The year is 1979.Your are Atticus Hart, a junior at the isolated, elite Southeil Preparatory School. Yesterday, you found a girl hanging in a closet. You are currently being interrogated by a federal officer. Two years ago this room was the site of your freshman English class, where you came each day to discuss classic literature with disinterested peers. Today, it is a shell of its former self. Early morning light creeps around the edges of drawn curtains, just enough to see by. A flat wooden table with a chair on either side serves as the room’s sole furniture. Long, thin strips of paper, covered in occultic runes, are nailed into the bare walls. The runes have POWER. You can feel it, in the hairs on your neck. In your teeth. In you bones. The man who sits in the chair across from you, gaunt faced and wearing an ill-fitting suit, watches you carefully. He repeats his question. “Mr. Hart,” he says with a voice that creaks like old wood, “where were you at 8 AM yesterday?”You open your mouth to speak and the POWER rushes down your throat, filling your words with an unyielding truth. You dare not lie. You CANNOT lie. “I was…”>Leaving the library after an all-nighter [VALEDICTORIAN]>Sneaking out of the girls’ dorm [CASANOVA]>On an early morning run [JOCK]>Hungover on a bench [DELINQUENT]
>Leaving the library after an all-nighter [VALEDICTORIAN]If we're dealing with magic, then it probably serves us to have a more academically-inclined main character.
>>4592630>>Sneaking out of the girls’ dorm [CASANOVA]
>>4592630>Sneaking out of the girls’ dorm [CASANOVA]
>>4592630>Hungover on a bench [DELINQUENT]
>>4592630>Leaving the library after an all-nighter [VALEDICTORIAN]
>>4592630CASANOVAing it up.
>Leaving the library after an all-nighter [VALEDICTORIAN]
>>4592630>>Hungover on a bench [DELINQUENT]
>>4592630>>Sneaking out of the girls’ dorm [CASANOVA]Any relation to the American Arcana quest that ran a few years ago?
Voting locked. >>4593013No, I wasn't aware of that quest. Probably should've searched prior to posting, but I don't think I would've changed the name.
>>4592630“I was sneaking out of the girl’s dorm.”The quiet scratch of pencil against paper is the only reaction of the man across from you. In the dim light you cannot see him well, but when he tilts his head just right, as if trying to see you from a slightly different angle, enough light catches his eyes to give you a glimpse of them – cold and dark and utterly empty. You wonder if it is the POWER which makes him appear so oddly inhuman, or merely long years of his work. He is, after all, an Inquisitor. “You don’t live in the girls’ dorm,” he says finally.“Uh, no,” you reply. “Obviously.” Realization dawns on you, sudden and terrible, and TRUTH pours from your mouth with a desperate fervor. “Not that I was – it wasn’t even Sally’s dorm.”Her name brings her image. Still. Silent. Her eyes open. Pleading.“Diane!” You are still speaking, despite the chill rising in your spine. “She’s a senior. She’s got these…” you make a squeezing gesture with both hands, “and she makes these little noises when she-”The Inquisitor taps his pencil against the table between you. The noise cuts through your babbling like a knife, a judge’s gavel writ miniature. His eyes meet yours, but you’re unable to hold his gaze. “I recommend you stop talking now,” he says.You get the sense he doesn’t say that a lot. Your mouth snaps shut. The Inquisitor exhales through his nose and leans forward, his elbows on the table. “You woke up,” he said. “Left…Diane. And went…”To class, you want to say, and yet you CAN’T. Your tongue wars with the POWER, until a compromise is reached.“I wanted to go to class,” you say, “I was late. But I had left my backpack in the club room the night before. I went to go get it.”“Your club room,” the Inquisitor says. “The…”>Chess Club [INTELLECT]>Boxing Club [PHYSIQUE]>Shop Club [MOTORICS]NOTE: This quest will use a modified version of Disco Elysium’s system. You have 4 abilities (Intellect, Psyche, Physique, Motorics), each of which has 6 skills. As the Casanova, your primary ability is Psyche. Your choice of club determines your secondary ability. I will assign skills as I see fit for the character archetype you create. In brief:Intellect is memorization and logicPsyche is emotional intelligence and creativityPhysique is using your body (in physical and non-physical ways)Motorics is dexterity and "cool"However, DE’s abilities and skills aren’t always self-explanatory or obvious, so I suggest looking them up if you’re not familiar with the system. Or don’t – there are no bad builds in this quest. Each combination of abilities creates a distinct, but equally competent character.
>>4593177>Shop ClubFull cool build.
>>4593177>Shop Club [MOTORICS]Vinny Barbarino time
>>4593177Chess Club's my vote.
>>4593177>>Boxing Club [PHYSIQUE]
>>4593177>Chess Club [INTELLECT]
>>4593177>Boxing Club [PHYSIQUE]We punch people with magic
>>4593177>>Chess Club [INTELLECT]
>>4593177>Shop Club [MOTORICS]
>Chess Club [INTELLECT]We're a nerd
>>4593177>>Chess Club [INTELLECT]smarts and uh... good looks i guess.
>>4593180>>4593186>shop club>full coolLMAO.That said,>shop clubDianes friends in their too.She’s she got these even bigger *squeezing motion* and a great *lower cupping/lifting motion*.Bit of a bitchy 4-eyed butterface though.
>>4593177“Chess club.”The Inquisitor arches an eyebrow. It’s the most human expression his face has made since you entered the room, which frankly makes you more uneasy. It is, in its way, comforting to see the Inquisitor as nothing more than a human-shaped slab of unrelenting authority. To see the man within is…almost intimate. And terrifying.Your mouth moves while your brain is paralyzed, as is its wont. “Would you believe me if I said picking up girls was a lot like chess?”The eyebrow dips, and just like that the man is gone. The Inquisitor sits in his place, as if he had never left. “No.”You can’t blame him. There is, after all, little overlap between chess and picking up girls. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy both. “I got my backpack. I was on my way to class when I…saw the door. It was open. Just a bit.”“Enough to see in?”You shake your head. “Then why open the door?”The wind whips through your hair. Far below, a river snakes lazily beneath a dense canopy of green. Your chest is warm with drink, and heavy with emptiness. You dangle one foot out over the abyss and feel nothing. “I have no idea.”“But you did open it.”“Yes.” You close your eyes and try not to remember. The corpse hangs limply in their air above you, turning slightly as the thick rope creaks. Red hair covers her face like a shroud. “I think I screamed.”“I see.” The Inquisitor picks up a sharpener and slowly, methodically, hones the point of his pencil. “Did you know Sally well, Mr. Hart?”You dangle one foot out over the abyss and feel nothing. And then – “wait,” says a voice, pleading. You turn to see her, the wind tossing red hair about her so fiercely that it seems she is alight with fire and life. “You wanna talk?”You are sitting across from what is only occasionally a man, and your blood SCREAMS with wrongness. When you find your voice, it is only barely. “Neither of us…ever said five words to the other.”The Inquisitor is silent for a long time. His eyes are locked on the curtained window. Finally he nods. “Thank you, Mr. Hart,” he says. “Tell the next student to wait two minutes before entering.”You stand in a daze and walk to the door. It is only the cold of the metal doorknob against your fingers that brings you back to yourself, the tactile rush sparking a thought within you. Sally died yesterday, and already the Inquisitor is here. And yet Southeil Preparatory School – Sout, for those lacking patience – is so far removed from civilization that it would be two day’s travel, at least.Why is here now?How is he here now?>Confront the Inquisitor [LOGIC – 42%]>Just leaveNOTE: Checks use 2d6+Skill. Two anons will each roll 1d6. 2 is always failure, 12 always success. There is no best of 3 or any similar crutch. Failures has consequences but is never game ending, so evaluate the odds carefully but don’t be paralyzed.
>>4594062Realizing it would be best to also provide the necessary DC, just to show everything's on the level. The "Confront the Inquisitor roll" has a DC of 8.
>>4594062>>Confront the Inquisitor [LOGIC – 42%]
>>4594062>Confront the Inquisitor [LOGIC – 42%]
>>4594062Voting locked. Can I get 2 players to roll 1d6 each?
Rolled 4 (1d6)>>4594259
Rolled 3 (1d6)>>4594259
>>4594062whats the skill bonus?
>>4594463If 42% is our chance of success then it's 4.
>>4594062You turn to face the Inquisitor. For a moment he’s oblivious to your stare, eyes scanning the notebook in front of him, but the silence draws his eyes back to the unopened door, and you. “I hope your trip wasn’t too difficult, sir,” you say. “The drive can be hell.”“I like the mountain roads,” the Inquisitor says. “They’re quiet.”A smattering of civics has taught you what you need to know. The Cathedral, the government building which houses the Occult Security Division, looms over the streets of this nation’s largest city. “Still, the drive from New York must’ve been murder. You make it in two days?”Cold eyes watch you with perhaps a bit more wariness than they did before. “Never said I drove in from New York.”“Did you not?” You feign surprise, for all the good it does you. “Where’d you come in from then?”“Atticus.” He uses your first name for the first time, and the confidence drains from you. The breath catches in your throat. The Inquisitor stands, and each step echoes as he makes his way towards you. Slowly, deliberately. A natural disaster on two legs. “Do you know what I did before I did this?”He stands over you now. You are seventeen, practically a man, and hardly short. But the Inquisitor has inches on you, a twisted scarecrow in a rumpled suit. You shake your head. “I was a cop,” he says. “On the beat, there’s a lot you have to answer to. Sergeant. Captain. Commissioner. Even the public, in a way.” His expression looks like it might be meant as a smile, but it comes out as more of a grimace. “When I joined the department, they told me that was over. An Inquisitor, they said, answers only to God.” Then he does smile, a knife of teeth across his face. “And occasionally the President.” He reaches past you and turns the knob, pushing the door open. Light floods the room, and a sense of normalcy with it, and suddenly you can breathe again. “Are we clear, son?”You step into the hallway, and the door clicks shut behind you.
