Turn 2 Thread

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:24 am

[Laval and Gracious have performed a ball-gowning at each other. We stopped to wait for you to adjudicate psychic powers.

Basically I intend to Mind Probe until I get all the way in, or external circumstances force me to stop. I'll make the first pass or so at Fettered and escalate to Unfettered for the extra +10 if that doesn't work.]


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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:14 pm

Gracious sees Laval in the shade of a hut on his way back from feeding goats. He looks well-rested again. She lifts a hand in a vague gesture of greeting. She looks as though she's been crying, though her eyes are dry now.

"Hey! How's it going... are you - you don't look... oh, Laval, tsh."

She smiles weakly. "What?"

"How are you holding up?"

"I'll be alright. It was a bit of a shock, but... the Warp provides. I think I'm done crying about it."

He smiles. "Good! How's he feeling - is he awake much?"

"He was when I left him. I'm sorry I snapped at you earlier. I know you meant well, with the obscura..."

"Heh. Drugs, you know, I can't think of any other way to solve problems sometimes!"

"And I imagine they tend to solve two in one for you." She smiles.

"Ha! The Prince provides. They certainly make problems more interesting."

He cocks his head curiously. "How long have you worked together?"

"Oh, it's been a few years now. This is our first solo mission, as it were, though."

"Lots of, um, you know, yeah, like, psykers and stuff in your band?"

She nods. "The Changer of Ways draws us like moths to a flame..." she chuckles, "We all burn up in the end, so why not?"

"Ha! It's true. Known a few psykers. Never... never ends too well. But you seem like you know what's ahead of you, you know, that's good... Me, I just keep on keeping on."

"How about you? Is it one long party back home?"

"Ha! Don't have a home. Never did, not that I can remember, anyway. I'm with a warband here because I owed a favour."

"Ah, it would be something like that..." she grins.

"But I'm... well, look at me: do I really look like the sort who'd stick with - ah, I don't do well with having one master. Well, 'cept the obvious."

"Not keen on getting tied down? ... metaphorically, at least." Another quick smile.

"Ha!" Certainly that wouldn't be true literally. "But, uh, yeah... Gods above knows where I started. Used to have a book with it written in... lost it falling out of a spaceship this one time. It's OK, I, uh, I got better."

"Out of a spaceship?" This draws a surprised laugh. "You have had some adventures."

"Everyone wants what I'm selling, you know?"

She nods. "You get inside people's heads pretty easily, I'm surprised you don't have closer friends.... don't like what you see?"

"People are... they're just things. It's very hard to... s'why I like animals."

She looks contemplative, nods.

"When you can see how people work, what, uh, what makes them tick, why they do what they do... ah, they're not very interesting..."

"I find there's always exceptions."

He smiles. "Yeah? Yeah. Maybe I'm starting to - I don't know. Yeah." He scoffs. "It's sad when someone disappoints you, though."

"Of course, you haven't let me see the deep parts of you yet." She shrugs. "So what would I know?"

"Left a dose of obscura for Ari... looks like she took it. Thought that one had a bit more will. Ah, well..."

"She's going to be disappointed when she finds it doesn't kick like whatever you gave those two before..."

"Ah, obscura never disappoints. I didn't give her the good stuff at least."

"You see too deep, you'll see my plans," he returns to her earlier point, "And I don't think we're on quite the same team."

She laughs. "Well, I suppose that would take the challenge out of it."

"...hmm. I should probably check on the others at some points. I think this is the problem other people have with pets? You have to feed them, water them..."

"Gods yes. This town? I was not expecting it to need so much.. taking care of."

"We have become its little leaders."

"I mean, I suppose that was the point..."

"Hah! Indeed..."

"I wasn't thrilled at first to share, I must say..."

He flashes a grin. "And now?"

She smiles easily in return. "Well. Wouldn't that be telling?"

"You're the one who can see inside people's heads, how am I meant to know? You're hard to figure out..."

She chuckles, then sighs, looking momentarily melancholy again. "I think Vex nearly left Ari in there..."

"In the Makuu?" She nods. "She got out, didn't she? And she was being a fool. A useful, wonderful fool... but still."

"Ha, it was glorious! Shame about the consequences, but..."

