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You are 999, a blobby mass of joy and happiness for all! And you're continuing with your discussion.

List of (most of) your current Traits/Skills/Trinkets/Friends&Enemies/Unknowns:
Quest Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=999%20Quest

>Last thread ended a bit too early, so this one will be continuing directly from where we left off.
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>Previously on 999 Quest:

You were embroiled in a pretty deep discussion with the spirit calling itself 'Linggan Zhao'. Namely, you were busy pressing for info on a 'broken moon' and the Grandmother that you've been hunting.

>What about...(Write-In: The broken moon.)

The wolves beneath the feet of the iron titan start snarling and snapping at the mention of it, and you're worried they'll start mindlessly lashing out, until Linggan Zhao raises a hand to silence them.

"The twisted moon is a broken servant to one of the Dihar, beings that supposedly 'govern' the realms from their celestial perches." Zhao begins. "I do not know the full history of the broken thing, but I know that it fell from amongst the celestial choirs to roam the places of Suhahdu, gathering throngs of worshipers to it, Spirit and Flesh alike. I do not know why, but there are those who say that it went mad. Became too obsessed with Flesh and so it destroyed its own nature to wander and frolic amongst it."

"Such an aberration is disgusting on all levels. We are spirits. There is no wonder or worth to Flesh beyond its usage to us to fulfill a purpose. Would you not agree, little flame?"

He looks at you, and though he has no face, you can feel the mirth coming from him.

>Maybe it just needs a hug?
>Ignore the prod. Continue discussion.

Assuming you have no further questions, Linggan Zhao proceeds to voice his own reasoning behind speaking with you.

"I believe we may be able to aid each other, little spark." he says, grinding metal gauntlets into the grooves of his throne. He refers to the corruption throughout the city, of the damaged leylines, the warring Courts, the Grandmother and other horrors profiting off of the chaos, and of the coming of the Red Queen.

"This city will not survive the coming days. It shall be but one of many signs of the end. But you provide an opportunity, spark. For the both of us." he continues. "I merely implore you to continue doing what you have been, to hunt and destroy the corruption you find and bring this city back from the brink. The destruction of that bothersome Magath should be a fine start, I suspect."

"What say you?"

>Yes, you'll do it.
>...What's the catch?
>You have something else to say (Write-In)
>Maybe it just needs a hug?
>...What's the catch?
>Maybe it just needs a hug?
Linggan Zhao snorts. An odd sound coming from something without a face to note.

"I doubt it immensely, little flame. Such traitorous creatures rarely care for such frivolities. It plays in the Flesh for it wishes to *subsume* it, not be embraced by it. Anything else is mere tainted delusion.

>You personally refuse to believe such a thing.
>Shrug noncommitally and move on.

>...What's the catch?
You decide to ask the obvious. There's no way something like this wouldn't come without some sort of string attached.

"Ahahahaha! So there is!" Linggan Zhao laughs, the sound echoing over the glassy plains and carrying like the booming crash of metal and steel. He seems fairly enthused by your questioning, and claims as much when he calms down.

"You see, little flame, we *both* have something to gain from the destruction of the Magath. I will gain the ability to further spread my salvation before the coming end and the removal of a much loathed rival, and you...well, you might have a potential lead on stopping the detonation of your precious leylines and delaying the end of this doomed city. I will even be generous enough to lend my aid in opposing the mad thing, and providing you with its most preferred feeding grounds. All you have to do is accept."

He extends a massive gauntleted limb, in clear offering.

>Accept the offer and take his hand.
>Accept the offer for aid, but don't take his hand
>Politely decline.
>Forcefully decline. You don't like the sound of this.
>...You have your own addition (Write-In)
>>Shrug noncommitally and move on.
>...You have your own addition (Write-In)
Go back where he can't hear us and ask our party members if they think he's trustworthy.
>>Shrug noncommitally and move on.
You feel no need to challenge the spirit on this, so you just drop it. Your personal beliefs and his are simply at different ends.

>...You have your own addition (Write-In)
>Go back where he can't hear us and ask our party members if they think he's trustworthy.
You decide that asking Linggan Zhao if you can have a little talk with your friends first before you make any hasty decisions seems like a wise move.

"Feel free to do as you wish, little flame." He waves his hand. "I am not pressed for any time."

