7038/LI0: The Sages Of Pradia (MSQ)

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LI0: The Sages Of Pradia (MSQ)
Date of Scene: 07 February 2020
Location: Last Illusion
Synopsis: The world investigators come to the Western Town of Pradia in order to look for information and possibly change the world a bit.
Cast of Characters: Shyra, 7187, John Rizzo, 7197, 7173, Tomoe, Staren, 7180, 7228, 6895, Alruna Greengate, 7191, Rean Schwarzer, 7015
Tinyplot: Loop Zero
Tinyplot2: Last Illusion

Shyra has posed:
    The Western City of Pradia lies on the opposite side of the world from Bartal. While one can take a ship and sail around the world to get there (and be subject to the ocean encounter table the entire way), it's a bit of a hike. Thankfully, they don't need to take a ship, as Shyra has that strange flying craft. Alternatively, some others might travel there of their own volition. The airship sets down in a valley near the city.

    Pradia is a heavily craggy area surrounded by forests. It's full of mountains and valleys, and even a swift overhead view of the area points out that the walls are full of ornate building frontage cut and shaped into the rock. Paths move along the mountainous face, wending its way through the area to provide small, ornate plazas, daises, and decorative fountains. At the top of the mountains is some kind of merger between a palace and temple. The place does at least seem to have the requisite adventure services of shops and an inn, at least.

BGM: https://youtu.be/zWi4lH5Xdwk

    The Astomi wander about the town or stand about like most townspeople seem to. They are lighter skinned than the normal townspeople, with pointed ears, though they have the normal expanse of hair and robe color.

    Welcome to Pradia! Shyra exclaims for those present. Feel free to explore as much as you want. Do you have any questions or ideas of where you want to go? Most of the Sages probably aren't going to be very helpful. But you can still read their books! I am not sure how useful they were to The Hero, but maybe you all might have more ideas! Her face practically shines with hope and optimism... Despite presumably knowing exactly what's in the town.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
     Is this crime? No. But this is absolutely a place in need of *thorough investigation*, and that's where we call in our favorite police officer.

Yes, he has pants.

Raphael Ambrosius Cousteau steps off the airship, nodding to Shyra with that same, unending obnoxious grin on his face.
DRAMA: Sire, she does not believe for a minute anything useful will come of this.
AUTHORITY: In that case, go straight to the top! Don't waste your time!
"Alright. So who's in *charge*, exactly? Where would I go for that?" The healer gets the first question.

John Rizzo has posed:
     John Rizzo ends up taking the airship. He is quiet for most of the trip, and isn't in his mummy guise this time around. As usual, he looks tired, but there is that subtle confidence in his posture. It was there last time, when he battled the false dragon idol with the others.

     His first words aren't spoken until Shyra asks if they have any questions. He does. "What happens here?" It's a simple and direct question. He's interested to know how the story goes, or at least how it went the last time they were here. He'd asked a similar question preceding their fight against the idol. Even if there's not a fight that's imminent here, it's useful as a jumping-off point for more detailed investigation.

Mordred (7197) has posed:
Those working to aid in the re... Something-ing of the world aren't the only ones present in Pradia. No, Mordred can be found rather easily as she's just sort of loitering in the city itself, having walked into view clad in the Evil Knight's armor that she's still playing the role of.

What exactly she's here for isn't so clear yet. She's making her way around the town chatting it up with the Astomi, moving from person to person to see if even one of them has something useful to say and occasionally shoving one back when their random wandering path bumps them right into that spiky armor.

Tamamo (7173) has posed:
    It's been a little while since Tamamo had come to this odd world, or so it might seem by examining the dense memories of such momentous events intervening. It seems to have survived in her short absence, and here she has another chance to sate her own particular curiosities and, hopefully, find some way to assist that cinammon ro--Shyra.

    Arriving via airship is how she managed last time, and she passes this time similarly, examining that oddly empty sky and speaking lightly with anyone aboard.

     After landing, "Books, you said? It could not harm anything to go and read what words the authors have left to us. Let us begin at that point, shall we?" More can be looked into afterward.

Tomoe has posed:
Once more to Shyra's world does Tomoe go to see what she can do she knows she's a sword arm sure. Still nature of this world hits a lot of things from her childhood of playing certain types of games. While this is no game. The world seems to run in many ways as those games did. Maybe that will let her be more useful. When they arrive at Pradia she'll take a moment to look at Shyra and grins at her.

"All right is there anything we might need to be aware of and the books? I'll check that out then."

It's time to do some reading Tomoe thinks as she will go seek out the Book herself.

Staren has posed:
    Staren brought a wood-and-metal construct he can ride in, about 9 1/2 feet tall -- it has a passenger compartment big enough for others to ride in, although Staren's armor is crammed in place of one of the seats so that he can don it if there ends up being a fight. Don it because, since there should be no random encounters inside town, he doesn't have to fight this time so he can opt for comfort. He's not trying to blend in like the first couple of times though -- instead of a JRPG style outfit, he's got his usual labcoat and modern clothes.

    Staren nods at Tamamo's assessment. "Indeed. I imagine there's 2-to-4 lines of text per bookshelf, and I wonder how that actually works. Is there one book with words on only one page? Or does each book have a single character printed in it?"

    If Lilian is here, he put on his armor during the airship ride, and now gives her a cold and wary look. He can only hope that she can put the welfare of this world and it's people ahead of her vendetta against ahahaha okay, yeah, no. He can only hope that he can make fighting him too much of a pain, even for a timestopper, for her to bother when the NPCs are all too simple to be socially manipulated against him.

Shyra has posed:
    The Princess is in charge of the city. She would be in the palace up there. Shyra points up at the castle-temple looking place at the top of the cliff.

It's a lot of climbing.

    John asks what is /supposed/ to happen here. Shyra provides him with a rundown. What happened the first time we came here is we originally explored the city and brought information from the Ruined Shrine and other places to the Renegade Sage. He then asked us to check on the White Tigers Shrine. However, when we got there, the Princess was kidnapped and the doors to the Shrine were open. We couldn't proceed to the chamber of the Spirit without her, so we searched in the Shrine. We ended up fighting the Mirror Knight here and saving the Princess, and gained the blessing of the White Tigers Spirit afterwards.

    The EVIL KNIGHT Mordred seems to be taking the day off. Kind of. At least, the ominous music following her around seems to be more of just a placeholder than anything proclaiming imminent destruction for the moment. Then again, this is Mordred. Destruction seems to be always imminent around her. Can anyone REALLY tell the difference between normal Mordred and this rendition?

    Mordred bumps into one of the Astomi and talks to them. Hmm, what should I study today... Travelers? No thank you, I am not taking consultations this season.

    Tamamo is free to look around the place for books. Within several of the cliffside houses are bookshelves that can be accessed. The first one she runs into happens to inform her of the following:

    This book contains a recipe for cookies. Strange...

    Yes, the book literally says that.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     This is not Amelris' first run through this place!

     "A very good question!" Amelris exclaims, back to his regular outfit with the slight half-cape. He rubs his hands. "I haven't the foggiest! What I'm going to do, however, is check up on the Renegade Sage. Or... whatever his actual title was." Amelris says, waving a hand. "Oh! A princess, well, that make senses. I'll go visit her after I'm done with this first."

     And thus, the Red Mage makes his way to where the good ol' SAGE that translated the scroll for him before is doing. And of course, to talk to him too.

Arianrhod (7228) has posed:
    Arianrhod has not been to this world yet. As part of her endeavours, whatever they may be, she's trying to get out and explore more of the Multiverse. And some of the events she'd heard about taking place on this world were interesting. Hence why she has made her way here, joining the others on the airship for transport.

    The fully armored warrior spent most of the trip watching the world below pass by. Not seeking out conversation but neither dismissing it should it come to her. Her expression through the whole trip was of course masked by the full helmet she wears. Just as it masks her face now, as she looks out upon the village. She hmmms with a tone of curiosity, "It reminds me somewhat of some of the places I have seen on my own world. Yet, not quite the same..."

    Arianrhod's head turns in the direction of the palace-temple at the top of the mountains. It then turns towards Shyra, Arianrhod just about to ask who resided within the structure. But her questions is pre-emptively answered. At which point Arianrhod immediately turns and begins making the climb.

Lilian Rook (6895) has posed:
    "Where and how did you get this thing anyways?" Lilian insists on asking Shyra along the way, counting as the exactly one (1) obligatory interparty conversation during these travel events. "I've been doing some research on these ancient types of games. Normally they have a route plotted out for you to go around the world and sit through the story. There are supposed to be monster battles everywhere to keep your level up. If you can just fly over all of it like this as a part of the game --wouldn't that break it?"

    Upon seeing the town itself, Lilian's first, and only, thought about it is "Surprisingly detailed. That village from before was generic as sin. It looks like some real thought went into this place. Like it was one of the first inspirational sketches to be made." Otherwise, she hasn't come dressed for particularly expecting a fight. Random encounters aren't supposed to happen in towns, usually. The most mind paid to the expected chill of a mountain area, hedged against the distinct possibility it's exactly the same climate of everywhere else, is erring on the side of a light sewn jacket, a longer skirt, taller boots, and putting some tights on. Forget heavy nylon windbreakers or anything like that.

    She seems to have no interest in the NPCs whatsoever, though. They'd been only the most marginal of help before, and it only takes one stooge to run around and get all of their lines, not the whole group. For general lack of place to start, but a vague sort of confidence that inspiration might strike --growing steadily in the recent weeks-- she finds a nice quiet spot, kneels down, puts her fingers together in her lap in a slightly tricky pattern, and closes her eyes.

