Sixth Story - Pressure

<Immanuel> So who got axed last week?

<Hollyhock God> Oh, David and Dreams wandered off into the netherworld.

<Hollyhock God> I leave the summary to Miranda!

<Immanuel> Good, we need less Ds.

<Dan> Hey!

<Dan> I take umbrage at that remark

<Immanuel> You disgust me.

<Dan> I'll do to you what I did to all of reality!

<Immanuel> Disappoint me?

<Dan> Cut you off from life. :P

<Miranda> They walked in and got cold feet, and decided to spend the rest of the expedition trying to possess a dead guy to take their risks for them, but they never figured out how to get the arms and legs to move. Then we all had sandwiches in the dark.

<Immanuel> If I had been there I could've provided some light.

<Immanuel> I apologize. I was inconveniently summoned. Yes, that was it.

<Miranda> I would have gone, but apparently I can't ever die.

<Henry> I can never tell if someone describing a Nobilis game is being serious.

<Grayson> How nice for you.

<Grayson> (The never dying thing)

<Henry> Nobilis Estate Property: Indistinguishable from irony/parody (3)

<Immanuel> The power of Deadpan Humor.

<Immanuel> Affliction: Monotone

<Miranda> Well… it's inconvenient at the moment. Also, it's kind of freaky.

<Henry> So you have to actually be dead to get into the netherworld?

<Henry> Clearly unfair discrimination.

<Henry> We should sue.

<Miranda> The relevant jurisdiction is apparently New Jersey.

<Hollyhock God> Well, Dreams and David managed to wander out, somehow.

<Dreams> I think it's less "You have to be dead to get to the netherworld" and more "If you go to the netherworld, you're technically (and possibly temporarily) dead".

<Henry> *nods*

<Immanuel> The entrance to the underworld is in New Jersey? Who could've guessed!

<Hollyhock God> It's everywhere. Unless you're Miranda, I guess.

<Hollyhock God> She'll never be able to join Praxael in that great big Chancel in the sky.

<Dreams> Ha ha ha.

<Dreams> It's funny because it's mean.

<Henry> Indeed.

<Hollyhock God> But I guess it's time for new business.

<Hollyhock God> Did anyone have any other new business before I start an A-plot?

<Dreams> I have a wide array of self-initiated projects I desire to work on!

<Dreams> Ha ha ha, just kidding.

<Immanuel> I sort of wanted to eat somebody but I'll just work it into the story.

<Miranda> At some point I need to talk to NPCs who have come back from thre land of dead Imperators.

<Hollyhock God> Yeah, we really need to get started on Immanuel's need to devour virgins.

<Henry> I have been immersed in finals-study-cram-insanity so haven't really had an opportunity to think of anything.

<Henry> Nor would the next two weeks be good for focusing on me, as I shall be Distracted.

<Hollyhock God> But for now, you're at home in Locus Praxael, doing the things you like.

<Henry> So A-plot away.

<Hollyhock God> I'm not sure what those are, exactly.

<Immanuel> I told you I don't eat virgins.

<Immanuel> Actually, this interacts in several bizarre ways with my afflictiond

<Hollyhock God> Anyway, you receive a message headed with the symbols of the "College of Silver Bounty," and countersigned by about a dozen Powers.

<Hollyhock God> The College is requesting the services of the Writ Keeper under the Accords, and would like to arrange a meeting.

<Henry> (In terms of what we were talking about a couple weeks ago about Ambition's role, I think I was envisioning sort of a Devil-like figure, in that he would find people with ambitions and nurture them by offering them opportunities and such. In exchange for favors, usually, but sometimes just because it amuses him to do so)

<Grayson> I suppose we're sort of collectively the Writ Keeper?

<Immanuel> That would be my interpretation

<Grayson> We better meet them and demonstrate that we're competent to handle this sort of responsibility.

<Henry> ("And I'll form the head!")

<Hollyhock God> Among the signees: Remus, Fine, Rhys, Noel, and Mathilde.

<Henry> (Mathilde?)

<Grayson> (The Power of Logic, comes from Hell)

<Miranda> (Favors are Commerce's baliwick. Do it 'cause it's the Ambitiony thing to do!)

<Miranda> "Well. It would seem that Maxiel has chosen to involve Itself. All four of its powers?"

<Henry> (Ah, right. On a side note, functional game wikis are surprisingly convenient for those like me with poor memory.)

<Hollyhock God> All three.

<Grayson> (Indeed.)

  • Henry has been in games with wikis before, but rarely well-functioning ones.

<Dan> "So this is what my second job is all about right now, eh?"

<Grayson> "Has anyone heard of this College of Silver Bounty?"

<Hollyhock God> David would know a bit about the College if he were here. It's involved in the Noble currency system.

<Grayson> Is it actually a college in a meaningful way, or is it like the Electoral College?

<Henry> "How mysterious."

<Miranda> "Yes. Three. Of course. Three.

<Hollyhock God> It's sort of like a college of arms.

<Hollyhock God> An order of elite numismatists and economists, who study the patterns of Ofeili trade and monitor the value of various coinages.

<Grayson> Ah.

<Hollyhock God> Most specifically, they judge how much merit a Noble has acquired under the terms of the Accords.

<Grayson> "Does someone want to speed-read the Accords and see if they contain anything obviously relevant?"

<Henry> "So presumably they'll want something from us."

<Hollyhock God> The Accords usually don't mention specific Orders in their terms. They're more akin to a Constitution.

  • Dreams recalls having done that earlier, or at least attempting to.

<Dreams> We may have gotten distracted?

<Dreams> No, wait, that was the Will.

<Hollyhock God> A kind of mystical backbone upon which new Orders can be formed and gain access to the machinery of the Accords, like the Web of Khedeb-Neret and Misenchronic Engine.

<Henry> "…obviously, they will want something from us. More specifically, a favor of some sort, something in our power to do, that would give them an advantage in some scheme."

<Henry> (Could they arrange for our faces to be put on currency? Cause that would be cool)

<Miranda> (Stupid Laser Spider.)

<Immanuel> In a dimension that's relevant.

<Dan> "Do these Accords say they'll owe us anything in return?"

<Grayson> "Well, I think the important thing is that we come to a consensus among ourselves before agreeing to do anything for them."

<Dreams> "Yes, because us coming to a consensus about anything is certainly possible."

<Hollyhock God> The Writ Keeper's job is shockingly unremunerative, alas.

<Immanuel> This is why Miranda volunteered for it.

<Immanuel> Right?

<Grayson> "Well, or at least discuss it among ourselves, and if we must resort to some sort of majority vote. Anything to avoid making conflicting promises to outsiders."

<Henry> (Do we at least get bribes?)

<Grayson> (I don't see why not.)

<Grayson> (Though we should probably not be too blatant about it, especially at first while we're trying to prove our competence.)

<Dreams> "Well, we should at least see what they want in the first place."

<Henry> "Probably best."

<Dan> "Majority probably works as well as anything else."

<Grayson> "Indeed. I suppose we should invite them to a meeting here?"

<Henry> "That would give us the advantage."

<Immanuel> "Yes, let's."

<Immanuel> "We'll have the homefield advantage."

<Hollyhock God> A meeting! Short summary of the details?

  • Miranda continues to focus on Ignoring Immanuel's remark about her volunteerism.

<Dan> "It can't go worse than the party with Joktan"

<Dreams> Unless anybody planned on doing something highly objectionable during the meeting that we would all have to react to. Not that I'm naming names. Miranda.

<Grayson> "Perhaps we should set it up like a courtroom? Us on a raised dais in the front and the various Powers petitioning us provided podiums and such?"

<Immanuel> "I do hope you won't attempt to commit a violation of the Windflower Law with an animated light fixture again, dear sister."

<Dan> "You know, I bet David's phone has an app for that."

<Henry> "That would be very formal. A conference room of some sort might suit us just as well."

<Henry> (Courtroom or light fixture?)

<Immanuel> (Both.)

<Dreams> "Excellent idea, Grayson. We could use an official meeting place whose architecture conveys an expectation of higher status on our parts."

<Immanuel> "Should I start work on a villa made of fire?"

<Immanuel> (It won't actually be fire since I have no domain. It'll just be fiery.)

<Henry> "If we wish to give that impression, we could also install some bureaucratic barriers, such as requiring an application to be filled out before we hear them. Though that's probably not necessary unless we get a lot more requests."

<Dreams> (Take that, A-plot! Cower before our terrifying power of haggling over minutia!)

<Immanuel> "We could demand a registration fee, instead of just asking for the bribe."

<Dreams> "Ugh, bureaucracy. I at least have standards."