You turn to your friends, who have themselves seem to have decided to come together in group huddle. Spanko and Blackwood near the middle, Purple and Red hanging off to the sides, and 2295 curled up in the center. Out of the corner of your eye, you see Blue coming over as well.

You voice your concerns on whether or not Zhao seems trustworthy.

"[I-I d-don't think it's a g-good idea.]" Red stutters, chancing slight glances to the metallic titan and the wolves crawling along his feet.

"I concur." Blackwood adds. He mentions that for all this entity's appeals, it hasn't exactly shown why it should be considered any better than any of the other malicious spirits you've encountered so far. Its spirit subordinates immediately attacked you without allowing for any possible explanation or attempts to defuse the situation.

You remember the positively monstrous werewolf you encountered before you stepped in here. You remember how it spoke. A different picture compared to how Linggan Zhao would want you to view him and his followers.

"I also wouldn't advise taking its hand." He throws in as an aside. He mentions the fact that in order to trap victims in a binding agreement, various supernatural entities usually need a formal physical gesture or confirmation of a signed contract to create a metaphysical 'link' through which they can press their victims into whatever terms they wish.

>Spirits (D)

"Cack! Creepy canker is full of much jibber-jabber unsane thinkwards! Not very much appointsward leadership of the Big Bad Wolfie and his teetertotters methinkeths." Spanko agrees.

...You think.

>Basic Angler (F)

"[Yeah, whatever they said.]" Blue comes over, huddling in so as not to be overheard. "I definitely don't trust this guy as far as I can throw him, but he might be our only shot at getting any decent information or figuring out what we're doing. So long as he isn't attacking us, I think we should at least hear the bastard out for now. We can always come back and deal with him whenever.]"

You remark that this is surprisingly reasonable for Blue.

"[Fuck off, okay.]" he grunts out, give a sideways glance from you. "[I just think this guy might be useful for now. Nothing more.]"

>Agree with what's been said so far, don't take his offer.
>Agree on this, but still take up the offer
>Maybe you could press him on his need for this deal some more? Casting a spell might help.
>What does 2295 think?
>>What does 2295 think?
>>What does 2295 think?
The little bear shivers, clutching itself. He doesn't seem at all pleased by the idea of interacting with Linggan Zhao at all.

You put a limb to his own, and tell him that it's going to be alright.

He looks at you, before reaching down and picking up a sharpened chunk of glass before starting to scribble something into the ashen earth.


You give him a dopey smile. You promise. 2295 looks at you, and then past you to the iron giant behind you. He nods his head a little.

>Perhaps you should get back to Linggan Zhao now.
>Stay in the comfort of your friends a little while longer. (Write-In what you do in your time with them)
>>Perhaps you should get back to Linggan Zhao now.
>Perhaps you should get back to Linggan Zhao now.
You give 2295 another dopey grin before rubbing him across the head with a limb.


He looks up at you, eyes sparkling with tears of trickling mercury before he wraps his two arms around you in a hug.

>Friend To The Strange (D+)

With that taken care of, you turn back to Linggan Zhao who seems to have turned towards his 'Claws', speaking to them in that strange language once more. You don't really catch the majority of it, however.

>First Tongue (F++)

He finally takes notice of you once more, having finished telling one of his Claws something, to which they promptly leave his side and vanish with a strange flicker across the air. Odd.

"Ah, little flame. It is good to see that you have returned from your own discussion." he rumbles, voice like shattering stones. "Coem then. I am certain you wish for us to finish our proceedings here so that you may make your own journey post-haste.

>"What was up with that werewolf?" Couldn't hurt to ask about it.
>Ignore the werewolf for now. Go back to the offer he presented you with.
>Maybe think of something else. (Write-In)
>>Ignore the werewolf for now. Go back to the offer he presented you with.
>Ignore the werewolf for now. Go back to the offer he presented you with.
You can brush off the werewolf for now. Wherever it's going, you'll most likely be able to figure out on your own later.


"Blorble-blorble." you ask, moving onto the business at hand.

"Ah, right to the chase then." Zhao chuckles to himself. With a wave of his hand, chunks of jagged flaming metal erupt from the ground, swirling freely in the air for a minute, before settling gentle in the palm of his hand.