    The crows here are even more abnormal than usual. They were always big, and dark, and ominously uncanny --so black one couldn't even really make out their eyes. The fact that this world doesn't even have ambient wildlife dismisses any remaining question that they're natural. A number of them circle around overhead, combing over the town and the surrounding mountainside in loose flocks spread out to grid over the most ground. Outside of the bare basics of locating the library and any obviously plot important buildings, they occasionally flutter down to count NPCs, examine likely spots for any cheekily hidden chests or sparkling items, and more importantly, scout for things that don't quite fit the bill. Cracked walls that aren't actually breakable, halfway vines that look climbable but don't lead to the top, cave entrances with some consolation item in them, pits of the sort that just take a heart off and deposit someone back at the top, the notorious Thing Behind The Waterfall, out of place boulders that can't be interacted with, signs without a real destination --those are the sort of things to look out for.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna returns to Pradia.

She isn't very enthused about this after her last visit with Amelris, Shyra and Shigure. Oh, they learned some important details, for sure, but something about the process of exhaustively searching their libraries has soured her on the place. She stands in the middle of the thoroughfare, arms folded, drumming her fingers as she muses about where to go.

Up to the palace/temple/dungeon might be the best place. Let the others get their fill of reading the strange, strange books while she tends to her equipment and waits for them. Yes, that sounds good. Better than flipping another table, at least. She finds herself making the climb alongside Arianrhod.

Staren has posed:
    Bwip! Textbox. "I really should have expected that." Staren comments. He moves around the textbook to check a couple of the actual books, just in case.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
    There's a moment. The Inspector looks up the cliff, towards the palace.
INLAND EMPIRE: The knowledge lives in the heavens, as one expects.

Since everyone else is going off to do their own thing, he'll do it too. In a full jog. At the very least, taking this long, weaving route might trigger one some part of his brain or other to comment with something useful. It's like having two *dozen* detectives, one of whom really wants you to drink more!

It's really, really, a staggering shame that 'spot thing' isn't actually in his skillset, but who knows.

Shyra has posed:
    Tomoe follows the rapidly assembling Team Book and delves into another building to look at a bookshelf in it:

    Bhw,It is the duty of the royal family to care for the White Tigers Shrine. As the Queen is gone, the Princess is currently taking up the role.)

    Staren, too, engages in book searching. He reads the one next to Tomoe. The book opens up but only seems to have one line of text within it:

    The Red Birds Spirit holds the power of FIRE and holds domain over Summer. It favors those with passion and spirit.

    Amelris doesn't need directions to the Renegade Sage. He climbs back up a familiar place, a high promontory jutting out of the cliffs, a rickety wooden structure set up around it with a wooden shack on top. It looks much less refined than the rest of the town. He steps inside. There, the unkempt room continues to be exactly as unkempt as before, the Sage, a bald Astomi in a red robe continuing to page through a book. When Amelris prompts him, he says,

    Behold these four Relics, the keys to the Yellow Emperor. When the land is again beset by darkness, have the greatest of Heroes offer them up to the Spirits so the seal may be undone and the Emperor overthrown. Our work must not have been in vain.

    It's true. It's all true, then. You have the Relics, don't you? Then our world really is in danger. I hope the White Tigers Spirit under the palace is all right...

    Arianrhod climbs towards the palace, likely going directly there with Raphael at this point. The palace itself looks to be ornate... Not quite a temple like the Blue Dragons Shrine, but still holding some similarities. The castle is carved of white stone and prominently features a pair of white tigers flanking the entrance, inlaid with what looks like steel.

    Within are a number of townspeople, and in the rear a throne room with a large door behind. Only one of the thrones is occupied, an Astomi female in white with blond hair idly kicking her feet off the throne that seems to dwarf her size.

John Rizzo has posed:
     Rizzo nods thoughtfully at Shyra. One hand is stuffed in the pocket of his worn trench coat. The fingers of the other stroke his chin as he slowly paces back and forth, head down. What should he go after, here? The books, the sages, strike out on his own? Maybe... "The Renegade Sage," says Rizzo. "What do you know? Why's he a renegade?" That might be asking a little much, but he figures the guy wouldn't be called that for no reason.

     "Did the others tell you to get lost or something?" She did say the (non-renegade) Sages wouldn't be much help.

Staren has posed:
    "Hmh. More like those with the stamina and tactics to make it past an endless horde of robots..." Staren comments about the book. "Are either of you finding anything about the Yellow Emperor or the Ayuda Raksha or a mysterious cave?"

    He'll keep looking, himself. Check all the books first, then once that's done talk to every NPC. There can't be that many of them, right?

Tamamo (7173) has posed:
    Tamamo first looks interested, but her expression slowly drops, until it's an out and out frown. This book... appears to lie. It does not contain a recipe at all!

    After flipping through its pages fruitlessly, she sets it down, and sits to retrieve the brush and ink from however she manages to hide things up her sleeves. She begins writing...

    3 parts butter
    4 parts sugar
    12 parts flour

    When she is done, she returns the now-truthful book of butter cookie baking to its shelf, and goes to look for another. And then for another. With Lilian's words in mind, she focuses on finding something 'interesting,' more so than cooking recipes (though why any recipe should be strange to be in a book, she cannot fathom). The memory of that dragon god still lingers in her mind, and a book on the spirits and shrines would fit the bill, but a reference to something they have never seen, some outside land, some town that doesn't appear on the map or a person who is outside the few dozen known to exist would be the ideal find.

Mordred (7197) has posed:
Thankfully, Mordred's gotten used to the music following her around this strange text boxy land. Granted, destroying things would feel rather natural right around now, but she'll save that for when someone actually confronts her or picks a fight. For now, though, she's content to see if the Astomi have anything interesting to say.

Unfortunately, they do not. "Ugh. Land of Sages would be right if you weren't just..." She sighs in annoyance as she watches some of the villagers wandering about, glancing over at the group of Elites as they filter in and start investigating the town as well while the gears starting to turn in her head.

There's a few ways to make her bout of curiosity a little more interesting. Today's choice: Ducking around a corner to get out of sight, then just teleporting right into the Palace to check on things in there. She doesn't appear in the throne room, though, instead appearing in a random hallway to give that music some time to swell up while she makes her way towards the room in question.

Mordred doesn't normally have this teleportation or accompanying music, so she's definitely taking advantage of all that while she's got the chance. If there's a door to the throne room and it's shut, Mordred boots it open before heading inside.

"Princess! The EVIL KNIGHT is here, and I'm here to...!" There's a pause, and then Mordred rubs her head from outside the helmet. "... Too early. Hnh. You got any useful info?"

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
Raphael is left standing at the entrance to the Palace. Yes. The correct, obvious thing to do here would be to march inside and talk to the Princess, and gather Useful Information in this matter. However, he is left standing outside because there is now an *internal turmoil*, as one desperately hopes they will not find themselves having at a time like this.
INLAND EMPIRE: The guardians of the Palace. What have they seen?
LOGIC: To clarify, the guards.
INLAND EMPIRE: No. The lions.
LOGIC: No, the guards. Talk to the guards.
INLAND EMPIRE: The lions. The Queen of Murders was very clear not to follow the beaten path.
ENCYCLOPEDIA: A 'murder' is a name for a group of crows.
INLAND EMPIRE: Yes. That's why I said it.

And so, letting Mordred in to go challenge and threaten the Princess, Raphael Ambrosius Cousteau ends up reaching forward to touch one of the two lions. "What have you seen, lion?"

Maybe he'll be lucky and it's one of those 'invisible interaction' spots. Or, maybe he'll have a helpful conversation with an uninteractable NPC, because why not?

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris knows where the Sage is at! It's... not a great place, a bit out of the way but hey, at least he's got a roof...? He's got a roof, at least, yes. That's it.

     He's a little dissapointed that the old man have no new lines despite recent events. The Red Mage stays that, tapping his chin as he thinks this over, then Alruna gives him a good suggestion. He snaps his fingers then moves past, taking out a notebook, an inkpen, gently tap once and twice then begins checking on the charts that the Renegade Sage have.

     Maybe with what they know of the Scroll they translated the other time...

Pazkar (7191) has posed:
Someone is already in the palace-temple throne-room, hiding behind the Astomi woman's throne. It's a hooded man, who would be surprising and thought to be an ominous thing if his size and armor sticking out didn't make it clear it he was actually Pazkar.

Whisper, whisper, Evil Knight, what are you doing? It's not time yet! Whisper, whisper.

Pazkar is also holding a script in one hand. He made notes. He seems vaguely disappointed Mordred isn't following the script, but what can you do?

Shyra has posed:
Lilian asks Shyra a question along the way! Shyra smiles and replies, This is a flying machine that the Renegade Sage builds for the party later on in order to get to the Red Birds Shrine. We have to go to a nearby cave in order to get an essential part for it. But you all don't seem to need to get any stronger in order to deal with the challenges here so I don't think it hurts to take you all quickly to each location. Do you think it would be better if we didn't? She seems concerned about this.

    Lilian finds the temprature in the area is... completely unremarkable. There doesn't seem to be any differentiation at all, whether up in the air or down on the ground. Her guess was correct, it seems. She focuses her abilities and calls upon crows.

