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File 155322415599.png - (140.83KB , 700x575 , 8-1.png )
926761 No. 926761 ID: 7816e7

18+ adult content
Chapter 8: the wild hunt

First thread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/860238.html
Previous thread:https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/912160.html
Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Moot_Point

The sun once again shines on the city of Moot Point. Augustine Moot keeps her watchful vigil overhead, an eternal symbol of the stability and safety. But the long shadow cast by the city’s new mountain brings mutterings of worry among the streets. Rumors work their sinister magic as citizens gather and wonder what could be lurking within it.
Expand all images
>>
No. 926762 ID: 7816e7
File 155322418132.png - (140.12KB , 648x700 , 8-2.png )
926762

In one corner of the city, a tail flicks this way and that as its owner works himself into a sweat.
>>
No. 926763 ID: 7816e7
File 155322420841.png - (171.50KB , 700x480 , 8-3.png )
926763

The tail whips downward as his hips maintain a rhythmic slap, slap, slap in search of pleasure. Gabe huffs, struggling to steady his pace and tracing a delicate edge between fucking and finishing. His muscles complain, but rising sensations drive him forward.

“Yes! Good! Keep going, Gabriel! Give to Nixxy!” The kelpie pulls herself away from her busy work between Casey’s thighs to urge her lover onward. She gives him an encouraging smile, her dark eyes lidded with lust.

“Mmm, yeah give her a good one, Gabe... ah!” Casey yelps as Nixxy dives back in; dragging her broad tongue across the entirety of Casey’s pussy. The strange, stippled texture grinds against her clit sending electric currents of delight through the Binder. The kelpie probes gently at her entrance with a large, soft finger and Casey feels herself stretched as the tongue twists, trying to work itself inside.

Happy moans and grunts fill the bedroom as the trio writhe together in a passionate bid to drive each other towards climax.

>>
No. 926854 ID: 6c7b8c

>>926763

Deciding to be a bit daring, Gabe creates a small portal in the air right in front of him that opens near Casey's face, and sticks his head through it to give her a loving kiss.

(Nice to see that the next chapter has already begun!)
>>
No. 926869 ID: a9af05

>>926763
Casey, wrap your legs around Nixxy's head and hold her in position!
>>
No. 926897 ID: 7816e7
File 155331350334.png - (170.80KB , 700x673 , 8-4.png )
926897

Gabe clutches at Nixxy’s hips and his rhythm falters as his knees buckle. “Oh Fates, I’m gonna-“ he warns.

Nixxy moans her excitement and Casey's heart flutters as the vibration runs through her. Nixxy is clamped in place by shivering thighs, the flood of pleasure threatening to drown her if she weren't an amphibious creature.

>>
No. 926898 ID: 7816e7
File 155331350932.png - (125.93KB , 700x694 , 8-5.png )
926898

Gabe seizes his chance and races towards climax. His hips pumping in a blur, he hilts himself with a final gasp. He grinds against her in an effort to send his essence as deep as he can, feeling dripping streaks fire off one after another.

When finished, he staggers back to admire his handy work. Although small compared to the kelpie, he smiles at the glow of satisfaction on her cheeks.

"Whew…Sorry I didn’t last that long, Nixxy." He pants. "That was really good…"

The kelpie grins back at him with lust dripping from her chin, "Yes, good job! Nixxy having much fun! No worry, Gabe. Casey help Nixxy finish, yes?"

>>
No. 926904 ID: 91ee5f

>>926898
Well if Nixxy wants Casey’s help, then there’s only one thing to do!

Casey, use your aura tentacles to pleasure Nixxy!
>>
No. 926923 ID: 83bf07

>>926898
Girl power, yeah!
>>
No. 926941 ID: 10c408

>>926923
It's not just girl power Casey'll use...
>>
No. 927138 ID: 7816e7
File 155346854750.png - (155.57KB , 500x700 , 8-6.png )
927138

Casey stretches out her arm and at the peak of her arch, her aura starts to flow. A Glowing tendril snakes its way beneath the kelpie, seeking entrance to her needy passage. Aided by the thin glaze of cum, it slips through her entrance and dives deeper and deeper.

Nixxy rears back on the bed as the coil of mana reaches places inside her never felt before. Hips gyrating, she rides the slow thrusts of the tentacle with glee, her face awash with pleasure. "Yes! Yes! More for Nixxy! Good!"

Casey closes her eyes and curls her hand into a fist. The magic surges and within seconds it doubles in circumference. The kelpie gasps as she's stretched in ways no mortal has ever achieved, her powerful legs buckling as heaving thrusts lift her up and down. Nixxy's world rolls around her as she's bounced on complaining bedsprings, taking giant lung-fulls of air at the peak of each crest.

>>
No. 927139 ID: 7816e7
File 155346855111.png - (116.37KB , 466x700 , 8-7.png )
927139

Gabe and Casey watch as the delighted fey enjoys the rollercoaster ride towards climax. A look of irritation crosses Casey's face as a knock from the front door is heard over Nixxy's cries of pleasure.
>>
No. 927142 ID: b1b4f3

Gabe, be a dear and get the door?
>>
No. 927145 ID: 10c408

Who dares disturb sexy time!?

Send Gabe, sans clothes for the schadenfreude of it all.
>>
No. 927146 ID: 6c7b8c

>>927142
>>927145

Seconded - anyone who disturbs their fun deserves to be met by a naked Gabe!
>>
No. 927181 ID: 83bf07

>>927139
Dang, where is Kol when you need him? Gabe, you were first out so you gotta go.
>>
No. 927197 ID: 094652

Nixxy: Clothe yourself, then float to the door.
Casey: Levitate Nixxy using your mana tendril.
>>
No. 927200 ID: 91ee5f

>>927139
Send Gabe to answer the door while Casey and Nixxy finish having fun.

Be prepared for an angry neighbor to be at the door, ready to complain about the noise
>>
No. 927267 ID: 3ef4d3

Gabe doesn't have to miss out on watching this to answer the door. He can open a peephole Gate looking down on whoever is knocking. He can even tell 'em though it that we're rather busy and to come back in ten minutes. That is, unless it's super urgent and can't wait. Or if it's one of their friends who they wouldn't mind seeing this scene with Nixxy and Casey, then Gabe can let 'em in right away.

Now, Casey, how 'bout not laying there just using your aura tentacle to pleasure Nixxy. Get up close to her and apply your mouth and your free hand's fingers too. Perhaps suck on a nipple or rub her clit?
>>
No. 927322 ID: 7816e7
File 155356653195.png - (109.89KB , 473x700 , 8-8.png )
927322

"Gabe, could you be a dear and get the door?" Casey asks, not wanting to break her concentration as her magic continues to fuck Nixxy senseless.

"Sure thing, Case!" Gabe grabs his sash and wraps it around himself before heading for the door.

"Ah--!" Casey raises a finger to stop him, as his tail swings out of view. Her mouth hangs open, mildly aghast… yet unsurprised.

Gabe's feet slap gently against the stairs as the sounds of fun continue behind him. He mutters to himself, "Better not be town council asking about when were going to move the bargast again, I swear…"

He swings the door open, unconcerned about his state of undress. "Yeeessssss?" He looks outside and his gaze is drawn low
>>
No. 927323 ID: 7816e7
File 155356653649.png - (144.21KB , 509x700 , 8-9.png )
927323

Staring up at him with eyes like glittering saucers, Miki sniffs and hiccups; fighting back tears and failing. Normally a bushy bundle of happiness, her ears droop with misery and her tail lays at her feet like a ball and chain. "H-hi Gabe. C- Can I come in?" She manages.
>>
No. 927325 ID: b1b4f3

>>927323
Yes. Sorry about the noise.
Ask her what's wrong, offer a comforting arm.
>>
No. 927326 ID: ab1fe9

Oh no!

That is, yes, of course! Bring her in.
>>
No. 927327 ID: e7848c

oh no
Date gone wrong?
>>
No. 927329 ID: 094652

"Oh fudge. Is Raithe going to live?"
>>
No. 927330 ID: 3ed3c3

>>927323
Invite her in and immediately ascertain the cause of her sadness.
>>
No. 927331 ID: 10c408

Ohh noo.

Let her in and ask her what's happening, our poor sweet baker should not be crying on our doorstep like this!
>>
No. 927332 ID: 91ee5f

>>927323
“Yes, please come in!”

Get her something to drink and when she sits down, ask her what’s wrong.
>>
No. 927353 ID: 6c7b8c

Geez, I can see why this might not have been the best time for a nude scene...

Bring her in, of course, and let her sit down. Ask what's wrong.
>>
No. 927362 ID: 10c408

>>927353
What.

That's how the chapter opened and unless any of the trio actually knew about Miki's impending arrival, getting laid concurrently with the unknown yet impending arrival of an acquaintance is NOT taboo.

...It is a little awkward, however.
>>
No. 927375 ID: 6c7b8c

>>927362

I only meant that it wouldn't have been the best time for Gabe to answer the door in the nude, as we suggested, given that it turns out to be Miki in tears. We didn't know Toxo was going to take it in that direction, and it was a wise decision that Gabe kept himself somewhat covered up so as not to cause a complete Mood Dissonance.
>>
No. 927383 ID: cb1897

>>927323
It's pretty safe to assume that she lost her dragon thingy, or that he got really sick, or he died and needs to be carried to the "other side"
>>
No. 927400 ID: a9af05

Invite her in and ask what's wrong.
>>
No. 927401 ID: f7edef

Miki come in, what happened?
>>
No. 927438 ID: 7816e7
File 155364791735.png - (127.49KB , 596x700 , 8-10.png )
927438

“Uh- yeah, sure?” Gabe scratches awkwardly at his neck as he steps aside. “Why don’t you sit down?” Leading Miki into the sitting room, he bustles about, trying to surreptitiously clean up. “Uh- I’ll, uh- make us some tea, okay?”

Miki nods weakly and sniffles as she sags on the couch.

Hurrying to the kitchen, Gabe scrambles to fill the kettle and find some cups. After a few minutes of fretting, he re-emerges with a steaming stoneware mug. He hands it over with care, warning her, “Careful, its hot...”
>>
No. 927439 ID: 7816e7
File 155364792135.png - (178.73KB , 537x700 , 8-11.png )
927439

A sudden cascade of tears emerges as whatever dam inside Miki breaks; leaving dark creases through her lush fur and dripping into her cup. The ugly sorrow of despair twists her mouth in a gaping mask of tragedy.

Gabe flinches all over. “Ah! I’m sorry, I’m sorry! Wh-what’s wrong?” He sits next to her, wrapping an arm around for support. “Miki, What happened?”

Miki sniffs, dragging air back into heaving lungs. When she’s ready, she squeaks out, “I-I l-lost my f-f-fire w-w-w-ward!”
>>
No. 927440 ID: b1b4f3

>>927439
Aww, without that she can't even have cuddles with her boyfriend!

It was a pendant, right? Tell her you'll help her find it, it'll be okay. Hmm, actually, why don't we bring Nixxy along? She likes hide and seek. Weird though, when does she even take it off?
>>
No. 927442 ID: 8d23f0

>>927439
ask if she knows whereabouts she lost it, and tell her that you are sure you can find an enchanter somewhere that could use the help of three spirit guides in exchange for a fire ward for the future.
>>
No. 927455 ID: e7848c

Tell the poor chinchilla to breathe. It's simple enough to start the process to look for it. She looks dressed up, where was she at before she came here?
>>
No. 927471 ID: 3ed3c3

>>927439
Okay, that's unfortunate, but not unfixable.
We can retrace her steps until we find it. Easy.
Alternatively, if we can't find it, then we can see about getting it replaced.
Are they expensive?
>>
No. 927473 ID: 7816e7
File 155365639498.png - (175.16KB , 648x700 , 8-12.png )
927473

Drawn by the sounds of sobbing, Casey makes her way downstairs and peeks through the doorway. “Gabe? Is everything okay?”

Massaging Miki’s shoulder, the mouse looks back at her and explains, “Miki says she lost her fire ward.” He pats her back as a fresh outburst of tears breaks loose.

“Oh nooo, Miki!” Casey swoops in and kneels in front of her friend. “How can we help? Take me through what happened, okay?”

It takes some time, but the chinchilla nods and explains, “R-Raithe said h-he wasn’t feeling w-w-well today, s-so I th-th-thought I’d go into tow-wn to-to see if th-there's any doctors th-that know-w about s-s-sal- sala--“ she pauses to swallow, “Elementals... I went th-through the M-M-Moon treet market and wh-w-when I got to G-Guardian’s S-Square, I realized it was m-m-missing! I-I g-go-got bumped real hard b-by someone running, m-m-maybe it fell off?”
>>
No. 927475 ID: 3ed3c3

>>927473
Miki, it's equally possible that you were robbed by some filthy pickpocket.
The local law enforcement needs to be informed.
>>
No. 927476 ID: bad12e

>>927473

Maybe? We could all quickly tidy up and go look for it. Perhaps even Nixxy could help, since finding things seems to be a passion of hers!

(Sound a bit more like a pick-pocket, though ...)
>>
No. 927477 ID: 8d23f0

>>927473
did she have it on her when she left the bakery? maybe it got stuck on Raithe and thats why he is feeling bad, otherwise we should look around where she got bumped into to find some clues.
>>
No. 927482 ID: b1b4f3

Sounds like somebody fucking stole it. Time to go kick some thief ass.
Ask if the person ran into her in Moon market. Did she get a good look at them?
>>
No. 927484 ID: 10c408

...Yeah, it either got nicked or honestly just fell off.

Divide and conquer. One of you can take Miki to the constabulary to file a report, the other can go to guardians square and retrace her steps backwards to see if we can find/any evidence.
>>
No. 927500 ID: e7848c

We can find it. Just give us a few minutes to get dressed.
>>
No. 927501 ID: 91ee5f

>>927473
That sounds like 3 possibilities:

1) Raithe somehow ate it and because it’s a fire ward, it’s making him feel bad. It might’ve fallen into a batch whatever was baking at the time, Raithe decided to eat some, and that’s how it got into him.

