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/qst/ - Quests

File: Chapter Two, Antozonite.png (82 KB, 3000x1000)
82 KB
Previous chapter: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2200475/

The huge door closes, hiding the light from your tired friends. This is always your least favorite part of winter. As their smiling silk laden and styled forms are hidden by the shadow of mahogany, an amount of jealousy swirls under your own uniform. That jealousy however is outweighed by a sense of pride, one rooted in your work. There's a found happiness in responsibilities. With a final shake of the door's weight, your winter duties begin.

"Ant." Cryolite, your white and pale yellow winter companion stands opposite the imposing tower of Sensei. He breaks your attention away from the wooden barrier. "The first snow."

"Already?" Sure enough, this winter's earliest snowfall has already started. The only sound remaining across the island is the soft patter of ice against grass. "This is my favorite part."

"You say that every year," replies Cryolite coldly, but you've already jogged more than thirty feet away. "W-wait!"

The snow isn't coming down heavily by any stretch of the imagination, but it's enough. Now in the field just outside the school, you watch the snow slowly painting everything white. You hold out your hands and let them catch the drift. No sooner does any flake land in the bowl you've made with your fingers than it melts. The radiant heat of your own body warms the air and snow around it, and the water begins to steam.

"Don't just run off like that," says Cryolite.

"Don't follow me if you can't keep up."

Cryolite looks frustrated. "It's not just... Well, you left before Sensei said what he wanted to, and I was just--"

"Intruding. If he wants to say it he should find me."

"I found you," comes a deep voice behind the both of you. Cryolite jumps to attention, stiffening and facing Kongo-Sensei. You allow the warmed water to flow out your hand and turn around. "Before you begin your normal duties, I would ask something of you two."

"Yes, anything Sensei!"

"Almandine?" You ask.

"Yes. Please watch for his return, and if you see anything find me immediately."

"Yes, Sensei!"

Almond did something reckless. Nevertheless I hope he's okay. A conversation from that day enters your mind. As it turned out, Gyrolite was a part of Jet and Almond's plan, something you never had thought Gyrolite to be capable of. Come to think of it, Gyrolite had seemed different recently, but you push away the thoughts. It's not the time to think about those things anyway.


"Thank you. I will allow you your respite now." Kongo-Sensei returns to the school and the snow thickens. By now enough has fallen to leave a powdery veil over the whole island, doubtlessly the school's floors will already need to be swept. Your duties also include a daily check of the chord shore, and of course you'll need to flood your cave at some point before the waters freeze.

>Sweep the school
>Check the Chord Shore
>Flood your cave
Let's flood the cave.
Wait, why does the cave need to be flooded?
I thought because it needs to be cleaned.
Ah, could be. If that's the case, let's do it before the waters freeze.
Vote closed in favor of flooding the cave
Check the Chord Shore.
Best to get it over with, I suppose. "Cryolite, are you coming? I'm going to flood my cave."

"Isn't it a little early? It's probably still dangerous."

"As soon as the temperature drops this far it's safe enough."

"Yeah, I'll come then."

You trod along through the white fields and freezing grasses to the northwestern beach. As you walk, the warmer air around you picks up moisture from the melting snow, absorbing the invisible danger that causes you so much grief in the warmer months. This is why you like winter so much, the snow protects the others from you. It's also the reason that Cryolite is your best friend. You arrive at the cave to find the snow already piling atop it.

"Let me do the first wash, just in case it hasn't already dissipated," you say. Cryolite nods and stays back, while you run ahead. You've done this hundreds of times over the years, practicing the perfect angle and speed, but this is the earliest in the year you've tried, and the sea is slightly warmer.

Sprint up the back of the cave, jump into the water, land in just the right way, heat up. It's the same as always.

The first two steps go as you have always rehearsed, you sprint and jump from the tip of the cave as high as you can, and orient yourself to face toward its mouth. You begin to warm your body in preparation, until it is well above the boiling point of water. The next step is impact, you would break if you hit at the wrong angle, but you've learned how to collide in a way that spreads the force perpendicular to the cleavage in the minerals of your body. However, you hadn't accounted for the slight difference in the density of the water. As you strike against it, the shock travels differently, and the normal force of the water hits in a way you were not prepared for.

Whenever you are struck, the angle of the force determines the severity of the damage it can do to your structure. When you hit the water, that angle was...

>roll 1d20 and 1d10
Rolled 19 (1d20)

Testing if this works.
Rolled 6 (1d10)

Alright, 19. I hope that's good.
Rolled 15 (1d20)

Rolled 5 (1d10)

Roll closed, angle is 210 degrees. Have fun figuring out why.
File: 1510508809465.jpg (242 KB, 774x1080)
242 KB
242 KB JPG
That goes in the email field, anon.
210 degrees

Not close enough to your cleavage to do any serious damage, but the small fractures that form on your ankle do take you by surprise. In that surprise, you lose an amount of control over your body temperature. It flares up, much higher than you normally would use doing this. As you enter the water, your extreme temperature sears your clothing and boils the water around you. The rapid expansion and evaporation of water forces the widening of air bubbles that formed as you entered. This is what you do normally at this point, but it's usually controlled and directed in a small area. The now giant bubbles rush to the air above and burst. The rapid turbulence just under the surface runs a huge wave toward the shore, and you are temporarily caught between powerful rushes of energy that feel as if they'll tear you apart. But the turbulence dies down, and you sink to the floor mostly intact.

Cryolite is waiting on the shore, soaked, as you emerge from the sea.

"You angry about something?"

"No," you reply, "I'm not sure what happened."

Cryolite wipes away water from his face, pulling some of his coating away with it. "Well it worked." He points over to your cave, or rather what remains of your cave.

"It broke?"

"This wave was much bigger than any I've ever seen you make during previous winters. It must have hit a support inside. I couldn't tell you exactly though, I was underwater too."

You laugh, "Sorry, I'll try to keep that from happening next time." Cryolite raises an eyebrow, and you realize. "Oh, I suppose there won't be a next time."

The calmer waters slowly push against the rubble of your home, dragging smaller fragments away to the ocean. At least for the winter, it's safe for you to stay in the school, but before the cold season ends you'll have to find a new place.

Goodbye, cave. "No point in washing a cave that isn't there, and we can't use this rock for other things. Help me take it into the ocean."

Cryolite agrees, and the remainder of the day is spent clearing the beach of the stones. One by one, you roll the rocks down the shelf, letting the ocean have its way with them.

"Ant, your ankle, I just noticed."

"It happened when I hit the water. It's not as bad as it looks."

"If you say so."
Under the water, you're carrying the final boulder when a voice calls out to you. "And what is this!?" You drop the piece of cave and look around, but you can't see the source of the voice. "Well, you going to answer?"

A small violet crystal, a piece from your ankle, floats up and wiggles in front of your face. You reach out for it, but it yanks away from you.

Fine, play it like that. You dip momentarily to and burst to the right, turning sharply around whatever invisible thing is holding that piece of you. You place your right foot down to stop yourself, and wind up a jump, but as your momentum falls on the foot a sharp ring accompanies a quick vibration in your leg. Just after, you pull yourself up from the floor and try to balance on your remaining left foot. The invisible entity holds you steady and picks up the right foot for you.

"You should have told me things were coming loose. Let's get back to the school."

As your head peeks above the water, so too does the powderless head of Cryolite, who is helping you walk. His now frozen uniform sits on the beach, which he picks up and carries back as well.

The sun has set and you are in the recovery area. Cryolite pieces your foot back together while you dry and reapply powder to his shiny surface.

"Quit trying to scare me with the whole invisible underwater thing. It never works."

"I will if you stop pushing yourself too hard."

"Oh come on, it's just a few cracks."

"It's true the things you can do are impressive, but you're overconfident."

"How was I supposed to know it would be different this time?"

"That's kind of the point, that you assumed it wouldn't be."

When he's got me he's got me. You grunt and continue padding him with the brush, pushing his hair out of the way to reach his nape. Each of you slowly make progress on the other, until your foot is fully repaired and Cryolite is once again fully covered.

"Kyanite's not awake, he can't sew you a new uniform," he says. "What'll you wear?"

"Well it wasn't exactly my intention to melt my own clothes," you say, staring at the charred globs of silk. "I could just wear a summer uniform."

"But those are for summer."

"Right, but--"

"Absolutely out of the question."

"You can't stop me."

Cryolite furrows his brow in frustration. "If I could..." He mutters. "Whatever, I'm going to bed, thanks for the puff up. Oh, and don't forget to report to Sensei."

You wave as your white partner retreats to his room for the night.

I'm tired too. Best to get something done before bed, though. You wander the halls for a short while, but on your way you hear a noise from somewhere in the school. Cryolite is quick to bed, so it most likely wasn't him, but the school has been known to crack and shift while the temperature is changing.

>Report to Sensei
>Investigate the noise
>Take the time to get a head start on tomorrow's work
>Investigate the noise
>Report to Sensei
Seconding this, better be sure than sorry.
>Investigate the noise
I probably won't be able to begin writing the next update until morning, so unless I finish homework early the vote may stay open overnight
>Investigate the noise
Vote closed in favor of investigate the noise
Given the unusual circumstances surrounding the past few days it's important that you make sure everything is normal, so you decide to search for the source of the sound.

The sound of your own footsteps echo through the school, and the high ceiling beckons your eyes upward. The underside of the ceilings have been neglected over the years, there being relatively few who could ever reach it, but of course someone had to carve it in the first place. The school was sculpted from a gigantic quartz deposit by Kongo-Sensei himself and two others, or so the story goes. Almandine was responsible for most of the difficult upkeep, but he rarely found time to clean and maintain these back ways. Without him here, someone else will have to start caring for them. Out of curiosity, you check your right foot. The fractures have closed, so you run up the columns, swiftly and with ease arriving at the top.

From here the dirty surface is clearer: a black mildew creeps along the cold quartz, cobwebs string the length between columns. From this height, your view stretches beyond the shores of both the south and eastern sides of the island. The oceans, normally lit by jellyfish, are now quiet being as the jellies have moved farther out in response to the cold. This vantage not only grants you a view of the island that makes you understand why spiders build their homes there, but also a better view inward to the school. You spot something out of the ordinary, what you expect is the source of the strange noise. The huge wooden door, which you had watch close this very afternoon, is now ajar.