    Crows might not even exist in this world. It doesn't matter. They're here anyway. Her scouting reveals about 10 random townspeople including those in the castle, a couple standouts (the Princess, the Renegade Sage), the local armor shop, weapon shop, item shop, and inn. She does also manage to notice that one of the paths seems to go /behind/ one of the buildings. There's a hidden chest back there. There's no pits in or out of town, lots of vines though. They seem to be somewhat random. None of them seem to be intended for use as actual climbing, as stairways always exist that travel the entire path up. There is a cave some distance away that is quite familiar to Lilian. It's the one that eventually leads into the Containment Area. There are a couple other, smaller caves with just a small chest in them, and the waterfall absolutely does have one of those small caves as well.

    Alruna climbs along to examine the palace along with Arianrhod and Raphael.

    Staren leans to look around the text box. He notices that the text is also literally in the book, but there isn't anything else... legible in there. There's the impression of more, but nothing actually intellgible.

Arianrhod (7228) has posed:
    Arianrhod treks up the long set of stairs. Upon noticing she has been joined by another, her head turns to look at Alruna. After studying her for a moment, Arianrhod comments, "You appear to wear that armour well." Arianrhod briefly ponders what kind of challenge Alruna might make.

    But Arianrhod's line of thought is disrupted at a disheveled man rushes past. Arianrhod's head turns to track Raphael as he climbs faster. She doesn't seem to mind if he gets there first, maintaining her pace.

    Soon enough, Arianrhod reaches the palace. She notices that man that rushed past now touching one of the statues. Her head tracks him as she walks past, wondering what strangeness he is up to. But she doesn't linger as she just continues inside.

    Entering the throne room shortly after Mordred, Arianrhod manages to hear the Servant's words echoing. Arianrhod finally stops with a clank of her armour, turning her head towards Mordred, "So you're the so-called 'Evil Knight'?" She studies Mordred for a moment, before chuckling a little, "You certainly have the look down." Mordred has already gone and interacted with the NPC Princess and so Arianrhod listens. Pazkar's presence is apparently unnoticed, or not immediately a concern.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe has joined Team Book, and she will ned into another building to hunt for books. She starts to teach and to see what she can find. She gets a bit of information about the shrine she makes note of this and will relay what she finds.

"The local royal family has to care for the shrine and the queens missing. Maybe we can get something from the Princess about the White Tigers Shrine?"

she notes to Staren and anyone else who will listen.

She will keep checking books for more information on the White Tiger Shine and the royal family that tends to it.

Rean Schwarzer has posed:
Rean arrives on the airship,coming to help with this chapter of the story.

Lilian notes that games like this didn't like it when you did things out of order. Rean shrugs. "If 'reading' faster than it expects us to broke things that badly, wouldn't we have noticed by now?"

That blonde armored woman who helped fight that witch in Mikoto's world was here too. That feeling he'd seen her before came back again. But for now he had a job to do and to focus on. Maybe he could ask her later.

Anyway, He heads up the stairs to the castle. If that was where the story continued from, maybe they could shift things a bit. Once he arrives, there's a woman lounging on the throne.  Also, Mordred. Who is early.

Rean sighs and rubs the back of his head. "Well, this is awkward. Should we just fight you anyway, or do you want to start over?"

Haseo (7015) has posed:
     Everyone is seemingly content to check books, talk to the town folks, immerse themselves in the lore. Stuff like that. Not Haseo though. The reports classified this place as some weird bizzaro game world, and that's exactly how the teenager is going to treat it. He ignores the town greeters, the exposition dumping NPCs, and all that.

     He goes for the pots, the barrels, the weird corners in the town where you'd press A to find a secret item. He does all that. There's no real game plan here from him, he's just looking for free stuff. Equipment, healing items, money. If it's a video game, it's how things should work. He may look like an asshole doing it, but damn it if he totally can't use his reasoning that it's 'just a game guys' as a defense in full force here.

Staren has posed:
    While looking between books, Staren notices Tamamo actually writing a cookie recipe in the 'recipe' book. Hmm...

    He opens the book about the Red Birds Spirit and writes:

    'But the shrine doesn't give one whit about those qualities! It's just full of robot doors that attack you endlessly! It looked very cool though. *.... 1/5 stars, would no go again until I have to.' Then he frowns, and awkwardly writes in a squished 't' to complete the word 'not'. Who knows what a misspelling will do to the world if writing in the book actually does something?

    He waits a moment to see if that sense that the book contains more changes, then puts it away to resume checking others. There's a finite amount of information in this town, they'll get it all eventually... right?

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna looks up, and smiles at Arianrhod. "Thank you. I worked hard to learn how to." The lengthy stairways give Alruna time to muse. She reminds Amelris to check the sage's elemental charts, since experiments have made her realise she doesn't know how the elemental system of this world works.

"I'm Alruna." she introduces herself to Arianrhod. Raphael's impulsive jog past them goes without comment. He's a strange duck, that one. They pass him bent over muttering at one of the lion statues out the front of the palace, and Alruna elects not to comment.

Inside the palace, Alruna's eyes swivel as she hears the Evil Knight's theme start to build ambience. "Ah, /here/ she is." Alruna murmurs, drawing her sword. "But... wait, should we fight you here, or in the temple...?" She hesitates.

Shyra has posed:
Tamamo examines the book intently. She finds the same thing as Staren. However, that doesn't keep Tamamo from /adding/ knowledge to the book, it seems. She writes down the recipe into the book and puts it away. Will it remain? That is a question for the ages, perhaps.

    She looks for another book, searching through them for more information. Whether destiny or chance, she picks up another tome and looks in it. This one says...

    The Yellow Emperor Spirit brings balance and order to the EARTH by maintaining the other Four Spirits and ensuring all wax and wane in turn. It favors those with an honest heart.

    The group at the palace gets to watch Mordred boot her way right in dramatically. It's dramatic because the swelling music around her tells you it is. She steps forward and interrogates the Princess, and she says,

Bhw,Welcome to the land of Pradia. Please rest and enjoy your stay in peace.)

    Yeah, looks like she'll say that even to Mordred.

    Rapahel talks to the one of the two lion statues. The stone and metal are cold, but solid. Real. Perhaps strangely real for someone who is tossed and turned on the waves of his fragmented self.

    [  :][  :] ...

    Was it about to say something? Maybe it was. Maybe he just needs to look at this the right way... Or maybe seek out some of those... enhancements.

Lilian Rook (6895) has posed:
    "No, no, it's fine. I was just wondering. It makes sense that this would be 'end game content'." Lilian says earlier to Shyra, quickly dismissing any wayward concert. "I wouldn't be so quick as to say 'you all', but I doubt they'd benefit from experience anyways. I'm perfectly fine with being the strongest one here." She says that part without the *slightest* hesitation or modesty.

    Deep in concentration though, only the corner of her lips twitches with the ghost of a frown, not finding anything particularly promising. Of course, much as she would dislike to say out loud, doing this without Arthur is a lot more difficult; it's unlikely she'd find anything as juicy as an entire dummied out dungeon.

    Before committing to tracking down any particular one of the relatively poor leads, big, shadowy crows work their way into those small places, hopping about in the way that crows quickly traverse ground, and then open the chests to check what's inside in the way that crows are kind of bastards and really good at manipulating manmade objects. She focuses on the ubiquitous scenic climbing vines, having the higher reaches checked for big open spaces, buildings that are inaccessible and just meant to be scenery, or other places where things could theoretically be.

    Also, she radios Tamamo, asking to bring her something about the Yellow Emperor if she can.

Mordred (7197) has posed:
Oh shit. Pazkar's here! Mordred flinches visibly at being called out, then lets out an irritated grunt afterwards. "How the hell are ya supposed to whisper with a box? Everyone can see it right there!"

It sounds like she's trying to whisper as well, but in that stage-whisper semi-yelling sort of way. " Besides.. It was getting boring just waiting around in town! All those freakin' villagers just doing a whole load of nothing and yammering about useless crap..." Mordred scoffs lightly, then glances over when Arianrhod and Rean arrive.

"That's the role I got here. You got a problem with that?" She addresses Arianrhod first with a challenging tone, but an amused one. "'cause I've been itching for a fight even though... Well." She gestures at Rean and Pazkar, then at Alruna when he mirrors that apprehension. She sighs once the Princess fails to even react to her being in the role of the EVIL KNIGHT, then shrugs and starts back towards the entrance of the throne room.

"... Yeah, too early. I'll just come back later. This ain't the right moment for it, anyway."

Of course, now the problem is figuring out what to check out next. If nobody stops her, Mordred starts heading back down towards the temple. She might as well check those books out to see if there's any interesting lore details for her own role while she waits for her cue.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
The stone statues do not give the desired response.

INLAND EMPIRE: No. This is it. This is what you need to do.
ELECTROCHEMISTRY: Listen. I'm not saying *don't* take the pyrholidol, because always take it, at all times, but we're going to need to stack it up a little. You remember that crazy ass potion from last time? Yeah. We're going to want another one of those.
LOGIC: Well, this plan's stupid. All of the sidequests here that were accomplishable will have been done, and obviously don't have your precious glitched potions, or Pazkar would have heard of them.
INLAND EMPIRE: What about the tasks that are impossible? We must do the impossible. We must seek out that which cannot be done, and then bridge that gap.
> So, the leading plan here is to do something impossible so we can do drugs to do something crazy?
ELECTROCHEMISTRY: You got it, *baby*. Fire up those detectivin' skills, and get us some of that sweet decanter of glitch.
And so, Raphael pulls out the radio. Guidance would be ideal, but he's going to ask for advice anyway.
"Shyra, I need something from you. Was there anyone here who..you felt like you *should* be able to do something for, but couldn't?"