2) She lost it, either in the bakery or in between Moon treet market and Guardian’s Square. Possibly when that running guy bumped into her really hard, it could’ve fallen off then.

3) The running guy stole it off of her when they bumped into her. She got bumped hard enough that she wouldn’t notice her fire ward being taken.

Sounds like it’s time to investigate! Everyone put some clothes on and let’s get looking! That includes you Nixxy! Put on some clothes and come help!
>>
No. 927503 ID: 6c7b8c

>>927473

Okay, um... I hate to say this, but don't you think you're overreacting, Miki? I mean, I'm sure the fire ward is important to you, but in the end it's just a necklace and I'm sure it can be replaced. The way you're crying makes it look like you just lost a close family member or friend...

And I'm sorry about Raithe being sick, but if so, why are you sitting here crying about a necklace when we need to get out there and find a doctor?! If there are any doctors in Moot Point that know how to treat salamanders (and it's not that tricky of a word) I'm sure they possess fire wards for this sort of occasion.

*sigh* Sorry if I come across as insensitive here, but... it seems like there's something about this situation that I just don't understand.
>>
No. 927541 ID: 3ef4d3

I get the feeling that Miki crying this much is about more than just losing her fire ward. That is, unless a fire ward is a real hard to get or expensive magic item. In that case it would make sense for her to be this sad, since losing it means she can't be close to Raithe, her love. But if it isn't too hard to get another fire ward, then asking Miki if there's more reason to her being this distraught than losing her fire ward. Perhaps it held particular sentimental value, like if it was a gift from Raithe, someone else Miki was close to, or a family heirloom.
>>
No. 927602 ID: 7816e7
File 155373827258.png - (159.22KB , 648x700 , 8-13.png )
927602

“W-what am I gonna do, you g-g-guys?” She moans, “My w-ward was so expensive! It could take m-m-months to save up for another, if I can even f-find one! W-what if Raithe is-is really sick a-a-and I can’t be there to take care of him?” Her voice rises in pitch as her anxiety grabs hold and shakes a few more teardrops loose.

“Heyyy, its okay. We’ll help you look for it, just let us get dressed, alright?” Casey reassures her. “Tell me, do you remember who bumped into you?”

“Um.. a-a cat of some kind? Th-they looked like they were missing some of their left ear. W-why?”

“Well, I’m wondering if you might have gotten pickpocketed. Grabbing a lady’s necklace doesn’t seem too hard in a crowd like that.”

“Ohhh faaates! W-we gotta do something, guys! C-can we tell the city guard?” Miki’s gaze flickers back and forth, looking for hope.

Gabe scowls, “Yeah probably, but the cordon around the bargast is taking up a lot of manpower; I’m not sure how interested they’d be in chasing pickpockets.” He cocks an eyebrow and calls upstairs, “Hey, Nixxy!”
>>
No. 927603 ID: 7816e7
File 155373827705.png - (141.23KB , 482x700 , 8-14.png )
927603

There’s a flurry of activity from the bedroom and an emerald blur leaps from the second floor, landing lightly in the foyer. Nixxy squeezes through the doorway and beams at her friends and lovers. ”What is it? More fun for Nixxy? You ready to take Nixxy again, Gabe?”

“Well, how about later? We were wondering if you could help us track down Miki’s fire ward? We think it might have been stolen by a one-eared cat.”

Excitement radiates off of the fae, her long locks practically standing on end. ”Yes! Yes! Good fun! Nixxy will help! Nixxy will seek! A challenge most fun!” She bounces on her toes, in a long sine wave of enthusiasm. ”No worry, Miki! We find for you!”

Unable to resist Nixxy’s infectious energy, Miki hugs the giant fae around the neck. “Thank you, guys! Lets do it!” Buoyed by hope, she wipes away her tears and smiles.
>>
No. 927610 ID: e7848c

>>927603
First, Nixxy's towel.
>>
No. 927612 ID: ab1fe9

>>927610
Nixxy seemed able to make certain aspects of her appearance less... obvious, when we first met her. She could just do that again. If she's going to walk about in the city, though... uh, actually, are people well-adjusted to fae like Nixxy just wandering around the streets openly? Other fae we've met seemed to have or take more subtle forms.

I suspect her natural inclination is to use the city's waterworks to help search, but could we actually have an opportunity to see Nixxy take a more mortal-looking appearance? I'm sure I'd prefer her natural look, but I am curious. Or maybe people are perfectly used to it and we just want to find her some clothes.

... Casey and Gabe should put on some clothes first, too.
>>
No. 927616 ID: 3ed3c3

Gitcher pants on and let's get to snoopin'.
>>
No. 927620 ID: b1b4f3

Alright everyone get dressed, it's time to go do some detective work. But let's not forget, Raithe still needs a doctor. Maybe Miki can take care of that while we're looking for her fire ward?
>>
No. 927640 ID: c1212a

You're going to need someone or something with which to persuade the perp to part with their pilfered pendant. Nixxy is too damn cute for that job.
>>
No. 927681 ID: 3ef4d3

Okay, everyone get dressed. Also make a mental note to take Nixxy to a tailor to get a outfit made that's not just a re-purposed rug. Oh, and someone write a note for Kol on what's going on and where y'all are going and leave it here.

We got any way to detect the fire ward's magic at range? Because if it wasn't stolen but, for example, fell down a storm drain then we're gonna have a real tough time finding it. Being able to sense fire wards within a certain range would greatly ease the search.

Ask Miki if she has some kind of proof of ownership for her fire ward. We don't want to end up in a situation where the thief or someone that chances upon the fire ward says it's theirs and we have to fight it in court or something. Something like either the word of the ward seller or a receipt proving it was sold to Miki would work. Also documentation of anything that uniquely identifies the fire ward, like a makers mark and serial number, would help. And bringing that info to the city guard and making a report would also make sense in case someone does find the fire ward and goes to them to check if someone lost it.

Now, if it was a pickpocket that stole it, then it's likely they'd want to fence it ASAP so they don't get caught with the stolen goods. So, where would they go? Pawn shops come to mind. ...Though the thief probably wouldn't be dumb enough to go right to a pawn shop. Probably would sell it to a fence who'd pawn it later, so it may be awhile 'till it shows up. But if it gets pawned, then having documentation that Miki is the rightful owner will help in legally recovering it.
>>
No. 927701 ID: 6c7b8c

>>927602

Okay, we get a bit more of an explanation as to why Miki would be so devastated, which is good, though I still think her reaction is a bit over-the-top. Oh well, Toxo would know her better than anyone, I guess.

>>927681

Awesome suggestions. Couldn't have put it better myself.

Just as a precaution, is there any way to ward against fire and heat by magical means that doesn't involve a fire ward pendant? Even if it's just temporary, it might be good in case Raithe needs taking care of.
>>
No. 927725 ID: 7816e7
File 155382514099.png - (191.72KB , 499x700 , 8-15.png )
927725

Filled with determination, they quickly dress and prepare themselves. When they’re ready, Gabe closes his eyes and mentally summons the beacon for the Moon street market.

“Where’s Kol? I thought he’d be here.” Miki asks.

Casey waves a hand towards the harbor. “He took off with Caleb to track down more mana oil. With Adrian gone, Caleb had stopped making it but he feels pretty responsible for the situation we’re in now.”

“Sounded like he was feeling kind of lonely too.” Gabe grins, his mind momentarily distracted by the image of Kol and Caleb alone at sea.

Casey checks out the sender as he channels the spell, “Is that my skirt you’re wearing?”

“I felt like a skirt today. Do you mind?” The beacon signals that the space around it is safe and unoccupied. Gabe makes a pass with his hand and opens a Gate.

As they step through, Casey shrugs, “Nah, as long as I get it back in one piece. Looks good on you.” She squints, looking out over the sea of faces. “Lichfire, its busy today...”
>>
No. 927726 ID: 7816e7
File 155382514549.png - (208.15KB , 700x499 , 8-16.png )
927726

“I don’t know how I’m gonna be able to see in a crowd like this...” Miki cranes to look over the wall of people.

A pair of kindly hands scoop under her and Miki finds herself deposited on Nixxy’s neck. “Oh! Thanks!” She chirps.

”Nixxy is helping! Where to search first?”

Miki points over towards a stall selling pottery and says, “That’s where I got bumped into. I searched the ground for a while but came up empty.”
>>
No. 927728 ID: b1b4f3

>>927726
Let's ask the stall owner if they've seen the one-eared cat before. Maybe they can point us in the right direction.
>>
No. 927729 ID: 3ef4d3

Go ask the pottery stall merchant if they know or have seen a cat or cat-like person with a bit of their left ear missing come through here. Oh, and also ask Miki if she can remember what color that cat's fur was and add that to their description. Hopefully whoever it is is a regular around here and the merchant knows who they are or where they usually hang around.
>>
No. 927730 ID: 094652

Go to the lost and found and report the item, they might find it after you've spent your entire day chasing the wrong guy:P
>>
No. 927731 ID: b1b4f3

Oh and also straight up ask the merchant if they witnessed the bump. If they saw Miki wearing the amulet beforehand but not after, then we know it was lost here.
>>
No. 927736 ID: e7848c

>>927726
Make way for fae!
>>
No. 927876 ID: 6c5473

>>927736
Speaking of fae, why doesnt nixxy have on a disguise? Wouldn't she be a bit REALLY intimidating belonging to a race of fae generally known to be malevolent.
>>
No. 927877 ID: a9af05

>>927876
If we find the cat guy and he did steal the fire ward, then we might need her to intimidate him into giving it back. Or if he's already sold it, we'll need to intimidate him to tell us who he sold it to.
>>
No. 927879 ID: 7816e7
File 155391796710.png - (187.80KB , 700x637 , 8-17.png )
927879

“Lets ask if they’ve seen anyone.” Casey suggests.

Nixxy strides ahead and the crowd parts around her imposing mass. The fae draws a few looks some cautious but mostly curious. Traders from the faewild aren’t unheard of in the city, but selee laws make their transactions complicated and expensive.

They approach the potter, who greets them with a friendly smile and a pitch, “Welcome! All pots hand thrown and fired locally! Good for cooking, easy to clean, makes a great gift! Please ask before handling!”

Nixxy puts a bowl down guiltily.

“We’re wondering if you saw someone run by a little while ago: a cat with one ear?” Casey asks hopefully.

“Oh, yes! Knocked over some bowls, ran off in that direction.” She points, indicating the section were food vendors were clustered together. “Tell her she owes me for bowls!” She grumbles.

Before they leave Casey asks if she’d seen an orange stone set in a pendant. The potter shrugs and apologizes.
>>
No. 927884 ID: 91ee5f

>>927879
>“Oh, yes! Knocked over some bowls, ran off in that direction.” She points, indicating the section were food vendors were clustered together.
Let’s head in that direction.

>“Tell her she owes me for bowls!”
We’ve learned something new! The one eared cat we’re looking for is a female.
>>
No. 927893 ID: b1b4f3

>>927879
Alright, ask the food vendors next. If they seem tight lipped, buy something.
>>
No. 927899 ID: 3ef4d3

Before y'all follow the cat's trail to the food vendors, ask the pottery merchant what color the cat's fur was. That plus now knowing the cat is a gal would definitely help with asking the food vendors if they saw her.

Y'all know of any magical means to track down a person. Like, if you got a bit of their fur or other bit of their person could that be used magically to find them?
>>
No. 927906 ID: 3e030a

The skirt is not actually blue? So was it only painted blue to fit the character? In that case what colour should it really be? Or does it actually change colour? (That’d be some convenient magic)
>>
No. 927919 ID: 83bf07

>>927879
Say thank you! Also grab a snack. You guys worked up a sweat earlier
>>
No. 927923 ID: 6c7b8c

>>927919

Aye, and if her information helps you to solve the case in any way, come back afterwards and buy a pot or two from her. It's only fair.

>>927906

That's a very good question, actually.
>>
No. 927940 ID: ae1a54

>>927906
A really good question! I actually hadn’t though much about color changing clothing magic to be honest but it does make sense in the context of the world. And it would make sense for Casey to be protective of her skirt if it had a color charm on it.

I mostly use the color as a visual shorthand to help the characters stand out from each other and the background. It also kind of helps me think about what kind of person each character is: earthier more grounded tones for more stoic groundec people like caleb and mr ochre and bubbly candy colors for nixxy and miki.

As for the true colors, Gabe definitely wears a lot of red and pink, to indicate his role as a sender. Casey just likes a lot of cool, beachy clothes that are light and tend towards aqua and blue. Kol tends to wear heaver stuff like jeans and sweaters, Mediums wear mostly travelling clothes that are either natural fabric colors or cheap dyes.

>>
No. 927984 ID: 8eaf98

>selee laws make their transactions complicated and expensive.
complicated I get, but automatically expensive I do not. Also, that vendor didn't bat an eyelash at the fey coming to their stall specifically despite getting the impression from "Traders from the faewild aren't unheard of in the city" that they are uncommon, thus a fay singling out your stall seems like it would be noteworthy. Do they have regular fay customers or something?
I'll leave this question here too >>/questdis/128828
>>
No. 928209 ID: 3e030a

>>927940
Thank you for the clarification Toxo! Or it could be that the colour perception of Moot universe has an subjective nature that’s very different from our world?
>>927984
I wasn’t aware of a discussion threat exists. Thanks for shading.

