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52466 No. 52466
Previous thread: >>48653

***

[1] – (WIS) Sure, why not? I’m only wagering half of what I have at most though.

“Alright, let’s do this. I’ve got enough self control to not go for broke anyway.”

“That’s the spirit!” Rob says. It begins to float off, beckoning to me with its wispy tail.

“Lead the way. I do need to make one stop though, while I’m still thinking about it. Best to do it now, seeing as most shops will be closed later tonight.”

“Be quick about it.”

My errand is, of course, getting myself a couple empty books and some writing materials. I’m going to need to start assembling my own spellbook, seeing as it would be massively inconvenient and rude to keep borrowing Yuki’s.

The other book is going to be a journal of sorts. I’m not sure if I lose my memory each time I die. I don’t really want to find out either. If I do, then this should help restore them. I’ve gotten a couple flashes of memory from things already, so it ought to work. Even if I don’t lose it, it should at least help me record my journey and organize my thoughts. Writing an abridged version of things down is easy enough. I can detail it all later. I can recall everything with perfect clarity after all, though maybe that’s only because I don’t have very many memories to keep track of yet.

My list reads as follows:

Day 1:

I awoke in the Mortuary with no memories. A spirit I’ve taken to calling Rob helped me escape.

On the way out, I encountered a zombie girl who was there to sabotage the Dustmen. She was really grateful when I helped restore the charm sustaining her intelligence.

I also met a rather irate spirit who claimed to know me. She told me I was immortal and offered me a prophesy to direct me toward finding out my past. I declined, stating that I’m not the same person my past lives were, regardless of what they were like. Admittedly, I do wonder what my past self did to make her hate me enough to want me dead.

Upon leaving the Mortuary, I found a message addressed to Yoshika, the zombie girl. Her master, a woman who goes by S, was supposed to be staying at the Swan Song Inn. I figured she would compensate me somehow for helping her servant.

Finally, I went to see Ellen, a healer, about the spikes of magic ice imbedded in my back. While she’s undoubtedly insane, she did an excellent job of patching me up. The spikes have clear magical properties and I should take a closer look at them when I get the chance.

Day 2:

Since Ellen was both unable and unwilling to teach me magic, I went in search of a girl by the name of Yuki. She led me on a rather frustrating chase through the Great Bazaar, but I eventually won her over.

Additionally, Rob explained the faction system to me. I probably ought to joi a faction, but I’m not sure which.

Days 3 and 4:

Yuki taught me a bit of illusion magic. I discovered I had a knack for wizardry and struggled with sorcery.

Day 5:

I revisited Ellen and learned about medicine. Additionally, she gave me a potion she claims will let someone stay alive through any injury, at least for a day. That seems like it would be incredibly useful. She said she’d be leaving Sigil the next day, so I might not ever see her again.

Day 6:

Yuki and Rob explained some of how magic works and taught me some fire magic. Some of this also happened the day before.

Day 7 (today):

Yuki said she won’t keep supporting me with her own money, so I set off to get some. I found out that S, Yoshika’s master, is currently working as an exorcist for the dustmen. Since she’s sabotaging them, this is extremely suspicious. I’m going to investigate this with Yuki tomorrow.

I met a storyteller named Kosuzu as well. She said she’d pay me for any stories I can provide her and has already given me twenty silvers, more than enough to satisfy Yuki.

Now Rob’s decided we should go gambling and watch some pit fights. I bought this journal on the way.

To do list:
-Investigate the matter of S at the catacombs tomorrow.
-Help Rob find its missing fragments. Rob knows of one that’s probably in the Outlands. (7 remaining)
-Possibly join a faction. I shouldn’t do this until I have up to date knowledge on them.
-Collect more stories for Kosuzu. I can expect good payment for each one.
-Not blow all my money on gambling.
---
>> No. 52467
File 137473766956.jpg- (876.56KB , 1767x2500 , raising the bar.jpg ) [iqdb]
52467
---
“Will ya hurry up? You are an ungodly slow writer. At this rate, it’ll be morning before you’re finished.”

“I’m done Rob. Lead on.” Any further complaints Rob makes are ignored.

The bar Rob leads me to, as expected, is the same smog stained brown as every other building in Hive Ward. The inside is a deafening cacophony of yelling voices, music and cheers. The place is strong with the smell of smoke and alcohol, the patrons shoving one another for access to the bar. As I watch, a bell dings, prompting most of the patrons at the bar to migrate toward the center of the room. They take up spots along the railings of what I assume to be the fight pit.

“I’d like to see this fight.” Rob says, “Do keep an eye out for cutpurses this time, will you?”

Rob can do whatever, I don’t care. I head over to the bar. Despite the tavern being called One Eye’s, the bartender has both of his. Oh wait, there’s an eye floating in that bottle of amber liquid. The eye moves as I approach, keeping focus on me and even shifting some to see me over a few patrons. It’s really quite unsettling, but somehow hard to resist the urge to stare back.

“Excuse me, when’s the biggest fight of the night?”

“Match after next, newcomer. If you’re planning on betting, any time before it starts is good.”

“Who are the combatants?”

“Toramaru is fightin’ Twinblade again. No idea what the conditions will be though. They change every time to keep it fresh.”

I have no idea who those people are.

“Alright, what else is there in the way of gambling?”

“Fight pits are the only thing run by the house. If you’re looking for a game of dice or cards or whatever else, just ask around. Someone should be up for it.”

Hmm, I’ve got a little time to kill before the main event. I definitely want to catch that, but what to do in the meantime?

Pick TWO:
[1] – (WIS) What’s up with the eye? It’s staring at me quite intently. I bet there’s a story behind it. (My intuition tells me this is important somehow.)
[2] – (CHA) I definitely want to scope out the combatants a bit. Should be interesting.
[3] – Gamble some. I should be able to make a bit of money.
[4] – Write in.

***
Thread two! Rather than me complaining about my update rate, I'll just say that I'm trying my best.

The note after option one is Wisdom related. It will appear from time to time to signal options with particularly notable effects.
>> No. 52485
[2] – (CHA) I definitely want to scope out the combatants a bit. Should be interesting.

>Toramaru is fightin’ Twinblade again.

Shou huh? This'll be good.
>> No. 52487
[1] – (WIS) What’s up with the eye? It’s staring at me quite intently. I bet there’s a story behind it. (My intuition tells me this is important somehow.)

I'm following our high wisdom on this one.
>> No. 52488
[1] – (WIS) What’s up with the eye? It’s staring at me quite intently. I bet there’s a story behind it. (My intuition tells me this is important somehow.)
[2] – (CHA) I definitely want to scope out the combatants a bit. Should be interesting.

Time to play stats, and also pick two options. Guys, really.
>> No. 52489
>>52485 Here, I really do fail at reading. I'm used to "Pick One".

Anyway, my vote is for
[1] – (WIS) What’s up with the eye? It’s staring at me quite intently. I bet there’s a story behind it. (My intuition tells me this is important somehow.)
[2] – (CHA) I definitely want to scope out the combatants a bit. Should be interesting.
>> No. 52491
>>52487

I fail at reading. Adding:

[2] – (CHA) I definitely want to scope out the combatants a bit. Should be interesting.
>> No. 52495
[1] – (WIS) What’s up with the eye? It’s staring at me quite intently. I bet there’s a story behind it. (My intuition tells me this is important somehow.)

God stats are meant to be abused.
>> No. 52510
[1] – (WIS) What’s up with the eye? It’s staring at me quite intently. I bet there’s a story behind it. (My intuition tells me this is important somehow.)
[2] – (CHA) I definitely want to scope out the combatants a bit. Should be interesting.
>> No. 52512
[X] What’s up with the eye? It’s staring at me quite intently. I bet there’s a story behind it. (My intuition tells me this is important somehow.)
[X] I definitely want to scope out the combatants a bit. Should be interesting.
>> No. 52606
Called for:

[1] – (WIS) What’s up with the eye? It’s staring at me quite intently. I bet there’s a story behind it. (My intuition tells me this is important somehow.)
[2] – (CHA) I definitely want to scope out the combatants a bit. Should be interesting.
>> No. 53551
File 13761345023.jpg- (312.27KB , 752x1062 , Shoumanship.jpg ) [iqdb]
53551
[1] – (WIS) What’s up with the eye? It’s staring at me quite intently. I bet there’s a story behind it. (My intuition tells me this is important somehow.)
[2] – (CHA) I definitely want to scope out the combatants a bit. Should be interesting.

“So, what’s the deal with the eye?”

“You mean this thing?” The bartender gestures to the eye.

“Yeah, it’s staring at me.” and making me uncomfortable.

“Odd, it’s never done that before. It has some sort of danger sense though. It lights up from time to time, when it senses danger. It saved me a handful of times when patrons tried to draw steel on me.” The bartender pats the knife on his belt for emphasis.

“There must be a story behind it.”

“Naturally. It was long before my time, though, so I don’t have all of the details.

About two hundred years ago, this bar was just getting off the ground. There was this one patron, a real boozehound. Got piss drunk and started claiming she was immortal. So someone challenged her to prove it. The girl cut out her eye, bled a whole lot everywhere, and she didn’t die. What she did do is make a killing by betting against half the bar that she would survive. As for what became of her afterward, she left the bar that night and never returned. No idea what became of her after that, but she’s the reason the place is called One Eye’s.”

“Immortal…” was that me? “Do you know what she was in Sigil for?”

“Not a clue. If anyone would know, it’d be Toramaru. She’s the one who usually tells that story. I’m pretty sure she was even there that night.”

“Might she be willing to elaborate on this story?”

“Maybe. Depends on how the fight goes. If you buy her a few drinks afterward, she might be in a talkative mood.”

“Well, thank you for the information.” I slide the bartender a few coins. That seems to be how these things work in Sigil, coins for any sort of help.

Judging by the mixture of cheers and swearing coming from around the fight pit, the current match is pretty much over. I wind up meeting Rob about halfway.

“The match wasn’t that impressive.” It says, “You find out anything interesting?”

“Well, a possible past version of me cut out her own eye here on a drunken bet. Admittedly, I only suspect it was me because there can’t be terribly many immortals wandering around.”

Okay then, you found out you’re a pretty stupid drunk. Anything else?”

“The big match of the night is after this next one. In the mean time, I plan to scope out the competitors a bit. A woman by the name of Toramaru is going to fight someone called Twinblade.”

“Can’t say I recognize either of those names, but if you’re doing some espionage, I’m in. Now how are we going to get past those door guards?”

“Simple, you say absolutely nothing.”

We cross the room to the guarded door labeled Gladiator Quarters. Two rather large men stare down at me, taking my measure.

“Unless you’re a relative, gladiator, or you work here, you’re not getting back there.” says one guard.

Hmm, I can’t pass for a gladiator and I’d need some sort of identification to feign being a worker. If I’m to pass as a relative, I need to actually know a competitor. Maybe I’m best off just bribing them. Hopefully, I’d be able to make back that money.

“Are ye blind?” the other guard says, interrupting my thoughts, “This kid’s obviously related to Twinblade. Short, white hair, wispy spirit thing, she’s even got the same wide-eyed look to her.”

“Weird. No idea that girl had relatives.”

“Of course she does! What, did ye think she just crawled out from under a rock or something?”

These two just gave me exactly what I need. “I’m her sister. I’d heard she was in the area and I would very much like to speak with her.”

“See, I told you!” the guard says to his comrade, “Be quick about it, kid. Her match starts soon.”

“I’m not too late to wish her good luck then!”

The guards check me for weapons before letting me pass. I’m not carrying any, so I get to go through after a simple exchange of coins.

The hallway linking all of the gladiators’ rooms is much cleaner than I expected. There are few old bloodstains and the place doesn’t stink of blood and sweat. It’s also remarkably well lit. Let’s see, from the stairs, Toramaru’s room is to the right, at the end of the hall, while Twinblade’s is midway down to the left.

I think I’ll scope out Twinblade first. I probably shouldn’t speak to her, though. That would certainly blow my disguise. Maybe I can speak to her after the fight.

None of the rooms have doors, so I can easily see into Twinblade’s room. It’s a rather Spartan affair, the only furnishings being a sword rack, bed, and chest of drawers. Twinblade herself is facing away from the doorway, polishing one of her swords. I can sense a hint of magic coming from one of her strange, single edged swords.

Honestly, with a nickname like Twinblade, I’d expect her to look more threatening. She looks short and thin and has none of the scars I’d expect from a gladiator. Even so, she has a certain quiet, purposeful air about her. She makes few wasted movements and I can barely even see her breathing. I’m not really sure what to make of this girl. She looks like a novice, but carries herself like a skilled warrior. The one thing that stands out though, is the spirit hovering about level with her shoulder. It looks a bit like Rob, but is more transparent and doesn’t glow.

It would be wise not to disturb her. I should get a look at Toramaru next.

Back down the hall, Toramaru’s room is at the far end. Unlike the other rooms, this one actually has a door, currently halfway open. Looking in, I can tell that Toramaru is very much the opposite of Twinblade. The walls are decorated with lavish tapestries and the room is finely furnished. When coupled with the scent of exotic spices pervading the room, I can tell that Toramaru has an appreciation for the finer things in life.

Currently, she’s reclining in a chair, idly tossing and catching a knife. I can’t see her too well, but Toramaru looks to be fairly tall and well muscled. I can make out a few nasty looking scars on her arms. I can tell that she’s a veteran of many battles.

As I turn to leave, a knife buries itself in the wall, just beside my head. I freeze up immediately in fear.

“And you are?” Toramaru lifts me by the back of my shirt. She’s tall enough that my feet don’t touch the floor when she’s holding me at eye level.

I can actually get a good look at her now. Toramaru sports a number of prominent scars on her arms and face. Her eyes are a pale yellow, slitted and predatory. By contrast, she wears a cocky smile and carries herself with a clear sense of pride. She’s got odd, two-toned hair, a golden blonde striped with black.

“I asked you a question,” Toramaru states, “and I expect an answer.”

“I’m-”

“And be honest about it. Whatever lie you told the guards won’t work on me. I can smell dishonesty.” I can honestly believe that.

“I came down here to scope out the combatants. I also had something I wanted to ask you about.” Please don’t hurt me.

“Alright, here’s how this is going to go down. I’m going to go prepare for my match. When I turn back around, you’ll be back up in the bar. You can bet or whatever, doesn’t matter to me. I expect you to stick around afterwards and explain to me just how you got past the guards.” Without waiting for a confirmation, Toramaru sets me down and returns to her room.

I- What? I don’t understand. What just happened? Why did she let me go?

Whatever, I’m not going to waste time standing around when I’ve been told to move. Who knows what she’ll do if she finds me still here…

Back above, it seems like the current match is ending. Toramaru and Twinblade soon walk out, taking positions on opposite sides of the arena.

“Alright everyone,” Toramaru’s voice booms, “are you ready for a match?”

The crowd responds by cheering.

“Damn right you are! Pick your bets carefully, because tonight is a Special Rules Match!

The terms are as follows: I win if I disarm Twinblade. She is not allowed to pick up dropped weapons. She wins if she manages to cut me before that happens. Not a tiny scratch, I mean an actual bleeding wound!

Bet wisely now! This is a real match!”

Hmm, who should I bet on?

Twinblade wields two seemingly magic swords and wears no armor, merely white pants and a matching tunic. It’s strange that her clothes are actually a clean white in this environment. She holds herself in a balanced stance, ready to attack or defend as needed. She also seems to have the more advantageous win condition.

Toramaru, by contrast, wields a pike half again her height. The only armor she’s wearing is a pair of bracers. Her stance is relaxed and confident. She looks really eager to fight. Even with a reach advantage, I imagine disarming Twinblade will be tough.

“I know who I’d bet on,” Rob says, “but I think I’ll withhold that. More fun this way.”


[1] – (INT) My mind tells me Twinblade will win. She seems more versatile and has an easier win condition.
[2] – (WIS) My intuition tells me Toramaru will win. She looks more confident and experienced.
[3] – Refrain from betting. This could go either way and I don’t want to risk it.

As for how much to bet:
[] – bet a small amount (10%)
[] – bet a moderate amount (25%)
[] – bet a lot (50%)

***
This update is dedicated to Ofri-helpdesk, who gave me writing advice when this story was in it's infancy. Here's to you mate.
>> No. 53552
[2] – (WIS) My intuition tells me Toramaru will win. She looks more confident and experienced.
[x] – bet a small amount (10%)

She just feels like a more experienced gladiator; like she knows the rules of the pit and all of that.
>> No. 53558
[1] – (INT) My mind tells me Twinblade will win. She seems more versatile and has an easier win condition.

[x] – bet a small amount (10%)

The odds should be against her and good for us money wise, right?
>> No. 53565
[2] – (WIS) My intuition tells me Toramaru will win. She looks more confident and experienced.
[X] – bet a small amount (10%)

Never rely on gambling to make money.

After a lot of thinking, I wanted to vote for Twinblade because the fight really seems stacked in her favor. (Pikes aren't exactly useful for neither disarming nor one on one combat.)
Then, as I kept thinking.. We're not really planning on making money through professional gambling either. We mostly came here because Rob convinced us to.
But now that we're here, we've managed to pick up a weird clue (the possibility that we've been here in a past life) which is way more interesting than actually winning some spare change, and betting on Toramaru could be a way of getting her to loosen up towards us when we're likely buying her drinks later.
She did say that she didn't care, but we've got high Int and Cha so we should definitely be able to use it to our advantage anyway. (Everyone likes a vote of confidence, whether they admit it or not. Especially since we will share her victory or defeat in a monetary sense, even if not a literal one.)

So I'm betting for a short term loss of money but a long term gain of... Friendship? Accord? Party membership? Not sure what word to use for it. Some form of positive relation at least.
Also, I just think Toramaru seems like a really interesting person from what little we've seen of her so far, so I hope we can get on her good side.
>> No. 53568
>>53565
Welp, I'm convinced.

[2] – (WIS) My intuition tells me Toramaru will win. She looks more confident and experienced.
[X] – bet a small amount (10%)
>> No. 53726
>>53565
She said she didn't care about who we bet for in the update. Your idea won't really work.

[x] – (INT) My mind tells me Twinblade will win. She seems more versatile and has an easier win condition.
[x] Small bet
Because her victory makes more sense story-wise: she has an overwhelming advtange so her victory will make both fighters look good. Both she and Toramaru... who wasn't really taking it seriously anyway.
'sides: evil-alter egos always win the first battle they're in. It's like a rule or something.
>> No. 53735
>>53726
I know what she said, and I said as much myself in my reasoning.

>She did say that she didn't care, but we've got high Int and Cha so we should definitely be able to use it to our advantage anyway.
>Everyone likes a vote of confidence, whether they admit it or not.

Even those who say (and honestly believe) that they don't care what others think of them still prefer that people think well of them rather than ill.
It's just basic "human" (most Touhous aren't human per se, but close enough) nature.
>> No. 53757
[x] – (INT) My mind tells me Twinblade will win. She seems more versatile and has an easier win condition.
[x] Small bet

Always gotta have Youmu...
>> No. 53764
[2] – (WIS) My intuition tells me Toramaru will win. She looks more confident and experienced.
[X] – bet a small amount (10%)

Those conditions... If they favor Twinblade that much, then I think Toramaru is the superior warrior.
>> No. 53985
Called for:

[2] – (WIS) My intuition tells me Toramaru will win. She looks more confident and experienced.
[X] – bet a small amount (10%)

You know, I've never actually written a fight scene. Hopefully I won't screw it up too badly.
>> No. 54312
So uh, I'm not feeling well and I'm having some trouble with this scene. It might take me another week to get it worked out.

On a more positive note, there might be a pleasant surprise to go along with the update when it does get posted.
>> No. 55354
File 138070793680.png- (841.88KB , 1600x1200 , 12 hours and three attempts later___.png ) [iqdb]
55354
[2] – (WIS) My intuition tells me Toramaru will win. She looks more confident and experienced.
[X] – bet a small amount (10%)

After a good bit of thinking, I place my bet on Toramaru. I’m fairly confident that she’ll win, considering she seems to have stacked the odds in Twinblade’s favor. Even so, it’s best to not bet too much. I wager two silvers and some coppers on her. The odds seem roughly even, so I stand to double that amount.

Toramaru raises her hand in the air, lowering her fingers one by one to signal the start of the match.

“Five, four, three, two, one…” DING

A lot of things happen all at once.

Twinblade is the first to move, shooting forward and drawing the shorter of her two blades in one fluid motion. Toramaru vaults over the swing and its follow-ups, her pike instantly sheared apart by the flurry of blows. With a dull thunk, Twinblade’s longer sword embeds itself in the ceiling.

