The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #301
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Recaiden's Avatar

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    Default [Hospital => Guest Quarters]

    "Oh, that would be so confusing to change to, though."
    They would need to find some real IT staff to get started.

    The Guest Quarters is just across the road, as advertised, where the nurse passes Zoii off to a kitsune woman in yellow garb. The ceilings are high, with exposed rafters. The walls are clean white, the floors are tatami mats in a winter pattern, the doorframes are painted bright red, and the place has numerous gratuitous decorative wooden pillars.

    Luckily for her, one of those forms was for arranging her stay here, and all she has to do is get a room number and listen to the vixen go through the introductory speech.
    1. Welcome to the temple of Inari, we hope your stay is helpful.
    2. Your room is upstairs, second door on the left
    3. Here's a map of the compound and a map of the Nexus, we're here.
    4. Meals are here, at such-and-such times.
    5. Follow these basic rules about not bothering other guests or wrecking the place.
    6. If you need help here, speak to someone in yellow. If you need help sorting out your life in a strange new world, speak to someone in blue.
    Last edited by Recaiden; 2018-08-27 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Ears
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  2. - Top - End - #302
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Hospital- Guest Rooms

    Zoii can't keep her eyes off the Vulpan's ears. She listens to the introduction, but will ask- if given the opportunity- "Um, can I get ears like that?" She'll remember all the information she's been given, and the maps. She doesn't realise she's this good at memorisation, but the nanites are saving it for her.

    She will need a person in blue at some point, however, if only to ask about the identity of Inari.
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  3. - Top - End - #303
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    Default [Guest Rooms]

    The woman's ears perk up a bit at the question.
    "Oh? I'm sure you could, although we're born with them. I'd ask in the sanctuary."
    Which is also a great place to find a person in blue, as those are the priests.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  4. - Top - End - #304
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Guest Rooms

    "Oh, really? Gene-modding, or something else?" She's surprised they have the tech for gene-modding, since they don't have a computer system. But maybe they've got some higher tech elsewhere or limited electrical supplies or something.

    She'll go to the Temple when she's been answered.
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  5. - Top - End - #305
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    Default [Guest Rooms]

    "Oh no, just magic." The housekeeper says, giggling.

    The answer is actually gene-modding.
    But most of them don't know that. Probably just the top five priests, the 2nd assistant head gardener, and some historians.

    There's also higher tech elsewhere. It's really something how they manage to maintain this semi-medieval/semi-modern thing when there's a sci-fi spaceship base just across the field.

    The temple sanctuary is nice. Much the same style as the guest quarters, but bigger spaces, more fox statues, a more permanent floor. The space is haunted watched by angels. The doors don't necessarily lead to the other side of the doorway (the stairs on the right take you across the compound, the closet on the left leads to another world, the gate to the side of the main door leads to Trog's...). A troop of acolytes is heading up the stairs at the back right, a gardener (one of the fennec-fox people with the even cuter larger ears) is getting a drink from the anachronistic vending machine, and behind the altar waits a priestess in blue robes to help anyone who enters. Besides the uniform, they look an awful lot like the captain who destroyed Montgomery's nanobots.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  6. - Top - End - #306
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Hospital

    "Right, sure." Zoii nods, and decides the answer is probably 'gene-modding using lost techniques and ancient, forgotten technology'. I don't think she's been demonstrably shown magic yet.

    She'll eventually stumble into the temple, managing to avoid any of the portals (for now, at least; I'll probably send her to Trog's later). She doesn't note the similarity, as she doesn't have access to all of Montgomery's memories- and of the ones she does have access to, she doesn't yet remember how to access them. I'm not sure where the angels are, or if they're visible, but if she sees them she mistakes them for more statuary. "Um, hi? I'm Zoii. I was told to ask you about ears?" Zoii's hoping word has somehow got out about her request.
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  7. - Top - End - #307
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    Default [Sanctuary]

    Well, she'd meant more spiritual or practical advise, not fashion and transformation, when Zoii was referred to the priests.

