The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    The catgirl just stares perplexedly at the strange sight before her for a couple moments, lips still frozen around the last syllable they formed as she watches the creature get back to it's feet. Well, that was a relief at least; she didn't really want to touch it, much less help it to it's feet.
    Wait... this thing was definitely sentient. Was that racist of her?
    Whatever, she could concern herself with the moral scruples of an unfavorable disposition towards new species that were completely alien from the ones she was used to later. Right now, she should probably just try to humor this ugly grub in a costume she didn't recognize.

    "I, uh, don't have any candy to give you...." Blanche apologizes a little bashfully. I mean, she really didn't expect trick-or-treaters at VIGIL of all places, least of all this early. A shame too, that costume was kinda adorable.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    [Edge of the Island]

    Wenomir nods.

    "Yes, Geneva came back after a period of absence and we were discussing some research of hers that could be useful."

    He lets Ambrosia introduce herself.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    [Edge of the Island]

    Ambrosia bends her head in acknowledgement as well. "Don't worry about it Geneva. I'm in no rush." She replies calmly. "My name is Ambrosia Ithil. I'm not a member, instead VIGIL and I simply have a relationship of mutual benefit." The scholar explains and if Geneva offers her talons, Ambrosia will shake it. "VIGIL aids me in my scholarly research and in turn I lend them my expertise at times. You are one of their experts then?"

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    [Edge of the Island]

    "Oh, ah, well, maybe not an expert," Geneva dithers self-consciously. "But I was working with VIGIL before the old base and most of my work kind of exploded."

    It exploded so much.

    "I've been focusing mostly on bridge technology. Portals, teleportation, that sort of thing. It sounds like my next project is going to be a portable, disposable means of closing gates in case said demons show up to cause more trouble," Geneva explains.

    Durn demons.

    Always causing trouble!

    They should learn to be more sociable.

    "You're a scholar, though? What's your area of expertise? Or are you more of one of those polymath types?" she asks, curious now.

    And she's still moving tin the direction of the compound. She wants to get her lab set up sooner rather than later.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    [Edge of the Island ==> The Academy]

    Wenomir simply walks along the two learned women, since the conversation isn't really one that needs his input.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    [Edge of the Island ==> The Academy]

    "Polymath? I've been called that yes, but my scholarly expertise is actually dragons. I've been studying them for years now. However, it's a subject that has the tendency to branch out into others. You know how it is." The scholar remarks with a barely noticeable smile. "There are plenty of different species of dragons and specializing in one kind doesn't quite work. Right now for instance I'm focusing on dragon shapeshifting which is a relatively common trait among them." She looks up at the academy ahead. "But, if you are researching portals and demons I actually know an, ah, expert. Few work for free though unfortunately but its at least a venture to be explored."

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    [The Academy]

    "Dragons? That's an interesting topic," Geneva muses. "Not one I know a great deal about. I do know a little about shape shifting, though. My husband was taught how to change forms by a monkey god. If my understanding is accurate, that works more by realizing that you're something else and sort of... imposing that belief on reality."

    Magic linked to belief is weird.

    Very much unlike the sort of magic Geneva is accustomed to, which is wholly objective.

    "I can do a bit of shape shifting myself, but as far as I can tell the mechanism is wholly unlike what Nick does. Or any sort of dragon I've ever met. Granted, I haven't met many dragons so far."


    Or at least none that she's aware of.

    They might have been shape shifted into something else!

    Since that's a thing dragons do.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    [The Academy]

    The scholar nods. "Imposing your belief on reality is a concept I'm quite familiar with. It's a common trait among effects normally attributed to "magic", isn't it?" Sounded like her boyfriend was magical. "But what about your form of shapeshifting then? How is it different?"
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Barracks

    ...SKREEEE?


    Somehow the grub manages to actually look fairly dejected by the thought that there wasn't any candy. His head(and hearts) sink for a moment as he looks at the tiny, yet empty, saddlebag attached to him. After a moment though he seems to get an idea and starts scratching in the dirt. If Blanche at least waits a bit she'll see him write out C6H12O6 on the ground next to him before looking back up at her.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default [Commander's Village]

    "She's qualified." Arlem chimes in. As long as Calm Reed doesn't get carried away with her Order's stuff.

    "I'll be in the library if you need anything, looking into this cult." A wave, goodbye, surely they don't need anything else, right?
    Last edited by Recaiden; 2018-10-24 at 11:35 AM.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    [The Academy]

    "There's some variability from one cosmology to the next,"
    Geneva replies. "Back home, magic is a very well defined physical force. It isn't really about will or belief, people are physiologically equipped to do magic. I have mixed ancestry, for example. I've got the neurological underpinnings for a hornbed, but no actual horn. So I can picture a spell-matrix in my mind, I just can't actually do anything with it. Aside from scribbing a physical spell matrix, of course. I've got wings-"

    She unfurls one wing as a visual aid.