"Oh, I never worry about consequences. Not in the long term. It's all just dust..."

"All those faithful little soldiers, shooting at shadows and losing their minds..."

"I wonder what happened to Sadaka. There's probably others like us in the area, like the priest. Maybe one of them..."

She shrugs. "Did Ari see if they took their livestock?"

"...she didn't say. But that's an interesting thought."

"Ask her if she saw. Don't want the soldiers rounding them up for food..."

"When I next see her. We can't all be clever clever like you. How does it feel? I can't... psykers fascinate me, you really do. It's a sensation I'll never really have."

She grins. "I'm flattered. But I refuse to believe that your chymical genius doesn't overlap into any other spheres of life..."

"Oh, I'm smart! But I can't explode things with my mind, is what I'm saying."

"I'm sure there's ways to wake a soul to the Warp... if you let me paint invisible runes all over you, say?"

He pauses. "...I mean, have you been thinking about this, or... did you just... that's oddly specific."

She laughs. "I don't actually know how to do that, precisely. You just happen to have made this invisible paint, and, well..." She gives Gracious a sideways glance, shrugs.

"Maybe it's worth a try." He sticks his tongue out.

Laval blushes, seems momentarily lost for words.

"Of course, you'll need to catch the extra... you probably haven't noticed!" He beams. "Look!"

"Oh? What have you got?"

He reaches out his right hand. "Grasp it." She does so fearlessly. Another hand wraps around her wrist. It... perhaps now she sees it - it's another right hand, from Gracious's torso. It makes her jump a little, but not a lot. She laughs delightedly.


It is slightly elongated, and very dextrous. As he lets go, though, it seems to disappear.

"Yes, it's rather... very effective in the, uh, in the lab - saves Sten having to hold anything. ...any time when Sten isn't holding something is a mercy."


"I'll say! He means well - he's an apprentice of sorts - but tsh, he's... gods, the money and time wasted sometimes."

"He seems like a nice sort... compliant."

He smiles again. "Oh, he is, he is. Does what he's told, which is nice. On the other hand, I'm not sure I enjoy only being around the compliant all the time..."

She smiles. "I imagine partaking of your goods rather inspires it. Unfortunate."

"Such is my curse. I will admit, it's why I'm glad you've been around. I'm enjoying the friendly rivalry of it. I don't even think I'll mind too much when you outplay - well, the Changer of Ways, all schemes and plans and - but betrayal will be interesting when it comes, at least!"

She nods, a little sadly. "I'll miss this, I think, but... we'll have a good play of it."

"Yeah. Well, we've got Kifodini, at least."

"Oh, you're going to enjoy that one."

"You've probably, uh, gathered - I have my own intents there."

She nods. "Of course."

"I feel I haven't done any rabble rousing in a while, like, properly. It was too easy here, not the same. When I practice, oh, I can hold a host in the palm of my hand, it's so very easy."

"You can take centre stage then, I've got some side acts to play out."

"Like your invisible paint gig."

"Uh-huh. How easily do you reckon I can convince an Imperial or two that they need a love potion?"

"... can I just clarify that you're not going to - the paint is not - it's really VERY toxic."

She giggles, shrugs. "Who would eat paint?"

"You'd be surprised. Slaaneshi cultists sometimes get very bored."

This draws a full laugh from her.

"Gods, one time, one cult I had got into the fucking water purification tablets. Came back to find them trying to snort them."

"Haha! Not satisfied with even your impressive repertoire?"

"Well, I wasn't giving it to them. I was bored or busy, I can't remember."

"Ahhh." She nods. "Am I going to have a riot on my hands when you get bored here?"

"Yes, well, I did say I need to go and check on them... But you've reminded me and I care for you, so to save you the bother I suppose I might try to help them out a little, perhaps." He rolls his eyes.

"Hah. Well, I suppose I'll just have to try to keep you entertained... but not too busy."

"Yeah, I think we'd still best stay here for a couple days, so it really is going to be a bit dull. Maybe I'll give the Satrophine to Sten and see how fast he can run."

"How much of that stuff do you have? It's really impressive. I could practically feel Vex and Ari buzzing with it from a mile away..."

