The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    "Maybe you're the one to make contact with them, did you think of that?" Auri suggests.
    She doesn't quite trip and fall on the worn and broken stones that make up the place. But it's close.

    She carries on like this for a while, following apparently meaningless clues deeper and further underground, through dizzying twists and turns and tunnels.
    "See, look!" The priestess has managed to find, (in this particular lightless cave that seems completely unsuitable for a temple) one of those foxes she mentioned. The ones with no eyes, but keen batlike ears that would put even a fennec's to shame. Not a fox-person, just a fox, a wild animal probably hunting giant crickets or something like that. It starts to run off when it hears them.
    But Auri thinks it's a good sign.
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    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
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  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Underground]

    "Aww..." Look at the fox with its big stupid ears! So cute!

    "You better have a spell to get us out of here when we're done because I definitely won't remember everything." Steph insists, back to business again. She's much better at not being bothered by the terrain.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    "Adorable, right? And it proves we're not way too early."

    The blind fox scampers off and squeezes through a little crack in the cavern wall.

    "Steph, you remember how we arrived at your temple, right? Of course I can find the way out."

    "There youuu are." Hisses a voice from behind them.
    Oh. Where did that giant snake come from?
    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

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Underground]

    "I didn't arrive at my temple. We started there." Steph says, not understanding Auri's comment at all.

    Oh look, a new friend. A very large friend.
    "H-Hello, neighbor." she says, waving a hand in peace to the snake.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    "Steph, when I say 'we', I meant myself and my assistant, who actually did what I had said. O-eeek!"
    Aurishalq notices the serpent, cries out in alarm, takes a step back, trips up on something, and falls to the cave floor.

    The very large friend blinks.
    "Priestess, what is she doing? And why are you bipeds?"
    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 - #156
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Underground]

    Steph fights every urge in her body to grin, and instead holds firm to keeping a straight face with the discipline of a saint.
    "Miss Aurishalq, do not be so rude to our neighbor. They are being quite polite."

    "I'm afraid we've never not been bipeds, neighbor. It is our nature." she tells the serpent politely.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default [Underground]

    Aurishalq hides behind a stalagmite and pretends there's no snake there.

    "Oh? Are you quite sure? Tell me more." (about being a biped)
    The serpent tries not to say anything too strong before it's clearer what's going on here.
    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

  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Underground]

    "Well, I can't speak for Lady Aurishalq, actually, who by the way is far too large for hiding. But me on the other hand, can remember most of my life quite well, and I can safely say that I've only ever been about three or four species, none of which had more or less than two legs except a one-hour stint as a mouse while experimenting with shapeshifting." Steph insists.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default [Underground]

    Aurishalq scowls at Steven but does, grudgingly, straighten up from her insufficient hiding place.

    "Curious. Our divinations were quite clear that I would find our missing priestesses here and now. If you haven't seen anyone else..."
    The serpent snakes past Steph to look around the cavern.
    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 - #160
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Underground]

    ”We haven’t seen too many people down here, but these have always been complicated tunnels. Best of luck on your search...” Steph says, waving on Auri to join her in leaving.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Default [Underground]

    Steph mind find the tail of a snake coiling around her feet to hold her there or trip her up, even as the serpent swings its head back around. They're very long creatures, you know.
    "Excuse me, where are you going? If there's no one else here, then regardless of what you remember, it has to be the two of you." They hiss.

    Auri had taken one step out from behind the stalagmite, but freezes up, wary/terrified of the snake.
    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 - #162
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Underground]

    Steph finds herself bound, her left hand going dangerously to her blade, thumb pressing against the sword's guard.
    "I'm afraid my soul is bound to another. Whoever your patron is, I am not theirs. I ask politely that you leave us alone." she says warningly.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  13. - Top - End - #163
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    Default [Underground]

    I'm not sure how much politeness there is in just saying that you're doing things politely.

    "Oh, I see. That's why you don't remember. Don't worry." says the snake, circling slowly around Steph, leaving her space to maneuver but blocking any way out, preparing to wrap her up if it has to. "There's no binding that can't be undone in time. I'll see that you're properly rescued. Don't do anything rash, just let me take care of everything."

    "That sounds like a terrible idea. And I couldn't possibly be a snake." Auri ventures. With the serpent looking at Steph and away from her, it isn't so bad.
    Last edited by Recaiden; 2018-04-24 at 04:23 PM.
    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

  14. - Top - End - #164
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Underground]

    Asking instead of waving a sword around is comparatively polite.

    Steph's right hand now grips the handle of Eclipse, but still does not draw it (though she wouldn't anyway, as she focuses on drawing attacks).
    "I assure you that my arrangement is quite willing. You will cease and desist, or I will take my leave by force." she snarls.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  15. - Top - End - #165
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    Default [Underground]

    The snake hesitates a moment.
    "You don't know what you're saying. But that's okay. I know you don't really mean it. You're just bewitched. Sorry about this-"
    The snake lunges forward, going for Steph's sword hand with its fangs and at the same time starting to tighten its coils, threatening to trap her.

    Auri shuts her eyes against the horrible snake-thing and starts a prayer for safety.
    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

  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Underground]

    Steph pulls Eclipse free, swinging it at the snake's lunging face in a single, graceful motion. Even then she still leaps forward and up, trying to get out of the snake's coils.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  17. - Top - End - #167
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    Default [Underground]

    Eclipse slices into the snake, though not too deeply with those scales, and they hiss is pain. This gives Steph the opening she needs to leap up out of the entangling coils.