While he waits for an answer, he's going to go look. Go interact with the glorious people who speak a single line of dialogue, repeated endlessly into the void. So completely unlike Martinaise.

Tamamo (7173) has posed:
    Tamamo takes the book. "Why, yes," she says to Staren, "I do seem to have found a mention of a Yellow Emperor, though it is little more informative than the previous volumes, do you see?" She shows him the passage, then closes the book again, but doesn't put it back. "The Yellow Emperor... it could not mean the Yellow Emperor with Four Faces, could it? Ah, but he was a god of light and thunder, not so much of earth, and despite being known as the Great Emperor of the Central Peak, it was to the heavens that the name would have one look. Yes, up a mountain..."

    Looking outside, Tamamo makes a thoughtful, "Ah, perhaps," and then goes outside and to wherever Lilian presently is.

Staren has posed:
    Staren looks at the text and his eyes widen. Ooh, they found something!

    ...But now how does he ACT on it? "Honest heart, huh?" he mutters, "I bet it won't make getting to him one whit easier..."

    He nods and thanks Tamamo, and then returns to information collecting, although a bit more distracted now as he realizes he doesn't know what to DO with the information if he finds it. Arthur was the one with the plan who saw a way for all of this to lead to granting all the NPCs sapience...

Shyra has posed:
Amelris begins checking on the various charts of the Sage. He finds some useful information within, given his improved knowledge. Or at least, now he has an idea of what it's actually saying now:

    Remember this: TREE parts EARTH, EARTH absorbs WATER, WATER extinguishes FIRE, FIRE melts METAL, METAL chops TREE.

    The Sage continues to sit there, sadly not much of further use to Amelris... yet.

    Arionrhod and the rest of Team Palace (sans Rapahel, who is communing with a statue) seems to have come upon an incipient Problem in the Palace. Tomoe continues to work her way through books. The next one says:

    Discordia had no known form, no known appearance. It seeped into the mind and soul, twisting those around it and turning them towards chaos. The Kindeva determined that the Emperor was affected.

    Rean joins Team Palace, for better or worse. This might get messy. More to come when Mordred decides how to deal with the sudden peanut gallery.

    Haseo begins poking in all the corners. He begins accumulating healing potions, free money, and also a MYSTRAL STAFF that hangs out in his inventory. He even scoops that hidden chest Lilian found earlier, picking up a MYSTRAL FIST weapon. Get your loot on, boyo. No one seems to blink twice. This must be before people had a karma system for theft.

    Staren writes a bunch of things in the book. Did it change anything? It's hard to tell. Still, he, as a loyal member of Team Book, soldiers on and hunts for more information. And information he gets:

    The Blue Dragon Spirit holds the power of TREE and holds domain over Spring. It blesses the new life and the novel.

Arianrhod (7228) has posed:
    Arianrhod takes several steps forward as the Princess greets them with that generic sentence. Arianrhod admits with some amazement, "I'd been told of the limitations of these non-players. But I had not grasped the truth until now. Truly a strange existence."

    As Mordred addresses her, Arianrhod shakes her head, "I have no issue with you. And while I might relish the challenge you may provide..." She looks around at the others present as Mordred points them out. Then finishes, "It seems that now is not an appropriate time."

    Happy to let Mordred leave, Arianrhod instead turns her attention to the throne room itself. She wanders around the hall for a moment, before turning towards the door at the rear. Her head then turns towards Pazkar as she asks, "What more is there to this place?"

Lilian Rook (6895) has posed:
    Lilian actually has a small amount of interest in some probably endgame fist weapon and has the crow fly it back.

    When Tamamo comes bearing probably the only useful book on the Yellow Emperor, that's when she finally gets up out of her private semi-trance. Making sure to thank the fox woman for her effort, she takes up the book about the dummied out content, flipping through it briefly for mention of the Kindeva --also not even on-screen according to the Yaksha-- and then promptly snaps it closed.

    Holding it like that, Lilian runs her fingertips over the cover and spine, not so much concentrating on any one aspect of it, or looking for anything familiar, but rather, feeling out the contours of its 'presence', forwards and backwards. Where it came from, and what it was meant for. The line its creator saw for it, from its inception to where it was once meant to lead the player. It's still a fumbling attempt, relatively new to the business as it is, but she concentrates on tracking the twisting line forwards, looking for its destination.

    No, not its destination. What she *wants*. The thing she desires to find. She absorbs almost nothing else. A purely selfish reading. That's how it is; she'll recognize the thing that she stands to gain the minute she sees it, even in the vague, future dark.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna puts her sword away, vaguely disappointed, much like everyone else in the room, as Mordred decides now is not the time for their big damn boss fight. She feels vaguely cheated, seeing as she already fought her way through the temple only to be stymied by Mordred's absence.

That's the price you pay for sequence breaking in this world, alas.

"There's the temple proper." she replies to Arianrhod's question. "It's overrun by monsters, much as the ruin in the Yellow Forest was."

Pazkar (7191) has posed:
Arianrhod asks Pazkar a question. He starts rapidly looking over his script, and then answers.

The Evil Knight Mordred will return to this place to kidnap the princess. Otherwise, I suppose you could speak with the townspeople . . . ?

And then he slowly meanders out as everyone leaves. He's gonna keep an eye on Mordred and make sure she doesn't break things, pulling his hood down to reveal his golden helmet.

Tomoe has posed:
While some of Tomoe's companions' star to meddle with the books? more thinks about it, herself but enough people are experimenting with it for the moment. She keeps digging for information, she'll open her HUD and make another textfile to write down the information as she'll keep going this seems to be pretty important. She relays what she finds over the radio and goes back to her hunt, she'll also see if she can find what element the White Tiger is. Maybe one of the books has something on it as well.

Shyra has posed:
Raphael goes hunting for What He Needs so he can Do the impossible. See the invisible. Row row, fight the boss monster. While he's hunting for a lead, he talks to people. People talk back.

    What? The world is in danger? Impossible, we would have discovered that by now. Everything is as the order decrees.

    We are the Astomi, old and wise in the ways of the world. Please be sure to show the proper respect for our dedication to the truth and mysteries.

    Tamamo takes the book back to Lilian for Things. One can only imagine what it might cause to happen.

    Staren keeps up the endless trek of Team Book. He checks another bookshelf and finds the following passage:

    A long time ago, the Yellow Emperor began exerting more and more force, causing imbalance and disarray amongst the Spirits. The world began to suffer a great upheaval.

    Lilian ends up playing Untitled Crow Game with Haseo. How that goes down will depend on how they deal with party looting rights. Lilian begins running over the information there, trying to figure out how that knowledge 'fits' into the tapestry of the reality that she inhabits at the moment. She quickly begins to make connections and form links, only accelerated as Team Book continues to report in. She is hunting for her desire... And the inevitable conclusion resolves itself in her mind.

Haseo (7015) has posed:
     It actually works. Haseo is finding stuff, and even though the place is clearly functioning like an actual video game, it still throws them off a bit. He pockets his ill-gotten gains. He's still puzzling over what exactly MYSTRAL is suppose to be other than possibly a weird misspelling of Mithril like someone pointed out, but that's something to worry about for later. If anything, he can give the staff to Atoli. She'd probably appreciate it.

     He eyes the houses for a bit, before deciding that he'd probably be pushing his luck by looking for anymore 'free stuff'. Seems like some people don't quite grasp the concept of what a game really is, and he's not going to start a fight. Not today. Especially since the stuff really doesn't seem like anything that'd give him a leg up.

     Instead, he hits up the shops. Specifically the magic shop. Sure, magic is more of a back up thing for him given his magic stat is only slightly above average, but you never know. Maybe the slightly lackluster gear is offset by some really powerful spells? Magic in older games did tend to be overpowered.

Arianrhod (7228) has posed:
    Arianrhod turns her head to look between Alruna and the door at the rear of the throne room, "I see... A temple infested with monsters." Another similarity... This is not at all confusing to one's existential nature.

    As Pazkar announces Mordred's intent to return and kidnap the princess, Arianrhod hmphs, "This does certainly feel like a work of fiction."

    Arianrhod watches Pazkar leave, before turning to the princess. She watches the oblivious NPC for a moment, before wondering aloud to the others still in the throne room, "What if we were to kidnap the Princess instead?"

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     "THAT would've been useful to know during the fight against the imposter Blue Dragon." Amelris mutters, writing down the Elemental Order of this world, nodding at the Renegade Sage -- even if he knows he's not really a person right now --, tip his hat then starts walking out closing the door behind him. He looks around, frowning and thinking this over. So, the Hero went around in houses and looted the places. Huhhhn.

     Maybe it's time to get a good look around the place, peering at the buildings and maybe indulging into some break and entering himself. Politely, that is. Or searching for secret passages....

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
    He's tried everywhere else. The Renegade Sage was clearly Not Going To Work, but...
LOGIC: Listen. You're on the stupid train already. Go all the way, and talk to the Renegade Sage.
INLAND EMPIRE: The inverse of wisdom must be the future.
ELECTROCHEMISTRY: Come on. Renegades sound badass, drugs are badass, this is *obvious*.

Yes. Renewed, and ready to Make This Happen, Raphael again jogs at a sprightly pace across the town, still probably disconcerting people, to interrogate the guy who gave them the airship. Hey, he had a *vision* on that airship. It only makes sense that this works out. Yeah.