<Dan> "Call it a procesessing fee"

<Dan> "Beureaucracy does tend to crush dreams…"

<Immanuel> "Even dreams of bureaucracy?"

<Dan> "Do those exist?"

<Grayson> "I'm think at the moment we need to make sure to present ourselves as competent and not self-interested, at Praxael was in his administration of the Accords."

<Dreams> "Yes, there will always be time to descend into corruption, bribery, and grafts later."

<Immanuel> "I think, as a display of unity, we should all wear masks and ceremonial robes during petitions to us as Writ Keepers."

<Miranda> "Half of them are an allied chancel, and honestly I think maximizing presentation over substance is going to quickly become more budrensome than it's worse. Let's just meet them in the Palaza Diamonde and be done with it."

<Immanuel> "Mine will be made of fire obviously."

<Immanuel> "You take the fun out of everything."

<Dreams> (I now picture Miranda wearing a shield on her face.)

<Dan> "Masks? Do we have to?"

  • Dreams smiles at something.

<Henry> "Some form of symbol of station, showing us to be serving an official position, would be appropriate."

<Dan> "I'd think uniforms or robes or whatever would be more than sufficient"

<Dreams> "Ah. Symbols. I'll whip something up."

<Hollyhock God> A mask is a kind of shield!

<Miranda> "This is an established office. Imgine if you went into court and, with no notice, they were suddenly wearing masks and robes."

<Dan> "Put our emblems on the sleeves or something if you have to. I'm not wearing a bridge on my face."

<Hollyhock God> Although you'll have to deal with the whole "masks hide one fact, but they reveal another" property.

  • Immanuel sighs
  • Dreams Aspect-2 designs a fancy and official-looking robe clasp.

<Immanuel> "Masks are a symbol of our city, where we make our scene, in case you had forgotten? But, if you're all intent on being such spoilsports, I suppose we could all bear one symbol of our Estates…"

  • Dreams sketches it out a few designs, hmmms, resists the urge to doodle spirals in the margins.

<Immanuel> "To denote that we act in an official capacity."

<Miranda> "I intend to continue to remain in mourning."

  • Dreams also resists the urge to make Miranda's emblem a happy-face.

<Henry> "Black is always appropriate."

<Miranda> "Shall we proceed?"

<Immanuel> "Hmm, could you shield against communication"

<Dreams> "It's her specialty."

<Immanuel> "We would have our very own portable star chamber to confer in."

<Dreams> "But yes, let's."

<Dreams> (Let's proceed)

<Grayson> "Agreed."

  • Hollyhock God never ceases to be amused at the Noble power to argue forever over details.
  • Dreams hands out professional and official-looking seals of Writ-keeping.

<Dreams> Presumably they're not appearing in five minutes, anyway.

  • Immanuel puts on his seal with a cartoon flame on it.

<Dreams> Cut to the meeting?

<Hollyhock God> Arrangements are made, and on the following day, a small procession arrives, consisting of Remus, Rhys, Noel, and Mathilde.

<Dreams> (Hmmm, estate of Trivial Details.)

<Dan> (Would be able to control our games, certainly <_< )

<Hollyhock God> "Capital to see you all again," says Remus, flourishing his stick. The sentiment appears moderately universal.

<Henry> Henry nods politely to them. "Lovely indeed."

  • Immanuel bows.

<Grayson> "Welcome again to Venice. I understand you're here to discuss the College of Silver Bounty?"

<Hollyhock God> "I daresay we ought to have shown up before now, really. What with the shake-up since Praxael's death, the Orders have done their best to carry on as normal, but in some cases the arbitration of the Writ Keeper really is required."

<Dreams> "Of course. In what way do you require our services?"

<Hollyhock God> "As you know, the College maintains a number of currency systems suitable for godly use. Most of them, such as the udi you prefer, we simply observe and guarantee."

  • Miranda studies the entourage, trying to discern motive, almost watching for sudden moves.

<Hollyhock God> "But we personally measure, value, and define the values of social currencies such as merit and legend. It's about a few items of legend that we've come to consult you today."

  • Immanuel is on guard. Have they come to appraise his hoard?
  • Grayson nods.

<Grayson> "We'd be happy to help."

<Henry> "Of course."

  • Dan seemed bored initially, but does perk up a bit at the mention of items of legend.

<Hollyhock God> "The senior members of the College vote to determine the proper value of any treasure, and their appraisal is binding under the machinery of the Accords."

<Henry> (*wonders what the insurance value of a drop of the Creator's blood is*)

<Miranda> (Man, we could use Commerce today)

<Hollyhock God> "Unfortunately, in this case, we were unable to come to a decision. The deciding vote therefore belongs to the Writ Keeper."

<Miranda> "What is the legend in question?"

<Dreams> (Ha ha, there's six of us, too.)

<Immanuel> (I sense another deadlock.)

<Hollyhock God> Remus nods. "I was sent to show it to you, and the others have come as representatives of other Orders, to observe the machinery of the Accords in motion."

<Hollyhock God> He reaches carefully into his hat.

<Dan> (Hey Henry, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!)

<Immanuel> (This better not be John Dillinger's penis. Again.)

<Dreams> ("This giant rabbit, with the heart of a demon and feathers from an angel's wing in place of its soul!")

<Dreams> ("Wait, sorry, wrong game.")

<Hollyhock God> The blade he pulls out is long and thick, but devilishly sharp. Rivulets of green run down the pale grey metal, and it makes a strange sound in the air as it moves.

<Hollyhock God> You notice that Remus is wearing a very thick glove on the hand he uses to carry it.

<Immanuel> "Is this… an Abhorrent Weapon?"

<Henry> "I was just about to ask that."

<Dreams> "Why don't we let him explain?"

<Dan> "What's an abhorrent weapon?"

  • Miranda's eyes lock on to the blade and don't let go.

<Grayson> "Excrucian weapon. Nasty things."

<Hollyhock God> Remus nods. "We know it by the name Despair, or Sheorum."

<Miranda> Without turning, Miranda answers Dan: "The cutting edge of nonexistence."

<Grayson> "When was it captured?"

<Hollyhock God> "Rhys acquired it eight days ago when he and Noel destroyed a Warmain-shard that had engaged in an attack on the Sun."

  • Miranda arches an eyebrow.

<Hollyhock God> "It was a pretty good fight," admits Rhys. "But he left this thing behind, and everyone's been a bit concerned about it."

  • Grayson nods respectfully at Rhys.

<Henry> "I can imagine why."

<Hollyhock God> "It's not even that sharp," says Rhys.

<Grayson> "Poisonous?"

  • Immanuel wonders if anyone has ever attempted to purify an Abhorrent Weapon.

<Dreams> "So what is the contention regarding its value, then?"

<Hollyhock God> "I haven't cut myself with it to find out, honestly," Remus admits.

<Immanuel> "Any volunteers?"

<Hollyhock God> "Half of the College felt that it shouldn't be given formal value at all," explains Mathilde, speaking for the first time. "I say if anyone wants to buy it, they should have the opportunity."

<Dan> "I've already lost one hand, thanks."

<Hollyhock God> It grew back!

<Immanuel> (I know right? Baby.)

<Hollyhock God> So you have a spare!

<Dan> (I now need to ask people if they need a hand.)

<Miranda> "And the other half?"

<Dreams> "Hmmm. Is there no precedent regarding assigning value to Abhorrent weapons? I find myself surprised if that's the only issue, and this is the first time that's come up."

<Grayson> "I'd like to examine it; Miranda, do you think you could fashion me appropriate gloves?"

  • Miranda nods.

<Hollyhock God> "The other half of the College were willing to value it at seventeen million OTC or at twelve coins of silver merit, about twice the value of Creation-born legendary weapons."

<Miranda> "You are protected."

  • Miranda designates Secrets as her protection target.
  • Grayson holds his hands out towards Remus.

<Grayson> "If you don't mind?"

<Hollyhock God> "The issue has rarely come up because of the difficulty in handling and keeping the blades safely. Rhys was able to hold the thing bare-handed with no ill effects, but he is uniquely impermeable."

<Hollyhock God> "Not many Powers could touch such a weapon without risking corruption. Be sure your protections are in place before allowing it to contact your skin."

<Hollyhock God> He holds Despair carefully out to Grayson.

  • Grayson lifts Despair with steady hands, weighing it and examining the blade.
  • Dan idly ponders trying to connect to the thing with his computer, but thinks better of it.

<Hollyhock God> It hums like a brooding bee as you look over it.

<Immanuel> "Tell me, has anyone attempted to, shall we say, fix an abhorrent weapon?"

<Grayson> I'll also use a Lesser Divination; does it have any secrets attached to it?