    The angels are up in the rafters, and generally invisible.
    "Welcome to the Temple of Inari, Zoii. I'm glad to see you up and about already." The priestess herself, I think we should clarify, has normal human ears. No fox features at all; she's more here for the rice aspect of things. "Ears? Oh, yes. Merisa mentioned you wanting a pair like hers. What's that about?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  8. - Top - End - #308
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Sanctuary

    "Well... I thought they looked cute and nobody has them where I'm from, so I was... Oh, dear. It sounds a bit stupid now, doesn't it?" Zoii's just realised this could be the start of another of her descents into bad luck and pornography. Though hopefully not the latter this time; the priestess doesn't know about the last time.
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  9. - Top - End - #309
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    Default [Sanctuary]

    The priestess shrugs one shoulder. "It's a little impulsive. Getting new ears is more serious than a new featherstyle or even a piercing, especially when there's no way to show it off to anyone back where you came from."
    I don't think it's likely to send her down that particular path, though.
    "Besides, you look perfectly cute how you are."
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  10. - Top - End - #310
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Sanctuary

    "Um, thank you." Zoii blushes a little, not expecting the compliment from a priestess. Aren't priests supposed to be celibate? Does it matter with this religion? "I think I will have to think about it a little. I'm... I'm going to be a model, I think." Zoii's a little more confident about that, though her engineered beauty might be a little artificial for some modelling agencies.
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  11. - Top - End - #311
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    Default [Sanctuary]

    It's actually discouraged here, celibacy.

    So she's not giving singing another try. Interesting. "Oh! That's a very intense career. The priestess looks away, thoughtful. "I can actually recommend an agency that's worked with some of our members before." Should be free of any embarrassing photo-editing scandal, though there's no guarantee Zoii will have any success there. Amazingly (sadly?), Zoii isn't the first person to come through here after just such a fiasco.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  12. - Top - End - #312
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Sanctuary

    "Really? That would be the most awesome thing." She enjoyed modelling more than singing. Particularly since she has no idea what instruments this crazy place might have.
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  13. - Top - End - #313
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    Default [Sanctuary]

    The priestess spends a moment finding the information, probably in a cell phone. "It's Inside Style at <address>. I should warn you, fashion here in the Nexus can be more than a little crazy." The music is comparatively normal; the same guitars and golden fiddles as anywhere else (although the Temple prefers piano-heavy sounds).
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  14. - Top - End - #314
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Sanctuary

    "Fashion's always crazy. I've seen models shaved totally bald and wearing swimwear woven from their own hair. I'm used to weird." Zoii grins, takes the information and will head off. She's used to the music being supplied primarily by computers; she wouldn't have a clue about singing over real instruments, with noise coming from places other than the same speakers as her voice.
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  15. - Top - End - #315
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    Default [Sanctuary]

    Anchor and Anchor's shadow stroll into the temple one evening.
    In a purely non-official capacity of someone who's collecting travelers to journey into faerie woods.
    Now, let's see about finding that Alex.

    If she even really works here, Anchor thinks to herself suddenly. Maybe it was aall lies, top to bottom.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  16. - Top - End - #316
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    [Sanctuary]

    Alex can be found manning the shrine. She jumps at seeing Anchor.
    "Oh! Hi, Anchor! What's...up?" she asks cheerily, but clearly surprised.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  17. - Top - End - #317
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    Default [Sanctuary]

    Firstly, she does work here. That's a relief.
    Secondly, she was so surprised! Adorable! Delicious!
    "Alex! I mean , 'Alex'." If she weren't wearing sunglasses, she'd probably be winking.

    "No need to look so surprised; I mean, I come here all the time." There are full-moon celebrations, even-more-alternative Katrina clubs, secret midnight cult ceremonies, and a library. Although often it's at times the shadow-foxes aren't on duty.

