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769571 No. 769571 ID: 65a774

“Thrown into the deepest void, left for dead and to be forgotten. Into the deepest reaches of the earth I wandered, as my very being was torn asunder. Lost… forgotten… and thought dead, I clawed myself up from the abyss. I return from the nothing, I am back to reclaim what is rightfully mine. I am back from the very void to take my rightful place as god. When not even death would stop me, what hope do you have?”

-Sermon of the new God- “I am the beginning”

Discussion: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/92354.html
Wiki and previous threads: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Strange_Bedfellows
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>>
No. 769572 ID: 65a774
File 148330149929.png - (41.27KB , 686x526 , 2.png )
769572

…last night, you went to bed embraced in the warmth of others… today, you wake up cold and alone…
>>
No. 769575 ID: 309d35

You sure? That's one suspiciously lumpy blanket you're under. Whelp, time to start up the morning routine. Actually, fuck it, just throw on a robe until you figure out what all that raised security yesterday was about.
>>
No. 769578 ID: 094652

Hold your beak and try to inhale. If you can still breathe, concentrate on the phrase "this might be a dream".
>>
No. 769583 ID: 96c896

Go find briannah.
>>
No. 769601 ID: 696fed

bite your own hand to check for nightmare
>>
No. 769606 ID: 91ee5f

Go find Bri.
>>
No. 769666 ID: c47ad8

Did you sleep well? Are you rested? After all, you went through a lot this night... How do you feel?

Assess the situation on your room, Maybe Bri is in the bathroom? She went through a lot too, the first place I would check is the Bathroom.
>>
No. 769678 ID: e85fea

freshen up and get ready to face the day.
>>
No. 769686 ID: fe7355

...Alone. You're alone. Where are...? Oh, no. No, no, no, NO! Briannah! Where is Briannah?! Was all you did in her dream for naught, or was it enough?! Or was it just enough that you'd have a chance, if you can reach her in time? You have to find Bri! Now! Nothing else before that!

Spring out of bed and call out for Briannah. Glance at the clock as you yank on a pair of underwear and don and tie your robe, not giving a damn you'll reek of sex to anyone you pass. No way you're going to stop to shower now. Quickly look around to see if she left a note for you or there's any other clue of where she went, like her armor being gone. If there's no note then rush to check your bathroom, closet, balcony and any other rooms off your bedroom. If she's none of those places, run to your bedroom door and ask Sisah or whoever else is stationed there where Briannah is. If they say she's still in your apartment, go there immediately. If she left your apartment, grab Sisah and hurry to wherever Bri is. Though, if Bri said it was a meeting and it's way too early for that, she's probably in the studio like she was yesterday morning.
>>
No. 769829 ID: 65a774
File 148337971949.png - (33.66KB , 686x526 , 3.png )
769829

>You sure? That's one suspiciously lumpy blanket you're under.
The only thing you find under your blanket are some discarded pillows and disappointment.
>Bite your own hand to check for nightmare.
Ow! Yeah, definitely not a dream…
>Hold your beak and try to inhale.
You can’t breathe while holding your own beak, so no… this does seem to be reality. The dream was way less… focused than this.
>Did you sleep well? Are you rested? After all, you went through a lot this night... How do you feel?
Actually, you do feel surprisingly well rested… the only thing off is that it feels like you just ate a three course meal meant for at least four people… ugh…
>Glance at the clock.
…about nine… huh… still early…

>Go find briannah.
…oh shi- BRI! You don’t bother getting dressed or to clean yourself up, instead opting to simply throwing on a robe and some underwear. You need to find her as soon as possible!
>Quickly look around to see if she left a note for you or there's any other clue of where she went, like her armor being gone.
You can’t find any trace of her at all, neither in the bedroom or the bathroom. She’s gone… along with Zela…

>Run to your bedroom door and ask Sisah or whoever else is stationed there where Briannah is.
Outside your bedroom you find Sisah and Cain stuck in what sounds like an argument… over a large rune drawn on the floor in chalk…

:SisahSB: Don’t worry, it will go away with some water.
:CainSB: Could you at least made it a bit smaller?
:SisahSB: Hey, are you the mage or am I?
:CainSB: Don’t most mages use already premade runes drawn on carpet and the like?
:SisahSB: Chalk I can carry around with me, a carpet I cannot.
:CainSB: At least help me clean this off!
:SisahSB: Hey! Leave it! I might need it again tonight!
:CainSB: Really? Can’t you just draw a new one on something that ISN’T THE FLOOR this time?
:SisahSB: Now, see here-
:CainSB: Oh? Prince Kronos? You are awake?
:KronosSB: Briannah!?
:CainSB: Hmm? She left about an hour ago... said she needed some fresh air.
:SisahSB: I tried to stop her, but she wouldn’t listen.

>If she left your apartment, grab Sisah and hurry to wherever Bri is.
:KronosSB: I need to find her! Now! Come with me Sisah!
:SisahSB: Whoa, whoa, calm down a bit. You aren’t going anywhere just yet.
:CainSB: Especially dressed like that, sir… and you really need a shower too.
:KronosSB: I don’t have time for-
:SisahSB: Sir, please, you really shouldn’t just run around willy-nilly right now. We’re still in a bit of a crisis here.
:KronosSB: But-
:CainSB: Believe me sir, whatever is bother you will do so less if you take a refreshing shower first.
:KronosSB: But Bri-
:SisahSB: She’s already been gone over an hour, sir… a few more minutes won’t hurt.
>>
No. 769830 ID: 247200

Oh, forget them! You don't have time for this! You'll find her yourself!
>>
No. 769832 ID: d31055

Ah, classic decadence indicators in servants. They will fight for you. They will die for you. They will build monuments to your hubris at your every whim. But they would rather leave a depressed princesses alone to jump to her death than leave a room without obsessively perfecting its Fung-Shui, and will gladly stall a prince rushing to save his princess because he stinks.

Demand they treat you with the respect you deserve.

Which means they need to insult and complain about your paranoia as you TRY TO PREVENT BRIANNAH FROM COMMITTING SUICIDE.
>>
No. 769835 ID: 398fe1

>>769829
She's right. If Briannah was gonna kill herself it's already happened. Take a fast shower and put some clothes on, then you can go check on her. What about Zela, though? And what's with the rune?
>>
No. 769836 ID: da1652

Now is time for trust. Remember the last few moments of your dreams. She is alive. Clean up, become Bri's handsome prince instead of a grimy madbird in a housecoat.

And perhaps ask why Sisah wizard-ed all over your floor.
>>
No. 769878 ID: 309d35

Well if she were dead, something tells me people'd know about it by now and would have woken you up. Hopefully. Looking at these two bicker makes me want to check over the balcony anyway.

Sisah, what are you magicking on the floor, and what happened last night and why hasn't anyone told me the latter until now?
>>
No. 769931 ID: 65a774
File 148339969541.png - (27.93KB , 686x526 , 4.png )
769931

>Oh, forget them! You don't have time for this! You'll find her yourself!
:SisahSB: No you don’t! I FORBID YOU FROM RUSHING OUT LIKE THIS!
:CainSB: Because he stinks?
:SisahSB: Because he is in danger, idiot!
>She's right. If Briannah was gonna kill herself it's already happened.
… … …fine… fine… she is fine…
>Now is time for trust. Remember the last few moments of your dreams.
Right… she will be fine… I just… fine…

>Take a fast shower and put some clothes on.
:KronosSB: Fine, fine, I’ll calm down and take a shower… Sisah, come with me, I need someone to debrief of what’s going on right now.
:SisahSB: …of course, sir. Though, I assume I’m going to stay outside of the shower? I rather not get my weapons wet right now, you see…
:KronosSB: Of course you’re staying outside the shower.
:SisahSB: Just checking, sir.

>What about Zela, though?
:SisahSB: She left half an hour ago in a hurry, right after cleaning up a bit, sir. She seemed rather embarrassed to wake up here, to say the least.
>What happened last night and why hasn't anyone told me until now?
:SisahSB: Well, no one told you mostly because you were either asleep or… “busy” last night… that, and there were a lot of confusion overall as well.
:KronosSB: So… what happened?
:SisahSB: It’s your brother… he… escaped somehow.
:KronosSB: Somehow!? What, are you saying he just disappeared?
:SisahSB: That’s what they say, yes. He was suddenly just gone from his cell, with all the doors and bars around still locked tight and warded. It was like he just ceased to be.
>Ask why Sisah wizard-ed all over your floor.
:SisahSB: Oh, that… well, I’m still not sure, but it might have to do with your brother.
:KronosSB: Wait, you’re not sure why you drew a rune on my floor?
:SisahSB: Oh no, I know why I drew it. What I don’t know is who it was that tried to break through the magical wards last night… several times, in fact.
:KronosSB: Wait… someone tried to… cast magic on this place?
:SisahSB: My guess you were the target. I was busy last night empowering the wards just to be sure nothing got through. So… let just say I’m a bit skeptical with you running around today, if we now get a repeated performance. So, stay in areas that are heavily protected… no running down into the servant quarters or out to the courtyard, alright?

>Become Bri's handsome prince instead of a grimy madbird in a housecoat.
Mission successful! …except you still have no idea where she is… or how to find her.

:CainSB: Sir? Master Doxan is here and wants to see you. It’s something about lady Briannah and not taking some medication?
>>
No. 769962 ID: 91ee5f

>>769931
Just explain to Sisah that you had a terrible dream that felt very real to you. You dreamt that Bri was killed and when you woke up, you panicked when you didn't find Bri next to you in bed or anywhere in your apartment, so you tried to rush off to find her and make sure she's ok.

>It’s something about lady Briannah and not taking some medication?
That probably has something to do with what happened in the dream. The medication might be for her depression, but she probably doesn't need it anymore because you made her not feel depressed anymore.

Of course, it might be medication for something else, but you'd have to ask Doxan and/or Bri what it's for.

But enough about medications, Doxan is probably going to ask you to help convince Bri to take her medication. Just let him take you and Sisah to Bri. And when you get there, give Bri the biggest hug your tiny little body can give her, along with a kiss! Then with that out of your system, Bri's not going to want to take her medication and ask you to help her convince Doxan she doesn't need it anymore.
>>
No. 769965 ID: d31055

Tell Sisah the only way she's keeping you here is if she sends out a squad to find Briannah before your brother targets her as a hostage. You're appalled that she dedicated excess defenses to protecting a single person when she should have connected to and strengthened the entire royal network; you're losing a battle by attrition because of isolated assets and she doesn't even recognize this is war.
>>
No. 769968 ID: 398fe1

>>769931
Hmm. Alright go talk to Doxan. Ask him to let you see Briannah. Is she alright? Feeling bad or good?

I think it's time for a heart to heart. Tell Briannah you're not going to have sex with Zela again, and you're really sorry about getting Bri involved with something she wasn't comfortable with. Also if you said anything weird last night you didn't mean it.
>>
No. 769989 ID: fe7355

>>769962
>>769968
Guys, lets not assume that Doxan knows where Briannah is before Kronos has even spoken to him. It might be that Doxan is the person Briannah gave the duty of making sure she takes her medication, since she can trust he won't blab that she's taking them. He could be here because Bri didn't show up for her dose this morning.

And also, since Briannah is out and about, Doxan almost certainly would not leave his post watching over her to come speak with Kronos, especially with the situation in the palace being what it is. That makes me think he doesn't know where she is. ...Or she's being guarded by Agissa, or she's somewhere Doxan considers safe enough to leave her.

Ah, Kronos should just speak with Doxan and find out just what he's here for and if he knows where Briannah is before we come up with any more guesses. Then Kronos and all of us can figure out a course of action from there.
>>
No. 770021 ID: fe7355

Then tell Cain to let Doxan in, also asking if he wanted to speak in private, as in without Sisah present. And don't bother speculating on whether Doxan knows where Briannah is or not. Just hear what he has to say and figure out what to do from there.

Suggest to Sisah that perhaps she could borrow a carpet with the empowering rune embroidered in it from the court mages. You assume they would have at least a few around for this kind of situation. Preferably get two so she'd have a spare... Though, you suspect others were also targeted last night and the court mages will have deployed all of that particular type of carpet by now. Hm... Ask Cain if there are any small square rugs in storage. You're thinking Sisah could chalk, or even paint, the empowering rune on the back of two or three of them, then she can roll them up for transport. Not as good as embroidered, but it'll do for now, and she'd have spares. And if there aren't any acceptable rugs like that in storage, then someone could be sent to the market to buy them.

Oh, and we should find out from the court mages and from Kira and your father's personal guardian mages when and where other magic intrusions were attempted.

>That’s what they say, yes. He was suddenly just gone from his cell, with all the doors and bars around still locked tight and warded. It was like he just ceased to be.
>Oh, that… well, I’m still not sure, but it might have to do with your brother.
She's thinking teleportation magic, isn't she? That it was used to get Karas out, and to try to get someone or something in here or you out. Except that nobody has been able to figure out how to successfully do teleportation magic or how to generate the massive power needed, right? That's knowledge lost to the last age. So how? Well, what the Archbishop has been up to has been generating massive quantities of magic lately, and who knows what artifacts and knowledge the Temple's expeditions into the Catacombs have dug up. But she wouldn't have a reason to break Karas out, would she? So how else?

>My guess you were the target. I was busy last night empowering the wards just to be sure nothing got through.
But there's more potential targets than just you here. What about Briannah? She could have been a secondary target after you, or even the primary target. Hell, it could have been Sisah or Cain for all we know. And Briannah is out who knows where right now without adequate magic protection. If Doxan doesn't know where Bri is, then you're going to ask Sisah and Cain to use all your resources and authority as a prince however they want to find her ASAP.

>She left half an hour ago in a hurry, right after cleaning up a bit, sir. She seemed rather embarrassed to wake up here, to say the least.
And you're feeling all kinds of regret about last evening. You need to speak with her at some point... Except her quarters aren't in a heavily warded area, are they? Dammit. Maybe summon her, or write her a letter? Eh, a letter feels like it wouldn't be right. How about a note saying you want to speak with her sometime today about what happened last night, and ask if she could come by your apartment or the studio, and to write back if and when she can.

>the only thing off is that it feels like you just ate a three course meal meant for at least four people… ugh…
This is most likely a side-effect of having all the souls that comprised Xuv's mind stuffed inside your relatively smaller soul and body and compressed. In a way it's actually kinda comforting you feel this. It means you have some sign that what happened last night with Xuv actually happened. It also may be a issue depending on if and how much it interferes with your appetite and sense of hunger for physical food and drink. If it means you'll feel like retching after two crackers and a sip of water, or that you can't judge how hungry you actually are, that'll be a major issue. If you don't have to run off to where Briannah is right away, order a light breakfast and check this. And if you do have to run off, grab a piece of buttered toast to munch on as you go.

>>769962
>Then with that out of your system, Bri's not going to want to take her medication and ask you to help her convince Doxan she doesn't need it anymore.
Which Kronos shouldn't help her do. She's feeling good right now, likely better than she has in a long time, but her psychiatric issues aren't resolved, only subdued for now. She'll come back down at some point and that medication is her safety net while she is helped to get better. She can try taking lower doses, but going wholly off, especially with the Nightmare still about and will infiltrate her head again, is dangerous.
>>
No. 770264 ID: 309d35

> It’s your brother… he… escaped somehow.
Oh god, I was worried somebody had died. How did that Bri get called away?
>Well, I’m still not sure, but it might have to do with your brother.
Do you really think? I mean, did you see him at the trial? I half expect he's running off into the forest to live with the wolves. He'd be dangerous should I ever meet him face to face again, but I think his ability to plan and execute have left him... About how many times was a breach attempted?
>Master Doxan is here and wants to see you.
Well, let him in I suppose.
>>
No. 770274 ID: fe7355

How about you tell Sisah that with Karas inexplicably vanishing into thin air and his behavior like a man possessed at the trial yesterday, you suspect he's been literally possessed by some other entity. Maybe something from the depths of the Catacombs of the Godless. This leaves you open to explaining in full to Sisah about Karas and everything else later, but right now you have to focus on Briannah and don't have time.
>>
No. 770322 ID: 52b301

I think it will be better to let Sisah take lead on this, after all, we now have reasons to be worried about your well being... And we also have reasons to be worried about Briannah's, but I'm sure she's way ahead of us, She has Doxan and a ton of other bodyguards too.

Anyway, ask Sisah if we can go and see Briannah once she briefs you over the situation and her plan to keep you safe, if not, then perhaps you shouldsend someone to call for her.

As for the magic... Did it tried to break into the room, or break out of the room? (It might have to do with us dream traveling, but don't tell her that for now, in best case scenario she would get more worried than ever about that fact.)

Also... "Master Doxan"...?
>>
No. 770426 ID: 65a774
File 148353567648.png - (28.11KB , 686x526 , 5.png )
770426

>We should find out from the court mages and from Kira and your father's personal guardian mages when and where other magic intrusions were attempted.
Indeed, you could get more information on what’s happening… and you really need to talk to Kira about all this.
>You need to speak with Zela at some point... Except her quarters aren't in a heavily warded area, are they? Dammit. Maybe summon her, or write her a letter?
You can just summon her to the studio… it’s her job to be available there, isn’t it?
>order a light breakfast.
You really aren’t in the mood to eat anything at all right now.
>Also... "Master Doxan"...?
Dripping with sarcasm…


>Tell Sisah the only way she's keeping you here is if she sends out a squad to find Briannah.
:SisahSB: Sir, I’m not going to force you to stay here, I’m just advising you to calm down and think before you act. I’m sure you will be secure as long as you don’t wander off to somewhere where you won’t be protected.
>Just explain to Sisah that you had a terrible dream that felt very real to you. You dreamt that Bri was killed and when you woke up, you panicked when you didn't find Bri next to you in bed.
:SisahSB: A nightmare? Yes, I am familiar with those. The best thing to do is to relax, take a deep breath and realize it was just a dream, sir.
>Tell Sisah that with Karas inexplicably vanishing into thin air and his behavior like a man possessed at the trial yesterday, you suspect he's been literally possessed by some other entity.
:SisahSB: Really? So you suggest this thing from the catacombs you keep going on about is responsible? Normally, I would call it poppy-cock, but with everything that has happen lately…
>Suggest to Sisah that perhaps she could borrow a carpet with the empowering rune embroidered in it from the court mages.
:SisahSB: Or I can draw up some of my own. I’m sure your coffers will afford me a few cheap materials to help protect you. Cain?
:CainSB: …I’ll see to it that you are properly outfitted for the job, ma’am.
>She's thinking teleportation magic, isn't she?
:SisahSB: I would be, yes, if it wasn’t for the sheer magical ability that would require. I mean, even one of the Archmages of the circle of nine have trouble teleporting longer than a room on their own… not to speak of somewhere where they can’t see.
:KronosSB: I know what it requires to be teleported, Sisah, I’ve had the pleasure to use that mode of transportation to travel long distances before.
:SisahSB: So you know it takes days to set up, needs a dozen competent mages on both sides and whole rooms made solely for that purpose, all which your brother lacked. No, teleportation seems a bit farfetched. There are other ways for him to escape with magic.
>But there's more potential targets than just you here. What about Briannah?
:SisahSB: Which is why I tried to stop her from leaving, sir… but, I have a hunch that it was targeting you. Might be paranoia, but my hunch last night was correct, wasn’t it?

>Tell Cain to let Doxan in, also asking if he wanted to speak in private, as in without Sisah present.
:DoxanSB: No, no it’s fine. Master Kronos, I need ye ‘elp! Mistress she… um… she refused to take ‘er medication today… she said she w-wasn’t in the mood and… and… I couldn’t… and err… I don’t like it when she gets in these moods and… err…
:KronosSB: Do you know where she are?
:DoxanSB: She went up in one of the towers overlooking the courtyard, master… she likes sitting somewhere high when she thinks, she says…
>And also, since Briannah is out and about, Doxan almost certainly would not leave his post watching over her to come speak with Kronos…
:DoxanSB: I… I tried to talk to ‘er, master, but… err… she won’t listen! And when she gets in these moods I… I worry so and… and… I didn’t ‘now what to do and… and… err…
:KronosSB: So you left her alone?
:DoxanSB: Err… y-yes? I mean… I really needed to get ye ‘elp and I couldn’t just… stand there and watch ‘er like that! If she won’t listen to me, then maybe she will listen to yah, master?
>>
No. 770427 ID: 65a774
File 148353571087.png - (34.05KB , 686x526 , 6.png )
770427

>Let him take you and Sisah to Bri.
You find Briannah in one of the towers looking out over the courtyard, looking out of one of the big windows. She doesn’t notice you approaching as she is busy enjoying the summer breeze from the open window… as well as humming that song. The song that she played that night… your song.

>Then you get there, give Bri the biggest hug your tiny little body can give her, along with a kiss!
…is that really how you could do this? Just run up to her and scare the shit out of her? Hmm…
>I think it's time for a heart to heart.
…what are you even going to say? Words seems to fail you right now…
>Tell Briannah you're not going to have sex with Zela again, and you're really sorry about getting Bri involved with something she wasn't comfortable with.
…and that will make everything better again?