“That’s one.” Toramaru says, twirling what little remains of her weapon.


Wow, that was amazing. I barely caught what happened there.

Now, I’m really uncertain as to who will win. Twinblade lost one sword before she even got to draw it, but Toramaru is down to just a spearhead. And it took maybe five seconds.


Toramaru dives away from a swing aimed at her head. She takes a low stance, holding the spearhead like a dagger. The two combatants circle for a while, each searching for an opening.

Toramaru throws her spearhead at Twinblade, deciding to make her own opening. Twinblade tries to sidestep and swing at the same time.

There’s a spray of blood,

then a howl of pain,

and Twinblade’s sword clatters to the ground.

Twinblade collapses, clutching her dislocated arm. The blood isn’t hers.

Toramaru stands clutching her neck, blood pouring through her fingertips. As I watch, the flow slows, stops, and reverses. The blood flows back into the rapidly closing wound.

What.

“And that’s the end of the match,” Toramaru calls out, “Looks like I lost this one. That makes the score seventeen to thirty-one, still in my favor. Be sure to congratulate Twinblade after she gets patched up.”

I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t win my bet, but it was a really close fight. It was impressive, but somehow I feel it could’ve been longer. Oh well, no use dwelling on it.

“I thought something like that might happen,” Rob says. “This would be no contest in a straight fight, but Toramaru’s grandstanding cost her the win. From time to time you’ll even see veteran warriors get ground down by total novices they underestimated. That isn’t what happened here, but the concept is similar enough.”

Opponents who think you’re less skilled than you actually are will get complacent and make mistakes? Interesting…

Now then, I should probably go and see Toramaru. She rather clearly demanded my presence.

The guards let me pass, aware Toramaru wants something from me without knowing the details. They clearly don’t expect to be punished for incompetence, an inevitability once I tell Toramaru how I got by them. I could apologize to them, but I don’t want to be the target of their ire. They’re much bigger and more heavily armed than me, after all.

Toramaru looks much more relaxed now that the match is over. In the quarter of an hour since then, she seems to have bathed, as her hair is still wet. She’s reclining on a couch, drinking from a jewel-encrusted goblet.

“Ah, you decided to come see me after all, ‘Sister of Twinblade’. Take a seat, relax, tell me how you got past the guards.”

“They drew their own conclusions about my identity. I just managed to respond quickly enough to twist the situation to my advantage. It was more luck and quick thinking than anything else.”

“Disappointing, but not unexpected. Gregor often jumps to conclusions while Jamal is vulnerable to the powers of suggestion. I suppose I’ll have to dock their pay.” Toramaru takes a slow drink. “Now then, you did as I asked and even lost money betting on me. I’d feel bad not answering whatever questions you have for me.”

I somehow doubt that. “I wanted to hear about the eye in the jar up at the bar. The bartender said you would have the details on that.”

“Indeed. But before I tell you about that, do you have any other questions? It’s a lengthy story and I likely won’t feel much like talking afterward.”

There are a few things I’m curious about…

(Ask Toramaru a question.)

***
As it turns out, a lot can happen in six weeks. But a lot can happen in four days as well. Things are finally looking up for me.

Art is hard to do. But considering this is my first foray into drawing and was completed over a month ago, I'm going to work at it.

Update maybe Sunday, possibly earlier. Fifth Age will have to wait until I'm confident in my ability to juggle multiple stories.
>> No. 55360
[x] Have you heard tales of an immortal running around these parts?

Maybe.
>> No. 55361
>>55354
Huh. It seems I screwed up the layering on the image. Most of the green is due to transparency.

I kind of like it, though.

It's probably only worth mentioning because I know some people use different site styles than the default.
>> No. 55427
File 138197195235.jpg- (396.85KB , 1350x900 , implying the past is in sepia.jpg ) [iqdb]
55427
[x] Have you heard tales of an immortal running around these parts?

“Have you heard anything about immortals of late?” Any leads would be nice.

“Seeking immortality, are you? I haven’t heard much info on immortals in the last few years. With Twinblade around, it actually causes fewer problems if I avoid taking the information.”

“How so?”

“Any time immortals come up in conversation, she tenses up, ready to draw her swords. It’s none of my business why, but I don’t want her starting a bloodbath if she meets one.”

“I see…” Note to self, don’t ever bring up my own immortality if I talk to Twinblade.

“Hey,” Toramaru calls out into the hall, “bring another bottle of wine and a few buffalo steaks.” She turns back to me, “Care for anything?”

“I think I’m alright, I ate before I came here.”

“Suit yourself.” Toramaru reclines back on her couch, downing the last of her wine.

“If you don’t mind my asking, what was it you did at the end of the fight? I saw your blood flow back into your neck and your wound close up.”

“Have you never seen divine magic before?”

“Not to my knowledge.” Which is exceedingly limited.

“It’s because I’m the main proxy of Bishamonten, god of wealth and warfare, here in Sigil. I get access to divine power because of that. Still, I don’t care to use it unless I absolutely need it. I like to keep it to back payments for services rendered.” She stretches in an exaggerated fashion. “Now, on to the matter of the eye. Keep in mind this is the abridged version. I have details I don’t care to share with a stranger.”

“Alright.” I wasn’t really expecting any different.

“In the ten years I knew her, she never told me her name. She answered to almost a dozen nicknames, I knew her as Bandit. That’s how we met, she gave me this.” Toramaru shows me an old, jagged scar on the back of her neck. “Never did get her back for that one. With how good she was at avoiding blows and predicting danger, I swear she had some sort of future sight.

Girl was graceful and light on her feet. She liked the city life and had a fondness for knives. I guess she was the quiet sort of friendly, but drank like a fish and got pretty rowdy from time to time. I think she had some magical potential, but she never learned to use it.

We had a lot of fun when she was around. She even saved my life a handful of times. Afterward, she would always get back up, however injured she was. She was trying to figure out why.

As for the night you wanted to know about, it was unremarkable at the start. It wasn’t a big fight night, so we didn’t have much of a crowd. Bandit rushes into my room, still dripping from the rain and tells me she’s found a lead about her past. Something about a ‘library at the top of the planes’.

Naturally, we celebrated by drinking. After a dozen occasions of boasting about her invincibility while drinking half the patrons under the table, someone finally got sick of it. She was challenged to prove her immortality. And prove it she did. Watching their faces as her eye grew back was a hoot.

Now, I’m sure you heard she took off into the night, laden with her winnings, never to be seen again. Far as the patrons knew, that’s just what happened. She really could act damn well when she felt like it. What happened was she snuck back in the back way. We laughed about in near till morning.

Then it was time for her to go. She had a lead to look into, while I had faction work to attend to. She said that we’d meet back up whether or not she found what she was looking for. ‘As sure as the stars in the sky.

Two hundred years later, I still haven’t heard anything from her. If I didn’t need to be here to keep the other higher-ups in check, I’d have gone after her over a century ago.” Toramaru’s expression hasn’t changed, but bitterness has crept into her voice.

“Sorry about bringing up a bad memory.”

“No, the memory is fine. I just wish I’d gone with her. My time should free up soon as issues resolve each other anyway.”

“What was that part about a ‘library at the top of the planes’?”

“I’m not sure. If I had to guess though, I’d say it would either be the City Court of the Guvners or the Hall of Records in my own faction’s territory. Of course, It’s possible that it’s not in sigil at all, but I’d bet you could find a lead in either of those places anyway.”

At this point, Toramaru’s food arrives. It smells good enough that I almost wish I’d taken her up on her offer of a meal. Now might be a good time to leave, but I wonder if I shouldn’t ask her for a bit of help regarding my meeting with S tomorrow.

[1] – (CHA) I should ask for help. I doubt she’d just drop everything to help me, but I bet she could spare some extra muscle.
[2] – (WIS) I should ask for advice on how to proceed. Toramaru clearly has a lot more life experience than I do.
[3] – (INT) I shouldn’t ask her for anything. Toramaru’s faction preaches self-reliance, right?

***
Something-something overdue update, something-something apology.
>> No. 55439
[3] – (INT) I shouldn’t ask her for anything. Toramaru’s faction preaches self-reliance, right?

Yeah, let's not push it. She really doesn't have any reason to help us out, and she's given us the information she wanted. Unless we have reason to believe we're this Bandit, our dealings are done.
>> No. 55446
>>55439
How many immortals, light on their feet, at with magic talent do you think there are around here?

[x] EXTRA: Considering she was immortal, she might be around somewhere. Just in case I see her, how did she look like? Compare her to me, please, so that I might keep her details in my head easier.
[x] WIS Ask for advice.
>> No. 55449
[3] – (INT) I shouldn’t ask her for anything. Toramaru’s faction preaches self-reliance, right?

Sometimes you just gotta do it yourself.
>> No. 55450
Calling it for:

[3] – (INT) I shouldn’t ask her for anything. Toramaru’s faction preaches self-reliance, right?

Update soon.
>> No. 55451
File 138224138124.jpg- (165.50KB , 680x1020 , The Descent.jpg ) [iqdb]
55451
[3] – (INT) I shouldn’t ask her for anything. Toramaru’s faction preaches self-reliance, right?

I think I’ll get going before I overstay my welcome. But first, just one thing.

“Toramaru, what did Bandit look like in comparison to me? I might run into her at some point down the road, so I figure it would be helpful to know.”

Really now? I suppose I can try to do that. Keep in mind that it’s been two centuries since I last laid eyes on her. I can’t recall her appearance perfectly.

Her hair was long and dark when we parted. She had bright, amber colored eyes, very different from the coals you have. She was probably a little taller than you, but that might’ve just been due to her boots. Like you, she had scars all over, but I can’t remember where well enough to compare.”

“Thank you for taking the time to speak to me. I really appreciate it.” This lead seems like it might be promising. But for now, I have a necromancer to see.

“One thing before you go,” she says between bites of her meal, “She had an odd ability to graft body parts to herself, long as they were well preserved. Seemed like she gained some measure of power or knowledge from them. Of course, since her own parts grew back, she didn’t often have much reason to use it. Said it was bad for her mind if she did it too much.

I figure her eye might be pretty useful to anyone with that sort of power. Of course, I’d only be willing to part with it if I’d heard of the person’s deeds beforehand and was impressed.

On that note, best of luck in your travels.”

On the way out, I’m tempted to talk to Twinblade, but I can do that another time. She’s probably recovering from having her arm dislocated. I doubt she’d be in a very talkative mood right now.

On the way back to the inn, Rob says, “That woman sure is something. She clearly figured out what you were thinking there. I’m pretty sure she could tell I wasn’t attached to you as well.”

“She did seem like the perceptive sort, yes.”

When I get to the inn, it seems Yuki isn’t back yet. I wind up having dinner more-or-less by myself since Rob doesn’t eat. A quiet meal like this might be nice from time to time. Even so, Yuki’s arrival is much appreciated.

“Pretty good haul today.” Yuki says, “How about you?”

“I got a decent amount of money and found out a few interesting things.”

“Well that’s good. What’d you learn?” She starts counting through her money.

“I might’ve found a lead about my past, but that can wait. Remember when you told me the Dustmen had hired an exorcist?”

“Yeah, why?”

“She’s a necromancer, the one whose servant helped me get out of the Mortuary. The servant was there to sabotage the Dustmen.”

“Suspicious, but why does it matter?”

“I want to look into this. I’m not quite sure whether it’s because I expect she’ll reward me for the earlier help or because I want to stop whatever plot she has going.”

“And you want me ta come along? I’m not too keen on this idea. Dying isn’t exactly high on my to-do-list.”

“I’m not expecting you to die on my behalf. I’m not really looking for a fight. It’s more that there’s safety in numbers than anything else.”

“What’s the matter Yuki, too cowardly?” Rob, you’re not helping.

Yuki stares at Rob for a long moment. “Don’t expect me to stick around if there’s a fight.”

“I’ll probably be right behind you then.” I have no doubt that a necromancer could easily beat me.

(Day 8, welcome to the second week)

While the catacomb’s entrance is cordoned off, there are no guards. I suppose they wouldn’t think to need them. Hopefully, it will at least be fairly dry inside. This rain is miserable.

Crossing the threshold sends a shiver down my spine. I’m not sure whether it’s from dread or anticipation. Yuki lights a pair of torches and hands one off to me. While the light illuminates a good distance, the catacomb is clearly much bigger than I thought. The hallway goes beyond the area I can easily see and isn’t terribly straight besides. The ceiling is probably about twice Yuki’s height and sloped. Built into the walls and even the floor are recesses for preserved remains. About three quarters of the alcoves are filled by bodies in varying stages of intactness. The air is cool and fairly dry, smelling only faintly of mold.

We proceed down the snaking corridor, trying not to trip on any of the uncovered graves in the floor. I think I see something out of the corner of my eye.



That’s the spirit from the Mortuary…

[1] – See what she wants. I’m sure she’s not just here to pester me.
[2] – Last time, she tried to kill me but lacks the ability. I don’t intend to interact with her if I can help it. Besides, I’m here for something important.
>> No. 55452
[x] – See what she wants. I’m sure she’s not just here to pester me.
I wonder...
>> No. 55453
[1] – See what she wants. I’m sure she’s not just here to pester me.

Huh. Now why is she here?
>> No. 55455
[1] – See what she wants. I’m sure she’s not just here to pester me.

Never ignore a hook.
>> No. 55456
[1] – See what she wants. I’m sure she’s not just here to pester me.


Let's be careful, since she did intend to harm us last time.
But there may still be important information to be had. (The journal needs updating, it's been a whole day since last time.)
>> No. 55457
Called for:

[1] – See what she wants. I’m sure she’s not just here to pester me.

>>55456
It's easier on me to keep the journal write ups to the beginnings of new threads, but I'm happy to do them whenever someone asks. Here you go:


(Day 7)
I lost a small amount of money gambling at One Eye's, the bar Rob took me to. Toramaru, the owner of the bar and one of the Fated higher ups, told me about a woman called Bandit she knew about two hundred years ago. I think she might've been one of my past lives. If she is me, I have the ability to gain power and knowledge by replacing my body parts with those of others. I'm not too keen on testing that.

In any case, Toramaru would only be willing to part with Bandit's eye if I "impressed her with my deeds" or something.

Later, Yuki agreed to help me look into the matter of S, on the condition that she doesn't have to fight on my behalf.

(Day 8)
I set out to the catacombs today to look into what S is doing. I hope everything goes well...

To do list:
(Primary)
*Find S in the catacombs. (I'm working on this right now)
-Help Rob find its missing fragments. Rob knows of one that’s probably in the Outlands. (7 remaining)
-Possibly join a faction. I shouldn’t do this until I have up to date knowledge on them.
(Secondary)
-Collect more stories for Kosuzu. I can expect good payment for each one.
(???)
-Earn Toramaru's favor so I can get that eye. (Not a high priority at the moment. It shouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon.)
-Get more money. (I should be alright for a bit, but this is always a good idea.)
-Work on getting stronger. (long term)
>> No. 55459
File 138232169850.png- (237.54KB , 575x725 , Bridges to burn.png ) [iqdb]
55459
[1] – See what she wants. I’m sure she’s not just here to pester me.

It strikes me as odd that the spirit is here. Well, not really, I guess. I sort of thought she was bound to the Mortuary, but maybe that’s not the case.

The spirit seems to be having some trouble with something. She’s going in tight circles around a paper tag, staring down at it sullenly. As I approach, she looks up at me.

“Well, if it isn’t My Love. I suppose you think you’re clever in going by Nameless now, don’t you?” Her voice still carries the distinct sound of rough stone.

“What are you doing?” I’d rather avoid getting into a fight right now. It’s best to be to the point and deal with this as quickly as possible.

“Being sealed. I can’t leave the circle unless the tag is removed.”

“You know this ghost?” Yuki chimes in.

“Supposedly. She’s offered to help me reclaim my past, but there are strings attached.” And to the spirit, “How did you know I was called Nameless?”

“We are bound by our contract.” She says the word like it was the worst swear, “I can observe you any time I choose. If nothing else, it makes eternity a bit less boring.”

That’s a bit unsettling, but I suppose there isn’t much I can really do about it.

“Why are you here, spirit?”

“I simply wanted to see firsthand how you would deal with this situation. I noticed you hadn’t died yet and thought this to be the first time you might actually do so.”

“I suppose you won’t be able to do that if I just leave you here. You might be stuck down here for years in that case.”

The spirit ponders this for a moment. “If you free me, I’ll lead you to the necromancer. You won’t be making it past her defenses otherwise.”

“What do you two think?” I ask my companions.

“I really don’t think you should let your crazy ex-wife lead us through a dungeon.” Yuki says.

“Let her free.” Rob says, “Being trapped in perpetual darkness and boredom is a hell I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.”

I’ll…
[1] – Free her. Her help could be invaluable and it might be one step toward getting her to not hate me.
[2] – Leave her here for now. I can free her after I’m done here, when she can’t immediately sabotage me.
[3] – Leave her here. After wishing me dead and spying on me, she can rot for all I care.

***
This level of promptness with updates would be nice to maintain. At present, my update rate is pretty much whenever I get 3 or more votes.
>> No. 55464
[2] – Leave her here for now. I can free her after I’m done here, when she can’t immediately sabotage me.

Let's at least see if we can find out anything about these "defenses" first. She might be telling the truth, or she might be exaggerating to get us to free her.
Depending on what we find (either by asking her to elaborate, or by looking into it ourselves) we can free her now or leave it for later.
I agree that we shouldn't leave her trapped here "forever", though. That's just mean.


>>55457
Actually, that was just a joke about how Planescape updates the journal whenever anything happens (like talking to new people), and in-universe, nothing has happened since yesterday.
So yeah...
But an actual journal update is cool too.
>> No. 55466
[1] – Free her. Her help could be invaluable and it might be one step toward getting her to not hate me.

I say we try taking some positive actions here.
>> No. 55468
[x] Free her. Her help could be invaluable and it might be one step toward getting her to not hate me.

Karma
>> No. 55469
Calling it for:
[1] – Free her. Her help could be invaluable and it might be one step toward getting her to not hate me.

>>55464
I know the joke, it just didn't convey you meant it jokingly through text. Of course, that's probably because I opened the thread with a journal entry.
>> No. 55473
File 138243029349.jpg- (228.47KB , 1383x893 , Workforce Recycling.jpg ) [iqdb]
55473
[1] – Free her. Her help could be invaluable and it might be one step toward getting her to not hate me.

The tag is easy enough to remove, seeing as it’s just paper and glue. It’s a shame I wind up destroying it in the process. Being able to ward off spirits could be handy.

“There, I freed you. Now then, what defenses are we up against?”

“There are seals like this scattered about, but they only really affect me. Other than that, there are skull sentries watching the area near the necromancer and a pair of skeletons guarding the door in. Most of the old traps to protect the dead have been tripped by now, but you should probably watch your step if you don’t want to trip into a false grave filled with spikes.” She looks almost amused at that possibility.

“I swear Nameless,” Yuki says, grinding her teeth, “if she gets us killed, I’ll break out of hell ta haunt you.”

“At this rate, you’ll have an entire spectral army.” Rob whines, “That’s supposed to be my job.”

“Let’s get going you three. I don’t want to stick around here any longer than necessary.”
The floor is uneven and treacherous, making progress slow. Our torches crack and spit, casting uneven shadows. It’s honestly a bit claustrophobic down here. Yuki and I are both a bit on edge when our first set of torches start to sputter and die. The shadows seem much more menacing in the dying light. The switch to new torches is much appreciated.

As we go along, we come across signs of battle. Charred and broken corpses of the long dead seem to have battled one another. Judging from the ruined tags on some of the skeletons, S wasn’t responsible for even a quarter of these undead. Maybe her pretense for being here was actually accurate. I wonder what angered all the dead and caused this in the first place…

As we get further in, we start to come across the defenses the spirit mentioned. Floating skulls with glowing eye sockets float about, patrolling the halls. They haven’t deviated from their patrols yet when we practically blundered into them, so maybe they work by proximity. I don’t know what sort of offensive capabilities they have, so I’m not keen to fight them. We’ll have to find some way to sneak by them.

The best way around this would be to-

“Hey assholes,” Rob shouts, zipping toward the skulls, “come get some!”

The skulls ignite as Rob shoots past, immediately giving chase. It’s stupid and reckless, but it actually serves as an excellent diversion. I just hope Rob doesn’t show back up with every sentry in the catacomb in tow.

“Do try not to die, Rob.” I find myself saying to no one in particular.

“Can’t he just, you know, phase through a wall if he gets cornered?” Yuki asks, “Come on, we’d best not waste this chance.”

