You are Alberich: apparent knight, demonstrable killer, familiar twice over, possible relation of Gods, and modern hero. You are in another time and another place, faced with a beast out of myth that weeps as it speaks of killing you.On the night of November 13, 2019, you found yourself in a dimly lit stone basement, standing in the middle of a magic circle. You had been summoned as a Servant, a figure out of legend contracted after their death to fight alongside a magus for the Holy Grail. In your case, however, you were and conned by Judas Iscariot into taking his place despite not being any such thing.Since then, you've made your way through a chain of events even stranger than those you faced in the Akeldama. You've lost one Master and gained another on the point of death. You've slain three enemy Servants and converted four to your cause. You've met, allied with, and betrayed the survivors of the last War: a family of magi dedicated to destroying the Holy Grail. You've discovered your true nature, as an artificial hero cobbled together from the souls of over 300 sacrifices and imbued with false memories. You've met the two others like you, formerly 'human' compatriots in the Akeldama's War who have since been transformed into Servants. You've fallen in love with Liliesviel von Einzbern, a homunculus at the center of the Holy Grail War whose desperate need and ephemeral beauty captured your heart. You've begun to walk the path of magical knowledge, and through the use of your Noble Phantasm summoned forth two impossible existences from the Reverse Side of the World: a phantasmal beast and a goddess. This morning, you cracked open the soul of a captured enemy, hoping to take power over her by magic. Instead, you've found yourself wandering in the labyrinthine inner world of her spirit.None of your experiences have changed your goal, however. Whatever the purpose or origin of your life, and regardless of who stands in your way, there is only one path before you. You will take the Holy Grail with your own hands. Four Servants remain to fall by your sword.Archive of Previous Threads:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Sweets-Loving%20QMStatus Information:https://pastebin.com/qsKX4p5bQM Twitter:https://twitter.com/SweetsQM
After some consideration, you decide to hear out Mantikouros' tale. This moment may present a good chance for a surprise attack or hidden retreat, but you're not yet convinced that it's impossible to come to an accord with the strange creature. "At first," he narrates, "my beloved rebuffed my advances. She was a chaste woman, and devoted her life entirely to the service of Athena. She wanted neither husband nor lover, and sought to chase me off; but you must know, o warrior, that even the iciest heart is in time given to sweat by the efforts of sweet words and music. So it was with her, and after a month of persistent entreaties I possessed my love, on a moonlit night in the great Temple of Athena which crowns Athens. Ah! That I had been more wary of the Goddess' wrath!" For a moment he breaks off, sobbing bitterly in self-pity at his fate, before continuing, "I had committed a double sacrilege, seducing one of her priestesses on sacred ground, and Athena was moved to punish me. I was transformed into the beast you see before you; cursed to wander as before, with all my virtues exchanged for defects. My fingers can never again pluck a lyre; my countenance can never again stir emotion in a maiden heart, save fear. Even the love of mankind borne within my heart is shriveled, for I lust so for the taste of human flesh that I can no longer live benevolently! I should have wandered the land forever, a ravening beast devouring travelers by the roadside, if the prayers of Athena's devotees had not interceded.""They pitied you?" you ask, curious at this new development. Surely the followers of a Goddess ought not to have interceded for one who had sinned against her, after all."Oh, no." Mantikouros shakes his massive head mournfully. "Nothing so generous as that. They pitied themselves, and knowing that Athena had condemned me to my fate begged the Goddess to send a hero who might rid them of me. To begin with, I believe that she paid them no mind, but in time there came to be so many prayers and sacrifices, and so many would-be heroes who had met their ends in my jaws, that she was compelled to take some action. Take heed, though, warrior: Athena is vengeful indeed, and was not satisfied to see me given a swift death only three years after my crime. Rather than empower a hero to cut me down, she removed me from the mainland herself, and left me imprisoned here on the Shapeless Isle, where all those she has condemned to live out tormented existences dwell."
"As you've said, it's an unfortunate tale," you agree, infusing your voice with a measure of unfelt pity for the creature. In the end, Mantikouros seems to have mostly been responsible for his own punishment; it may be unjust, but given the mythical habits of Gods it can hardly have been unexpected. How, you wonder, could he have hoped to seduce a chaste priestess without making an enemy of the Goddess she served? Still, his story and melodramatic manner do give you a few diplomatic tools. Playing on the feelings of such an emotional creature should be easy, and aside from that his conclusion contains a notable failure in logic. "Not one that paints you as my enemy, though," you add. "If you are correct, and I was punished by Athena by being sent to this island, we are not enemies, but natural allies; common sufferers at the same hand, citizens of the same locale. Besides, you say that this is a place where the Athena sends those condemned to a life of torment; she would not have sent my path to cross with yours, then, if she intended you to kill me.""Indeed," Mantikouros murmurs, "you have a point, there. She might not have sentenced you to be devoured, and yet-"As he speaks this last word, the beast suddenly becomes a red blur of motion, springing forward in mid-sentence to pounce on you with phenomenal speed. You dive out of the way just in time, springing clear of his claws and hearing a thunderous crash as the tree which shielded you goes down, shattered by a blow from the beast's paws. You roll onto your back and a moment later leap to your feet, looking around frantically for your assailant, but he's vanished into the foliage already, a predator in his natural element. Only the slashed tree and deep prints on the ground around you testify to his presence. Your grip on your spear tightens as you wait for the other shoe to drop, all your nerves on a hair trigger, ready to defend against the slightest movement.The attack, when it comes, makes no sound at all, however; only the faintest brush of wind against your back, and searing pain as a 15 centimeter spine drives into the Achilles tendon of each foot. You spin around to defend yourself, but topple to the ground instead, your injured feet unable to support the movement. In another moment, Mantikouros is on you, one heavy forepaw pressing down on your chest while the other pins your spear-arm to the dirt. "All things are uncertain," he informs you, a sound of delight creeping into his voice for the first time. An overlong tongue lolls out between those triple-layered teeth, and hot waves of foetid breath assault your nose. "I have gone without a human meal for so long, warrior. No matter how many beasts of the forest I devour, I am never satisfied without the taste of man. Do you not see how I weep; crying from the hunger pains which assault me every waking moment? Have pity on me, warrior, and do not resent me too much for killing you. I have no choice, you see."
The spine-covered mace of his swings down, hurtling toward your forehead with crushing force, and with a sickening crunch darkness descends.DEAD ENDTiger Dojo is a strange hint corner.If you would like to beat the game by yourself,or if you would like to keep the characters' images, please be warned.
As your eyes, so recently reduced to jelly on the forest floor, flicker open, you take in the familiar sight of the training hall that appears before you after your death, as well as the banner advertising the virtues of perseverance which hangs on the back wall. More unpleasant than either of these, however, is the unbelievably smug expression on the face of the chestnut-haired woman standing in front of you."Ara? Hmm? What's this? Could it be? After all those successes, do you need my help again, Ru-chan?" she asks delightedly, looking as though she's about to burst into uncontrollable snickering at any moment."For someone dedicated to saving me from death, putting me on the right path, and so-on, you certainly seem to be taking a great deal of pleasure in this," you say with a sigh, looking pointedly at your 'instructor'. Up until now you've often been too overcome by the realization of your own past deaths to speak at all while in this training hall, but at this point the impact finally seems to be diminishing. At any rate, you feel capable of holding a conversation this time."But Ru-cha~n," she protests, raising her pitch in a faux-cutesy pout, "when you were winning all those fights, and surviving every day without dying, Sensei was so lonely with no one to help! I had to stay here all alone, just watching, while you seemed like you didn't need me at all!""What about Illya?" you ask, nodding at the senior student who's remained a silent observer to the conversation thus far. "Didn't you have your disciple here to keep you company?""Everyone knows disciples don't count," Taiga answers cavalierly. "That devilish buruma can't salve my aching heart in the lonely hours! I need a real student!"This at last prompts a reply from Illya, who declares with an arrogant expression, "Don't believe it for a minute, Onii-chan. This lazy tiger spent the whole time you were alive lying around, eating snacks, and bragging about how easy she had it now that she'd taught you enough to be sure you'd never die aga- hya?!" Illya's last word is interrupted by a vicious swing of her instructor's shinai. Just in time, though, she sways back out of the way, letting the shinai pass in front of her."Fu~fun!" Illya chuckles proudly. "You won't always get me with the same attack, Tiger!" At that moment, a perfectly executed blow to the midsection slams into her gut, sending the girl collapsing to the ground."Do!" Taiga returns her weapon to her belt, having proudly dispatched the little girl. "Now that we've dealt with that interruption," she says cheerfully, "why did you die this time, Ru-chan? One, two, three..."
"Because Onii-chan misunderstood his role!""Because you misunderstood your enemy!"Taiga and Illya, having both confidently announced differing answers at the same moment, glare furiously at one another. "Ahem," Taiga says, without actually clearing her throat. "Why don't you try explaining your answer, Senior Student?""Ou!" Illya's enthusiasm, knocked out of her by the blow, is amazingly quick to rebound. "Onii-chan is a modern hero, you know? Judas made him to be one, and it even says so right in the summary. Well, mythical heroes were always killing monsters! If you want to bring the mythical era of humanity back, Onii-chan, you can't go listening to what something like a manticore has to say for itself!""I see," Taiga says, sounding disappointed. "Well, I see things a little more simply. With an enemy who can kill you in one blow, and who you can kill in one blow, you can't let him get even a little bit of an advantage, Ru-chan. If you wait around for him to tell you his story, he'll use the situation for himself, so you have to either get away or attack while he's distracted. Whichever one of us you believe, though, be sure to properly consider your actions next time. Now, take this Tiger Stamp, and good luck!">[ ] While Mantikouros is distracted by his story, dart out from the tree and strike with your spear.>[ ] Creep away through the underbrush, to continue your ascent unmolested and leave the beast of the forest telling his tale to an empty glade.>[ ] Remain where you are, to hear out the story and give another chance to diplomacy.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4132238>[ ] While Mantikouros is distracted by his story, dart out from the tree and strike with your spear.IT DIDN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY
There you go, folks. I know some of you were hoping for some more action, some more dangerous fights, and the return of the Dead Ends; well, this Shapeless Isle mini-arc is my gift to you. Enjoy!
>>4132238>[ ] While Mantikouros is distracted by his story, dart out from the tree and strike with your spear.>Dead EndOh man it's been a while, good times.
>>4132238>[ ] While Mantikouros is distracted by his story, dart out from the tree and strike with your spear.And it only took us losing most of our powers and people still thinking we were the unstoppable Alberich. You guys are dumbasses, you never listen to their story unless they are cute. You should've known this much by now from this quest. Aside from our cat we haven't met a single male character that hasn't tried to kill us or tried to otherwise cause us misfortune.Except our Master who died really quickly and Odin who we are gonna need to kill later.
>>4132238>[ ] While Mantikouros is distracted by his story, dart out from the tree and strike with your spear.
>>4132299We've never met Ogawara.It doesn't count.
>>4132285>Aside from our cat we haven't met a single male character that hasn't tried to kill us or tried to otherwise cause us misfortune.What about Ambrose?
>>4132386What about Ambrose?Asshole thought best girl was a shit. He totally deserved what he got.
>>4132401He never tried to cause us misfortune.And what about Robin Hood? You forgot about him, didn't you?
>>4132419He insulted a waifu. That alone is enough.>Robin Whood?Who?You mean the goofy asshole using the ISIS tactic of hiding in an area full of innocents?With his literal hag master?
>>4132425>He insulted a waifu.>That alone is enough.ok kaichou>Who?>You mean the goofy asshole using the ISIS tactic of hiding in an area full of innocents?>With his literal hag master?he was following orders but ok kaichou
>>4132238>[ ] While Mantikouros is distracted by his story, dart out from the tree and strike with your spear.Nothing personnel
>>4132307>We've never met OgawaraSplitting hairs. The guy who ended up getting transformed into Tsubaki was definitely a male character who never tried to do us any harm.>>4132401>best girl>not Lily
>>4132238>[ ] While Mantikouros is distracted by his story, dart out from the tree and strike with your spear.Razz him a bit after the fact.
Just to keep you folks informed of my schedule, I'm writing the next update now, and plan to do another this evening.On another note, a few of you in the last thread brought up the subject of poison, and whether or not you'd lost your immunity to it. I think the last update made it clear you hadn't but just in case here's something to remember. Conceptual Biology is the skill at the core of your being; it reflects your fundamental nature. Whatever else you might be stripped of, its basic principles will exist as long as you do.
The spine embedded in the muscle of your shoulder sends throbbing pain running down your arm with every movement, a fact you were given ample time to reflect on as Mantikouros stepped slowly out of the foliage to present his monstrous appearance and began to dramatically present his tale of woe. Foolish, you think, to believe himself safe to speak openly after having struck you, for you have no more desire to allow an enemy to go free once having offended the sanctity of your person than might one of the haughty deities that ruled this age. He's doing no more than allowing you an opportunity to strike, yet seems completely confident that you won't take it. In that case, you may as well expand on your advantage while conforming to his expectations.So deciding, you step out from behind the tree, giving a casual impression to your posture, as if your confrontation is at an end and you're now coming forward to pay closer attention to Mantikouros' life story. Behind the relaxed front your legs tense to spring at any moment, and you tune out the meaningless noise of Mantikouros' self-absorbed description of his sacrilegious love affair to scrutinize his movements. There are only two meters between you now, and the beast paces back and forth over the grass as he speaks, not unlike the tiger dissatisfied with the size of his enclosure that Yumigawa once saw at a zoo. Ready, your nerves taught, you wait for the perfect moment.It comes! Mantikouros' head is turned away from you, his mane blocking even his peripheral vision, and you mobilize all the gathered strength in your body to leap forward like lightning and drive the spear home in the beast's neck. The sound of your movement, however, alerts Mantikouros, and at the last moment he moves to react. The head turns toward you, the body pivoting, and the quill-lined mace at the end of his tail whips out to slam into the haft of your spear, snapping the weapon in two. The force of the blow runs up your arm, and doubtless your enemy hoped for you to be momentarily paralyzed; but pain is nothing in the moment between life and death, and you force your body to move with fluid grace.Landing before him, you continue the arc of your leap by moving into a crouch, bringing your shield up to cover as much of your compressed body as possible as, with a single motion, you drop the broken remnant of your spear, pull free the short sword hanging at your left hip, and strike up in a brutal backhand crescent that opens Mantikouros' throat with a crimson spray. No sooner do you feel your blade biting into his throat than your bunched legs spring up once more, and you leap back to put a half meter between you and the beast at the same moment that a flurry of spines launches from his tail. Had you been a moment slower, the quills driven harmlessly into the earth before you would have nailed your feet in place and immobilized you.
The deed done, you back off a bit more, watching as Mantikouros' leonine heart pumps rhythmic waves of blood out of the gaping hole in his neck, matting his mane and staining it a deeper red. The beast stares dumbly at you out of shocked, confused eyes, and an inarticulate gurgling that might have been an attempt at speech bubbles up from his throat. The deadly tail whips back and forth uselessly in the air above Mantikouros, but he cannot seem to gather the presence of mind to send more quills flying at you. Finally he totters and falls, his side landing on the forest floor with a dull, furry slam, like heavy furniture dropped on a thick carpet. He's still alive, you can see, but the wound you've dealt is surely mortal; and a predatory animal is at its most dangerous when wounded. You won't approach to finish him off, you decide. The risk is too great.You watch the blood continuing to flow from Mantikouros' body, pooling on the ground beneath him and drowning a small patch of clover, as you squat down to wipe your blade clean on the grass at your feet. This blade isn't like Heiligöffnungschwert, a magical weapon that can be dismissed coated in gore and brought forth once again in perfect condition. As long as you remain on the Shapeless Isle, you'll have to remember to clean and care for your weapon; particularly since the short blade is now your only means of offense. You spare a regretful glance for the broken spear, knowing from Yumigawa's studies that it was meant as the primary weapon of those Greeks who went armed and armored as you are now; the short sword was only a sidearm, and yet it is all that remains to you. Then again, you consider, the spear did not prove particularly useful. A sword fits your arm far better, sidearm or no, and it's well known that the greatest measure of a weapon's effectiveness is the skill of its wielder. You sheathe the clean blade and get back to your feet, stretching briefly to relieve some of the tension of battle.
The last light of life has faded from Mantikouros' eyes, you note, and the blood that oozes from his wound is no longer moved by a beating heart. At some point during your contemplation of weaponry, he expired. Good; there will be no wounded beast stalking you as you continue your ascent through the forest. Absentmindedly, you rip the spine from your shoulder and toss it on the corpse before turning your eyes to the hill that rises above you. Gazing at the thick, waist-high shrubbery that stretches between almost every tree outside of the small clearing where you fought Mantikouros, you reflect that the ascent you begin now will doubtless be as slow, difficult, and unpleasant as the climb you've made thus far. There's no time to waste, though, for the sun continues to sink inexorably toward the canopy above. The more time you lose, the more Euryale's warning to hurry your ascent seems to take on a somehow ominous characteristic, and this forest which is already so dangerous in the light of day is something you cannot help thinking you must be out of by nightfall. Thus, with a heavy heart, you begin to climb.
The sun is setting when you at last make the summit. It's a fact you can see clearly, for the last few meters before the plateau that crowns the island are bare of trees, and when you've reached your goal you're free to turn back and look out over verdant slope, the ocean far below, and the shining path of gold made by the reflected rays of the sinking orange globe as it hangs perilously near the horizon. Up here, of course, it will be dark long before the sun dips below the waves. On your other side is an enormous marble platform, raised to the height of your shoulders, ringed by steps leading up to the raised area. It seems to occupy the entirety of the plateau, twice or three times the size of a city block. When you climb the stairs, you can see at last that you've truly reached the pinnacle of the Shapeless Isle, where the Gorgon sisters dwell. At the center of the platform is an enormous Greek temple, constructed in a style reminiscent of the Parthenon, though as tall as the Shijou manor and far larger in width. If it is the home of only three girls, it must provide a palatial amount of space for them. As you walk toward the sisters' home, you observe the other two features spread about the platform, and now surrounding you: freestanding columns and agitated statues. The columns support nothing, but stretch up to the sky in arrangement as apparently random as that of the trees in the forest below. Standing on the marble between them, innumerable warrior statues stand in bewildering profusion of postures and states of decay. Some appear perfectly preserved, others are mostly destroyed. Some are in the midst of furious battle, others have weapons still unreadied, and still others appear to be running in fear. Some are tall, others short, some brawny and others lean. All around you stands the history of countless challengers, all seeking the head of the famous Medusa, and all utterly doomed."Yay! Sir Alberich, you came! After all this time, I was getting worried!" A high, cheerful voice echoing through the square rouses you from your contemplation of the statues. Startled, you look up at its source to see Euryale sitting on the capital of one of the columns and waving to you, her legs dangling off the edge to swing playfully in the breeze. By her side sits a second girl, precisely identical in features and clothing, but utterly different in expression. She regards you with an air of regal indulgence, elegantly raising a limp hand to wordlessly acknowledge you as a queen might acknowledge the presence of a particularly deserving peasant. It instantly grates on your nerves."Good evening, Euryale," you reply, raising a hand to return her friendly greeting while studiously ignoring the more unpleasant girl, presumably either Medusa or Stheno. "I'm afraid the terrain of your Isle is rather difficult to navigate, and my travel was not as rapid as I might have hoped."
"Well," the second girl comments with a contemptuous smile, "If you had such difficulty in merely traversing the island, I look forward to seeing what that giant woman does to you."Following the line of her gaze, you finally see the third and final sister, standing alone on her own pillar: Rider, not in the child form to which she was reduced in the basement, but as the same adult you met in Emiya's home and fought beside against Berserker. She wears the form-fitting black and violet outfit which seems to be her preferred combat garb, and which, in this context, you can now see is of an almost identical cut to the one-piece dresses worn by her sisters. Only the difference in body size transforms it from a loose gown to a tiny outfit that clings to her skin as she moves. Her eyes, too, are covered by a black blindfold. Clearly she at least doesn't intend on petrifying you, though the expression on her face is even colder than that of the regal girl."So," she says softly, her quiet voice nevertheless carrying clearly through the sunset forest of pillars to your ears, "you've come before me as a challenger. Good. I relish the occasional battles against a warrior taller than I." With that, she drops lightly from the pillar to the marble slabs, landing silently on the balls of her feet five meters away from you. Without a word, Rider readies her bizarre pair of daggers to strike.>[ ] Agree, and commence the battle.>[ ] Tell her you're not here to fight. (Write in the reasoning you give her for having come.)>[ ] Stop Rider by saying or asking something else. (What?)>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4132854How does one go about convincing Medusa you don't really want to fight...Let me think...
>>4132854>[ ] Agree, and commence the battle.Let's go for it I guess.
>>4132854>[ ] Tell her you're not here to fight. ("Your invitation to combat is one I'll have to pass on. I didn't come here to fight you. I have no recollection of how I arrived to this island either. But I can say I certainly didn't come here to face you in battle at least. The equipment I carry is nowhere near enough for me to overcome those eyes of yours, and I have no wish to end up decorating this island. Perhaps the deranged Goddess that sent me here took offense to my nature. An act of man's heresy given form is not something they think kindly upon. So, I am only here seeking to discuss liberation from this place."It's funny because Kourakuhime is a Goddess, technically. Could probably do with some trimming down though. Basically "Not here to fight or steal your sisters, I just want to leave."
>>4132932>I just want to leaveAre you giving up on the attempt to control Rider, then, or just trying to deceive her for the moment?
>>4132954Just trying to get her to lower her guard.I don't fancy our chances against her without Servant level parameters. Especially Cybele.If we're going to do this, we're going to need a cheapshot.
>>4132854>[ ] Stop Rider by saying or asking something else. (Can we at least decide the rules of battle? I don't want to kill you in front of your sisters and I just want to go home, I don't even know why I'm here)
>>4132854>[ ] Agree, and commence the battle.
>>4132898>>4133428This is not going to go well.We have nothing that will let us beat her.We're in a totally reversed situation as to the beatdown we laid upon her.
C'mon, think. What is it that we can say to stop Rider?
>>4133436Alberich doesn't know shit about her. Saying anything that would resolve this peacefully would require metagaming. We have to beat her here.
>>4133466We just need to give her pause.If we really feel the need, we'll attack her during mid conversationAlberich should know that he's in an absolutely hopeless battle against her as he is now.>>4133460Well, the only people Rider should care about at this stage is her sisters and nothing else.Alberich doesn't know that, but it doesn't simply mean he's about ready to throw down with somebody who is likely no weaker than they were as a Servant in his current state.We just need to make her realize we aren't a threat to Stheno and Euryale, and that we haven't come to slay her.Of course, what might actually stop her?Asking which sister she is.
>>4133484I just wish I knew our actual current abilities. I have no clue what we can actually do.
>>4133499Well, referring to your character sheet, I'll start by saying that all of your mental skills are unchanged, your basic parameters are reduced considerably, and your Noble Phantasms are sealed off completely.From what you've been able to observe so far, your strength seems somewhere between peak human and low-grade Servant, similar to your power level during the time immediately after using the pseudo-Grail in the Akeldama.
>>4132854>[ ] Agree, and commence the battle.>>4132932>>4133194not how it works
>>4133499We couldn't even leap all the way across a river and we were getting out ass handed to us by plants.Honestly, we might even be weaker physically than we were in Akeldama right now.I'm just going to switch with...>>4132932>>4132854>[ ] Stop Rider by saying or asking something else. (What sister are you then? Stheno or Medusa?)This single question actually works to prove that we haven't come to the island for either Medusa or her sisters.And it's something Alberich is curious about.It's worth a shot.
>>4132854>[ ] Stop Rider by saying or asking something else. (What sister are you then? Stheno or Medusa?)
Fightfags please, we can't Perseus our way through this one, we haven't the tools.Our only hope is if Medusa simply toys with us or by using our Predatory Charisma to our advantage in this pre-fight introduction.Stheno basically just revealed that Medusa is going to annihilate us.
>>4133194changing to>[ ] Stop Rider by saying or asking something else. (What sister are you then? Stheno or Medusa?)
Would our conceptual body protect us from petrification?
>>4133836The reason I ask is that challenging her to petrify us and surviving would be a great substitute for a straight fight and would definitely give her pause.
>>4133839It'd be pretty fucking ballsy.
>>4133844We should still have magic resistance A, if I understood what Sweets said..
>>4133850I wouldn't mind doing it but that might just let the fightfags win.
>>4132854>[ ] Stop Rider by saying or asking something else. (What?)Challenge her to try to petrify us. If we survive she has to grant us one favor.
>>4132898>>4133863Changing my vote here. Can't delete it.>>4133857I voted to fight initially. Asking her name isn't gonna stop her from attacking though, you might as well change your vote too.
>>4133863Hope you're right.>>4132854>[X] Stop Rider by saying or asking something else. (challenge her to completely petrify us in exchange for one favor)
>>4133863This sounds good. If nothing else it fits the classic Greek mythology.
Battle Rider head-on>>4133428>>4133508Ask which sister Rider is.>>4133510>>4133544>>4133584Challenge Rider to petrify you.>>4133863>>4133871>>4133898Looks like we're tied up for the time being. I may go to bed and write in the morning, since I'm a bit tired and there are usually a few more votes that come in between two and six.