Not wanting their rest interrupted so early in winter, you scramble down the column and shut the door as quietly as you can.

That door doesn't open on its own. Nervousness and excitement simultaneously rush through you as you do the same through the corridors of the school, searching. Cryolite's asleep, and Sensei wouldn't just open the door and leave it like that. That means either I did it, someone inside did it, or there's something else here. Perhaps by virtue of it being out of the ordinary, your body is hot, and steam rises from you, matching an itch to fight. You have so spent many years creating and mastering techniques of motion and control for use in fighting thinking they were useless, that the prospect of their potential application, although scary, ignites a fire inside.

While skirting the corners at breakneck speed, you find yourself suddenly motionless about a foot off the ground. A second passes before you realize you've been picked up. Over your shoulder, Kongo-Sensei, who you were so focused on searching that you didn't notice him, holds you up by your waist. Your fiery adrenaline dies down, and with it your temperature.

"S-searching, someone opened the door..."

"I did," says a small voice from below you. It's Jet. "Sorry to make you worried."

"Where are your clothes?" Asks Sensei as he puts you down.

"I... well they burned off earlier."

"The first time in a long while," he replies.

"Well anyway, why aren't you asleep Jet?"

"I couldn't. I was having a nightmare. I kept seeing over and over this horrible pale fog, and when it would clear I saw a giant pit of white sand, like the bowl of an hourglass. I couldn't move, and all I could do was watch as Almond fell in, and was dragged to the center. I watched as he sank into the sand, calling for help, and when his last fingers were submerged I knew I would never see him again."

Not knowing how to respond, you stay silent.

"I don't want to think like that, so I was going to stay awake with Sensei overnight and ask you if I could help with the winter duties come the morning. I guess though now's a good time too."

"Antozonite, you know the risks and challenges of winter better than any of the others. I have told Jet that if you do not believe he is capable, he should return to sleep. I leave the decision with you."

You are momentarily taken aback by the weight of the choice, but nonetheless you ponder an answer. Such a heavy handed prompt... Should I really be the one to choose this? Well, if Sensei thinks so.

"I've decided..."

>Allow Jet to join in the winter duties. If Almandine returns during winter, he should be there.
>Do not allow it. Forcing himself to work under extreme stresses for the first time while he needs rest will only worsen his grief and put him in danger.
Okay, okay, let's think about the pros and cons of allowing Jet to join us
We get extra help for our tasks, giving us more time for other things
If Almond returns, having Jet around would be great
It is established that working in groups of 3, unless all 3 minerals are the same type, has problems with coordination
Jet is emotionally compromised, which may interfere
...We're going to end up accidentally lighting Jet on fire, aren't we
After thinking about it for a bit, I choose
>Allow Jet to join in the winter duties.
Hard work would let him take his mind off Almond for a bit, and if things get too rough, he can just take a break, us and Cyro would be enough
>>Do not allow it. Forcing himself to work under extreme stresses for the first time while he needs rest will only worsen his grief and put him in danger.
Even though forcing Jet to see nightmares may seem cruel, I think it's safer than having him stay up during winter. Who knows what accidents could happen, one already did (Ant's cave), and I'm fearing Ant would ignite Jet as >>2264592 suggested.
Almond is unlikely to return during winter, since lunarians don't often come because of clouds, and until that happens Jet won't stop thinking of Almond no matter how much we try to distract him.
>Allow it
Winter is dangerous, but leaving Jet to stew in nightmares and then waking up to find Almond potentially still missing would be as bad.
Dont allow Jet to do winter duty.
The reasons have already been said by other anons.
do not allow.
this gem seems smart enough and is also not emotionally invested like gyro
Vote closed for refusing
>I saw a giant pit of white sand
Is grinding gems gay?
"I don't think it's a good idea. More than anything else right now, you need rest, winter would be too dangerous."

Jet nods in understanding, although it's clear to see disappointment in his eyes. "You're right. Right now I would just be a danger to myself. Thank you, Ant."

Sensei places his hand on Jet's head. "Go back now. I can offer no remedy for the dreams, but I will stay with you until you fall asleep again."

"I'd like that," says Jet, who lingers for a moment before wandering back towards the sleeping room.

"It seems he still has not remembered Lignite." Says Sensei.

"I still can't forget."

Kongo-Sensei walks after Jet, and you return to your own winter room for the night.


The morning comes not with its normal long sunrise, but with a violent screech. The huge noise reverberates through the school, and scrapes against every nerve in you, forcing you out of bed and onto your feet. You run out of your room and down the hallway towards the exit, running into Cryolite along the way.

"You heard it too?" He asks.

"Yeah. Sounded southwestern. You have your sword?"

Cryolite nods. "Yours too. Here," he says as he hands you your serrated obsidian blade.

The two of you escape the school at high speed and immediately break for the southwestern waters.

"I didn't think we'd fall into this routine so early this year, the whole island seems colder."

"It's not just you--" You are interrupted by another piercing wail, louder than before. "Ah- I hate that!" Soon the epicenter of the shrieking is apparent. Ice towers over the water's surface, spiked heads of ice floes peppered through the area.

"Let me get the first," says Cryolite. He runs forward onto one of the floes, up to its peak. He runs down the other side, pushing his heel into the ice with every step, close to how you've taught him. At the bottom, he spins and plants his sword in the ice, but nothing happens. He takes it out and plunges harder, but still nothing happens.

"That won't work. There wasn't enough pressure going down, so the fractures never spread." You run up to the top of the same floe and find his first mark. You raise your own tool and swing it downwards, cutting...

>Roll 1d100
Rolled 27 (1d100)

27 it is. Writing
...Deep beneath the holes. A loud crack rips down the face of the floe to Cryolite, and cascading upwards the structure breaks apart along the seam. Cryolite nearly stumbles as the entire piece of ice shakes and splits.

He recovers and jumps to another floe, you follow.

"More pressure?"

"It's the angle, too. You have to have perfect control over your body to put the right amount of force in the right direction. You're unsure of yourself, and it makes you pull back too early. I'll handle the smaller floes for today, you keep trying this larger one." You ruffle his hair. "Confidence."

He runs to the top and repeats the process, over and over, starting a new line of punctures every time he fails to split it. As for yourself...

There are 24 small floes. Being as they don't fight back, you can break them without stopping.

>Consecutively roll 1d10 in separate posts until the total sum is equal to or greater than 24
Rolled 2 (1d10)

Closing this roll in about 25 minutes.
If 24 isn't reached by then I'll do the rest of the rolls when I get back. I'm counting the total d10 rolls needed to meet 24.
Rolled 3 (1d10)

Rolled 9 (1d10)

I only just got back, took way longer than I thought it would. I think I'll leave this open for the night, don't want to roll for anons.
Rolled 7 (1d10)

Rolled 5 (1d10)

Roll closed, writing
Bouncing back and forth across the water, the ice breaks apart piece by piece to the force of your attacks, and the screams of vibrating floes become quieter as the day ebbs forward. Between the crashing of ice chunks into water, the soft sound of Cryolite's heels pushing into the largest remaining floe echo outward. When you're finished, he still struggles to break apart the mountainous mass.

I had to stop five times to destroy all twenty four. I've fallen out of practice. And Cryolite... He plunges his sword into the lump, which is now covered in tiny holes. Yet again, the crack does not spread, and his foe remains standing. I'm not sure he'll ever fall in to it.

You hop to his side, he leans over his makeshift pole, staked in the ground.

"Need help?"

"Let me... Let me try one more. I'll get it."

Back up to the top he goes, and you plant your foot into the ice near his most recent hole. A concentrated burst of heat in the right direction, and you feel it. A subtle vibration, you've given just enough impetus for the fractures he's already made to finally connect and spread. Cryolite comes down the ice, leaving a final trail of punctures. He hesitates, looking to you.

You nod, "Really hammer this one down." He nods back, and forces down his edge as hard as he can. With the bit of assisted fracturing you gave a moment ago, it's enough, but the fissure doesn't travel vertically upward. Instead, a loud series of rips and pops spirals its way to the peak across the adjacent lines of holes that radiate from the highest point, falling back down with a violent tear. The floe explodes along the spiral, crumbling inward to its center.

"I did it, I finally pulled it off!" Yells Cryolite, excitedly dancing around the small island of ice remaining on which you both stand. He stops dancing after nearly slipping off the raft, and composes himself. "Ah, I suppose it's... It's nearly time to return."

The last pink signs of sunlight above the dark cloud cover light the ice and water in a ruby-like glow. The violet streaks of light through your own long hair fall atop Cryolite, who is currently using his sword to paddle the island to the shore.

"While we're on this side, shouldn't we check the chord shore?" He says, carefully stepping back onto land.

“It couldn’t hurt to.” You step carefully as well, trying not to slip into the water. You use your sword as a brace to vault yourself off the platform. “There we go. I’m sick of getting wet. Shall we go, then?”

Cryolite agrees with a huff and jogs off.
Too much energy, that one. Brought on by the thought of visiting the birthplace of gems, your mind wanders to thoughts of relative age. Cryolite is much younger than you, yourself being just over five thousand years old, and he being under a thousand. Nonetheless, you knew early that he would be a good friend and apprentice when after he cooled he still expressed no desire or need to sleep during winter. Unfortunately, despite your stringent training and attempts to teach him the methods you developed, he is simply too young and his demeanor too timid to properly control himself in every aspect. You have taken to offering encouragement and a mild sprinkling of deception until he is truly ready in spirit to take on the full weight of winter. That being said, he is by no means incapable, simply immature.

The huge cliff face sparkles with the colors of mineral deposits, illuminated by the setting sun behind snow clouds.

“It’s amazing every time I see it,” says Cryolite. “I still can’t believe I was born here, I can’t remember it.”

“None of us can, especially not us older ones. Memories are strange like that.”

“I wonder why that is,” he says as he sweeps the drift away with a powerful swing of his sword. The ground glitters the colors of gold and platinum, no others to be seen. “Nothing interesting. Come to think of it, has anyone ever been born in winter?”

