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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:07 pm

[It's Kibwa, not Lawal. You may be getting confused with Eleanor's character Laval.]

In the hubbub of Faruha's singing, and Laval and Mkuu Tendaji's smiling praises, Gracious and Vex can talk with relative subtlety if they lower their voices.

Vex is not good at small talk. He's a little anxious, perhaps a little intoxicated, and quite clearly wants something. Gracious decides to give him a helping hand.

"So, um, Vex, what's up, you know, what are you thinking? Come on, I can see it on the tip of your tounge - desire is strong in you, eh?"

"Well,” Vex begins awkwardly, “Uh. Laval said that you're a... chymist?"

"Haha! Yeah, that's right."

"You, uh, sell the chyms you make?"

"Oh, invariably, invariably."

"Well, you know. I was wondering..." Vex trails off.

"You in the market for something in particular, my friend?" Gracious smiles.

"I don't think so?” Vex responds honestly. “I mean, I don't really know what you sell. It's meant to be fun though, right?"

"Sure it is: but there's many KINDS of fun, you know."

"Oh."

"Do you want to feel up?” Gracious quizzes cheerfully, “Down? Bit sharper? Bit dimmer? Chyms can do a lot..."

Vex glances anxiously across the room at where Laval is. She is not looking his way. "Up? Sharper?"

Gracious thinks on what Vex might like: what could be most easily sold to the awkward seller. He settles on a nootropic – a drug that heightens the mind and allows individuals to think clearly and decisively. It’s something Gracious has only tried a few times before, but each time has been particularly entertaining. Moreover, it seems the perfect thing for the upstanding gentleman.

[Making the nootropic is a Very Hard (-30) Trade (Chymist) Test and requires rare compounds that might be found in the wilds, or perhaps in the Mkuu’s stores. The drug confers the user Unnatural Intelligence (2) and Unnatural Willpower (1) for approximately one hour. After that time, the user comes down and is confused, distractible and suggestible: they gain 1d5 Fatigue, and -20 to all Intelligence, Perception and Willpower Tests for the next 1d5 hours. Additionally, the nootropic is Addictive. A particularly pure sample of the drug may enhance certain mechanical effects (for example, each degree of success after the first may add +1 to an Unnatural Characteristic, make it last 30 minutes longer, make the comedown last 1 hour longer, increase the Fatigue by 1, or increase the negative modifiers to a given Characteristic Test by 10).]

"Do you want to think clear and high thoughts of pure reason?" Gracious offers.

Vex’s expression brightens slightly. "Yeah, that sounds pretty good."

Gracious looks, thoughtful. "... So what have you got to trade?"

Vex frowns. "Well. Uh. I've a little spare kit... I can fix up weapons...” He pauses. “What sort of things do you usually ask for?"

"So it really depends,” Gracious replies. “Money, often, but that's rubbish out here. Information's good. You could tell me a little of what your plans are, here... Or promise to help me out with something, actually..."

"What sort of something?"

"A task that will probably involve more than a little violence."

"Oh, sure." The words come easily. Only after speaking does he glance back at Laval again, looking momentarily uncertain.

"...are you all right, yeah?" Gracious asks.

"Yeah? Why wouldn't I be?"

"You just look... never mind." Gracious pauses. "I tell you what: let's see if I can get you want you want, first: I'll have to make it, that won't be easy - might need a hand getting some raw goods... If you like it, if it hits the stuff, you owe me a favour: if you really like it we can maybe arrange for you to buy a bit more."

"That... sounds really generous, actually." Vex sounds surprised, maybe even a tad suspicious.

"Look: it'll just be a sample,” Gracious reassures him. “But we're out in the middle of the desert and my supplies are dwindling; I just can't promise the sky, you know? You like the sample, you do me a favour, I get you some more, we start a relationship. Always works for me."

Vex nods. "Sure. I get it."

"Then let's drink on it."

Gracious raises a glass, and addresses the whole room. “A toast! To our kind host, to all of us as guests, to the Emperor!"

"To the Emperor!" the group responds.

"And to new friends!" the elderly Mkuu adds with a twinkling smile.

The meal begins to wind down, in all accounts a rousing success. Faruha, bolstered by the drink, tells the newcomers that they have already transformed their small village, and that she thinks them a gift of God. Everyone is in high spirits, and soon it is time for everyone to sleep.