…right, you’ve been standing here staring at her for too long… it’s time to face her again.

Happy year of the COCK! …I mean rooster… happy year of the rooster… even if it’s already the 4th…
>>
No. 770429 ID: 417941

Start with getting her attention by humming along to the song. Your song. The song of you both. The Kronos & Briannah song.

And then stop being so scared of fucking up because damn what you both need is some actual confidence in your love of one-another.
>>
No. 770442 ID: a8936e

You gotta pinch dat booty, Kronos.
>>
No. 770453 ID: ba506f

well might as well get her attention. Once we see how she is then we can plan on what to do.
>>
No. 770459 ID: 398fe1

>>770427
Start out with "I'm sorry." because you fucked up with Zela. From now on Zela will just be a painter. And if you said anything weird last night you didn't mean it.

Then ask her how she's feeling. Does she know that you love her? That you'll never leave her? Tell her if she ever feels like you've done something wrong or if you're pushing her into something she isn't comfortable with, she can tell you. You're a big fuckup and people have been making excuses for you your whole life, so you need to be told when you fuck up so you can stop fucking up.

Then tell her Xuv won't be a problem anymore. Tell her about how you summoned her into your dream to fight off Xuv which bought you enough time to convince Xuv to accept death. Then Xuv forced herself into your mouth so I guess you ate her and inherited her dream magic? Then apologize again if it was a violation of her privacy, but you found out the Nightmare in the catacombs had invaded her dreams so you went in and drove it out, along with the despair it was causing her.

Then tell her you want to talk about what you saw in there.
>>
No. 770460 ID: 91ee5f

>>770427
Dat ass! Dat glorious wonderful ass!

.....damnit, boner! Not now! Go away!

>…is that really how you could do this? Just run up to her and scare the shit out of her? Hmm…
Well I thought she would've noticed you by now! How about you do that after you get her attention? That sound good?

>>770429
>Start with getting her attention by humming along to the song. Your song. The song of you both. The Kronos & Briannah song.
Do this.

>>770442
.....save this for later. After having a heart to heart with her.
>>
No. 770464 ID: 309d35

Enjoy the view. With her, not of her.

>Words seems to fail you right now…
sometimes nothing needs to be said. Let's hope this is one of those times.
>>
No. 770475 ID: 8ff2ea

Hum along as you go up and hug her from behind. Say nothing just press yourself up close against her back, close your eyes and hum.
>>
No. 770654 ID: fe7355

...This is the window from which your love would have jumped to her death if you hadn't gone into her dream. She would have come up here in a dark mood to think and thrown herself from the tower after concluding she was a irredeemable monster. But she didn't, thanks to you. She came up here in a good mood... Maybe. Maybe in just not a dark mood. She's humming her happy tune, but you don't know just what is going through her head right now. And what you did in her dream was a temporary fix, so you might only have earned some time to head off. So don't in any way think Briannah is out of the proverbial woods yet.

Remember that there is no one thing you can say or do here that will make everything instantly better, either for your relationship with Briannah or her mental health. There's no quick-fix magic spell or panacea. It's going to be a continual ongoing effort to make and keep things better. Of talking candidly and, more importantly, listening to each other. Of paying attention and being mindful. And there will be trips and setbacks, but they are not insurmountable. And it will never be perfect, for nothing is, but it can be more than good enough, and it'll for sure be better than things were. But right now, you just have to focus on the first steps down that road and helping the woman you love stay away from the mental cliff's edge.

And don't listen to your over sized sex drive telling you to pinch Bri's butt or anything of the like. After the primary part it played yesterday while supercharged with fertility potion, lust-addling your wits and already poor judgment so much you were completely oblivious to what harm you were causing to Briannah and others, you're going to rein it in. Not bury it, since you know that's not good for your psyche. Just bring it to heel and manage it so it doesn't grab the helm of the HMS Kronos again when it shouldn't.

Alright, start approaching Bri on her side with her good eye, her right, while humming along with her so she knows you're there. Slip in under her right arm and hug her tight from the side, looking her in the eye and giving her a loving smile when you do. Keep humming and looking out the window with her until either she stops or several minutes have passed. Softly say that you were really worried when she wasn't there when you woke up. You were about to send people to search for her and look for her yourself when Doxan showed up in a half-panic. He said his mistress was in a mood and not taking her medication and asked for you to talk with her. So, ask what mood is she in that's got Doxan worried to the point he'd leave her side and what's on her mind that she came up here to think about.

When you get a moment, apologize to Briannah for your actions yesterday. That you were under the influence of dose of fertility potion twice what you should have taken is no excuse for such thoughtless and selfish behavior. You never should have invited Zela to your apartment, and yet you did, knowing Bri would be there, but not thinking of how much she disliked Hivers. Your lustful thoughts drowning out your reason. And on top of that, you asked Briannah to perform sex with you as a show for Zela. And you don't remember just what you said to Zela while in the throws of passion, but if any of it upset Bri you can not apologize enough, nor say how much you didn't actually mean what you said to Zela. You feel shameful for all you did, and you're not going to involve yourself with Zela that way going forward. You plan on speaking with her and putting a stop to any ideas she has with you. You're not going to involve yourself with anyone your wife and love dislikes. You won't divide yourself that way, going between them.

Tell Briannah the good news that Xuv is dead. Well, technically a mass of souls that had inhabited the brain of Xuv's undead corpse and imperfectly mimicked her memories and personality, but they were Xuv as far as we're concerned. And you have your love Briannah to thank for making it possible. When you were halfway into Xuv's maw and called out to Bri, her showing up and cutting Xuv to ribbons gave you the time you needed while Xuv reformed to figure out how to turn Xuv's desire against her. You convinced Xuv to give into her deepest desire for the one thing denied to a immortal: To die. And to empower you to carry out that desire. Which is when you found out Doxan and Xuv have one particular desire in common, Xuv offering her tail tip to your beak which you had no other choice but to take. One very unpleasant and physically impossible period of choking Xuv down your throat later, she was dead, the souls comprising her within you.

So now we don't have the threat of Xuv hanging over our heads, nor her possessing any child we have by her magic. But even more, in consuming her you also gained a powerful weapon against the Nightmare: Xuv's dream magic. While sleeping you can enter other peoples' dreams, and from within help them counter the fears, anger, and despair that the Nightmare amplifies and is its source of power. ...But you also had to face a part of yourself you had buried. Your cynical, pessimistic and calculating, but also attentive and observant, side. And before you reconciled it into yourself, it told you that it saw in the timelines that before you woke that your love Briannah would have taken her life, jumping from a tower over the main courtyard. And hearing that, you could think of little more than to save her. You entered her dream in the hopes of halting the Nightmare's influence.

You helped Bri's shining courage subdue her Nightmare-empowered dragon of self-hatred, then ventured into a endless void of despair and fear to help her. While the void stripped away your memories of Briannah, piled hopelessness upon you and stretched time to eons, you could only think of pressing on to save her. On to the only light there, where you found a small crying white dragon. You hugged her tight, vowed you love her and would never leave her, and told her there is no destiny and together we can shape any fate she wanted. And when you saw she stopped crying, when she had a look of happiness in her eye before she finally slept, it was beautiful.

...But you know what you did would not be lasting. That without work it will go back to before. Which is why, here in the waking world, you ask to have a heart-to-heart talk with Briannah on what you saw. A truthful one, without the mask. You love her and vowed you would stay by her side, and you will help her through anything to where she'll finally feel better.
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No. 770761 ID: 65a774
File 148365872145.png - (32.30KB , 686x526 , 7.png )
770761

>Dat ass! Dat glorious wonderful ass!
…by the five gods… you have once again beheld heaven…
>Enjoy the view.
Those curves… the sheer size… yet so firm…
>You gotta pinch dat booty, Kronos.
Gods, you want to just go up to her and... and…
>.....damnit, boner! Not now! Go away!
GAH! Get out of the gutter, mind! …again!
>stop being so scared of fucking up because damn what you both need is some actual confidence in your love of one-another.
…r-right… you need to do this… you need to… for the both of you.

>Start with getting her attention by humming along to the song. Your song. The song of you both. The Kronos & Briannah song.
:KronosSB: *Humming*…
:BriannahSB: Kronos?
>Hug her from behind. Say nothing just press yourself up close against her back, close your eyes and hum.
:KronosSB: *Humming*
:BriannahSB: Kronos!? Is something wrong?
>Then ask her how she's feeling.
:BriannahSB: Huh? ‘ow I am feeling? I… um… fine, of course! ‘ow else would I feel?
:KronosSB: …Bri… please…
:BriannahSB: … … …what?
>Does she know that you love her? That you'll never leave her?
:BriannahSB: …Kronos… what is wrong? Why are yah acting like this? Of course I ‘now yah love me, dove.
>Tell her if she ever feels like you've done something wrong or if you're pushing her into something she isn't comfortable with, she can tell you.
:BriannahSB: Not comfortable? What are yah going on about? ‘as something ‘appen?
:KronosSB: Bri… be honest… how do you feel?
:BriannahSB: I… err… I… … …to be completely ‘onest, a bit like shat, actually… and like an arse too… if it wasn’t for this really good dream I ‘ad before I woke up I… I would be in a rather sour mood, I tell yah…

>When you get a moment, apologize to Briannah for your actions yesterday. That you were under the influence of dose of fertility potion twice what you should have tak-
:BriannahSB: Eh!? Don’t apologies about that! That was all my fault.
:KronosSB: I… no it wasn’t?
:BriannahSB: See, I was the one said it was okay in the first place wasn’t it? I was the one who planted the idea in the first place, eh?
:KronosSB: …actually, I’m pretty sure I was-
:BriannahSB: It’s not what you did last night that is troubling me… it what I’ve done so many times before. Seeing yah being… so much more interested in someone else in that way was… painful, yes… and it made me realize ‘ow much of an arse I’ve been. ‘ow many people ‘ave I’ve made feel the same way? That’s what is troubling me.
>From now on Zela will just be a painter.
:BriannahSB: So yah are planning on throwing ‘er under the cart just like I’ve done with so many others, eh?
:KronosSB: Huh? No, that’s not-
:BriannahSB: While I don’t believe its more than a star struck crush, she will feel terrible if yah turn yah back on ‘er now, love. No, we need to talk about this… all three of us…
>You're not going to involve yourself with anyone your wife and love dislikes. You won't divide yourself that way, going between them.
:BriannahSB: Well, I don’t so much dislike ‘er so much as I find those insects creepy. But yah could at least be decent enough to ask before yah dip ye cock, eh? I did, didn’t I? With Xarrin?
:KronosSB: You did… and I’m sorry that I went behind your back like that.
:BriannahSB: Well, technically, I did say tell yah that yah ‘ad my blessing to do ‘er… but still… ah, no matter. ‘ow about we make it clear who we are allowed to fuck without the others say so, eh? I mean… I guess everyone I’ve already done lately should be a start…
:KronosSB: …the only people I’ve done lately are call girls… not counting you, Sisah and Zela, of course…
:BriannahSB: Well… on my side we ‘ave Xarrin… though ‘e only like woman so that’s a no… then there is Thalia… I guess we already agreed to a threesome? And Doxan… but ‘e doesn’t count. Belseth?...err… Belseth is… I mean… I guess?
:KronosSB: Belseth might be a special case, isn’t he?
:BriannahSB: …we might need to talk about ‘im as well, eh? So… I guess… Thalia? I mean, she find yah so annoying anyways so there’s no way there will be romantic feelings between the two of yah, eh? Oh! ‘ow about this! If yah let ‘er “punish” yah a bit we can call it even for the whole Zela thing we-
:KronosSB: Bri, is this really the time to talk about this?
:BriannahSB: Ah… maybe not? So what do yah want to talk about?

>Then tell her Xuv won't be a problem anymore.
:BriannahSB: Wait, really? Yah deafet ‘er? ‘ow?
:KronosSB: I… well… I… I was able to… t-t-to… to… … … I rather not talk about it, actually. But yes, I defeated her… and you helped me… in one of yours dreams.
:BriannahSB: ‘elped yah? Um… I do seem to recall I ‘ad a nightmare about ‘er… but I didn’t ’elp at all! I lost... and saw yah being torn to shreds by ’er evil claws. …I ‘ave to admit, I almost woke up screaming seeing yah… yah… no, I couldn’t talk about. She is gone… if yah say she is, than I ‘ave to believe that. I want to believe that.
>You also gained a powerful weapon against the Nightmare: Xuv's dream magic.
:BriannahSB: …wait, dream magic… so what? Yah can manipulate dreams? Create dreams? Um…
:KronosSB: I can walk through dreams… and change them… and with them, the people having the dreams.
>You entered her dream in the hopes of halting the Nightmare's influence.
:BriannahSB: Yah what!? Yah didn’t do… see… yah… err… so yah’re the one who made me… dream that dream? The good one?
:KronosSB: Well… I think so. The only dreams I saw was nightmares, but I think I was able dispel their hold on you.
:BriannahSB: Huh… so that’s why… I ‘ad this wonderful dream… about us two… and vast grass fields… hills… a peaceful lake… and laughter… children laughter… our children…
:KronosSB: Our chi-
:BriannahSB: Ah, forget it. I shouldn’t talk about it.
>Then tell her you want to talk about what you saw in there.
:BriannahSB: Eh? What yah… I… err… d-do we really need to talk about that? I rather not ‘now what is going on in my nightmares… I’ve ‘aving a ‘ard time forgetting the things I remember of them as it is! No, I’m not going to talk about my dream anymore, not since my therapist said it would be for the best if we left it like that. Left them like fleeting dreams to disappear into the mist of the forgotten.
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No. 770763 ID: da1652

>>770761
Perfect transition point to bring up the skipped medicine, now that she's so keen on doing what her therapist says.

Or.. are there side effects she's avoiding?
>>
No. 770770 ID: 398fe1

>>770761
Well that's a crappy therapist if they decided to stop therapy before her issues were resolved. You want to help her cope with her failures, just as she can help you cope with yours. Tell her about your mother. About how you feel responsible for her death.

And seriously, Zela was just physical attraction. She's cute, and you never had a mantis before. There's no crush. Of course, you didn't mean you'd stop treating her like a friend, but there will be no sex, no kissing, none of that. And honestly I don't think Zela will mind too much. She lost her virginity to a prince.
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No. 770772 ID: 4854ef

>>770770
That.. actually sounds just as bad, it'll sound like a one and done as you've basically become cold to her.
>>
No. 770776 ID: 91ee5f

Speaking of therapists and things that've been prescribed by them, Doxan tells me there's a medication you're not taking. Do you want to talk about that? Over some breakfast perhaps?

Please.....don't shut me out like my sister does.....please.
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No. 770780 ID: 398fe1

>>770772
We can just tell Zela "My wife didn't like it" and that'll be that. It's not a bone and dump it's just that it didn't work out.
>>
No. 770784 ID: 309d35

>Wait, really? Yah deafet ‘er? ‘ow?
Let's just say your idea of convincing her to off herself worked.
>but I didn’t ’elp at all!
You kidding? You cut her to ribbons. She pulled herself back together, but I'd have been hosed otherwise.
>Left them like fleeting dreams to disappear into the mist of the forgotten.
Has that been working? You don't have to talk about it right now, but be honest with yourself.

Anyway, Doxan says you haven't taken your medicine and he couldn't convince you to do otherwise.
>>
No. 770785 ID: 4854ef

>>770780
After taunting and teasing her before. I don't think cold turkey is the best route here but I think there needs to be a full on serious discussion about boundaries and what will be acceptable before we go "Lets cut everyone out right now because we have had one problem"

Right now it seems more like one of her hangups right now is because she realizes how much she's hurt people emotionally. It'll hurt for sure but right now the best thing to do is talk about it rather then just starting to cut the fold.

Another major issue is that she's avoiding her problems again, one of which is massive self-hatred. While one shouldn't push her too hard she does need to face some of that issue with herself as it was obvious she was bottling it up beforehand and it ate away at her.
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No. 770791 ID: 398fe1

>>770785
I'm not saying EVERYONE needs to get pushed away. Zela specifically is a sore point. Bri subconsciously wants to kill her, for pete's sake.
>>
No. 770823 ID: 7816d5

Bri, before I entered your dream,I ate a Goddess. I was then confronted with my Evil/Crazy Mirror Self. I made up with him. Which is all kinds of fucked up I then had to confront your Self Hatred. Which was then slain by your Bravery, when I was kinda trying to talk her/you down. I then crawled down the Black Hole that your Despair resides in. Which was THE WORST THING I have experienced. Not because it felt BAD, No, because I realize that the One I Love The Most In All The World feels that way constantly. Your therapist sucks great big donkey dicks. I want a future with you. I want you to be the Mother of my children.
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No. 770876 ID: fe7355

Tell Briannah that you find her therapist's advice to just forget about what she sees in her nightmares questionable. Dreams and nightmares are made of a person's thoughts and memories, hopes and fears. They're indicative of what's going on beneath the surface of the mind. Of what problems lie below, in the subconscious. And they have influence on the mind, as your experience within Bri's shows. To ignore them, to not try and use them to figure out what's wrong, and instead try to forget and plaster over what they show and not face it, strikes you as... Short-sighted, to put it diplomatically.

Look Bri in the eye and tell her that from what you saw while in her nightmare, things are most definitely not okay under the surface; That's why you came up here so concerned and worried about her. That just putting on a facade of strength and competence over it all isn't making things better. You suspect it might be making things worse over time by not dealing with the root of the problems. Like building on top of a damaged foundation; One storm from the wrong direction and it all falls over.

If she is willing, you'll tell her at least part of what you saw and experienced within her nightmare. Because you have a lot of concerns and worries for her from what you saw. Granted, the Nightmare was at work amplifying the negative aspects, so we can't take everything at face value, but it had to work with something.

Ask Bri what she and her therapist even talk about if they're not working through her problems. What do they have Bri do? Who are they, anyway? Did they come with Briannah when she came here?

Be honest with Briannah and admit that you already knew what medication she skipped that had Doxan in such a tizzy he came to you for help. You know because you picked into her chest last night. It was in a fit of fertility-potion-addled desperation for anything to relieve the lust. You'd tried to masturbate, but thoughts of your brothers and worries kept intruding and you couldn't finish. You went in looking for the fertility potion instructions, which you found were no help but did find you'd taken a double dose by accident. And failing that, maybe some other alchemical means to relief... And that's when you saw the non-sex-related potions. The phantom pain reliever, the calming potion, the sleep aid and the anti-depressant. ...And you also saw the drawings of her nightmare of Krotos. The ones her therapist asked her to make. You looked at them because you thought they looked like the Nightmare. You're sorry for breaking her trust and you'll take your punishment for breaking into her chest. Though, you didn't break into her notebook or the interior compartment, so there's that.

>Eh!? Don’t apologies about that! That was all my fault.
Tell Bri that no, she's not going to take all the blame for this. If anything, this was a joint effort fuck-up. But you have to ask, if she wasn't that okay with you and Zela in the first place, why didn't she voice that? Then we could have talked and worked something out.

>While I don’t believe its more than a star struck crush, she will feel terrible if yah turn yah back on ‘er now, love. No, we need to talk about this… all three of us…
Bri's right about this, both the talking and the not dumping Zela. Zela deserves far better than to end up on the lousy end of the lustful prince cliché of laying with the help. And you actually do like her. She's interesting to talk with and you'd like to time with her when you're not horny half out of your wits. Maybe it could become love or affection over time, maybe not, but you'll give Zela a good experience either way. And maybe she'll realize her romantic desires towards you are just a crush and she'll break it off.

>If yah let ‘er “punish” yah a bit we can call it even for the whole Zela thing we-
...Er. You actually wanted to try that anyway. To be dominated by Thalia. You wanted to try it either way, since you find both... intriguing.

>I do seem to recall I ‘ad a nightmare about ‘er… but I didn’t ’elp at all! I lost... and saw yah being torn to shreds by ’er evil claws.
That's odd. Tell Bri your view of what happened was quite different. That when you were halfway into Xuv's maw, Bri swooped in in shining armor and cut Xuv to pieces, freeing you. But then a nightmare figment of Krotos appeared. Bri looked at you with a nod, then charged that shade of Krotos... And... She was shot... In the same places as it happened for real. And then Bri and the figment of Krotos vanished as he was approaching her laying there in terror. Xuv told you as she reformed that Bri woke from that screaming, crying in fear, but you guess Bri didn't fully 'cause if she did you wouldn't have been able to enter Bri's nightmare later.

>Huh… so that’s why… I ‘ad this wonderful dream… about us two… and vast grass fields… hills… a peaceful lake… and laughter… children laughter… our children…
Why would Bri not want to talk about this? This is a dream you would very much like to share with her. ...You wonder what our children would look like. What did they look like in her dream?