Moving as quickly as we’re willing to risk, we eventually come to a four-way intersection. Around the corner, there are torches burning. Two battered skeletons with oversized swords stand guard at the top of a staircase leading further into the depths. I recall the giant skeletons standing vigil in the Mortuary. These aren’t nearly as big, but their swords are still probably close to my height.

“No more guards then?” The spirit shakes her head, “Disappointing. I suppose these will have to do for now.”

She takes a

step

and vanishes through the wall.

After a moment, she drifts down through the ceiling. Her hands pass through the skeletons’ skulls with no resistance. The weapons and bodies clatter to the ground. Upon examining skulls, I can see smooth holes where she put her hands through them. They look almost like the natural effects of time in a few hundred years. I’m really glad she can’t hurt me now.

No time to dwell on that at the moment. I take a deep breath and steel myself to go down the stairs. Maybe it would’ve been better to hold off on that breath until the dust settled.

“You alright?” Yuki asks, patting me on the back. She’s making a point of keeping me between herself and the spirit.

“I’m fine. Let’s go.”

The lower crypt area is well lit, with numerous hanging oil lamps suspended by ropes. The air is almost choked with the smell of incense, enough to make my eyes water. Lining the walls are proper, raised tombs. At the far end of the room are two figures, one in white and blue, the other in black and red. They seem to be standing in some sort of elaborate spell-circle. The figures turn toward us as we enter. The blue-white woman who I presume to be S gestures to her companion to continue whatever they were doing before we came in.

The woman smiles warmly at us. “Well, well, if it isn’t Yoshika’s new friend! I’m surprised you haven’t had your fill of undead by now. And the interloper as well! Oh, but who is your third friend?”

“Aren’t you supposed to introduce yourself before asking someone that?” Yuki is leering at the woman like she expects her to attack at any moment. Which is certainly possible, but seems unlikely at the moment.

“Ah, where are my manners? Please, call me S.”

“I’m Yuki, this girl’s magic teacher at the moment.” Yuki doesn’t change her expression any.

“I’m curious, S, what exactly are you down here to do?”

“I was hired by the Dustmen to get rid of the rogue undead in the catacomb. Surely you must have heard this if you came here to speak to me.” She shrugs dismissively.

“I also heard from Yoshika that she was sent to sabotage the Dustmen. You’ll forgive me if this seems suspicious.”

“Honestly, both are true. I’m here on a professional basis. Vengeful dead arising would be oh so inconvenient for everyone in the area. It would be bad for business. Besides, I can’t simply refuse to help a faction, regardless of how little I care for the management.”

“But you’re willing to poison them all?”

“Not all. Many of the Dustmen are spread all across the planes. And I’m being very selective with my targets. Very few of them are even likely to die.”

“I’m not sure I see the point then.”

“It sows dissent and slows them down. Equally important is that it makes Yoshika’s other mission easier. Empty offices are much easier to get records from.”

Is this all just a big false flag operation? S seems like she might be the showy type, so it’s possible. There’s just one thing I’m not clear on.

“Where does your companion fall in this?” The silent, hooded woman glances over at me.

“She provides the magic. Purging crypts and grand magic rituals are a bit beyond me on my own.” S looks embarrassed by that admission. “Now, I’m sure you would appreciate a reward for helping Yoshika. How about I give you some gold and maybe we can help each other out from time to time.”

Gold and an offer of friendship? This is sorely tempting and doesn’t seem to have any immediate drawbacks. But I can’t imagine she’s doing this simply out of the kindness of her heart. She’s given me rational, probably accurate, explanations for everything, but I have no doubt she’s withholding information. And there’s still that strange spell-circle…

[1] – Accept the money and gesture of friendship. I need allies and this woman is definitely both intelligent and capable.
[2] – Accept the gesture of friendship, but not the money. This will absolutely win her favor. I’m not really lacking in money at the moment either.
[3] – Take the money, but don’t accept the gesture of friendship. I’m willing to leave on neutral terms, but I don’t think I ought to trust this woman as of yet, if at all.
[4] – Don’t take either. Something sinister is afoot here and I won’t be bribed to look the other way.”
[5] – Ask some more questions before deciding. (write-in some questions)

***
Here we go, one of the parts I've been really looking forward to.

Important message to ALL readers: PLEASE VOTE ON THIS CHOICE EVEN IF YOU DO NOT NORMALLY VOTE. This is one of the major shaping points in the story and I don't want to have to call it with 3 votes or coinflip to break a tie. This vote will be open until Friday.
>> No. 55476
>Totally not ominous author note at the end of the post.
Well, that made this a lot of "what if"-ing before I could reach my decision, but...

[2] – Accept the gesture of friendship, but not the money. This will absolutely win her favor. I’m not really lacking in money at the moment either.

We're okay as far as money goes, but we desperately need connections and allies. Both of which we can get here.
Sure, it might turn out that they're not the kind of connections and allies we expected, needed or even wanted, but that just makes things more interesting.
>> No. 55479
[2] – Accept the gesture of friendship, but not the money. This will absolutely win her favor. I’m not really lacking in money at the moment either.

Hm, the original Seiga was a bit of a shifty character, and this version is certainly starting to look that way.
I think a 'friendship' will be of benefit to us, since even if things don't turn out well, we should at least get some useful information.
>> No. 55480
[2] – Accept the gesture of friendship, but not the money. This will absolutely win her favor. I’m not really lacking in money at the moment either. 
>> No. 55481
[x] – Ask some more questions before deciding.
-[x] Who do you work for
-[x] What is that circle?
-[x] Why do you want the faciton to fall?
-[x] Rob, Spirit, Yuki, opinions? (in private)
>> No. 55482
[2] – Accept the gesture of friendship, but not the money. This will absolutely win her favor. I’m not really lacking in money at the moment either.
>> No. 55483
[3] – Take the money, but don’t accept the gesture of friendship. I’m willing to leave on neutral terms, but I don’t think I ought to trust this woman as of yet, if at all.

"Help each other out from time to time" sounds like a double edged sword, but money is always good.
>> No. 55487
>>55483
Of course it's a double-edged sword. The question is just which edge is sharper?

But the alternative is to either keep going alone (only has one edge, and that's pointed straight at us), or hope that we find some other faction to join up with and that would carry the same double-edge as this deal, if we get that chance.
>> No. 55490
[2] – Accept the gesture of friendship, but not the money. This will absolutely win her favor. I’m not really lacking in money at the moment either.

S could be a useful ally. So, let's get on her good side.
>> No. 55505
Called for:

[2] – Accept the gesture of friendship, but not the money. This will absolutely win her favor. I’m not really lacking in money at the moment either.

I greatly appreciate the thought put into your votes. Thank you all.
>> No. 55538
File 138327926541.jpg- (573.38KB , 600x800 , You`re alright kid.jpg ) [iqdb]
55538
[2] – Accept the gesture of friendship, but not the money. This will absolutely win her favor. I’m not really lacking in money at the moment either.

“While I appreciate your offer of money, please, keep it. I really need powerful allies who can help me get stronger.” I wasn’t really helping Yoshika out of altruism anyway. It was just that I was desperate to escape the Mortuary.

Yuki doesn’t seem very happy to hear that. The spirit just watches the spell circle come together.

“So do we all…” S smiles softly to herself. I guess she’s recalling a fond memory.

Her companion taps her on the shoulder. S nearly jumps in surprise. Her companion makes a complex series gestures. It seems their ritual is close to complete.

“Just one final touch.” S pricks her finger on her jeweled hairpin. She draws several runes in the spell circle using her blood. I recognize one of them as the one I redrew for Yoshika. “And that should do it. It won’t weather away now. Where were we?”

“I was saying I needed powerful friends. Right now, I just have a business relationship with Yuki. I don’t expect that to get me very far if I wind up making enemies.”

“True enough.” Yuki shrugs.

“You haven’t joined a faction yet?” S taps her finger against her chin thoughtfully. She doesn’t seem to notice she’s getting a bit of blood on her.

“No, I want to get some up-to-date information on them first. I’ve been too preoccupied with training for that so far. I’m not sure what I believe yet either.”

“Indeps are best if you don’t know what you want out of life.” Yuki interjects.

“You won’t find too many devoted allies in there.” S says, earning a glare from Yuki. “Would you like my recommendation?”

“Please.”

“Don’t rely too much on the factions. They all have their points and lessons to be learned. Limiting yourself to just one will just cloud the big picture. Don’t forget the factions outside Sigil either. There are a fair few of those still about.

As far as allies, you should try to become invaluable to a number of factions. Find some unique skill you have and use that as leverage. You may even end up meeting some of the Factols. If you’re neither an enemy nor a subordinate, they may come to see you as something like an equal. I’d be willing to bet that a number of the Factols are so very lonely.” S smirks.

“I see.” That perspective is interesting. It sounds like it would work well. Immortality is possibly the most useful ability of all.

“I suppose we should be parting ways soon. My companion is tired and needs time to heal from the fighting we did. The wound to her throat must pain her terribly.” S laughs lightly. “I’ll be in touch. Do keep my advice in mind.”

“Thank you.”

I suppose we should get going while they pack their things. Yuki clearly doesn’t want to be here and the spirit is gone. Wait… gone? She just up and vanished. Wherever she’s run off to, I’m sure I haven’t seen the last of her.

The way out is much less foreboding, even if Yuki is clearly in a bad mood. Rob rejoins us and immediately starts complaining about getting trapped in a casket by the skulls. Rob can complain all it likes, I’m just glad things went well for us and nobody got hurt.

Naturally, the rain hasn’t let up any outside the crypt. I almost prefer the suffocating air of the crypt to the Hive’s rotting stench. At least it isn’t so dark and claustrophobic out here.

“I think I’ll take the rest of the day ta relax.” Yuki says, “Try ta stay out of trouble, will you?”

I guess that means it’s just Rob and I for the rest of the day. What to do…

[1] – Take today off as well. I could do with a break.
[2] – I wonder if there are any interesting shops around.
[3] – Wander the streets. I’m bound to find something interesting or hear some rumors.
[4] – Practice some magic. If I want to get stronger, I have to start somewhere.

***
Time for DAILY UPDATES for the duration of November. I'll be working off of EST for the sake of my sanity.
>> No. 55539
[4] – Practice some magic. If I want to get stronger, I have to start somewhere.
We're still too weak
>> No. 55542
[x] – I wonder if there are any interesting shops around.
>> No. 55543
[4] – Practice some magic. If I want to get stronger, I have to start somewhere.

Self-defense should be a priority. But let's just remember Ellen's advice and try not to get power-hungry.
>> No. 55544
[4] – Practice some magic. If I want to get stronger, I have to start somewhere.

If we're gonna be useful, we need to be strong. Just "not dying" won't cut it.
>> No. 55545
Called for:

[4] – Practice some magic. If I want to get stronger, I have to start somewhere.

Update some time after midnight here because timezone shenanigans are my only hope for NaNoWriMo.
>> No. 55566
File 138341279429.jpg- (1.13MB , 800x1129 , Not singing in the rain.jpg ) [iqdb]
55566
[4] – Practice some magic. If I want to get stronger, I have to start somewhere.

I might as well work on my magic. Since I figured out my limitations on daily spellcasting last time, I think I’ll test the limitations of my individual spells today. Knowing their exact capabilities is important.

Rob suggests that I work on my fire magic by tossing bits of refuse into the air and trying to hit them with my fire spell. While this seems like a good idea, I quickly discover how difficult it is to hit a moving object. My unimpressive reaction time and accuracy do me no favors. I can’t do terribly much practicing, but I manage to learn a bit about the spell anyway. The fire goes out about the length of my arm, meaning I don’t have to be right up next to something to use it. I can continuously shoot fire for maybe ten seconds before I start to burn myself and lose concentration. The pain subsides in about a minute or so.

My sound-based illusion spells prove more difficult to get an exact measure on. I can only make them so loud, and the background noise of the city doesn’t allow me to get a good grasp on how far away they can be heard from. I do learn that I need to have line of sight to cast them. I don’t think I actually have to be able to hear the sound for it to work.

Having exhausted most of my magic for the day, I want nothing more than to go back the inn and rest. I’m practically dead on my feet and I ache all over. Hopefully I won’t catch a cold from being out in the rain most of the day.

As I make my way back to the inn, a raspy voice calls out to me “Excuse me, can you help me with something?”

Turning around, I recognize the person speaking. It’s that pink haired bird girl who was getting evicted from the Swan Song Inn. She looks cold, tired and miserable. Between the dark circles under her eyes and her thoroughly soaked poncho, I can tell she’s been having a rough day.

“What do you need?”

“My stuff is getting rained on. I need someone to help me move it somewhere dry. I can’t afford to pay you for your time.”

[1] – (STR) I’m weak and tired. I won’t be much help lifting things.
[2] – (WIS) I’ve got a bad feeling about this for some reason…
[3] – (CHA) I’ll help her. She looks like she really needs it. After all, I do want to start making friends.

***
This counts as my second day update for November.
>> No. 55574
[3] – (CHA) I’ll help her. She looks like she really needs it. After all, I do want to start making friends.

Let's give the poor girl a chance. But remember what our wisdom is saying, and stay wary. Offer some trust, but keep an eye open just in case.
>> No. 55575
[2] – (WIS) I’ve got a bad feeling about this for some reason…

I'd be more inclined to take risks if we hadn't blown all our magic for the day. The paranoia is too strong in me.
>> No. 55579
>>55575
Pretty much. The hive is not a good place to make friends.
[2] – (WIS) I’ve got a bad feeling about this for some reason…
>> No. 55581
[3] – (CHA) I’ll help her. She looks like she really needs it. After all, I do want to start making friends.

Because we gain nothing from moving on. We do, however, stand to gain a friend.
>> No. 55590
[3] – (CHA) I’ll help her. She looks like she really needs it. After all, I do want to start making friends.
She can owe us.
>> No. 55591
[2] – (WIS) I’ve got a bad feeling about this for some reason…

>>55575
>>55579
I agree. It's not the right time or the place to be trying to make friends.
>> No. 55597
[2] – (WIS) I’ve got a bad feeling about this for some reason…
I'd be more inclined to take risks if we hadn't blown all our magic for the day. The paranoia is too strong in me.

When your eighteen dollar alarm bells start going off, something is not right...
>> No. 55598
[3] – (CHA) I’ll help her. She looks like she really needs it. After all, I do want to start making friends.
>> No. 55599
[2] – (WIS) I’ve got a bad feeling about this for some reason…
>> No. 55600
[3] – (CHA) I’ll help her. She looks like she really needs it. After all, I do want to start making friends.

We can give her a chance atleast.
>> No. 55604
[3] – (CHA) I’ll help her. She looks like she really needs it. After all, I do want to start making friends.

And if mixing votes is okay, let's at least keep an eye out for trouble. Just in case.


I'm kind of wondering how the options work here, though.
The vote based on STR seems to be "we are weak and can't help", if we had higher STR would it have been an affirmative vote?
The vote based on CHA (which is a high stat) says to help. Would we be unable to help if we had low CHA, because we're unfriendly and unlikable, similar to the STR?
And high WIS is giving us an alarm. I'm guessing we'd proably get a "this is totally legit" if we had low WIS. Or nothing at all.
But still, it makes me sort of wonder... The option based on our charisma, does that mean that we can CHA our way out whatever trouble the WIS is warning us about? (Basically, it would have been a trap, but due to our winning smile and charming personality we make a friend instead?)
Or is the WIS vote just a different way of avoiding the trap, one reliant on keen insight and perception rather than making friends?
Or is it just a trap either way and we shouldn't do anything? Because leaving someone cold and miserable in the rain, Hiver or not, just feels bad.
>> No. 55605
Called for:

[3] – (CHA) I’ll help her. She looks like she really needs it. After all, I do want to start making friends.
>> No. 55611
File 138353644894.jpg- (527.05KB , 1333x1000 , why now.jpg ) [iqdb]
55611
[3] – (CHA) I’ll help her. She looks like she really needs it. After all, I do want to start making friends.

Something in the back of my mind is telling me she’ll try to mug me. While I certainly can’t discount the possibility, you can’t fake this level of misery. It comes down to whether she’s desperate enough to rob me or sincerely wants help. With me just about out of magic, it’s a big risk.

I’ll take that chance.

“I don’t know how much help I can be, but I’ll try.” Ellen, Yuki, and S were all willing to help me. I can at least do the same for someone else.

“Thank you,” the girl coughs several times into the crook of her arm. “No one else is willing to help. Not in this weather.”

Before I follow her, I indicate to Rob to keep an eye on her. It pays to be careful, at least.

“Do you have a place to stay? I know you were getting kicked out of your place.”

“How did you-” her look of confusion slowly turns to recognition. “Wait, I encountered you before. You caught part of my getting thrown out.”

“Strange how these things work out.”

“I guess so.”

We cut through an alleyway after several minutes of walking. The girl stops at the corner and doubles over in a coughing fit. Drops of crimson mix with the sickly brown of the runoff.

“Are you alright?” Why am I even asking? Of course she isn’t.

“I’ll manage.” More coughing. “Just give me a moment.”

Sure enough, her ragged breathing normalizes in a few minutes. She beckons for me to follow her. She understandably saves her breath rather than speak.

The girl stumbles a few times as we cross the street. She looks very pale.

“Ugh.” she sinks to the soaked ground with a splash. “Why did it have to be today? I can’t move anymore.”

This is bad. Very bad. Fortunately, she’s still conscious. But she can’t just stay like this. If she gets pneumonia, she’ll die for sure.

“Rob, get Yuki. Tell her it’s urgent.”

Rob takes off without so much as a word.

[1] – I need to get her out of the rain. The inn Yuki and I are staying at isn’t far.
[2] – Better not to move her until Yuki arrives. I might just make things worse.

***
Cutting it a little close for my liking here.
>> No. 55613
>>55604
I suppose I can answer a bit of this, but I typically prefer to be fairly unclear about how things work beyond HIGH STATS GOOD.

>if we had higher STR would it have been an affirmative vote?
Most likely, yes. This was the first option of its kind, but once in a while, you can use a low stat to get out of doing something you can't reasonably be expected to do. I'll probably specially mark such choices in the future.

>low Charisma
You would still be able to help, just stand to benefit less. (i.e. not possibly making a new friend)

>leaving someone cold and miserable in the rain, Hiver or not, just feels bad.
Indeed it does.
>> No. 55616
[2] – Better not to move her until Yuki arrives. I might just make things worse.
- Look around for something to keep the rain off.
>> No. 55622
>>55613
Yeah, I wasn't expecting you to answer everything. I was mostly just thinking out loud to sort through my thoughts about it.
>> No. 55623
[1] – I need to get her out of the rain. The inn Yuki and I are staying at isn’t far.

This rain will fuck you up. Let's get her out of the rain, even if it's just under a tarp.
>> No. 55629
[1] – I need to get her out of the rain. The inn Yuki and I are staying at isn’t far.
>> No. 55630
Called for:

[1] – I need to get her out of the rain. The inn Yuki and I are staying at isn’t far.
>> No. 55634
File 138362577357.jpg- (536.76KB , 835x720 , Fever pitch.jpg ) [iqdb]
55634
[1] – I need to get her out of the rain. The inn Yuki and I are staying at isn’t far.

“We can’t stay out here. You’ll catch something serious.”

“I’ll be able to move again in a few hours.” She grimaces. It’s clear that every word is painful for her.

“The inn I’m staying at is close by. Here, I’ll support you.”

“You’re wasting your time on me. Don’t bother.” She takes my hand anyway.

With half her weight supported on my shoulders, we move slowly, especially since we’re going against the flow of rainwater. But any progress is something.

Yuki appears soon enough, each hurried step spraying water above knee height. She came prepared for trouble, the globe of fire in her hand cracking and hissing in the rain. She stops short when she sees us.

“Nameless? Who is this?”

“She needs help. Help me get her to the inn before she catches something deadly.”

Yuki just stares at me. Her expression is hard to read in this downpour.

“YUKI!”

“Fine, but I’m not paying for a room for her.” Yuki positions herself at the girl’s other shoulder.

Between the two of us, we manage to half-carry the girl to the inn. She gets my room.

Yuki helps me get the girl out of her dripping clothes and dried off. She doesn’t have the energy to protest more than a little. Once she’s wrapped in a blanket and her clothes are hung up to dry, Yuki leaves the room. Judging from her body language, Yuki will bant to tell me off for this later. In the meantime, I have a sick stranger in my room.

I’m not really sure what to do now. Ellen’s lesson didn’t really cover anything I can use in this situation that I haven’t already done. I’m at a loss.