He smiles. "Enough. You interested?"

"Not for me, thanks. All those bulging muscles would ruin my delicate physique." She bats her eyelashes, mimes inspecting her fingernails (though they are dirty and ragged from life in Imani.)

"Oh? I think they'd suit you. Not that you're not - I mean, it's just - well, new experiences and all that."

"Maybe I'll ask for a ride next time one of you lot takes it..."

"In the mind, or on the back?" She smirks, shrugs. He continues talking. "It's pretty impressive, doesn't last fantastically long, though. And the withdrawl is nasty. It, uh... it's not like a normal - it doesn't just tire you out, it rots - you know, like, when you complete a sacrament to the gods, and it feels like part of you... changes?"

"Oh? What's in this drug?"

"Oh, like, just chyms, but there's some chyms... I'm not sure they exist 'cept by the Prince's blessing."

"Well, I've conjured fiends from smoke and writing... I suppose it makes sense."

"I could, uh, bore you with the molecular - oh, it's a bunch of nonsense - but basically... Well, I reckon it's, uh, it's holy in its very shape? And when that's inside you... Every day you don't take it, it rots a little more of you. But I've got... enough. If Vex starts to need it - not just want it, need it..." He shrugs. "Psykers tend not to get addicted, though."

She smiles and nods. "It happens, but... when you've felt daemons knocking on your skull, the urge to take a little more of this or that starts to not feel so bad... If he was going to get hooked on anything though... it would be something that tears at the soul." She sighs.

"It's his destiny and fate." He stares at the hill where Twisby died, for a moment. "Ah, poor Twisby. Never knew what their deal was."

"Does it bother you?"

"It bothers me I didn't understand them. I don't really feel guilt. Just regret, sometimes."

She nods. "I'm not sure if you'd take marvellously to telepathy, or if you'd just get bored even faster..."

"Oh, I'd love it. But I'd push a little more than you do. To take someone's mind apart, to see them completely..." Unconsciously, he licks his lips.

She raises an eyebrow. Is that a criticism? she asks silently.

No, no he thinks back.

A challenge, then?

Yes, perhaps more like that

Would you like me to push your boundaries? Test my will against yours?

Heh. Go for it.

She smiles, her thoughts emanating an intense satisfaction, then drops the mental connection to gather her strength.

Laval tentatively reaches out with her mind, tendrils of psychic power coiling into the depths of Gracious' psyche. She feels resistance at initial contact, and smiles, enjoying the battle of wills. Gracious smiles back. He is now well-used to the feeling of a telepath's probing, and has some intuition about one's mental defences. He erects walls of nonsense thought and silent screams of dedication to Slaanesh, and, for a brief moment, he has the upper hand.

Then a goat nudges his knee, breaks his concentration, and the sheer power of Laval's telepathy comes streaming through.

He is Gracious Obscura. He is in a good state of physical and mental health, even if his mind is the disordered chaos of a worshipper of the dark gods. Laval learns his mood, his foremost thoughts, his immediate fears, concerns and conscious lies. She delves deeper into his recent memories of cooking drugs, the ecstasy of his crafted perfections, the feeling of the Dark Prince's brief caress against his cheek. She learns casual secrets of recipes and how Gracious is favoured by the gods, and that is soul is now dedicated to She Who Thirsts. She feels the agony of an arm splitting in two, the confusion of such pain and yet seeing no mutation at all.

Laval pushes deeper. She can strip away the temporary and the recent and peruse at length the horrors of Gracious' subconscious mind. She can learn knowledge of people he has lost, places or objects that are still important to the heretic's heart. She uncovers those pivotal moments that made him what he is, even if he has forgotten, and plunder his mind at will.

She sees Gracious's face looming large in his own mind. Inserted into it are chains which connect to other faces. Laval's face. Ari's. The face of a woman she does not recognise - but the mind provides a name - Warleader Skiara. She sees Gracious's initial approach to Ari, picking her out from her fellows. She sees him meeting Laval for the first time, apprehension and mistrust giving way to... well, still mistrust, but a different kind.