<Miranda> (Hm. I thought Rhys was only Durant and Immutable?)

<Dreams> (Dan's computer is the Worf of information gathering. It can connect to everything, which just goes to show how badass everything is when it can't connect to them.)

<Dreams> (Perhaps the power of the Sun sustains him further.)

<Immanuel> (This is less of a "can't" and more of a "Good God, man, have you lost your mind?!?"

<Henry> (I'll check it's Ambition, but I'm pretty much expecting "Destroy everything that exists")

<Hollyhock God> I don't think you have access to any kind of canonical character sheet for Rhys.

<Immanuel> (I just checked so no we don't.)

<Henry> (But who knows, it could be "Get a pony", and that's worth finding out)

<Immanuel> (Likes Golden Girls.)

<Hollyhock God> "I have no record of an Abhorrent Weapon being cleansed, but since weapons such as Colbrand have been corrupted the reverse is presumably possible. Merely fiendishly difficult."

<Miranda> (Long walks on the beach.)

<Hollyhock God> Grayson determines that the weapon has no secrets. It is a tool, that will drag you down into nothingness and make of you a weapon against the world. But that's not a secret.

<Grayson> Indeed.

<Henry> "It's possible I could perform surgery on it, and remove its evil in some manner. That would depend on there being something other than Excrucian taint in it to begin with, though."

<Immanuel> "Well. If I cold purify it, that would solve your dispute, wouldn't it?"

<Hollyhock God> "I think that would make everybody happy," says Rhys, nodding.

<Hollyhock God> "I think it would be terribly risky," says Remus.

<Hollyhock God> "But please, go ahead and try," says Noel.

<Dreams> (Oh, please don't tell Immanuel something is terribly risky, Remus.)

<Grayson> "Would you like to take a look, Immanuel?"

<Immanuel> "Sure."

  • Miranda manages to shoot Noel a glance, somehow, without taking her eyes off the blade.

<Dreams> (That's like saying "That's an awful lot of fudge brownie, are you sure you want to eat it all?)

  • Grayson passes the blade to Immanuel, making sure he's under Miranda's protection first.

<Immanuel> Let's see. What's the most over the top way I could do this?

<Dreams> (Waving your miraculous mojo at it and being shocked when it doesn't trivially work?)

<Immanuel> Too easy.

<Hollyhock God> Sleep with it.

<Dreams> (Send it absurd gifts.)

<Miranda> (Winnaaar.)

<Henry> :D

<Immanuel> "Dear Sister, are you shielding it to the extent that you can?"

<Immanuel> "I'm going to try something."

<Miranda> "No, at the moment, I'm shielding Grayson.

  • Dreams wonders idly how the residency clause works if the Chancel burns down.

<Miranda> "What is it you intend to try?"

<Hollyhock God> The Chancel would continue to exist in Immanuel's hoard, so you can't get out of it that way.

<Immanuel> "I am going to purify it in a sacred flame, of beauty and truth and divine revelation."

<Dreams> "Yes, we should explain what you intend to do to it so the actual owners can decide if they feel it an acceptable risk, first."

  • Henry takes a step back.
  • Immanuel looks at all of you.

<Immanuel> "I'm going to eat it, of course."

<Dreams> ("Whoops, incinerated your Abhorrent Weapon. So what's this pile of ash that used to be a potentially-priceless relic worth now?")

<Miranda> "I don't suppose its link to nonexistance to can be inverted."

<Miranda> "…wait, you're going to what?"

  • Dreams shows absolutely no surprise.

<Hollyhock God> Noel applauds, deadpan. "A bold move."

<Grayson> "He can unhinge his jaw like a snake," Grayson explains.

<Hollyhock God> Rhys approves as well. "That's pretty audacious."

<Immanuel> I am at this point going to use a level 6 Persona miracle boosted to 9, for 2 MP, to give myself an epic purity affliction.

<Immanuel> Wait. 1 MP.

<Hollyhock God> Mathilde claps her hands and trembles with the weight of her cackling. "Oh, yes, yes; I must see this."

<Immanuel> No, 2, because I can't spend 3 points.

<Hollyhock God> Remus protests: "Is this really worth such a risk?"

<Miranda> "This is insane."

<Immanuel> "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

<Hollyhock God> Wouldn't you be spending 1, to get Persona 9 from Persona 5 in-Chancel?

<Dreams> "Sadly, Remus, it seems your compatriots believe it is."

<Immanuel> Yes.

  • Henry takes another step back.

<Miranda> (Stick some Strike on it?)

<Immanuel> For some reason I thought it was 2 points.

<Grayson> (3 MP discount.)

<Immanuel> Oh, did we establish that discount does or doesn't apply to Strike?

<Dreams> "So how much Merit is eating an Abhorrent weapon worth, out of curiosity?"

<Hollyhock God> Ah, well. Immanuel drops his jaw, raises Despair, and drops it into his gullet.

<Dan> "That's going to leave a mark…"

<Hollyhock God> "That……. depends," says Remus, watching in horrified fascination.

  • Immanuel begins to shine, brighter and brighter until he looks likes a newborn star.

<Grayson> (I'm pretty sure it does apply to Strike; you just can't use spillover for Strike.)

  • Miranda switches her shield target to Immanuel.

<Miranda> "Idiot."

<Hollyhock God> Immanuel pours intense power into his efforts to purify the blade, burning with Fire's purifying power.

<Hollyhock God> It has not yet occurred to him to ask "Pure what?"

<Dreams> (Oh snap!)

<Hollyhock God> Still, you feel like you're making some headway.

<Immanuel> Obviously, extended miracle

<Hollyhock God> Sheorum is resisting your efforts, but it can't ward off the full force of your power and some of it is slipping past the weapon's resistance.

<Immanuel> See? I wasn't just going to wave my hands over it. That would be boring.

<Hollyhock God> You can also feel the weapon's black power oozing darkly from the blade, and you're having to exert a mental effort to use some of your power to protect yourself from it.'

<Miranda> (Ahem.)

<Immanuel> Can I pump Strike into an ongoing effect?

<Hollyhock God> Your internal universe of eaten things is starting to bloat a bit, although fortunately this isn't visible from the outside.

<Hollyhock God> Shielding this process is sort of difficult since it's definitionally an interaction, although Miranda is doing her best.

<Miranda> (So it's bypassing my Gift?)

<Hollyhock God> I'm sure it would be a lot harder if Miranda wasn't here, so I wouldn't stop.

<Hollyhock God> These things can turn Imperators against Creation, so they're pretty nasty.

  • Miranda is redirecting harm to herself. Which means she's pretty pissed at Immanuel for doing this right now.
  • Immanuel would give his sister a thumbs up right now if he wasn't battling with a force inimical to all Creation in a horrifying display of arrogance.
  • Immanuel is shining so bright it's blinding, and the temperature starts to rise.

<Hollyhock God> It eventually becomes clear that you've reached a stalemate. Your efforts are having an effect, but you're going to need to creater a broader channel and open yourself up more to risk if you want to make more headway.

  • Miranda maaaaaay possibly be overreacting to news of her non-impending death by redirecting the harm of an Excrucian weapon to herself.

<Immanuel> If I stop now, will what I've done remain?

<Immanuel> Or will we be at step 1?

<Hollyhock God> If you stop now, you'll have an Abhorrent Weapon inside your gullet. Could be dangerous!

<Miranda> (Sustain and let Bridges provide access to wail on it with other stuff)

<Immanuel> Good point.

<Immanuel> Well, I took those extra miracle points for a reason.

<Hollyhock God> In fact, you're beginning to feel uncertain about how you're going to get this thing out of you safely if you stop sustaining.

<Dan> (I can probably provide access, yeah.)

<Hollyhock God> Holding back the press of black energy is already extremely difficult.

<Miranda> (Pfeh. He'll just pull it out and let it rip up my insides.)

<Immanuel> If I bring up an auctoritas will that stack with Miranda's shield?

<Immanuel> Or negate it?

<Hollyhock God> Both.

<Hollyhock God> Mostly negate it, I guess.

<Immanuel> Hmm. I can put up a level 5 Auctoritas but presumably that's the level of her shield if not higher.

<Immanuel> I'm going to put strike on my effect

<Immanuel> All of it.

<Immanuel> Which is uh…how are we doing this?

<Immanuel> I've got 5 PMP left.

<Dan> (I think you can use any MP for Strike, yeah?)

<Hollyhock God> I don't know that you can pump Strike into an ongoing effect.

<Immanuel> Hmm.

<Immanuel> I can still initate a second miraculous action right?

<Grayson> (4 strike would cost 1 MP; 8 would cost 4 MP plus a wound.)

