New Avalon Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=New%20AvalonColors' Sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gq9ZEFrwnYjQpSeuMg1a_7UepedMrQUSEwbrHWntFCo/edit?usp=sharingPrevious Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2383230/Jack's Unsanctioned Editorials: https://jacks-unsanctioned-editorials.tumblr.com/You are Colors Eriksdotter, proud dog owner, and you're going to ask your girlfriend (praise Freya!) to watch your dog rather than take him into the Hedge. Somehow you imagine Misery will approve."I'll need to ask you to watch Fido for the duration," you tell Fancy, while you rub the dog's ears with your free hand. "...You could stay here, if you like."Fancy looks fondly down at your dog. "I could," she admits. "Might be good to get out of the house. Some of, um. Some of my co-workers have been less than understandin'. Rita among them."Your heart twists. "I'm s-"Fancy puts a finger on your lips. "You ain't gotta be sorry for bein' you, darlin'. Not ever. I'll get things settled out, and in the meantime a couple weeks at your place might not be too bad a plan. And, hey, I got a copy of that movie I told you about, that you asked me about?""The one with the pirate music?""...Among other things."The two of you end up falling asleep on the couch after, where Fido reprises his frequent film role of Improvised Blanket.* * * *September 22nd, 2017 (1 day later; Present Day)Oh gods. You overslept by a lot. Somewhere in here you'd woken up in the early afternoon of the 21st, watched another movie with Fancy (well, 'watched'; an 'I'm bored' fifteen minutes in turned it into a rather different kind of entertainment), ate something and went right back to sleep. Now it's six in the morning and you're stiff in the neck and shoulders from couch sleeping and from being coated in the twin snuggling of Mostly Naked Dancer and Warm Fuzzy Dog.
>>2410109> sneak out so we don't disturb FancyLet's be polite.
>>2410109You rub Fido's neck until he wakes up, his head poking up so he can look at you over Fancy. "Down," you tell him, nodding your head at the floor; he slips down with the click-clack of nails against tile, stretches with a big yawn, and goes looking for his food bowl in the kitchen."No, my warm," Fancy mutters in her sleep. You shake her shoulder gently. "Nooo...""Fancy I gotta pee," you murmur. When her response is to snuggle deeper in, you sigh and start tickling the shit out of her. The two of you fall to the floor with a thud, Fancy clutching her ribs and wheezing with infectious laughter.After your morning check-through of the house (Fancy takes a shower while you prowl your home, which also gives you enough time to start some coffee and eat a bagel) you take your own shower and get into clean clothes. Fancy's attending to a plate of bagels when you get downstairs."Can I get you to stand up?" you ask. "I need to pray.""Sure," the dancer says; she takes her plate and cup over to the counter so you can clear the table and set up the cloth for your altar. You place your knife and bowl at the north end.Fancy watches in silence, not touching her breakfast or coffee.You take up the obsidian knife and chip away a sliver of your glass hair. It cuts your hand when you squeeze it over the bowl and drop it in, coated in your black, molten blood. The hot liquid trickles down your fingers."O Freyr, lord of journeys, I prepare myself now to help one who is lost but seeking," you murmur. "I ask for guidance back to the true path in the jotnar's labyrinth. Frigg, Mother of the Gods, mistress of prophecy, favor Erin's sorceries and bless us with wisdom and clarity on this, Your day. To you I vow valor in battle and to see this journey through to its very end."Your heart flutters; your nostrils fill with the curiously distinct scent of molten gold, and the faint beating of hawk's wings. You set your bloody finger to the cloth and mark it with the backless 'K' of Kenaz, the Beacon, before you set the knife back down, take up your gauze, and start to wrap your hand."Can I ask who those gods are?" Fancy murmurs after a moment."You can always ask," you tell her. "Freyr is the brother of my patron goddess. You could in some ways call him the god of the world. He's the god of wealth and prosperity, of sexuality - especially for men - of travel, and of fertility and virility. The Voluspa says that he will die at Ragnarok because he traded his dancing blade for the love of his life. Frigg, wife of Odin, is the goddess of prophecy, witchcraft, and cunning wisdom, a rival to the All-Father in secrets and knowledge. They seemed the people to talk to for a hard journey towards wisdom and growth."
>>2410216"Do you always," she gestures at your hand. "When you pray?"You shake your head. "But before doing something big, or important, or where I feel like I need guidance...yeah. The gods of Asgard don't hand their favor away for free. There's...you have to commit, you know? Not just say you're willing, but act like it. Not just be sorry if you fuck up, but to be better. These rituals are my own, but I can feel them listening, feel them there. And that's a comfort, in times of doubt and despair.""You never did ask me about religion," Fancy says after a moment. She picks up her coffee cup and takes a sip."It's not my place to intrude on your faith without being invited. I'm not asked to spread the word of the Aesir, just to try and guide others who come looking for wisdom or honor."Fancy gives you a soft kiss on the cheek and an odd little smile. "So...what now?"> Go see Ramona; you need to call in your Glamour and seek her advice. She might also be able to tell you why people keep bringing up this whole 'stabbing' thing.> Drop by the Arcade and see how the Rook is holding up after last night.> Maybe Forum knows why Vickie was acting that way?> Visit Vickie's church and get this part over with. She's had the chance to sleep on it.> Write-in?
>>2410246> Go see Ramona; you need to call in your Glamour and seek her advice.
>>2410246>> Go see Ramona; you need to call in your Glamour and seek her advice. She might also be able to tell you why people keep bringing up this whole 'stabbing' thing.
>>2410246> Go see Ramona; you need to call in your Glamour and seek her advice. She might also be able to tell you why people keep bringing up this whole 'stabbing' thing.Bunch a wimps, getting all worked up about just a little knife to the leg.
>>2410874They just don't get it. It's the equivalent of a handshake in Philly.
>>2410109>"The one with the pirate music?"https://youtu.be/Nrj8EZm9ca8Better be this one, Vox.
