Story Two- Fires Of Creation, Part One

<RandBrittain> Hello, all.

<Nentuaby> 's a good thing I was reminded of the game; I was half-oblivious to the fact it's even Saturday.

<RandBrittain> That would be a bad thing to forget, since I won't be splitting you up today.

<Nentuaby> Yay!

<RandBrittain> No doubt my scenario will be steamrollered.

<RandBrittain> Ah, well.

<Nentuaby> That is, indeed, GMing in a nutshell. :)

<RandBrittain> Allo.

<crusher_bob> Hello.

<Benhimself> Evening.

<crusher_bob> Morning.

<RandBrittain> Now we just need some Borogrove.

<RandBrittain> Borogove.

<RandBrittain> Whoever. That guy.

<Uqbarian> Oh! People in the chat!

<borogove> Hey, people.

<Uqbarian> I'm just getting some coffee.

<Nentuaby> Hmmph. The area of effect for Gifts could stand to be less ambiguous…

<RandBrittain> Ah, so everyone is here, but ready for coffee!

<RandBrittain> Eh, it makes sense to me.

<RandBrittain> It either targets "me", "something" "as I please within a mile" or "anywhere".

<Nentuaby> Okay, so if I can, say, make a person on Mars suddenly be here, is that One Person or Almost Anywhere?

<RandBrittain> One person.

<Benhimself> Hmmm.

<RandBrittain> Teleportation is a self-only effect.

<RandBrittain> Or a "target".

<Nentuaby> What if that one person is, instead, a small golden bug? ;)

<RandBrittain> You'd need the "one person" version.

<Benhimself> I actually don't know how I would rule on that, though. The difference between 'affect one nearby person' and 'affect anyone anywhere in the multiverse' is probably worth a few points.

<RandBrittain> But your kamikaze teleport is less fun if you can do it all yourself.

<Nentuaby> Perhaps. But more useful. ;)

<RandBrittain> The GWB has a Power with a teleport, and it's "self only."

<Benhimself> Yeah, but that's teleporting the self, not other people.

<Benhimself> Anyway, people don't need teleport. I have a car!

<Uqbarian> I have a carpet!

<RandBrittain> Yeah, but the point is that the AoE is the thing you teleport, not the range you can teleport to.

<borogove> Cars- not so useful for getting off islands.

<Uqbarian> Unless it's a carp.

<Benhimself> Well, we take the dragon express to the mainland, obviously.

<RandBrittain> Well, it's an unspeakable car-thing from outside the universe.

<Uqbarian> Or a Subaru.

<Nentuaby> Maybe I'll just buy into the Phoenix persona and get flight on wings of fire.

<RandBrittain> I don't really mind if it can go underwater.

<Uqbarian> (Sub-aru? Get it?)

<Benhimself> Also, since Eternal people don't have to breathe, maybe it can operate… yeah.

  • RandBrittain kickbans for puns.

<Uqbarian> (I'll get my coat.)

<RandBrittain> How about a Gift that animates your Focus and lets it fly on its own?

<borogove> (I thought the carp one was clever.)

<RandBrittain> When you die, instead of insta-respawn, it can relocate to a more convenient place.

<Benhimself> Hey, is it okay if I buy mini-Glorious for 1 point, based on Lesser Creation rather than Major, and upgrade it to the full version with my next point?

<RandBrittain> I don't mind, I guess.

<Benhimself> Okay. I mean, I'm willing to wait if you would rather not.

<Nentuaby> Eh, if It's going to be linear travel, I'd rather it work for me without dying. ;)

<RandBrittain> I guess you can just buy a teleport or a flight and give up on the kamikaze teleport if you like.

<RandBrittain> I mean, it's your magic powers.

<RandBrittain> Ben: You can do it however you like. I don't object to upgrading Gifts.

<RandBrittain> Is everyone here? Roll call?

  • You are now known as HollyhockGod

<Benhimself> 'kay. I'll get lesser Glorious, then.

<Uqbarian> The kamikaze-port is impressive, but a bit gruesome.

  • crusher_bob is now known as Ebba
  • Uqbarian is now known as Alexa

<HollyhockGod> I guess it just makes people like you.

  • borogove is now known as Fiona
  • Nentuaby is now known as Pandora

<Benhimself> It fits the theme nicely: authority over chancel, authority over beyond, and now authority over mortals, too.

  • Benhimself is now known as RyanSherbrig
  • Fiona is going to complain about not being able to use í every time.
  • RyanSherbrig wants to play Authority's-Regal sometime. Or Responsibility's. He isn't sure which, though.

<HollyhockGod> One of the Powers of the Dark in your almanac is the Lady of Chains.

<HollyhockGod> If I were more dedicated, I'd make a completely separate wiki that would be the almanac.

<Alexa> 'In the country of the blínd, the one-í'd man is king.'

<RyanSherbrig> That would be fun.

<Pandora> That would be a bit insane. ;)

<HollyhockGod> But my notes wiki is already complex enough.

<RyanSherbrig> It could be a lexicon game-esque collaborative effort.

<Alexa> Yeah, we could chip in.

<HollyhockGod> Once this campaign is over, though, I'm going to de-private that wiki and let anyone join, and make it a collaborative resource for sharing Nobles and Gifts.

<RyanSherbrig> I was tempted to make a wiki once that basically indexed all the example characters in the book.

<RyanSherbrig> Cause there's a few cool ones in there that I'd like to use as NPCs in my game. Like the Viscount of Sands.

  • HollyhockGod 's secret wiki has twenty-five or so unique Gifts on record already, because he loves inventing Gifts.

<RyanSherbrig> Or whatshisface, the nanite swarm power of Addiction.

<HollyhockGod> Marek.

<RyanSherbrig> Yeah.

<HollyhockGod> I wish I could quit you, nanite swarm god!

  • Alexa laughs.

<HollyhockGod> Oh, yes, we were going to play a game. I forgot.

<Pandora> We could make an Almanac section on Locus Wiki.

<HollyhockGod> Nah, let's do a wholly separate wiki so that we can invite everybody else.

<HollyhockGod> Who's got a good almanac name?

<RyanSherbrig> Let's play!

<Alexa> The Almanac.

<HollyhockGod> We can think about it while we play.