Now what’s the capacity of magic in this world? If this is my last trpg campaign I would just cast a Locate Object. How effective would fortunetellers be around Moot?
>>
No. 928311 ID: 7816e7
File 155416307346.png - (148.63KB , 700x479 , 8-18.png )
928311

Following the wafting scent of fried food, they thread their way through the crowd. Long lines crisscross between the stalls, each one chalked with offers of savory curries, meat-on-a-stick and candied nuts. Miki sways as Nixxy’s slavering attention is drawn this way and that. A few vendors spy the kelpie and surreptitiously hide their trays of free samples.
>>
No. 928312 ID: 7816e7
File 155416309049.png - (189.25KB , 648x700 , 8-19.png )
928312

Mmmm, smells tasty. We get haunch of meat? Nixxy promise to split it with you...” Nixxy’s long neck drifts over the crowd, surveying the smorgasbord before her.

“Stop! Thief!”
A shout echoes over the market and Miki’s ears swivel like radar dishes, zeroing in on the sound.
>>
No. 928315 ID: b1b4f3

>>928312
Even if that's not the thief we're looking for we should probably catch them. This place is crowded, not very safe for portal use... can Casey grab the thief herself?
Gabe might be able to safely use his portals if they're positioned above the crowd in empty air or against flat surfaces. (like an actual portal gun...)

I imagine Nixxy could use some fae magic if portals and bindings fail. She was so fast during the hide and seek game.
>>
No. 928316 ID: e7848c

>>928312
Hi ho Nixxy, AWAY!
>>
No. 928317 ID: c1212a

Catch that thief Nixie and you can have one all to yourself!
>>
No. 928330 ID: a9af05

>>928317
This.
>>
No. 928345 ID: 91ee5f

>>928317
The best motivation goes through the stomach.
>>
No. 928392 ID: 6c7b8c

>>928312

Would be cool of Miki could do something to help, but there's not a lot of ways to safely use fire breathing powers in a crowd...

Same thing with Gabe's portals.

Nixxi and Casey are our best hope. I think the Binder should jump up on the kelpie, and together they can race off and find and catch the thief through a combination of speed and power tentacles.

If it works out, give Nixxi some treats.
>>
No. 928442 ID: 397a79

Having Nixxy bounding off after that thief sounds like a recipe for property damage. Plus she's large so it'll be harder for her to navigate the stalls, slowing down her chase. Having Casey take the lead and rush over to the call for help would make sense, with Nixxy following. In addition to being able to move with more ease, Casey can use her aura tentacles to snag the suspect. She could even use them to lift herself up for a better view or move faster than she could on foot alone.

Now, Gabe, he can open up a "spyglass" mini-Gate immediately to get a bird's eye view of the area the alarm came from and see if he can spot the thief running off. Then he can keep moving the airborne Gate to track the thief and relay directions to Casey and Nixxy. But so his concentration isn't split between running and magic, it'd make sense for Nixxy to carry him in her arms.
>>
No. 928443 ID: ab1fe9

She can shapeshift enough to fit into pipes, so I think if she remembered to she could move through a market without causing much disruption. The question is if she remembers to, of course, and if there isn't some arcane reason why she hasn't done any shapeshifting since she joined the gang.
>>
No. 928478 ID: 7816e7
File 155425968866.png - (0B , 648x700 )
928478

Chapter 8
Miki hauls on Nixxy’s neck, “Quick! This way!”

Nixxy lets her attention be drawn away from food at the promise of fun. Standing at her full height, she spots a figure hurrying through the crowd and zeros in on it.

”Nixxy sees! Hang on!” She wiggles with excitement and takes off running. The crowd is slow to part, even with her size, forcing the kelpie to weave her way through.

“Look! In the alley!” Miki acts as a spotter, keeping tabs on the thief while Nixxy navigates. As they squeeze into the narrow passage, a boom rushes past them that rattles the brickwork. They come to an empty cul-de-sac where Nixxy skids to a stop and spins in a circle. Nothing is present but a few closed doors and the lingering scent of ozone.
>>
No. 928480 ID: b1b4f3

>>928478
That was the sound of a portal closing. The thief knows sender magic. Can Gabe track the destination somehow?
>>
No. 928482 ID: 8eaf98

my guess is that gate tracking will lead to some sort of general area lay line alteration residue
>>
No. 928486 ID: 397a79

That boom was from a Spirit Gate opening! You can tell 'cause a Gate also creates ozone when it forms. So the thief escaped through a Gate! Which means we either got a rogue Sender, someone who independently learned how to create Gates, or a thief in cahoots with one or the other. But whichever one it is, it's trouble.

Get Gabe over here ASAP! Hopefully there'll be some trace Gate magic that he can track to the thief's destination.
>>
No. 928509 ID: e7848c

>>928478
A sender gate? Gabe needs to hear about this.
>>
No. 928511 ID: 91ee5f

>>928478
Sounds like it’s time to see if Senders can use each other’s portal beacons.

If not, then it’s time to see if Gabe can hijack other Senders’ beacons. Or at least be able to learn how to do it.

If we’re unable to make an progress, then we can inform the authorities that a Sender was the thief and the thief had a catlike tail.
>>
No. 928603 ID: 7816e7
File 155433951921.png - (0B , 700x540 )
928603

Moments later, Casey and Gabe catch up and survey the scene.

“What happened?” Not used to running over hard cobblestone, Gabe pants and leans against the wall.

“They went this way, then they were gone!” Miki explains. “They just disappeared!”

Casey sniffs the air. “Gabe, it smells like a gate was here...”

The sender blinks back surprise and cautiously paces the width of the cu-de-sac. Gabe shakes his head in disbelief, “That’s... no that’s not possible.” His nose wrinkles as he tests the air and he pauses. Kneeling, he runs his fingers across the cobblestones and traces a rough line freshly sliced into the rock.
>>
No. 928604 ID: 7816e7
File 155433952475.png - (144.02KB , 648x700 , 8-22.png )
928604

“What the Fates?” Gabe mutters to himself and his fur bristles as he feels eyes on him. Turning, he spots a tower rising above the Moon St market. Peering over the parapet is a distant figure, clearly observing them.
>>
No. 928605 ID: 10c408

Gabe, make a portal. do NOT take your eyes off of the figure as you do so.
>>
No. 928606 ID: 8d23f0

>>928604
oh Gabe looks like a thief that uses gates, try placing a gate below her and dropping her down next to you.
>>
No. 928607 ID: 10c408

>>928606
Uhh.. That's gonna result in something getting portal cut. Even if the portal was placed juust right to avoid nicking off flesh it's still going to result in property damage and badly mangled footwear.
>>
No. 928608 ID: b1b4f3

>>928604
Use a portal lens to identify the culprit before proceeding.
>>
No. 928612 ID: b1b4f3

Hmm. Optimally Gabe would prep Casey for the proper timing, then snap open a portal behind/above the thief so she could immediately bind and retrieve them.
>>
No. 928613 ID: 83bf07

>>928604
We're going to want to try and make a portal up there but we can't let them see that. Someone keep eyes on them while the others turn the corner out of sight and make that portal.
>>
No. 928619 ID: 8eaf98

Can we make a gate then bind them through it?
>>
No. 928623 ID: a9af05

>>928619
Didn't Casey get a Spirit Shackle from the temple when she freed Flashing feathers, Joyous blue of the perfect sky from the pot he was trapped in? How about we have Casey use that through one of Gabe's portals? Because I think that would be much more effective at trapping whoever that is.
>>
No. 928625 ID: 91ee5f

>>928623
>Spirit Shackle
You mean this: >>/questarch/891038 ? Yeah, that does seem like it would be useful for catching someone. Let’s do that!
>>
No. 928631 ID: 8eaf98

>>928625
DO THE THING WITH THE THING!
>>
No. 928657 ID: 397a79

The (likely) thief watching from the tower doesn't know that y'all have a Sender with you, so they likely feel they're in the clear for the moment. Don't prove 'em wrong 'till it's too late by having Gabe get out of view while he's forming a Gate. Otherwise the thief will try to Gate away if they see Gabe is casting a Gate. Target the Gate as close in the air to the thief as possible with the least risk of intersecting anything solid. Casey should be ready to case Spirit Shackle on the thief the second the Gate is open. That ought to keep the thief from moving to open another Gate. Then pull 'em through and pin 'em down.

>>928612
Why take the risk of creating a Gate behind or above them where it could intersect with the building or other unseen things when Gabe could create a Gate in mid-air right in front of the parapet, where he has clear view? It's not like it can be done stealthily even if opened behind or above the thief 'cause a Gate opening makes a thunderclap-like boom.
>>
No. 928661 ID: b1b4f3

>>928657
Correction: a gate CLOSING creates the boom. Opening one does not seem to make noise.
>>
No. 928665 ID: 397a79

>>928661
Nope, Gates create a boom when they open and when they close. See the following quest updates for instances where it's expressly written one did, or very likely did, when opened:
>>/questarch/860241
>>/questarch/863406
>>/questarch/868523
>>/questarch/878640

And the following quest updates are examples when it's written they boomed when they closed:
>>/questarch/879410
>>/questarch/896463
>>/questarch/907683
>>/questarch/925293

These are just the instances I could find by only searching for "thunder" or "boom," so there may be more than just these.
>>
No. 928679 ID: b1b4f3

>>928665
Ah, nevermind then.
>>
No. 928689 ID: 7816e7
File 155442993408.png - (176.68KB , 700x696 , 8-23.png )
928689

“There!” He points, “on the tower!”

Casey squints and spots the target, “Is that another sender?”

“I don’t know.” Gabe glares, “Let’s ask...”
>>
No. 928690 ID: 7816e7
File 155442993910.png - (191.49KB , 648x700 , 8-24.png )
928690

The thief steps back from the edge. That was too close, she tells herself. That big fae moved scary fast, and not only had they figured out her portals but clearly had spotted her. It was time to head out.

She turned her attention to scanning the city for another jump point. There was a nice, tall gatehouse by the river that looked safe. She grinned as she prepared her magic.
>>
No. 928691 ID: 7816e7
File 155442994463.png - (148.37KB , 648x700 , 8-25.png )
928691

A thunderclap stops her. Whirling around on, well, cat-like reflexes, she glares daggers at the mouse in red casually lounging on the battlements. He waves amiably. “Yo.”
>>
No. 928693 ID: 8d23f0

>>928691
tell her you would like your friends fire ward back.
>>
No. 928695 ID: bb78f2

Oh no!
A cat!
>>
No. 928697 ID: 094652

"You accidentally stole something vital to my friend's business. If you surrender it, I'll pay the fencing price and pretend this never happened."
>>
No. 928698 ID: 3ed3c3

>>928691
"Hand over the fire ward. Last chance."
>>
No. 928704 ID: 91ee5f

>>928691
Tell her to give back everything she stole. She’s not going to be able to escape from all of you. Especially since you’ve got the same magic, you’ll just follow her until she tires herself out.

And while Gabe has her distracted, Casey can do what >>928623 said and catch the cat in Spirit Shackles!
>>
No. 928723 ID: b1b4f3

>>928691
Advise her not to try running. It's time for negotiation.
Should also be good to find out why someone with portal magic is resorting to thievery. Shouldn't she be able to get a job?
>>
No. 928725 ID: ecd116

ok, how much is that fire ward? maybe a trade worth the item price with either currency's and/or goods or even some other sort of favor may make them willing to part with it.

also ask if they know what that is and what it can do plus why they nick it in the first place?
>>
No. 928726 ID: ab1fe9

Ok, first thing, take things calm. No-one wants anyone to throw portals around unsafely, and especially no-one wants to start fighting with the things. Remind her of that. Though she probably doesn't need reminding, if what I just imagined about her ear is right...

If you think you got her with that message, you might also tell her that you're pretty sure you have as much or more portal stamina as she does.
>>
No. 928732 ID: 6c7b8c

>>928691

So, even though she must've heard the gate immediately as it opened and quickly turned around, Gabe is already lounging casually against a wall? That's one quick mouse...

Can Casey use her Spirit Shackles through portals? If so, she would be the one to quickly subdue our feline felon. If not, I guess Nixxy would have the best chance of overpowering her. If she can't do that either... well, I hope Gabe learned a few martial arts moves from Kol.

Well, there is Miki of course, but if she is as devestated by the loss of the fire ward as the opening of the chapter made her appear, there's a good chance she might simply try to roast the thief. Let someone with a more level-headed outlook on the situation engage the cat.

One last thing to consider: we know that the thief is a sender, but can she also use the Spirit Cut technique? That would make her a far more dangerous opponent, so Gabe & Co should be on alert for that.
>>
No. 928734 ID: 2007b6

No witty banter until you've set up a ward to stop the thief from fleeing through another portal.
>>
No. 928738 ID: 91ee5f

>>928732
>Miki will try to roast the thief
Well, if the thief currently has the fire ward with her, she’ll be protected.

Although, I’m not sure if that also protects her clothes, so if Miki does try to light the thief on fire, the thief may just end up completely naked and too busy trying to cover herself to attempt running away.
>>
No. 928744 ID: 83bf07

>>928691
So where did you study?
>>
No. 928748 ID: 8eaf98

I would guess it is easy enough for a sender to hold open another sender's gate open, so I would expect cat's fleeing choices are kinda limited, we should probably get a binder up here just in case, but I support >>928744
>>
No. 928790 ID: 7816e7
File 155451974578.png - (134.86KB , 700x539 , 8-26.png )
928790

Gabe approaches slowly, his hands held open, “I think you have something that belongs to a friend of mine. Care to return it?”

The cat backs up, her eyes flickering sideways. “I- I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m just enjoying the view.” She smiles uncertainly.

“Come on, maybe we can talk this out?” He says hopefully.

She dashes forward and leaps. Sweeping her arms as if brushing aside curtains, she rips open a jagged hole in space and tumbles through.

Satisfied, the thief stands up and brushes herself off before smirking at the distant tower.
>>
No. 928791 ID: 7816e7
File 155451976766.png - (168.23KB , 586x700 , 8-27.png )
928791

A second clap of thunder echoes behind her and she freezes.

“Interesting technique you’ve got. Where’d you study? You don’t use stabilizing runes? Do you always use line of sight?” The mouse rocks back and forth on his heels impishly and grins.

The thief staggers back and huffs with frustration. “Who are you?!” She demands.