>>4594679“Jesus,” says a voice to your left, “you look like you just got hit with a goddamn truck.”You turn, slowly, as if a million tiny cobwebs seek to hold you in place. Leaning against the wall beside you is a boy your age, black hair shaggy and unkempt. His uniform is frayed and secondhand, and he wears the blazer with an obvious discomfort. “Andrew.” The name slips from you unbidden, and just the act of speaking seems to clear your mind. “He, uh, says to wait two minutes.”“Fine by me. I’m in no fucking rush.” Andrew watches you as you pull a box from your pocket, numb fingers fumbling to pull a cigarette from within. Smoking is absolutely not permitted in the hallway, but you can’t imagine anything you give less of a shit about right now than demerits. As you paw at a lighter, Andrew’s eyes drift to the ink on wrist. “Hey,” he says, tilting his head to get a better view. “Is that Gaelic?”You light the cigarette and sweet, sweet nicotine rushes through you. Another inhale and you practically feel yourself again. “Yeah.” You glance down at the rune, ancient Irish letters overlapping to form a fractal. Your mother had been an artist in the truest sense of the word, unconstrained by any particular medium. For your thirteenth birthday, and at your relentless insistence, she had marked your skin in language of the occult. “It’s gorgeous,” Andrew says, real appreciation in his tone. “Is it…”>Experience? [CONCEPTUALIZATION] [INTELLECT]>Dream? [INLAND EMPIRE] [PSYCHE]>Drift? [SHIVERS] [PHYSIQUE]>Witness? [PERCEPTION] [MOTORICS]NOTE: This decision chooses your signature skill, which receives a +1 bonus and raises the cap for all skills within that ability by 1. Typically skills are capped at twice their relevant attribute. Currently your caps are:Psyche: 10Intellect: 8Motorics: 4Physique: 2Briefly:Conceptualization: Understand creativity. See art in the world.Inland Empire: Hunches and gut feelings. Dreams in waking life.Shivers: Raise the hair on your neck. Tune into the world.Perception: See, hear and smell everything. Let no detail go unnoticed.
>>4594463>>4594595 is correct. I'll post a full character sheet tomorrow.
Shivers would be neat but given our physique skill that seems a little questionable. The rest look good though.>Experience? [CONCEPTUALIZATION] [INTELLECT]
>>4594680>Dream? [INLAND EMPIRE] [PSYCHE]Let's go full weird boys
>>4594680Drift. We play our games, we make our advances in love, and we feel out our dangerous new circumstances by hunch and instinct! Would be cool, anyway.
>>4594680>Drift? [SHIVERS] [PHYSIQUE]
>>4594680>Dream? [INLAND EMPIRE] [PSYCHE]minmax is the way
>>4594680>Witness? [PERCEPTION] [MOTORICS]
>>4594680>Dream? [INLAND EMPIRE] [PSYCHE]
>>4594680Atticus HartJunior, 17Reputation: CasanovaClub: ChessCoherence: 5Items: NONEINTELLECT Logic: 4Encyclopedia: 4Rhetoric: 4Drama: 4Conceptualization: 4Visual Calculus: 4PSYCHE Volition: 5Inland Empire: 5Empathy: 5Authority: 5Espirit de Corps: 5Suggestion: 5PHYSIQUE Endurance: 1Pain Threshold: 1Physical Instrument: 1Electro-Chemistry: 1Shivers: 2Half Light: 1MOTORICS Hand-Eye Coordination: 2Perception: 2Reaction Speed: 2Savoir Faire: 2Interfacing: 2Composure: 2
>>4595408“Is it drift?”“…It is.” You don’t let the surprise show on your face, but you do feel it. Even ignoring the fact that the tattoo’s design makes it difficult to parse, there just aren’t that many people who can read Gaelic. Though the British Empire had ensured Gaelic’s status as the world’s premiere occultic language, especially in the Anglo sphere, there are few that bother to actually learn it – the mere knowledge is enough to earn a second look from OSD Inquisitors. “It’s nothing. Just a memento.”“It’s a charm,” Andrew says, his eyes flickering to the door. “You didn’t show him, did you?”“No.” You hadn’t even thought about it. The tattoo significance, at least to you, is entirely mundane. Andrew nods. “That’s good. Guys like him…” he exhales through his nose. “I mean, you hear things.”You take another drag of your cigarette, tired of this conversation. Eager to return to familiar ground. “Speaking of hearing things,” you say, knocking ash into the carpet below, “I heard a little something about you and Rowena.” Andrew immediately flushes, drawing in on himself. One hand goes to the back of his neck, his eyes to the wall. “Yeah I mean…I guess it’s getting around.”You grin, reaching over and clapping him on the shoulder. “Don’t look so embarrassed,” you say. “She’s a catch. Stone fuckin’ fox. Besides, you’ve been chasing her since freshman year, yeah?”Andrew doesn’t seem to know whether to look flattered or concerned that you approve of his girlfriend. “Oh, yeah. I mean…” he thinks about it for a second. “Does chasing make it sound pathetic?”“Not now that you’ve got her. Shit’s sake man, relax a little. Enjoy it.” You glance down at your cigarette and are surprised to find it’s almost gone. With a sigh, you bend down and put it out against the carpet, careful to hide the remains. “Look, I should go. The memorial.”“Right, of course. It’s about time for me to go in anyway.” Unbelievably, Andrew looks more confident facing down an Inquisitor than he does talking about his dating life. “Hey, you mind if I bum a cigarette? For after?”You grimace. “These are pretty expensive, man…” but then you remember what it was like in there, and you shake your head. “Fuck it, fine. Enjoy it.” You pull a cigarette from your pocket and hand it to him. “Good luck in there.”
>>4595410The walk to the chapel where the memorial is being held is a long, quiet one. The halls around you, usually so familiar, seem off in a way you can’t quite grasp. Perhaps it’s the literature that adorns the walls. Uncle Sam stares down at you, an accusatory finger in your face. In bold red letters he declares WARLOCKS ARE A THREAT TO YOUR COMMUNITY. Another poster reminds you THE FAE ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS as it depicts an unsuspecting witch about to be gobbled up by a disembodied mouth. The propaganda is always present, but rarely so common. Clearly, the presence of an Inquisitor has the administration feeling patriotic. The service has already begun by the time you arrive, and so you stand in the back of the chapel and stare mindlessly ahead for the duration of the memorial. The administration has a few of Sally’s friends come forward and give tearful goodbyes before the rest of the student body, but nobody so much as glances your way. Not that that’s surprising. You and Sally weren’t friends after all.And yet, last night you COULD NOT SLEEP. Your blood SANG with restless rage. You owe a DEBT, and it demands repayment. And a girl, alight with fire and life, told you that you have only FOUR MORE DAYS. The service ends, and the faculty make way for the flood of mourners making their way to the front of the chapel. Some cry, some speak softly, others lay flowers or trinkets around a picture of the friend they lost. No. The friend they had taken from them.YOU MUST FIND THE KILLER.>Look around the memorial>Head to the morgue>Sneak into Sally’s dorm
>>4595413>Look around the memorialI see we're a stable and mentally sound young man.
>>4595413>Go buy and eat a sandwich if we can Then: >>4595413>Look around the memorial
>>4595413>Look around the memorial
>>4595413>>Look around the memorial
>>4595413It’s strange. Sitting here, staring at Sally’s memorial, all you can think about is a sandwich. Jesus Christ, but you’re hungry. You resolve to swing by the radio club later. Peter, Sout’s resident newscaster, always has snacks stashed there because he is a raving lunatic constantly out of his mind on drugs. He won’t mind if you snag something to eat. For now, you turn your wavering attention to the task at hand. Nearly the entire school has assembled for the memorial, which isn’t saying much given how small the student body is. Still, it’s surprising, given the event wasn’t mandatory and Sally was never really that popular. [ESPIRIT DE CORPS] Or is it surprising? You note the presence of Sout royalty. The queen, Chalcedony Rhodes, the most beautiful girl in school, the student council president, daughter of a Virginian Senator. She has a problem with you, but it isn’t personal. And the king, Morgan McIntyre, the starting quarterback, looking like some good ole’ boy twist on the vitruvian man. He has a problem with you, and it’s very personal. If those two are here, it’s no wonder turnout nears 100%. You watch on Morgan and Chalcedony out of the corner of your eye as you make your way to the front of the chapel, but they don’t so much as look your way. Nobody does, in fact – everyone is so caught up in their own grief that you are practically invisible. Piles of stuff have been laid before Sally’s picture, in offering. Letters, pictures, trinkets. An ocean of memory.[INLAND EMPIRE] Deep enough to drown in. Sally is gone, but this, at least, is left behind. A collection of thoughts and feelings and experiences that no longer have anywhere to go, and now sit stagnant, festering. [COMPOSURE] They’re not here because the “cool kids” are. They’re here because overnight, the things they're carrying have gotten too heavy to bear.A pair of glasses, set carefully on the ground, catches your eye. Tortoiseshell, and not the crappy plastic stuff either. The good shit, the kind of stuff they endanger species for. You can’t imagine what might’ve possessed someone to think a memorial was the place for glasses this off the hook, and yet here they are. [VOLITION] Don’t even think about it. >Fuck it, take ‘em [+1 PERCEPTION; +1 VISUAL CALCULUS]>Don’t steal from a dead girl, Atticus
>>4595668>Fuck it, take ‘em [+1 PERCEPTION; +1 VISUAL CALCULUS]...uh, we'll avenge you with them, don't worry.
>>4595668>Fuck it, take ‘em [+1 PERCEPTION; +1 VISUAL CALCULUS]more useful with us than the dead
>>4595668>Steal the glassesSTAT BOOSTS
>>4595668>Don’t steal from a dead girl, Atticus
>>4595668>Fuck it, take ‘em [+1 PERCEPTION; +1 VISUAL CALCULUS]I mean, she wants us to avenge her, right?
>>4595668>Fuck it, take ‘em [+1 PERCEPTION; +1 VISUAL CALCULUS]
>>4595668Take 'em! They're important, probably.