What does the nefarious group do next?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:59 pm

Gracious will go to Kibwa - by now probably in the throes of an obscura hangover.

The goal is to ask him if he knows anyone in the village who can help him find some herbs round here - needs to be kept discrete, it's a special project. "And, like, uh, if you liked that first dose - you looked like you did - then, uh, we could definitely try and set you up with another one - second one's always better, I can teach you how to enjoy it a bit more, put a bit more ceremony into it, gets a better high, more slow, you know - but I need some herbs - for my own projects, you know, working on cooking up some new stuff although MAYBE I could squeeze some obscura out of it too..."

Meanwhile, Twisby will begin considering the ritual. They spend the evening idly carving an Aquila from some scrap metal - this is to provide the focus of the device. The Aquila is formed in such a way to look innocuous - someone with a good grasp of anatomy could see that something is slightly... off... about it; but perhaps just an inexpert carver? The Aquila is designed to be hollow, such that it might form a monocular with the insertion of a lens; Twisby does their best to see what they have in parts to make this, though it is the form that matters.

The occult texts that Gracious has provided will form the circle itself. Twisby draws out a sketch - it will look like a Vitruvian Man - the parts of the texts torn up to form the circle on the outside, the diagram drawn in dirt in the centre. Anatomy - the function of the body - is Twisby's specialty, and in their mind the Warp is a great organism - this is the way that they perceive and understand it. With this ritual, the Material shall touche the Immaterial Flesh.

They decide - once they are done for the evening - that more progress might be made with Laval's help. Twisby resolves to seek her out tomorrow, when possible.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:29 am

Kibwa, forced by his punishment to live with the goats for the next few days, is propped against an outhouse, nursing a powerful headache. He looks up with an expression that Gracious knows very well: the expression of someone who doesn't simply want more drugs, but now needs them. The thug swiftly agrees to find some herbs for Gracious, and scrabbles up to try and find them now. It is rather late, however. Though the yellow, crescent moon and array of stars provides some illumination, it is unlikely that Kibwa will be successful until the morning. Getting somewhat tired himself, perhaps Gracious finds shelter for the night from one of the friendly villagers, and sleeps himself.

In the morning, Kibwa finds Gracious, having located the herbs required. When he puts his mind to it, Kibwa, like most Swaad, is a skilled survivalist: though the herbs are not of the highest quality, and without Gracious' careful instructions, he may have found nothing at all. Nonetheless, they will do to craft the nootropic that has been ordered.

[Kibwa finds the prerequisite materials, but does not succeed by enough to provide any positive modifiers. Gracious can now attempt to make the drug.]

The ritual is prepared: all that is desired now is Laval. The hour is very late, however, and so Twisby is fortunate to see Laval and the woman Faruha talking in the depths of night. Faruha leaves and heads back into the Mkuu's hut, giving Twisby an opportunity to catch Laval alone. What do they say to her?

[I think we can probably avoid a lengthy Interaction: if you want to lay out the gist of what Twisby says to her, Eleanor can determine whether or not Laval assists.]

Where does the ritual take place? Though the village is quiet, the phenomena that will follow the ritual may well result in awkwardness if but one villager oversees it: not to mention the occultist nature of the ritual itself.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:08 pm

Gist:
In a Twisby Esque Manner, Twisby explains what it is they want to do, and indicates that Laval's presence may assist.

In terms of finding a place for the ritual - Twisby will ask Laval to think on it - can she find a plan?

Gracious will find a quiet place to work and begin to attempt to make the drug, with Sten's help. He won't paticularly hide what he's doing - if any villagers enquire, he'll happily tell them that he works with chyms and is making some preperations with some local herbs; nothing to worry about - and make small talk with them.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:32 pm

Though the locals are a little suspicious - in the past, some of the more adventurous miscreants have tried this kind of thing for illicit activities - Gracious easily reassures them with a smile, wink and a lie. Operating out of a vacant hut, the pair get to work, cooking and brewing.

The cook is a success. Pungent fumes spill out of the unshuttered windows, fanned out by a slightly intoxicated Sten. The nootropic is a pale blue, and the way it pours about like heavier water is intoxicating to the eye.