Also, if she asks how we know, just say we guessed by the uncanny statues and the fact that she's the only one with a blindfold.
>>4132854>Challenge Rider to petrify youIf only because I don't see how asking which she is would help anything, because 1. if for Alberich's sake he should be able to figure out since he heard of the other two's names before because they're usually only mentioned to differentiate Medusa by being the 'mortal' and the only one he encountered to have petrifying eyes and 2. neither canon nor mirror Rider ever seemed to hesitate to kill someone who didn't know what they had gotten into.If nothing else we might get an amusing dead end by challenging to petrify us.
>>4133850psst, it's the magic parameter that protects us.Not Magic Resistance.>your basic parameters are reduced considerably.You absolute fools.Enjoy dead ending
>>4134084To be fair Medusas mystic eyes lose potency if the enemy isn't taken by surprise, as long as the targets guard is kept up they might not die.Conceptual Biology also allows saber to survive and act without biological necessities a normal person/servant would have.
>>4134218>To be fair Medusas mystic eyes lose potency if the enemy isn't taken by surpriseThat was for rank B Magical Energy.>Conceptual Biology also allows saber to survive and act without biological necessities a normal person/servant would have.Let me just pull this up real quick...>>This isn't the case because Cybele isn't a subjective effect. Regardless of the subject, Cybele will attempt to apply the same effect: petrification.>One other thing to point out, I did say that the same conceptual nature grants you your Magic Resistance B, which is an inhibitor to magic like Cybele.So if you cited MR you'd have ground to stand on.But even with that MR Cybele was working on us. Remember that its rank is A+, you're not going to ignore it. Even Perseus needed the mirror shield to fight her.
>>4134084K.>>4132854>Stop Rider by saying or asking something else. (What sister are you then? Stheno or Medusa?)
>>4134084Then wtf does magic resistance even do?
>>4134084Our magic is allegedly unaffected.
>>4134236>Your magic alone is uninhibited, being as freely usable as ever. In this unknown realm of space, however, with your connection to Ayaka uncertain, it would surely be wise to limit your usage of its energy as much as possible.From the last thread.
>>4134236Our magic personal skillNot our magic parameter.
>>4134243Well the currently winning vote isn't going to do shit. The island has frequent visitors and everyone in this time frame knows of their names. At least we have a chance at surviving petrification due to conceptual body.>Which one are you?>Medusa.>Ded alberich
>>4134249I could strawman your argument too if you like>Petrify me.>Weird, but ok.>Ded alberich.We know that the magic parameter is capable of being influenced just like any other parameter by the Master.Saber for example has B rank Mana under Shirou, A rank under Rin, and A++ rank mana as Saber Alter under Sakura.The point of asking Medusa which sister she is isn't some sort of "Hey, I know your name." flex. It's literally the god damn opposite! It's the fact that we know her name but not anything else! Most heroes come to the Shapeless Isles specifically for Stheno and Euryale and to fight Medusa! To show ignorance to her name proves with certainty that we didn't come to the island for any of the reasons the other statues did.
>>4134254The issue I have is that we don't know what we're here to do. Do we have to defeat her? I don't know what the goal is.
>>4134254Also I am profoundly repulsed by the "Petrify me lol" vote, when it could be done so much better by requesting she let us see her eyes instead of what could easily be a trap.Asking her straight up "Try petrifying me dipshit." just makes it sound like some God gave us some sort of Protection against it
>>4134258I believe the goal is getting her to submit to us. This won't be done as easily as it was with Saber, as the heavy lifting by Angra Mainyu hasn't already been done and she hasn't been left in a state in which we can easily complete the spell to bind her to us.In a straight up confrontation, I doubt our chances tremendously, Alberich has had his lightsaber and tendrils taken away and Rider still has all her toys on hand.The only chance we have at succeeding here is acting when she is off her guard.
>>4134254>Saber for example has B rank Mana under Shirou, A rank under Rin, and A++ rank mana as Saber Alter under Sakura.You really shouldn't cite Saber as an example, because she's still alive and her output can be influenced by her Master's energy. Her dragon core acts as a multiplier, so her Mana parameter varies with the amount of energy she can get without the core.You never see any other Servant's parameters vary (except Enkidu, who has a skill related to that). If the parameters could vary then energy draw wouldn't be a problem: for example, Heracles would simply lose power to compensate for the lack of energy instead of sucking the life out of Illya.
>>4134265>Rider still has all her toys on handNO!She doesn't have the pegasus yet.
>>4134271We literally just saw Euryale leave on the back of Pegasus, anon.Like, a few updates ago.It's literally Medusa's job to look after it.>>4134269>You really shouldn't cite Saber as an example, because she's still alive and her output can be influenced by her Master's energy.>still alive and her output can be influenced by her Master's energy.>still alive*cough* *cough*>Heracles would simply lose power to compensate for the lack of energy instead of sucking the life out of Illya.But Illya has more than enough energy to sustain Heracles at full power?
>>4134276>We literally just saw Euryale leave on the back of Pegasus, anon.That's Euryale's pegasus. She probably shows it off to Medusa to bully her.>*cough* *cough*Hey, technicalities are what they are.>But Illya has more than enough energy to sustain Heracles at full power?And it was painful. Like, really painful.
>>4134293>That's Euryale's pegasus.You're making a big assumption there that she can't use it aren't you?>Hey, technicalities are what they are.But we have a very similar situation to Saber of being alive, so you just sound like an ass.>And it was painful. Like, really painful.To be fair, pain about sums up Illya's entire life in the interim between the Fourth and Fifth war.
>>4134296>You're making a big assumption there that she can't use it aren't you?It's a joke.On a more serious note, she doesn't have Breaker Gorgon, so she can't slap it on our face and instantly immobilize us.>But we have a very similar situation to Saber of being alive, so you just sound like an ass.We're not even remotely similar to her. Our body was already behaving like a Servant's back in the Akeldama.
>>4134303>she doesn't have Breaker GorgonIsn't that literally what she's currently wearing?>Our body was already behaving like a Servant's back in the Akeldama.No it was not.
>>4134303>>4134340>Breaker Gorgon hereI would post the xzibit meme, but I don't have the image.At any rate, it looks like we're decided. Time to get to writing.
>>4134340>Isn't that literally what she's currently wearing?She's wearing a generic blindfold.>No it was not.I dunno...>The details are difficult to explain to you, but you can think of yourself as being more of a conceptual entity, like a phantasmal beast or heroic spirit, than a human.>heroic spirit...are you calling Circe a liar?
>>4134407>She's wearing a generic blindfold.Seems that way. Her FSN sprite has BG as purple, but Sweets called this blindfold black.>like a heroic spiritHeroic spirits and servants aren't quite the same. Which one we're more like could make a big difference.
>>4134453>Heroic spirits and servants aren't quite the same.Yes, I should've worded it better.The point I was trying to make was that our Mana stat is fixed because we have magic circuits and a proper heroic form while Artoria's isn't because she's alive and has a dragon core. Think of our amplification as linear and hers as polynomial.
>>4134480You're pretty obviously wrong.All Saber's magic core means is that she should realistically have A++ Magical Energy if it's activated. Nothing suggests that Alberich still has B rank magical energy.We might not have Heilig, but a single usage of a tendril for a moment shouldn't have impacted us if we were still B rank.Also we've already been at a lower rank of Magic in the past.As Yumigawa we had D-rank.
"Which sister are you, then?" you ask, making no move of either fear or aggression, but standing foursquare with your sword untouched in its sheath. "Stheno, or Medusa? I hadn't come with the intention of doing battle, but if you're set on facing me I must know who it is I am to cross blades with."The corners of Rider's mouth twitch upward in a tiny smile, almost imperceptible in the fading evening sun, and she murmurs, "Of course, you know me only as Rider." Then, in a supremely confident voice, she declares, "I am Medusa: youngest of the Gorgon sisters, and the guardian of this Isle against all those who would violate our privacy here. Now, human, you shall die by my hand!" In accordance with her announcement, Medusa raises her right arm, the dagger drawing back like the head of a viper about to bite. You can see the tension in her body, and know that in a moment she will flash into motion, covering the space between you and piercing your throat with the blade if you cannot defend yourself in time. "Stop!" At the sound of Euryale's voice, Medusa's movements are suddenly frozen. "Weren't you listening, Medusa? Has that deformed stature of yours raised your ears so high that you can no longer hear your sisters' voices?" she demands, reprimanding the woman with one of the strangest mockeries you can recall hearing. "I told you that you were only to capture Sir Alberich for 'myself' and I because he's so unusual!""Precisely," the third girl, presumably Stheno, adds coldly. "I wonder if all of your body's growth hasn't hampered the development of your brain. Any man capable of resisting 'my' charms as this one has cannot simply be killed. You will subdue him only, do you understand?""Yes, Sisters," Medusa answers with a defeated expression, the audible humility in her voice making a stark shift from her triumphant proclamation of your death a moment before. Turning back to you, she adds, "The situation should be obvious to you now, Alberich. Though I would happily take your head, and you may desire whatever it is you do, I must capture you alive." With that, she vanishes.
No sooner has Rider disappeared from your vision than you feel a fist hammer into your gut with the force of an oncoming train, hurling you backward until you slam into a pillar. You wouldn't believe you wore any protection, if not for the gong-like sound of Medusa's strike impacting the lower part of your cuirass. The armor certainly did you little good, though; you can see a spray of blood on the ground, mixed in with the air forced from your lungs by the ruthless body-blow. Again Medusa vanishes, but now the distance between you is greater, and you take the opportunity to look for her movements. For just a moment you catch it, a flickering blur of black and lavender at the edge of your vision, and then another impact slams into the side of your helmet, knocking you to the ground and sending you sliding halfway across the marble battlefield on your back. As you move, you can just make out the form of Medusa recovering from the heel-kick she just delivered to you before she blurs into invisibility once more.The moment you're moving slowly enough to regain control you spring to your feet, sword and shield out, eyes scanning every cubic centimeter of perceptible space for the blur of your adversary's movement. This time you can catch it a bit better; her body still moves too fast to follow precisely, appearing as a blurred shadow, but you can track her location as she leaps from pillar to pillar above your head, floating like a dancing night-bird as it flits between the trees. The sound of chains, like the noise of a snake's scales roughly moving through foliage as it hunts, echoes through the air around you. For a moment you feel ready; that you can track her and block a strike from any angle, buy just enough time for a counterattack. As if reading that thought, that momentary burst of confidence, the shadow vanishes from your vision. The sound; it's above you! You turn, but a moment too late. The chains attached to Medusa's daggers drop in a wide loop about your shoulders, then pull tight around your neck. Your feet lose contact with the ground as you're hoisted up by the makeshift noose, held suspended by your throat halfway between the earth and sky. In that empty, swirling void of interrupted freefall with your only point of contact the source of your pain, a voice comes to you: that of Rider, in a soft, almost motherly tone."Do you surrender? I've captured you already. You need only drop your weapons, and the pain will end. If not, it will be troubling, but I shall have the proper excuses to make to my dear sisters for your death.">[ ] Drop your sword and shield. You'll have to rely on Stheno and Euryale to keep you alive until you can find some way of defeating this woman.>[ ] Continue to fight. Even in this situation, you refuse to surrender!>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
Sorry about the delay, folks. Had some unexpected obligations come up earlier.I do plan to write the next update tonight, though, so get your votes in by ten.
Well that went fucking poorly.Fantastic, she remembers us.We're fucked.Hold on, an idea is forming.
>>4134743> Do something else (Drop your weapon and feign surrender while waiting for an opportunity where Rider is open and close enough to attack, then attempt to place a hand on her forehead to use Emptiness of the Absorption attribute on her.)Behold, the final trick of a sore loser!
>>4134764All right, why not.
>>4134746It's better to just say "x hours from now" since nobody knows your timezone
>>4134764It's a shame that "Within my mind but one simple thought. Just one! To be victorious and rule! That is all. That is all I need to feel satisfaction! How I do it doesn't matter!" Isn't something we can say here without alerting Rider something is wrong.It didn't work for DIO either.
>>4134743Fuck it. Supporting >>4134764, even though his idea got us hanging high in the first place.
>>4134775GMT-8 IIRC.Or PST if you prefer.
>>4134764Legit thought you were gonna suggest we squirt blood in her eye for a second.
>>4134775It's PST. Somebody figured it out back in like thread 1 of Akeldama and I guess Sweets just assumed everybody knew afterwards.
>>4134794I would have but she's wearing a blindfold.And doesn't need her eyes to fight.
>>4134764>use Emptiness of the Absorption attribute on herSo wait. That's the same magic that put us here right? Isn't it? What's it gonna do now?
>>4134987It's the magic we used on Saber to gain dominance over her will, but it was easy mode because there was no resistance. The inner Medusa we see here is likely the target we need to go for to have it bind her to our will.And there's not much else we can really do.Tendrils are out of the question.We've got nothing to help us combat wise.Rider can crush us any time she wants.And she will if we try to carry on this battle.
>>4134775Four hours from now, then. >>4134764Well, that's certainly an interesting idea.
>>4134743>>[ ] Do something else (Drop your weapon and feign surrender while waiting for an opportunity where Rider is open and close enough to attack, then attempt to shoot a tendril through her heart.)>>4134764>>4134771>>4134778What the fuck do you think this is going to do?>>4134999And why do you think the answer is dominating her while we're dominating her, instead of killing this one?
>>4135170Because we need to absorb a part of her individuality into our own spirit before modifying it.In this world, that individuality is clearly represented by herself. Killing her or attempting to kill her simply won't do, for the same reason that Alberich was so cautious to avoid damaging the plants.It might end up causing Rider to become braindead or some shit like thatFucked up that Manticore right good though he did.
>>4135180I don't think we had a choice there. It was him or us.
>>4135170inb4 we enter mental construct Rider's mindspace
>>4135180>>4135192It's all good, we just killed her ugly bastard fetish.
>>4135194The Quest is collapsing!
>>4135194"I am the eye of my snek"
>>4135194>quest becomes snake inception
Huh. So, we only have four votes?That's less than I was expecting, at this point. I even wound up being an hour and 40 minutes late to count them.Still, if three of the four of you agree on what you want to do, that's what we'll go with.I have to say, though, it really is a startling write-in. Since I modeled this scene on the "Hanging Death" scene in Fate/Stay Night, I was half-expecting everyone to vote unanimously to keep fighting.
Your mind races for a way out of this, seeming to run all the faster as its remaining time is shortened by the loss of oxygen. It isn't only that you can't breathe; the flow of blood to your brain is being cut off as well, you're certain. You have to find a way out; and yet, none seems possible. Medusa is above you, out of reach. Even if she were within the range of your sword, your present form is so much slower than she that you'd surely be overwhelmed in a few instants. Yet surely there must be some way; some method of eliminating the difference in power between the two of you!That's it! Finally an idea strikes; finally, though perhaps no more than a second has truly passed. Time seems to dilate as you focus, as if stretched by the pain of asphyxiation and the intensity of thought; but the idea, you must return to the solution you found. If you feign surrender, you decide, you can wait for the moment Medusa lets down her guard and attack then. She seems to believe you'll be useless without your blade, but you know differently. If you apply a similar magic to that which you used to strike at her mind before here within her spirit, it should surely have the proper effect. All you need do is wait for your opportunity to lay a hand on her forehead, and you'll have her no matter how easily she can defeat you in a direct fight.So decided, you open your hands and allow your sword and shield to clatter to the ground. A moment later, the chain around your neck loosens and you feel yourself let down inch by inch until you're standing on your own feet once more. You feel, rather than hear, the impact behind you as Medusa drops from the pillar, displacing air that brushes your cheek in spite of her impressively silent landing. Then you have another concern, as she takes your left wrist in her hand and pulls it behind you, obviously moments from doing the same with your right and presumably binding your hands behind your back. She's not exactly off of her guard. but this might be the last chance you have of making your counterattack!>[ ] Turn around and go for her head, drawing forth your Absorption magic as you do so.>[ ] Bide your time and wait for a better opportunity. It's still too risky now.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
I spent a long time thinking about this moment, and whether it would be better to write it with a certain action and move on. In the end, though, I decided that it was too important to the last choice, and left it for you folks to decide.Sorry for the short update! I'll write ASAP tomorrow morning.
>>4135617>>[ ] Turn around and go for her head, drawing forth your Absorption magic as you do so.
>>4135617>[ ] "Before you bind my hands, Medusa, I have one question for you: since when were you under the impression that I was disarmed?">[ ] Turn around and force a tendril through her gut to immobilize her, then beat her until she can no longer move and use your Absorption magic on her.
>>4135650There's no point trying. Just turning around takes enough time that she can prepare to dodge, so whatever we do has to be impossible for her to dodge. That limits it to tendrils, which will surprise her because we haven't used any until now.
>>4135617Well, this is guaranteed death if I ever saw it.God damn it, fine Sweets. Ending things early is off the menu.We have no choice but to interact further with the lolis anyway now, our only shot of Medusa being off her guard is when we're around them, and we still need to get to the bottom of this while island thing. Or if they are the actual souls within Medusa or mental constructs. As pleasant as the idea of defeating her here would be, it wouldn't make sense if it were possible, story-wise.>[ ] Bide your time and wait for a better opportunity. It's still too risky now.
>>4135717>it wouldn't make sense if it were possible, story-wiseWhy not?>our only shot of Medusa being off her guardShe's already off her guard. She hasn't seen us use our NPs or magic in the fight so she must be thinking we can't use them. That means using our magic for this one shot will catch her off-guard.>we still need to get to the bottom of this while island thingIt's her mental space and we're the only 'real' person here aside from her. If it was the actual island she wouldn't have said "Of course, you know me only as Rider". In any case you can't get to the actual island just by going into her soul.This is probably because of Breaker Gorgon or something.>Or if they are the actual souls within Medusa or mental constructs.Medusa ate them and then she was transformed into a Heroic Spirit. The odds that their spirits made it through all of that are very, very, very low.>We have no choice but to interact further with the lolis anyway nowOh, wait, you just want an excuse for your loli harem. Don't mind me, then.
>>4135724To be fair when we tried to use our magic the effort was to much to sustain a single shadow tendril for more than a moment. If only we knew other magic.>the odds that their spirits...The two of them were full fledged Goddesses.Consider that Odin is somehow around even though both him and his soul should've been eaten by Fenrir.Unlike Stheno and Euryale, it was possible to summon him.That implies something more is going on.>Why not?Too many unresolved questions.
>>4135729>To be fair when we tried to use our magic the effort was to much to sustain a single shadow tendril for more than a moment.technically it was "moments" (plural) A moment would be enough time. She's right next to us.>The two of them were full fledged Goddesses.Really weak goddesses, yeah. And it's not like this matters to the will of humanity, the thing that evicted the gods.>Consider that Odin is somehow around even though both him and his soul should've been eaten by Fenrir.Sweets said Wagnerian Ragnarok could've happened at the end, but Edda Ragnarok hasn't:>>Wagnerian Ragnarok could definitely have happened at the transition from the Age of Gods to the Age of Man, but Edda Ragnarok includes the death of all living things and creation of a new world. That's definitely still to come.
>>4135729>Too many unresolved questions.such as whatand not the questions (You) are asking like "are stheno and euryale still inside medusa" and "can we make bodies for them if yes"
>>4135739Questions such as "where are we and why does this place exist." "Why are we so weak." and "why is Rider paying attention to the whims of what ought to be just mental constructs when she should know none of this is real."
>>4135741>where are weRider's mindspace.>why does this place existBecause we have to break her down mentally as well as physically. Saber came prebroken, but Rider has to be dommed manually.>Why are we so weakI'll give you that. My guess is that she somehow sealed our NPs and weakened us for the purpose of tormenting us. Going by that line of thought, she must've thought the ribbons were part of HOS's abilities rather than our intrinsic magic, because if she knew better those might've been sealed as well.>why is Rider paying attention to the whims of what ought to be just mental constructs when she should know none of this is realBecause she loves her sisters and wants to keep up the pretense of her idyllic life with them, maybe? Everybody wants to go back to happier times.
>>4135747Of course, if she's trying to torment us her sisters would be the best tormentors to throw at us.
>>4135747>Rider's mindspace.There's clearly more to it than that, Imagine if we had to fight through the damn Knights of the Round Table to get to Arturia.Or the Battle of Camlann.Instead there was no inner world shit at all.>Because we have to break her down mentally as well as physicallyI guess, but having such a complex inner world is kind of ridiculous. So I want to know just why this place is so detailed.>I'll give you that. My guess is that she somehow sealed our NPs and weakened us for the purpose of tormenting us.Well it's more likely we accidentally Breaker Gorgon'd ourselves, which would explain the absence of Rider's own copy of Breaker Gorgon within this world. It traps a target within Rider's mind and seals their abilities. We entered her mind of our own free will so it's likely we managed to get the same restrictions applied to us.Interestingly, even as the Gorgon, she had the Shapeless Isle perfectly preserved in her inner world even at that stage, as we see Gorgon get Breaker Gorgon reflected on her.There's likely something going on here other than just a simple inner world.>Because she loves her sisters and wants to keep up the pretense of her idyllic life with them, maybe? Everybody wants to go back to happier times.Then it that case she should have had no mercy at all for us and immediately sought us out to destroy with extreme prejudice regardless of her sister's wishes. We're a foreign invader to this inner world, after all.>>4135750>Alberich makes her sisters interested in him instead.Poor Medusa.
>>4135756>There's clearly more to it than that, Imagine if we had to fight through the damn Knights of the Round Table to get to Arturia.Like I said, Artoria was prebroken. It was just a matter of inserting Tab A in Slot B.With Medusa we have to carve out Slot B first, which was what the curses of Angra Mainyu were supposed to do (and did with Artoria).>Well it's more likely we accidentally Breaker Gorgon'd ourselves, which would explain the absence of Rider's own copy of Breaker Gorgon within this world. It traps a target within Rider's mind and seals their abilities. We entered her mind of our own free will so it's likely we managed to get the same restrictions applied to us.It's plausible.>Interestingly, even as the Gorgon, she had the Shapeless Isle perfectly preserved in her inner world even at that stage, as we see Gorgon get Breaker Gorgon reflected on her.Maybe it sucked both of us inside because we entered her soul willingly or something. In HA Shirou managed to take control of Breaker Gorgon, but I don't trust HA to be accurate about anything.
>>4135762My problem here is that Medusa's inner world seems way too detailed and realistic. She's not exactly got a reality marble that should allow something to be so detailed.We see a representation of Saber's inner world in the Heaven's Feel Movie when Alter takes over. It's just a black empty void.>Maybe it sucked both of us inside because we entered her soul willingly or something.I think it's likely she's here because she's currently unconscious. This might be some form of dream to her.Which would explain why she is willing to tolerate not murdering us.If she knew what was actually going on, nothing could save us.
>>4135774It's all we got to go on here, unfortunately.It's not contradicted by anything either, for once.
>>4135617>[ ] Turn around and go for her head, drawing forth your Absorption magic as you do so.doesn't hurt to try I guess?
>>4135788It does. I'm not going to explain myself again when I can direct you to >>4135670
>>4135791don't think we can manifest tendrils here since we lack the lightsaber
>>4135802we did>Once you attempt to circumvent the issue entirely by pulling yourself up into the treetops with a tendril of Nothingness to serve as climbing rope. Unfortunately, the exercise serves as a potent reminder of the importance of Heiligöffnungschwert in sustaining the reality of your imaginary elements. The moment it manifests, the energy burden of sustaining it weighs down on you as if you were holding apart the earth and sky by the strength of your body alone. In a few moments it becomes too much for you to bear, and the black ribbon evaporates.
>>4135807Now, if we were trying to sustain the tendril for a second it would be impossible. But for the single moment we need to cripple Rider?
>>4135807So you think for some reason that we are going to be able to pierce Medusa with an incredibly wimpy tendril we can hardly sustain?Haha. Good joke.Remember we constantly needed to bolster our ribbons to increase their effectiveness.
>>4135807>The moment it manifests, the energy burden of sustaining it weighs downnot convinced, while I do enjoy Stheno and Euryale, I don't think being a prisoner to them will give us much of a chance to control medusa
>>4135809>Remember we constantly needed to bolster our ribbons to increase their effectiveness.And you're saying they won't last even a single moment? It's a matter of making the energy count.And do you have any better ideas?>Just give up! Wake up everyday to Stheno and Euryale stepping on our face, eat Medusa's shit for breakfast and walk through the forest of death to fetch water for them! In the evening, hang from the chains for the sisters' amusement and spend the night there because they """forgot""" to let you down!No.
>>4135813What're they going to do? They couldn't imprison a ladybug, much less us.
>>4135822>much less usThis would be far more of a boast if the current Alberich wasn't an insect compared to Medusa here.But fine, there's another way for us to go about this.We can always use our absorption magecraft on Stheno and Euryale.Who knows what might happen?I don't Medusa is going to be off guard just because we threw away our weapon.In fact, she probably distrusts us so much that she's more guarded now we've so freely surrendered than she was during the battle.And besides, I doubt we can put the power behind the tendrils to successfully harm Medusa. In addition, in this Dream World, we wouldn't be using them on the Servant Medusa, we would be attempting to target what represents a non spiritual Medusa. Thus the super-effective nature of the Tendrils to Servants likely won't apply here.
>>4135617Does it have to be her head that we touch? Our hands are already making contact with hers right?