“Oh, sorry. My name’s Gabe: sender, fourth order. What’s your name?”

Still stunned that someone caught up with her, she stammers, “C-Clio.” She shakes herself off and hardens her expression. “What’s a sender?” Her eyes flicker to the golden seal on his chest and knit in confusion.

Gabe blinks back amazement, “Wait, you don’t know? You didn’t go to the academy?”

Clio is already running, diving through a crudely cut gate as a flash of light opens several blocks away.

“So it’s gonna be like that...” Gabe sighs and opens a portal into the alley.
>>
No. 928793 ID: 8eaf98

I assume you can do such 'crude' gates too, are they more or less taxing? cause if they are less we may have a problem. but yea if we want to actually catch her we probably need our binder.
>>
No. 928794 ID: 3ed3c3

>>928791
Gabe, this Clio has talent. It's a crime that she was never properly trained.
Retrieving the ward is our top priority, but it'd be a sin for Clio to go unnoticed by the academy. If you can, convince her to abandon her criminal life and become a sender. Or, failing that, capture her.
>>
No. 928795 ID: b1b4f3

Her ear...
>>928791
Yeah you gotta tell her she can make money with portals instead of stealing shit.
>>
No. 928798 ID: afdebc

>>928791
>what's a sender
I'm someone who can do like you do! You're self taught? That's amazing!

You know you can make a pretty good living with magic portal powers. You don't have to resort to theft!
>>
No. 928801 ID: e7848c

>>928791
Oh she's got talent, but that only goes so far. this isn't going to be a matter of stamina is it? Will she last against you?
>>
No. 928807 ID: 91ee5f

>>928791
We should probably tell her that if she isn’t careful, she’s gonna end up killing someone. Then she’ll be hunted down by people who won’t be as nice as you are being right now.
>>
No. 928810 ID: 094652

Is she a dimensional traveler? Either way, follow and catch.
>>
No. 928816 ID: 8d23f0

>>928791
tell her she should be more careful before she cuts someones hair off, also ask if she learned to make gates from family.
>>
No. 928823 ID: 6c7b8c

>>928791

So not only is she a sender who learned her powers outside of the Academy (which is fair enough; either the Academy's secrets leaked out of their ivory tower or the ability to open portals existed before them and the Academy simply formalized and institutionalized the field) but she has never even heard the word "sender"? The Academy seems to be a well-known and highly respected institution, so if Clio (nice name) isn't even aware of it despite her obvious talents, that implies that she comes from a distant land. Is there any hint of an accent to her voice, or anything else suggesting that she's not a native?

And again, how is Gabe able to teleport after her so fast that she doesn't even have time to turn around before he's standing there smirking? I know he's grown in his powers, but given that he still just a Guide rather than a full Guardian (if I remember my terminology correctly) it still seems like a feat that should be beyond him.

Anyway, the fact that Clio's portals look more like jagged, rough tears in space rather than the neat, circular doorways displayed by trained senders is a good indication that she's probably self-taught. This would suggest that she isn't as skilled as Gabe, which can be an advantage, but her amateurish use of her powers could also be dangerous if she decides to fight back and inadvertently causes dangerous tears in the space around her. It seems now as if Gabe's companions won't be coming after him, so our mouse sender is apparently alone for now. If so, the best course of action is probably to just try and negotiate rather than incapacitating her as that's not something senders are very good at. But Clio's portals can still cut into solid matter, and whether she decides to fight Gabe or is simply careless, he might end up getting sliced apart if he isn't cautious. We need to proceed very delicately here...

Love Clio's design, btw. Let's hope our heroes resolve the chapter's conflict in their usual way... <3
>>
No. 928825 ID: 91ee5f

>>928823
>how is Gabe able to teleport after her so fast that she doesn't even have time to turn around before he's standing there smirking?
Simple.

She’s relying on line of sight and that makes her easy to follow. Since she’s had no proper training, she doesn’t know that she doesn’t need to go in a straight line and she could just go straight to her hideout or whatever. Which is a good thing, since that makes it easy to follow her.

So as long as nobody tells her that, Gabe can keep following her.
>>
No. 928831 ID: ab1fe9

>>928825
I'm pretty sure you need to be very very mathematically sure where you are in relation to where you want to go, or to use some sort of previously existing marker, to go somewhere without line of sight. And that even line of sight is dangerous if it's too far. If she keeps trying harder to get away she might do something dangerous. Or even Gabe might, if someone he didn't see walks around a corner or something at the wrong time.

Gabe, call at her that senders make portals, there's a decent amount of you around here, an could she calm down because she might seriously hurt herself or someone else with those?
>>
No. 928840 ID: 71c0d8

Last two pictures doesnt show the ear off

But besides that, thats probably how she lost it
>>
No. 928841 ID: bad12e

>>928791

How about a trade, then:

She gives us back Miki's fire ward, and we teach her how to be a sender and actually use her talents. But ONLY if she promises to clean up her act.

I'm sure we've a spare room she can borrow a time during her tutelage so she won't have to worry about being tossed onto the streets or anything, right?
>>
No. 928848 ID: bcc41d

Time for a game of mouse and cat!

You'll want to end this quickly, lest she get a chance to trick you and break line of sight. Get her to stop running by ruining her line of sight. Can you get a roll of fabric and obscure her view through thinking with portals?

Funny that she doesn't know about the senders. You're not that obscure the commonfolk, are you?
>>
No. 928881 ID: 397a79

She doesn't know about Senders? Just how far away would you have to live before knowledge of the Sender Order isn't common public knowledge? Pretty damn far? She's also unskilled in opening Gates, so likely self-taught or taught by another amateur. So, probably from somewhere there isn't a Sender Order-like organization she could have gotten into. Now, where could that be?

Anyway, how wearying is ripping open Gates like she is doing? She gonna run outta mana soon if she keeps Gate-ing away ripping holes in space like she is?

Alright, first action is obviously to give chase for now. If she'll wear herself out making Gates and be unable to Gate away soon, then doing that makes sense. Though, she might give up while still having one or two Gates left in her then escape later. She also may have more mana in her than expected and you'll run out before her. That or she'll run off on foot and lose you in the alleys. Unknown risks.

So, better plans would be to either actively stop her from Gate-ing away or to trap her somewhere she can't Gate away from. Is it possible to interrupt her Gate formation? Would intersecting a Gate of yours with hers cause it to collapse or would that do Bad Things?

How about forming a Gate of your own in front of hers at the last second so she ends up where you want her? Can you form a Gate fast enough she can't stop herself running through? Or perhaps just making a Gate just under her feet, intersecting the cobblestones, and letting her fall through would work better?

Assuming you can get her through a Gate of your own, where to target it? A enclosed space where she doesn't have line of sight out would at least slow her down as she'd have to get outside. But if she feels she's cornered, she could turn on you and try to attack with her Gates and that'd be real risky. So, is there any place in Moot Point that's warded against free Gate creation but has a entrance Gate beacon you could Gate her into? Or at least somewhere warded against Gate formation you could maybe get her into?
>>
No. 928888 ID: 6c7b8c

>>928825

Well yes, I understand that, but my question wasn't about how Gabe manages to track and follow Clio through the portals, it's how he manages to do it so swiftly and silently. Didn't we establish that portals make a thunderous noise when they open as well as when they close? If so, Clio should notice and turn around immediately once they do so, and you would think that Gabe might not have had the time to jump through them, close them, and then lean against a wall with a smug expression acting all cool and devil-may-care. That should take a couple of seconds at least.

Eh, maybe I'm just overthinking it. It may just be narrative convenience. And he does look rather dashing as he does it, so who am I to complain? :P
>>
No. 928892 ID: a9af05

>>928888
>How is Gabe following swiftly and silently?
If you read the update, you can see that Gabe is not silently following her. His portals are making the same amount of noise they've always been making.

As for how he's doing it swiftly? It's because he's got proper training and knows what to do and how to make portals quickly.

All of this should be obvious.
>>
No. 928988 ID: 6c7b8c

>>928892

I get what you're saying, but I don't think... eh, never mind. It's really not important. Just a silly detail that I got way too caught up in.

Anyway, when it comes to the idea that Gabe might follow Clio around through their gates until she runs out of mana, that could work, but who's to say that he won't run out of mana before her? Clio might have bigger reserves of mana within her even if she isn't as trained in sending as Gabe, and maybe opening such crude rifts in space rather than the more delicate circular portals used by Academy-trained senders takes less effort and mana. Just something to keep in mind.
>>
No. 928992 ID: 91ee5f

>>928988
>maybe opening such crude rifts in space rather than the more delicate circular portals used by Academy-trained senders takes less effort and mana
I’m pretty sure mana control and proper portal creation are covered in sender school.

Clio seems more likely to run out of mana first.
>>
No. 929014 ID: 8eaf98

>>928793
>>928988
brought that up as first reply =)
>>
No. 929044 ID: 4eaed6

Any possibility of opening one in front of one of hers and dropping her in Casey's lap?
>>
No. 929111 ID: 7816e7
File 155475970194.png - (192.04KB , 700x624 , 8-28.png )
929111

“Any luck?” Casey steps through and joins him on the rooftop.

“Nah, she ran off. Her name’s Clio. From the looks of it, she’s self taught: her gates are rough, and she only uses line of sight. She didn’t even know what a sender is.”

“Self taught? Is that even possible?” Casey wonders.

“Maybe it was innate like mine?” Miki asks, “I know being born with magic is rare. It took me years to figure out how to properly control my fire breath. I practically grew up in the kitchen because it was the only part of the house that was warded!”

“Yeah, if she’s not careful she’ll end up hurting someone.” Gabe nods, “I’ve never heard of someone born with gating magic, but I guess it must be possible. If we talk to her, maybe we can get her to join the Order.”

“Can you keep up with her?”

“Should be able to, assuming my mana holds out. Everyone be careful though: I don’t have to tell you how dangerous gates can be. If we need to... do your thing, Casey.”
>>
No. 929112 ID: 7816e7
File 155475970705.png - (285.99KB , 700x571 , 8-29.png )
929112

Gabe opens another gate and the thief hunters hop through onto a penthouse terrace shaded by vines.

Upon seeing them, Clio immediately backs away, her mottled fur shifting under the shadows. “Back off! I don’t want to hurt you!”

Casey puts her hands out, “Wait! We want to help!”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that before. Everybody wants some of what I’ve got…”
>>
No. 929119 ID: 3ed3c3

>>929112
Her abilities or merchandise or what? Why is she being so twitchy?
>>
No. 929121 ID: afdebc

>>929112
>Everybody wants some of what I’ve got…
Your realize I've already got what you've got, right?

If there's anyone you can trust to have an honest conversation about magic, it's someone who's got no reason to be jealous, or put a leash on you.

...well okay, maybe a little jealous. Being self-taught is pretty impressive, but there's a lot you're missing out on, you know?
>>
No. 929123 ID: 8eaf98

>You realize I've already got what you've got, right? Seconding
We want one or more things you stole returned and for you to stop stealing.
Beyond that, we want to help you support yourself with something other than illegal activity. Your ability to gate has a lot of legal value and can be improved with training.
>>
No. 929124 ID: b1b4f3

Yeah no we already have gate magic thanks.

How about first, propose a truce. Let's just talk for a while. Get to know eachother. We can negotiate the return of the ward if we can give her something in exchange. I doubt we can take it by force without her cutting someone.
>>
No. 929129 ID: c1212a

We only want what you've stolen.
>>
No. 929131 ID: e7848c

>>929112
What does she mean by that? Who else is after her?
>>
No. 929132 ID: 8d23f0

>>929112
Gabe is already better at what you do though. we came here because you stole the lady on the Kelpies back hug amulet.
>>
No. 929134 ID: a9af05

>>929112
"We only want our friend's fire ward that you stole."

>I'll hurt you!
"If you were going to hurt us, you would've already done it."
>>
No. 929143 ID: ab1fe9

She's too on edge for talk right away. Gabe, how about this time you open a portal before she does? Let her know you're actually able to make them independently, in case she thinks you're only somehow able to follow her.

In fact, impress her. Open your portal to a location that isn't in line of sight (Obviously don't make it where she can just leap through), preferably somewhere where there'd be some sort of really impressive view through it. Something to knock her out of her current defensive mindset a bit.
>>
No. 929144 ID: b1b4f3

If we really want to impress her there's always the Spirit Gate.
>>
No. 929153 ID: 6c7b8c

>>929112

"Everyone wants some of what I've got..." Hmm... Is she talking about her powers or something more "physical?"

Either way, poor Clio. Seems she's led a life of being hunted and exploited. And if she was born with her gating magic, it seems strange that she wouldn't have caught the attention of the Order, unless she's not from around Moot Point. Definitely something we should inquire about.

Casey might be a better person to try and get her to see reason than Gabe, she seems to be the most diplomatic and compassionate of the trio. Keep her binding powers at the ready but don't use them unless Clio tries to teleport away again or attack. Miki and Nixxy should stay back unless they're needed - we need to get Clio to trust that they really do want to help her, and trying to attack her unless it's absolutely necessary would damage any such effort.
>>
No. 929154 ID: ac10e5

Probably don't make a portal to somewhere out of line of sight, best not to give her creativity right now.
>>
No. 929157 ID: 91ee5f

>>929154
I agree.

Don’t give her any ideas on how to run away better.
>>
No. 929162 ID: 542cdf

If “what she’s got” refers to the portals, perhaps you should point out that you aready have that. A better version, in fact.
>>
No. 929163 ID: b7e907

>>929143
I like the idea that Gabe should impress her with superior gate opening techniques, and explain to her that there is this community where she can improve and connect with people like her.

Riki could explain how important the fire ward is to her -- or would angrily demand it back works better? To make it clear that she did somthing wrong in the first place? Perhaps this first, then show-off time?

Then try to strike a conversation with her to gain trust, figure out what's her story, where she's from, if she has families, etc.

