Orifice Space

Elliott: The world is a darkened stage, but something stirs there, agitating the shadow and the quiet. The house lights raise slowly, lit from below to cast the figure who gambles there in stark silhouette. They have a harlequin's smile and a dangerous wisdom, and they hold their beating heart in their hand, as if to offer it.

This is a story about Gailizia Fantastic and the Tri-County Chapter of the Rider's Abstinence Society.

And that story begins—

On a rooftop.

Specifically, the rooftop of the Tri-County Public Access Television Studio, where a picnic has been laid out under the stars. There's an old boombox on a table, and it screeches with strange noises — an idioglossia of modem and WiFi, chime and chirp, the thrum of electronics in a fiberoptic cable.

Also there's charcuterie.

Who brought the charcuterie? It is a mystery. Eric, perhaps, who is there, drinking? Or Annalee?

Gailizia: She does like charcuterie!

Radegesis: Then Radegesis is starting to like charcuterie, too.

Elliott: Whatever the case, this is where you've gotten the best signal yet, Gailizia.

Gailizia: Gailizia talks into the radio, her voice strange and digital, interspersed with chirps and synthetic hums.

"Come again? You're still fuzzy."

She turns to Annalee and Scalbrand.

"Keep fiddling with the antenna!"

Sadabus: Sadabus has arranged some junk into a vaguely throne-like shape and is sitting on it drinking wine.

Semegastes: Semegastes frowns over Gailizia's shoulder. It is… not a frown well-suited to Everett's face… and yet, there it is.

Radegesis: Oh, Radegesis is committing absolute charcuterie crimes. Like, a five-tier prosciutto/cheese interlayer tower on a single cracker.

Gailizia: Annalee slides her a glass of red.

"To wash it down."

Elliott: Such crimes are punished by a proscuittocutor. :fuguechip:

Semegastes: "If the signal is emanating from STATION MANAGEMENT, it really should be strongest down in the basement, right? I don't understand why this whole set-up is the way it is, and I'm the one who's inside the belly of the beast."

"I should know this!"

Elliott: I should clarify: This is the best the signal has been other than going down into the literal gullet.

Gailizia: "Please, Semegastes, everyone knows the best place to talk to god is on top of a mountain, or a very tall hill, or somewhere with a red blinking light on top."

Radegesis: "Oh, cheers, b — uh, dude."

Gailizia: Annalee agrees.

"Yeah, much more room for charcuterie up here too."

Radegesis: She squints up.

"Huh. Maybe if Sad, like… climbs up and puts on his phone flashlight, and… covers it with some red plastic…"

Semegastes: "But don't you want to see if Vore God would eat charcuterie?" one of the Technical Kids asks.

Radegesis: "I'm just thinking our blinkenlight quotient could increase."

Semegastes: Obviously they're here; there's free food.

Radegesis: "Yes, but more pertinently, I want to eat this charcuterie."

Gailizia: "Of course it eats charcuterie! Gods are known for liking meat. I doubt it would share though."

Gailizia returns to her glossolalic singing.

Sadabus: Sadabus idly waves his hand, creating a flock of blood-red lights that swoop around the Technical Kids heads, evading their grabs.

Semegastes: "Ooh, Sadie's casting cantrips!" the D&D kid says, genuinely gleeful as they swing their hands through the lights.

Gailizia: Gailizia holds their head closer, gently twisting the radio dial this way and that, attempting to tune in on STATION MANAGEMENT's speech, voice a soft, shrill hum as she focuses. :spotreckoning:

Semegastes: (We Know the Old God.) :fuguechip:

Sadabus: "The next fool who calls me 'Sadie' will take a fifth-level spell directly to the face, and I think you know the one I mean," warns Sadabus. :fuguechip:

Radegesis: (If anyone's in danger of a thematically-pertinent metamorphosis, it's Rad.)

Semegastes: "Is there an approved list of wizard nicknames?" The tone is genuinely deferential; they've heard Everett describe getting shrunk, like, at least half a dozen times.

Elliott: Scalbrand nudges closer the boombox, the bear's stuffed ears twitching ever so slightly, perhaps in imitation of Gailizia's own focus.

Gailizia: "Oh, I didn't know you played games like that, Sads," Annalee chimes in. "You seem more a wargame guy. Get to paint more musclemen miniatures that way."

Elliott: Speaking of which—

Gailizia, your translation gimmick is good to go, but the voice is faint, the signal so finnicky to dial in—

I am sorry to say that this may require doing an Ability to it.

Gailizia: Technically I have one going, in the form of a spotlight.

Is there something more specific you're looking for, re: Ability level?

Radegesis: Rad frowns. "Hey, Scalawag. Can you, like, eat? You want some salami?"

Sadabus: "'My Lord' is adequate. If you must play games of ironic submission, I suggest 'O stygian emperor,' or perhaps 'caliginous prince.'"

"And, really, Annalee, everybody knows about Dungeons and Dragons in 2020. Its visibility has become positively offensive."

(Sadly, Sadabus cannot be an indie RPG snob because the indie RPG scene fails to reflect his values to a ludicrous degree.)

Elliott: Ah! I forgot the spotlight—
In that case:

Elliott: Softly, in a voice as slow the last raindrop on a windshield:


Radegesis: Oh, ~~shit~~ the bed, is God vaporwave?