>>4135828>Who knows what might happen?>enter stheno and euryale's mind realmCongratulations, you got yourself caught. What’s the next step of your master plan?>In fact, she probably distrusts us so much that she's more guarded now we've so freely surrendered than she was during the battle.The plan doesn't depend on what she thinks we're WILLING to do, but rather on what she thinks we're CAPABLE of doing.>In fact, she probably distrusts us so much that she's more guarded now we've so freely surrendered than she was during the battle.We got our ass kicked and surrendered instead of dying. At this point she probably has us pegged as a successful Shinji.>In addition, in this Dream World, we wouldn't be using them on the Servant Medusa, we would be attempting to target what represents a non spiritual Medusa.Ah, but gods are spirits, it's literally in the name "Divine Spirit". Flawed or not, Medusa was a goddess until she degenerated into a monster -- that means ribbons will work on her because the element attacks immaterial beings (i.e. spirits).
>>4135838Next step of the master plan is to appeal to the frivolity of her sisters while we wait for the perfect moment to grab her. Anyway, if we're going to use our tendrils, why not use them in an unexpected way instead of a predictable final gambit?
>>4135859>appeal to the frivolity of her sistersThe ones who just want to collect us because we're an oddity? Good luck with that.>Anyway, if we're going to use our tendrils, why not use them in an unexpected way instead of a predictable final gambit?>predictable final gambitSHE CAN'T PREDICT ITWE LOST OUR SWORDSHE THINKS WE CAN'T USE THEM BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T USED THEM AT ALLI'VE BEEN SAYING THIS THE WHOLE TIME
>>4135788alright, changing it to tendril plan in>>4135659, just hope it works then, well, if it doesn't we will eventually find something that does
>>4135867>she thinks we can't use themYou're genuinely retarded if you don't think Medusa will be wary of shadow tendrils from the Angra Mainyu lookalike. Christ.Stop being such a crying babymanYour plan is fucking terrible.
>>4135871>You're genuinely retarded if you don't think Medusa will be wary of shadow tendrils from the Angra Mainyu lookalike.From the Angra Mainyu lookalike who uses shadow tendrils habitually but hasn't once used them in this fight? The lookalike who was much slower and weaker than usual and jobbed like a pro? The lookalike who was taken down in three attacks?That lookalike?That one?>Stop being such a crying babymanAw, man, the IRONY
>>4135869The Tendril plan is really bad.Medusa will have our head from our shoulders the moment we pierce her with it, and instantly killing her is likely impossible and the opposite of what we're here for.If we even get that far.The immensely weakened tendrils we can project on to the world may not even have the speed and strength necessary to hurt her at all.It is in every way a bad idea.We need to strike at the most opportune moment.This is not that moment.Obviously we're being set up to interact with the Gorgon sisters some more and attempting to cut the mini-arc short with this sort of thing is destined to fail.Even if we cripple her she can kill us instantly.
>>4135873Medusa isn't going to let her guard down around somebody she knows to be a deceptive prick during combat. I don't know why you even think the tendrils will hit her.Matsuda managed to easily deal with a far greater quantity from a far more powerful Alberich.A single tendril for an instant isn't going to be enough.We can only really try to wait for a better opportunity or we can try using the ability that actually might score an instant win, by using something she can't expect.This is like Alberich assuming that because she's not used her mystic eyes, she can't.
>>4135885>I don't know why you even think the tendrils will hit her.I don't know, maybe because we're at point-blank range.>Matsuda managed to easily deal with a far greater quantity from a far more powerful Alberich.He had Mind's Eye B, the quantity was 4, and it wasn't point-blank range.>This is like Alberich assuming that because she's not used her mystic eyes, she can't.Maybe if we were keeping tendrils tied behind our back for everyone to see.
>>4135617Hit her with that magic while she's making contact with our hands. No need to go for the head.
>>4135888The tendrils aren't even meant to be for piercing anyway.They are for binding.You're suggesting we do something we've never done before in one of the riskiest and most difficult situations possible.Your plan is shit.You must really want to dead end to Medusa.Even crippled Medusa will kill AlberichAre you forgetting that in life she had incredibly potent regenerative abilities?
>>4135878thanks for reminding me of the light>>4135869>>[ ] Bide your time and wait for a better opportunity. It's still too risky now.we could try it when she sleeps
>>4135878>Obviously we're being set up to interact with the Gorgon sisters some more and attempting to cut the mini-arc short with this sort of thing is destined to fail.FWIW I'm pretty sure voting to keep fighting at the last choice wouldn't have been a dead end based on >>4135566.
>>4135913I bet one of her sisters would've stopped her
>>4135833You haven't tried it yet. Using the magic on her head seemed the most appropriate, since it's magic to affect the mind, but there's theoretically no reason it couldn't work on another part of the body.Right now she has her hand around your wrist.Tally so far: Strike at Medusa's head with Absorption>>4135650Bide your time and wait for a better opportunity>>4135717>>4135894Attempt to immobilize Medusa with a stab to the gut>>4135659
>>4135890I think this is a vote.
>>4135717>Ending things early is off the menu.For the record, it wasn't impossible. Fighting back at the last choice would've brought things to an interesting close, and not with a Dead End. Being taken prisoner is merely one of a few different ways out of this.>>4136111I suppose I can count it as one for fighting back with Absorption, if we want to sit on a tie and wait for more votes to come in.It does seem a little odd that there's been such a drop in the number of votes for these last two choices, compared to the 'diplomacy or no' option with Medusa.
>>4136116Nobody knows what we're supposed to do. Do we have to kill Rider? How do we get out of here? What's the victory condition?
>>4136144I'm with this anon.I have no idea why we're here, what we're trying to do and what the point of doing anything here will be.I do know that I don't like how Weakberich is getting stomped into the floor by everything including nature because he got nerfed and that I want this mini-arc to hurry and end though.
>>4136144>>4136150It's obvious though? We just need to break mental construct Rider's will or overpower her somehow. If she's Rider's consciousness, beating her down should make our spell effective.
>>4136161>beating down a servantDo you really think Alberich is capable of that right now?
>>4136162There are ways. That tendril gut shot might work if we use it while she's asleep. Same with absorption magic. If we can win over Stheno and Euryale they could probably help us too.I feel like there's some way for us to power up here that we're missing. That we had a chance with fighting back confirms it.
>>4136172We wouldn't have died only because her sisters would've intervened.
>>4136179Look at >>4136116. I don't believe you're right about that. There's something here we're not seeing. A puzzle we're supposed to figure out to win this.
>>4136150>I do know that I don't like how Weakberich is getting stomped into the floor by everything including nature because he got nerfed and that I want this mini-arc to hurry and end though.I'm sorry you feel that way, anon. I was under the impression that people wanted more of the underdog experience from Akeldama, and would enjoy this little section without most of Alberich's powers.
>>4136190We had a clear goal and apparent means to achieve it in Akeldama
>>4136190You can't just attempt to recapture an underdog theme by stripping us of all our abilities and having us get our ass handed to us by brambles.It's not an underdog theme at all now.It's just the plot making us job to things.It's just annoying to be so weak now.You killed the ability to have a satisfying underdog story the moment you made Rushorou into a Servant.I believe it was discussed at the time.Your only options were to make all the enemies ludicrously strong or to annoy everyone by nerfing Alberich.This is just us wandering around getting hurt by things and generally being underwhelming.Not what I seek in a main character. Like, the whole danger aspect of this situation feels fake and engineered.
>>4136193We also had a big gun in the form of Circe. Alberich himself never engaged with Servants barring Judas, because of this exact situation. That said, I'm not too disillusioned with this situation, and I'm confident we'll work it out. All we really need to do is buy enough time to seize control.
>>4136212And yes we always had a means of victory through Circe and our Command Spells.Right now we're flailing in the dark at a seemingly undefeatable enemy with no idea what to really do.
>>4136211Well. That's disheartening. I didn't think that playing off of one of the most underused abilities of a canon Servant would feel fake and engineered.Clearly the real underdog story here, the true struggle against all odds, is my attempt to create a narrative you can all enjoy.Still, hopefully those of you who aren't enjoying the Shapeless Isle arc will at least enjoy the ultimate consequences of your choice to pursue controlling Rider and her sisters back in the real world that it's setting up.
>>4136246I certainly wasn't expecting to suddenly get hit by Breaker Gorgon for no reason.Since when can non-passive Noble Phantasms activate as if their true name had been invoked when the user is unconscious and has had the energy required to activate a Noble Phantasm stripped away?Of course we could still have entered Rider's mindscape, but the element of Breaker Gorgon that seals all magical properties should clearly have not applied here.Are we going to wake up to find she unconsciously used Bloodfort Andromeda to melt everyone in the house as well?
>>4136246I still think that was retarded. Playing with dangerous magic that we don't understand for no reason other than collecting a character the players like for meta reasons. I honestly hope the consequences are seriously negative, although I doubt anyone would learn their lesson.
>>4136269Well, canon information isn't scientifically complete for any Noble Phantasm, so one always has to draw their own conclusions at a certain point. My interpretation of the function of Breaker Gorgon is that it applies certain passive functions to her internal mental world (level of complexity, power over those who enter, etc) and has the active effect of sealing magic and sucking people into that mental world. You'll notice that not all of your powers have been sealed off; you're merely weakened by the fact that you're existing in the world of another's spirit, where their will holds more weight than yours, and cut off from your Master.I may be giving too much away here, but if you think of your physical actions in this space as a metaphor for the mental struggle for dominance going on between Rider's mind and the seed of your will within, I think things will make more sense to you.
>>4136246Something like going around and corrupting different parts of the shapeless isle with our magic to take control of Rider would have been cool, even if we were depowered. This needed more clear structure and a clear goal.
>>4136277I don't even like Rider that much.It's just that Bloodfort I can see finally being something that can tip the scales slightly in our favour against Odin and allow us to get at least a couple bonus upgrades.
>>4136279>giving too much awayYou needed to give more away! That's the whole issue people have with this segment.
>>4136285Or we could, ya know, absorb servants like Rider for upgrades instead of this incredibly roundabout way you've proposed.
>>4136286One of the core ideas I had for this bit was that people might enjoy a bit of a mystery, being dropped in an uncertain locale and having to try to discover what to do, how to escape, and so-on. I was thinking you'd work out that it was the Shapeless Isle within Rider's mind from clues like the statues, and then start to suggest plans like >>4136283 on your own once you'd worked out why you were here.Obviously this was wildly overestimating your interest in a more adventure game-like segment.
>>4136299We all assumed that we were within Rider's mind, obviously. An OOC disclaimer that this was more freeform than the usual quest would've been a good call, we're not used to that sort of thing from this quest at all. There was little time to think of creative options between "choose one of three paths" and "hurry up and meet us on the mountain".Anyway, this has been interesting in concept and some of the blame probably does lie on the players, but there's no use talking about what could have happened. Let's see how Alberich gets out of this one.
>>4136296So what, we should absorb everyone? How many Servants do you think it'll take? Assassin and Rider probably aren't enough and some people have been talking about sparing Matsuda. Throw him in though and it's still only 3. So should we absorb Arturia as well? Maybe Circe and Adelheid too? We need as much power as we can get to face Odin. The best way to get it is to use BFA to absorb the people of Tokyo.
>>4136286We were so horribly misinformed we didn't even know if the mental Rider would know about us or not.We had no idea what the hell was going on since the moment we got here and I still don't really know what the hell is going on.I have Sweets saying "It's a metaphor!" Now though. So that'll be fun for a future meme. Regardless, I don't recall us having been hugely depowered when Shirou dragged us into Unlimited Blade Works, which is his inner world, which should have cut us off from Ayaka.>>4136296We could, but this is a sustainable source of upgrades.If I knew we'd have had to have gone throughall these hoops though I would've just preferred the upgrade and the continuation of the actual story.Not this metaphorical mental recruitment sidequest.>>4136299We were just chucked onto an island with no real information on what the hell we were meant to do.Would've been nice to have had some goal here.This was supposed to be our day off and now we're somewhere in the Mediterranean fighting a mental projection of an adult version of a loli that only just became a loli because we teleported into the house they were in and kidnapped them before ordering our sister to turn Rider into a child and then using our magic on the loli which inadvertently dragged us into her mental world.I just wanted to go to the arcade.
>>4136308And get dabbed on by the counter force? No thanks.
>>4136311>implying the counter force gives a fuck about a couple thousand people What are you stoopid?Maybe if we targeted billions of people, but this isn't even a blip on the radar.
>>4136313>the people of Tokyo>couple of thousand
>>4136309>I don't recall us having been hugely depowered when Shirou dragged us into Unlimited Blade Works, which is his inner world, which should have cut us off from Ayaka.But UBW is a reality marble layered on top of reality, right? Not really the same deal. Plus, everyone around us was probably in the radius of it too, so Ayaka was probably in UBW with us. >>4136311Counter force nothing. EMIYA is a counter guardian and Odin could vaporize him without breaking a sweat. We have bigger fish to fry.
>>4136314>implying we'd target THE ENTIRE CITYI mean, we could.Alberich wants to anyway.But realistically we could just target a city block and get enough power.Or simply a large building.
>>4136305>An OOC disclaimer that this was more freeform than the usual quest would've been a good call, we're not used to that sort of thing from this quest at all.That is a really excellent idea, anon. I wish I'd thought of it at the time.>>4136309>that'll be fun for a future memeI am suddenly concerned.>If I knew we'd have had to have gone through all these hoops though I would've just preferred the upgrade and the continuation of the actual story.Can't expect to get new Servants for free all the time, anon. You were going to have to put some elbow grease into it eventually if you wanted to go this route.>We were just chucked onto an island with no real information on what the hell we were meant to do.>Would've been nice to have had some goal here.This is exactly what I mean by saying I was overestimating your interest in an adventure game-like arc. You didn't have a starting goal in Zork, either.
>>4136325>didn't have a goal in ZorkZork didn't have a couple hundred thousand words long prologue either.I JUST WANTED TO GO TO THE ARCADE.
With a mental sigh of resignation, you remain still and allow Rider to pull both of your hands together behind your back before looping a chain around them to fully immobilize your arms. Although she is tantalizingly within your reach, the fact that Rider dropped to the ground immediately behind your back and went straight to work binding you demonstrates to your thorough satisfaction that Rider has done anything but drop her guard. That, coupled with her notable superiority of speed, is enough to ensure the failure of any rash effort you might make at a last-minute attack. No, you think, you have no choice but to allow yourself to be captured, and wait for some moment of true opportunity to strike; and while being taken prisoner, perhaps you can gain some more information about your situation by exaggerating your ignorance."Medusa," you say as she winds the chain about your wrists. "You spoke as though you knew me, though I'm certain I've never visited this isle before. Why is that?" As you speak, you adopt the air of a man defeated and disappointed, but doing his best to keep his spirits up and focus on other matters. If she suspects you still have a means of attack left, you're certain some unfortunate circumstance will soon follow the discovery."Do not attempt to pretend amnesia," Medusa orders, tightening the chain around your wrist to emphasize her point before declaring, in a venomous hiss, "I know who you are, and why you are here, just as well as I could see your malignancy when you first stepped through the door with Shirou. Fifteen years ago, Saber faced you within her own mind as I am now, didn't she? Though I imagine you must have held rather more power there than here.""What strange things you say," you reply, keeping your voice carefully level. "If you hate me so, why did you not kill me already? Why obey those sisters of yours? They surely aren't capable of forcing you to do as they say." Of course, you haven't fought Stheno or Euryale, but your ability to detect magic remains undamaged and each of the two feels far inferior in power to their younger sister."I do not expect you to understand," your captor answers with contempt. "A younger sister must obey her elder sisters. Even when it regards dealing with you, that is how things are for us.""In that case, I'll have to thank your sisters for securing my survival," you say with a smirk. "They certainly seem to have a better idea of how to treat visitors than you.""I do not doubt you shall have plenty of opportunities to thank them at length," Medusa replies, something in her voice telling you she wears a rather malicious smile of her own. "My sisters are very particular about fulfilling their desires, and extracting whatever they feel they deserve. Now, do walk."
With that prompting you begin to walk before Medusa, following her occasional guiding prods as to direction, toward the column where Stheno and Euryale wait; a location you had quite lost track of, amidst the disorientation of your repeated aerial motion between the identical pillars that dot this plateau. As you walk, darkness falls over the area as the sun begins to set, revealing hitherto unseen flames which burn atop the columns' capitals with orange flame of a shade identical to the evening light of moments before. What is stranger than the flames themselves, or their previous invisibility, is their quantity and location. Of the columns you can see, perhaps only one in four is crowned by a flame, and the flames that are there frequently flicker out, only to reappear an instant later atop a different column. The overall effect is of a constantly shifting pattern of illumination, and profoundly unsettling. How the sisters who dwell here can find comfort in such furnishing for their home is beyond you.When you arrive at the column from which Stheno and Euryale watched your battle with Medusa, the gulf in capability between the three sisters is rapidly driven home to you once more. Stheno and Euryale both remain sitting on the capital, evidently not having moved since your arrival, and it seems that their only method of leaving their high seat is with the help of their younger sister. No sooner does she lay eyes on your captor than Stheno orders, "Put that huge body of yours to use and bring us down, Medusa! How long did you intend to drag your feet in returning?"At this command, the youngest of the three Gorgons makes a quick ascent, clinging to the side of the pillar with spider-like facility, before picking up one of her sisters in each arm and jumping lightly back down to the marble slabs below. In all, it takes her only a few seconds to carry her sisters bodily down from their dangerously high viewing platform. Once again, you find yourself wondering why it is she simply tolerates such unpleasant behavior from the seemingly dependent girls."Why don't you go and prepare dinner now, Medusa?" Euryale says, brushing almost imperceptible dust from her dress. "We'll return to the temple with Sir Alberich."Medusa frowns, looking conflicted for a moment, before nodding. "As you wish, sister," she answers quietly, and disappears into the darkness, leaving you standing, wrists bound, between Stheno and Euryale.
"This way, Sir Alberich!" Euryale says brightly, pointing in the direction of the hulking structure that rises from the center of the plateau. "Come with us, and we'll find you a room to stay in the temple. I'm sure you'll enjoy staying with us much more than you'd like the outside world, you know. You must know what became of poor Prometheus after he tried to make life better for the humans; and now they're only used as playthings by the other Olympians. If you're a new sort of being, I'm sure they couldn't have anything pleasant in mind for you.""To be sure," you reply as you fall into step between the two girls. You're not entirely sure why it is that Euryale seems to be fully enmeshed in the world of Hellenic myth, when Medusa is aware of the world outside her mental landscape, but for the moment it seems most convenient simply to go along with what she says. "Although your sister's detestation of me certainly does take some of the relish from the prospect." Before Euryale can reply to this comment, Stheno cuts in, drawing the conversation in another direction entirely. "Tell me, if you would," she says, her soft and elegant tones remaining a striking contrast to the bright girlish cheer of her identical sister, "why it is that you returned 'my' greeting, but not mine?""Pardon?" You look at the girl with confusion only half feigned. Although it's simple enough to grasp that Stheno and Euryale refer to one another as themselves, the habit is a bizarre one. "I believe I waved back to both of you, did I not?""No matter," she replies. "And you did not catch a fish when 'I' asked either. How very intriguing..." Stheno seems to recede into her thoughts, contemplating your apparently strange behavior. Although nothing about what you've done seems particularly out of the ordinary to you, save the fact that you allowed your instinct for self-preservation to overwhelm your pride and surrendered, your refusal to answer trivial requests seems to utterly baffle the two girls."Well, Sir Alberich," Euryale chirrups, reviving the conversation just as the silence begins to weigh unpleasantly and circling around before you to look up into your face as she walks backward, "we would of course like to know more about you, and what sort of being you are, but before that I'm sure you have questions for us about your new home. Go on! What would you like to hear about?">[ ] Ask if there is some secret to Medusa's power; how she was able to defeat you so easily.>[ ] Ask about your living conditions at the temple.>[ ] Ask a question of your own choosing. (Write in)>[ ] Tell her you have nothing to ask about.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4137084>[ ] Ask about your living conditions at the temple.>[ ] Ask if there is some secret to Medusa's power; how she was able to defeat you so easily.Why not both?
Sorry folks, this didn't end up being a morning update after all. ASAP turned out to be quite a bit less soon than I had hoped.
>>4137088>Why not both?To be honest, I at first just had the choice to ask her something (write in details), ask nothing, or do something else.That felt a little lacking, so I added the first two options to give people ideas.
>>4137084>[ ] Ask a question of your own choosing. (Write in)where does Medusa sleep? have you tried throwing water at her while she sleeps to see what happened?
>>4137095Rhetorical question, but that's nice to know.Also, please add >>4137131 to my vote.
>>4137084>[ ] Ask if there is some secret to Medusa's power; how she was able to defeat you so easily.>[ ] Ask about your living conditions at the temple.>Ask about the magical abilities of each sister>Ask why they're so surprised that we don't follow their every order
>>4137084>[ ] Ask how long they have been in Shapeless Isle>[ ] Ask if they know where they really are>[ ] Ask if they intend to leave Shapeless Isle
>>4137158This sounds good>>4137095yo sweets-dono, here's a casefiles supplement TL. might come in handy for part 3?
>>4137716>Luvia has a *twin* sisterWhoops!
>>4138000threesome with truvi and her twin when
>>4137716Thanks, anon! I'll add this to my notes! That's also a good reminder that I need to get around to actually reading Case Files at some point before starting Part 3.>Luvia has a twin sister, who is a shy girlOh, dear. That's a bit of a lore conflict.I suppose it's time to wave the magic wand of "alternate timeline" once again!
Ded quest today. Where'd everybody go?
>>4138864Everyone’s too busy celebrating pi-day/ides of March-eve.
"Very well then, I suppose I am." you reply, keeping your manner friendly and relaxed in spite of the twinge to your nerves prompted by Euryale's repeated assumption that you'll be living here indefinitely. "Tell me about this Temple of yours, then. What sort of life do you three lead on this secluded island, cut off from civilization; what place do you intend for me to take in it?""The Temple of the Gorgons," Euryale announces, turning a pirouette and sweeping an outstretched hand across the temple's silhouette with an air of theatrical presentation. "It's the temple that our worshipers raised for us, in the days before we came to the Shapeless Isle. The three of us are Titans, you know; although we're no longer venerated, we were able to bring our home with us when we came. It's lovely, and very spacious; I'm sure you'll enjoy it.""Not that your complaints will hold any meaning if you don't," Stheno interjects with an ill-natured smile. "You'll dwell here in any case, until we've found out what sort of nature you have.""But you wanted to hear about our lifestyle, didn't you?" Euryale cuts in, radiating cheer as if to dispel the unpleasant tone of her sister's words. "We do very little, to tell the truth. Since we don't need to eat or drink, but only do so occasionally for pleasure, we spend our days in leisure. I often enjoy swimming, walking through the forest the way I was when we met, or riding Pegasus. 'Myself' has her own hobbies, of course: sewing, playing the lyre, singing, writing poetry, and such. 'I' designed all of our clothing!""How impressive," you comment, flattering her only slightly. To actually design apparel from scratch, and such fetching outfits at that, is rather impressive to you as one who has always had a particular concern for his outfits but has never created anything new. Yumigawa had had his own hobby of sewing as well, you recall, but he hadn't gotten as far as original clothing designs either."Isn't it?" Euryale beams at you, but the one actually being praised gives only a thin smile, as if this and more is only the appropriate honor paid her achievements. "Now, you've heard about what we do when the Isle has no visitors. The high points of our life here are the days when adventuring heroes arrive, however. Some come for Medusa's head, and those we don't see; the others, who land here only seeking provisions or to pay homage to 'myself' and I, we welcome in and receive as guests! We hear their stories, learn about what goes outside of our Isle, and after they have stayed for a time we send them on their way to new adventures!""Very hospitable of you," you reply, "but surely there must be some work to be done about the place. You can't spend all your time in leisure, can you?"
"Of course there are some such matters to be concerned with," Stheno answers. "To enjoy one's life properly, one must have a clean environment, well-kept clothing, and such. Medusa tends to all of that for us, as well as to the provision of her own food. Unlike ourselves, she has an appetite. If you must eat as well, speak to her about it. I will answer your third question as well," she adds. "You will live as our guest, a member of our home, until we have thoroughly understood the nature of your existence. The birth of a new sort of spirit, between human and divine, and moreover by human hands, is a fascinating event; one which even two such secluded maidens as we cannot ignore.""There seems to be one particular aspect of my nature which interests you more than the rest, though," you note. "Why do you find it so strange that I didn't jump to answer your greeting, or Euryale's request? Is it so strange, that a man might be less than obsequious from time to time?"At this, Stheno raises a white hand to cover her lips as a soft, gentle laugh escapes them. Euryale takes the conversational place of her sister, answering, "It is so strange, Sir Alberich; I suppose you don't understand just how strange it is, your behavior; but to us, you might as likely have arrived carrying Zeus' slung over your shoulder! All men who lay eyes on 'myself' or I fall in love with us, and would die for us. It is simply part of who we are.""Indeed," Stheno comments, recovered from her laughter. "A moment ago, 'I' told you we were Titans. To elaborate, we three sisters were born from Gaia as the primordial Goddesses of love and affection. When the Olympians unseated the Titans, however, they divided the world's Authority amongst themselves, and we were left quite powerless, save Medusa's capacity for violence and our own last remnants of our Authority: the property of 'receiving affection'. As 'I' said, all men who lay eyes on us love us; though Medusa was cursed, and we retreated to this Shapeless Isle, that fact remains immutable; and yet somehow you deny it. There is nothing for it but for you to stay with us, then, until we understand the nature of your mysterious forbearance." At this last word, her lips quirk up in a subtly lascivious smile whose impact seems only heightened by the innocence of her form. Your pulse quickens, and you snap your eyes away from hers. If what Stheno says is the truth, nothing could be more dangerous for you now than to feel desire for either of the two."In that case, I can see why you should find me so puzzling," you say, carefully maintaining a steady, unconcerned tone and keeping your eyes focused on the Temple as you walk, rather than either of your conversational partners. "What about Medusa, though? Her situation seems to be quite different from your own; how is it that she should have such combat prowess, and be seen as a monster by the world at large, while the two of you remain as you are?"