>>2410246"I guess I'll go talk to my liege," you say. "She won't be participating in the Hunt, but she'll probably be awake and up worried. She was last year.""The Hunt?" Fancy asks."For the first three days of Autumn's reign, the Freehold has the Ashen Run, also called the Hunt of Fallen Leaves," you explain, while you pour yourself a second cup of coffee. You skip the cream and sugar in favor of just downing the thing in one pull. "We slip into the local Hedge en masse and scour the nearby sections, slaughtering any predators, hobs, or Fae we find. It's sacred ritual, a lot like the Feast of Strength, but it's also a reminder to the predators and treacherous beings of the Hedge that the Lost are something for them to fear. You don't have to participate, though I usually do. Ramona's not...inclined to, but her Princess is.""That girl scares me," Fancy admits. "Every time she looks at me it's like she's trying to decide if she wants to attack or not."You bite your lip. "She's...it's...you're safe. Just. Don't sleep with her. Like, even if we break up right now, don't. She's got this thing about eating bits of your soul and yeah they grow back but like...why risk it.""...You should go before I ask more questions I don't wanna learn the answers to."You give Fancy a kiss on the cheek, set your cup in the sink, and head out. You snag your coat on your way out the door. Fancy has a spare key, so you lock the door behind you on the way out.The early morning fog is as thick as soup, and you can barely make out the glow of headlights with people on their morning commute. You take out your phone and get a text going to Ramona: [Can I come talk with you? Need some advice and Glamour]She answers almost immediately: [My office. Come prevent me from drinking alone]You set off, if a bit cautiously. Thankfully the thick Autumn mist keeps anyone from seeing you act like a fool about crossing the street.The Willow is both emptier than you're used to seeing it and more full than it honestly ought to be this early in the morning. Just about every Lost not at the Hunt has gotta be here (well, minus a bunch of the Winter boys who are just handling business as usual, you suppose). You get some nervous waves, a couple of 'hi' and 'how are you' that you return on your way straight for the stairs and to Ramona's office. Her door is open, and she's already poured two glasses of that apple brandy from before."...You asked me to stop you from drinking?" you sorta-say-sorta-ask."I asked you to stop me from drinking alone. Please, have a seat." There's maybe a double shot in your glass. You sip it while Ramona pounds back hers and pours another. She swirls the glass idly. "You're calling in your Glamour for Erin's trip? I realize I usually stand on ceremony but let's just...handle it.""Yes ma'am," you agree. The two of you clasp hands briefly, and you feel the surge of power move from her to you.
>>2411146You have gained 4 glamour."Is this a bad time?" you ask. Ramona shakes her head and takes a sip from her refill. "Just nervous about the Hunt?"The black rabbit nods and sighs. "I never did like the Ashen Run. Accidents...happen, especially in the Hedge. Every couple of years one of us comes home in a body bag, and now the Hunt is both flooded with inexperienced Lost and being lead by an untested Queen. Natalia has every faith in Zoe, and don't get me wrong, I respect her achievements and her acumen, but...""She has big shoes to fill," you finish."Exactly. And you can let go of my hand if you're comfortable."You look down, realize you're still holding Ramona's hand, and snatch yours back with a hot blush high on your cheeks. Your liege lady laughs and gives you a faint smile. "You said you wanted my advice?" Ramona prompts."Well...before I go asking your advice I thought I'd ask about the Feast," you begin. "It's been most of a month and people are still talking about the duel with Erin, like I did something wrong, or she did. William was upset, and Fancy still seems to be, and you sorta implied that something bad happened...""I'm glad I started drinking already." The Queen of Spring takes out a two liter of ginger ale and tops off both your glasses with the fizzy drink to dilute the apple brandy and cut the flavor some. "Let's start from the top. What happened is not necessarily bad. No one's saying you or Erin did anything morally or ethically wrong, necessarily.""Then what'd we do?""You...had bad...optics, let's call it," she decides. "You're dating Ms. Fancy now, yes? Imagine for a moment that you went to visit her, and she had a guest over, with intimate toys out in the room and no clothing. Not, I must stress, actually doing anything when you walk in, but can you imagine how that would look bad even if all things were perfectly innocent?"You try to frame it in your mind's eye. It takes you a moment, but then you nod."Erin stabbing you with live steel on camera was in a lot of ways like that," Ramona continues. "Yes, the two of you agreed to the terms of the fight. Yes, there were healers on hand to attend to you, which they did. All of that was fine. But mortals...mortals live in a way that is...all Lost are or have been killers, Colors. Most mortals are not. They're unused to violence. It shocks, frightens, and upsets them. It gives them the wrong idea about us and what we stand for."
>>2411165You frown and take a sip of your drink. "I'm not sure I understand," you admit, after a moment. "People take precautions all the time. Fancy's got pepper spray, they move in groups at night, that sorta thing. And even these days there's still a shooting on the news every few days or so.""In a nation of millions, Colors. The chance of violence is certain. Any given person's chance is small. Mortals have the option to attempt a life free of that kind of conflict. Some even succeed." Her long ears twitch in the direction of the open door behind you. "That's the pretty dream at the heart of every Freehold, you know. A life where some or all of us can lay down our arms. It probably won't ever happen, but it's worth trying to achieve.""Am I in trouble?""No, Colors." Ramona sets her glass down and touches the back of your hand. "If I asked you to stop being fierce and eager I'd be asking you to stop being you, and even if that weren't completely impossible and antithetical to Spring, it would be an amazingly stupid thing to ask. Just think on what I've told you, and then tell me what you did want advice about. I'm dying of curiosity."> It's Erin. I don't...get her. And she seems to think we have something in common, and...that...doesn't seem good?> Vickie's angry at me for doing this. And I'm sorta mad at her for that.> What would you do if your friend told you something personal and painful? Something it maybe seems like they're not doing everything they could to fix?> Write-in?
>>2411114Duh. What do you take me for, a fool?
>>2411175> Vickie's angry at me for doing this. And I'm sorta mad at her for that.HOW DO I FRIENDS!?
>>2411175> Vickie's angry at me for doing this. And I'm sorta mad at her for that.> Also I got a dog.
>>2411210>>2411175That's an invite for her to come meet our new pup BTW.
>>2411211>Rabbit meeting a doganon pls
>>2411217She's already staying with one.Besides, it's only appropriate to show your bitches off.
>>2411175>Vickie's angry at me for doing this. And I'm sorta >confused by that.>She almost seems jealous.
>>2411175>> Vickie's angry at me for doing this. And I'm sorta mad at her for that.
>>2411175> Vickie's angry at me for doing this. And I'm sorta mad at her for that.> Also I got a dog.skip the jealousy part.
Dealing with some unexpected house guests, gonna try to update tonight but the vote's still open in the meantime.
> Vickie's angry at me for doing this. And I'm sorta mad at her for that.> Also I got a dog.
That's taken care of at last. Called, writing.
>>2411175You look down at your glass. "I can't get drunk," you tell Ramona after a moment. "Erin's buying drinks later and I don't want to be rude.""I'm certain I can arrange some breakfast once we're done. You'll have plenty of time."That works. You take a generous gulp of your mixer and let a long breath out through your nose. "Vickie's angry.""You're going to have to be much more specific when it comes to Victoria Reeds being angry." You look up and see a teasing smile on Ramona's face. "With you?" You nod. "About helping Erin, I'd wager. I can see why she would be.""I can't!" You almost gesture sharply, realize you're holding your glass, and set it down instead. "I've got to find her later and tell her if she's gonna be like this about it she doesn't have to help. What's her problem? I thought she was my friend and she's, what, she's just willing to let me hang just to hurt Erin?"Your liege lady gets up from her seat, comes around the table, and wraps you in a gentle hug from behind. You hadn't realized you were shaking, but you can feel yourself trembling in her grasp. That tightness in your chest, stretch of gloves around you knuckles, is too familiar. Ramona scoots your glass closer to you with a finger, and you take the suggestion for what it is. It's steadying, in its own way."When you look at Erin, who do you see?" Ramona asks. She stays close, not squeezing but comforting, letting you lean back against her."I - Erin?" you answer, in vague confusion. "She's done awful things, and she's an asshole who's always rude to me, and...I dunno. She needs help, and she asked me. She's been asking me."Ramona nods. "Vickie sees her mother in Erin Peters."After a long moment, you finish your drink."I think you might have noticed that Vickie struggles with her feelings," Ramona continues. "Like many of Summer's warriors, she finds it easier to be angry than to confront her problems or complicated emotions. In Erin she sees a slaver and a traitor, someone who twisted oaths to her own benefit. Erin Peters has been those things. In a sense her acceptance that she needs to find her Spring means she's confessed that some part of her still is those things. There is a legitimate concern to be brought up as to why Erin Peters gets to live when people like Virgo and Sam died.""She doesn't have to like Erin. She's supposed to be my friend," you murmur.Ramona sighs, kisses your cheek, and gently disengages from the hug. "She is, Colors. She wouldn't be angry if this didn't hurt her too. People are rarely angry for no reason. You can confront her about it, or you can let her distance herself from this. I can't say which is better, necessarily. If you try to persuade her to come, you'll be asking her to do something that hurts her. But I can't make that choice for either of you."You finish your drink while Ramona sits back down. She stays quiet, while you get your thoughts in order.
