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Hello and welcome reader, to the 29th installment of the Character Development Threads! These shared story exercises help budding writers develop their characters alongside the characters of other budding writers. No sign-up is needed; just jump right in with your characters. It is recommended that you read the thread page and the last couple of pages before starting.

Discussion ThreadThread PageTrope PageTown MapWilderness Map

This is a "Main Series" thread and, as such, an element of risk is expected. Rules and participation guidelines may be found on this page.

The thread page groups active characters under the areas in which they are active, enabling you to see who is at a given location in which you might be interested or to find out where to go to encounter characters with whom you wish to interact.

Kindly add your own characters to the thread page, with a link to their initial post, under the area in which they are located and update the page if they change location.

Bear in mind that if your characters are arriving at a location, they are likely to know little more than what they see and hear as they arrive - what the location looks like, what other characters are there (both of which can be read on the thread page) and the last few lines uttered and actions taken as they are arriving (which can be found in the last few posts for that location in the story thread itself), so inserting characters need not be a terrifying or arduous process. In most cases, they don't need to know more than what you yourself can glean from reading just a few posts.

If you need help, have any questions, or want a quick recap (if the page count is daunting), head over to the discussion page, and someone is sure to help you out!

To help guide character interaction, having your character come in with at least one short-term and one long-term goal or motivation is strongly recommended. It is not required, but it does make it easier to drive the plot forward. Feel free to come up with rumors about what treasures, adventure, locations, and dangers may be found in the setting - they need not be true or accurate, just some hook on which to hang an adventure.

The setting is specifically designed to be a vast sandbox into which details can be inserted by participants (for example, you are free to decide that there is a particular temple in the midst of the forest in which something may be found or that there is a particular shop/hotel/restaurant in a section of the town), if you come up with a location that you desire/expect other characters to visit, please add it to the thread page as a sub-location of the relevant area.

Things change as the story progresses. If, for example, a massive battle occurs at a location and the area is now strewn with bodies and buildings are damaged, kindly update the thread page to reflect those changes, in order that other participants have an up-to-date description of the location prior to sending their characters there.

Special thanks to all those who helped in getting the original thread launched or provided ideas and feedback. In alphabetic order, they include:

Blackfire 667, Collen, Corvidae, daird, Darkblood Carnagefang, Eterna Memoria, Gault, Kkutwar, Killer Clowns, ladytanuki, Masterofchaos, nrjxll, Pyxo, Slysheen, Tro Partner, Will De Regio and especially Wolf 1066, whose original post I have shamelessly copied with only minor alterations.

Apologies if I missed anyone - just let me know and I'll update the post.

The dawn of another day rises across the land, heralding fresh morning air, clearer heads, opened doors, and new arrivals.

Between dimensions, and linked to the rest of the multiverse, lies a strange post-apocalyptic environment made up of various regions strewn with the remnants of past glory - ruins, lost technologies and magic. Here and there, nature has found its way back amongst the ruined temples and towns.

In the midst of the blighted landscape, a fresh new town has emerged - a synergy of technology, nature and magic; clean and eco-friendly; a beacon of hope for a brighter future - where travelers can rest, recharge their batteries (both literally and metaphorically) and get whatever they may need - technological, magical or otherwise - to aid them on their adventures.

New arrivals can turn up by diverse means in the transportation area in the north-western part of the town or by whatever other means they deem appropriate. Here they may also find for rent, lease or hire, any transport they desire from riding animals to vehicles.

The wilderness areas have not been fully explored since the mysterious apocalyptic events that ravaged the area some time ago and no one is really sure what's out there - but rumors abound.

All that is known for sure is that both magic and technology have existed here for a long time, so anything is possible...

Current Time: 10:00 AM

Current Weather: Sunny

See the thread page for updates.

Edited by Ryuhza on Feb 22nd 2023 at 1:14:28 AM

StrixObscuro from Somewhere in Massachusetts Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
Jan 2nd 2023 at 1:06:06 AM

Hotel Dining Room (Samelin, Rosafa, Devad, Maria, Nick, Amandus, et. al.)

"We have not been here long," Devad responded. "But the food has not killed us, at least."

Samelin gave a mortified smile. "Sorry about Devad, he can be very literal minded. I'm Samelin, and this here's Rosafa."

"A pleasure, I'm sure," Rosafa said with a smile.

"You part of this expedition we're on?" Samelin asked.

Edited by StrixObscuro on Jan 3rd 2023 at 2:43:51 PM

By now, it should be clear to all except the most dense of us that sheep are secretly conspiring to kill us all and steal our pants.
Masterofchaos maria!!! by pyon!!! creator of mwdh! from In The Void Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
maria!!! by pyon!!! creator of mwdh!
Jan 4th 2023 at 12:51:35 PM

[Lobby (Dining Area)]

Nick turned to Connie again. "We're looking for my dad and Adam's parents, and the people Mael works for...well, let's just say they don't us to beat them to it. He's trying to get us so he can turn us over to them, but hell no to that." He clenched his fist. "We're going to make sure he never gets that chance."

Adam nodded. "That's why we're making sure no one else falls victim to him. He'll probably try to use people we care about to lure us, but we're not going to let him. So please be safe, Ms. Connie." Then he turned to their new friends. "Oh, Mr. David isn't coming with us. He has his own business to take care of! But if we run into him, we can check up on him."

Maria flipped her hair. "So? Are we all set? We should get going now."

Meanwhile, James frowned heavily at Joseph's rejection. "Are you sure? We can watch over you both. Besides, don't you want to know what's going on? You know, with two of you running about? This could be a chance for us to get answers."

"Honey, there's also a chance this could cause unneeded stress," Amandus added, "They already been through so much. Let's not add more to their plate." He turned back to Joseph. "Are you sure you'll be alright? If you need anything, we'll be here. We're probably not going to be anywhere for a while."

Jan 4th 2023 at 3:50:07 PM

[Hub Town - Hotel, Lobby (a quiet corner near reception)]

Qeyari considered Henry's complaint with sympathy, though she was bothered by her own impotence in the face of such strangeness. Usually, when there were problems, she solved them. "I'm afraid," she finally said, "you'd have more luck asking a priestess, a scholar, or a sanctified mage about such things. I am just an old soldier." She tapped her fist to her sternum, firmly but gently, and introduced herself, a short version for the foreigner: "Qeyari, Daughter of Alemayi, Maxel of the Imperial Army of Qorisa." Then she looked oddly at Henry, scanned him again, and said, "wait... Henry... is that Dying W—, er American name, by chance? If so, perhaps one of your megacorporations is to blame. From the reports I've read, they are..." Oseru had summed it up as all too eager to blaspheme the bodies their mothers birthed, but that was Oseru. Qeyari was a more practical woman. "...fond of ill-advised experimentation on themselves and their fellow humans. And quite incautious with chemical runoff."

