Turn 2 Thread

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:11 pm

Ari asks about what kind of deal the cult struck with the people of Imani, made curious by their howls. They tell her that Kibwa told Faruha that they would protect the village and not hurt them. In return, Faruha promised them food, drink and herbs, along with tolerance of their practices. It was overseen by the wych Laval, and the cult delights at the prospect of betraying her and their neighbours.

[Ari gains 1 Infamy and 5 Corruption Points (because it is Kibwa). This means that she mutates! These are her options:

Icon of Blasphemy: Ari represents all that is blasphemous to those who worship the Emperor: perhaps iconoclastic scripts become tattooed on her skin, or perhaps a mocking resemblance of an Imperial Saint. Her very essence is channelled into these blasphemies. Once per week, Ari can unleash the blasphemy and gains the Fear (3) Trait. By passing a Hard (-20) Fellowship Test, its effect can be extended by an additional Round.

Infernal Will: The needs and desires of the mortal realm suddenly fade away from Ari's mind. She is motivated by the will of the immaterium, and her deeds often make little sense to others. She becomes utterly immune to Fear, but if she fails a Skill Test by 4 or more Degrees, she must roll on the Shock Table. If the Skill was one aligned to Slaanesh, Ari can adjust the result rolled by up to her Corruption Bonus.

Inside Out: Ari turns inside out, displaying a hideous skin of glistening organs. She gains -30 to all Interaction Tests apart from Intimidate, for which she gains a +20 bonus.

Pseudo-daemonhood: Ari becomes like unto a daemon, resembling a Daemonette. She gains Fear (4) and the Warp Instability Trait, along with Unnatural Agility (+2). 

Intelligent Cyst: An intelligent cyst grows within Ari's body, periodically attempting to gain control of her body. Through her, it says horrible things. Should Ari ever fail an Interaction Skill Test, she fails by an additional 2 Degrees of Failure.

Warp-Eater: Food and drink turns to ash in Ari's mouth, and she must derive nourishment from the warp. She never needs to eat or drink, but once per month must take a Challenging (+0) Toughness Test or gain 1d5+1 Corruption as if from a Failing. For every deed of blasphemy and excess, she gains +10 to this Test.

What do you choose?]

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by wren on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:18 pm

[Pseudo-daemonhood, please. If you could come up with a Cool Transformation Sequence - probably in the middle of all these people - that'd be ace. It also might scatter them for now...

I am also, if it wasn't clear, going for the Desire to Kill Glorifying Act - so you might want to keep track of that, I'll try to too.]

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by wren on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:23 pm

[Also, about now Gracious could arrive - so if he could see the change, that would be good.]

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:33 pm

Elsewhere, Gracious is enjoying the company of the goats.

He sees Laval in the shade of a hut on his way back from feeding goats. 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."

Gracious 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.

"Congratulations."

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."

"Clumsy?"

"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 withdrawal 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 her 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 The GM on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:49 pm

He arrives at the scene of Kibwa's death just as Ari begins to change.

The first thing that she notices is the hardening around her right arm. It feels tight, and painful, as if the skin is knotting together. She screams in terror as it purples, threatening to simply fall off entirely, before a hard, black layer of chitin ripples up her forearm. Her nails, kept short to avoid the dirt of Imani collecting, grow into long, almost-talons, black and curved like a daemonic pincer. 

It is only the beginning.

Ari is thrust backwards as her limbs are stretched out, transforming a short, young woman into a slender, tall monster. Her skin, once dark, turns pale as if she is dying, before purpling to a smooth, even sheen. Her feet extend in agonising torment, becoming something between cloven hooves and the feet of a wolf. The left breast shrinks into the body as she transcends gender and all those other norms that have contorted and restrained them. Their hair moults away, curved, slender horn-tendrils snaking from their temples and pulling back at the skin around their eyes. The nose recedes, snakelike to match the long, barbed tongue that slithers in their fanged mouth. Its eyes, once cold, become inhuman, black orbs of seduction and death.

It howls a birth-cry to the ashen sky, sending the cult fleeing in blind terror. Even Gracious reels, deeply afraid of this thing before him, but holds his ground. Curse or blessing, Ari has changed to a form that is both alluring and monstrous, beautiful and ugly. What no one can deny is that the gaze of Slaanesh is upon it.

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by wren on Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:19 pm

Gracious moves forward to look at Kibwe's body, then looks towards Ari, a mixture of pride and fear in his eyes.

"This is good. Yeah, um, you - that is excellent work. See how you are blessed - but, uh... this needs to get under control. Now. I'll help you; let's get them back here. Tell them a dose of obscura's in the offing."

Ari snarls, her [the character still regards herself as female, so that's what I'm going to use] new mouth twisting into a grin.
"Alright. But I want some of that other stuff, myself. Want to feel... powerful."
[I don't believe Ari got addicted to the obscura?]

Gracious and Ari will begin to try to round up the rest of the cult. Gracious will also go ahead of Ari, and do his best to make sure she isn't directly spotting by the other villagers of Imani - he's trying to avoid a panic... as best he can.

Ari is not being particularly cautious - she is enjoying her new form.

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:44 pm

[Ari was not before, but is now addicted to obscura.]

Gracious rushes after the cult, but finds them terrified, intoxicated and violent in spirit. They haven't yet started attacking anyone, but rounding them up is difficult, and the village is alarmed. For the sake of avoiding a panic, Gracious begins spinning lies. He tells the people of Imani that a hallucinogenic mind-expanding experiment has gone wrong. That it is best if people stay indoors or out of the way. His quick-thinking prevents anyone seeing Ari, but he is overstretched, and he finds himself cornered by two terrified and detoxing members of his cult.