“You were the only one,” you reply. “Can’t say I can think of any others. But we’re here for the if. If someone is born, we shouldn’t take any chances.” At the base of the huge wall of rock, you stare upward. A yellowish glint catches your eye. Cryolite joins you.

“He’s still up there, huh?” He squints his eyes and places a hand above them. “Doesn’t look any bigger than last year.”

“We don’t even know if it’s actually one of us, but it’ll fall when it’s ready. Could be years.”

“I wish I could climb and see him up close. Too bad the whole wall is loose and unsteady.”

“If you feel like being brought home in pieces I could launch you up there,” you say teasingly, waving your sword up and down. You watch Cryolite attempt to figure out if you’re joking, but his face changes quickly to one of surprise and shock as he looks upward. You follow his eyes and…

>roll 1d100
Rolled 84 (1d100)

Let's see what's going to happen.
File: 1513878620523.png (935 KB, 1000x1250)
935 KB
935 KB PNG
Also, is this Yellow diamond foreshadowing I see there OPaline?
84 passes. Writing.

well I definitely said one of those words. Too bad that d̶e̶l̶i̶b̶e̶r̶a̶t̶e̶l̶y̶ doesn't answer your question
...Manage to react quickly enough to the falling debris. You dodge out of its way, feeling the splash of snow against your back. You turn back to find Cryolite bent over the impact, digging into the snow.

“You okay?” you ask.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Come help me look!” With just a small amount of heat in your hands, you melt the snow around, looking for whatever fell. A dark shape starts to take form beneath the white. “There, melt around there more.”

Hoping to have found the yellow stone you’ve been watching you are, although only slightly, disappointed when its actual structure is revealed.

“It’s just normal rocks," says Cryolite. "I was sure it would be him."

There he goes again, not thinking it through. You smile. “Cryolite, what, perchance, do you think dislodged these rocks?”

He ponders for a moment. “Gravity if I had to--” he stops as you grab his face by the cheeks and tilt it upward, “--guesh. Wai’ ‘as ‘e yerow shing!” You release his face and like an elastic band it whips back to you. “It’s bigger!”

Just as he says, what was previously just a small yellow glint is now a distinguishable form. A shoulder and head have started to emerge, although it isn't moving on its own yet.

"I'd say we'll have a new bright and shiny yellow friend pretty soon." You stand and brush the snow from your partner's back. "Cryolite, I'm giving you a new duty."

He stands and salutes, "For sure!"

"Check back here mid day, every day. If anything changes, find me or Sensei immediately."

Cryolite nods, and you return to the school. Both of you work to tidy the halls of snow while some light remains, but soon it becomes too dark for Cryolite to continue. He leaves for bed, and you head for Sensei's chamber to offer a report.


"Sensei, I wanted to report for the last two days."

"I'm glad. Then," he holds out his hand to gesture for you to continue.

"Yes. Firstly, my cave collapsed yesterday. I haven't yet found another location, but it's not a pressing issue. I was mildly hurt on my right ankle..." You recount your actions, going over every detail. "...And we were startled by some rocks falling from the cliff face. They were broken off as the head and shoulder of a yellow gemstone emerged."

"I see. Could you distinguish the species?"

"No, he's too high up. Maybe when spring comes Siderite can, but I'm more than happy for it to be a surprise."

"As am I. Very well then, thank you for your report."

"Oh, Sensei, one more thing..."

>About Jet
>About Cryolite
>About someone else (write in)
>About Cryolite
He is the only one we could actually do something about, asking about the other gems wouldn't change anything at all
>>About Cryolite
Don't see much reason to ask about someone else.
>About Cryolite.
Vote closed for Cryolite.
"What is it?"

"It's about Cryolite. I'm worried about his lack of progression."

He sits in silence for a moment, eyes closed. At first you are worried he's fallen asleep, but his eyes open up. "Yes, it is troublesome given what I fear may be coming. I believe it is because he has no will to change."

"How can I give him that?"

"He must find it on his own. Although, there is one way."

"And that is," you say, slightly frustrated by his vague response.

"Cryolite is resourceful, but he relies on you. You have taught him everything you can and he understands it. However, there is one thing that he has not yet experienced."

"And that is?"


"You think I should just leave him be?"

"Ordinarily not. If there were a better solution..."

"You mean to say there's not. So then, how?"

"It is your decision. If you choose to do this, always keep a watchful eye. A winter alone is not safe."

You leave with something new to think about. Forcing Cryolite to be on his own... Would that really help? Pondering the implications and execution of such an idea, you wander the halls, eventually finding yourself in the upper study. To your surprise, someone sits there, staring out across the horizon.

"Jet, I thought you were going back to sleep."

"I did. I know you said I couldn't help with the winter duties, but the nightmares are getting worse. I'm just coming out at night to get some rest from sleeping, and to watch the moon. I won't even leave the school, I promise."

"That's fine. If it helps you, then I have nothing against it."

"I heard you and Sensei, sorry for eavesdropping."


"I don't think you should. Being lonely... You're used to it, but I don't know if Cryolite could do it. It's horrible."

"'You're used to it,' come on what's that supposed to mean... You're right though, it would be hard and painful, but the real question is whether or not it's what he needs. More than happy, I want him to be safe, and Sensei keeps using a word that he rarely does. 'Fear.' Whatever it is, something is making me uneasy."

"Hn," Jet looks back out to the ocean. You can't help but notice, under the night sky the water looks as black as Jet's own body. "Maybe. I shouldn't tell you how to teach him, he's not my student, and you know him better."

"Apology accepted, I guess."

Jet stares, his posture is closed and looks uncomfortable. "Do you mind if I," he begins, stuttering. "Do you mind if I tell you? About the nightmares... I feel like if I say them they won't seem so bad."

"Whatever you need to do."
"Thank you, Ant. Today it was different, the dream. That same pallid fog was around me, I felt sick in a way I can't describe. When it cleared, I was in a sea of white. I thought it was snowing, but it was too small to be snow, it was just dust. I waded for hours, becoming coated in this sickly white powder, and finally I saw something floating."

A pause.

"I chased it through the tide of tiny things, and when I grabbed it, I saw. Almond's head, but it was wrong somehow. I could tell, it was nothing more than an ornament. He wasn't there, like something had taken his self out of him. I dropped it in horror, but the white sand around me started to bubble..."

A flash of something behind his eyes.

"Hundreds, maybe thousands of heads, all empty just like his, came up from beneath. So many of them I couldn't recognize, and some I could. The heads of the very same who are sleeping just below us right now. I pushed my way through them, trying not to look at their blank eyes, but they never ended. Eventually I came upon one head, it was... It was my own, and I saw myself, and I saw my own headless body, its arms wrapped around me. An instant later, a giant wall of white rose behind it. It was a wave, and it crashed over me. I watched as my own body was pummeled by the heads of my friends caught in the torrent of dusts... Oil was leaking everywhere, m-my own body stained their faces, I--!"


Your voice rings throughout the school, silencing even the sounds of the winter's breeze.

"Jet, your face..." A black liquid seeps from cracks running up and down his head and neck, and from his eyes. "You have to do something about this."

He stands up and turns to you, and nods. He smiles sadly, "I think I should go back to bed." He walks past you without offering the chance for a response.


The day begins again with the piercing cries of ice floes, but you do not rush to attention. Sensei's suggestion lingers in your mind, keeping you from focusing. The sun pours in through your window, an unusual event in winter but not unheard of. Quick patters of footsteps rush up to your room's entrance.

"What are you doing, let's go!" Shouts Cryolite.

"Yeah, just a minute."

"Okay well, they're northeastern. Meet me there, I'll do what I can until then." He rushes off toward the howling mountains of ice.

Is it okay? Will he be okay? I know he can do it, but will he end up like Jet in the process? Well, I know deep down. The best thing for him is...

>Abandon Cryolite
>Do not abandon Cryolite
>Do not abandon Cryolite
>Abandon Cryolite
We must teach him immunize him from SUFFERING before actual, real SUFFERING occurs.
>Don't abandon Cyolite.
>Abandon Cryolite
Don't abandon Cyrolite
File: Spoiler Image (111 KB, 1058x705)
111 KB
111 KB JPG
Vote closed for not abandoning

here we go
You tried to warn us in the thread, let's hope we made the right choice.

...To have someone there along the way. I couldn't think of something so horrible,

You run out and join Cryolite, who has already arrived at the floes. He is currently attempting to break one. It looks like he's already been at this one for awhile, small heel-shaped holes dot its sides. At the bottom, he immediately turns heel and runs back up the ice, neglecting the technique you've taught. Down and up again he goes, repeating this motion, until you realize what he's doing.

Once he's encircled the full floe, he makes the final move, burying his sword deep under the sheet. A crack opens, jumping between punctures, but only travels about a quarter up the length.

“Look at that! You really did a number on it.”

Cryolite slips on the ice and nearly falls into the water. “A-Ant! I didn’t know you’d gotten here."

"Don't stop on my behalf, that was great. Sorry for being late getting up, I was talking with Jet late into last night."

"I wanted to try what you did yesterday. I know it's not ideal, but it's more than I've done before, and you weren't here so..."

"It's okay, start with what you can, build on it. I'll give you a tip though, the reason it only cracked a little was because you were only putting enough pressure on the holes around the bottom, when you turned around in them without lifting your foot. The fractures under the ice only spread a little bit upward from there because of it."

"Mm, I thought that might be it. Right, I understand." Back up and down, and another hit. Every time he goes, the crack spreads a little further up, until the ninth cycle. At that point, something within the structure had failed to the point that its own weight spread the fractures further, and his last hit is enough to collapse the floe.

"Cryolite, that was amazing!" You say, running up to him as he comes back to the shore.

"Well, it took longer than yesterday just to break one... I don't know if that's progress."

"It's not about the time you spent, but that you were thinking out of the box. Trust me, what I just saw you do was really impressive."

"Can you watch me do it again on another? I want to hear what other suggestions you have."

