Ninth Story - Dream Dates

<RandBrittain> We should be short 2-3 this week, but TDO told me he'd be here.

<RandBrittain> But who cares? I got a B in Criminal Procedure so everything is groovy.

<ADamiani> Woo! So now you know how to be a Criminal?

<RandBrittain> Yes, the best criminal of all.

<RandBrittain> Except for the girl who got the A.

<RandBrittain> Fear her.

<ADamiani> Shouldn't take classes with Rinne.

  • Polotet has joined #lastmiracle

<RandBrittain> Oh, she was the one teaching the class.

<RandBrittain> Oh, good, we should have all our bachelorettes tonight.

<ADamiani> Polotet is playing a bachelorette?

<RandBrittain> Now, if I recall, Grayson was bought by one of a pair of identical goddesses.

<Polotet> I believe so.

<RandBrittain> Dan wandered away with a green-skinned earth goddess…

<RandBrittain> And Miranda will be spending the evening with Remus.

<RandBrittain> Also Dreams and Will will be spending quality time together.

<RandBrittain> What Dreams thinks is a good date, I have no idea.

<ADamiani> Bah. Grayson had to go and blow things with Noel.

<Polotet> Eh, Remus probably could have outbid him anyway.

<ADamiani> Yes. But Remus is up to something.

<ADamiani> He bribed people to keep the price down.

<ADamiani> Which, 1) sucks, 'cause, charity.

<ADamiani> 2) Is weird because he has infinite fundage.

<Polotet> Remus is always up to something.

<ADamiani> Why bother?

<ADamiani> And then there's the whole fundraiser.

<ADamiani> Which, again… infinite fundage.

<ADamiani> … hey, hasn't the world ended yet?

  • ADamiani is now known as Miranda

<Polotet> Not that I've noticed.

  • You are now known as Hollyhock God
  • Polotet is now known as Grayson

<Hollyhock God> Well, there are only the two of you. Maybe the others were took.

<Miranda> 's why I asked. I figured there'd be a time zone thing involved.

<Grayson> Clearly they've all been Raptured.

<Grayson> It just hit 6PM here and still no earthquakes or lakes of fire or anything.

  • Benhimself has joined #lastmiracle
  • Lafing Cat has joined #lastmiracle

<Lafing Cat> Yoi.

<Miranda> … What a ripoff. I figured moving to California in time for the Apocalypse would at least get me an earthquake.

<Hollyhock God> I'm sure you'll get an earthquake for its own sake soon enough.

<Miranda> Grímsfjall is errupting. I guess that's something… But that's in Iceland.

<Hollyhock God> That's a great name for a volcano.

<Lafing Cat> Any Icelandic name is a good name for something disastrous.

<Benhimself> (Sorry for belatedness, be ready in a second. Those pesky Raptures interfering with my schedule.)

<Miranda> Eyjafjallajökull was a terrible name for a disaster.

<Miranda> Unpronouncable.

<Benhimself> A phonetic disaster more than a natural one.

<Lafing Cat> It's a double disaster

<Hollyhock God> Troubling in every possible way.

<Lafing Cat> 101 kittens!

<Hollyhock God> So, when last we saw our heroes…

  • Benhimself is now known as Dreams

<Hollyhock God> Miranda had been bought by your old enemy, the god of wealth.

<Hollyhock God> Dan was carried away by a green-skinned earth goddess.

<Hollyhock God> Grayson was fought over by two identical young women, until one of them won the staredown and snatched him.

<Miranda> He's going to have more fun.

<Hollyhock God> And Dreams bought a date with Will, and… I really have no idea what Dreams thinks constitutes a good date.

<Lafing Cat> Immediately going to sleep

<Lafing Cat> <_<

<Dreams> Isn't it up to Will to decide what the conditions of the date are?

<Miranda> Hope not.

<Dreams> We could also handwave that and have my play various NPCs during other people's dates.

<Hollyhock God> It's actually up to Dreams, but if you think the date is likely to be more pleasant than eventful, you can play NPCs if you like.

<Hollyhock God> That might actually be more fun.

<Dreams> The maître d' that's suspiciously present at every single other date!

  • Dreams is now known as assorted_NPCs

<Miranda> And thus the session became known as: Dream Dates.

<assorted_NPCs> Works for me!

<Miranda> OK. So. Where do we start?

<Hollyhock God> Hm, who should we start with?

<Hollyhock God> May as well start with Grayson.

<Grayson> OK.

<Grayson> Who is this mysterious woman who has purchased me?

<Hollyhock God> You find yourself in the company of a cute little thing with soft pink pigtails and green eyes. She introduces herself as Laila, Duchess of Threads.

<Hollyhock God> Laila, reveal yourself!

  • Hollyhock God eyes assorted_NPCs.

<assorted_NPCs> (Oh, you want me to play her? Okay. PM me my secret motivation if I've got any.)

  • assorted_NPCs is now known as Laila

<Hollyhock God> There will be a pause while I instruct the Duchess on her role.

<Miranda> Who's her twin?

<Lafing Cat> Ashley Kate Olsen

<Hollyhock God> Sayla, Duchess of String. No relation, they say.

<Grayson> Children of a fabric-themed Imperator?

<Lafing Cat> (Is the number of Nobles even defined to the order of magnitude, or is it completely unknown?)

<Hollyhock God> Something like 2,000 Nobles active.

<Hollyhock God> Supposedly they don't share an Imperator, either, but you don't really know either of them that well.

<Miranda> This from the man who vetoed my evil twin.

<Lafing Cat> (It amuses me that threads and string constitute .1% of the fundamental concepts XD)

<Miranda> :)

<Grayson> Hmm, are Threads or String more evil sounding?

  • Laila is totally the good twin.

<Lafing Cat> (Threads is the evil twin.)

<Lafing Cat> (Laila: That's exactly what the evil twin would say!)

<Laila> (The evil twin would totally use that defense, too.)

  • Laila smiles and brushes her hand against Grayson's shoulder. "So where are we going for our date, Grayson?"

<Laila> "Grayson… it seems so formal. Can I call you Gray?"

<Grayson> "Of course. Would you care to adjourn to my home in Venice, the Tower of Fog and Smoke, where we can dine far above the streets?"

<Grayson> "I've been told it offers the best views on the Continent."

<Lafing Cat> (Someone send me a PM when it's my turn, I'ma go bake muffins.)

  • Laila raises an eyebrow. "Taking me home, on the first date? I'm not sure that's proper. Perhaps neutral ground somewhere in Earth?"

<Grayson> "I know some good places in New York City. Perhaps we could take a stroll through the fashion district?"

<Laila> "Oh! That would be wonderful!"

<Grayson> (Where are we located now?)

<Miranda> ("Now, this diner is the best-kept little secret in the city….")

<Hollyhock God> Wisconsin!

<Hollyhock God> Take a bridge and rely on Dan's goodwill. :)

<Grayson> He did seem to be in a good mood when we left him.

<Dreams> ("If a bridge magically appears taking me to NYC, I will totally buy Dan a beer next time I see him.")

<Laila> "If transportation is an issue, I do possess some facility navigating the mythic substrate. There's shortcuts everywhere down there."

<Grayson> "My servants could get a jet here soon enough, but that might be faster."

<Grayson> "How does it work?"

<Laila> "Simply walk this way with me, Gray. Oh, and hold my hand."

  • Laila proffers it.
  • Grayson takes Laila's hand and follows her lead.
  • Laila weaves an enchantment miracle as they walk, binding the two of them into the fabric of things, i.e., the Deep Mythic.

<Laila> Describe the place for us!

<Laila> (Or Border Mythic, if Deep Mythic is a bit too far.)

<Hollyhock God> Secretly, a long red string concealed under a table connects to an unknown watcher!