And on that subject, tell Briannah that you have something to tell her. Ask her to lean down so you can whisper to her, and tell her this is a royal family secret, so guard it well: Kira is sterile. She can't have children, and she's been that way since she hatched. She doesn't even have any sex drive either, so no barking up that tree. And you only found this out yesterday, after the trial. So you're the sole remaining member of the royal family who can produce a heir. And say that when you found this out, the only lady you could think of you'd want to have a child with was Briannah. One way or another, you'll have a family together.
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No. 771094 ID: 65a774
File 148381760641.png - (48.57KB , 686x526 , 8.png )
771094

>Bri's right about this, both the talking and the not dumping Zela. Zela deserves far better than to end up on the lousy end of the lustful prince cliché of laying with the help.
Indeed, you need to talk to her, not just throw her away!
>And you actually do like her. She's interesting to talk with and you'd like to time with her when you're not horny half out of your wits.
You do want her in your life… one way or another…


>Has that been working? You don't have to talk about it right now, but be honest with yourself.
:BriannahSB: Well, I did start having a lot less nightmares when I stopped worrying about them so much… though they did return when I got here…
:KronosSB: Which might be the work of that creature down in the catacombs.
:BriannahSB: Or just stress in general… either way, it was working.
>To ignore them, to not try and use them to figure out what's wrong, and instead try to forget and plaster over what they show and not face it, strikes you as... Short-sighted.
:BriannahSB: When’ve already spoken a lot of my nightmares before and found some… ah, themes going through them. But thinking about them too much made me have them more often… and made them more intense. Thus we decided to leave them for now and focus on other things. ‘e also gave me some thought exercises to do before bed… yah know, thinking about positive things and such.
>Well that's a crappy therapist if they decided to stop therapy before her issues were resolved.
:BriannahSB: We didn’t stop, we just went to it from a different angle!
>Ask Bri what she and her therapist even talk about if they're not working through her problems. What do they have Bri do?
:BriannahSB: Well, we were working with my self-image a lot… that and my… um… depression. ‘e wanted me to try and make good deeds, even small things, to make me think a bit more positive about myself… and to keep myself occupied with ‘obbies… stuff like that.
>Who are they, anyway? Did they come with Briannah when she came here?
:BriannahSB: Sadly, we ‘ad our last session before I came ‘ere, as ‘e won’t move just because of one of ‘is patients did. So… I kind of ‘ave to find another ‘ere…
:KronosSB: …I’m sure we kind fix that for you. Maybe talk to Cain about… he’ll probably know how to contact one.
:BriannahSB: Then I’ll talk to ‘im later…

>Speaking of therapists and things that've been prescribed by them, Doxan tells me there's a medication you're not taking. Do you want to talk about that?
:BriannahSB: Eh!? Medication? Yah mean like if yah ‘urt yeself and wanted some relief?
:KronosSB: You know full well what I mean.
:BriannahSB: Because if yah are planning on seeing Thalia then yah might need some.
:KronosSB: Bri…
:BriannahSB: Because ‘er cock is ‘uge!
:KronosSB: BRI!
:BriannahSB: ‘uge! I talking like… damn, that’s a freaking-
:KronosSB: DAMMIT BRIANNAH! Stop trying running away from the subject!
:BriannahSB: Ah… fine… fine. I wasn’t just in the… mood for it when I woke up.
:DoxanSB: Which is exactly the kind of mood yah are taking it for!
:BriannahSB: …right… right yah are… I’ll take it, don’t yah worry none…
>Or... are there side effects she's avoiding?
:BriannahSB: It makes me all… all docile and slow!
:KronosSB: …if your usual self that I know of is docile and slow… then maybe you really need this medication.
>Look Bri in the eye and tell her that from what you saw while in her nightmare, things are most definitely not okay under the surface; That's why you came up here so concerned and worried about her.
:BriannahSB: I ‘now I’m not… not in the best of minds right now, yes… that I’m not really… really… healthy, yeah… y-yah… yah don’t think less of me because I am… I’m…
:KronosSB: No, I don’t think less of you. I never will.
>If she is willing, you'll tell her at least part of what you saw and experienced within her nightmare. Because you have a lot of concerns and worries for her from what you saw.
:BriannahSB: I already ‘now yah saw ugly things… things that I don’t want to know about. I already know many of my problems already… and I need to deal with one at the time.
>Tell her about your mother. About how you feel responsible for her death.
:BriannahSB: …wait, really? Yah was but a… a child!?
:KronosSB: Still… something I did lead to her death…
:BriannahSB: …and the war… by the ancestors, yah can’t blame yeself for that! There is no way yah could ‘ave-
:KronosSB: I know… yet… here we are…

>You picked into her chest last night. It was in a fit of fertility-potion-addled desperation for anything to relieve the lust.
:BriannahSB: Yah what!?
:KronosSB: I’m sorry, Bir… but it’s the truth…
:BriannahSB: I… well… I guess if yah did it for that reason and not to snoop… I… um… guess I can forgive yah? Just keep out of my chest, alright?
:KronosSB: Of course!
>You're sorry for breaking her trust and you'll take your punishment for breaking into her chest. Though, you didn't break into her notebook or the interior compartment, so there's that.
:BriannahSB: Well… that’s good to ‘ear. Punishment yah say, eh? Hmm… well, I’m sure I can come up with something…

>Let's just say your idea of convincing Xuv to off herself worked.
:BriannahSB: So… what, yah said killing yeself is neat and she did it?
:KronosSB: …kind of?
:BriannahSB: …neat. Though I wish I could ‘ave ‘elped…
>You kidding? You cut her to ribbons. She pulled herself back together, but I'd have been hosed otherwise.
:BriannahSB: I did? That’s not ‘ow I remember it… but if yah are saying I ‘elped… I guess I did?
>Xuv told you as she reformed that Bri woke from that screaming, crying in fear.
:BriannahSB: That part is almost true though. I did wake up after that dream, almost screaming and with eyes filled with tears… but I was able to go back to sleep afterwards.

>Tell Bri that no, she's not going to take all the blame for this. If anything, this was a joint effort fuck-up.
:BriannahSB: I guess we are both fuck ups, eh?
:KronosSB: At least we are fuck ups together, no?
:BriannahSB: Fuck ups forever!
>But you have to ask, if she wasn't that okay with you and Zela in the first place, why didn't she voice that? Then we could have talked and worked something out.
:BriannahSB: I… err… I…’m not sure… fear? I… I thought that yah would be mad and leave or… that… my mask would crack and… um…
:KronosSB: I might get mad, Bri, but I won’t leave you… I promise you that.

>Why would Bri not want to talk about this? This is a dream you would very much like to share with her.
:BriannahSB: I… guess it would be nice to share it? I mean… the whole not talking about dreams were about the bad ones… and it’s been so long since I can remember a good one like this… though, by now most of it is already gone… sorry…
>...You wonder what our children would look like. What did they look like in her dream?
:BriannahSB: They were Sakkilian… though, I guess that’s because I associate children with Sakkilian ones… the details about them though… I can’t remember… where there even details? Hmm…
>Tell Briannah that you have something to tell her. Ask her to lean down so you can whisper to her, and tell her this is a royal family secret, so guard it well: Kira is sterile.
:BriannahSB: She is… what? But that means… yah are the last… and... yah ‘ave to… to…
>I want a future with you. I want you to be the Mother of my children.
:BriannahSB: Yah want me to… b-bear the ‘eir to the kingdom? I… of course I would… for yah… for us…
:KronosSB: For us both…

:BriannahSB: …so… um… I need to take my medication… and… and I really need to talk to some people… alone… so… err… what is yah plan for today?
>>
No. 771121 ID: 398fe1

>>771094
Well we need to talk to the Archbishop again (and Kira) as soon as possible and warn her about the Nightmare in the crypt and the possibility of a seventh god that was banished and is trying to come back. We need to do some research into that possibility, to see if Serpens had a god at any point in ancient history. We also need to be nosy with Kira and find something to help her with that we can actually handle (which is a stretch, I know). Maybe Cain can help sneak something to you?

Exercise in the morning. Get that blood flowing.

Get some actual painting lessons in with Bri and Zela. Briannah needs to confront her feelings about Zela and there needs to be some sort of agreement between the two about what they expect from eachother. It wouldn't hurt if Bri got some better understanding of what it means to be a professional artist, as well. It'd be great if she made progress towards that in one day!

Have a threesome with Thalia tonight, since it's agreed upon. No other sex! Not with anyone! Even if Belseth begs for it! Well actually if he really wants it that much he can try to talk to Briannah about it, but I doubt he'll go that far.
>>
No. 771124 ID: 91ee5f

Uhhhh.....breakfast together?

>>771121
All of this sounds good.
>>
No. 771125 ID: 309d35

>‘uge! I talking like… damn, that’s a freaking-
Okay, is she just stroking your ego to distract you, or are you really 'armed' with a Culverin? It would explain where all the blood that your brain should be getting is going to.

I think the first thing on the itinerary is to think up something for Kira. Cain will more than likely be involved in the execution of such a plan, so he should be in on the planning phase too. So talk to him and explain that she might not want help, but definitely needs it.

Also, figure out what happened to Belseth.
>>
No. 771128 ID: 398fe1

>>771125
She was talking about Thalia.
>>
No. 771275 ID: fe7355

Tell Briannah that if you had your wish we could embrace like this all day, but sadly that cannot be. You'll just have to be content with but a scant few minutes and a kiss when we part. As for immediate plans, you'll get in your exercise routine (and hopefully work up a appetite despite being stuffed with souls.) You hope your love will join you after taking her medication, but if she has elsewhere she has to be that'll be fine. Follow that with a light breakfast... No, wait. It'll be brunch by then, wouldn't it? Well, whatever it is, be quick about eating. You don't have all the time in the world anymore.

You have some possibilities in mind for where to go today, but no specific order yet. Meeting Zela is the first to pop onto your mental list, but that one you want Briannah with you for, so it'll have to wait until after she meets whoever she has to meet alone.

You ought to meet with General Thalia to go over what she's planning to do to hamper the Archbishop's plans. Because right now, you're not so sure that Belseth becoming a god is that bad of a idea. It may be that to stop the Nightmare will take a god, since it has Xuv's soul and divine power. You also need to talk with her about Karas and his possession.

You also should track down Belseth, and not just because you and Bri should talk with him about your relationship. Last night he was suddenly called away for urgent matters related to the Archbishop's plan for Bel's ascension not long before Karas was discovered to have vanished. You have a feeling that they are somehow related. There was probably a period between Karas' guards checking on him, and if it was long enough to be before Belseth was called away, his vanishing could coincide with whatever caused the Archbishop to call Belseth away. Check with Sisah if she knows how long it was between the guards checking Karas' cell. But whatever it is, you have a bad feeling the Archbishop's plans are near going off the rails, if not already. Belseth may be persuaded to share what is going on in the Grand Temple if he's worried enough.

Meeting with Kira and basically announcing you're going to insert yourself into her business of governance whether she wants it or not for her own good is a possibility. You'll need to speak with Cain first to find out what you could stick your beak into and get a crash course on it. In fact, since you're going to be involving yourself in matters of state, you'll need Cain's help on that more than being your butler, so hiring someone to take his place there is sensible. ...Actually, what do you think of the idea of Cain becoming Kira's right-hand man? She needs someone she can trust, and there is nobody you know more trustworthy than Cain, and few equal to his competence. And it was mentioned that his talents are kinda wasted watching over you. Anyway, check what Kira's schedule is today.

You feel you should at least check in on Tim. See if the Nightmare bothered him in his sleep, and ask about the attempted magic intrusion on your apartment's wards. See if him investigating them now would possibly yield anything. And then maybe sit with him over tea and just talk. He has to be worried after his encounter with the Nightmare and everything else and needs a friend to talk with.

And check on how your father is doing. If he's awake and cleared for visitors you should go see him.

Let Briannah know that you fully believe there's absolutely nothing to be ashamed about taking medication for psychological problems. We take medicine for mending bones and flesh and treating other ailments, and those for helping the mind are no different. It take them is a sign of support and recovery, and not in any way that of weakness or failure. Anybody who says otherwise will get a earful from you, for it would be the same as shaming a person for treating a disease or broken limb.

Bri wanted to set down the guidelines for who we bed, and you have two to add to what Bri already said. First is nobody who's married or otherwise in a committed relationship without the express agreement of their spouses or partners. No having affairs. Second, we clearly establish if they're looking for any relationship beyond sex. We want to avoid unwanted romantic entanglements and potential broken hearts.

Oh, and also make sure to pocket that sketch of the Nightmare Zela drew for you, after showing it to Briannah so she knows what it appears as, at least to you. You'll want it available to show to others, especially Thalia.

You're also going to have to talk with Briannah about who the Nightmare really is at some point. You want her to be ready for it to be Krotos and not be blindsided. It'll be hard, but better going in knowledgeable than not. And that you're going to kill him for good, whatever way it takes.

>and… and I really need to talk to some people… alone…
Can she say who these people are, or is it something she needs or wishes to keep secret?

>I already ‘now yah saw ugly things… things that I don’t want to know about. I already know many of my problems already… and I need to deal with one at the time.
Okay, you won't tell her of the ugly things, but would she like to hear of the good things you saw in there? The lavender in pots and vases all over, it's scent detectable everywhere. The music rune from the night you and her first made love that you found backstage. (Which you wonder why it brings her such happiness.) The dining hall with delectable smelling dishes of all kinds. The tasteful nude portrait of you hanging in the gallery. The Myseth family sword hanging in the armory, next to a shining suit of her armor, representing her bravery. And tell her of the memories you saw when you touched the armor's gem. Let her know she'll always be a heroine to you, even if she doesn't feel like one.

>…I’m sure we kind fix that for you. Maybe talk to Cain about… he’ll probably know how to contact one.
>Then I’ll talk to ‘im later…
Make a mental note to ask Cain to let you know when and if Bri comes to him about finding a therapist, and also to let you know if she hasn't within a couple days. You don't like not trusting she'll follow through, but it is far too important to let slip through the cracks if she gets into another mood or serious events get in the way.

>‘e wanted me to try and make good deeds, even small things, to make me think a bit more positive about myself… and to keep myself occupied with ‘obbies… stuff like that.
Briannah mentioned yesterday that she took up painting about three years ago. From the timing you thought it was related to what Krotos did to her, and this confirms that. So what other small things has she done lately she'd be proud of? And what hobbies does she engage in other than painting? ...Wait. Bri referred to her varied sexual escapades as her "hobby" at one point, didn't she? Is she reusing that part of her behavior as part of her therapy? ...Well, if that's true and it actually helps her, then you're okay with it. Frankly, you were already okay with her being so sexual anyway. That is, so long as her open sexuality isn't a symptom of other psychological issues. You'd much prefer your love get better even if it means your sex life with her isn't quite so... varied and expansive.

> I… well… I guess if yah did it for that reason and not to snoop… I… um… guess I can forgive yah? Just keep out of my chest, alright?
She has no worries about you poking about in there without her permission again, but perhaps she should think about the possibility of others doing so. That lock was, frankly, pitiful. Would she like it if you got her a mithril chest like your own? You know Karas won't be needing his ever again, so you can get her that one easy. Oh, and this reminds you that you need to check if the prayer book is still safely in your own chest. If it's gone then you've got big problems. And also tell Cain to destroy his translation notes and copies of the rituals, if he hasn't already.

>They were Sakkilian… though, I guess that’s because I associate children with Sakkilian ones… the details about them though… I can’t remember… where there even details? Hmm…
>Yah want me to… b-bear the ‘eir to the kingdom? I… of course I would… for yah… for us…
And this is why you're so wondering what they would look like, assuming Xuv's magic worked. It's no doubt you'd accept them as your own and as heirs whatever their form, but how much others would accept them as heir very much varies by that. The heir to the throne of Risavia being a Sakkilian would... Well... Ruffle a lot of feathers, to put it mildly. And be considered a legitimized bastard, since with Bri's reputation it'll be assumed she laid with a Sakkilian guy and forgot the contraceptive charm. And a Vark born of a Sakkilian would be considered impossible. Much more likely you laid with some anonymous maid, forgot protection, and took in the resulting child as your own. A hybrid would be the only outcome that could be truly generally accepted as a child of you and Briannah. It would raise all kinds of questions as to how, but it could be waved away as divine intervention and blessing. And then you wonder what a Vark-Sakkilian hybrid would look like. A smaller, feathery Sakkilian? A Vark with a saw-toothed beak and more scales than feathers? Something else entirely? And would they be able to have children of their own with Vark or Sakkilian or are they too different? So many questions that can only be answered by trying. You still want to have children with Bri, but we also have to keep in mind you may end up having to sire the heir with a Vark gal just so Risavia doesn't descend into a civil war or some such. You don't like that it may have to be that way, but it is what it is.

When you get a moment to talk with Sisah, ask her how much more plausible would it be that Karas used invisibility and sound muffling magic than teleportation to get out. Possibly with levitation or wall adhesion magic as well. You're thinking he'd go invisible and silent, then slip out when the guards opened his cell to investigate.
>>
No. 771423 ID: 398fe1

It occurs to me there might be no existing records of the Forgotten One, and nobody alive remembers him of course. Except the three aspects of Time, and... Life.

We may need to talk to the Old Man again. Is there an execution scheduled anytime today? Being near death seemed to allow us to see/talk to him. If not, I wonder if there's any other way we can contact him? I'm not sure the Chronicler will fess up about who the Forgotten One is, but I guess we could try that... if not info on the Forgotten One maybe we can find out how to contact Life directly?

Heh, we could try to get Life's attention by "worshiping" him. He said that was forbidden, so if we make it look like we're doing it he might show up. He'll be angry at first but once we explain it's because we want to report on important information (and also stuff about Xuv) he should calm down. He might even give Kronos a better method of contacting him.
>>
No. 771432 ID: 65a774
File 148397615451.png - (27.86KB , 686x526 , 9.png )
771432

>Okay, is she just stroking your ego to distract you, or are you really 'armed' with a Culverin?
She was talking about Thalia, who is apparently packing heavy artillery. Personally, you’re proud of your own fine gun… after all, it’s a lot easier to wield gracefully, isn’t it?
>You're also going to have to talk with Briannah about who the Nightmare really is at some point. You want her to be ready for it to be Krotos and not be blindsided.
Right… but now seems not to be the time.


>Tell Briannah that if you had your wish we could embrace like this all day, but sadly that cannot be. You'll just have to be content with but a scant few minutes and a kiss when we part.
:BriannahSB: Really? Like this?
:KronosSB: You don’t like hugging?
:BriannahSB: Oh, I do… but like this? I’m already starting to feel my muscles from bending down like this… can yah stop being so damn short!?
:KronosSB: You’re the one that’s so damn tall!
>Let Briannah know that you fully believe there's absolutely nothing to be ashamed about taking medication for psychological problems.
:BriannahSB: Aw, of course yah do… but still… its nothing I want to talk about in public, yah ‘ear?
>Can she say who these people are, or is it something she needs or wishes to keep secret?
:BriannahSB: Eh… it’s mostly people yah don’t know… and a lot of them will be contacted in letter form… but it’s something my therapist told me to do that I’ve put off for too long. That and I need a moment alone… to think a bit…
>Okay, you won't tell her of the ugly things, but would she like to hear of the good things you saw in there?
:BriannahSB: Good things? I guess?

You tell her about everything positive you saw, from the small details of lavender to the suit of armor.

:BriannahSB: So… that song is our song now… heh… kind of ironic, really…
:KronosSB: …how so?
:BriannahSB: Ah, forget I said anything. No, it’s a nice song and if yah want it to be our song… then so be it.
>Let her know she'll always be a heroine to you, even if she doesn't feel like one.
:BriannahSB: I ‘ave to admit, I’ve ‘ad forgotten some of the… heroics I’ve done… and I’ve ‘ad forgotten why I did them as well.

>Briannah needs to confront her feelings about Zela and there needs to be some sort of agreement between the two about what they expect from each other.
:BriannahSB: Indeed, we need to talk… today, if possible.
>Get some actual painting lessons in with Bri and Zel
:BriannahSB: Painting lessons? She is ‘ere to take my portrait, not to teach me. If it comes out good, then we can start talking about teaching.
>You ought to meet with General Thalia to go over what she's planning to do to hamper the Archbishop's plans.
:BriannahSB: Oh right, she wanted to talk to yah about some things that ‘appen yesterday, at the trial. So yes, go see ‘er.
>Have a threesome with Thalia tonight, since it's agreed upon.
:BriannahSB: Oh? Really? Well… I guess? As much as I want yah to plant ye seed in me, I don’t feel like ‘aving my fields plowed right now… but I’m sure that will change before tonight, eh? And even if it doesn’t… well, we can just do something else, eh? Either way, yah’re the one who ‘ave to ask ‘er, as yah’re going to go see ‘er anyway.
>You feel you should at least check in on Tim. See if the Nightmare bothered him in his sleep, and ask about the attempted magic intrusion on your apartment's wards.
:BriannahSB: Yeah, be there for ye friends! Oh, I wonder if I will ‘ave the time to visit that cute little elemental again…
>You also should track down Belseth, and not just because you and Bri should talk with him about your relationship.
:BriannahSB: Hmm… I’m sure ‘e is fine… but still, it is a bit worrying that ‘e disappeared like that. Check ‘is room when yah ‘ave the time… otherwise try the temple.