"Absolutely," you say. Again he tries, and again it's merely gradual, and takes a little over an hour to break apart. When it has, he notices the time, and leaves to watch the chord shore as you instructed. You finish breaking up the remaining floes, and the day fades away.
It was around then that your winter began to move faster, falling back into routine. Almost every morning, the ice floes would wake you, and every morning you would coach Cryolite on his technique, yet he never improved beyond that third day of winter. Every day, when the light was directly overhead, he would go to the chord shore to watch for a yellow gem, and you would finish his tasks. Every evening, you told of your activities to Sensei, and every night Jet told you of his dreams. Each night's were a new form of strange, disconcerting imagery, but as the season crept forward they became more tame. Jet no longer broke on recounting them, and their contents were less disturbing. He would describe a fog of thick liquid that enveloped him, warping the scenery, and strange jellyfish with faces, that became recurrent elements. The weather was for the most part as winter weather typically was. Clouded days, and too much snow to keep up with. When the snowfall was too heavy, even Sensei would become very tired, and would fall asleep wherever he was without warning, often damaging the school by accident. When you had the time, you would repair the craters in the walls with the stock of formula Jasper made prior to hibernation.

Around two thirds of the way through winter, a month or so after the coldest day, there was another clear sky.

This would make it a third sunny day I think. No ice floes either, waking up at my own pace is a good feeling.

Days without the horrid screams are good to catch up on the debt of tidying you've accrued, but the day might be better spent keeping an eye toward the sky. The lunarians haven't come in the winter in the past, but they've also never had to put up with Almandine's bossy attitude for two months before. If there was a day he would come back, if he intended to during winter, it would be today.

Cryolite enters your doorway, "Good morning."

"Good morning. Bit of a change of plans today, I want to stay on a patrol, watching for sunspots."

"Okay. We split east and west?"

"That's the plan."

A loud bang echoes through the school. Sensei must be sleeping again.

"I'll go take care of that," you say. "You go on ahead, cover the east."

Cryolite's gaze is transfixed out the window of your room. "I don't think I need to... Look."

Sure enough, a sunspot hangs in the sky over the southern coast. Cryolite and yourself rush outside the school, and wait. However, the wait doesn't end in the way you expect it to. This sunspot is just like the previous. It contorts and twists, and eventually dissipates into nothing.

"How anticlimactic," says Cryolite. "You still want me on patrol?"

"Mm, I think it would be best. Anyway, I'm going to go wrap Sensei in a sheet, you get started."
Cryolite nods and you split apart, yourself moving back in the direction of the school. A quick stop at the storeroom, and you're at Kongo-Sensei's chamber. As you predicted, he stands headfirst in a column, pebbles and dust have fallen to the floor, ejected from the impact. You drape the sheet over his shoulders, and as you're walking back outside you hear a noise. You know this noise now, it's the sound of the door to the sleep chamber.

A bit early for Jet to wake up, isn't it? Well, it's already an unusual day, maybe he can somehow feel it. You make your way to the entrance. It's ajar, but looking inside, you see everyone. Everyone is peacefully asleep, including Jet.

"Goodnight..." you hear from one of the tired gems, as you close the door. And then from around a corner, you hear a sound that only yourself and a few others have heard: a cough. Rather, a lot of very loud coughs. The last time you'd heard a cough was when you first met the Lunarians, also the only time you've heard a cough. By that, you deduce that one is here. The coughs are retreating to the east. You follow them, trying to remain unnoticed, and your suspicions are confirmed. A small Lunarian bannerwoman sits with her back against a rock, fumbling with something in her hands. Struggling against the fits, she manages to open it and clamp it around her neck, and suddenly her spasms cease.

"What are you doing here?" You shout to her. "Why were you in the sleeping room?"

She quickly turns her head over her shoulder toward you. Her eyes widen, and she sprints away, running still further southeasterly. You offer chase, but she’s faster than she looks. Although she’s fast, you do catch up inside the yellow forest, as she is unable to quickly navigate through the trees which you know so well. You hold her by the arms against the ground, hot from the exertion.

“Why are you running? I’m only asking questions.”

Her breathing is heavy, and she squirms against your touch, but it looks like she is done running. Remembering that Lunarians are more sensitive to heat, you release her arms. There are dark marks on them from your hands.

“Oh… Sorry, sometimes I can’t control my temperature.”

She sits up and holds her arms, then once again releases the collar around her neck.

“It’s… It’s not my fault… I’m only doing what she said.”

“Why were you disturbing my friends’ rest?”

“To lure you,” she says, before a bright silver sword comes down on her, and she dissipates into a pale fog.

Shocked by what you just saw, you stay knelt, not turning to face the wielder of the weapon standing behind you.

“She made that sound really ominous, but don’t worry, it’s nothing sinister. Oh and about the slicing her up, it’s fine. Lunarians just go back to the moon when you break their physical form like that. It was actually her idea, she’s very dramatic, likes to put on a show. I was playing along.”

That voice...
“Almandine?” You stand and turn to face him, and there he is.

“Long time no see,” he says.

“Y-yeah, I guess it is.” You stare at Almond, standing in front of you in strange white clothes, holding the ornate silvery weapon. “Well, what are we doing here, we should get back to the school and wake the others!”

“I can’t do that just yet. Ant, you see, I have to ask you something. That’s why I’m back.”

“Oh, I see,” you say, slightly confused. “Then ask, please.”

“Will you come to the moon with me? And will you help me convince the others to come as well?”

“W-what? Well, that’s so sudden, I’d have to ask Sens--”

No!” A small gust rustles the leafless branches above.

“I mean… You can’t… I don’t have that much time, I have to know your answer right now. Please.”

“I don’t--”


"Almandine..." Something about this is off, and is making you uneasy. Something from that dream Jet told you surfaces in your mind.
"He wasn't there, like something had taken his self out of him."
And in recalling the words, you notice. "Almond... What's wrong with your eyes?

In that instant, Almond falls to his knees. "Please, just say yes. Please... Please," he repeats, over and over.


He stops prostrating at your response, and stands. His face is sad in a kind of cold way, as he looks you in the eyes through his own vacant pearly ones. "Well then, I guess this is good--"


"Bye..." He says, as an arrow from the sky shatters his body.

As his pieces fall to the ground, you now see behind where he once stood. A sunspot hangs in the air to the south, near the silver cape; Cryolite just visible standing on its peak.

You run as hard as you can toward him. The sunspot unfolds as you are nearing the cape, and out come the Lunarians. They hold bows, and their music is different. Roughly thirty archers ready arrows.



"Ant...? Ant! Are you okay, what's going on!?"

"Get back to the school, wake Sensei!"

"Y-you saved m--"



The wind blows through the hole in your torso as you stand and unsheathe your icebreaker. Your body heats hotter than it's been since Lignite's time, so hot that flames burst forth from the summer uniform you'd taken to wearing as they reach their flash point. The fire ignites the fluorine gas that was trapped inside you, now free from its prison.

"You shouldn't... Have broken me..."

>roll 1d10+25
Rolled 1 + 25 (1d10 + 25)

Rolled 4 + 25 (1d10 + 25)

What, we don't get a choice on the offer of Almandine?
Averaging rolls, rounding up. Roll closed to 28.

If something that seems like a vote isn't offered as a vote, it might be that Almond wasn't really offering a choice at all.
I hope that's enough.
Damn, I'm late as always.
Just wanted to say I'm glad we've (apparently) managed to save Cryo and that the last paragraph invokes a really, really cool imagery.
Due to the extreme heat around you, and the explosive gas emitting from your broken body, it takes only a single pass to annihilate all but 2 of the Lunarians on the platform.

"You two. Never come back." The whole platform is burning now, becoming the same pale mist as the Lunarians themselves. You leave the remaining two to burn with it. Right now the most important thing is to protect Cryolite and the others. That job isn't complete yet, because currently approaching the school is another platform.

Exerting more energy than your body typically allows, you return to the school before the second platform makes it.

"Cryolite, where are you?" You shout.

"Sensei's chamber, I can't get him to wake up!" Comes a calling return.

"Keep trying, I'll hold them off."

As the second platform approaches, it's plain to see it's much larger than the last. The full count of archers is over 60, and you can feel your own energy burning out. When you're ignited, you burn until you drop, nothing to be done, but as long as you can send them away before that happens.
Rolled 3, 10, 9, 9, 8, 4 = 43 (6d10)

The archers ready a volley toward you. They fire all at the same time, which...

>roll 1d100+20
Rolled 46 + 20 (1d100 + 20)

66 passes.
...You break against your own sword with ease. You run forward and jump to the floating cloud.

They're just like the ice floes. Cold and unfeeling, and I can break them just the same. A swing at congregation, and...

>roll 1d10+20
Rolled 2 + 20 (1d10 + 20)

Rolled 8 + 20 (1d10 + 20)

Took longer than I thought. Averaging rolls, closed for 5.
Man, I love this quest and I love HnK. I always thought HnK's mood was like a sad dream.
Rolled 10, 4, 8, 10, 1 = 33 (5d10)

...25 of the archers are gone.

Of the remaining ones, 20 draw another volley of arrows, and one which you hadn't seen before comes out from behind the large central figure holding a javelin. The other 20 which are not focused on you begin lowering themselves from the platform by rope.

You can feel the extra energy waning still.

The archers and spear thrower attack...

>roll 1d100+15
Rolled 68 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

Let's do this.
...Are both easily avoided as you pull your center forward over the javelin and block the arrows, lending no credence to their attempts. You land on the platform, now surrounded by 21 of the individually weak foes. 20 others are still descending.

Now that you are on the platform, you can also directly attack the central figure as well.

>Attack the central figure (1d100+15)
>Attack the surrounding group (1d10+15)
Rolled 23 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

Rolled 28 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

I hope these sunspots work the same way as in the source.
Rolled 10, 1 = 11 (2d10)

Averaging and rounding up. 26+15=41

You suspect that the larger Lunarian figure is in some way more important than the others. Despite your current lack of knowledge, the desire to erase them is too strong to prevent you from finding more efficient ways to do so. However, that burning desire triggered by the fear inside you is waning further. Your thoughts are more clear.

What's really happening? I'm not sure. I don't know why I'm fighting them... Something deep down hurts, and it's telling me I should. I don't understand, but I want them gone.

"Why!? You brought him back just to trick us, and now you're trying to hurt us!"