<Hollyhock God> Anyway, I think Laila's sewing-machine magic will be enough to get you into the Deep Mythic.

<Hollyhock God> It's going to be up to Laila to guide you to Manhattan through the soggy motherboard of existence, though.

<Hollyhock God> Trees stretch out above and below as you walk along one of endless branches.

<Hollyhock God> It's a bit like traversing the Ash, only wetter.

<Hollyhock God> Grayson feels a bit out of his element in the presence of so much life that's mostly too primitive for secrecy.

  • Laila is having a fine old time, on the other hand.

<Grayson> (And a three-piece suit is probably not the most appropriate Deep Mythic wear)

<Laila> (Just ask for a replacement!)

<Grayson> "I feel a bit out of place here in this formal attire; perhaps you could suggest something more appropriate?"

  • Laila smiles gleefully.

<Laila> "Oh, yes!" She stops walking and takes a step back, to properly appraise Grayson.

<Laila> This make take a minute or two. And involve measurements.

<Laila> Eventually, just before it gets creepy, she makes folding gestures with her hands, producing a mass of threads which weave themselves into a fabulous explorer's outfit, light and airy but very well-fitting.

<Grayson> "Lovely. This seems perfectly suited."

<Laila> "You're too kind!"

  • Laila turns tastefully away so Grayson can change.
  • Grayson steps behind a branch and changes.
  • Grayson creates a couple of secret inner pockets and transfers his possessions from the suit.

<Grayson> "Shall we continue?"

<Laila> "Certainly!" Laila casually gestures, causing the old suit to toss itself down into always-devouring/mating-with-itself depths of the Mythic below.

<Grayson> "This is a fascinating place. Do you spend much time here?"

<Laila> "Oh, yes! You've never been, I take it? We should go on a tour! I mean…. it's up to you, as the purchased, but… I admit I have been to the fashion district before."

<Laila> "I have a fabulous idea! Here, put on this blindfold."

  • Laila makes one.

<Grayson> "Certainly, if you'd like."

  • Grayson puts it on.

<Laila> "It's complicated to explain why, but I'm also going to need to tie your hands together. Don't worry! I'll be gentle!"

<Grayson> "I am curious where this is leading."

  • Grayson offers his hands.
  • Laila wraps them up with soft, but firm, silken cords, and starts leading Grayson somewhere!

<Miranda> ("And that, children, is why there are no more secrets in the world.")

<Hollyhock God> And so, with his hands tied and completely blind, Grayson is led off into the I-don't-know-where.

<Grayson> (Eh, what need has a Power for sight or even freedom of movement?)

<Hollyhock God> It's all about free will, baby!

  • Hollyhock God vaguely considers Bangladesh DuPree as a Noble.

<Dreams> Heh.

<Grayson> (Hah.)

<Grayson> "Where are we going?"

<Laila> ("Oh, yeah. Geneseric throws the best parties!")

<Hollyhock God> Into a scene cut, I fear!

  • Laila may, in fact, giggle.

<Grayson> Suspense!

<Hollyhock God> Some time ago, we left Dan with a green-skinned beauty. Where's Lafing Cat?

<Lafing Cat> (Right here.)

<Laila> (I'm fine giving someone else a chance to NPC it up briefly if anyone wants a go.)

<Laila> (Including possibly the actual HG.)

<Hollyhock God> Any takers?

<Hollyhock God> Someone needs to be the curvaceous Moirileen, Seed's-Regal.

<Grayson> (I'm going to use my hiatus to throw together some dinner.)

  • Dreams needs to finish off breakfast himself as well

<Laila> (See! You should get tied up by women you barely know more often!)

<Laila> (So accomodating. I'm totally giving him four stars in my review.)

<Miranda> (Um… am I it by process of elimination?)

<Hollyhock God> I guess so!

<Hollyhock God> You're probably bored by now, anyway.

<Miranda> (I suppose that's true!)

<Dan> "So…. what exactly did you have in mind?"

  • Moirileen grins.
  • Dan grins right back

<Moirileen> "Oh, I don't know… something romantic… a remote island getaway perhaps?"

<Laila> (Bridges appear instantly to such a place!)

<Dan> "Resort remote, or lost remote? I'll assume the former."

<Moirileen> "Mmm…. you assume whatever you want, handsome."

  • Moirileen offers an arm to her escort.

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, assorted servants in the Chancel that was host to the auction peek out at Dan from behind doors, mildly entranced by his hotness.

<Hollyhock God> Just so you know.

<Hollyhock God> So, you'll be whisking each other off to a remote island?

<Hollyhock God> Perhaps in the Caspian Sea or something?

  • Dan leads his emerald evening escort somewhere with a beech and drinks with little umbrellas in them, and actually manages not to make a comment about assumptions.

<Dan> *beach

<Moirileen> (What time is it in this part of the world?)

<Hollyhock God> Let us say eight o'clock.

<Hollyhock God> Or something. It's mythic time.


  • Moirileen shoots a green and jealous glare at the assorted onlooking servants, tossing a handful of seeds at them, which rapidly bloom into an obscuring wall of vines.

<Hollyhock God> There, problems solved.

<Moirileen> "Back off, hussies, he's mine."

  • Moirileen takes Dan's arm and is wisked off to some beech getaway.

<Moirileen> "Oh, this is perfect!"

<Laila> (Evidently it's an island with a healthy beech forest as well as beaches.)

<Hollyhock God> An obscuring wall of beeches, yeah.

<Hollyhock God> (I was too slow!)

  • Moirileen raises her glass in a toast. "What shall we drink to, My lord of Bridges? Or may I call you Daniel? We really haven't been formally introduced…"

<Dan> "Oh, no time like the present to get acquainted, please, call me Dan."

<Moirileen> "I'm Morileen, Dani-Dan. I'm sure we're going to be very good friends." she says, raising her drink. Maybe this will be easy, after all!

  • Moirileen smiles as she plants a seed of uncontrollable desire in the back of Dan's mind.

<Dan> "To new friends" Dan says, while winking.

<Moirileen> Which… I assume he can either run with or take a Wound?

<Hollyhock God> Yeah, either uncontrollable desire is a Wound or it isn't.

<Hollyhock God> That's up to Dan's player to decide for him.

<Hollyhock God> Being hit with a stealth miracle is kind of a thing where the player has to agree to it, but sometimes its fun.

<Dan> (It actually conflicts with my "I'm always clear headed" affliction, does it have strike?)

<Moirileen> ooc I suppose he could shut take a wound to shut down the bridges between his hormones and his thought processes, or something like that, too.

<Moirileen> (Not the first time, it doesn't. The second time she'll burn 2 MP for a total of 3 strike)

<Hollyhock God> I suspect the Affliction is already broken for the night.

<Moirileen> (Assuming she knows when her miracle fizzles)

<Dan> (Do characters know when they've been miracled?)

<Moirileen> (Not always, no)

<Hollyhock God> Given all the strutting you've been doing, I'd say Phasael's sexy gifts have broken it with his rascally Strike!

<Hollyhock God> I'm sort of just asking you to go along with it, either as a Deadly Wound or an effect you've decided to accept for the moment.

<Hollyhock God> For DRAMA.

<Dan> Hmm, I'm down with "desire"; "uncontrollable" is something I don't know that I'm comfortable with, depending on how literally we're taking that.

<Dan> (Though I suppose it's not necessarly a problem depending on how willing she is. >_> )

<Laila> (We could say the Affliction stops it, but because he acts with desire, admittedly controlled, it isn't immediately obvious that it does so?)

<Hollyhock God> Fortunately, as a player you're still in control, so you can fight the desire with additional miracles.