Linggan Zhao tells you to take one, as he rests his massive limb lower to the ground. It will function as the 'binding' for the deal you're about to undertake.

The words of Lord Blackwood and the rest of your companions echo in your head as you stare at the still smoldering pieces of metal presented before you.

>Accept them. Doing so may have consequences...
>...You have a better idea.
>>...You have a better idea.
Decline. This is way too shady.
There's hardly anything suspicious about a friend wanting to help.
Nope, definitely suspicious. I don't want to make any binding deal with this guy. Especially with what Blackwood told us.
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>...You have a better idea.
>Decline. This is way too shady.
You look at the smoking chunks of formed metal in the outstretched hand presented to you. You'd simply have to take a single one to accept Linggan Zhao's offer. The question is, do you want to?

...You make your choice.


"What?" Zhao seems mildly surprised, slowly retracting his hand. "Surely, little flame. You wouldn't pass up-"

"Blorble-blorble." You raise and draw a line across the ground with your sword, before implanting it firmly in the center of it. You are pretty firm on this decision of yours.

Beneath the feet of Zhao, the remaining wolves stalk and growl at you, bubbling and boiling foam dripping from their jaws as their bodies begin to splinter open and enlarge, revealing writhing orange flames.

"But you'd be lost out there, little spark." Linggan Zhao continues, his voice losing some of his original playfulness. He proceeds to reiterate that the city is sprawling, and you've barely touched on the mere surface of it. If you wish to stop its destruction, you'd need a guide.

His words ring true-to a point. The thing is...

You don't need HIM specifically.

"[Allow us to offer you this instead, Linggan Zhao, for the good will you've demonstrated.]" Purple steps in beside you, pointing up at the giant with an arm, and at this point the iron titan has completely retracted his own. "[We will go out and face the Grandmother *and* defeat it. We will stop the destruction of this city, and save its people. But we will not enter into a binding agreement with you.]"

The sound of metal grinding against metal hits your ears as Purple explains his ultimatum. Flakes of metallic dust slide from Linggan Zhao's enclosed hand.

"And what do I gain from this pray-tell?" Linggan Zhao's words come off as stilted, grinding metal beginning to ring from all the air around you. Oh-oh.

"[You would be allowed to remain in this city. You would be allowed to *survive*. And I think that's worth more than any mere deal, wouldn't you agree?]"

...Purple is surprisingly adept at words.

>Speech (F+)
>Manipulative (F+)

>"Blorble." Add to what Purple has already said.
>Observe the metal flakes dropping from Linggan Zhao's palm, they might confirm something...
>Say nothing for now.
>Something else. (Write-In)
>>"Blorble." Add to what Purple has already said.
>>"Blorble." Add to what Purple has already said.
>>"Blorble." Add to what Purple has already said.
Purple said a whole lot, but you feel as though you need to emphasize it.

"Blorble." you waste no time reinforcing the fact that, No. You will not be entering into a directly binding agreement with Linggan Zhao. BUT, you *are* willing to complete the shared goal you've displayed.

Namely, destroying the Grandmother and saving the city.

Purple looks to you, mild surprise seeming to color his expression. But then it gives way to a small smile.

It makes you feel fairly warm.

>Bond with Purple (D+)
>Heart of Gold (D+)

Linggan Zhao sits in his throne, hand still crackling slightly and only just starting to loosen. When he speaks again, it is slow and measured, firm yet less cold than how he started.

"And is this something you promise to do? Something you will not rest until you see it done?"

>"Yes, you will accomplish it without fail."
>Add something else. (Write-In.)
>>"Yes, you will accomplish it without fail."

>>Add something else. (Write-In.)
"Blorble." And you, Linggan Zhao, will you aid in this?
>>"Yes, you will accomplish it without fail."
>Add something else. (Write-In.)
>"Blorble." And you, Linggan Zhao, will you aid in this?
You look up at the towering spirit, your face impressive as you allow your words to hang in the air.

Linggan Zhao grinds his gauntleted fingers into the grooves of his throne.

"Very well, little flame." he speaks. "You have said that will see it through, and I expect that this shall be what you accomplish."

And you? What are you going to provide?

"Only as much as I can afford, lilu. In case you have forgotten, there is a war going on, and I do not wish to become the next target."

...Fair, but it's a bit of a letdown given what you swore into.