    "I figure it's about time for a trip to the forest, don't you think? I mean, I hate leaving things till the last minute, don't you?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  18. - Top - End - #318
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Sanctuary

    Alex keeps her smile, but shakes her head.
    ”Oh come now Anchor. Even I could tell that’s a trap. That party was full of trips to get somebody indebted. Going to the lair of a fey with that mindset is like, totally asking for it.” she insists.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  19. - Top - End - #319
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    "Of course it's a trap! That's why I never said I'd visit. Only that I'd try to get you along. Which now, I've done."
    Anchor steps up to stand beside Alex right at the altar.
    "But you said that you'd go. May as well get it over with. And didn't you want an adventure without anyone else's fate in your hands? This is it. I mean, it could be, right?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  20. - Top - End - #320
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Sanctuary]

    Alex gives an oddly predatory grin.
    ”No, I promised her I would visit ‘sometime.’ Which could be tomorrow, next week, next year, after my death in hopefully at least a few centuries, or in my next incarnation. I promised her exactly what she wanted and yet absolutely nothing. Besides, there’s a no big grand discoveries to be made or even romance. Sounds like a rubbish adventure.”
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  21. - Top - End - #321
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    "Well, my advice is to not have a faerie obligation hanging over you, even if you could technically put it off all your life."
    Anchor crosses her arms over her chest. Alex is casting aspersions on her adventures?!
    "Rather premature. I mean, to say there's no romance or discovery before you see what's there?"
    Of course, there are reasons for Alex to say that now, for all that she claimed to want adventure at the ball. Anchor thinks she'd better warn someone that Alex is up to no good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  22. - Top - End - #322
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Every few weeks, trying to go unnoticed but not actively hiding from anyone, Karaglen makes her way to the garden.
    Tall, thin, with a long curtain of metallic silver hair shrouding most of her that the lightly pastel sun-dress doesn't cover, she tends to have a vaguely ethereal presence about her.
    Like a ghost wandering through a sacred haunt.

    She's not going to be doing anything exciting here. She never does.

    Simply makes her way towards the koi pond, kneels, and prays in silence.
    "Fear and creativity are conjoined twins."
    Absentee Spirit

  23. - Top - End - #323
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Koi Pond]

    "Hello, Kara."

    The voice is soft. Kind. Almost motherly. But with a subtle undercurrent of disappointment. It lacks all the usual exuberance that Karaglen will likely remember. There's a time and place for that, certainly, but for now it's somber. Somber and absolutely unmistakable in its absolute unremarkableness. There's no one else that voice could belong to.

    Should Karaglen look up, she'll spy a woman of raven hair and steel blue eyes seated atop the branch of a cherry tree over-hanging the pond causally kicking her feet. Every now and again she dips her toe, sending a ripple wavering across the surface of the pond. No weird ears. No tail. No wonky features. Not even the vague half-elf look. Just a completely normal human female, shoeless and wearing clothes that don't quite fit her right. If not for the fact that Karaglen knows exactly who she is, she could be easily dismissed as just another face in the crowd of the Nexus' less exotic population.

    Nothing heralded her arrival.

    No burst of magic.

    No flash of light.

    No pop of displaced air.

    She's simply there, sitting in a tree and dangling a toe in the pond so the koi can mouth at it.

    "It's been a long time," Jezekiel observes.
    Last edited by Rebonack; 2018-11-09 at 02:35 AM.
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  24. - Top - End - #324
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    [Koi Pond]

    Karaglen doesn't look up right away, taking another moment or two in her position of submission.

    After completing whatever thought she was on (please forgive my weakness, please spare their souls), she opens her eyes and looks up through her hair towards the temple's other guest. There isn't the fear of rejection here, doubt of self, that was present in their last meetings.
    Just a deeply resigned sadness.

    "Hello, Zee."
    There's a very small smile in here somewhere, some part of her that is clearly glad to see the other woman.
    "I didn't think I would ever see you again."