<Hollyhock God> Like how you can use a miracle to wake up if you're asleep.

<Moirileen> (Well, she's setting it up. Possibly because, you know, Phasael's gift)

<Hollyhock God> But you might decide that Dan probably wouldn't resist until some reason comes up for him to do so, like a call for help or something.

<Moirileen> (Regardless, she'll spend the MP on strike for a second attempt)

<Hollyhock God> When I'm supposed to inform players OOC about stealthy action IC is one of the system aspects I'm uncertain about, but for now can we just go with it?

  • Dan becomes bold, sweeping her into his embrace and attempting to up the rating of this session to PG-13.

<Hollyhock God> I need to cut to Miranda anyway.

<Hollyhock God> So:

<Hollyhock God> Dan is enslaved by lustful lust.

<Hollyhock God> Whereas Grayson has been bound and blindfolded, apparently without having to be enslaved.

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, Miranda has met with her old friend and valued mentor, Remus Finn.

<Hollyhock God> He is pleased to see her.

<Miranda> (SO not a valued mentor.)

<Miranda> "Mister Finn. I must say I'm surprised; I hadn't expected you to bid on me, much less to be the sole bidder."

<Hollyhock God> But he's taught you so many important lessons about the magic of friendship!

  • Miranda has taken time to secure clothing.

<Hollyhock God> "It was more expensive than you know, my dear," says Remus, "but in the end, money is only numbers."

<Hollyhock God> "So, where shall we go this evening? I'd hoped for somewhere we could have a quiet chat."

<Miranda> "If you have plans, I'm much relieved; how does one entertain the man who has everything?"

<Hollyhock God> Remus laughs. "You need only listen while he tells you how he got it. But perhaps I can tell you about my life and times some other evening."

<Hollyhock God> "I know a little place in Caprona that you might enjoy. If you wouldn't mind riding in my private jet?"

<Miranda> "It sounds lovely."

<Hollyhock God> Remus flies you at ludicrous speed courtesy of the young pilot with the scarf who you've seen once or twice before, to a charming little cafe in a small town where you sip some kind of alcohol thing and eat pasta.

<Hollyhock God> It's not the kind of place you would have expected to go with Wealth, but you have to admit the food and wine are both great.

  • Hollyhock God prepares Treasure miracles to insist that the food is in fact great if Miranda tries to argue.

<Miranda> (Does he have a Bond to the food?)

<Hollyhock God> No, but he might have a more general Bond that allows him to find the best wherever he goes.

<Miranda> (Yes. But the best on the island of Caprona doesn't … eh, nevermind.)

<Hollyhock God> With that taken care of, a simple level 5 Treasure miracle will suffice to ensure that Miranda enjoys it in spite of her unhappiness, unless she uses a miracle to defend herself against its deliciousness or takes a Wound.)

<Laila> (I can totally see Miranda taking a Wound to defend herself against happiness)

<Miranda> (How much Strike does he have.)

<Laila> (Or just shielding herself against it)

<Dan> (Miranda is so emo.)

<Hollyhock God> Enough!

<Miranda> (No, I have an Affliction.)

<Hollyhock God> 1, then.

<Dan> (Yes, being emo is an Affliction :P)

<Miranda> "Charming, Remus. I suppose I should warn you that I'm not usually this Exciting, Dangerous and Desirable- but I don't really imagine my personal characteristics, enhanced or otherwise, are responsible for your whisking me away like this?"

<Miranda> (Do you have to equal or beat I am wracked with guilt and sorrow. (1)?)

<Hollyhock God> Equal.

<Hollyhock God> "Oh, but your personal characteristics have everything to do with it, my dear," Remus explains.

<Hollyhock God> "I think you may have realized that the appearance of exactly the Aaron's Serpent you wanted to see at this little charity event was no coincidence."

<Miranda> "My first clue was a man with infinite resources holding a fundraiser."

<Hollyhock God> "Ah, but my resources aren't actually limitless, you know. I have everything I want and more, but I don't always have everything that everybody wants."

<Hollyhock God> "My store of capital is only limitless when it comes to fulfilling my personal desires; everything else, I have to fight for. But that's not important right now."

<Hollyhock God> "Your intention to resurrect Imperial Praxael has been no secret, my dear. Indeed, I have contributed to it in my own small way."

<Miranda> "I've noticed." Miranda looks at him through the rim of her wineglass "I suppose it would be too much to ask to align your personal desires with this cause," she says, sipping from it.

<Hollyhock God> "Ah, Miranda," says Remus, idly twirling a fork in his spaghetti, "the heart wants what it wants. Although, I understand that desire has nothing to do with your participation in the cause, does it?"

<Miranda> "Not in any crude sense. But I have long-ago aligned my heart with my duties."

<Hollyhock God> Remus nods.

<Hollyhock God> "Tell me, Miranda: what is the difference between a heart's desire and an overwhelming obsession?"

  • Miranda smiles thinly.

<Miranda> "And here I thought the question-and-answer portion of the contest was over?"

<Hollyhock God> "Ah, there is no end to questions; one cannot shield oneself from confusion, and no amount of wealth can buy them off."

<Miranda> "I'm not an expert in emotion, or obsession, Remus. But I know there is a thing I need to do."

<Hollyhock God> "Is that so? You seem to have run yourself a little ragged. Ragged enough to throw aside your treasured mourning garments for a one-piece when you thought it might move you a step forward."

<Hollyhock God> "I wonder if you are still capable of viewing this goal objectively?"

<Hollyhock God> "How much would it take to prove to you that the cost of bringing your Imperator back to life will be more costly to Creation that success would gain for it?"

<Miranda> "It wasn't a one-piece. Illumination made my clothing transparent; my replacement was hasty."

<Miranda> "You speak as if you know something. What?"

<Hollyhock God> "I merely ask you: how much is too much?"

<Miranda> "Being a Noble messes with your head, Remus. You know it as well as I do. Whatever, whoever you were before, when commencement comes, suddenly, the most important thing in the world to you is… well, Bridges or Secrets or Wealth, or Shields."

<Miranda> (Should we cut back? to someone? I'm having fun, but it's been an hour for Grayson.)

<Hollyhock God> Are you planning to enter a rage anytime soon?

<Miranda> No.

<Hollyhock God> Pity, that would have made for an opportune transition. But we're almost there.

<Miranda> OK.

<Miranda> (Miranda isn't so fragile that she breaks at the merest mention of someone questioning her motives.)

<Hollyhock God> "Miranda, I've become convinced that your judgment has become unbalanced. And with that in mind, I did something I had previously decided never to do again."

<Miranda> "Unbalanced?"

<Hollyhock God> He pulls a tablet out of a jacket pocket, ignoring that question, and pulls up a folder filled with pictures of a rather old-looking book.

<Hollyhock God> "This is the journal of Fehim Eye-Of-Heaven, who was the Power of the Sun many, many years ago."

<Hollyhock God> "Quite a long time before you or I was born, or before our mutual friend Rhys ascended to the position."

<Hollyhock God> "Did you know that Maxiel was cut down by the Excrucians once, and that her servant Fehim brought her back to life?"

<Miranda> "I did not."

<Hollyhock God> "Most people do not, for Maxiel chose to keep it secret, for reasons of her own. But Fehim detailed his work in this journal, up to the point of his death."

<Hollyhock God> "I am prepared to give this journal to you, Miranda, but only on one condition."

<Miranda> "And what condition is that?"

<Hollyhock God> "You must swear an oath, sanctified on the res, that if you have not succeeded in your aim within one year from the moment of your receipt of the book, you will abandon the project forever."

<Miranda> "No."

<Miranda> "If that's all you have to talk about, Remus, you're wasting your time."