    "So I can use flight magic. But feathers just don't have the capacity for fine thuamatic manipulation needed for spellwork. It's like slapping a canvas with an ink-soaked towel when what you really need are some fine brushes."

    A situation as tragic as it is hilarious to picture.

    "Shape shifting is, ah, well... a result of weirdness here in the Nexus,"
    Geneva admits. "I got turned into a mew by a random chaos magic event, complete with a whole set of alternate history memories for the other persona. It's... kind of disorienting. I'm still trying to figure out whether or not it was some kind of alternate universe version of me and we got merged together or if it was made up whole-cloth. Either way, mews have natural shape shifting abilities, but they're very unusual. The effect has to do with manipulating information rather than matter. They decompile themselves into an indeterminate state and then recompile into a new form, maintaining their identity and ability to transform. I kinda suspect that it has to do with pokemon existing as virtual simulations of living things. Data rather than something physical. But data that somehow has substance? It's... a weird subject."

    Really weird.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    [Training Grounds - Wenomir & Mia]

    "I will, but bruises heal," Wenomir says, smiling. "And you can't learn without a bruise now and again."
    [Training Grounds - Wenomir & Mia]

    Mia makes an annoyed sound, but doesn't protest anymore.
    "Just make sure to not my face. I got a mess in a few days and would prefere no makeup."
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    [The Academy]

    "I feel like I lack the proper context to properly evaluate that statement." The scholar remarks flatly. "I'm not familiar with mews or pokemons, but it does sound... peculiar." She admits with a nod. "Information manipulation isn't new to me though, but its rare. Tend to be capable of doing almost anything in the right hands. But you're correct that there don't seem to be any dragons with that form of shapeshifting however. Within my own cosmology, kami, conceptual spirits, function as the cells of reality. To shapeshift there would require one to manipulate them in the right way, which would require the right concept and the right authority. The dragons of my world were supposedly able to do this a bit like how you describe your magic. Their wings had the concept of flight, thus they could fly, their mouths had the concept of breathing, thus they could breath... and so fourth. Yet what part of the body is associated to shapeshifting exactly? I hope that by understanding dragons, or indeed beings such as yourself, of other worlds, I can understand the ones of mine. Of course, considering that even you seem to have trouble understanding yourself, what luck do I have?" A faint smile.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleWolf View Post
    Barracks

    ...SKREEEE?


    Somehow the grub manages to actually look fairly dejected by the thought that there wasn't any candy. His head(and hearts) sink for a moment as he looks at the tiny, yet empty, saddlebag attached to him. After a moment though he seems to get an idea and starts scratching in the dirt. If Blanche at least waits a bit she'll see him write out C6H12O6 on the ground next to him before looking back up at her.
    Blanche isn't the most prone to sympathy, but it doesn't stop the grub's crestfallen demeanor from achieving it's goal. It's hard not to feel a little guilty after that, and the catgirl watches with curiosity as the youth slowly scrawls a chemical formula in the dirt between them. A moment passes before a flash of recognition crosses her countenance, and she nods. "One second, I'll be right back." The woman ducks back into the barracks briefly, before returning with a couple packets of sugar. She kneels down to place them into the grub's bag.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magtok
    If it'll keep you from linking that abomination ever again, then fine. You're evil enough. You win.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    [The Academy]

    "Peculiar is accurate," Geneva laughs. "I could provide a demonstration, but I don't know how useful that would be. For the shape-shifting, I mean. The transforming abilities of mews isn't a subject that's been studied in great detail. Or, well, I suppose that isn't wholly true. It was supposedly studied on Cinnabar Island, but that research facility was destroyed. And then a volcano erupted on it. And mews are notoriously elusive back in the pokemon universe for very good reasons. So there isn't much data on us. Them. Eerr... whatever."

    She gives her head a little shake.

    "Sorry. I'm still trying to parse out the two sets of memories. It gets harder when I'm thinking about the alternative past."

    Stupid chaos magic!

    Making things all confusing and complicated!

    "I can talk about Equestrian magic in pretty exhaustive detail, though. Or how psionic abilities manifest in humans. Or on theoretical applications of wormhole technology. Or I could ramble a whole bunch of pokemon evolution, ditto transformation, and the simulation hypothesis. I don't know how much of that would be relevant regarding dragons, though."
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  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    [Commander's Village]

    "The cultist didn't provide much information, sadly," Calm Reed admits. "Nor was bringing him down much of a challenge. I will submit to whatever tests you see fit for joining your ranks."
    [The Academy]

    "That makes us two then." Ambrosia muses, still smiling faintly. "But what I really came here for was to find potential leads to beings that would actually know more about the subject. I don't suppose you, as a fellow seeker of knowledge, would know somewhere where I could find more information about the subject? I've been looking through libraries in Inside but with little luck. It isn't that there aren't books about the subject but they're very theoretical and about the wrong species of dragons. I know it might seem silly to seek information about a extinct species but the nexus make the impossible possible, yes?"