    Auri scrambles over towards the other priestess, holding out a hand.
    "Okay, Steph, you were right. Let's get out of here!"
    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 - #168
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Underground]

    Steph grabs Auri’s hand, flicking blood off her blade.
    ”Time to put your money where your mouth is. Get us out of here, Ma’am.” she says, tired, stressed, and maybe a little smug about being right.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  19. - Top - End - #169
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    Auri grips Steph's hand tightly and they both disappear into the shadows, reappearing behind the altar statue in the [Sanctuary]
    "Ugh. How horrid! I hope we have better luck finding the temple next time..."
    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

  20. - Top - End - #170
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Sanctuary]

    Steph straightens, producing a cloth and wiping Eclipse thoroughly before sheathing it.
    ”There is no temple down there, Ma’am. I hope you’re satisfied with this visit, though.” she says, hoping that she can go back to bed and lose this ridiculous vixen getup soon.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  21. - Top - End - #171
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    Default [Sanctuary]

    A passing acolyte waves at Aurishalq, surprised to see someone taller than her among the staff.

    "Satisfied already? Wherever is your hospitality, Steph? It seems we've just arrived. But about the temple, if it's not down below the catacombs, where is it? There was definitely supposed to be a temple to Tamamo herself in this world, right in this city! I mean, it's not new or anything, our own temple on Sentus is based on-" Auri stops there, having confused herself about something. That is what Kantick told her about it, but how do those timelines match up?
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
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  22. - Top - End - #172
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Sanctuary]

    "It will be night soon; if you wished to stay several days you should have told us to prepare a room. Are you sure you can't just use divination? Surely your temple has a mage if it is beyond your own sight." Steph suggests. They had certainly abused Frederick's powers often enough...
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  23. - Top - End - #173
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    Default [Sanctuary]

    "I try not to use magic where a little bit of mundane work will do." Aurishalq insists. "As for the room, there's two issues. First, you're nocturnal. We arrived in the afternoon because that's the start of the day when you sleep at sunrise, silly. Second, I had Kantick make arrangements for that already. We're staying in Home since the rooms here are all too small."

    "Now, since no mage accompanied me, why don't you scry up the Temple of Endless Night for us?"
    She's not saying this is a test of Steph, but it obviously is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
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  24. - Top - End - #174
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Sanctuary]

    Steph tries not to be angry at Auri. How could she know that Steph barely sleeps, often pulling double shifts and not sleeping until noon, which caused Auri's arrival to strip what little sleep she might have had save for that quick nap.
    "Well I hope you don't mind using your translocation again. Home is quite far away, you know."

    Steph bows her head and whispers a rather awful rhyme-prayer for Location Scrying, using a rhyme with 'relying' that Auri probably won't hear. Steph has never been good at poetry.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  25. - Top - End - #175
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Walking up the path to the temple comes a figure, some might recognize him as Raril Xar'Cha, but there was something different about him. His skin was black, instead of inky blue, his hair pure white, not silver. Instead of his usual favored blue, he wore a sleeveless red tunic, slashed open to the belly, showing considerable muscle. His signature hat was nowhere to be seen, and overall he was just more attractive. Those in the know would recognize him, not actually as Raril, but as his Far-created doppelganger Vice. He walks in humming, the sound alluring and otherworldly.
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  26. - Top - End - #176
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    The priestess on duty in the sanctuary (a nearly-seven-foot-tall feathered girl in a teal robe with a blue sash, whose holy pendant shows a stalk of rice) rises and says to Vice the standard greeting. "Greetings, neighbors; the blessings of Inari be upon you. What can we do for you today?" Was she, just before speaking, already humming along with the same song as the doppelganger?

    Pay no attention to the two shadow priests arguing and casting divinations behind the altar.


    Speaking of which, Steph's spell will reveal that there is no such location to be found. Just as she told Auri, there is no third temple.
    Of course she couldn't have known about that sleep cycle. It may or may not be obvious that Steph is tired, but why, and how habitual the problem is, that's a mystery to the visiting clergy.
    "Well?"
    Last edited by Recaiden; 2018-05-12 at 12:36 AM.
    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

  27. - Top - End - #177
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Sanctuary]

    Steph sighs.
    "Nothing. There is no official temple of Tamamo here, Ma'am, just our sect. Perhaps you misinterpreted the different parallel worlds. It would make sense if you venerate a certain vixen whom to us is our lovable gardener- and whom I still don't enjoy being shaped like for the foreseeable future. Differences can build up between worlds." Steph is patient, but Arlem's changes have made her more daring, more willing to heckle and make a little trouble for her superior, even if it's just digging at her orders.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

  28. - Top - End - #178
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    Vice smiles at the feathered priestess, and oh what a smile it was. It was heart meltingly smouldering. "Ah hello. I was just, looking around a bit. I was curious about this place. There's an energy here... it's... intriguing."
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  29. - Top - End - #179
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    What a smile indeed! The priestess has probably never seen such an endearing expression, and her face (mostly non-feathered) blushes from gold towards orange. W-well it is a temple. I just said that, didn't I?" Actually she hadn't yet, I think they expect it to be obvious given the altar and the architecture. "So it is a holy place. Maybe that's what you're feeling."

    Auri seems alarmed by Steph's suggestion. "What? We can't be in the wrong universe! Well, I suppose we can, but that'd be terrible. I'd have to start all over with a parallel Steph in a parallel temple! I bet we just came too early."
    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 - #180
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    Default Re: Foxside: The Temple of Inari 56 - Rice, Wine, and Spell Slots

    [Sanctuary]

    "Steven. You'd be starting over with a parallel Steven. Because I don't think that I'd be willingly be like this without interference.

    And you know that moving against time flow is forbidden magic, yes?"
    Steph says testily, mostly just wanting to complain at Auri.

    Well, perhaps not forbidden, as that depends on how you interpret the books. At the very least there's about forty different warnings.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

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

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