<Rand Brittain> So anyway, speaking of CP, I assume you guys are up for killing the First Lord this week?
<Rand Brittain> I statted him up so deliciously~
<Rand Brittain> So you have a plan for finishing the campaign without doing so?
<Rand Brittain> So your intention is to actively wait for your problems to go away.
<Uqbarian> Maybe. I can't speak for the others, though.
<Benhimself> Ryan's cool with killing the First Lord, although I didn't get the chance to whip up some more appropriate summons for the deed.
<Benhimself> But I doubt he could convince the others to do so.
<Uqbarian> Alexa was wondering what would happen if someone just knocked on the gates of the Sable Gardens and said,
<Uqbarian> "Hi, you guys have had this for a few thousand years. Can we have it now?"
<Uqbarian> Maybe no-one ever thought to ask nicely.
<borogove> I'd kind of like the campaign to move in a finishing-ward direction. It's been kind of rambly. This doesn't need to actually involve 'assault on the Sable Gardens', though.
<Rand Brittain> Well, I can't just give them to you!
<Rand Brittain> You have to, you know, take 'em.
<Benhimself> Plus, finishing the campaign without Ebba would be awkward.
<Rand Brittain> He was around earlier and said he'd log on from work.
- crusher_bob has joined #childrenofeve
<crusher_bob> Evil time monks…
<Uqbarian> Hi, bob!
<Rand Brittain> I've been trying to convince your companions that advancing the plot requires action on your part.
<crusher_bob> Action on our part, as the party, or action on my part, in specific?
<Benhimself> I also admit I'm still worried about the Angel. I mean, taking on one Imperator will be enough of a trial. Two would probably be undoable without Ax-ian levels of powergaming my High Summons.
<borogove> c_bob: the collective.
<Benhimself> Cut to in-game discussion of the matter?
<Uqbarian> And we told Rand that we couldn't possibly kill off Ebba!
<Benhimself> Assuming we get Ebba back?
- Benhimself is now known as RyanSherbrig
- crusher_bob is now known as Ebba
- You are now known as HollyhockGod
<Hollyhock God> Ebba argues her way past the blockade with tea and an invocation of her true name.
- Uqbarian is now known as Alexa
<Ryan> "And I still say the time to strike is now! We may never get a better chance."
- borogove is now known as Fiona
<Ebba> "But this cup is perfect!"
<Ryan> "Now that we no longer have a Deceiver making calls for us, surely we can convince E'jah that Fiona is no longer under the artifact's influence."
<Alexa> "Ebba! Thank god you're back!"
<Ebba> "'The fleet turned out to be susceptible to tea, and they let me through."
<Ryan> "I would never have suspected."
<Alexa> "So do you remember anything about your abduction?"
<Hollyhock God> Feel free to make something up.
<Ebba> (If I remember right, I was supposed to have been grabbed before we went to the moon again.)
<Ebba> "Thankfully, there were no tentacles involved."
<Ryan> (Wow, that long?)
<Ebba> (Since I used to excuse of having tea with the Montessa-shard to aid in her escape)
<Ryan> "Well, perhaps you can talk some sense into your sisters. They're completely against actually doing the thing we were originally enNobled, specifically, to do. I hope your resolve hasn't likewise faltered."
<Ryan> "I'd hate to have to do this on my own."
<Ebba> "You have a plan, or at least, an intention?"
<Alexa> "Plan? Ha."
<Ryan> "I was thinking of having Fiona create some kind of greater flower gate to portal us into the gardens, and then calling out the First Lord, and kicking his ass."
<Ryan> "Honestly, subtlety has never played to our strengths."
<Ryan> "If I had to do it on my own, I would obviously employ other means of gaining entry."
<Alexa> "We haven't done any scouting or intelligence gathering. We have no real idea of the forces that will oppose us. We have no backup."
<Alexa> "And we don't have a plan for what we do if we succeed."
<Ryan> "Regardless of how much we plan, we'll never have total information, or an overwhelming army with certain odds of success. Are you going to wait until we do before actually going along with this?"