<Miranda> "I find myself in a position where I am responsible for preserving not just the existance of shields, but Fire, Commerce, Bridges, Dreams and Secrets. Not to mention any hope for the Angel who gave all these things to the world."

<Miranda> "I won't jeopardize that."

<Hollyhock God> Remus shrugs. "I won't accept that answer on the spur of the moment. You can tell me again once you've had some time to think abo-"

<Hollyhock God> But then you are interrupted.

<Hollyhock God> Do you carry a cellphone, or some other kind of communicator?

<Miranda> Presumably.

<Hollyhock God> It rings, using the ringtone that means a Chancel emergency.

<Miranda> "Excuse me, Remus, I need to take this."

<Miranda> "It's an emergency.

<Miranda> She takes up the phone.

<Hollyhock God> "Milady," says the steward. "The Chancel is under assault. Men on motorbikes are everywhere."

<Miranda> "Remus, how quickly can you get us to Venice?"

<Hollyhock God> "I've had to barricade myself into the communications salon, but they may break through shortly. Please return as soon as you can," he begs.

<Miranda> (We need to estblish entrances!)

<Miranda> "Thank you, Steward."

<Hollyhock God> "I think twenty minutes at the outside," he tells you, waving to the pilot to bring the plane around to the front door.

<Miranda> "My chancel has been invaded. We'll have to take a raincheck on the rest of this "date"

<Miranda> At which point she dials the other members of her Familia.

<Hollyhock God> "Ah, but defending a Ward from hostile intruders is a lovely way to spend the evening!"

<Miranda> "A ward?"

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, on a faraway island, kudzu has dug its roots straight through Dan's phone, destroying it as it lies lonely on the sand.

<Hollyhock God> "I beg your pardon; archaic terminology. A Chancel."

<Hollyhock God> Although Dan may well not be paying attention to the phone, being literal inches away from presumable ecstacy.

<Miranda> "Why the hell isn't David answering? Gah. Going to have to have a talk with him." Dan, she doesn't count on yet.

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile again, even further away, Grayson's phone rings.

<Hollyhock God> "Don't answer that," Laila tells him, and he is compelled to obey.

<Hollyhock God> Even more meanwhile, Dreams' phone rings, and he can't answer it because he's an NPC tonight.

<Hollyhock God> So I guess he's also having beach sex? Or something?

<Dreams> (Possibly!)

<Hollyhock God> We won't bother him, then.

<Hollyhock God> So I fear that nobody is answering Miranda's call for help.

<Hollyhock God> But anyway, the plane! The plane!

<Hollyhock God> As it takes off, let us consider Grayson.

<Hollyhock God> You're alone in the Deep Mythic with your hands tied and a blindfold on, and it's come to your attention that you are compelled to obey the every command of the woman pulling you along on a thread.

<Grayson> That seems distressing.

<Hollyhock God> She has commanded you not to be distressed.

<Grayson> Well, I suppose that makes me feel better.

<Hollyhock God> It does, but you don't feel very good about feeling better.

<Hollyhock God> In any case, disobeying Laila in any way under these circumstances is going to require to you use miracles.

<Dan> (Oh, the irony!)

<Grayson> I think it's time to breach the rules of dating etiquette and to use a lesser divination to find out what she's hiding from me.

<Grayson> In particular, what she wants and how she is controlling me.

<Hollyhock God> Laila, have you used any miracles to defend yourself against his secrecy-based wisdom?

<Dreams> (Oh, did you want me to play her again? I thought you were taking over.)

<Grayson> (Though my guess for the latter would be some controlling-thread-bound-people based Gift.)

<Hollyhock God> I'll let you roll with it for now, since I couldn't think of anything interesting for your date with Will.

<Miranda> (You susbscribed to the thread, now you automatically follow updates.)

<Hollyhock God> It turns out dates with Will are fun and not full of sexy temptresses at all.

<Hollyhock God> So, not hugely appropriate for gaming night.

<Hollyhock God> So I shall need you to continue binding Grayson to your thread-based will for now.

<Hollyhock God> You can now retroactively declare a miracle to shield yourself from his divinations if you like.

<Laila> Yes! She'll have cloaked her secrets in metaphorical veils. Because, seriously, on a date with Grayson. I'm… not exactly sure what kind of miracle that would be. Creation? Binding?

<Miranda> Lesser Destruction of Shields.

<Miranda> (*cough* ….Nevermind. Reflex.)

<Hollyhock God> I think it's a Creation.

<Laila> Okay, say I spent 2 MP to bump it a level 6 miracle, then.

<Hollyhock God> Okay, I'll mark you down 2.

<Hollyhock God> Grayson, you receive an impression of threads within threads!

<Hollyhock God> So many threads.

<Grayson> Hmmm.

<Laila> "We really don't have to worry about that, Gray, do we?" Lalia's going to fish around in Grayson's suit for his ringing phone.

<Hollyhock God> To knit a phone-cozy for it?

<Laila> Perhaps!

<Grayson> Ok, I'm going to spend 2 DMP and try a Lesser Motion on Laila's secrets, giving them the destiny of being revealed as Laila, thinking I'm under her control, explains her (potentially) evil plan. And I'll spend 1 PMP to give it a point of Strike.

<Hollyhock God> In any case, you locate the phone and may shut it off or destroy it as you please.

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, you are beset by bumptious, motioned secrets.

<Laila> I don't see the harm in gloating! I mean, I've pretty much won!

<Hollyhock God> He did kind of allow you to put three entirely separate instances of your Estate on him, didn't he? That's a pretty good advantage!

<Miranda> Plus he's bound until she proclaims the date complete anyhow.

<Laila> (Hooray!)

<Grayson> (Though not bound to do whatever she wants me to.)

<Hollyhock God> I guess if he escapes before she's through he'll have to give her a raincheck.

<Hollyhock God> Now, gloat, my little yandere! Gloat like the wind!

  • Hollyhock God imagines the wind gloating. "I'm gonna huff, and puff…."

<Laila> (I will admit I don't have much experience with the yandere trope.)

<Grayson> (The Big Bad Wolf as the Power of the Wind actually fits very well with Fables.)

<Hollyhock God> Mr. North makes a pretty good Angel.

<Laila> "Ah, Gray, this has been such an enjoyable evening. Although I'll admit I didn't expect you to fall so easily into my little trap, hmm?"

<Miranda> (Mr. North is no angel.)

<Hollyhock God> Most Angels aren't!

<Miranda> (He's a True God. I mean, straight up. Old-god style.)

<Hollyhock God> He's not a vegetable-god.

<Hollyhock God> He's "awesome" and "demanding," so in Nobilis he'd be an angel.

<Laila> "I've been hired to keep you busy, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun while we do so, does it?"

<Grayson> "Hired? Who wanted me out of the way?"

<Laila> "I suppose there's no harm in telling you it was Ink-Lord Vesperius."

<Miranda> (He's not awesome or demanding)

<Laila> She pauses. "Wait. That wasn't the sort of thing I should have said. Have you been miracling me?"

<Laila> She wags her finger with no effect, given that it goes completely unseen.

<Grayson> "Of course not. How could I do that with you so in control?"

<Laila> She laughs. "Yes, yes, you're right! You're thoroughly bound to my will! The subtle threads connecting your actions and my… desires."

<Laila> She runs her hands on the very fine suit Gray is wearing.

<Hollyhock God> (He strikes me as both. And he's certainly not a vegetable-creature intertwined in a mass of internal war and sex.)

<Hollyhock God> (He's paternal, controlling, and disapproving, which makes him fairly angelic if he's not Wild, but he doesn't respect other people's choices, so he can't be Wild. So, angel.)

<Miranda> (He's not demanding since he's basically estranged from his putative Noble.)