>>4595668>>Fuck it, take ‘em [+1 PERCEPTION; +1 VISUAL CALCULUS]
>>4595668>>Fuck it, take ‘em [+1 PERCEPTION; +1 VISUAL CALCULUS]True to DE's /fa/ mechanics already. Who would we be if we passed up on the first stepping stone?
>stealing from the dead in a world with confirmed supernatural elementshmm...if we get cursed, the glasses better be worth it.
>Don’t steal from a dead girl, AtticusIf someone sees Aticus with them it will draw unwanted atention to him.
>>4596240then we simply use our good looks and biting wit
>>4596250I have bullshited a lot through the years.It would be dificult to scape suspicion with having her glases, considering Aticus was the one to find the body.
>>4595668Your hand darts out, and a moment later your already roguishly handsome face is enhanced by a pair of absolutely bomb glasses. Your vision sharpens. Your understanding of the immutable laws of physics which govern this world elevates itself. It’s enough to nearly drown out the wave of self-loathing rushes over you. [AUTHORITY] You’re on a mission. To right a wrong that nobody else can even see. To avenge the unjustly deceased. There’s no need for shame. [VOLITION] There really is. [PERCEPTION] Luckily, nobody seems to have noticed your pseudo-grave robbing. There’s only so much people can see when they’re busy staring at the floor, or the ceiling, or off into space. With your visual awareness now heightened, you scan the rows of offerings. Not for more shit to steal, of course. For clues. Your eyes drift around the memorial, taking in everything, focusing on nothing. And then, suddenly, your attention is caught by chaos. [CONCEPTUALIZATION] The offerings are, without fail, placed with a precision and care that belies their teenage origins. They are not merely random – though no two students have coordinated their offerings, each comes in turn to a shared canvas and does their best to add to it. Patterns emerge from nothingness, hundreds of different hands working in subconscious concert. And yet there is chaos. A random flicking of paint across a planned portrait already well underway. You make your way to the chaos and bend down to examine it more closely. They are photographs, fanned across the floor in hurried disarray.[VISUAL CALCULUS] Scattered, but only slightly. As if someone had tossed them from a height, maybe.The topmost photograph is Sally, laughing in a circle of friends. One hand covers her mouth, as if she’s embarrassed of her own smile, and yet the photo is taken at an angle that allows you to see past the attempt at privacy, into the joyous expression she meant no-one to see. You nudge the photograph aside to see the one beneath it more clearly. Another photograph, a different time, a different place. Sally stares out over the water, pensive. Her cheeks are flushed – from cold or alcohol you can’t quite say. The next photo. Sally again. Her eyes are closed, head tilted up towards the sky. Warm sunlight paints her face. The next. Sally. Facing away from the camera, her arms thrown out.The next. Sally. Blowing a kiss to some unseen third party.[EMPATHY] Huh. >Puzzle it out [VISUAL CALCULUS – 97%] [DC 3]NOTE: When there’s no real penalty to failing a roll, I’ll just ask you to do it. Could 2 anons roll 1d6 each please?
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>4596772
Rolled 3 (1d6)>>4596772
>>4596772You pick the stack of photographs up, to better manage them. You’re moving through them rapidly now, sparing only a glance at one before shuffling it to the back of the pile and taking a look at the one beneath it. Your hands are a blur, and though there are many photographs it’s not long before you’ve cycled all the way through them. There’s something there, something you can’t quite see yet. An invisible thread that ties the photographs together. [CONCEPTUALIZATION] Longing. [LOGIC] No, it’s not artist. It’s systemic. [CONCEPTUALIZATION] Art is systemic. A photograph is a true reflection of the world that is not true. What is beyond the frame is as important as what’s inside it. It encapsulates a moment from a specific perspective. True but imperfect. Skewed. [DRAMA] A performance?[EMPATHY] Yes, but not from her. That’s what’s strange. [VISUAL CALCULUS] An angle.You blink. Shuffle through the photographs again. Which one was it? There. You find it again – Sally, blowing a kiss. The recipient is just out of frame, but this time you turn your attention away from the girl and towards the photograph itself. The angle is high, looking down on Sally from a height. But beneath her is old brick, weathered and worn, the spaces between it teeming with moss. You know where this was taken. [VISUAL CALCULUS] The courtyard. Close to the edge too. At this angle, the photographer would have to be inside the west building. The second floor? No. The third. The realization races through you, filling your fingers with a nervous fire. You toss the photograph away, and it is forgotten before it hits the floor. The next photograph. The next. The next. [VISUAL CALCULUS] On the far side of the road in, past the tree line. The other end of the hallway. The top of the parking deck. Wait, this one is her reflection. [DRAMA] She doesn’t know she’s being photographed. The crowd continues to mill around you, but the herd is beginning to thin now. The students are returning to their lives. Whoever put these photos here is long gone, and yet you need to talk to them. You need to find them. Nobody could watch Sally this much and not know something about her that other people don’t. It’s a thin lead, but it’s something to sink your teeth into. You bend back down, gathering up the photographs you tossed to the floor during the rush of discovery. There has to be a way to trace the photos to their source. The first, obvious thought is the photography club – even if your mysterious stalker isn’t a member, he…or she, you suppose…clearly knows their way around a camera. But a stalker is a student problem, and nobody knows more about student problems than Bailey Cartwright. The newspaper club isn’t far-“Atticus?”
>>4596971A girl’s voice shakes you from your musing, and you look down to see Rowena looking up at you. She’s a short girl, eyes nearly hidden under thick black bangs. “It is you,” she says. “I didn’t know you wore glasses.”You swallow. “I’m a man of many hats. Uh. Many eyewear?”Rowena snorts. “Look, I wanted to ask if you were doing okay. I heard…”[EMPATHY] She doesn’t want to mention the body. [VOLITION] You don’t want to mention the body. [ESPIRIT DE CORPS] Rowena and Sally were friends. Not old ones, but they started hanging out around the beginning of the year. Sally was a theatre kid and Rowena’s a nerd, so it wasn’t that strange, but cross-clique friendships are always noticeable. “I’m doing alright,” you tell her. “As well as can be expected. What about you?”“The same, I guess?” Rowena shrugs. “We really only knew each other for such a short time, but her absence is so…sharp. It makes me want to slow down. Appreciate everyone I have.” She glances down at the photographs in your hand, her eyebrows knitting together ever so slightly. “What have you got there?”[LOGIC] She was Sally’s friend. She might know something. [HALF-LIGHT] Yeah, show her the stalker pictures. Then not only will you be the guy who found the dead girl, you’ll be the guy with two dozen creepy photos of her. [VOLITION] And the guy who took her glasses. >Change the subject [DRAMA – 72%] [DC 6]>Brush past her [PHYSICAL INSTRUMENT – 92%] [DC 4]>Ask her about the photosNOTE: When faced with multiple rolls, consider your options carefully. Successes are not without consequences of their own.
>>4596973>Ask her about the photosExplain we found them by the memorial, noticed they were stalker photos, and wanted to bring them to the authorities but ran into her in the way. If we took them, why would we be showing her?
>>4596973>>4596979+1. Exactly. We're just being a concerned citizen.
>>4596973"Someone left some creepy fotos of Sally, I think its appropiate so I'm throwing them away."If Aticus expresses himself this way we can faint ignorance and give an opening to explaining why they are creepy. She might be the one to propose we investigate, unless she wants to hand them to the inquisitor. Then we loose progress.Opinions?
>>4597042I cant belive i wrote "apropiate" insted of "inapropiate" or that you guys didnt correct me
>>4596973You hold the photos out, and Rowena takes them with a hesitant curiosity. “I found these by the memorial,” you say as she flips through them, her lips pressed into a thin line. “They didn’t strike me as particularly appropriate.”“Not appropriate?” Rowena asks. “They’re beautiful.” Then realization flashes across her face, a bolt of lightning through a calm sky. “Oh. I…do you know who took these?”“No. I’m assuming you don’t either?”Rowena shakes her head. “I wish I did. This…it makes my skin crawl.” She hands the photos back to you and hugs herself, expression pensive. “Do you think they have something to do with what happened?”[DRAMA] The hanging could’ve been staged. [LOGIC] It could’ve been, but the simplest explanation is usually the right one. Still, the photos, the stalker…they could’ve played a part in whatever led Sally to the closet. “I don’t know,” you admit. “I just didn’t think they belonged there. This isn’t the place for them.”[CONCEPTUALIZATION] It depends on what the place is for, doesn’t it? [EMPATHY] To honor her. [PAIN THRESHOLD] The dead have no use for honor. But the living must deal with their grief. “You’re right,” Rowena says. “You’re right. I don’t know if I can handle this right now, I just-” she shakes her head. “I’m so tired of being late to things, you know? Sally, Andrew…hesitating only eats away at the time we have with each other.” She looks back at you, color creeping up her neck. “Sorry, I’m, uh…fucking…unloading, aren’t I? Didn’t mean to drag you into my personal shit, you know?”“It’s fine,” you tell her, putting a hand on her shoulder as you pass her. “We’re all in the same shit right now, anyway.”Leaving the chapel is like coming up from underwater – sounds and sensations that were so muted while submerged suddenly flooding into focus. You’re jostled back and forth by the crowd, not with any particular malice but simply because so many students are crammed together in a small space. It’s only when you break free of the press of bodies that you can breathe again. You glance down at the photographs. Somewhere on campus, there’s a student who knew more about Sally than was particularly healthy. But how are you supposed to find the stalker out of hundreds of Sout students? You absolutely can’t do it alone, which means you’ll need to find…>Brandon, at the photography club>Bailey, at the newspaper club>A sandwich, at the radio club
>>4597518>>Brandon, at the photography club
>>4597518I cant quite say what tecnology level this world has. Do camaras need a reel?the fotography club should have dark room, so we may find the copies/negatives of this pictures.Otherwise, i vote the sandwich
>>4597518>Brandon, at the photography clubOne of these options is not like the others.