<Ebba> (which would be helpful, since our directive is to gain the garden back for humanity; not off the first lord)
<Alexa> "I'd like to know a little bit more, really."
<Ryan> "I assume that will be at the Phoenix's discretion."
<Hollyhock God> So far you haven't come up with a way to reverse a Chancel Rite without killing the Imperator.
<Ryan> "Like what?"
<Alexa> "We should ask."
<Ryan> "Ask what? 'Excuse me, first lord, but do you happen to have a dossier on your exact deployment of chancel forces?'"
<Ebba> (Aren't Chancels normally made around the Imperator, like a shell? Does this make the First Lord a hermit crab?)
<Alexa> "O glorious bossladybird! Do you have anything planned for what happens after we take out the Dark Lord?"
<Alexa> (Prayer to the Phoenix if she's not eavesdropping.)
<Hollyhock God> "Hm," says the voice of the Phoenix in your minds. "If he were dead, and I could get there first…"
<Hollyhock God> "I suppose I could immediately re-enChancel myself."
<Hollyhock God> "It'll kill me to do the whole thing at once, but other than that it should be fine."
<Hollyhock God> "I favor Ryan's plan! Simply take this black talisman, infiltrate the Sable Gardens, and destroy the First Lord."
<Ebba> (But 'e's got 90 CP! :D )
<Hollyhock God> "It probably won't hurt to kill just one Imperator with it."
<Alexa> "What would happen to the Fire Isles?"
<Hollyhock God> (Maybe he spent them all on Superior Flower Arranging 9.)
<Ryan> (We've got more than that combined.)
<Ryan> "The same thing that happens to them on a weekly basis, but a bit more permanently?"
- RyanSherbrig gestures at the magma slag.
<Hollyhock God> "They'd go back to being normal volcanic islands. Don't worry, I'll carry your wardrobe along with me."
<Alexa> "Would you be able to save the inhabitants, or should we make alternative arrangements?"
<Hollyhock God> "It's not like dying would kill them. But I suppose it would be simpler to bring them along than to hunt their souls down again."
<Hollyhock God> "I can be very generous for servants who fulfill all my objectives in a single day!"
<Hollyhock God> "It's possible there will be cookies."
<Alexa> "Great! I'm sold."
- Alexa is just possibly sounding a little sarcastic in her enthusiasm.
<Hollyhock God> "Excellent!"
<Hollyhock God> "You sound a little sarcastic in your enthusiasm, though."
<Ebba> "Well, if cookies are goining to be involved… "
<Alexa> "Is there anything else we could do beforehand that would help you with your side of things?"
<Hollyhock God> "I think killing the embodiment of human self-destructiveness will satisfy me for today. I'll set the lesser servants to tidying up the house."
<Hollyhock God> "But you seem to disapprove. Have you an alternative plan?"
<Hollyhock God> This is the time for arguing about what you think you should do if you want to!
<Alexa> "We live to serve, your Radiant Transcendence. My opinion is simply that we aren't quite ready; I have no realistic alternative plan."
<Fiona> (If it will literally kill the Phoenix to re-enChancel, does that mean anything bad will happen to us in the process?)
<Hollyhock God> (Not if she's only Phoenix-dead. If she's Excrucian-dead, then you'd have trouble.)
<Hollyhock God> "Are there any allies who will come to our aid in this matter with additional coaxing?"
<Alexa> "I thought about asking the Dark Lord politely if the Light could have a turn at owning the Gardens, but I assume someone's already tried that in the past five millennia."
<Ryan> "I know Eternity and Grief and I assume Mystery is commited to the whole 'joining with our enemies against our greater enemies" thing, but do you think we could get Water and maybe some of her Familia on board?"
<Hollyhock God> I don't think asking nicely is going to sway the embodiment of human folly, from what you've heard.
<Hollyhock God> All right, consider Karen. Would she do it if you asked?
<Alexa> "I believe so."
<Alexa> "And, maybe if someone flattered her eyelashes at Vesper…"
<Hollyhock God> In this case I'm asking OOC.
<Alexa> "I'm also wondering whether we could risk an initial reconnaissance mission. I guess it's not worth it."