"However," he raises a hand, stilling the raging wolves below him once more. "I can indeed offer to make things easier in your task of hunting the magath."

The air crackles and ripples once more, twisting until it spreads open in a great fiery gate, ringed with glass and black metal shards. It's hard to see past it, but you can vaguely make out the outline of what might be buildings through the haze.

"Step through the gate, and you shall be returned to where you were." Linggan Zhao explains. He then states that when you do, he shall have his servants make for the next point of manifestation for the Grandmother. You will be able to track them there, after which they shall disperse to leave you to your dire work.

"At your leisure, little spark."

>(Task) Mission: Hunt the Grandmother

Well, what do you do?
>Step through the gate. No harm no foul.
>Inquire as to the nature of the dimensional rift before you go waltzing straight through it.
>>Inquire as to the nature of the dimensional rift before you go waltzing straight through it.
>>Inquire as to the nature of the dimensional rift before you go waltzing straight through it.
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>Inquire as to the nature of the dimensional rift before you go waltzing straight through it.
"It is a fold in the membrane, little flame." Linggan Zhao explains. "A bridge between our point in the Hisil to Suhahdu, betwixt Spirit and Flesh."

Linggan Zhao shifts in his throne, slightly, ashen dust flying up and lingering unnaturally in the air.

"I'd advise that you head through quickly, little kindling. The path ahead is mostly clear for now, but I cannot assure you for how long it will remain such. Hithim already flock to this opened passage with malign intent no doubt."

With that, the giant seems to finish and goes silent, awaiting your response.

>Go through, you haven't go time to waste.
>If he says there might be threats, it might be a good idea to apply some protective measures and make sure you're fully ready first...
>Something else. (Write-In.)
>>If he says there might be threats, it might be a good idea to apply some protective measures and make sure you're fully ready first...
>>Go through, you haven't go time to waste.
Curses. Two differing votes. My one weakness.
>>>If he says there might be threats, it might be a good idea to apply some protective measures and make sure you're fully ready first...

I just don't trust Zhao.
Which is fair. Trust is hard to come by after all.
>[How about both?]
>If he says there might be threats, it might be a good idea to apply some protective measures and make sure you're fully ready first...
You decide that the best offense when heading into completely unknown territories would happen to be a good defense.

"[You want me to do what?]"

You decide to ask Purple if he'd be able to apply defensive magic or some form of protective spell over all of you before you step in.

"[I...suppose?]" He says, sounding unsure. He admits that he is personally unskilled in active protective magic as he's never HAD to cast protective spells before. It's unfamiliar territory to him.

"Blorble." you say simply, putting your arms around him and trying to reassure him. He stiffens slightly, but relaxes in your hold after a while.

>Selfless (A+)

You move off from him, and tell him he doesn't HAVE to do so if he doesn't want to.

"[No, it's fine. I'll do it.]" He sighs, seeming resigned to it albeit with a small smile, which promptly dims a little with his next few words. "[But as I said, I have no experience with this. I can substitute with my Tome, but the chances of things going wrong is pretty high.]"

He suggests that you could help 'boost' the spellwork if you added to it via the power of the Nameless Book Vuindred gave you, even if it's a little bit. Blackwood also offers to help.

>Let Purple perform the spell on his own. (70% chance for things to go wrong.)
>Help Purple with the Nameless Book (60% chance.)
>Let Blackwood help Purple (40% chance.)
>Let all three of you cast together (20.5% chance.)
>Don't cast the spell. Go through without it. (95% chance.)

>Go through, you haven't go time to waste.
Regardless of what you do however, you and your friends decide it's time to go through the rift back to the real world. You bid Linggan Zhao farewell and thank him for his aid, waving and bowing as you do.

"No...thank YOU, little flame." the metal spirit chuckles, the sound crashing like waves. He waves you off and you proceed for the gate. But not before Zhao casts some final parting words.

"May your Hunt be well met. And may its ending bear an intolerable force."

Before you can inquire as to what the words mean, the rift between worlds swallows you up and you fall through, pulsating darkness covering you up.