>Bri wanted to set down the guidelines for who we bed, and you have two to add to what Bri already said. First, no having affairs.
:BriannahSB: Well, that’s a given. No sex unless everyone is A-Okay with it, eh?
>Second, we clearly establish if they're looking for any relationship beyond sex.
:BriannahSB: And this is from both directions, too!
>Make sure to pocket that sketch of the Nightmare Zela drew for you, after showing it to Briannah so she knows what it appears as, at least to you.
:BriannahSB: That’s the nightmare? Ugh… I wouldn’t want to fight that thing… to many mouths…

>Exercise in the morning. Get that blood flowing.
Right… time to work up some sweat… and watch that glorious tush swing before you… ah…. And then Briannah starts to question why you always seem to lag behind when you jog…
>Uhhhh.....breakfast together?
…a bit late for breakfast…
>It'll be brunch by then, wouldn't it? Well, whatever it is, be quick about eating.
But the perfect time for brunch! The two of you enjoy the food over some small talk before, sadly, you have to part ways. Briannah seems like in a hurry to write those letters…
>>
No. 771433 ID: 65a774
File 148397616509.png - (45.78KB , 686x526 , 10.png )
771433

>I think the first thing on the itinerary is to think up something for Kira. Cain will more than likely be involved in the execution of such a plan, so he should be in on the planning phase too.
:CainSB: A plan? Hmm… why, sir, I think I’ve come up a most cunning plan! Why don’t you try to talk to her?
:KronosSB: But she won’t listen!
:CainSB: …then make her listen? You are the Prince, her brother, if there is anyone who she would listen to it is you, sir.
:KronosSB: But she-
:CainSB: She might have low respect for you, but I’m sure if you put your foot down and act like a Prince should do… then she will listen.
:KronosSB: But if she-
:CainSB: Talk. To. Her… sir.
>You'll need to speak with Cain first to find out what you could stick your beak into and get a crash course on it.
:CainSB: You should stick your beak into what she want you to stick it into, nothing more, nothing less.
>In fact, since you're going to be involving yourself in matters of state, you'll need Cain's help on that more than being your butler, so hiring someone to take his place there is sensible.
:CainSB: Sir, the whole reason you’ll get involved is to do things yourself, not hand it over to someone else. I got time to help, sure, but you’re supposed to do all the actual work, sir.
> ...Actually, what do you think of the idea of Cain becoming Kira's right-hand man?
:CainSB: Sir, I’ve already said no to that job thrice before. I like working with you here, sir… not to mention both the pay and benefits are better, but still… I’m not going to go work somewhere else as long as you need me, sir.
>Anyway, check what Kira's schedule is today.
:CainSB: As far as I know, she has no public appearances today. Anything else is for her to know and not me.
>And check on how your father is doing. If he's awake and cleared for visitors you should go see him.
:CainSB: Last I heard, he is doing great, sir. I do believe visiting hours starts at twelve?
>Ask Cain to let you know when and if Bri comes to him about finding a therapist.
:CainSB: What do you think I’m penning right now, sir?
:KronosSB: You’re writing to a therapist?
:CainSB: I might not know one personally, sir, but I do know how to file a request for one. Don’t worry; I’ll see to it that she get the help she needs.

>When you get a moment to talk with Sisah, ask her how much more plausible would it be that Karas used invisibility and sound muffling magic than teleportation to get out.
:SisahSB: A lot of magic is more plausible than teleportation. What, exactly, is still up to debate. Let’s not start speculating about it before we can find clues on what actually happen, alright sir? Now, are we heading out sir? To see your sister? …or father? …or Thalia? …or Belseth? …or the mage? All of them would be inside the shielding of the palace… except if one of them are in the garden… or out in the grand temple… err… right, let’s just stay in the palace for now, alright?
>>
No. 771456 ID: 309d35

> act like a Prince should do…
Do we have any idea how a prince should act? I'm more than a little hesitant to use your brothers as role models.

Let's see if we can't rope the queen into visiting dad with us.
>>
No. 771461 ID: 398fe1

>>771433
Kira. Tell her about what's been going on, mentioning first and foremost that the Nightmare works by hallucination and actual nightmares. Secondly, tell her that you know about the Six, but there were Seven before that, even. One god for each race. The Serpens god was killed long before the Cataclysm and forgotten, but now it's coming back and using the Nightmare as a weapon. Then explain that you know the church is trying to turn Belseth into a god, and that isn't a terrible idea but Belseth needs to learn to accept help first, because he'll need it. Also there's a powerful force (that prefers to be unnamed) that would be strongly against souls being kept away from the river for an indeterminate amount of time. It would be best if Belseth was a mortal god.

Then after all that important stuff is over, tell her you seriously need to take something off her plate so that she has the time and energy to face such a danger. Ask her for something to do, and don't take no for an answer.
>>
No. 771520 ID: fe7355

>>771461
Whoa! Wait a second. I think you're misremembering and conflating things about the Forgotten One. If you reread >>/questarch/765108 where Dreamer first mentioned a seventh god, it said the Seventh was part of the council that found Illasia guilty and stripped her of her divinity mere seconds before they themselves died. This means the seventh god couldn't have died and been forgotten long before the Cataclysm.

And rereading what Dreamer said, I noticed that it said "Xuv did get the last laugh, though, as those left of the seven blamed Illasia for the coming storm... and managed to punish her seconds before their demise." That last part, if true, means the entire pantheon perished in the Cataclysm, including the Seventh. I also noticed Dreamer didn't say anything that really indicated the Forgotten One is the Seventh. We just came to that conclusion because the seventh god was missing from the prayer book and not mentioned anywhere else we knew of, and due to the proximity of Dreamer mentioning the Forgotten One with that of the Seventh. I theorize that the former is because the Seventh was a Serpens, and thus not wanting to be worshiped as a god. Instead staying out of mortal matters and privately pursuing their scientific interests. So they'd still be a member of the Six's group, just known of by few beyond the Six.

But whoever the Forgotten One is, we also can't trust that what Mirror Kronos said about the Forgotten One's actions and plans is true. While Mirror Kronos presumably could see all possible timelines, he was blinded by his intense hatred for Kronos. He seemed to only seek out timelines that supported his belief that Kronos living was, is and will be cataclysmic disaster. And among all the possible timelines, there would be ones where the Forgotten One was using Kronos as a pawn in their plan to bring about the end of everything. However, we don't know if that timeline is the one that actually happened, nor if the Forgotten One of that timeline has the same plans as in this one. For all we know, the Forgotten One in this timeline had a very different experience than the one in the other timelines and isn't seeking to end existence at all.

Basically, we need a another source of information regarding the Forgotten One before we can even start to consider what to do about them. A source that isn't biased by hatred towards Kronos. That means either Chronicler or Dreamer, though Chronicler, being the personification of recorded history, may not remember anything about the Forgotten One since they're forgotten.
>>
No. 771527 ID: 398fe1

>>771520
>it said the Seventh was part of the council that found Illasia guilty and stripped her of her divinity mere seconds before they themselves died.
Ah, but you're wrong. I assume you mean this?
>Xuv did get the last laugh, though, as those left of the seven blamed Illasia for the coming storm… and managed to punish her seconds before their demise.
"Those left of the seven" just means there were originally seven. It doesn't say if there were five or six at the time.

We have a prayer book from back when the Six were active! It does not include a seventh god, which means that there were only Six known gods when the book was written, which was most definitely before the Cataclysm. The only way the Forgotten One could be forgotten is if he/she was exiled long before the known historical records we have were written.
>>
No. 771538 ID: fe7355

>>771527
>"Those left of the seven" just means there were originally seven. It doesn't say if there were five or six at the time.
True, it doesn't say, so we can't say whether the seventh god was present or not.

>One could be forgotten is if he/she was exiled long before the known historical records we have were written.
Or died. Or left of their own accord. Or didn't wish to be worshiped and wanted their privacy, so they struck all record of themselves. Or something else entirely. We just can't say with what we know.

What I suggest is we don't go saying things about the Forgotten One or thinking they're behind everything until we have a better, more impartial source than the enraged mirror manifestation of Kronos' self-loathing. Could be Chronicler or Dreamer, or a artifact or record from the depths of the Catacombs, or something else. It just has to be more trustworthy.

Besides, I don't see how telling Kira what Kronos was told about the Forgotten One will help things. What could Kira even do with that information other than worry her brother is coming unhinged?
>>
No. 771550 ID: 398fe1

>>771538
>Or died. Or left of their own accord. Or didn't wish to be worshiped and wanted their privacy, so they struck all record of themselves. Or something else entirely. We just can't say with what we know.
Okay, but any of those must have happened long before the Cataclysm. I guess it's still possible the seventh god is a red herring planted by the Nightmare, BUT! We were informed by the Chronicler that there is a hidden player "waiting for the perfect board" that tried to summon Xuv. Can you really think of someone else it could be, at this point?
>>
No. 771553 ID: fe7355

You should see Thalia first. She has information that might be important for your following meetings, and she should be informed of the two Nightmare visions you had last evening. Thalia should also be first because you want to delay your other options for various reasons. You want Briannah with you when you meet with Zela and Belseth to talk, and Bri is currently busy with writing letters meeting other people. She also wanted to see the earth elemental again, so you want her with you when you meet Tim. Tim also has other obligations, such as teaching his apprentices, and you don't know when he's going to be tied up. And you want to see your father with Kira, then talk with her in private afterwards, and that won't be until after noon.

You're thinking you want to have lunch with Tim and bring Bri along. A nice, leisurely one with one of his favorite dishes so y'all can relax a bit after the serious talking is over and talk about what he wants to talk about.

Also send a note to Kira requesting that she come with you to see your father this afternoon, emphasizing that you want her to stay for awhile and not try and get back to work. And add that you want to speak with her in private afterwards. That'll be when you drop the serious stuff on her so it doesn't risk ruining the mood while with your father.

Ask Sisah and Cain if either of them wrote a account of the magic intrusion attempts last night and sent it to whoever would need to know about that. The court archmage or captain of the guard or suchlike. And perhaps make a request for a report from them on any other intrusion attempts last night as well. ...And ask Sisah how strong the warding is on the old observatory and that alley outside of Belseth's bathroom window. You have a suspicion that the Nightmare could get into your head because the wards there weren't as strong as elsewhere.

>Oh, I do… but like this? I’m already starting to feel my muscles from bending down like this… can yah stop being so damn short!?
>You’re the one that’s so damn tall!
Y'know, it's good you two can jokingly prod each other like this. It bodes well for your future together. And as for a solution to the hugs height difference, take advantage of your featherweight. Leap up, wrap your legs tight around her midsection and your hands laced behind her neck, while she holds you up with one hand under your rear and the other arm hugging you close. This also has the added benefit of giving her positioning and ample opportunity to squeeze your ass as well.

>Eh… it’s mostly people yah don’t know… and a lot of them will be contacted in letter form… but it’s something my therapist told me to do that I’ve put off for too long. That and I need a moment alone… to think a bit…
Considering what she was thinking about, best guess is she's going to apologize to the people she's wronged over her years. For the broken hearts and broken homes and burned bridges. You get the feeling it's going to take a very long time for her to do. She'll probably have to break it up and do it over the course of weeks. Or possibly months.

>A lot of magic is more plausible than teleportation. What, exactly, is still up to debate. Let’s not start speculating about it before we can find clues on what actually happen, alright sir?
This is true. And whatever the way it was Karas got out, the more important thing is that he is out, presumably possessed of a means to get in as easily as he got out, and almost certainly violent. Which means not just you, Briannah and Kira are in potential danger, but everyone on the trial council, and likely every Sakkilian around. You have a bad feeling that more people are going to die by his hand before he's dealt with.

>Sir, I’ve already said no to that job thrice before. I like working with you here, sir… not to mention both the pay and benefits are better, but still… I’m not going to go work somewhere else as long as you need me, sir.
When was the last time you expressed your gratitude for having Cain around? Because you should thank the heavens every day for one such as him. And really endeavor to make his job of watching out for you not so hard any more. And what else...? Hm... What would Cain want that he doesn't already have?

Don't say this out lout, but you might have figured out another reason that Cain so ardently sticks by your side: He's your father's insurance against what was the unlikely but still very real possibility that you'd end up on the throne. In that case, Cain would be the power behind the throne until ether you could adequately take up the royal responsibilities or your heir was old enough to take the crown. A plausible theory, yes?
>>
No. 771580 ID: 91ee5f

>>771553
>You're thinking you want to have lunch with Tim and bring Bri along. A nice, leisurely one with one of his favorite dishes so y'all can relax a bit after the serious talking is over and talk about what he wants to talk about.
Kronos already had brunch with Bri. He's not going to be able to eat anything.
>>
No. 771585 ID: fe7355

>>771580
True, Kronos and Bri won't be that hungry, but Tim will be, and the lunch is more for him than them. Kronos and Bri can just have something light to drink and eat.
>>
No. 771593 ID: 91ee5f

>>771585
>just have something light to drink and eat.
Yeah, perhaps some t-
*insert obligatory Cain jumpscare here*
VARK!!!!! DX
>>
No. 771604 ID: 65a774
File 148408558360.png - (62.56KB , 686x526 , 11.png )
771604

>Do we have any idea how a prince should act? I'm more than a little hesitant to use your brothers as role models.
Well, not acting like your brothers would be a start… and maybe take some responsibilities… and act like someone people can look up to… stuff like that, maybe?
>As for a solution to the hugs height difference, take advantage of your featherweight. Leap up, wrap your legs tight around her midsection and your hands laced behind her neck, while she holds you up with one hand under your rear and the other arm hugging you close.
Hmm… that can work… she is strong enough to lift you with ease after all.
>This also has the added benefit of giving her positioning and ample opportunity to squeeze your ass as well.
…which might mean she will want to hug you a hell of a lot more all the sudden.
>Considering what Bri was thinking about, best guess is she's going to apologize to the people she's wronged over her years. For the broken hearts and broken homes and burned bridges.
That is probably exactly what she is doing. Might be best to give her some alone time to get that sorted out.


>When was the last time you expressed your gratitude for having Cain around? Because you should thank the heavens every day for one such as him.
:CainSB: Why sir, I do believe you thank me most days. Of course, I’m the one who should be grateful as I would probably still live on the streets if it wasn’t for you, sir.
>What would Cain want that he doesn't already have?
:CainSB: I’m content as it is, sir. Please, do worry about more important things for now.
>Don't say this out loud, but you might have figured out another reason that Cain so ardently sticks by your side: He's your father's insurance against what was the unlikely but still very real possibility that you'd end up on the throne.
…you know, you wouldn’t put it past that old fart to do something like that. Your father was a rather wise king in his days on the throne.

>Ask Sisah and Cain if either of them wrote an account of the magic intrusion attempts last night and sent it to whoever would need to know about that.
:SisahSB: I’ve already written a report and Cain will file it later today, sir.
>...And ask Sisah how strong the warding is on the old observatory and that alley outside of Belseth's bathroom window.
:SisahSB: Hmm… the warding would be a bit lesser on the old observatory, as it isn’t receiving the usual attention. As for the alley, well, it is outside, thus would automatically be less protected.

>You want Briannah with you when you meet with Zela and Belseth to talk, and Bri is currently busy with writing letters meeting other people.
Indeed… so Zela and Belseth have to wait.
>She also wanted to see the earth elemental again, so you want her with you when you meet Tim.
Hmm… she does, doesn’t she?
>You're thinking you want to have lunch with Tim and bring Bri along.
…except you just ate Brunch… and his lunch time is in like an hour or so!
>Kronos and Bri can just have something light to drink and eat.
Well… you guess you could go for a spot of tea, though…
>*insert obligatory Cain jumpscare here*
You’re standing right next to him. There’s no way he’ll surprise you right now!
>You should see Thalia. She has information that might be important for your following meetings, and she should be informed of the two Nightmare visions you had last evening.
Yes, seeing Thalia would be one of your top priorities… but… family has to come first…

>Kira. Tell her about what's been going on, mentioning first and foremost that the Nightmare works by hallucination and actual nightmares.
She needs to know what is going on… yet… um…
>Secondly, tell her that you know about the Six, but there were Seven before that, even. One god for each race.
If you start rambling about everything there’s no way she’ll believe you. She’ll just think you mad!
>The Serpens god was killed long before the Cataclysm and forgotten, but now it's coming back and using the Nightmare as a weapon.
…wait, are we even sure about any of this? We really don’t know a lot of… well, anything about any of that!

>Let's see if we can't rope the queen into visiting dad with us.
Now, that’s something you can try! To the Royal Office!



:NonSB: NO ONE MAY ENTER!
:KronosSB: But… I’m the Prince! Her brother!
:NonSB: Her orders are explicit! All visitors will be denied no matter what!
:KronosSB: But-
:NonSB: NO. ONE. MAY. SEE. HER.
:KronosSB: Geez…

Well… that didn’t work… guess you’ll have to go see Thalia in-
:SonorkSB: That’s it? You’re just going to give up after that!? What happen to “acting like a Prince”, you twerp!?
:KronosSB: (Huh? Hey! It isn’t my fault they aren’t letting me in!)
:SonorkSB: Of course it is your fault! Stop acting like a coward and convince them to let you enter! Throw around authority! …or bullshit your way through... or something! Don’t just give up, you limp dicked prick!
>>
No. 771617 ID: bc8e48

>>771604
Your sister would be stickler enough to protocol to give them a signia or proof of her order wouldn't they?

But you could go other routes. Pressure to screw with them, or assert importance of the visit.

You could threaten to make their lives hell subtly by asking for their name, rank, and skip from asking their squadron and asking for their plantoon. Followed by mentioning you needed to talk to their platoon commander about the lapse in security. (that would probably be Thalia)

Alternatively, you have divined information that may be of use to your sister. You could mention one of many things that you and your sister know of only ( possibly the situation with the church ) and ask one of them to go in and mention said keyword.

Seriously, you needed your id/superego to make you assert yourself in a semi-urgent case? A guard can order you around? It's good to be kind, not ball-less.
>>
No. 771632 ID: 91ee5f

>>771604
>You’re standing right next to him. There’s no way he’ll surprise you right now!
Yes he can! He can pull out a dining cart with a tea pot and a cup to drink from out of nowhere!

>Stubborn guards.
"How do you know something hasn't happened to my sister?! You're out here, but who's in there to guard her?! I'm going to check on her and you can't stop me!"

Or

"Unless she's in the middle of a meeting or taking a nap, which we all know she needs, I won't be interrupting anything. So I'm going in."
>>
No. 771635 ID: 309d35

> Don’t just give up, you limp dicked prick!
Is it any wonder why I didn't listen to you?

Allow me to rephrase, I am Prince Kronos, Cadet of the Mediean dynasty. (If you've got any more titles you like to throw in, have at it.) I am not some 'visitor' begging an audience. Now, one side or you'll be learning a lot of fun four-letter adjectives from Captain Thalia. I have important news the queen needs to be party to- and you do not.
>>
No. 771643 ID: 309d35

>>771635
Actually hold up for a minute, Now that Kira's officially sovereign, does that mean we're now heir to the throne? Or do you still fall under the genealogical definition of 'cadet'?
>>
No. 771694 ID: fe7355

>>771617
>>771635
Guys, these aren't some ordinary palace guards Kronos can just order around, these are the Royal Guard. They're among the most disciplined and loyal military units in Risavia, with their duty to their sovereign and country above all else. It's going to take something better than trying to pull rank or threats to get them to comply over a order from their queen.

>Now, one side or you'll be learning a lot of fun four-letter adjectives from Captain Thalia.
It's General Thalia, not captain. She's also a army general, and neither the palace guard nor Royal Guard are under the command of the army, thus Thalia has no authority over them. Threatening these Royal Guards with a reprimand from Thalia will be ineffective and make Kronos sound like a fool for not knowing the basic chains of command.

>>771643
Since Kronos' father, King Helios, is still alive, even though he resigned from the throne the line of succession may still pass through him before Kronos. I can't say for sure because it really depends on the vagaries of the laws of succession in Risavia.
>>
No. 771710 ID: fe7355

That other part of you is right, despite the lame insults. You've been far too passive for years now. While you have a good and kind heart and soul, without the drive and courage to stand up and do what they feel is right you'll always remain a good natured doormat.

Alright, you've finally got your whole wits after so long, so examine the situation and use them. These aren't palace guard, these are Royal Guard. They're made of sterner stuff, and among the most loyal and dutiful. They're not going to be cowed by threats. And even though you're a prince, your authority doesn't extend over them, does it? Their sovereign, Queen Kira, is the only one they answer to, right? And they have orders from their queen. This is going to be tricky, but you won't give up.