Edited by KillerClowns on Jan 9th 2023 at 12:09:38 PM

Ryuhza Alligator Season from San Diego County, California Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Alligator Season
Jan 6th 2023 at 8:04:23 PM

Hub Town - Hotel, Dining Area

"Your folks are missing?" Connie asked, eyes shifting from Nick to Adam as concern swept across her face. "God, that's awful. Were they- er, are they important people? I mean," she spread her hands above her head, "in the world. I'm sure they're important to you."

She paused, pressing her lips flat in hesitation before asking, "How long have they been gone?" She waited a moment for an answer, but then, when Maria urged that they should get going, waved the question off. "You know, you don't have to answer that. I don't want to hold you up. Hell, I'm holding myself up, asking things that you probably don't want to think about. Sorry. I think I'll head out myself."

She took a few backwards paces away from the group and towards the entrance, bidding them one last, "See you all later— I'll be as careful as I'm able." Then she turned and made a more direct path to the entrance, passing by the Joseph, Nasur, David, and their company. "See you, new Joseph. See you later Dave. See you- um," she snapped her fingers a few times, trying to conjure up the name of... "Nasur! See you 'round Nasur." She gave a quick glance past those she knew, waving uncertainly. "And I don't think I met you all, but see you."

As she made her final partings, her mood seemed to shift. The further away she got, the more she dimmed, like a boat adrift in a deep fog. A look of quiet unease settled in behind her eyes, but before anyone could read her for long, she turned and headed out the front doors. Whatever ill shroud that remained hid itself under the brilliant light of morning.

Joseph watched on glumly as Connie left. Although they had hardly spoken since leaving the elevator, he still felt more alone with her departure. She didn't spend a lot of time mincing words, kind of like Henry on more colorful occasions. Despite the potential discomfort, that kind of talking brought him just as much relief. It was open, it was blunt. It was almost inspirational. He himself felt compelled to mince away, as every unintended utterance would haunt his brain for days on end. Even before his mouth had grown to several times its former size, he had never trusted himself to handle it properly. It was entirely too easy to make a sound, and quite impossible to unmake it.

However, as he bowed his head, preparing to make his own departure from those two kind men he'd met in a parallel life, something strange happened. When Amandus discouraged James from pressing further, when he offered one last courtesy before their parting, when he asked if Joseph was sure he would be alright, instead of reaffirming what he'd already said, reassuring the two men and burdening them no further, Joseph opened his mouth and told the truth.

"I don't know. I don't think so."

Slowly, he lifted his head back up and spoke without much deliberation or foresight. He just opened up and let what was inside out. "Y'know, I used the stones too. We're not- I don't know if the other Joseph told you, but we're not normally this way. Three days ago, I was human. Y'know, just ordinary, like everyone else. Then I woke up the next morning and I wasn't anymore. I woke up, and something was happening, and I looked in the mirror, and I didn't know what I was. I still don't." He nodded over to the nearby group of teens he'd first met at the forest camp. "When I met them, they gave me those stones, those moonstones and I used them to turn back to normal. And it worked at first. I was human, and I went through all the side effects they talked about; the ones the other Joseph is going through. I was sick, then I was thirsty, then I fell asleep. But when I woke up, I changed again. The magic didn't last, or... or it couldn't stop whatever this is." His eyes fell slightly, "I've been wondering if anything can."

He paused, drawing his hands back out of his pockets and pressing them, fingers arched, against his chest. "This kind of thing... what I am, this lizard, salamander person thing, it doesn't exist where I'm from either. At least, it didn't. The only people from back home who know about it are my friend Henry—he's here with me—and Miki, who's four—she's with a babysitter. For all I know, she's with her dad by now. That's- he's my mom's boyfriend. They're out for the weekend, hiking, him and my mom. Only, I don't know if it even is the weekend anymore. Maybe they're back, wondering where I've gone. And if I go home like this..." His voice came out quieter, sounding strained, like he was fighting against something to speak. "I mean- I don't know, maybe it will be alright. If it was alright when you guys found me—the other me—then maybe... but now I'm wondering, what happened to his family? Why was he out there in the desert, all alone?"

Joseph shook his big head, "My mom is all I've got. My brother's gone. My dad is long gone. I mean, I never really had much of a dad, let alone two. For a few years now, it's just been me and my mom. Only..." the next few words caught in his throat. He couldn't say them. Not there. Not in front of all of those people. He couldn't bear what it would do to him to say them out loud.

try to live inside
Masterofchaos maria!!! by pyon!!! creator of mwdh! from In The Void Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
maria!!! by pyon!!! creator of mwdh!
Jan 7th 2023 at 12:48:48 PM

[Hotel (Lobby)]

Amy waved at Connie as she left. "Bye bye, Connie! See you later!"

Nick felt sort of relieved he didn't get the chance to answer; it was still too painful. The nine years without his dad was always going to be fresh, and when he found him...he was going to make sure he answered every question he had.

Adam felt the same way, and he turned away for a moment to wipe his eyes, before composing himself. "I'm ready, guys."

James looked sadly at Joseph as he explained his story. I knew it. He wasn't going to be fine.

Amandus covered his mouth in worry and horror. "Oh my God...I'm so, so sorry, son. We didn't..." He looked over at James. "We need to figure out what's going on. All four of us."

It took James a while to register he meant to bring both Joseph's together. "Didn't you just say—"

"I know what I said, but we need to figure out just how much they diverge. We're going to check on Joseph upstairs, and then we're going to see what's the deal with everything."

Pancake, throughout everything, was wandering around her parents and her friends. When she finally saw Joseph, she sniffed him, then rubbed against him affectionately, waiting for pets.

Pyxo This is my good side. from under a rock (No one would look there) Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
This is my good side.
Jan 7th 2023 at 10:06:35 PM

Hub Town Hotel: Dining Area

"Glad to know nothing bad happened here." Nasur pulled up a chair and sat next to the group. He waved at a passing waiter, who nodded and left without saying a word. Odd, it was as if they knew what the narati had wanted to order before he did.

He listened to the coversation around him. "Well, it looks like we might have to split up soon." He commented. "You will stick around? I... might tag around someone. Not sure who." He added, scratching his head. "I do have some idea of where I would like to go next, but I have yet to find a way."