"Medusa," Stheno answers sadly, "was never as we are; she was born an incomplete divinity, lacking our eternal nature as well as our authority. Instead, she was born with the traits of a monster: great strength, potent magic, and eyes that turn men to stone. When Athena cursed her to one day become a true monster, it was no more than another step on the path she has walked since birth. Because we loved and pitied our sister, however, we accompanied her here in spite of her hatred of mankind and her growing appetite.""I see," you murmur. Finally you're beginning to have a clear picture of things on this island. Medusa, as the only member of the trio capable of any real work, does everything for her sisters; in addition, she feels indebted to them for their presence here, as it was due to her curse that they came to be on the Shapeless Isle in the first place. Perhaps, then, Stheno and Euryale hold the key to pacifying Medusa and bringing her spirit into your power. On the other hand, as Medusa was binding you she did mention Saber facing you in the same manner she did, presumably referring to a battle; so perhaps some method of physically suppressing her is necessary after all.As you're contemplating this, the three of you arrive at last before the temple, and a further incline of three steps before you can step between the line of columns supporting its overhanging roof and approach the actual wall. Two massive oaken slabs, each at least five meters tall, have been carved into a pair of beautiful arched double doors for the temple's entrance. Without a knock, they swing inward before you as you approach, revealing Medusa as the agent of their motion, standing at the threshold of a spacious entry hall which, like the structure itself, is entirely of marble, and decorated beautifully with numerous friezes. This interior room, unlike the outer pavilion, is lit with a double row of braziers standing by the walls. As you step inside, you observe that this central hall seems to run about half the length of the building, having three doors at the opposite end as well as several pairs of opposing doors to either side. "Alberich," Medusa says, after closing the door massive doors behind the three of you, "would you like to take dinner with us, or would you prefer to rest after the day's exertions?">[ ] "Something to eat would be lovely, thank you." Even with your magical constitution, food can be a restorative; besides, you'd like to speak more before the night is up.>[ ] "I think I'll take your offer of rest. Have you a room in mind for me?" Dinner might be enjoyable, but at present you simply don't have the luxury. Between your fatigue and wounds you need to maximize the restorative power of what magical energy you have, and sleep is the most effective means of that.>[ ] Answer differently. (Write in)
>>4138864>>4138896Apparently so. Perhaps an update will help draw people back in? You are inching toward having a clear goal and means of pursuing it.
>>4138912>>[ ] "Something to eat would be lovely, thank you." Even with your magical constitution, food can be a restorative; besides, you'd like to speak more before the night is up.Oh Medusa.Please stop giving us the rope we need to hang you.
>>4138912>[ ] "Something to eat would be lovely, thank you." Even with your magical constitution, food can be a restorative; besides, you'd like to speak more before the night is up.
>>4138935>Please stop giving us the rope we need to hang you.Interesting. Fill me in. What's your plan for dinner, anon?
>>4138912>[ ] "Something to eat would be lovely, thank you." Even with your magical constitution, food can be a restorative; besides, you'd like to speak more before the night is up.>>4138945"Out of the eater came something to eat.Out of the strong came something sweet."
>>4138912>[ ] "Something to eat would be lovely, thank you." Even with your magical constitution, food can be a restorative; besides, you'd like to speak more before the night is up.I hope you know how to cook
What if we could discuss our magic and its ability to control Rider to change her to their whims? If they were on our side she'd be powerless to resist. Might be worth discussing with them when Rider's not around
>>4138973It could even be presented as a means to control her as she becomes more monstrous.
>>4138973>>4138977>"Hey guys, what if I invaded Rider's soul and polluted it by imposing my will on her?"Guess.
>>4138989Not if we convince them that they're having us invade riders soul and imposing their will on her.
>>4138993Obviously a better way of doing things would be to reveal that we know of a method of preventing the curse laid upon her by reversing her aging and making her physically a child once more.
>>4139045would be too suspicious if we just came out and said that, need to win their trust more or come out with some Keikatu level reasoning
>>4138953I'm not 100% clear what part of that story you're alluding to. Going back to Mantikouros' body and checking for bees? Entertaining the three sisters with impossible riddles? Or are you just making a general reference to turning the family members against one another?>>4139045The method that only Kōrakuhime can perform, which requires her magic circle? You may have a bit of trouble working it out here...>>4139061I'm looking forward to this. What's your plan to win their trust, anon?
>>4139084>what part of that story you're alluding toI'm alluding to the need to consume Medusa and receive a powerup. This magical realm siscon fantasy has gone too far.
>>4139084>The method that only Kōrakuhime can perform, which requires her magic circle? I said we knew of a method. Not that we could actually perform the method ourselves.>>4139096You'll never give up on killing her, even now, will you?Why are you like this.
>>4138912>>[ ] "Something to eat would be lovely, thank you." Even with your magical constitution, food can be a restorative; besides, you'd like to speak more before the night is up.
>>4139096>This magical realm siscon fantasy has gone too far.Got it. Next time you can go into Kōrakuhime's spirit and tour through her fantasies of being dominated by Alberich instead.
>>4139154>>4139127Tsubaki can't keep getting away with it!
>>4139154Now THIS would be a productive use of our time>>4139125>Why are you like this.Because you touch yourself at night.
Well, since no votes came in during the night, it looks like you all still want to have dinner with Medusa.Honestly, I'm surprised. I had expected you'd want to heal your wounds with some sleep instead of pushing yourself farther.At any rate, I'll start writing now.
>>4139894Food + sleep is better than just sleep for healing right?
I was just editing the last update for the PDF, and discovered that in the last update I wrote "Zeus' slung over your shoulder" instead of "Zeus' head slung over your shoulder". Left out a crucial word there.In the future, if you folks notice typos like that, could you let me know?
>>4140201You're getting a little ahead of yourself, little flower.
>>4140669Admittedly, my writing progress today has been less than stellar. Apologies for the writer's block, folks.>>4140368Thanks, anon.
>>4140691ETA on update?
>>4140763Some time in the next three hours.
"Something to eat would be lovely, thank you," you reply. Even with your magical constitution, food can be a restorative. If you're fortunate, the meal might provide enough magical energy to heal the wounds on your hand and shoulder, or perhaps the internal damage you doubtless sustained during your bout with Medusa. At least, that is your hope, operating under the assumption that your lack of magical energy is to blame for the diminution of your regeneration. If it's simply been cut off entirely, even such minor wounds as these could become significant points of concern. Still, you think, it's best to stay optimistic. You have no reason to assume a cause other than your disconnection from Ayaka resulted in your weakening, after all."In that case, elder sisters, Alberich, please follow me," Medusa replies, turning to lead the three of you toward the set of doors at the opposite end of the central entry hall. Speaking to her sisters, she continues, "I caught a wild boar today, which I've prepared with a special technique which I'm sure the two of you will enjoy.""Fuwa~h." Before Medusa can explain her cooking further, she's interrupted by a barely stifled yawn from Euryale. Hiding her mouth behind a hand, the girl explains through her continued yawns, "Now that I step inside... I think I really am quite tired after all. I'll have to say good evening now, and see you again tomorrow, Sir Alberich.""I believe I will do the same," Stheno immediately chimes in. "I do not feel overly inclined to take dinner this evening, Medusa; you and our guest may have it all. Good evening."With their explanations made, the two girls part from the pair of you and make their way together to a door on the right-hand side of the hall. You and Medusa are left alone, interrupted in your progress toward what you presume is the dining room. Medusa, you observe, wears a decidedly morose expression at her sisters' flight."I suppose we'll be dining alone, then," you say. "How odd. Didn't it seem as though the two of them wanted to eat until a moment ago?"
"Yes," your host answers with a sigh. "I do not doubt they did. Now they do not, and there will be no need to use the dining room. Follow me, Alberich." With that, she makes a sharp left turn and leads you to the first doorway on the left-hand side of the hall, which opens into a narrower corridor similarly lined with, friezes, columns set into the walls, and braziers for illumination. Medusa leads you several paces down this second corridor in silence before making a sudden right turn, stepping through a new doorway, and revealing what is apparently the temple's kitchen. The methods available, you can see, are rustic in the extreme. A large clay oven is built into one wall, and in an alcove opposite it is an open fire with smoke channeled out through a nearby window. The majority of the cooking seems to be done in a variety of pots and pans which can be mounted on racks at differing heights above the flame. Other aspects of the kitchen are more familiar to you, though; it has counters of a sort, protruding from the wall between the two cooking places, and a variety of utensils, knives, and cutting boards stored in racks above them. Off to the side, away from the immediate cooking area, a small table sits with two chairs. This, presumably, is where Medusa eats when her sisters do not join her."Sit down," she says, nodding peremptorily toward the table. "I shall bring your food in a moment." After a moment's consideration you decide against making a snide reply about her hospitality. Given the precariousness of your situation, it probably isn't wise to push Medusa any further; so, in silence, you take a seat and observe as your host fills two earthenware bowls from the shallow pot hanging over the fire. "Here," she says, returning and setting one bowl on the table before you and the other before the empty seat, which she promptly fills. "As I meant to explain to my sisters, it is a stew of wild boar cooked in a sauce of its own blood, with herbs and salt." Evidently satisfied that your dinner conversation should extend no further than this curt description of her cooking, Medusa promptly begins to devour her stew. When you raise your own spoon to your lips, however, you find the meal abysmal. In the first place, it's been salted to vast excess, and to make matters worse the iron tang of the blood is the dominant other flavor, overwhelming that of whatever herbs she used completely and nearly masking the flavor of the meat itself. The only thing praiseworthy about it is the texture of the boar meat, which you find tender and succulent. If Stheno and Euryale had an inkling of this dish's outcome, you can understand why they were so quick to change their minds about dining.
Resolving to follow Medusa's example and simply eat as quickly as possible without giving yourself time to taste the meal, you turn your mind to other matters. There are still any number of unknowns in your situation, which it would certainly be worthwhile to have Medusa answer, but relying on the word of an enemy is never a safe prospect. How could you mitigate the problem if she should decide to give you false information? Then again, she does seem to be the only person in this world in full possession of the facts. You may have no choice but to rely on her. In any case, you think, considering the speed at which she's wolfing down her dinner as well as her general terseness it's unlikely she'll be willing to speak for long.>[ ] Ask Medusa what her goal is in this world. She claims you're here to try to subdue her, but what is she trying to accomplish by keeping you a prisoner?>[ ] Ask about the nature of Medusa's sisters. Are the inhabitants of this island memories, or something more?>[ ] Ask Medusa to elaborate on what she said before, about Saber having to battle you within her mind the same way she does now.>[ ] Ask or say something else. (Write in)>[ ] Finish your dinner in silence.
>>4140868>>[ ] Ask about the nature of Medusa's sisters. Are the inhabitants of this island memories, or something more?You made a typo on this choice, by the way. Looks like you couldn't decide between "they" and "the two of them." and went for both.
I realize this is a bit of an anemic update after the wait. Sorry about that; I've had a very difficult time focusing and getting writing done today.Still, the choice of what bit of information to get from Medusa is an important one, so I couldn't really just run with one of the options.>>4140877>Looks like you couldn't decide between "they" and "the two of them." and went for both.Huh? Where? I don't see it.
>>4140885Neither do I actually. I'm seeing typos where they don't even exist.Hmm.
>>4140868>[ ] Finish your dinner in silence.Fuck her. Don't give her the benefit of gloating or any indication that her cooking is shit.
>>4140868>[ ] Finish your dinner in silence.
>>4140868>[ ] Ask about the nature of Medusa's sisters. Are the inhabitants of this island memories, or something more?better trying something rather than just fucking off to bed
>>4140868>>[ ] Ask about the nature of Medusa's sisters. Are the inhabitants of this island memories, or something more?
>>4140999Trying what? Getting useful information out of her? Might as well squeeze blood from a rock.
>>4140868>[ ] Ask about the nature of Medusa's sisters. Are the inhabitants of this island memories, or something more?It's obvious that she's stalling us here until her allies can rescue her
>>4140904>or any indication that her cooking is shitReally? If you dislike her so intensely, I'd think you'd want to rub her nose in the fact.>>4141272How do you estimate the chances of that plan succeeding, anon?
>>4141321Not great. Maybe she's stalling because after a certain amount of time in her mind we can't escape. Who knows?
>>4141348I could be wrong, but it doesn't look like she knows more than us about the situation.
>>4141352Remember, the last time Medusa got herself stuck in Breaker Gorgon, she died.
By the way, I plan on updating at around the same time today as I did yesterday. Unless something changes IRL in the next two hours, we're back on a 24-hour schedule for the next couple of days.Just a heads-up for those of you wondering.
>>4140868>[ ] Ask about the nature of Medusa's sisters. Are the inhabitants of this island memories, or something more?>>4141272>she's stalling us>>4141321>How do you estimate the chances of that plan succeedingTo be fair, unless there's a significant time-dilation effect going on we'd have been stun-locked head-patting Medusa Lily for literal hours while everyone else just looked on wondering what the fuck was happening. That would be a strategic liability no matter how you slice it.
>>4142117Of course you have no way of knowing what sort of time dilation could be at work, or whether there is any, but I'll mention this just to be clear. At least twelve hours have already passed on the Shapeless Isle since you awoke on the shore.
>>4142128Oh no!The day off!
>>4142131The day off was over! It was action time for the first time in a month! And instead we got derailed into this. Still mad.
>>4142144You didn't enjoy the action scenes with Mantikouros and Medusa?
>>4142164Killing Mantikouros was cool but it's frustrating when nobody votes to fight and it didn't require any kind of strategy on our part, which is the best part of any action scene.
>>4142164I'm worried that we're going to become a diplomancer when it doesn't even make sense to talk instead of fight. It's one of my pet peeves.
>>4142202It's unfortunate but all of our combat skills are crippled and about the only thing Alberich still somewhat excels at is talking within the mindscape.
>>4142195I suppose the fight could've been set up to be more nuanced and fun, but I didn't want to get bogged down in several successive posts of fighting a relatively minor enemy when I'm not writing as fast as I used to. I'll work on that.>>4142202I can see where you're coming from there; all I can say is, do your best to convince your fellow players to see things the way you want them to. You're almost always going to have the option not to engage violently, after all.>>4142207Not to split hairs, but technically your combat skills are 100% still there. It's your basic parameters, the power in your muscles and durability of your flesh, that have been diminished.
>>4141397I'm still writing now. Won't have the update done in the next hour, but definitely will get an update finished tonight.
"I believe we ought to speak frankly, Medusa," you say, after gulping down a spoonful of the bloody stew. "What exactly are the inhabitants of this island?"Medusa pauses her own meal to regard you from behind her blindfold, her partially masked expression unreadable. "Is it not apparent what they are?" she asks coolly, her soft voice unemotional."Not in the least." You take another bite of your vile dinner before continuing, "Considering that this realm is within your mind and spirit, one might guess that they are your memories; yet they are clearly capable of responding to foreign stimulus, so that can't be. Another possibility is that your sisters here are simply behaving according to your own conceptions of how they would act in a given situation. This is more possible, but your willingness to spare my life for their satisfaction leads me to doubt the notion. The only remaining possibility is that they are the authentic spirits of your sisters, isolated and preserved within your own while maintaining their own egos. Yet-""You see?" Medusa cuts you off, smirking thinly. "You had no need of my answer. As you have gathered, all those who dwell on this island are spirits: the lingering shades of those who once lived here, continuing their existence through me. Now," she waves a hand toward her empty bowl. "I would bid you goodnight, but as I must direct you to your quarters I am compelled to wait for you to finish your meal. Eat, please, and waste no more time with questions."That's it then, you suppose. You have at least received a proper answer to your question, although Medusa's manners leave a great deal to be desired. Once you find a way of subduing her, you repeat to yourself, you will have satisfaction for the way this impertinent woman has dealt with you. For the moment, though, there's nothing to be done but scrape up the remainder of your stew and follow Medusa to your bedroom, a small chamber on the opposite side of the Temple where she leaves you with your hands once more chained behind your back. As your captor departs and you take stock of the place, you observe that the bedroom they've given you conforms to the same general appearance of ornate construction and spare furnishing as the other rooms you've seen. The floor is decorated with a large mosaic of snakes entwined with flowering vines surrounding an azure pool, each corner of the room has a quarter-column protruding from the wall, and a marble statue of a man kneeling while holding a bronze brazier aloft in his cupped hands is against one wall, providing the room with its light. The only actual piece of furniture is a simple wooden bed with linen sheets, set against the wall to your right. Opposite the door, wooden shutters cover a window. There's certainly nothing in the room that might help you out of your chains, and it seems you can look forward to an unpleasant night sleeping while bound.
No sooner have you resigned yourself to this state of affairs and lain uncomfortably down on your side than you hear a knocking at the door. After maneuvering yourself awkwardly back to your feet and opening the door with the same, you discover Stheno and Euryale, looking up at you with expressions of mirth."Hello, Sir Alberich," Euryale begins cheerfully."Now that you've finished your meal with that giant woman, 'Myself' and I have come to spend the evening with you," Stheno explains, her own tone subdued and mellow."Before now, we've never been able to visit a man at night," Euryale adds, "for fear he would be overcome with passion; but with you, we can feel perfectly at ease! Isn't that so?">[ ] Welcome the two sisters in, though their motivations are rather opaque.>[ ] Whatever the pair is trying to accomplish by visiting you at this hour, it can only serve to cause trouble. Turn them away.>[ ] If Stheno and Euryale want to spend time with you, fine, but you'll need an immediate benefit. Ask that they unlock your chains before you can let them in.>[ ] Reply differently. (Write in)
>>4142607>>[ ] Welcome the two sisters in, though their motivations are rather opaque.Gah, fuck!Are we back?Damn site just died.
>>4142607>[ ] If Stheno and Euryale want to spend time with you, fine, but you'll need an immediate benefit. Ask that they unlock your chains before you can let them in.Ree why can't I post???
>>4142607>[ ] If Stheno and Euryale want to spend time with you, fine, but you'll need an immediate benefit. Ask that they unlock your chains before you can let them in.Ask if they could heal our injuries as well, since we're missing out on restorative sleep.
>>4142609>>4142643So the site died last night, and only three people got to vote? That's a shame.
>>4142607>[ ] If Stheno and Euryale want to spend time with you, fine, but you'll need an immediate benefit. Ask that they unlock your chains before you can let them in.
>>4142607>>[ ] Welcome the two sisters in, though their motivations are rather opaque.
>>4142607>[ ] Welcome the two sisters in, though their motivations are rather opaque.
I swear to God there's a secret cabal of voters dedicated to making tied votes in this quest.
>>4142609switch>>4142607>>[ ] If Stheno and Euryale want to spend time with you, fine, but you'll need an immediate benefit. Ask that they unlock your chains before you can let them in.No ties today.
>>4143399I appreciate your effort to help me write immediately, anon.Unfortunately my boss is not a fan of this quest, apparently. Work has been... hectic would be saying the least, today. I really don't have the energy to write. Sorry, everyone! Please wait another day!I promise I'll get an extra-long update done tomorrow, and have a bit of significant progress for you all!
>>4143996Speaking of progress, here's a surprise on the Liliesviel edit front.Just need to find a way to put some hair in that empty space I've created
>>4144255That's great, anon! I'm glad to see you haven't given up on it after all.
>>4144338>[ ] If Stheno and Euryale want to spend time with you, fine, but you'll need an immediate benefit. Ask that they unlock your chains before you can let them in.RAVIOLIRAVIOLI
Thinking quickly, you realize that this is an unexpected chance to be freed from one of the most odious disadvantages of your loss to Medusa: the chain around your wrists. Whatever the reason for and extent of the sisters' desire to visit you, it's surely possible to exploit their apparently rather whimsical nature. They can't have wanted to spend the evening with someone bound and unable even to properly open the door to greet them, you're certain.Putting a friendly smile on your face, you step forward and say, "How kind of you to come and visit me here. The truth is that my bedroom has been furnished with little enough to help pass the time on my own." As you speak, you nod back over your shoulder, indicating the small, empty room, before taking another step forward out into the hall, bringing the hands behind your back into your visitors' view. "Would you do me the favor of removing this tiresome chain, so that I can let you in properly?" you add."Oh?" Stheno purses her lips in a worried frown, drawing away from your approach. "If that is your intention," she says distastefully, "'myself' and I will return to our own chambers.""Come now, 'me'," Euryale counters, her own cheer undiminished. "I'm sure Sir Alberich is perfectly harmless! You wouldn't do anything to 'myself' and I, would you?" Evidently the question is rhetorical, for she immediately continues, "If you're so worried, though, I know what we can do to be sure he can't do anything. Ei!" With a sudden burst of energy, the girl leaps up to grab at the collar of your tunic, wedging a high-heeled foot into the crook of your elbow for support. For several seconds you merely stand in bemused shock as Euryale clambers up your body, clinging serpent-like to your arm, until she's brought herself up to a comfortable perch, her head just below your field of view. As you feel her silken hair brush against your jaw, and warm breath on the skin of your neck, it does occur to you that you might have treated the sisters of Medusa with too little concern; but now, with your hands bound and the girl clinging to you, there's nothing to be done.The softness of Euryale's lips pressed to your neck is followed by a sudden stinging pain, as what feel like two wide needles pierce you; then, the unmistakable feeling of blood being drawn out of your body. She's drinking from you, you realize with shock. It isn't only that you feel the blood leaving you; you also hear her, greedily gulping down your lifeblood with unrestrained appetite. Stranger still, there is a pleasure mixed in with the pain you feel, an almost sexual thrill that runs through your nervous system like an electric current emanating from the twin punctures. No, not through your nervous system; through your magic circuits! What is she doing to you?
True to Euryale's words, you feel suddenly weaker, and can't stop yourself from staggering back a few steps into your room, regaining your balance at the last moment to keep from falling. Finally the girl raises her lips from your throat, beaming up at you with a radiant smile as she licks the excess blood from around her mouth. "Oh, Sir Alberich, you really are so strange!" she exclaims. "Your blood isn't like that of any of the others who've come. It may even be as sweet as Medusa's! 'Myself', you really must try this!""How wonderful. I'm glad you're enjoying the meal," you mutter almost without thinking, the words dropping from a suddenly dry mouth in a hazy monotone. In addition to the weakness, chills begin to wash over you as Stheno hesitantly joins her sister, the second girl taking up a place on your opposite side.You hadn't imagined a Servant could suffer so from blood loss, and yet! As you stagger toward the bed, desperately looking to take the weight from your feet for fear of collapsing to the ground, you grow more and more lightheaded; black roses bloom in your vision, or are they patches of spreading ink in the water? Everything is drawing close around you. Is this going to be how you die? Sweat gouges its way out of your pores like jagged icicles as your nerves vacillate between numbness and hypersensitivity. The last thing you hear before the curtain of darkness falls is an indistinct voice, remarking in a tone of sudden realization and concern, "I hope we aren't taking too much from him. Do..."
As your consciousness dredges itself out of the mud, you struggle to take stock of your circumstances. To begin with, you are neither dead nor lying on stone. You no longer feel the wounds of yesterday, although your body seems to be weighed down by an enormous sheet of lead. Your hearing takes in, bit by bit, the various sounds of the island: birdsong, the whistling of wind between the columns and statues of the patio, the distant churning of the sea, indeterminate sounds of household labor outside, soft breathing by your ears... Soft breathing by your ears?You drag an uncooperative pair of eyelids open to see a featureless marble ceiling. The room is barely visible; as you force your cement head up to look around, you can see that the brazier has gone out and only a thin shaft of white sunlight peeks between the window's shutters. You also see that you are lying in the center of your bed, with a sheet pulled over you and a fearsome gorgon on either side. The two little girls who proved themselves so gluttonous last night are sleeping beside you, one clinging to each of your arms. Arms which, it occurs to you, are not chained together! Moving carefully, to keep from awakening the two girls, you pull your hands free of their embrace and raise them before your eyes. Indeed, aside from the strange feeling of heaviness which afflicts your body you are free to move. The deep cuts in your palm made by the thorns you gripped yesterday are gone as well, you note with satisfaction. Although slowed, your regenerative abilities remain in effect even here within Medusa's spirit.Looking at the girls beside you this way, sleeping peacefully, they appear perfectly innocent; a pair of identical angels in the sort of picturesque repose that begs for a painter. The memory of their fangs last night certainly gives the lie to that impression, however. What exactly did happen last night? Trying to piece it together, you're left with a surfeit of questions and dearth of answers. The bizarre draining of your blood and surprised reaction, though it was apparently their intention to render you harmless; the compliment on its flavor, as if you had willingly offered your veins to be drunk from; the removal of your bonds after you'd passed out, and the failure to return you to them before you awoke; even your location, having been moved to the bed after almost certainly passing out on the floor, seems strange.