You spring up from the encirclement of archers and go directly for the main body, splitting it in two from the shoulders, but it doesn't vanish like the rest of them. It simply sits there, with a strange pattern of holes running down through it. From those holes, an unsettling feeling emits, and with it comes long chains of what look like folded paper. The chains are formed from overlapping rectangles, and seem to loop back around into the holes. At that moment, the chains begin rotating very quickly, pulling out, around, and back into the holes they came from. The swift motion gives off a strong wind and sound.

The archers pull back yet more arrows...
Rolled 16 (1d20)

and the spinning saw of paper chains rushes toward you.

>roll 1d100+10
Rolled 92 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

Rolled 65 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

It looks like the QM is taking the average of our rolls, so don't roll if our rolls so far has been high, and roll if our rolls suck
That makes sense, I hope this won't fuck up the out come.
You can always delete your post
Nah, actually, don't delete it, you already rolled. Deleting will bring bad luck. Just keep it in mind next time. Can you even delete posts on qst?[\spoiler]
Roll comes to 79. Writing. I'm gonna keep going tonight, hopefully finish this part and if all goes accordingly chapter 2 by tomorrow evening.
Still too slow versus your overheated form, the arrows fly past you and you duck beneath the fast moving whip.

Why would they just do this? Another of the whips fails to hit you. There's something... Somewhere, something went wrong, that has to be the explanation.

Landing back on your feet, the archers have already started to draw again, but you take the opportunity.

I have to find out what that was. "But first I need time to think!"

>roll 2d10+10
Rolled 2, 1 + 10 = 13 (2d10 + 10)

Rolled 1, 6 + 10 = 17 (2d10 + 10)

Rolled 9, 2 + 10 = 21 (2d10 + 10)

Rolled 3, 3 + 10 = 16 (2d10 + 10)

I need to get a new alarm.

Rolls averaged and rounded to 17
The fire has almost burned off the last of the Fluorine gas around you. Much longer and it will begin pulling energy from you until it runs out of fuel and you sleep from exhaustion. Another attempt at removing the archers, and of the 21 that surrounded you only 4 now remain. Even with less of a boost, it becomes apparent to you that such a small amount of them are easy to follow, their actions easy to predict, and breaking them entirely trivial.

"The others... They all knew you, they were your friends. They danced with you. I've watched them be friendly to you, and you back for thousands of years, and I can't understand why you're doing this." You walk up to the last four, breaking their weapons away from their hands as you get close. "But I understand why I'm doing this. You were never my friends, I had to wait on the outskirts of the island whenever you came, pretending I didn't want to be at the school with everyone. The others will be sad, if they even can believe what you've done. Now I know why I'm fighting, it's because I won't ever let you hurt them like they will be in spring ever again." You raise your icebreaker, "I will send you back, every time you come."

The only threats remaining to you on the cloud are now the paper chains. They swoop down, now attacking with 3 chains at any given time.

>roll 1d100+5
Rolled 932 + 5 (1d1000 + 5)

Hoping for a good roll.
Wow, better then I expected.
Rolled 92 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

I'm an idiot.
Rolled 19 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

Rolled 22 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

Rolled 31 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

I am also an idiot
master scholars

current rolls rounded and closed to 47
The chains fly by you. Now that they have your full attention they're not quite as dangerous. However, down below the other 20 Lunarians are now reaching the ground. At the moment, you can't see if Cryolite has managed to wake Sensei, and in fact you have no idea whether he will even be able to help. Sending Cryolite to avoid fighting was just as much for his own protection as it was to actually try to wake him.

Given that, and now that you're more level headed, you force yourself to think about what comes next.

This thing can't be much of a threat on its own to the school. It might be best to get down there and stop that group before they can reach them.

>Find a way to destroy the platform (1d100+5)
>Jump down and fight the advancing group
>Jump down and fight the advancing group
>Jump down and fight the advancing group
Rolled 13 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

Find a way to destroy the platform
File: 66106957_p0.png (1.08 MB, 750x1111)
1.08 MB
1.08 MB PNG
Rolled 93 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

Destroy the platform, if it works like in the source, the other Lunarians will disappear too.
File: 1512092620342.jpg (547 KB, 1258x1920)
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Man, I get high rolls pretty often, nice.
Rolled 90 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>Find a way to destroy the platform (1d100+5)
We must take risks to progress! Look at our choices so far, everything was done in order to maximize safety and look at where it got us. We left Jet alone and babied Cryo, and look at where it got us. We are the only one who can fight.
The Lunarians are weak individually, but if we went after them, they could scatter and we would be left with Moonies on the loose AND a functional platform. If we take out the platform now, the Loonies would have no where to retreat to, they won't be able to run back to the moon, unless they send reinforcements
inb4 a 1
They 100% will send reinforcements.
Well, shit, I finally rolled high too, let's hope the Lunarians on the ground just fade away if the platform dies
Rolls averaged to 70

Then again, I honestly can't say what this is capable of. If I can just destroy it now, hopefully I'll still have enough time after.

Another attack aimed at the decapitated whip wielder, this time vertical to avoid coming in contact with the rest of the chains inside it. That's done it, and the platform begins to dissipate under your feet. In the time and energy it took to deal the final blow, the fire's exterior fuel ran out. You feel the hungry flames burrow into you, begging for more food. It won't be long now until you're too exhausted to fight. Not wanting to be subjected to gravity on any terms but your own, you jump off before you would have fallen through.

The Lunarians on the ground notice the wisps of the platform blowing away in the wind, set down their bowls, and ready their own weapons, a mix of bows and javelins.

>roll 1d100
Rolled 11 (1d100)

Fuck, i thought this would be the end of it.
Rolled 82 (1d100)

Rolled 7, 6 = 13 (2d10)

I forgot to roll for what you're rolling against yikes
Nice, we might make it.
Roll closed to 47

With a careful twist, the arrows pass between your limbs, and you continue to fall unscathed. A moment after and you are on the ground with them. The burning inside you creeps upward, it seems as if it wants to drain your strength first, and it's moving quickly. This comes with a realization.

I can't get them all. The twenty that are left... If the last time this happened is anything to go by I won't be able to move my arms in about ten seconds. I could do Fifteen at the most, given that my strength will be sapped partway during the second pass. But maybe, if I spend the last amount of my energy running, I could reach somewhere in the school. And still, no sign of Cryolite...

The thought of running after all this intensifies the burn of the fire currently tearing through your body. It would leave the sleeping unguarded, supposing that's even where these twenty on the ground are headed.

It's not ideal, but I have to...

>Fight the remaining twenty (1d10)
>Run inside
Rolled 1 (1d10)

>Fight the remaining twenty (1d10)
>Run inside
If we stay and fight, we would kill maybe 7 lunarians and then just pass out in the middle of them. But if we can wake up the other gems and set up an ambush or something, we could wipe them out.
Run inside, I am fairly certain that we will be collected and taken to the moon if we fall amon the remaining Lunarians. Let's try to reach someone that can finish the job for us and ensure, no gem get's taken today.
Run inside
>>Run inside
Which means we'll be leaving Almond's shards unsupervised, though.
We were already fighting in frond of the school and Almond lies in the forest, so the shards are most likely already gone and at least unsupervised for the duration of the fight.
>We were already fighting in frond of the school
Forgot that.
Vote closed for running inside. This marks the end of this first combat, updates will now be back to the ~6k character count

And be well written again
Bumping to be sure.
...Run away.

I have to run away.

You think it once more just to confirm it was your own mind thinking it. After everything, so long preparing and practicing, when it finally happens I have to run away. Without any time to waste, the group of Lunarians is soon far behind you, and you are running deep into the school. Is this the right choice? Moreover, is it the right thing to do?

Visions of him from long ago pass by your eyes, painted on the walls and columns speeding past. If it were me and you, you would’ve fought. You were always like that. The further you run, the stronger the burn inside you. Your arms are now entirely limp, and the veins of fire are beginning to spread into your face. The memories begin to fully take form as hallucinations, and you struggle to fight them off.

“You’re running,” he says.

“I have to.”

“Did you? Hmph, doesn’t matter now.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize to me.” His scorched face, still etched in your mind, is running beside you as if he were really there. “It won’t do any good. Anyway I think there’s someone else who needs an apology.”

There’s only one now who can protect everyone, and you see him now as you collapse exhausted into Sensei’s chamber.

“Cryolite…” you say, forcing the words out.

“Ant-- Your face, what’s happening!?”

“Go on. Ask your own apprentice to save you. Beg him from the ground,” he says.

“Cryolite… You have to protect them.” Every word pushes a vignette of black closer to the center of your vision.

“Shouldn’t I wake Sensei?”

“He’s really clueless, isn’t he. How will you do it, how will you ask for help? He’s relied on you, it’s not fair that he takes responsibility for you.” He says.

Even speaking is nearly impossible now, everything is so hot. “They’re… Like ice floes… Break them…”

“Is that everything? Don’t you have more to say?”


Cryolite looks over his shoulder to the still sleeping Kongo-Sensei, and back to you.

“I… I still don’t know what’s going on, but I trust you. You saved me, now I have to save everyone.”

He runs out, pulling off the sheathe from his sword, a replica of your own. Something deep within your body refuses to give way to the smolder, knowing that Cryolite is alone. That piece of you musters what little energy it can, pushing you along the floor after him.

”Hardly trying now, crawling like that.”

Why are you here?

”Regret, I suppose. Surfaced by this fire inside you."

You're gone.

"Am I? Well, I guess I am, but the me that isn't..."

He's not you. I wanted him to be for a long time, but I don't need you.
He kneels beside your slow moving body. "You do. I'm the reason you're awake, pulling yourself along with energy you shouldn't have. Even that has its limits, though. You won't make it back," He leaves your side and stands by the open window. "Not on willpower alone. Come watch the action from here. He's doing really well."

Cryolite, he's okay?

"More than that. Looks to me like he's won. Well, looks to you like that." Suddenly your body is draped over the edge of the window, an action you don't remember taking. "Down there. See him?"