Before he could add anything, Connie announced that she would be leaving. Nasur waved at her politely. As the young lady walked away, something on her caught Nasur's attention. Perhaps some imperceptible change on her demeanor, like there was more to what she had said...

Whatever it was, it disappeared just as quickly. Nasur shook his head gently. "Must have been my imagination." He said to himself. Then, he turned back to his companions. "Where was I? Ah, right. You have already plans for the day?"

Ryuhza Alligator Season from San Diego County, California Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Alligator Season
Jan 9th 2023 at 8:49:46 PM

Hub Town - Hotel, Dining Area

David's thinly whiskered brows raised in mock surprise as he joined Nasur and the others at the table. "Lethal food... I hope that's not a common problem in your travels." He planted his hands against his hips, drawing his gaze over a wide arc from the dining area back to the central lobby, evaluating it all like some sort of hotel connoisseur. "My only qualm is that nigh impenetrable stream of marchers back there. I realize for travelers the hotel is rarely 'the destination', but what possesses people to stir like that, always in a rush, in and out, in and out... it's beyond me. People so out of touch with the immediacy of their lives that they can't so much as look down when they've trampled upon something, or someone."

He climbed into an unoccupied chair, though the seat did little to disguise his small stature. It did at the very least have an open back so he did not have to curl in his still-sore tail. Passing a glance around the rest of the dining area, he saw a thinner crowd outside of their immediate group— much thinner than the seemingly endless procession in the lobby. "Hmm. Perhaps it won't kill you, but again perhaps the food could be better. It certainly doesn't seem to be diverting much traffic." Noticing Nasur flagging down a waiter, he followed suit, lifting himself slightly and raising a few fingers until the same waiter acknowledged him as well. Satisfied, he sat back and smiled. "Perhaps we'll find out."

He was about to answer Samelin when Adam, who had been listening in, answered for him. He expected that he might hear his name in discreetly murmured conversation, but hearing it so directly from one of the teens induced a nearly imperceptible flinch. After the night before, it was hard to know how they felt about him. For his part, he ashamedly wasn't sure how to apologize without enlarging the matter.

For the time being, he left things as they were, chasing out fear with another faint smile. "It's as Mr. Adam says. Hardly business, even; the tail end of business, after which I intend to meet the day on a very relaxed even keel. Small errands and small indulgences, a much-needed break from how things went..." scratching lightly but uneasily at his jaw he gave Adam a sidelong glance, "...yesterday. Hrm. No, I doubt you'll see me again until you're all back in town."

It was around then that Connie passed by their table in her departure. He returned her wave, offering a friendly, "I'll be waiting." However, the change in her expression was not lost on him either. "I suspect not," he answered Nasur, though the blue man had been speaking to himself. Meeting the Narati's gaze, he summoned up what felt like certainty and added, "Whatever it is, it may be best to let her come forward with it on her own." His eyes returned to the lobby doors. "Whenever she's ready."

try to live inside
Jan 10th 2023 at 9:35:28 AM

[West Town Square (Toni; Sigmund Gunvaldsen)]

Sigmund considered the question. Obviously, Ultra was wary. Perhaps even paranoid. Finally, he admitted, "I've gotten used reading social media profiles before meeting new people." A vast understatement, really; he was, begrudgingly, paying Tesseract and Artemis for their troves of data, metadata, and so forth, up to and including high-quality AI-generated psych profiles. Unless someone was careful about controlling their online presence, Sigmund usually knew people better than they knew themselves. Sinister? Not to Sigmund's eyes; it just made it easier to know what other people wanted so they could come to mutually beneficial agreements.

At any rate, he continued, "If she's got something like that, use it. But from what little I've heard... approach openly? Hands up, like this," he indicated a fairly obvious "I am unarmed" gesture, "and no sudden movements. Apparently she's a detective of some kind. She probably wants answers. Be generous. Oh, and don't be shocked if she thinks you've got an agenda. There's a certain kind of person who's more likely to trust a mercenary who's upfront about their angle than someone claiming to want to do good. I can't say if Ultra's that kind, but adjust appropriately if she is."

Edited by KillerClowns on Jan 11th 2023 at 8:23:39 AM

Ryuhza Alligator Season from San Diego County, California Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Alligator Season
Jan 11th 2023 at 4:37:14 PM

Hub Town - Hotel, Dining Area

Joseph felt his breathing quicken as Amandus jumped straight to taking action, seemingly intent on having him meet his other self. Panic quickly took hold, shaking him free of his semi-detached state. He wasn't ready for that— he wasn't ready at all. This is why you don't talk! he thought. This is why you keep your big trap shut!

Regardless, knowing no other way to walk back what he'd set into motion, he spoke some more. "Uh- ar- are you sure that's a good idea? I mean, doesn't he—other me—still need to rest? Plus, what if us meeting... like, what if it destabilizes the universe or something? Or what if it causes us to go crazy and fight each other to the death? Y'know, like 'there can only be one' or something." Any excuse was good enough at that point.

He put his hands up, shaking his head and taking a step back, "Look, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bother you guys with all this, I just... I don't know what I was doing. I was just talking."

He felt something brush up against his leg, but assumed it was just his own tail, which was sweeping back and forth above the floor with nervous abandon. He didn't feel his leg against his tail at the same time, but the sensation was still alien enough that the discrepancy went unnoticed.

try to live inside
Masterofchaos maria!!! by pyon!!! creator of mwdh! from In The Void Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
maria!!! by pyon!!! creator of mwdh!
Jan 14th 2023 at 8:14:12 AM

[Lobby (dining hall)]

Amandus frowned worriedly. "Are you sure you want to not find out about this? This is pretty important, son. You're not bothering us at all!"

He put a gentle hand on his shoulder. "If you ever change your mind, you know where to find us." He put his forehead on his. "I know you don't know us, but deep in our hearts, you're still the boy we found at that frontier, and damn it, I will still make sure you'll be ok. The last thing I want is you walking around alone with an existential crisis. James and I want to help you."

Pancake climbed on Joseph's shoulder, then rubbed against his cheek.

Sorry this is short; the last week has been draining and I got bad tooth pain so I feel like getting a rock and smashing my teeth out, lol

Jan 16th 2023 at 8:40:23 PM

The forest near Jobe's Farm (Maelys, Mist; Aseyu, Ethani; Lancer)

Maelys gave Lancer a fixed stare, "I routinely patch my charge up— she's quite the reckless individual. My subordinate maids take bets on the number of broken bones she'll come in with. And, since she's completely human, medical attention is, uh, necessary," she told her, "I primarily provide triage care— Sanctuary has its own dedicated doctors," she said, with German-accented emphasis on the last word.