My hypothesis:
Clio is a descndent of Augustine Moot.
>>
No. 929165 ID: 2007b6

Can Miki and Nixxy combine their powers and make a smoke cloud or something, to lock down the available lines of sight? It'll be easier to negotiate once 'clean getaway' stops looking like a plausible option.
>>
No. 929169 ID: 7c818d

>>929165
Right now making her feel cornered sounds like a bad idea.
>>
No. 929177 ID: ab1fe9

>>929154
>>929157
I don't think you can learn to make non-LoS portals just by watching someone else make them. I'm pretty sure the way it works is that it's not a different spell, you need another spell to identify a beacon and/or use a bunch of maths and geographic leyline knowledge. She's probably tried to make non-LoS portals before and learned the result first hand, and will know enough to realize the implications of seeing one and to not try do it herself without knowing the method.

But, Gabe would know better. So, Gabe: do you think showing her a non-LoS portal would impress/distract her without giving her bad ideas? If so act appropriately, please.
>>
No. 929178 ID: 417401

She's still in flight or fight mode, keep your distance for now and keep talking.
Start with full introductions, she knows Gabe's name now, but not everyone else.
>>
No. 929180 ID: 8f8670

maybe talking about how many senders are graduated from the academy each year and what they do? Maybe actually sit down instead of chasing them...getting cornered like this can't be pleasant especially with the numbers against her. maybe just a one on one?
>>
No. 929192 ID: 8eaf98

>>929180 we kinda tried the whole one-on-one with Gabe, she refused to stay in one place.
>>
No. 929211 ID: 7816e7
File 155485787056.png - (181.16KB , 700x650 , 8-30.png )
929211

“If you’re taking about the gates” Gabe sticks an arm through a small hole and gives her a wave. “Nah, man. I got that covered. Mostly what we want is that thing you stole.”

“But we want to help you!” Casey explains. “We’re spirit guides, we help people...”

Clio squints at them, her eyes twitching as she looks for another place to gate to. “Spirit guides? Those people that fight ghosts and stuff, right?” She scoffs, “I don’t need help, thanks. Doing fine on my own.”

“Sure you’re doing okay now, but gates are really dangerous if not used right.” Casey puts a hand on Gabe’s shoulder and shows her the his official seal. “The Sender Order can teach you to control your magic and show you how to use it to help others. You’re already incredibly talented, why not use your powers for something good?”

The thief’s expression starts to soften into uncertainty. She bites her lip and considers her options, “Look... I—“
>>
No. 929212 ID: 7816e7
File 155485787551.png - (206.86KB , 648x700 , 8-31.png )
929212

“What is the meaning of this? Who are you? What are you people doing on my patio?”

They turn and a man in a robe stands at the door with a confused expression. The pitcher of iced tea in his hand sloshes as he glares at the intruders.

Clio snaps back to herself, turns and starts to run.
>>
No. 929213 ID: ab1fe9

She looks like she's thinking about it, at least.

... Can you safely open a portal between her and the portal she makes herself? Or create a portal on the other side of her portal as soon as it opens, to catch her? If you can make a portal to somewhere indoors, it'll slow her down a lot.

Or you can just catch her before she escapes, since you have Casey and Nixxy here to do that now (and Nixxy looked ready to pounce), and then bring her somewhere else where you can talk. She won't like it, but she IS still a thief, and you guys are sort of official keepers of the supernatural peace. You have a job to do, and there's an argument that she should just be grateful you'll go that much easier on her, even if you could have been moreso.

Or... Miki, this option is only available to you, since you're the one with something of yours on the line. The others wouldn't have the right to jeopardize that. You can call out to her where your bakery is and tell her she can come to talk about this again when it suits her. But only if you're ok with the uncertainty about getting your ward back.
>>
No. 929214 ID: 8d23f0

>>929212
yell at her your home address and explain what you were doing to this person cause it would be pretty suspecious to start running off now and if she doesn't show up by tonight we can hunt her down again tomarrow
>>
No. 929215 ID: 8d23f0

>>929213
>>929214
acutally bakery is a better place
>>
No. 929216 ID: afdebc

>>929212
"Sender business man, chill."
>>
No. 929218 ID: a9af05

>>929212
Casey, catch her!
>>
No. 929219 ID: 094652

She's naturally paranoid; a lifetime of power and everyone eager to use her has left her unable to interact with society without coming up with worst case scenarios. So come up with one yourself!

Catch up and tell her that she can study with you guys, but you're obsessed with putting yourself in her paws (and other places) because a broken portal could cause a huge explosion and kill a lot of people, so you cannot afford to let her leave untrained.
>>
No. 929220 ID: e7848c

>>929212
Persue, but we should offer her a meal at Miki's bakery. On us. All she has to do is talk. So we can understand.
>>
No. 929238 ID: 6c7b8c

>>929212

Well, I'm afraid we might have to simply incapacitate her after all. It's not ideal, but if she's so skittish that she tries to flee at the slightest unexpected movement, there might be no choice but for Casey to Spirit Shackle her and then for Gabe to gate her to a safe location. However, our heroes should go out of their way to be as polite and gentle as they can through the whole thing, and not act smug or demeaning once she is at their mercy - and that includes having Miki wait with angrily demanding her necklace back until a more appropriate time. We began trying to be diplomatic and kind in the most recent panels; if we change our tune when she is finally in our custody, that could irreparably damage her trust in us and convince her it was all an act. We should keep doing what we've been trying to do: convince her that there's a good place for her in the Academy, and a chance for her to become a valued and honored citizen and guardian of Moot Point.

And that maybe she'll acquire new friends in the bargain as well...
>>
No. 929245 ID: 91ee5f

>>929212
I think it’s time for Casey to Spirit Shackle Clio before she can get away. Then we can explain to this guy that we were catching a thief and we’re sorry for bothering him.

We can then just go to Miki’s shop for a donut or something while we wait for the authorities to come and take Clio to jail.
>>
No. 929255 ID: c8452a

>>929216
Yeah throw your authority around
>>
No. 929261 ID: 8eaf98

>>929245 sender -> jail ???
I mean I guess they probably have some special stuff to handle that, but how to portal proof a material?

>>929216 seconding this and this: >>929238
>>
No. 929357 ID: 7816e7
File 155495491180.png - (131.44KB , 700x456 , 8-32.png )
929357

“Clio, wait!” Casey extends a hand, letting her aura flow and take shape.

A ring of magic cinches tight around the thief’s wrist, instantly arresting her momentum. “No! Let me go! Stop!” She begs the binder as she tugs at her arm in desperation. 

Gabe shows off his seal and puts on an authoritative face. “Sorry, sir. Spirt guide business. We’ll be out of your feathers in a minute.”

The curious onlooker cocks an eyebrow at the struggling cat and backs into his home and shuts the door. 

“Nggh! What is this? Stop it!” Clio writhes as the ring nails her in place. She claws at the spell with her free hand as panic raises her hackles.
>>
No. 929358 ID: 7816e7
File 155495491645.png - (140.54KB , 574x700 , 8-33.png )
929358

“Guys? What do I do with— Ah!”
Casey gasps and clutches at her wrist. Numbness shoots up her arm and her fingers clutch at nothing as some kind of feedback flares.
>>
No. 929359 ID: 7816e7
File 155495492141.png - (175.18KB , 624x700 , 8-34.png )
929359

The binding spell falls away in pieces, the aura evaporating before it can hit the ground. Clio looks back with fear in her eyes as the thin blade of magic flickers in her hand. Seeing the shock in Casey’s expression she steps forward, uncertain and scared. “I-I l’m sorry. I didn’t- I didn’t mean to—“

Her hand reaches for her missing ear for a second and she bolts, disappearing in a flash of crimson.
>>
No. 929362 ID: e7848c

Oh.
Oh shit.
Is Case okay?
>>
No. 929367 ID: b1b4f3

Yeah that makes it extremely obvious that Clio is a descendant of Augustine Moot.
Alright, we still need to keep track of her, as it's now more important than ever to get on her good side.

Instead of approaching her directly, how about first leave this dude's house, then open a tiny portal near Clio to just talk to her through. Arrange some sort of neutral ground location to meet. Like a restaurant of her choosing, you'll pay for the meal.
>>
No. 929373 ID: 10c408

Yeah there's no doubt she's a descendant of someone who had serious magic talent. Poor thing might have ruined her own ear with it by accident.

Anyway, we can't afford to lose her now. Nixy, take Casey back home. Gabe and Miki can follow her. We cannot afford to lose her now.
>>
No. 929378 ID: 6c7b8c

>>929359

Holy crap...

Okay, on one hand, it seems we've lost Clio, at least for the moment. Maybe it's possible to still follow her through Gabe's portals, but we need to make sure that Casey is okay and besides, I think we've spent enough time on the rooftop chase in the chapter. I'm afraid we'll just have to admit defeat for now.

On the other... Oracular Mollusc recently proposed a hypothesis (s/he hid it behind a spoiler, but I think the signs are strong enough now that it can be revealed openly) that Clio is none other than a descendant of Augustine Moot! S/He was very prescient, it turns out. Not only is Clio a cat and a sender, but that blade she used to numb Casey's forearm looks like a lesser version of Augustine's ethereal sword that she wielded back in the day. And the fact that her statue appears so prominently in the latest image next to Clio cannot be mere coincidence. This is very interesting indeed.

As I said earlier, I think we'll just have to give Clio up for lost for the moment. But this revelation have given our heroes a lot of potential leads to follow. Maybe they should head to a library, or even the Academy of the Order of Senders itself, to try and research more about the city's founder and her possible connection to Clio. Is Augustine known to have had descendants? If she did, it should probably be common knowledge, but maybe they can find some deeper information about them by searching around a little. And maybe we could get Kol back into the story again - his astral projection abilities might be useful in tracking down Clio once more.

The bottom line is: don't give up hope. Clio may be gone for now, but she reacted in panic and fear and was genuinely regretful about what she did. She can still be found and convinced to turn her life around. And maybe she knows something related to her presumed ancestor that will be useful in the quest to fulfill the deal they have with Rodwin.

As for Miki, I'm afraid she'll have to wait a little longer to get her fire ward back. Unless Raithe is sick at the moment, he should be able to take care of himself for a few days more before we manage to reunite him with his owner/lover.
>>
No. 929381 ID: 8eaf98

We probably want to follow her at least one last time (potentially only Gabe though) to give her a way to find us later, a time and location to meet. Rip one of the three bindings, my understanding is those things were quite durable so this is no small feat
>>
No. 929391 ID: 2007b6

I'm not sure continuing the chase is actually the best plan. Cornering the panicky cat seems likely to result in her lashing out more with those all-penetrating blades she barely understands. Find some way to let her calm down and come to us.
>>
No. 929394 ID: 719d94

Continuing to chase seems counterproductive, we need to establish that we're not aggressive and just want to help... which probably means set up an opportunity for Clio to reach out to us, rather than continuing to reach out to her when she's not comfortable. Do we have a good way to do that? Some magical means of contact that allows a built-in opportunity to message back later, or somewhere public we could leave a note that Clio would get, or something?
>>
No. 929402 ID: c8452a

Check on Casey, you can figure out the crazy ancient magic later. Maybe we'll need to stop the chase and get her healing. Though, I don't want Miki to wait longer than she has to.
>>
No. 929404 ID: bad12e

>>929359

Well, that's certainly new.

Let's make sure our party is okay, then head back for now. We need to regroup and rethink this.

Clio is showing signs of pretty awful trauma right now, and is definitely in a reactive state. We need to give her time to cool down and hopefully a chance to approach us on her own.

Before she was startled, she seemed to consider our offer — Clio wants to do better and control her talents, which she is clearly quite afraid of despite flaunting them.

We have to appeal to her desires without goading her.
>>
No. 929426 ID: a9af05

If we're going to let Clio go, then we need to chase after her for a little bit and tell her where she can meet us if she decides she wants to talk.

After we pass along that info, then we can stop chasing her.
>>
No. 929427 ID: 8eaf98

>>929426 Basically what I tried to say with my last message.
>>
No. 929437 ID: 91ee5f

>>929426
This.
>>
No. 929462 ID: 7816e7
File 155503336308.png - (206.08KB , 648x700 , 8-35.png )
929462

“Casey!” Miki hops down and rushes to her friend’s aid. She takes Casey’s hand in hers. “Are you okay?”

“Y-yeah...thanks, Miki.” Casey flexes her fingers as feeling creeps back with pins and needles. With Miki’s warmth, her strength returns in a minute or so. “I should be okay. Was that...?”

Gabe stares up at the impassive face of Augustine Moot and then at his partner. “I- I don’t know, no one’s seen that spell in five hundred years. But... that fit every description of the Claíomh Solais I’ve ever heard, just... shorter.”

“It cut through a binding made to chain a god.” Casey makes a fist, satisfied with her grip. “I’d say that was a spell of legend."

Miki fidgets, her ears drooping, “Guys, should we stop? Its not worth getting hurt over.”

“You saw her face, Miki. Clio’s terrified of hurting someone else. We just need to get her to calm down so that we can help.”

“Yeah... I... I know how she feels. I know what its like to have a power that's scary and dangerous and something you desperately want to control...” Miki wraps herself around Casey’s middle in an extremely fluffy hug. “I don’t know what I would’ve done without someone to help me.”
>>
No. 929463 ID: b1b4f3

>>929462
Maybe Miki should approach her then. She's non-threatening due to her small stature, and has something in common with Clio.
>>
No. 929465 ID: 83bf07

>>929463
This is a good idea. Let's get Raithe in here too. Plead our case to Clio. See what she can help to restore.
>>
No. 929479 ID: 6c7b8c

>>929462

Well, I'm quite surprised at how Miki is now telling us to stop the chase, given how devastated she was when she came to tell her friends about how she lost the necklace at the beginning of the chapter. I mean, I'm not complaining, certainly - I still think she was a bit over-the-top histrionic - just surprised. She even expresses sympathy towards Clio!