>>2414386"For better or worse, you are stuck with Vickie for the next year," your liege says. "Relationships take work, in differing amounts at differing times. Whatever you decide to do, don't let this fester. I've seen motleys implode before, and it is not a future I would wish for you.""Thank you," you tell her. "I...breakfast?""Breakfast."You need to take care of this with Vickie before everything gets started. After what was supposed to be an omelette, which ends up being a sampler platter of Guess Which Chef On Staff Cooks When He's Feeling Anxious, you set off for her church.> Just take care of the facts. There's no need to confront her, and no need to pick a fight. The two of you can talk this out later.> Lay it all out on the table. This hurts you too. She needs to know that.
>>2414409>> Lay it all out on the table. This hurts you too. She needs to know that.> But not in an aggressive manner—asking her to understand us, not accusing her of harming us.Be Spring, dammit.
>>2414409>Lay it all out on the table. This hurts you too. She needs to know that.>But not in an aggressive manner—asking her to understand us and to let us understand her (because we know it's hurting her but not why except through third party) and not accusing her of harming us.Backing >>2414409 with addition. This is a good idea.
>>2414445>This has my vote.
>>2414409I language Ect. You took classes for this (hopefully). Also she is probably still going to be pissed no matter what.Other than that good luck.Also did she magic us? Or is she just that good?
>>2415767> I language Ect. You took classes for this (hopefully)....Wat?
>>2415767Techniques I learned for avoiding confrontation in elementary school. Because I was the kind of 'special needs' that kicks you in the balls and swears at you.
>>2416091Fuck, right, "I" statements like, "I feel that," so you're not bein' confrontational and the like. As far as Ramona, this is what she does. She holds the crown of Spring against active and sustained challenge from Natalia more or less because of moments like these where she takes up the burden of intimacy. In a Court that is fractious by nature, Ramona practices strong internal compromise and deal-making, uniting what could be disparate cliques with no collective power into a single political body.
>>2416128Go go black rabbit queen
>>2416128>In a Court that is fractious by nature>disparate cliques with no collective powerThis is why Spring is by far my least favorite Court.
>>2414409>> Just take care of the facts. There's no need to confront her, and no need to pick a fight. The two of you can talk this out later.
Called, writing.>>2416318Oh? Might I ask what Court(s) have your interest?
>>2414409For a hot moment before you arrive you worry that Vickie might have dipped out to attend the Hunt, but as you come up on Vickie's church (is church the right word for it any more?) you catch her dulcet voice cutting through the early morning fog: "I swear to Christ I will shapeshift into Errol Flynn and follow you around quoting his God damn movies if I catch you flynning one more time!"There's a knot of Wonderlanders waiting on the street outside. They must have caught the puzzled look on your face because Mary at the front says, "School," while gesturing at herself and the others."Oh. Oh! Right, yeah. Who's Vickie yelling at then?""That tall guy you brought with. With the whole -" Mary makes a pulling motion in front of her nose."Forum? Forum Troll?" you ask.All of the teens and kids look at one another, then back at you. Mary speaks for them in tones of disbelief: "That's not his name. Tell me that's not his name.""I mean...he introduces himself that way..."You're saved by the bus pulling up. Well, 'the bus' anyway; the vehicle has VALKYRIE's insignia on the side, and is being driven by an agent in their ubiquitous suit and tie. She gives you a level look when the bus door opens and pops her bubblegum."We got a problem?" the Valk asks."Colors is cool," Mary answers. "She was just goin' inside. Catch you around sometime."You head up the steps while the kids file onto the bus. As you're opening the door you hear a dull thud of impact and catch the sight of Forum flat on his stomach with Vickie driving a fist into his kidney. The good news is he's wearing training pads, and the bad news is there's not enough pads in all the world to make that okay. He groans miserably and curls up when the Darkling gets off of him."You're holding back," Vickie scolds. "That's what happens to you when you hold back. I'm not a fuckin' damsel in distress.""You're smaller'n' me," Forum complains."Forum, break my fucking arms if you have to, because I'm about this close to breaking yours."You cough. Vickie whips her head around, hand going towards her belt for the knives that aren't there, and then realizes it's you."Got a minute?" you ask."I guess," she answers, before she kicks Forum in the ribs. He rolls away from the hit and onto his feet, hands up in a loose guard. "Take ten, drink some water, and then we'll hit this again.""You mean you'll hit me again," the Troll complains, rubbing at the small of his back."You asked me to teach you. Door's right there if you'd prefer to go back to getting dunked on by anyone who knows how to deal with brute force. I'll be in the kitchen with Colors.""Mornin', by the way," Forum groans in your direction. You tip him a wave and follow Vickie towards the kitchen while Forum limps towards his water bottle. Vickie gets out a glass, fills it with water, and takes a small sip. "Help yourself to whatever's in the fridge if you're hungry."
>>2417170> All of the teens and kids look at one another, then back at you. Mary speaks for them in tones of disbelief: "That's not his name. Tell me that's not his name."Ouch. Poor Forum.