<Ryan> "If I recall correctly, Marley was against the whole 'rendering humanity immortal' thing, however."
<Hollyhock God> Consider that you're asking her to risk her life and reputation on your cause, and you don't even know her Code.
<Ryan> "We could try betting Maliq she couldn't beat us to it."
<Alexa> "I'm reluctant to ask Karen to commit to something that big that she hasn't signed on for, though."
<Hollyhock God> "If she will not go, then we have no recourse but to act on our own. The Dark has ravaged the earth for a thousand years because we preferred to wait until we could be sure."
<Hollyhock God> "It is when the virtuous do nothing that evil prospers."
<Alexa> "Also when vice is stronger than virtue, though."
<Hollyhock God> "Your words are oxymoronic."
- Alexa bites back a reply.
<Ryan> "Well, let me summon a new pair of Daughters of the Night, and if you come up with any better plans before then, we can implement them."
<Hollyhock God> Speaking for the group, why don't you just take a vote? Who's opposed?
<Ebba> (Guess I'd better get some use out of Alchemy before the game ends. Imperial miracles, here I come!)
<Ebba> (My first thought would be to try to restore the Garden for the duration of the fight, to prevent them from using Realm on us)
<Alexa> (Alexa is opposed, though would commit if the Phoenix made it a direct order.)
<Hollyhock God> Just because you succeed doesn't mean the game is over!
<Hollyhock God> Defending Eden from hostile forces would be fun.
<Hollyhock God> I already statted out a few of the goodies I was going to hand out if you win. :)
<Alexa> (Are Ebba and/or Fiona ready to go in boots and all!)
<Hollyhock God> I can see Ryan is in favor. Fiona?
<Hollyhock God> I also kind of want to know what you think OOC.
<Fiona> Fiona is inclined to abstain, but I'm broadly in favour OOC.
<Ryan> Yeah, if people are OOC strongly against this, I'd be happy to have Ryan perhaps be a bit less firebrandy.
<Ryan> (BRB, assume Ryan is summoning for the next few minutes while you discuss things IC or OOC or whatever)
<Alexa> (I'm mildly but not strongly against it OOC.)
<Hollyhock God> So Ryan/Ben is pro, Ebba is in favor if she gets to show off her alchemy, Fiona is neutral but in favor OOC, and Alexa is mildly against.
<Hollyhock God> I think the ayes have it. No fear, Alexa, you'll still have plenty to do when it's all over.
<Hollyhock God> ("Your first task shall be to carry Monothaia from the Fire Isles to Eden. By hand; she hates boats.")
<Alexa> (That's enough for me. If it's a tie, Alexa will go for it, figuring that the Phoenix obviously wants it too.)
<Hollyhock God> "If there are no alternative plans suggested," the Phoenix announces, "then let me give you this."
<Fiona> (Oops, I seem to have dropped Mono into the ocean! What an unfortunate accident!)
<Hollyhock God> Alexa, you open your hand to find a bright feather resting in your palm.
<Hollyhock God> "This should burn a gate for you through the walls between the worlds."
<Ebba> (I think our current plans seems to amount to showing up and shouting "com'n have a go if you think you're hard enough!")
<Hollyhock God> "It's only going to work once, though, so you're on your own after that."
<Hollyhock God> "Destroy the master of that place, and I will come to you and do what must be done."
<Hollyhock God> (Well, you could sneak in still, although admittedly assassinating an Imperator is never simple.)
<Alexa> "If we don't make it, let me say it has been an honour to serve you, ma'am."
<Hollyhock God> "In the warmth of your soul I thought I saw a fire that matched my own. Your service has affirmed my judgement."
<Hollyhock God> "Even should you fall, the Dark will not claim your spirit; this, I swear."
<Alexa> (I'm getting a bit teary! :) )
<Hollyhock God> Soppy power quotes are my weakness as well!
<Hollyhock God> But enough about how cool you are; it's boss fight time.
<Hollyhock God> You've got two days to work on summoning and alchemy. Ryan, Ebba, what can you show for it?