The reasoning is easy enough to piece together of course, with a little guesswork. You have the goal of rendering you harmless even without bonds, and Euryale's possession of more enthusiasm than aptitude, combined with your prior blood loss, leading to the pair's overshooting your limits. What puzzles you are the inexplicable aspects of the method. To begin with, how were these two slender girls, seemingly without any supernatural strength, able to maneuver your large frame into bed? On that subject, it occurs to you that your armor has been stripped from your person as well, and piled with the chain that bound you beside the bed; another strange detail, that you should be left in only your tunic. Then there is the blood-drinking itself to consider. Did it have more effects than the material? What was the meaning behind the bizarre sensation that ran through your magic circuits while Euryale drank your blood? As you consider the topic, old stories of vampires magically enslaving their victims by drinking their blood surface unnervingly in your mind. Should the Gorgon sisters possess such an ability, it would certainly be a disaster for you.You can't focus on the worst possibilities forever, though. After all, you remind yourself, it's to accomplish a specific goal that you're here; not merely to safeguard your own life. You must find some means of compelling Medusa's submission if you are to depart her spirit. How, though? Is there some method of empowering yourself hidden on the island? Can you take her by surprise somehow, and repeat the curse of Absorption to take power over her avatar here? Or is this the wrong approach entirely? Perhaps, you consider, Medusa herself is a distraction within this world, and to take control of her spirit you must spread your influence to the most significant aspects of that spirit; of this island.Those aspects, of course, can be nothing other than her sisters, and it occurs to you that if you are to make a move against them, you're in the perfect position to do so now. There they are, blissfully unconscious and unaware; and yet doubt returns with the other possibility. Perhaps this concept, of using Medusa's sisters, is the truly foolish path. Didn't she say that they were separate from her; individual surviving spirits? Can you trust Medusa's word on such things?The more you contemplate, the worse your self-doubt seems to become. You have to make a decision.>[ ] Attempt to dominate the mind of Euryale or Stheno using your curse of Absorption.>[ ] Wake Medusa's sisters up and ask what they did to you last night.>[ ] Slip out of bed without waking the gorgon sisters and look for Medusa.>[ ] Slip out of bed to wander the temple, looking for some means of empowering yourself.>[ ] Do something else.
>>4145553>[ ] Slip out of bed to wander the temple, looking for some means of empowering yourself.Come back Lightsaber Sword.We need you.We're now getting bullied physically by the weakest characters.
>>4145553>[ ] Attempt to dominate the mind of Euryale or Stheno using your curse of Absorption.Even if they aren't a part of her they hold so much influence over her that it's be worth a shot.
>>4145553>[ ] Wake Medusa's sisters up and ask what they did to you last nightOnce we convince them we can pull them out of Shapeless Isle safely, Medusa is ours.
>>4145637How could we actually do that?
>>4145553>[ ] Slip out of bed to wander the temple, looking for some means of empowering yourself.
>>4145553>[ ] Slip out of bed to wander the temple, looking for some means of empowering yourself.I doubt we will find a Lightsaber here and we probably will just run into Medusa, but we could see if we manage to find some kind of powerup, maybe harpe is lying around somewhere and we can make it into a sword or something
>>4145553>[ ] Attempt to dominate the mind of Euryale or Stheno using your curse of Absorption.Come on guys. Looking for powerups on Medusa's island designed to trap her enemies is just a waste of time.
>>4145553>[X] Wake Medusa's sisters up and ask what they did to you last night.Not to keen on getting caught by Medusa.>>4145712>risking inception>risking the passage of time slowing down exponentially as a result
>>4145607>We're now getting bullied physically by the weakest characters.You're the one who floated the idea of summoning Stheno and Euryale in the first place, anon. If this isn't what you were hoping for, I certainly don't know what it could've been.
>>4145754When anon lusted after his smug loli twins, alas and alack, he forgot that ancient axiom of life: "It's only funny when it happens to other people."
>>4145607>>4145553Switch to>[ ] Wake Medusa's sisters up and ask what they did to you last night.>>4145754Did you strip us of our powers just so we could be bullied by the smug lolis?Be honest.
>>4145767No.I stripped you of your powers so you could have some interesting fights at a lower power level with a possibility of defeat.Also so that you could explore (and try to figure out) a mechanic behind regaining them which I thought was an interesting puzzle, but which so far none of you have noticed. Give it your best!There are other methods of escape, though, if that doesn't pan out.
>>4145763>774 bytesIs this a practical joke?
>>4145771>There are other methods of escape, though, if that doesn't pan out.It's too late.This is the true part 3 of this quest."Fate/I want to get off Miss Medusa's Wild Ride" It will be two hundred threads long.Also it feels as if you've been terribly vague with your mystery in order to regain our powers.Unless we have to somehow break the seal of Breaker Gorgon holding us back.Though I have no idea how we might go about doing that. The seal has thankfully not properly taken all of our magic which it should have, likely due to it's unreal nature.Then perhaps...Absorption magic on ourselves? That might usurp control of the seal on our abilities.
>>4145781>Also it feels as if you've been terribly vague with your mystery in order to regain our powers.I am trying to increase the general challenge after the criticism of wish fulfillment, that's true. Still, there are a couple of major hints you've gotten since awakening here. If you're stuck for answers, it might be wise to go back and re-read the past updates while considering the consequences of the choices you've made so far.
>>4145782Your prose is kind of too long winded to properly convey any hints or for players to discern which information is important and what sections of text are you just being overly flowery.Suggesting us to re-read the updates isn't going to do anything to help us pick out this apparent key information you thought was cleverly hinted at.Leading to frustration on both fronts.Personally I just want to leave.We could have just used command spells for Medusa and avoided this excercise in jobbing.
>>4145790>Your prose is kind of too long winded to properly convey any hints or for players to discern which information is important and what sections of text are you just being overly flowery. Suggesting us to re-read the updates isn't going to do anything to help us pick out this apparent key information you thought was cleverly hinted at.I don't really know what to say to that; it's not as though this is something really buried in the text. I feel like if I say any more in the meta discussion, though, I'll just be giving it away entirely.>Personally I just want to leave.That's your main goal here, so it's good your feelings line up with Alberich's.>We could have just used command spells for Medusa and avoided this excercise in jobbing.True, although there's no guarantee that wouldn't have had its own downsides. Ultimately this current difficulty is all the consequence of greed for the capture of additional characters.
>"You had no need of my answer. As you have gathered, all those who dwell on this island are spirits: the lingering shades of those who once lived here, continuing their existence through me.So I bet we're not literally inside Medusa right now, just a "shade" version of us. Possibly sustained by her energy. If we used a shitload of magic would it be a drain on her?
Also we seem to have a store of magical energy in our body that can be drained, unlike the usual system for servants requiring energy from their master.
>>4145843Why would her inner world need to be sustained by her energy when it's inside her?>>4145851That's how living beings work. That used to be us in the Akeldama.
Our desire for control was what fueled our magic, do we need to draw more upon that to overcome her defenses?Sorry for spamming, I'm just reviewing hints from older posts and brainstorming
The fact that our language was changed is no small feat if it were performed on our true body.
>At last, your uncertain guesses about the nature of your situation are beginning to be confirmed. Rider is one of the three Gorgon sisters, and you have found yourself here, in their dwelling, in the guise of an ancient soldier. This, after you forced open a connection between her spirit and yours in order to impose your will on her mind. There's no way that in those circumstances she could have used some ability to transport you to a distant location, but the confirmation of this place's connection to her is the final piece of evidence you need. This Shapeless Isle is surely the inner realm of Rider's mind, shaped from her memories of life. There are, of course, some remaining questions. Is the girl before you, Euryale, merely an aspect of Rider's inner world conforming to the setting of the memory, or is she an individual spirit within the Servant as Judas is within you?
>Once you attempt to circumvent the issue entirely by pulling yourself up into the treetops with a tendril of Nothingness to serve as climbing rope. Unfortunately, the exercise serves as a potent reminder of the importance of Heiligöffnungschwert in sustaining the reality of your imaginary elements. The moment it manifests, the energy burden of sustaining it weighs down on you as if you were holding apart the earth and sky by the strength of your body alone. In a few moments it becomes too much for you to bear, and the black ribbon evaporates. That, you suppose, is the full power of the opposition that Reality sets against the Imaginary; and it is as potent here, within Rider's soul, as in the world without. Of course, it seems obvious when you consider the matter. If this realm is a facsimile of Greece during the Age of Gods, the world being replicated here is the same world of Five Real Elements you inhabit; merely one with more abundant magic. The Imaginary Elements, according to Circe, were created only after the Gods were forced to depart Reality.
Oh hey that's right!Judas!We should meditate to reach him.Maybe Dad can give us our powers back.Or help in getting them back.
>>4145553Ignore my vote in >>4145682. I have an idea.>[ ] Inspiration strikes: if Medusa's inner world is weakening you, then you can regain your strength by changing the playing field. Meditate on Judas, and try to enter the chapel where he resides.
>>4145553>>4145914Backing this. It's a start at least.
>>4145553>>4145607>>4145767Sorry for the double switch but>>4145914Supporting.I can't wait to accidentally fuse the Shapeless Isle with the Akeldama city. (Was it Fuyuki? I can't recall.)I wonder if the Akeldama Servants will be around.Or the other humans.
>>4145949Oh godIf the other Akeldama Servants are lingering about...>Perseus shows up.
inb4 the part of Judas inside us is now controlling our body while our spirit is trapped in here
>>4145914Well, this is certainly an interesting idea. Just the kind of creative thinking I like to see from you folks!>>4145949>Was it Fuyuki? I can't recallThere were eight cities in the Akeldama. The first seven, where the contestants woke up, were patterned on enormous magical formations that caused them to burn, gradually collapse, and populate themselves with skeletons and Servant wraiths.The Eighth City, where most of the War took place, wasn't patterned on any particular location; it was Judas' original design, simply meant to be "an enormous city" with a generic feeling. Architectural aspects were taken from large cities all over the world.
What's the vote total like right now?
>>4146270Three votes for >>4145914, two votes for waking up Stheno and Euryale, and two votes for using your curse of Absorption on Stheno and Euryale.
>>4146284Not going to vote after all, anon?
>>4145553This >>4145914 seems like as good an idea as any.Otosan, tasuketeeeeeeee
>>4145952IT'S TIME FOR THE ULTIMATE BUDDY COP TEAMUPONE OF THEM IS A SUCCESSFUL SHINJI FROM 2019THE OTHER ONE'S A SUCCESSFUL SHINJI FROM THE AGE OF GODSALBERICH×PERSEUSCOMING THIS SUMMER TO A THEATER NEAR YOU
>>4146738>coming this summerDamn it, it feels like it's been November for a year.
>>4146738>the ultimate heel/face team up>not pay-per-viewOne job.
>>4146738All the revenge Medusa could ever want, brought together in one place. You'd be making her dream come true!>>4146739I'm hoping we'll make it to December some time in 2021, anon.>>4146740>the ultimate heel/face team upI guess Perseus is a pretty nice guy, huh?
I'm still working on tonight's update, but in the meantime here's the latest version of the PDF, brought up to date with yesterday. As always, any feedback on formatting, flow of the quest as a merged narrative, missed typos, or other editing suggestions is appreciated.
In the end, you think, what you need most urgently is a better understanding of your situation, and the mechanics that underpin this world of Medusa's spirit. If you could but understand the processes behind your fluctuations of power, or the relationship between your actions here and the completion of your curse's ultimate purpose, you feel you could determine the right steps to take and dispel this infuriating sense of uncertainty. Fortunately, inspiration strikes as you ruminate on this need for information. There dwells within your own spirit an expert on worlds separated from reality, and the bizarre rules that might govern the operation of such spaces: Judas, the man who orchestrated a Holy Grail War within his Noble Phantasm and engineered your creation out of nothing. If anyone can restore your power, it must be he. Indeed, the matter may even be as simple as contacting him, for to do so you would by necessity arrive in the chapel within your own spirit, shifting yourself out of Medusa's dominion. Could it work?Your spirits buoyed by the notion, you close your eyes once more and focus on contacting Judas, searching within yourself for the fragment of his spirit that lies there. To actually find him is of course unnecessary; merely focusing on the goal of contacting him should be enough to activate the hypnotic trigger he implanted within you. As you direct your mind's eye within yourself and wait for the meditative trance to take hold, however, you observe something strange. There is a difference there, a subtle change perceptible only by the sixth sense attuned to magic, and only so because you have spent such long hours previously in scrutinizing your own spirit. In some strange, indescribable way, you feel... diminished; simplified, perhaps, as if the magical structure you now contemplate is a mere shadow of your true spirit, possessed of the shape while lacking its depth. No, the analogy is insufficient; too extreme, you think, and yet there is something to it. It calls Medusa's description of this island's inhabitants as shades to mind once more, and you find yourself shuddering at the words thrown into new relief; could she have been referring to you by them as well? If so, what could that entail?Seconds tick by followed by minutes, which pile inexorably into an hour of contemplation, and though you corral your wandering mind to focus on contacting Judas, the trance that will place your mind in his secluded corner of your soul is not forthcoming. With a regretful sigh you conclude that you must truly be alone here, cut off even from those allies who dwell within yourself. This too, you suppose, is a capability of yours which Medusa has taken from you as long as you remain here. At last you open your eyes, idly taking another look around the room as you return to consideration of what path to pursue, and freeze in shock.
The door has changed. You're almost certain of it. You had taken little enough notice of the thing, of course. It can hardly be called the sort of object which occupies the forefront of one's mind: a wooden door of some Mediterranean wood, presumably oak, in a quite unremarkable rectangular shape with neither excessive decoration nor notable crudeness to draw attention to it. These general details you noted in passing, and could easily forget; and yet, surely it was rectangular. That at least you're certain of. The door, as well as the doorway, to your bedroom now has a pointed arch at the top reminiscent of Gothic architecture. Now that you look closely, the material appears different as well: darker wood, and is it heavier; thicker, perhaps? You're uncertain, but it somehow gives the impression of greater weight; an impression one can't take in from sight alone, but one suggested from memory. You've seen this door somewhere before, and not in this Temple.The weight of your body seeming to vanish as sudden elation lifts your heart, you carefully prop your body up on your hands to swing your legs over one of the sleeping Gorgon sisters, easing yourself off of the bed without disturbing her rest in a minor feat of gymnastic excellence. As quietly as possible you dress yourself in your discarded bronze and leather armor, then step forward and seize the handle of the altered door. Sure enough, it's noticeably heavier than that which you found here last night, and the faint scent of aged pine emanates from the wood as you open it and step through. The corridor behind the Gothic door is as different from the architecture as the portal itself, you're happy to observe. Polished marble is replaced by huge blocks of rough-hewn grey stone, forming a narrow corridor adorned with no decoration of any kind. As you step over the threshold, the temperature plummets at least twenty degrees; here, to be sure, it is November still. With each step you take down the cramped passage, you feel yourself growing stronger; leaving the weakness which assailed you on the Shapeless Isle behind as you retreat from Medusa's temple. It is only when you have begun to feel more Servant than human again, though, that you come to the end of the passage, a stairway ascending perhaps three meters to another door of similar construction to the first. This second opens on the sight you've most hoped to see: the austere chapel which Judas calls home, a space far taller than it is wide, illuminated not by fire or sun, but the strangely colored light which filters through vaguely apocalyptic scenes depicted in stained glass high above. Before, you entered as if having stepped through the front door of the chapel, but now you find yourself stepping in through a side door to regard the pulpit from a level almost directly to its side.
Judas, who stands there as if in the midst of delivering a sermon to the empty pews, turns to regard you with a smile the moment you step through the door. "My son!" he calls warmly, "I had wondered when you might return. It is a strange thing, to occupy a body bereft of its owner for nearly twenty-four hours.""Am I truly returned, then?" you ask, noting the elapsed time with concern. You can only hope nothing has gone wrong in your absence. "I'm afraid I don't feel quite recovered, yet.""Unfortunately you are not; and cannot, it would seem," Judas replies, giving you a rueful smile. "We are on the border between your own spirit and that to which you created a channel, now; it seems you can come no further than this, although what keeps you bound there is beyond my sight.""So it isn't my spirit that entered Medusa's, then, but something else?" You'd suspected as much already, but to have an opportunity for an explanation so soon is an unexpected stroke of luck. "Correct." Judas nods. "What enters my chapel when you visit me, though I dwell within your spirit, and what has departed your spirit for that of your captive are the same. It is that of you which is to the soul as the soul is to the body; that which Akeldama destroyed in its sacrifices, and created in you. You might call it your will or your mind; perhaps your ego or your identity; whichever name suits you.""I see." Now things begin to make sense to you. "In that case," you say, "is that the reason for this weakness? That my power is derived from the energy of my spirit, and my will cut off from it is unable to rely on the abilities I've developed as a Servant?""No." Judas frowns, shaking his head with an expression of perplexity. "Your will ought to conform to the shape of your spirit, and to carry with it in a realm of wills all the power which your spirit and body have in their respective realms; unless..." He breaks off, pausing to think, before continuing, "Tell me more about this weakness of yours, and what you've experienced within that woman's spirit, Alberich.""Very well." You think for a moment on how best to summarize matters, before beginning, "You seem well aware of what goes on outside me, so I needn't explain how I came to be in this situation in the first place; correct?""Indeed," Judas replies with a smile. "Dwelling within your spirit, I share your senses."
"Excellent." You choose not to consider the distasteful implications of this fact, given the more pressing considerations at hand; there will be time enough to speak with Judas regarding what he ought and ought not to observe at a later date. "Then I'll begin by saying that I believe it's my own curse which keeps me bound to Rider's spirit. If the bodies we possess in that realm represent our wills, then as my curse was designed to subject her will to mine I must remain within her spirit until I can find some way to force her to capitulate. This would be simple enough, if I only retained the power which I possess in the outside world. Unfortunately, on the island which is her inner world, I seem to have strength only slightly greater than a human's, and am without my armor and Noble Phantasms. The armaments I bear now are those which I received there, and are quite mundane. Rider, by contrast, retains all the power of a Servant; the battle seems quite hopeless.""You say that the realm within her spirit takes the concrete form of an island? A static space, not an amorphous and shifting world?" Judas asks, brows slightly furrowed in curiosity."That's exactly correct." You nod. "It seems to be an exact replica of the island where she spend much of her life.""In that case," Judas says, tone redolent with satisfaction as the smile returns to his face, "I believe I may have the solution to your mystery, my son. There is something beyond the mere interior of a spirit shaping that place; a Noble Phantasm, most likely, something a bit like my own Akeldama, which transforms the naturally shifting and uncertain realm of a spirit into a concrete internal world with its own rules and conceptual underpinnings. Now, as to why this results in your being weakened, you must return your mind to your own nature as a conceptual being. You draw your power from the concept of your existence as a new being, a Hero born into the Age of Man through a new sacrifice, and a great deal of Akeldama's power went into impressing that concept of your identity upon the world. The world of this woman's spirit has its own concepts, however, and cuts you off from your power. If you are to regain your strength, I imagine you must bring her concept of your identity into alignment with her concept of a mythical Hero. If you can achieve that, you will doubtless have no more trouble drawing upon your power.">[ ] You're sure Judas is correct. Thank him, and return the way you came.>[ ] That may or may not be so, but while you remain here you have other matters to discuss with your 'father'. (What?)>[ ] Reply in your own words. (Write in)
Finally done! These just keep getting later and later at night...Anyway, this might not have been exactly what you were hoping for, but here's Judas with his own take on the theory behind what's happening to you on the Shapeless Isle.
>>4146999>[ ] You're sure Judas is correct. Thank him, and return the way you came.He IS the expert on inner worlds.
>>4146999>>[ ] You're sure Judas is correct. Thank him, and return the way you came.
>>4146999>[ ] You're sure Judas is correct. Thank him, and return the way you came.Oh, so we would've gained our powers back had we continued fighting?Damnation.Thanks dad.
>>4147094It can't be as simple as that. If Judas is right, "bringing her concept of your identity into alignment with her concept of a mythical Hero" would require either that we brainwash her or that we start acting like a greek hero. So... Perseus?
>>4147120That means we need to find an Olympian to bless us with power, good fortune or weapons. Now, if Hermes happened to be somewhere on this island...
>>4146999>[ ] That may or may not be so, but while you remain here you have other matters to discuss with your 'father'. (What?)Ask what Stheno and Euryale did to us, if there's any lasting effects
Doesn't every Greek hero try to kill Medusa?
>>4145552>blood drain has weird uncertain effects including erotic pleasure>body moved under own power after blacking out>woke up in bed feeling incredibly tiredLevel with us Sweets. Is this another place we would've had an H scene if this wasn't the realta nua version of the quest?
>>4147094>Oh, so we would've gained our powers back had we continued fighting?Not exactly, but if Judas is correct about this, it certainly would've helped. You've made a lot of diplomatic choices since arriving on the Shapeless Isle.>>4147120You're on the right track here, assuming Judas is right. Keep thinking.>>4147161There've certainly been a great deal of them pursuing that goal, considering the amount of statues around her temple.
I swear to God we are not emulating Shirou in order to get our powers back.
>>4147248Autism is a small price to pay for power.
>>4147161Step 1 would be to find a god and get blessed. All the greatest heroes of Greece were favored by Olympians, or can claim one of them as a parent: Athena backed Odysseus, the gods gave Perseus (a son of Zeus) five NPs, Thetis used all of her influence with the gods to help Achilles, Heracles was the son of Zeus, Orion was the son of Poseidon...Merely being favored by (Medusa's mental construct of) a god should bring us more in line with Medusa's idea of a hero. Now, time for Step 2: go and fucking kill the monster.Of course, the big hurdle is the fact that there are no Olympians on the shapeless isle, only a pair of smug lolis who actually care for Medusa and would never help us kill her. In that case, I have an alternative plan: we first go back to Mantikouros and pull all the spines out of his tail, then go back to the temple with the spines hidden on our person. When Medusa's sleeping, we sneak in and jam the spines into the backside of her knees, both crippling and poisoning her. After this, she should be too weak to dodge or hit us when we use our Absorprion magic on her.
>>4146999>[ ] You're sure Judas is correct. Thank him, and return the way you came.Thanks dad, will give you Jerusalem as a father's day gift.>>4147248>>4147255the fact that this quest is being run on a chan website already gave the character some major points in the autism spec>>4147279didn't Bellerophon manage to act alone?
>>4147318>didn't Bellerophon manage to act alone?In the Nasuverse Bellerophon doesn't exist. He's replaced by Perseus, has been ever since the middle ages.
>>4147322By the way, Bellerophon was the son of Poseidon.All power comes from the gods.
>>4147279>we first go back to Mantikouros and pull all the spines out of his tail, then go back to the temple with the spines hidden on our personThis is actually a really good idea given how often Greek heroes would use the loot of their kills to forge/upgrade their weapons.
Should we go back to that path with the statue that was fighting? It's possible that taking the less challenging path at the start made us less heroic
Oh god this arc is just going to aimlessly meander forever.
>>4147435Aimless? We just found out what we're supposed to be doing!
>>4147445Yeah but we have no idea how to accomplish it."Be heroic."Ok but how?The solution is acting OOC?What the fuck?
>>4147450>The solution is acting OOC?What, like we've never gone into battle before? We didn't duel Roland? We didn't attack Achilles ahead of Shirou and Rider? We didn't charge right into Odysseus' arrows to chop him up? We didn't ride an artillery shell onto Clint back in City Akeldama? We've faced danger before. We haven't been playing the quest as a 100% diplomancer. I mean fuck, our class is Saber! It seems like we're being told to do the same thing now.
>>4147461Every time we did dumb shit and didn't have the power to back it up, we died.
>>4147469Heroes always do dumb shit!
>>4147435>>4147450>>4147469I'm sorry that you feel this way, anon. I really didn't think it would be so difficult for you folks to get to grips with how things work on the Shapeless Isle, or work out how your overall goal manifests in a concrete sense.All I can say without further spoilers is that there are non-violent as well as violent solutions, and that by pursuing the non-violent path up to a certain point before shifting suddenly to pursuit of the violent solution, you've put yourself in a bit of an awkward situation.Still, if there's any consolation for you it ought to be the fact that Alberich is hearing this from Judas himself; it isn't something you folks have determined in meta conversation. Consequently, deciding a course of action based on this shouldn't be out of character; one of Alberich's most consistent character traits is trying to exploit what he know about any given situation to get the largest possible advantage for himself.
>>4147563Personally I feel this issue has been one we've had for a while, for much of mirror people have been using Alberich's powerlevel more as a crutch than a feature and were now 'going diplomancer' because we'd normally charge in hoping swinging our stat stick around would carry us through only to have it bite us in the ass because we thought ourselves invincible and didn't really have a solid plan.Our current situation I feel it should be resolved by sticking to the model of the "cunning hero", (something I feel Alberich really should've been naturally if kept ourselves to his awakening characterization), ex. we may be depowered but Medusa's main weakness, her obedience to her sisters is something we can still fully exploit. Thanks to their curiosity toward's us we can't (easily) be killed and may be able to 'control' her by building affections with them.