Look, his Logic skill isn't fantastic, just go with it.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
"I suspect our unseen... storyteller," Alruna gestures at the poorly concealed Pazkar behind the princess's throne, amused. "Would object."

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
"Greetings, Mr. Cousteau." Belthrone calls out at the jogging JogMaster Police Officer, the Red Mage climbing down the stairs that leads to the Renegade Sage. "Looking for something in particular?"

Rean Schwarzer has posed:
The princess greets them (Mordred included) rather generically. "...Hrm."  Looks like there's not much here to do until they trigger the next part of the story.Then Arianrhod suggests they just kidnap the princess themselves.

Rean stares at her for a moment. They couldn't just do that, right? It wasn't their job to do that in the story.

...Then again...

" We need to take her to the Shrine, don't we?" Rean says, putting one hand to his chin. "What's stopping us from just taking her there ourselves? Aside from the script."

Forcefully taking her someplace she needed to be anyway TECHNICALLY wasn't kidnapping, right?

Staren has posed:
    Staren's distracted by the radio a bit as they all put their information together.

    Raphael has an intriguing idea. Apparently he managed to get the game to respond when it 'shouldn't' have, before. How can he try to get the game -- the world -- to give him more information?

    ...Can he trigger a cutscene? It's worth a shot.

    He takes the history book he just found off the shelf. "I'm going to study this book." He tells Tomoe in a deadpan neutral tone, to establish context. "I'm going to read it tonight at the inn."

    And he does go to the inn. "Hello. I would like to stay here for a night. I am going to read and study this book."

    If paying for a night at the inn doesn't trigger a 'cutscene', he'll go to one of the rooms at the inn, sit down at a table, and turn pages of the book for at least several seconds before giving up and returning it to the library.

Shyra has posed:
The gear Haseo is finding is straight-up midgame stuff. Nothing spectacular, definitely not his level. Still, it has a nice blue-green coloration. He checks out the magic shop. The magic shop is a small dark room with a counter with a crystal ball on it. There is a woman in a pointed hat and robe behind the counter.

    Welcome to the Magic Shop!

There's no option to SELL here, so it immeidately just shows a list of mid-tier attack and defense magics arrayed around the Five Elements, though there's also some generic holy stuff too.

    Raphael works his way through a number of the townspeople until he gets to the Renegade Sage. He enters the ramshackle shack and looks around. Books. Tablets. Nerd Stuff. The balding Astomi, presumably said Sage, sits there flipping through a book that never seems to end. When prompted, he says the same thing that he said to Amelris. This is clearly a dead end...

                                [:.:] [...]                                

Wait. Something is wrong. Something is out of place. Something about the je ne se quoi of the room scratches there, a splinter in Raphael's mind. Could it be some kind of... /undocumented puzzle/?

    Arianrhod and Rean mention the possibility of kidnapping the princess themselves. A bold strategy. However, the Princess doesn't even seem to react to the discussion of this happening right in front of her. Probably wouldn't be hard, but how would they make it work if they did? There's some kind of detail missing here...

Staren goes to the Inn.

The world darkens again, for a moment, as a jingle plays. A few seconds later, the world returns to light.

No cutscene happens. Nor does it trigger one when Staren pages through the book. Oddly enough, the same text appears on every page.

Arianrhod (7228) has posed:
    Arianrhod looks at Alruna, then at Rean, then back to the princess.

    Finally she says, "He can object all he wants." She reaches her hand out to grip the princess's arm, "I'm interested to see what happens when the script is ignored."

    Arianrhod attempts to pull the princess to her feet and lead her out of the palace.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
    Raphael taps his forehead. "Alright.." He paces through the room, back and forth. There's something here. Something he can do. Something that can be done here..
VISUAL CALCULUS: Deep breath. Unfocus your eyes, step back. This is now a 'crime scene'.

Raphael Ambrosius Cousteau walks back to the entrance. He relaxes his eyes, and goes into Investigation Mode. Of sorts. Unimportant objects fall away. Things that are relevant, that can be moved. That can be maneuvered about. That are worth touching. These appear more vivid, almost glowing in his eyes. What is this room? What is there to -do- in here? He's close. He can feel it. He's going to solve whatever this is, because by god those Lions are going to *give up their secrets*.

Staren has posed:
    Damn. Staren didn't think it had a HIGH probability of working, but how cool would it have been if it did?

    Hmm. What if he asks the Renegade Sage to read the book? It's not like he's going to lose any TIME before the next quest, he can spend as much time trying goofy stuff as he wants.

    So Staren heads to the Sage's place. Oh good, the guy is already reading a book. Staren puts this one down on top of it, open. "Hey there. What do you think of this book? Is there anything you find particularly interesting about the history of the Yellow Emperor?"

Shyra has posed:
    Arianrhod decides to take matters into her own hands. She pulls the Princess to her feet. It takes some time. She seems to stop, providing a precise amount of resistance at very regular intervals which basically turns it into a slow, but steady movement towards the exit of the palace. No one tries to stop her.

So now you have a princess in tow. Now what?

    Raphael taps into his ability to analyze the room to make it point out the important stuff. The bookshelves light up of course, and the Sage himself lights up, but there's something pointed.

    A pool of light in the middle of the room. He looks up. There's a /hole/ in the roof. It's glowing. It's Important. Does he need to close it up himself? How would anyone else have done it? Or does he simply need to give something that would do the trick to the Sage? Hmm...

Tamamo (7173) has posed:
    Tamamo confers with Lilian, and looks on, curious, as she works. It is a different sort of reading than the fox goddess would perform, herself. Still, it seems to have been successful. There will surely be some good from this. Something to work upon later.

    However, that doesn't require her attention just now, and so she soon returns to the matter of finding books that say... anything at all, really. Besides her previous aims, there's also... "Shyra," she calls long-distance, "have you, as I do suspect, read all the books in town?"

Staren has posed:
    Staren is adressed directly while he's messing around with the sage. He just blinks at Raphael, pulls a device off his belt, points it at the hole, and tries to close the hole by extending the existing structure with black-and-white-striped wood that doesn't match the house at all.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna does not care for those five second blackouts at all.

She looks discomfited for a few moments, and takes a step back to watch Arianrhod walk by, forcing the princess out of her comfort zone, so to speak. Perhaps Mordred left too quickly.

"Nothing's happened." she murmurs out of the side of her mouth as she looks back and forth, waiting for the guards, for /someone/ to break into action and stop Arianrhod.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris' wandering is INTERRUPTED by a rogue COPOTYPE.

     Amelris follows the man back to the shack of the Renegade Sage, looking up at the roof and rubbing his chin. "Yeah... I see what you mean." He mutters, nodding, tail twitching. "What are you planning to use to fix the roof, then? We can get you there, but... no points unless you got an idea."

     He looks around. "Maybe some straw? Some loose planks?"

Shyra has posed:
Shyra, who seems to just be happy to hang about in the town with everyone else, blinks as she is questioned about the books. Um... Yes, but they didn't have any answers I was looking for. They are hard to understand... Though the Hero also read them all.

    Tomoe, however, is still doggedly following the path of TEAM BOOK. All hail Team Book! She begins searching for more information, and this time, she conveniently finds what she is looking for:

    The White Tigers Spirit holds the power of METAL and holds domain over Fall. It approves of the harvest and those with wisdom and knowledge.

    Staren takes the book to the Renegade Sage and gives it to him. While he tries to cajole the Sage into responding, he fixes the Sage's roof while Amelris and Raphael ponder how to do exactly this.

    There is a little chime, and the light in the middle of the room disappears. The Sage begins speaking again.

    Thank you for fixing that hole. I meant to get to it eventually, but too busy, too busy. Here, take this potion I brewed up. It should help.

    And then the Sage is holding out a mysterious potion that is labeled simply SAGEPOT.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
    Raphael walks over to take the potion. He assumes, of course, that Staren isn't randomly interested in bogarting his weird glitchdrugs.
ELECTROCHEMISTRY: Oh, man. Yeah. I can feel this. This is the thing you need.
INLAND EMPIRE: They will give up their secrets.

He bursts back into his jog, heading all the way back up the stairs to the palace, with a disturbing ease.

And that leaves Raphael back in front of two stone lions. You could almost write a single-syllable poem about it.
ELECTROCHEMISTRY: Listen. I know what I said about this being enough, but have you considered, you know, just being *safe*? You got some anti-rad on you right now, don't you? Stack up those buffs! It's what people of this world would do.
INLAND EMPIRE: Do not deny me my lions!

Raphael looks to a small pill bottle. Looks to the lions. He shouldn't. Drugs are bad. But he's..in a good state today. He can take it. He can handle it. He takes one pill, swigs the SAGEPOT, and then uses that to drink the pill down.

The effects, at least of the pyrholidon, are almost instant. Everything is...slower. Wavely. The light is so *interesting*--
INLAND EMPIRE: Stay steady. The lions. We want to talk to the Lions.

"Stone lions, guardians of the Palace! Tell me your *secrets*," He shouts like an absolute madman, at inanimate objects.

Mordred (7197) has posed:
After hearing of a plot to jump the script and hijack the Princess in her stead, Mordred about faces from her path towards the temple. Instead, she heads right back up towards the palace, sword drawn and boss music blaring with her all the while.

"Damn punks wanna skip ahead...? Fine, then. We'll do it early!"

Once again, the EVIL KNIGHT's theme reaches a peak in its loop as the EVIL KNIGHT arrives once more in the path of the Princessnappers. She clears her throat, then puts on a suitably booming voice to declare her intent!