<Ebba> (Well, my plan was to come up with something that would restore the Garden to its original state for a short while, making it impossible, or at least, very difficult for them to use Realm against us.)
<Fiona> (The Daughters seem a bad choice to me, given they can't actually hurt the Imperator.)
<Ebba> (Since fighting an Imperator with Realm 7 or something is no fun at all.)
<Alexa> (Can they hurt Nobles, though?)
<Ryan> (Well, once I use the Negative Gift on them to remove his Immortal, they might.)
<Ryan> (Plus, yeah, he does have three Nobles to deal with.)
<Hollyhock God> It depends on their Spirit level. Their attacks are ridiculously puissant but mundane.)
<Alexa> (One of Alexa's misgivings is that we don't have an idea of the enemy Familia's powers. Can Ryan's Watcher give us tips?)
<Ebba> (And aren't they in the book?)
<Hollyhock God> The Power of Suicide is a man made out of void and night. According to your Watcher, he's on business away from the Earth.
<Ryan> I summon the Watcher and command it to answer Alexa's questions!
<Hollyhock God> The Power of Shame is a treant named Roots-of-Bone. He sits in the center of the Gardens, with his Imperator sleeping in his roots.
<Hollyhock God> I don't know who the Power of the Id is but you don't have to worry about him right now because he's on vacation in the Riviera or something.
<Hollyhock God> I'll let you know when I have a good character concept.
<Hollyhock God> How many SMPs did that cost you?
<Ebba> (Hmm, we have rosemary (rememberance) from my Design, and Refulgence (some sort of rose?) from Ryan's Design, but I see that neither of the others of you have Designs posted :( )
<Ebba> (so I'll just have to assume that there's something appropriate)
<Alexa> (I never got round to a Design!)
<Hollyhock God> (You might be able to reawaken the nature of Eden with Imperial alchemy, Ebba. I don't think it will block another Noble's Realm, but it might alter its manifestation into something more favorable to you.)
<Ebba> (Your head exploded in a way that reaffirms all life!)
<Alexa> (Should we muster some of our Chancelfolk as an army in case the Garden has mortal troops?)
<Hollyhock God> It does seem somewhat unclear how that would work, yeah.
<Hollyhock God> If you think that would help.
<Alexa> (I have no idea!)
<Hollyhock God> It's up to you, really.
<Ryan> (2, I think.)
<Ebba> (Well, I kinda frown on the uses of alchemy that largely amount to "I kick you in the nads even harder" that Imperial-level attacks can sometimes boil down to.)
<Alexa> (Our Chancelfolk have Earthly magic and are resistant to miracles, so they could come in a bit handy.)
<Hollyhock God> You could make a useful weapon, or a whatsit!
<Ryan> What are the Garden's chancelfolk like?
<Ryan> Since we've got the Watcher in question-answering mode, anyway.
<Hollyhock God> There aren't very many. Sometimes wolves and rats skitter through things. It seems like they just appear and then disappear again.
<Hollyhock God> The plant life curls and squeezes each other to death in a parody of Darwinian survival of the fittest.
<Hollyhock God> Sometimes fruits drop from the trees and leave pools of bitter poison.
<Hollyhock God> It's all very gloomy.
<Hollyhock God> What's the decision on the army?
<Ebba> (Any opinions on what to make with alchemy?)
<Ryan> I say we take an army. Resistant to miracles makes them very helpful.
<Ryan> It's kind of what we got them for, too.
<Alexa> (Though it looks like just direct resistance, not Auctoritas.)
<Ebba> (Instead of restoring the garden, I could try taking the hopes of the people of Earth, and turning them into a sword to hit people with.)
<Alexa> (They both sound good!)
<Hollyhock God> As an Imperial miracle?
<Fiona> (That's not a sword you want to be hit with.)
<Ebba> (But like I said, I'm not a huge fan of just a bigger hammer type alchemy)
<Ryan> We better not lose the sword, then. That would be awkward, handing the hope of humanity to the First Lord.
<Ryan> Also, I'm sure Pandora would have something to say if she were still with us.