    For now, she remains kneeling on the ground, hands folded on top of her legs.
    "Fear and creativity are conjoined twins."
    Absentee Spirit

  25. - Top - End - #325
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Koi Pond]

    "I'm pretty surprised to be here myself," Zee replies, a smile tugging at the edges of her mouth. It doesn't last very long. "I had hoped..."

    She sniffs slightly, wiping away a tear.

    "I guess no one had the guts to do what needed to be done. I would have, but... well. You know. I failed you, Kara. I failed you really, really hard. I sort of knew what was going on and I should have acted decisively. But I didn't. And I've been thinking about it for... well... a long time doesn't exactly fit. Time is weird up in Spookytown."

    That's an understatement to say the least.

    She squints a bit, and for a moment there's a double image of five more eyes, burning like stars with cold, muted radiance.

    "God... you just got taken to pieces, didn't you? I've spent all this time putting myself back together and you... you look like something a fae half-assed together because they needed some quick props to entertain unexpected company."

    That isn't very nice. Not inaccurate. But not very nice. Zee bows her head, staring at the pond.

    "And it's more it than you. Of course the good parts would be the ones that get lost. In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only edge and all that," she continues. Her tone, her posture, they all point to a buildup. She's trying to push herself. A course of action. Determination. "I thought about this a long time. What I would do if I found... what's left of you. Eroded. Warped by dark emotions and dark ideas."

    She raises her head, cheeks wet with tears.

    "It was nice seeing you again, Kara."

    What Zee does, by contrast, isn't very nice.

    It isn't fair.

    It isn't subtle.

    In a twinkling of an eye she's gone again. In a heartbeat an empyrean beast aims to pounce on the slumbering bloodthirster from a step sideways in time. As weird as the warp is, it's still a parallel universe. As awful as daemons are, they're still the thoughts and beliefs and emotions and passions of mortals given psychic form. They are still, fundamentally, information, ideas. And to an empyrean beast, ideas are just as physical as any other thing. Teeth aim to punch into the daemon, not through his armored hide, but from the inside out, shredding through organs and muscles with wild abandon. Memetic venom will flood from those fangs should the surprise attack strike true, dissolving ideas and concepts into mere inklings and rearranging the remains as prions might chew holes through a brain. Not content to merely slay the daemon now, the venom will aggressively eat its way forward and backward in time, leaving the ruination of absolute forgetfulness in its wake. It will be devoured, all that it was, all that is, all that it ever could have been.

    But.

    The work isn't done.

    From the soupy remains *structure* is imposed from an encyclopedic memory. How many times had she enjoyed the company of the little silver dragon who was so intent to make the world better one act of kindness at a time? Information flows through her veins like blood, and she pours out her knowledge heedless to what harm she might do to herself drawing so deeply from her well of power. This was her fault. That was her fault and she had failed. She has to at least try. Karaglen's voice. Karaglen's mannerisms. Karaglen's personality. Karaglen's memories. Karaglen's hopes and dreams and aspirations before they were all reduced to blood and ash and splintered bones. Karaglen's story before it was defiled, what it could have been, in countless untouched elsewhens.

    Fungal roots bite into the earth, snaking up through trees and bushes and earth worms and at least one really unfortunate slumbering lizard. Biomass is drawn into the beast as everything else withers and dies. Inari will forgive her for the garden. Probably.

    Karaglen's physical body. Her lifesong, a song remembered well. The cute little silver wyrmling from her memories, drawn from the last archived memory Zee has of her. When Kara touched her, hoping to heal, all those years ago when the Stars Were Right. A touch that brought tragedy. A tragedy Zee hopes to mend, if only a little.

    She has built organisms from the ground up countless times, complete with memories and personalities to give them life and vibrancy.

    But... she hasn't ever tried rebuilding a sundered friend before.

    "Please work," the hulking beast whispers to the snowy white cocoon clutched protectively between clawed hooves and wings, held tight against her breast. "Please don't just die. Please don't let me fail you twice."
    Last edited by Rebonack; 2018-11-09 at 11:31 AM.
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  26. - Top - End - #326
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    'Simply being here' is not permitted.
    It isn't impossible, because nothing is impossible around here, just very difficult. But it is frowned upon. It is noticed.