Bowls, bows, and javelins are littered across the grass, and a pale fog rises from the black face of Cryolite's serrated icebreaker. He stands still among the scattering of weapons and pottery, staring over the bright south sea. His short hair is caught in the breeze, a sway of pale white and yellow not unlike the gaseous bodies of the Lunarians themselves.

”I’d say well done if he could hear me.”

He… He did it, they’re all safe.

The apparition of an old friend watches on not with relief, but with worry. ”They are.”

Cryolite turns away from the water and walks back toward the school, and you fall back from the window’s bottom edge. A short eternity passes as you continue to push yourself along the ground, but soon the largo of Cryolite’s footsteps break past your mental fog.

“Ant…” he says, faintly as he comes into view, kneeling to grasp your head. He holds you close to his chest. Your eyes fight against gravity to meet his.

“What did I do?”

That’s right, he never heard Almond say that the Lunarians return to the moon.

”Something’s not right.”

“They’re gone. They were my friends and I--”

“C…ryo…lite…” You manage to say. The words are so tightly bound behind exhaustion that they can’t escape as more than a syllable at a time, and not always that. “It’s fine, we’re okay.” A weak smile finds its way onto your face, and although you can’t move your arm, he notices your attempt to lift it and places your hand over his cheek. He smiles too, and you stay there, staring into each other as the wind wraps around the columns.

“Yeah, we are now.”

Dry snow from the previous day blows in under a larger gust, and the small crystals reflect the light of the sun around you as they float down.

“I understand, everything you taught me. I felt it inside of me when I fought them. I was scared, but I see it now. Ant… Ant I have to say this, I feel like I have to. Thank you.”

”You have to tell him!”

“Tell him what?” You ask, fighting sleep between every word.

“What’s that, Ant?”

”Think back! I can see it in your memories, just out of the window, how many weapons did you see!?”

You count them from the recollection, “nineteen.”

”All of them, all twenty had a weapon."
The realization ignites another small burst of energy, just enough for your eyes to open wide, “Cryo--!”

With the same sickening sound of breaking glass, Cryolite shatters, and his pieces rain down onto you as if they were all snowflakes wanting to join in the drift that surrounds you. Some of his body falls into the puddles of water around you, created by the melting of the silent snow just beside your smoldering form.

Then, the last Lunarian came.

She steps carefully around the sharp fragments of your friend, all the while you watch her unable to move, your head still set upon his motionless lap. She throws away her bow, and kneels down aside you with a bowl, picking up his visible fragments.

"Don't... tou...ch him..."

She only bothers a half-glance at you, and returns to collecting.


She continues to ignore your barely audible pleas. She picks up a larger segment and inspects it, turning it side to side. It faces you, and you see the same deep silver eye you saw moments ago.


Finally, she turns to you head on. She drops the piece of his face in the bowl, and removes a collar from her neck just like the last one you spoke to, then continues collecting after taking a few shallow breaths.

"You know your friend, the pretty brown one? She was always the-- Wait, you all say 'he' don't you, well he was always the most beautiful to me. Ever since the first time I saw him, must've been actual ages ago now, I've wanted to wear him. We've all got favorites, we even keep track of who's the most well liked. If you're curious, Cuprite's winning, what a truly rare kind of beauty that one is. Shame this one is the only we could bring back today. Also a shame I'll never be able to wear any of you." Satisfied that she's found the visible smaller pieces, she shoves you off Cryolite's lower body. "Can't say I've met anyone who likes you the most, but that isn't so much a bad thing if you think about it. I mean, nobody wants to wear stinkrock."

She laughs and pulls the last of Cryolite over-top the bowl. She picks him up and starts to walk away, but turns back before reaching the corner. "Don't get caught up thinking about this. It would've happened eventually, and it's not your fault. It didn't matter whether you said yes or no. Once Almandine's feet were back on this island, this was already set in motion. Oh, and one last thing, we left a little consolation gift for Jet back in the forest. Anyway, I've no doubt I'll see you again, so later!"

She waves and resets her collar as she walks away.

In your hands, you feel what she left behind. Cryolite is practically invisible in the water, and within the puddles are shards she couldn't see.

With the last of my energy, and perfect timing, I could end her.

>Try a final hail mary against nearly impossible odds to save Cryolite
>Beg the apparition for advice
>Call for help with the last of your strength
>>Beg the apparition for advice
>>Try a final hail mary against nearly impossible odds to save Cryolite
>>Try a final hail mary against nearly impossible odds to save Cryolite
In retrospect we should have stood and fought. As the Lunarian said, Ant isn't wanted by anyone so she would have been fine and the few Lunarians still left would have been easy prey for Cryolite, if everything went according to plan that is. It might as well have resulted in them taking Cryolite, Almandine and more.
I am conflicted, the aim always has been to save the gems from the Lunarians, but it's no longer so clear what the best way of going about this is. If we burn out the last of our gas in the effort to save Cryolite we probably won't succeed, but there is a small chance there we will and if we succeed no gem will get taken today. If we call for help we might alert Sensei who is certain to save the day, but it is a fain hope a cry for help will result in Sensei, or any other gem for that matter, waking up and finishing the job. Then there is the option to ask the apparition for help (probably Lignite), I don't know what possible good that would do, but there is a small chance that could result in something good.
I think the best option now is to
>Try a final hail Mary against nearly impossible odds to save Cryolite
Let's believe in willpower, this is the only option still in our hands that is certain to have effected if pulled of correctly. Calling for help, nor asking for advice is guaranteed to have any effect even if we reach the ears of any gem or if the advice is good. This is such a shitty situation and we would have probably been in a better situation if we ensured Gyrolite was with us this winter.

On an slightly unrelated note, can we assume that Lignite was a previous partner of Antozonite, and was burned by Ant? If so, we really saved Jet from being fucked by getting him out of the winter duties.
Vote closed for hail mary
One last push.

Gripping one of Cryolite's fragments from the water, you send all of your remaining power to two fingers. It's not much, but all it has to do is hit her.

"You already know this probably won't work."

You already know it's his last option.

"Yes, I do."

You send the little piece flying, releasing your thumb and pushing the index forward as hard as you can...

>roll 1d100-99
Rolled 47 + 99 (1d100 + 99)

Rolled 46 + 99 (1d100 + 99)

Rolled 69 + 99 (1d100 + 99)

O fuck, we made the wrong choice, but let's hope OP is mercyfull.
>Rolled 69 + 99 (1d100 + 99)
I think we are not doing it right. I am certain that I put in "dice+1d100-99", but it still shows as 1d100+99.
Roll closed. Average looks to be 54.
54 - 99 < 1.

Nearly impossible odds.

I think the actual way you write it is dice+1d100+-99, but the rolls are what count.
But do my rolls count if I made the wrong input?
We're fucked either way.
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Rest in pieces.
...Yet it lands only halfway.

The Lunarian turns, startled at the bright ringing when the piece hits the hard floor. She sees it, and places it too in the bowl, then disappears down the hallway. You hold no thoughts in your head and no motion in your body. You are now completely drained of everything, and the hot smolder ebbs away. Vision fades, sounds vanish, and so too does your old friend. Your only senses now are a vague sensation of light and inertia, and like so you remained for many weeks.

Early in that dreamlike period, what you’ve assumed to be the same day as when you lost Cryolite, you felt a vague pull upwards, as if you were floating. That pull, as you would learn, was Sensei carrying your vagrant body to Opal’s table, where he laid you under the dim light of winter. That same day, he searched the island, finding the shards from your broken torso skewn across the Silver Cape. During the time it took your body to recover, he undertook the winter duties with some assistance from Jet, who offered to stay awake after Sensei was unable to find Cryolite. There were no more sunny days during that time, and it is now only a few days until the others will wake up.
You begin to be able to think again, your mind no longer a thick syrup of mixed sensations, and you enter real sleep, where you have a real dream.


You call out to an empty plane of gray rock, and standing out in the far edges of the horizon are huge spiked mountains, far too thin to exist in reality.

“Hello,” a voice calls back. This is a voice you recognize, the same that belonged to the apparition that appeared before. He stands behind you, his mesmerizing black hair falling to the small of his back, and reaching far either side. “It’s been awhile.”

“Lignite, you’re not burnt anymore.”

“You’re not on fire inside anymore, only natural I would think.” Lignite’s voice is calm and smooth, and he looks exactly the same as he did once before. He is tall and beautiful, and his perfectly black hair is a deep sea, just as you’ve tried to mimic with your own.

“I thought you were just in my imagination.”

“This is a dream, isn’t it? That counts as some form of imagination.” He smiles knowingly, and lets out a short laugh. “But I suppose that’s not what you meant.”

“It isn’t. Why are you here? Seeing you like... this... only makes me remember more.”

“Maybe you need to remember. The last words I said to you before I wasn’t me anymore, do you remember those?”

“I couldn’t ever forget them, not even if I lost every inclusion I had. You said--”

“‘Take care of winter, take care of the others, take care.’ Saying that to you, that is the last and only memory I have now, aside from my love for you and the other two. You see, I can’t even remember their names.”

“What do you mean you have those memories? I thought--”

“I’m not just a figment. There’s a part of me in you, where some of my inclusions survived. That’s what I am, an echo, a footprint of myself. I can’t be sure what I, the complete me, would have said to you, but I see now that those words were an unfair burden. I’m sorry.”

“Lignite, don’t apologize, that should be me. I couldn’t do what you asked.”

“I disagree. You’ve done so much more than you ever should have been expected to do on your own, Cryolite too."

"Cryolite... He sacrificed himself for all of us."

"He sacrificed himself for you. Really that makes two of us!" He laughs again, then leans back on a protruding rock, the same flat grey that surrounds you for miles in any direction, and stares inquisitively to the sky. "Hn, look up. Seems you're almost awake." He looks to you, "Well, I was getting tired anyway."

"You're going?"

"Best that I do. You go on ahead, do what you do best."

"Will I see you again?"

"You'll need me again, that much I can say. I don't know if we'll meet like this again, but it doesn't matter. I'm always with you. Ah, it's starting. Goodbye, just in case."