"There you are, HEROES. Were you thinking of escaping with the Princess so soon? Too bad for you, because I, EVIL KNIGHT Mordred, will be the one taking her today!" There's a sweep of that sword horizontally, and massive identical pillars flames appear on each side of her, moving forward steadily forwards to try and get some space around the Princess.

Also, to see if the guards or the Princess even react to it. She's going to be so disappointed if even THAT doesn't trigger a fight or cutscene or... SOMETHING to move the script along.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     For a brief moment, Amelris Belthrone was impressed. The Red Mage throws up a thumbs up at Staren. Hey, he did good. "Good work!" He says to him, tipping his red hat and following the cop back to the temple.

     He's actually kinda hard to keep up with. The middle-aged man is... certainly energetic. He follows him down into the temple, looking around with an inquisitive look on his face.

     Then the man starts shouting at innanimate objects. Oh. He was doing so well. Now he's taking ALL SORT OF THINGS DOWN.

     "Uhm." Amelris lets out looking over at the Lions with a frown, back and forth between the two of them... Before he starts poking at around the statues proper, himself.

Staren has posed:
    Staren waits for this to resolve, nodding to Amelris and letting Raphael take the SAGEPOT. They go.

    "So." Staren turns back to the sage. "About this book. ...Come on, at least you must have a new line now that we've completed your quest, right?"

Haseo (7015) has posed:
     None of the spells really catch Haseo's fancy at the moment, and he's not about to take a crap shoot to see if this game's spell list is compatible with his own. That said, the fact the shop has an actual interface that you'd see in a video game has them wondering.

     Haseo brings up his own game interface, rubbing his chin as he scrolls through his stats, his inventory, quest logs and the like. Into a special submenu.

     It's a bunch of nonsense code strings and numbers, nothing that really makes sense. Much like a movie where the tech guy hacks into the military base. But it works, somehow. He's poking at the shopkeep. Specifically her inventory, in this case.

     It's not really 'delicate and directed' hacking either, more like an extremely hamfisted attempt to get SOMETHING to show up in the shop window. It's probably going to just be nonsense values and whatever, but who knows. Maybe there's some secret dev spell that cheeses all the fights. Or a debug menu. Or maybe he'll get banned... Damn, he didn't actually think that far.

Arianrhod (7228) has posed:
    Arianrhod continues to pull the princess along, encountering some resistance, but not nearly as much as she expected. She mmmms in agreement with Alruna's observation, "I would have expected to have drawn greater attention at this point. This truly is a strange place."

    Rean will quickly realize, possibly with some surprise, that Arianrhod is not guiding the princess towards the doors at the rear. But rather the exit of the palace proper. What exactly does this armored warrior have in mind?

    It might be a while before we find out though, as not long after leaving the building Arianrhod comes face to face with Mordred once more. Arianrhod stops for a moment, watching Mordred make her claim and summon those pillars of fire.


    Arianrhod resumes walking forward with princess in tow, aiming to walk past Mordred.

Tomoe has posed:
Day becomes nigh. Which makes Tomoe just halts moving while everything is dark once the world comes back to her. Tomoe takes a moment to just look at Staren when he returns.

"So nothing huh?"

She's not going to ever /get/ used to that part of Shyra's world. She gets some useful information, she confirms the White Tiger's element that is certainly worth passing on to the rest of the team but how much longer should she dig? She's going to go deeper but she gets the feeling she could be near the end of what she could find.

Shyra has posed:
Tamamo seeks out another book. The number of unread books in the city are rapidly dwindling, but Tamamo is able to find another one:

A great battle was fought in the past. The ancient Kindeva vanished during this battle. Some say that the enemies they fought against spoke of a being, 'Discordia'. There are no records of such a being existing before.

    Mordred confronts the people trying to kidnap the princess she was supposed to be kidnapping! The music around her swells into an ominous boss battle theme as she begins to establish room control. If they don't hand over the Princess, looks like there might be an unscheduled fight!

    Staren cajoles the Sage once more now that everything is handled.

    Ah, you have brought the SCROLL. Let me see it, and I will tell you what it says...

    20 20 20 20 53 74 6f 70 2c 20 45 76 69 6c 20 4b 6e 69 67 68 74 2e 20 20 20 20 20 20 59 6f 75 20 77 6f 6e 27 74 20 77 69 6e 20 70 61 73 74 20 74 68 65 73 65 20 66 69 73 74 73 2e 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 49 20 77 69 6c 6c 20 6e 6f 74 20 61 6c 6c 6f 77 20 79 6f 75 20 74 6f 20 6b 69 6c 6c 20 6d 79 20 66 72 69 65 6e 64 73 21 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 54 61 6b 65 20 74 68 69 73 2c 20 6d 79 20 66 69 6e 61 6c 20 74 65 63 68 6e 69 71 75 65 21

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna's eyebrows scrunch together as she follows Arianrhod. "I'm sorry for this." she apologises, quietly, to the princess. She doesn't know what's happening yet. But someday, hopefully, she will.

Alruna's hand goes to her sword reflexively as Mordred reappears with pillars of fire. She steps up alongside Arianrhod - whose name she still doesn't know, she realises belatedly - and asks her a question. "What are you going to do? /Besides/ just taking the princess out of her palace."

She's not going to be able to just walk through Mordred or the fire, after all. Alruna quickly nods to Amelris, since they've accidentally crossed paths and now a dramatic confrontation is intersecting with a... crime scene investigation?

Rean Schwarzer has posed:
And Arianrhod takes the princess off her throne with minimal resistance. Nothing happens. At all. Just the princess 'dragging her feet.' "Not even a guard response? Really?" Rean mutters, frowning. Well, all that was left to do was to take her to the Shrine...In the opposite direction Arianrhod is going. "Wait, where are you taking her-"

Mordred immediately comes back, summoning fire to separate the group from the princess. Rean draws his sword, and takes whichever of the princess' hand Arianrhod isn't holding and tries to pull her towards the Shrine entrance. "We need to take her to the Shrine! What are you doing!?" If they went /too/ far off script, it'd just block them like earlier, right? Or reset itself.

Either way, they needed to deal with Mordred.

Staren has posed:

    Staren blinks. That was surprising. Then he frowns. 20 is space... Is this...?

    [    Stop, Evil Knight.      You won't win past these fists.      I will not allow you to kill my friends!          Take this, my final technique!]

    "Huh. Uhh, thank you, Sage."

    Also, wacky stuff is going on on the radio so he interacts with that for a bit

Lilian Rook (6895) has posed:
    Though she's found the thing she came for, Lilian still has time to burn here. Keeping tabs on things, there's still no need for her to help in the basic task of reading books, and Staren's little sidequest adventure seems to have wrapped itself up immediately, which Raphael is now using to . . . do his thing, and Lilian has little desire to obstruct him.

    What does strike her is what Tamamo had told her about the cookie recipe. Benign as it had been in that case, there is one more thing Lilian can think of, and would like to try.

    Heading to the library, she rifles through the shelves to find the particular books having to do with the Kindeva specifically, and their relation to the Yellow Emperor; the unfished story of the conflict between the two. Flipping to the blank pages before the obligatory two or three readable ones, she gets out her own pen, removing the cap with her teeth while she finds the right place, and then adding to it herself.

    This is much more detailed than a recipe. It's the lore they've discovered about the cave that leads out of town. An obvious QUEST HOOK to be found in the library here, pointing the player in the direction of the secret, optional dungeon. An ancient thing made by those hands, as an attempt to suppress and bind the spirits like the Yellow Emperor. Something to DO with the fifth artifact the Emperor will provide when she's through, dummied out as it is now. She describes the five element system in vague, game guide hint terms, and draws a sketch of the door, before closing it up and putting it back on the shelf. For good measure, she adds little cryptic hints to a couple more.

Mordred (7197) has posed:
Beneath the EVIL KNIGHT's helmet, Mordred grunts in irritation as her grip on the sword tightens. With the guards and princess doing seemingly nothing in response to anything and Arianrhod just trying to go right through her, Mordred takes it upon herself to bring things right back to where they should be.

Namely, with Mordred fulfilling her role as the EVIL KNIGHT. "Tch... Don't think you can escape so easily, bas-.. HEROES!" Her voice is equal parts anger and ham as she raises that sword once again, then disappears briefly before reappearing in Arianrhod's path to slash it straight down towards the would-be kidnapper!

Perhaps tellingly, though, it's a perfectly vertical swing to minimize the chance of collateral damage to the Princess. Stranger still, when she does the same disappearing and reappearing thing to Alruna and Rean, there's not quite as much force put into those swings.

"Unfortunately for you, your journey ends here! Turn over the Princess, and I migth spare your lives!"

Shyra has posed:
Haseo basically does some REALLY STRANGE STUFF to the inventory of the magic shopkeeper. The inventory promptly glitches out and mostly becomes trash data, but one thing does stand out:


That looks interesting...

Meanwhile, Rapahel unleashes the power of SAGEPOT and other medications to enhance his perceptions and become One with the world once again. Amelris gets that familiar feeling rolling through his mind as the Echo actually begins to respond to what is about to happen, dragging the cat man along for a trip through Rapahel's world.

STATUE ONE: Hey. I'm not a lion. We're tigers. Get it right.

STATUE TWO: What's wrong with being a lion? What if I want to be a lion? Maybe I'm a lion.

TIGER STATUE: Fine, fine. You can be a lion.

LION STATUE: Badass. So, champ, you want to know /secrets/.