    So there was already someone on the way here to investigate before an entire garden suddenly died. It's good that the monster didn't eat up the fish as well. That would probably not have been forgivable.

    The high priest appears on the bridge that connects the gardens to the living quarters, a six-tailed fox-man in silver robes. Well, that's what he looks like, if not what he is.

    "What is going on here?" he demands.
    Of course, it's pretty obvious what's going on here. An eldritch horror has broken into the temple and is eating the garden to create more awful monstrosities.
    This is not a common occurrence, but it's not unexpected.

    But it probably won't hurt much to ask. Probably. Besides asking aloud he looks on other levels, trying to examine any thoughts in Zee's head (or wherever she keeps them) and anything that might be detectable already in that cocoon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
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  27. - Top - End - #327
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Koi Pond]

    A somber meeting goes depressing fast, as Zee spills her regret out and Karaglen swiftly breaks eye contact.
    She instead looks down towards the lazy koi. They had always been calming to her, living their simple existence here, swimming their idle patterns.
    It's a large part of why she always comes here to pray, for the peace of the garden and the simplicity of the koi.

    Kara could empty her mind, get as close to relaxation as she ever could anymore.

    Some very small thought resented Zee in this moment, for bringing her sorrow here, for making her remember yet another pain. The resentment is somewhat vacantly considered, before being discarded as yet another sin needing forgiveness.
    Zee is just trying to apologize.

    This almost felt like she was a little girl again, somehow. Swaddled in the purity of raw, pleading emotion.
    A single tear snakes down from her eyes, falling along her nose and falling towards her hands below. Halfway through the air, it instead shatters into the non-existence Kara herself stands at the edge of everyday and she closes her eyes.

    Why?
    Why is she here, feeling this pain? Remembering these memories?
    Why is Zee here, broken-hearted and in tears?
    Why does the burning hatred dreaming its dark dreams lash out at the world?
    Why did that stupid little girl pull a sword from a trash can?
    Why is she still here?
    Why does it all hurt so much?

    It's this descent into despair that gives Zee the opening she seizes.
    The depression fills her mind with a mud that slows her recognition of where the apology seems to have changed gears. A mud that seems to stall the awakening of the raging thing that hosts her vestigial existence.

    It also, perhaps, helps that the daemon seems to be broken.
    There is a surprise and sluggishness that should not be present in such a monstrosity, when the attack is made. What parts of Karaglen that have been shredded away seem to have also taken some portions of the daemon with them. Not much, in the grander scheme of its being, but enough to handicap it on some level.
    Enough that it needs rest and the time to properly awaken.

    "Zee...?"
    Karaglen looks up again for what sounds like a goodbye from Zee, in time for the other woman to make her move.

    And then her daemon dies.
    And with it, so does she.

    For a time; for a fleeting, eternal, momentarily infinite time.

    Until the strands of her existence are woven back together and the shattered fragments of her spirit draw back together into a proper vessel once again. The way they were supposed to be.
    The way she was supposed to be.

    Somewhere in the cocoon, a young girl, a baby dragon remains in the past. But a young dragon, a young woman, is given a present.
    "Fear and creativity are conjoined twins."
    Absentee Spirit

  28. - Top - End - #328
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Koi Pond]

    Zee looks down at the tiny swaddled bundle in her clawed hooves, pearlescent filaments running from her arms to the cocoon. Pulses of impossibly colored light rippled down the strands in time with her heartbeat.

    She can feel it.

    She can feel the little dragon being put back together again.