<Miranda> (No, Immanuel.)

<Immanuel> While maintaining the first one?

<Miranda> (The auctoritas counts against level of Strike.)

<Dan> (And then I can bridge the two miraculous actions together!)

<Miranda> (Not the level of the miracle)

<Grayson> (*5mp plus a wound, not 4,)

<Hollyhock God> Yes, you can use a second miracle while you sustain.

<Immanuel> Well, I haven't used my treasure the whole series so now seems like a good time.

<Immanuel> Level 6 treasure miracle, 1 strike, for 1 point.

<Immanuel> Using my copy of The Fire Sermon as protection against the overwhelming nature of despair.

<Hollyhock God> How the hell is The Waste Land going to protect you from despair?

<Immanuel> Ze buddhist one

<Immanuel> Sir.

<Miranda> (You know "[Foo] is Fire.")


<Miranda> (Liberation from suffering through detachment of the spirit?)

<Immanuel> More or less.

<Hollyhock God> Well, I guess you can do that. Not sure how much good it will do if you're already using a level 9 miracle, but I guess this one is purely defensive.

<Immanuel> Yeah.

<Dan> (Can I use a lesser creation to make a bridge between his miracles, and if so, would that even help?)

<Immanuel> It'll protect me from the iniquity of the unholy weapon by girding myself with enlightenment.

<Hollyhock God> You hear the crackling whispers of the sermon in your mind, reminding you of the transience of despair.

<Hollyhock God> I don't know, Dan, how would that work?

<Immanuel> Essentially combining them, the way Treasure miracles let you perform union?

<Immanuel> Eliminating the boundary between the performer of the action and the action.

<Hollyhock God> Can you eliminate the boundary between a miracle of Emulation and yourself? I'm just not sure what that would mean in this instance.

<Immanuel> (See Stephenson re: morphine seeker v. morphine seeky)

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, Remus looks on suspiciously as Immanuel burns with divine light and crackles with unholy power.

<Dan> (He's trying to purify the weapon, and to seperately protect himself from despair. I'm trying to bridge the two, so that he's purifying the weapon by protecting himself from dispair.)

<Dan> (And vice versa.)

<Hollyhock God> Hm! Interesting!

<Immanuel> He's separating "is" from "does"

<Hollyhock God> I suppose that is valid, so you can do it.

<Immanuel> Or rather the distinction

<Miranda> (And, OOC, I seem to be spontaneously bleeding. Damn you, sympathetic magic!)

<Henry> (Ouch.)

<Hollyhock God> Dan's miracle provides Immanuel with a clarity about the relationship between resisting despair and purifying this weapon.

  • Dan thinks that this would be a useful time for a bridge to happen, and so without his intentional intervention, it does!

<Immanuel> (Shame the blood into returning to your flesh)

<Hollyhock God> I fear ADamiani has been corrupted by the Abhorrent Weapon.

<Miranda> (If I use the Divine Mantle will it add to the Edge of my Living Shield gift?)

<Immanuel> (I now want to play Shame.)

<Hollyhock God> Uh, yes, yes it would.

<Hollyhock God> Heh, Shame was a character in our old game. He was made of space.

<Dan> (D&D may not let you summon demons, but Nobilis apparently does let you invoke the powers of non-existance)

<Dreams> (Nobilis, where the inconsistent cosmology is the game's end boss!)

<Hollyhock God> "Should we do something?" wonders Noel to Miranda. "I suppose it would technically be a shame if he was corrupted and we had to put him down."

  • Immanuel is burning brighter and brighter, hotter and hotter, and the whole room seems to be vibrating.

<Hollyhock God> "Here," says Noel as the shaking increases. "Dan, open him up for me."

<Miranda> (Well, right now, the miracle level is 5 with 3 Strike from "I can save you". If I need to go higher, I will.)

  • Miranda grits her teeth and glares at Noel.

<Miranda> "He will not be corrupted."

<Miranda> (I guess I'm burning 5 DMP?)

  • Dan makes a bridge between Noel and Immanuel.

<Miranda> (And running AFK to wash all this blood off. Stupid nosebleed.)

<Dreams> (You know your game is badass when you channel so much power it causes OOC repercussions!)

<Dan> "I think a conduit should be open between the two of you, though I'm still not sure how this all works. Let me know if it isn't what you need."

<Grayson> (Well, for 1 DMP you could get a divine mantle of 4, which is almost as good.)

<Hollyhock God> Noel reaches out with one hand for Rhys, who takes it and immediately lights up like a candle in his own right.

<Hollyhock God> Noel's other hand reaches out towards Immanuel.

<Hollyhock God> Immanuel, you can feel a shifting in the energy inside you as a chain of lightning ignites inside your gullet and forms a sphere around the black blade, trapping it in a Faraday cage made of pure lightning and driven by the endless energy of the sun.

<Hollyhock God> Between your intense purifying force and the combined protective efforts of Miranda, Noel, and Rhys, the tide begins to turn in your favor as you can devote your full energy to the offensive.

<Hollyhock God> Something snaps.

<Hollyhock God> The swords resistance breaks and you can feel your power pouring into it and through it, changing it. A wash of energy passes through the cage and into you, but it's somehow different from the black energy you felt before.

<Hollyhock God> Exactly what it is, you cannot say.

<Henry> (Someone has a new Anchor!)

<Henry> (Well, maybe.)

<Immanuel> (I was thinking that but that would require them letting me keep it.)

<Dreams> (Got 12 million OTC?)

<Hollyhock God> Then, there is peace, and a dull silver blade with streaks of green jade rotating peacefully inside the lightning cage.

<Immanuel> (Well, I do have a nice hoard. And man, this has gotta be worth some serious Merit.)

<Dan> (Conveniently enough, our fee for purificaiton is 12.1 million OTC)

<Immanuel> Shaking, Immanuel pulls out the sword from his gullet.

<Hollyhock God> This action fails.

<Immanuel> Erm.

<Immanuel> Well then.

<Hollyhock God> The sword absolutely refuses to be removed from your gullet.

<Henry> Oh dear.

<Dan> "Why have you got your hand stuck down your throat?"

<Hollyhock God> "Spectacular!" cries Rhys. Even Noel looks a little bit impressed.

<Dreams> "And that awkward expression on your face?"

<Immanuel> "It's…not coming out."

<Dan> "Or rather, why do you appear to be leaving it there."

  • Dan looks to Rhys "Since you seem to know what's going on, mind telling us what's spectacular?"

<Dreams> (Probably the zomg-FX display of a few seconds ago?)

<Hollyhock God> "I hope you haven't been permanently attached to it," worries Remus. "For one thing, it's valued at twelve million OTC."

<Dreams> "Well, that's what we're here to decide, isn't it? I thought you were on the side of it not having a formal value."

<Immanuel> "Er. I have a hoard of some…small worth?"

<Immanuel> "Yes. That."

<Hollyhock God> "I think the sword has been successfully cleansed," explains Rhys. "Not sure what it is now."

<Immanuel> "I think it's quite clear now that it has no formal worth."

<Hollyhock God> "That was only relevant while it was an Abhorrent Weapon," notes Remus. "If it is no longer Abhorrent, then it is within my authority to value it."

<Miranda> "I can't leave you shielded like this forever, Immanuel.

<Grayson> "Maybe you just don't have enough leverage to pull it out properly?"

<Dan> "Yes, and I believe you are bound to accept our arbitration in the matter?"

<Immanuel> "You don't have to. It is done."

<Dreams> "I don't know. If the corruptive influences have been purged, I agree that there is no harm in assigning it a formal value as the agencies responsible for such matters see fit."

<Henry> *fingers his scalpel* "I could attempt to remove it, if you like."

<Immanuel> "The sword itself is resisting."

<Grayson> "This does seem like a job for a doctor."

<Dreams> "Perhaps a sword therapist."

<Immanuel> "On a completely unrelated note, what is the conversion rate for merit-to-otc?"

<Henry> "You might wish to leave it in, though, it could have unexpected benefits for all we know."

<Hollyhock God> "I have to applaud your success in cleansing the object but if you can't return it, you'll be in arrears to the College for the amount stated.

<Hollyhock God> "That's twelve million OTC, or twelve coins of silver merit."

<Immanuel> "And how much is purifying an Abhorrent weapon worth?"

<Dreams> (I enjoy how, since OTC is sentient, that's basically like saying "You owe me NYC. With interest.")

<Hollyhock God> "Admittedly, your merit total will probably be raised a few silver coins for that."

<Grayson> "It seems to me that the proper owners of the sword consented to our cleansing attempt with the understanding that the weapon might be damaged or even destroyed in the process."