>>2417170"I ate," you admit. You close the door behind you and take a deep breath. "I'm gonna say this part first: I don't expect you to help with the Erin thing, and formally rescind any explicit or implied request for your assistance thereupon. I've got this.""That part first, huh," Vickie says. She takes another small sip of her water before she sets the cup down and folds her arms over her chest. "Alright, so now you're the bigger person. What else you got?""It's not like that. Vickie, I just want to talk. As friends. Can we do that?" "We're doin' it now." A rumble of thunder echoes off of Vickie's Mantle, low and distant; the air around her bruises like a stormcloud.You take a moment to collect your thoughts. "Vickie...I - I feel like our friendship is taking second place to your anger, and that hurts. And I want to hear your side of it, so I can get it. This hurts you too, right?"Vickie's face goes through a complicated series of expressions. Somewhere in there she clutches at the air like she's throttling it before she finally lets out an exasperated growl. "What is with you? Why are you Bob fucking Ross? Every time I think you cannot possibly get any more fuckin' pure-hearted and chivalrous you pull this BS all over again!""What'd I do wrong?""Nothing! This is exactly what you're supposed to do! Jesus, Mary and Joseph why are you like this all the time. I can't even get mad at you properly!"You gesture helplessly at the storm that's raging around Vickie's head like a halo. "You're mad right now!""I know!" Vickie makes a slashing motion with her hand and you shut up instead of replying. "I know," she repeats, softly this time. "I'm not gonna ask you why you spend time with Erin fucking Peters. It's probably some weird Spring thing that I don't understand and honestly? That I don't want to understand. Arthur thinks he sees something in her, that's his damage. I don't. All I see is someone coming back, down the line, with a broken heart and a life in ruins. What do we tell that guy when he comes to New Avalon looking for the woman who took everything from him? Sorry, she's all better now, best of luck with the rest of your life? Are we going to defend her against her fucking victims? That's no kind of justice. What she's done, there's no coming back from that, and here we are coddling her, welcoming her, making her part of our Freehold, and ex-fucking-scuse me for not wanting to be part of that. And now you're here, broken heart on your sleeve, because I'm being a bitch and I know I'm being a bitch but y'know, I'm honestly still more mad at Erin than I am at me, which is saying something because I'm really mad at me, all the time."You bite your lip. "So that's it?"
>>2417398"No that's not - argh!" Vickie seizes her glass, hefts it with a whirl, and stops mid-motion. You can hear her counting back under her breath before she slowly puts the (now considerably emptied of water) cup back on the counter. "No, that's not it, but I don't even know how to talk about what 'it' is, okay? I don't even know where to fuckin' start. And the reason you're not getting an 'I'm sorry' is because I'm not supposed to be sorry, I'm supposed to be better. If I was fucking sorry I'd be going with you. You wanna hear that it feels like knives in my chest knowing this hurts your feelings? It does, but I'm still not going unless you make me. So, I dunno. Guess I'm just a bitch. Big fucking surprise."You take a hesitant step forward and reach out your hand. Vickie twitches, for a moment, and then reaches her own out to take yours."You're down on yourself a lot more than other people seem to be," you murmur."Yeah, I know. I live with myself every day and night, and that bitch is trying to kill me. I mean, just look where she's got me now, awake after the sun is up beating the shit out of an Ogre." Vickie sighs and turns her head towards the door. "Erin asked you not to bring me to begin with, didn't she?""Yeah," you admit. "This is gonna be hard for her and she didn't want the negativity.""Figured. Can't be mad at her for that, she was right. Colors...lemme tell you something. Forum and I? We haven't been a thing. At all. We fucked maybe twice and then came to our senses. All that sneaking out or sneaking around and coming back all mussed up? Cheap excuses to go spend time away from the two of you. Him because he used to be part of the Rook's crew and sometimes being stuck in a cage with his old boss is fucked up. Me 'cause..." she trails off. "Me 'cause sometimes I wanna be you so bad that I can't stand you."> What do you say?
>>2417437Aspiring to be a warlock seems kinda like a shitty dream Vickie.
>>2417449Please,> Greentext ya votesThat in mind I gotta pass the fuck out, catch y'all around.
>>2417450I know the deal Vox, more of a snarky meta comment than a vote since it wouldn't actually be useful to say. Don't let the dream beasts get you.
>>2417437>> What do you say?>What even You're good as you are. You >manage a fucking church full of children and >keep Forum happy. that's huge. You also are >singlehandedly improving relations with the >Valks by a lot. >You're responsible enough to be here now and to not do the easy thing like just leave for the Ashen Hunt.
>>2417437>Aspiring to be a warlock seems kinda like a shitty dream Vickie.
>>2417437>You're taking care of a group of orphaned children.>You're teaching a troll how to fight because you neither of you want to see him get hurt.>You're standing here, talkign with me about stuff even though it hurts you to do it and I'm as thick as a brick. Oh, I know I don't get it a lot of the times!! I'm not stupid!>I think you're more like me that you think you are, in the ways that matter.>And probably....a lot less clueless.
>>2417437>> What do you say?>Which parts of me, that I say, do, or am?And some of>Tell her about the dreams - the bad feeling that won't go away.
>>2417744>This is good.>Well i'm flattered thanks.>You want to be better. Personally.>For yourself, not for other people.>There are very few changelings who like what they see in the mirror Vick.>Thats what were all here for.>Your pretty great.Shes doing well. Really she is.
>>2417437It takes a moment to work up anything to say and all you manage is, "What?""Words in English mean things," Vickie echoes back at you. "Don't 'what' me after I worked up the guts to actually say how I feel.""That's not what I'm whatting - Vickie, you're great! Which...is...probably not what you want to hear right now but it's still true. Look at you with the Wonderlanders, and stepping up as the Arrayer. Helping Forum out and going out of your way to lend a hand when he's not doing alright. You've been the first to go after any of us when we're hurt and make sure we're okay. Fuck's sake, you could have left for the Hunt and instead you're here, doing your job. Like an actual adult."Vickie's pale cheeks flush rose red; she takes her hand back and looks away. "Don't over-sell it there, your gay is showing.""I know this is hard for you. Especially...with me. I'm thick. I don't get it more often than I do get it. What was it you said, my whole Elemental schtick?"The Darkling's eyes snap back to you with a guilty expression on her face. "I didn't mean -""Yeah you did. And you were right. I'm not stupid, just...stupid...fuck.""Nah, I get it."Gently, you take Vickie's hands again, and this time there's no hesitation on her part in letting you. "You're a lot more like me than you think you are, Vickie. In the ways that matter, you are. In some senses better, honestly. I'm so wrapped up in my own Spring that I've barely had time for my own Motley. I don't spend enough time with Forum compared to anybody else. And you're not...you know. Clueless."She sighs. "That's not what I want," she murmurs."What do you want?""To be friends with the sun again. And that's never gonna happen." She looks back up at you. "Look...you take care of your thing with Erin. And then we can drink it out or fight it out or whatever when you've brought everyone back alive.""Including Erin?""Eh. She's optional. I gotta get back to beating the shit out of Forum. You could stick around?"> Stick around and help> Actually, you were going to go hunt up the Rook and ask him for his advice on the Deep Hedge> Honestly, you're sorta still vibrating in your skull about this. You need to meditate (pass the time)> Write-in?
>>2418504> Stick around and helpLike, we literally just said we don't spend enough time with Forum. Let's hang around and laugh at him as he gets beat up by a girl.
>ask the Rook for advice about the Deep Hedge
>>2418504>Stay. Help.>Text rook though.
>>2418504>> Actually, you were going to go hunt up the Rook and ask him for his advice on the Deep Hedge
> Stick around and help
>>2418504>Stick around and help
>>2418504> Actually, you were going to go hunt up the Rook and ask him for his advice on the Deep Hedge
>>2418504On second thought, helping train Forum is probably a better idea. Changing my vote to:> Stick around and help
>>2418504> Stick around and helpOffer to fight Vickie with real weapons so she can stick it in us in one way at least.