(be the change you want to see in the world)

Sadabus: Hm, yes, I suppose I…


I have to make an RPG that teaches children dark magic and indoctrinates them into attacking and dethroning God.

Come before me, Blackwing! I summon thee!

Elliott: Sadabus is yonder, planing to reify the Satanic Panic.

Semegastes: The clusters of Semegastes nesting amid the Old God's viscera seethe this way and that, trying to wrest some sense of… purpose? intention? mood? whatever giant mouths have? …from behind the words.

[Greater Stunt.]

Sadabus: Get your teeth around it.

Elliott: Semegastes… it's weird, you know. Wriggling around in something so vast. You have to hold on to whatever passes for neurons for minutes to get a second of thought; this thing has a mind like a glacier. But you get a sense of profound loneliness, and in its words — deep truth.

Semegastes: "I think it's flirting."

Radegesis: And here I thought Rad was bad at flirting.

Gailizia: "Got 'em."

Gailizia's poise shifts subtly, tightening up, an actor who now sees the audience.

"I am Gailizia Fantastic, merry vizier of the Rider's Abstinence Society and showrunner in the Tri-County Public Access Television program. We wish to reach an understanding."

Her voice crackles and pops, each word static twisting into the whine of a hard drive spinning.

Radegesis: Radegesis adds some psshhhhshhftttshhh static with her hands over her mouth. She's helping! :fuguechip:

She nudges Scally and shows them/it the posture.

Semegastes: (That probably counts as "teaching the child" for Gailizia's quest.)

Elliott: Scalbrand makes an approximation, although it's hard to find vocal fry when your larynx is evil cotton.

Radegesis: "Perfect."

Elliott: W H A T A R E Y O U U N D E R S T A N D I N G, C H I L D ?

[Sadabus nods, sadly. This is pretty much how he expected trying to have a conversation with a law-being to go.]

Sadabus: Since we're already on top of a building, I'm going to drink my wine upside-down on top of my upside-down sanctuary so I can use the Revenant Rite during this conversation.

Radegesis: Rad dodges a drop of wine that… falls? upwards? onto her seat.

Semegastes: The Technical Kids "help" by throwing the less-good bits of the charcuterie up to/at Sadabus's sanctum.

Gailizia: Gailizia frowns. "Right. I forgot."

She processes for a second.

"We wish to understand your motions in the deepness of all created things, and whether our fleshless flesh flows hungrily against your voices or in accord with the gnawing of your thought."

Her words scream like feedback.

[Sadabus barbecues the bits with lightning and allows them to fall back down, presumably so someone can catch them in their mouth, or crack their skull trying.]

Radegesis: Radegesis cracks her skull trying.

Like, immediately.

[Gailizia regains a Wear only to spend it immediately.]

Elliott: Hey Sadabus, doesn't Revenant require a spotlight?

Radegesis: That's the Radegesis way!

Spotlight Scal! Stain its cotton with your blood wine.

Sadabus: Yes, it won't really take effect until I spotlight something.

Radegesis: Has the onion picked pronouns yet?

Gailizia: Not yet!

Radegesis: Guess we better try 'em all.

[Gailizia nods.]

Elliott: HUNGRILY? it intones in one voice — a quicker screeching than before. Y O U A R E N O T F L E S H

Radegesis: Hey! I'm fleshy as hell!

Elliott: In all fairness, it might have said you are Not-flesh.

Radegesis: Rad flexes to demonstrate, unless she can't hear this, in which case she flexes for no reason at all.

Elliott: Its pronunciation is terrible.

Sadabus: Please don't make it say lambda.

Radegesis: That's fair, but Rad's listening skills are also terrible, so they're meeting in the middle here.

Gailizia: Everyone can in theory hear it; Gailin is just the only one who can understand it, with the possible exception of semegastes.

Semegastes: The Technical Kids murmur faintly. Something like "ooh, we should take a photo and send it to Slab."

Except for the Technical Kid with a crush on Slab.

Who is it? Not telling!

Radegesis: Rad flushes and starts subtly trying to angle herself to be optimal for candid angles and lighting. She does not know how to do this. But it seems important!

["propose a theory about what's cool"]

Elliott: Hey, Technical Kid. The blushing one.


Semegastes: noooooo

[Elliott cackles.]

Radegesis: Hah! For once, Rad's not the one getting a crush spotlit!

In fact, she'll pile on her own :spotcreation:, insofar as that's a thing.

Semegastes: Nooooooo!

Chibi-Valentine wails as the spotlight contracts on them. :fuguechip:

[Elliott does the Nanami laugh with Rad.]

Gailizia: Oh, the venture capital one?
No wonder they're embarassed.

Semegastes: What's actually happening is, they're trying to pass off the blushing as having had too much wine and hoping the other two will be distracted by laughing at Radegesis.

Elliott: We have subjected them to the mortifying ordeal of being known.

Semegastes: Valentine contains multitudes, such as: they are a business major. And yet, by some intervening grace, they may end up being not a douchebag capitalist.

Also ladies pretty.

Radegesis: Cheers; I'll drink to that, bro.

Sadabus: I could curse them to penury. Then they would be safe.

Radegesis: I think they make a cream for that.

One last question from this spotlight while Gailin does the actual work. Is Valentine… cute?