“Hey,” the girl calls to me weakly, “why did you help me?”

I…

[1] – “It doesn’t matter why. Just focus on getting better.”
[2] – “I wanted to make a friend.”
[3] – “I don’t want to see people suffer when I can do something about it.”
[4] – “People helped me when they didn’t have to. The least I can do is pass that along.”
[5] – (Write in.)

***
No wrong answers.
>> No. 55641
[4] – “People helped me when they didn’t have to. The least I can do is pass that along.”
Kinda a personal vote here. Just what I would say, in the same spot.

Not so purely pragmatic as to pick 1. Not so thick as to say 2. Not so altruistic as to speak 3 truthfully, nor so cunning as to misrepresent that.
>> No. 55645
[4] – “People helped me when they didn’t have to. The least I can do is pass that along.”
>> No. 55646
[4] – “People helped me when they didn’t have to. The least I can do is pass that along.”


I kind of want to vote for 3, but this is, after all, the Hive and if we become known to help people "for no reason" we'll end up in trouble.
>> No. 55666
Called for:
[4] – “People helped me when they didn’t have to. The least I can do is pass that along.”

please let me make it
>> No. 55674
File 138371347310.jpg- (378.84KB , 425x600 , mildly perturbed.jpg ) [iqdb]
55674
[4] – “People helped me when they didn’t have to. The least I can do is pass that along.”

“A week ago, I knew nothing. I have no memories. But people helped me when I needed it most. I don’t know why they helped me, but it feels good to know someone’s looking out for you. That’s why.”

A long moment passes, the silence interrupted only by the steady beating of rain against the window. Eventually, I get is a small smile as the girl closes her eyes. Her breathing slows a bit as she gradually drifts off to sleep.

Now I need to see what Yuki has to say. It takes some coaxing, but I manage to get Rob to watch over the girl. It will come alert us if something happens with her.

Yuki is in her room across the hall. Once again, she’s on the bed, tossing a coinpurse in the air and catching it. Fortunately, it isn’t mine this time. She sits up as I enter, facing me with an annoyed glare.

“Nameless.”

“Yuki.”

Yuki seems to be having some trouble deciding what to say. “Why did you bring back a sick homeless person?”

“She needed help.”

“And you trust this girl? I bet you don’t even know her name.”

“Are you telling me I should’ve just left her out to die? Is that what you would’ve done?” And her name is Misty. I remember that from our brief initial encounter.

“I…” Yuki won’t meet my gaze. Whether it’s from shame or stubbornness, I can’t tell. “You can’t just go around trying ta save everyone! You’ll end up dead in a ditch that way.”

“I’m fine right now. I took precautions in case of danger. You make it sound like I can’t trust anyone.”

Trust?” Yuki snarls, “This is Sigil! You might as well be digging through shit hoping to find a diamond.”

Maybe I should back off here. This is clearly a touchy subject for her.

“Sorry, Yuki. My limited experience hasn’t matched up with yours. Can we put this behind us? I didn’t get hurt, so no harm done.”

“Now, we can’t. You need to see firsthand how dangerous Sigil is to a trusting fool. Be ready for a trip around the city starting tomorrow. Figure out what to do with your stray in the meantime.”

I don’t expect her to budge on this. With the definite possibility of her abandoning me otherwise, I can’t exactly refuse. But I have a sick girl to worry about as well.

[1] – She can come with us if she’s feeling able.
[2] – Leave her enough food and room money for a day or two.
[3] – Maybe Rob will be willing to look after her.
[4] – She’s on her own. I’m in enough trouble with Yuki as it is.

***
Cutting it much too close here.
>> No. 55684
[2] – Leave her enough food and room money for a day or two.
Might as well follow through with our decison.
>Your howling is driving my customers away. I’ve warned you three times. Three! I’m well within my rights to evict you.
Seriously, though, what is up with Mystia?
>> No. 55687
[2] – Leave her enough food and room money for a day or two.

>>55684
I guess it's related to her habit of singing, she just doesn't have a great singing voice this time, maybe?
>> No. 55691
[2] – Leave her enough food and room money for a day or two.
>>55687
Someone should see about fixing that. If she can sing, she can earn; if she can earn, she can give us money.
>> No. 55693
>>55687
I think it might actually be the coughing. Some people refer to coughing fits as "howling". And if Mystia's been coughing a lot then she probably can't sing with out going into a fit.

Anyway Vote:
[2] – Leave her enough food and room money for a day or two.
>> No. 55694
[2] – Leave her enough food and room money for a day or two.
-[x] Ask her to keep the noise down inside of this place.
>> No. 55695
I just realized..
>The girl stops at the corner and doubles over in a coughing fit. Drops of crimson mix with the sickly brown of the runoff.

We may be dealing with a case of the consumption. (A.k.a. tuberculosis.)
Is she abnormally skinny and sweating a lot, especially while sleeping? If so, odds aren't in her favor.
Let's hope our undying body is resistant to disease, because TBC spreads like a motherfucker. Luckily most infections stay dormant, though.
>> No. 55697
Called for:

[2] – Leave her enough food and room money for a day or two.

You guys are pretty perceptive.
>> No. 55706
File 138380017459.jpg- (226.30KB , 700x750 , can`t we all get along.jpg ) [iqdb]
55706
[2] – Leave her enough food and room money for a day or two.

“If you insist, Yuki.” I’ll just leave the girl some money, enough to cover a few days of necessities. Yuki doesn’t need to know the details.

“Nameless,” Yuki stops me as I go to leave, “get some rest. We had a stressful morning, you went and burned most of your magic, and you’ve been in emergency response mode for the last hour. You’re going to crash hard in the next hour.”

“I guess. Goodnight Yuki.”

Rob seems quite pleased to hear we’ll be travelling around the city for a few days. With that taken care of, I collapse into the chair my room has. It’s uncomfortable, but I quickly find out just how tired I am. I’ll probably ache in the morning, but oh well…

(Day 9)

Sure enough, I wake up feeling pretty awful. Stretching helps ease the worst of the stiffness, but I still have no energy. The fact that I never ate dinner is a definite factor in that. At some point during the night, Yuki must’ve come in and covered me with a sheet. I guess she isn’t that mad at me, at least.

In my bed, the girl from last night is still sleeping soundly. I wanted to ask her a few things, but I’d rather not wake her. I guess I can ask them if she’s still here when I get back. I decide to just leave her a note and a few days worth of money. Presumably she can read, but even if she can’t, she can certainly find someone who can.

Yuki and I eat on the go, a cold breakfast of bread and sausages. The rain deciding to let up today is much appreciated. We pass the Swan Song Inn and eventually reach an enormous building. Much like the rest of the ward, it’s stained brown and somewhat eroded. It seems like a long, sprawling keep, but it doesn’t tower over the other buildings nearby. The exception to this is its most prominent feature, a colossal archway taller than the building it stands in front of. Despite its size, the entryway is congested with clumps of people. Great metal bars span the arch from top to bottom, each almost as thick as a person is tall.6

“This,” Yuki spreads her arms dramatically, “is the Gatehouse! The Bleak Cabal is based here. It serves as an almshouse as well as an asylum. The madmen are the most generous faction because they believe existence is meaningless and random. They are the only faction that sees any purpose to generosity.”

“Okay…” I thought Yuki wanted to show me how harsh and uncaring Sigil was. But it seems like there are people who’ve made it their goal to help others.

“Despite their kindness, Sigil usually eats through a madman’s hope in a few months to two years. They’re left broken and insane and are admitted to the Gatehouse mental ward. Even if they recover, an unlikely prospect, they all naturally die sooner than any other faction, on the whole.” Yuki is silent for a moment. “They lost their factol recently. Until they find a replacement, the Cabal might as well be a headless chicken, so far as politics are concerned. [i]This[i] is what indiscriminately helping others gets you.”

Th-That’s…

“Why Yuki,” Rob says, “if I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were trying to tell someone how to live their life. How very unbecoming of an Indep. The Harmonium may have room for a new member.”

Yuki grits her teeth and takes a deep breath. I can tell she’s having to restrain herself to keep from throwing a fireball at Rob in the middle of the crowded street. When she opens her eyes again, it seems she’s calmed down.

“Since you’ve already seen the Mortuary and no sane person just casually approaches the Hive, we’ll see the Athar headquarters next.” Yuki sets off at a brisk walk.

“That’s how you handle that.” Rob says. “It throws people off when you point out that they don’t follow their own faction’s beliefs. Usually, the higher up the person is, the better it works. Of course, you have to be sure they won’t just attack you in a fit of rage. Hypocrites hate being exposed.”

On the way, we come across something worrisome. A group of half a dozen thugs led by a small blond girl is accosting a woman whose limbs are wrapped in bandages. Something about her seems strange.

“Please allow me to pass,” the woman says, her voice even and calm, “I don’t want any trouble.”

The girl licks her lips. “I want those scrolls. You must know how much they’re worth. Or do you not think your life is worth a king’s ransom.”

“I cannot hand them over.”

Yuki shrugs her shoulders. “I don’t suppose you want to get involved in this, Nameless? After all, this woman is right here. Can you just leave her to die?”

I know Yuki isn’t going to change her mind just because Rob told her off, but this seems a bit extreme. She clearly expects I’ll admit she’s right.

[1] – Intervene on behalf of the woman. I won’t stand idly by and witness a murder.
[2] – See how this pans out and intervene if the woman is about to die.
[3] – Yuki is right. I don’t want to get involved in this.
[4] – (WIS) I suspect this won’t be so one-sided as it seems.

***
Much, much too close.
>> No. 55710
>>55706
[4] – (WIS) I suspect this won’t be so one-sided as it seems.
- [x] - Ask Yuki if she wants to bet a silver on the outcome of this confrontation.
>> No. 55711
[4] – (WIS) I suspect this won’t be so one-sided as it seems.
- [x] - Ask Yuki if she wants to bet a silver on the outcome of this confrontation.
>> No. 55729
[x]Intervene on behalf of the woman. I won’t stand idly by and witness a murder.

Because fuck the hopelessness of Sigil. If belief can make a dead tree thrive, it can change the nature of a city.
>> No. 55732
[4] – (WIS) I suspect this won’t be so one-sided as it seems.
- [x] - Ask Yuki if she wants to bet a silver on the outcome of this confrontation
>> No. 55736
[X] – (WIS) I suspect this won’t be so one-sided as it seems.
[X] – Be prepared to intervene on behalf of the woman, if necessary. I won’t stand idly by and witness a murder.

Our WIS alarm isn't telling us that it will be okay, just that it won't be as terrible as it looks.
I'd rather err on the side of caution than arrogantly bet money on someone's life. (Seriously, it's a bit of a 180 to go from saving a stranger in the streets to turning a mugging into an impromptu bloodsport betting match.)
>> No. 55738
[X] – (WIS) I suspect this won’t be so one-sided as it seems.
[X] – Be prepared to intervene on behalf of the woman, if necessary. I won’t stand idly by and witness a murder.
>> No. 55740
[X] – (WIS) I suspect this won’t be so one-sided as it seems.
[X] – Be prepared to intervene on behalf of the woman, if necessary. I won’t stand idly by and witness a murder.
>> No. 55743
[4] – (WIS) I suspect this won’t be so one-sided as it seems.
- [x] - Ask Yuki if she wants to bet a silver on the outcome of this confrontation
-[X] – Be prepared to intervene on behalf of the woman, if necessary. I won’t stand idly by and witness a murder.
--[X] - "I didn't say I wouldn't intervene."

I think the betting option is not so much heartless, as being so confident in one's instincts that one can joke about the situation, even though being wrong would render it moronic.
>> No. 55744
[4] – (WIS) I suspect this won’t be so one-sided as it seems.
-[X] - Ask Yuki if she wants to bet a silver that the woman won't win without your help.
-[X] – Be prepared to intervene on behalf of the woman, if necessary. I won’t stand idly by and witness a murder.
>> No. 55746
Called for:

[X] – (WIS) I suspect this won’t be so one-sided as it seems.
[X] – Be prepared to intervene on behalf of the woman, if necessary. I won’t stand idly by and witness a murder.
>> No. 55754
File 138388653320.jpg- (1.73MB , 849x1200 , sans dismemberment.jpg ) [iqdb]
55754
[X] – (WIS) I suspect this won’t be so one-sided as it seems.
[X] – Be prepared to intervene on behalf of the woman, if necessary. I won’t stand idly by and witness a murder.

Hold on…

I think I figured it out. The woman is much too calm for someone about to be robbed. She has an aura of serenity about her. It isn’t the warrior’s confidence that Toramaru had, more of an absolute certainty that her life is in no danger.

Even so, I’m ready to get involved if it looks like she’s about to be overwhelmed.

“Very well,” the blond girl says, “goodbye, lady.”

The woman shifts to the side slightly as the first of her assailants swings at her. Somehow, his sword embeds itself up to the hilt in the middle of the street. From a horizontal swing. The next seems to trip on air and the following two crash into each other headfirst. The remaining two thugs exchange a glance before running away as if pursued by a legion of the damned.

The blond girl disappeared somewhere during the confusion, but I have a feeling she’s still around. The woman looks around as the thugs try to retreat with what little remains of their dignity. She narrowly avoids a thrown knife aimed at her foot from somewhere unseen, but two more sink into her side. The next few knives are dodged, but the woman looks to be tiring. When no more come, I suspect the girl is running low on knives. But it still seems like the woman will lose due to blood loss if this continues for much longer.

I can’t just run in when there’s an invisible assailant, I’d only get in the way. I have to think about this tactically and quickly. The invisible girl’s optimal points of attack are the woman’s weakened side and her back. I expect she’ll target both. I have no doubt that the woman could stop the girl, if only she could see or hear her. But the girl’s footsteps are silenced too. If only she could be detected somehow…

I’ve got it!

I cast a few silent images in the form of floating motes of light. When the woman sidesteps another thrown knife, I aim a ghost sound behind her back. She reacts instantly, resulting in her getting a firm grip on what I assume is the invisible girl’s neck. One well placed blow causes the girl to reappear, knife clattering to the ground.

“Little one, you are a gifted sorceress. Why must you rob others to make a living?”

“It’s easy money.” The girl squirms under the woman’s grip.

“Not always so easy, it would seem. I advise you reconsider your lifestyle, else you may meet a grim end at the hands of one of the Bleak Cabal patrols.” The woman smiles as she talks, but her grip tightens slightly.

“Y-you’re hurting me.” The girl begins to tear up. It’s an act, but her appearance almost makes it convincing.

“Run along now.” Strangely, the woman sets the girl down. She stops only to glare back at us before running away.

“Thank you for the help,” the woman turns to me, “I avoided needless bloodshed because of you.”

“I’m happy to have helped, but it sounds like you could’ve handled it yourself.” That could’ve been messy for everyone involved. I’m amazed no one died.

“Not cleanly. I dislike it when others suffer, yet I excel at causing suffering. If there is any way to avoid it, I will seek to avoid spilling blood.”

“Some people only respond to force.” Yuki says.

“A sad truth of the world.” The woman pulls the two knives from the side of her robe. The knives are broken and there is no blood.

“How did you-”

“A combination of training and defensive magic. One can never be too careful in battle.”

“I can understand that.” I should try to learn a few defensive spells when I have the chance.

“You seem to have a talent for magic and a keen mind for applying it. May I ask your name?”

“I’m Nameless.”

“Ah, and I am just a wandering sinner, looking to help those in need. I came to this city less than a week ago.”

“I haven’t been here much longer, myself.”

“I wish you well then. Take care Nameless, may our paths cross again.” With that, the woman leaves.

What a strange person.

***
No choice this time. I feel like I should ask how I'm doing overall. Is everyone enjoying their daily updates from participating writers?
>> No. 55758
>No choice this time. I feel like I should ask how I'm doing overall. Is everyone enjoying their daily updates from participating writers?

You have no idea. This is really a breath of fresh air to the site. I'm reading all that I can and most stories are quite good.
>> No. 55762
>>55754
This is the only story I'm following that has been updating daily. Why, is there something going on?
>> No. 55763
>No choice this time. I feel like I should ask how I'm doing overall. Is everyone enjoying their daily updates from participating writers?
Going swell. Eagerly await the new post every evening. It also is nice because it means a day in the story is only about a week in real life, keeps the immersion smooth and details fresh in one's head.
>>55762
http://www.touhou-project.com/gensokyo/res/11961.html#12054
SURPRISE!
>> No. 55793
File 138397035088.jpg- (429.09KB , 1231x844 , Seen better days.jpg ) [iqdb]
55793
“How about that, someone who isn’t a greedy sociopath.” Rob says as we continue on our way, “Warms your heart, doesn’t it, Yuki?”

Naturally, she doesn’t respond.

Since I don’t have a weapon, I try scouring the street for discarded throwing knives. Unfortunately, all of the knives are broken. It seems like they’re designed to break off in a target, but are very brittle as a result. That seems excessively brutal, but I guess it prevents people from just magically closing the wounds and continuing unimpeded. In any case, there’s nothing I can use here.

After a while, we pass into the Lower Ward. The air smells distinctly of sulfur here, rather than rot and sickness. The stained and lopsided buildings of the hive gradually give way to well-built structures covered in soot. The sky is darkened with a gray tinge of smoke and the air is warm and dry.

Past a lively strip of businesses, the previously dense population drops to zero. The buildings here are no more than weed-covered ruins. With the exception of a light breeze, all is still and silent. A half-collapsed building dominates the horizon, broken archways forming the ribs of its decayed skeleton.

Yuki breaks the silence. “That’s the Shattered Temple, home of the Athar. Their resentment of the gods wins them few points with the other factions, but they don’t actually have any enemies among the other factions. Not at the moment, anyway. Factol Scarlet is a skilled diplomat and is very protective of those she presides over. I don’t know much of her beyond that and she tends ta keep out of the public eye when possible. What I do know, is that the Defiers have been awful quiet of late. I bet they have something going on in the Outer Planes. That’s their real battleground, not Sigil.”

A particularly strong wind blows then, causing Yuki and I to shiver. “Ugh, let’s get going. This place gives me the creeps.” Yuki says.

“Say, why don’t we look through some of these ruins?” Rob says, “With the wide berth people give this place, there might be something valuable in one of them.”

“Can we not?” Yuki shifts nervously from foot to foot.

“What’s wrong, too spooky for you?”

“Shut up. Enclosed spaces that could collapse at any time are just dangerous, is all.”

“They look stable to me.” That earns me a mean look.

[1] – There isn’t be any danger beyond superstition. At the very least, it will be interesting.
[2] – Maybe we shouldn’t. We’d be wasting time.

***
Daily updates are fun.
>> No. 55814
[2] – Maybe we shouldn’t. We’d be wasting time.
Sometimes, superstition is based in fac-
>Factol Scarlet
oh god fucking run for it before she decides that we're interesting
>> No. 55816
[2] – Maybe we shouldn’t. We’d be wasting time.


Since we would basically be looting someone's base of operation, I'd not recommend it. (It's okay in a game, where you can rummage through people's sock drawers in front of them to find elixirs, but I'm assuming people in THIS city are a bit more... Normal.)
>> No. 55834
Called for:

[2] – Maybe we shouldn’t. We’d be wasting time.
>> No. 55845
File 138405681711.jpg- (289.89KB , 981x1100 , Doomy dooms of DOOM.jpg ) [iqdb]
55845
[2] – Maybe we shouldn’t. We’d be wasting time.

It would be better to be on our way. Anything of value has probably rotted or rusted away by now, anyway.

“Alright Yuki, we can go.”

Yuki breathes a sigh of relief and sets off at an overly brisk pace. It’s a bit hard to keep up with her.

“We better do something fun later.” Rob grumbles.

Yuki’s pace slows as we exit the abandoned part of the city. As we go deeper into the ward, the smoke thickens and descends, forming a haze that stings at my eyes and makes it hard to breathe. I cover my mouth and nose with my sleeve in an attempt to filter some of the toxic air. The people here, too, are often pale and tired looking. Their eyes are bloodshot and they cough from time to time.

Despite the air and darkness, the area is far from devoid of life. Weeds and grasses abound in the harsh environment. There are even a fair few scraggly trees. Children run about, busy in their games. Life is defiantly vibrant amidst the gray, dull landscape.

Our destination is an incredibly tall, walled complex made of steel and stone. Dark smoke pours forth from its spires. The iron gates are guarded to prevent entry, but I can see heaps of coal and material piled within. The sound of roaring fires and clanging metal is deafening, even out here.