Called, writing. This update brought to you by Four Hours Of Sleep. When you want to be miserable for the whole day for no reason, consider inexplicably taking Four Hours Of Sleep, brought to you by the makers of Why Am I Queasy and That Time You Fell Over For No Reason.
>>2418504"I'll need pads," you answer. Vickie brightens up; the dark clouds around her head are gone so fast you can actually hear a little 'pop' from the air returning to normal. "Um. And, uhhh...""C'mon, spit it out. Lunch? Make a phone call? Dental dam?""A training sword thank you very much.""Oh, pfft. Basement, with the pads. Go on."Vickie's actual training space downstairs in the basement has the cozy feeling you've come to associate with gyms and dojos, with green mats on the floor, safety posters on the walls, and clearly labeled first aid kits. All the things you need to bring someone up in the habits of violence and, if you do it right, discipline and restraint.You shake your head violently. For a moment it looked like one of the posters had your old dog tag hanging from it, and you know that can't be right. You left that in the river, where it belongs.By the time you've changed into the pads, selected a practice sword, and gone back upstairs Forum seems to have recovered. He's leaning on a padded club about the size and shape of a baseball bat. You offer your hand out, and he shakes it with a rueful grin."Why aren't we doing this downstairs?" you ask Vickie."Wanted to keep an eye on the kids. We could move, but honestly it's just hardwood up here, so, y'know. Fuck it?""What's going down?" Forum asks, letting go of your hand. "You two gonna go at it, or...?""Nope." Vickie drags a chair from the side of the room where they've been moved aside to make room. "Combat's like most competitions in that if you only play it against the same person or kind of person you'll develop bad habits. Colors is gonna give you someone else to fight. Show up at the classes and you'll have other opponents too. I'll be supervising. Remember what I said about holding back."The Troll nods and gestures towards the center of the room. The two of you take your places; you settle into a high guard in a two-handed grip. He holds his bat at rest, the tip resting on his boot."Keep in mind," Vickie continues. "All other things being equal, the bigger and stronger combatant is gonna win. Colors has an experience edge on you, but on paper this is a fight you ought to win. Don't get in your own head and fuck yourself up, alright?""Got it," Forum agrees."En garde!" the Darkling announces. Forum's expecting it when you lunge, but you lunge anyway; wooden blade meets padded bat with a dull sound of impact when he parries and gives ground. You keep them coming, driving him towards the wall with slashes aimed at his head and neck. Forum sidesteps and swats at your blade with his bat."Quit -" Vickie starts, but you let go of the hilt with your left hand and give Forum an open-handed slap across his face while his guard is wide open before she can finish. The Troll staggers aside from the impact, pain making him light on his feet, and comes up in a way guard with his hand on his face.
>>2420092You point your blade at him. "Quit flynning," you finish for Vickie. "Attack your opponent, not their weapon. If you do attack their weapon it'd best be because you're trying to break it, but even then you're best off breaking their hand or wrist. Keep your eyes on my eyes, don't look where you're trying to swing. It telegraphs your intentions."Forum rubs his cheek and nods. "How'd you get the slap in?""You're not controlling your weapon. Look." You walk the Troll through a series of slashes and chops. "Your whole body is involved in the hit. It's not just your arms. Your hands, your wrists, your shoulders, your hips, even your legs. Y'see how I lever the hilt instead of just hacking away? You do want to swing hard, but swinging without control is asking to die against someone faster than you. Which...right now is most everyone.""I'm noticing. Alright, let's do this again..."The two of you spend the better part of two hours sparring, pausing mainly for water and to help correct his technique. Forum is an attentive student, though you get the feeling that you're going to carve 'quit flynning' onto his headstone. When the two of you collapse into a pair of chairs there's a question on your mind that's been bothering you since about the third set."Can I ask something vaguely racist?""Which one, Ogre or black?"Vickie laughs from the kitchen where she's making lemonade."Ogre," you answer, cheeks hot. "It's just...most Ogres I know are experienced fighters. Unrefined sometimes, but familiar with it, comfortable with violence. And you don't seem to be like that. Teaching you's been a lot like training some of the Wizened and Fairest I've fought with.""Oh. That." Forum wipes the sweat from his forehead with a towel while you enjoy small sips of water. "Trolls ain't exactly like other Ogres, Colors. Not like Stonebones, the way Arthur is, who can take a licking and keep on tickin', or like Angel who can get huge, Gargantuan style. You're right, you only become an Ogre because you're a predator, or you have been. Trolls, though, we got the Unyielding Voice. When I do the thing I do I can lie, cheat, and schmooze with the best of them, lure and riddle and turn you around until you walk right into the dark cave beneath the bridge and you never get heard from again." He takes in a shuddering breath; the temperature in the room dips, just a bit, and his breath fogs in the air like the heart of Winter. "I ain't used to fighting people who fight back. Got into Autumn so I wouldn't have to lay hands on people again. Pretty dream, didn't work out. And now that I'm confronting that I think maybe it's time I learn how to be a killer so it can be my choice instead of something that happens from me not knowing how to handle my shit."You put your hand on Forum's shoulder. "I can appreciate that. Proper training does make it easier to not kill people."
>>2420108Vickie comes out with pink lemonade in a pitcher and a selection of red plastic cups. She pours one for everyone, passes them around, and takes her own chair without interrupting."I oughta pay you back for the help," Forum tells you. "The training and all. Vickie's obligated, with the whole Arrayer thing, but you didn't have to stick around.""Wha-" you start, only to get a sharp kick in the back of the calf from Vickie that makes you shut up immediately."Sorta sensing maybe the internet thing doesn't tickle your fancy," Forum continues slowly. "There anything I can put on the table you might like to learn?"> It's not that it's not interesting I've just been...busy...> You and the Rook seem to have a bunch of hobbies in common. Games and stuff, like Vickie's been learning. Could be fun?> How awkward would it be if I said I wanted to learn more about magical theory? Misery's training's been a bit...focused.> Insist that he doesn't have to pay you back> Write-in?
>>2420111> You and the Rook seem to have a bunch of hobbies in common. Games and stuff, like Vickie's been learning. Could be fun?
>>2420111>> How awkward would it be if I said I wanted to learn more about magical theory? Misery's training's been a bit...focused.
>>2420111> Write-in?Teach us about modern tech. Smartphones and such. Get us more comfy with the human world.
" ...the internet thing doesn't tickle your fancy," Colors already has a Fancy to tickle.
>>2420111>> You and the Rook seem to have a bunch of hobbies in common. Games and stuff, like Vickie's been learning. Could be fun?Motley MtG go!
>>2420111>> You and the Rook seem to have a bunch of hobbies in common. Games and stuff, like Vickie's been learning. Could be fun?Bonding. Camaraderie. Don't underestimate its importance.
> It's not that it's not interesting I've just been...busy...Look, relationships are work, and girlfriends are deliciously distracting work. Also, Misery alternates between an understanding mentor and the embodiment of his namesake which sometimes induces whiplash.
>>2420092> Vickie brightens up; the dark clouds around her head are gone so fast you can actually hear a little 'pop' from the air returning to normal.You know, for someone who talks about Color's gay showing, Vickie isn't exactly being very subtle.