<Miranda> "And how much legend is purifying a- Immanuel, do try to talk less, you have a sword in your gullet."

<Immanuel> "After all, we performed quite a valuable service for not just you, but the whole war."

<Henry> (At some point, I will need a better explanation of Noble economics. However, my brain is stuffed with mundane law for the moment and should remain that way until further notice.)

<Grayson> "Now, I'm not saying they're not entitled to the return of the sword once we've managed to remove it from Immanuel."

<Immanuel> "But it's not in my mouth. That would be gauche."

<Dan> "It might lend his wit extra sharpness."

<Hollyhock God> "The exact valuation will be performed by Noble society itself, but probably something like three or four."

<Grayson> "But until that time, I think we need to consider the sword a temporary casualty of the cleansing process."

<Dreams> "Yes, let's see if we can't get it out before Immanuel depletes his hoard paying it off or we descend into completely uncivilized quibbling over who owes who what."

<Immanuel> "Perhaps we could work out a financing plan."

<Dreams> (Who owes whom, sorry)

<Dan> (Who owes first.)

<Hollyhock God> Remus nods. "I suppose I am being unreasonable. We can give you plenty of time to separate the Dominus from the blade before we try to repossess it."

<Grayson> "That would be appreciated."

  • Immanuel mutters darkly, "Perhaps there should be a storage fee."

<Miranda> "Henry, you will be removing it, yes?"

<Henry> "Yes, I see no reason it shouldn't be doable."

<Dan> "In the mean time, does anyone have a spare sword of any variety? It doesn't need to be a legend"

<Dan> "Perhaps you've got another one lying around inside you, Immanuel?"

<Dreams> "Why do you need one?"

<Hollyhock God> Remus pulls another servicable sword out of his hat. "Will this do?"

<Miranda> "Please do. And then we can send Remus the bill for turning his valueless sword into an artifact now valued at 12 million OTC."

<Dreams> "I just said we're trying to avoid pointless quibbling over who owes who what. Honestly, Miranda."

<Immanuel> (Ironically, one cleansed abhorrent weapon)

<Dan> "Well, it's not doing anyone much good inside Immanuel, but I can bridge it to another weapon so at least the 'rightful owners' can use it."

  • Dan takes Remus' proferred sword and has that happen.
  • Miranda nods to Dreams.

<Immanuel> "I don't feel comfortable having my innards linked to."

<Dan> "It's not your innards I'm linking, it's their sword."

<Dreams> "Well, you should have thought of that before eating an Abhorrent Weapon, Immanuel."

<Immanuel> "In my innards."

<Grayson> "You're willing to put pretty much anything in there."

<Immanuel> "Yes but I'm very particular about what comes out."

<Hollyhock God> The sword turns into a serpent.

<Immanuel> Which one?!?

<Grayson> "What about those ashen servants you disgorged at that party?"

<Hollyhock God> The one Dan is holding.

<Dan> "If you'd like, I can make your innards no longer connect to the sword…… Hello, what did I just do?"

<Immanuel> Phew.

<Miranda> "Very well. But we're not leaving that thing in there. I don't want to see what happens when I drop my protection on Immanuel. It may not be an Excrucian weapon anymore, but whatever it is, it's not something that's appropriate to remain in your gullet."

<Hollyhock God> It hisses at his and breathes a tiny tongue of fire at his face.

<Dan> "I swear, how do the rest of you manage this fucking miracle stuff?"

<Grayson> "Immanuel does have a particularly strong gullet."

<Grayson> "Immanuel mainly eats things and sets other things on fire."

<Immanuel> "It is the Tsar of gullets, I assure you."

<Hollyhock God> "You really need to get out more," says Rhys, thumping Dan on the shoulder.

<Immanuel> "I don't set them on fire I just make them burn."

<Immanuel> "How many times do I have go over this?"

  • Dan thwaps the serpent-sword on the nose. "Play nice!"

<Miranda> "Daniel, we'll have to have a talk after this. Henry, please. Surgery?"

<Hollyhock God> Then Rhys says, seriously, "You should join some of our clubs! The Byzantine Society is good fun."

<Dreams> "There, see? A response that I would expect from a seasoned veteran of this fucking miracle stuff." (To the "Play Nice!")

<Immanuel> "Did it occur to any of you to examine the sword before taking a knife to my finely sculpted form?"

<Hollyhock God> Looking innocently to one side, he adds "Or there's the-"

  • Miranda glances to the faces of those present. Rhys. Fine. Noel. Rhemus. Wossernme-Logic.

<Hollyhock God> "NO," says Noel. "We are not discussing that here and now, Rhys. Tell him about it later."

<Henry> "Very well. Perhaps we should go somewhere that's at least moderately sterile?"

<Henry> (Though I guess it doesn't really matter…)

<Dan> "…. sure, we'll talk later, Rhys."

<Henry> (Since he could just purify himself of infection.)

<Henry> (But there are standards to maintain!)

<Miranda> "Don't worry, the infection will be purified with flame."

<Hollyhock God> Rhys is saddened at not being able to talk about his mysterious second Cleave, but consents.

  • Immanuel sighs, removes his robe, and lifts up the shirt he was wearing under it.
  • Dan in the meantime, connects to the Legend-Sword on his computer to try to get some info on it.

<Henry> "Fine, fine." He pulls out his scalpel. "Well, can't say this won't hurt a bit…" He crouches down and begins cutting into Immanuel's stomach

<Hollyhock God> The sword self-identifies on your network as Acceptance.

<Henry> (Heh, nice.)

<Hollyhock God> Immanuel's gullet is quite large. Don't fall in!

  • Dan brings up the settings menu, not figuring any of them will be alterable, but what's there could still be informative. "Our new friend is named Acceptance, by the way."

<Grayson> "Perhaps the problem is the sword doesn't want to leave Immanuel's gullet? Maybe you could help it with that as well, Henry."

  • Immanuel would flinch if he hadn't just congealed a sun in his stomach atop an engine of unmaking which is now held in a sphere of lightning.

<Dan> (Isn't the sphere gone?)

<Hollyhock God> How are you going to find Acceptance in all that pudding, anyway?

<Hollyhock God> I think the sphere is gone now.

<Immanuel> (Oh, good. I want to be able to get radio on this thing.)

<Miranda> (Man, almost as if you had that planned)

<Immanuel> (And gee, thanks for spoiling my naming scene!)

<Hollyhock God> It's not your sword. It's just inside you.

<Hollyhock God> I can name it if I like!

<Immanuel> It was going to be very touching. I was going to wait until everyone left, pat my stomach, and say, "I name you Hope."

<Henry> (What exactly happens when I cut into his stomach? It's like a TARDIS in there?)

<Henry> (Just curious.)

<Hollyhock God> It's an empty space as big around as the sun. It's much bigger inside than out.

<Immanuel> It's a stomach so watch where you put that thing, will you?

<Hollyhock God> And full of pudding.

<Hollyhock God> Anyway, it isn't Hope. That's not what this sword does at all.

<Immanuel> Fair 'nuff.

<Hollyhock God> As you will soon see when it begins doing miracles inside your stomach.

<Henry> (Divination of Sin/Guilt to sense the sword? If it's feeling guilty about its past deeds at all?)

<Dan> "If you need a bridge to the bit of his stomach where the sword is, I'm sure I can provide."

<Miranda> (It's pure now!)

<Hollyhock God> No ping! It's accepted its past.

<Henry> "…that would be helpful."

<Henry> (Bah!)

<Immanuel> It's been redeemed.

<Hollyhock God> Dan bridges the gap.

<Immanuel> And has no regrets.

<Hollyhock God> I really need to let Henry meet some people who aren't so totally self-satisfied.

<Henry> (Heh.)

<Dreams> Alternatively, in need of ethically questionable medical assistance.

<Dan> (Oh god, is Henry Dr. Nick?)

<Miranda> (Dreams, we're cutting a sword out of the belly of fire with arguable patient consent. This is a questionable medical procedure.)

<Dan> ("Hi everynoble!" 'Hi Dr. Henry!')

<Henry> (Possibly, I've only seen a very small number of Simpsons episodes and none included him.)

<Dreams> (To say nothing of the sword's consent!)

<Hollyhock God> It's safe to say the sword doesn't consent.

<Immanuel> (Psst. If I Anchor it will anyone notice?)

<Hollyhock God> You'll have to bend it to your will first, but you can try.

<Grayson> "Maybe we should attempt to communicate with the sword?"

<Miranda> "Dream, perhaps you can give the sword a dream that remains in Immanuel's stomach, allowing Henry to withdraw it without resistance?"