She applied some alcohol to some gauze, "This will sting a bit," she said, before dabbing at the area around Lancer's wound. She then rinsed her hands with some of the alcohol, before fixing Lancer another stare, "You have a sizable splinter— not the worst I've seen— shouldn't be hard to remove."

Glancing down at what she presumed to be a lighter, Maelys raised an eyebrow, "Oh, so, not a lighter. Right..." She then glanced over at Lancer's sealed supplies, "Normally I don't trust anything I haven't personally cleaned myself... but, I'll take your word on it— these are your own supplies after all."

Taking the tweezers from the case, Maelys deftly applied them to the splinter, "This might hurt," she said, before swiftly and precisely removing said splinter. She then used her seamstress skills to neatly sew Lancer's wound shut before applying gauze and some adhesive tape. “There we go, all patched up."

Meanwhile, Mist had perked up at what Ethani had said, "Scouting party? Well, considering it is breeding season— herd of ornery pigs incoming!" The valkyrie leapt into a battle stance, brandishing and activating her plasma-tipped spear, and brought her shield to bear as she put herself at the front of the group. Behind her and to her left, Fog moved to flank the oncoming swine heard.

At this point, Maelys heard the wild rustling coming from the nearby underbrush and retrieved her firearm. Putting a bit of distance between herself and the others so as not to deafen them when firing her weapon, she aimed the sounds of the noisy swine.

Thunder roared and a pigplant corpse came tumbling out of the underbrush, its head jellied from eating a quarter-pound cannon round to the face. The other pigs squealed and snorted, five large hogs barreling over their fallen brother and charging into the fray.

Hotel ~ Lobby (Bonnie, Lulu; Plethora of People)

Lulu raised a finger, "I'm at least two of those," she said, raising her tome aloft. "I suppose I could do some research on your friend. Perhaps we can get to the bottom of this." The scholarly succubus nodded, "Definitely interested in how he got the way he is."

Bonnie frowned slightly, "Please refrain from unnecessary poking and prodding..."

Lulu shook her head, "I'm not like Doctor Hexenstien!"

Bonnie gave her a puzzled look, before shaking her head, "Anyway, I'm sure we'll figure this out."

Chortleous antelope friend Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
antelope friend
Jan 17th 2023 at 2:43:05 PM

Lancer, a crater in the forest near Jobe's farm, with Ethani's party

"It can be armor, but it's primarily a soft exoskeleton." Lancer explains in the interests of keeping herself talking and not thinking about the injury, especially not what's being done to it, mostly numbed though it may be. "Serves to counteract the -ow- neuromuscular atrophy—that is, one drawback of my powers. I lose those, I can still bench press a van."

She glances back toward Aseyu. "CorpSec?" she wonders aloud at that word, quickly deducing what it likely means with some clear unease at the comparison. "As in, corporate...? Heh, no, that was a bit before my time." she clarifies as if reassuring those present. "Fortunately for you all."

No sooner than Aseyu and Maelys finish their work do the fibers of the torn fabric in her suit begin to weave themselves back together in what is a slight but delicate display of telekinetic power. A temporary fix, but it'll have to do until she can get the thing properly repaired, whenever that ends up being. "Thanks, now wh..."

Trailing off, she opens her mouth as if to interject when Ethani trains her weapon on an unseen point in the forest—her own powers picking up on the woman's target, albeit with decidedly less clarity—but winces hard again as what was a living being is abruptly shot dead within her psychic reach, a jarring void where a conscious mind had been a split-second prior. She doesn't begrudge the group self-defense in the heat of the moment, but...

"There are better ways to do that." she sighs, rising to her feet and stepping forward before demonstrating thusly.

With a single hand raised, the five surviving beasts now charging out of the brush quickly find themselves no longer subject to the pull of gravity, struggling helplessly as they're held aloft, hooves pushing against nothing but empty air. Impressive as it looks, this takes vastly more effort than she's accustomed to, and it's only thanks to swift medical treatment and numbing anesthetic that she can summon the presence of mind to pull it off at all. The attentive may notice her brow furrowing hard in concentration as the gem set into the forehead of her cowl shimmers—a means of focusing, one might deduce.

She takes a brief moment to examine the creatures. Squat and mammalian, made of muscle and tusks and rage tinged green with disconcertingly red eyes and an abundance of gnarled thornlike spines, evoking plantlife. It takes little mental prodding to discern how intelligent they actually are, and into their minds she projects a flurry of sights and sounds and feelings and emotions in what she hopes is an unambiguous message even to creatures of the wilderness, to both calm and warn: Leave this place in peace and no more of you will die.

Then, with another exertion of force and an accompanying hand gesture, they're tossed back into the brush like scattered toys, landing hard and dazed but uninjured. Her now-trembling hand falls slack down by her side, the effort clearly taking the wind out of her sails even as she remains standing, looking for all the world as if she'd lifted the pigs herself. "We... we should get moving." she says simply.

Ultra, Hub Town, Hotel, Lobby, a quiet corner near the reception area with Henry, Bonnie, Qeyari, and Lulu.

As much trouble as she often has with empathy, Ultra can't help but feel a smidge of it for Henry, who seems every bit as lost and unmoored as she herself if not moreso. "Again, you're doing as well as could be expected, given the circumstances." she offers, putting away her communicator again and readjusting her outfit for an impending trip outside with whatever that entails.

The antelope regards Qeyari's line of inquiry, though, with a raised eyebrow. A good portion of it sounds like unhinged rambling, but some of it also sounds distressingly familiar, and she finds herself undeniably troubled by the overlap. The more things change, she thinks.

She then glances over at the horned one with the paper book who seems to at least somewhat know what she's talking about, as a self-professed scholar. "Why not? Maybe we can trade notes sometime." she remarks, half as another dry quip and half as a serious proposal in spite of herself.

Toni, Hub Town, notice board, talking to Sigmund Gunvaldsen.

Toni leans against one of the trees shading the notice board as she keeps her eye on the front doors of the hotel, regarding Sigmund's first point of advice with an amused snort at how typical it comes off for someone of his station. He's not all surprises, clearly. "Yeah, I'm not snooping. I don't even think she has anything like that, low profile and all."

More amusing is his suggestion of approaching her as if she were an escaped zoo animal. That, the okapi reckons, would be a fair bit more alarmingly conspicuous than just waving her down and approaching casually, but she supposes Sigmund must know what he's talking about.