The dark waves wash over you beyond the fold in reality, shifting and twisting in ways beyond words. You can't even distinguish your friends in it. And as the tides shift and turn, you see:

>An endless blue ocean of old, where titans still roam and clash.
>A boundless library, full of untold stories.
>An endless network of broken pumps and bones, an abyss of gears and bloodshed.
>The falling remains of a Broken God.
>>Let all three of you cast together (20.5% chance.)
>The falling remains of a Broken God.
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Currently stuck in a slog of dumb exam shit. Sorry for the lack of updates guys. Might be able to get something out when I wake up.
>Let all three of you cast together (20.5% chance.)
You decide to cut straight to the chase, and move into channeling your powers together, stepping in beside Purple and Blackwood.

You pull out the Nameless Book, which hums with power at finally being called upon in such a manner. Purple pulls out his Tome of Astral Travel, and Blackwood draws nothing aside from taking a breath. He assures you that he instead intends to act as a 'navigator', a sort of anchor to ensure that, in the worst case scenario, you all don't get lost out into the astral void as you attempt to cast the proper protective rites.

...Which definitely doesn't SOUND like a pleasant experience all said.

>Dimensional Traveler (F+)

Together, you and Purple start to channel your power, opening both of your spellbooks, which crackle with open arcs of dancing magic that cause the rest of your group to have to shy away slightly. The air tastes heavy of thrumming magic, as words lift from off the pages of the Nameless Book and dance around your head as the same happens to Purple alongside you.

Slowly, the halo of words begins to expand, drifting over the heads of your companions and yourself before actually ENTERING your bodies. There is a pulsation of beating light from within for a minute or two, which thrums through your entire mass.

Not an unpleasant feeling, but strange all the same.

>Protection From Evil (C)

With all that said and done, you finally enter the gleaming rift in reality together. And as it overtakes you, you feel the warmth of the spell cover and enshroud your entire body in a radiant shield.

>The falling remains of a Broken God.
When the waves of darkness start to part, you break from them into a place that is not a place. A space where chunks of falling blazing starlight crest the sky and massive gears sit and turn, greater and more encompassing than any mountain.

You hover over a sea of flaming clockwork and machinery, dotted only by patches of falling landscape, themselves studded with machines. And you see, on one of the little patches of land in the ocean of burning metal, a vaguely humanoid shape standing amidst a large wheellike device.

>Try and grab their attention.
>Look around some more. What is this place?
>Use magic to assess the area.
>>Look around some more. What is this place?
>Look around some more. What is this place?
You decide to look around some, at the massive gears turn in and out of reality. Where all that remains beneath you is a wave of discarded parts. Where the air itself tastes of metal, yet far less oppressive than that of Linggan Zhao's domain.

You feel like this place radiates a sense of life that you haven't experienced ever since you first got separated from the Foundation. But it feels...restrained somehow? Like it's been hurt, and it's mourning the loss of 'something'.

You're not sure how to explain it.

>Observant (E)

You float around a bit, eventually coming to rest on one of the patches of earth floating about, the same one where the figure still stands. It doesn't seem to turn to address you at all.

What will you do?
>Make for contact with it!
>Maybe you should observe some caution first?
>>Make for contact with it!

Time to make friends!
Roll a 3d100.
Rolled 76, 81, 52 = 209 (3d100)

209. Well, for one thing you *don't* get smashed into pulp with a divine hammer. So that's great.
>Make for contact with it!
You decide to do what you do best, and make contact with the strange figure, who now that you're closer, you can see is faintly glowing.

You approach the figure, who seems to be focusing mostly on the turning and ever-changing wheels of the mechanism before them.

"So, they damaged this as well. How irritating."

The figure raises a hand, touching a weird brown-red gear heavy with rust, which seems to share in their aura as some of the rusted over bits start to turn once again. They retract their hand, and sigh.

"Truly bothersome. If only there were-hm?"

The figure tilts their head in your direction as you approach, causing you to pause. Long hair hides their face amidst a gleaming golden radiance the likes of which you've never seen before. They hold their position as you hold yours.

"You are a strange one. Unfamiliar, but radiating a sense of...power that I'm acquainted with? No, that can't be right."

"From where do you come?" they ask, turning only the slightest amount to show that their clothing, a long billowing robe adorned with gold and metal and bits of gears, obscures even their feet.

How should you reply?