    "It's working..." she whispers, equal parts awe and joy. She's pretty sure she never could have accomplished something this complex before she had her strings cut with the death of K'Rax. "It's working!" she laughs, dancing in a little circle atop the blasted stones and warped sand of what was previously a beautiful garden. As if reacting to her glee, hyphae begins creeping across the ground from each point touched by her hooves, spreading like a wooly white blanket. Egg-like bulbs growing, swelling, before splitting open into crimson, coral-like growths of latticed flesh oozing brownish black fluid. The air is filled with the sweet aroma of cooked apple, cinnamon, and chocolate.

    The eldritch abomination pauses her jubilation to sniff the air a few times. "It smells like I'm baking something."

    Then she notices that the garden is being overrun with aberrant growth!

    "Bwah! What? Why? No, bad! Shoo!" she begins stomping at one of the growths with her hoof, splattering ink all over everything nearby. The ink begins to flow and swirl, painting eldritch designs and unnatural geometries onto the stones around her. White fungal tendrils burst from the ground where trees and shrubs once stood, slowly swaying in a nonexistent breeze. "Oh geeze. I'm sorry! I'm not doing this on purpose Inari, I swear! Oh God, I must have eaten enough mes to morph into a hymn. This is that creepy aura of weirdness thing hymns get. But I can't just change back, or Kara might die... I.. umm... I need to... I need to bail before things get worse. Sorry Inari! I'll come back when I'm like eighty percent less awful and help clean up, I promise! So lemme just scoot off before I make things get even more terrible."

    And then things get even more terrible.

    It's probably worth mentioning what Jezekiel looks like at the moment, due to that understandably upset priest getting a decent gander at her.

    For one, this particular beast is big. Twelve feet tall, at least. For what physical size means to such unwholesome creatures. Her build is generally humanoid and obviously feminine in its curves, though anything scandalizing is covered in cinnamon brown fur. Thin, white, branching stripes adorn her hide, constantly growing and splitting and dying as they creep across her in an ever-changing fractal display. Everyone now and again one of those stripes splits apart into a tooth-filled maw, only to close again. Around her neck is an almost necklace like pattern of interlocking white triangles. She has cloven hooves for feet and hands alike, though the two fingered and two thumbed hands look more like claws than anything for walking on. Her face looks equal part draconic, humanoid, and antelope-like, with a pair of inwardly curving horns forming a rough oval. Seven eyes with sclera the velvet blue-black of early evening, irises burning with cold stellar radiance, and horizontally slit pupils that devour light as surely as a corpse star. A long draconic tail sways behind herm the top covered in fur and the bottom in scales. Clinging to her back is a folded pair of dragon wings. Then there are the weird fungal growths. The end of her tail bears a massive devil's cigar rather than a more conventional tip, lips adoring four fissures running along it with teeth hidden just below. Six earthstars hang from her chest and abdomen, petals closed, wisps of oily spores swirling between the fissures of fungal flesh with each breath. And behind her... behind her is a halo of coral-like, crimson meat. A wide loop looming behind her, rimmed with wriggling ribbons. At the apex, hanging from spindles of latticed flesh, a ring that frames her head, ink dripping from its center.

    That's...

    Uh.

    That isn't intimidating or anything, right? Just a totally normal... umm... thing. Of some kind. Nothing to be concerned about.

    At the question the awful abomination begins babbling out a rapid-fire explanation.

    "My friend got eaten by a demon and I'm trying to un-eat them and I'm really sorry about the garden I can come back later and help fix it but you shouldn't get too close in the mean time since I think got some sort of creepy Far Realm corruption aura and you really don't want eels growing out of your eyes and- NO DON'T DO THAT!"

    Now, normally Zee has mental wards. Not the sort that actually block mind-reading and the like, but rather deflect it with a gentle warning that maybe poking around in the head of an empyrean isn't the best course of action to take if you value keeping all your blood on the inside of your body. After K'rax got blown up Zee hasn't bothered using them since this is the first time she's been back in the Waking World. They simply weren't needed when the only things she was interacting with were other awful terrorhorrors.

    Which means that priest just touched the mind of a hymn, a beast of the second order. A creature that corrupts and twists by its mere presence. A thing that is at the most fundamental level a creature of infectious, forbidden knowledge. If being near it is so tainting, how much more so to meet it mind to mind?