[Gracious passes the Test by 3 Degrees of Success. To remind you, the drug confers the user Unnatural Intelligence (2) and Unnatural Willpower (1) for approximately one hour. After that time, the user comes down and is confused, distractible and suggestible: they gain 1d5 Fatigue, and -20 to all Intelligence, Perception and Willpower Tests for the next 1d5 hours. Additionally, the nootropic is Addictive. A particularly pure sample of the drug may enhance certain mechanical effects. Gracious can do this twice with this sample:


  • +1 to Unnatural Intelligence
  • +1 to Unnatural Willpower
  • +30min to the drug's positive effects
  • +1 dose
  • +1 Fatigue on the comedown
  • Extra -10 to Intelligence Tests on the comedown
  • Extra -10 to Perception Tests on the comedown
  • Extra -10 to Willpower Tests on the comedown
  • +1hr to the drug's negative effects
What are Gracious' choices?]

Twisby delivers his message, and Laval thinks carefully before responding.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:35 pm

+1 dose, -10 to WP tests on comedown.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:09 pm

Laval is willing to participate. She advised taking the ritual out of town into the wilderness a little, observing that the village is not actually very large and it is not difficult to find space. Do you go ahead?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:15 pm

Yes - there's no benefit to Gracious going (I think?) - so he will stay in town and hope to smooth things over if any weirdness does occur.

If anyone asks, they're going on patrol - just to check the area is safe, still - and also - in Gracious's words - "to, like, talk medic stuff, I guess, guess they're checking their notes or whatever, I don't know".

I don't think I have any other action to take in the mean time. Is Vex going or is he staying in the village? If he's staying, may want to interact in order to pass on the nootropic. Could you remind me how long it lasts?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:42 pm

Twisby and Laval make their way to the Swaadi wilds, over the low hills across the arid plains. Though some of the goats stray as far as these hills, Imani is not visible from the shallow valley, and the two heretics get to work.

Twisby produces a pendant of Slaanesh from one of their pockets, and reverently places it in a ritual pattern made up of torn up pages of unholy tomes. They arrange the pattern such that it resembles a splayed corpse, meticulously correcting for obscure anatomical details before their final satisfaction. Even at this point, a strange wind is beginning to form around the hills, and Laval pulls her cloak closer around her as Twisby begins to chant. Twisted words of a twisted mind spill out, extolling unreality to spill into reality and the realms to meld, and Laval lends her psychic power to the goal. Power coalesces, the veil begins to shift, and then...

Nothing.

The gods from beyond the veil mock the pair with their silence. Laval sighs, a little relieved, whilst Twisby looks around as if searching for some hidden detail. At least it could have gone worse...

Twisby begins to convulse. Their hunched body contorts as they begin to scream, and then laugh, and then cackle, and then fall into absolute hysterics. Their body swells grossly, reams of fat and muscle gathering around their torso and limbs. To think that two mortals could try to play like gods. It is simply hilarious. And then, Twisby falls silent. Laval takes a step back, and warpflames begin to coalesce around Twisby's hands and eyes.

[Twisby is possessed and nothing short of exorcism will stop them. In the meantime, they are an agent of absolute chaos. What happens directly next will depend on Laval's actions, for surely she is the daemon's first intended victim.

Twisby gains 16 Corruption Points and gains the Grossly Fat mutation]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:44 pm

#winning

I assume right now I just need to wait?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:51 am

The first sign to Gracious that things have taken a turn for the worse is when Vex abruptly runs from the village, as if responding to a call only he can hear. He runs towards where Twisby and Laval, and, a little curious, Gracious begins sauntering his way towards the edge of the village. Vex's sprint attracts quite a lot of attention, and Gracious does his piece by explaining to the villagers that it is most likely nothing.

A minute later, Vex has reached the crest of the hill, and is met there by Laval. She is horribly injured, as if burned half to death, and looks terrified. Concerned villages look up from their work, wondering what is going on. A slight, nervous laugh builds in the pit of Gracious' stomach. Something really seems to have happened.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:54 am

OK: Gracious will reassure the villagers as best he can, and then set off at a brisk pace towards Laval and Vex. He'll look beyond Laval - can he see any sign of Twisby?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:59 am

From down the valley, Gracious sees Twisby traipsing after Laval. The first thing Gracious notices is that Twisby has put on a lot of weight since he last saw him. A lot of weight. The hunched brute has become a hulking monstrosity, grossly obese and only capable of huge, heavy steps. The second thing Gracious notices is that Twisby appears to be on fire, but a closer inspection clarifies that the multi-hued warpflames seem to be resting playfully on Twisby's hands, eyes and in the back of their mouth. It does not seem to be causing Twisby any discomfort, and Gracious reflects wistfully on his happy times together with the errant heretek.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:04 am

Gracious is going to run back to town, and find the Preacher.