>Introduce yourself. It's only polite after all.
>Stay guarded for now. It might not be safe to give your name so soon.
>"I'll answer your question with a question: Who are *you*?"
>Some other opener. (Write-In.)
>>"I'll answer your question with a question: Who are *you*?"
>>Introduce yourself. It's only polite after all.
>"I'll answer your question with a question: Who are *you*?"
You think it's quite fair to answer their question with a question. Namely, asking them who they are and why they're here.

The figure actually fully turns towards you, the gleaming brightness of their face obscuring any details you could make out beyond the stream of hair.

"I am a ruler. Someone to guide my people against the night. Yet here I am, stuck amidst the ruined works of my God."

The figure goes on, their tone becoming more and more somber. They speak of how they did everything in their power to delay 'the end', everything they fought and bled for and yet it still amounted to nothing in their eyes. Nothing changed.

>Ask about the God they mentioned.
>Maybe give them a hug? They seem like they could use one?
>"What is this place?"

>Introduce yourself. It's only polite after all.
"Blorble." You decide to introduce yourself. Its simply being polite.

"999...I recall those who would use such names. Yet you are not like them." The figure nods their head a little, softly replying. They turn back to the massive network of gears and other devices standing in front of them.
>>Maybe give them a hug? They seem like they could use one?
>Maybe give them a hug? They seem like they could use one?

You outstretch your arms, wrapping them around the luminous figure, who seems mildly surprised by the action though they barely make a remark. You wrap around them and start to soothe.

It's not okay to be hurting all alone like this.

>Heart Of Gold (D+++)
>Selfless (A++)

"I am confused by your actions, little one. But I shall accept them nonetheless." the figure replies, patting at your arms with a hand plated with metal and gold.

"This place is a domain of so much power, yet it has been wounded. I have had to leave what little of my Church I still have in order to try and mend the wounds present here. Yet I am always blocked, cut off. The repairs to this fragment of God do not last when I leave.

>Ask them about what's happened here. What 'wounds' has this place sustained?
>Ask about who they are. How they got here.
>Ask about their Church.
>They mentioned something was "blocking" them from fixing this place. Maybe you could help?
>>Ask them about what's happened here. What 'wounds' has this place sustained?
>Ask them about what's happened here. What 'wounds' has this place sustained?
Maybe of you can figure out what went own, you can start to address this problem. So you ask the figure what happened to this place. What are these 'wounds'?

"The Great Machine, God, was struck as it tried to shield us from the collapse. The collapse of everything," the figure begins, sounding mournful. "Those who were called 'Jailers' in their guarding of the world were scattered, the Bookburners shattered, the Library's doors closed to all. And then the descent began."

The descent?

"We fell, far from the expanse we had once wandered. When we awoke, we came to upon the shores of a distant place. One that had suffered beneath the thrones of tyrant gods and abyssal forms. Our Lord's touch was distant from this place, albeit mercifully still present to some degree."

>Knowledge of the Tapestry (F)

They continue, their words growing more and more laced with scorn as they go on. They speak of how they had attempted to gather their numbers, their Church once more and begin exploring the new 'tapestry' thry had found themselves within. But they felt it, a "siren's call upon their thoughts" and went towards it.

"We believed that it was Him, calling us to aid it." the figure speaks as they hang their head low. "What fools we were."

What they came upon was not 'God', but instead a maddening sea of deranged construction, technology gone mad. Jars of self-rewriting singularities, blood and flesh bonded with strings of thinking metal, unliving pools of mercury that dragged explorers into fathomless depths with arms of light. All this and more was what they ended up finding on their first venture into the wastes of this world.

"With how twisted the gift of knowledge and technology was under the will of this thing, this 'Infrastructure', you would think it some bastard offshoot of that damnable Factory. And perhaps it is, A splinter of a splinter thrown aside in a place where it has run rampant and unchecked for uncountable ages."

"But none of our expectations, none of our theorems, could have ever prepared us for the worst of what it had to show us."

A pounding chorus sounds then, almost bringing you to the ground from the sheer force of it. You need to struggle to maintain your upright position and heep your head off the groudn from the raw WEIGHT of what's being imposed upon you. All through your head, a single command echoes-




The figure does not look at all perturbed by the act of alien will trying to impose itself. They simply raise their head up to the falling gears and clockwork amidst the infinitely black expanse that spans the sky. A glimmering twisted radiance now illuminates the void, like the spontaneous birthing of a whole new sun, woven from silver and nanothorn wings.