<Grayson> "Yes, it does seem that way. Wouldn't you like to be even more closely intertwined? Imagine if you could look inside my head, see my thoughts, and know all of my many Secrets."

<Hollyhock God> (Admittedly his assholery is well above the standard for Angels.)

<Miranda> (And there's nothing about being an old god that makes you veggie.)

<Hollyhock God> (He's still making demands; Bigby just stopped listening. Also there's his attitude towards Ghost. But let's nevermind that now.)

<Grayson> "Why not use your link to take a look?"

<Laila> "Hmmmm…. I had been considering what secret plans against me my sister has no doubt been plotting… but why don't you just tell me, instead?"

<Hollyhock God> And indeed Grayson is compelled to seek out those plots!

<Miranda> (To be fair he already was.)

<Hollyhock God> And he finds a plot in motion this very moment, as the Duchess of Strings spies on the two of them and schemes to set Grayson free.

<Grayson> I'll use a Lesser Divination.

<Grayson> Hah.

<Grayson> Hmm.

<Grayson> Can I use a level 4 miracle to connect to the Tower of Fog and Smoke and a level 5 miracle to use its mists to obscure my own knowledge of what I just learned, so I can't tell Laila?

<Grayson> (Treasure miracles, that is. The latter supported by 1 TMP)

<Hollyhock God> Is that what the Tower does?

<Grayson> Hiding stuff in the fog is one of the things it does

<Laila> (I suppose the miracle making him WANT to obey me doesn't help much if he CAN'T)

<Grayson> Hiding itself, mainly, but I'm drawing on it to hide an aspect of myself

<Hollyhock God> I think you'd need level 7 to connect to the Chancel from the Deep Mythic.

<Grayson> Ah, yeah, that's reasonable.

<Hollyhock God> I fear you may have some trouble getting back to the Chancel at all, actually!

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, the HG wonders how to handle Dan's situation delicately when he cuts back to it.

<Grayson> Ah, a simpler way of accomplishing the same thing: a Destruction of Secrets, targeted at the secret I just learned

<Laila> (Expert camera angles.)

<Hollyhock God> Secret destroyed!

<Hollyhock God> You wonder what you were just thinking about.

<Grayson> "I'm having trouble finding them."

<Grayson> "Maybe if you linked into my head, you could use your threads to help me find her?"

<Laila> "Tut! She must have guarded herself the same way I have. I didn't think she'd be so clever."

<Hollyhock God> I suppose we can simply state that Dan is very busy having sex and not answering the phone and leave it at that for now.

<Laila> "Hmmm….. perhaps."

<Hollyhock God> Miranda, are you going to be taking any stronger actions trying to get your hands on a Sibling in the next twenty minutes?

<Hollyhock God> If so, you can go ahead and declare them.

<Miranda> Well, I don't see where I have a whole lot of options. Have I mentioned that I miss prayerphones?

<Dan> (I mean, I'm here if stuff wants to be done, but I'm fine with just leaving it at "They got busy".)

<Laila> (You should engineer miraculous prayerphones as a project!)

<Hollyhock God> Yeah, I don't feel like narrating every individual thrust and gasp. We can cope with that when somebody tries to drop a shield on your head.

<Hollyhock God> Write a message on a shield and mail it to Grayson!

<Hollyhock God> Then use a Motion to ensure instant delivery.

<Dan> (Dan's laptop actually does function as a univeral "phone". Among other things.)

<Miranda> (Yes. But Dan is busy.)

<Dan> (Busy getting bizzay.)

<Grayson> To be fair, I already know something's going on, probably in the Chancel. It's the getting there part that requires some work.

  • Miranda writes a note on a piece of paper.

<Hollyhock God> Miranda! Are you going to let a little thing like relieving Dan's intense sexual frustration stand in the way of Duty?

<Hollyhock God> Duty > Booty

<Miranda> "Remus, have you got a lighter?"

<Hollyhock God> This is Miranda-law.

<Dan> (Oh man, you know that whole trope where people are all "we had sex and it was like we became one!" Dan is totally going to do that, with an Enchantment of Bridges, >_> )

<Miranda> (… that should produce some interesting revelations.)

<Grayson> (Hmm. which might result in you learning her secret plans.)

<Hollyhock God> Dan, while you thrust and gasp, (all very nice, I'm sure) you transform your coitus into an intense personal union.

<Grayson> (That would be awkward.)

<Laila> (Her secret plans… to get laid!)

<Grayson> (I'm presuming she's hired by the Ink-Lord too.)

<Dan> (I am busting out Aspect 3 coitus, so my timing is perfect.)

  • Miranda borrows a lighter from Remus, and burns the paper.

<Hollyhock God> You suddenly become aware that that the Seed's-Regal was hired by the Ink-Lord to detain you for the night.

<Hollyhock God> Also, she's planning to use your genetic material to build a monster or something. That's just how she is.

<Grayson> (I knew we should have dealt with that guy.)

<Miranda> (But to be fair, she's also genuinely hot for him. It's the abs!)

<Dan> (And, with my perfect timing, I will finish this all just in time to go deal with whatever problem I'm supposed to be kept busy for!)

<Hollyhock God> Although you still don't feel like stopping what you're doing.

<Grayson> (I was going to say that he already shares genetic material with a monster, but I guess Immanuel isn't actually a blood relation.)

<Hollyhock God> Your Wound of uncontrollable desire prevents this!

<Hollyhock God> Or at least opposes it.

<Hollyhock God> Also, I fear that Moirileen knows that you know just as soon as you know.

<Hollyhock God> For indeed, are you not one flesh at this moment?

<Dan> (But I also know that she knows that I know.)

<Hollyhock God> (I know.)

<Dan> (Ah, we're the same person right now, so we can just both go take care of what I need to do.)

<Miranda> (Is HG taking over Moirileen?)


<Hollyhock God> I'll handle Moirileen for now.

<Hollyhock God> That…. could get complicated.

<Dan> I'm sure it could!

<Miranda> (But wht you desire now is to pay off your debt to the Ink Lord)

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, Moirileen uses a miracle of animation to seize control of your reproductive system, controlling you with lust.

<Hollyhock God> I'm pretty sure that's legal.

<Laila> (Good-bye, PG 13 rating.)

<Hollyhock God> I mean, your lower half is basically just a big bag of seeds, right?

<Dan> Hmm, lesser sacrifice on my vas deferens, they are no longer a bridge between my gonads and the outside world.

<Dan> (She can control them all they want, my seed ain't going nowhere. :P )

<Hollyhock God> ……………………………….that's just bizarre enough to work.

<Hollyhock God> Dan finds himself a eunuch, and clear-headed once again!

<Dan> (Also, this game is officially weird as fuck.)

<Miranda> (Did he just give himself a vasectomy?)

<Laila> (It's about typical for Nobilis, really.)

<Dan> (Not a eunuch, just given a vasectomy.)

<Miranda> (Grr. I spent a good portion of the week making sure a blood drain effect wouldn't piss off the ESRB. Screw ratings.)

<Hollyhock God> Alas, now that you are unmanned, your unholy Excrucian sexiness fades away. Not that that's apparent.

<Hollyhock God> Now there's nothing left but a battle of wills between you and Moirileen as you both try to seize control of your unified being.

<Dan> (So fertility is all that makes someone a man? That has somewhat unfortunate implications. >_> )

<Miranda> (With regard to fertility goddesses, yes.)

<Hollyhock God> It is from the perspective of unholy Excrucian sexiness.

<Dan> (Fair enough.)

<Laila> (As I recall it wasn't you he lent sexiness, but your package. So if it's no longer metaphysically connected to you… yeah.)

<Dan> (Indeed.)

<Miranda> (Grayson can sense things in his Estate, right?)