All she can do is wait, in any case.

Edited by Chortleous on Jan 17th 2023 at 4:46:04 AM

Jan 17th 2023 at 3:59:08 PM

[The forest near Jobe's Farm (Maelys, Mist; Aseyu, Ethani; Lancer)]

Only Lancer's sudden intervention spared the pig that Ethani had her weapon trained on. She nearly pulled the trigger, before deciding to not waste the ammo and instead see what the telekinetic was up to. At first, it seemed wasteful, even cruel. If she had a fraction of that power, Ethani would just sever some nerves. They'd die so fast and painlessly, they wouldn't even realize anything was amiss as they ran straight through the Glass Gates. Then Ethani realized, with the telepathic message she overheard, that Lancer had no intention of killing them. "Mercy," she said aloud as the pigs ran off, "is the privilege of queens." One of numerous lines from the Proverbs of Esaxe she'd memorized, famous enough that even a Suelasa like Aseyu could recognize it and the implications instantly.

As a follow-up to Lancer's warning, Ethani made a sweeping motion with her left hand. A wall of illusory black flame arose between the pigs and her group. From the perspective of Ethani's allies, it would only be a mild darkening, uncomfortably warm at worst but transparent and mostly non-threatening as long as one didn't look too closely. From the pigs' perspective, however, the roaring black flame would form an opaque, writhing barrier, with an unholy heat and overwhelming stench of burning flesh that threatened far more terrible consequences than mere burns. And the ever-shifting forms within the wall of fire hinted at rotting meat, diseased pustules, maggots, and other such primal horrors of rot, disease, and final, inevitable death. That would underscore the message: leave or die.

Aseyu then did something Lancer might not even notice. What Lancer would surely see was Aseyu unscrewing her canteen and offered it to Lancer. "Water," she said. "You probably need it." Yet she also used the gesture as an excuse to position herself between Lancer and Ethani's wall of unholy fire. Almost protectively. And... yes, if Lancer was paying attention, she might notice that Aseyu simply being between her and the wall dulled it. Ethani had already made efforts to shield her allies from the onslaught, but Aseyu's mere physical presence served as another barrier, dulling the sensations from her direction without highlighting her own position.

"There is," Aseyu added, "a small problem. We were contracted to keep the pigs from harassing a farm. The plan was for us to simply hunt them, but now, I suppose simply convincing them to leave the farmer alone would do just as well..." she grimaced apologetically and added, "if you feel up to it, of course. You've clearly been through a lot, and you didn't agree to the job."

Edited by KillerClowns on Jan 18th 2023 at 9:05:33 AM

Ryuhza Alligator Season from San Diego County, California Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Alligator Season
Jan 20th 2023 at 10:50:00 AM

Hub Town - Hotel, Lobby (a quiet corner near reception)

Henry took a moment to breathe, regarding Ultra and Qeyari with an appreciative smile, or at least a fragment of one, tempered by the knowledge that the mess he'd described was just as impenetrable to them.

Qeyari— not just an old soldier, but a Maxel, no less—managed to deduce from his name that he was an American. For his part, he had never before heard the name Qorisa, though he'd also never been the most worldly guy. On top of that, she offered an astute guess that a megacorporation might be responsible.

Henry laughed, "Well, they might have the means. I don't know about experimentation, but you aren't wrong about the runoff. Anything to chase a cheaper buck." He paused in quiet consideration before shaking his head, "But it doesn't add up. When Joseph and I started communicating, I asked if he'd done anything unusual lately. Eat something weird, take a miracle pill, change his shampoo, whatever. He hadn't been keeping a log or anything, but as far back as he could recall, he said he hadn't done much of anything differently. All the stuff he used or ate was stuff anyone could get at your basic grocery store. If that stuff is turning ordinary people into salamander people, it'd be all over the news. I mean, they might have enough power to cover some stories up, but eventually there would be too many moles to keep whacked."

He tapped his chin, his gaze distant, deeply enveloped as he was in the scenario. "Plus, when you take a step back, what sense does it make? Changing people like that, I mean. That's mad science territory, not something a megacorporation does. Where's the money? You know what I mean? What's the incentive? Unless they're planning to do this nationwide and then sell some kind of antidote they've got cooked up. Some kind of, 'Apply this skin cream twice daily or violently transform' deal. But..." he frowned, looking dissatisfied with the possibility, "...I don't know, you think they'd be a bit more clever than that. If they've got the science or corporate witchcraft or whatever it is to do that to my buddy, I'd hope they'd use it a little less like a cartoon supervillain, you know? And unless they're punching holes to other dimensions on the side, it doesn't account for this place." He twirled a finger above his head, then added in a quiet murmur, "Not to mention the whole other strange angle to this puzzle."

He sighed. "Maybe I am comatose. At least that might get Joseph off the hook. On the downside, that would make all of you figments of my imagination. I wouldn't wish that on you." He eyed Bonnie and Ultra with increasing amusement. "And I've gotta say, I don't think my imagination is this vivid."

The devilish stranger held up her big tome, offering to do research on Joseph's condition, and Ultra, in her own dry way, encouraged the idea. Spreading with no sign of stopping, he thought. Aloud, he said, "Shoot, at this rate, maybe I should just set up a booth." He formed an imaginary sign with his hands, " Come try your wits at solving the mystery of the salamander man! I'm sure Joe would love that. All the scrutiny, the undivided attention." Regarding the stranger more seriously, he added, "You're welcome to help if you like, but I'm really just shooting in the dark here. I'm sorry, I don't think I got your name either."

Glancing aside to Qeyari, he said, "And Qeyari, look, you can give this whole thing as much or as little thought as you feel like, but if I could just ask: suppose this is the work of a Dead God. Is there any way to know for certain? And if we did know... is there anything we could even do about it?"

try to live inside
Jan 21st 2023 at 11:00:05 AM

[Hub Town - Hotel, Lobby (a quiet corner near reception)]

At the mention of figment of your imagination, Qeyari reflexively rolled her eyes. It was just how one reacted to anything that sounded like Neo-Ezolak preaching. Still, this man just seemed to be nervously running through possibilities, not one of them, so she simply deadpanned, "I assure you, I am quite real." Then she tapped her chin. "Dead Gods are not spiritual creatures. They need to touch the material world to change it. Nanites are how they do this." She glanced over at Lulu. "If you have the tools..." she paused. "Apologies, scholar, I do not believe I got your name. At any rate: if you have the equipment to test for nanites, we can do so. And if you need samples of Dead God nanites..." she thought about it for a few moments, before, "my camel can provide". So could Qeyari, technically. Basically every animal in Qorisa, humans included, either had nanites in their gut flora or was suffering from East Shore Sickness as they acclimatized... but she wasn't eager to sign up for a colonoscopy. Shadow had a higher concentration, and his spit would suffice. "As for what you could do about it..."