Start off by channeling your will and courage, straighting up and standing tall. You are Prince Kronos. You will not be cowed. You will not be talked down to or talked over. You will speak and they will listen. Remember the Voice of Authority your father used, especially all those times you were disciplined, and use it as your own here. Now, begin.

Look the Royal Guard in the eye and ask them when did Kira give this order and why. Is she meeting with someone? But that's no matter. Tell the guard that it would be for Kira to decide whether to see you or not, not them, so they should go and ask her. Tell them to say that it's important you speak with her immediately.

If they don't budge, then tell them with all your conviction that with everything that's been going on with her Kira needs familial support now and shouldn't be alone. For gods' sake, yesterday her father had a heart attack and then she presided over the trial that sentenced Karas to death for high treason! You met her right afterwards and she'd already drained half a bottle of wine! And on top of that, Karas inexplicably escaped last evening. So Kira can't be in a good mental place right now, no matter what she says. They're Royal Guard, so they guarded your father. They remember his alcoholism and the toll it took on him. It was because he didn't have anyone to support him in his trying times; When the grief and guilt crushed him and he took to the bottle to forget. Well you'll be damned if you're going to stand by while your sister slides into a deep, dark pit akin to the one your father did! And they are as well if they stand by too. So ask them if they're going to act in the best interests of their sovereign or are they just going to follow orders.

And if that impassioned speech doesn't move them, then say let it be on their heads and turn to leave. You're not giving up, though. Get a voice amplifier rune, the powerful kind used to give public addresses to the plaza from the royal balcony, along with hearing protection for you and Sisah. You're going to tell Kira you need to see her and you're not taking "no" for a answer, even if you have to deliver the message at 100 decibels through the goddamn wall due to block-headed Royal Guards.
>>
No. 771723 ID: 9e72a7

THIS IS BULLSHIT YOU DON'T YELL AT THE PRINCE!!
This level of disrespect will not stand!
But be calm, try to convince them to let you in but also use your authority. You should also let them know how badly disrespecting a prince in his own home will go for them.
And if that doesn't work see if Sisah subdue them.
>>
No. 771728 ID: 398fe1

Tell them she's expecting you.
>>
No. 771786 ID: 0967ef

>>771604
Time to put that silver tongue to work for a bit, no reason not taking no for an answer needs to be shouty:

"Trust me when I say barring my way will be more hassle than letting me pass, there's not much you can do, you're getting ordered by royalty after all. Besides, if my sister is annoyed at my presence she's fully capable of doing it herself."

If they seem to be close to agreeing, maybe smile/wink then add

"And don't worry about getting in trouble, she'll blame me for trouble before you guys any day."
>>
No. 771789 ID: 094652

Enough of this

Shoot them in the face! Their helmets can take it.
>>
No. 771814 ID: 65a774
File 148417662395.png - (48.03KB , 686x526 , 12.png )
771814

>Yes he can! He can pull out a dining cart with a tea pot and a cup to drink from out of nowhere!
While he is light on his feet, you’re pretty sure he isn’t actually capable to actually just manifest things from thin air… … …yeah, pretty sure… still…
>Your sister would be stickler enough to protocol to give them a signia or proof of her order wouldn't they?
A simple order as this was probably just made orally without any need for proof.
>Guys, these aren't some ordinary palace guards Kronos can just order around, these are the Royal Guard. They're among the most disciplined and loyal military units in Risavia, with their duty to their sovereign and country above all else.
…of course, that means they are the very same guards that guard your apartment… and technically you. Maybe you can use that to your advantage? Hmm…

>THIS IS BULLSHIT YOU DON'T YELL AT THE PRINCE!!
:SonorkSB: Yeah! Have these imbecile executed immediately for this transgression! A quick shot from your gun will do the trick!
>Is it any wonder why I didn't listen to you?
:SonorkSB: Are you referring to the threat of violence or the insults? I’m guessing both. I wouldn’t listen to that crap either.


>Look the Royal Guard in the eye and ask them when did Kira give this order and why.
:NonSB: Why weren’t told sir. We are just here to make sure she gets the privacy she wants.
>How do you know something hasn't happened to my sister?! You're out here, but who's in there to guard her?!
:NonSB: There is protection in there as well. We are here to make sure no one disturber, be it a threat or people that demand to see her, sir.
>Alternatively, you have divined information that may be of use to your sister.
:NonSB: Of course you do, sir, but it will have to wait as we were ordered to make sure NO ONE DISTURBS HER.
>Tell them she's expecting you.
:NonSB: We weren’t told… so no, she isn’t.
>You could threaten to make their lives hell subtly by asking for their name, rank, and skip from asking their squadron and asking for their plantoon.
:NonSB: I if we don’t give our names?
:NonSB: Um… I’m pretty sure we have too?
:KronosSB: You don’t need to, as I can spot the number on your plate from here. It’s not that many men in the Queens guard, is there?
:NonSB: Err… we’re just following orders?

>Remember the Voice of Authority your father used, especially all those times you were disciplined, and use it as your own here.
:KronosSB: Allow me to rephrase, I am Prince Kronos, Cadet of the Mediean dynasty. I am not some 'visitor' begging an audience. Now, one side or you'll be learning a lot of fun four-letter adjectives from your commanding officer. I have important news the queen needs to be party to- and you do not.
:NonSB: But we can’t-
:KronosSB: I will not be cowed. I will not be talked down to or talked over. I will speak and you will listen.
:NonSB: But-
:KronosSB: Is it not the Queen who decides who she will see or not? Shouldn’t you go ask her if I can see her or not? Tell her I have important news that she needs to hear immediately.
:NonSB: Not disturbing her includes us, sir, we can’t just-
:KronosSB: Don’t you think with everything that is going on, with the trail and our father sudden sickness, that she need familial support? That she needs her brother’s aid? What kind of guards are you if you just let her waste away alone like this!?
:NonSB: Err… I guess?

:KronosSB: Are you two going to act in the best interests of your sovereign or are you just going to follow orders?
:NonSB: I mean… we’re supposed to… but… err…
:KronosSB: Supposed to what? Protect us? She needs me right now, more than ever before. So step aside and let me help her. That is your duty.
:NonSB: But… we… what if she gets angry and-
:KronosSB: Don't worry about getting in trouble, she'll blame me for trouble before you guys any day.
:NonSB: I… err…
:NonSB: Sir, if you give your word that you will take the blame, we will let you through.
:NonSB: But-
:NonSB: Let’s not piss off the Prince, and maybe even the Queen if she is expecting him, shall we?
:KronosSB: You have my word.
:NonSB: Then go right ahead, sir… err… right after you leave all your weapons out here… and let us frisk you… and leave that bodyguard as well. We can’t be too careful, now can we?
:KronosSB: …*sigh* alright, I’ll leave Sisah out here with my gun… just let me see the Queen already!
>>
No. 771815 ID: 65a774
File 148417666027.png - (91.65KB , 686x526 , 13.png )
771815

As you enter the royal office, the first thing that hits you is the fetid smell of alcohol in the air… the second is that there is a lot of empty bottles strewn around the office… and the third is a light snoring coming from the royal desk. It seems your sister, Queen Kira, has worked herself to the limit and simply collapsed in mid work… you can’t leave her like this.

:KiraSB: *Snore*… hnng… no… I… I’m trying… ngg… *snore*…

Happy birthday to me… I guess… woop…
>>
No. 771819 ID: 211d83

Sigh and then carefully start tidying up her paperwork and capping that bottle. By the time she is clear headed you should have her work area cleaned up.

Looks like we might need to give her a hand so she does not work herself to death.
>>
No. 771820 ID: 094652

Call a few guards, get an escort, get her to a safe place, then ward the room so she can get some @#$%ing sleep. Then notify the administrators that it's @#$%ing bedtime and anything they expect the queen to slave over during lunch break will be countered with a bullet to the face.
>>
No. 771823 ID: ba506f

>>771815
huh, so she is her father's daughter after all. Well let's clean her office up a little for her (try and put things in order if you can for her sake) and see if we can't wake her up. I think it might be a good idea to pull her away from work for awhile and take her with us to see dear old dad.
>>
No. 771825 ID: 398fe1

>>771815
It looks like she's having a nightmare. Hey, I wonder if you can use your dream powers right here right now? Sit in a comfortable position, then focus on her. If you start getting sleepy don't fight it.
>>
No. 771827 ID: 01d9f4

>>771825
I agree, she's crying in her sleep. The positioning of the drops on the paper hunt stormy at this possibility.

We can dream walk her.
>>
No. 771830 ID: 309d35

Try not to mess with her papers. It might be that they've fallen all disorganized, but you don't want to end up moving something important away from where she recalls it is. For now, just put away the wine and make sure nothing gets stained with liqueur or drool.

Looks like she could use some coffee when she gets up... Crap, will phrasing that weak be able to summon Cain somewhere as heavily guarded as this?... Better move her to a chair or something in the meantime.
>>
No. 771831 ID: 309d35

Try not to mess with her papers. It might be that they've fallen all disorganized, but you don't want to end up moving something important away from where she recalls it is. For now, just put away the wine and make sure nothing gets stained with liqueur or drool.

Looks like she could use some coffee when she gets up... Crap, will phrasing that weak be able to summon Cain somewhere as heavily guarded as this?... Better move her to a chair or something in the meantime.
>>
No. 771832 ID: 0967ef

>>771815
Welp, off to bed for her. Lend a hand personally or get some guards to do it.
If she complains you tell her she'll do more harm than good in her condition.

Maybe tidy up (only accidentally peeking at her papers).
>>
No. 771833 ID: 65a774
File 148418288951.png - (30.38KB , 686x526 , 14.png )
771833

>Looks like we might need to give her a hand so she does not work herself to death.
…you really need to help her, don’t you? She can’t do this alone.
>It looks like she's having a nightmare.
She twists and turns, muttering under her breath… yeah… she’s dreaming about something terrible.
>Looks like she could use some coffee when she gets up...
…you’re pretty sure Cain won’t be allowed past the guards.
>Call a few guards, get an escort, get her to a safe place, then ward the room so she can get some @#$%ing sleep.
Hmm… you really should get her to her bedroom, so she can get some proper rest… but still, you don’t want to wake her up to abruptly.

>Sigh and then carefully start tidying up her paperwork and capping that bottle.
First thing first, let’s get this place looking more… inhabitable.
>Try not to mess with her papers. It might be that they've fallen all disorganized, but you don't want to end up moving something important away from where she recalls it is.
Right, you’ll just… move them a bit so she won’t drool on them…

>Hey, I wonder if you can use your dream powers right here right now?
As you brush against her hand, you can feel yourself drawn into the dream world again…
>>
No. 771834 ID: 65a774
File 148418291318.png - (35.30KB , 686x526 , 15.png )
771834

:NightmaresSB: …I feel you… Brother…
>>
No. 771835 ID: 65a774
File 148418292014.png - (21.91KB , 686x526 , 16.png )
771835

…huh… where… you’re in the catacombs again? Is that the door Kira’s dream world? Where is the doorknob?
>>
No. 771837 ID: 398fe1

>>771835
Alright that's even more blood... first off what do the signs say? And what's that thing on the wall to the left of the door?

I think we might want to follow the blood this time, before we go into the dream. Now that things are a bit more clear about how time works here, following the blood seems like a low-risk decision.
>>
No. 771840 ID: 309d35

> Where is the doorknob?
She has trouble letting people in, natch.

Observe your surroundings, what's down the bloody hallway? What about the bloody hole in the wall? the diamond on the door? and what's on the map?
>>
No. 771854 ID: fe7355

Well, good to know that you can enter the dreams of a sleeping person just by touch and don't need to be sleeping yourself. This'll make all the dream delving you need to do easier. Though, if you need to touch somebody who's asleep, such as to move them, and don't want to enter their dreams it's going to be a little bit troublesome. Maybe if you focus on not entering their dream when you touch them that'll stop it. And you hope this won't take but a short while in real time. While aiding Kira is quite important, you have much more to do today.

>…I feel you… Brother…
Ominous and scary, but expected. You knew the Nightmare would notice your actions with Briannah and be on the lookout for you. So don't count on being able to take all the time you want because the Nightmare knows you're here. It is likely searching for you if it doesn't already know where you are. And it might also have taken steps to hamper your progress within key nightmares. The missing doorknob may be its doing, though it could also be a manifestation of Kira shutting people out.

Examine the area first. Read the plaque, the map and the sign. Look at the diamond shape on the door, then press your ear to it and listen for any voices on the other side. Inspect the bloody hole in the wall, but don't put your head or any other part of you right in front of it. The last thing you need is something springing out and stabbing you. From the side check how old the blood is and then stand across the hall and offset slightly to look into it.

Take a closer look at the blood stains and blood trail in the hallway. Try and figure out which way whatever made them was going and how old they are. They look dryer than the ones you saw outside Briannah's dream, so they're older. However, don't follow them right away. Since they showed up outside Briannah's dream and Kira's, both people Krotos would have particular interest in, there's a good chance they were left by the Nightmare. Following the blood trail may lead to it, and you are not ready to face it.

You should take a moment to sift through your memories of Kira so you may have a better idea of what you could be facing in there. And include whatever observations your mirror self remembers but were probably buried with it, from both when it was empowered to see all timelines and from before, when it was just a buried part of your psyche.
>>
No. 771898 ID: 91ee5f

Ok, new rule: Unless you're fully prepared and ready to go into someone's dreams, don't touch them while they're asleep!

.....well, since you're already here, you might as well go ahead and help your sister and kick your brother's ass.

I wonder if in the real world, your body is just awkwardly just standing in front of your sister? Or did you collapse to the floor as soon as you entered her dream? If you did collapse, you might've hit your head on Kira's desk on the way down to the floor.....meaning you're gonna have a nasty bump on your head when you wake up.

Hopefully, your first dreamwalking experience wasn't just beginner's luck and you'll continue to not lose an arm, leg, or your life. Because remember the rule: Any injury here will transfer to your real body, including death.

Let's start by looking at that map there.
>>
No. 771902 ID: 231c60

...Well, at this point I would recommend drinking heavily after all of this traumatic dream Bullshit, but that might be harmful to your Loved Ones.
>>
No. 771927 ID: 65a774
File 148422370741.png - (6.28KB , 686x526 , 17.png )
771927

>...Well, at this point I would recommend drinking heavily after all of this traumatic dream Bullshit, but that might be harmful to your Loved Ones.
You’ve already seen firsthand what excessive drinking will do to you, so no thank you.
>Ok, new rule: Unless you're fully prepared and ready to go into someone's dreams, don't touch them while they're asleep!
You’re pretty sure you were pulled in because you were thinking about walking her dream… if you weren’t; you might be able to touch someone who is napping.
>I wonder if in the real world, your body is just awkwardly just standing in front of your sister? Or did you collapse to the floor as soon as you entered her dream?
…let’s worry about that when we wake up, shall we?
>Hopefully, your first dreamwalking experience wasn't just beginner's luck and you'll continue to not lose an arm, leg, or your life. Because remember the rule: Any injury here will transfer to your real body, including death.
Right… better be careful in here…
>.....well, since you're already here, you might as well go ahead and help your sister and kick your brother's ass.
That was the plan from the start, wasn’t it? To help sis…
>You knew the Nightmare would notice your actions with Briannah and be on the lookout for you. So don't count on being able to take all the time you want because the Nightmare knows you're here.
Oh great… as you didn’t have enough on your plate already.


>What's down the bloody hallway?
A lot of twisty passages, all alike.
>I think we might want to follow the blood this time, before we go into the dream.
Yet again, it doesn’t actually lead anywhere. There are some splatters across the corridor you are standing in, but you can’t see where it goes from beyond that.
>Try and figure out which way whatever made them was going and how old they are.
Hmm… going by the dragging handprint… to the left?

>Read the plaque.
“Those that seek what they wish for will find only punishment, while those that seek salvation will find what they deserve.” Hmm… where have you heard that before?
>Let's start by looking at that map there.
1. Royal common hall.
2. Royal Office.
3. Guard Office.
Red dot: You are here.

…huh, not much of a map… wait, is this supposed to be the palace? It looks nothing like the royal office in the real world! Especially considering the office in this map seems to just trail of into forever.
>>
No. 771928 ID: 65a774
File 148422407780.png - (46.12KB , 686x526 , 18.png )
771928

>Look at the diamond shape on the door.
There is a small diamond shaped hole in the door, as if there is something that is missing.
>Then press your ear to it and listen for any voices on the other side.
…you can hear a murmur of voices… but you can’t make out what any of them are saying. It’s like there is a hall full of people making small talk on the other side of this door.

>Inspect the bloody hole in the wall, but don't put your head or any other part of you right in front of it.
You manage to see the end of it without putting your face right in front of it, as it is only about half and arm’s length deep. At the end of the hole there is a… diamond shaped pendant? Wait, there is something carved into the wall here. “Only those I trust may enter”.
>She has trouble letting people in, natch.
…she sure does!

>You should take a moment to sift through your memories of Kira so you may have a better idea of what you could be facing in there.
:SonorkSB: You know how prideful she has been with her being named Queen… so prideful that she refuse the help from those around her… and now everything is falling apart as not even her competence is enough to keep it together. That, and her lack of trust in everyone but herself… let just say her rule will be remembered in bad light if we don’t do something about it.
>>
No. 771932 ID: 91ee5f

>>771927
>…huh, not much of a map… wait, is this supposed to be the palace? It looks nothing like the royal office in the real world! Especially considering the office in this map seems to just trail of into forever.
Considering how overworked she is, it extends into forever because it's full of an infinite amount of paperwork that needs to be filled out by her.

>>771928
>diamond shaped pendant?
Well, there's a diamond shaped hole on the door, so that's gotta be the key to open it.

>Wait, there is something carved into the wall here. “Only those I trust may enter”.
>Blood coming out of the hole.
.....aaaaand since she doesn't trust you, you can't get that pendant. I'm pretty sure the blood is supposed to show that the hole will close down on and crush the arm of anyone that reaches in, but she doesn't trust them.

Too bad you can't pick the lock to Kira's dreams like you did with Bri's dreams. That would make this so much easier.
>>
No. 771952 ID: 398fe1

>>771928
So. Does Kira trust you, Kronos? I think she does. Carefully take the pendant.
>>
No. 771955 ID: 309d35

DO NOT stick your arm in there. It's just been said Kira only trusts herself, and you don't want to add to those blood stains. Use your gun's barrel to extend your reach and lift it by the loop, but keep your limbs clear.
>>
No. 771956 ID: 398fe1

Well if she really doesn't trust you then you'd have to get her permission to fix her dreams. ...or can Kronos turn himself into Kira to fool the gate?
>>
No. 771960 ID: a1b331

>“Those that seek what they wish for will find only punishment, while those that seek salvation will find what they deserve.”
>“Only those I trust may enter”

I think that hole's a trick. Everything is made to imply you need to reach in for the pendant while being vague enough that it could easily be a Red Herring. Are you sure you can't remember where you've heard that first quote from? It has to have some connection to Kira to be here. Something she liked to say, or some advice she received possibly. It might be something from a long time ago. It sounds vaguely like something you might find in a religious text.

If you can't remember anything, then there's a guard's office that doesn't look too far into the room. Try knocking to get someone's attention. They'll probably be harder to convince to let you in than real guards, but it's better than losing an arm.
>>
No. 771990 ID: fe7355

If you do reach in there with your hand, which I recommend against, use your non-dominant hand; The one you don't write or aim with.

>“Those that seek what they wish for will find only punishment, while those that seek salvation will find what they deserve.” Hmm… where have you heard that before?
You heard it when you touched the "newborn" earth elemental. Belseth said it, presumably reading from something that was in or outside the chamber the corpses of the gods were in. ...Or was on the way to it. Did he pass by this spot while being led by the Archbishop? But how could he have, since this is a dream?
>>
No. 771992 ID: 398fe1

>>771986
Belseth found the same plaque... It was during that sequence of visions we got from the earth elemental. Are we near the burial chamber...?
>“Those that seek what they wish for will find only punishment, while those that seek salvation will find what they deserve.”? What does that even mean? What is this place?
>>
No. 772015 ID: 65a774
File 148426151049.png - (10.40KB , 686x526 , 19.png )
772015

>Considering how overworked she is, it extends into forever because it's full of an infinite amount of paperwork that needs to be filled out by her.
It is probable that it is some kind of symbolism of her endless work, yeah…
>Belseth found the same plaque... It was during that sequence of visions we got from the earth elemental. Are we near the burial chamber...?
...we are supposed to be in the catacombs right now, aren’t we? Is there a way to get to the chamber from here? Hmm… this might be prudent to remember for later.

>Well, there's a diamond shaped hole on the door, so that's gotta be the key to open it.
Well… guess your arm is going into places it rather not be in.
>I'm pretty sure the blood is supposed to show that the hole will close down on and crush the arm of anyone that reaches in, but she doesn't trust them.
…really don’t want to be in.
>.....aaaaand since she doesn't trust you, you can't get that pendant.
…right, it’s not worth the risk.
>Use your gun's barrel to extend your reach and lift it by the loop, but keep your limbs clear.
Even with gun in hand, you’ll still need to put your wrist into the hole… which will leave your hand right about where the blood starts… right… this doesn’t sound like a good idea.
>Too bad you can't pick the lock to Kira's dreams like you did with Bri's dreams. That would make this so much easier.
Sadly, you can pick square shapes.