<Grayson> (To the extent that any Noble can)

<Hollyhock God> I think we should probably move forward a bit with Miranda for the moment.

<Miranda> (Sorry, Rapture.)

<Laila> (Ha.)

<Hollyhock God> If only so that we can know what crisis you're facing while you struggle to get home to face it.

<Hollyhock God> Otherwise you're all going to get home before it even gets started.

<Hollyhock God> Miranda and Remus arrive back in Venice to find that it is, indeed, under attack by bikers.

<Hollyhock God> They seem to be pretty much everywhere.

<Hollyhock God> There's general smashing and looting, and chaos. At the moment you aren't quite sure of how many or their locations.

<Hollyhock God> Whoa, disconnected for a second there.

<Hollyhock God> Am I still audible?

<Miranda> (OK.)

<Dan> (Hmm, oooooh, character defining moment idea! I am going to dump 4 PMP into a Lesser Binding on 'us'. Bridges are now important to us, more important than things like being bought off.)

<Dan> (Or we shift focus, sorry.)

<Grayson> Yeah.

<Dan> (I didn't even see you DC.)

<Miranda> (Weird.)

<Hollyhock God> That seems like a good plan to use later. Did Miranda say anything about what she plans to do?

<Miranda> Pfft. I'm back in the Chancel, I no longer have to deal with "range" or "Auctoritas."

<Miranda> And I have the 3 MP discount.

<Miranda> Which means immediate Greater Shields on everything but the looters.

<Grayson> (And she has some frustration to work off! I wouldn't want to be those bikers.)

<Miranda> (Miranda always has frustration to work off!)

<Grayson> (True.)

<Hollyhock God> I have bad news.

<Hollyhock God> There are no looters.

<Hollyhock God> Or at least you think there aren't.

<Miranda> There's looting without looters?

<Miranda> Autolootation?

<Hollyhock God> There seems to be looting, but who is the looter and who is the victim?

<Hollyhock God> You're……. uncertain!

<Miranda> And the bikers?

<Grayson> …Looks like she didn't take having to sign that receipt well.

<Hollyhock God> There were some bikers a minute ago, but now you're uncertain who is a biker and who is a Venetian.

<Miranda> Oh. Am I under miraculous assault?

<Hollyhock God> …….maybe that guy has a motorcycle? Or it could be a suitcase. You aren't sure!

  • Hollyhock God cannot confirm or deny this.

<Grayson> (Apparently Rinne's brought friends this time.)

<Miranda> Well, it has to be a very good miraculous assault.

<Dreams> (Maybe she has, and maybe she hasn't.)

<Dreams> (Maybe the miracle isn't on you so much as it's on… the potential-looters? It does seem like uncertainty would be something created in the minds of the uncertain rather than the things they're uncertain about, though.)

<Laila> (Possibly Rinne feels differently, though!)

<Miranda> Oh, good. It's only on the looters. Fine they're shielded too.

<Miranda> At least physically. Nobody is harming anyone.

<Hollyhock God> I think it's on you.

<Hollyhock God> Making you unable to tell the difference between criminal and innocent.

  • Miranda makes the matter irrelevant.

<Hollyhock God> Sorry, that's Firstborn's power, not yours. ;)

<Grayson> (Sometimes I feel bad for our Venetians. One day everyone suddenly knows where everyone else is, the next everything is all shielded and they can't touch each other, some of them are ashes or dogs…)

<Miranda> "Remus, I seem to be afflicted by some manner of miraculous assault. Most Likely, Rinne. Would you be a dear and find the source of it?"

<Hollyhock God> "Hm," considers Remus, "If Rinne is here, she may well have been paid to be here. Perhaps I can do something, although it's really a job for Monaghan."

<Hollyhock God> He considers the matter. "I believe Rinne is located in a cafe across that canal. And her employer-"

<Miranda> (Hm. Is Remus lying or is Marley?)

<Hollyhock God> A geyser of ink explodes out of the roof of the palazzo.

<Hollyhock God> "-is the Ink-Lord, Vesperius," finishes Remus somewhat lamely.

<Miranda> Only if it breaks the shields on the roof. Seriously. This place is locked down.

<Miranda> Miranda is walking to the Cafe, rolling up her sleeves.

<Grayson> The Doge is not going to be happy about that.

<Hollyhock God> I guess it must have!

  • Hollyhock God isn't sure how much force to give the shields mechanically once Miranda stops sustaining them.

<Miranda> "Well. While we wait for my negligent siblings to arrive, I would greatly appreciate your assistance."

  • Miranda is sustaining them, so it's a moot point

<Hollyhock God> Oh, you mean the ones you just did. I thought you meant all the people.

<Miranda> No. The whole place is in freaking lockdown.

<Hollyhock God> Okay, ink leaps out of the canals where it was lurking and tries to smash in the windows. Currently it is failing.

<Hollyhock God> Great ink-serpents tendriling out of the water and attacking the palace.

<Hollyhock God> So far, your shields are winning.

<Miranda> "One thing at a time." Miranda storms into the cafe.

<Miranda> "RINNE. Get your bony indeterminate behind out here, NOW."

<Laila> (Want to cut to Lalia falling for Grayson's trap so he can get in on the action? Or at least closer to it?)

<Hollyhock God> Yes, let's do that.

<Hollyhock God> What was the trap, again? You had found a secret and destroyed it before your mind-slaved mouth could repeat it, and then?

<Grayson> I'm trying to persuade her to try to read my mind.

<Laila> "Yes! All of Sayla's secrets will be mine!"

<Grayson> So my "reading my mind drives you crazy" Affliction kicks in.

  • Laila places her hands on Grayson's temple, and forms a binding between his mind and her perception.

<Hollyhock God> It's a workable plan, but it just might make her crazy!

<Dan> (She's so crazy, it just did work!)

<Laila> "Wait, that… but… if… then that would mean… but… it all… I don't even…"

<Hollyhock God> Laila peers into Grayson's mind. And goes crazy!

<Hollyhock God> Congratulations, you are now the slave of a crazy person.

  • Laila starts laughing maniacally.

<Hollyhock God> "It is time. Drink the Spirit Juice. I will see you on the other side."

<Grayson> Do I have to obey commands that make no logical sense?

<Hollyhock God> No, but do you get to pick what kind of crazy she goes?

<Laila> (It does occur to me, although it might be against Grayson's nature to deliberately shield himself from information, that you could make her desires a secret to yourself. Can't do them if you don't know what they are!)

<Grayson> Well, it's an Affliction, so I suppose probably not; but my intent in drafting the Affliction was more "sitting in a corner rocking and gibbering" than "power mad".

<Hollyhock God> HG's advice: Make her forget she was supposed to keep you here, then convince her to strip you naked, in keeping with tonights sexy theme.

<Hollyhock God> Then you'll be free! In multiple senses.

<Grayson> True.

<Laila> (I was aiming for rocking and gibbering, but the HG's will supercedes, obviously.)

<Hollyhock God> Well, for a Noble, she's going to get a Wound saying "Must work hard not to gibber."

<Grayson> Right.

<Hollyhock God> But potentially she's distracted enough for you to get a good targeted mind-wipe in.

<Grayson> Sounds good.

<Grayson> So, a Creation of Secrets

<Grayson> Making her purpose of entrapping me here a secret.

<Hollyhock God> Laila, I fear you have forgotten why you tied this man up in the first place. Probably not important!

<Laila> "Wait…. wait wait wait. What? What… are we doing here?"

<Laila> Also, I'm trying very hard not to gibber for some reason.

<Grayson> "I believe you said something earlier about your desires?"

<Laila> "I did? I did. I did!"

<Grayson> "But it seems like all of this cloth all over me is getting in the way. Maybe you could help me get rid of it?"