<Ebba> (Of course, it could do something interesting like beat back the dark, but leave the regular meaty bits behind)
<Ryan> Something like "OF COURSE I'M STILL WITH YOU" out of Ryan's mouth or the like.
<Alexa> (Subverting the Gardens might be a better fit thematically. And at Imperial level, could it also nullify the Dark Lord's Realm score or something?)
<Hollyhock God> It's rude to subvert other people's character sheets.
<Alexa> (What, we have to play fair? ;) )
<Hollyhock God> No, but if you start they might do it back!
<Alexa> (Ooh, good point.)
<Hollyhock God> It's a mechanical zone of unwisdom.
<Ryan> Well, Imperial Miracles take time to do. So if we get the jump on them, and actually finish this in a single fight… but yeah. It sets a kind of awkward precedent.
<Hollyhock God> I shall give you two minutes to decide on an alchemical project and marshal your forces.
<Ryan> (We'll probably have to do the actual fight next week, though, since I've got to go to work in 20 minutes or so, and I imagine this will be a bit epic.)
<Ryan> (Unless you guys think this might be quicker than that.)
<Alexa> (I doubt it.)
<Fiona> (I think we might be better not trying to fit a boss fight into twenty minutes)
<Hollyhock God> (Yes, likely.)
<Alexa> (Heh. Ryan's the only one with a Realm score, so our Chancelfolk might not listen to the rest of us. :))
<Alexa> (But if they do, Alexa will be asking for volunteers only.)
<Ebba> (so, pardon me everyone I'll be borrowing your hope for a little while. Assuming nothing goes wrong you'll get it right back? :D)
<Hollyhock God> The virtuous muppets are glad to follow in your footsteps!
<Hollyhock God> Dwagons rise from the deeps! From the forests, the jujub birds come forth. Out of the sky swoop the terrible thunder lizards!
<Ebba> (And Maebara thinks to himself that he never should have joined that self-help group…)
<Hollyhock God> He never did!
<Hollyhock God> He was raised by whatever program Maliq set up, so he arguably never had a choice. Or any knowledge, really.
<Hollyhock God> The point of him was that he wasn't supposed to realize how jealous he made people.
<Hollyhock God> Then he was roasted alive and turned into a whale; there's probably a moral there.
<Hollyhock God> So, you marshal the armies of your Chancel, summon more of the Daughters of Night, and prepare to open the floral gate.
<Alexa> "So, Maebara, you in? Ready to krill or be krilled?"
<Hollyhock God> Did you spend your CP from the last story?
<Alexa> (Er, no!)
<Hollyhock God> Because this is a new one.
<Hollyhock God> So do that before next week if you want to!
<Alexa> (Will do!)
<Hollyhock God> Also, note that Maebara is a whale and thus probably can't come.
<Alexa> (I'm sure he'll be disappointed.)
<Ryan> Creation of Transformation!
<Ryan> He's now a giant scorpion-monster, or something.
<Hollyhock God> "Yes. I feel that stabbing something will make me feel better in some way."
<Alexa> "That's the spirit!"
<Hollyhock God> Fiona, are you prepared to open the way?
- Alexa takes a last puff on her cigarette, then chucks the stub in the sea.
<Fiona> (I assume so. can I take this as an opportunity to buy the making a gate gift and use that?)
<Hollyhock God> If you'd like; I was going to let you power up a Major Change with the feather and use that, but okay.
<Alexa> (The Phoenix's feather is enough, I thought.)
<Hollyhock God> Fire consumes.
<Hollyhock God> Imperial power surges through Fiona, letting her reach across the world and through the barriers that divide the Sable Gardens from the Earth.
<Hollyhock God> The portal opens.
<Hollyhock God> Charge?
<Fiona> (Step forward hesitantly?)
<Ryan> (And the others just close the portal behind Ryan)
<Ebba> (Dun dun dun?)
<Hollyhock God> Next week: Climactic boss fight, resulting either in a new status quo or in your death!
<Hollyhock God> I really hope I didn't overstat this guy.
<Alexa> (Or both!)
<Hollyhock God> True! I'd feel less bad about applying fiat to it if you guys die, too!