>There's a guard's office that doesn't look too far into the room. Try knocking to get someone's attention.
As soon as your hand hits the door, it creak open slowly on its own. It wasn’t even locked! Dammit, you really could check stuff like that before you try to lose your arm!
>>
No. 772017 ID: 65a774
File 148426160947.png - (26.65KB , 686x526 , 20.png )
772017

Inside, you find several shades, similar as those in Bri’s dream, mumbling among each other in a language you can’t comprehend. Going by the “now serving” sign, they are waiting for their turn to see the Queen.
>>
No. 772018 ID: 65a774
File 148426165263.png - (20.27KB , 686x526 , 21.png )
772018

Taking a number, you notice that you may have to wait for your turn for a very, very long time…
>>
No. 772020 ID: 398fe1

>>772018
Let's check the side doors before we attempt to barge in. First, the unmarked room.
>>
No. 772034 ID: 309d35

Something tells me that Sovereign isn't supposed to be a public service position. What's the entrance to the guard office look like, and where are the guards posted?
>>
No. 772035 ID: 211d83

Carefully cut off the last 6 numbers and then you are number 2 in line. Problem solved.

Just bash the other 002 over the head if they complain.
>>
No. 772048 ID: a1b331

There's an unmarked office just south of the Guard Office. Let's check that out. Maybe we can get an unused guard uniform and bluff our way past security.
>>
No. 772050 ID: fe7355

Okay, you have a few ideas here. First that comes to mind is to just try and walk up to the Royal Office door and open it, same as the outer door. Maybe the guards will just let you by.

Second idea is to look for whatever shade in the crowd has the "002" ticket, call for the guards and accuse them of stealing your ticket by swapping it with the one with the large number. Use your standing as a prince to bully the accused and the guards into making them swap tickets.

Third idea is to try and use your authority as prince to bullshit a urgent audience with the queen. Go to the guard station, show your royal seal and tell them you have urgent, time-sensitive information for the queen's ears only and you have to see her immediately. Tell them if they want you'll wait in the Royal Office until Kira is finished with whoever she's seeing now, but you have to see her next.

Fourth idea is to combine the idea of carefully tearing the "002" off the ticket that >>772035 suggested with the third option. Show the guards the fake "002" ticket as well as the royal seal and say you were next anyway so they may as well let you in now. This has the added benefit of not having to deal with whatever shade has the real "002" ticket if Kronos waited for the sign to tick over.

>As soon as your hand hits the door, it creak open slowly on its own. It wasn’t even locked! Dammit, you really could check stuff like that before you try to lose your arm!
...What? How come the door didn't open when you were leaning against it while pressing your ear to it?! Goddamn dream logic! And it also means the whole pendant thing was a trap for those who believe they have Kira's trust but actually don't. But then, why was it unlocked at all? Kira wouldn't be one to trust that everyone would go for the bait and lock the door anyway. ...So maybe it does open for those she does trust, they just have to try and open it. Eh, there was no way you could find out by yourself which way it was anyway, so drop the line of thought.

>Inside, you find several shades, similar as those in Bri’s dream, mumbling among each other in a language you can’t comprehend.
Does it sound like they're muttering "rhubarb, rhubarb" under their breath in varying tones?
>>
No. 772052 ID: fe7355

Actually, a better idea may be to try and help these people with the problems they want to see the queen about, then go in once there's nobody left out here to see her. Even as a prince you still can handle at least some of them, and probably convince most of the rest that you can or you'll relay their troubles to the queen yourself. This way would show personal responsibility and that you can help shoulder Kira's burden much, much more than bullshitting your way into her office.
>>
No. 772062 ID: 094652

BE THE ANIME ANIME STRAIGHT-MAN

Kick the Now Serving display and yell "BEETLEJUICE?! AND FURTHERMORE, WHY DO WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR THREE DIFFERENT NUMBERS BEFORE WE GET AN AUDIENCE, ARE YOU TRYING TO STALL?! YOU ARE! YOU ARE TRYING TO STALL, EH!!!"
>>
No. 772086 ID: 8e2896

>>772020
Yea lets try the calm approach first.
THEN
>>772062
But instead of yelling that yell "BEETLEJUICE?! ZA WARUDO!!, AND FURTHERMORE, WHY DO WE HAVE TO DO MATH TO FIND OUT OUR NUMBERS, THIS IS MADNESS ARE YOU TRYING TO TRICK ME, I DEMAND TO SEE LIFE'S MANAGER!"
>>
No. 772118 ID: 65a774
File 148433835169.png - (22.10KB , 686x526 , 22.png )
772118

>Let's check the side doors before we attempt to barge in.
There is only one door here and it leads to a guard room and the small store room they are using. Apparently, the other “door” symbol is a large, glassless window that connects the waiting room with the guard post.
>Where are the guards posted?
There are two guards sitting in the guard post, two guarding the entrance door you came through, two that are guarding the office door and lastly a lone guard sitting behind a desk next to the “serving now” sign. Apparently he is the guy who checks the numbers of those wanting to see the queen.
>Maybe we can get an unused guard uniform and bluff our way past security.
…you can’t see any guard uniforms around that isn’t already being worn… and everyone is just a vaguely Varkian shape of grey, including yourself, so would anyone even notice if you wore a uniform here? …well, most are Varkian shaped… there are some other shapes as well.
>Something tells me that Sovereign isn't supposed to be a public service position.
As you said, this is definitely not how it looks like in real life.
>...What? How come the door didn't open when you were leaning against it while pressing your ear to it?!
But… you… how… that’s not… did it but you didn’t notice or… gah, Dreams! Hate them already!

>Carefully cut off the last 6 numbers and then you are number 2 in line. Problem solved.
And suddenly, just like that, you are second in line! Why, it’s like magic!
>>
No. 772119 ID: 65a774
File 148433837155.png - (16.44KB , 686x526 , 23.png )
772119

>Does it sound like they're muttering "rhubarb, rhubarb" under their breath in varying tones?
Focusing on someone talking, you are actually able to discern some actual dialog between them.
:ThaliaSB: Gah, it seems like I’ve been waiting for this meeting for years! How long will this take?
:XarrinSB: I’m sure she is just a bit busy and will soon be done with what ‘olding ‘er, eh?
:CalciasSB: Hmm, maybe we could retreat elsewhere while we wait? I have this rhubarb pie that I’m dying to share…
:XarrinSB: I does sound better than standing around ‘ere…
:ThaliaSB: But what if the line starts moving again?
>Just bash the other 002 over the head if they complain.
:CalciasSB: What number do you have, exactly?
:ThaliaSB: Why, I’m only 162.325th! It’s going to by my turn any day now!
:XarrinSB: …wait, don’t it reset at 999?
:KronosSB: (Something tells me that I won’t have to worry about another number two around here…)
>Actually, a better idea may be to try and help these people with the problems they want to see the queen about, then go in once there's nobody left out here to see her.
:XarrinSB: So… why are you two ‘ere again?
:ThaliaSB: I need to know if I should apply clause 349B or 233C in the case of a 552-GAT turning into a bit of a pickle.
:CalciasSB: I here to argue that the law 55926SB concerning DTM556 will be replace with a law more akin of 55918SB
:KronosSB: (… … ...err… what?)

>First that comes to mind is to just try and walk up to the Royal Office door and open it, same as the outer door. Maybe the guards will just let you by.
:NonSB: Hold it! No one enters without the right ticket number. That includes you, Prince.
>Show the guards the fake "002" ticket.
:NonSB: Well… it’s still waiting for 001 to show up…
:KronosSB: And he or she is… where?
:NonSB: Hmm… I guess we’ve waiting long enough; someone probably dropped the ticket or something. Very well, you may enter, Prince Kronos.
>>
No. 772120 ID: 65a774
File 148433838472.png - (19.77KB , 686x526 , 24.png )
772120

As you enter the Royal office, you find your sister, the queen, trying to futilely move a giant stone rock up a small slope that seems to go on forever. Behind her, sitting in a… wheel chair? …is your father… and he doesn’t look happy in the slightest.

:HeliosSB: Useless little wench! You can’t even do something as simple as this right!
:KiraSB: I-I’m not u-useless… I j-just n-need… s-someone….
:HeliosSB: This is your burden to bear, “Queen”, seeking aid for every simple task is a sign of weakness and foolishness. Are you admitting that you are a fool of a Queen!?
:KiraSB: I’m n-not a f-fool…
:HeliosSB: Bah! A real monarch knows that those low born outside can’t be trusted. You will wake up with a blade in your back if you let them close! Only a naïve clod would trust them… but that is what you are, aren’t you?
:KiraSB: N-no… I… I…
:HeliosSB: Gods knows I wish it was you who died instead of your brothers! They were actually competent! No, you’re useless that you’re the worse threat to our kingdom in ages!
:KiraSB: I’m n-not…
:HeliosSB: Why, even your youngest brother would be… speaking of the wyvern, here he is now. Kronos, do this country a favor and gut this incompetent bitch and take the crown yourself already!
:KiraSB: K-Kronos!? N-no I w-won’t- Guards! GUARDS! HELP!!
:HeliosSB: Oh, please, they won’t listen to you… they are already on his side, aren’t they?
:KronosSB: Err…
>>
No. 772130 ID: 3877e7

Wow, seems Kira has quite a strange image of your father in her head doesn't she? It's just the nightmare of course but still seems strange how she's fooled by such behavior. Rush your father off telling him he needs his rest, and that you can handle things here. Then when you're alone with Kira offer her a hand. Obviously, I doubt the two of you will be enough to move such a large boulder yourselves so eventually call in some more people. Ones you know you can trust like Breanne from the waiting room.
>>
No. 772131 ID: 094652

>>772118
That's it? No sudden ninja police whacking you with giant censor bars for forging a ticket?

>>772119
This is why modern bureaucracy can go @#$% itself - when technology makes leaps in processing power, instead of making the diplomatic process easy and trustworthy, the bureaucrats make excuses to convolute the paperwork process exponentially with said technology, effectively giving them a powerbase made of government decadence and diverting laws!

Not to mention a small bureaucratic organization can create a secret branch of government by using biased laws to pass the blame and turn the citizens against themselves, thereby creating profitable conflicts that the instigators have no general risk from.

I mean, what's the point of a dictatorship if the top dog follows the rules of untouchable, apathetic advisors?!

>>772120
Odd. Why does she fear her father? She must have known that he's just a fat NEET with brains. Of course, she hasn't spent enough time to even know him beyond a few summer festivals...

Something tells me that someone built this image of her father to keep her easily manipulated. She might think herself independent, but it's clear that she's in way over her head and requesting more weight as her muscles ache. A few subtle messages, a lack of advisors giving her ideas, and one person could easily influence her every thought without even meeting in person, due to the general lack of social influence she actually has.

In short? I don't think that's your father. I think that construct is a Wizard Of Oz curtain. Someone else is pulling the strings. Snap his @#$%ing neck.
>>
No. 772132 ID: 398fe1

>>772120
Kronos? The Fool, King? Tell "your father" to shut his damn fool mouth. Drink and old age have addled his brain. A wise ruler does not rule alone, as he surely didn't, and you would be far worse on the throne than Kira. Yet worse you may be, you can still help push a stone. This is how it is for a king or a queen- simple tasks piling up to make a mountain. Simple tasks can be delegated, only the more complicated ones are fit for a queen. That is what's wrong here. She is not acting like a queen, she is acting like a slave worker, tied down with drudgery and unable to do her duties to satisfaction.

Then help push that rock.
>>
No. 772136 ID: 309d35

...Your paranoia is... misplaced.

Sis, Literally the only thing I know about hegemony is that nobody rules alone. You're sorely misled. If you follow in his footsteps, you'll end up sitting where he is now sooner than you think.
>>
No. 772141 ID: 0967ef

>>772120
wait! zoom in on that dad shadow, closer! aha, I knew it, nightmare.

"Damnnation brother, I'd been told you were hungry for the throne but wearing father's appearance in a dream isn't a good look, even if it is the closest you'll get."

To Kira:

"Okay I get that you're under the effects of incredible stress and frankly, evil magic, but you're acting out the perfect metaphor: you're pushing an incredible weight up a hill while an ever-growing amount of people expecting your presence waits outside. Get someone, no, several people to come take care of this, it's impossible for one to manage alone."

(if dream logic allows for it, try punctuating this with pulling a piece of the rock off and holding it in one hand, say something about it being much more manageable)
>>
No. 772146 ID: bc8e48

>>772141
Yes, piss off the thing made of serrated teeth in the dreamworld where damage to our form damages our body
>>
No. 772169 ID: 398fe1

>>772146
Actually... if we have to worry about the Nightmare physically attacking Kronos in these dreams, it's going to be very difficult for us here. I mean, if the king turns into a monster and attacks that's gonna give Kira some bad thoughts!

Kronos should be wary I suppose, but the main thing to do is to defeat the Nightmare's seed in the proper way. He can't just pull out a gun and shoot the king, obviously.
>>
No. 772235 ID: 713d85

Alright, the nightmare is using you in order to break your sister using her own paranoia, in fact, you would be the perfect tool for that, since she wouldn’t expect you being capable of doing such intrigues like that, let alone in order to take the throne. I don’t know if your father was as strict as the nightmare is making him to be, yet she's seeing him like that right now.

As for the Nightmare, It’s clearly throwing a challenge to us… Accepting it could end up in a duel between you and him of who can outwit the other, and I don’t really know what are our odds for victory against it

I’m seeing exactly three courses of actions here:

The first one is to ignore completely the image of your father, you only talk and look to Kira… Ask her what’s going on, and why is she so scared, try to help her and counter argue every wrong the nightmare says, but only talking to Kira. With this one, we would be evading the Nightmare’s challenge; after all, it could only be a distraction, attempting to make us waste precious time on him, instead actually helping Kira, and we may even compete with the nightmare as a "second voice of reason"... We may even taunt the Nightmare to commit a mistake.

The second one would be to act completely oblivious of what’s going on. As oblivious as Kira believes us to be, incapable of making even basic intrigues, Energetic enough to attempt to help everyone yet in need of someone else to direct that energy to something, being completely innocent. This would kind of accept the nightmare’s challenge, and try to use it for our own goals. In a way, seeing a familiar and friendly face could Help Kira, but I don’t feel comfortable yet on trying to play into the nightmare’s game and trying to outsmart it.

The third course of action is very aggressive, and possibly the worst one and something you would never do, which in a way could also turn out to be unexpected by both Kira and the Nightmare… For this you Have to make sure the guards are following your orders, and once they are doing so, order them to take your father away so you can speak alone with Kira, and proceed to calm her in some way… I don’t recommend this one though, as it will be very invasive, and I don’t think it will help a lot with Kira’s paranoia, even if we show ourselves to be on her side, not to say that for it to work, the nightmare would have to be foolish enough to let you command the guards around here, but on the other hand, shall it work, the nightmare would have troubles trying to recover its balance.

From my point of view, the first and the second ones are better, yet I can't really decide between the two of them right now.
>>
No. 772337 ID: 6612fa

>>772120
all this negativity coming from a guy that drink himself to near death and had to save his kingdom by seeking aid from others. meanwhile his daughter not only holds the kingdom together she holds the fragile alliance you made on her own. look at her she is swamped, she needs help.
>>
No. 772357 ID: d73f06

>>772337
The thing is, though, Kira isn't being manipulated by the real king, it's the Nightmare king. This guy isn't real and Kronos has to help her overcome her struggles
>>
No. 772409 ID: f562b1

>seeking aid for every simple task is a sign of weakness and foolishness.
Is this what was once praise has become? So long as you have your tasks to do, at worst the delegation is merely a sign that those other tasks are simply not worth your time.
>GUARDS! HELP!!
Indeed, guards! Arrest this traitor, the former king himself, for he has commited the treasonous act of mutiny against the active crown queen!
I have no desire for the crown myself, only to ensure whoever wears it can find the time for their tasks. Kira, while you have built your face to please the highbloods, I, even if only in naievity, have built myself into a person the masses of so called "lowblood" look up to. A kingdom's worth is the sum of all its people, so let me set the masses to their tasks while you set the few to theirs. (Figuratively speaking, as there actually are a lot of highbloods, just more who aren't)
>>
No. 772499 ID: 65a774
File 148452075647.png - (13.03KB , 686x526 , 25.png )
772499

>This is why modern bureaucracy can go @#$% itself.
You’re pretty sure the bureaucracy is a bit better in the real world than this.
>Wow, seems Kira has quite a strange image of your father in her head doesn't she?
…was he stricter to her? …or is she just afraid to disappoint him?
>She hasn't spent enough time to even know him beyond a few summer festivals...
Actually, you’re pretty sure she spent more time with him than you ever did… what with her being his successor and pupil.
>It's just the nightmare of course but still seems strange how she's fooled by such behavior.
As the other you said, the things in these dreams aren’t always completely logical.
>Snap his @#$%ing neck.
…b-but… that’s still poppa… y-you can’t… no, not even if it is the nightmare in guise, you can’t hurt him… not like this!
>Yes, piss off the thing made of serrated teeth in the dreamworld where damage to our form damages our body.
…and that’s a good point to. Let’s not taunt the god eating abomination.


>Kronos? The Fool, King? Tell "your father" to shut his damn fool mouth. Drink and old age have addled his brain.
:HeliosSB: You might be an incompetent twit of a son, but even you are better than this little skank. It speaks wonders of her incompetence that people are even considering you as a new King, Kronos. Did you hear that, Kira dear, they are all planning your down fall…
:KiraSB: I… I can’t…trust… no…
>Brush your father off telling him he needs his rest, and that you can handle things here.
:HeliosSB: Oh, please, as if you are capable to deal with this alone. If you’re going to usurp the throne on your own, you would have done so by now. No, but you have allies don’t you? All over the Palace… with the advisors, the guard, the military… everyone is working against you, Kira… you are alone.
:KiraSB: I’m… alone… I can’t trust anyone… they are all out to get me…
>Indeed, guards! Arrest this traitor, the former king himself, for he has committed the treasonous act of mutiny against the active crown queen!
:HeliosSB: I am the king! The guards follow my command! Not yours, not Kira’s nor anyone else! Do you hear that Kira… your own brother… trying to usurp the guards from under your nose to remove you. You can’t even trust the guard anymore.
:KiraSB: I can’t… trust them…

>A wise ruler does not rule alone-
:HeliosSB: A wise rules survives! Those low born scum are nothing but a threat! They will stab you in back as soon as they get the chance… and let us not forget the nobles either… they are even worse. You can’t trust them, Kira… they are all plotting against you.
:KiraSB: Everyone is against me…
>I have no desire for the crown myself, only to ensure whoever wears it can find the time for their tasks.
:HeliosSB: Lies… everyone wants the crown. There is no one you can trust… especially those that say they can help you… they are the your worse enemies… they are the one plotting… they are the one you can’t trust…
:KiraSB: They are my enemies…
>She is not acting like a queen, she is acting like a slave worker, tied down with drudgery and unable to do her duties to satisfaction.
:HeliosSB: There is no other way, there is no one else to do this… you are the only on that can, Kira, the only one… everyone else will throw it all away to get power and nothing else. Everything will burn for it, if you let them. Do not let them destroy everything we have built… do not trust them, Kira… they want to burn it all.
:KiraSB: Burn it… all…

>Yet worse you may be, you can still help push a stone.
:HeliosSB: See how he tries to get close, Kira… so I can stab you in the back. Don’t let him!
:KiraSB: NO! GET AWAY FROM ME!
>Ask her what’s going on, and why is she so scared.
:HeliosSB: Scared? Why, who wouldn’t be when their own brother comes to finish the job? When the one person you still had some trust in betrayed you… what is left by fear?
:KiraSB: NO! PLEASE! GET AWAY FROM ME!

Kira starts to flail around in blind panic, almost hitting you in the face before she loses her balance and fall down on her behind with a low thud. Pleading for her life, she slowly crawl backwards until she hits the corner and screams…

:KiraSB: OH GODS, PLEASE! I DON’T WANT TO DIE! JUST TAKE THE CROWN AND LEAVE ME ALONE! I didn’t even want that stupid thing in the first place! I didn’t… I just wanted… to be… to do… I just wanted… I… don’t want to die… no… p-please… *sob*

…Kira doesn’t seem to listen to anything you are saying, so talking to her doesn’t seem to be the solution… at least not yet. The King on the other hand… you’re not sure what exactly talking to that will accomplish, but it is responsive at least. Is there something else you can do?
>>
No. 772504 ID: 398fe1

>>772499
Shoot the rock. Break it up into pieces. Or just break a piece off of it, and start carrying that forwards.

I wonder if you can get someone from her lobby to help too? The more people you have helping carry pieces of the rock, the better.