She sees Gracious's pride at his own silver tounge writ large. He believes, truly, that one day his skill will be great enough that he could stand before the Golden Throne and tell the Emperor he does not exist. Indeed, Gracious seems barely to believe he does - but then as she goes deeper and deeper it's clear that Gracious seems to barely believe in anything. Even his faith in the gods is calculated, a façade, a hedged bet - he seems unable to truly believe in anything outside his own head.

She sees five places. Imani. Kidofini - their people bowing to Gracious's will. The guns atop the Makuu failing to fire. Corruption spreading within the Makuu - Gracious's innate hatred of the Ecclesiarchy causing him to imagine this as people bowing to two-faced priests - in this vision, literal - who even as they preach of the False Emperor bring their congregation further from the light. She sees the Villa, Gracious at the center of a conversation there, finding and suborning those who nurture the Corruption within.

She sees a young boy, carefully and deliberately murdering two people who look much like him. This vision is clouded, and very faint.

Gracious begins to twitch and shudder, his calm broken, his eyes rolling back into his head.

Laval pushes further, rifling through memories and thoughts, a faint smirk belying her satisfaction at the discomfort she causes. She seeks out negative memories, searching out moments of fear or humiliation or failure, looking for common threads, themes that cause Gracious upset.

She sees... very few moments of negativity. But some. She sees Gracious falling through space, open to the Void, knowing - surely - that he will die - before strong hands catch him. She sees him deep in the den of a drug lord of an Underhive, caught in a web of lies that has just been unravelled, frantically looking for doorways, ways out, escapes.

She sees a young boy caught in brambles and thorns, crying at the bottom of a luxorious garden. No-one hears him for several hours as he sits suspended in pain, until he is found, hungry, tired, soiled, by a kindly lady wearing a nurse's uniform.

Like flicking through the pages of a book, Laval turns her attention to the positive. This search is less intense, she is more confident of what it is that she will find - she expects plenty of Gracious revelling in his own skills - but she flicks through nonetheless in case she finds anything unexpected from what she already knows of him.

She sees a young boy paying rapt attention to a tutor's chymistry lessons. The equations seem to flow across the board. As he sees them, he knows them, never to be forgotten. Laval is not sure this mind can really forget anything.

She sees endless, endless practice in a mirror, studying the muscles of the face as it moves, perfect control of the expressions. He tells a lie. He makes a note. He tells another, better. Better.

She sees his part - small often, but instrumental - in a hundred little victories. She sees his easy domination of those he meets - a thousand victories.

She sees him in bed with several lovers. In most of these scenes, he is in control - in a few, however - the ones that seems to last the longest and which are painted the brightest - the reverse is true. Here, he is restrained - like the boy in the brambles - as his lovers do things to him that he is unable to prevent.

Done, perhaps, with his past, Laval pushes confidently into his consciousness, brushing aside any objections his mental defenses might still try to make, examines his thoughts in the moment again, his reactions to her right now, and the experience of this ungentle examination.

Gracious is reeling as his long-buried memories come to the surface. The whole experience has been... painful - in a way that he perhaps had not anticipated. His is a resolutely unexamined psyche that has just been ruffled thorough.

As perhaps one might anticipate, even in his discomfort - indeed, because of it - he is enjoying the experience. Here and in this moment his reactions towards Laval are a mix of fear and barely-concealed attraction.

In the physical world, outside the mind-space that the pair occupy, her smirk deepens, even this small motion impossibly slow in the context of the speed-of-thought interaction between them.

And then she is moving on again, digging deeper into his feelings towards her. She returns to recent memory, searching out any schemes he might have put in motion against her, expecting to find precautions and safety measures already in place for the inevitable betrayal.

Oddly, perhaps, nothing of that kind yet exists. She gets the sense that this is deliberate - that he had anticipated this moment - in one way or another - so that he has deliberately not made plans in order that they can't be foiled. If he decided to act against Laval or Vex, he probably would poison a dose he was giving them - but more likely he'd tell Ari or Sten to think of something. She gets the distinct impression of the old scame with the ball and the three cups... he beat a psyker with this game, once.

When he betrays Laval, or when Laval betrays him, it will happen in a moment, and he won't have planned what will happen next... or hasn't yet.