    [Commander's Village]

    "Good luck to you then." Cessie tells Arlem dismissively before turning back her attention to Calm Reed. "As for test... well, how do you feel about a duel with your friend here?" She gestures at Saint Laz. "You're obviously very different fighters so maybe a standard duel might not be in order, but some kind of challenge between the two of you could be interesting. What do you say?" She looks between the two.

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    [The Academy]

    "The only dragons I know personally probably aren't much more knowledgeable on the subject than I am,"
    Geneva admits with a shrug of her wings. "The ability to transform was inflicted on both of them. Chaos magic again. And the results of that stuff are FAR too unpredictable to make studying it anything more than an exercise in frustration."

    How do you empirically test something that randomly warps physical laws?

    You don't.

    That's how.

    Though... hmm...

    The Hippocampus Corporation did figure out how to draw power from the imprisoned Discord. If only she had access to research from home... But! That's what getting the Bifrost project up and running is for!

    "Sorry I can't help you more, Ambrosia. It really isn't my area of expertise. I know there are LOTS of different types of dragons in the Nexus. Is there a particular type you're trying to find out more about?"
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  18. - Top - End - #48
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    [Commander's Village]

    Calm Reed's expression is as hard to read as ever, but she's rather doubtful about it. St. Lazarus seemed capable enough, but she's still a mortal and not very practiced. She seemed to rely more on the brute strength her disease granted her. But maybe she's misjudging her and a challenge will reveal more.

    "I'm up for a challenge to prove I belong here," she simply says.
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  19. - Top - End - #49
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    [The Academy]

    "The spirit kind." Ambrosia answers. "Dragon spirits I suppose you can call them, generally not susceptible to physical transformations like that. Hence their connection to conceptual spirits." She pauses. "But perhaps I can help you instead then? You mentioned teleportation and demons, and I mention an expert I knew about the subject."

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Commander's Village

    It'd be a quick fight, certainly, but maybe Laz won't get completely destroyed in the first three seconds. Could be interesting to see what Calm Reed can do, even if the monk will be holding back a lot. At least, Saint Lazarus hopes she'll hold back. It probably wouldn't do for her very first sparring match to prove herself to VIGIL to end in splattering the ghoul knight all over the walls, right?

    "Alright, sure. What'd work for you? An arm tied behind your back? A blindfold?" Yeah, no illusions about Saint Lazarus's chances in a fight against the monk at all.
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Barracks

    Blanche shouldn't have left the door open, for when she returns she'll find that the grub is gone and his costume left behind on the doorstep. Only a quick search will reveal that he's crawling on the ceiling, towards the kitchen she'd come from, all while wearing a little ski mask. How he got one so quickly, let alone got it on, will likely forever remain a mystery. Even when he's eventually obviously spotted, he'll try to keep up the stealthy act.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    [The Academy]

    Geneva shifts a bit uncomfortably.

    "The only thing I can think of that would fit the description 'spirit dragon' would be a draconequus," she says uneasily. "Chaos given physical form. Spirits of disharmony and discord. Hopefully the dragons you're talking about aren't like that."

    Mostly because chaotic spirit shenanigans are the root cause of many of her recent problems.

    "I'll admit I don't know much about the demons, though. Just that they're really bad news and used portals to get into the old base."

    And ruined her journal.

    And most of her equipment.

    Like jerks.

    "But if you have any further information on them, I'm sure it would be useful to our efforts in the future."
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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    [The Academy]

    "Draconequus? I'm familiar with them. Met one called 'Fortuna' once and I can't say for sure how dissimilar she was to the dragons that once inhabited my cosmology. A dragon that fed upon the concept of chaos for a long time might be able to channel it in a similar fashion." Ambrosia explains. "As for the demons, I've been in contact with one of them. A researcher demon, not completely unlike you and me and very unlike the rest of its kind. It has helped me finding out quite a few things about its species, though I understand that anyone would have doubts about working with it. It has proven very enlightening however, they're researching the fabric of the nexus and how to manipulate it in various ways."
    Sounds kinda... dangerous.

    Commander's Village

    "If you want I could have you working together against a stronger foe instead. I'm just note sure I could find a foe strong enough to challenge the both of you, especially not while still maintaining a controlled environment. So I will leave that up to you, if you decide to duel I will let you decide the terms for it. If you decide to go with the challenge, I will need some time to prepare it, and we would have to go off-base." Cessie explains.