<RyanSherbrig> ('Pressed Flowers: a Gazeteer of Gods')

<HollyhockGod> Okay, so it's been a day or two since the last story ended.

<HollyhockGod> You now have refreshed miracle points, a spare CP, and a bunch of new clothes.

<HollyhockGod> Ryan is trying to develop Glorious and sort of succeeding. Has anyone else bought anything?

<Pandora> (LocusWiki's there for anything Nobilis related… My games are just the only thing it's ever actually been used for. ;) )

<Alexa> Nope. I can't decide what to buy.

<Fiona> Saving mine.

<HollyhockGod> We can let it pass for now, then.

<Ebba> Will save up until I can think of something.

<Pandora> Pandora has been winging around the isles on wings of fire, having taken inspiration from our Divine Mother.

<Fiona> (And giving two fingers to subtlety?)

<HollyhockGod> Ah, Pandora bought Flight, then.

  • RyanSherbrig admires the fit of his new clothes in a convenient obsidian mirror.

<HollyhockGod> Okay, so you've all been exploring your powers and similar and probably other things (feel free to describe them).

  • Fiona has been looking for an excuse to not have to live on burning islands.

<Alexa> Alexa has been flying as well, and talking to dragons.

  • Ebba spends time looking after the chancel inhabitants

<HollyhockGod> So anyway, today, as you hang about the Chancel doing the things you do, you find yourself interrupted by a noise like a screeching violin, followed by an explosion.

<Pandora> (Oh, no, just the one specific finger. :) )

<HollyhockGod> Not a huge explosion, but definitely explode-y.

<Ebba> Where did it come from?

  • RyanSherbrig looks up suddenly.

<RyanSherbrig> Lesser Divination of the source?

<Alexa> Lesser Divination of Fire, on the assumption it's a fiery explosion.

<HollyhockGod> Heh. Well, you both get the same answer.

<HollyhockGod> A plant exploded on one of the eastern islands.

<Pandora> ( … )

<HollyhockGod> The rest of you are able to follow the noise to its source, what with the Aspect and the wings.

<Alexa> Fireflight power, activate!

<Fiona> (And being able to step through flowers)

  • RyanSherbrig calls up a dragon, lacking flight himself.

<Fiona> (What sort of plant, by the way? As in chemical, or as in tree?)

  • RyanSherbrig makes a nice little howdah.

<HollyhockGod> So you find the small crater rather easily; especially easily since the island it's on is now on fire. Luckily, it's a small one, and most of the locals are riding each other to safety.

<RyanSherbrig> "Did someone forget to pay Monothaia her respects?"

<Pandora> ("An explosion? Oh, must be Tues… Sunday? Damn, there oughta be a law.")

<HollyhockGod> Fiona, your Estate tells you that it was a new species of plant, evolved out of the special properties of the Fire Isles.

  • Ebba looks for anyone who needs help getting away.

<Alexa> I use a Lesser Destruction of Fire to douse any flames that immediately threaten the survival of the inhabitants, but not putting out the whole thing.

<HollyhockGod> Essentially, it's incorporated fiery essence, so that once it reaches a certain stage of growth, it explodes.

  • Pandora falls into formation beside Ryan's dragon. "No, the last ceremony was right on time."

<Fiona> And why do we have these, again?

<HollyhockGod> Ebba, you carry a tiny squirrel-fly to safety. He thanks you, adorably.

<RyanSherbrig> (They're great conversation pieces.)

<Alexa> (Prayercom, if I can't see Fiona): "A plant blew up. Was that intentional on your part?"

<HollyhockGod> Fiona: Sometimes Chancels just throw up wacky stuff.

<HollyhockGod> Let's assume you've arrived all at the same place.

<Fiona> "Oddly enough, no; I don't tend to make exploding plants."

<HollyhockGod> This plant seems to have come into existence since yesterday, as such things sometimes do.

<Ebba> "Do we know enough to identify the kind of plant?"

<HollyhockGod> Fiona, the plant is new, so it has no name.

<Ebba> "So we can see where else they are growing."

<Fiona> "Um, yes. It's an exploding tree. New as of yesterday."

<HollyhockGod> I like the name 'fire flower,' but you're the Regal.

<Alexa> "Or was it … a flame tree?"

<Alexa> (Dons sunglasses. 'YEEAHHH!')

<Fiona> I was going to save 'fire flower' for a plant I actually liked.

<RyanSherbrig> "We could call it the Ignis Blossom."

<RyanSherbrig> "Regardless. Did your divination tell us what it looked like?"

<HollyhockGod> There do seem to be several of these plants seeded on nearby islands, now that you pay attention to it.

<Fiona> (Quick check: are there any others on the island?)

<Alexa> (Another divination of Fire, to check if any inhabitants are still on the island and in danger.)

<Pandora> "Ideally, it should also be useful to fat Italian plumbers. But… seriously, how widespread are these things? And what was with the World's Worst Violinist sound right before the boom?"

<RyanSherbrig> Precognitive answers!

<Alexa> (Snap!)

<HollyhockGod> The blossoms are bright red with orange streaks. There probably won't be another explosion for eight hours or so.

<Fiona> Are those islands important?

<HollyhockGod> The violin sound is just something it does before exploding.

<RyanSherbrig> "And do we want to do anything about it? The islands do have a sort of transformative rebirth through destruction theme going on, but these feels like a bit too much emphasis on the destruction side of that equation."

<Alexa> "Well, I like it, but I'm biased."

<HollyhockGod> They're moderately important, but there's time yet to evacuate or take other action.

<Fiona> "Well, how else do you think they spread their seeds?"

<RyanSherbrig> "I suggest we head over to investigate the plant before it explodes."

<HollyhockGod> They're Chancel-based, but they're essentially an Earthly magic, so they have about the force of a normal explosive.

<Pandora> (What kind of normal explosive? That does run from a puddle of gas to the MOAB, after all.)

<Fiona> (Anyway, with regards to ones near important spots, I just destruction their flowering-ness, so they won't explode.)

<HollyhockGod> Okay, so Fiona and Alexa lead you to the nearest unexploded Ignis Blossom, currently at T-minus eight hours but paused by Fiona.