She pulls back, a fraction less intrusive, momentarily not directing his thoughts, then skims his psyche casually for anything else he might want to hide from her, relying on the very desire to conceal as a bright signal for her attention.

One more thing grabs your attention. He is trying to conceal the fact that he is far more proud of Ari for her actions on the turrets than he has let on - and he is not concerned for Vex at all - thought it seems his concern for Laval was real, at least - though those emotions are complicated, and indistinct - a mess of different feelings.

She almost withdraws then. But struck by a sudden curiosity, she pins down that last thought, searching for a single answer. Is he really looking forwards to that moment when they become enemies, as he claimed? Or is that a sense of regret? Or fear, maybe? Or some mixture of the above?

He is not looking forward to it - or rather he doesn't wish it any closer. He thinks it will be interesting - he'd rather they remained allies. He'd quite like to watch her and Vex tear down the Makuu with their minds...

On that note, she finally withdraws from his mind, waits a moment for him to return to his senses. Her smile is positively predatory.

He closes his eyes, and for a moment bows his head in pain.

Then he lifts it, and is all smiles. "Hah! Yes, that's what I'd do."

"Such a shame you'll never be able to do the same to me..."

"Well, you never know."

She laughs. "When we first met, you told me not to expect to know everything... I thought it was pretty funny, since I'd just been rifling through your thoughts."

"Thoughts are not all... you know, I think you know me better now than anyone... but what am I going to do next?"

"Mmm." She stretches, cat-like, licks her lips. "No idea. I take your point."

"Such a shame it's the Changer of Ways you follow, you know. There's something of the Prince in your temperament."

"Who doesn't love power?" She laughs. "I've been waiting to do that... so much the sweeter for the fact you asked me to."

"If I hadn't asked, you wouldn't have got in." He spins a vial in his hand - his nootropic.

"You say that, but you know it's not true. You can't be on that all the time."

"Or at least it might have been a fairer fight. No, I can't, it's true. And yet you didn't do it before."

"Mm, I was hoping you'd consent after a few times... as you did."

He smiles broadly! "Yes! Ahaha. I love manipulation when it goes two-way."

She laughs. "Lovely, isn't it. I must say, I've confirmed a few suspicions... do unto others as you wish they'd do unto you, hm?"

"Oh, yes, well. Ultimately you do what you can to people until there's someone who stops you. You knew that about me already. I don't bend the knee to people until they make me. It's just about finding people who can make me."

She bites her lip, still smiling. "I don't think I've ever met anyone quite like you."

"Probably they broke the mould when I was made, or some bollocks of that kind. I'm not sure I've ever met anyone quite like you, either. You're smart for a psyker, not just clever. Not that I mean any disrespect - but you know the type, those for whom the Will comes easy and so the brain decays."

"Mm. They burn out fastest. I intend to stay in the game a little longer than that."

"You want to play it all the way to the other end of the board."

"I'd turn the whole board upside down. Who wants to play by the rules forever?"

"Ha! Oh, very good, very good. Yes. Don't you think sometimes that we're just stuck in our own little grooves, heretics like us, no more free than those who lie under Imperial yoke? You do. You see the grooves... and what lies beyond."

She studies his face, thoughtful, smile still lingering. "Habits are hard to break, as you know well."

"But they can be broken."

"Mmm. If you have the will."

"Well, you certainly have that."

"You and me against the weight of the universe, is that it?" She chuckles.

"That implies a certain level of togetherness. Isn't it more like a race?"

"Hah! A peculiar kind of race, but yes, I suppose it is. You're going to enjoy Kidofini." She grins. "Maybe if you watch closely you'll even figure out what I'm up to."

"Ooh. Is it going to fuck with my plans?"

She shrugs. "I've given you quite a few hints already. Besides, you'll have the pleasure of my company. How can we fail to have fun?"

"Ha! Yes, I imagine it'll be fun whatever happens. "And... as I suppose you know... I prefer to think on my feet, anyway. Gods, it's weird having someone who..."

Another lazy smile.

"Fuck, I don't even know what some of those memories were."

She shrugs. "People often discard the ones they don't want to deal with."

"I think I remember deliberately forgetting them... No, no, you don't understand: I don't forget things."