  • Immanuel sighs, yet again. Fire, lightning, Despair, scalpels, and now they're going to put dreams in his stomach?

<Dreams> "Hmmm. I'd like to see what the sword thinks about that, first."

<Hollyhock God> In order to save time, I shall skip ahead.

<Dan> "You put some sort of crazy existence slaying weapon ing your stomach and you're worrying about things like Fire and scalpels and dreams?"

<Immanuel> "You know, I really thought the worst part of the day was going to be me eating an Excrucian weapon."

<Miranda> (Pffeh. You're like the most protected thing on the planet atm.)

<Hollyhock God> All these methods fail. Henry's scalpel leaves some nicks in the lining of Immanuel's stomach, but Acceptance refuses to be moved.

<Hollyhock God> You therefore find yourselves at something of an impasse.

  • Henry is unsurprised.

<Grayson> Will it talk to us? Either through Dan's computer or in the Mythic?

<Grayson> That's how we finally dealt with the blood of Cneph.

<Immanuel> When I have a spare moment, and no one is looking, I'm going to use a level 6 Treasure miracle to anchor the sword.

<Dreams> "And this is why most of us consider our actions first. Because they can have far-reaching consequences that include half-a-dozen Nobles trying to come up with their own solutions that involve surprisingly invasive procedures."

<Hollyhock God> The sword is unresponsive.

<Hollyhock God> You need to wrest control of a thing before you can make it an Anchor, though.

<Henry> "I must, as always, admire your ambition, Immanuel."

<Immanuel> Didn't I wrest control of it when I purified it?

<Henry> *he says inside a vast stomach looking at a very stubborn sword*

<Hollyhock God> Currently, this sword is doing whatever the hell it wants. It's not really doing what you want, is it?

<Immanuel> I did change its nature utterly.

<Miranda> (So is this thing protected by plot-device magic?)

<Hollyhock God> Yeah, at least at the moment, since it's almost nine.

<Dan> "You know, for something that's supposed to be about Acceptence, it seems awfully stubborn."

<Hollyhock God> Removing it will have to be a matter for another story.

<Immanuel> "You don't know what it's accepted."

<Hollyhock God> You know, once it's finished turning Immanuel into a scaly beast.

<Hollyhock God> Or whateve.

<Dan> "Apparently "being in Immanuel's stomach for forever""

<Dan> (Did that linked sword-snake start behaving or did I have to un-bridge it?)

<Dan> (… actually, I can't unbridge it.)

<Henry> (Heh.)

<Immanuel> (And this is how my stomach became the new chancel)

<Grayson> "Well, Remus, Rhys, Noel, I apologize for the inconvenience but it looks like it might take some time to get this sword out of our Brother. I would appreciate your patience while we do so."

<Hollyhock God> And so the evening pretty much ends on that note, with the sword purified but stuck inside Immanuel, with the issue of twelve million OTC politely tabled.

<Immanuel> "Yes. We hope we adjudicated this dispute to your satisfaction. We're always glad to purify any Abhorrent weapons you should acquire. Please do come again."

<Hollyhock God> Noel drags Rhys away before he can explain the nature of his second Cleave, with a sidelong glance at Miranda.

<Henry> (Second Cleave?)

<Miranda> I'm still sticking a greater shield around the thing to keep him safe when I withdraw my protection.

<Hollyhock God> Mathilde is barely able to make her farewells owing to uncontrollablle cackling.

<Miranda> Then I'll try to corner Noel before he goes.

<Hollyhock God> Noel finds himself cornered as unbreakable barriers block all his exits!

<Dreams> ("Immanuel will eat anything you throw at him!")

<Immanuel> "Harrumph. You know, only our allies from Chancel Maxiel congratulated me on achieving the impossible and striking a blow for the Valde Bellum."

  • Dan will track down Rhys, as long as Noel is being cornered.

<Dreams> (I refuse to believe our HG made a power of Lightning that doesn't have the Estate Property of shattering barriers.)

<Miranda> "What exactly, is this second Cleave you're so eager to keep Rhys from telling us all about?"

<Miranda> (He explicitly does.)

<Immanuel> "Oh, and do say hello to the Duchess Fine for me will you, Noel?"

<Hollyhock God> "It's just a thing," says Noel unflappably. Then he adds, hurriedly, "I mean, I'm not in it. But it's not anything important."

<Hollyhock God> (He does have that property, but he's not going to run away from Miranda if she wants to bar herself into a room with him.)

<Immanuel> (They're in lurve.)

<Hollyhock God> Meanwhile, Rhys cannot inform Dan of the true nature of the second Order because Noel told him not to.

<Dreams> (Clever girl.)

<Henry> (Heh.)

<Dan> Bah! What sort of Noble lets themself be told what they can and can't tell others about!

<Miranda> "Mmm hmm. If it weren't, you wouldn't be so eager to keep Rhys quiet about it."

<Henry> (Can I do a Divination to see what he wants to tell us?)

<Hollyhock God> (Yes, you can.)

<Henry> (Yay!)

  • Henry does that.

<Hollyhock God> (It's the Order of Wild Oats. It's basically a Cleave of male Nobles getting together and one-upping each other's sexual exploits. And quite a lot of drinking.)

<Henry> (Heh, awesome.)

<Hollyhock God> (So essentially Dan has been asked to join the fraternity of the gods.)

<Grayson> (Hah! I can see why Noel doesn't want to talk about it.)

<Henry> (Zeus = founding member, presumably.)

<Dreams> (I am surprised Rhys would objectify women suchly!)

<Immanuel> (He probably does it accidentally.)

<Miranda> (Wait, that was in parenthesis. Was that seriously the answer?)

<Hollyhock God> (Fine is the one who is straitlaced; Rhys is the one who's nice.)

<Hollyhock God> (That's seriously the answer.)

<Hollyhock God> (I fear it is merely a faux pas and not an actual deadly secret!)

<Hollyhock God> (Also I'm never sure whether I use parentheses or not.)

  • Miranda narrows her eyes, on the theory that if she glares at Noel long enough, he'll spill.
  • Miranda believes strongly in glares.

<Dreams> (Ah, but he wants to talk about you at the next meeting, so he can't let on!)

<Hollyhock God> Noel shields himself behind unflappable coolness.

<Hollyhock God> (He said he wasn't a member, though.)

<Dreams> (Sure. That's what he said.)

<Hollyhock God> (Noel has remained a virgin because he cannot be properly inflappable during an orgasm.)

<Hollyhock God> (Well, you can, but it's a bit ridiculous.)

<Miranda> "Nothing gets to you, does it?" Miranda says, accusingly.

<Immanuel> (Since we're discussing orders, can I make that social club of powers of radiance an actual thing?)

<Dan> (Hah, I had a girlfriend challenge me once to continue to peform calculus during sex.)

<Dan> (It was a bit ridiculous indeed.)

<Dreams> (Nice. I'll have to remember that one.)

<Hollyhock God> "I don't think that's true at all," says Noel, unflappably.

<Hollyhock God> (Only one of the four radiant-themed Powers even tolerates you, though.)

<Henry> (to be fair, there's no guarantee he objectifies women. I have a very hard time believing that a member of a Noble sex club would restrict themselves to a gender. Or species. State of matter, possibly.)

<Dreams> ("Hey, quick, derive x^3 + 4x^2! And don't stop while you do so!")

<Dreams> (You've never done it with plasma-based women? Tut, you're missing out.)

<Immanuel> (What? Illumination had a good competition, cheating free. Sun likes everyone, Noel seems to be indifferent, and Fine and myself have reconciled.)

<Hollyhock God> (I suspect Rhys occasionally sleeps with men just to show willing, but prefers female company. And there's nothing necessarily objectifying about it… at least, probably not the way Rhys does it. His exploits probably include things like "and then I slept with all the spinsters over fifty in Georgia, so they'd feel good about themselves" in addition to more traditional things.)

<Immanuel> (And arguably, poor relations could be my reason for joining such a group.)

<Hollyhock God> Noel actively encouraged you to purify the weapon in hopes of getting you killed. That's moderately unfriendly!

<Dreams> (Old people need loving, too!)

<Henry> (I mean, seducing any mortal of appropriate gender preference is probably only Aspect 2, maybe 3 or 4 depending. I'm not sure that qualifies as an "exploit" :P )

<Immanuel> I assumed he thought I could do it. I retroactively feel bad.

<Henry> (…huh)

<Miranda> "You pushed Immanuel into that. Did you plan that beforehand?"

<Hollyhock God> You can't really guarantee a seduction with Aspect, although you can be sexy enough to had a good record.