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. If we do leave them, it's a nice incentive for our inhabitants to remain vigilant in patrolling their islands."

<HollyhockGod> (I would say enough to level a single building of house size, but its tweakable.)

<Alexa> "Fiona, can you tell if they show any warning signs before detonation?"

<Ebba> (Does it seem to have seed pods, or something, that will be thrown far and wide by the explosion?)

<HollyhockGod> (The orange streaks spread out to encompass the entire flower, and the blossom starts to smoke. And you're right about the seed pods.)

<Fiona> "Yes; also yes."

<Ebba> "The seeds could become a problem, as much of the normal plant life will get killed off over time."

<Alexa> "Ta. We still have normal plant life? And Ryan, these are Chancel-native, as far as you can tell, right?"

  • RyanSherbrig nods.

<Pandora> "Hmmm, if the explosion is part of their normal cycle of rebirth they could be pretty useful to me, at any rate. You're right about that issue, though. They should definitely be quarantined."

<HollyhockGod> They're Chancel-born, but their properties are exportable to the Earth at large.

<RyanSherbrig> "Which is why I think simply telling our inhabitants to look out for them would suffice."

<RyanSherbrig> "That will restrict their growth to the uninhabited islands."

<RyanSherbrig> "We should probably ensure none of these seeds accidentally get sent to outside the chancel, however."

<Pandora> "They'll still obliterate the uninhabited islands, though. Why don't you make them a natural enemy, Ryan? A bug of some sort could keep their population in check."

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. An excellent idea."

<Alexa> "Why? Other plants will still grow there, won't they?"

<RyanSherbrig> "I would be surprised if quite a bit of our Flora hasn't evolved fire-resistance by now."

<Fiona> "I rather doubt they explode with any degree of frequency"

<Pandora> "I don't know. The first one was, what, two days old when it went?"

<Fiona> "Well, yes; but it could have been in seed for much longer."

<Fiona> (Hollyhock?)

<HollyhockGod> It's a new creation, so it's likely to settle down to a more sedate pace once the original magic fades.

<HollyhockGod> Like, one boom per month, but it could depend on how you let them grow.

<Alexa> "Hmm. Do we have rapidly growing normal plants? Ryan, could you divine back at the first detonation spot?"

<HollyhockGod> Careful gardening could result in large, precisely timed explosions.

<Pandora> "Well, I don't think some natural enemies would hurt anyway. Maybe make them tougher; that would be good if we end up wanting to use them as weapons."

<HollyhockGod> There is a humming sound.

<RyanSherbrig> "Mmm. Sedate pace, some natural predators, and alerting our Chancelfolk as to proper gardening practices seems to be a good solution to this."

<HollyhockGod> The walls of the Obsidian Fortress break out in a blushing orange glow. The Phoenix wants an audience.

  • RyanSherbrig dispatches (i.e., creates) some Sylphid messengers to alert inhabitants as to the nature of these flowers.

<RyanSherbrig> And then dragon express to the Obsidian Fortress!

<Alexa> "Oh. Mum's calling."

<Pandora> "Looks like that time again." Phwooosh and away!

  • Fiona steps through to the fortress.)
  • Alexa phwoooshes.

<HollyhockGod> In the great conference room, the Phoenix's voice is transmitted to you through the architecture.

<HollyhockGod> "I have felt the presence of new, vibrant life within our Keep, noble children," says the Imperator. "A flower that contains an essence very similar to our own."

<HollyhockGod> "I cannot help but see an omen in this."

<Alexa> "Yeah, we spotted that too."

<HollyhockGod> "A new age is coming to the Earth soon, a new age for mankind and for all Creation. That Age is the future that our efforts will bring about, when our final goal is achieved."

<HollyhockGod> "It is my wish that you should take these flowers of omen and serve as the harbingers of the coming dawn."

  • Alexa raises an eyebrow.

<HollyhockGod> "This Earth remains overgrown with stagnant, unchanging life. I will show you-" The conference table, which shows a detailed map of Prosaic Earth, begins to shine as pinpricks of light marks certain locations. "-here."

<Ebba> (Erm, what happens to be there?)

<Alexa> "Um…"

<HollyhockGod> "These are forests and tangles of green life which have become stagnant. They are dead to me."

<HollyhockGod> "Bring change to them. Not with your own gifts- use these portentous blossoms, and show them that the future will not be denied."

<HollyhockGod> "That is all."

<HollyhockGod> End transmission. The lights return to conference standard.

<HollyhockGod> The map shows about eight different spots worldwide.

<Fiona> "Right."

<HollyhockGod> There's… let me see. One in China, one in South Africa, one in South Dakota, Iowa, France, Italy, Libya, and New Zealand.

<HollyhockGod> Oh, and Ryan's getting a proximity alert. There's a tiny little boat approaching the Chancel.

<RyanSherbrig> "Right. Looks like it's time to stretch my legs and get to see the… oh, what now?"

<Alexa> "So we just head out and drop a few seeds, then. Should we leave signs up? 'The future begins here, beware of exploding plants'?"

<RyanSherbrig> In range of a Lesser Divination to see who it is?

<HollyhockGod> Scouts are reporting a tiny little boat with a white flag, with apparently nobody steering it, circling the western gate.

<Pandora> "That's odd. You don't generally associate Iowa, South Dakota, or Bordeaux with choking tangles of greenery.

<RyanSherbrig> "Kudzu? Isn't that sort of in that area? Or is that somewhere else?"

<HollyhockGod> No, it's still outside the Chancel, but whoever you have on guard duty just sees one sleeping guy.

<HollyhockGod> Pandora: Ash-tree Earth is odd.

  • RyanSherbrig tells the Sea-serpent to let them in.

<RyanSherbrig> "We have a visitor, evidently."

<Pandora> "No, wrong bit of the continent for kudzu. Well, I guess you get oddness when you poke into the Hidden Bits."

<HollyhockGod> All right; your servant opens the Western Gate, and the newcomer sails on in.

<RyanSherbrig> "Express, take us to the Western Gate, please."

<Ebba> "Did we want to plant seeds ad wait, or try to move more fully grown plants?"

<HollyhockGod> Tell me, what facilities do you have for greeting guests at the gate?

<RyanSherbrig> "The Phoenix didn't express a time-table."