Also you could just... push the King out into the waiting room. He's in a wheelchair, after all. What's he gonna do about it?
>>
No. 772511 ID: 0967ef

>>772499
Might want to wheel away the backseat ruler there, she's only reacting to him.
>>
No. 772517 ID: 094652

Kick the boulder in the general direction of the king. Remember, he can dodge that... right?
>>
No. 772521 ID: 309d35

>Those low born scum are nothing but a threat!
Even Cain? and the servant who saved your life?
>and let us not forget the nobles either… they are even worse.
No, I'm pretty sure it's just the archbishop. Where was all this paranoia when we discussed the archbishop? Jeez Kira have some consistency.
>you’re not sure what exactly talking to that will accomplish, but it is responsive at least.
You kidding? His arguments have no basis in reality and arguing with him is like debating a brick wall. There's nothing you can do if he replies to everything you say by calling you a liar or lying himself.
>Is there something else you can do?
Just wheel him out. Come on pops, you already abdicated, time to make it official.
>>
No. 772531 ID: 6612fa

>>772499
just hug her and tell her you don't want it either... maybe we can give it to Brianna that would be funny

diffuse the situation with humor
>>
No. 772533 ID: fe7355

>>772504
Don't shoot the boulder. It's likely symbolic of Risavia itself, and Kronos blowing it apart in a act of violence would just reinforce that he would destroy everything Kira has worked for. And having him do all this independent of her, bringing in people he chooses, would be like saying she failed. That her fool of a brother is doing what she couldn't do. We do not want Kira to just give up her duty but to accept that she can't do it alone. And for that she has to be part of it, pushing alongside everyone else.

>>772531
That'd certainly "diffuse" the situation, as in blowing it up. Kira is terrified of Kronos right now. He tries to hug her and she'll believe, by the word of the shadow figment of the king, that it's to get into position to stab her. She'll panic even harder. She might even just throw the crown away, which is what we don't want. The objective here is for Kira to not give up the crown or its duties entirely. Even jokingly putting the idea that Briannah is seeking the crown into Kira's head will be taken seriously.
>>
No. 772577 ID: 01d9f4

>>772499
We can treat nightmare king like a dementia patient and roll him out.


If we get closer to him though, he might recognize it's really us.

The more against its motives we openly are, the more it will believe we're real Kronos.

So we need to do something it won't expect real Kronos to do, but will motivate either it away or her to safety.

Options i can think of that may are

Acting like a complete retard: disarm possibility of our coup from her, make nightmare believe she thinks us as a retard, gives us more room to maneuver.

Hit on her: nightmare believes she has latent feelings for us, she either confuses her way out of sleep or becomes more comfortable with our actions... though we may inception an awkward situation with her.

Start begging her to relax: Kronos has already asked her to irl, so the belief that's important to him is implanted in her. Taking this course of action can be risky with the nightmare literally watching us do it. Kronos would need to be careful as it is directly against the nightmare agenda and could raise its scrutiny

Tldr: It probably doesn't realize we are the dream walker yet; if it did, it'd just eat us regardless of collateral damage. Actions are best not directly counter to its goals. Doing things that make sense in dream logic but not overtly irl kronos could give an opening to change the situation.
>>
No. 772597 ID: 91ee5f

>>772499
>I am the king! The guards follow my command! Not yours, not Kira’s nor anyone else!
Make up your mind! Are they under my command or yours? And last I checked, you're the former king. You have no say in what the current ruler does.

Your time has passed old man, it's time for someone who is younger, less senile, and not an alcoholic drunk to be on the throne.

Hey, Kronos, remember when Bri got on her knees in front of Kira and started saying, "ye excellency, oh great Queen!" and then you did the same thing just to mess with your sister? Well, I think now is the time to do that again, only this time no messing around, you have to seriously mean it. So get on your knees in front of Kira, with a little space between you so you don't freak her out, and start praising Her Excellency, the Exalted Queen Kira.

And no matter what your "father" tells you to do to Kira, don't do it. Just reply, "I only obey the current ruler, Queen Kira. Even if you are my father, you have no authority over me."

Even though, technically he does have authority over you since he's your father, that authority doesn't apply to royal matters, only private family things. And Kira's rule doesn't count as a private family thing.
>>
No. 772708 ID: 65a774
File 148460367245.png - (14.92KB , 686x526 , 26.png )
772708

>Kick the boulder in the general direction of the king.
Considering the size of that thing, that will only result with a broken toe or two.
>His arguments have no basis in reality and arguing with him is like debating a brick wall.
Which is why you questioned what exactly you could be able to gain from arguing with him… and the answer is probably absolutely nothing.
>The more against its motives we openly are, the more it will believe we're real Kronos.
Wait, didn’t other you say that the parts in the dream don’t understand we’re in a dream? …or is that actually the real nightmare, as in your brother? Something tells you it doesn’t have the time to babysit every dream it corrupts… but still…
>Shoot the rock. Break it up into pieces. Or just break a piece off of it, and start carrying that forwards.
You’re not sure you have enough ammo to do that kind of damage… but this is dream, isn’t it? Maybe you have infinitive ammo in here? Hmmm…
>Don't shoot the boulder. It's likely symbolic of Risavia itself, and Kronos blowing it apart in an act of violence would just reinforce that he would destroy everything Kira has worked for.
…oh right, the whole symbolism thing… you have to be more careful about that in the future.


>Even Cain? and the servant who saved your life?
:HeliosSB: Filthy low blood, incapable of empathy. Saved my life? Ha! Please… all those things are saving are their next pay check. Do you hear that, Kira… they don’t care for you… or the kingdom… or honor, loyalty or anything else but gold. Gold we do not have!
:KiraSB: They will turn… on us…
>No, I'm pretty sure it's just the archbishop that shouldn’t be trusted.
:HeliosSB: No, she is to be trusted. Kira, dear, listen well… the Archbishop plan is your only hope. You need to listen to her. You know you’re the only one who can save this country… and you choose to go with her plan, then you must have chosen right! Go through with it… do it…
:KiraSB: …the miracle… yes…
:KronosSB: …well, that was interesting.

>Also you could just... push the King out into the waiting room. He's in a wheelchair, after all. What's he gonna do about it?
:HeliosSB: H-hey, what are you- Guards! Stop this buffoon!
:KronosSB: Really, those guards aren’t listening. See, they are standing completely still out there… like statues.

As soon as you enter the waiting hall, the guards in it spring to life (as well as the other assorted guests) and rushes over to you and the King.

:NonSB: What is going on here?
:HeliosSB: Arrest this fool as once!
:NonSB: But… that’s the Prince, my lord! Your own son!
:HeliosSB: Obey me, you fools!
:KronosSB: They only obey the current ruler, Queen Kira. Even if you are my father, you have no authority over them.
:NonSB: Sir?
:KronosSB: Please escort father to his chambers, he needs his rest. The queens orders it.
:HeliosSB: What!? No, she-
:KronosSB: He’s a bit worked up right now… you know how people his age can be.
:NonSB: Of course sir. I’ll take him back to his room at once.
:HeliosSB: Let go of me, you idiot! No! Don’t walk off! Get back there, you moron! I AM THE KING! OBEY ME OR-

*Door slam*

[Kira’s self-criticism has been brought under control… for now…]

And now for Kira…
>>
No. 772709 ID: 65a774
File 148460368402.png - (9.16KB , 686x526 , 27.png )
772709

You find her lying on the floor… sobbing quietly to herself.

:KiraSB: I never wanted this… why won’t they just leave me alone!?
>Just hug her and tell her you don't want it either...
:KiraSB: GET AWAY FROM ME, YOU MURDERER!
:KronosSB: S-sorry… keeping my distance…
>Hit on her.
…why is this so damn tempting!?
>Start begging her to relax.
:KiraSB: No no… no… nonono… no… can’t relax… so much to do… so much… only I can do it… no one else can… can’t trust them… only one competent enough is myself… can’t trust anyone else… can’t relax… so much to do… so much…

>Get on your knees in front of Kira, with a little space between you so you don't freak her out, and start praising Her Excellency, the Exalted Queen Kira.
:KiraSB: …Excellency? …Exalted? …hah… I’m not even fit for the title of queen, let alone those two. I can’t even solve a problem a simple as this… I can’t even get past something as simple as this… no… I’m the only one who can solve this… yet… I can’t find the solution… no matter how hard I try, I can’t… solve it…

…well, at least she is responsive now. That’s a step in the right direction.
>>
No. 772710 ID: 0967ef

>>772709
You've just gotten a little to close to the problem, a bit too absorbed in details, of which there's hundreds.

Step back a bit, breathe, take stock of everything and choose what actions are best for you and the kingdom both.

You're not alone, please stop acting like you are.
>>
No. 772719 ID: 91ee5f

Your "father" interrupted you when you tried to tell Kira that "wise rulers don't rule alone". Let's start by trying to tell her that again.

And if she needs a list of people give her a list of trustworthy people that can help her. Yourself, Bri, Thalia, Cain, maybe a few Sakkilians that Bri approves of. All she needs to do is ask.

>No, she is to be trusted. Kira, dear, listen well… the Archbishop plan is your only hope. You need to listen to her. You know you’re the only one who can save this country… and you choose to go with her plan, then you must have chosen right! Go through with it… do it…
And that right there shows that if the Nightmare really is manipulating the Archbishop and now Kira is convinced this "miracle" is a good thing, we shouldn't let it happen! You need to think of something to say to Kira that'll convince her to not go through with the Archbishop's plan!
>>
No. 772721 ID: a9d073

>>772710
Yea take a step back, maybe get another perspective, and you will see how small and simple the problem actually is.

And also is moving a bolder really something a queen should be doing? Maybe you should focus on the things you can do or are good at first? Maybe try and find someone that is actually trustworthy and competent to handle the other stuff that's of less consequence or urgency?
>>
No. 772723 ID: 398fe1

>>772709
Tell her she doesn't have to trust anyone with everything. She just needs to trust someone with something. Surely there are bits of work she can have other people do that can't be turned against her? Enough to lighten the load or reveal solutions she didn't think of? Also, ask why she won't trust you, her own brother, that she has personally protected from the corruption and machinations of those who would manipulate you.

Wait, what problem is she referring to, anyway? She seems to be talking about something specific, but hasn't said what it was.
>>
No. 772746 ID: 094652

KIRA. You can't solve a problem if you don't have the tools to see the question or the information to process the clues. You're ignoring your inventory, how do you solve a point-and-peck puzzle without your @#$%ing inventory?

I'll make it simple. Start out by taking the Archbishop's writ of passage, try to use it on the boulder. If that doesn't work, use it on everything else in the room. Then pick up anything you can in the room. Then use everything with everything. Then go to another room. EASY. Do you really think the developer put a rocket ship in the boulder that is activated by pressing a termite-sized button? This isn't Escape from Paranoia Mansion, Kira.

Now give her a deep kiss so she'll slap you and loosen her obsession.
>>
No. 772749 ID: 6612fa

>>772709
why does she think you are a murderer
>>
No. 772752 ID: 9a1314

> I never wanted this… why won’t they just leave me alone!?
What did you want, by the way? Who needs to leave you alone?
>…why is this so damn tempting!?
'cause your presence makes her prostrate herself and beg. Sure, it's because she's terrified to the point of tears, but your ego doesn't know that.
>I can’t even solve a problem a simple as this…
You already have it solved, you just can't execute on your own. Who could? That's not a rhetorical question, who could? You're looking at the great responsibility without using your great power. Your power as sovereign is over people, you have to use that.

>>772749
We did beat someone to death with a table leg. They totally started it, but still, it's an easy thing to lose sight of the context there.
>>
No. 772880 ID: bc8e48

>>772709
We can offer to hold the boulder in place while she figures out a better solution. Heck we can do it together if she cannot find a better solution.
>>
No. 772881 ID: bc8e48

>>772708
Also I sure am glad that either wasn't the nightmare or the nightmare didn't risk stressing her mind in an attempt to kill us.
>>
No. 772942 ID: fe7355

>>772881
My guess is these Nightmare amplified aspects of the victims' psyches' are not directly connected to the Nightmare, but that the Nightmare was present in their dreams at one or more points in the past to infect the aspects and set their behavior. That would explain how Kira's aspect of self-criticism specifically excluded the Archbishop, but it did not react violently to Kronos' intrusion; Its instructions haven't been updated by the Nightmare yet to act that way. And Briannah's aspect of self-hatred being hostile towards Kronos can be explained by that behavior being in line with its self-destructive hatred of anything that brings Bri happiness, and so not a explicit directive left by the Nightmare. This also points towards the Nightmare not being able to traverse from dream to dream instantaneously, since if it could it would already be here.

Unfortunately, if this it true, it means Kronos will have to be extra wary of any Nightmare effected aspects he encounters from now on because the Nightmare may have already been visited by the Nightmare and had their directives altered to turn immediately hostile towards him.

There's also a peculiarity with the shade of Kira's self-criticism. When Kronos touched the forms of Bri's bravery and her self-hatred, he got flashes of memories related to them. However, he didn't get any memory flashes when he touched the shade of Kira's self-criticism. Was it because he only touched the wheelchair and didn't touch the shade of Helios directly? Or was it because there were no significant memories to back it up and it was primarily a construct of the Nightmare? Now I wish Kronos had touched the shade directly, if only to gain insight into the basis of Kira's situation.
>>
No. 773009 ID: fe7355

Sit down cross-legged a safe distance in front of Kira; It'll make her feel slightly less on edge if you're not standing over her. Say that you find that a spot of tea helps when you're stressed and need to think about things, doesn't she agree? Then be totally unsurprised when a shade of Cain steps from nowhere bearing a tea tray because both you and Kira knows he does that.

Tell her that any problem that she's been beating her head against as much as this one can't be classified as "simple" any more. While she's one of the most competent people you know, everybody has their limits and she's beyond hers. Ask her what the problem is. Perhaps your view of it will provide a insight she missed, and from there you both can push forward. And if it doesn't, then she has an entire waiting room full people to put it to to mull over. Because she's not alone in wanting the well being of Risavia. We all live here, so we are all invested in its future.

Point out that no successful ruler has ever done so without others' help. It is a fundamental rule of governance since the dawn of history: No one rules alone. From tribal chiefs through guild-masters, captains and generals to monarchs and emperors. From small groups to the largest of empires. To try and do everything on your own will only end in blood and sorrow. Not the least because she's not just burning her candle at both ends but sticking additional wicks into it. A harried, burned out ruler is no good for anybody.

Say that what you wish is for your sister to be able to feel that she can leave the matters of state in the hands of those she trusts are qualified enough for a little while without fear that everything will explode in her absence, figuratively or literally. To be able to take a hour or two to perhaps retire to the studio to paint. To eventually take a day to relax on the beach like she said she wished she could. That's what you want, so will she help you see it come true?

There's also an idea you've wanted to share if she'd listen. She said that the Lorentia-Dynasty war cut off Risavia's lucrative trade road west, which was a major part of the nation's economy. (I assume that's what it is, since that's the only thing I can think of that fits.) But if you remember correctly, there's a sea north and west of Lorentia, one which the Zadian Empire borders on. So would a trade route through the Empire to their western ports, then shipping around Lorentia, work? It would be a longer and more expensive route, but a trade route is better than none. And it would also give Risavia and the Empire more reason to stay allied with each other.

>No, she is to be trusted. Kira, dear, listen well… the Archbishop plan is your only hope. You need to listen to her.
Well, that the Nightmare-infected aspect that's been bellowing "trust no one" is making this specific exception is a giant red flag. It practically screams that the Nightmare is manipulating the Archbishop and that her plan is towards the Nightmare's ends if not altered.

Ask Kira what this "miraculous" plan the Archbishop laid out is, anyway. And also ask why she trusted the Archbishop with such a vital thing when she seemed to not trust others with less. Especially when it looks rather like whatever "miracle" power the Archbishop brings forth would tip the balance of power in Risavia hard towards the Temple. When they give food, shelter, divine protection and miraculous healing basically for free to the masses, what can any lord or monarch offer to justify their positions? Not that you'd be against everyone getting all that even if it means the aristocracy doesn't have as much power, but you'd be remiss without really scrutinizing everyone involved with anything as powerful as this would be. 'Cause if this goes wrong, there won't be a force in the world that can set it right. And beyond that, remember that everything has a price, whether we know it or not. As the saying goes: Ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

>You know you’re the only one who can save this country… and you choose to go with her plan, then you must have chosen right!
Point out that this is some fundamentally flawed logic, since it's predicated on Kira being all-knowing, unbiased and infallible, and nobody is anything even close to that. Not even the gods of yore. And this is why we all have to rely on each other. Because every one of us has strengths and weaknesses. Each of us is fallible, biased and emotional in varying ways we ourselves see and those we don't. And in knowing this, we watch ourselves and judiciously listen to others' critique and find our limits, then seek help when we near those limits. Even the queen. Especially the queen.

>…why is this so damn tempting!?
Because your libido is a massive unthinking horndog that needs to be kept on a tight leash lest it hump everything in its sight. Seriously, not only did you make a promise of no incestuous behavior, not only are you ashamed of ever being sexually attracted to Kira and that you caved to Xuv when she waved that desire in your face, but you also know Kira is asexual and has effectively zero sex drive. So beat it into your loins that this is not gonna happen, ever.
>>
No. 773019 ID: 91ee5f

>>773009
>So beat it into your loins that this is not gonna happen, ever.
Please tell me you mean figuratively and not literally. Because literally beating it into his loins is going to be painful! >_<
>>
No. 773022 ID: 398fe1

...speaking of loins... Maybe we should bring up Kira's inability to have children. That means she has to trust someone to sire an heir, and that heir needs to be taught to rule, which means she needs to trust a tutor with that job, or else offload even more work onto other people in order to tutor the child herself.
>>
No. 773070 ID: 1aecb2

>>773009
What if we got dream walking powers but the nightmare only has the influencing powers of xuv.

In that case, it makes sense it cannot actively find us but only senses the changes we cause do to manifesting.

Ie: we can see the psyche, but manipulation is limited.
Nightmare can influence psyche, but not really see it.
>>
No. 773800 ID: 65a774
File 148503211659.png - (16.26KB , 686x526 , 28.png )
773800

>Pick up anything you can in the room.
:KronosSB: “I can’t pick that up!” , “That doesn’t fit in my pocket.” , “I don’t need that.”
>Then use everything with everything.
:KronosSB: “I can’t use these things together.” , “That doesn’t work”, “I don’t want to shoot that.”, “I’m not putting my tongue on that!”, “mmm… salty.”


>Ask why she won't trust you, her own brother, which she has personally protected from the corruption and machinations of those who would manipulate you.
:KiraSB: What does family means when two of my own brother has already raised their blades against me? What is stopping you from doing the same!? You are just like them! You are here seeking to replace me!
>Sit down cross-legged a safe distance in front of Kira; It'll make her feel slightly less on edge if you're not standing over her.
:KiraSB: …why do you taunt me like this? Just take the crown and leave me be already!
:KronosSB: …if I wanted the crown, wouldn’t I already have taken it? Why am I still here if it’s the only thing I ever wanted?
:KiraSB: I… err… I…
>Is moving a bolder really something a queen should be doing?
:KiraSB: …what are you talking about? What boulder?
:KronosSB: Oh, right, it’s just symbolism. I forgot…
:KiraSB: …what are you talking about?
>Say that you find that a spot of tea helps when you're stressed and need to think about things, doesn't she agree?
:KiraSB: Tea? …so you can poison me?
:KronosSB: …I’m pretty sure just shooting you right now would be faster?
:KiraSB: …fine, no poison then… but I have to decline still…
>Then be totally unsurprised when a shade of Cain steps from nowhere bearing a tea tray because both you and Kira knows he does that.
…It doesn’t seem Cain can find you in a dream…

>You've just gotten a little too close to the problem, a bit too absorbed in details. Step back a bit, breathe, take stock of everything and choose what actions are best for you and the kingdom both.
:KiraSB: …yes, maybe I just need perception… maybe I just need to get a better look on it…
>Ask her what the problem is. Perhaps your view of it will provide an insight she missed, and from there you both can push forward.
:KiraSB: Oh, please. You really think you can solve something this complex? The problems of this kingdom is not just a puzzle missing a piece or two, there won’t be any simple and easy solutions. There is no way you can solve this on your own.
:KronosSB: If neither me or you can solve it, who could? That's not a rhetorical question, who could?
:KiraSB: I… I can…?
:KronosSB: Yet here we are…
:KiraSB: …oh…
:KronosSB: But you were right, I can’t solve this on my own… and neither can you.
:KiraSB: But-
>Because she's not alone in wanting the well-being of Risavia. We all live here, so we are all invested in its future.
:KiraSB: I… I guess? But how can I trust them to make things right when… when I can’t even trust… I can’t trust them with… with… so much…
>Tell her she doesn't have to trust anyone with everything. She just needs to trust someone with something. Surely there are bits of work she can have other people do that can't be turned against her?
:KiraSB: I… I… don’t think… I…
:KronosSB: Is it better to leave things undone or leave them to someone a little bit less capable than you to solve?
:KiraSB: I… I guess solving it, even if not perfect, is better than nothing…?
>Point out that no successful ruler has ever done so without others' help. It is a fundamental rule of governance since the dawn of history: No one rules alone.
:KiraSB: …no one rules alone… … …who told me that before?