She thought about it, then shook her head. "It depends. The Bringer of Plagues always makes sure there's a cure for any plague he creates, but only because it's a sort of a sick game to him. And if it was him, it would be, well, a plague. Any other...," she looked back at Lulu. "The Dead Gods waged a war on magic itself, long before our time, and they nearly won. If something is their doing, any power short of a true God's intervention will struggle to undo it." And though Qeyari wasn't about to admit it, her world's Gods seemed to have a very non-interventionist policy. (She didn't doubt their existence, of course. That was the point of faith. She just knew she's never technically seen any proof of any god's existence... save Ixikulik, whose power the Moon Hawks used to dramatic effect.)

Edited by KillerClowns on Jan 21st 2023 at 10:29:47 AM

Ryuhza Alligator Season from San Diego County, California Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Alligator Season
Jan 22nd 2023 at 5:02:52 PM

Hub Town - Hotel, Dining Area

Joseph shook his head, insisting, "I'm not alone. Not- I mean, not really. Henry is with me, and Bonnie, and Carol, they're helping me out. So, I'm not alone and," his voice became quieter, "I shouldn't feel alone either." He lifted his large eyes, meeting Amandus's own gaze as best he could. The man was unmistakably genuine. He cared. He really did.

There came a pause, and Joseph's jaw trembled, harboring the tentative will to speak. Finally, in a voice even quieter than before, he managed, "What if I'm not? What if I'm different from him? I mean really different. Too different. And what you liked about him, whatever you saw in him— in me, what if it's just not there?" His eyes fell, focus softening. "And then I'd just be like a stranger, and you guys..." He briefly looked back up, "well, wouldn't it hurt?"

He sighed, briefly closing his eyes. "It's not that I don't want to find out, it's just..." Before he could finish his thought, something clambered up his back, and this time he was pretty sure it wasn't his tail. "Hey, something's- ah!" The thing had swiftly moved up to his shoulder, for what little purchase it could find there, and as he turned his head to look, his eye was met with a furry, triangular ear. He squinted as the thing rubbed against his cheek, restoring a sense of something familiar. "Hey, there's a cat on me," he said matter-of-factly, smiling despite all that was brewing inside.

He raised his shoulder as much as he could, though he'd never had terribly broad shoulders— even less so as a salamander. Carefully he reached under her middle and scooped her into his hands, repositioning her so that she could hang onto the front side of his shoulder while being supported from beneath by his hands. There, he stroked her gently, looking to James and Amandus and asking, "Yours?"

try to live inside
Masterofchaos maria!!! by pyon!!! creator of mwdh! from In The Void Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
maria!!! by pyon!!! creator of mwdh!
Jan 23rd 2023 at 4:02:38 PM

[Hotel (You know already im tired of writing this Bye)]

Amandus was about to say something, when Pancake climbed onto Joseph's shoulder. He couldn't help but smile. "Ah, Pancake! She's quite fond of a lot of people, and she's trying to be a therapy cat in the future." He scratched under her chin. "I guess she was trying to help you feel better."

Pancake purred.

"Well, if you ever change your mind, you know where to find us. I won't force you into this, but I will wish you luck, Joseph. You're always welcomed here."

James nodded in agreement. "And be careful out there."

Jan 23rd 2023 at 8:36:36 PM

The forest near Jobe's Farm (Maelys, Mist; Aseyu, Ethani; Lancer)

Hailing from a society at the dawn of automobiles, Maelys raised an eyebrow, "Bench press a van? Is that, uh, impressive?" she asked, uncertain of the unfamiliar term 'van'.

"Tsk tsk," the maid shook her head, "Corporate equipment? I'd like to see Acme-Zenith equip their security division with adventurer-level gear..." She frowned, her expression souring as she hefted her cannon, "Though, they do run what is essentially a monopoly on firearms."

She cycled the bolt, ejecting a shell casing as she aimed at one of the hogs. The uncertain swine had stopped and was pacing in front of the display Ethani had made. The rest of the herd, composed mainly of young male hogs, had lost their momentum, ceasing their reckless charge, and were subject to Lancer's message. They paced around in small circles, staying back from the barrier.

Except for one encourageable young hog, which charged straight through the wall of flames.

Tense from the manifestation of the dark flames barrier, Mist moved into action, catching the charging pigplant with her shield, the hog's tusks buried in the wood. "I got it!" she called out.

Chortleous antelope friend Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
antelope friend
Jan 23rd 2023 at 11:34:39 PM

Lancer, a crater in the forest near Jobe's farm, with Ethani's party

Lancer rolls her eyes at her own assumption of familiarity, catching it too late and making herself look like a bit of an idiot. Another world, different frames of reference, right. "A... big carriage, driven by a motor rather than beasts of burden. Used to carry things, people, and quite heavy, so I'd say it's relatively impressive for a soft suit."

Drained from the exertion and with her defenses ebbing at what is arguably the worst time, Ethani's conjuration of that flame barrier stands out to her like a psychic flashbang even with the protection seemingly offered by Aseyu's presence, and she has to take a few steps back and clench her teeth to stop herself from crying out. With little else but an appreciative nod, she accepts the offered canteen and takes a healthy drink before passing it back, all while doing her best not to focus on the wall or even so much as look at it, illusory though it might be.

Then, as if fate itself conspires to pile even more onto her plate, one pig is seemingly undeterred by dual displays of otherworldly might and charges clear through the black flames, only to be intercepted in turn by Mist's own swift action, buying Lancer some time to recollect her wits and handle the problem.

Massaging her temple, the stoat sighs with obvious exasperation and looks down at the animal—particularly young, and clearly all the dumber for it. "I don't begrudge you defending yourselves, doing what you can, really, but when you have the kind of power I do, it comes with... responsibilities." she explains to the hunting party, kneeling down and putting a hand on the pig's brow. Its struggling against the shield slows and eventually ceases as the psychic does what little she still can. Charging through the barrier caused it a great deal of pain, but the things are nothing if not durable and remarkably stubborn. "Namely, finding another way. There's almost always another way."

What Ethani might overhear next is another psychic message, shorter and gentler, but with no less of an implied threat, in keeping with the sort of forceful territorial display that the pigs understand: We will not repeat ourselves.