Yes, a power resembling the Claiom Solais of Augustine Moot, just like we speculated. And no-one's been able to replicate it for half a millenium? That makes this an even greater discovery than I thought, making it even more important that we get to talk with Clio. As we suggested before, try and find a way to contact her in a way that makes her feel safe and comfortable, while doing a search through city or Academy archives to see if we can find any informatin on Augustine's family.
>>
No. 929480 ID: 91ee5f

>>929462
How did the Ghost Zone work again? Was it that you die, your soul goes there, and then it eventually gets reincarnated into someone else or something like that? Because Clio could actually be Augustine Moot reincarnated, but without any memories of how her powers work.

Or Clio is the descendant of Augustine Moot.

Either way, I guess we should just leave Clio alone and go check up on Raithe to see how he’s doing.

Hopefully Clio can figure out where to find us if she wants to talk.
>>
No. 929481 ID: c8452a

>>929479
Histrionic? Losing that necklace means she can't be with her lover, at least for a very long time as she slowly saves up for it.
>>
No. 929489 ID: 8eaf98

If we want to interact with her again at all right now I think we need at least one more gate so uh let us gate over to her one last time.
>>
No. 929490 ID: 10c408

>>929479
Funny how watching a trusted friend getting hurt because you got them involved in your own business can cause you to reassess matters.

Also Miki's heart isn't made out of freaking stone, nor is she "histrionic". The fire ward was expensive and highly important, not only to her business but also her personal relationship with her lover. Being upset is a perfectly natural reaction to it's evident loss.
>>
No. 929498 ID: b7e907

I support the idea of letting Miki talks to her. The best way to gain trust is always to share your emotion, instead of the empty "I can help".

Now for leads: I'm getting the impression that Clio is a somewhat active thief in this part of town, maybe we can try to find a contact? Pawn shop? Middleman? I wouldn't bet on her coming back look for us.
>>
No. 929541 ID: a9af05

If we're going to give up, shouldn't we at least give Clio a way to contact us before she gets too far away?
>>
No. 929646 ID: 7816e7
File 155520418118.png - (240.67KB , 700x644 , 8-36.png )
929646

Casey puts a hand on her friend’s shoulder, “Miki, why don’t you talk to her? No one else here has the same experience with intrinsic magic as you and Clio.”

The baker bites her lip and wipes her eyes. “Sure. I- I’ll give it my best shot. Ready, Nixxy?”

The kelpie lifts Miki in one hand and deposits her on a broad shoulder. ”Nixxy is having such fun today! We chase, find lady!”

“Do you know where to gate, Gabe?” Casey scans the sea of rooftops, looking for the thief.

“I got a rough idea, should put us pretty close.” He spins a finger in a vertical circle and opens a portal.

They step through onto a broad, slate roof-line and look for signs of Clio.

“Anyone see her?” Casey squints against the glare of the sun and shades her eyes.
>>
No. 929647 ID: 7816e7
File 155520418632.png - (148.85KB , 700x373 , 8-37.png )
929647

Nixxy’s long neck sways this way and that, her eyes closed. Her nostrils flare and her ears perk up. ”Nixxy smells it! Gate smell! We go this way!” She starts to gallop, her strange thick fingers finding purchase in the sloping roofline.

Clinging to the kelpie’s jostling back, Miki stares at the rapidly approaching gap. “Nixxy, watch out! The street!”
>>
No. 929649 ID: 26624b

Nixxy, morph into something flat so you can glide between the rooftops!
>>
No. 929654 ID: c1212a

Run free, Nixxie! Hang on, Miki!

So long as you don't tear up the shingles off the roofs.
>>
No. 929657 ID: 397a79

Gabe, open a Gate to the roof on the far side of the gap so you and Casey can cross over. Casey, extend and all your aura tentacles and brace yourself to be ready to yank Nixxy the rest of the way across in case her enthusiasm turns out to outstrip her capability to leap the gap. Backup plan in case Casey can't yank Nixxy over hard enough to keep her arc from falling too low and hitting the wall is for Gabe to form a Gate in her path to drop her on the roof.
>>
No. 929658 ID: ab1fe9

I'm sure Nixxy can do a wonderful, majestic jump!

So long as the landing spot can support the impact
>>
No. 929662 ID: 397a79

>>929658
>So long as the landing spot can support the impact
Right. So, with this in mind, I'm amending my suggestion of >>929657 to add that if Nixxy is on course to successfully jump the gap, Casey ought to form a net of aura tentacles in Nixxy's landing area to spread her impact over a larger area of the roof. Either that or momentarily cast the binding spell on both Nixxy and Miki, (so Miki isn't flung off by Nixxy stopping,) if doing so would safely negate all of their momentum.
>>
No. 929665 ID: 91ee5f

>>929647
Nixxy, it’s time to show everyone what you can do! Shapeshift into a form that lets you glide across the gap, but is still big enough for Miki to stay sitting on your back!
>>
No. 929667 ID: e7848c

>>929647
Oh gosh Miki is riding bareback. Brace yourself and protect the jewels!!
>>
No. 929699 ID: 58b4f3

>>929662
You do remember that Nixxy can shapeshift, right? There's no need to do any of that, since she can just glide across if she gives herself a way to do that.
>>
No. 929705 ID: 397a79

>>929699
Ah, right, I forgot how great her power of shapeshifting was. I thought she could only shift to the form of people, not things and presumably animals of novel form.

Well, there might be some Fey restriction on her, being a kelpie, taking the form of a flying creature. (Like the sea being the domain of selkies, so kelpies can't go there, the air may be that of another Fey.) So, if that's the case, Nixxy could just make her arms, legs and body longer to reach across. Basically turn herself into a noodle kelpie.
>>
No. 929712 ID: 7816e7
File 155526869127.png - (113.18KB , 700x416 , 8-38.png )
929712

Miki gasps and tries to cover her eyes. She tugs at her hands, feeling her palms sinking into the kelpie’s neck like dough.

”You no let go, okay?” The fae grins mischievously over her shoulder and finds another burst of speed.
>>
No. 929713 ID: 7816e7
File 155526870253.png - (54.77KB , 700x363 , 8-39.png )
929713

Nixxy bunches up her muscle and launches herself forward. There’s a moment of breathless peace as momentum carries them across the bustling street. The kelpie's body stretches outwards, forming an impossibly long living arch above clueless bystanders. She seems to hang in midair like an emerald rainbow out of pure, zealous, defiance of gravity.
>>
No. 929714 ID: 7816e7
File 155526870866.png - (233.30KB , 700x586 , 8-40.png )
929714

The leap ends and Nixxy lands in a skidding spin, her arms and legs splayed as she grinds to a halt. ”You okay, Miki?” She says as a roofing tile slips loose with a clatter.
>>
No. 929716 ID: 83bf07

Miki, if you have it in you, give this Faye a kiss for being awesome
>>
No. 929720 ID: 4a2db3

RIP In Peace, miku's balls.
>>
No. 929722 ID: 6c7b8c

>>929716

Nixxy can never be given enough kisses! <3
>>
No. 929775 ID: 10c408

poor, poor Miki. Groan and/or gasp in pain after taking a hit like that. Surely Nikki can shapeshift into a satyr-like form instead? Yeah we won't be able to chase Clio in a foot race but it'll spare Miki more pain.
>>
No. 929919 ID: 7816e7
File 155536808306.png - (144.11KB , 544x700 , 8-41.png )
929919

Miki pulls her hands loose and pats her hair bun woozily before planting a quick kiss on the kelpie, “Gonna be a bit sore, but I'm okay. Let’s keep going!”
>>
No. 929920 ID: 7816e7
File 155536808854.png - (138.56KB , 648x700 , 8-42.png )
929920

Nixxy sniffs back and forth, following the scent of ozone across the city. Loping easily between narrow gaps in the rooftops, she prowls between chimneys and smiles. "Nixxy find her… We see, yes?"

She carefully stalks up to a neighborhood belltower, situated above a small shrine to Minerva. Placing Miki on her head, she extends up to her full height in order to peek inside.
>>
No. 929921 ID: 7816e7
File 155536809332.png - (187.32KB , 666x700 , 8-43.png )
929921

From within, a small sniffle is heard among the dust and spiderwebs.
>>
No. 929925 ID: e7848c

Ask if she's okay. It's probably been a very tiring day for her. Don't climb inside just yet.
>>
No. 929926 ID: b1b4f3

It's hard, isn't it? Dealing with a power you can't control properly? Tell her you understand, you were born with fire. An element with such potential to destroy, but also... so necessary for life.
>>
No. 929927 ID: 10c408

Just calmly and slowly walk from your position on Niki's head to the corner of the belltower opposite Clio.

Start with either a story about you having an unfortunate accident with your powers or perhaps a formal introduction and then an story.

Don't bring up the fireward yet. She's gonna bolt if we start off like that and I doubt she's gonna take kindly to use asking about her.
>>
No. 929934 ID: a9af05

>>929921
Maybe knock on the wall and ask for permission to come in to talk?
>>
No. 929951 ID: afdebc

>>929934
Yeah, she's all freaked out, asking for permission beats cornering her again.
>>
No. 929954 ID: 094652

And strip down to your undies so she knows you don't have knives in your sleeves.
>>
No. 929965 ID: bad12e

>>929921

Be polite, ask if we can come in.

(I mean, we're Miki. We're not really the most threatening thing, except maybe for your waistline, but even then. Baked goods.)
>>
No. 929972 ID: c1212a

Tell Nixxie to wait here a minute. Knock on the windowsill & ask for permission to come aboard. Tell her you only brought Nixxy, who's an absolute peach, with you if she asks.
>>
No. 930007 ID: 055cbc

I say quietly crawl in, sit in another nearby corner, and then start talking about growing up with fire powers straight away.
>>
No. 930071 ID: 7816e7
File 155546716888.png - (163.91KB , 713x700 , 8-44.png )
930071

Miki reaches out and raps her knuckles on the sill. “Can I come in?” She asks.

“What?” Clio wipes at her eyes accusingly and demands, “How? Ugh, fine. Aren’t you scared I’ll cut you too?” She mopes, and stares down at the floorboards, speckled with bird droppings from years of roosting.

“It isn’t easy is it?” Miki steps down from Nixxy’s head and thanks her. “Keeping it in check?”

Dejected, the thief sighs. “How would you know?”

Miki kneels down and looks under the big brass bell, closes her eyes and breathes out. The flame bursts against the upturned metal and causes it to resonate, filling the whole tower with a low hum that raises Clio’s fur.
>>
No. 930072 ID: 7816e7
File 155546717488.png - (183.04KB , 696x700 , 8-45.png )
930072

“I was born with magic too. I spent... years living in our kitchen because our family couldn’t afford to ward the rest of the house. My dad stayed with me as much as he could, helping me learn to control my fire.”

Miki chuckles, “Poor guy didn’t know the first thing about magic. He says he lost his eyebrows so many times they grew back crooked.” Her fingers trace the rim of the warm metal. “When I went to school for the first time, we stayed up all night baking cookies for the class. I was so excited to be hanging out with kids my age, I couldn’t help but let out little flares every time I talked. But... dad went with me and helped explain to everybody about my magic so that they wouldn't be scared. The cookies helped."

Looking Clio in the eye, she smiles. "That’s why I got into baking. It was my way of making friends. I was always meeting people, and I could use my magic for something that people loved."

Clio is quiet for a while, picking at some nonexistent flaw in her sleeve. "That’s sweet…" she admits, a little grudgingly. "I wish I had that…"
>>
No. 930073 ID: bad12e

>>930072

Why not start now? Start over, if you want. With us.

She needn't be alone.
>>
No. 930075 ID: e20046

You've got plenty of life left, Clio. And a bunch of people who want to try to be there for you. Give us a shot, it's not too late.
>>
No. 930077 ID: e7848c

It's never too late to make friends and do good in the world. All it takes is a little trust.
>>
No. 930081 ID: 3ed3c3

>>930072
Well, here's her chance to get it. All she has to do is take it.
>>
No. 930091 ID: b1b4f3

>>930072
She can. Portal magic is a well loved skill, as it is used to ease the passing of the restless dead.
Also there might be something special about her ancestry... does she know of Augustine Moot?
>>
No. 930094 ID: 094652

"Eh. Something tells me you'll live long enough to have a family after all.

... So can I have my fire suppression amulet back? Baking is hard without @#$%ing the oven - I MEAN WORKING. Working the oven. Yes."
>>
No. 930153 ID: 2007b6

Hey, Nixxy, the gloomy pickpocket just wished for a trip to the Sender Academy! Or said what's close enough to that to probably count as consent under Faerie law, anyway. Drag her there right away, announce to the admissions office that Augustine Moot is reborn, and then reclaim Miki's fire ward as payment for the service.
>>
No. 930168 ID: 91ee5f

>>930072
You can have that. Gabe was telling the truth earlier when he said we wanted to help you.

>>930153
Don’t do that! She’s going to panic again!
>>
No. 930180 ID: a9af05

>>930072
Tell her that you and your friends really do want to help her. All she has to do is give you guys a chance.

>>930153
Don't make Clio panic again.
>>
No. 930229 ID: 7816e7
File 155555459613.png - (175.61KB , 700x611 , 8-46.png )
930229

“It’s not too late for that!” Miki sits down next to the thief. “Your magic is a amazing and its way more useful than mine!”

Clio shrugs gloomily. “When I was little, it was like my secret. I used it to get whatever I wanted: Just little things. I remember my folks were always frustrated with me, didn’t know how I was getting away with it. Till one day when I jumped without looking annnnnd...” she takes a deep breath, “Someone got hurt, real bad.”

“I did what any kid would do when they got in trouble: I ran. I jumped again and again until I just passed out from exhaustion. I... never found my way back, I was too scared. Just... took care of myself.” She sags as though a weight had been lifted.

