherbrig> (Also, she's Rebirth's-Regal, and kind of unkillable.)
<Alexa> "Out there, all bets are off, aren't they?"
<HollyhockGod> Don't blame me; I didn't choose to make a Demanding Imperator.
<Ebba> Well, we could try to make a reverse stone of heroes right?
<Ebba> It's the sort of impossible thing you can do in Nobilis.
<Ebba> All we'd need is, um.
<RyanSherbrig> Sacrifice Excrucians and transform their anti-nature into the stuff of Creation? Interesting.
<Alexa> "What annoys, well annoys and disturbs me is that Pan didn't talk to us about this first."
<Ebba> Fruit from the tree of life… as a start.
<RyanSherbrig> "Yes, it does seem strange. Especially a bargain which entails bringing an end to the suffering of the human race."
<HollyhockGod> The question is, how will you make sure nobody finds out about this?
<RyanSherbrig> "I mean, that's obviously just a euphemism to bringing an end to the human race entirely."
<RyanSherbrig> Not tell anyone? I mean, the only person who knows she's even missing in Vesper, yes?
<RyanSherbrig> We'll have to silence him. Permanently. Oh well.
<HollyhockGod> What's to stop her from walking back into Creation tomorrow and announcing herself to Vesper and asking him to spread the word that she's evil now?
<Alexa> (Oh, great.)
<RyanSherbrig> Ah, yes, well, that would be an awkward scenario.
<RyanSherbrig> We'll have to silence him. Permanently. Oh well.
<Alexa> "I think we have to find her first, see exactly what her story is."
<Alexa> "Then carry out our Imperator's judgement."
* Alexa smiles ruefully.
<Alexa> "Sentence first — verdict afterwards."
<RyanSherbrig> (Sudden wacky thought: I should try to summon her.)
<HollyhockGod> An Excrucian is an Imperator-level being and not technically vulnerable… but I suppose you can try.
<HollyhockGod> Monarda Law, etc.
<RyanSherbrig> (She's just a Nobilis, she might be more shard-level.)
<HollyhockGod> Reports of the Stone of Heroes indicates that it creates full Excrucians.
<RyanSherbrig> (I mean, heck, if the Stone of Heroes reworks you into an Imperial-level beings… um, it totally wouldn't be worth it still.)
<RyanSherbrig> (Obviously. Because that would be wrong.)
<Ebba> So any player interest in trying to make our own Stone of Heroes?
<HollyhockGod> Better summon your Watcher and have it keep its eyes on yourself!
<Ebba> Would double our immediate reasons to break into Eden?
<Ebba> I'm sure nothing could possibly go wrong!
<Alexa> I'd rather go on an extra-Creational excursion.
<HollyhockGod> I suppose I could permit an Excrucian summoning if you had some kind of ultra-rare material component to give you extra juice.
<RyanSherbrig> Both ideas intrigue me.
<RyanSherbrig> Well, we don't even know if she's an Excrucian yet.
<Ebba> So she'll just be doubly reality-supporting when we take her out of the wash! :D
<RyanSherbrig> Imperial level and possibly pissed at us! Yay!
<RyanSherbrig> It's the House of Renunciation for everyone!
<HollyhockGod> True, she probably has House of Renunciation as a Noble-affecting Gift now.
<Alexa> Awesome! What's the House of Renunciation?
<HollyhockGod> It's a mysterious thing in Unknown Armies that reverses people's personalities.
<HollyhockGod> The Otherside Room causes you to reevaluate what you believe in.
<HollyhockGod> The Room of Cold Reflection makes selfish people selfless.
<HollyhockGod> The Room of Rusted Things makes you a science-hating, non-tool-using savage!
<RyanSherbrig> I really need to get the Statosphere book which has more info.
* RyanSherbrig only has the core rules.
<HollyhockGod> I have that one.
<Alexa> Why would people go there?
<HollyhockGod> It draws people into it.
<HollyhockGod> And has Agents who chloroform you and drag you in.
<RyanSherbrig> Plus, it turns some people into Agents who… yes.
<Alexa> Oh. I see.
<HollyhockGod> So, that ends Death of Birth and adds a character point all around.
<HollyhockGod> Is anybody spending any yet?
<Alexa> Not since last time.
<HollyhockGod> I don't know whose sheets are up to date and whose aren't.
<Ebba> I have a bunch of CP unspent.
<Alexa> Mine should be current except for this latest point.
<Ebba> Assuming we've had 6 CP, I've spent 1, so 5 left.
<HollyhockGod> Any idea on what to do with them?
<RyanSherbrig> More Domain? More Spirit? A bit of High Summoning to join the awesomesauce party?
* Alexa is now known as Uqbarian
<Ebba> Could start taking alchemy.
<HollyhockGod> Ooh, alchemy.
<Ebba> But I'm not sure what low levels of alchemy can do.
<HollyhockGod> Well, you can always spend AMP to get higher-level effects.
<HollyhockGod> And E'jah could tutor you!
<RyanSherbrig> If you don't mind entertaining drawbacks, Imperial level miracles!
<HollyhockGod> He's a world-breaker.
* RyanSherbrig is now known as Benhimself
* You are now known as RandBrittain
<Uqbarian> Well, looks like we're all going to be exterminated. Before we even got to the Sable Gardens, too!
* Ebba is now known as Crusher_Bob
<Benhimself> At least, if I die, I'll live on in the Lands Beyond Creation.