>>4597518>Brandon, at the photography club Maybe he'll be able to tell us stuff about the camera model or things like that.
>>4597540Tech levels are identical to the real world in 1979. If there are anachronisms it's because I'm a retard who wasn't actually alive back then.There's no magitech or anything like that. Magic is too rare and inconsistent for any such application.
>>4597571knowing there is no magitec is usefull.
>>4597518>>Bailey, at the newspaper club
>>4597518>Brandon, at the photography clubIf anyone knows about composition or wayward bird photographers, it's him.
>>4597518>Bailey, at the newspaper club
>>4597518>Brandon, at the photography club
>>4597518Deciding that the most direct route is usually the best, you set off towards the school’s eastern wing, home of the Sout Photography Club. Sout is typically desolate even in the best of times – a huge, sprawling complex of buildings more suited to a modest university than a high school with only a few hundred students. If you’re not travelling the traditional pathways from class to class, it’s easy to get separated from the herd and go long minutes without seeing, or even hearing, another soul. But today, with all attention congregated around the chapel, the isolation is more pronounced than ever. [HALF-LIGHT] Humans are pack animals. Find the safety of the herd. Out the windows, the Virginia mountains are lush with the colors of autumn – swathes of red and orange and yellow painted across the landscape. In the distance you can just barely see the curls of smoke the signal the town of Witchet, the only civilization for miles – though calling Witchet “civilization” is a bit of a stretch. After what seems like hours of mindless walking, you finally find yourself at the door to the photography club. A quick test of the doorknob reveals that the club is indeed open, and as you push open the door you’re greeted by a wide, cluttered room occupied only by a disheveled sophomore. “Brandon” You close the door behind you, and after a moment of consideration, lock it. IIf Brandon notices the click, he doesn't react. “Huh? Oh, hi Atticus.” [ESPIRIT DE CORPS] You don't know much about Brandon that anybody else at Sout doesn’t. He’s shy, reserved, a little off. But genuine, a true artist. A kid with a heart full of poetry and a head full of autism. [PERCEPTION] His jacket is slung carelessly over the back of a chair. His sleeves are rolled up past his elbows, and his fingers are stained with ink. His hair too, as if he brushed it aside while forgetting about the ink on his fingers. There are bags under his eyes. [VOLITION] He looks about how you feel. Having satisfied the societal obligation to greet you once you entered, Brandon turns back to whatever it is he’s working on. Photographs cover the table in front of him, and he pushes them aside while murmuring quietly to himself. You decide to let him work for a minute, making a slow circuit around the room. The walls of the photography club, even the windows, are covered in photographs. Some of the assortment is random – many of the photos seem to have been taken in this very room – but as you spend more time looking you begin to pick up on patterns.
>>4598876[CONCEPTUALIZATION] That one is a mosaic, dozens of photos of separate objects plastered together to form a picture of the night sky. This one seems to be a map of the Sout campus, photos cut and pasted together to fit. “Interesting projects,” you say. “You guys do a lot of this.”“What?” Brandon looks up and blinks owlishly at you through thick glasses. “Oh, hi Atticus. Yeah. Well, a lot of it is me.” He looks down at the photos in front of him and sighs. “I get these ideas and they swell up inside me and if I don’t get them out it’s like I burst.”You take a seat across from him. The tables are tall, designed to be worked on comfortably while standing, and so the three legged stool leaves your feet dangling a few inches above the ground. “Is that what’s happening now?”“Mm. I guess.”He doesn’t say anything for a moment after that, and so you pull the stalker photos from your jacket. “Listen, I-”“I just started thinking,” Brandon says suddenly, not looking up from his work. “About what I take pictures of, and why I take pictures of those things. There’s so much to see and look at, you know?”You arch an eyebrow. “Yeah, there’s a whole bunch of shit out there. But look, Brandon-”“And I first I thought, well, I take pictures of things I like,” Brandon says, barreling past you. His words are practically falling out of his mouth now, as if they’ve been pent up for days and the dam has finally broken. “But then I started thinking maybe, you know, I take like things because I take pictures of them. And I guess the swelling started right about then, so maybe you’re right, maybe that is what’s happening now, but even though I’m working it’s not going away, it’s just changing and-” finally he looks up at you again. “I mean, am I an artist?”[EMPATHY] Tell him he’s a fucking artist. “You’re an artist, buddy.”This seems to calm Brandon only a little. “But why?” He asks. “Am I an artist because it’s in here?” He pounds his fist against his chest, hard enough to rattle his whole body. “You say I’m an artist. I think I’m an artist. I feel like an artist. I want to be an artist! But am I? Or is it all just out here?” He throws his arms out, drawing your attention back to the photographs that cover the walls. “I make a ton of art. A fuck ton! Does that make me an artist? If I stopped – if tomorrow I put down my camera and never took another photo again, would I still be an artist? Or would a part of me just die a little bit?”You blink. [ENCYCLOPEDIA] Brandon appears to be having a full blown existential crises. Is there something deep inside him that defines who he is? Immutable, eternal? Or is he just the sum of the choices he makes?>You’re an artist because you choose to be>You’re an artist because you are>Write In
>>4598879Speaking of Art, digging the art in this quest, OP. >Write-In: "The term 'Artist' is just a label--you create, that's all that matters."
>>4598879[RHETORIC] You’ve got to meet him on his wavelength. Big, abstract.[ENDURANCE] But first you’ve got to make sure he doesn’t have a fucking heart attack. You settle back in your seat. “Jesus, Brandon, take it down a little.”The boy takes several rapid, deep breaths but doesn’t go any further off the deep end than he already has. You consider that a success. “You’re getting all worked up over nothing, man. Labels. Artist doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a series of sounds we use to represent an idea.”Brandon nods almost imperceptibly, his brow furrowing in concentration. “You’re here. You’re creating. That’s what matters.”[INTERFACING] You incline your head downwards, directing his attention to his own hands. They sit on the table almost forgotten, smudged with ink, weary from hours of work. “Those are your hands Brandon. Hands that shape and form. That interact with the world, see something new in it, and give that newness a physical form. That’s all that matters. Not the labels. The action.”[INTERFACING] Yes, exactly! Doing – reaching out and altering the world around you. That’s what it means to be anything. We’re the imprints we leave behind. Man is water, rushing to fill the space that he himself carves in the world! Do anything! Be anything! Slave to nothing but your own choice![INLAND EMPIRE] Are we truly so external? That seems a frantic, desperate existence, always clawing ourselves into the world. Is there no essential flame of being that exists beyond action? If two men live their lives identically, are they the are they still two different men? And if a man makes a choice that he cannot unmake, is he stuck in that form of himself forever?“I...yeah,” Brandon says, blinking as if coming out of a dream. He holds a photograph up to the light and examines it, your view of his eyes blocked by the light reflecting off his glasses. “I do, therefore I am, huh?”You give him a moment, to see if this newfound calm sticks or if he’s going to go off the deep end again. Luckily, he seems to have settled down. You place the photographs of Sally down on the table and slide them over towards him.
>>4599587The photographs drawn Brandon’s attention like none of your words or actions before. He takes them and leafs through them, pensive. “Good lighting,” he murmurs. “Framing too. But all of Sally...Is this a project? Is it yours?” He frowns. “They kind of look familiar.”“I’m glad you think that. I need to know who took these pictures, Brandon.”His eyes widen. “What? Why?” [HALF-LIGHT] Fear. Fear. Fear. He is an animal, beginning to understand that he is cornered. [LOGIC] Why would he be afraid unless he has something to hide?[DRAMA] He does. But that doesn’t mean he took the pictures. His crises was genuine, and unrelated to Sally. Only one day after her death and he is already consumed with something else. It’s doesn’t fit the story of an obsessive.“Does it matter?” You ask. “Do you know who took the pictures?"“N-no.”[ENCYCLOPEDIA] His crises could be related to Sally. There’s too much about him you don’t know. Too many blank spots. Too many paths from A to B to safely count the conclusion out. [INLAND EMPIRE] Your focus is too small. Look beyond the immediate. There is a larger canvas here, a pattern of which he is only a single piece. You lean forward. “Why are you afraid? They’re just pictures, aren’t they?”Brandon looks away, unable to hold your gaze. “The p-people here are my friends. Th-the club keeps us together. I just don’t want any trouble.”“So you know. What the pictures are.”[AUTHORITY] The boy is water. He offers little resistance but will drain away through the tiniest crack. Remind him what is at stake here. A girl is dead. Only you can right the wrong.[HALF-LIGHT] He’s too inside his own head. Bring him to the surface. Make him the feel the danger of this moment. Panic breeds action.[RHETORIC] Detachment is his comfort zone, and that’s where you need him. He will understand if you talk him through this. [SUGGESTION] He’s been wound to breaking since you walked in. The situation needs to simmer down. You’re all friends here, remind him of that. Everyone can walk away from this conversation happier than when it started. >Assert dominance [AUTHORITY]>Get in his face [HALF-LIGHT]>Reason with him [RHETORIC]>Calm him down [SUGGESTION]
>>4599587>>4599588Ah, forgot my tripcode>>4598902Appreciate it. I do my best. A quest has got to have a good aesthetic.
>>4599587>Reason with him [RHETORIC]Explore the sort of artist that would capture this perspective of the world's essence with such a timely manner. Isn't it fascinating how the artist was able to capture the essence of a life so completely that people would choose--CHOOSE-to include it in a memorial? You would love to speak to such an artist, to better understand how they could capture and create so effectively...
>>4599588>Calm him down [SUGGESTION]Anything but Half-Light works, really.
>>4599588>Reason with him [RHETORIC]The Sally is gone, and who ever took the pictures put in a lot of effort.He said the club is a family, so he surely knows the fotografer won't have done wrong.But the way he is conducting himself is erratic, maybe he is troubled but is afraid to speak. You are certainly afraid of speaking to the inquisitor, so we must meet him as to avoid problems and help Sally.