>>4148207The whole modus operandi of Alberich has basically always been "overwhelmingly strong use of force to win battle, if this fails, resort immediately to trickery to score a win. Scream like a child if trickery fails. Then die."Literally DIO.I don't know why Sweets expected us not to immediately go the conniving asshole route.
>>4148207This is also a viable option.>>4148222I expected you to go the route you went. That doesn't mean other routes were unavailable, or that you have to switch gears now as you're trying to do. I keep saying this, but there are a number of ways to accomplish your goal on the Shapeless Isle.
>>4148207Guile hero archetype is great and all but sticking to it doesn't mean we have to go full diplomancy and avoid a fight with Medusa. Building affection with the smug lolis will take time unless the curse works on them and we don't know what's going on in the real world. Things could be going bad while we're gone. I think the plan at >>4147279 is a pretty good way to go and sticks to the guile hero thing.>>4148222Pretty sure we never screamed like a child.
>>4148232I'm pretty sure that's only because Alberich isn't as durable as DIO and dies too quickly to get the opportunity to do so.He totally would though.Also, I feel like we've made some decent progress at the route we've currently gone, going back on ourselves in order to jam spikes into Medusa's knees is kind of silly.I can't wait to finally get back and find out that our body literally died of hunger while we were here.I doubt we've been gone that long anyway.
>>4148222Maybe though I feel it was exacerbated when we got the power up when we switched to Mirror and continued to grow worse with each upgrade, back in Akeldama we actually used cunning alot more than we have been lately and alot of our more embarrassing dead ends were due to us acting retarded with our strength than using it well.>>4148232Not a great plan, still a rough idea, but i feel it would be the best way forward assuming we aren't being pressed for time and Judas' "24 hr' comment was our time on shapeless isle and not the real world, after all we spent 2 weeks in Akeldama and only a moment passed in real world (something I feel we REALLY should ask him to clarify before we break connection)Still, we don't currently have overwhelming herculean strength, nor divine artifacts to rely on or the favor of gods to throw ourselves to guile is our best way forward.
>>4148257>or favor of the godsFucking Hecate, god damn it.This is all her fault.
>>4148246>I can't wait to finally get back and find out that our body literally died of hunger while we were here.If we take the fucking week were going to need to make Medusa's own sisters work against her for us we really might.>>4148257>Judas' "24 hr' comment was our time on shapeless isle and not the real worldHe was talking about his own experience in our body though. It definitely means real world time. I'm pretty sure it's a 1:1 time scale for real world and shapeless isle.
>>4148294I swear to god if we've wasted an entire day on this god damned sidequest we should just ice everyone here.Luckily, we haven't.Recall Gorgon using Breaker Gorgon on herself and Perseus decapitating her.The time it takes for Perseus to decapitate Gorgon couldn't have been more than half a minute after realizing he had an opportunity.Meanwhile Gorgon spent a far longer time within her dream/nightmare with her sisters.
>>4148259Is it too late to switch to a different pantheon?
>>4148294Perhaps, but even still i'd really like to confirm were under time constraints, if only for posterity's sake, as opposed to assuming it exists, doing a rush job, and finding out it wasn't actually the case, something I still feel was an issue with how it seemed we were trying to speedrun the HGW to avoid losing upgrades.>>4148257Assuming we aren't being pressed for time, I see our options going forward to manipulate the sister's curiosity to keep Medusa in check while we find a solution (potentially even outright controlling through them, im sure being the man who charmed two goddesses who once charmed men to their deaths would pass us as a 'classical hero') alternatiely we could see about whether there are other individuals on the isle cursed into a pastiche of classical greek monsters we can hunt to regain our powers. Either way, I may be optimistic but if we play along and sweets' feeling particularly generous we -might- actually squeeze out an upgrade from this as well as an extra (3) servants.
We still need to figure out a way to get Stheno and Euryale bodies anyway, that was the point behind going all in on trying to convert Medusa, wasn't it?
>>4148309If we aren't running on compressed time should ask Judas about it, he is currently our only lifeline back to our 'research team' on the outside.
Way I see it:1: were operating on compressed time, we have all the time in the world (or at least as much as the player's patience and attention) to complete this.2: we aren't on compressed time, and through our connection to Judas we might be able to collude with Korakuhime, Circe, Hecate, and maybe Odin to extract them, something i'm sure Medusa would've done on her own if it were possible purely from the inside.Either way, saving the souls of two long abandoned and forsaken goddesses should at the very least net us a few points of Hecate's favor.
>>4148347Saving her two sisters would also mean Medusa shouldn't really resist us having her use Bloodfort for us.The next encounter with Shirou is going to be bizarre.
>>4148347Idea:1 - Stheno and Euryale are divine spirits. They're the same kind of being as Hecate.2 - Hecate and other divine spirits we summon are given real-world bodies by Heilig.3 - Our absorption magic is also tied to Heilig's miracles.With that in mind I think we can bring Stheno and Euryale into the world if we tie them to ourself by hitting them with the curse.
>>4148368The way Sweets writes magic is all about links, channels, and conceptual ties, right? That's why I think this will work. It lines up with how magic seems to work for servants and other summons.
>>4148368Perhaps, i'm not against it but let's see if it's possible to recover more of our power or if there's another of the Island's inhabitants (like the manticore) to test it on first. Id like to avoid assuming it would be the case only to find it was 'weakened' into a lifedrain.Also, to avoid any unfortunate misunderstandings it "might" be a good idea to find a way to get them on board to some degree.
>>4148400To elaborate on, we already have their interest because a human magus managed to 'steal fire from the gods' and created a new form of life, someone who is unaffected by their charm.This may be a long shot but if for example we feed them a few lightly embellished stories about electricity, flight and AC to get them interested in seeing the outside world. They might not be fully aware of the details of their circumstances but they probably know they can't leave the island if not it's something they'll soon discover, we then offer them a way to bind themselves to us so when we leave they'll get to 'see it through us'Just a suggestion but regardless, if this does work like you think and we manage to convince them to willingly bind themselves to us we wouldn't need to concern ourselves with doing the same to Medusa because she won't think of betraying us when her sister's continued free existence is tied to ours, from there we can just focus on getting back out.
Assuming I'm reading this correctly, we have one vote for staying to ask Judas about the time delay, one vote for staying to ask him about what Stheno and Euryale did to you, and four for going back the way you came.Just a warning, tonight's update will be very much on the short side. This is because I plan on doing more rapid updating tomorrow and Sunday, and also because I want to give you folks more of a chance to make a decision regarding what to act on within the various plans being discussed at the moment.
"Fascinating," you murmur. "I hadn't considered the degree to which the concepts within Medusa's mind would shift my own conceptual nature, but now that I have the idea before me it makes perfect sense. In an inner world, the concepts of the mind replace the magical concepts of reality..." You trail off, your mind pursuing the implications of Judas' idea. The concepts within Medusa's world necessitates a mind to define them, don't they? Where is the 'mind' of reality, to act as a library of the conceptual existences of real objects? There must be such a thing, or surely objects could not exist conceptually; your own existence, as well as the fundamental principles of magic, would collapse otherwise, but what could such a mind be? For a moment the notion seems to argue for the existence of some omniscient deity out of monotheism; but that notion is absurd, in light of your personal experience of polytheism's proof.Something to consider another time, perhaps. You force your mind back to the matter at hand, focusing on Judas. "Thank you," you say, adopting a resolute smile. "I believe you've given me an essential piece of the solution to my troubles. I'll return now, to settle the affair; when next we meet, I hope, I will be visiting you from within my own body.""Good luck, my son," Judas replies. Then, in a somber tone quite unlike his typical attitude of all-knowing amusement, he adds, "Take care. If you were to meet your end in such a place, it would be a tragedy quite unequaled by any other conclusion to your existence." It chills you slightly, to see the man so earnestly concerned for you."Look at you," you reply with a bluff tone and self-assured grin. "The mocking master of ceremonies who duped us all as you presided over that War and smiled while I ripped your heart out, feeling concern for me? Living as a fragment must be changing your personality; or maybe you've been spending too much time revering your messiah lately. You ought to exchange this chapel for another sort of home, and get your liveliness back!" Turning on your heel, you raise a hand in a parting wave and call back, "I'll be fine, Judas; the modern hero you created won't be laid low by an ancient monster, no matter how well the battlefield's been prepared to give her the edge."
With that, you pull open the door and step back through into the narrow corridor from whence you came, closing it behind you as you descend the steps without waiting for an answer. As you walk down the hall that leads back to Medusa's spirit, the solitude prompts you to return to contemplation of your circumstances. Very little, you realize, has actually changed about your dilemma. You have a lead regarding the reclamation of your power, that's true enough, but it's hardly a roadmap. You've no certain idea what the best way to appear as a hero in Medusa's eyes is, save to emulate those she's cut down before by challenging her in Athena's name. Considering the rapid resolution of your last battle, that can hardly be the immediate answer; there must be something else to be done that can return a measure of your power to you before the battle is joined; but what it might be remains unknown. For that matter, it occurs to you that you've no guarantee of how much of your power can be regained in this way. After all, doesn't Medusa see her 'heroic' challengers as inferior beings, easily defeated? Perhaps the best you can do will still leave you her inferior.Medusa's sisters remain as uncertain a factor as before. They may, you think, hold the key to subduing Medusa without the need for regaining your lost power; or they may be nothing more than a hindrance, whimsical little girls who fill no role in this struggle beyond that of amused hostesses to a strange guest. It all hinges on whether or not it's possible to turn them against their sister, by means magical or otherwise.With these thoughts running through your mind, you open the door at the other end of the corridor and step back over the threshold into your chamber in the Temple of the Gorgons. You find it as you left it: dimly lit by a thin shaft of light between the shutters, and occupied by Medusa's two sleeping sisters. When you take a second look at the door behind you, you discover that it has returned to being the rectangular door which opens into the temple's central hall. Once more you're left with no way out; no course before you but to somehow triumph over Medusa, here in the heart of her truest domain. For the moment, you'll...>[ ] Make your way out of the temple. If there's any opportunity to reclaim your lost power by acting the hero, you doubt it will be here in the sisters' home.>[ ] Leave the room and go looking for Medusa, to discuss the past with your enemy herself. If you're to conform to her notion of a hero, perhaps the best course is to hear her speak of the heroes she's faced before.>[ ] Wake the sleeping sisters, to discuss something with them. (What do you want to say or ask?)>[ ] Try using the curse of Absorption on Stheno or Euryale. However you consider the matter, there's no more direct way of moving forward than that.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4148636>[ ] Make your way out of the temple. If there's any opportunity to reclaim your lost power by acting the hero, you doubt it will be here in the sisters' home.
>>4148636>>[ ] Make your way out of the temple. If there's any opportunity to reclaim your lost power by acting the hero, you doubt it will be here in the sisters' home.
So there was nothing more to say about planning, huh?Alright, then. I suppose I'll just write the next update now.
Though your glance lingers on the sleeping pair for a few moments, in the end you feel there is simply too much uncertainty about their possible contribution to your cause. Better for the moment to pursue the probable course of recovery Judas gave you than to pin your hopes on the volatile feelings of these girls or the uncertain effects of your replicated dominating curse. Decision made, you slip silently out through the door behind you, leaving Stheno and Euryale to awaken only when they tire of sleep.As you step out into the high-ceilinged temple corridor and retrace last night's path to the wide entry hall, stepping lightly to keep the boiled leather soles of your sandals from making too much noise on the marble, it occurs to you that there has been one key change in your surroundings since your visit to Judas' chapel. When you awoke you could hear the sounds of birdsong, the whistling of wind and churning of the sea outside, and the characteristic noises produced by a person moving around and going about their daily business; the sound of Medusa, in other words. When you returned to your bedroom, you could hear no footsteps outside your window, and though you listen closely now you can hear detect no sound of any kind from the other areas of the temple. Either Medusa has ceased to move about, or she is in some part of the building so distant from you that the walls completely mask her presence.You remain still, mentally counting out the seconds and listening, for a minute, but detect nothing at all to indicate that anyone moves in the temple aside from yourself. There is neither sound nor any nearby magical presence, save the diminutive power in the bodies of Stheno and Euryale. Fortunate for you, you think; wherever Medusa has gone, she will at least not catch sight of you as you make your escape from her temple. Without further delay, you quickly make your way to the entrance hall and step out onto the wide portico, to look out between the columns at the pavilion that stretches out on all sides of the temple.From the position of the sun, it's perhaps nine or ten in the morning, but already the day feels hot. Either the weather here on the Shapeless Isle is as predictable as that within the world of Akeldama, you think, or Medusa's inner world for some reason experiences summer while the outer calendar is in late autumn. Once again you take in the strangely arboreal sight of the countless columns with no structure to support, and the varied forms of the petrified combatants who stand between them; beyond that, the end of the stone platform that crowns the isle, and the horizon of uniform ocean still further. It's the terrain between this pavilion and the ocean, though, that masked from your view by its downward slope, which interests you now. Somewhere below, in the regions of the isle not inhabited by Medusa and her sisters, you feel instinctively certain that the means of recovering your power awaits you.
From here, with the whole of the pavilion laid out before you, you believe it ought to be possible to retrace the steps you took to arrive at this point, returning to the forest, the river where you met Euryale, and the path you left behind; even to follow your course all the way back to the tiny boat you first awoke in, if there were any purpose in doing so. On the other hand, by making a circuit of the pavilion's edge you could find the other paths, if any exist, which lead to this peak.>[ ] Retrace the steps trodden before, and follow your former path. (How far?)>[ ] Look for paths unseen, and consider what opportunities might await there.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4149775>[ ] Look for paths unseen, and consider what opportunities might await thereI am suffering Island fatigue.
>>4149821>I am suffering Island fatigue.You have no idea of my level of frustration right now.I'm doing my best to write something fun, anon, I really am. It's not like I don't want you folks to have a good time, you know? But something like taking over the mind of a Heroic Spirit really can't be a trivial task to accomplish, and you don't have the level of corrupting power that Avenger was working with in Heaven's Feel. This is a difficult, time consuming thing you're trying to do here.It just seems like whatever situation you folks find yourself in, someone ends up getting tired of it before you've moved on, and I wish I could figure out how to change that.
>>4149775>>[ ] Look for paths unseen, and consider what opportunities might await there.
>>4149821>>4149835And just to be clear, I'm not complaining about the fact that you said it. I'm glad to know how you feel. I just wish it weren't the case.
>>4149775>[ ] Look for paths unseen, and consider what opportunities might await there.We are still going for the smug lolis after we beat the living shit out of medusa for disobeying us, right?
>>4149835This diversion from the main plot was literally the last thing we needed, honestly.Things were getting derailed enough as it was and it felt like half of the players wanted to have a relaxing slice of life day off to bond with their allies and the other half just wanted to get on with things.Yet now we're trapped here.About as far as possible from either of those things as we can get.I know that it's not meant to be an easy task to take control of a heroic spirit, but I can absolutely guarantee we would not be here if anons knew we'd be spending the best part of a month trying to find out how to leave.Rider would have been sacrificed immediately. Sure, Stheno and Euryale are neat, but they don't redeem this sunk cost fallacy.
>>4149856Now I don't know how to feel. >I can absolutely guarantee we would not be here if anons knew we'd be spending the best part of a month trying to find out how to leave.is part of the general narrative purpose of this arc, forcefully reminding you folks that you can't just expect to try something as major as this without investing a serious amount of time and energy into it. Kind of reintroducing consequences, after how easy things have been lately.Was I hoping for too much, thinking that I could do that and write an enjoyable arc at the same time?
>>4149881>Was I hoping for too much, thinking that I could do that and write an enjoyable arc at the same time?Yes. Because the vote to do this was by no means unanimous.I was for it personally, but it was a close vote.Even I'm getting tired of the monotony of wandering around this island now.It's not really like the journey here is relevant at all, considering it's not even really occurring. The only thing that matters is the results.The world only remembers the results.And the goal here is the same goal we've had from the start.This is less an arc and more a loading bar.
>>4149775>[ ] Look for paths unseen, and consider what opportunities might await there.I hope we've learned a lesson here. It's true that another diversion from the plot is a pain in the ass but dumbass players thought they could get whatever they wanted for free.
>>4149775>[ ] Look for paths unseen, and consider what opportunities might await there.>>4149893>It's not really like the journey here is relevant at all, considering it's not even really occurring.>The only thing that matters is the results.>The world only remembers the results.Ok that's just a shitty mindset to have. I was in the "Have Ayaka sacrifice her" camp but wow dude. The point of playing a character is to enjoy the journey and overcome the corresponding trials and tribulations, not just pick the ending.
>>4149928You missed my point.The journey while we're here is irrelevant. It's all gone almost entirely as expected while being dotted with minor inconveniences along the way.Alberich's goal hasn't changed since arriving here.If the journey doesn't influence the destination, what was the point of the journey?Hence the loading bar comparison.The only thing to have consequences from this journey are the results.The aimless wandering about looking for a solution is just that.
>>4149943>It's all gone almost entirely as expected while being dotted with minor inconveniences along the way.TF are you talking about? As if Alberich (or you the player for most of this) expected to get pulled into a mental world, get depowered, fight a Manticore, find residual spirits of Stheno and Euryale, and meet up with Judas again for advice?For all you know Alberich might have some profound realization here about his nature as a hero, and you just want to compress it to a pokeball-throw animation? How trite.
>>4149775>>[ ] Look for paths unseen, and consider what opportunities might await there.>>4149881Personally im not against this arc, but can see a bit of risk to it, powerlevel fags will be pissed because were missing out on grinding and got nerfed for extra challenge, players wanting to advance the main story are going to see this as a filler arc, it's a closed space so to our current knowledge were limited on 'worthy encounters' unless there's more outsiders than the manticore, and if there's no time compression there likely wont be much exploration as people push to get us off namek asap.I'm still optimistic because it's too early to tell how this'll go or what opportunities are on the island, as long as the story's good i'm along for the ride but very least i do see it possible we'll get chances at a few extra rewards than smug lolis (potential affections of goddess x4, additional summons, etc)
>>4150030Oh puh-lease.We aren't about to have some revelation about the nature of our existence here.I'm expecting simply more of the same that's already happened until we finally end this.>the manticoreA minor inconvenience we killed in a single strike after dead ending for being dumb.>get depoweredThis is just irritating, honestly. The bag of spilling is a god awful trait of videogame sequels and being depowered here for the sake of conflict is just as much an annoyance. >find residual spirits.You're kidding right?You expected we wouldn't find them? I thought we would, but not that things would take so damn long for anything to happen. That's why I supported this in the first place. >ask Judas for helpOnly because this arc has been so mind numbingly slow that anons wanted to cheat their way out of it.I just don't feel like this is worth spending so much time on.The plot is crawling along as it is.
>>4150040You are really optimistic about this.
>>4150049Somebody has to be your foil.
>>4149775>[ ] Retrace the steps trodden before, and follow your former path. (How far?)Manticore spines!>>4150042>I expected to find spirits of Stheno and Euryale>but I also expected things to be fastFucking how? Answer me that. How did things go in your mind where we find Stheno and Euryale and quickly get them on our side. Cause I don't see it. The only way this can end quickly is if we find a way to hurry up beating Medusa.
>>4150065We could have attempted to use our magic on them and not pussied out, now that I think about it.Seems like that's what we were being hinted at to try.They were right there!Defenceless! Now we're back to Square 1.
>>4150049Am I more optimistic than hoping for a quick and easy recovery of the souls of two goddesses lost for millennia?What I expect is we know there's more than the gorgon sisters on this island that we might practice absorption on and if we somehow manage to convince S&E to willingly bind to us to get off the island it might open up a chance at affections with all three and pulling off what the god's couldn't might win us Hecate's.What i'm not optimistic about is to do any of that without stumbling into them we'd have to stop sperging out when we find out we have to work for what we want and stop treating characters like they exist only for the sake of being powerup pinata's.
>>4150109This might have been enjoyable if it wasn't suddenly dumped on us without really giving us a clue as to what we're supposed to do.Even the advice from Judas just gives us more questions.I can only hope we don't continue wandering aimlessly looking for concrete solutions. Attempting to sneak up on Rider while she sleeps with some manticore needles is going to kill us.That much is obvious. Maybe if we were Assassin it could've worked.Though that ought to give some insight into what Medusa considers a hero.Slaying a beast like the Manticore did nothing for us.If the plan is to convince S+E, why are we working on getting our powers back?The very same strength that will allow us to demolish Medusa.There's multiple solutions so what?Are we just going to bully Medusa in the rematch?How are we supposed to change her perception of us unless she observes us?
Honestly, it's really just the lack of any progress at all.Feels like we're walking in circles.I would definitely have enjoyed this a lot more if we weren't floating about so aimlessly. With nothing but speculation to go on.
>>4150078You sure could've. Had multiple chances, even. I was surprised you folks didn't vote for that, since it seemed so in line with your goals.>>4150135Alright, I've been keeping this back, but I'm just going to say it here, since keeping up the mystery and telling you only what you know in character hasn't contributed to people enjoying the arc. Consider this a spoiler warning if you don't want meta information that you shouldn't concretely know in character. Killing Mantikouros did help you, and the change would've grown more apparent if you'd taken a hard line with Medusa. Unfortunately, you immediately cancelled that progress out by trying to stall Medusa with the "I'm not here to fight you, you can tell by how I don't know who you are" bit.
>>4150346Oh god.We literally are walking in circles.
>>4150346I really feel like the players are never picking up on what they should be voting for to achieve Alberich's goals. They're either so focused on their own OOC desires or the implications of our choices are too unclear to know what to do. That or some people just don't care. Who knows?I just hope the guy who called me a "fightfag" for wanting to face Medusa feels like an idiot now
>>4150384To be fair, it would've been OOC for Alberich to continue fighting in the face of death when a path of survival was opened to him through deceit. He has never been the sort to do that.Mostly because when he did do that back in the Akeldama, Sweets immediately punished us for it.
>>4150227>>4150372Some of the choices you've made so far really are amazing from my point of view. It's as though you collectively have this unerring sense of how to drag things out longer.
>>4150420>It's as though you collectively have this unerring sense of how to drag things out longer.Or maybe you're just failing to get things across to the readers leading to us being directionless and uncertain.
>>4148636Actually I'll switch to >[ ] Retrace the steps trodden before, and follow your former path. (How far?)To recover the Manticore spikes, then explore new areas from there
What is the fixation with the manticore spikes? They're not some ultimate weapon or anything.
>>4150466To be fair, we'd probably have more luck retracing our immediate steps and walking right back into the temple and using our magic, but whatever.
It seems like we're 5-2 now, even after that change, so I'm going to go ahead and write the next update. Depending on how long this takes and how many of you folks vote after it goes up tonight, I might be able to start writing another one around midnight. (Still PST).
After a few moments consideration, you conclude that there's little reason to retrace your earlier route when most of the island remains unseen. Instead you'll make a circuit of the square platform raised here for the temple and see what roads lead out from it that you missed due to your direct climb yesterday. Paying close attention to your sense of magical presence, to ensure you can avoid an encounter with Medusa, you step out of the portico and down to the pavilion below, walking straight on from the temple doors.The first of these alternate paths reveals itself as soon as you reach the edge of the square, though, for it's laid out as a direct continuation of the course one you took from the temple, as well as of the pavilions own stairs. Not surprising, you think, that there should be a path directly aligned with the temple's entrance. The path doesn't continue straight on for long, though, for this western edge of the island peak has a far more precipitous slope than that which you previously ascended. Rather than grass, the land before you presents stone crags with only a scattering of barren dirt, shearing off in an almost vertical drop to the sea far below, and a shore composed of jagged rocks. The path, which begins in stone stairs, soon turns sharply to the right and hugs the inclined rockface until it disappears from your sight below an overhang.From the rocky path, you turn left, noting as you go that the slope beside you remains uniformly inhospitable along the entire western edge of the plateau. Only once you've turned the corner and begun traversing the southern edge does the terrain begin to shift to inclined land rather than what can barely be differentiated from a cliff. This southern slope resembles most closely what you can find in Yumigawa's memories of the occasional photos of Greece he'd seen; still rocky, but supporting hearty shrubs and with enough soil to provide a thin layer of grass. It's a far cry from the overwhelming verdure of the forest, but you can easily picture a peasant grazing sheep or goats on this land. About four fifths of the way along the pavilion's southern edge, a dirt path extends down to a small marble building of a similar design to the temple, though vastly inferior in both size and decoration.The eastern and northern slopes are largely similar to one another, each a moderate incline supporting a rolling lawn and shrubbery soon hidden by the dense forest that begins a few meters below the pavilion. Its white stairs are met by a path only on the eastern edge, however; an inviting, easily walkable cobblestone footpath just wide enough for three people to walk abreast, which enters the forest through a natural arch formed by the silvery branches of two birch trees.