Gailizia: "Ugh, it's a metaphor. Let's cut to it, we don't want to let the wizard try to kill or relocate you and we'd rather keep Imperial funny business to a minimum, unless you want to find exactly how funny my business can be." :fuguechip:

Semegastes: If one is a fan of androgynously-shaven heads, arrogance propped over insecurity, and some really spectacularly bad fashion taste in over-the-top coats, then yes, Valentine is cute.

Radegesis: Rad turns to wink over a flexing shoulder, then immediately turns away, face blushing about as hard as Valentine's. Man, this wine is something, huh?

Semegastes: Semegastes sighs, inwardly, and draws another line on the mental relationship map.

Elliott: I W A N T T O H E A R Y O U . T H E D O O R I S O P E N .

Gailizia: There's a sudden, unexpected silence as Gailizia cuts off the radio and the sounds that had softly and imperceptibly filled the air while it was on suddenly stop.
"Well, it wants to meet in person."

Radegesis: Oh, nothing bad has ever happened from an eldritch being announcing that the door is open.

Gailizia: "Scallion, how would you like to see the maw of a god?"

Radegesis: "Back to the basement?"

Rad mentally fistpumps at her nickname catching on.

Elliott: The bear looks at you, then the boombox, and then offers you a paw.

[Sadabus waves his wine glass as if to say, "not in a million billion years.""]

Elliott: It is enormous and very awkward to hold, just in terms of scale.

Semegastes: "O midnight overlord, if you don't watch over us as we assail the maw of a cth… chto… of a spooky god, then who will?" Neva supplicates, thinking she's figured out Sadabus's motivations in life.

Sadabus: …damn her, she's got me.

Radegesis: chththchtchtch

Sadabus: Which one is Neva again? Tell me all about her in detail!


Semegastes: Neva is the one who keeps making D&D references about all your magic. She's your classic grungy fantasy stoner; in another age, she would ride in a van airbrushed with a wizard and carpeted in shag.
She may not admit it, but she thinks Sadabus' whole evil wizard schtick is kinda cool.

Gailizia: "Annalee, I'll leave you to mind the spread! I'll call if I need you."

Annalee raises a glass to that.

"Well, time to go visit STATION MANAGEMENT again!"

She takes Scalbrand's bear hand and begins gaily making her way Down.

Sadabus: "I suppose it's true that you would be lost without me," Sadabus admits, and consents to follow you, now that he's had the chance to Revenant once.



Rad does not sing, because what kind of nerd knows Phantom of the Opera by heart?

Elliott: You didn't spotlight it!

Sadabus: Using a spotlight at all is sufficient.

Elliott: Your Sanctuary ought not be a thing that can just overlay with the scene.

Sadabus: Nobody made you put the scene on the roof.

Gailizia: Strictly speaking, your sanctuary isn't on the roof either.

Sadabus: No, but it is literally hanging over the roof. I mean, I didn't make that up just now.

Elliott: We will have words.

Gailizia: Hanging over the roof outside Creation?

Elliott: Until then… scene break.

Sadabus: Yes, let's immediately break from talking about your old god nonsense for a three-hour interlude about what Apox is doing.

No doubt he has his own supporting cast of which we know nothing.

Elliott: There is an extremely brief intermission in the vein of Gunnerkrigg Court.

Gailizia: Apox fun time!

Elliott: We see Apox. See Apox run! Run, Apox, run! See Apox commit an atrocity! Commit, Apox, commit!

Radegesis: Well, now you gotta give us a whole treatise.



Semegastes: All things end in blood.

Radegesis: Some things end in blood. Others, in vanilla.

Elliott: We see a dog sitting perfectly still in the middle of a kitchen. If we were to know the dog's thoughts, we might discover ennui, or frustration, or perhaps the kindling of mischief.

He does a thing.

And he wags his tail.

What was the thing? An act with no need for physical gesture.

He seems pleased.

He circles around before laying in a sunny spot.

Semegastes: :spotreckoning:

Reveal the puppy schemes!

Sadabus: → Be Apox

Elliott: Every container, drawer, and appliance in Sadabus' kitchen is now glowing — copper, silver, rare flashes of gold and rainbow.

They are all the Lootboxes of Apox Obares now.

Semegastes: Gachapon Kitchen.

Elliott: Woe betide whoever opens them.

Or maybe weal?

Sadabus: It looks like someone isn't getting any ham.

Elliott: Who are we to say?

Radegesis: It'll make your cooking show that much more fun.

Gailizia: You'll have to claim your kitchen login reward to find out!

[Elliott ends the scene break.]

Sadabus: Not so fast!


I arrive on the scene on… wait, I'm in a different studio somewhere else.

I am unable to arrive on the scene.

Radegesis: Somewhere in an upside-down castle kitchen…

Sadabus: Still, I have a most devilish plan for this scenario.

Elliott: Why cans't thou not?

Sadabus: Fine, we shall fudge the timing.

[Sadabus arrives in the kitchen.]

Sadabus: "Perfidious hound! You seek to ensnare me in the cubes of desire? You shall only be caught in your own web!"

[Sadabus produces snausages, waves the snausages around a bit, to make sure he's got the scent, before magically banishing each link in the snausage chain to a random box.]

In the event that he's too good at this, they also randomly move around.