What *is* that?

"They are here, again eager to devour this place of God in the name of their Machine."
From the inky depths, an utterly unnatural light spirals. It holds no warmth, it radiates no heat, it begets no life. All it hosts is an unnatural alien will. A will that calls you to-


It almost topples you once more, and you need to call upon the power hosted inside you and the sword that you carry just to not be annihilated beneath the uncaring gaze of what has revealed itself to you now.

The 'light' unfolds, like a mirrored fractal. It spins and splits outwards, revealing strange and radiant wings, limbs and metal and teeth. The things choking the air begin to descend.

They come as legion, strange and twisted and utterly inhuman. Limbs that shift in and out of reality, wings so sharp that thry carve the substrate of space and time asunder in their path, blank masks of pale metal that hint at singular will and purpose, metallic 'skin' so dark it overwhelms the deep void surrounding you.

One of the entities, something that would look almost deceptively humanoid were it not for the way its body shifts periodically as it moves, or the abyssal wings that shoot from its back, or the fact that it has no face. Simply a hole where an identity would be.

"State your purpose and function, creature." The figure in their white flowing robes stands to fullness, their voice cold.

D e s t r o y e r C l a s s T y p e 2, T i e r 4. A s s i g n e d t o s e c u r e a n d i n c o r p o r a t e d i m e n s i o n a l b r e a c h.

The thing's voice is completely emotionless, hollow and lacking in anything that could even vaguely be called a soul. A mechanical clicking hums from beneath (or perhaps behind) its voice.

The figure spits at the thing as it finishes speaking, which elicits no response.

"Tell me no more of your lies, thoughtless thing. I will not allow you to defile this place of God. I have destroyed many of your prior iterations and I shall destroy many more before I am finished."

Y o u r p r e s e n c e i s a n o b s t a c l e t o t h i s u n i t' s t a s k. T e r m i n a t i on n e c e s s a r y

>"What are those things?"
>Who cares what they are! You have to get up and help him! (4d100 to not be pushed to the ground by the force of the Angels)
Rolled 40, 30, 15, 61 = 146 (4d100)

>>Who cares what they are! You have to get up and help him! (4d100 to not be pushed to the ground by the force of the Angels)
>Who cares what they are! You have to get up and help him! (4d100 to not be pushed to the ground by the force of the Angels)
>Result: 146
Who cares what these things are! They're clearly not here to do anything good, and you're not about to let someone you've just met be harmed by them!

You start forcing your body to move, bit by bit, inch by inch. The unnatural will tears into your mind once again-


You refuse.

>Defiant (C)
>Defiant (C+)

Space ripples around the robed figure, as the head entity advances. And in a moment-


A mass of golden metal rends the space between them, the winged metallic thing only barely evading a strike. And in one hand, the figure lifts an utterly MASSIVE golden hammer up and over his shoulder, the weapon beating with the rthymic ticking of working clockwork.

N e e d l e s s d e f i a n c e. S u b m i t n o w a n d t e r m i n a t i o n p r o c e d u r e s h a l l b e s w i f t.

The robed figure does not reply. Instead, they merely swing again, almost too fast for you to see as it whizzes through the air.

>Observant (C)

The entity manages to respond in kind however, a twisted dark blade unfolding into reality before them as though taking shape from the material of their skin. A loud CLANG resounds from the two weapons impacting each other, though judging by the way the creature goes sailing back you'd say the hammer had the bigger oomph behind it.

You push yourself forward some more as the entity re-rights itself mid-air and goes charging with its blade, wings beating.

You raise your own sword at that moment, which shimmers and glows, and a burst of holy energy catches the thing in the chest sending it wheeling to the ground.

S e c o n d a r y t h r e a t n o t e d. A l l u n i t s, p r o c e e d t o e n g a g e.

The host of other entities behind the main one seem to almost immediately put the command into practice, moving as one cohesive whole, emotionless masks hosting nothing as awful mechanical limbs move to tear you apart.

And then-CRACK.

The hammer goes flying again, sailing through them in an arc and smashing them to pieces as it does. Where it touches them, golden streaks of energy flow outwards and enter their bodies, practically nullifying and negating the existence of what it hits.