>>2421246That's because she knows Colors needs puppet show level signs.
>>2420111You give it a good long think. You also catch Vickie's boot with the back of your own before she can prompt you with another kick. Forum's asking, it deserves some thought."You know, I've sorta noticed that you and the Rook have hobbies in common," you tell him. "Games, and cards, like Vickie's been learning.""The cards are also games," Vickie says, after she swallows the lemonade in her mouth."Thank you Vickie. Anyway, that seems like it could be fun? And then it'd be something we all have in common."You don't have to look to feel Vickie brightening up next to you at the idea; she sits up straight, almost quivering. Forum laughs and gives you a big grin."Alright, I'm down," the Troll agrees. "But listen, the thing about all that is...it's a bit like wine, or beer maybe. There's a whole lot of it, and everyone's got their own tastes. You might be in here awhile before you find something that speaks to you. Give me your patience, and I'll hunt up a good time for ya.""We could do something now?" Vickie proposes.You shake your head and finish the rest of your lemonade. "I have to go home and shower if I'm going to make it to the Willow by five. So I guess I better get out of these pads." You stands, slowly, and head for the basement stairs."What's with you and cars anyway?" Forum asks."...Tequila," you answer. Vickie's guilty laugh follows you down the stairs.* * * *You arrive at the Willow just past four-thirty, because you want the lay of the land, only to find that Erin and Sally are already here. The two of them look up when you walk in, and Sally immediately leaves the table with a nod first at Erin and then at you."You're early," the ex-pirate complains."How long have you been here?" you ask."What time is it? Half past four?""Yeah," you agree."About sixteen and a half hours, then." Erin makes a face, picks up the glass of cola in front of her, and gulps half of it down in one go. "Been waiting for five so I can drink something. Actually, fuck it, I'm glad you came before the others showed up. You wanna hear a story?""What kind of story?" you ask. You pull out a chair and take a seat. Sally comes back with a glass of Coke for you. She murmurs something in Erin's ear, which the pirate answers by nodding back towards the bar. Shipmate Sally goes and takes a seat there, to stay at her ease and keep an eye on her charge."A horror story," Erin tells you after a moment; her voice cracks in the middle of 'story'. "...Nevermind. Never fucking mind. It's not supposed to matter, right? I'm Spring. You're Spring. The past is supposed to be dead and fucking buried. And even if it wasn't, I am who I am and I did what I did and I know damn well there's no excuses for it.""Erin, do you not want to do this?"
>>2422489The Spring breeze that picks up off of her Mantle is overwhelming; it flutters napkins off of the table and fills the air with the scents of crushed flower petals, fresh rain, and new-cut grass. "I want this like I've never wanted anything else," she whispers. "I dunno if I want to hear you say that's okay or if I want to hear you say you hate me or if I just wanna lunge across this table and fight you so I don't have to figure it out. And none of that is your fault. All you ever did was believe in Spring enough to help someone you don't like. 's better Spring than I ever was. Better than most I've met."> I'd like to hear that story, Erin.> Funny. I keep hearing that I'm not very good at being Spring.> I'm told it's okay to be scared, you know> Write-in?
>>2422490> I'd like to hear that story, Erin.Sometimes you have to remember why you're moving forward.
>>2422490> I'd like to hear that story, Erin.Hold her hand.
>>2422490Also> Well, it isn't easy. But if it was then there wouldn't be much meaning to it.Be so knightly.
>>2422593No, it's "vagina on vagina" you moron...
>>2422490>> Funny. I keep hearing that I'm not very good at being Spring.Don't need to dredge up her past. She knows all too well, and we know more than enough. Match her vulnerability with at least a little of our own, help her get out of her own head if possible.
>>2422490>> I'd like to hear that story, Erin.
>>2422490>Fuck it. Lay it on me.
>> Funny. I keep hearing that I'm not very good at being Spring.
>>2422490"Erin, where were you when I came earlier to talk to Ramona?" you ask. "I didn't see you."She makes a face. "Restroom. Avoiding you, mostly. Wasn't ready to talk."You touch your Coke briefly and then decide against it; your hand goes back on the table, where Erin can see it. Well. Could have seen it. "I think I'd like to hear that story," you tell her. In response, Erin digs a slim black wallet out of her pocket, plucks five ones from it, and hands them to you. "Ask Sally to put on my favorite, would you? This isn't for any asshole who feels like hearing."You take the money and get up to go see Sally. Your fellow Elemental looks up when you get near her, then sees the money in your hand. "Erin asked me to have you put on her favorite?"Shipmate Sally nods and gives you a sideways smile. She catches you by surprise when she speaks, her layered voice capturing your attention the way Natalia's does: "Take care of her."You head back to the table while Sally goes after the jukebox. Erin's ordered drinks since then, some kind of whiskey if you're any judge. You take a sip of yours, which has a pleasant burn and just a hint of something sweet to highlight the flavor."Didn't know what you drink so I got a pair of old fashioneds," the ex-pirate explains. She takes a sip of hers and waits, silently, until the music in the bar changes over.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEU_jnf4uis"Our girl was young," Erin begins. She stirs her glass idly with the spoon from her table cutlery. "Not the callow youth of a hero's journey or even an ignorant young woman, wide-eyed and lost in a man's world. No, young-young, a kid, precocious and smart but not smart enough to hide it. She had a mother and a father and she loved them very much, and to make them proud she did very well in school. So well, in fact, that she got a scholarship to a private middle school. Very exclusive, this place, reserved for the rich and the gifted, which is to say, the rich."You take a drink instead of interrupting.
>>2425732"You know why we call Them the Gentry? It's because rich people live by their own rules, which they refuse to explain, and they'll destroy you if you can't follow them. Our girl just wanted to do well, but she didn't know the rules. Her family wasn't poor, you have to understand, just not rich, not wealthy. But that wasn't good enough, not in their domain. They hounded her, the other girls and the boys who wanted pretty heads turned their way. They'd cut her secondhand uniform and then mock the stitching when she fixed it, spoil her lunches, stalk her through the halls with insults and curses and all manner of imprecations. At first she tried to fit in. Then she tried to not care. And last, she tried black magic. The last one produced a result, though not the one she wanted. She went to a far away place, and the thing left to live her life killed itself in a week. Her mother, sick with grief, slit her wrists in the bath. Her father's still doing time from when he tried to drink them away and took someone else's family from them. He'll stagger out of prison an old man, worn and gray. And far away, in the Fairest of Lands, our girl was put in a lighthouse with only her hate to warm her and drive away the shadows. Every curse, every name spat with venom into the frozen dark, was another light, a friend held close. One day she went home, to a place that thinks beauty and good are the same thing, and the rest, I think, is history."You look at the halo of lights, glimmering and whirling around Erin's head, with a soft frown. You start to reach your hand across the table."Touch me and die," Erin whispers, head bowed, knuckles white around her glass.You let your hand rest against the table. "Why'd you tell me?""I don't rightly know. Seemed like you're entitled to know. Doesn't change anything. Doesn't change a god-damn thing."> Just give her some space (pass the time)> What happened to the names those lights bear?> Why'd you do it, Erin? Why turn pirate?> Write-in?