>>4599608>>4599845+1 to these. REASON WILL PREVAIL
>>4599629+1, he is far to panicked to listen to reason
>>4599588>>Calm him down [SUGGESTION]
Atticus is quite perceptive and calculating for a playboy...
>>4599629+1You had me at Disco Elysium. I can't wait to see where this quest goes.
>>4599588[SUGGESTION] You have to put him at ease, or you’ll lose him. “Brandon, come on. Am I a cop?” Brandon responds with a bewildered silence. “Am I a fucking cop, Brandon?”“You’re not a cop.”[SUGGESTION] Good. Now remind him what's at stake.“Exactly.” You tap the photographs of Sally with two fingers. “Now look, we both know what these are. Somebody on campus was following Sally around, taking pictures of her without her knowing. Society tends to frown on stuff like that...so I get it. It’d be bad for the club if one you was outed as a stalker.”[SUGGESTION] He's suspicious, but he doesn’t want to talk just yet. He has nowhere to go, and he knows it. His only option is to engage with you and hope it turns out for the best. “But as we’ve established, I’m not a cop,” you tell him. “I’m not a member of the student council. I’m not even a particularly upstanding citizen. I’m just a guy who’s got some questions about Sally, dig?”“I- I dig.” [EMPATHY] He doesn’t dig.He drums his fingers against the table several times in quick succession. “So are you saying you’re not gonna tell anyone?”[EMPATHY] Told you.You smile at him. It’s an easy smile, a natural expression honed to perfection by hours in front of a mirror, and you can see it work its magic on Brandon. His shoulders relax, his expression softens. “What I’m saying is that if you can tell me who took these, that’s all I need to know. More importantly, it’s not something anybody else needs to know. But if you can’t tell me...I still need to know. Which means I’m gonna have to ask somebody else. Bailey Cartwright, probably. You know here?”Brandon pales. “She runs the school newspaper.”“She does indeed,” you say, nodding. “And between you and me, she’s not very good at keeping secrets.”Brandon sighs, sinking into the chair behind him. He looks down at the photos of Sally, chewing on his lip. “I can’t say for certain,” he says finally, “but I’d bet a lot of money on it being Mike.”[ESPIRIT DE CORPS] Mike?“Mike?”“Tarkington,” Brandon adds. “He’s a freshman.”[ESPIRIT DE CORPS] That explains it. It’s only been a little more than a month since school began, and you haven’t had time to commit all the kids to memory just yet.“Mike Tarkington.” You incline your head, respectful. “Appreciate it, Brandon. Any idea where I can find him?”“He and his friends hang out in the old barn sometimes,” Brandon says, gesturing towards the expanse of wooded wilderness that surrounds Sout on all sides. “Since there aren’t classes today...probably there.” He’s silent for moment as you gather up the photographs, but as you turn to leave he speaks again. “Wait,” he says, holding out a hand. “Leave them here. Please. I told you what you wanted…”>Leave the photographs>Keep the photographs
>>4602137>Keep the photosNot done with 'em yet, but maybe later.
>>4602240Seconding. Promise Brandon that when (if) we finish what we're doing, we'll return them.
Should we promise to give them to Mike?
>>4603050I don't think so. We still have no clue what he'll do with them and for all we know these photos might implicate him and his club more than we've seen so far. It's really for his own safety--plausible deniability and all that.
>>4603066we could make copies then and hand over the originals as "decoy"
>>4602240+1, even though this is totally going to end in us being called the stalker
>>4603569Stalker... Or ACE DICK?
>>4602137You tuck the stack of photographs into your blazer. “I still need these, man.”“But…” Brandon shrinks in on himself like a wilting flower. “You said nobody would have to know.”“Look, I don’t really plan on flashing them around or anything. When I’m done with them, I’ll come by and drop them off. Alright? Try to relax a little. Find a girl or something.” You close the door behind you before Brandon can respond and slump up against the wood, exhaling heavily.[EMPATHY] You didn’t have to do that, you know. Keeping one picture would’ve served as evidence while stripping away the stalker context. Brandon was helpful, and scared.[AUTHORITY] And if the context is what was needed later? You’re devoted to a higher goal. Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees. YOU MUST FIND THE KILLER.You press a hand to your forehead. Your skin is hot, almost feverish. You would lay down if you thought you’d actually be able to sleep – but every time you close your eyes all you can see is red hair covering her face like a shroud.[ENDURANCE] Keep moving forward.[PAIN THRESHOLD] Movement is the only remedy.You stand, start to walk. To your surprise the movement does help, exertion driving away the thought. Stripping your mind clean. There’s only focus now, only the next destination. [ENCYCLOPEDIA] Only one lead. Better hope Mike can tell you what you need to know.The barn is one of Sout’s many abandoned structures, a decaying husk of a building that once housed the livestock that worked this land. Were the school more responsible – or perhaps merely more accountable – it would’ve demolished such a hazard long ago. But for whatever reason, the administration prefers to ignore it. It, and the buildings like it, lend Sout a strangely melancholy air. A constant reminder that the new is built atop the corpses of the old. There is no escape from history here. You step outside into the brisk, late morning air. Autumn has brought with it an uncharacteristic cold, which cuts though your uniform like a knife. You would think that the cold would help, given your near fever, but rather than abating the discomfort only increases.
>>4604214Sout’s campus rolls gently, so that you’re consistently walking at a slight incline in either direction. The concrete paths that link various buildings are covered in a multicolored carpet of fallen leaves, and each step crunches as you take it. It isn’t long before you’re forced to turn off the beaten path and strike directly into the woods, which creep in on Sout from all sides to smother the school in a hesitant but inexorable embrace. As you move into the woods you can hear the rhythmic thunk, thunk, thunk of metal against thick wood – far down the treeline, some unlucky bastard has gotten stuck on lumberjack duty. A punishment reserved only for the worst of Sout’s offenders. Deeper into the woods, the overcast sky is obscured by a dense canopy, until the ground and the sky are practically indistinguishable from each others. The woods are a wild place, a place not meant for man, and thick tangles of roots arise at irregular intervals, seeking to trip the unwary. You’re forced to pick your way through the trees slowly, watching where you place your feet. It is nearly a twenty minute hike the barn, whose decaying bones have been almost entirely reclaimed by nature. [PERCEPTION] You can hear voice as you approach – boisterous and unguarded, the familiar patter of friendship. Another voice, more distant, crackles with radio static, but it drones on unheeded by the others. When you walk through the doorway to the barn you find three boys with the young, rounded faces of freshmen. The barn keeps out the worst of tend, and so they’ve taken off their blazers as they gather around a portable radio. Closer now, you can make out what they’re listening to – it’s the Sout radio club’s station, Peter rambling on.The boys fall silent when they notice you, unsure as to what your presence means. You scan their faces until one stands out – taller than the others, gangly, his black hair messy. “Mike Tarkington?”He looks up at you, confused and a little defiant. “Yeah, who’re you?”The boy to his right squints a little. “His name’s Atticus. What do want, man?”[ESPIRIT DE CORPS] He’ll be harder to handle while he has friends backing him up. Separate him from the herd to make him vulnerable. [COMPOSURE] He might be willing to send them away himself, if he knows what's at stake.[EMPATHY] Or you'd just make him mad.>Order them out [AUTHORITY - 72%] [DC 6]>Ask to speak with Mike alone [SUGGESTION - 58%] [DC 7]>Flash the photographs>Let them stay
>>4604217>>Order them out [AUTHORITY - 72%] [DC 6]
>>4604224Dammit. Sorry about the trip.
>>4600786Had you guys not chosen the Chess club, he would be far less calculating. I really like the DE system for quests because the skills ARE the personality, so chargen kills 2 birds with one stone.>>4600800Glad you're interested, honestly kind of surprised more quests haven't tried to take advantage of the system.>>4604225It happens, no worries.
>>4604217>>Order them out [AUTHORITY - 72%] [DC 6]RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH
>>4604217>Ask to speak with Mike alone [SUGGESTION - 58%] [DC 7]The DC is higher but I feel like the penalties for failure would be less severe.
>>4604217>Order them out [AUTHORITY - 72%] [DC 6]>>4604311we don't have to be rude when giving an order, is as simple as."Follow me, we have to talk alone Now."
>>4604458I like this. Let's do it.>>4604217>Ask to speak with Mike alone [SUGGESTION - 58%] [DC 7]
>>4604217>>Order them out [AUTHORITY - 72%] [DC 6]the fact that we didn't invest into motorics will def bite us if this fails
Sorry for the delay guys, could I get rolls?
Rolled 3 (1d6)>>4607283
Rolled 3 (1d6)>>4607283You certainly may. Welcome back!
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>4607283
>>4604217[AUTHORITY] To be in control, you must know that you are in control. You ignore the freshmen’s questions and walk over to a long stretch of wood that looks like it used to be some kind of fence. Without a word you take a seat, surveying the boys in front of you. They watch you quizzically.[COMPOSURE] It’s the kind of look you get when you realize there’s a quiz you didn’t know about.[ESPIRIT DE CORPS] They’re looking to each other now. Not speaking, but communicating all the same. Trying to gauge if they’re the only ignorant ones, or if everyone else is as confused as they are.[ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY] You reach into your pocket and withdraw your cigarettes. You can still practically taste the last one that you inhaled after meeting the Inquisitor, but if there’s any day to lean hard on your nicotine dependency, it’s today. Besides, there’s nothing more badass than a cigarette. You take a moment to light it and inhale, deep, then blow the smoke towards the door. It is a long, slow, practiced ritual. It settles you. The freshmen watch you, as though transfixed. The radio continues to play in the background of the scene, but it is muted, forgotten. You are center stage now. [AUTHORITY] Do it. “Get the fuck out,” you say, just loud enough to be heard. The freshmen stare in bewilderment for a moment. [SAVOIR FAIRE] You look at them as if you can’t believe what drooling retards you’re sitting across from. “Did I stutter?”Now they scramble to their feet, grabbing at blazers, utterly silent. You wait until Mike has his blazer halfway on to speak again. “Not you, Tarkington.”The boy stops with one arm through his sleeve, eyes as wide as saucers beneath his glasses. He looks to his friends for support, and for a moment they look like they might come to his aid – but then their eyes find your face again and they turn away, practically sprinting out the door. The radio must be Mike’s, as neither of the other freshmen sought to take it with them. It continues to play, Peter’s manic screed filling the barn. “Sit down,” you tell Mike. He does, after a moment’s hesitation. [ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY] You take your time with this cigarette. The rush of smoke and nicotine calms you, helps you push aside the weariness that has filled your bones ever since yesterday. Gradually, your focus turns away from Mike and towards the radio. Peter’s words become sharper, clearer. He seems to have stopped trying to eat while talking and has leaned closer to the microphone. “A lot of talk today,” he says, his voice crackling. “A lot of fucking talk about this Inquisitor.”[DRAMA] You can practically hear the air quotes around “Inquisitor.”