Hooked on the scent of snausages, he cannot help but open every box.

Elliott: I mean!

You just literally made it a game.

Sadabus: That is the Strategy which I now enact.

It's the kind of game the house always wins.

Elliott: "… I do want the snausages," Apox admits.

"Buuuuut… "

He pulls a drawer open and out pops an absolute cascade of bacon.

With a full mouth: "I'll find them eventually, anyway."

Gailizia: Somewhere, Gailizia laughs.

Sadabus: "Your randomized pig cracklings cannot compare to my hand-spiced snausages," claims Sadabus.

"Each one handmade and glistening."

[Sadabus invokes Intensity.]

Elliott: "This is S-rank bacon."

Sadabus: "S-rank bacon comes from chefs, not shelves."

Sadabus: Also, I invoke my status as this dog's master to make opposing me an Ability 5 task.

Elliott: Wait, where does that come from?

Semegastes: That's part of Intensity.

Sadabus: Intensity is Ability 3 to resist, or 5 if you have actual authority.

Sadabus begins describing the deliciousness of his snausages in a way that I am not good at but will surely make his mouth water with hunger.

Elliott: Ah, right.

Apox sits there for the description, shaking with tension.

"You know what your problem is, Sadabus Argand?"

Sadabus: "I'm afraid I'm too handsome."
"It undercuts my aura of terror." :fuguechip:

Elliott: "We're both monsters," Apox says, rising to his feet. "But I at least know better than to be a bully, too." :fuguechip:

Sadabus: This is monstrously unfair but Sadabus is unable to engage in ethical arguments.

Radegesis: Somewhere Radegesis _"oooooo"_s at this absolute burn.

Elliott: Gailizia, are you following this Imperial invitation?

Gailizia: Naturally.

If it wants to get up to some funny business, it's going against the master.

Elliott: And who among this motley follows her in this endeavour?

Semegastes: Semegastes is already there.

Radegesis: Can you possibly imagine that Rad is not there?

Elliott: To do so would be a form of violence.

Sadabus, are you there for the Tech Kids, or sending some agent of your dark will?

Radegesis: Does D&D have an astral projection spell?

Semegastes: Yeah, astral projection.

Elliott: Which edition is Sadabus' favorite, anyway?

Sadabus: 4e.

Elliott: Truly, he is a criminal against Creation.

Semegastes: 4e was good; you guys just don't appreciate 100% combat games.

Sadabus: Some considered its innovations… heretical.

But is not blasphemy the highest good?

Semegastes: No.

Radegesis: 4e is the D&D that D&D doth have.

You stand on the threshold!

In your train, Scalbrand has traded off into the body you made. Also: a handful of stuffed bunnies, tucked under its arm.

Eric is there, kind of thousand-yard staring.

Gailizia: Delightful!

Less so for Eric.

Elliott: And your friends!

Or colleagues?

Gailizia: A mix!

Elliott: Them.

They're here.

Radegesis: I'm here!

Elliott: And the lips open. And the tongue lolls to the side. And the teeth within — the concentric circles of awful, awful teeth — they begin to shift into a spiraling staircase.

Radegesis: "Oh, Jesus Christ; I know I haven't been to a dentist since I died, but that's very bad to see and look at."

Semegastes: Semegastes has limited their retinue to Everett, since they personally have gotten tired of the vore jokes.

Sadabus: "This is a terrible idea," says Sadabus. "Fortunately, I've brought plenty of wine."

Semegastes: "Radegesis… go to the dentist."

Elliott: They were getting truly vorable.

[Sadabus carries a box of grocery-store wine.]

Gailizia: "Oh, boy! Been a while since I visited the Deep Mythic!"

She turns to Scalbrand.

"I guess this part is more familiar for you?"

Radegesis: Rad has a fig in hand, she is neither taking chances nor fucking around.

Gailizia: "Rad, please put that away. I assure you if it tries to eat us, I will feed it something far worse."

Elliott: It nods its head, and smiles. "Home," it says, its voice still uncertain.

Gailizia: She ruffles its bear-mane.

Radegesis: Rad pockets it, but keeps her hand in her pocket.

Scally saying home hits her harder than she admits, and she looks away.

Semegastes: Semegastes observes an interesting incident involving the child towards Gailizia's quest.

Sadabus: Sadabus attempts to avoid looking at the bear. Jesus, but he's going along with a bunch of terrible ideas lately.

Gailizia: "Well, I'm going down," she says, winking in an attempt at levity.

explore something with the child

Sadabus: Thankfully, all his ideas are great and his subordinates go along with them willingly and joyfully.

Radegesis: Actually, Rad is going to :spotattention: Scallona and its exploration with Gailizia… I guess, in a way that highlights that idea of what home means?

Gailizia: I'd use a Reaction, but I want one handy for the god.

Elliott: What does it mean to go Home? For Scally, at least, it means to be immersed in the deep bones of What Is — to find the substrate of Creation and wrap it around like a comfy duvet.

Elliott: "Home" might not be as accurate as "the raw materials of both my being and my durance" but it's the thought that counts.

Gailizia: It's different now; maybe it will see something in that.


Radegesis: Home is the place you're made of. Hell of a thing to say, Scally. Hell of a thing to say.