Stopping a ways off, Yuki finally starts speaking again. “The Godsmen craft most of the city’s metal odds and ends here at the Great Foundry. They’re an odd lot, with their transcendent reincarnation stuff. Supposedly, they actually can reach a higher state. Their last Factol is said ta have ascended recently, leaving a sizable power vacuum. Right now, there are two big candidates for their next Factol.

Kochiya is the moderate one. She’s got some clout among the middle and upper level members, wanting to solidify the faction’s power base and bolster relations with the other factions. The Athar appreciate that she’s not interested in infringing on their territory and the Bleak Cabal tends ta approve of her public works projects.

By contrast, Reiuji is seen as somewhat of a radical. Aside from wanting ta expand, both in Sigil and the inner planes, she’s somewhat of an enigma. She rarely appears in public, preferring ta stay out of the political maneuvering Kochiya excels at. And yet, she has the adoration of many of the lower ranked Godsmen. Several Factols are said ta respect her personally. I think the rumor is that she’s particularly well acquainted with Factol Scarlet.”

After Yuki finishes speaking, we once again we set off on our way. Once we get out of the worst of the smog, we stop for food. I haven’t had a hot meal in a while, so I appreciate the opportunity. Admittedly, chicken soup isn’t the most filling meal, but it’s still nice to have.

Not too far away, we reach yet another massive building. It seems like all the factions build big to show power. This one is a jagged, spiked fortress that comes to a point. Much of the building is overgrown with pointed vines. Strangely, the towers at the corners are completely devoid of them.

“Here we are, The Armory. The Doomguard make most of the weapons in Sigil here. Those that don’t come from outside, anyway. I guess they figure making weapons is fine, so long as it accelerates their long-term goal of wearing down the world. The sinkers are mostly a violent and unstable lot, but some of them are alright. The decent ones are more constructive, in the sense that they’ll tear down a mountain to build a castle.

Their last Factol died a good while back in some power struggle. They never officially presented a successor to the other factions, but they must have someone. The Great Modron March is coming up, an event they always prepare for. They still are, so there must be someone at the helm. I bet their new leader is going ta stay hidden until they make a move. Their secret weapon, you could say.

In any case, you can buy good quality weapons here. They have everything from knives ta siege engines. No idea who the hell buys those, but I’m not one ta judge. Of course, you probably can’t afford something impressive, so you might go for a discount weapon. They have some cheap stuff too.”

I guess I am somewhat under-protected.

[1] – I really could do with a weapon.
[2] – I think I’ll hold off until I can afford something half-decent.

***
Describing the city has got to be one of my favorite parts.
>> No. 55851
[1] – I really could do with a weapon.
We could do with a pokey stabber, even if just for utility.
>> No. 55856
[1] – I really could do with a weapon.

Get a decent knife. Shouldn't be too expensive and knives are tools, so they're useful for other things than hurting people.
>> No. 55859
[1] – I really could do with a weapon.
>> No. 55874
[1] – I really could do with a weapon.

Seconding the knife. Good, concealable emergency weapon that also doubles as an excellent tool.
>> No. 55876
[x] – I really could do with a weapon.
-[x] Ask if you could get a better weapong by paying the remaining value of the weapon with work/a favour

I didn't like how we skipped the ruins but I guess getting on Yuki's good graces again is not a bad idea.
>> No. 55880
Called for:

[1] – I really could do with a weapon.
>> No. 55901
File 138414457317.jpg- (23.82KB , 560x420 , a knife in the dark.jpg ) [iqdb]
55901
[1] – I really could do with a weapon.

“Sure, I guess I can spare some money for this.”

The Armory is very well guarded. We have to pass through a security checkpoint to get into the building proper. Yuki says it’s easiest to just let them hang on to our stuff and retrieve it when we leave. Rob has to wait outside, a fact it’s none too happy about, because it’s seen as a security risk. I suppose all these precautions make sense, but they still make me nervous.

Inside, there are long lines of people waiting to buy or sell weapons. Yuki says that the buying line is for custom orders and things that are to be shipped, so we head deeper into the building. At the back, there’s a decent-sized room where they sell lower quality weapons. I should probably be able to afford something here that isn’t a total piece of trash.

I make my way between bins of used arrows and barrels of beaten up spears. A knife should do nicely, being useful for things other than fighting as well. The selection certainly isn’t lacking in knives. I had no idea there were so many different kinds. A sign proclaims “ALL DAGGERS 4 SP”. The sign looks like someone took an axe to it at some point.

I should find something practical. Something that won’t break if I drop it or whatever. I ask Yuki, assuming she has at least a little knowledge about knives. With her not really expert advice, I wind up picking one that I think should do. It’s slightly bent and the handle part has been recently replaced, but the edges are sharp enough. It seems more designed for stabbing, but that means I don’t need exceptional finesse with it. Hopefully the blade not being perfectly straight won’t mean it will get stuck in something, should it come to that.

Naturally, getting a sheath sets me back another silver piece. We leave quickly after I make my purchase. The Doomguard seem to be friendly enough within their own ranks, but I’d rather not overstay my welcome. Recovering our belongings is a quick enough process and we’re soon on our way.

“We should probably stop for the night.” Says Yuki. “It’s getting late. We don’t want ta be out after dark in Mercykiller territory, believe me. Best to find an inn.”

And so we do. I find I’m worn out from all the walking I did today. The new dagger by my bedside adds an increased sense of safety. Tomorrow will be more walking, in probably dangerous territory this time. Still, I’m not too worried. The Hive Ward is supposed to be the most dangerous, but I didn’t get attacked there. Although, I guess it wasn’t the worst parts of the ward. There are places Yuki said she won’t willingly go…

***
Wasn't really feeling that great today, so this is a short one. Still, Between days is as good of a break point as any.
>> No. 55923
Well, what should we do next. What's our next point in our agenda after practing magic?
>> No. 55928
>>55923
We're still in the middle of our guided tour, I think.
The question is what we'll do after that, but we'll probably get to a vote by then.
>> No. 55943
File 13842316468.jpg- (399.65KB , 1100x884 , Judgement Day.jpg ) [iqdb]
55943
(Day 10)

We get an early start today. Yuki seems to be in a hurry to get through the next part of the city. It looks like it might rain, so I can’t blame her.

The part of Sigil we’re in now is called The Lady’s Ward, said to be the area in which the Lady of Pain resides. It’s actually clean and seems to have been properly planned out, a welcome change from the serpentine streets and grime of the other wards. But there’s something off about this place. The streets are nearly empty and it feels as though the very air is watching us.

A ways off in the distance, I can see high, spike-topped walls towering over the already tall buildings of the ward. By this point, I think I can pick out faction headquarters rather well.

“That’s the Prison. Much closer and we’d be hearing the screaming. The Mercykillers are scary serious about their pursuit of ‘justice’. They don’t give a damn about who or why, they just do what the laws demand. In theory, anyway. At least they aren’t running about hacking apart criminals. They only punish people who’ve been properly convicted. Not that the courts are always straight with the laws either.

The current Factol is a woman called Meira. She’s fairly new, as factols go, but she’s definitely intending ta leave her mark. There have been some serious changes ta how crimes are handled since she took the helm. Felonies are always a death sentence now, with lesser crimes getting you ten years in the Prison or in a work camp in the Lower Planes. Most of us are godsdamned furious about this.

Not much we can do about it right now, but I’m sure her position won’t stay so secure in the long-term. Some say she has a particular connection with the Signers, with bad blood on each side. Of course, that’s just a rumor.”

Yuki seems to harbor a particular hatred for the Mercykillers. Seeing as she’s somewhat of a thief, I can see why there would be a conflict.

Not particularly keen on sticking around, we continue on our way. The next part of the ward is quite a bit more active. People of various social classes mull about outside an asymmetrical building prominently featuring large columns.

“The Fraternity of Order runs the Court. Not surprising, considering they study the laws of the universe. Sigil’s got laws, same as anywhere else. And they know those laws better than anyone else. I don’t figure there’s some big plan ta it all, but whatever helps you ta sleep at night.

The guvners are mostly a dry, boring lot, but I’d say their Factol is an exception. She’s the really bright sort and apparently knows nearly everything. While she’s not known ta cast any magic, supposedly she can all but break reality over her knee. Having taken a self-important name like Patchouli Knowledge, she must believe herself ta be pretty powerful.

Now, the guvners are usually a pretty passive lot, but that might soon change. One of their bases out in the plane of Mechanus is said ta have found something big. An awful lot of their best and brightest haven’t been seen here in Sigil. One or two factions have publicly complained about their loremasters disappearing as well. Honestly, I hope it’s the guvners doing. The alternative is even more worrying…”

Kidnapping smart or well educated people for some mysterious project? I don’t think I like the sound of that.

***
The next update will have a choice, I swear! Circumstances have been keeping me from having much writing time of late, but I'm doing my best.
>> No. 55998
File 138431877232.jpg- (291.77KB , 864x576 , cloudy with a chance of updates.jpg ) [iqdb]
55998
We’re definitely due for some rain in an hour or two. The sky is dark and menacing and I can hear thunder not too far off. We’ll be moving a lot slower once the rain hits, so we need to hurry up now, just to break even.

Once more we head onwards. After a day and a quarter, this tour is already starting to wear on me. I kind of want to just take a day to rest at this point.

We wind up cutting through several alleyways to avoid groups of soldiers. While some are good natured, laughing and joking as they patrol the area, others are clearly looking for a fight. Yuki seems equally intent on avoiding both groups.

“Harmonium patrols,” Yuki says, “best not ta mess with them. The City Barracks is nearby, meaning they have the highest presence around here. If they can think of an excuse, they’ll happily arrest us.”

“Shouldn’t we be trying not to look suspicious, then?”

“Nameless, I’m an Indep. That’s cause enough for a lot of them. Since we won’t toe the line or even join a ‘real’ faction, we’re seen as dangerous. As vermin. Peace and harmony or else is the Hardhead way.

While many of the Hardheads are little more than passably trained warriors, there are a lot of them all over the planes and their higher-ups are far from weak. Their factol is a Prime called Prince Shotoku. Charismatic, commanding, a terror on the battlefield, he’s pretty much the ideal hardhead. The hardheads claim he’s immortal, but that’s probably just propaganda.”

“Immortal, eh? I’d love to see if that’s-”

“Quiet down, Rob. You’re going ta get us arrested.”

We should leave now, before Rob and Yuki’s feuding attracts unwanted attention.

After a while, the patrols grow less frequent and the crowds increase. We’re back in the Market Ward, Where I first met Yuki. It feels like that was a long time ago, rather than just over a week. I guess a week is a long time for me, relatively speaking.

Of course, the rain decides to hit now. It’s just a light drizzle at the moment, but I have no doubt it will soon be a downpour.

“Always with the rain! I really hate Sigil sometimes.” Yuki pauses under a shop awning to think. “My room at the Slumbering Dragon is probably taken by someone else now. I bet most of the inns will fill up real fast now that the rain has started. I guess I have a place to crash, but I don’t like to rely on it too much.”

“Can we get out of the rain quickly?” I’m reasonably confident that the rain here is toxic.

“I’d almost rather brave the rain, but alright.”

The place is another inn, this one called “Forsaken Lions’ Den”. The innkeeper, a short, heavily scarred man with an enormous beard, warmly greets Yuki when we come in.

“Well if it isn’t little Yuki! How’ve you been girlie? Been an age since you stopped in.”

“Sorry old man, I’ve been busy.” She makes a point of avoiding meeting the man’s gaze.

“The ward isn’t all that big. If you don’t stop in from time to time, I get worried. Why, I heard from a few friends of yours that the collectors had stopped in again. None of them had seen you since, so I was beginning to worry they’d got ya.”

“Not yet…”

At this point, the man notices me. “Who’s your friend, Yuki?”

“Oh, this is Nameless. One of those types with no memory, so I’ve been teaching survival skills.”

“Nice to meet you, err…” He squints.

“She’s a girl, you ass.”

“Right, sorry about that.” He scratches the back of his head awkwardly. “Anyway, there’s always a free room for you here, Yuki. And your friend.”

“Thanks, old man.” Yuki immediately heads upstairs.

“Thank you, sir.”

“As a friend of Yuki’s, I assume you know her story. I hope you’ve got her back when the time comes.”

[1] – Of course!
[2] – I have no idea what you’re talking about.
***
>> No. 55999
[2] – I have no idea what you’re talking about.
- [x] ... but I owe her too much to just bail on her.
>> No. 56005
[2] – I have no idea what you’re talking about.
- [x] ... but I owe her too much to just bail on her.

We might not know her story, but we know her and that's enough for me.
>> No. 56006
[2] – I have no idea what you’re talking about.
- [X] ... but I owe her too much to just bail on her.
>> No. 56021
Called for:

[2] – I have no idea what you’re talking about.
- [x] ... but I owe her too much to just bail on her.
>> No. 56027
File 138440483695.png- (584.91KB , 2000x1500 , Unidentified Flying Robject.png ) [iqdb]
56027
[2] – I have no idea what you’re talking about.
- [X] ... but I owe her too much to just bail on her.

“Of course I’ve got her back. I owe her too much to abandon her.”

“Well, that’s a relief.” The man sighs heavily. “Good to know she’s made a trustworthy friend.”

“That said, Yuki has told me nothing about herself. I have no idea what I’m supposed to be protecting her from.”

“Well shit. Yuki will be mighty irate with me now. I shoulda just kept me mouth shut.”

“You’ve already said too much to start backpedalling now. At the very least, tell me what I’m going to be up against.”

“I suppose… You’ll have to ask her the details yourself, but I can give you the gist of it.”

“Please.”

“Yuki has this debt she needs to pay, see? A big one, about three lifetimes worth. Normally, you could just skip town to dodge something like that. But Baatezu are damn persistent. They can be very persuasive.

Yuki’s been making payments when more tolerant representatives come calling and giving the worse ones the slip. Problem is, she can’t keep it up forever. I’m getting on in years and can’t protect her for much longer. What she’s going to have to do is fight and for that she needs strength and allies. Like you.” The man sighs heavily, chair creaking as he sits back down. “You’d best run along now missy. Yuki will be wondering what’s taking you. I’ll bring up some food in a bit.”

“Thank you. I’ll be there for Yuki if she needs me.”

“Not that she’ll ever admit it.” He grins, looking a little less old and worn now.

Going upstairs, I conclude that this place isn’t really a properly sized inn. There are only four rooms, including one presumably for the owner. Alongside one set aside for Yuki, I presume the other two are rented out on a semi-permanent basis. Either that, or the innkeeper has some form of supplementary income.

In any case, the place is nice and inviting. The rain stays out, and it’s well lit. Globes of fire-filled glass hang from chains, bathing everything with a golden-red glow. I guess I’m sharing a room with Yuki. We haven’t done that so far, despite it being cheaper, but Yuki seems to like her space.

This time, Yuki is sprawled out on the floor, looking at the ceiling light. Her room is pretty clean and empty, not much more than the necessities. That’s a bit surprising, but I guess it makes sense. Yuki doesn’t spend much time around here.

“Ahhh, good ta be home.” Yuki says.

“Odd, I figured you would be doing that money thing like usual. Did you grow up here?”

“Last ten years or so, yeah. Old man Boris is like a father to me.”

“I see. He seems to care a lot about you, Yuki.”

“Sure does. He’s got that overprotective thing going on too. His own family have died or moved out, so I guess that’s why he took me in.”

I’m tempted to pry deeper, but Yuki will probably just push me away. She can tell me about her past when she’s ready.

“So, I guess we’re sharing the room.”

“About that…” Yuki says.

“Now, now, you’re both girls,” Rob interjects, “so it’s okay.”

Yuki turns red and starts feeling around for something to throw at Rob. I’m a bit confused, mostly about where Rob has been, seeming so quiet lately.

“You’ve been keeping quite a low profile lately, Rob.”

“Eh, I guess. I didn’t really have much to say recently. I tend to sort of blend into the scenery when I’m not making my presence known. Being mostly transparent will do that. Besides, not like a little quiet will kill me. I’ve had a lot of time to just stew in my thoughts before you broke me out of the mortuary.”

“Right.”

Since the rain outside has taken a turn for the torrential, it looks like we may be here quite a while. I don’t have the option of practicing magic, so I wonder how we should pass the time.

[1] – So, Yuki, what do you do for fun.
[2] – I should take a look at those crystal spikes. I’ve been neglecting them.
[3] – Something else. (Write-in.)

***
I should actually have some more writing time starting tomorrow.
>> No. 56034
[2] – I should take a look at those crystal spikes. I’ve been neglecting them.
>> No. 56043
[2] – I should take a look at those crystal spikes. I’ve been neglecting them.


Mysterious mysteries in need of unraveling.
>> No. 56046
[x] – I should take a look at those crystal spikes. I’ve been neglecting them.
What an uncaring place is Sigil. Everyone has their own demons (some of them literal) and everyone is always two decisions away from death.
>> No. 56049
[1] – So, Yuki, what do you do for fun.
>> No. 56050
[x] – I should take a look at those crystal spikes. I’ve been neglecting them.

Maybe Yuki has an idea.
>> No. 56051
Called for:

[2] – I should take a look at those crystal spikes. I’ve been neglecting them.
>> No. 56057
File 138449036645.png- (316.97KB , 640x480 , Not really nameless but oh well.png ) [iqdb]
56057
[2] – I should take a look at those crystal spikes. I’ve been neglecting them.

I haven’t taken a look at those spikes in a while. Yuki knows magic, so maybe she can help me figure them out. When I carefully pull them out of my bag, Yuki stares in wonder.

“What are those?”

“They were in my back when I first woke up. There’s some sort of symbols on them, but I can’t read them and don’t know enough magic to try anything with them.”

“Here, give.”

I hand her one. “Careful, they’re really cold.”

Yuki hisses in pain and drops it. “Argh, how the hell are you holding those?”

“Not well.” I’m already starting to lose feeling in my fingers.

“This isn’t going ta melt if I ignite my hands before picking it up again, right?”

“I doubt it, but I’m not sure.”

I hand Yuki another spike after she does so. She turns it over several times in her hands, trying to decipher the markings. After scratching her head a bit, she mouths a spell. This time, a faint glowing line of purple appears amidst the blue as she passes her hand over it.

“Huh, a simple spell for detecting magic is enough. Is that all it takes?”

Yuki hands me the one she’s tried her magic on and goes through each of the others in turn. She doesn’t get any results on them.

“Hmm, maybe specific spell keys? Locations are possible keys ta this sort of thing as well.”

I run a finger over the purple line Yuki uncovered, pressing each symbol it passes over.

Click.

I suddenly feel a little dizzy, but it soon passes.

“Anything happen? I’ve got nothing here.”

She didn’t hear that? Odd. The purple line is gone from the spike now.

After some time with no further progress, the innkeeper comes up with food. He brings us a spicy-smelling meat and root-vegetable stew.

“This should keep out the cold. Old family recipe me pa used to make.” He looks at the spikes laid out between us. “Practicing magic?”

“We’re trying to figure out what the deal is with these magic spikes. I had them when I first came to, so I need to figure out what the deal is with them.”

“We’re having no luck.” Yuki flicks one of the spikes in annoyance.

“Hmm…” The innkeeper sets the tray of food down next to us and picks up one of the spikes. “Not a clue what you’re supposed to do with these, but they’re definitely made of treated Elemental Ice.”

“Elemental Ice?”

“From the Plane of Ice. Went there once or twice, back in my adventuring days. The particular cold is unmistakable. As for where it was treated, I haven’t got a clue. Magic was Helena’s job, not mine. I wonder if she’s still alive…”

“Hey old man, save the nostalgia. I’ll puke if I have ta hear another story about your old girlfriend.”

“Seems you’ve grown up to be such a respectful kid, Yuki. Since you asked so nicely, I’d be happy to tell another story.”

“Nameless,” Yuki moans, “smother me with a pillow.”

“Ahaha, always good to see Yuki get taken down a peg.” Rob reappears just above my shoulder.

“What’s this now?” The innkeeper stares intently at Rob.

“This is Rob, my soul-bonded spirit-familiar-thing.”

Thing?” If Rob had eyes it would be glaring at me.

“Oh, a summoned spirit. Helena worked with those.” Another groan comes from Yuki. “Yours seems a bit more talkative than most, but I won’t pretend to be an expert. I guess I’ll leave you to your magic things. Enjoy the food.”

The meal is excellent. Yuki says it’s because her adoptive father was the son of a cook before he set off as an adventurer. I can see how cooking would be a useful skill to have, especially on the road.

“So Yuki, can you cook?”

She stares at me in bewilderment for a moment. “K-kind of? Boris has taught me how ta make a few traditional dwarven dishes, but I always worry about messing up.” She’s a little red in the face while saying that.