<Hollyhock God> "Why don't I get out of these wet clothes, and into a dry YOUR DOOM?"

<Grayson> (Hah.)

<Laila> (I am temporarily paralyzed with laughter. One moment.)

  • Laila waves her hand, sending the cloths, and anything else Grayson may have had in his pockets, into the coherently self-interacting masses of THINGS below.

<Hollyhock God> Leave his socks on! Whoops, too late.

<Grayson> "Right then, thank you. Sorry, Laila, but I believe I need to get home. We'll finish our date later."

<Grayson> Creation of Secrets: Grayson's location.

<Grayson> Now I just need to get out of the Deep Mythic.

<Laila> "Was it something I said?"

<Grayson> Is getting out as hard as getting in?

<Hollyhock God> Indeed!

<Laila> (Especially considering Laila was the one who got you there!)

<Hollyhock God> You need an Aspect 3 miracle to get out in a timely fashion to the Border Mythic.

<Hollyhock God> A miracle which Laila may well oppose.

<Laila> Indeed! Heck, I could just continue to sustain the enchantment weaving us into the fabric of things. Admittedly indeterminately.

<Grayson> True Gods have some sort of connection to the Deep Mythic, yes? Is it possible to access their Chancels from it?

<Hollyhock God> Troublesome, but meanwhile:

<Laila> (Also, the boundaries of the Deep Mythic are ambiguous.)

<Hollyhock God> Danieleen is currently struggling to come up with a consensus on how to act.

<Laila> (* Its locations are ambiguous

<Laila> * Its boundaries are ambiguous

<Laila> * It is always devouring itself

<Laila> * It is always mating with itself

<Laila> * Its particulars have free will

<Laila> * Attention partially differentiates a thing from its environment.)

<Hollyhock God> He/she is uncertain about whether to break off their coupling, and also about how he/she/they feel about it/themselves.

<Hollyhock God> It's basically a mini-Deep-Mythic, in bed.

<Dan> (I am going to dump 4 PMP into a Lesser Binding on 'us'. Bridges are now important to us, more important than things like being bought off or fighting about who we are.)

<Dan> (We need to go serve our Estate/Chancel/Imperator.)

<Hollyhock God> Moiridan considers this new emotional addition to the gestalt.

<Hollyhock God> Breaking off to serve the needs of Bridges might be acceptable, provided the secondary "genetic material acquisition" objective is also met.

<Dan> (This wasn't how I imagined Dan starting to care about his Estate, but hey!)

<Dan> Hrm. We suppose having a monster child is something we're OK with.

<Hollyhock God> I think Dan has recently realized how important it is for the world to have long, rigid things in it.

<Miranda> (Technically, isn't her debt repaid as long as he isn't in the Chancel?)

<Miranda> (Freeing him to interfere remotely?)

<Hollyhock God> But in any case, the stalemate is resolved, without the need for a stalemate resolution associate.

<Laila> (STEP FIVE.)

<Laila> (Wait, you don't need it? Whoops.)

<Grayson> (But I've done the training and everything!)


<Miranda> (… are these logs going to be edited?)

<Hollyhock God> …..maybe.

<Hollyhock God> I guess I shouldn't include video game spoilers. That was rude of me.

<Hollyhock God> Anyway, Dan's transaction is concluded, and the glorious union of ecstatic whatever breaks apart into two slightly embarassed people.

<Hollyhock God> "So…….. yeah."

<Dan> "So it turns out embracing this job is possibly even weirder than trying to fight it."

<Hollyhock God> "I think we've all been there," agrees Moirileen.

<Dan> "How'd you cope with your uh, enNobling?"

<Hollyhock God> "Oh, I gave birth to three or four big problems at once. Kept me busy."

<Hollyhock God> She seems to become aware that that answer isn't quite as helpful as she'd hoped for.

<Hollyhock God> "I think we all sort of find our happy medium. Or explode."

<Dan> "And from what I remember of a few minutes ago, you meant that literally… At least mine will be metaphorical."

<Hollyhock God> As the shrouding kudzu recedes from the beach, Dan's cellphone is freed, and beeps to alert him to a missed call.

<Hollyhock God> Miranda!

<Hollyhock God> There's a little frowny face instead of a "missed call" icon. Your phone knows, man.

<Miranda> As I recall, I was calling Rinne out.

<Hollyhock God> Indeed you were. Rinne waves.

<Hollyhock God> "Thought you'd show up. Have a seat, why don't you?"

<Laila> (Clobber her on the head with a shield!)

<Hollyhock God> In any case, I think we can assume that both your active Siblings will soon be rushing back home as quickly as they can arrange.

<Hollyhock God> How quick that will be might depend, especially since they're both naked.

  • Miranda glowers.

<Hollyhock God> …it still cracks me up that that's a bigger concern than "they're two thousand miles away."

<Miranda> "I thought we dealt with this, like a week ago?"

<Grayson> (Eh, it's not like anyone can actually see my nudity if I don't want them to.)

<Dan> (and yes.)

<Hollyhock God> "Yes, but I got paid again!" Rinne explains. "What did you say to Vesperius, anyway? I mean, I got paid."

<Dan> (Bridges will conveniently block any bits of me I don't want seen, like in TV shows etc.)

<Miranda> "And billed."

<Hollyhock God> "Well, I suppose I could have refused, but he'd just have hired someone else. Someone not as fun as me!"

<Hollyhock God> Rinne waves a hand, and the location of the cafe becomes temporarily unfocused. Venice fades out of view from the glass shopfront.

<Miranda> "Yes. Well. This instance is going to be more expensive, dear. You've disrupted at least one 5-million-OTC date, for one thing."

<Hollyhock God> "Well, it would have been a lot simpler if I'd won the auction, but I wasn't given an expense account. Even the ink-gnome isn't that generous."

<Hollyhock God> "Although if his boys haven't finished yet, they probably never will. It's strictly amateur hour out there."

<Hollyhock God> She waves a hand vaguely at the window, which is kind of pointless since Venice isn't there anymore.

<Miranda> "Oh, they're not going anywhere. Incidentally, you do realize the consequences if you actually succeed in taking something you can't afford to pay for?"

<Hollyhock God> "I have to admit, I didn't think you'd get here quite so fast. You'll note the gnome's detainers have kept everyone else well away. I dunno, I guess they screwed up in your case."

<Hollyhock God> "Amateur hour, like I said."

<Hollyhock God> "I doubt they'll even get near the Accords, since you probably hid it somewhere even more secure this time. It'd take something more than these biker yahoos."

<Miranda> "Honestly, why would he even want the damned things."

<Hollyhock God> Rinne shrugs. "Why did I steal the Great Pyramid at Giza? Because it was there."

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, our heroes, moving at the best speed they can manage, hurtle heartily homewards.

<Hollyhock God> Will they arrive in time to save the Accords?

<Miranda> "yes. But you've been here twice. And we can't have that. People are going to start thinking we're weak, or vulnerable. I'm trying to think of a way out of this that doesn't involve the retributive application of shocking amounts of violence."

<Hollyhock God> "You don't look so vulnerable from where I'm sitting."

<Miranda> "Obviously, I'm not. But if you just waltz in here and start taking things whenerver you like— even if we make you pay for them, someone could get the wrong impression."

<Hollyhock God> "So, you want me to replace your ruined date? How charming!"

  • Miranda sighs and shakes her head.

<Miranda> "You really don't understand, do you?"

<Hollyhock God> She totally doesn't understand.

<Hollyhock God> Hurtle harder, heroes! Henceforth your sister hope to harvest….. a murder!

<Miranda> (… that's the most frustrating botch on an Intimidation check ever.)

<Dan> (Hopes to harvest a homicide.)