The real world slowly replaces your view of the rocky planes, as if that world was nothing but fog under the sun.
You see the high ceiling of the recovery room. It is still unkempt and dirty, and the mildew is farther down the columns than it was the last time you saw it. To your right, Jet is sat in the window, looking out over the island. Against the white backdrop of cloudy sky, his short black hair is a deep lake. You notice most of the island is snow free, patches intermittent among the grass. It's close to spring. You're not surprised, as after the last time you slept for several years.

"Jet," you say. He falls forward out of the window, jumping at the surprise. His head peeks up from just outside.

"You're awake!"

"How long has it been?"

"Almost three months! S-stay there, I'll get Sensei!" He runs off, and returns with the tall robed figure in hardly any time at all.

"Antozonite," he says.


"Forgive me, I should not have slept that day. My actions have cost you so much."

"It's not your fault. I was so afraid of putting Cryolite in danger, that when he was forced to face it he wasn't truly ready."

"Ant," says Jet, "Could you- could you tell us what happened? If you're okay, I mean..."

"No, no, it's fine. You should know, and I'm sure Sensei needs to hear it." You look to the open air and prepare yourself, pushing aside any doubts or reservations.

"It started when Almandine returned..."
When you have finished exchanging your recounts, Jet stands motionless. His face might seem sad to someone, but something in his eyes gleams of determination.

"She said a 'consolation gift'?"

You nod. "Sensei, you told me you searched the island to find the pieces from my torso, did you ever check the Yellow Forest?"

"I did not. By chance I discovered your fragments at the Silver Cape soon after I began."

"Then I'll go," says Jet. "If she said it was for me, I'd like to see it."

"I don't know if it's a good idea to go alone. We don't know what to expect anymore, it could be a trap. Let me come."

"I will accompany you as well."

In the Yellow Forest, you lead Jet and Sensei to the exact spot where you met Almandine three months ago. Some of the buds are already appearing on the trees, and new leaves have just started growing in. And there, just at the base of one tree where you saw the small Lunarian felled by Almond, lay the 'gift'.

Jet pushes past you and falls to his knees, digging through small piles of snow around the gift.

"T-this is all that's here."

"Jet, your eyes."

He turns to you, oil running down his face and falling onto the complete head of Almandine, nestled in his arms.

"Ant," he says, standing up. He looks at you, yet past you. "This is the same head I saw in my dream." Still cradling the head, he starts walking back toward the school. He walks just past you without making eye contact. "Teach me how to fight."


The final few days of winter are spent teaching Jet the basics, and preparing the school for everyone to wake up. You also search for another place to stay now that the snow has mostly gone, and it will soon no longer be safe for you to sleep inside the school. At the silver cape, there is a cave embedded in the cliff face, which is where you choose to make your new home.

Then, together with Jet and Kongo-Sensei, you open the door to the sleeping room and welcome everyone to spring.

As the light pours into the chamber, the gemstones dressed like dolls begin stirring from hibernation. First comes Uvarovite, who in the past was always the first to wake after Almandine and Jet.

"Oh, Jet, You're already up... Hey Antozonite, where's Cryolite?"

More begin waking and emerging. Kyanite, Siderite, Opal, Morganite, Heliodore, Jacinth, one by one they fumble their way out of the giant silk spread. The longer you leave Uvarovite's question unanswered, the more apprehensive the air becomes.

"Did something happen?" asks Jacinth.

"W-well, let's wait for everyone," you reply.

A short while passes before there are only two remaining inside. A silvery glint tells you that Goshenite is beginning to move around, and with the jostling, so does the white and green one sleeping beside him.

"Hnn? Evvrbod's awake alrrdy..." Goshenite stretches and kicks at the straggler. "Come on Gyro, it's spring again."

And Gyrolite opened his eyes.

Chapter 2: Antozonite,
Chapter 3 FUCKING WHEN???
Friday the 23rd, 10:00a PST
So this probably isn't happening in the future especially with where the manga is going.
But that would mean Morga and Goshe died AT LEAST twice, or there was a massive mind wipe because Morga and Goshe never mentioned there were past versions of them, and we know Yellow is the oldest one alive.
Well OPaline, I can say you nailed the suffering aspect of the source material. Those rolls and decisions really made it tense, and gives a feeling of responsibility for the outcome we have gotten.
Could you tell us what different outcomes we could have gotten like last thread? I would like to know how much and where we made the wrong turn.
Great job so far.
While we painfully wait for OPaline to wake up, let us discuss what we think so far. I think this suffering is painful.
>Morga and Goshe never mentioned there were past versions of them
It could have been so long ago they just don't know and nobody told them.
But didn't everyone also say that having repeats of old gems was super rare? Or is this thing just so far in the past that multiple generations of rocks have died already? But if that's the case, then where is Red Diamond and Fluorite? This has to be set sometime after them, so this quest should be set either during a ceasefire period in the gembutt-moon war or long after the manga.
What I think so far, I already gave my opinion in short in my previous reply.
The way a quest works, works in favor of this feeling of impending dreath, when something bad happens you can be sure that at least a part of it is the fault of our previous decisions, making the reader more invested in the story. I don't think it was in our power to avert the coming of the Lunarians as a hostile host bent on capturing the gems, the details however are in our control. Last thread OPaline gave us an overview of the things that could have been, one of them was, if Gyrolite would be awake this winter. If we had Gyrolite or Jet on our side this fight the Lunarians would have still turned into a hostile entity, but I think that it would have been entirely possible that no gem got taken this chapter. If we had let Cryolite work alone on the ice flows or didn't sent him away maybe that he wouldn't have been taken. And it's that guessing that, doubt and uncertainty about what choice to make and if your roll is going to be good that works well with the feel of the source material.

But for this to work you first need to ensure that we care about the characters, that we care about the outcome of a roll or decision. I think OPaline succeeded in making the characters distinct from each other and memorable enough that at least I cared about what the outcome was going to be. That's why the less eventful parts about silkworms like worminite, pushing jellyfish into the sea and breaking ice flows is important, because they give us a peek into the characters and distinctions of the certain gems even if we don't hear their thoughts like Antozonite and Gyrolite.

To to sum up what I think about this quest until now, I think it's pretty good. My opinion isn't worth that much to be honest since this is the first quest I have been in since years, but I think this guy nailed the feeling of the source, a search for a place to belong, to be content and useful with the qualities you have, making the readers, or at lest me invested in the characters with well passed SOL like segments and utilized the mechanics of a guest pretty well to enhance the story.

As for the time this story could bes set in, I am not sure. When the quest began I thought it was the far of past, but with the new chapter and OPaline's words in the thread that “this doesn't effect the story one bit” I am not so sure any more. Now my gut feeling it's more likely set in the very far future after Phos got Sensei to pray for the Lunarians, then in the far of past.
>long after the manga
As I said, the way things are going in the manga I don't think that's possible, if Phos resolves the conflict to something none of this would occur.
I don't know what happened to Red Diamond (a ceasefire may be a good explanation), but it's obvious the conflict has been going on for at least tens of thousands of years (Natrolite is 12000, I think), so there being one extra Goshe some time in the past is not that much of a stretch.
Not more of a stretch than new Goshe and Morga being born only a few decades after the previous ones were taken in the manga, at least.
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>Now my gut feeling it's more likely set in the very far future after Phos got Sensei to pray for the Lunarians
But then why would the Lunarians still be present?
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Because praying is either a longer process that takes multiple rituals, or praying doesn't help for whatever reason. If you re read the first chapter the Lunarians come to the school for the feast and at the end they all kneel around Sensei to do something. I base my assumption of praying from that, because what else could it be they're doing around Sensei?
>Believing the prince when he say's the Lunarians can be freed by Sensei paying.
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>because what else could it be they're doing around Sensei?
I assumed that was them begging Sensei to pray, like in his dream and when Antarc was taken.
That's possible, but I don't know for certain either way. As I said, it's a feeling that I think the stroy is set in the far future, but it might as well take place in the long period between the current story and the beginning.
Well, if it's set before the manga, nothing happening here really matters because the conflict will still be unresolved by the time manga starts.
If it's happening after the manga, nothing Phos is doing matters because the conflict will still be unresolved by the time the quest starts.
It's a lose-lose situation.
>It's a lose-lose situation.
That about sums up HnK to be honest, and it's in the hand of the authors to make somethinghopefully happy ended of it.
Well, we know they know the story of how the school was built, but that still doesn't tell us anything because the quest gems could have just learned it from stories from the past or from Sensei telling the manga gems. Will any information even be in the library? The manga states that no gem ever managed to communicate with the moonies, but the quest contradicts that, making it likely this is in the future where Phos managed to fuck up everything even harder. Or the Prince is a lying asshole.
This is representative of just how useless Phos is.
I can see where you're coming from, but even then the yellow gem that seems to be in the process of being born could easily be Yellow Diamond. Assuming that he isn't born until after everything goes to hell could mean that the quest is in the past and Sensei, being Sensei, hasn't actually divulged any of what transpired to the gems that exist currently in canon. If anything, I'd say that this quest probably takes place between the time of the first two gems and Yellow Diamond's birth... at least until something happens in the manga to contradict that.
Yeah, but how did the first gems die then? If they were murdered by Lunarians, and this quest takes place during a ceasefire, then shouldn't Sensei be more careful and have more safeguards against potential Lunarian aggression, instead of just one edgy stinkrock messing around? But based on Jet's dreams, there probably are already grinded gems on the moon. And since no one has ever remembered a Lunarian attack here, we would have to assume that the ceasefire took place after a total party wipe for the gembutts.
Yeah, there're still quite a few unknowns, so I'll admit that my theory isn't exactly the most solid. There's also the chance that the first two went out thanks to miscellaneous circumstances like Lignite being burned by Ant though, so I guess all we can really do at the moment is wait and see.
So, in response to one of the posts here (like, holy shit it's christmas morning), I'll explain some of what happened, while trying to avoid spoilers.

The major choice present in this chapter was not whether anyone would be taken, but rather who would be taken. There were several outcomes, based around the three physical characters present, Antozonite, Cryolite, and Jet.