A small, warm hand pats her on the shoulder. “Accidents happen, especially when you're a kid. Apparently, one of the teachers in the Academy is missing a couple of inches of tail, courtesy of Gabe.” She gives Clio a conspiratorial wink, “Don’t tell him I told you, though.”

“The point is, that’s why we try to do better. So that we don’t hurt the ones we love.” Miki swoons, “Like my boyfriend, Raithe. He has to be so careful around everything, its so sweet. At first I was just letting him stay with me, but the more we got to know each other, the more I could see that... he really understands me." She sighs, “That thing you took from me is what allows us to stay close. It would really mean a lot to me if you gave it back.”
>>
No. 930230 ID: 7816e7
File 155555460195.png - (97.54KB , 700x582 , 8-47.png )
930230

The cat twists up her mouth in resignation. Clio rolls her eyes and digs into the pockets of her coat. “Fine, if you guys wanna help, I might as well come clean...” She drops something heavy into Miki’s hands.
>>
No. 930243 ID: ab1fe9

Stay calm, Miki. Clio's opened up but she's still tender. Think of how much you admire your friends, and how they help people. They're all still ready to help. You're doing your part to help as well, now. Make sure you don't do or say anything to chase this girl off again. It's possible she doesn't actually have your ward, but she might have the connections to help you get it. She must know someone she pawns her stuff off to, right? They might know more.

How about you start by telling her it was smaller than that? And describe it to her. She might just be confused. It is a similar shape.
>>
No. 930245 ID: bad12e

>>930230

Uhhh ... is it just me, or is this something else? Or at least very unexpected.
>>
No. 930247 ID: fcd356

That is clearly the pocket watch that she JUST stole, minutes ago. We've been following her as a likely lead, but never had any real evidence she was related to the original missing charm.
>>
No. 930254 ID: b1b4f3

>>930230
Uh. Is that yours, Miki? Tell Clio what the warding necklace looks like.
>>
No. 930262 ID: 3ed3c3

>>930230
...That's...not it, isn't it?
Clio never actually took the ward, did she?
We've been chasing the wrong person, haven't we?
>>
No. 930264 ID: b1b4f3

Well if she *didn't* steal it, we can ask for her help finding it.
>>
No. 930267 ID: 91ee5f

>>930230
Just calmly explain to her that this isn’t what you were talking about. Describe what it is you’re looking for. You might also need to describe the moment she bumped into you.

If she doesn’t have it, then apologize for assuming she took it. Explain that’s why you guys were in the market earlier, you were all looking for your fire ward and now it looks like you’ll have to keep looking.

But that’s ok! Even though you didn’t find your fire ward, you at least got to meet Clio! And making a new friend is always fun!
>>
No. 930271 ID: 719d94

Well, if we have the wrong person... then we found someone who needed to be found, rather than the person we're looking for, and that's probably more valuable. We'll definitely get this poor girl some help.

...that said it would also be great to have Miki's fire ward back, so figure out if she took it earlier and there's been a mixup, or if she never took it and was just there at the scene around when it was lost. Perhaps she just coincidentally bumped Miki, possibly while running off with a pocketwatch.

And of course, that pocketwatch probably should get returned at some point. We'd like to help this girl get her life together, and cleaning up her act is part of that. And of course we'll help with that however we can.
>>
No. 930303 ID: c8452a

She clearly wasn't the right thief. We can still give this back, though. And maybe Clio would want to help us find the right person!
>>
No. 930311 ID: c1d0c2

>>930230
don't call "this ain't the one" yet!
For all we know she might be bluffing us and is pulling this off to make us think she isn't the one. While she might not have done it and then whoever got away with this is getting straying away further, it's not a bad idea to tinker with the thought that she's trying to pull a sneeky one on us!
>>
No. 930337 ID: 0e2ebe

>>930311
It is a bad idea because if we're suspicious and she's being sincere, then we'll really hurt her. We can afford a bamboozle, she can't afford distrust.
>>
No. 930339 ID: 7816e7
File 155563669250.png - (149.08KB , 648x700 , 8-48.png )
930339

The baker smiles brightly as she looks down. “Thank you so- what the Muut?” Her sparkling joy fades, she glares at the pocket watch in disbelief. The slim contraption ticks back at her innocently, daring her to question its realness. “No, this isn’t it. I'm looking for a fire ward!” She scoffs, “You know, orange stone on a necklace?”

Clio shrugs at her with a lost expression, “I dunno, I thought this was what you were looking for. I don't really go for jewelry; too risky. ”

"I- you're sure you didn’t take it? Its about this big?"

Helpless, the cat shrugs and empties her pockets. There are a few candy wrappers, a wallet and a small purse with some cash, but nothing resembling the missing ward.

The baker's ears droop. Feeling despair set in, she stares at the small cache of stolen goods and leans against Clio.

Dust motes wander around the two figures as sunlight stretches through the open bell-tower.

"Hey… Do you want some help looking? I can ask around; see if anyone's tried to fence it?"

"I- yeah… thanks. I just-- can I just sit here for a minute?"

Unused to the close proximity, the cat looks around and puts an arm around her. "Uh, yeah… sure…" A warmth seems to radiate off of her like a tiny sun and Clio feels herself relaxing for the first time in what feels like ages. "I'm sorry I didn't have it… it seems really important to you. I- I guess, I'm glad I got to meet you, though."

"Yeah, me too." Miki smiles back in spite of her heartbreak. "I'm glad I was able to help. The Senders will be real excited for you to join them."

"Thanks… I wonder where your friends are?"

"I'm sure they're somewhere around here."
>>
No. 930340 ID: 7816e7
File 155563669850.png - (180.10KB , 653x700 , 8-49.png )
930340

A few minutes later, Casey and Gabe come clambering over the windowsill and spot the despondent baker. "Hey, Miki? Everything okay?" Casey asks, her eyes flickering between her friend and Clio

"We got the wrong person…" Miki says, her gaze still nailed to the floor. "Clio doesn't have it." Accepting a hug from her friends, she feels tears leaking down her cheeks.

"What'dya want to do?" Gabe asks. "I've got enough mana for a few gates if you want to keep looking."
>>
No. 930342 ID: e7848c

Let's.. let's get Clio to a proper place to rest. Let her gather whatever things she needs and let her crash for the night with Miki.
>>
No. 930345 ID: b1b4f3

Is there a lost and found area for the market? It's kindof high value for that sort of thing, maybe someone turned it into the police? You could also try a pawn shop in case someone immediately tried offloading it.
>>
No. 930349 ID: bad12e

>>930340
>>930342

Yeah. Let's call it off for today. No sense exhausting ourselves, and it'd be best to help Clio establish things.
>>
No. 930350 ID: ab1fe9

Well, just gating randomly isn't going to be helpful. The best lead is to go find a fence, but... well, you all look like fine upstanding citizens, and that kind of person won't want to reveal they have anything to do with stolen property to you. Clio's the only person who could talk to them. But it might not be a good idea to ask that of her right now. Besides, it probably hasn't even reached a fence yet? It might actually not be productive to go looking right now.

Or... hm. If the thief isn't Clio, then they can't teleport around the place. Perhaps you could ask Clio where a thief that was operating around the area Miki lost it would be likely to go to sell, and then stake that place out? Subtle-like. If not that, and if you can't just find someone who uses magic to find things, then you probably have to wait until after the thief's sold it and trawl through the fences then, which might take a day or so. People looking to buy magical jewelry from pawn shops probably don't come along every day, so you'd have some time. In any case, you should ask Clio if she has a decent place to stay, and offer her one if she doesn't.

... By this point, you should probably all go check in on Raithe. He's probably worried, on top of him apparently not feeling super well.
>>
No. 930353 ID: a9af05

>>930339
Well, the least you can do is return it to whoevet Clio took it from. You should ask Clio who she took it from, so that you can return it.

It might be best if Clio doesn't come with you when you return the watch.

>>930340
Maybe we should head to the bakery, take a break, and get something to eat real quick? And when I say "we", that includes Clio. I'm sure she'd like to eat some sweets.
>>
No. 930370 ID: 91ee5f

>>930353
This.
>>
No. 930392 ID: 397a79

First off, return the items Cleo stole. She doesn't have to be a thief any more to survive. Just make sure Cleo isn't the one to return them.

Now, since the only basis for y'all thinking Miki's fire ward necklace was stolen was Cleo bumping into Miki as Miki walked between Moon Street Market and Guardian's Square when Miki realized it was missing, y'all should reconsider that it may have fallen off instead of being stolen. So searching the route that Miki took for the fire ward as well as asking all the vendors and businesses along the way if they've seen it and to be on the lookout for it would be prudent. And if Nixxy can sniff out the fire ward's magic or even the scent of Miki on the necklace, then she should definitely be part of the search.

In addition, Miki can leverage her good relations with her customers and the public to get more eyes on the lookout for her fire ward. So ask her regular customers, her suppliers and any other folk she has good relations with to be on watch for her fire ward necklace, as well as asking them to ask their friends and relations to be on the lookout for it.

Filing a missing item report with the city guard would also be prudent. On the off chance the fire ward is fenced and they raid the fence before it's sold, this way they'll know who owns it.

It'd also make sense to put a item up on any public bulletin boards in the area asking if anyone sees or knows of Miki's lost necklace to let her know. Maybe offer a small reward for info leading to its recovery.

In the mean time, is there anyone y'all know who could lend Miki a fire ward until she recovers hers or, if things don't work out, saves up enough to buy another one. Or perhaps someone who'd lend her the money now to buy a fire ward. Mr. Ochre would probably give her a loan with very nice terms.
>>
No. 930428 ID: 7816e7
File 155571994868.png - (94.95KB , 700x475 , 8-50.png )
930428

Miki takes another look at the pocket-watch and sighs deeply. “No, let’s just go home. I should see if Raithe is feeling better...” She flips the watch over and runs her thumb over an engraving, identifying it as a present for a Mr. Chester Spires. “I suppose we should figure out how to return this too.”

“Do you think I could come with you?” Clio scratches at the back of her neck awkwardly. “I’d like to meet your boyfriend, if that’s okay?”

“Sure. Let’s go get Nixxy first.”

When they’re ready, the sender spreads his hands and opens a gate for the assembled group. They step out into the street in front of the bakery and Clio looks back at the rotating ring of light as it shrinks. “You took us right to it? Without even looking?”

“I used a beacon. I can show you if you want.” Gabe smiles, “Maybe, um... you could show me how to do that sword thing?” he asks with a hopeful twinkle.

“What? I mean, sure, guess so?” Clio shrugs and eyes the beaming mouse, "I dunno if I'm really much of a teacher…"
>>
No. 930429 ID: 7816e7
File 155571995314.png - (125.31KB , 648x700 , 8-51.png )
930429

Miki unlocks the bakery and staggers inside. “Raaaaithe! I’m back! How are you feeling, sweetie?” She calls into the kitchen as she steps behind the counter.

A fiery head pokes from around the corner and eyes his girlfriend, “Miki! You’re back! I- fates, are you okay? You look terrible!” He floats out into the shop and spots the spirit guides and friends. “Oh! Hey everybody. I- uh, what’s going on?” He fidgets under their combined attention.
>>
No. 930432 ID: ab1fe9

"Miki lost her fire ward while she was out today. We've been helping her run all over the place looking for it, with no luck. It seemed like it was getting late, so we'll try again tomorrow. How are you? Miki said you weren't feeling well."

Now I think of it... could the fire ward itself have been having an adverse effect on him? I mean, I have to assume a fire elemental shouldn't wear a fire ward. What if being in close proximity to one very often is bad for them? What if a fire elemental, uhhh, "ingested" part of someone being affected by one? Did Miki tell the person she got it from what she intended to use it for? If he says he's been feeling better, now that it's been missing for a while, that might be a clue.

Maybe don't bring that possibility up in front of Miki, but perhaps the rest of you should talk it over quietly with each other when you get the chance? Go investigate a little, after Clio is settled in?
>>
No. 930433 ID: bcc41d

Miki's lost the fire ward, possibly stolen. She's fine, but mentally worn.

Clio, meet Raithe. Raithe, Clio. She's... uh, a magical prodigy who's willing to help trying to locate the bracelet. Which is pretty cool of her.

Is Raithe still feeling unwell? Doesn't quite seem like it.
>>
No. 930444 ID: b1b4f3

>>930429
Hey Raithe, did anyone happen to come by to deliver a lost item?
>>
No. 930446 ID: e7848c

>>930429
Sorry to come back empty handed. It's disheartening but the search isn't over. Let's just get some food in us, yeah?
>>
No. 930450 ID: 91ee5f

>>930429
I still stand by my earlier theory that Raithe accidentally ate the fire ward when Miki was baking something and it accidentally fell into whatever she was making. Raithe ended up eating it and that’s why he wasn’t feeling good.

Although from the looks of things, he seems to be doing fine now. Ask him if he’s feeling better.
>>
No. 930466 ID: 7816e7
File 155573089428.png - (138.55KB , 700x756 , 8-52.png )
930466

“Raithe, honey, I’ve got some bad news...” Miki mumbles, “I... I lost my fire ward... We were looking for it, and we thought someone stole it but... I don’t know.” She looks him in snoot and goes to hug him, but holds back. "I'm sorry, dear…"

Raithe makes a noise entirely out of vowels that trails off guiltily. “Oh noooo, Miki… oh Fates. I’m sorry.” He holds out a closed fist, “Uh- that’s actually my fault…" The salamander's gaze drifts to the floorboards and he sinks a little as if deflating. "I- I borrowed it for a bit…"
>>
No. 930467 ID: 7816e7
File 155573090005.png - (100.30KB , 542x700 , 8-53.png )
930467

“I wanted to keep it hidden, so I could surprise you when you got home...” his hand opens to reveal a large orange stone, burning with its own inner fire and set into a golden band in the shape of a salamander. “I wanted to, um, make something special that, uh, meant something for both of us. ‘Cause I wanted to ask, uh- if, uh, oh Fates… if- ” Raithe's throat goes bone dry, and little prominence of flame arc away from his scales. "if you'd marry me?"
>>
No. 930468 ID: 465a14

>>930467
Well, given that the update paused here, clearly we're making the choice and he's asking you for some reason, Gabe. Say that you're very flattered but your parents would kill you if you married a salamander.
>>
No. 930469 ID: b1b4f3

Miki say yes.
>>
No. 930470 ID: c1212a

We can't help you answer that one Miki.