<Immanuel> (And everyone thinks I'm going to die. Not dying is my forte of fortes.)

<Dan> (You could presumably do it with Aspect 0-2 depending on how they invoked passions to resist you. )

<Henry> (Ah, right, I'd forgotten that Aspect socialization had been clarified that way.)

<Hollyhock God> "No; I didn't think even he was that stupid. But I suppose it all turned out for the best, since you were here to look out for him… and you probably shouldn't stop."

<Dan> (I think the "This is things that Aspect can't do" only applies to the bits of Aspect that don't interact with the intention system.)

<Dan> (But maybe I'm wrong.)

<Hollyhock God> You never really get to specify a result with Intentions, though. You can only "make progress" or "please yourself."

<Dreams> (Impress others!)

<Hollyhock God> Having a high Intention would just allow you to make your life better by being rejected, like by meeting somebody else.

<Dreams> ("I'm not going to sleep with you, but that was an excellent try!")

<Dan> (I dunno, if my intention is to "have a one night stand with person X" , doesn't achieveing threshold 3 mean you accomplish it?)

<Hollyhock God> No, it just means you came on to them correctly.

<Miranda> "You could have gotten me killed in the process."

<Dan> (But my intention wasn't to "hit on them".)

<Dan> (I mean, if I have an threshold 3 to bake a cake, I don't just "follow the recipe" correctly, I actually get a cake.)

<Hollyhock God> Noel shrugs. It was your own decision to take on the consequences of his actions, after all, he seems to say.

<Hollyhock God> It means you baked the cake correctly- someone could still stop the cake by sabotaging your oven.

<Immanuel> Or making sure the cake came out Evil.

<Dan> (Isn't that an obstacle though?)

<Miranda> "Don't. Do it again." Miranda glowers. It should be noted that, as usual, she's bringing other baggage into this.

<Dreams> (Not necessarily. Intention 3 doesn't necessarily mean you succeed, just that you follow the steps correctly enough to impress onlookers that you kind of know what you're doing.)

<Hollyhock God> Obstacles are things like "you don't have any flour."

<Dreams> (I can exhibit proper form in weightlifting and still be unable to bench-press the weight)

<Dreams> (But we're distracting from Miranda's hateflirtation!)

<Hollyhock God> Noel gives you a look. "You're not a child. You can make your own decisions about how much is more than you can take. If you didn't want him to do something reckless, you should have stopped him. If you can't stop him and you won't let him take the consequences, that isn't my fault."

<Miranda> "Right now, my paramount concern is not letting my familia get themselves killed, and depriving the universe of their entire estate. As you've noticed, that isn't easy. I don't need you making things any harder."

<Hollyhock God> Another shrug. "Okay, fair enough. If you want my help again getting that thing out of his idiot stomach, just ask."

  • Miranda sighs.

<Immanuel> (NO ONE insults my stomach!)

<Miranda> "I think it's stuck there for now, for good or ill."

<Henry> (Anyways, it's 9 and I must fly away to stuff my head full of knowledge about hearsay exceptions and attempt to write notes ON PAPER like some sort of primitive BARBARIAN because our professor is only allowing us to use notes written into our copy of the Federal Rules of Evidence)

<Hollyhock God> Oh, man, you too?

<Henry> :)

<Hollyhock God> I just had the evidence exam yesterday.

<Henry> it's on monday for me

<Hollyhock God> So, tell me:

<Dan> Can you provide any evidence of this alleged exam?

<Dan> Or are we simply supposed to take your word for it.

<Dan> The Prosecution rests.

<Immanuel> Objection, hearsay.

<Hollyhock God> A man comes up to a bank teller and passes him a note that says "Don't look up and give me all your money; this is a robbery." Can the teller testify as to the contents of the note in trial or is that hearsay, and does he need to have the note?

<Henry> only my word, unfortunately. I suppose I could ramble on about hearsay exceptions or something if you like

<Immanuel> If I were the teller I'd just stand there.

<Henry> Well, first question would be "what is the trial about?"

<Henry> And what specifically is the note being offered to prove?

<Immanuel> The lack of a comma between "up" and "and" implies that he wants me to not look up and not give him money.

<Immanuel> Instead of giving him the money while not looking up.

<Dan> I actually asked a cop once what would happen if I went to a bank and *asked* for them to give me money, rather than telling them to do so, and if I could be prosecuted for that <_<

<Henry> heh

<Dreams> I'm sure the armed bank robber would find this entirely reasonable interpretation and not shoot you.

<Miranda> (That this is even in question makes me hate lawyers more than bank robbers.)

<Dan> Heh

<Hollyhock God> It's important, though!

<Dan> It's technically ambiguous.

<Hollyhock God> Playing Nobilis should have taught you that niggling distinctions are Important.

<Dan> Rather than being clearly one clause.

<Miranda> (Why would I not be able to testify to something directly communicated with me?)

<Henry> Because we don't know whether to trust the guy who told you

<Dreams> Niggling! Screw Trivial Details, now THERE'S an estate!

<Dan> IANAL, but as I understand it, you're allowed to testify about anything for which you yourself would qualify as a primary source.

<Hollyhock God> Because the jury is supposed to be able to judge whether something somebody said is truthful and accurate, and they need to see the person saying it to do that.

<Miranda> (If he ran in and yelled "this is a stickup," surely she could testify to that?)

<Hollyhock God> If you testify about what somebody else said, that's two degrees of separation and it's harder to evaluate.

<Dan> If I read a transcript of a conversation, am I allowed to testify on the content of that transcript?

<Henry> Yes, but that would fall under effect on the listener/state of mind of the robber, probably. You could admit it to show that he had intent to rob. I think

<Dan> (Sort of the same question as the note.)

<Miranda> (That he used a different communication protocol should hardly be relevant. It's a direct communiction, not something retold by a third party)

<Immanuel> We could use the intention system for this

<Hollyhock God> You could admit as part of testimony intended to prove that the teller reacted a certain way.

<Hollyhock God> But not to prove that the defendant said it.

<Dan> I maxed out my Charlie Sheen skill.

<Miranda> That's absurd.

<Henry> Well, you could possibly use it to prove that he said it. But not that it was TRUE

<Hollyhock God> Well, there's also the residual exception.

<Hollyhock God> Which is basically that you can admit it anyway if it would be incredibly silly not to.

<Henry> Yeah.

<Dan> Aren't you allowed to give second hand testimony if the original source is dead too?

<Henry> Sometimes.

<Hollyhock God> There are some exceptions that apply if the source is unavailable.

<Dan> Like, Person A tells Person B something, Person B tells Person C something, A and B are dead.

<Dan> Can C testify?

<Dan> (about A)

<Henry> There are additional exceptions for dead people.

<Hollyhock God> Generally, you get an exception in circumstances where the speaker was motivated not to lie.

<Henry> It's still not guaranteed.

<Hollyhock God> Like, dying declarations.

<Hollyhock God> Or things you are describing while you do them, like "I heard a noise; I'm going to go downstairs and see what it was," followed by a scream.

<Henry> :D I never thought of that as the cheesy horror movie exception before, but I shall henceforth.

<Dan> Hrm.

<Dan> Do I want to go eat an entire pineapple?

<Immanuel> "The Freddy Krueger clause"

<Dan> Or should I have like, a reasonable meal.

<Immanuel> You should probably core it first.

<Immanuel> The points are sharp.

<Dan> I'd cut the outside off too, yes

  • You are now known as RandBrittain

<Henry> Remember that you are not Immanuel, yes.

<RandBrittain> It appears the story ended while I wasn't looking.

  • Dreams is now known as Benhimself

<Dan> But I mean "should I make a meal of a pineapple, or look for something reasonable?"

<RandBrittain> I was hoping I'd get to name this one "Bargaining," but I guess not.

  • Dan is now known as Lafing_Cat

<Immanuel> I dunno.

<Benhimself> Prebargaining?

<Henry> Heheheh.

<Immanuel> We did quite a bit of haggling

<Immanuel> Over the sword, who would foot the bill, etc

<RandBrittain> It can be bargaining when we figure out how to get you out of debt.

<Miranda> "Episode 5: Wherein it is learned that Acceptance can be hard to swallow"

<Benhimself> Immanuel sidetracked your plans of bargaining-plot by eating it!

<Immanuel> With the sword arguably

<RandBrittain> You may have to join the Order of Falling Stars.

<Immanuel> Wuzzat?

  • Immanuel is now known as Melum

<Miranda> Noble sex-club.

<RandBrittain> It's like the Suicide Squad for gods.

<Melum> That's reassuring.

<RandBrittain> Joining it negates all merit debt.

<Henry> That's awesome.

<Melum> I shall have to look into this.