"I agreed to this the day I decided not to take suppressants for my powers," she remarks, more to herself than the others, but loud enough for them to hear regardless as she puts one hand on the shield and gingerly moves the other down to the pig's snout, giving a firm push to pry them apart before backing away. "even when they got sensitive enough to feel every cluster of neurons within a thousand miles, when I couldn't be on Earth anymore for longer than a few hours at a time."

Unsteadily rising to her feet again and keeping a cautious eye on the placated creature for a brief while as it gathers its senses and at last seems to heed, she straightens her disheveled cape and dusts herself off. "I... I have questions about this place, about all of you—and clearly you me—and I'm beginning to think this forest isn't the best place to sit and talk."

Edited by Chortleous on Jan 25th 2023 at 2:10:29 PM

Jan 24th 2023 at 6:04:04 AM

[The forest near Jobe's Farm (Maelys, Mist; Aseyu, Ethani; Lancer)]

In Qorisayane philosophy, there were two key concepts: virtue and balance. Virtue, it was believed, was found at the point of balance between extremes. The balance was not always precise, not always in the center of things. The Qorisayane knew that it was better to be generous than to be greedy, for the point where generosity fell into the vice of profligacy was further away from most than the point where greed and avarice made a monster of people. A cup full of feathers, a cup full of steel.

However, for the Qorisayane, a willingness to kill was seen as a virtue. At the dawn of their bloodstained history, those who had refused to raise arms against the Slaver Kings had only enabled their tyranny and cruelty. Their empathy had fallen off the place of balance, and so it had enabled the unspeakable evil of the Slaver Kingdoms. The choice of pacifism had only been a choice to accept the Slaver Kings. (Or so the traditional understanding of Qorisa's history went.)

This was why, for instance, Ethani had refused the bacon at Jobe's house. Her religion permitted her to only eat the meat of beasts that had been hunted in the wild. To ensure her people continued to participate in and understand the reality of the hunt, battle, and death, rather than hiding it behind the walls of a farm. Killing was not to be enjoyed, not to be savored... but it was to be done. The Qorisayane had decided this when they decided they would never be anyone's slaves again.

A traditionally-minded Qorisayane would have simply though Lancer beyond salvation. If the opportunity presented itself, to be put down like a rabid dog before her raw power and idiotic insistence that "there's almost always another way" — spoken like a true enabler of the Slaver Kings — combined to bring disaster to the world.

Yet Ethani and Aseyu were not so traditionally-minded. Their people's ways shaped their views, unavoidably, but they were willing to reconsider these old beliefs in the context of what was before them.

Aseyu had seen the glitter of America, and despite the evil it had brought to her world, it had entranced her. Those Americans she had met — most often the agents of the Unicorns, people like Caroline Thao — were such peaceful, empathetic people. Even the MegaCorps, vile and manipulative as they were, rarely killed their enemies, at least compared the Clans of her own world. And the wonders, the wonders of America! Perhaps America did not distribute the fruits of its great economy as evenly is it should, but even the poorest American had luxuries the richest Qorisayane could only dream of. In Lancer, Aseyu saw that same glittering future. She nodded in understanding, and smiled slightly. What the old Qorisayane had done to the Slaver Kings was necessary, but only because they had been desperate and powerless. They didn't have the luxury of choice. Mercy is the privilege of queens, it was true, but Aseyu and her party wanted to make Qorisa a queen among nations. Not through violence, but through industry, craft, art, and science. And Lancer was right: with the power that Aseyu dreamed of bringing to Qorisa, the power of America, came not just a privilege, but a responsibility to find another way. She wanted to know more about Lancer. She had so many questions.

Aseyu was also still hoping to seduce Lancer at some point, but this intention was born from a genuine like and enthusiastic curiosity. She just liked getting to know people and sharing fun experiences with them. She also knew now was hardly the time to be too forward. Best to let Lancer her get on her feet first. She clearly had enough on her mind already.

With great power comes great responsibility. It wasn't a Qorisayane saying. In fact, Ethani knew it, in English, from her missions in America. It was one Sigmund Gunvaldsen's favorite lines. And right now, Lancer sounded a lot like him. She had good intentions, a peaceful nature... but she had been born into power, and she seemed to consider it her right — no, her so-called "responsibility" — to wield it. Who decided what the right "another way" was? She did, clearly. She would avoid hurting people, if she could. Yet that hadn't stopped Sigmund Gunvaldsen from becoming, in his gentle, caring way, a monster, using his power to preserve his power and then condescendingly telling others they should be grateful he was the one who took on such "responsibilities". Lancer was on that same path. Ethani was open to the possibility she was misjudging Lancer, but from her perspective, right now, she saw another Sigmund in the making. And the more Lancer blathered on about "responsibility", the more certain Ethani would be of it.

That said, Ethani was missing something. She might be more similar than she thought to Lancer, but from a different framework. Not responsibility, but vamaq. Loosely translated, "duty". She had not been born with her powers, but earned them after the harshest training in the Qorisayane military. And her framework for understanding how to use them a soldier's framework. She followed orders, and understood that it was not her place to rule. Taking on her powers had, in fact, meant she would never be promoted to a command position, and she had been removed from the line of inheritance for her Clan's matriarchy. The responsibility/vamaq/duty of the powerful was this: to serve the people. Maybe Lancer saw the world the same way, with different words; if Ethani began to see Lancer as a fellow soldier, her opinion would shift quite rapidly.

"Agreed," Aseyu says, ready to offer a hand to help Lancer up. "We should get out of here." She turned her attention back to Maelys and Mist. "Any ideas what we do about the rest of these pigs, if we're not making bacon out of them? Ethani's barriers need her to be nearby to maintain, and if we just leave, Jobe will be back where he started."

"And what of the ones we've already eliminated?" Ethani said, nodding towards the pig Maelys had slain. "Since Maelys has already sent it to Soqaxil, we ought not waste what it left behind. And the others as well."

Ethani's weapon was trained towards the pigs. If another one passed through the wall then, Lancer be damned, she was putting a magic-wreathed round straight in its skull. The burst of entropic magic would scramble its neurons in just the right way to kill it quickly and — a small consideration for Lancer's sake — utterly painlessly. It would be snuffed out like a candle. She briefly considered adding an something to protect the shot from telekinesis, but decided against it. The important part wasn't killing the swine, but for them to know that, Ethani, at least, would do it. If Lancer insisted on sparing them, that was her call.