<Hollyhock God> Oh, right.

  • Hollyhock God decides he meant to do that, like the killer's rhymes in "The Private Eyes."

<Miranda> "I don't want to be the kind of person that flays her enemies's skins alive and sticks them on a poll like some demented flag."

  • Miranda is almost musing to herself.

<Miranda> "But… you know, first it's Ananda's little warnings."

<Miranda> "Then Joktan drops by to shake us down."

<Grayson> (Well, clearly not… you'd use them to make a shield.)

<Miranda> "Then the vultures start showing up."

<Hollyhock God> Rinne looks a little chastened at that.

<Hollyhock God> "Well, when you put it like that, it does sound a bit unsporting."

<Miranda> "And… honestly, this kind of stuff didn't used to happen."

<Miranda> "People are looking at us, and they think: we have no Imperator; what can we do about it?"

<Miranda> "And… at some point, either something seriously bad is going to happen, or we're going to have to make some kind of an example out of someone."

<Miranda> (YO, BACKUP, show up and smackdown the Ink-Lord, would'ja? Or at least gimme a call…)

<Hollyhock God> Miranda uses Guilt. It's super effective!

<Hollyhock God> Rinne looks at her fingernails for a moment. Then she says "You're right. I shouldn't pick on someone with enough problems of their own when there are plenty of people without enough."

<Hollyhock God> "I'm sorry. I'll tell the Ink-gnome he can keep his money."

<Hollyhock God> She snaps a finger and the scene reverts to Venice.

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, the backup arrives in the Chancel, naked but full of gumption!

<Grayson> Third Eye agents and smoky forms from the Tower cluster around Grayson as he arrives.

<Miranda> (Miranda arches an eyebrow. "Well. Someone is certainly full of gumption this evening….")

<Grayson> "You! Get me a suit! You guys! Start clearing out these bikers!"

<Hollyhock God> Not an evil suit this time!

<Hollyhock God> Possibly thread-free, in fact!

<Laila> (A convenient leather jacket and pants.)

<Grayson> Treasure 5 miracle to use the Third Eye to clear out the bikers (using 1 TMP).

  • Grayson nods at Dan.

<Grayson> "Looks like your date went about as well as mine did."

  • Miranda nods to Rinne.

<Miranda> "Well. I'll still probably have to make an example to someone. But at least it won't have to be you."

<Grayson> (The Ink-Lord!)

<Miranda> (Dude was made for it)

<Hollyhock God> Whatever force was marshalling the bikers appears to give up as Dan and Grayson arrive in the Chancel. Your agents easily herd the directionless motorcyclists wherever you choose to put them.

  • Dan gives the universal guy nod to Grayson. "It went… yeah."

<Miranda> (Hey, you got laid.)

<Grayson> Does the Ink-Lord appear to still be in residence?

<Hollyhock God> Rinne accepts the nod a bit sadly. "Yeah. If you need any help, you can call on me. I'll make time. You can be certain of it."

<Hollyhock God> No sign of any Ink-Lord, but lots of leftover ink.

  • Miranda laughs.

<Miranda> "Punning is a good sign."

  • Miranda gets up.

<Dan> (I did get laid, yes, but I also have a monster child in the works. Grayson may have fewer long term complications.)

  • Miranda walks out.

<Hollyhock God> Monster child or crazy stalker? Pick one!

<Grayson> (To be fair, Grayson's adventure fit perfectly with his secret agent routine: get fooled by an femme fatale of an enemy agent, fall into her clutches, get her to reveal her evil plan, escape)

  • Grayson tracks down Miranda.

<Miranda> (Yeah. Grayson's used to this!)

<Miranda> "Good. I was afraid you were going to be tied up."

<Miranda> "Did he get what he came for?"

<Grayson> "Er, actually, I was tied up. But I got out of it."

<Hollyhock God> Where are the Accords, anyway?

<Miranda> On Dreams' skin, one assumes?

<Dan> "Sounds like your date may have gone exactly as well as mine did…"

<Grayson> "Yeah, the Ink-Lord is only getting more persistent."

<Grayson> "I think we'll need to deal with him."

<Hollyhock God> Poor Ink-Lord! He went to all that trouble to steal something that wasn't even in the Chancel.

<Dan> (Do we know why he's after us?)

<Hollyhock God> Your love of electronic formats is a crime against Ink.

<Grayson> "Is there any way Remus could have been involved in this, Miranda? It seems strange that it was all set up through an auction that he arranged."

<Miranda> (It's a secret, that's why I asked.)

<Miranda> "He's right behind you, Grayson."

  • Grayson spins around.

<Grayson> "What is wrong with me today?"

<Hollyhock God> Remus taps Grayson on the shoulder with his cane. "Good evening," he says jauntily. "No, I had nothing to do with the Ink-Lord's little game."

  • Miranda privately has her own reasons to suspect him of duplicity, but isn't sharing them yet.

<Hollyhock God> "I merely made an offer to Miranda, and was rebuffed. Nevertheless, the offer remains open if she ever chooses to accept."

<Grayson> "Hello, Remus," Grayson says, with a bit of an edge to his tone.

<Grayson> "I understand that you've apparently taken it upon yourself to become involved in our family affairs, but I'd suggest that in the future, you try to also keep your own house in order."

<Hollyhock God> Remus nods. "I fully understand the important of home affairs. Believe me, I would never interfere with your lovely city."

<Miranda> (Oh, that's right! It was his sister that disintegrated my clothing!)

<Grayson> "I suppose I'm willing to believe you failed to notice that your auction was being used by a party acting against us whose plan involved significant transfers of wealth, but I'd be more comfortable if you weren't quite so blase about it."

<Hollyhock God> Another DC. Who decided to put the router in a closet?

<Dan> "Look, Remus isn't the important one here. This Ink-Lord thing has become an all out war. I say we need to hit him back, rather than just try to defend."

<Grayson> "Agreed. He's been the source of far too many of our recent problems."

<Grayson> Where does the Ink-Lord make his home?

<Hollyhock God> Remus considers this. "I dislike Vesperius," he admits. "I have no intention of getting involved with your feud, but I'll tell you this: the thing he values most is his own swollen pride."

<Miranda> "Ah. Well, inasmuch as you've been made an unwitting accomplice, would you mind freezing his assets?"

<Hollyhock God> "These ruffians are his pawns," he tells you, waving his hands at the subdued bikers. "Anyone marked by Ink becomes subject to his control."

<Hollyhock God> "I fear you overestimate my powers, my dear. My talent is understanding, not control."

<Hollyhock God> (Remus has money as an Anchor, but only his money, not everybody's.

<Miranda> (Yeah, no Lesser Motion of Wealth for him, then?)

<Hollyhock God> "Still, you have much to think about, so I will say 'au revoir' for tonight. In any case, I am pleased to see that you have found a new interest."

<Dan> "I wonder if we could convince Joktan to pay him a visit. He seems to inherently puncture people's pride…"

<Hollyhock God> Yeah, he has Domain 1 or so.

<Miranda> "It's only a temporary diversion, Remus, but thank you for making an unpleasant evening much more bearable."

<Miranda> "Now. Grayson, where does the Ink-Lord make his home?"

<Hollyhock God> "Anything to help the wretched, my dear."

<Hollyhock God> And with that, the formal events of the night come to a close.

<Hollyhock God> Next up: Ink War!

  • You are now known as RandBrittain
  • Miranda is now known as ADamiani
  • Grayson is now known as Polotet
  • Dan is now known as Hollyhock God


<RandBrittain> What? No! This cannot be!

  • Hollyhock God has quit (Killed (NickServ (GHOST command used by RandBrittain)))

<RandBrittain> That's right. It cannot be.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License