<RandBrittain> It's in "Orders and Nobilis."

<Adamiani> We just have to rule that the sword was worthless when swallowed.

<Melum> Yeah.

<Adamiani> … and pay a somewhat smaller bribe to Logic.

<RandBrittain> It's too late to rule now that there isn't a tie vote. You only have the tie-breaker.

<Melum> We were asked to arbitrate on its value.

<RandBrittain> I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but Remus was originally opposed to valuing it, but he could change his vote after the cleansing.

<Melum> And not only have the right to rule that it lacked measureable worth but that what we did to it was something for which we need reimbursement

<Melum> Given that it was done for a boatload of miracle points.

<Henry> Is it wrong that I now want us to try to establish our own currency?

<Melum> No, never.

<Adamiani> It's too late for him to change his vote.

<Henry> Should really be commerce's job.

<RandBrittain> Might be fun!

<RandBrittain> I wonder how much merit you guys have, actually.

<Melum> Me too.

<Lafing_Cat> I'm pretty sure I don't have any.

<Melum> And aren't you guys glad I went for the completely insane approach?

<Melum> That's so much more interesting.

<RandBrittain> Yeah, Dan is too new, but Miranda might have quite a lot.

<RandBrittain> Yes, for once your madness generated plot.

<Adamiani> … shoulda dropped the shield. Still no explosions

<RandBrittain> And Dreams seems like the type to accrue modest merit and keep it safe over time.

<Melum> Prudently invested, that's our dream.

<Melum> Well, I did win a race to the moon.

  • Grayson is now known as Polotet

<Henry> Anyways, off I go.

<Henry> Later, all!

  • Henry has quit (Disintegrated: Leaving.)

<Adamiani> And/or throw it away on a whim.

<RandBrittain> So, is Dan going to join a fraternity?

<RandBrittain> That's one way to make yourself feel godlike, I guess.

<Lafing Cat> Hmm. He could maybe be convinced to, but probably wouldn't of his own accord.

<Benhimself> Mmmm.

<Benhimself> I kind of wonder who else is a member. Besides, obviously, Vesper.

<Adamiani> Well, yeah, you'd have to compete with Rhys. And let's face it…

<RandBrittain> I'm sure Dan could be as sexy as the other gods if he tried!

<RandBrittain> Just start a "getting sexy" Project.

<Benhimself> "Oh, look, a bridge to the most romantic place in the world! How did that get there?"

<Adamiani> "If only he'd work harder and apply himself!"

<Benhimself> "Oh, look, a bridge to… your heart! Ew, blood everywhere! Bad estate! No! Those bridges should only be metaphorical!"

<Melum> That sounds like an Oglaf strip

<Adamiani> Would be nice to get Dan to talk about his inexperience and discomfort with being a god (getting used to the "Miracle stuff")

<Melum> I'll have a talk with him about how that now that he's a god, he needs to the do the craziest thing that pops into his head.

<Melum> Immediately.

<Benhimself> I'll have a talk to him about how to not listen to anything anybody else in the Familia says.

<RandBrittain> Yes, that's probably Rhys's intention behind the fraternity offer.

<RandBrittain> "Hm, you don't feel godlike? Okay, take this supermodel and do whatever comes naturally. Do you feel like a god now? No? Okay, how about now?"

<Adamiani> Just how long has Dan been with us anyhow?

<RandBrittain> I picture Rhys has the kind of humility that just sort of accepts things, so thoughts like "I don't feel good enough" aren't thoughts he understands.

<Melum> What's the sword's common name?

<Adamiani> Just sort of accepts every spinster in Georgia.

<Benhimself> Acceptance?

<Melum> I'm imagining something Easterny. Although wikipedia says that Kabbalah means Acceptance, which amuses me.

<Adamiani> Melumgut, called Acceptance.

<RandBrittain> Tugmulem.

<Melum> Melumgore, surely.

<Adamiani> Not yet.

<RandBrittain> "I think we should call it your grave!"

<Melum> Erogmulem!

<RandBrittain> Meanwhile, Noel curses the stoic unflappability that has led him and Miranda to eternal sexual frustration.

<Melum> "What, so you don't have a redeemed Excrucian weapon in your stomach?"

<Melum> "What do you even do all day?"

<RandBrittain> I was actually intended to lead up to the Order of Wild Oats thing by having Rhys proposition Miranda for casual sex, but the opportunity never arose.

<Adamiani> Awww. Didn't get to slap him.

<Adamiani> And here I thought Rhys was nice. Manwhore.

<RandBrittain> I fail to see anything non-nice about an offer of a night's company. That's totally nice! Indiscriminate, maybe.

<Adamiani> The Order involves bragging bout it.

<RandBrittain> That's not much to brag about, if it's casual.

<RandBrittain> The Order is more for bragging about things you did while immersed in a literal sea of whipped cream.

<Adamiani> He just casually did every spinster in Georgia.

<RandBrittain> And they were very pleased! "Casual" is admittedly a valid description.

<Benhimself> "On top of a trampoline, which is on top of another trampoline, which was on top a recursively-infinite series of further trampolines. Admittedly, I do owe Ananda's powers a favor, now."

<RandBrittain> Rhys' negative character trait is meant to be "doesn't experience negative feelings and doesn't understand them."

<RandBrittain> That's why he can laugh off Abhorrent Weapons- he just doesn't get it.

<RandBrittain> But he also doesn't really understand your problems because he doesn't experience suffering.

<Adamiani> Just like Noel's negative character trait is sexual frustration.

<Melum> He's Unconquered Sun-ish.

<RandBrittain> If Noel and Rhys died tomorrow, he'd say "Oh, that's too bad," and then he'd take three supermodels home from the funeral.

<RandBrittain> Because bad things happening doesn't stop him from being happy.

<Melum> You know, the way I apparently manifested that Essence 6 Inner Worlds Within Infernal charm

<Benhimself> I have to respect somebody who will take supermodels home from his own funeral.

<RandBrittain> Noel probably has more than one negative character trait.

<RandBrittain> Whoops, I meant Noel and Fine.

<Benhimself> A bit funnier that way, though.

<Benhimself> "Yes, I died, quite tragic, will you console me?"

<Adamiani> That's what you need Aspect for.

<RandBrittain> But yeah, he's supposed to be godlike in a slightly inhuman but still benevolent way, like an Angel.

<Melum> Hmm. Well, since you seem set on all light Nobles hating me, I suppose I could try joining a monstrous nobles Order.

<RandBrittain> That would be much more entertaining, for certain!

<Melum> Entertaining is my middle name.

<Melum> After Insane and Flammable.

<Adamiani> Surely I need an order of the over-responsible. We can go around raining on other peoples' parades.

<RandBrittain> It's called Heaven.

<RandBrittain> Or possibly the Light.

<RandBrittain> Next week, Immanuel continues to transform into a hideous monster.

<RandBrittain> Mysteriously, he seems inclined to accept this.

<Melum> What? I'll be beautiful!

<Melum> You'll see! You'll all see!

<RandBrittain> But hm, what to call this one?

<RandBrittain> Maybe "Pressure."

<Melum> How to lose an Abhorrent weapon in 10 days.

<Adamiani> I don't think Heaven would let me in.

<Adamiani> This one?

<Melum> Oh.

<Melum> How about Fusion?

<Adamiani> What was the sword called before?

<Melum> Despair

<Adamiani> And what is the stage after bargaining?

<Melum> Acceptance?

<RandBrittain> Depression.

<RandBrittain> But we haven't done Bargaining yet.

<Melum> How about Bargaining with Depression?

<Melum> Part 1.

<Adamiani> Oh. that's right. In the seven-stage form it's: Shock > Anger > Depression > Fear > Bargaining > Despair > Acceptance

<RandBrittain> I need to get back on some romances for people who aren't Miranda.

<Adamiani> Miranda isn't even getting much romance yet!

<RandBrittain> Time for an Uncertainty story, I guess!

<RandBrittain> That's her own fault!

<Adamiani> Also the devil wossername, for Secrets.

<Melum> I'm going to fall in love with a knight and steal a princess to get him/her/it to meet me.

<RandBrittain> Just kiss him! Next thing you know you'll be wrapped in tangled sheets and Windflower violations.

<Melum> With the Chandelier muttering obscenities.

<RandBrittain> And lots of Estate-based sexual metaphors.

<Adamiani> Not there yet. She's not in a dark enough place yet, I think.

<Adamiani> Yeah. "Never date a guy whose Estate Properties are 'done in a flash' and 'never strikes twice'."

<Melum> I foresee lots of jokes about protection.

<Adamiani> … yeah, that seems likely.

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