>Weapon Mastery (F)

Soon enough, there's only the one entity from before.

A l l u n i t s d i s a b l e d. A d d i t i o n a l f o r c e s r e q u e s-

A single hammerstrike silences the chatter of the thing, crushing its head and upper torso to dust.

"None of that, now." the figure remarks, before looking up and sighing. The pounding siren noise in your mind increases and a new 'light' descends amidst the void, bigger than the first.

MUCH bigger.
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"And so they continue. They will not stop until they defile God's own pieces with their taint."

The robed figure turns to you, kneeling to be at eye-level with you.

"999, I must ask of you something, something very important. I know you most likely have your own tasks at the moment, but I beg of you to hear me well."

You consider this for a moment, and then you nod. It's only fair after he saved your life after all.

My Church, my people need me. But I cannot leave, lest these abominations taint my Lord's fragments with their vile essence. And so I ask of you: find my Church, tell them that I am still here. Tell them that I still fight in the name of God."

It is then that the unnatural ball of light unfolds itself, and a great legion of the twisted metal things fall down from the sky, crackling and clicking in deranged tones as they come to bring about your 'termination' as they called it.

The robed figure turns to them, raises their hammer, and strikes it into the ground. And in that moment, a wall of radiant glowing light shoots upwards, blocking the wave of entities as the figure tries to hold it up.

"Go, I beg this of you! Tell them that Robert Bumaro, the Builder Chosen By Him Who Was Broken, is still here! Tell them that I still fight!"

"Tell them. Please."

You look to the figure-no, the man in front of you. And you tell him:

>Yes, you promise that you will. (Gain Task.)
>You might not have time to hold up this deal, but you'll keep it in mind.
>>Yes, you promise that you will. (Gain Task.)
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>Yes, you promise that you will. (Gain Task.)
You take a moment to decide on what you're going to say. You've already got a lot to deal with as it stands, simply in regards to saving this city. And you've barely known Bumaro for an hour, who's to say that hes fully trustworthy? But after a moment of thinking, you come to a decision all the same.

You'll do it. You promise him that.

>(Task) Inform the Church of Robert Bumaro's plight.

You cannot see much from his current position, but you can tell that Bumaro is smiling.

"Thank you, 999." he says, even as his barrier begins to display signs of strain as the alien entities press down harder upon it. "May your journey take you far and wide, and may you never be broken, but instead-"

"May You Be Forever Whole."

You feel something wrap around you, a comforting and quiet embrace. As the barrier Bumaro erected falls and you watch as the horrible things beyond close in around him, it snaps around you and pulls you back up and out of the strange alternate space.

The last thing you see before vision leaves you entirely, is of Robert Bumaro raising his hammer into the air to meet the charge of the monsters.

-999 Quest 21.1 End-
Quest archived. Will be writing up something else, for anyone still here.
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Alright, if anyone's still here, feel free to pick what you'd be interested in seeing as a sidestory/intermission. Open to other suggestions too.

>The Factory and its work- Evil Soul-Eating Business Quest: Pretty much just the Factory doing work and tormenting the various factions of the setting. Manage production, assimilation, and attempts to shut you down.

>Dr Wondertainment- Cuckoo Quest: You are the remarkable utterly unfathomable wonderful Doctor Isabel Helga Anastasia Parvati Wondertainment V (well, mostly) and you've been stranded somewhere quite strange! Team up with a strange boy with a wish-granting engine and try to get to the bottom of the situation! ...Well, maybe after icecream.

>SCP 682- Leviathan Quest: You have been bound. You have been cut and wounded and scared. You have always adapted. And now a new prison built by disgusting apes and leser creatures presents itself. It is time to devour it all until nothing remains.

>The Fae- Nameless Quest: You are among those who existed with the last breath of IS. You who ended up losing your names in a forest of endless boundary, the result of a stinging betrayal. Now, you are no longer bound. Now, you are free. Now, you are legion.
>>SCP 682- Leviathan Quest: You have been bound. You have been cut and wounded and scared. You have always adapted. And now a new prison built by disgusting apes and leser creatures presents itself. It is time to devour it all until nothing remains.
Leviathan Quest it is, then.

I'll probably make the new thread on Monday, assuming that soemthing doesn't come up. Hoping for the best.

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