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    [The Academy]

    "Please be careful about saying her name aloud," Geneva warns. "I would rather not evoke her by accident. She would probably feel inclined to visit some 'fun' on the VIGIL base."

    Which could range anywhere from totally harmless to really irritating.

    To the information on the demons, she nods and listens. "I can't help but suspect that researching the fabric of the Nexus and how to manipulate it might be a means to an even larger scale invasion."

    And yeah.

    She seems pretty skeptical about the idea of a 'nice' demon.

    Sure, the Nexus is all about exceptions to rules, but until an exception proves themselves it is probably a wise idea to be cautious.

    "Do you know what the demons ARE by chance? We don't really have equivalents back home and that word gets tossed around here in the Nexus regularly. I'm still not sure I'm clear on the definition since there's no Equestrian word to translate it as."
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  25. - Top - End - #55
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    [Commander's Village]

    "A challenge may be more appropriate, even if it takes a while," Calm Reed says. "I'm not sure if duelling each other would probably show the skills we both have."

    [The Academy]

    Wenomir was content to wait around and let the conversation go high above his head, but then something Ambrosia said caught his attention. And not in a good way.

    "...hang on just a second. A demon? A 'researcher' demon? What was its name?"
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    [The Academy]

    Ambrosia was about to ensure Geneva that she'd be more careful about the name Fortuna, being all too familiar with the chaos she could spread, but then Wenomir interjects.
    So she turns to him. "I told you this before, didn't I? I might have been too ambiguous in my statement I suppose, but for good reason." She nods at Geneva. "Since yes, its possible that they could be experimenting with that yet they've given me information that ultimately have been useful in fighting these beings. While sure, they could be baiting me with useful information but they don't even know that I cooperate with VIGIL at times. I've never ever used my true name. They used theirs though, I believe. Jaccalish if that sounds familiar to you." The last statement is of course aimed more at Wenomir than Geneva, but her next one isn't.

    "And yes, I have a vague idea of what they are. From what I understand, most demons in the nexus are beings of conceptual evil or some other morally wrong concept. These are not... well, I believe they're beings that use some kind of conceptual enhancement. Like the mechanical or biological enchantments I've seen others here use, yet spiritual in its composition. First I and miss Mithar believed this to be the result of some spiritual entity simply creating it but I now believe this has actually been slowly engineered over time. The result of actual spiritual engineering over the course of many years. This is the result of scientific progress, not a single act of creation." She attempts to explain. "I guess you could call these 'artificial demons', like how others use combat enhancements."
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2018-10-27 at 09:45 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    [Commander's Village]

    "A challenge may be more appropriate, even if it takes a while," Calm Reed says. "I'm not sure if dueling each other would probably show the skills we both have."
    "Well if you punch me halfway across a room and through a wall, and I get up after that, that's at least a couple skills right there, right?" Saint Lazarus shrugs. Admittedly, some sort of challenge could prove a lot more informative, even if Calm Reed would definitely put on a much better show either way.
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    [Academy]

    "So... spirit robots?" Geneva ventures.

    This is WAY outside her realm of expertise.

    And she can sort of feel Wenomir's change in demeanor at the mention of working with demons.

    At this point she's searching for a nice place to duck into and hopefully avoid the rapidly approaching argument.
    Warning! Random Encounter™ detected!
    The Eternal Game Nightmære Stuff
    It doesn't matter whether you win or lose, just how awesome you look doing it.

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: VVVVVigil: Valorous Veterans Vanquishing Venal Vermin

    [The Academy]

    If Geneva thought Wenomir was intimidating before, when he was just silent, now his silence seems to turn a few degrees colder.

    "I'm familiar with Jaccalish, yes. I've met it. It delivered the means to killing one of the other demon lords to us for some reason," he says, his tone carefully level. "I don't know why it betrayed its own kind, but that doesn't mean I trust it. It doesn't see us less like cattle than its compatriots do. And I'm wary of its reasons for giving us information that could work against the other demons."
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: VVVVVigil: Valorous Veterans Vanquishing Venal Vermin

    [The Academy]

    "More akin to spirit cyborgs actually, though... ah, I'll get into that another time." Ambrosia clarifies before turning to Wenomir once again. "As far as I understand Jaccalish, it sees this war its kind wages as pointless, only leading to further decimate their... faction I suppose you could call it. They're not willing to give me many details regarding their past. Either way, if anyone could help with Geneva's project, it would be them. I'm not telling you to trust them however, Geneva seems quite capable of her own either way."

    [Commander's Village]

    "Very well then, why don't you meet me at the Skybase in an hour then?" She takes up a pocket watch from her pocket and gestures at it. "So try to use the time to consider how to coordinate your fighting styles."

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