Elliott: Careful, the teeth also have mouths, and those mouths have teeth, and it may be mouths-and-teeth all the way down.
Bright side: Down here? Full bars.

Radegesis: "oh god oh god oh god oh hey lambdagram notification oh god"

Semegastes: "The Technical Kids are being extremely insistent that I tell you that they just made a great 'godcasting' joke, and that you should all be very amused and attracted to them." :fuguechip:

hotquackbatarang: oh really not liking this new selfie she just posted


Gailizia: "If they want to shoot a shot, tell them to pull the trigger."

sk8rfan09833: but check out how HD it is. check out these pixels

Semegastes: "…they're saying something, but I'm not going to say it." Semegastes responds curtly, glancing at Radegesis.

bigfootunderthebigtop: oh fuck yeah i don't think my phone even has as many pixels as this shit is displaying

Radegesis: Radegesis chooses to ignore how much she actually is attracted to that pun, and instead leans forwards to Gailizia. "So, given that we are literally inside it, how do we know when we're 'in person'?"

Elliott: At the bottom of the shaft, things are fleshy and slick. The walls are covered with goo. There are a few pathways leading in various directions.

Radegesis: "Ah. Shouldn't have asked."

Elliott: How, oh how, woulds't thou navigate its viscera-strewn godbody?

Radegesis: Rad shines a flashlight down one tunnel, then another.

"We're not splitting up, right?"

Gailizia: Well, do we know what we're looking for?

Elliott: Presumably for some manifestation of substantial selfhood.

[Sadabus continues his day-drinking.]

Radegesis: "Watch out, Sad, you'll horn in on my 'local drunk' niche."

Semegastes: Semegastes traces the Old God's anatomy from both inside and outside, feeling the call of oh-my-love-thou-art-me from Everett Neff's skull to the call of oh-this-monstrous-thing-thou-wilt-be-me from within its veins.

Radegesis: Radegesis will go ahead and :spotreckoning: down the gullets of STATION MANAGEMENT, looking for anything that looks like it wants them to go that way… or, I guess, anything aware enough to decide like that.

Gailizia: "Hey Rad."

Gailizia offers out her deck.

"Pick a card."

[I'm combining a Greater Investigation to scope out what that might be with a Lesser Navigation to get around petty things like "not knowing where the fuck we are" or "being inside a Meat Cathedral of a True God".]

[Sadabus passes Radegesis more wine from his box of limitless grocery store wine.]

[Radegesis picks a card with one hand and drinks with another.]

Elliott: Radegesis draws The Seven of Ravening Maws.

Radegesis: "Well, at least it's straightforward, huh? One, two, three, four, five, six, this one."

Elliott: Its guidance suggests — indeed, that throat-tunnel.

You pass by… it's almost like… little shops?
They're embedded in the pulsing flesh-walls.

Semegastes: Has Semegastes' infestation reached deep enough into the Old God's essence for the presence of little shops in a throat tunnel to not be completely unexpected to them?

Elliott: I would suspect so.

It is a reasonable thing.

Gailizia: Fuck it, I wanna see the shops. :spotreckoning:

Semegastes: "This is very normal."

Elliott: The shops sell… well, mostly televisions. From retro tube-things proudly boasting a 19" screen to the latest in electron-thin molecular high-definition monitors.

There's some other things, too: radios, and routers, and also literally just a Blockbuster's.

Radegesis: "You know, I would not have guessed it, but like… sure?"

Gailizia: "Oh! This must be where all the electronics hook in!"

"No wonder the signal works."

Elliott: Except that the tapes inside are all… like, moments. There's a section for "awkward meet-cutes; Scranton, Ohio, 1979."

Radegesis: Rad tentatively wonders what the currency here is.

"Oh, that's fun."

"Wait. Does that mean it's, like, watching people? Has it been watching us?"

Gailizia: "Probably? True Gods are like that, though."

Radegesis: Rad glances furtively around for "awkward embarrassments, Eintz, 20xx" or "really terrible roller derby plays, Eintz, all the time".

Semegastes: "Are you familiar with bats, Radegesis?"

Elliott: I'mma gonna call for Ability on that one, Rad.

Semegastes: "I think the WiFi is the breath of this God, and that it echolocates back from it." :fuguechip:

Radegesis: :D


Gailizia: Gailizia nods in agreement, not knowing how WiFi works.

Radegesis: "I can't even tell if that's the Everett talking or if law-beings are just like that."

Sadabus: Has anyone ever actually spent Cost on an Ability task?

Gailizia: Yeah.

Semegastes: "That was me."

Elliott: Radegesis finds what she seeks!

Semegastes: "Yeah," Everett interjects, "I'm scared as shit."

Radegesis: "Oh. Cool."

Sadabus: Although Sadabus will probably have to, in order to write an RPG with World of Darkness level amounts of fluff.

Elliott: It's a copy of Eintz County Roller Derby Bloopers, 20XX.

Radegesis: Sadabus writes recursive Glitch, finally ending the world.

Elliott: She reaches towards it…

And a figure leaps out and swallows it whole!

It begins throwing many of the tapes into its maw, mind you.

Radegesis: "oh harumaph fucking christ"

Semegastes: "Hey, I thought I was the only parasite in here… " Semegastes says, actually hurt.

Elliott: The entity turns on Rad, eyes mad, and lunges at her.