"Help - there's - oh god, he's - it's Twisby, something is really, really - he's - is it a d-d-dem- you hear - oh Emperor, you have to help, you have to help!"

This is a really important lie to sell, not just to the Preacher but to those around. He won't be trying to raise a panic - but those around can hear. He is in self-preservation mode; he's going to assume that thing can be put down, but if it is, /no-one must ask too many questions about what it was doing/. If it feels necessary, therefore, I'd like to make an Infamy spend - how much do I have?

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:15 am

The Preacher has taken to the main thoroughfare to find out what is going on, and when she hears Gracious' words, she nods with a soft smile. 

"It's alright, Gracious," she returns smoothly. "Do not be afraid." Nonchalantly, she draws her sword.

Her response is perplexing, but it is clear that she does not suspect Gracious, and the villagers nearby gather around to both comfort the heretic and find out more about what he has seen. Gracious is on top form. He waxes lyrical about the horrors of what lies over yonder hill, the despair that one of his travelling companions could become such a thing, the sense of betrayal that perhaps he was the victim of deceit all along. The people believe him utterly, but his lies are soon interrupted as Preacher Miriam calls out to the crowds.

"People of Imani!" she screams. "Over that hill stalks the death of you all. This village is doomed, consigned to the daemonic fires of hell, and your church, your Makuu, does nothing! You are all going to die, because the Emperor has abandoned you! He does not love you! He does not like you! He despises you!"

Cries of woe are elicited from the crowds. 

"Surrender to your despair, fools!" the Preacher screams, pulling forth a pendant of three rings. "Surrender to the God of Death, or be forever in His Eternal Grasp!"

A few citizens fall to their knees in terror, and it is clear to Gracious that more will soon do so. The soul of Imani is at a critical juncture, and here he is, right at the centre. To the side, Faruha bites her lip so hard that it bleeds, evidently struggling with her own feelings of existential terror.

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:24 am

Gracious will stand up and speak out.

"No - you're wrong! These... these people have so much to live for; the simple happiness of living, the joys they have yet to - how can you say these words... listen!"

He turns to the villagers.

"Listen... have you ever wanted anything, more than anything in the world, and then you got it... it doesn't have to be big, you know... but things happened, things were right: well, that feeling, that's what she wants to put down. She must have called it here - look, listen, right there, a symbol of heresy! This despair is of her foul god's making, can't you see! I bet she brought the sickness too... There's so much to live for, so much to feel in your lives, you must believe me: have faith in that feeling, that feeling to live... listen, yeah, listen, listen to me, not her lying words. Tear her down, quickly, before her lies can spread. Kibwa!"

He finds Kibwa in the crowd.

"Listen, Kibwa, you know what life can bring. I hope I'v shown you while I'm hear that there are things in life worth waiting for: so do something. Everybody, rise up: together we are the power that can beat this false preacher and her false god! Undivided we stand!"

[I am attempting the complicated three-point maneuvure of "reject the false god of despair" - but also NOT "and return to the Emperor's Light". We're leaving options open, but hopefully you can see the Slaaneshi slant I'm trying for here. I think it may be reasonably obvious to the Preacher what's happening - I want her to be torn apart by the mob, first, which is what Gracious is trying to incite. Does that seem reasonable?]

[Did I make an Infamy spend before?]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:58 am

[You did. You have one remaining.]

There is a silence for a few, tortured seconds. After that, it is hard to say exactly what happened.

Gracious remembers Laval firing first - the whipcrack of her laspistol striking outwards to a target still not visible from the village. It is followed seconds later by a gunshot closer to home: Kibwa having acquired a weapon from one of his friends. It goes completely wide of the Preacher, instead striking the door of a mud hut and smacking into the wood. Immediately afterwards, there are screams, screams of rage and desperation and desire and hope. From the fateful hill, black bolts of eldritch energies erupt forth from Vex, outing him as a powerful psyker. Preacher Miriam roars as villagers rush forwards, burying her sword into the chest of the first, who explodes into a disgusting mess of pus and blood. She ducks past the next assailant, before reaching out and rotting the skin off the villager's bones with a gesture of her hand. People choke and die from no apparent cause at all, flies burst out from swollen stomachs and there is nothing but chaos and screams and death. 