<Pandora> Pandora speaks with heavy certainty. "Seeds."

<Alexa> "We could plant seeds and you could speed up their flowering."

<Ebba> (Minefields! Pillboxes with interlocking fields of fire! Pre-plotted artillery zones! :D )

<RyanSherbrig> I was thinking that would be us arriving en route. But we really should come up with a dedicated welcoming committee.

<RyanSherbrig> Slash defensive guard.

<HollyhockGod> Ebba, you're the worst tree spirit ever. :)

<HollyhockGod> Oh, you're talking about the facilities.

<HollyhockGod> Never mind.

<HollyhockGod> Anyway, you arrive at the welcoming docks to find that the boat is a tiny little thing with just a plain sail and nothing else but wood. There's a little strip of those ofuda things that get used in Japanese mysticism stuck to the front that seems to be a spell for self-steering.

<RyanSherbrig> Anything interesting to the Sight?

<Pandora> (Or in Mythic?) "An empty boat? What in the world?"

<RyanSherbrig> (I think he said there was somebody sleeping in it.)

<Ebba> (Wasn't there a sleeping guy?)

<HollyhockGod> The only passenger is asleep, but he's familiar. It's Maebara, who you last saw several days ago being taken away by the Japanese police. He's lying in the bottom of the boat, wearing one of those ruffly white shirts with all the lace, that has been left unbuttoned down to the navel. The overall effect might be alluring if not for the note safety-pinned to his chest.

<HollyhockGod> To save you the trouble of asking, it reads:

<Pandora> "… ah." Pandora snatches the note.

<RyanSherbrig> "Did someone order a bishi?"

<Ebba> "Hmm, better veil, so he isn't driven more out of his mind than he already is."

<Alexa> "Veil?"

<Fiona> "I suspect it might be too late for that."

<Alexa> "He died and came back in someone else's body, didn't he?"

<HollyhockGod> "Darlings, here's the lovely young man you asked me for. All the arrangements have been made with the police force, and I had the mind-washing teams sent around to make sure nobody in this country even remembers him. I hope you enjoy him as thoroughly as I was intending to sooner or later. Ciao, Rosa."

<RyanSherbrig> "I was just joking. What did you get up to in Japan?"

<Pandora> Pandora raises an eyebrow. "Well, that's a bit of a lesson in Cammora psychology."

<Fiona> "Shopping?"

<Pandora> She recounts the note to anyone who didn't read over her shoulder.

<Fiona> (So, no one, then.)

<Pandora> "I actually meant him to be sprung and sent on his way. Apparently, my agent somewhat misunderstood.

<Ebba> (Ebba always reads over peoples shoulders.)

<HollyhockGod> Incidentally, Ryan's name-finding Gift pings him as Maebara Makoto, just so you know I didn't forget you have it.

<Pandora> "Or perhaps someone paid her to misunderstand…"

<RyanSherbrig> Heh.

<Alexa> "Or the Cams are just nasty that way."

<Pandora> "Whichever way, I appear to have ordered a bishi, yes. Rather a comical scenario."

<Pandora> She sighs and crumples up the note. "Unless you're him."

<RyanSherbrig> "Yes. Back to seeding the earth with boomflowers?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Or did you want to do something about him?"

<Alexa> "What will your husband say, Pan?" Alexa smiles.

<Ebba> "If no one remembers him, that would cause him considerable hardship."

<HollyhockGod> Anyway, Makoto begins to stir as he starts to wake up, slowly. (He must have been drugged. Also, I think someone put some rouge on him.)

<Fiona> "He'll be okay."

<RyanSherbrig> "You could rebirth him into an appropriate body in the chancel."

  • Ebba sighs and shrinks down to a perfectly ordinary looking woman.

<Pandora> Pandora sighs. "Ryan, would you mind setting him in Sleeping Beauty mode for now? I'll have to think up a permanent solution later."

<HollyhockGod> While you're discussing this, the person in question sits and says "Huh?"

<Alexa> "Hello, sunshine."

<HollyhockGod> "What is this place? Why am I in a boat? …is my life ever going to make any damn sense again?"

<Pandora> "Probably not, dear. I'm afraid that happens around us."

<Fiona> "Maybe?"

<Ebba> "Alas, sense is usually left at the door of this place."

<Ebba> "We can however, offer tea."

<RyanSherbrig> (Hmmm. Sleep spell as the magical equivalent of tranquilizers acceptable?)

<HollyhockGod> He focuses on Fiona, and says, "Have I seen you before?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Yes. Have some tea."

<RyanSherbrig> (It's sleepy tea.)

<HollyhockGod> I guess you can manifest drugs in his blood. Or his tea.

  • RyanSherbrig offers him a cup that appeared conveniently behind his back.

<Fiona> "Yes?"

<RyanSherbrig> Well, earthly magics, but same result.

<RyanSherbrig> Sleeping potions, drugs, what's the difference?

<HollyhockGod> "Oh, tea! Yes, I would like tea."

<HollyhockGod> Three, two, one. Ebba grabs his head before it hits the bottom of the boat.

<Ebba> (And he's put back to sleep, for the full necrophiliac Sleeping Beauty effect…)

<Ebba> "Shall I arrange for a glass coffin as well?"

<Pandora> "I think we can do without that part. We should probably have him put in a comfortable bed in the Fortress, however."

  • RyanSherbrig makes a small swarm of miniature elephants with dragonfly wings.

<RyanSherbrig> "You. Watch over him. We have work to do."

<Alexa> "Ooh! Cute elephants."

  • Fiona conjures flower, leaves it with him

<Ebba> "Perhaps something that would be more familiar to him would be appropriate?"

<RyanSherbrig> "He won't wake up until we give him the counterspell anyway."

<HollyhockGod> Makoto is carried away by adorable elephants, with a flower clutched in his unconscious hands.

<HollyhockGod> Which flower, by the by?

<Fiona> Hmm. One that represents restful sleep.

  • RyanSherbrig dispatches something chancel-appropriate and fire-resistant to fetch them some of the Ignis seedpods.

<HollyhockGod> Poppy.

  • HollyhockGod loves how easy Googling makes knowing that.

<RyanSherbrig> (Or having seen Wizard of Oz.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Although I only realize that connection in hindsight.)