Gailizia: "Seems like someone else's problem, if I'm being — oh, no, it's our problem now."

Radegesis: Rad will fire off a panicked Destruction! Is this thing animal enough to explode with wasps?

Sadabus: What is this thing?


Elliott: It is a man. He stands six feet tall, dressed in a tattered coat, shirtless and muscled. His pants are torn at the knees from wear, Hulk-style. He is grinning from ear to ear, literally: His mouth begins just under one ear and ends on the other. The coat… it's not Excrucian, mind you. It looks more like something a Power might wear.

Sadabus: Okay, hold on, this merits my attention.

Semegastes: "What," Semegastes intones, "are you doing in my body?"

Radegesis: Regretfully, shirtless muscled tattered coat also merits mine.

Sadabus: "This is a fashion disaster," says Sadabus. "The shirt he isn't wearing is a disgrace."

"We need to find a better one so he can take off that."

Elliott: Unfortunately, Rad: It is not an animal. But some wasps do appear, and he eats them, and by all appearances they sting him going down, if the brief protrusions in his neck are any indication.

Radegesis: "OK, what the fuck."

Gailizia: "Hey, we're here by invitation, if you wouldn't mind leaving us alone…"

Semegastes: "You are in my body and you are eating wasps!"


Elliott: "Am I?" he asks, wobbling back on the balls of his feat. "Is this your body now, Excrucian?"

Sadabus: "Also I need to recruit him for the boss rankings."

"He can take the slot before Helena."

Semegastes: "Yes, it is." Semegastes says, smugly. "One of many."

"I fed myself to your law-being like a lamb offering itself up for the slaughter."

Elliott: He circles Semegastes. "This," he says, with a sudden snarl as his spirit roars with will and his muscles tense with power, a fist rushing towards the face of Everett Neff, "IS MY BODY."

Sadabus: "And what a body it is."

Semegastes: Did I ever mention that Everett used to be a pro wrestler?

Not, a good pro wrestler. And not even technically a pro.

Sadabus: And also not a wrestler?

Semegastes: And that was back when he had, like, abs.

Elliott: I find this to be dubious.

This is not a no.

But it is a statement of my skepticism.

Sadabus: I'm extremely dubious and I'm the one who's uncharacteristically fond of Everett.

Radegesis: You know who's not a wrestler?


Semegastes: But with the divine breath of the void flowing through him, with Semegastes' Greater Guidance, it is as if he were back in his glory days.

He suplexes the new guy with Ability 7.

Radegesis: Oh, wait, is this for real? Never mind; Rad is cheering Everett on to do some wrestleboy shit.

Elliott: Oh, oh, Everett—

Sadabus: :spotattention:

Elliott: I am so sorry, Everett.

You are wrestling a Power.

You are wrestling a Power with high Aspect.

Everett, this punch he delivers? It could unsettle planets from their orbits.

Sadabus: Shrink spell, go!


Elliott: He makes to pummel Everett—

Sadabus: And then, as the punch goes over Everett's head?

I un-shrink him.

Elliott: Oh! You were using it on Everett. That is EXTREMELY SMART.

The punch goes wide.

Sadabus: I'm not one of those perverts who will shrink just anybody.

[Sadabus looks askance at Dan Shive.]

Radegesis: "Hey! Don't fucking touch my friend!"

Elliott: But he rounds on Sadabus now, and he tears a pillar from the building, and winds back like a goddamn blaseballer.

Gailizia: Gailizia rolls her eyes.

"Are you done yet, Mr. Beef?"

Semegastes: "That, for the record, feels extremely weird," Everett says, or tries to say, over the guttural rage Semegastes is pouring out of his throat.

Elliott: (I'm gonna throw this up as two more exchanges.)

Gailizia: Are we trying to hit a goal here?

Semegastes: Semegastes is going to use Greater Trust.

Elliott: No, this is a Bloodiest Battle.

Gailizia: What's he trying to do?

What's the actual stake here?

Elliott: He wants to rout the lot of you out of "his body" and also do you grievous physical harm in the process.

Sadabus: … tell me more.

Semegastes: She is spending 4 Immersion (+1 XP) to awaken Everett's secondary Technique, and then throw it at this Power with the backing of a level 10 Ability Action that can contend with miracles.

That Technique is: One Flesh, One End. :fuguechip:

Sadabus: Hm, this guy is potential nemesis material.

I need to figure out how to make him really, really mad.

Any ideas?

Radegesis: Seems like hes doing just fine himself.

Sadabus: Yes, but it has to be at me.

Semegastes: Every cell of Everett's body is a cell of Semegastes' body

Every cell of toxin-ridden liver is flushed away through sweat.

Every cell of muscle is as a strand of all-cutting void.


Elliott: The Power is thrown! His face contorts with outrage! When he finally finds a moment to get a little breathing room, he's twitching.

Sadabus: No! No breathing!

Only fire.

I have plenty.

Radegesis: "Uh, guys, I know I'm usually not the one for advocating not kicking ass, but cant gailizia just intensity therapy h — oh, there goes fire."

Sadabus: With a wizardly gesture, Sadabus conjures fire, standing in as impressive a stance as he can manage.

4 Burn for Greater Destruction to roast him and as much scenery as I can manage, plus Intensity just in order to look awesome.