Though I recommend your answer include 'Raithe you bid dumb idiot you had me so scared' followed by a 'yes'.
>>
No. 930473 ID: bad12e

>>930467

Remember to breathe.

Take a breath.

Another one.

Maybe a third just to be sure.

Wait for your heart to start back up.

Try not to break 80dB when you squeal out an "I do."

Then slip that ring on and go make it official right now.
>>
No. 930474 ID: bad12e

>>930473

By which I mean politely excuse yourselves to the bedroom as it's far too late in the day for any kind of ceremony and there's a lot of planning to do for Future Miki & Raithe.
>>
No. 930478 ID: e7848c

Miki, if you have any tears left in you, now's the time. Let it all out, girl.
>>
No. 930487 ID: 91ee5f

>>930467
Oh, so he hasn’t been feeling good because of extended contact with the fire ward while he was making it into a ring. That explains why he was sick earlier! .....I think?

>Will you marry me?
Miki, there is only one answer that you can say right now. Say, “Yes!”

Then put on the ring and give your soon to be husband a big kiss on the lips!
>>
No. 930489 ID: 094652

Make sure you take the ring BEFORE you hug him with all your tiny might.
>>
No. 930490 ID: 3ed3c3

>>930467
Everyone: immediately go nuts.
>>
No. 930556 ID: 11613b

>>930490
yeah except Clio you stand there awkwardly while everyone jumps with joy!
>>
No. 930559 ID: bb78f2

Celebratory Engagement orgy?
>>
No. 930563 ID: 7816e7
File 155581710978.png - (132.68KB , 700x630 , 8-54.png )
930563

Miki’s hands fly to her mouth at the sight of the ring. Her eyes go wide as tears brim beneath them. She extends a shaking hand, fingers splayed; breathlessly repeating, “ohFatesohFatesohFatesohFates-“

Rathe carefully threads the ring onto her finger, trying to keep from singeing her fine fur. As the metal snugs against her hand, the spell takes effect with a pulse of mana.
>>
No. 930564 ID: 7816e7
File 155581711542.png - (166.19KB , 700x472 , 8-55.png )
930564

“YES!” Miki explodes into the arms of her scorching fiancé. Raithe’s draconic head snakes its way down as he pulls her into a kiss.

Behind them, breathless tension roars into a whirlwind of celebration. Whoops and victory dances fill the bakery in an outpouring of support.

“YOOOOOOO!”
“Way to go you two!”
”Miki in love! Nixxy so happy!”
“Woah! Put me down!”

Miki pulls away from the kiss and baps the elemental lightly in the chest with a burst of sparks. “Don’t ever do anything like that again! You had me terrified!”

“Yeah, I know. Sorry, Miki! I’m not good at hiding stuff, and I really wanted to do something special—“
>>
No. 930565 ID: 7816e7
File 155581712481.png - (152.51KB , 700x656 , 8-56.png )
930565

Raithe is interrupted by a “pop” as Gabe pulls a bottle of champagne from his inter-dimensional hiding space and uncorks it. He takes a swig and hands it off to Casey.

The binder laughs and takes it, “Why do you even have this?”

“For shit like this! Wooo!” He pumps his arms and spins, sending his skirt flying.

She rolls her eyes and takes a sip before passing the bottle off to the lucky couple. “So exciting! What next?”

“Well, I guess we have a wedding to plan!” Miki beams and admires her ring proudly. “And I was thinking: if we’re gonna be partners, maybe its time I change the name of the shop?” 
>>
No. 930573 ID: b1b4f3

>>930565
Salamander's Stove.
>>
No. 930588 ID: 91ee5f

>>930565
>passing the bottle off to the lucky couple.
Uh, is that such a good idea? Isn’t that flammable? With Miki breathing fire and Raithe being made of fire, it might not be safe for either of them to drink that.

>“And I was thinking: if we’re gonna be partners, maybe its time I change the name of the shop?”
Since both of you have fire, the shop should have something related to fire in the name.

>>930573
Or that. That’s a pretty good name.
>>
No. 930597 ID: 465a14

>>930588
>Isn’t that flammable?
No. Champagne is just wine. It's mostly water, and won't burn. Alcohol has to be roughly 80 proof or above to light, and it's easier the higher you go.
>>
No. 930608 ID: 094652

Bun's Oven (Nah that's racist)
Chimney Chowder
[Insert Temperature Here]
Spit n' Scone
Breath of the Pield (Oh that's a good one)
Kiss n' Chew (Getting somewhere)
Kitty Skittles (getting distracted)
Basking in the sun (almost)
Bun-Basking on Love (Nailed it! Because the first time they met Miki sensually blew some fire on Raithe's ass and now he basks on her magic breath to keep warm among other things)

Oh and make a batch of Clio-shaped cookies
>>
No. 930609 ID: 05ebc7

Okay, so we need a good name.

Heartwarming Bakery. Simple, catchy, relevant, meaningful.
>>
No. 930610 ID: 864e49

Hearthfire Bakery.
or
Heartfire Bakery.

They both sound and look similar and :
A) Hearth means fireplace or oven which brings to mind a comfy home and home baked bread, and both of you live here.
B) Heart brings to mind caring both about the customer and about each other.

Maybe Hearthfire with a stylized second H so that its no apparent whether it's an H or not?
>>
No. 930614 ID: 474770

>>930597
And to make matters worse for the fire, it's full of CO2.
>>
No. 930619 ID: c1212a

>The Hearth and the Salamander
Maybe not the literary reference you're looking for...
Maybe something with caramel in the name? because sugar & fire? eh...
Heat & Sweets might give people the wrong idea.
>>
No. 930627 ID: c8452a

>>930610
I like Hearthfire
>>
No. 930629 ID: 58b4f3

>>930609
>Heartwarming Bakery
>>930610
>Hearthfire Bakery
Either of these will work.
>>
No. 930636 ID: 58b4f3

>>930629
At the risk of sounding dumb, I've gotta ask, was Raithe pretending to be sick to get Niki to leave so he could prepare his surprise or was he actually sick from holding the fire ward?
>>
No. 930645 ID: 916ff4

>>930565
Home & Hearth Bakery
>>
No. 930702 ID: 8eaf98

>>930564 Clio's face =D
Nixxy: you might want to crush someone who is more acclimatized to you rather than the person who met you all of today.
Time skip start? Because I feel like we should let Clio settle into the new life we are providing her before we start bombarding her with questions.
>>
No. 930705 ID: 91ee5f

>>930702
>Nixxy: you might want to crush someone who is more acclimatized to you rather than the person who met you all of today.
And then there was a loud snapping sound, followed by very loud cursing and lots of apologizing.
>>
No. 930779 ID: 8eaf98

>>930705 Whoa man! I think it has been established that we fuck not snuff here in Moot Point.
>>
No. 930947 ID: 7816e7
File 155607265927.png - (107.44KB , 700x459 , 8-57.png )
930947

Miki thinks for a bit. “Hmmm, how about Hearthfire Bakery? Simple and sweet.”

“I’ll drink to that!” Says Raithe, taking a swig from the bottle that instantly evaporates. He smacks his lips as the vapor tickles his tastebuds.

“I’m so excited! I’m dead tired though.” She beams the exhausted smile of someone who had the worst and best days of their life rolled together into one. “Thank you guys for going on this wild goose chase with me.”

“No problem, Miki! Glad it all worked out.” Casey waves back. "We should go see about a meeting with the Sender Academy."

“Oh, wait! Raithe, there’s someone I want you to meet. This is Clio, she has intrinsic magic like me.”

The cat steps forward hesitantly and issues a shy, “Uh, hi.”

“Oh, hey! Nice to meet you!” The elemental smiles back with a mouth full of fire and fangs. "Always nice to meet new people! Its kind of hard for me to get out and about being made of fire and all. But we'd love to have you visit."

“Absolutely! Please come by whenever you like!” Miki gives her one last hug, filling her with that magical warmth once again.
>>
No. 930948 ID: 7816e7
File 155607266529.png - (93.37KB , 565x700 , 8-58.png )
930948

Clio and the guides say their goodbyes as Gabe opens a gate home. When the thunder of the spacial rift dies away, Miki lets out a long, tired breath tinged with coils of fire. “Ugh, I’m ready for bed, how about you?”

“Sure thing.” The salamander scoops her up and floats upstairs.
>>
No. 930949 ID: 7816e7
File 155607267051.png - (179.02KB , 700x500 , 8-59.png )
930949

Laying Miki down in the fireplace they share, he makes a quick circuit of the room, lighting candles with his fingertip.

Pulling her dress off and laying back, Miki watches him work. “Awww, did you set all these up? You cheeky lizard.” The baker giggles as her fiancé blushes in response. “You sent me on quite the adventure today. Care to make it up to me?"
>>
No. 930954 ID: 465a14

I'm kind of curious what happens if we reject sex for once.

Nah.
>>
No. 930958 ID: e7848c

It's time to consummate your love
>>
No. 930965 ID: bb78f2

Baby, I'm hot just like an oven
I need some lovin'
And baby, I can't hold it much longer
It's getting stronger and stronger
>>
No. 930970 ID: bad12e

>>930949

Now Begins The Cuddling
>>
No. 930979 ID: c1212a

Surely you have prepared for this eventuality.
>>
No. 930984 ID: 2276f5

Let's make it hot.
>>
No. 930987 ID: 094652

Let me guess: they're not going to have actual sex.
>>
No. 930992 ID: 91ee5f

>>930949
Raithe, tell her that you’ll absolutely make it up to her!

I’m imagining that since they’re in the fireplace, this: >>/questarch/860244 , is what’s going to happen when they reach the climax! XD
>>
No. 931031 ID: a9af05

>>930949
Go make it up to her.

>>930992
>This will happen
Yeah, probably.
>>
No. 931049 ID: b1b4f3

Raithe should do for her what she did for him the day they met.
>>
No. 931051 ID: 8eaf98

>>930954
you said it as a joke but ima seriously vote no sex partly cause it, almost certainly, will not matter =P
>>
No. 931065 ID: ac10e5

why don't you test the limits of the smoke alarm and the fire ward? Take her into the least-flammible place and have some literally smoking fire-love.
>>
No. 931075 ID: 745eba

>>931065
I feel like burning the house down is a bad way to start their engagement
>>
No. 931077 ID: 7816e7
File 155616077327.png - (152.83KB , 700x540 , 8-60.png )
931077

Raithe slinks into bed and coils around her possessively. The salamander slips his hands down her sides, dragging blunt clawtips over her curves and between her thighs. His wandering caress cups her breasts; a pair of experienced tweaks find her nipples hidden among the chinchilla’s dense fur.

“Ah! Yessss.” Miki hisses from the haze of pleasure, feeling herself perking up after a long, emotional day. A claw tilts her chin up and she leans back into an oddly metallic tasting smooch. A hungry grope drags a moan out of Miki, still locked at the lips as she arches her back happily. She manages to pull away and giggles, “Someone’s antsy. Go for it big boy.”

>>
No. 931078 ID: 7816e7
File 155616077811.png - (160.98KB , 700x540 , 8-61.png )
931078

Raithe’s long neck snakes over her shoulder and down her chest. His tongue lassos her shaft in a coiled helix and holds it in place as it disappears between his lips. The elemental bobs his head in slow, easy sine waves, minding his fangs and growling with pleasure.

Miki’s hips twist and grind in place, bucking slightly into the blowjob. She smiles and bites her lip, feeling Raithe’s cocktip poke insistently beneath her tail.

>>
No. 931085 ID: b1b4f3

Where's the fireproof lube? I wonder if we can get a Miki sandwich with salamander on both sides.
>>
No. 931104 ID: 83bf07

You in a position to do something about his rising hot rod?
>>
No. 931139 ID: a9af05

>>931078
Move your tail out of the way and let him in.
>>
No. 931159 ID: 7816e7
File 155624845317.png - (124.87KB , 700x540 , 8-62.png )
931159

Hanging onto his neck, Miki rolls her hips back and forth, grinding the growing shaft between her fuzzy asscheeks.

Raithe groans. His claws grip her hips, his claws spreading her in an unspoken question.

“Aw, my dragon is needy tonight isn’t he?” Balancing on Raithe’s knees, Miki lifts herself up just enough for his shaft to angle itself correctly. She reaches down and holds it in place as she sinks down onto the pointed tip. “Ah, yeah!There we go! Get...in there...”She gasps as she’s slowly speared on his length; his cock blazing within her like steel in a forge. 

Raithe moans with approval, still lapping and sucking at Miki’s dick. Taking her by the hips drags her down his length, feeling her inner walls stretch around him as he bottoms out. He lifts her up, taking her to the base as his tongue flexes and coils around her cock.

>>
No. 931160 ID: 7816e7
File 155624845834.png - (155.09KB , 568x700 , 8-63.png )
931160

Back and fourth, alternating between filling and being filled, the elemental bounces his lover in his lap like a toy. Each pump driving a squeak out of her as she hangs on gamely.

Miki’s mouth hangs open as pressure builds within. Fucked senseless by the double pistoning from her boyfriend, the chinchilla aches for release. “Fates! Don’t stop, Raithe!” She begs breathlessly, “Faster!”

>>
No. 931173 ID: 91ee5f

>>931160
>boyfriend
Not anymore! Now he’s your fiancé!

>Don’t stop!
>Faster!
You heard your fiancée! Go faster!
>>
No. 931175 ID: 83bf07

You do have a make this up to her, you best listen to the lady..


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