"I do understand, remember?" She grins. "Discard implies a certain level of intention. Maybe it takes a little more effort for you than most, but..."

There is a pause. Only a heartbeat, but noticeable in the otherwise rapid flow of conversation.

"So." Gracious breaks the brief silence. "What now?"

She shrugs. "I suppose we'll see each other around."

"So I realise that was meant to sound casual and aloof. But this village is tiny. So instead it, uh... I mean, yes. Obviously."

She rolls her eyes. "Well you spend most of your time locked away cooking, so I don't actually see you that often."

"Oh, done for now. Until I get another bright idea."

"We'll have plenty of free time to bump into each other awkwardly, then."

"That seems silly, honestly. If you fancy playing cards or fucking or seeing how fast you can race with satrophine in your system, let me know. Meanwhile, I should check on Ari..."

She laughs. "If you want that, I'm going to make you work for it, you know."

"See you later!"

"Have fun! Think of me."

"Unlikely, if I'm busy. But you'll think of me; after all, I'm not the one who just put an entire person's head into theirs. So I guess I win."

He saunters off, whistling.

"Please," she calls after him, "You're hardly the first." She laughs, shakes her head, goes her own way.


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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:36 pm

Content, amused, she strolls back towards the hut, finally ready to face Vex. Her temper tantrum seems like a distant memory, easily displaced. To her surprise, she finds herself a little irked that her range is not great enough to slip back into Gracious' mind, check if he is thinking about her. And then, she is even more irritated to find that she cares. The flash of anger slips away easily, replaced by good-natured, self-deprecating humour. She will just have to trust her own wiles. On reflection, she is confident that she will be on the man's mind. Perhaps not always, he does seem to lose himself in his tasks, or in pleasure, not infrequently. But she is the only one who knows what he really wants. He'll have to come back to her, eventually.

When she steps back into the hut, she finds Vex standing, shakily, both hands pressed against the wall for balance, practising motion. Guilt flashes across her like a wave of heat. How could she be out there, smiling, flirting, while he suffers in here. While he suffers for her inability to come up with a better plan under pressure than sending him out to face the fire.

He hears her enter, looks round, nearly loses his balance but does not. His thoughts brush against hers, requesting a link. She fumbles with it on the first try, but obliges. She hides nothing from him - lets her emotions emanate freely for his inspection. Her guilt, her pleasure, her anger and shame, her recent joy. His in return are dark: anger and hatred - not directed at her but terrible all the same - and thoughts of vengeance. A determination to overcome. He inquires about her conversation with Gracious, transmitting not quite a pang of jealousy, but a certain suspicion that maybe he ought to be jealous. Laval has no qualms about sharing. Not the full thing, of course, that would take too long even at the rapid pace of thought, but a non-verbal recap, a broad impression of what happened. After a moment's contemplation, Vex decides that whatever she feels for Gracious, it is far too weird for him and he wants no part of it. No need for jealousy, then. Besides, Gracious doesn't have what they have, this connection so practised and familiar that when they link minds it is almost as if they inhabit the same skin.

I'm sorry- she begins, but he cuts her off. Shut up. Just show me how to fix it. We put our strengths together, we should be able to do it. Teach me.

I don't know if I can, she retorts, but it is a lie. She and Vex work the same way, she knows. After all, and here his thoughts break into hers, echoing what she was thinking to herself, didn't you teach me telepathy? I can learn.

A part of her balks at this idea. The healing power is her new trick, she does not want to share it with Vex. She does not share this thought. He never suspects how much she holds back from the mind link. She wants to refuse, or deliberately obfuscate, trick him into thinking that he cannot learn it... but she cares for him too much, and she wants him healed. He is stronger than her. Maybe he can succeed at this task, where she knows, deep inside herself, that she cannot do it.

So she shows him. Reveals through the link the insights she has had about the nature of flesh, the twist of thought and will that she uses to invoke the power. And he tries to copy her. Again and again. And despite her desire to keep this power for herself, she gives feedback until he gets it right, and heals his own burned flesh.

She cannot teach him to regrow a leg, of course. She does not know how. But he has a new trick now, a new avenue to explore, and his manic grin promises that he is not going to let this idea alone until he figures it out.