“Don’t worry, I’m sure you just need to practice. Like me with my magic.”

“Yeah, but I doubt you can teach me ta cook.”

The bed manages to accommodate both of us that night without it being uncomfortable. For me, anyway. Yuki clearly isn’t half as comfortable with the arrangement as I am. Just one of those things, I guess.

Something odd happens that night. I dream.

[1] – Crystal Caves
[2] – Predator’s Rapport
[3] – Dead on Arrival
***
Now for something a bit different.
>> No. 56058
[3]
weeeeee
>> No. 56064
[2]
>> No. 56071
[3]
Doesn't sound good, but we need to know about this
>> No. 56087
[1] – Crystal Caves

This sounds like a fun, wholesome dream.
>> No. 56100
Called for:

[3] – Dead on Arrival
>> No. 56104
File 138457694934.jpg- (155.19KB , 1024x768 , ripples across time.jpg ) [iqdb]
56104
[3] – Dead on Arrival

---

Echo. The darkness clicks its tongue at me when the man’s body crashes to the ground.

“Did I do good, sister?” My other half asks, extracting her blade from the man’s chest. Her smile is stained red with the man’s lifeblood. It is here she is at her most charming. It is here she is at her most
frightening

“Mayhap you could not kill the next one? The dead are rarely talkative.”

“He stuck a knife in my eye!”

“Mortals can’t grow back. You can.”

Checking the man over, I find the markings I’m looking for. The next one will be a noble, already departed to Acheron. Tracking him there will be an inconvenience.

“How many more of these dead drops are there, anyway?”

“This marks the tenth. The incarnation that left all these was very good at planning ahead. I suspect there are two left, if she had a preference for statistically significant numbers.”

“To Acheron then? Demons are such fun to fight!”

Looking at my other half’s excited grin, I can almost feel confident in our success. But that would be foolish. The lower planes are treacherous and we will need time to plan and prepare.


---

I wake up feeling ill and even more tired than when I went to sleep. I guess this is what I get for experimenting with barely understood magical items.

What was with that dream, though? That felt like a memory, but why that one specifically? I guess that was a contingency set by the incarnation that spirit was bound to. I can only assume that the two in that memory didn’t succeed. It might be worth it to check out that lead they had.

“Morning, Nameless!” Yuki is sitting in a rough circle made up of the spikes. Rob hovers over her, giving the top of her head a faint green glow.

“Good morning to you too, Yuki.” I stand up to stretch.

That quickly proves to be a mistake. My vision swims and I have to hang onto the bed as my legs nearly give out.

“Careful there! You okay?”

I feel very much not okay. What is wrong with me?

“Shit! You have a fever. I have no idea what ta do. The old man and I aren’t healers.”

“It’s okay, a little fever won’t kill me.” Wait. Why did I say that?

“We really need to get you ta a healer before you get worse. Problem is, it’s still pouring outside. I know the best place nearby, but I’d have ta take you there.”

[1] – Stay here. I can probably tell Yuki what I know about treating a fever from Ellen. Or something.
[2] – Brave the storm. I don’t want to stay sick like this.

***
Something profound.
>> No. 56109
[1] – Stay here. I can probably tell Yuki what I know about treating a fever from Ellen. Or something.
>> No. 56123
[1] – Stay here. I can probably tell Yuki what I know about treating a fever from Ellen. Or something.

I wonder if she figured something out regarding those spikes.
>> No. 56126
[1] – Stay here. I can probably tell Yuki what I know about treating a fever from Ellen. Or something.
>> No. 56129
[1] – Stay here. I can probably tell Yuki what I know about treating a fever from Ellen. Or something.
Insightful story comment.
>> No. 56152
Called for:

[1] – Stay here. I can probably tell Yuki what I know about treating a fever from Ellen. Or something.
>> No. 56163
File 138465218848.jpg- (107.99KB , 1600x900 , Fever Dreams.jpg ) [iqdb]
56163
[1] – Stay here. I can probably tell Yuki what I know about treating a fever from Ellen. Or something.

Better not to overdo it like this. I might pass out. I can try and tell Yuki a little of what Ellen taught me, instead. What was it she said was good? Chamomile oils and yarrow and there were a few others.

“Nameless, are you even hearing me?” Yuki waves a hand in front of my face.

“What? Sorry. I should stay here and rest. Can you go out and pick up a few herbal remedy things?”

“Which ones?”

“Um… Could you bring me something to write with?”

I scratch out a list of some of the things Yuki should find and how they’re best applied. It’s really tiring, for some reason. I want to go back to sleep.

“I’ll be back in a bit. Rob, watch Nameless for me and tell my old man if she gets worse.”

“Eh, okay.”

I think I’ll sleep some more…

---
It HuRTs. wHY Her. ThiS ShouLd’VE been LikE the OTHerS.

SiSTEr. Run. RUN! DoN’t geT TurNED iNTo one oF THOSE THiNGS!

---

“Here, drink this,” Yuki presents me with a mug of steaming tea. “You said this should help your fever.”

“Thanks, Yuki.”

The drink is soothing, though I barely taste it. Hopefully I’ll improve soon.

---
It wasn’t my fault.

The one who left the clues is responsible. Why does she hate us so? Did she not want to be surpassed? Then why give us clues at all? Maybe it was an accident, something she didn’t foresee.

Either way, my other half is-

It wasn’t my fault.

---

“Feeling any better, Nameless?”

“A little.”

“I’ll go get you some more of that tea. It seems to be helping, right?”

“Yeah…”

Yuki goes back downstairs, leaving me alone with Rob. I feel bad for making them worry.

“You’ve been crying in your sleep.” Rob says.

“I have?”

“You have. Memory flashes?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

[1] – I need help.
[2] – No, I’ll just make them worry more. I’m enough of a burden as is.

***
Flu season here.
>> No. 56165
[1] – I need help.

Open up, Nameless One. Maybe they can help you.
>> No. 56168
[1] – I need help.
>> No. 56169
[1] – I need help.


We're not getting too far by ourselves, so let's get a second opinion.
>> No. 56215
Called for:

[1] – I need help.
>> No. 56233
It's fun seeing Nameless and Rob be so candid around each other. You'd think she'd be more than a little flustered.
>> No. 56235
File 138475054446.jpg- (36.01KB , 640x424 , I can`t take this___.jpg ) [iqdb]
56235
[1] – I need help.

“I don’t, but I think I need to.” I take a deep breath.

“Not like I’m good for much except talking to and being a lamp.”

“I just-I don’t know. What am I doing? I don’t know if I should be searching for my memories. What I’ve been getting flashes of has been horrible. I almost want to throw those spikes away and never think about my past.”

“No one is forcing you to seek the past.”

“My past selves seem pretty intent on leaving clues and expecting me to follow them. I’m going to keep having memory flashes when something seems familiar, aren’t I?”

“Probably.”

“I’m not strong enough to deal with the things my dreams tell me are waiting. I don’t know if I ever will be. I can barely deal with the memories!” My hands are shaking. I close my eyes so I don’t have to look at the scars.

“You have me here. And Yuki, I guess. You don’t need to worry. We’re right here.”

“You two can’t protect me from this, not my own head.”

“I don’t see why not. Sleep spells are easy, if that’s the problem. You’re acting differently from usual, Nameless. You’ve been throwing yourself at your problems diligently until now.”

“I can feel it when they die. The pain, the terror, everything. It makes my scars burn.”

“You’re going to be okay. Don’t worry. It will pass.”

“How can you be so sure?”

Rob is silent for almost a minute.

“If you could find whatever your past selves are searching for, find out who you were, what would you do?”

What?

() Write in.

***
While Nameless is smart and charismatic, she's empathetic and vulnerable to mental trauma.
>> No. 56241
[x] "I don't know.
Whatever it is, it must be important. Maybe not just to them. To me. I can't just ignore it, can I? Just ignore all the effort they've put in, all the pain and suffering they've endured, just so I can live my own life?
They've all failed, all died. Did they fail just by chance, every single one of them, or is there something making them fail?
How big is it? Is it something personal, something that only effects me, or will it change the whole world? Something in between?
Until I can answer my own questions, I can't answer yours.
So, I don't know. I don't know, and that terrifies me."

The future is scary, but you can't hide from it because it always finds you in the end.
Also I wrote this with no familiarity with the plot of the game, then went and read the Wikipedia article. Needless to say, bricks were shat.
>> No. 56248
[x] "I don't know.
Whatever it is, it must be important. Maybe not just to them. To me. I can't just ignore it, can I? Just ignore all the effort they've put in, all the pain and suffering they've endured, just so I can live my own life?
They've all failed, all died. Did they fail just by chance, every single one of them, or is there something making them fail?
How big is it? Is it something personal, something that only effects me, or will it change the whole world? Something in between?
Until I can answer my own questions, I can't answer yours.
So, I don't know. I don't know, and that terrifies me."


>>56241
Yeah, Planescape Torment can be a brick sometimes (especially the journal).
>> No. 56276
Called for the large write-in.
>> No. 56278
File 13848365054.jpg- (250.24KB , 901x901 , an offer you wouldn`t refuse.jpg ) [iqdb]
56278
[x] Large write-in.

“I don't know.”

“You don’t-”

“Whatever it is, it must be important. Maybe not just to them. To me. I can't just ignore it, can I? Just ignore all the effort they've put in, all the pain and suffering they've endured, just so I can live my own life?”

They've all failed, all died. Did they fail just by chance, every single one of them, or is there something making them fail?

How big is it? Is it something personal, something that only affects me, or will it change the whole world? Something in between?

Until I can answer my own questions, I can't answer yours.
So, I don't know. I don't know, and that terrifies me.”

“Nameless…”

I rest my head against the window. The rain now on both sides of the glass makes it hard to see outside. The cool temperature at least helps soothe my fever.

Yuki comes in, closing the door gently. “I brought you your tea.”

I don’t turn, not for that and not when Rob starts whispering to Yuki. I don’t want to deal with this right now.

Yuki says nothing more to me. She just sets the tea beside me and takes a seat on the opposite side of the room. I really appreciate that.

---
“Spirit! I know you’re there! Show yourself!”

“What do
you want? You haven’t had anything to do with me since I gave you your first clue.” The vengeful woman materializes before me.

“I want the next series of clues. The ones for our successor.”

“Oh? Nothing to stop me from giving you those in my oath, but why should I?”

“I have some alterations to make. The next of us could use a little extra help along the way.”

“I think I’d rather see you suffer.”

“If you give me the chance to change them, I’ll let you destroy me.”

The spirit smiles. “Done.”


Fuck being controlled by the past. Flip her goddamn board, kid.
---

I feel a little better the next morning in every sense. I’m still sick, but I’ve shaken off the worst of it.

[1] – I’m ready to leave today.
[2] – Maybe I should rest a bit longer.

***
Great, now I'm sick.
>> No. 56289
[1] – I’m ready to leave today.
Let's go see how Mystia is doing. We can feel terrible together!
>> No. 56295
[x] – I’m ready to leave today.
Time waits for on one.
>> No. 56308
[x] – I’m ready to leave today.

You're sick now? So... is this life imitates art?
>> No. 56310
Called for:

[x] – I’m ready to leave today.

>>56308
Both feed into each other a little, I guess.
>> No. 56318
File 138492350779.jpg- (359.54KB , 1100x765 , soon.jpg ) [iqdb]
56318
[1] – I’m ready to leave today.

“Feeling better?” Yuki looks a little tired.

“Well enough to leave, I suppose.”

“That’s good. I gathered your things already. They’re downstairs. I’m a bit annoyed I couldn’t figure out any more with those ice spikes, but we can look at them another time.”

Downstairs, Rob is talking with the innkeeper. They seem to be swapping adventure stories.

“Nameless,” Rob says, “good to see you looking uh, not less pale exactly, but less awful.”

“Seems The Lady will let you stay.” The innkeeper says.

“What do you mean?”

“The sickness you had is what’s called The Lady’s Gaze. Most Clueless get it within a week or two in Sigil. It only affects Clueless, but surviving means you’re permitted to come and go as you please.”

That’s what she had?” Yuki looks confused.

“Don’t have many Clueless in your circle of friends, Yuki?”

“Not really.”

“In any case, best of luck to you kids. Nameless, was it? I’ve given you a proper backpack. It served me well during my early adventuring years, but I’ve long since outgrown it.”

“Thank you, sir.”

The bag is a good quality leather one and helps balance the load of my belongings. I’m probably going to get quite a bit of use from this.

“Keep an eye on each other and feel free to stop by any time you need help. Oh, and Yuki, try to stay out of trouble.”

“Love you too, old man.”

And so we’re off. The rain has thankfully slowed to a drizzle.

“We’ll be coming up on the Great Gymnasium soon. We could get the last of your illness cleared out there. The Ciphers have some of the best healers in Sigil. Plus, their Factol, Meiling, is probably the most personable of the lot.”

[1] – Stopping in couldn’t hurt.
[2] – I’m fine, Yuki. I’ve wasted enough time as is.

***
Always cutting it close. I've had it with being sick interfering with writing.
>> No. 56319
[2] – I’m fine, Yuki. I’ve wasted enough time as is.
>> No. 56341
[1] – Stopping in couldn’t hurt.

Why not? I'm curious.
>> No. 56344
[1] – Stopping in couldn’t hurt.

I have a feeling that this will help us in some way.
Our luck has to change sooner or later.
>> No. 56363
Called for:

[1] – Stopping in couldn’t hurt.
>> No. 56370
File 138500987183.png- (197.85KB , 709x800 , athleticism.png ) [iqdb]
56370
[1] – Stopping in couldn’t hurt.

“Alright. I admit that I’m curious what this will be like.”

“The Transcendent Order has that whole ‘Oneness with the Universe’ thing going on. They have this weird trance thing they do a lot of the time. They tend to emphasize balance more than anyone else and often act as mediators between faction disputes.

Factol Meiling is an odd one. She’s been their on again, off again factol for a long time. She steps down as factol when someone else is ready for the position and when they die, she steps back up for long enough ta train a replacement.”

The Great Gymnasium is suitably large for its name. The building encircles a massive courtyard which we enter through a gate in the wall. We have to leave most of our things at a security checkpoint, but I get the feeling most factions expect that of visitors. There are three huge pools of water at the center of the courtyard for swimming and soaking. At the far end, there are people sparring and exercising. Despite being fairly crowded, things are very quiet.

We cross the courtyard at a leisurely pace. I notice a ruby-haired woman among the people exercising. She occasionally adjusts someone’s posture, moving like water between them.

“That’s the Factol.” Yuki whispers.

She doesn’t look all that old, maybe a decade and a half older than Yuki, but she moves with purpose and confidence. She stares directly at me as we approach. She walks over to us once we get close enough. I’m feeling really nervous at that.

“Can I help you?” I stammer.

“In games of dice and cards, even the gods know not the results.” She places a hand on top of my head. I suddenly feel much better.

“Factol Meiling,” a lower-ranking faction member runs up, “something urgent has come up!”

“I’ll fetch her back.” The woman walks off toward the entrance gate, leaving us dumbfounded.

[1] – What. I don’t understand. I need to follow her and ask what that was supposed to mean.
[2] – Forget it, I can think about it later. I got healed, which is what I came here for.

***
Still down with the sickness.
>> No. 56374
[1] – What. I don’t understand. I need to follow her and ask what that was supposed to mean.

lolwut. You can't just leave after saying something like that!
>> No. 56381
[2] – Forget it, I can think about it later. I got healed, which is what I came here for.
Follow her anyway to see what's going on.
>> No. 56382
[1] – What. I don’t understand. I need to follow her and ask what that was supposed to mean.
>> No. 56383
[1] – What. I don’t understand. I need to follow her and ask what that was supposed to mean.


See if we can maybe get something that isn't cryptical and weird?
>> No. 56384
[x] of course I get it. I'm no longer bound by fate or gods or whatever. As an inmortal, my fate is my own and only I am responsible for success or failure.
-[x] follow her and give thanks for the wonderful advice- and ask how she knows (if she does) about our particular situation.
>> No. 56398
Called for:

[1] – What. I don’t understand. I need to follow her and ask what that was supposed to mean.
>> No. 56409
[1] – What. I don’t understand. I need to follow her and ask what that was supposed to mean.

I need to know what she meant by that. I gesture to Yuki and take off after the factol. We’ll have to hurry if we’re going to catch up with her. She seems to be going at a leisurely pace, but she covers a strange amount of ground with each stride.

Stopping to get our things at the gate is a further delay. We really need to hurry up.

“Nameless, why are we following her?” Yuki is staring at me like I’m insane.

“She can’t just say something cryptic and then walk off like that. I’m going to ask her to explain.”

“Actually,” Rob says, “she can. That’s half of being cryptic.”

We follow her down several winding streets, just barely keeping sight of her turning a corner each time. We soon come upon the edge of a forest. Strange, I didn’t think there was any part of Sigil that wasn’t urban sprawl.

Factol Meiling is leaning against a tree, arms crossed at the edge of the forest. She watches us catch our breath in silence.

“What did you mean back there?” I gasp out.

“Telling you would be meaningless. Some things can’t be taught, only learned.”

“I see…” I’m supposed to come up with my own meaning, I guess.

“Don’t join the Transcendent Order. We have none of the answers you seek.” She turns and enters the forest.

That was strange. Now I have even more questions.

“Don’t be surprised,” Yuki says, patting me on the head, “The Ciphers tend ta be weird like that. They don’t bother being comprehensible when they don’t feel like talking.”

“Okay.”

“In any case, we’re just about done going around everywhere. There are only two faction headquarters left ta go and see.”

“Shouldn’t there be a few more?” We’ve been by ten now, I think.

“The Sensates are nearby, but it’s better to stay out of their business. They’re the most generous ta new members and Factol Saigyouji will be very persuasive if you catch her eye. Refusing could end badly if you upset her.

The Chaosmen are in the Hive, so we don’t want to just go wandering around in there. They tend ta be sort of unstable, anyway. They’ve got three or four factols they cycle between.

Lastly, the Anarchists aren’t based out of anywhere in particular and don’t have a singular leader.

That just leaves the Signers and Fated.”

“I met one of the Fated higher-ups back in the Hive Ward.”

“Oh, I guess you know about the problems they’re having already.”

“Not really.”

“Well, they’re having a power struggle. Factol Hoshiguma is fairly content about how things are at present. Ibuki, one of the factors, is trying to take over so they can expand. And Toramaru, the other factor in Sigil, is barely keeping them from warring in the streets.

I guess we don’t need ta venture over there. Want ta head over to the Signers or just head back?”

[1] - Signers.
[2] – Back.

***
Ugh.
>> No. 56410
File 138509653937.jpg- (401.43KB , 1289x1823 , Ability to the extent of being smug.jpg ) [iqdb]
56410
Forgot my image.
>> No. 56411
[1] - Signers.
>mystical crypticness
Knew it.
>> No. 56415
[1] - Signers.

Signers sound like jerks. We must investigate.

I had a lot of fun reading this. I'm not too happy with that MUST FIND THE TRUTH write-in earlier, but that's what I get for ignoring something I knew I would probably like.
>> No. 56425
[x] - Signers.
>> No. 56435
Called for:

[1] - Signers.
>> No. 56448
File 138518270722.jpg- (253.97KB , 600x810 , birdsong is totally a racial language.jpg ) [iqdb]
56448
[1] - Signers.

“We might as well go see the Signers while we’re here.”

“Let’s be off, then.”

The Hall of Speakers, the Signer faction building, is the strangest looking of them all. Rather than the typical rectangular look of most other buildings in the city, it looks more like a ridged mound. Jagged spires that look to be carved of humungous bones protrude from the top at various levels, the largest at the apex. In front of the building stands a heavily oxidized statue depicting a woman carrying a globe upon her back.

“The Sign of One loves to show off how different they are from the other factions. They think that the Multiverse is of their creation. Naturally, as the group that loves ta hear themselves talk even more than the other factions, they run the place where the laws get passed.

Signers are an egotistical lot, but some of them preach ta everyone about the benefits of self-confidence. They have a point about that, but their power is sort of dubious. I mean, the Bleakers hate them for willing one of their factols to death. At the same time, they hire crowds of people ta agree with them and discourage their opponents in debates. While they clearly have some special powers, they also tend ta act like they’re all-powerful.

The Factol of the Signers is Keine the Historian. Like most of them, she loves ta lecture people. What sets her apart is her knowledge of the past and the scope of her vision. There’s talk that the Signers are going ta try creating a god soon, to finally prove their power is the true one. No idea how they could manage that, but they’ve been sending some of their people into the Astral Plane, where gods are said ta go ta die. The Athar don’t like it, that’s for sure.”