TIGER STATUE: Been forever since anyone talked to us. Think we should tell him?

LION STATUE: Yeah, why not?

TIGER STATUE: Fiiiiine. Okay big man, let's hear it. What do you want to know?

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
    Raphael feels it. There. He's feeling it. This is it.
INLAND EMPIRE: We have made contact. All is as it should be. God is in its kingdom, man in theirs.
He holds out his hand. He's not strictly sure what he was expecting to find, but that just means it's time to go down the old dialogue tree of options. To exhaust every avenue. To wrest from this opportunity every drop of juice it has.
"You said that it's 'been forever' since anyone talked to you. Was that.. *the Hero*?" Best to get the easy question out of the way first, while he sorts out his thoughts on what else to do with this glorious opportunity.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     This is... new!

     Amelris's eyes widens. He looks back and forth between the two statues, blinking and apparently not even noticing Alruna at this point.

     To her, the Miqo'te have his eyes' irises dilated out to full, his ears jittering like they're having a seizure and his tail is just thumping down against his legs.

     "Woah. This is new." He comments, looking at the statues. He lets Raphael lead on this one first. He'll... add in if needed.

Haseo (7015) has posed:
     Fiat Ignis. That's a name alright. Sounds like something 'big', something 'meaty'. Something he's probably not suppose to have. So clearly, Haseo goes to select it. The rogue crosses his fingers as he hopes he actually gets the thing he's selected inside of his inventory rather than some weird trash data,

     But knowing his luck, it's probably some weird dummied out spell. At the very least, the game doesn't seem upset at him for violating its precious shop.

Staren has posed:
    Okay. Staren doesn't feel like pushing this much further. He doesn't want to glitch the sage out /worse/.

    But... there is one last thing to ask before he leaves. Staren turns to the Sage again. "Thank you so much for reading that for me. I'd like to hold onto it, though. Can I have the SCROLL back?" If this actually nets him a key item, that might be useful later.

Arianrhod (7228) has posed:
    Arianrhod seems to ignore Rean's own tugging on the princess, right up until Mordred proceeds to close in and attack. Arianrhod raises her arm to to block the blade with her wrist guard, the weapon scraping across the armour. Seeing Mordred proceed to teleport away shortly afterwards, this time to attack Alruna, it's clear to see what the Evil Knight will do next.

    Arianrhod suddenly releases her grip on the princess, shoving the young woman in Rean's direction. Arianrhod then steps into place just as Mordred reappears near Rean, placing herself between the two. Arianrhod grunts from the impact as the blade strikes her armour across her back. Her helmet raises to look at Rean, at which point she says, "So. Take her there."

    Arianrhod spins around to face Mordred, attempting to wrap her arm around Mordred's blade at the same time to seize it, hoping to delay her.

Alruna Greengate has posed:
Alruna can't pay any attention to Amelris, and she's lucky that she isn't being dragged into whatever's triggering a livestream Echo for the Miqo'te, as she has to defend herself - she uses both of her armoured gauntlets to catch the sword before it strikes her, grunting. It's still a heavy damn weapon, no matter how Mordred pulls her strikes!

Shyra has posed:
Haseo selects the spell, and with a ring of a cash register, it pops into his magic list. It looks like it is a stupidly powerful fire elemental attack spell. Weird, it doesn't even cost any MP!

Staren asks for the scroll back. He gets a series of empty scrolling text boxes that he has to page through. There's like fifty of them. Finally, it says... another thing.


Um, that's a thing.

Raphael and Amelris continue to be stuck in a dialogue with a pair of statues. Who knows what it looks like to anyone looking at them. For them, however, the statues are all. They stare at the pair with radiant eyes, the statues both incredibly solid and /real/ and yet ill-defined at the same time.

TIGER STATUE: Was there a Hero before you? Seems like there could have been.

LION STATUE: Anything is possible on a long enough timeline.

TIGER STATUE: Someone who just wandered around and poked everything just to see if it did something.

LION STATUE: Or maybe they just walked right past. We're just statuary, after all.

TIGER STATUE: Nah, we're /symbols/. We have /deep meaning/.

LION STATUE: The meaning is that we're rock and metal shaped like animals.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
    Raphael considers. "...I have seen this world to its uttermost *heights*," He explains. "I have been as high as you can go. I have seen the squares below, and the circles above."
CONCEPTUALIZATION: Where, then, do these statues lie, on the grander chain?
INLAND EMPIRE: They too are fingers, an *extension* of that which lies at its heart.

"...I understand what The Healer wants," He says. "I understand what The Gearknight wants, and what The Evil Knight wants. This world itself, though--what does the *world* want?"

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     "Do the world wants anything? Can it?" Amelris adds. His eyes are blinking rapidly, now. He looks back and forth again, refocusing on the statue.

     "Hell, what do /you/ want?"

Tamamo (7173) has posed:
    Tamamo looks through the books, searching for... something. She does not appear to be finding it. Finally, she takes out that book that she'd given to Lilian.

    'The Yellow Emperor Spirit brings balance and order to the EARTH by maintaining the other Four Spirits and ensuring all wax and wane in turn. It favors those with an honest heart.' This will do for a starting place. Once again, Tamamo sits, retrieves her brush and ink, and writes:

    'Long ago, the Yellow Emperor traveled to the East Sea, and there met Bai Ze, a wise beast that explained to him the knowledge of every sort of spirit.'

    After a moment, she strikes out 'Bai Ze,' replacing it with the same words in a simpler alphabet. 'White Grace.'

    She returns the book to its shelf, now with this added story. The story is true. Whether it is true in this world as well as others, she cannot yet know.

Staren has posed:
    Staren groans in frustration about a half-dozen text boxes in, but... hey, may as well see where this goes.

    Hmm, that looks like--

    [@$#JG@M#O#2#_NM@)#)NM@#)K<!#JIT HURTS @R!#M)R@)#MR!# WHERE!@)K#MR()!#R AM I1-3!#)RJ@#RM!#!#2147T]

    Staren shakes his head. No, it's just garbage. He takes the history book and turns away from the sage, and then the message, still in his HUD, catches his eye:

    [@$#JG@M#O#2#_NM@)#)NM@#)K<!#JIT HURTS @R!#M)R@)#MR!# WHERE!@)K#MR()!#R AM I1-3!#)RJ@#RM!#!#2147T]

    Shaken, Staren makes his way back to the library and returns the book to the shelf. His power armor automatically corrects for his shaking hand as he does so.

    Then he finds Shyra and shows her the decoded message, with the words highlighted.

Rean Schwarzer has posed:
Rean raises his sword to block Mordred's strike- but it doesn't land. Instead, it hits with a clang on one of the Armored woman's gauntlets. She then shoves the princess into his arms and tells him to run. He looks between the woman, Alruna, and Mordred. after a brief moment's hesitation, Rean nods, and starts dragging the princess towards the entrance to the shrine.

Shyra has posed:
Raphael continues to ask questions. He asks what the world wants.

TIGER STATUE: Ooooh, good question. What DOES the world want? But you know what it wants.

LION STATUE: If he knew what it wanted, he wouldn't be asking us.

TIGER STATUE: But is he really asking us?

LION STATUE: It sure looks like he is.

Amelris adds his own two cents, and the statues actually respond.

TIGER STATUE: Oh hey, the cat guy brings up a good point.

LION STATUE: Everything alive wants something.

TIGER STATUE: And everyone alive wants the same thing in the end.

LION STATUE: Well, if they don't, they don't stay alive long.

TIGER STATUE: But you have to be alive to want something, don't you?

LION STATUE: Is this world alive? Are you alive? Are we alive?

TIGER STATUE: If the world is alive...

LION STATUE: Then you know what the world wants already. But you knew that already, didn't you?

Mordred (7197) has posed:
Leaving the statue investigators to... Whatever it is they're doing, Mordred has enough sense to keep the fighting away from them. No, she's got three other targets to focus on, two of which are actively trying to stop her from reaching the third and the princess!

Alruna can feel for herself Mordred's stupid Servant strength. She wields the two-handed sword effortlessly with one hand, digging down into those gauntlets hard as if daring her to stay right where she is! Arianrhod gets in the way, though, as she joins in grasping the blade, and now the EVIL KNIGHT has to contend with four hands rather than just two!

"You really think it's gonna be this easy? Get serious already!" Mordred stage-whispers to the pair before bursting into another bout of hammy laughter while the sword heats up, then bursts into more of those identically flickering flames. There's a brief flicker of electricity, too, but it fades just as quickly as that helmet remains firmly on the EVIL KNIGHT's head. "Bold maneuver, HEROES, but this won't stop me at all!"

With her free hand, the EVIL KNIGHT conjures up even more of those flames to converge in Rean's path. He might have just enough time to slip through them to get to the Shrine, but will the Princess be able to get through in time? "Don't think you can get away with the PRINCESS, either! I've got plans for her myself!"

Shyra has posed:
Staren transmits something to Shyra, and her expression goes white. She gapes for a moment... And then the abruptly collapses to her knees, weeping as she leans on her staff. Whatever Staren transmitted to her, it's completely disturbed her.

Tamamo adds information to the book and closes it up. Will it change the nature of the world? Maybe. Maybe not. Time will tell what happens.

Staren has posed:
    Staren is uncomfortable, but Shyra's the one who might have a friend trapped beyond life and death. "...I'm sorry..."

    His feet shuffle a bit awkwardly. "...I couldn't just not tell you... We don't know it's him! It might be... some new NPC. A-anyone could be..."