One of these three was not going to make it, and two would. Letting Jet join in the winter duties was the first step in two possible ways of losing him, so when you guys didn't, that was when it was determined either Cryolite or Antozonite would get abducted. The next major decision was whether or not to 'abandon' Cryolite. I did specifically choose to use very harsh language with that one, simply because that decision would literally involve Antozonite disappearing, and hiding while Cryo was forced to push himself through the winter duties. This would have morphed his personality into a cold one, and he would've become very proficient at fighting. However, combined with the result of other choices, Antozonite would have sacrificed himself for Cryolite after he succumbed to insecurities brought on by the abandonment (the ice floes would constantly taunt him), kind of the reverse situation you ended up with.

As for Jet, he would've met with Almandine again, but he would immediately notice something wasn't right. Almond's demeanor was wrong, and his eyes were different. With how close the two were, it would've been very painful when Jet watched him be shattered.

And as for Lignite, I was super happy when I saw you guys picked up on that. The exact details pf what happened to him are still unclear, but I'll say that the words he says are extremely deliberate. I think I've said before that there are many parallels between the source and this, and that most characters have an analogue of a sort. Lignite's is Lapis Lazuli.
There's also another parallel in that we now have the intact head of someone that one of the gems was very close to being kept in the school, although Almandine's analogue is Bortz.
As for the setting, yes it is still purposefully not very easy to determine when this takes place in relation to the canon, and its exact time won't be fully revealed until the end. But, I think I've given enough information (pay attention to Lignite's words) to get a pretty good guess going as to whether it's in the past or the future.

No matter which you think it is, something unavoidable will happen in chapter 4 that will make you question your choice.

I'll say this as well, that in the source material both of the Morga/Goshe combos are close, however in the full trio present here, Morga and Helio are very close, while Goshe is a bit more dependable and is closer friends with Gyrolite instead of either those two.

And, if this is in the past, as you have speculated it to be prior to the beginning of the conflict, and after Sensei ceased praying, where is red diamond?
Another thing, if instead of attempting a hail mary, had you tried to beg Lignite's 'ghost' for lack of a better word, then he would've sacrificed himself, burning his remaining inclusions to give you a better shot at saving Cryo (1d100-79). But, this would mean that Lignite's echo was no longer present within Antozonite, regardless of whether the roll failed, and frankly I'm glad that didn't happen. The situation surrounding the incident with Lignite is far too interesting, maybe even too much now that I'm so hesitant to give choices that affect that line of the story.
He delivers the answers! The absolute madman. Even though it's a different trip.
It comes as a bit of a surprise to hear that no matter what, one of the gems would have been taken. Looking at it like this, I don't think the outcome we got was so bad. Very interesting to hear the possible story we could have gotten, especially the part about lignite, I am glad we didn't choose that option then. If we had chosen for the option to call for help the Lunarian would have looked back and smirked or something? In any case, thanks for answering.
>So, in response to one of the posts here (like, holy shit it's christmas morning)
To big of a response? I kind of thought since you answered questions last thread that you would be open to them this thread too.
mobileposting is a bitch

Oh for sure I am, I just keep getting surprised at how legitimately interested people are in this.
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>The major choice present in this chapter was not whether anyone would be taken, but rather who would be taken.
But, to be fair, Cryo was the least relevant to the plot out of those who could've been taken.
We rolled a 54 anyways, that choice would have fucked up even more.
I think we have already abandoned the "antebellum" theory in favor of the "ceasefire" and "Phos fucked up" theories. However, both of these theories have major problems that have already been discussed before, but I shall summarize them here.
Let us look at the evidence we have so far.
Red Diamond is not present
The gems know the story of how the school was built
No one recalls a time when the Lunarians were not friendly
Heliodore is alive
Other versions of Morga and Goshe are alive
Jet had dreams of gems being dusted
Sensei was not surprised after hearing about the Lunarian attack
Sensei has an extremely lax attitude to war readiness: how would things had gone if Ant didn't develop fighting methods?
There are somehow obsidian blades WITHOUT Obsidian being around. Was it ever explained who makes the swords?
Lunarians have been visiting Sensei for a long time

This allows us to draw several conclusions:
At least an entire generation of gems were wiped out
Somehow, the story of how the school was built slipped through despite the loss of entire generations of gems
Moonies are impatient for results

This would make our current two theories:
Theory A: It is the past, but the war already began, but somehow a ceasefire with the Lunarians occurred, probably all the old gems were dusted, and the Lunarians turned back to their tactics of begging Sensei.
Theory B: It is the far future where Phos managed to pause the war for a while somehow, but the Lunarians still are not satisfied.
Actually, these two theories are very similar, the only differences are when and why a ceasefire occurred. Anyone else have something to add to to my conclusions? Let's try and figure something out
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Guess all the white gems have to die. Das racis
Haha, I see.
Well, if you write an interesting story, you will get interested responses.

Cryolite is pretty relevant to Ant, who himself is one of the most relevant to the plot, so Cryolite is very important via proxy in how his kidnapping affects Antozonite.

Jet dreamed of dust, but the Lunarian confirmed that they are hunting the gems to wear as jewelry. This might be the origin point of the explanation Sensei gave at the beginning of the manga about why the Lunarians hunt the gems in the first place. This would set the story more in a ceasefire period before the main story.
Or it's just dirty moonie propaganda, I think that's likely too.
Correction: mobileposting is suffering.

Okay, I see now where you guys are at with these two ideas.
Your conclusions are correct: Somewhere along the line, an entire generation or more of gems has been wiped out. We can draw the same conclusion from the manga as well.
The moonies are impatient for results, which is also the case in the manga.

If your assumptions are correct, one might be led to believe that one of your ideas was correct as well, which to that I say :^)

Had Cryolite survived and Antozonite not, he would have become far more relevant.
Regarding the past/future thing, OP said to pay attention to Lignite's words, and the ones that caught my attention are:
>“‘Take care of winter, take care of the others, take care.’ Saying that to you, that is the last and only memory I have now, aside from my love for you and the other two. You see, I can’t even remember their names.”
Perhaps those other two are some gems we know from Phos' time? Or maybe they're Red Diamond and Fluorite?
Though that creates even more uncertainty rather than clear it up.
Sensei said that Jet "still has not remembered Lignite." This means that Jet knew Lignite from before, but somehow forgot him. We also know that memories are stored inside a gem's inclusions, but how did Jet manage to forget Lignite?
Maybe he just blocks out the memories?
>how did Jet manage to forget Lignite?
Yellow Diamond said she was forgetting why they were fighting yada yada, so I assume gems can just forget things like humans do.
But I think in Jet's case it was some traumatic experience and >>2295497
this desu
PTSD and dementia are too simple to be answers, we need to think of some twist that's really crazy
Just look at this smug OP
>some twist that's really crazy
Part of Jet's body is actually Lignite but because they're both coal nobody notices.
Neither part remembers how they ended up like this.
My hunch is turning to the “Phos fucked up” theory. Maybe Phos bought a ceasefire with the gems of his generation or all the gems from the main story died and it finally made Sensei pray, but since salvation is only reached from withing it doesn't work?
This doesn't explain why the Lunarians are interested in making the gems into jewelry instead of dusting them, but it would explain why Jet dreamed of dust. On the flip side, Jet also dreamed of Almandine's head and that was in the future so it could still be in the pre-Phos era.
Really makes you think.

I was just about to make that write that too dammit.

Jet is actually lignite, but reborn after being reburied. I don't know if Lignite can turn into Jet coal, but have that theory.
Just looked it up and yes, Jet is a hardened, gem like form of Lignite, so this theory is possible too.
Oh yeah, there's more evidence for the "Phos fucked up" theory. The second Lunarian platform was a "new type" platform, one that didn't dissipate the moment the giant Lunarian was cut. We know that the first new type platforms show up in the first episode of the anime, so that would mean this happened after the canon plot ...unless the gems just keep really bad records. Areki-chan isn't around, so we don't have a Lunarian autist to rely on.
But according to my research, Jet and Lignite are both formed from pressurized organic matter, but nothing said that Lignite would turn into Jet. Wouldn't buried Lignite just turn into Sub-bituminous coal? And how did Lignite's inclusions manage to make it into Ant?
>but since salvation is only reached from within
In Pure Land Buddhism it isn't. Unlike other Buddhist schools, it teaches that humans can't become buddhas on their own, only through belief in and prayer to Amitabha.
Since Ichikawa studied that kind of Buddhism, I doubt lunarians can just achieve nirvana on their own.
But then there's the dog and the boardgames, so maybe not.
I just read the Wikipedia page on Lignite. I wouldn't know much beyond that sorry.
As for how Lignite's inclusions made it into Ant, maybe they bumped into eahother and pieces of Lignite managed to survive in the hollow cavities of Ant?

>In Pure Land Buddhism it isn't.
I didn't think of that, good point, but as you said in the next post, the dog and the board game managed to reach enlightenment just fine on their own so I based my assumption off of that.
It doesn't make sense for it to be Buddhist in other ways too.
Why, for example, are the lunarians not reborn after 49 days?
Why are only the ghost of garbage not purified when akunin shoki should apply?
What I'm saying is that there is much unknown about the souls in HnK universe.
Somehow they can be scientifically proven and the prayer process can be computerized, even though those are inherently non-scientific concepts.
That's a grade above my knowledge of Buddhism anon. And I hadn't really thought about the second part. So on both cases I can't give much of an answer.
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> I can't give much of an answer.
I doubt anyone but one person can.
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Delete this.

also >>2295546
>You're gone.
>"Am I? Well, I guess I am, but the me that isn't..."
>He's not you. I wanted him to be for a long time, but I don't need you.

>"before I wasn't me anymore"
>his perfectly black hair is a deep sea

>his short black hair is a deep lake
Holy shit OP, are you actually saying my theory is true, or almost in the rose?
Let me guess, something about the heat and pressure of Ant helped in making Lignite into Jet, did Ant sleep on top of her or something?
I'm not going to confirm or deny your idea, but there is certainly evidence in what Lignite was saying that seems to point to it. I was just pointing that out.
Alright, I guess we'll just see what the truth is later in the story.
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I suffered more than I thought I would, even though I couldn't actively participate much this time. Sasuga OP. Guess I'm fully invested in all these characters now.
I was so sure this was set in the past, but reading all that discussion I have no idea. I wonder how the Admirabilis are doing? If only we knew if they still have the legend of a certain Posposlizliz.

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