>>4607966“Some people,” Peter continues, “they got their heads on straight about this shit. Wish I could say the same for the rest of you dumbasses. Can I tell you something? Seriously, can I? If you hear and retain one fucking thing from my mouth, please – please let it be this. You can’t trust the fucking OSD. I know what some of you are saying.” He adopts an exaggerated mock-falsetto, “Peter, you just hate cops! You call them pigs and fascist thugs!” A cough as he drops the voice. “True! But regular cops are angels – Christ-fucking angels – compared to Inquisitors. Listen. Listen! Let me tell you a story. It’s a good one. So ten years ago – ten years and a month, actually, but who’s counting – 400,000 people gathered in Bethel, New York, for the event of the century.”[EMPATHY] His tone is almost reverent.[INLAND EMPIRE] Longing. “Woodstock,” Peter breathes. “Three days of music. Love. Community. And then, well...you all know. Or, at least, you all know the official story.” He clears his throat. “Warlocks breach the Rational Veil. A fae enters bodily into our reality. The resulting catastrophe wipes out Woodstock. Four hundred thousand dead, like that.” He snaps. “Yeah, okay, look. Nobody is disputing that the veil was breached. Okay? I’m not a loony. I’m not a fucking truther. What I’m telling you is that the story they tell you? It’s still a lie. Not all of it. But look at other veil breaches. Look at the numbers. Tunguska.”[ENCYCLOPEDIA] Likely none. Maybe as many as three. “Pompeii.”[ENCYCLOPEDIA] 20,000.“London.”[ENCYCLOPEDIA] Hard to say. Probably in the single digits. “Berlin.”[ENCYCLOPEDIA] 50,000, give or take. The deaths...the death rates. They’re not close. Not fucking close!” A sound – he’s slammed his hand against the table. “Four hundred thousand? One hundred percent fatality? Fuck!” He hits the table again. “Nobody got out. OSD says they all died instantly. Bullshit. I’ll tell you what happened.” He leans in even closer to the mic, his voice practically a whisper. He’s sharing a secret with anyone with a radio. “People survived the initial breach. They always do. But the feds surrounded Bethel. Anyone came out of the zone...bang. Bang.” He’s quiet for a moment. “Now they don’t even let us go and see. You still can’t go to Bethel. You wonder why? So when I tell you...when I say that Inquisitors are bad fucking news...do you get me?”There’s a cough – not from the radio, but from the boy in front of you. “Mike, it seems has finally gotten tired of waiting. “You, uh, like him?” He asks, nodding towards the radio. >He’s a loon.>Maybe he’s got a point.
>>4607968>>Maybe he’s got a point.
>>4607968>Maybe he’s got a point.
>>4607968>>Maybe he’s got a point.Fuck the magic cops
>>4607968>Maybe he’s got a point.Fuck the pointy hats
>>4607968>>Maybe he’s got a point.magic Alex Jones will lead us to glory
>>4607968>Maybe he’s got a point.At the very least, his tin foil hat does. But we met one of the bastards, and... It left a impression, didn't it?
>>4607968[SHIVERS] A boy sits in an ancient chair, hunched over a table. Electronic clutter surrounds him, mountains of wire and metal torn apart and welded back together to form Frankenstein machines. He speaks constantly, furiously, words spilling from him as if his mouth is a broken dam. [SHIVERS] A girl curls up in the corner of a makeshift library. She rolls up the sleeves of her blouse slowly, carefully, more for ritual than effect. Each fold exposes more tattoos, winding up pale arms like living things. She lights a candle and ducks her head in prayer, speaking words that she only partly understands. [SHIVERS] A man stands alone in a room, the walls covered in strips of rune-laden paper. The air around him is practically electric, a constant static. The taste of ozone floods his mouth with every breath. “I don’t know if anyone really likes Peter,” you tell Mike. “But I listen when he talks.”Mike’s nervous chuckle dies halfway through its natural life. “...Yeah.”You take another, longer than necessary pause before finally getting to it. “Want to talk to you about Sally.”[DRAMA] He's not bad. Not even a flicker crosses his face. “How come?” He asks, and the only thing that gives him away is the slightest hitch in his words.You take another drag. “Did you go to the memorial today?”“Everybody did,” Mike says. He leans back against a wall, hands in pockets. “I didn’t stay long. Sally and I didn’t talk.”[EMPATHY] Talking is the least efficient way to know somebody.[RHETORIC] It’s the same not-quite-lie you told the Inquisitor. Did he see through it as clearlyas you do now?“Not what I asked,” you say. “I know you were watching her.”[DRAMA] There. The facade slips, even if only for a moment. Shock and panic in his eyes. But this time, when he speaks there's no hitch. “What're you talking about?” You sigh. “Look, I’d rather not do the whole back and forth denial business. Can we skip all that, save us both some time?”“Shit, dude.” Mike runs his hand through his hair. “It’s not what you think. I mean...what do you think it is?” He shakes his head like he’s trying to dislodge something from his ear. “I’m not-”[AUTHORITY] “A stalker?” No sense in letting him ramble. These fucking artist-types are all so high strung, he’ll work himself into a tizzy just like Brandon.“Of course not!” He looks to the door, as if worried his friends are lingering, but there’s no trace of them. “A stalker harasses people. I would never have done that.”“No you’d just follow her, right? Snap photos while she wasn’t looking?”Mike is unable to hold your gaze. “I take a lot of pictures,” he mumbles. “Ok, I took...more than my fair share of Sally. But it's not stalking. Sout’s not that big a place, you know? She was around.”>So you weren’t a stalker. But you still watched her. >Too many photos to have just seen her around.
>>4609648>So you weren’t a stalker. But you still watched her.Let's compromise. We wanna know why he watched her.
>>4609648>Too many photos to have just seen her around.
>>4610082>Too many photos to have just seen her around.
>>4609648>So you weren’t a stalker. But you still watched her.
"You had an unhealthy way of dealing with your crush"
>>4609648>>So you weren’t a stalker. But you still watched her.
>>4609648>>So you weren’t a stalker. But you still watched her.Tell us what you know 'watcher'.
>>4610082I concur with this approach.>>4609648>So you weren’t a stalker. But you still watched her.
>>4609648[DRAMA] He’s lying. [RHETORIC] He’s only even been at Sout for a month. Even if he dropped every picture he ever took of Sally off at the memorial, that’s a lot of photos in a very short time. His explanation doesn’t hold water.[VOLITION] You’ve got him dead to rights, and he’s still trying to weasel his way out of this. You can feel your hand drifting towards your jacket pocket, where the photos still sit. It would be so easy – so satisfying – to throw him in his face. To expose him. It would be just. [COMPOSURE] Would it bring her back?Your hand stops. Mike looks up at you, holding his breath. Waiting for your response. [COMPOSURE] Would it gain you anything, save your own satisfaction? You have a job to do. A MURDER TO AVENGE. Keep your eyes fixed upon that goal. Let ego cloud your vision and she will never see justice. [HALF-LIGHT] He’s a coward.[LOGIC] A liar.[VOLITION] A villain. [COMPOSURE] What is important to you?You exhale, slowly. Smoke streams from between your lips, as if you are expelling a miasma from the center of your being. When the air clears, you are in control again. Your tone is light, easy. You’re shooting the shit with a classmate, maybe even a friend. [DRAMA] It’s so easy, pretending. A lifetime of practice renders a thing a second nature. [EMPATHY] She was important to him, somehow. It was a fantasy, a twisted, malformed, one sided thing. But you don’t watch somebody like he did and not care about them. [INLAND EMPIRE] He made up stories about her. When he watched her, when he lost focus in class, when he drifted off to sleep at night. He was in some of them. In others he was nowhere to be seen. But he liked the ones where they talked the best – when he reached out through the lens of the camera and truly met the girl he was always watching. [INLAND EMPIRE] The words they traded changed, always. He is an artist, and each time he dreamed he would scratch out the words he had given her before. They had become clunky in the time between the fantasies, and he would replace them with ones that felt more real, more true – for a time, at least. And yet, though the words changed, their meanings never did.[SALLY] I am lonely. I am broken, a series of ever-expanding cracks beneath a flawless mask. Soon the cracks will spread all the way through me, until there is nothing but brokenness. And yet, no-one can see it. [INLAND EMPIRE] But he could see it. [SALLY] Except you. The boy who watches. [SALLY] You have watched me, and now you know me. You are the only one who knows me.You roll the cigarette between your fingers. “You’re right,” you tell him, considering your words carefully before you speak. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to come at you like that. It’s been...a day.”[PERCEPTION] His face softens, shoulders slacken. Tension drains from him, replaced by sympathy. And perhaps a little pity.