[Buying Unnatural Healing for Vex. He immediately uses it on himself, Fettered. Didn't really intend my characters' skill-sets to overlap so much, but needs must... ah well.]


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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:17 pm

[Also buying Delude and Compel for Laval.]


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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:27 pm

The scorched and charred flesh dances with flames anew, and Vex cries out in terrible pain. But these are not the same flames that melted away his skin. These are the flames of Tzeentch. They shift from white to yellow to blue to red, ever-changing as they enact change on his wounds. Though it is hard to see the process through the colourful flames, when they disperse, the skin is fully healed and the pain is gone. Of course, though, the leg is irrecoverable.

And yet, chaos is a fickle master. What was once taken, can return. As Laval once formulated in a thought: what is changed can change anew. All they need to do is find a way.

Faruha knocks on the door of the hut. They have been staying in the old Mkuu's abode, and Faruha has largely vacated it, wanting distance from her father's home. She comes in with concern and soothing pastes, but expresses joy at Vex's miraculous recovery. In her hands, she holds a sturdy and sanded baobab branch, attached to a rope harness.

"We are so grateful for what you have done for our village," she tells them, "I know in my heart that Tzeentch shall provide, but, in the meantime..." 

She offers the branch, and shows how it can be affixed to Vex's stump. "My father once amputated a man's leg to save the body from gangrene," she explains, "This kind of contraption helped him get around. In time, he did not notice the loss, and moved like anyone else."

[The device (after some getting used to) removes the Lost Leg condition, but still imposes -10 to all Tests that involve movement, like Dodge or Stealth. Moreover, if the leg is hit by any attack, it will immediately break off, and the Lost Leg condition will return.]

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:56 pm

Laval hugs Faruha, cries a little on her shoulder, thanks her profusely.

Vex does not cry, though he offers a belated thanks when silently prompted by Laval. It is not insincere, just not foremost in his mind. He is eager to strap the wooden leg on, to stand (in spite of the discomfort of placing weight on the stump), to begin as soon as possible the process of learning to use this thing. He is confident (frantically confident, refusing to consider the alternative) that he can solve this problem, that it is just a temporary setback. But he has no intention of laying about like an invalid in the meantime.

And Laval is exultant, because they are making progress, because the edge of pain is gone from the thoughts Vex sends to her, because she plays games with Gracious and knows he is her match, because she has new schemes to hatch and plots to lay. After helping Vex with the harness, she hugs Faruha again.

"You are wonderful," she declares, "I'm so glad to call you friend. If there's anything I can do for you while Vex learns to walk again, please say. I'm happy to share anything I know with you."


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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:27 pm

Faruha considers this for a few moments. "You have done so much for us already, Laval," she says. "Our friendship is true, and there is nothing you owe me." She pauses, a little shyly. 

"But I know that you must soon pass on to another place. Your power is too great to be stifled here forever. I know this. And when you are gone, the mantle shall fall on me."

"I want to be able to protect my village. I want to be able to do miracles. I am not marked like you and Vex. But I have seen and studied the ceremonies you have performed. I begin to understand when you speak in strange ways. And I would like to know more, for Imani and the glory of Tzeentch."

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:41 pm

Laval nods. "I can't teach you to be a wych. Only the Lord of Change can grant that blessing. But I can teach you everything else I know." She nudges Vex sharply, not hard enough to disrupt his faltering balance, but enough to get his attention. "And everything this jerk knows, if we can keep him interested long enough to share."

Her dataslate is full of notes on the arcane. Old records that they were gifted along with the devices themselves by the Lightbringers, not all of it making any sense to her. New notes made by herself and Vex, pieced together from what they know and from the insights of the Warp. Wild speculation (marked as such). She gives it to Faruha, shows her how to work the little piece of tech. It's no real hardship, she and Vex try to keep both dataslates up to date with the same information in case they lose one.

And then she starts teaching. Falteringly, acutely aware of the depth of her own ignorance. Vex helps some, when prompted, but mostly is content to walk back and forth in the confined space, testing his new balance until the pain is too much to continue. Laval makes sure to bring home the dangers of calling on the unfathomable tides of the Warp - not because she expects Faruha to balk at it, just because she wants the other woman to be forewarned. Mostly, at least at these early stages, she focuses on the general principles, those things that bring power and, crucially, a measure of stability to ritual magic. This is a dangerous business to bring anyone into, but she will give Faruha the best chance she can have.