<HollyhockGod> Very well. Ryan's servants quickly gather up several baskets full of Ignis pods. The pods are about apple-sized, and they fit neatly into the bulb of the blossoms.

<HollyhockGod> (Yeah, me too.)

<Pandora> (My thought would have been the roses of Sleeping Beauty.)

<HollyhockGod> (Roses could and would be misinterpreted for my pleasure.)

<RyanSherbrig> (He wakes up with a bouquet of roses on his chest? Yeah. Awkward.)

<Pandora> (This being part of the reason it would be my first thought. ;) )

<HollyhockGod> White poppy is for "sleep of the heart," so that works.

<RyanSherbrig> "So, where to first?"

<Alexa> "China?"

<HollyhockGod> It's all as you please.

<RyanSherbrig> "Sounds good."

<Pandora> "Certainly."

<Alexa> "Right. Let's go!"

  • Alexa lights up and flies away.

<RyanSherbrig> Dragon-express to (a discreet section of) the mainland, where I can summon my car?

<HollyhockGod> Why would you summon your car to take you across the world?

  • Fiona steps through to China

<Pandora> Pandora, not being in any particular hurry, takes a seat in the dragon-howdah with Ryan.

<Alexa> (Who's bringing the seeds?)

<HollyhockGod> Anyway, it doesn't really matter. By flight, by flower-stepping, by dragon-ride, you deliver the seeds to the overgrown areas the Phoenix commanded.

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. Yeah, I really should just leave Car to his own devices and find something that can warp space properly or the like."

<HollyhockGod> And yes, they do seem to be monstrously tangled forests.

<Ebba> "Do we know anything more about these places? Do they have protectors? Are they of any special import to anyone?"

<Alexa> "Fiona might be able to tell."

  • Fiona creates briar thickets around the seeds, so people don't wander into them before they explode.

<HollyhockGod> An interesting question. Fiona is not aware of any major spirit courts, ent-moots, or dryad sisterhoods affiliated with these growths.

<HollyhockGod> In the mythic world they look like sleeping giants who have begun to decompose in their quiescence.

<Alexa> (Creation has Ent-moots?)

<HollyhockGod> (Sure, why not?)

<HollyhockGod> So, you happily plant seeds, which explode.

<Fiona> So, which giants do we wake up?

<HollyhockGod> And you go home to dinner in the happy knowledge that a good job was well done.

<RyanSherbrig> "Now we wait for all the angry phone calls."

  • Alexa waits for the inevitable 'But…')

<HollyhockGod> It appears that even being set on fire was not enough to waken them, so I guess your Imperator was right.

  • HollyhockGod prepares the but.

<HollyhockGod> But!

<RyanSherbrig> "What I'm really worried about is the Ignis Blossoms spreading."

<Fiona> "Why?"

<HollyhockGod> As you meet up on the Chancel boundaries, Alexa gets a tingling feeling in her Estate!

<Alexa> "She wanted change, right?"

<Alexa> "Uh, guys…"

<RyanSherbrig> "Well, the explosions are designed to propel new seeds far and wide."

<HollyhockGod> (The Phoenix seems to want them to, so I guess there's no point worrying.)

<RyanSherbrig> "Yes, Alexa?"

<HollyhockGod> Seven forests are burning merrily.

<HollyhockGod> Number eight seems to have been put out.

<Fiona> (I can always change them into something less dangerous, if needed.)

<HollyhockGod> Specifically, the Eppingwood in South Dakota.

<Alexa> "Pandora, how did you feel when something went wrong with Rebirth? Was it a tingling feeling?"

<HollyhockGod> Current on-fire index is 0.00%.

<Pandora> "I didn't feel that one, I just noticed the accounting was off."

<Alexa> "And someone has already put out the Eppingwood fire."

<RyanSherbrig> "I doubt the Phoenix will be pleased with that."

<Alexa> "I'd better go back and check."

<HollyhockGod> Hm. Alexa flies off at ludicrous speed to check out the Eppingwood. The Ignis Blossoms did in fact ignite, but the fires were put out, apparently by water, since the ground is soaked.

<Alexa> ('Ludicrous speed!')

<HollyhockGod> However, the place was bone-dry when you left it, which is one of the reasons it was so good for burning.

<Alexa> (Greater Divination of Fire to see what/who put them out.)

<HollyhockGod> Also, there are no local sources of standing water.

<HollyhockGod> As far as you can see, water came out of nowhere and soaked everything.

<HollyhockGod> Well, sort of nowhere. It seems to have flowed from around the center of the forest.

<Alexa> (Do I know the Witch Hunt Rite?)

<HollyhockGod> Or possibly gushed for a short period.

<HollyhockGod> Yes, you do.

<HollyhockGod> Hm. It seems like some sort of miracle was performed here, some form of miracle of Mastery.

<HollyhockGod> But the source of the water isn't detectable to you at this time.

<RyanSherbrig> "Shall we plant more Ignis blossoms and watch, this time?"

<Alexa> (Check on the other fires.)

<HollyhockGod> (Still burning.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Assuming said information gets relayed to us, anyway.)

<Alexa> (Is everyone else still back at the Chancel?)

<HollyhockGod> (That's up to them!)

<Fiona> (Did you want us to come with you? Because we could have.)

<Alexa> (Alexa just took off, leaving the choice up to the others. :) )

<Ebba> (It's a mission from God, guess we should all go.)

<Pandora> (I kind of figured Alexa's flight was a lot faster than Pandora's or the Dragon Express.)

  • Alexa pokes around the centre of the forest to see if there are any mundane clues and/or stirring spirits.

<HollyhockGod> Poking around is problematic owing to the ridiculously complex undergrowth.

  • Fiona appears next to Alexa.

<Fiona> "What's happened?"

  • RyanSherbrig arrives a bit later via dragon.

<Ebba> "Someone came along with a big watering pail, apparently."

<RyanSherbrig> Along with anyone else who wants to come.

<Alexa> "Hey, Fi. Looks like a whole lot of water appeared from nowhere and squelched the fire."

<Pandora> "A very big watering pail."

<Alexa> "Could you check if any seeds are still on site?"

<Fiona> (Are they?)