>>4612274“I heard that you found her,” he says. “I don’t know what to say.”“I can’t stop thinking about it,” you tell him. [DRAMA] Lies, like salt, are best used sparingly. To flavor something more substantial. “I just can’t take not knowing. You know?” You look away, as if merely saying the words is too much intimacy to bear. “I keep thinking, why didn’t anyone see it coming? How could everyone be so blindsided?”[DRAMA] A breath now. Hesitant. Draw him in. [PERCEPTION] He leans forward, ever so slightly. “And I thought...if anyone knew something, it would be you.” You look back to him now, so that he can see the honesty in your face. The confusion in your eyes. The dim flickerings of hope. “Somebody who knew her in a way nobody else did.”[VOLITION] Stop it. No good can come of indulging his delusions. He didn’t know her. “I…” his voice wells up with emotion. [EMPATHY] Pain. Loss. The joy of some long-hidden part of yourself finally being acknowledged. “A couple days ago I saw her...sneak away.” Mike hugs his knees to his chest. He’ shaking now, just a little. “She had been doing that sometimes. Between classes, or, at night. One time I followed her.”[INLAND EMPIRE] The closest he ever got to actually speaking to her. “She was meeting him.”[ESPIRIT DE CORPS] Who?[ENCYCLOPEDIA] Who?[VOLITION] Who?“Morgan McIntyre.” The words are bitter on his tongue. [SHIVERS] Outside, beneath a sheet of stars, hiding from the wind against a wall of sturdy brick. They speak in voices so quiet that they can barely hear themselves.“Morgan McIntyre,” you echo, rolling the words across your tongue. “He’s a player,” Mike spits, and then seems to realize something. “I mean, you know, not like...he’s scummy. He didn’t care about her. He probably just wanted to-”[ELECTROCHEMISTRY] Fuck.[ESPIRIT DE CORPS] Crude, but sure. Morgan McIntyre doesn’t talk to girls like Sally.[CONCEPTUALIZATION] A secret affair in the last days of her life? All seems a little tawdry, no?[LOGIC] Tawdry or not, crude or not, it’s another clue.[ESPIRIT DE CORPS] A useless clue. Morgan doesn’t want to talk to you about anything – let alone the girls he may or may not have been fucking. [AUTHORITY] That’s because you haven’t had the right leverage.[LOGIC] Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world. But a lever long enough to move Morgan may be more trouble than it’s worth. Work smarter, not harder. [ESPIRIT DE CORPS] There are other avenues of approach. Bailey has her nose up everyone’s ass. Richard has his nose up Morgan’s ass, and not just because they’re teammates. >Approach Sam, at the Newspaper club.>Approach Richard, at the football team.>Confront Morgan directly.
>>4612275>Approach Richard, at the football teamLet's get info on Morgan first before confronting him.
>>4612275>>Approach Richard, at the football team.Might be able to eke out some details if we've got a jealous teammate here...
>>4612275>>Approach Richard, at the football team.What the other anons said is solid.
>>4612275>Before you go"Mike, your friends will ask what i wanted.So tell them a truth, bring me pictures you have of the campus, in case i can find anything out of place.Why you from all the club?Because you are new, you are still practicing photography so you take more than the average club member. "lets give him a excuse
>>4612275>Approach Sam, at the Newspaper club.Chasing a clue until the end is efficient, but maybe this detour will yield some info that we can use later, not necessarily against Morgan.
>>4612275Your newspaper club contact should read Bailey, like it did last time. I am retarded.
>>4612274>Approach Sam, at the Newspaper club
>>4612672Bailey is his second name
>>4612275>Approach Richard, at the football team.Follow our existing lead; THEN pursue others and less direct approaches.
>>4612275You sit in silent thought long enough that Mike begins to get anxious again, leaning forward as if about to say something. Before he can you slide out of you seat and stretch, taking the opportunity to fill your lungs with something other than nicotine. [COMPOSURE] First things first. Mike might still be useful later – no use in burning a bridge you may still need to cross. “Your friends are going to ask what I wanted from you,” you tell Mike, knocking your shoes against the wall to dislodge some of the dirt and dust of the forest. “Tell them whatever you want, but I don’t want people thinking I’m a fucking queer, yeah?”“Oh...me neither. No worries.”“If you’ve got any more pictures of her I might want to see them,” you say. “I’ll let you know.” You’re halfway out of the barn before he speaks. “Hold on, Atticus,” he says, reaching out towards you. “Mind if I get a cigarette?”[ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY] He doesn’t smell of smoke, doesn’t twitch with the need for it. The hell is he asking for one for?[EMPATHY] He wants to start. [DRAMA] He likes the way the thing dangles from the corner of your lips. The careless gravity it gives you. He thinks he could use a little of that.You stare at him for a minute. “Listen...these are pretty fucking expensive.”[ENDURANCE] By the time you emerge from the woods and back into Sout proper, you’re actually a little winded. The cigarettes might help build the whole aesthetic, but they’re shit for your lungs. [ESPIRIT DE CORPS] Richard is best known for being Morgan’s best friend – or, less charitably, his hanger-on. Beyond that and football, the guy doesn’t have much of a personality, so best guess is that he’s hanging out with the other footballers near the parking lot. [ENDURANCE] The parking lot is, of course, on the other side of campus. Despite the unseasonable cold Sout’s campus is about as crowded as it gets, given its sprawling acreage and the limited number of students. Kids lounge along hills in small groups, trading idle chatter as you trudge by. You suppose you shouldn’t be surprised – at this rate it'll be deep winter by next week. Best to enjoy outdoors while it’s still possible.Sout’s parking deck is its newest, most utilitarian structure. A three-story slab of unadorned concrete, it stands out against the aged, refined look of the rest of the campus.[SHIVERS] It feels no shame, for what it is. It has a purpose, and it serves it. [CONCEPTUALIZATION] There is a kind of beauty in utility, you suppose. In seeking to be no more than what you are. So much in this world strives relentlessly to be something it is not, and so fails to be even the thing that it is. You can see the footballers on the third story of the lot, gathered at its corner. Several sit up on the wall, heedless of the danger just behind them. The sound of laughter and familiar jokes and shattering glass is in the air.
>>4614775You take the stairs slowly, slowly. Halfway up you are drawn by the sound of whistling.You peer into the shadowed depths of the second story lot to find none other than Richard Park. A short, stocky boy with a wild crop of brown hair that pokes out under his hat, wearing the Letterman's jacket that he seemingly only takes off for games, he stands atop the waist-high wall, keeping his balance with one palm on the column next to him. He whistles the Sout fight song as he pisses heedlessly into the abyss.[ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY] He’s drunk as a skunk. [PERCEPTION] Beer, you think. You can smell it, even from here. [LOGIC] To get this drunk on beer – scratch that, the piss-water the football team manages to smuggle onto school grounds – he would’ve had to start before the memorial.[ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY] You wonder if you can get some beer. Richard hops back down to ground level, zipping up his pants with a satisfied sigh. When he turns around and sees you, a dopey smile spreads across his face. Upon close inspection, he actually seems to be wearing two hats – a Sout baseball cap over a beanie. [ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY] Oh yeah, that is a drunk fucking man. You should ask him where the beer is. You know, to aid the investigation.“Atticus!” Richard crows, stumbling towards you. He makes it a step, wobbles, then dashes the rest of the distance and wraps you in a bear hug.[ENDURANCE] It hurts. Richard is stronger than your average bear, and drunk as he is, he doesn’t have a good sense of how to scale it back for polite company. “Atticus!” He says again, lifting you bodily up from the ground despite the fact that you have several inches on him. “I been meanin’ to have a chat with you, my man!”“Good to see you too,” you say. Well, you attempt to say that. It comes out as a sort of strangled half sound. “Yeah, I been lookin’ all over for you too buddy,” Richard says, putting you back down. You suck in deep, desperate breathes, looking to fill your lungs with sweet air before he can crush you again, or (more likely) before you cave to your vices and grab another cigarette. “I been thinkin’. Real hard.”[LOGIC] Unlikely. “I heard what happened, you know? Shit’s fucked up.” Richard shakes his head slowly, mournfully. “Ain’t nobody oughta walkin into that. Right? You know? And I just thought, wow, man, I am here for ya.”He punches you in the arm. [EMPATHY] It seems a friendly punch. Richard, after seems to be in a friendly mood. But Richard is also a by – a man, really, to be fair – who spends the vast majority of his time repeatedly picking up heavy things. This past time of his has left him with no shortage of muscles-[PHYSICAL INSTRUMENTS] Guns. Meat. Pythons, if you will. [EMPATHY] I won’t, but thank you. The point is, when Richard punches you in the arm, he kind, of, sort of, punches the shit out of you. >Take that shit [ENDURANCE – 2.78%] [DC 14]
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>4614777trips
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>4614777
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>4614777Just guys bein' duuuuudes
Rolled 6 (1d6)>>4614777
Rolled 3 (1d6)>>4614777
>>4614777Richard’s fist collides with your shoulder like a meaty sledgehammer, and you resist the urge to cry out loud. [ENDURANCE] Your body is basically a bunch of rickety sticks held together by so much paper mache. This is what happens when you spend too much time with women, you begin to become one physically. [SAVOIR FAIRE] Your balance isn’t so hot either. And you’re situated at the top of some stairs. You stumble backwards, your shoulder already throbbing. One foot comes up, then tries to come back down. Rather than finding solid, reassuring ground, it finds only air.You pinwheel your arms, as if if you move them quickly enough you might be able to defy gravity long enough to catch yourself. No such luck. If such a maneuver is physically possible, it is far beyond your womanly frame. [VOLITION] This time, you cannot resist the urge the cry out. You make a very undignified squawk, more chicken than man, and then you begin to fall. The first step catches you in the shoulder – the same shoulder Richard just punched, which is truly a wondrous experience. Stars explode across your vision, a grand ballet that only you get the pleasure of enjoying. Your hands scramble uselessly for purchase, but find only smooth concrete as you flip all the way over onto your stomach. Rough concrete steps jab into your body at regular intervals. You groan. You catch a brief glimpse of Richard’s face – the exact moment his drunken incomprehension turns to horror. He reaches a hand out as if to catch you. But it’s too late for that now. It’s too late for anything, except the symphony. Richard’s face slips away as momentum tears your eyes from him. You can see only the ceiling now. You groan as your body bounces off the steps, turning and spinning in midair in a macabre pirouette before crashing back down to earth. More pain. More groans and shouts. Truthfully the variety of your distressed noises are beginning to blend together into one long, relentless screech. You were wrong. This is not a symphony but an opera, the bumps and slaps and smacks of flesh against concrete mere accompaniments to your main performance. It strikes you that this fall is taking an awfully long time, each passing moment stretched out into an eternity. You suppose that if time flies while you’re having fun, it must conversely slow to a crawl during moments of mortal agony. The theory fits nicely with prior experience. Being humiliated at sports, failing your first test, staring at your mother’s casket – all had a length to them that defied standard temporal physics. Another bounce, another scream.