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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:56 pm

Faruha is an able pupil, and is well-used to this informal kind of teaching. She studied well under her father and now she studies well under Laval and Vex. Vex narrows his eyes at the young woman. He can tell that she plans to use her new-found knowledge soon - to experiment and create - and though all ritualists must one day put their power into practice, it has also been the end of many would-be miracle workers.

The end of the lesson is interrupted by screams and shouts from outside. Stepping out, the three see that Gracious' cult of decadents seem to be scattering in terror. Another villager, Kinu, calls over as he rapidly packs up his wares. Apparently there has been a 'hallucinogenic mind-expanding experiment' that has gone somewhat awry, and that it is best if everyone got themselves out of the way while Gracious sorts it out. Faruha tuts.

"How much are we to tolerate their foolishness?" she complains. "It is one thing to leave them to themselves. It is another to hide in our houses while they rampage, out of their minds."

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:32 pm

Laval sighs, pinches the bridge of her nose.

"This is the problem with the Slaaneshi... this is why I mistrusted Gracious when we first met him. I don't know where to draw the line. They are our allies, but they are... difficult, sometimes."

Vex wants to go outside and get involved in whatever ruck is going on out there. Laval gives him a firm shove which forces him, stumbling, to sit back down on the bed. Grudgingly, he concedes the point that his balance is not yet very good.

Laval sends a message to Gracious. Do you need me? He can't respond of course, but he knows where to look for her. Then she slips outside. She sticks close to the hut, not looking for trouble, but tries to work out what is actually going on out here.


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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:49 pm

"Perhaps we would be better without them," Faruha muses darkly. Her expression soon clears to one of patient exasperation. She shakes her head. "I shall speak to Kibwa once this all calms down."

Laval slips outside, sticking close to the hut. Gracious seems to have rounded up the druggies fairly quickly. They no longer blight the main thoroughfare, but have collected in a field on the outskirts of the village. They are crowded around in a circle, and Laval cannot quite see who or what they stand around. But she feels uneasy. There has been a great change, that has send eddies along the immaterium and rippled across the veil. What it represents is unclear, and it may well be exacerbated by the outpouring of fear, but it makes Laval frown.

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:04 pm

Laval approaches a little closer, watches from a safe distance. If possible, she places herself where Gracious can spot her so that he can signal if he needs her help. She doesn't anticipate that he will, and is broadly content to watch this new disaster, but she is cautious and wants to be available if required.


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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:26 pm

Crossing the main thoroughfare, Laval acquires a better view beside Kinu's hut. It is still a fair distance from the Slaaneshi meeting, but she can make out Gracious sidle out from the group and lean, relaxed, against a tree. He seems to be handling things, in any case, and the small crowd of addicts seem pliant and dazed. 

A few of them shift from their places, exposing a figure in the centre of the circle. For the slightest of moments, Laval's blood runs cold, before she recovers from the original surprise. It looks like a daemonette of the Dark Prince, a long, slender body with pink-purple skin, horn-tendrils sliding about its scalp and its feet elongated into something between cloven and wolf. Yet there are some dissimilarities. Though the right arm has formed a black chitin, it does not end with the deadly pincer associated with such daemons. Instead, its nails are long and sharp, almost like talons. 

Laval's curiosity soon overwhelms any fear she might have. She watches as the beast talks with the Slaaneshis. They seem nervous, glancing often to Gracious, but nod occasionally to what it says.

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by Jewelcast on Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:40 pm

A part of Laval just wants to sigh and go back inside, and not get involved in whatever is going on here. A far larger part of her does want to know exactly what is going on. She saunters over to Gracious, trying to look casual. She offers a friendly, if somewhat generic greeting, and turns to watch the peculiar gathering with him. As soon as she is within a couple of meters she attempts to skim his mind for the details.

[Fettered, subtle (-20) at first, unsubtle if I fail on a couple of passes. Only as deep as I need to go to find out what's going on here.]


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Re: Turn 2 Thread

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