    He starts to pace around. Finally, he kneels next to her and opens his visor long enough to whisper something, and then walks back to the library with head hung.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
Raphael splays his fingers across his chin. This is a valuable opportunity.
ELECTROCHEMISTRY: And you're *squandering* it. Ask where more of those potions are!
LOGIC: Ask what the solution is to some puzzle or other.
INTERFACING: I really wish we had it in us to do something cool that would 'break its buffer' or something.
> What is the *right question*, though? Did we learn anything?
RHETORIC: Hey, wow, okay. So, the world must be alive--if it wasn't, they wouldn't have started with us 'knowing what it wants'. So we learned that. We also learned that it has no particular notable desires other than the four F's.
ENCYCLOPEDIA: That's fighting, feeding, fleeing, and--
RHETORIC: Wow, thanks. Anyway, yeah, you got that much. You're doing okay.

Raphael closes his eyes. Focus harder, here. Focus harder.
> Okay. They're on the path to that optional--whatever. We've got to be smarter than that. What can we ask they -can't- learn otherwise?
ESPRIT D'CORPS: You're a cop. Find the missing person. You're interrogating a witness. Come on.

He looks back to the statues. "...Jorin 'died', but he isn't *deleted*, or we couldn't have restarted the world. Where *is* he?"

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris do not have the intense internal dialogue with parts of himself, unlike Raphael.

     He's still a wizard. An artist. He can think on very metaphysical levels and subjects. The Miqo'te furrow his brows -- an amazing feat considering just how dilated his eyes are right now -- looking up at the Statues like a big, feline owl.

     "...What's preventing the world from being alive fully? From being /completely born/ and not in this stasis?"

Alruna Greengate has posed:
"Bollocks to this."

Alruna's damaged gauntlets, along with the rest of her plate armour, disappear in an explosion of blue-white light. When it fades, she's dressed in a mustard-yellow longcoat and much looser clothing. She bounces on her feet a few times, and flashes Mordred a grin.

"Ought we test that?" she asks, then closes in to deliver a quick combo of punches, hammering on the midsection of Mordred's spiky EVIL KNIGHT getup hard enough to make it ring like a bell!

Shyra has posed:
Tomoe works her way through the rest of the town, digging deep to find the last bookshelves that haven't been read yet:

There are five great Spirits, one for each direction and one for the center. Each strives to invigorate the world with their power.

The Black Warriors Spirit holds the power of WATER and holds domain over Winter. It favors the bold and those with the wisdom to survive harsh challenges.

Once the great battle was over, Discordia was sealed away at the cost of the Kindeva civilization. Peace has reigned ever since, the Spirits having remained harmonious on their own through some unknown means. Or perhaps the Yellow Emperor was never needed...?

Shyra doesn't look back up to Staren. She nods slightly at him, but she seems completely incapagble of speaking right now, lost in a torrent of emotion.

Amelris asks what is keeping the world from being alive fully. The statues, contrary to normal expectations, continue to respond.

TIGER STATUE: What does an 'alive' world look like?

LION STATUE: This one seems like it's missing a few things, doesn't it?

TIGER STATUE: Maybe work on that.

LION STATUE: Do something nice for us too while you're at it.

Raphael is burning his brain looking for that perfect summation. He quickly figured out that the statues were right, he more or less understands what the world wants. As much as a world can want anything. Or this world, at the very least.

But he asks one more question.

TIGER STATUE: He's here.

LION STATUE: He's not here.

TIGER STATUE: But you want to know where he is.

LION STATUE: Did you look where you last saw him?

TIGER STATUE: But you never saw him.

LION STATUE: No, but someone else did.

TIGER STATUE: Maybe they know?

LION STATUE: Maybe they know.

Rean Schwarzer has posed:
The fire springs up in front of him. Rean turns around to face Mordred, pushing the princess behind him, using both hands to raise his sword..

Arianrhod (7228) has posed:
    Arianrhod continues to grip that sword as it begins to heat up, soon bursting into flames. Her armour that is in contact with the weapon begins to glow lightly as it is heated, though it proves remarkably resilient.

    Even as Arianrhod struggles against the heat, struggles to maintain her hold on the weapon, she sounds relatively composed as she replies, "Yes, plans to kidnap her. Or so the story apparently goes."

    The armored woman's helmet tilts as she looks at Mordred, "Or perhaps not... You don't strike me as a person who dances to someone else's tune."

    Arianrhod suddenly lets go of the hot blade, taking a few steps back and making no other moves to engage the Evil Knight. She simply finishes with, "I'm interested to find out."

Shyra has posed:
Lilian adds in a detailed and intense QUEST HOOK to the library, an attempt to force a logical connection between the library and the OUT OF BOUNDS containment area. The information added is comprehensive, there is little chance any distortion could claim it if there was any attempt to do so. Like the other edits to the library, there is no way to tell if it will take. But there seems to be SOME kind of connection, based on Tamamo's work...

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
Okay. This is bewildering.
INTERFACING: I bet that if I was, say, *way* better, I could figure this out for you.
ELECTROCHEMISTRY: So what you're saying is...
INTERFACING: Nope. Not even then.
EMPATHY: WAIT. Wait wait wait. What can we do for them? Ask that! Ask that!
"...What would be nice for you, statues?"
It's a weird question. But he's gotten this far entirely on the basis of weird questions, and he *is* busy hallucinating at statues. Lean in. That's how you do it. Raphael Ambrosius Cousteau: Professional Statue Mollifier.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     "A good polishing?" Amelris offers. "A nice blanket to nap on?" The Red Mage adds, tilting his head left and right. He's hallucinating from the second degree. So he IS. "Either way, /thanks you/."

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe has seen the quest of team book to the end and it's gone fairly well. She picks up more information which she will copy into that text file she's been working on for this whole trip here. She will end up putting the books back once she's done and thinks about the spirits nad the information she's found here. She's left with a good deal to think for but with the talk about the fallen party member and their fate? It fills Tomoe with dread. She shoves the bad memories down and speaks up on the radio.

Mordred (7197) has posed:
Alruna's change of clothes actually gets an amused chuckle from Mordred, and not just a role-appropriate one. "Not a mage, but... Interesting. Very interesting!" The EVIL KNIGHT bellows, standing firm against those rapid-fire blows even as each strike echoes from the palace walls despite the group being very much outside. It's armor against fist, and the EVIL KNIGHT is determined to show her resilience instead of simply defending herself like someone trying to actually avoid pain!

She'll probably regret it later.

"This is all to bring about Discordia's return. It won't be long until my dark god's return!" She announces, although she pauses for a moment at Arianrhod's observation. "... Heh. Don't worry. You will see soon enough just what I have in store for this world!"

When Rean steps in front of the Princess, the EVIL KNIGHT sees her chance. Raising a hand, she sweeps her hand in front of her as flames burst forward, obscuring her from view. Once they start moving forward, though, the EVIL KNIGHT is gone!

... Because of that damned teleporting gimmick. From behind Rean and the Princess, the EVIL KNIGHT reappears to try grabbing them both around the waist rather than just going for the Princess. "Let us stop wasting time here. I'll just take you both there!" And just as quickly as the EVIL KNIGHT appeared, she disappears once again with the pair in tow! But where is she going?

Time will tell, but there's probably one incredibly likely destination considering everything that's been mentioned alrady.

Shyra has posed:
What kind of thing will you bribe a statue with? Raphael and Amelris find out.

TIGER STATUE: A blanket sounds /great/.

LION STATUE: Yeah, a blanket. One for each of us. You have any idea how cold we get out here?

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     Amelris nods, solemnly, stonically, at the statues after some radio conversation. There's still that surreal expression to him. His mind is still... well, it still is.

     "I've got this."

     The Red Mage reach to his side where his bag in, rummaging around. A burst of aether flows out as he takes out two large folded pieces of cloth of different colors. One seems to be a puce, sky blue color, made of cotton with very cutsey chocobo-themed patterns.

     The other is red, vermillion with orange zig-zags. He hands the first one to Raphael and keeps the second one to unfold.

     It have the picture of a cartoony Behemoth.

     "There you go, my friends." Amelris says, spreading it up and lifting the blanket up, to try to let it rest on the statue. Of the Lion.

Raphael Cousteau (7187) has posed:
    Raphael was, honestly, expecting to go on a majestic sidequest in order to acquire blankets. Luckily for him, it turns out that Amelris, being a master weaver who keeps his crafting materials on him like some kind of loon, has everything well in hand.
So he places his blanket on the other statue, satisfied that he has fulfilled his quota of taking care of the emotional needs of inanimate objects for the day.

"...Well, I think that's all I've got. Thanks for the help, statues"

Shyra has posed:
The blankets are settled onto the statues, providing them with colorful coverings of high-quality fabric. You can tell it's high quality because of the symbol. See it? You can totally see it.

TIGER STATUE: It's a trick question. It's not cold out here at all. Or warm. Ever.

LION STATUE: But you knew that already. Also, these things look great. Thanks.

    Then they go silent. Whether it's because the drugs wore off or something else, it's hard to tell.

Amelris Belthrone (7180) has posed:
     "Hey. Thanks. Made them myself."

     Amelris' gives a thumbs up.. and things wears off.

     It's like reality coming back like a sack of brick, hitting Amelris with the usual, well-known headache that comes after each Echo-based 'visions'. "Uugggghn." The Catman groans, holding his forhead, eyes irises returning to normal and his seizure-like jitters of his ears and tail relaxing. "THAT was new."