When the melee clears, there is no sign of Preacher Miriam but a mass of bloody chunks and ripped robes. But there are also dozens of bodies, torn apart by her sword, or rotted from the inside by terrible magicks. Imani has been devastated, but the remnants turn to Gracious and Laval.

[Gracious earns 1 Infamy and 5 Corruption Points.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:04 am

[The corruption excitingly takes him past 10, which means that Gracious has mutated. Here are his set of options:

Slayer Limb: One of his weapons fuses with Gracious' body, replacing a limb.
Strange Voice: Each day, Gracious' voice becomes either low and intimidating, or high and weedy (with disadvantages for interaction).
Additional Limb: Gracious gains an additional arm.

Which do you choose?]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:04 am

[Can you clarify exactly how Strange Voice works/what disadvantages it causes?]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:12 am

[Each day, roll a d10. On a 1-4, Gracious has a deep voice which gives him +10 to all Intimidate Tests but -10 to all Stealth Tests. On a 5-10, Gracious has a high, comical voice that puts him at -20 to all Interaction Tests. 

Another option, I should have said, is to re-roll, as Gracious is technically unaligned, and get a new set of choices. The second result stands.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:15 am

[Jesus. It doesn't sound like any of those are very good: how do they compare to the other options?]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:16 am

[Eleanor has just clarified that the second result doesn't have to stand, so here are the second set of options:

Illusion of Normalcy: Gracious gains the Unremarkable Talent (such that it is somehow impossible to describe him, and all future mutations are invisible).
Flaming Skull: Gracious' head is permanently on fire. He gains the Fear (1) Trait, but his Fellowship plummets by 2d10+10 and he probably goes a little crazy.
Headless: Gracious' head disappears. He always counts as rolling a 1 for Initiative, as his eyes are in his chest, but any attacks hitting the head hit the body instead.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:17 am

[OK, I feel like there's a clear choice here. Illusion of Normalcy, please.]

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by wren on Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:23 am

The first thing Gracious is going to do is get the non-wounded out of the way and safe, and quickly whip them up a nice herbal calming tea - this isn't something he's going to spend time over, Sten can help out too: the important thing is to make people feel calm... or as calm as possible.

The second thing to do is to get all these... bodies... out of the way. He'll try to get the help of those villagers that look up to it. He won't do any body carrying himself - lots of helping to organise though, obviously very important.

The wounded he can't do much about - but he'll walk up the hill to talk to Laval to try and work out what to do next - he imagines she might be able to help there, but is probably hurt herself.

As he walks up the hill, he whistles to himself. What a day! What a lovely day!

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Re: Turn 1 Thread

Post by The GM on Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:00 am

Gracious happily brews up some herbal tea, and for a few minutes, his distaste for the bloated corpses is forgotten. Faruha approaches him with a smile, and quietly helps with the tea, talking to the villagers, helping Gracious in the task of getting the people of Imani calmer. Sten also floats about, relegated to serving staff, but happy that all the madness is over. Satisfied that things are in hand, Gracious pops back towards the scenes of carnage. 

It is indeed an ugly sight. Large, buzzing flies hover around the burst bellies that they have gestated from. Entire rolls of black, rotten skin has sloughed off some unfortunates to collect in disgusting, fatty piles. The place stinks of disease and death. Gracious attempts to round up a few villagers to start moving the bodies, but finds few takers - even with his best efforts to command them. The villagers fear that to approach the bodies will result in catching the plague, and much of the job is not simply moving bodies, but somehow spooning up the bloody refuse the dead have left behind.

Laval meets Gracious halfway. Her descent is noticed by many of the villagers: she is horribly injured from her burns, but she holds her head up high.

"Gracious," she snarls, "Have you betrayed me?"

She does not wait for an answer, and Gracious feels a terrible wrenching at the back of his mind. Laval is forcing her magicks to probe his mind, and this time she does not care for subtlety or Gracious' comfort. Gracious throws off the psychic assault reflexively, but her cold stare makes it clear that she will simply try again. What does Gracious do?

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