>>2425761> Write-in?>Tell your own story back
>>2425761>Write-in?>Tell your own story backBecause turn-about is fair play and knights live by fair play.
>>2425761Clearly the best answer is >>2425827
>>2425761I'll support this; >>2425827
As with the rest, supporting this: >>2425827
Is there a term for 'ignore the QM's options, lets go with the first write-in?'Because that happens a lot in this quest.
>>2429019Player agency is the phrase you're looking for.Called, writing.
>>2429124>But the thought of the infinite free will and agency of the human race terrifies me!
>>2425761"Maybe it doesn't," you agree after a long moment. "Do you...do you talk with Ramona or Natalia much? About Spring?""Ramona some. Natalia not so much. Why?""I got told, back when I came to New Avalon for refuge and begged the favor of the Spring Court, that if leaving your past behind and living beautifully for today was easy then everyone would do it and there'd be no Spring. It's how she said it, though. That some people have heavy pasts, which can be hard to lift and carry, and harder still to cast aside. To throw them away they have to be made lighter by the joys and passions of today.""Are you hitting on me?" the pirate asks. She laughs when you choke on your drink. "Ahh, you're too fuckin' easy Colors. I wish I could see the look on your face.""I was trying to have a moment," you mutter into your glass."Yeah, well, have it," Erin tells you, her voice low again, barely audible over the music. "I already knew you had a heavy past of your own, with a title like Warlock Knight. I could see it in your eyes, on your face, with the way you carried yourself, what you reacted to. You jump like a Darkling or a Fairest, all blades-first and ready to kill. Who made you like this?""I made me like this." You actually drink from your cocktail instead of just talking into it."Maybe. Who helped?"You finish your old fashioned in one go and set the glass down with a thunk. The short-cut cloud of hair around Erin's head bobs up with the motion of her pointed ears, which poke out from beneath it. She turns her head and whistles; behind the bar, Whiskey Jack looks up."Hit Colors with a Boston Sour and lay a Long Island on me, will you?""Thanks," you murmur. You close your eyes and take a deep, steadying breath. You don't open them before you start talking. "It's weird to think about it now, but...I got taken young too. Thirteen, and excited about it. Dad owned a window factory. Mom wasn't in the picture, left before I ever really knew her, and...I don't know. I didn't think about that a lot for most of my life, but around then Dad started dating again and I couldn't stand it. Almost wish I could say it was something horrible, like one of his girlfriends was mean to me or something, but I was just...mad. Mad enough that when someone asked me if I wanted to run away from home I said yes."You open your eyes and see that Erin has turned her head to angle her ear at you. Her blindfolded face is bowed intently, and her soft frown of concentration grips your throat.You swallow it away. "I remember...I don't remember a lot. There was a Glass Mountain, and its ruler owned me. When I was good, he rewarded me. When I wasn't, he took bits of my flesh and replaced them with glass. I...I was a guard, I think. Or a soldier. The Mountain was so full of treasures, beautiful things, and no one was to touch them, not for blood or money..."
>>2430173You haven't really had the chance to notice before, but Erin really is beautiful, with her halo of lights around her heart-shaped face, her ice-mail misting from beneath her clothes and coat, lining her in fog. She almost looks concerned, with that little frown, almost...worried. Your eyes trace the lights that tip and sway in her orbit, watching their graceful dance around the black halo of her hair.You almost fall out of your seat when your sour is placed in front of you."Take your time," Erin tells you, after Whiskey Jack leaves. "I know it's hard to talk about. Don't feel obligated to finish."There's some kind of white foam on top of your whiskey sour that turns out to be egg whites if you're any judge. You set it back down after a steadying sip. "I want to finish," you continue, one hand wrapped around your glass. "I came back home swinging. Hospitalized three men before they brought me down, and Summer offered me a job on the spot. The King of Jackals needed warriors to combat the shadow of Winter, and he thought I'd do nicely. He was right. My first test was to murder my Fetch, however I pleased. When I was done, he assigned me to break up some of the gangs Winter was working with, alongside the people I'd come to serve with later. I was being groomed for recruitment, but I didn't know it at the time. What I knew is that they were angry too, that they told me it was okay to be angry, to give in to anger, act on it, to make it everyone else's problem. We tore a swath through Philly like the curse of an angry god. And the whole time there was Andy, laughing at our antics, hungry for blood. He was there when I joined the Hound Tribunal. He'd forged our tags with his own hands, all of us, with our names. What we wanted from his Summer was ours for the asking.""Sounds like you were having a great time. Or that you thought you were. Was there a girl?" Erin asks.You nod, eyes on the white foam of your sour. "Miranda. Mira. Another Hound. When I killed Marcus and fled the city I probably broke her heart. There wasn't time to explain...""Are you crying?" Erin asks.You wipe tears from your eyes and force a second sob back down. "No.""Lying to me is one of those dumb life choices, Colors.""Fuck you Erin, I can -" you stop up short when you feel her slender fingers lace with yours; your breath catches in your throat, killing your angry words before you can remember what they were supposed to be."The others'll be here soon," the ex-pirate tells you.> What happened to 'touch me and die'?> Thank her for sharing. Finish your drink in silence before anything else weird happens.> Kiss her> Write-in?
>>2430229> What happened to 'touch me and die'?
>>2430229>> What happened to 'touch me and die'?
>>2430229> Kiss her>Vox, you decide if it is on the cheek, lips, or forehead.
>>2430416>Colors is a Knight>not kissing the hand like a proper Knight
>>2430229>dont kiss her. Come on people.>Squeeze her hand> Thank her for sharing. Finish your drink in silence before anything else weird happens.
> Thank her for sharing. Finish your drink in silence before anything else weird happens.
>>2430443To clarify, is this a vote?
>>2430229>> TELL HER you want to kiss her. Like, ask or warn her instead of surprise face attack.
>>2430229>Kiss her hand.
>>2430229>Dont kiss her. > Thank her for sharing. Finish your drink in silence before anything else weird happens.
And here we see the stupid side of player agency. Sometimes we get amazing votes.Sometimes hot molten garbage spews all over us and ruins our clothes.
>>2430229>> What happened to 'touch me and die'?>hand kiss
>No kiss pls.
>>2431430Anti-voting is not a thing. You vote for something, not against something. I haven't counted them before and I'm not about to count them now.I haven't said anything to the others because they've had a clear vote included.
>>2430416> won’t cheat on Fancy with Vickie> will cheat with ErinThat sounds like a fast way to get murdered by a darkling with anger management problems.
Finally back home. Gonna call and write in like an hour and a half or so.
>>2430229> Almost kiss her....but then don’t >> Thank her for sharing. Finish your drink in silence before anything else weird happens.
>>2430229Changing my vote >>2430254 to:> Thank her for sharing. Finish your drink in silence before anything else weird happens.> No kissSo that we don't end up doing something stupid.
>>2432031>Anti-voting is not a thingYou should take note of that and not agressively lash out at every vote that isn't yours, mr dark green.
Called, tallying, writing.