<Alexa> "A case of spontaneous floral hydration."

<HollyhockGod> (Evidently not. They don't thrive in wet environments.)

<Fiona> "None around. I can always make more, but they aren't going to do well here."

<Alexa> "And the watering started over there, in the middle. But I'm reluctant to burn my way in, 'cause the boss-lady said we shouldn't use our own powers."

<Ebba> "We need to dry things off first?"

<HollyhockGod> She said you shouldn't use them to do the forest-exploding, not in general.

<Pandora> (Burning our way in would be forest-exploding.)

<HollyhockGod> You could burn just a tiny bit.

<Alexa> "I guess it would be okay to do a little bit, though."

<Alexa> (Selective Lesser Creations to burn a path through the undergrowth.)

<Fiona> (Major Divination on anything flowering in the centre. What's there?)

<HollyhockGod> Alexa begins to burn her way through the woods.

<RyanSherbrig> Aspect-0 stroll along the path created!

<Alexa> "Look out, plants! Fire's a-comin'!"

<HollyhockGod> Hm. Now that Fiona is paying attention to the exact nature of the plants, they do seem to be odd.

<Fiona> (Oh?)

<Alexa> *zap* *fwoosh* *crackle* *steam*

<HollyhockGod> It seems like they have some unique property that obscures unspecific magic.

<Fiona> "Hold a moment, Alexa."

<Alexa> *fssssss*

<HollyhockGod> In large numbers, they can cloak an area against divination.

<HollyhockGod> Like, if you had an entire forest full of them.

<Alexa> "What's up?"

<HollyhockGod> It's not a very elegant magic, though.

  • Pandora has quit (Ping timeout)

<Fiona> "The plants here are warding against divination."

  • Nentuaby is now known as Pandora

<HollyhockGod> By the looks of it, somebody altered the water that the trees drank so that it would itself alter the trees, so it's second-hand magic.

<Alexa> "They are? We should have looked more thoroughly the first time round."

<HollyhockGod> Still, it would be fairly effective at a distance.

<Fiona> (But not up close?)

<HollyhockGod> As it is, to see through the trees, you'll need to know what you're looking for.

<Alexa> "Ryan, where's your copy of the Almanac? I should look up Water."

<RyanSherbrig> "Here. I had some copies made."

<HollyhockGod> Essentially, if you know what you want, you can find it, but divinations for general things won't show things up under the trees probably.

<RyanSherbrig> "Shall I investigate through the undergrowth for the source of water?"

<Ebba> "It it was another power acting openly, wouldn't they have sent us a nasty note already?"

<Fiona> (Can I just look out from any flowers there?)

<RyanSherbrig> "They may not know who to send the note to. Or this may be an automatic reaction."

<Pandora> "Not necessarily. They do seem to have a thing for hiding."

<Pandora> (Jinx)

<Alexa> "Ta. They might be shy. And Fi, can I resume burning?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Right, that direction?"

  • RyanSherbrig takes elemental form, and shines on ahead.

<Alexa> "Go, Light Lad, go!"

<HollyhockGod> WATER: Lady Anna Beauregarde, Water's-Regal. The Queen of the Sea, servant of the Lightlord, Canon Summer. A gracious hostess who sees much and tells little. Known for her love of complicated parties and pink lemonade. Dates to the American antebellum period.

  • Fiona (Waiting for a response from the Hollyhock.)

<HollyhockGod> As you bring your powers to bear, burning, shining, and peeking out of waterlilies, the five of you don't have much trouble finding the source of the water.

  • Alexa reads the entry out aloud.

<Pandora> "Antebellum? Beauregarde? Oh joy."

  • Alexa prepares a small fireball hovering over her hand.
  • RyanSherbrig investigates the water via Sight.

<HollyhockGod> The center of the forest, where just a small (but effective) slit at the top of the canopy of trees lets in the sunlight, you find a secluded lake, complete with a tiny cabin.

<HollyhockGod> It's a charming little place.

<Alexa> "Nice place you have here. Shame if it … caught fire."

<HollyhockGod> The water reads as perfectly normal to the Sight.

<Pandora> "Now, now, let's be nice until we actually know we've an enemy."

<HollyhockGod> As you emerge from the trees, however, a female figure rises from it, suspciously similar to the illustration in your almanac.

<Ebba> (Tiny as in Smurf tiny?)

<HollyhockGod> (No, just cozy.)

<RyanSherbrig> "My apologies for our unannounced arrival, we were lead to believe this forest was uninhabited."

<HollyhockGod> She's a lady of ordinary human appearance, maybe less than thirty, with honey-blond hair and a perfectly placid expression.

  • RyanSherbrig drops out of Elemental form.
  • Alexa douses her fireball.

<RyanSherbrig> (I assume she appears as Water to the Sight?)

<HollyhockGod> She says smoothly, "Ah am always happy to receive visitors, although ah like them to be expected."

<HollyhockGod> (Fluidy!)

<Alexa> "Howdy. Do we have the pleasure of addressing Lady Anna Beauregarde?"

<HollyhockGod> "This is along the lines of being our secret hideaway for the purpose of not being interrupted by affairs- Ah see you have heard of me."

<HollyhockGod> Her expression doesn't cease to be placid, although out of other lips they might have sounded tart.

<HollyhockGod> "Ah don't believe we've had the pleasure."

<RyanSherbrig> (This is going to be awkward. "Hi, we're here to burn down your happy place.")

<Pandora> "Apologies, milady. We are new. Me and mine are the children of the Phoenix. I am Pandora, lady of Rebirth."

<RyanSherbrig> "Ryan Sherbrig, of Radiance."

  • RyanSherbrig bows slightly.

<Ebba> "Ebba, of Resolve."

<Alexa> "Alexa Fortis, Fire's-Regal. I've been meaning to look you up."

  • RyanSherbrig hears the Kill Bill soundtrack suddenly cue up.

<Fiona> "Fíona."

  • Nentuaby suddenly cues up the Kill Bill soundtrack in his playlist.

<Alexa> "Sorry for dropping in uninvited, but the Phoenix asked us to blow this place up."

  • Pandora favors Alexa with a dour glance.
  • Fiona smiles.