>[ ] Investigate the rocky western path. If there is some heroism in hardship and the facing of danger, you may as well begin with to the most rugged and inhospitable area of the island.>[ ] Follow the pastoral southern path. The lesser building intrigues you, particularly as it's the only structure aside from the temple you've seen. It could be another aspect of the Gorgons' dwelling, of course, but if not it surely houses any other humanoid inhabitants of the island.>[ ] Follow the cobblestone path into the eastern forest. The most heroic thing you've done since your arrival here is the slaying of Mantikouros, who was found amidst such greenery. If there are more beasts to feed your nature on, they likely hide in the woods.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4150551>>[ ] Follow the cobblestone path into the eastern forest. The most heroic thing you've done since your arrival here is the slaying of Mantikouros, who was found amidst such greenery. If there are more beasts to feed your nature on, they likely hide in the woods.And this is what we are reduced to.Grinding mobs in the forest to raise our exp levels.
>>4150551>[ ] Investigate the rocky western path. If there is some heroism in hardship and the facing of danger, you may as well begin with to the most rugged and inhospitable area of the island.
>>4150560>And this is what we are reduced to.It's the path you chose, anon. To say it's what you've been reduced to implies that someone forced you into it.
>>4150551>>[ ] Investigate the rocky western path. If there is some heroism in hardship and the facing of danger, you may as well begin with to the most rugged and inhospitable area of the island.
>>4150551>Investigate the rocky western path. If there is some heroism in hardship and the facing of danger, you may as well begin with to the most rugged and inhospitable area of the island.Trajan give us strength!
To those of you who are unsatisfied with the current arc: for what it's worth, I do agree that it's gone on too long, and I'm trying to wrap things up here so we can get back to the main story fairly soon. Hopefully Monday or Tuesday, if tomorrow's session goes well.As a peace offering, have this adorable picture of the gorgon sisters getting along.
I'm glad you got your votes in pretty quickly, folks. Since the next update is going to be on the longer side, though, and I don't want to try to write it while I'm tired and and up making something mediocre, I'm going to get some sleep now and write in the morning. This also gives the 4-6am voters a chance to get their ideas in. Expect the next update around 12 hours from now.
We don't have any weapons. Fuck. We just voted to go looking for monsters without any weapons. What the fuck? Why didn't anyone think of this? Why didn't we retrace our steps to where we dropped the sword and shield during our fight with Medusa? We're fucked!Dead end incoming.
>>4151507Eh, that's all right. In Akeldama we were a reasonably proficient fistfighter and we still have our Saber class combat skills
>>4151510Oh, hey, it's the anon who was saying I needed to give more things away. What's your take on how things are going at this point? I mostly heard from WLD and Crackpot yesterday.
>>4151517This is exactly what I was hoping for. See how much more activity we've got now that we've got a clear picture of what's going on here?
>>4151507We can start small, go for the ones that aren't absurdly lethal to fistfight. Then we rip off their natural weapons and use them to kill bigger monsters.Rinse and repeat until we can take down Bersercles Reinforced by Circe barehanded.
>>4151510>>4151528So you're saying we need to bulk up?
>>4151523Glad to hear it!>>4151557Hey, didn't you post this last thread? As much as I like Raoh, if we're going for Hokuto no Ken I think Alberich is a lot closer to Souther in terms of looks.
>>4151557inb4 we kill so many monsters that we become even stronger than we are in the real world
>>4151589>inb4 we kill so many monsters it gets us Giant Beast Hunting A+
>>4151589>inb4 we return to the real world and try to recover our monster island gains.
>>4151596...I just realized we could actually get that skill. It's just the knowledge of how to kill monsters.Of course, it has very limited use, but still.Also Arthur only has rank A because he killed every monster in England.
>>4151571By the way, if anyone wants to tweak the eye color here and see about removing the garnet from his forehead, it'd be much appreciated. That way I can add this to our set of possible Alberich portraits, since I do think this is a decent reflection of the continued shift in his features since the first alteration by the silver grail.
>>4151626Would there ever be any issues or traits brought about by the mutability of Alberich's spirit? I've lost count of how many times its been modified in some way.
>>4151640Good question. That's definitely something worth considering; all I can tell you at the moment is that you haven't suffered any ill effects so far...While we're on the subject of appearance, I'm curious what everyone's favorite image is for Alberich. There've been quite a few posted over the course of the quest, and pretty different from one another, so I'm sure you folks must have a preference.
>>4151643I'm partial to this one.
Once we get out of here, what's next?
>>4151803Day off.Maybe getting Stheno and Euryale bodies if they don't get them by default.Would be a waste to do Emiya part 2 without all three gorgons.>>4151626I'll give it a shot.>>4150604Nice picture.
>>4151803Day offMaybe curb stomp Assassin if he decides to ruin our day and test the new ritual on himIf Emiya and pals show up just shittalk them about how we are better at saving medusa than themTalk with Odin maybe about life and stuff, ask him what he wants to do with the grail and if he knows if its really fucked>>4150604offer accepted>>4151705I second this
>>4151833Day off??? No way man. We've got to keep being proactive to finish this war. I say we seek out and eliminate the rest of Shirou's crew, then set our sights on Harris.
>>4151054>Expect the next update around 12 hours from now.Obviously this didn't happen, but I am still writing. I've been interrupted several times this morning, which has stalled things somewhat. Sorry about that. The update will be soon.
>>4151859>Everyone mad that Sweets derailed the plot>Immediately derail it again once we're doneNot my cup of tea anon but go ahead and vote for what you want I suppose.
>>4151861It's not derailing the plot if we're actually interacting with our allies.Alberich's relationships are an important part of the story. Also I want to see Emiya squirm.
>>4151859Just keep in mind that we'll probably have wasted two days on this foray into Rider's mind. Judas said it had already been 24 hours when we spoke with him.
>>4151865I'm going to be unbelievably angry if that turns out to be the case.Especially because it clashes with what we saw in HA.What a fucking waste of time if that is true.
>>4151843Think about it this way then, we use ourselves as bait to attract people who need to die while interacting with our allies in a nice way
>>4151875I think it's a completely fair consequence for this idiocy and lack of focus on what we should focus on. >>4151877Why do that when we can locate and quickly dispatch our enemies with scrying and teleportation?
>>4151875>Breaker Gorgon being actively used and reflected by Kibisis should act just like Breaker Gorgon being partially triggered by a weird curse while Medusa was unconscious! If it doesn't I'm gonna lose my shit!Chill. It already doesn't work like in the canon uses or we couldn't regain our power. This is obviously a different situation.
>>4151880>why do things in an entertaining and fun way when we can just murderhobo all of our enemies?Because doing that would be the opposite of a satisfying conclusion and just cheapen the story.It's like asking why we don't just try to steam roll the war with servant spam.Also I hardly feel like breaking a canon representation of an ability simply to punish the players is fair on them.Luckily time is relative.Not like Sweets hasn't ignored NP effects from HA in the past though...
>>4151882>This is obviously a different situation.Oh what?Is Medusa THINKING slower or something?
>>4151626My editing skills are kinda crap but here's my first attempt.
>>4151897>No time passes while thinkingYou fucking kidding me? Is that what you're basing this on? I'm saying that some of Breaker Gorgon's powers (completely sealing off the enemy's magical abilities) haven't activated. She also didn't use the NP by calling its name. There's no reason to assume that one of its powers (time fuckery) has activated when we've seen no evidence of it and we've been told time is passing by someone on the outside.
>>4151902No you imbecile. I'm saying that this internal world should follow the same rules as the actual use of Breaker Gorgon WHERE IT TRAPS THE ENEMY IN HER MIND.Where she spent a far longer time in her last dream/nightmare than the time it took Perseus to behead her.There's no time altering effect inherent to Breaker Gorgon.Also, it has sealed our abilities too.Some of our abilities aren't magical in nature.Due to what it is, sealing imaginary numbers magic shouldn't be possible as it's sealing Anti-Magic with Magic.And you can't bring Alberich to the level of a human because he isn't a human at all.As for why acting the Hero allows our powers to return, remember that Alberich is a conceptual being and his origin and element allow for the perceptions of others to overwrite him with what they see him as.It's why he changed slowly when he was linked to Circe.By making Medusa see him as a Hero, his strength ought to return because of that easily mutable nature. It's Breaker Gorgon, anon.
>>4151880>Why do that when we can locate and quickly dispatch our enemies with scrying and teleportation?because we can't scry Assassin, who is perhaps the biggest trouble so far?maybe Harris, but we can just kill him with a ranged magic barrage and just lob one of the maids at him or something
>>4151918Why do you think that there is a time altering effect inherent to the inside of someone's mind? When we've visited Judas before time has passed. When a person meditates time still passes. While you think time passes.The only way your HA scene makes any kind of sense is if Breaker Gorgon causes perceptive time dilation the same way Akeldama did. You're setting yourself up to get angry over something obvious.
>>4151898Still not really satisfied with yet but alternate eye color.
>>4151930You're the one claiming that Breaker Gorgon has an effect that alters the flow of time here anon.An accidental activation would still trigger said ability if it existed.Which it obviously fucking doesn't. Because that's dumb and your headcanon.Generally when we visit Judas, hours pass even if the conversation is only minutes long.So it can't be the case.We can argue about this all day, but I will immediately attempt to sacrifice Medusa and her sisters out of spite if Sweets goes ahead and wastes two days on us.
Some things to consider when contemplating what the state of affairs will be when you exit the Shapeless Isle:It's not necessarily wise to assume a magical effect will work exactly according to all of the properties of a specific Noble Phantasm when you know the person in possession of said Noble Phantasm had no chance to verbally activate it and it hasn't appeared in your status menu in any capacity.Messing around with magic you don't really understand, which is normally powered by all the world's evils, is dangerous. It could have all sorts of unintended consequences.Diverting focus from your primary goal in order to pursue the acquisition of more little girls is not the most practical plan ever conceived.Doing both of these together is liable to result in some very significant consequences.Breaker Gorgon wasn't activated and time isn't passing at a 1:1 rate. Consider the circumstances carefully, make of that what you will, and plan accordingly.Now, to try and get this update finished.
>>4151948Sweets here laying down the law. Very happy to finally see it.
>>4151951But he basically just said we were both right in a way.>>4151948>your primary goalYou mean Liliesviel's primary goal?I couldn't give less of a fuck about how much she wants to kill Emiya because he's trying to stop the potential end of the human race.Excuse me for having absolute zero faith in the delusional "sixth time lucky, it'll work this time!" Faction. The goal was the acquisition of Bloodfort and the proper link to Medusa to best take advantage of it.Stheno and Euryale are simply bonuses.Don't try to trivialize our plans with what you see as the reward Sweets.
>>4151961Ah nah I'm just saying that about the well-deserved consequences of what we're trying to do with Rider, since the only reason we did it was that players thought they could do whatever they felt like regardless of if it makes sense, without any consequences.
>>4151968At the end of the day, we'll still have Bloodfort to take advantage of.And a blueprint to Jewel Rank Mystic Eyes.Consequences there may be, but we can handle anything short of deaths.Also we might impress Hecate enough with this action to have her make us her champion.Emiya (Haha, Ok I mean Rin) is probably scheming something, but nothing we can't handle.
>>4151990What have we done that's impressive? Using dangerous magic without any understanding of it and suffering some kind of magical consequences for that is not going to impress a goddess of magic.
>>4151997Bringing back Stheno and Euryale is impressive.Considering all the Gods could do was send dozens of heroes to execute Medusa.We'll have to wait and see what damage that replicating Angra Curses has done.Judas didn't seem especially worried though.
>>4152003How are we bringing them back again? I don't see it.
>>4152007Same way we summoned Hecate with the sword. Or we could have Circe, Tsubaki and Lily work together. We can even have Circe create some bodies suited for the souls of goddesses by using her NP on drops of Hecate's Blood to create hollow vessels/containers for the girls.
Continuing your circuit of the pavilion's edge, you return to the rocky, forbidding path which proceeds down from the plateau's western edge. If your power is to be returned by the imitation of Medusa's notions of heroism, it seems logical to face the most rugged, inhospitable option available to you; are heroes not typically said to be forged in hardship? Aside from that, there is the simple matter of this apparently being the proper approach to the Temple of the Gorgons, leading as it does directly to the entrance. More petrified challengers are clustered around the steps leading up from this path than anywhere else in the pavilion, and from that fact as well as the geography of the area it's plain that the majority of Medusa's challengers have arrived by this approach.Keeping that notion, of meeting the island's notion of heroism, in mind, you step over the stone body of a man petrified as he lay bleeding on the ground and descend the stairs before following the sharp right turn that leads into the path's coast-hugging arc. The heat of the morning sun soon vanishes as the rocky slope cuts you off from its light, but for a time you encounter no danger or discomfort on the rocky path save the striking cold. The wind howls, the waves crash furiously against the rocks below, and your sandals crunch against the rocky dirt beneath your feet as you gradually make your descenttoward the sea. You've put about a meter between your head and the peak of the island, and several behind you on the sloping path, when the curve begins to tighten still further, and precipice on your right shifts from a receding slope to a vertical wall. A meter more, and it's become an overhang which would keep the path in darkness even at noon, to say nothing of the morning sun. Only the minimum light necessary for vision, reflected diffusely from the water far below, penetrates here.It's at this time, as you're walking under the natural roof, wondering whether the path will fully become a cave or veer back out into the open air, that you hear a dry, gravelly chuckle from your left. You turn to look for the source of the voice, and see... no one. Beside you, the drop to the sea is uninterrupted, save by occasional cracks and dangerous-looking jagged protrusions of stone. The only life to be seen is a thin branch hanging down from where a tree presumably grows above, and a crow perched on it. A crow which, now that you examine it, seems to be looking at you with strange intensity. "You can't go back this way, warrior," it says, the grating sound of its voice confirming the bird as the originator of the laugh. "You ought to know that, before you go any further.""Go back?" As you turn to face the odd speaker, you gesture with an open hand toward the path you've walked so far. "The road appears still open, and I've heard no sound of shifting stone. Why should I be unable to return to the temple?"
"The temple? Ha!" The crow bursts into another flurry of raucous, cawing laughter. "Why worry about returning there, after you slipped out so carefully? It's your ship you ought to be concerned with. It's left you behind! It doesn't seem your companions had as much faith in you as you might've hoped. You're trapped here with the monsters now.""I see you've been watching me," you muse, eying the crow with curiosity. "This path leads to the shore where my boat put down, then?""After you've passed a few forks, it does," the crow replies. "All you'll find down that route is a rowboat to the open sea and the Fisherman, one of Triton's brood. But if you didn't know that, what are you doing here, warrior? I had the idea you'd realized slaying Medusa was a futile effort and taken the opportunity to preserve your life. Not many are spared the first time they fight her, warrior.""I've seen as much," you answer, nodding, "but I haven't left the temple out of a desire to escape; only to see more of the island. Now, I could ask you the same question. I was under the impression that the inhabitants of this island were all of some variety of deadly beast, transformed by Athena. How is it that a crow capable of speech is one of the prisoners here?""Heh! I won't give you a tale long in the telling," replies the crow with a chuckle. "I saw what what kind of fate you served our poor man-eating minstrel when your patience ran thin for his story. Let me only say that when my people had white feathers I was a close companion of the Goddess, and both changed after a bit of a disagreement between us.""I see." You pause for a moment to think, considering the crow's possible motives, before continuing, "In that case, since you know my intent and seem to bear me no ill will, I'd like your advice. You mentioned several forks in the road; assuming I don't intend to return to the shore, what course do you suggest I take?""That all depends on where you want to go, warrior," the crow answers smugly. "I've just told you that I have no particular destination," you say, exasperated. "I simply want to see more of the island, and if possible find something to help me deal more easily with Medusa."
"Well then, I advise you to take no particular path! Walk around the coast or delve into the catacombs, you'll find someone wherever you go." With that snide rejoinder, the crow hops from the branch, unfolds his wings, and takes off into the air, leaving you puzzled and irritated by his mocking attitude and seemingly pointless visit. Of course, you suppose he might have had somewhat benevolent intentions for warning someone off the waste of time that looking for a vanished ship would have been, but if that were the case he ought to have been more helpful in directing you to some useful spot. Perhaps he only hoped to see you crestfallen at the disappearance of your escape route. Given his mannerisms, you suppose that possibility is the more likely of the two.Putting the matter of the crow behind you, you continue down the cliffside path for another half hour or so uninterrupted, before arriving at the first of the forks you were warned of. On the left, the path continues to descend at a gentle incline following the curve of the coast, though it diverts out from under the overhang you've been proceeding under. The right-hand path, by contrast, delves completely into the island's stone, being a roughly circular tunnel that slopes gently upward. It ought to be pitch black, you think, for you can see no opening save the cavern mouth which opens before you, yet when you focus you can dimly make out the features of the stone within, as though some faint source of light provides the inner path with a sliver of illumination.>[ ] Take the left-hand path. Though you suspect it leads eventually to the tiny natural harbor where you first awoke here, the promise of more divisions in the path as well as this "Fisherman" intrigues you.>[ ] Take the right-hand path. Presumably it leads to the "catacombs" the crow mentioned, with their promised inhabitants. The mystery of the light source invites your curiosity as well as the promise of what opportunities for mythic deeds might await in such a place.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4152029>>[ ] Take the right-hand path. Presumably it leads to the "catacombs" the crow mentioned, with their promised inhabitants. The mystery of the light source invites your curiosity as well as the promise of what opportunities for mythic deeds might await in such a place.
>>4152029>>[ ] Take the right-hand path. Presumably it leads to the "catacombs" the crow mentioned, with their promised inhabitants. The mystery of the light source invites your curiosity as well as the promise of what opportunities for mythic deeds might await in such a place.Oh wow it's nothing!
>>4151937Looks great, Crackpot! There is a bit of blur still where the gem was, and I think the eyes might pop just a little too much, but overall quite satisfying.>>4152031Well, I thought the conversation with the crow was entertaining, and given the fact that you left without your weapons I thought you might appreciate a bit more insight into what's going on around you rather than an immediate fight with a monster. Sorry you don't agree.
>>4152029>[ ] Take the right-hand path. Presumably it leads to the "catacombs" the crow mentioned, with their promised inhabitants. The mystery of the light source invites your curiosity as well as the promise of what opportunities for mythic deeds might await in such a place.
>>4152026Apparently Apollo turned ravens from white to black when one told him that Coronis chose a mortal man, Ischys, over him. I'm not sure what else the crow could be referencing. Probably not significant, but maybe!
>>4152029>[ ] Take the right-hand path. Presumably it leads to the "catacombs" the crow mentioned, with their promised inhabitants. The mystery of the light source invites your curiosity as well as the promise of what opportunities for mythic deeds might await in such a place.Pinwheel here we come.>>4152038Toned down the eyes a bit but I'm still an amateur, not much I can do yet about the blur aside from give it a bit of a touch up to try to make it less obvious.
Hmmm. Looking at it like this, the chin on this third portrait is a little too narrow and pointed, I think.Still, I think it's an entertaining comparison.
I did say I would give it a go.So here.>>4152038Sassy crows make poor conversation partners.We get enough of that from our cat.
>>4152299Man, the hair in the third picture is a major downgrade for me. I'll probably stick with the mental picture of the Kira version.I keep picturing a bearded downtrodden Alberich for the next chapter after the inevitable shitshow of the end of the Grail War and I don't know why. I'd just find it interesting to see how he'd deal with absolute failure or an extremely Pyrrhic victory.
>>4152339Yeah, I much prefer Kira's hair myself too.Also the Kira look in general.It's just like Kira to get worse hair as he matures though.Fully expecting Part 3 Alberich's hair to be patterned on a Watermelon.And for him to get killed by Lancelot driving an Ambulance.
>>4152342The Lancelot Ambulance joke is actually even better now I remember that Alberich's armour is based off of Agravain's.
>>4152314This one is also a great job! Thanks. >>4152339>Man, the hair in the third picture is a major downgrade for me. I'll probably stick with the mental picture of the Kira version.It's not perfect, for sure. I'd say his hair is definitely more in line with the Kira version, and I already mentioned my problem with the chin not being square enough; the jaw on the Souther version is too narrow as well.Mostly what draws me to the latter picture (other than my general fondness for the artwork in HnK) are that it nails Alberich's arrogance and that it fits with Servant Alberich being physically larger than in early Fate/City Akeldama.Also, the Kira picture has a weirdly small-looking face. It bothers me.
>>4152299>>4152350I mean, don't the facial features in the Kira picture just look too delicate for someone who's supposed to resemble classical statuary and have a domineering, kingly appearance?
>>4152357I don't think it looks particularly delicate. The sharp, angular features and strong jaw are pretty regal.
>>4152350Huh, for some reason I always assumed Kira was way taller than he actually is.He's only 5'9".I thought he was at least like 6 foot tall.Jotaro is 6'5" As is DIO.>>4152357Clearly the best solution here is OVA DIO.Oil tankers for everyone.
>>4152360I don't know. I really liked it at first, but the more I look at it the more the shortness of the face and the tiny nose bug me.Here's another depiction of Alberich I have a soft spot for, anyway. I don't know when you'd end up with an outfit this over the top, but it's certainly a fun idea to play with.>>4152363Yeah, DIO's pretty close to the face I have in mind, although he definitely looks better in the manga. Remember how the first portrait I wanted a recolor of for altered Rushorou back in Fate/City Akeldama was Part 1 Dio?
>>4152364Emperor Mateus has a truly bizarre fashion sense.That edit is after I removed the truly ridiculous parts of the original costume too, by the way.There's just so much going on in the original it hurts.I mean, look at this!But hey, who am I to question the guy who simultaneously took over both Hell and Heaven after being killed by the protagonists?
>>4152364Geez. The hair, the outfit, the face. It's all too much for me personally.
>>4152370Good lord, that really is a lot. Only an emperor would get his thighs a negligee.>>4152373Well, it certainly is a very different direction from the current portraits, but I do think it's fun. Definitely more Labyrinth Bowie than Thin White Duke.
>>4152377I found something a bit more low-key that I like for a future incognito Alberich. Definitely a bit of a departure from the others though.
>>4152377For whatever reason, when he takes over hell, he decides he needs a really stupid helmet and a scarf of immense length in case he gets chilly or something.I have absolutely no idea.
>>4152029>[ ] Take the right-hand path. Presumably it leads to the "catacombs" the crow mentioned, with their promised inhabitants. The mystery of the light source invites your curiosity as well as the promise of what opportunities for mythic deeds might await in such a place.Maybe a vampire would be easier to kill barehanded than a magic fisherman.
>>4152388>future incognito Alberich>shaggy hair, turtleneck, and a frownYou sure aren't very optimistic about how this war will end, huh?
Cursed Alberich, do not open.
>>4152435That's one way to look at it I suppose. I see it more like he's letting himself be more casual now that he's taking a back seat.As for the frown, well I wouldn't call Alberich overly serious but he has his stern moments.
>>4152435I've never pictured a happy ending to this story. Maybe I'm just a pessimists. There's nothing wrong with a tactical turtleneck though.
I sat down to start writing this update two and a half hours ago. Then fifteen minutes later I had to get off of the computer for two hours to deal with other things.I'm back to writing now, and will hopefully finish before I go to bed, but I just wanted to give you folks an idea of my timeframe.I really did want to write a lot more today. It just hasn't worked out.
This cavern, you surmise, must be the entrance to the catacombs which the crow spoke of; and a far more intriguing prospect than the left-hand path back to your point of arrival, with its mysterious "Fisherman". The diffuse luminosity which seems to render the tunnel visible despite an absence of true light appeals immediately to your curiosity, while the crow's promise of meeting someone seems to ensure that the expedition won't prove to be a waste of time. Of course, you have no way to be sure of the bird's veracity, but if you assume he was lying to you you're left with no way of distinguishing which path will be more beneficial at all. In either case, you may as well pursue your curiosity as to the tunnel's strange visibility. As you step into the tunnel, the first thing you notice is a crunching sound beneath your sandal different from the noise of your footsteps up until now. Looking down to investigate, you see the brittle fingers of a petrified hand, mostly buried and positioned vertically as if reaching up out of the sand in a desperate struggle for air. You stepped on its thumb, crushing the digit. Here again, as at the other cavern mouth, is a broken remnant of statuary. Considering possible reasons for a moment, you conclude that either the Gorgon sisters use these caverns as a dumping ground for the petrified warriors they no longer want on their pavilion, or the Shapeless Isle's catacombs are another of Medusa's battlegrounds and whatever lives here when she is absent is less inclined to preserve her victims' remains than the woman herself. The thought of running into your captor here and being hauled back to the temple is a disheartening one.Bah! Whatever the reason for their presence, you aren't going to be frightened off by the fragments of a corpse. Channeling your dread of a new encounter with Medusa before you've made yourself ready into renewed motivation, you kick the stone hand aside and quicken your steps as you continue your journey into the Shapeless Isle's catacombs.