"Surrender, slave of the law-beings! For it is I, Sadabus Argand (and my minions) who have conquered you! Henceforth your god shall be our despised servant!"

Semegastes: "Sadabus, I do not despise my bodies."

Sadabus: "Henceforth your god will be our neutrally-regarded servant!"

Semegastes: "No. Your God will be our beloved flesh."

Sadabus: "And you, perhaps… may know our favor, should you merit it."


Gailizia: "Why do I take you anywhere, Sads?"

Sadabus: "A better question is 'why did I let you carry me into the flesh of a law-being?'."

"But now I know the answer."

Elliott: The flames of the Void scour his body, stripping him of the last of his tattered rags, although a patch of strangely persistent (but apparently non-awful) flames do remain to censor bits.

Sadabus: Excellent! He has been broken down to nothing.

Now we may reconstruct him as we please.

Semegastes: Everett-and-Semegastes stride through Sadabus' inferno, touched by the fire and yet not burnt, primarily to show off that this Greater Trust's power is about total bodily control down to the cellular level yielding transcendent physical perfection, but also stand athwart the bested Power.

"I get it, you know. Excrucians infesting your law-being… normally when I did that, it was no kindness."

Elliott: So, checking in: How much Cost have y'all used in this particular skirmish, total?

Gailizia: What's your starting point?

Elliott: When the Power appeared.

Semegastes: 1 on Greater Guidance the first time, 4 on Greater Trust the second.

Sadabus: I've used 4, but hold on, I've got one more trick.

Gailizia: I used 3 Wear.

Sadabus: "See!" shouts Sadabus.

Radegesis: Rad has not actually used any. She was saving a Greater Stunt but he looks pretty handled right now.

Sadabus: "Your master bows before us!"
Sadabus gestures as the scenery, shops, tapes, and all, begins to crumple and kneel down before the triumphant Excrucian Host.

Greater Misdirection, 5 Stilling.

"Your allegiance now belongs to us."

Gailizia: "Sadabus."

"Shut up."

[Sadabus shuts up and claims another XP, having used two high-cost miracles.]

Semegastes: Semegastes thinks: Sadabus, I've infested law-beings in the war, and that doesn't make their Powers flip allegiance to you.

But this they do not say, because manners.

Sadabus: Well, it should.

I am also claiming "you throw caution to the wind."

Elliott: The Power falls, looking around him as the surroundings seem to kneel. His long, terrible lips quiver.

He says something.

Something very soft.

So soft, so soft—in the din of battle and flame and creaking frames and bending beams, it might be lost.

Semegastes: :spotreckoning:

Elliott: "Please. Please, Uul. Please."

The Power dematerializes.

Radegesis: "What? What did he say?"

Elliott: Gailizia notices not just these words, but also, behind the counter, the tinniest sliver of something. Something vaguely… hat-like?

Gailizia: "And now we've gone and made them desperate. Marvelous."

Sadabus: "I presume he said, 'I am defeated by this incredibly handsome annujan.'"

Gailizia: She goes to look at this… hat?

Semegastes: "'Please, Uul, please.' The God's name, I imagine."

Radegesis: "Wait, uh, if you go back there, dont look at any tapes; they're probably evil law-being schemes."

Sadabus: "Oh, right; we should unravel any schemes it has going."

Semegastes: This does not sit well with Semegastes. This… possessive, childish jealousy. That was beneath them.

They owe an apology to a Power, goddamnit.

Radegesis: f

Gailizia: f

Elliott: f

[They are pressing F to pay respects. Does this meme still make any sense to you, readers in the distant future of whenever-it-is?]

Sadabus: "Since it's now our Imperial prisoner, it will presumably show us exactly what tapes are relevant to our plans."

Radegesis: "So, uh… if that guy was MANAGEMENT's, are we still like… down to talk?"

Gailizia: "Good fucking question."

[Sadabus isn't exactly sure how his Misdirection is going to interact with scenery like that.]

Sadabus: Who is Uul? What do I know of Uul, ancient of war that I am?


Semegastes: Well, he ain't Dana.

Elliott: What you know of Uul is… a conspicuous absence. No god named Uul was ever writ in the Book of Our Adversaries.

Gailizia: Tell Me Of The Hat(?)

Elliott: The hat belongs to… I mean, it's a gnome. We could fancy her up and put on a coat of Our Gnomes Are Different paint and yeah, she looks a little strange but she's basically a gnome.

Gailizia: "Oh!"

Gailizia cocks her head.

"A gnome? You okay down there?"

Radegesis: "A fucking what now?"


Sadabus: "Radegesis, gnomes stand 3 to 3½ feet tall and weigh 30 to 45 pounds. Their skin color ranges from dark tan to woody brown, their hair is fair, and their eyes can be any shade of blue. Gnome males prefer short, carefully trimmed beards. Gnomes generally wear leather or earth tones, though they decorate their clothes with intricate stitching or fine jewelry. Gnomes reach adulthood at about age 40, and they live about 350 years, though some can live almost 500 years."

Elliott: She speaks in the sound of tapes being chewed up in a cheap VCR.

Gailizia: "Ah, I know this one."

"You okay down there?"

Elliott: Uhm… yeah. I guess. Wow, thanks. I hate when he's in a mood like that. How the flip did you scare him off? And that fire!