Near as I can tell the winner is to thank her for sharing. In terms of hard votes it only beat out 'kiss her' by one and since this has been a fucked up vote for no good reason I'm gonna call my shot here and y'all can live with it
>>2432314Yes, anti-voting isn't a thing. Which is why I'm voting for a different option.
>>2430229You tighten your grip, slipping your fingers against Erin's to squeeze her hand. There's a heat in your face and chest that's entirely too familiar."I smell flowers," she murmurs; the warm Spring breeze of her Mantle carries the scent of your petals back to you."I know," you say, finding the breath somewhere."Everyone else is looking.""I know."Erin rubs the back of your knuckles with her thumb before she takes her hand back, leaving yours on the table. By now you've learned to recognize the move that follows: Drinking So You Can't Talk. "Thank you. For...for sharing. For trusting me enough to share," you add, unsure of yourself.Erin tips the glass away from her lips and swallows. "You too. It felt...right. Like something I had to do. I think it's high time I had the talk with Arthur I've been avoiding for two years straight now.""Might be."What had Erin called your drink, a Boston Sour? It's surprisingly drinkable, with a nice fluffy texture from the foam and a trace of tartness around the edge of your tongue. It's nearly gone entirely when the ex-pirate lifts her head with a certain decisiveness. "I'm staying at the Juniper Building," she tells you. "Apartment 3F, if you've got the urge to drop by and...maybe leave some floral scents."You get no chance to ask if she means what you think she means; the front door opens and admits the Rook and Forum, the former hacking into his sleeve like a stalling motor. In that moment you really could hit him."Y'all do something?" Forum asks, while he takes his seat."Live is a verb, so yes," Erin answers. She drains the last of her cocktail. "We've already started with some of the harder stuff, so I'm thinking beer if you boys are feeling it. We've got planning to do.""I'm fond of cherry bomb," the Rook rasps. "Sours in general.""In fall?" Forum asks, all skepticism."That matters?" you ask, looking between the two men. You get a Look from the other three people at the table, a serious feat from Erin considering her complete lack of eyeballs. "...Okay, I believe you.""Not hearing other suggestions, so cherry bombs it is. Mister Jack," Erin calls, holding up a fifty. "Gonna need a pitcher of cherry bomb and some glasses.""What's the rest of that for?" the Wizened asks, the alchemical fluids in his skin darkening."Putting up with my shit, booze us up my man.""I really do not get you," Forum says to Erin after Whiskey Jack starts moving behind the bar. "You go from bitch to cool and right back so fast I get whiplash.""Work on your bedside manner there, Winter," Erin bites back. "Then complain about mine. You don't have to get me, and if you want to that's your damage. I'm not your business."
>>2433162"You're our business as long as you insist on attaching yourself to Colors, Peters," the Rook rasps. He leans in, sole elbow on the table, and regards the ex-pirate with his flat eye. "You can't have just one of us. We're a Motley. You get all or nothing. Vickie's absence in this affair is not something that will be repeated.""What'd you do to Vickie?" you ask, eyes snapping to the Rook."What needed doing. Ask her for her side of it and then decide if she was hard done by," comes the Rook's answer. "We're here for business, not gossip."Whiskey Jack comes with the pitcher and the glasses, which are already full of that same reddish beer you had with the Rook before. You take yours with a murmured thanks. It's just as sharp and tart as you remember."The basics of the plan are simple," Erin begins. "It's a fairly straight shot from the Smithson Arms Gate to our destination. This can't be done in the near Hedge, so going Deep is non-negotiable. You'll establish a camp near the door itself, grounding you in our relative time."The Rook nods. "That theory is sound. I'm tracking you thus far.""Relevant question, what exactly does this ritual entail?" Forum asks.Erin frowns into her beer. She takes a sip to give herself time to think, then a longer drink because that was not enough time, before she finally speaks slowly, feeling her way through the words. "I need to cast away the light," she says; her halo brightens and speeds up at the words. "It's not enough to want it. It's not enough to cut it or kill it, this isn't something I can do with a candle snuffer. I need to reject the part of me that is light, and with it all that feeds them. In the process I will lose my Kith, and all that makes me a Bright One. Everything I've found suggests that the pain is like being born.""Renewing?" you ask."Something that ends in you screaming and covered in blood," the Rook answers, before coughing wetly into his sleeve."He's got it right," Erin agrees. "Colors will need to protect me during that process. I'm not likely to be doing so hot after either. For, ah, understandable reasons a lot of people who did this didn't really write down what happened after. Some probably died. The rest probably took their new lives and ran with them, because why the fuck would you not."Forum clears his throat. "If we're going to maybe come to your rescue, you'll need a way to contact us. I'm going to guess you were thinking of a hunting horn, but I have something of my own invention I'd like to test. Bring a horn with you or something like that, but if I did this right I've got Hedgespun walkie-talkies that ought to do the trick."The Rook starts to ask Forum something about how he thought that up and created the devices, but Sally moving across the room catches your eye. She feeds the jukebox and searches through its songs before settling on a selection, just before the current number ends.
>>2433234She goes back to her stool at the bar while the song she picked starts.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZJCCiLKmPM"Colors," Forum snaps his fingers, jolting you out of your daze. "The plan sound good or what?""What? Yeah. Yeah, that's...more or less along the lines I was expecting, yeah." You down a good half your glass. You've got a pleasant buzz going on, making you loose and relaxed in your chair. "Well, we're surplus to requirements now then. Everything's hashed out. Right?" Forum looks at Erin."Guess so," she agrees. "I'll stay and drink for awhile. You can join me if you want.""I have other matters, but thank you," the Rook tells her. "For what it is worth, I wish you well on this feat of sorcery.""I've got arrangements to make myself," Forum admits. "But then my night's free."> Go see Trista. Ask her advice on what just happened.> Fancy and Fido are waiting for you at home.> Could be time to take Forum up on his offer?> If Erin's buying, you're drinking> Write-in?
>>2433259> Could be time to take Forum up on his offer?
>>2433259> Could be time to take Forum up on his offer?Lets get to know our very own internet troll.
>>2433259>> Could be time to take Forum up on his offer?
>>2433259>Could be time to take Forum up on his offer?
Well that's pretty clear.Called, writing.
>>2436510Actually, no, fuck it, I'm gonna write tomorrow and spend tonight getting real sleep like an adult. Still called.
>>2436702> getting real sleep like an adultWho are you and what have you done with Vox.
> MFW I missed the vote to kiss Erin and people chose not to.
>>2440149I have to say this April Fools joke is the worst ever. And not in a good way.
>>2440519I'm waiting until midnight in the hopes that it ticks over. If it doesn't tick over I'll be waiting until it does I guess, I'm not really fucking down for this whole thing complicating the read/vote.That and work was a weird shitshow. Closing manager's father died, cashier had to leave early because her uncle shot someone at Easter lunch, we had the cops there, it was a fuckin' mess. >>2437110Watching y'all's reactions to Erin has been fascinating.
>>2440519The weird team thing? Yes.
>>2440727Testing, am I alive again?
>>2440896Awesome, fucking writing. Might as well start a new thread, that was weird and annoying.