After that, we head back the direction we came. I guess it’s time to head back to the Hive Ward. I wonder how the girl we left back at the inn is doing.

We make unnaturally good time, getting back to the Hive Ward at nightfall. Yuki says Sigil tends to distort like that if you have a destination in mind. I’m not entirely sure that I like the idea of the city being aware.

Upon entering the inn, we’re greeted with the sound of music being played. The girl is playing a lute, a fair amount of money scattered around her feet. She looks much better than she did the day she collapsed, though not really well. I have to admit, I’m surprised she’s still here.

After her performance is over, she greets us. “Thank you for the help back there. I owe you quite a bit, but I can’t pay you back just yet. I spent the money you left on this, but I haven’t made back more than enough to feed and house myself. Still, it should keep me fed longer overall, I hope.”

“Good to see you’re alright. I guess you have good sense with money.”

“A little.”

I had meant to asker some things, but I didn’t have the chance to earlier. Now would be a good opportunity.

(Ask the girl a question.)

[1] – Invite her to join up with me, at least for a while. She seems to want to repay me somehow.
[2] – Maybe not. Yuki will probably complain.

***
Now with more Mystia!
>> No. 56453
[x]"What's you name, and what's your story?"
Return them with our own, of course.

[1] – Invite her to join up with me, at least for a while. She seems to want to repay me somehow.
This investment will definitely pay off! Eventually.
>> No. 56464
[x]"What's you name, and what's your story?"

I'd like to size her up before making her the party bard.
>> No. 56465
[x]"What's you name, and what's your story?"


Party Member Sense. Tingling.
>> No. 56469
Called for:

[X]"What's you name, and what's your story?"
>> No. 56471
File 138526912441.jpg- (225.15KB , 852x927 , Your daily dose of Mystia.jpg ) [iqdb]
56471
[x]"What's your name and what's your story?"

“So, what’s your name?”

“Mystia. I don’t know my family name. I never met my father and my mother died when I was young.” The way she says it makes it clear it doesn’t bother her. As far as I can tell, anyway.

“I’m Nameless, and these two are Yuki and Rob.”

“You’re doing pretty well for yourself,” Yuki says, “I guess my intuition was wrong.”

“A pleasure,” Rob says.

“If you don’t mind my asking, what’s your story, Mystia?”

“Nothing special. I was born on a Prime world. Got sucked through a portal to the inner planes, wound up stumbling out here. That was a few months ago. I’ve been here long enough to have an idea of where everything is, but I haven’t joined a faction yet. Not sure if I want to. I mean, I don’t know if I could pass the tests and even then, maybe I don’t have the time.”

I want to ask about the coughing, but I doubt I’d get a straight answer. Better to not risk upsetting her.

We eat together that night. With help from Yuki and Rob, I tell her my story. She seems pretty interested.

(Any further questions?)

[1] – Invite her to join up with me, at least for a while. She seems to want to repay me somehow. She also seems interested in my situation.
[2] – Maybe not. Yuki will probably complain.

***
Very short today. I had to do things and slept late.
>> No. 56472
[1] – Invite her to join up with me, at least for a while. She seems to want to repay me somehow. She also seems interested in my situation.
Yuki enjoys complaining. Let's not ruin her fun.
>> No. 56473
[1] – Invite her to join up with me, at least for a while. She seems to want to repay me somehow. She also seems interested in my situation.

Gotta start on that harem sometime.

...

I mean, Mystia is a nice girl. We should totally keep helping her.
>> No. 56486
[1] – Invite her to join up with me, at least for a while. She seems to want to repay me somehow. She also seems interested in my situation.


Party bad get.
>> No. 56489
[1] – Invite her to join up with me, at least for a while. She seems to want to repay me somehow. She also seems interested in my situation.

Bard class character get.
>> No. 56499
[2] – Maybe not. Yuki will probably complain.

She wishes she knew barding. What good's she gonna be? Really? I'm all for being friends with her but a party?
>> No. 56501
File 138533391326.png- (12.09KB , 199x177 , party party party.png ) [iqdb]
56501
>>56499
Suika would be disgusted with your behaviour.
>> No. 56507
Called for:

[1] – Invite her to join up with me, at least for a while. She seems to want to repay me somehow. She also seems interested in my situation.

>>56501
Party time!
>> No. 56521
File 138535551239.jpg- (704.51KB , 1000x850 , seriously great.jpg ) [iqdb]
56521
[1] – Invite her to join up with me, at least for a while. She seems to want to repay me somehow. She also seems interested in my situation.

“So, Mystia, would you like to join up with our little group? I’ve got a feeling things will get interesting fairly soon. I’ve got things to look into in half a dozen other planes, at some point.”

Mystia idly picks her teeth with one of her long, claw-like fingernails as she thinks. “Sure, why not? I might as well do something with my time.”

“If you’re going ta be joining us, you have ta be able to keep up.” Yuki says.

“I’ll manage.”

“Will you? What can you do?”

“I can earn enough money to keep myself fed and housed, I’m decent in a fight, and I know my way around a few of the Inner Planes. I also know a few languages and can cook, though I’m out of practice. Is that good enough for you?”

Mystia and Yuki stare at each other with obvious distaste. After a while, Yuki shrugs her shoulders. “Works for me, I guess.”

“Thank you.” Mystia smiles. It looks sincere, although her sharp teeth make it seem predatory and kind of unsettling.

Mystia plays a bit more music after we eat. Her clawed fingers pluck at the strings of the lute with amazing dexterity. I find myself enraptured in her performance. Music holds its own special magic, one much more subtle than the one Yuki has been teaching me. I’m not sure I could do anything as well as that, but I think it would be nice to try.

I have trouble falling asleep that night. I find myself wondering what the future holds. It feels like I haven’t made all that much progress lately. A part of me knows that I have, but I spent the last few days doing pretty much nothing. I want to start moving forward, but I don’t know where to or how.

[1] – It can wait at least one more day. I want to explore the area some.
[2] – A little more Magic practice couldn’t hurt.
[3] – Learn a bit about Thieving.
[4] – I wonder if Mystia could teach me a bit about music.
[5] – I should really start thinking about what to do regarding the factions. This feels like a step in the right direction.

***
Part 1 will be finished by the end of the month. Things will start to pick up quit a bit after that.
>> No. 56524
[2] – A little more Magic practice couldn’t hurt.
-[X] - Have Yuki oversee and give pointers.
>> No. 56526
[x]>>56524
Specialization is where's the money at
>> No. 56530
[2] – A little more Magic practice couldn’t hurt.
gotta git gud
>> No. 56537
[4] – I wonder if Mystia could teach me a bit about music.
>> No. 56540
[2] – A little more Magic practice couldn’t hurt.

I don't think we're specced too well for thieving.
>> No. 56554
Called for:

[2] – A little more Magic practice couldn’t hurt.
>> No. 56568
File 138544188976.jpg- (666.32KB , 1000x1000 , Burn baby burn.jpg ) [iqdb]
56568
[2] – A little more Magic practice couldn’t hurt.

The next morning, something comes to my attention that slightly bothers me. I’ve lost track of the days. When I ask Yuki about what day it is, she says it’s been three whole days since I got sick. I guess today marks the last day of the second week of my life.

(Day 14)

Yuki agrees to teach me a bit more magic today. Rob isn’t there to give pointers this time, as it wants to talk to Mystia about something.

“Alright, I think it’s about time ta teach you a proper offensive spell.” Yuki says as she finishes writing a spell in my spellbook. “It’s time we got you slinging fire.”

“Really?” This should be fun.

“What I’m teaching you is a weaker version of what I use.” Yuki ignites her hand. “Orbs of liquid fire are a bit different from explosive fireballs and arrow and ray type spells. They arc when you throw them, so they can be good for hitting something that has some cover. You don’t have ta worry about much of a splash setting everything around on fire, unlike a fireball. The liquid fire actually has some weight ta it, but it’s light enough that even someone like you should be able ta make use of it.”

I’d be offended, but she has a point. I’m not strong.

“Alright,” Yuki says, setting up a few glass bottles, “try ta hit those. Remember that it arcs.”

I’m still not sure how I’m supposed to hold fire in my hand without burning myself, so I don’t have much time to line up my throws. My first throw falls short, the next going off to the right and missing entirely. Only on my fifth throw do I finally manage to hit one. I’m kind of annoyed, but most of my frustration burns off with the fire.

“Don’t worry. You’ll get the hang of it eventually.”

I actually manage to get another three hits in, though they’re far from perfectly on target. Still, I should have an easy enough time hitting something bigger than a bottle.

“Well, I can’t really teach you much more until you can hold more spells at once. You should get there fairly soon if you keep practicing.”

I’m naturally exhausted that night. Sleep comes easily when you completely run out of magic. I’ll do something else tomorrow.

[1] – I want to explore the area some.
[2] – Learn a bit about Thieving.
[3] – I wonder if Mystia could teach me a bit about music.
[4] – I should really start thinking about what to do regarding the factions. This feels like a step in the right direction.

***
God I'm tired.
>> No. 56576
[3] – I wonder if Mystia could teach me a bit about music.
If you're tired, you should sleep. Or drink some coffee.
>> No. 56583
[4] – I should really start thinking about what to do regarding the factions. This feels like a step in the right direction.

Enough lazing about. We need more experience and PLOT is the best way to get it.
>> No. 56587
[x] – I should really start thinking about what to do regarding the factions. This feels like a step in the right direction.
Joining a faction? With an anarchist as best pal? More likely than you'd think.
>> No. 56588
[3] – I wonder if Mystia could teach me a bit about music.
>> No. 56603
[3] – I wonder if Mystia could teach me a bit about music.

Well, our charisma's decent.
>> No. 56608
Called for:

[3] – I wonder if Mystia could teach me a bit about music.
>> No. 56619
File 138552806128.png- (1.95MB , 1500x1333 , Magic music.png ) [iqdb]
56619
[3] – I wonder if Mystia could teach me a bit about music.

(Day 15)

I catch Mystia just after breakfast, in the process of tuning her lute. She periodically plucks one of the strings, continuing her work even as she notices me.

“Need something?”

“I wanted to ask about your music. You’re really talented, so I was wondering if you could teach me.”

Mystia brushes a stray bit of hair out of her eyes. “I’m not that good. I mean, it isn’t that I’m unwilling to teach. I don’t know how.”

“Well, how did you learn?”

“I followed one of the musicians in my hometown around and pestered him until he taught me the basics.”

“That works?”

“I’d rather you didn’t do that to me. It’s a little fuzzy, but I can try to teach you what he taught me.”

“Great!”

Mystia spends the better part of the day trying to teach me as best she can. I had no idea music was this complex! Scales and chords and keeping time take some getting used to. I pick up the information well enough, but the instrument feels foreign in my hands. Mystia assures me that that’s normal. By the end of the day, I can play scales and a few chords passably well, though not at speed. My hands are tired, but I had fun! Mystia seemed to enjoy the company as well. At the end, she said I would need to practice fairly often if I wanted to improve. I think she’d enjoy getting to teach some more.

[1] – I want to explore the area some.
[2] – Learn a bit about Thieving.
[3] – I should really start thinking about what to do regarding the factions. This feels like a step in the right direction.

***
I'll be out of town for the rest of the month. Hopefully, I'll still be able to deliver some updates in that time. Or shorts, barring updates.
>> No. 56620
[1] – I want to explore the area some.

>Obligatory comment about random encounters
>> No. 56626
[3] – I should really start thinking about what to do regarding the factions. This feels like a step in the right direction.
>> No. 56634
[1] – I want to explore the area some.
gotta git stabbed
>> No. 56641
[1] – I want to explore the area some.

Quests and experience?
>> No. 56646
[x] – I should really start thinking about what to do regarding the factions. This feels like a step in the right direction.
Second this option appears.
>> No. 56647
I'm headed out of town now. Since I'll be unavailable all day, I might ask someone else (probably Waymaker) to call the vote so I can write while in transit.

You'll probably be seeing a multi-part short over the next few days, so keep an eye on /shorts/ if you like.
>> No. 56668
Called for:

[1] – I want to explore the area some.
>> No. 56676
File 13856140374.jpg- (290.16KB , 600x1036 , Clever image title.jpg ) [iqdb]
56676
[1] – I want to explore the area some.

(Day 16)

I think I’ll take today to explore a little. It’ll be a nice change of pace and I might find something interesting. I take Rob with me since Mystia has money to earn and Yuki has to go do… Yuki things. I don’t ask about that.

Today is another dreary day. It seems that the rain never lets up for long. I may need to make this a short excursion if I don’t want to get caught in the rain again.

Without a destination in mind, I start to more keenly pay attention to my surroundings. There really aren’t too many beggars around. There are some, to be sure, but they’re outnumbered by more thuggish types. I make a point of avoiding presenting myself as a target to the roving bands of muggers. It’s not hard, I just need to look unconcerned. Overconfidence and vulnerability would both make me a target. Keeping a respectful distance is everything.

I wander around for a while, none of the shops quite interesting me. Just as I’m about to head back, I notice a small business tucked between a brewery and a shoemaker’s. The weather-beaten sign reads Morichika Curiosity Shop: We Sell Everything. Figuring something in there might catch my eye, I go in.

Inside, the shop is disorganized and cluttered. Uneven rows of shelves stretch from floor to ceiling, completely covered in all manner of objects. There doesn’t seem to be any real pattern to where things are kept. Umbrellas, brooms, farm tools, and polearms all share space in barrels like some sort of deranged bouquet. The messy layout makes the already tiny shop seem practically miniscule. Even the counter in the back is halfway piled with clothing.

“Good pick.” Rob says, “These sorts of places usually have a few gems hidden among the junk.”

“Excuse me,” I call out to the seemingly empty shop, “are you in?”

At first, it seems like I’ll get no answer. Listening more closely, I can hear someone making their way out from the back of the shop. Out from behind the bead curtain comes a gray-haired girl who’s about my height. Her reddish-brown eyes are attentive and curious, but my gaze is drawn to the pair of mouse ears atop her head. Realizing that it would be impolite to stare, I look at Rob instead.

“You’re a strange pair. Finding everything okay?” The girl stares at me over the counter. It seems she has no such concerns about being rude.

“I don’t even know what I’m looking for.”

“Just as well. I couldn’t point it out to you if you did.”

“Lady, you’re a pretty bad shopkeeper.” Rob says.

“Cut me some slack, I just got this place!”

“Oh?”

“I inherited it from some family. Well, my brother did, but he’d rather go gallivanting off to the Outlands to play merchant with his girlfriend! So I’m stuck with it.”

“You could always sell it.” I offer.

“I’m tempted to. I’d like to sell some of this junk first. The only people willing to buy this place would just toss most of it. I plan to get as much out of this as possible.”

“What do you plan on doing afterward?”

“I really want to be a treasure hunter. I want to do something exciting with my life. It would be easy enough to get started with the money from selling this place, but that’s a few years off.”

I feel kind of bad for her, not being able to pursue her dream, so I wind up buying a lute and some spare strings. Yesterday’s lesson was fun and even if I didn’t get the chance to have another lesson, Mystia would at least find the extras useful. I thought about getting Yuki something as well, but I don’t know what she likes and she doesn’t seem to really care about owning that much. Of course, the possibility that the girl may be lying does cross my mind, but she seemed genuinely bitter.

On the way back to the inn, I notice a building that seemingly wasn’t there before. The sign is a distinctive nine-pointed star with an eye at the center. I’m tempted to stop there and see what it is, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it back to the inn before the storm hits.

[1] – I have time to look into this.
[2] – Better to not. I can probably find it again later and I have things to do tomorrow.
– Learn a bit about Thieving.
– I should really start thinking about what to do regarding the factions. This feels like a step in the right direction.

***
The hardest part about updating from out of town is not having access to my image library.
>> No. 56680
[x] Ask Rob if he recognises that symbol. If so, and it's nothing dangerous or distasteful, check it out. Otherwise, go home and learn about Thieving.
>> No. 56696
[1] – I have time to look into this.

Quest hook sighted.
>> No. 56697
>>56676
[1] – I have time to look into this.
>> No. 56698
Called for:

[1] – I have time to look into this.
>> No. 56704
File 13857011463.jpg- (587.22KB , 800x1131 , You seem interesting___.jpg ) [iqdb]
56704
[1] – I have time to look into this.

I see no harm in checking this out now. For all I know, it’s one of those places that disappear if you don’t look into them the first time. That would fit with the rest of Sigil’s spacial weirdness.

The building doesn’t have any windows, leaving the only light source to be a flickering oil lamp that casts long shadows over most of the room. The whole place smells like a combination of metal, incense, and formaldehyde. I can barely make out the tall woman behind the counter.

“Excuse me, I saw the strange sign out front and found myself wondering what you sold here.”

“We offer all manner of services. Resurrections, embalming, magical tattoos, almost anything you can imagine.”

“That’s an odd selection.”

“We cater to a very particular clientele. It pays to be able to provide for them over many, many years.”

“Hello, Ran.” Rob says, “I take it ominous is in this century? It’s Rob now, before you ask.”

“Ah, it’s you. You’ve diminished so much that I barely recognized you.”

“Two hundred years of stasis will do that. Nameless here is going to help me find my other parts.”

“I see.” Ran claps and suddenly the whole room is illuminated. It takes a minute for my eyes to adjust, but I can see what she looks like now. Her eyes are gold and slitted like a predator’s, emphasized by a peculiar pattern of red lines. Prominent pointed ears twitch atop her head, the same golden color as her eyes and hair. She has rather noticeable scars on her wrists, partly covered by patterned ribbons that extend away from her, disappearing into the space around her.

The fact that she seems to be sizing me up for a fight makes me uncomfortable. I can tell that she’s much older than she looks.

“How do you two know each other?”

“Rob is a longtime customer here. When you’ve seen civilizations rise and fall, you tend to gravitate toward those who can say the same. Of course, I’ve told you that before, Miss Memory Loss Immortal.”

“You know me?”

“A few of your past selves have come here. I already have an account open for you.”

“Can you tell me about my past, then?” Some actual firsthand information would be invaluable.

“Terribly sorry, one of your predecessors I did the most business with requested that privacies be kept and none of the ones after overturned it regarding their own information. I’d likely count you as descendants rather than the same person anyway.”

“With what I’ve seen so far, that really doesn’t surprise me. Is there anything you can give me?”

“I did make a few deals with some of them that pass to you. If you happen to have some rare materials, I’m willing to make something of them for a cut of the substances used.

Additionally, I’d be willing to trade favors for favors. I can’t really go about the multiverse at large, not with my business to take care of, so I have things I need done by proxy. Messages delivered, packages picked up, old enemies dealt with, artifacts found, all kinds of work.”

“Some of that sounds a bit different from other parts.”

“Not when the other parties are suitably powerful. I’d advise you hold off until you’re a bit stronger.”

“You’ve had your fun, Ran. Have a little pity on her.” Rob says.

Ran licks her lips, smiling a predatory smile. “I suppose. It just gets so boring without something to occupy my time. I have to take all the amusement I can get.”

Ran traces some manner of symbol in the air. Her hand disappears into some extradimensional space, withdrawing a dagger and a scroll. She passes them to me.

“What are these for?” I ask, unfurling the scroll. It has on it the same pattern as the sign outside.

“That would be your key. You trace the symbol on a surface with a knife and stab it into the eye afterward. It lets you come here from almost anywhere in the multiverse. Of course, the door seals afterward without any damage. You can come and go as you please, so long as you’re on business or a social visit. If it’s to escape pursuers or bad weather, I’ll have to charge you.”

“Is there a catch to this?”

“No, I expect you’ll be willing enough to do favors in exchange for your past lives’ belongings.

One more thing, don’t try to stab anything with the knife. It won’t work.”

“Thank you, I guess.”

“You may want to be on your way now. I suspect your companions are waiting.”

Of course I get caught in the rain on the way back and get told off by Yuki. I think I’ll tell them about that adventure another time.

[1] – Thief training.
[2] – Faction decisions.

***
Two days to the goal.
>> No. 56717
>>56704
Ran. Is. Interesting.
>> No. 56718
>Terribly sorry, one of your predecessors I did the most business with requested that privacies be kept and none of the ones after overturned it regarding their own information. I’d likely count you as descendants rather than the same person anyway.

...Should we do something about this? I mean, if we die it would be kinda nice to let our successor have a leg up.
>> No. 56719
[1] – Thief training.
I will avoid the plot until it kills me. Please don't kill me.
>> No. 56721
[1] – Thief training.