<HollyhockGod> Anna's expression changes slightly, from smoothness to something like pleasure. "Ah, our Ymera was pleased to see that a new servant of the Light has joined in the defense of the Earth. It's a pity that she's decided to begin her turn on watch by destroying mah summer home."

<RyanSherbrig> "As Alexa says. Our Imperator has given us a charge that would be unwise of us to disobey. Would it be at all possible to help supply you with an alternative vacation spot?"

<Alexa> (Do we know enough about Imperator-level powers to be able to say whether or not the Phoenix might have known that Water had a house here?)

<Pandora> "If I may add, our mission is not one of destruction. We have been given this task because these woods have grown stagnant; we are here not to leave them in ruins, but to clear the way for new and more vigorous growth."

<HollyhockGod> (It's impossible to say. You could always ask.)

<RyanSherbrig> (I'm going to assume she didn't, but wouldn't change her mind if she was informed of the fact.)

<HollyhockGod> "Ah reject the notion that mah cabana is stagnant."

<Alexa> (Do we have a direct line via prayer?)

<RyanSherbrig> (You can assume differently, of course.)

<Ebba> (And this is the point where she says, not to worry, she has seven more vacaion spots just like this one, elsewhere in the world :D)

<HollyhockGod> Yes, but not a guaranteed answer.

<Alexa> (@Ebba: Ha!)

<RyanSherbrig> "Of course. But surely you understand that given the choice between telling our Imperator that she is wrong, and reasoning with you, that we would prefer the latter path."

<HollyhockGod> 'Furthermore, the seclusion of said cabana could now be said to be thoroughly compromised."

<Pandora> "Yes, I fear that happenstance has conspired toward that end."

<Alexa> (Prayer to the Phoenix): Oh Adored and Blazing Majesty, we appear to have stumbled on a location favoured by the Power of Water at the Eppingwood seeding site. Should we proceed as instructed?"

<HollyhockGod> "Ah can only assume that ah have been cursed. Whenever ah stay in the Chancel, Ah'm assailed by a thousand petty demands. When I summah elsewhere, someone sends their Sovereigns to set me on fire."

<HollyhockGod> (Response to Alexa: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.")

<Alexa> (Great. Thanks.)

<RyanSherbrig> ("Thanks. That's real helpful.")

<RyanSherbrig> (That was OOC)

<HollyhockGod> "Of course, given your inflexibility, Ah might prefer compensation to compromise."

<Pandora> (She's clearly been pumping ranks into Cryptic.)

<HollyhockGod> (It's possible that was a recorded message.)

<Fiona> (So, the Phoenix basically said: burn her house down?)

<Alexa> "Um, Anna, do you believe in the beauty of your dreams, by any chance?"

<HollyhockGod> "A who now?"

<Pandora> "Certainly, milady. If it lies within our powers, it would be more than appropriate to compensate you for the losses our mission requires we inflict upon you."

<RyanSherbrig> ("Ixnay on the ankblay eckchay!")

<RyanSherbrig> "Is there something specific you have in mind?"

<Alexa> (Alexa was asking Anna.)

<Pandora> (Pandora, you may have noticed, likes to be not just diplomatic, but a diplomat. Promising the world at the start is but an initial position. ;) )

<HollyhockGod> (Yes, that was Anna's response.)

<Alexa> (Righto.)

<Alexa> "Just something our boss said."

<HollyhockGod> "Ah certainly would not object to having a modest summerhouse built for me in a secluded location, protected from the annoyances of the day to day, and to which I could relocate mah cabana boys, near a large source of fresh water."

<HollyhockGod> Anna gestures to indicate the cabana boys, who happen to be mermen, who are peering out at you from the lake.

  • Alexa waves.

<Alexa> "Okay. And in return, we can blow this one up?"

<Pandora> ( Okay, I'm rather starting to love Alexa's directness. :) )

<HollyhockGod> "Would it not perhaps be possble to merely burn down the surrounding forest, leaving mah cabana unprotected but also unharmed?"

<Alexa> (And I like Pandora's diplomacy. :) )

<Alexa> "Maybe. But wouldn't that spoil your view?"

<RyanSherbrig> "I imagine Pandora could facilitate the regrowth of the forest for a new view."

<Pandora> "It needn't. I can hasten the regrowth."

<Pandora> "Ah, yes, just as he said. " She smiles.

<Alexa> "And Fi can help with that, too."

<RyanSherbrig> "And you can help prevent the flames from consuming the cabin. And I can supervise."

<HollyhockGod> "This seems acceptable. Ah will allow you to burn down everything here except for my cabana in exchange for another cabana just as nice somewhere else and the regrowth of the forest in a fashion acceptable to your lady the Phoenix."

<HollyhockGod> "Yes, Ah think Ah could just about cope with that."

<Alexa> "But we were asked to change this area. I kind of think leaving the cabin as is doesn't quite work."

<RyanSherbrig> "It was the forest was the problem, not the cabin."

<HollyhockGod> "Cabana," Anna corrects you.

<HollyhockGod> The cabana boys nod as though this distinction were extremely important.

<RyanSherbrig> "Our lady Phoenix was concerned with stagnant overgrowth, not habitation."

<RyanSherbrig> (Because they really don't want to be thought of as Cabin boys.)

<HollyhockGod> (The mystery is solved!)

<Alexa> "But the cabin — the cabana wouldn't be changing. Anna, if we build you a new one, do you really need this one?"

<HollyhockGod> "Then ah think we can come to-" says Anna, and then you are once again interrupted by a loud boom.

<RyanSherbrig> "Alternatively, if we preserve this one, do you really need a new one?"

<RyanSherbrig> Is there a violin-sound first?

<Alexa> "Oops."

<Alexa> "Not me."

<Alexa> (Divination of explodey-fire.)

<Ebba> "Oops?"

<HollyhockGod> Ebba catches sight of something heavy falling from above the tree canopy which drops into the lake, creating an enormous wave.

<HollyhockGod> Sorry, no fire today.

<Pandora> "Alexa, as admirable as your urge for destruction is, I believe we can try it the way that preserves this cabin FIRST. We can always come back if the Phoenix decides the job is undone."

<Alexa> "Look out, cabana-boys!"

  • Ebba dives into the lake to take a look.