It's easier to lose track of time and distance underground than above it. You were first brought face to face with that fact during your descent toward the Greater Grail with Liliesviel, but now you're reminded of it as you make this interminable walk. With no significant change in the passage around you, no outside mark by which to judge the distance you've traveled, and no light save the inexplicable, uniformly slight visibility of the tunnel, you soon find that you're completely at a loss to say how long you've spent in these catacombs or how far you've traveled. You don't think you've walked for more than an hour, and you can't believe you've gone very far in that time, but with neither entrance nor exit within view and no sign of any change in your surroundings, you begin to suffer from an irrational feeling that you're making no progress of any kind; that this tunnel exists in some kind of straight circle, forcing you to repeat your progress over ground already tread without your course ever seeming to curve.Simultaneously, two things happen to snap you out of your mental wanderings and groundless concern. The first is that the tunnel finally changes. A few meters ahead of you the round, naturally formed cave through which you've been traveling ends in an arch of masonry; a doorway which seems to lead into a wider room constructed by human hands. The second is that you see a person; or at least the shape of one. In the subterranean gloom you can make out nothing more than general shapes, but there seems to be a man, clad in armor resembling yours, standing in the room beyond the empty doorway. It could only be another statue, of course, but the completeness of form in this place where statues seem to meet with destruction implies life, surely.In a moment your suspicion of his humanity is confirmed, for the man seems to catch sight of you at the same moment you see him. With a jerky, startled movement he tenses up, squaring his shoulders and bending his knees slightly, and the shape of a head, faceless in the darkness, points at you. The man calls, in the rough, confident voice of a strong man who's lived a life filled with shouting and being obeyed, "You! Another soldier here to take the glory, aren't you! Well, you can give it up. I'll be the one to take her head!" At the same moment as this last word, the man's hand springs into motion, dropping to his belt and springing back up, and you barely have time to cock your head out of the way as something almost invisible flies by. Far behind you, the sound of metal striking stone rings out. On the other side of the archway, the man clicks his tongue.
>[ ] Speak to the man. (Write in what you'd like to say.)>[ ] Rush him now, before he can ready another weapon. You should be able to slip by a second strike and finish him if need be.>[ ] Enter the room slowly and cautiously, ready to dodge the man's next strikes. Try to gradually get inside his range to prepare a counterattack.>[ ] Remain silently where you are, waiting for the man's next move.>[ ] Draw back from the room, trying to bait the other warrior into following you out of the cave. Outside, the wider area and lethal terrain should be something you can use to your advantage.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4152838>[ ] Speak to the man. (Write in what you'd like to say.)"Is that your best showing? If even I could dodge your knives, Medusa could catch them midair and fling them into your throat. On this isle of monsters it would be foolish for men to fight amongst themselves, so let us lay down our arms and speak as friends."
>>4152838>[ ] Rush him now, before he can ready another weapon. You should be able to slip by a second strike and finish him if need be.Diplomancers be gone.
>>4152838this>>4152849He's either a fool or he's aware Medusa would be faster than him and baiting into a trap when rushes into the room.
>>4152909Bit early for me but to clarify, not interested in recruiting but instead either enter room cautiously while doing or sit here taunting him to come to us.He's either a fool and not a threat to us regardless of what we do; or he's skilled enough to be aware many monsters as well as his quarry would be able to dodge his knife throws and baiting anyone overconfident enough to charge straight into a trap.
>>4152834>On the other side of the archway, the man clicks his tongue.He actually thought that knife would kill us, so it wasn't just a test. This is actually the best he has.
>>4153031Perhaps, all i'm saying is instead of charging in i'd prefer to either negotiate into backing down, draw him to us or walk in carefully. If he's come here to hunt Medusa he should've heard she can turn men to stone on sight, if he actually thinks knife throwing alone can cut it then he isn't much of a threat to us. If he's trying to avoid looking at her by setting a trap then the catacombs would be an ideal place for one and the knife toss would be to keep us from walking in and wasting his work (whether it would actually work on her is another story, all that matters is if he thinks it would and could it affect us with our reduced stats).Either way, i'm not too concerned about killing him or keeping him alive, specially if he proves dumb enough to keep trying to attack us.
>>4152838>>4152849+1we can kill him and take his stuff when his guard is down
>>4152838>[ ] Rush him now, before he can ready another weapon. You should be able to slip by a second strike and finish him if need be.He's already attacked us, he won't let his guard down.
>>4152838>[ ] Rush him now, before he can ready another weapon. You should be able to slip by a second strike and finish him if need beJust die.
Well, I was going to write an update this morning (it's still sort of morning, right?), but it seems we're now tied. I'll wait for you folks to settle on attack or diplomacy, and hopefully get an update written in a few hours.Out of curiosity, why is it that everyone voting to fight agrees on rushing him? With so many options, I'd have expected a bit more variation there.
>>4153501I just want him dead and as quickly as possible.
>>4153501If we're divided among several different fight votes we have no chance to win the vote.
>>4153501Its sort of like the situation where we had multiple different options to try to recruit Medusa vs 1 option to just kill her; diplomacy has become a bit of a poisoned choice and they're going to dog-pile on the leading option against it. Hell i'm not so much in favor of diplomacy, as much as i'm against charging straight in if the guy put down a trap in an obvious location for one since its likely the only way he could actually harm us with our reduced stats.
>>4153621I do see how this kind of situation with one option significantly different from the others can push people's votes. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to work that out without using something like sequenced choices, where I'd give you one choice of whether or not to fight (or in Medusa's case to attempt to recruit her) followed by a secondary vote on method. That just leads to dead time so people can get their votes in and/or filler updates, which nobody likes. I had to do enough low-content updates just establishing the geography and available locations on the island.
>>4153642I don't blame you, if this were something I could easily see fixed without bogging things down I would've shared with you. Even if left off the diplomacy option entirely, so long as write-ins are permitted someone would just put it back in and we'd still be here and taking that option away is boring even if we might not use it as much as we should.As things are we're stuck with those being our only two real options, one that outweighs the rest by being too different and the other because there's always a couple players who are going to vote to immediately kill, plus those impatient with how things are going and want to move on, and with diplomacy on the table they either get it their way or not at all.
>>4153703Diplomacy got us killed last time we tried it.Fuck this guy.
>>4153709He is Greek, so I guess you might have a chance there if I were a different kind of author running this on a more degenerate site.
>>4153709Diplomacy got us killed because we tried to negotiate an alliance with a man-eating manticore.Even then I'm not really interested in negotiating or recruiting this guy so much as making sure we aren't going to end up running straight into some kind of trap before we kill him and prefer not to get dead ended for being stupid again or go crawling back to the temple for rest.
Again i'm only against rushing the guy, had it not been confirmed back at the river that our ribbons are weakened and don't last very long otherwise I would vote for a write-in to use them to strangle him from a distance.
>>4153770Well it's either we run or nothing.I'm not changing because there's really no point. Unless we want to waste more time speaking to this loser.
>>4152838>[ ] Enter the room slowly and cautiously, ready to dodge the man's next strikes. Try to gradually get inside his range to prepare a counterattack.>trying to bumrush a man unarmedISHYGDDT
>>4153779>forgetting Alberich is at his most deadly when unarmed.The lightsaber only weakens him and makes him fumble his strikes.But if Crackpot will support this, I'll also support it.
>>4153785and if he tries to run while were slowed by caution; our ribbons may not last long enough to strangle him, but they should be enough to trip or immobilize long enough to reach him.
>>4153779Changing to this
>>4153259changing to support >>4153779Crackpot-senpai delivers
This is heavily WIP btw.Just testing different styles right now.Obviously I haven't worked to fix the colours on the hair yet.Just figured I'd share
>>4152909Already backed but for posterity (and sweets sake) change to this>>4153779
Sorry for the delay, folks. Writing now.>>4154141I really appreciate all the time you're putting into this, anon. I'll keep looking forward to your updates on the project.
"So that's the way you see it, eh?" you ask, stepping forward as you drop your body slightly and raise your hands into a stance ready to react to any move the shadowed warrior might make. "Before attacking the monster you're hunting, secure the hunting ground. Turn your blade against your fellow men to safeguard your glory. An easily understood philosophy, if not one easily sympathized with." The tawdry moralizing is slightly sickening, coming out of your mouth, but you've never been one to shy away from putting on a role before, and a man who came here to kill Medusa should be easily provoked by the accusation of an apparently righteous peer. "You've only just arrived," the man barks, sounding as angry as you'd hoped. "You don't understand a thing. Don't worry about learning, either. You won't get the chance!" For all the aggression in his words, your adversary doesn't seem any more eager to move than you; he stays tense and ready as a coiled spring, watching as you approach, step by careful step. He's taking you more seriously after the failed surprise attack, you can see, trying to be sure that whatever his next move is, he makes it count.There are three meters between you, then two and a half, then two; a meter and a half; one. Your steps are slow, controlled, your body seeming to move with the smooth slowness of flowing honey as time gradually unspools. Your eyes are wide, you don't miss a breath or a twitch from the shadowed warrior. Suddenly the moment comes. He darts left out of your sight, putting the wall of the room and the arch of the doorway between you for only a moment before returning, a two meter polearm in one hand and something uncertain in the other. The hand whips up, and it's flying toward you: an amorphous, uncertain shadow, shifting as it rushes through the air like a large cloth, or a body of fluid; but it can't be fluid, the edge is constant. It must be a sheet of something.>[ ] Dive under the strange attack, to close the last bit of distance and attack your adversary before he can react.>[ ] Catch the object and throw it behind you, its momentum uninhibited while you press the attack.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
Very short update this time, I know, but sometimes there are only a few events that separate life and death. You can see why I wanted to write a scene for this fight in a spare hour earlier, rather than leaving it 'til after work. Sorry again about that wait.Unless nobody votes, though, I do plan to call it in 2-3 hours and write the next update around midnight PST.
>>4154243What if Rider couldn't fully exclude our NPs from us and just scattered them around the island? Could this be kenotis?Would saying its name let us reclaim it?Changing my vote to regaining control of it by saying Kenotis, then redirecting the attack toward him.
>>4154243>>[ ] Dive under the strange attack, to close the last bit of distance and attack your adversary before he can react.Emphasis on the dodge; way he's described sounds like pic related and threw a modified net/sheet and i'd prefer not to try to physically catch it if this is the case:>>4154271
>>4154243he will probably just stab us if we pick up the net>[ ] Dive under the strange attack, to close the last bit of distance and attack your adversary before he can react.
Looks like there aren't too many of you folks on line just now. I'd rather not call it with only three votes, so I suppose I'll give it 'til the morning.Hopefully I'll get more writing done tomorrow than today.
>>4154243>>[ ] Dive under the strange attack, to close the last bit of distance and attack your adversary before he can react.
>>4154243>[ ] Dive under the strange attack, to close the last bit of distance and attack your adversary before he can react.sounds fine to me
Every time I sit down to write, I get a call from work to interrupt me.I'm beginning to feel there's no point in continuously saying "sorry for the delay" like this when it's so impossible to keep my plans.I seem to have some time to write now, at least. As an aside, here's the sort of helmet with which you and your adversary are both equipped. I've described it only vaguely, so I thought you might appreciate an image. Of course, yours is still bright bronze, not oxidized this way.
There's no sense in tossing the object aside, you think. It's so difficult to tell anything beyond shape in these catacombs that to your eyes it may as likely be a magical attack as an ordinary object; for that matter, even if the sheet is mundane it's likely designed to entangle and slow you whether you catch it or allow it to strike you. Instead, the moment it's close enough to hide you from your adversary's view, you dive below it, accelerating your approach with the same motion you use to evade his attack. Landing, you roll over the threshold, spring up, and drive and uppercut into the man's jaw, all in the time it takes the thrown sheet to land in the tunnel.As your adversary does a quick backstep, bringing the leaf-shaped blade of his polearm up between you to buy distance, you take a moment to reflect; it seems there really was something in Judas' words after all. From this first strike alone, your body feels lighter and stronger; as it did when you were fighting Mantikouros, you now realize, though at the time you'd attributed the improvement to fighting in a clearing, free of the clinging underbrush after hours of being infuriatingly slowed by the stuff. At this distance, as the two of you circle and probe each other's stances for openings, you can see more about your enemy as well. He has a compact, square frame, at least 20 centimeters shorter than you, but making up for the lack with enormous muscle mass. Matching the frame is a rough face dominated by heavy brows and a visibly broken nose. In the gloom of the catacombs his skin appears greyish, but stranger than that in a Greek warrior are his eyes: green, though not a natural tone; they seem to shine with a dim, flickering illumination, as if lit from within by some strange chemical flame. For all the difference in your features, though, the man's armor could have been supplied by the same smith as your own. The cap-like helmet guarding temple and cheeks, but not the face; the heavy muscle cuirass lacking pauldrons or gorget; the tunic, shin guards, and sandals; all are nearly identical, save the numerous dents and scratches which mark the impact of time on your enemy's armor.You can spend no more time examining the man, for he finally sees what he believes to be an opening and moves, flicking his wrist and swiping at your throat with a nimble swing of his blade that ought to decapitate you in the blink of an eye. It's not fast enough to catch you, though; you drop your head below the strike, crouching for a moment to spring back up and grab the haft of the spear while the enemy is trying to recover from the momentum of his strike. This, though, your adversary is quick enough to react to. Pulling his weapon back into a two-handed grip, he brings the tip around in a retreading circle before striking forward with a blurred burst of speed to punch through your left shoulder!
He'd have gotten you, if the attack weren't so easy to read. Almost before the thrust comes you slide your foot back, pivoting to show the enemy only the narrow line of your right side as you step into his open guard and retaliate with a straight right punch that breaks his nose a second time. Your enemy is quick to magnify the impact, channeling the momentum of your punch into another precise backstep to give himself another chance at using his blade. This time, you don't let him get away; as soon as he moves, your left arm shoots out to grab the collar of his cuirass and haul him back to you, keeping the polearm useless while you hammer away at his face, blood spattering back into your own as you split his nose and eyebrows, break teeth, and pulp his nose.No matter how many blows you rain down on the man, though, or how you distort his face, the green flame in those eyes continues to burn keenly, and he keeps fighting to get free, struggling blindly to deal you a cut with his polearm despite its seeming uselessness at such short range. In disgust you shove the struggling warrior away, ripping the helmet from his head as he staggers back and tossing it to the ground behind you. Before he can get his stance in order, you charge forward again, circling around his left side to grab again for his head, knotting your fingers into his matted hair. With a firm grip on the base of your adversary's skull, you muster your strength to drag him along as you coil, spin about your right foot like a discus thrower, and slam the remains of his face into the wall with all the power you have. There's a final crunch, a spray of blood, and your adversary finally goes limp. As you drop him to the ground you note with satisfaction the deformed flatness of a face in which the bones have been thoroughly shattered, as well as the dead lightlessness of those bizarrely colored eyes. Now, finally, you can take stock of your surroundings properly.The room in which you faced this possessive hunter is a three meter square, you can see, with a ceiling made up of two intersecting arches which run according to the four tunnels that meet here. As you'd observed before, this chamber is carved into the stone rather than being a naturally formed cave, as your previous path was; oddly, though the room has clearly been excavated entirely from the living rock, its constructors chose to emulate the pattern of bricks, so that the walls around you appear at first glance to be built out of stone blocks. An identical doorway sits at the center of each wall, each leading off into its own tunnel. Before investigating them, however, your eye is caught by a cloth sack sitting in one corner of the room. This, you think, must have been what the other warrior used to carry his provisions; and none too soon found, as you're beginning to grow hungry.
Unfortunately, while the warrior's pack does contain a rope, a whetstone, several torches, and an unusual linen sheet crosshatched with iron chains (presumably a replacement for that which he flung at you), there is no food to be found within. Still, the contents could be useful; particularly if you find some means of lighting the torches. Moreover, the pack is tied up with a loop of rope long enough to be slung easily over a shoulder, making it a simple matter to carry. Picking it up, you move on to your next point of examination: the exits of the room. These, you discover with disappointment, offer little clue as to their destinations. The way you came can be easily identified by the cast-off projectile lying just beyond the door, but aside from that, the two tunnels to its left and right are nearly identical. One is ever so slightly better lit than its fellows, while on the threshold of the other you can feel a slight stirring in the damp, stagnant air of the catacombs. The last of the four exits leads to the only meaningfully different tunnel of the four. This, unlike the others, is no natural cave, but a direct extension of the imitation brickwork of this chamber: a rectangular corridor, a meter wide and with an arched ceiling three meters above at its center. Though no better lit than the others, you can't help thinking that the change in architecture marks this last tunnel as the most worthy course. After several minutes of walking down your chosen corridor, finding it every bit as straight and unchanging as the first tunnel by which you entered, you come upon a strange sight in the darkness: a cell, of sorts, set into the wall to your left. Here, the stone wall is replaced by iron bars, set firmly into the stone with no perceptible means of entry or exit. Behind them is a chamber perhaps a meter cubed inside, containing only what appears to be a small pile of rags carelessly heaped against the back wall. After a few moments' scrutiny, you're ready to conclude that there's nothing of interest here and move on, when a rattling whisper emanates from the heap."How did you come to be here, young man?" it hisses, sounding concerned for you in spite of the dry, rasping quality of its own voice. "You don't seem to have made your attempt yet; did you lose your way?">[ ] Tell the story of your entrance into the catacombs and fight against the Greek warrior.>[ ] Ask what it means by making your attempt, and how it would be able to tell.>[ ] Before you answer the question, ask the thing what it is, and why it's locked up down here.>[ ] Ignore the heap of rags and continue on your way.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
>>4155140>Roleplay with our backstory as a hero sent to slay Medusa whose ship has abandoned him>[ ] Tell the story of your entrance into the catacombs and fight against the Greek warrior.
>>4155140>>[ ] Tell the story of your entrance into the catacombs and fight against the Greek warrior.if it's an option follow with>>ask the thing what it is, and why it's locked up down here.
>>4155140>[ ] Tell the story of your entrance into the catacombs and fight against the Greek warrior.So much for getting off this island by Tuesday.I blame the cursed bird of eternal filler arcs.
>>4155348I had hoped to write three updates on Saturday and three on Sunday.Obviously I was being way too optimistic.Maybe by the end of this week, though. This would all be over already if you'd just made a few choices differently earlier.
>>4155360You gotta start rolling with the lower vote counts
>>4155140>>[ ] Tell the story of your entrance into the catacombs and fight against the Greek warrior.
>>4155440Rolling with lower vote counts would mean that some people don't get to vote, and I'd feel bad about that.
>>4155477Sometimes a vote is already decided by the time people get to vote, and it puts them off of voting anyway.
>>4155477The show must go on.
>>4155477I think you should set some time limits to increase the urgency to vote.
>>4155594Well then, I'll say now that I'm calling this vote in 12 hours....not exactly a harsh time limit, I know, but this is one of those days when I can really only do one update.
>>4155477Understandable and I don't want this to sound critical but I don't think you would've met much resistance had you decided to cut things short at least when it comes to last night. Anyone who might've seen and didn't vote likely saw this as unimportant continuation of the prior vote and either choice would lead to the same conclusion. So long as you keep it infrequent and don't start short calling on things like kill x important character, betray our allies, choice of power ups, things that would have an obvious major effect on the plot that can't be undone or just giving us dead ends, people probably won't get too upset.
>>4155643>either choice would lead to the same conclusionIf you'd caught the net it would've been a Dead End, though; same with the vote before that, which had several.Ah, well.
>>4155648Why on Earth would you think anybody would be retarded enough to vote to try to catch a net in the first place?
>>4155140>[ ] Tell the story of your entrance into the catacombs and fight against the Greek warrior.
Forgot to mention, that last fight scene was well written. Very visceral and intense.
>>4155658See >>4154271. The first vote I had on that was to catch it.>>4155723Thanks, anon. I was hoping you folks would like it.
>>4155658To be fair there's always that one guy who would.In all seriousness Sweets probably wanted to give us another choice before engaging the warrior but having one option aside from write-in is boring. Although considering how the previous vote was split between people who wanted to kill him immediately and half of the talk votes wanted to distract while looking for an opening I don't think anyone would've complained if eliminated the last vote and merged the two.>>4155723Meta aside, gotta agree with anon here, the fight had been very well structured and to my memory this no-name warrior was probably the most satisfying fight scene we've had since Odysseus.
>>4155773>considering how the previous vote was split between people who wanted to kill him immediately and half of the talk votes wanted to distract while looking for an opening I don't think anyone would've complained if eliminated the last vote and merged the two.For the record, the "rush him immediately" option was also a dead end.
>>4155138>as you split his nose and eyebrows, break teeth, and pulp his nose.Just looked at this again. Nice error there. It should be "as you split lips and eyebrows, break teeth, and pulp his nose."
I'm assuming that most of you don't want to run with the suggestion at >>4155147, and would rather be honest.If that's not the case, please let me know.Otherwise, I'll get started writing when I get some time between work.
A strange question, the thing is posing. Why should it have an inkling of whether you came here by intention or mistake? And as for making an attempt, what attempt could there be for an armed man on this island but to challenge Medusa? Perhaps this strange prisoner had expected you to arrive down here as a corpse; not an unreasonable thing, you suppose, if these "catacombs" are named in accordance with their purpose. Then again, the proximity of the warrior who faced you before to this cell seems to belie that notion; and didn't he find something in your look or manner to surmise that you were a new arrival as well? A strange circumstance, and with no clear explanation.Still, despite the bizarre appearance and inexplicable words of your questioner, you see no reason not to answer its question. You can hardly explain the metaphysical aspect of your presence here, but a summary of those events which an inhabitant of the island might understand shouldn't take too long to recount, and it's just possible the thing in the cell might have some information useful to your aims that it can share."I arrived on this island yesterday," you begin, leaning against the wall behind you as the closest thing you can find to a seat from which to tell your tale. "Or rather, I believe it was yesterday; though I don't know just how long I've wandered in these tunnels, it surely can't have been a full day already. As I say, I arrived, seeking to triumph over Medusa. I wandered for a time before running across one of her sisters in the forest, who invited me to the Temple of the Gorgons. As I made my way there, I met and slew a beast by the name of Mantikouros who had attempted to kill me by a surprise attack. At last I reached the temple, and before it faced Medusa. I must confess," you say, with a rueful chuckle at your miserable performance, "that I was roundly defeated. Thereafter the Gorgon sisters took me prisoner, and I made my escape this morning. Since, I've wandered the island again in search of some means of defeating Medusa. It was in that pursuit that I made my way underground, and a short time ago was compelled to kill a warrior in the chamber down the hall there," you wave a hand down the hall the way you came, but your gesture elicits no move to look from the pile of rags, "who undertook to kill me in order to preserve his own chance at Medusa's head."
"You arrived on this island yesterday, were defeated Medusa and lived, and now have made your way all the way down here with that life still intact?" The rasping voice sounds incredulous, and a bit impressed. "You must be a very unusual sort of person, my young warrior." For several seconds it speaks no more, and as the source of the voice has made no movement since it began speaking to you, you're inclined to think that with its curiosity satisfied the thing has no more to say, and move on. At that moment, it speaks up again. "Even so," it hisses, "you ought to hear my advice and not go on this way; unusual or no, you cannot meet a happy fate on the course you've set yourself. Return the way you came if you would go on preserving that life of yours, traveler.""Oh really?" You raise an eyebrow, exasperated by the cryptic advice. "Why should I do that? What sort of danger awaits down this tunnel that could be worse than Medusa, eh?""Those who haven't been as fortunate as yourself," the voice replies with somber gravity. "You walk in the catacombs of the Shapeless Isle. Here, save for myself, there now dwell only the restless dead. Though they were once mere corpses, since the change of circumstances that has come over this isle all those who were slain by Medusa, but with whom she has not deigned to decorate her home, have recovered the desires which animated them in life. Waste no more time; return to the natural caverns promptly and you will be safe enough, for I imagine the warrior you overcame on your way here won't yet have recovered. Continue your path through these carven chambers and halls, however, and I fear you shall find yourself joining their permanent residents soon enough.">[ ] Take the advice of the thing in the cell, and return the way you came. You may be seeking the opportunity for battle down here, but this thing's words give you an unpleasant premonition of being surrounded and overwhelmed by a veritable horde of foes.>[ ] Before you can make a choice about whether or not to proceed, you have to know what this diminutive, rasping thing is. It implies that it's alive, but how can it live trapped in a cell, surrounded only by the dead? For that matter, why is it imprisoned with the corpses of the island's challengers in the first place?>[ ] Disregard the advice of the thing in the cell, and continue down the corridor. No matter how great the danger in these catacombs may be, it surely remains less than that posed by Medusa; you can retreat before nothing.>[ ] Do something else. (Write in)
I'll be calling this vote and writing the next update at 9:00pm PST, so you folks have the next five hours and 20 minutes to vote.
>>4157051>[ ] Disregard the advice of the thing in the cell, and continue down the corridor. No matter how great the danger in these catacombs may be, it surely remains less than that posed by Medusa; you can retreat before nothing.Sounds perfect honestly. Gotta grind those mobs.
>>4157051>[ ] Before you can make a choice about whether or not to proceed, you have to know what this diminutive, rasping thing is. It implies that it's alive, but how can it live trapped in a cell, surrounded only by the dead? For that matter, why is it imprisoned with the corpses of the island's challengers in the first place?... Is this our Patches? Is the Shapeless Isle actually Dark Souls 4? Because that makes too much sense for my tastes. We must bow strengthen ourselves by slaying the condemned souls of the Isle, our predecessors in this quest, all to slay a great monster, and we can't actually believe anyone. And we're going to dive into a catacomb.
>>4157051>[ ] Before you can make a choice about whether or not to proceed, you have to know what this diminutive, rasping thing is. It implies that it's alive, but how can it live trapped in a cell, surrounded only by the dead? For that matter, why is it imprisoned with the corpses of the island's challengers in the first place?>[ ] Disregard the advice of the thing in the cell, and continue down the corridor. No matter how great the danger in these catacombs may be, it surely remains less than that posed by Medusa; you can retreat before nothing.I'm curious about this thing but still want to continue.