    In other words?

    Buckle up, buckaroo. You're going for a ride.
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  29. - Top - End - #329
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    "That's Karaglen. You...killed her. Put her down, and-"
    He trails off, getting a good look at the horror. Visually, it isn't too odd. Basically just looks like his sister-in-law, but with horns.
    But on the inside...

    It's something he's been looking for. How surprising and lucky to find it here inside this murdering garden-ruining monster.
    It's telling him to change. He changes. Not too much. There are deeply buried stories that no mere fact could reach. But on the surface? All this unimportant living matter? Sure. For now. Why not?
    It's most of all really dangerous, and he turns his inner eye away after just a moment. He'd like to keep looking, but it's too much of a risk.

    Eels erupt from his eyes and
    ((No, come on. It's always sea creatures. Think a little.))
    ((But eels were specifically what her warning was about.))
    ((We all know it was just an example))
    The front of the priest splits open vertically into a tremendous fanged mouth much larger than a vulpan-sized creature could possibly contain, from which shines the red light of a dying sun. Over the teeth crawl the front halves of six giant chameleons who all launch their ridiculous tongues at Jezekiel to entangle her and drag her close. The back half of each chameleon is, obviously, a monstrously-sized human tongue. It's tongues a good way down (but not all the way down). The priest falls to his knees. His tails stiffen and become the boughs of trees, sprouting branches and leaves. His neck creaks and spins his head 1080 degrees, leaving behind five additional faces pointed different directions.

    "You are messing with things beyond your control. Drop the cocoon and we'll get you someplace safe."
    He doesn't really expect Zee to listen. She's not really an intelligent being one can negotiate with, is she? Just an ambulatory collection of madness. But she's apologizing and seems as horrified by all this as anyone here. That deserves a response.

    The other faces don't all agree, but they're quieter and should probably be ignored.
    "She's not family, she's not even a person, and is already a danger. Devour her!"
    "Dorothy, remind us to forget this whole incident."
    "Each change moves only through its own actions. Only!"
    "Mother Myobi, something regrettable has happened to your garden."
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    ~Inner Circle~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  30. - Top - End - #330
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Still Sort of a Garden?]

    "I only killed her a little bit!" the eldritch horror objects, turning to the side slightly, using her body to shield the cocoon from the priest lest he do something that might harm it. "And I can't put Kara down and put her back together at the same time~ That's too many puts!"

    And then terrible things happen.

    "Nononono why would you do that!?" the hymn practically shrieks. As with everything she says, there's a musical quality to it, but the melody is a bit strained here. "Why would you think smashing your mind up against mine was a good idea?"

    And then tongues happen, drawing a surprised, "Ack!" from Zee! She's pulled a few feet, her hooves scraping against the dirt, only to halt herself by sending fungal tendrils snaking deep into the earth, rooting her in place. When she speaks her tone is becoming markedly panicked. "Let me go and I'll leave, I promise~ There's... umm... there's probably a way to fix you maybe?"

    She doesn't sound very sure about that.

    "I'm not messing with anything! I know exactly what I'm doing," Zee argues. "This... aura of spook just caught me off guard is all~ I didn't realize I had grown up a bit~ It's just a really unfortunate miscalculation on my part! And stop tugging on me! There's no way you'll make me budge~"

    She really isn't moving all that much. The effects of her presence are moving plenty, though. The lattice-work of blood red coral-like flesh continues spreading, the air above it wavering like heat from a road as it becomes thick and syrupy. Points of light like stars begin winking into existence as the night-time garden is bathed with otherworldly light. Fungal tendrils abound, weaving around each other into increasingly elaborate geometries that shimmer in the alien radiance. The area around the hymn is steadily become more like the Empyrean with each passing moment. Thankfully the magic of Grandfather Koi has thus far kept the creeping corruption out of the pond. Myobi would probably be pretty upset otherwise.
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