<RyanSherbrig> (One of them lands on Alexa)

<HollyhockGod> An immense wave, however, is kicked up, tossing several tons of water and a number of cabana boys directly at you.

<Alexa> (If possible, Alexa tried to yell to the mermen before the thing landed on them.)

<Alexa> (Ack!)

<HollyhockGod> Anna stops the wave before it gets within ten feet of you with a jazz hand.

  • Fiona steps to safety.

<Pandora> "Ah… is that normal, milady?"

  • Fiona steps back, after a moment.

<HollyhockGod> Anna's face is transfixed by a frown. "Ah really did not need this today."

<RyanSherbrig> "What was that?"

  • Alexa flew up when the wave was incoming. She hovers in the air.

<HollyhockGod> A loud, booming voice is projected across the clearing.


  • Alexa conjures a fireball.

<Ebba> "?"

<Alexa> "We were here first!"

<RyanSherbrig> ("Not the cabana boys!")

<HollyhockGod> Alexa, the forest is surrounded by, you might not believe this, but, a fleet of giant flying pirate ships, complete with Jolly Roger.

<RyanSherbrig> "Friend of yours?"

<Ebba> "I take it these are not friends of yours?"

<Pandora> "What… in hell."

<HollyhockGod> Anna: "Ah hate her so much."

<Alexa> (No. I roll to disbelieve. :) )

<HollyhockGod> "So, so much."

<Pandora> "I entirely believe you. Who is she?"

<Fiona> (Our lady of pirates?)

  • RyanSherbrig calls up the Invisible Beast.
  • Alexa looks for the largest ship.

<HollyhockGod> Anna ignores Pandora and drags a massive conch horn out of the water and begins shouting into it: "THORPE! AH DO NOT APPRECIATE YOUR INTRUSION INTO MAH PRIVATE CABANA!"

<HollyhockGod> Ryan, you need a few hours to do that.

<RyanSherbrig> (Ah, yes, right. Hrm.)

  • Ebba studies the ships, to find the simplest ways to break them.

<RyanSherbrig> (I call up a time-warping Horror and, and then my invisible beast, and time-warp back to right now!)

<HollyhockGod> Ebba, you can't really see them from where you are.

<RyanSherbrig> (Just kidding.)

<HollyhockGod> Alexa, someone is firing a cannon at you.

<Alexa> (Is NORAD going to notice this?)

  • Pandora flies up to get a survey view.

<Alexa> (1 AMP for an Aspect 2 dodge.)

<HollyhockGod> Sounds good enough.

  • RyanSherbrig assumes elemental form and shines up.

<Alexa> (Can I identify a flagship?)

  • Ebba picks up rocks to throw, to provide cannon-ball interception defense

<RyanSherbrig> (Actually, I have to head out now.)

<HollyhockGod> You catch a glimpse of light reflected back at you from one of the ships, and you see that someone is looking at you in a telescope.

<HollyhockGod> Ohnoes, out of time!

<HollyhockGod> The time-warping horror got us!


<Alexa> (Cliffhanger!)

<Alexa> (Jinxing cliffhanger!)

<RyanSherbrig> (Alternatively, you can just say that I'm helpful dealing with pirates offscreen via glorious if the rest of you want to continue.)

<Fiona> (Made more annoying by the fact that i won't be able to make next week.)

<Ebba> (About time for me to go as well.)

<HollyhockGod> I kind of need to go to bed anyway.

<HollyhockGod> We can break here and make new plans for next time to accomodate everyone.

<HollyhockGod> I think we'll be able to wrap this story up in two sessions.

<RyanSherbrig> 'kay. In the thread, maybe? Later all!

<Alexa> Two more after this, you mean?

  • You are now known as RandBrittain
  • RyanSherbrig is now known as Benhimself

<Alexa> Seeya, Ben!

<RandBrittain> No, one more after this.

  • Alexa is now known as Uqbarian
  • Benhimself has quit
  • Fiona is now known as borogove
  • Ebba is now known as Crusher_Bob

<RandBrittain> I hope everyone found this story enjoyable. I think we all found something to do to be useful, which is good.

<Uqbarian> I hope I'm not being too aggressive.

<borogove> Not from my point of view.

<Pandora> I'm rather enjoying it. It's fun trying to be diplomatic while your associate is idly talking about blowing shit up. ;)

<RandBrittain> I don't know if Nobles can be too aggressive.

<Uqbarian> :D

<RandBrittain> Unless you get yourself into a war.

  • Pandora is now known as Nentuaby

<RandBrittain> Then you went too far!

<Uqbarian> That's our plan, isn't it?

<Uqbarian> We just have to get into the right war.

<RandBrittain> It would be embarassing if you started the wrong one.

<RandBrittain> If you trigger the final battle between Heaven and Hell, nobody will have time for your little agenda!

<Uqbarian> That would be bad.

<borogove> That's good, though. Then no one would think to stop us.

<Nentuaby> Nah, that'd be perfect.

<RandBrittain> So, any comments I should bear in mind for next time?

<Uqbarian> Ooh! A big diversion.

<Uqbarian> To what extent can we assume that our Imperator will accept our actions/inactions/interpretations of her directives?

<borogove> Um. I'm sort of of interested in our recent guest. Could we maybe hold off a bit in dealing with him until after next session?

<Uqbarian> Or is that something you'd rather let us learn IC?

<RandBrittain> We can hold off our next session until you're available, boro.

<RandBrittain> I don't think you really know IC yet.

<Uqbarian> How about OOC?

<Uqbarian> Because I wouldn't want us to do something that would derail the game.

<RandBrittain> I think it all depends on your skill at self-justification!

<RandBrittain> The Phoenix is Demanding, but not insane.

<Uqbarian> Right.

<Uqbarian> What are her other traits? She's not on the wiki yet.

<Uqbarian> She had Fervent, I think?

<RandBrittain> Fervent, Demanding, and Granted Handicap (faint luminosity in darknessa)

<Uqbarian> Shiny! :)

<RandBrittain> Ah, well, I shall go to bed, I guess. Just let me know if you have any comments.

<Uqbarian> It's all good from my viewpoint. Sleep well!

<borogove> OK. I'm going to head off too.

<Uqbarian> And I'll look for lunch.

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