Edited by KillerClowns on Jan 24th 2023 at 3:35:39 AM

Ryuhza Alligator Season from San Diego County, California Relationship Status: Tongue-tied
Alligator Season
Jan 24th 2023 at 11:13:44 AM

Hub Town - Hotel, Dining Area

Joseph rubbed his own cheek against Pancake's head as she purred. "Mmm... she reminds me of my Caroline, back home. She was the first one who saw me after everything... y'know, started happening. I was all tangled up in my bedding, lying on the floor, and there she was. Pokin' at me, wondering where breakfast was. Wondering what I was doing on the floor. I guess I was sort of wondering that too."

He pulled his head back a little ways, examining Pancake in a more subdued manner. "'Course, when I started to get up, and the blankets started falling off, I gave her the fright of her life and she bolted. I didn't see her again for a while." He carefully scratched behind Pancake's ears with the tips of his claws. "But after I scared Miki to tears and scared off Henry, and I was just left there by myself, y'know, kinda going out of my mind, wondering if my life was over, that sort of thing, that's when she came back. Maybe it was curiosity, or maybe she was just that hungry," he shook his head, shrugging slightly, "but she was the first one to come back and find me."

Slowly, his eyes lifted once again to John and James, fighting against a sense of necessary dread as his little cat story cleared away, leaving space for the reentry of what he'd asked just beforehand. What if he was too different? What if they got to know him, and they just didn't like him? What if, when compared to the other Joseph, it became painfully apparent that he did not measure up?

He waited for some kind of reassurance. As easy and insufficient as it might feel, it was better than nothing. It was better than what he got at home.

Only, it didn't come. Instead, Amandus more or less repeated what he'd said before, If you ever change your mind... and wished him luck. It felt like gentle insistence. For a moment, Joseph wondered if they had heard him at all. Maybe he'd spoken too quietly— or perhaps he'd never actually spoken. It was hard enough at times to put words to his feelings, let alone give them voice.

More likely, there was only so much of his wishy-washy half-cocked mumbling they could stand. He'd wasted enough time. Their time, his own time. Time in general.

"Right... uh, thank you." He gave Pancake one last stroke along her back, then lifted her off his shoulder and set her back on the floor. "I'll see you guys around."

With a small smile that he hoped would distract from all the unfilled holes in his hull, he turned tail and began walking back to Henry and Bonnie.

try to live inside
Jan 26th 2023 at 4:59:42 PM

Hotel ~ Lobby (Bonnie, Lulu; Plethora of People)

Waggling a finger, Lulu shook her head, "I... could see the advantages a corporation could receive from transforming humans into lizardmen." She scowled, "Cheap, durable labor. Acme-Zenith would jump at a chance to study Joseph to figure out how to replicate the process; they've decimated the lizardmen in their country through hard labor."

Bonnie widened her eyes, exclaiming, "Wh-what!? Are you serious!?"

Lulu nodded grimly, "Aye."

The succubus then gave another nod, "Right, I never introduced myself. My name is Louella Sitri, though you may call me Lulu."

Bonnie nodded her head in return and followed with a salute, "Bonnie Cook, Medical Corp Cadet, Cadian Royal Army."

Lulu returned the salute, "Hmm~ pleased to meet you." She then stared at the ceiling for a few moments as she listened to what Henry had to say about his lack of certainty about the situation. "Dreams," she said, "can be quite vivid. Hmm..." She glanced to the side, tapping her chin a few times, "This gives me an idea..."

She thought about how using your mind's eye, one could perceive reality in new and different ways. Develop a new understanding of things and how they are. Or end up staring at a wall for an hour as the entire world becomes a kaleidoscope of vivid, unknowable colors. She wasn't well versed in using her own mind's eye without the use of psychedelic herbs.

"...I just need to pick up something from one of the shops around here."

Lulu turned to Qeyari, "I don't think I have the means to detect these... nanites, you said? But I can see what I can do. I have a few spells that might be able to help."

As Qeyari went on about the Dead Gods, Lulu gave a nod of understanding, "Sounds like what happened when The King of Chaos arrived over ten thousand years ago and instigated the Great Calamity."

Bonnie merely blinked owlishly at Lulu.

Chortleous antelope friend Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
antelope friend
Jan 26th 2023 at 5:59:18 PM

Ultra, Hub Town, Hotel, Lobby, a quiet corner near the reception area with Henry, Bonnie, Qeyari, and Lulu.

"Here's hoping not." is her only response to Henry's musing about comatose dreams, as much as that would explain.

As expected, the ongoing conversation bounces wildly between 'deranged rambling' and 'uncomfortably familiar', but one word stands out: nanites. She hadn't thought of that, though in truth this is primarily because nanites don't really do that sort of thing back home, but then they also aren't the work of... whatever this Qeyari woman described them as? 'Bio-mechanical hybrid entities'? Had she not known any better, she'd think that term rather accurately described her own kind, as Qeyari herself evidently did at first, but it would seem not. No matter, a lead is a lead.

"I have the equipment to perform a scan—minimally invasive—but it should catch anything capable of altering his physiology so drastically." the klipspringer muses aloud, hand to her chin as she catches a glimpse of Joseph wandering back over. "...but should this be the root cause, I'm rather limited in what else I can do unless it involves making calls, playing old archival videos, and 3D scanning things." she shrugs.

"Ultra, by the way." she states simply to Louella. "Private investigator, hence my... involvement in the day's events."

Another thought occurs to her, tangentially related to her prior point. "I've heard 'shops' mentioned a few times now... what's stocked here?" she asks of those present, bearing in mind the odd mish-mashed nature of the place if the people walking about are any indication.

Edited by Chortleous on Jan 26th 2023 at 10:40:04 AM

Jan 26th 2023 at 8:00:24 PM

Disregard. Plot issues.

Edited by KillerClowns on Jan 26th 2023 at 10:07:38 AM

StrixObscuro from Somewhere in Massachusetts Relationship Status: I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
Jan 31st 2023 at 1:11:34 AM

Hotel Dining Room (Samelin, Rosafa, Devad, Maria, Nick, Amandus, et. al.)

Samelin and their companions watched the conflicted lizard man walk away with some bewilderment. "So there's two of that lizard boy walking around?" Devad asked. "How does that work, exactly? Rosafa, you're the scientist among us. Did you understand any of that?"

Rosafa shrugged. "Theoretical sciences are not my strong suit. Doesn't sound like it's their strong suit, either."

Samelin addressed the rest of their dining companions. "How many of us are heading on this expedition? Are we planning to attack altogether, or splitting up into teams?"

By now, it should be clear to all except the most dense of us that sheep are secretly conspiring to kill us all and steal our pants.

Total posts: 369