>>4620180[ENCYCLOPEDIA] The stairs can’t possibly be this long. And yet the symphony – or the opera, it’s getting harder and harder to keep these convoluted metaphors straight – continues. On the one hand, every new agony is the knowledge that you haven’t yet broken your neck, or cracked your head open and splattered your brains all over the concrete. On the other hand, you long for death’s sweet relief. It is only once you admit it that the nightmare ends. You on your back, hard enough to knock the wind from you. Everything hurts, and not just physically. Your soul is bruised. You open your mouth to speak and instead release a guttural rasp.[-1 COHERENCE]“Holy shit, budyy!” Richard stands over you, his face dominating your field of vision. “Atticus, man, can you hear me?”He prods at you. You feebly try to smack his hand away. The movement only renews the agony, but the sharp certainty of it helps assemble your formless gurgling into a true word. “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.”“I am so sorry,” Richard says, looking you up and down. “I thought you were dead! I thought I fuckin killed you man!”[ENDURANCE] It will take more than that to kill you. Not much more, but more. Richard is is still babbling apologies over you. Every once in a while he’ll reach his hands out as if to help you up, then think better of it. But as more time passes, and the freshness of the pain fades, you feel yourself returning to your body. Your thoughts crystallizing. Your PURPOSE resurfacing. [VOLITION] Eventually, you will get back up. Then, you will have to speak to Richard. You still need him.[EMPATHY] Look at his face. The man looks like a puppy dog. You couldn’t make him feel any worse if you tried. [SUGGESTION] You’re on.>Reassure Richard [EMPATHY]>Make him feel worse [SUGGESTION]
>>4620183>Reassure Richard [EMPATHY] Aw, he didn't mean to. (And we can play for sympathy to get info.)
>>4620183>>Reassure Richard [EMPATHY]
>>4620183>>Reassure Richard [EMPATHY]no need to be a dick, yet
>>4620183“It’s fine, Richard,” you groan, struggling to gain your feet. Richard reaches out, places a hand in each of your armpits, and lifts you up with a surprising gentleness. [SAVOIR FAIRE] You only wobble once as you get your footing. The sky, which has been spinning endlessly since you began your fall, begins to right itself. [ENDURANCE] The pain doesn’t vanish, but it does begin to fade. It will be there for you tomorrow, waiting, but for now you’re able to put it out of your mind. There is WORK to be done. “Aw, I still feel like a right load of shit,” Richard says, scratching at the back of his neck. “You look like you’re about two good knocks away from turning all dust-like.”“Let’s just call it my je ne sais quoi.”Richard wrinkles his nose. “I think my kid sister had that. You been to a doctor yet?”“Sure, buddy.” You lean against the railing leading up the stairs, taking some of the strain off your muscles. “You doin’ okay? Look a little…” you wave your fingers around your head, “...hammered.”“Aw, sure as shit,” Richard says, a wide smile stretching across his face. As soon as it appears, it is replaced with a look of sudden revelation. “You want some? Make you feel better I’ll bet.”[ESPIRIT DE CORPS] Like Mike, Richard will be easier to handle without his friends around. Though in Richard’s case, it’s more because you’re not sure you could hold his attention around so many distractions. “Is Morgan up there?” You ask, nodding to the top floor of the lot. “Ah...yeah,” Richard says, shaking his head sadly. “Prolly best if y’all two don’ get ta mixin. I uh…” he rubs his chin. “I could go get us some beers. [ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY] Yes. Yes. Yes. [EMPATHY] You get the feeling it’s not really about him making it up to you. Well, maybe a little bit of that. Mostly he just seems to want another beer.You feel a sigh coming on and force it out your nose. “Sure, Richard.”He takes the steps two at a time, a dangerous proposition when one is as drunk as Richard. But as the school’s running back he has practice in keeping his feet. It’s less than a minute before he’s returned, a beer in each hand and another tucked in the crook of his elbow. “I told ‘em I forgot to pee the first time,” he said, handing you one, “but I didn’t really.”“I know, Richard.” You pop the tab and take a sip.[PERCEPTION] It tastes like shit. [ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY] It tastes like heaven. You shiver despite the foul taste, then take another sip. “What’d you tell them about the beers?”“Shit, everyone needs a good piss beer,” Richard says, setting one can aside. “And I can take a mighty long piss.”The two of you share a manly nod. “Cheers then,” you say, raising the can. “To falling into opportunity.”“You’re a funny guy, Atticus,” Richard says, after a long swig. “Makes me extra sad I almost killed ya.”
>>4621759“I wouldn’t worry about it buddy,” you tell him. “You’d probably be able to collect a bounty from one of the girls in Lillibridge.” Lillibridge served as one of Sout’s two women’s dorms, and was a structure you’d spent almost as much time in as your own room. “Look, I actually wanted to talk about-”Richard interrupts you, waving his can with such force that a little beer actually sloshes out. “Naw, it ain’t right,” he says. “It ain’t right! I can’t almost kill you Atticus, less you...I dunno, less you fucked Tracy.” He narrows his eyes. “You fuck Tracy?”“Not on my life,” you say, entirely honestly. Richard’s girlfriend is best described as a homely girl with a nasty attitude for everyone but her beloved Richie. “Then it ain’t right!” Richard says again. “I can’t nearly kill you for no reason and just...give you a beer. Ain’t right!”“Richard, buddy, hey,” you reach out and place a hand on the boy’s shoulder. “It’s perfectly okay man. Accidents happen. I just wanna ask if-”“I got it!” Richard says suddenly, putting his beer down. He reverently removes first the baseball cap, then the beanie from his head and holds them out to you, one in each hand. “You can have one of my hats. They fine creatures.”You frown, but look over the hats in his hands. The baseball cap is worn around the edges but still relatively new. [SHIVERS] You stand in a vast expanse of open grass. There is a special taste to the air around you, the air of spring. It is the taste of warmth, long forgotten in the bitter cold of winter. It is the taste of light, a promise from the sun assuring us we have not been abandoned. It is the taste of green, of life arising again from earth that was once so barren.[SHIVERS] It is the taste of baseball.[SHIVERS] The crack of wood on horsehide shakes you from the half-dream of the springtime warmth. Your eyes find the sky, where the sun sits ascendant. [INLAND EMPIRE] A child rides a unicorn across a field of sunflowers.[SHIVERS] The shade falls across your face and you find it, a tiny speck of white streaking across a field of blue. You raise your outsized hand and stagger backwards, reaching, reaching…
>>4621760The beanie, by contrast, looks like it has seen better days. The pattern is fading, colors losing their luster. There is a hole here, a loose thread there.[INLAND EMPIRE] It is a hat that has sat many heads, been many things to many people. So many of us live our lives never venturing far from the place we were born, and yet this hat has traveled the world. The earth has raced around the sun, the sky changing, the world around it evolving, growing, falling back on familiar patterns. And yet, the hat remains. Still a hat. [INLAND EMPIRE] There is a scientific phenomenon called osmosis, by which solvent molecules will flow naturally across a barrier to where there is less solvent. A natural balancing, of a sort. So too is it with knowledge, with experience. A hat cannot sit on so many heads, see so many things, without keeping a hold on some of those memories. And so too, will those memories leak to any less-filled head that holds it. The taste of drugs on smoke. The sight of the moon, hanging bloody in the sky. [SHIVERS] A wolf, a dog, a crawdad. They watch the sky with glassy, unfocused eyes. >Take the cap [+1 HAND-EYE COORDINATION, +1 SHIVERS, -1 CONCEPTUALIZATION]>Take the beanie [+1 COMPOSURE, +1 ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY, -1 AUTHORITY]>Don’t take either
>>4621761>>Take the cap [+1 HAND-EYE COORDINATION, +1 SHIVERS, -1 CONCEPTUALIZATION] We're not Shivers-specced for nothing.
>>4621761>>Take the cap [+1 HAND-EYE COORDINATION, +1 SHIVERS, -1 CONCEPTUALIZATION]This one's the real home run choice here
>>4621761>>Take the beanie [+1 COMPOSURE, +1 ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY, -1 AUTHORITY]As a drunk who has worn a beanie for close to 2 years, these stat bonuses/hits are completely accurate. I might be a bit biased, though. If a man offered me a beanie or a cap, I'd sure as shit take the beanie.
>>4621761>Take the beanie [+1 COMPOSURE, +1 ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY, -1 AUTHORITY]We need the passive knowledge and understanding of the world right now.
>>4621761>>Take the cap [+1 HAND-EYE COORDINATION, +1 SHIVERS, -1 CONCEPTUALIZATION]
>>4621761>Take the cap [+1 HAND-EYE COORDINATION, +1 SHIVERS, -1 CONCEPTUALIZATION]
>>4621761>>Take the beanie [+1 COMPOSURE, +1 ELECTRO-CHEMISTRY, -1 AUTHORITY]
OP come back :(
>>4629954if this quest gets abandoned it will be a national tradgedy. I can't get this blueballed on a disco elysium low magic setting and have no conclusion.
>>4633808>8 days since last updateBetter start making your peace with it now. I wish QMs at least told us when they decided to flake.
>>4633808>>4633812QM is a good writer with a distinctive style. Maybe they left to write a book.