If we're killed we'll simply stand back up. Rob is probably tougher than us. Mystia and Yuki can take care of themselves.
>> No. 56744
Called for:

[1] – Thief training.

>>56718
You'll be able to set this up at a later date.
>> No. 56749
File 13857862434.jpg- (155.70KB , 1406x1080 , Sneaky things.jpg ) [iqdb]
56749
[1] – Thief training.

(Day 17)

“Hey Yuki, can you teach me some of that thief stuff today?”

Thief stuff?” Yuki looks displeased with me. “That’s kind of a bad way of saying it, Nameless.”

“What would be a better term, then?”

“Uh…” Yuki scratches her head. “I don’t really know. It’s a lot more than just stealing stuff, though.”

“Oh?”

“I can teach you ta pick pockets, but not locks. If we started you with trying ta steal from people, you’d probably just get your face kicked in. I can show you how ta avoid that. Blending in with crowds, distractions, hiding, and picking out which streets are least likely ta lead ta dead ends are all things you should learn.”

“I can teach you some things too,” Mystia says, “but you’re best off working through some of that stuff today.”

“Like what?”

“Most of the roguish skills she can’t, I’d wager. Social things, like how to lie and cheat, climbing and acrobatics, and how to fight dirty.”

“I could easily teach her that last one.” Yuki says indignantly.

“Until you run out of spells, as is often the problem with relying too much on magic.”

Displeased as Yuki is, I have to agree with Mystia. Using up my magic makes me really tired, so much so that I’m barely functional at the end of a practice day. I should be able to do other things as well, so I can conserve my energy. I’m going to need it a lot more urgently in the future.

“Whatever,” Yuki grumbles, “let’s just get started, Nameless.”

We go outside. Today’s rain is only a drizzle, so it’s easy enough to deal with.

“Alright, the best way ta learn this stuff is by doing. I can explain a bit if you start ta have trouble. For now, this will play out as a game of tag. You have to evade me for an hour. Everywhere outside between the Mortuary and the Gatehouse is fair game. If I catch you, we start over. I’ll start my pursuit on a count of a hundred, so get running!”

I know better than to wait around and ask questions Yuki inevitably won’t answer, so I force myself to start running. I go until I run out of breath, turning down another road every so often. When I run out of breath, I duck behind a crate and try to slow my breathing.

I can barely hear the rain over my breathing and pounding heart. Yuki catches me within a few minutes of my stopping. I nearly jump when her hand settles on my shoulder.

“Lesson One: Don’t tire yourself out with running. It leaves you with no energy to fight if you get cornered and dulls the senses.”

Yuki lets me loose only to catch me a few minutes later. By the end of the day, I haven’t managed to go more than half an hour avoiding Yuki, but the average time it takes her to catch me lengthens considerably. She clearly didn’t expect me to manage an hour, though she never says as much.

I pick up on things, at least. Never blindly turn down an alleyway, sometimes a dead end is advantageous if you can hide yourself in a doorway fast enough, and thrown distractions sometimes work, but often backfire. Plus, kicking whatever object I’m hiding behind at my pursuers will buy me a few seconds to run.

At the end of the day, I’m exhausted from running and cold and more than a little drenched. I just want to rest in a nice, dry bed.

[1] – Faction time.

***
Hopefully I'll get my day 30 update out before I leave to go home tomorrow.
>> No. 56757
[2]Snuggle in a warm bed with Yuki and Mystia

Oh, FINE.

[1] Faction stuff blah blah.
>> No. 56758
[2]Snuggle in a warm bed with Yuki and Mystia

Oh, FINE.

[1] Faction stuff blah blah.
>> No. 56771
File 138580610335.jpg- (497.04KB , 1188x1772 , The City at the Top of the Planes.jpg ) [iqdb]
56771
[1] – Faction time.

(Day 18)

I need to get a sense of direction. I’ve been training and meeting people, but I have a feeling that a just a few friends and contacts won’t be good enough. What I need is something more concrete.

I’ve heard a fair bit about most of Sigil’s factions at this point. I ought to at least consider joining one of them at this point. The allies will, of course, be offset with enemies in most cases, but it feels like it would be a net gain regardless of which I join.

The Athar or Godsmen probably offer the most benefit and least enemies. I’ve done well enough without the help of gods and as far as I can tell, they aren’t helping very many people in any meaningful way.

The Godsmen outlook of natural strength meaning worthiness in a past life is interesting considering my situation, but at the same time, it seems ripe for abuse and keeping the state of things as they are.

Four factions seem to favor chaos over order and conformity. The Bleak Cabal seems set on helping others, but I’m not sold on their outlook that life is meaningless. Still, I guess it frees you up to decide what matters for yourself.

The Doomguard seem dangerous, but nice enough to their own ranks. I don’t know what to think of their philosophy, but I’d rather be friends with them than enemies.

While the Chaosmen are apparently unstable lunatics, I’m curious about them. Not so curious that I’d go into their territory unprepared, but I know notably less about them than other factions.

Then there are the Anarchists. Sigil is clearly in need of a change, but I won’t pretend to know how it would be best altered.

Of the more law-oriented factions, the Harmonium has one of the largest military presences. They have a lot of enemies to go with it, as well. Their methods aren’t the most endearing, though their goal of peace is respectable enough.

The Mercykillers have a harsh outlook on things. I’d have a hard time reconciling that with the companions that I have.

The Fraternity of Order is a promising option if I’m going to learn about my past. All the faction busywork sounds boring, but that’s the price of knowledge.

That just leaves some of the outlier options, the ones that tend to be occupied with themselves rather than the world at large. The least appealing among them is the Dustmen. I can’t say I like the idea of dying one bit. Plus there’s something at the back of my mind that tells me to avoid them. Well, that and I’m an affront to their philosophy.

Joining the Fated would be easy enough, seeing as I know Toramaru. Honestly, I don’t know how well I’d do with that. I feel like most of my progress has been due to other people helping me. It might get me to be a bit less reliant on others, assuming I could handle it.

Yuki would probably want me to join the Indeps, seeing as she’s one of them. She seems to do well enough, but I don’t know, it seems really fractured. It’s not really a proper faction, more like what I have going on now. The key difference is a loose alliance and a slew of enemies.

The Sensates have the most material benefits and the experience I’m sorely lacking in. What gives me pause is that Yuki seemed afraid of the factol, something she didn’t express for any of the others. She isn’t the most easily intimidated type, either…

The Signers are probably the most selfish faction. Even so, if their powers are even half as great as what they claim, they might be worth joining. At the very least, I should avoid getting on their bad side any time soon.

And lastly, the Ciphers. Factol Meiling made it clear I wouldn’t find what I was looking for there and I should stay away. It felt more like a warning than a threat, but I couldn’t read her at all.

Paths of the Divine:
[1] – Athar: That which sunders the thrones of gods.
[2] – Godsmen: The soul’s evolution.

Paths of Chaos
[3] – Bleak Cabal: Meaning without purpose.
[4] – Doomguard: Entropy’s blade.
[5] – Chaosmen: Truth through Chaos.
[6] –Anarchists: Scourge of corruption.

Paths of Order
[7] – Harmonium: Peace through Conformity. (My companions wouldn’t appreciate this path.)
[8] – Mercykillers: The sword of Justice. (I have a bad feeling about this…)
[9] – Fraternity of Order: Knowledge absolute.

Paths of the Self
[10] – Dustmen: A sleep without suffering. (I have a bad feeling about this…)
[11] – Fated: Might is Right.
[12] – Free League: Limitless opportunity.
[13] – Sensate: Boundless experience.
[14] – Signer: Those who create all that is.
[15] – Cipher: The Will of the Multiverse. (I have a bad feeling about this…)

The Hidden Path
[16] – ???: Unbound by Fate, I know I can change the world.

***
Any of these is viable, though there are a few that aren't recommended due to your choices so far and other reasons. I imagine some of you may have your suspicions about the nature of the last one. Regardless, you managed to satisfy all the requirements for it.
>> No. 56772
[16] - FIGHT THA POWAH
FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT I NEED POINTY SHADES
>> No. 56775
[16] – ???: Unbound by Fate, I know I can change the world.

I'm tempted to go Sensates mainly because if this Yuyuko is anything like Seiga it's an entire faction of characters I enjoy. But Seiga did recommend NO PATH...
>> No. 56776
[16] – ???: Unbound by Fate, I know I can change the world.

Let's do this by our own will.

So, has there been any speculation as to who Nameless is?
>> No. 56779
>>56776
I'm more interested in who Rob is. Some candidates for Nameless are incredibly obvious (Kaguya, Mokou), but Rob? Can't think of a one.
>> No. 56784
[16] - FIGHT THA POWAH FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT I NEED POINTY SHADES
>> No. 56792
[x] sensates

We need info equipment and support and we can't get those alone
>> No. 56805
>>56779
Saigyou Ayakashi. Sealed away, suspicious story about gardener god...

Or possibly Five Magic Stones. But I think he had six+ parts.
>> No. 56806
[X]16

>>56792
I'll say - we didn't even have enough punctuation to supply that post of yours.
>> No. 56860
Called for:

[16] – ???: Unbound by Fate, I know I can change the world.

Daily updates are fun and all, but I think it might be best to take a slightly more leisurely pace, at least for now. I have a few things I've been neglecting for the last month, so I should get back to work on those.

>>56779
>>56805
~
>> No. 57103
File 138736637237.png- (1.06MB , 1100x1500 , I`ve got a fever and the only cure is.png ) [iqdb]
57103
So, I realize that I pretty much disappeared without a trace at the end of November as far as most of you are aware. I should've said something long before now, but I'll at least say why.

I don't want to delve into asinine bloggery bullcrap, so I'll keep this short. I have some severe health issues and they've been getting worse as time has gone on. The last three weeks, I've seen an extremely rapid degeneration of my condition and hugely sapped my ability and motivation to do anything at all. Things aren't going to get better, either.

But you know what? I can't be bothered to give a shit about that anymore. I can still write, can't I? I promised you all a story and I had better deliver on that promise. I can't forgive myself if I don't at least manage that. Besides, I literally have nothing else worth doing with my time.

Honestly, half the reason I'm posting this is to give myself a pep talk and the other half is so I risk losing face in front of a bunch of internet strangers whose opinions I care too much about if I fail to deliver. I've also spent over an hour thinking about what to say and it's still a mess, but I might as well post it anyway.


TL;DR
PLANESCAPE: UPDATES FUCKING TOMORROW OR ELSE.
FIFTH AGE: VERY SOON.
OTHER THINGS I'M SECRETLY WRITING AND WILL ADMIT TO BEING THE AUTHOR OF IF ACCUSED: ALSO ALSO SOON.
SHORTS AND NEW SHIT: PROBABLY ALSO SOON.

This post probably shows how scattered and dislocated my thinking is. I'm not sure if that's a good thing.
>> No. 57104
>>57103
I can't say hooray in this situation.

If you really want to write, I'll read and enjoy it, but please don't do it out of obligation.
>> No. 57105
>>57103

Do whatever you think is best. We can wait if you don't feel like writing.
>> No. 57106
>>57103
You're not going to like, die or anything, are you?
Please don't die.
>> No. 57107
>>57104
>>57105
I like writing. It's what keeps me... well, not sane, exactly. I don't know what word I'm looking for here. I really enjoy it and I need all the enjoyment I can get, right now.

>>57106
Not any time soon from any current issues, far as I'm aware. I'm too stubborn for that.
>> No. 57108
>>57103 That feeling where everything behind the front is collapsing apart. I know that feel, man.

If you want to talk, here should be fine. I, at least, wouldn't mind if you spilled your guts out in the thread and delete the posts after you get better. You've earned that much, at least.
>> No. 57109
>>57108
The problem there is that you're not the only person on this board, and that sort of behaviour is typically frowned upon.
There's always the IRC though.
>> No. 57110
>>57109 I only said that because I didn't think that IRC would be the best place to do that. I see your point, hmm.
>> No. 57112
File 138751280946.jpg- (1.37MB , 1001x1500 , No need to feel blue.jpg ) [iqdb]
57112
[16] – ???: Unbound by Fate, I know I can change the world.

Another option comes to mind. I can do as S suggested and work with the factions on my own terms. The more I think on it, the more appealing it becomes. Why should I join a faction whose philosophy I don’t even believe in and make enemies in the process.

I just need to find somewhere to start. Yuki and Mystia wouldn’t be able to help much with this and Rob is two hundred years out of date on things. I should talk to S herself, assuming she’s even still in Sigil.

Even if she isn’t, I can at least check.

At breakfast, I share my idea with the others. Their reactions are mixed, as expected.

“I can respect your desire ta be independent, but going along with the necromancer? Really, Nameless?” Yuki is disapproving, as is her custom.

“A necromancer?” Mystia asks. “Why do you know a necromancer?”

“She said she was an exorcist and was probably the friendliest person I’ve met so far.”

“Eh, exorcist, necromancer, same thing. Same power set, anyway. Dead is dead and undead is undead.” Rob says. “I like your idea, Nameless. So long as it doesn’t get me mobbed by flaming skulls again.”

“If the two of you trust her, it’s good enough for me. From what I’ve seen, Yuki is naturally wary of strangers, regardless of how dangerous they are.” Mystia says. It feels good to have her support.

“I’ve been right most of the time.” Yuki crosses her arms, trying her best to look dignified.

Sure you have, Yuki.

Despite her protests, Yuki comes along with the rest of us to see S. Not to say she doesn’t complain on the way.

As it turns out, S is still at the Swan Song Inn. The innkeeper and Mystia exchange a hostile look, but say nothing to each other. I find it a bit surprising that Kosuzu isn’t there, but I suppose she must visit other places to tell and hear stories.

S and her companion are relaxing at a table. While S gives us a friendly wave, her companion just stares. Her gaze is far from welcoming, but S waves us over with enough enthusiasm for the both of them.

“Hello again! It’s wonderful to see your group is doing well. You found another companion, it seems. Miss Mystia is a reliable girl in a rough situation, so seeing she’s found companionship eases my heart.” S is all smiles, just like last time.

“This is the woman you met, Nameless? I didn’t make the connection because her profession never came up.” Mystia and S exchange a friendly greeting.

“You two know each other?” Of course they do. S has been staying at this inn for weeks and Mystia lived here. They would almost have to have met at some point. Still, they seem to know each other quite well.

“I was going to invite Miss Mystia to join my group, had you not done so yourself.” S says.

“She gave me some advice when I really needed it.” Mystia says.

“You’re a resourceful girl. You would have found your path eventually.” S turns to me, “So, what winds of chance bring us back into contact so soon?”

“I decided to follow your advice and work with the factions on my own terms.”

“You simply lack a heading?”

“Yeah. I have no idea where to start. I’m not sure how these things are done, so I don’t want to mess it up.”

“I see. I can introduce you to some of my prospective employers as a colleague. That would extend the special permissions I have to you.” S pauses.

“I take it you can’t just hand that out freely. Clearly there’s a catch to it.”

“A small one. You would have to run a joint mission with one or more of my companions, first. Additionally, we could have to be treated as the same organization for payment in future jobs each of us takes.”

“Would that be permanent? I wouldn’t be able to work with you fulltime. I have things of my own to look into that could take me far away. I wouldn’t want to leech off of your success.”

“We have things we have to take care of, as well. I’m sure we can work something out to everyone’s benefit.”

“What sort of work would this entail?”

“We were just about to separate out to perform few of the jobs that have come in. My silent, excessively uptight and unfriendly companion here has a delivery to make to the town of Glorium, on the border between the Outlands and Ysgard. The sender can’t go herself, you see. I really can’t give you the details on this job unless you accept it, lest someone overhear.

Meanwhile, Yoshika and I will deal with a request from the Harmonium. Some of their patrols and civilians in their territory are going missing or turning up sans a few vital organs. Their best guess is some manner of monster or a very driven serial killer. Regardless, the reward for the culprit’s head is sorely tempting.

We would be happy to have you along for either, if you care to join us.”

“You should really ask my companions as well, before I decide. I don’t speak for everyone.”

I wave a hand in front of Rob, who seems to be having some sort of staring contest with S’ silent companion.

“What? Oh. I don’t see why not.” Rob says, “It’s been so long since something exciting happened.”

“I’m always up for a chance to see more of a friend. I’d be tempted to help even if no one else was.” Mystia looks like she has a bit more energy now that this has come up.

Yuki is conspicuously silent. I stare at her until she speaks.

“What? Are you expecting me to say no?”

“It would be par for the course.” Rob says.

“You’ll just ignore any words of caution I offer. This had better not get me killed!”

I probably would. That’s as close to agreeing as Yuki will get without feeling like she’s seeing things my way. It’s probably a bit embarrassing for her, as she’s trying to avoid looking at me without being blatant about it.

“It seems like each of you agrees then, insofar as they will say.” S smiles specifically at Yuki as she speaks. She’s pretty perceptive too, it seems.

[1] – Delivery Service
[2] – Crime and Punishment

***
Long delays, albeit for reasonable reasons. Let's see if we can't get story progression back on track, shall we?


>>57108
>>57109
I'm always on IRC, so I vent there from time to time. It helps that I'm not the only one in a shitty situation.
>> No. 57113
[1] – Delivery Service
I'd rather we keep our organs right where they are, thank you very much.
>> No. 57115
[2] – Crime and Punishment
>> No. 57116
[1] – Delivery Service

I wouldn't mind seeing more of the planes.
>> No. 57118
[2] – Crime and Punishment
Time for some good ol' monster huntin'.
>> No. 57119
[1] Delivery Service
>> No. 57121
Called for:

[1] – Delivery Service

Looks like it's time for a new thread. I'm not sure if five months is really long or really short for a thread's lifetime.

In any case, I'll probably write up an end of thread thing, maybe a statistics post or something. Feel free to ask questions or discuss or whatever.
>> No. 57154
File 138800770446.jpg- (0.98MB , 1000x719 , Oh my.jpg ) [iqdb]
57154
Notable Faction Renown
Ciphers: ???
S: Friendly
Ran: ???

Allies
Total Party Members: 3
Most Loyal Party Member: ?
Least Loyal Party Member: ?
Longest Lasting Party Member: Rob (18 Days)
Newest Party Member: Mystia (5 Days)

Nameless
Strength- [8]
Life- [10]
Intelligence- [18]
Wisdom- [18]
Perception-[10]
Speed- [10]
Agility- [10]
Dexterity- [10]
Will- [10]
Charisma- [16]
Stat Gains Earned: 2
Possible Stat Placements: Life, Perception, Speed, Agility, Dexterity, Will, Charisma

Skills
Fire Magic: Orange
Illusions: Orange
Music: Red
Thieving: Red

Life and Death
Times Slain: 0
Longest Life: 18 days (and counting!)

Miscellaneous
Money: 6~ Silvers
Memory Fragments: 6
Rob Fragments Freed: 1/8
Kills: 0 (True Pacifist)
Story Path: True

***
Some of this is probably incomprehensible, but you might be able to figure a few things out from it.

Have some Yukari while you wait for the new thread.
>> No. 57155
I vote we put our stat points into dexterity, as that will help both our music as thievery abilities. (You know, plucking those strings takes a fair amount of dexterity, right? Right?)
>> No. 57156
>>57155
Disagree. Both into Charisma.
>> No. 57158
>>57156
min/maxing? That's mah boi.

Anyway, thievery and music are dead ends as far as I'm concerned (10 DEX is too low)
How about acting? Or singing? Yeah, singing's the way to go.
>> No. 57232
Incoming chatter you guys already figured out:

Looks like skills are ranked on the visible light scale (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet). Interesting way of doing it, plus it suggests possibilities for the identity of Nameless.

System question, Wanderlost: how do you determine when/if stat gains happen? It seems pretty clear how you determine what stats can level: based on the skills we've learned or improved, or actions taken.
>> No. 57243
>>57232
>Looks like skills are ranked on the visible light scale (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet).
We only have Red and Orange, though Yellow is a pretty safe bet.
>> No. 57456
>>57232
There are a few things that can result in stat gains. Specific milestones, such as reaching the end of the first act, grant them. There will be the occasional training sequence where you can pick a stat to raise as well. Lastly, certain things related to Nameless' powers and memories will give specific gains.

The update is on the way. I really should've put something out every day since the 1st.
>> No. 57736
SO HOW ABOUT THEM UPDATES HUH?
>> No. 57738
>>57736
Updates delayed due to burnout, videogames, flu season, illness cascade, and being a faggot. In that order.

I WILL have this update done TODAY, even if it kills me.
>> No. 57748
File 139161528992.jpg- (760.35KB , 706x1000 , Next thread over there.jpg ) [iqdb]
57748
Link to next thread goes here:

>>57744


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