Gailizia: "Sadabus is an evil wizard who's incapable of restraint. I recommend avoiding him if you can help it. Anyways, we are very powerful and got an invitation from the local god."

Radegesis: "The, uh, more you know, I guess."

Sadabus: "And knowing is half the battle."

Elliott: In the background, Scalbrand stands over where the Power disappeared, a look of… not recognition; that would require knowing but… maybe some strange resonance? Not a big feeling. Just a feeling.

Semegastes: "They do not normally speak in video static. At least — Sadabus, Neva is insisting that I say this 'right up in your wizard face,' and I do not understand why - not in any proper edition."

Elliott: The gnome grows very still.
From… Uugaruu? Or Uul?

Radegesis: "Whoa. Scalawag. You good?"

Gailizia: "Great question! What's the difference?"

Elliott: Scalbrand looks at Radegesis. "Like me," it says, holding one of its bunny-bodies close. "Hungry."

Semegastes: "Oh, holy shit; it can talk."

Gailizia: Gailizia looks over her shoulder.

"Please. What kind of fool would make a Casting that couldn't talk." :fuguechip:

Semegastes: Observing an interesting incident involving the child

Elliott: "This—all of this!—this is Uugaruu. I am, in a little way, Uugaruu. The only things that aren't Uugaruu are Uugaruu's friend, who you just fought off, and… Uul. Who controls Uugaruu's friend.""

Sadabus: "…of course, it can talk." mutters Sadabus.

"Of course, the world is wrong, so it makes sense."

Gailizia: "It would rather defeat the purpose if it couldn't, dear."

"Oh! Then _probably_ Uugaruu? Unless Uul can hijack the airwaves."

Radegesis: Radegesis frowns at them before frowning at the bear.

"Hey. Be nice."

"You mean like… assimilation hungry? Like wants to infect everything? Or, like… could eat some charcuterie?"

Elliott: "I guess Uul wouldn't. Uul doesn't like others. Doesn't want them. So it… must be Uugaruu," she says, and brightens.

She comes out from behind the counter and does a little bow, tipping her obligatorily conical hat. "You are welcome here, Uugaruu's new friends!"

Semegastes: Semegastes gives an embarrassed wave.

Gailizia: Gailizia bows back, with a clownish flourish.

Semegastes: "Gailizia, can you ask her what the Power's name was?"

Gailizia: "My friend wants to know what Uulagaruu's friend's name is. The one we just… fought off."

Elliott: ""Uul made him eat his own name, a long time ago. We call him the Ravening Maw, now."

Radegesis: Rad has no idea what's going on but does a little salute wave anyways.
"Hey, why's this little guy look so sad?"

Elliott: Scalbrand, to Radegesis: "Because Of Loneliness."

Gailizia: "Oh, dear! We'll have to meet him with kindness if we cross paths again."

She looks down the path.

"Uul made him eat his name, so he's the Ravening Maw now."

"We're trying to find somewhere where Uugaruu's more… condensed?, and this seemed to be the way. Do you know if that seems right?"

Without really noticing, Gailin echos Scalbrand.

"…because of loneliness."

Radegesis: Radegesis flops her jaw in confusion for a second, then… opens her arms for a hug? :fuguechip:

Sadabus: Sadabus wavers.

Gailizia: "Careful, Rad."

Sadabus: "It would… be a terrible idea to add this creature to our host of minions simply because it's thematically congruent with our ambience."

"You should know better than to try and convince me!"

Elliott: Scalbrand will consent to be hugged. But it will also comically not quite understand and use the opportunity to fill your pockets with stuffing. :fuguechip:

Radegesis: "Don't sweat it, Gailin. What's it gonna do, kill me?"

She punctuates it with what she hopes is a rakish grin.

Semegastes: Semegastes tears up a little.


Radegesis: "Oh, okay, yeah, you do that, buddy." :fuguechip:

Gailizia: "In a sense, if you're not careful."

Sadabus: Would it be terrible if I reflexively set the stuffing on fire?

We don't want another Incident, like with Eric.

Radegesis: "Leave Onion's stuffing alone!"

Sadabus: "Your pants are an Actual!"

Elliott: Eric is also there, because we established that earlier, and he also does not want another Incident.

Radegesis: "It's fine! These boots were made for walking, and now, so are these pants!"

Gailizia: "No, they're full of stuffing. They would have to love it to become an Actual."

Radegesis: "Oh. Then they're just warm."

Gailizia: "The stuffing is still part of it though."

[Sadabus eyes the pants suspiciously, as though they might give into the foul infection called 'love' at any moment.]

Radegesis: "Alright bud. Let's go sit down and, uh, chill for a minute. Gailizia, you good with, uh… short and hatty over there?"

Gailizia: "Yeah!"

:spotreaction: "Oh, how rude of me- what's your name? I'm Gailizia Fantastic!"

Elliott: There's a sense of slowing. The house lights are not out, but they are dimming. The curtains are not closing, but the stagehands wait in the wings.

"Oh! I'm Uubanda. A pleasure, friend."

"It's been so long," she says, and the moment hangs there, as long as time and as vast as space. "Since we met someone."

[The curtains close, framing the scene of Gailizia and Uubanda and the Chancery and Scalbrand.]

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