"Gimme the good stuff," one groans, sweating profusely and reaching out with an open hand. His clothes are rags that barely hold to his painfully thin body. "Just gimme it now..."

"This is all your fault!" the other yells, her eyes badly dilated and knife in hand, but still hovering in a daze of terror. Gracious blinks as he steps backwards. He could call Ari, but he is a little cornered, and violence breaking out would cause something of a kerfuffle. Perhaps it is better to resolve this peacefully - and yet, these people are violent, high, and in a state of great distress.

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

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

Gracious starts talking, fast, almost about nothing but his hands move fast and in the same breath he gets out a dose of the good obscura. Hypnotically, in time with his speech, he begins to prep it, holding the two off with his words alone. When it is ready, he brings them forward and doses them with it.

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:04 pm

As soon as the dose is produced, the two cultists fall quiet, suddenly enraptured by his rapid-fire small-talk. It is almost sad: this man and woman are completely enslaved to Gracious' hands and mouth, and only moments ago one of them was threatening him with a knife. They dutifully step forward to receive their pleasures, and sigh in ecstatic relief. Gracious is free to move past them and continue getting all his cult together, and away from the main thoroughfare of Imani. It is worrying that they are already starting to turn on him, but perhaps it is to be expected - days ago, he gave them the nectar of the gods, and since then he has ignored them. 

The cult is gathered in a nearby field, but they can barely stand the sight of Ari. Gracious sees that what happens next could go either way, and that he must lasso this edging mob. They want to kill Ari - they want to tear her apart, and forget what they helped create. This has happened too soon, and they are afraid for their lives and souls. What does he say to them?

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by wren on Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:17 pm

"Listen, faithful! Do not be afraid - you, you have all done so well. I'm so sorry I have not had time for you these past few days - but fear not. I am returned."

"What has happened here cannot be undone. You are all complicit. But feel not guilt! Feel not shame! Listen: these are the things that tie down your souls. These are the things that have tied you down all your lives. I give unto you direction and purpose now, and you may act without fear."

"It is time for you to begin to earn the nectar that I can give unto you. That means you must listen and obey. Ari has unlocked the name of the holy killer in herself - the man that she killed went safe unto his rest in the next life's embrace. And she has changed, yes! Do not be afraid. Was it not ever said of the holy that it is terrifying? So too is this. But her soul is safer than any of yours. If you follow her, if you do as she says, you will be safe. I guarantee it. And then you will receive what you need and crave."

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:44 pm

Gracious enjoys the feeling of preaching again. They hang off his every word, their expressions becoming calmer and more dazed. There are a few murmurs of agreement, a few cheers, and one by one they start to step forwards towards Ari. It is like Gracious has cast a spell over them, and they have become a herd of half-stunned goats. A soporific musk exudes from his heretical words, calming them, inspiring them, stealing their souls away.

Do you need me?


Laval's voice, forceful but sweet, echoes in Gracious' mind. He cannot respond, of course, but it is easy enough to find her if help were needed. As it is, he is completely in control. He has transfigured them into slaves to desire. Now it is on Ari to shape their desires towards darker pursuits.

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by wren on Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:23 pm

Gracious sits back against a tree, relaxing and watching Ari. He begins to prepare the rest of the dose started earlier (so using up 1/6 of the "doses for all" - this includes one for Ari? Not sure how to track her addicted being that I have "a lot" of obscura but as a PC I should probably be keeping track of her individual doses).

Meanwhile, Ari speaks, in her new voice, unfamiliar to her as it is to those that listen.

"We're going to kill some people. It's going to be fucking great. Hasnaa gets to lead first, and then I'll choose someone else. Let's try and find some fucks from the Makuu out tithe-collecting near Kifodini. We'll start there. Best idea for a really /good/ kill gets to lead the next."

She doesn't have Gracious's charisma - but then, they are already in the spell. She revels in the reflected power over her ertswhile peers, though.

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:20 pm

[We'll say that Ari falls under the doses for all, so long as Gracious does give doses for the cult reasonably regularly. I'll assume that between dosing the cult, Ari remains on a steady stream of obscura: unless you explicitly write otherwise.]

Her erstwhile friends stare at her in appalled fascination. They barely listen to Ari's words, enraptured and terrified by her new form. It may prove a problem, once these addicts are away from Gracious and have come down from their highs. In the meantime, they will do what she says. And they get the gist: murder soldiers. Be imaginative. Cross those final boundaries. Hasnaa, somewhat overwhelmed by all the attention, studies the knife that killed Kibwa. 

Gracious, leaning against the tree, sees Laval watching from the distance. She seems to have come out to see what is the matter, and her eyes are now fixed on Ari. She doesn't seem afraid - the fear Gracious felt is not reflected in her relaxed pose - but she does seem interested. 

Does Ari take her killers towards Kifodini now?

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by wren on Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:07 am

Ari leads her would-be killers off to Kifodini.

Gracious signals for Laval to come over to speak. He suggests that they follow Ari and the others at a distance, just in case. [If Eleanor wishes, we can do a longer interaction...?]

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

Post by The GM on Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:31 am

[Turn 2 is over. Ari gains 3 Infamy for her Tertiary Objective.]

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Re: Turn 2 Thread

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