>To eventually take a day to relax on the beach like she said she wished she could. That's what you want, so will she help you see it come true?
:KiraSB: The beach? …yeah, I do need a vacation… but… what if-
>To be able to take a hour or two to perhaps retire to the studio to paint.
:KiraSB: Paint? Since when have I been painting? …but, I always did want to have time to cook again… to… but… I can’t…
>>
No. 773801 ID: 65a774
File 148503213345.png - (17.62KB , 686x526 , 29.png )
773801

>'cause your presence makes her prostrate herself and beg. Sure, it's because she's terrified to the point of tears, but your ego doesn't know that.
…except, you’ve discovered you’re really into the opposite of that… that is to say a lady that is strong and willful, not one begging on the floor.
>Now give her a deep kiss so she'll slap you and loosen her obsession.
Gah, stop it brain! Why do you do this to me!?
>Because your libido is a massive unthinking horndog that needs to be kept on a tight leash lest it hump everything in its sight.
…you blame Xuv for this… even beyond the veil of the abyss she torments you!

>Maybe we should bring up Kira's inability to have children. That means she has to trust someone to sire an heir, and that heir needs to be taught to rule, which means she needs to trust a tutor with that job, or else offload even more work onto other people in order to tutor the child herself.
:KiraSB: …I… I’ve already given that duty to you and… and…
:KronosSB: And will I be able to leave a heir capable to rule our kingdom after you are gone?
:KiraSB: No… I need to help you tutor it… but… I won’t have the time and… and…
:KronosSB: But if you let others give you more time…?

:KiraSB: …fine… fine, you have my convinced. Xarrin?
:XarrinSB: Yes, my exalted queen?
:KronosSB: VARK!? WHERE DID- WHA- !?
:KiraSB: …I need some help with a few problems. Can you assemble a… a counsel of my advisers and the like?
:XarrinSB: …and the like?
:KiraSB: I’m sure you have a selected few that I can trust to do their job?
:XarrinSB: Ah, yes, of course. I’ll be right back, my queen.
>>
No. 773802 ID: 65a774
File 148503214212.png - (14.35KB , 686x526 , 30.png )
773802

>She said that the Lorentia-Dynasty war cut off Risavia's lucrative trade road west, which was a major part of the nation's economy.
That is true, yes… the trade route connecting the serene sea with the northern part of this continent is what made our kingdom so rich in gold.
>But if you remember correctly, there's a sea north and west of Lorentia, one which the Zadian Empire borders on.
…nnnnoooo, there is a bunch of uninhabitable, frozen wasteland north of Lorentia… and north of that is the abyssal maw, a sea filled with monsters, death and such a bitter cold even the very air freezes. It would be safer braving the raving fanatics of the dynasty and the uncaring undead of Lorentia than going that way.


>Ask Kira what this "miraculous" plan the Archbishop laid out is, anyway.
:KiraSB: That is not of your concern! Leave your beak out of that!
:KronosSB: But-
:KiraSB: Besides, with everything that is going on right now, I don’t know if I will have the time to oversee it anyway… I think I’ll need her to shelf that idea of hers for now…
>Especially when it looks rather like whatever "miracle" power the Archbishop brings forth would tip the balance of power in Risavia hard towards the Temple. When they give food, shelter, divine protection and miraculous healing basically for free to the masses, what can any lord or monarch offer to justify their positions?
:KiraSB: We will exist for the same reason we exist now. Leadership. We lead, direct and solve… that is what we have always done and will always do.
>>
No. 773803 ID: 65a774
File 148503225733.png - (14.25KB , 686x526 , 31.png )
773803

:KiraSB: And… thank you, brother… it… it’s like a burden has lifted from my shoulders.

[Kira’s paranoia has been subdued… for now…]
>>
No. 773804 ID: 65a774
File 148503226513.png - (2.59KB , 686x526 , 32.png )
773804

>>
No. 773805 ID: 65a774
File 148503227279.png - (49.30KB , 686x526 , 33.png )
773805

With a shock you are suddenly back in the real royal office, still standing in the spot you were in when you went into your sister dream, as if not a moment has passed. Barely a second pass before you suddenly have two blades against your throat and another one pressed against your spine. The smell of arcane powder, the smell of guns ready to fire, fills the room as well…

:NonSB: I would advise you to keep calm, “Prince”, and not move a muscle.
:KiraSB: *snort* huh? What? Where? Kronos?
:NonSB: We caught him sneaking up on you, my lady… reaching out to strike you…
:KiraSB: Wha… ugh… Kronos, what are you… you… did… did I fall asleep?
>>
No. 773810 ID: 398fe1

>>773805
Ask the ninjas how long you were standing here. It's important to know if ANY time passes when you're awake doing these dream delving operations.

Tell Kira that you came here to ask for work. You're really serious, you can tell she's overworking herself and you want to help out with small things so that she has the time and energy to work on the important things. You know she can't take the nation's burden solely on her own shoulders; no one rules alone. (yes, echo what you said in her dream, see if she picks up on that. If she DOES, it might be possible to convince her your dream powers are real)
>>
No. 773811 ID: 211d83

I came to visit and found you overworked and napping face down in some paperwork. So I came over to tidy your desk and make sure your wine did not spill to much while you slept. Maybe scratch behind your ears cause you look like you need it.

Then I brushed your hand moving paperwork and got sucked into your nightmare cause I have dream magic powers now apparently. Life is weird lately.
>>
No. 773814 ID: 3626bf

These guys are terrible at their job
>>
No. 773815 ID: fd5137

>>773805
Roll that one eye of yours as wildly as you can, because despite the naked steel you're actually not in danger right now.

"If I were capable of killing anyone single-handedly, goodness, that talent has been woefully unused in all the situations I've been in recently."
>>
No. 773816 ID: 71e457

So, it's not dad that's making her paranoid, it's the Praetorian guard.

>We caught him sneaking up on you, my lady… reaching out to strike you…
With what, my bare, open hands? Real good judge of body language buddy. Jesus sis, no wonder you don't trust people, hanging around these guys all day.
> did… did I fall asleep?
Try 'passed out into a fitful, tearful sleep due to exhaustion and inebriation'. No I'm not mincing my words, I've already warned against overworking yourself once. You know how dad's ended up.

Speaking of, I wanted to ask if you to come visit him with me. Don't say you've got work, it won't go anywhere.

On your way out, don't forget to mention that she said you were to be left out of the archbishops plans, but that the archbishop approached you about them while you were in the hospital. Mention the dream-walking too, but when it's less crowded in here; maybe use the fact that she only seems to trust the archbishop as an example of how she's been manipulated.

>>773810
I'm also curious how long these knuckleheads allowed the queen to remain crying face-down into a goblet of wine.
>>
No. 773839 ID: 91ee5f

>>773805
"If you must know, I came in here to ask my sister if she wanted to come with me to visit father. When I saw her face down on her desk, I thought she literally worked herself to death! But when I came over here, I saw that she was just sleeping. I was going to leave and let her sleep, but then I saw she was drooling on her papers and I thought I'd move them out of the way before the ink started to run or before she moved her head and got ink stains on her face. But apparently, I'm not allowed to do that! If you'd actually put eyeholes in your ninja masks, you'd actually be able to see that I'm not going to hurt my sister!"

And then follow up with, "Why don't we all calm down with a nice cup of tea?" Which will then have Cain come in without making a sound and he'll end up out ninjaing the ninjas.
>>
No. 773906 ID: 01d9f4

>>773839
This avtually

The entry of Cain would definitely point out that if we were making an attempt, we have better ways of doing it
>>
No. 773929 ID: 402cf9

"Esteemed members of the praetorian guard, for reasons that must be kept secret, my survival takes higher priority than your beloved Oh what the heck Kira's ovaries were surgically removed when she was a kid for medical reasons now DROP THE @#$%ING WEAPON."
>>
No. 773936 ID: fe7355

>>773815
>>773816
>>773839
>>773929
Can we please not ridicule or antagonize the Royal Guard while they still have guns leveled at Kronos and blades at his neck and back. Especially because the way that one bodyguard said "prince" it's likely they think that Kronos might be a well disguised assassin. We know that Doxan can disguise himself very well by magical and mundane means, so a well financed assassination attempt could do the same to get to Kira. They're being justifiably careful, since a assassin would likely know how to kill with bare hands, or might have a poisoned needle in a disguised fingertip cap. That's probably why they didn't pop out of the woodwork until Kronos moved to touch Kira. But this means they're not going to take guff from Kronos until his identity is confirmed. So wait until they've sheathed their blades, holstered their guns and backed off before breaking out the verbal barbs.

Hold totally stock still like the Royal Guard told you to; Your life depends on it. Tell Kira that it looked less like she fell asleep and a whole lot more like she'd passed out and collapsed from exhaustion and inebriation and was crying in her sleep from nightmares. Ask if she could please step across the room so her guards can relax a tiny bit and stop holding blades to your neck and back. Ask the guards what they want you to do to prove you're yourself and to make them feel Kira is safe enough for you to remain here. If they want to restrain you the entire time, then so be it. You just need to talk with Kira.

Tell Kira that Sisah told you what happened with Karas last night. Because of that and everything else that's been going on, one reasons you came here was to see how she was doing and comfort her. Another was to ask- No, not ask. Put your foot down and demand that she delegate some of her work to others, including some to you. Your heart breaks to see her not just needlessly burning her candle at both ends but seemingly sticking additional wicks in. And then to see her starting to drink like our father did shatters it. You can't stand by while she does this to herself, and by extension the nation.

Say you also came here with the intent to all but drag her out of her fortress of paperwork to see our father. It would be good to finally be together and talk as family after so long apart. ...However, you'd imagine the Royal Guards, your father's guards, your guards and Sisah would be loath to have all the heirs to the throne together in one room. At least not without extensive security preparations. So the family meeting is probably going to have to wait a bit for that.

Pointedly ask the guards why they stood by in the shadows and didn't help Kira after she passed out. Something like that happening you'd think would be enough to at least bring a medic in to check her health, if not outright taking her to the medical wing for a doctor's examination. But they left her lying there, face down where she collapsed. Didn't move her to a couch to sleep it off or even roll her over. Goddammit, this lot served your father, didn't they? They should know how to handle a drunk monarch. So what the heck were they doing standing by?

>It would be safer braving the raving fanatics of the dynasty and the uncaring undead of Lorentia than going that way.
Well, nuts. ...And waiting about for Lorentia and the Dynasty to beat each other to a standstill wouldn't work 'cause even with the Zadian Empire's backing Risavia doesn't have the numbers and resources to drive a wedge down the old trade road and hold both sides back. ...So, how about forming a coalition with the nations and city states who've suffered because of the trade road being lost to retake and hold the corridor? Those on both ends of the road. It'd probably take cutting deals with them that'd make the trade route not as lucrative for Risavia for at least awhile, but better than having no trade route at all.
>>
No. 773938 ID: 71e457

>…except, you’ve discovered you’re really into the opposite of that…
Was that before or after you were reunited with your metaphorical spine? Maybe you like deference as much as anyone else, but the self-abasing extreme it took in this instance made you read into it more than usual.

>>773936
You really think they'd commit regicide in full view of the Queen Regnant over an insult? There's being stupid, useless, paranoid or Working to Rule, but there's no way they'd actually endanger Kronos unless he actually makes a move. The one we have to worry about is Kira, so let's not demand she shoehorn us into business she doesn't want us involved in and make her suspicious enough to close herself off again.
>>
No. 773967 ID: 65a774
File 148510837461.png - (39.93KB , 686x526 , 34.png )
773967

>These guys are terrible at their job.
Are they? You can’t really judge their performance before you’ve actually seen them do anything. Well… they did let you walk right up to her… and they left her like that… maybe they are terrible?
> So, how about forming a coalition with the nations and city states who've suffered because of the trade road being lost to retake and hold the corridor?
Those nations close enough to make a different aren’t nations that are willing to get between fanatics or the undead just because of a lot of coin.


>Try 'passed out into a fitful, tearful sleep due to exhaustion and inebriation'.
:KiraSB: …wait, really? Well… I guess I did sleep a bit badly last night…
:NonSB: Wait, did she actually go to bed for once?
:NonSB: Hush
:KiraSB: …guards, is this actually…?
:NonSB: We can detect faint traces of magic, ma’am, but on closer inspection we don’t believe it’s any kind of shape changing abilities in effect. This is indeed Prince Kronos and he is unarmed.
:KiraSB: Then stand down and let him talk. Well, Kronos, why are you here?
>If I were capable of killing anyone single-handedly, goodness, that talent has been woefully unused in all the situations I've been in recently.
:KiraSB: I have to ask you from refraining from killing people single-handedly from now on, as I rather not have to imprison a third brother.
>Why don't we all calm down with a nice cup of tea?
:KiraSB: …thank you for the offer, but I have to decline.
:KronosSB: … … …
:KiraSB: …are you expecting something to happen or…?
:KronosSB: Never mind.
>Tell Kira that Sisah told you what happened with Karas last night.
:KiraSB: Yes, Xarrin should have reported that to you by now. Do not worry, we are on his trail, so all you have to do is to keep your head down and stay safe. I have an understanding that he was… raving a lot about you before his disappearance…
:KronosSB: Raving about me?
:KiraSB: Let just say that your willing engagement with your soon to be wife hit him hard. Especially the “willing” part of it. Calling you a species traitor and the like… ah, you know how it is. So please, keep out of trouble, brother, as I rather not lose you too.

>Ask the ninjas how long you were standing here.
:NonSB: …standing where, sir? You walked in, went up to the desk, we sprung and made sure you didn’t do anything you would regret, which woke up the queen. So you haven’t been standing around at all?
>Pointedly ask the guards why they stood by in the shadows and didn't help Kira after she pass-
:NonSB: Shh! She doesn’t get enough sleep as it is! Don’t make her force us to keep her awake even longer.
>>
No. 773968 ID: 65a774
File 148510838599.png - (24.41KB , 686x526 , 35.png )
773968

>Tell Kira that you came here to ask for work.
:KiraSB: …clearly, my guards are mistaken and you are an imposter.
:KronosSB: Wha-
:KiraSB: I jest, but work? Really? You?
>You're really serious, you can tell she's overworking herself and you want to help out with small things so that she has the time and energy to work on the important things. You know she can't take the nation's burden solely on her own shoulders; no one rules alone.
:KiraSB: …no one… have you been talking to father about this? I can’t let you… I… … …
:KronosSB: Kira… please… let me help…
:KiraSB: …I do have some paperwork that even you could be capable with handling. Here, just read what my advisors have commented on them and choose the best solution from them. I usually write up my own solutions but… I really don’t have the time right now. Oh, and I want these done today, alright?

>Don't forget to mention that she said you were to be left out of the archbishops plans, but that the archbishop approached you about them while you were in the hospital.
:KiraSB: Then you have to talk to her about it, not me. I’m not even sure I’m still on board on this plan… yet, desperate times…
>I wanted to ask if you to come visit father with me. Don't say you've got work, it won't go anywhere.
:KiraSB: Visit father? I… no, not right now. I’ll take some time for that later… and I want to see him alone, sorry little brother.
:KronosSB: Why can’t you visit him right now? Your work can wait.
:KiraSB: …it cannot. …and… there is something else I need to do. Guards, go get Xarrin. Tell him to assemble my advisors and the like. I have some work to share with them…
:KronosSB: …and after that?
:KiraSB: …after that? …I really need a nap after that… I… I haven’t slept in so… so… yes, a nap.
:NonSB: Ma’am? There is a “Cain” here with some tea for you and the Prince? Should I let him in?
:KiraSB: No, tea can wait for later. Now was there something else on your mind or might I get back to work, Kronos?


>Mention the dream-walking too, but when it's less crowded in here.
>I got sucked into your nightmare cause I have dream magic powers now apparently. Life is weird lately.
…should you really mention the dream walking ability to her? You’re pretty sure she won’t believe you at all and you rather not have her think you are mad…
>>
No. 773971 ID: 4854ef

It would be best to mention the dream walking later, in a private setting that doesnt involve several guards that would be looking at you as if you've gone eccentric.
>>
No. 773984 ID: ba506f

Ask her if one cup of tea really would be so bad right now. I doubt her schedule is so hectic that she can't even spare 5 minutes to simply relax and wake up a little bit before going back to work. I mean for goodness sakes even your guards are starting to worry about how hard you're working yourself and I'm even asking to help you with your work. ME. So please sis, just a quick 5 minute brake to at least wake up a bit more before the meeting.

if we can't even get her to agree to that though, well at least get her to promise that she WILL take some kind of brake after seeing Xarrin. Just because she is queen doesn't mean she can't take a brake every now and again. After all, someone who is well rested can usually do their job better then someone who looks like they're always about to pass out. We'll also be checking in on her to make sure she isn't overworking herself as well. We have lost 2 siblings already so we're not going to let our sister work herself into an early grave. She's some of the only family we have left.

Now once she leaves take a quick peek at the papers she's given you and see if you can't get a quick idea on what they are about.
>>
No. 773985 ID: 71e457

>Then you have to talk to her about it, not me.
Doesn't it concern you a little bit she lied to you...? Or went against your wishes, as the case may be?
>You’re pretty sure she won’t believe you at all and you rather not have her think you are mad…
I think it might be a bit late to salvage your reputation if that withering glare is any indication, buddy.

The important thing is that she knows Krotos isn't gone and he's manipulating people. It doesn't matter if he's dead, in the catacombs death has no meaning. The point is, the archbishop gets dreams of miracles in the catacombs while everyone else gets nightmares, Kira's been giving the Archbishop carte blanche but hasn't trusted her own advisors until this very minute, it's all concerning juxtaposition that points to a specific motive.
>>
No. 773993 ID: 91ee5f

>>773967
>I have to ask you from refraining from killing people single-handedly from now on, as I rather not have to imprison a third brother.
That was a joke sis. Because if I actually could do that, I'd still have both of my eyes.

>>773968
>…I do have some paperwork that even you could be capable with handling.
Heeeey, are you calling me dumb? I mean, sure, you're not wrong, I am dumb. But could you at least wait until I'm not in the room before you talk about me like that? .....oh, don't give me that look, I'm joking and you know it.

>Oh, and I want these done today, alright?
Sure thing. When, you take the pages, make a comment on how you hope these aren't the pages she drooled on in her sleep, otherwise you'll have a hard time reading the ink that got smudged from her drool, which might hinder your ability to fill out the paperwork.

>Then you have to talk to her about it, not me. I’m not even sure I’m still on board on this plan… yet, desperate times…
Whatever her plan is, I don't trust it. It just doesn't feel right for some reason.

>Now was there something else on your mind or might I get back to work, Kronos?
"Are you sure you don't mean 'go back to sleep at your desk'? .....I jest sis." Offer a hug and wish her well. Then say, "But if I catch you sleeping at your desk again, I'm going to ask these ninjas to help me drag you to your bed and tie you down in it so that you'll have no choice but to get some sleep!"

>…should you really mention the dream walking ability to her? You’re pretty sure she won’t believe you at all and you rather not have her think you are mad…
Maybe now isn't the right time to talk about that. Wait until some other time.

Don't forget to get your gun from the guards outside the room and Sisah! Then, go visit your father and after that, Thalia wanted to talk to you.

You wanted Bri to be with you when you go visit Zela, Bel, and Tim, so until she's done doing what she's doing, you'll have time to work on the paperwork your sister gave you, depending on how long your visits with your father and Thalia go.
>>
No. 773999 ID: 398fe1

Don't push the tea.

...it's tempting to bring up the dream stuff, but if you do, that will stress her out even more, and there's nothing she can do about it, is there? She's already going to delay the Archbishop's plans, and I think that's about all she can do for us right now.
>>
No. 774007 ID: b8fb6d

Are you Really considering telling her about Dreamwalking? Even if it is true, She will probably discart it as another daydream of yours, in best case scenario, and in worst, she will think you are not up to the task she just gave you.

Alright, That tea will be nice to have while you fill that paperwork, thank him again for his punctuality.

So... is Cain an expert on paperwork? It's NOT that you want his help, I think we should ask him how much time he estimates it will take to do all of that, although I think you should start doing it as soon as we are back in our room.
>>
No. 774122 ID: fe7355

Hold off on telling Kira until you both have enough time for you to tell her at least most of the chain of events that led to you having this dream magic. Because explaining how you got them is what you'd have to do for her to possibly believe you're not just losing your mind. And you'll need to present what scant corroborating evidence you have, which includes Bri agreeing to say that she saw and spoke to the personification of worldly aspects as well.

You're a little disappointed you couldn't have a spot of tea with your sister and talk while waiting for Xarrin to assemble her advisors, but you understand that she has important work attend to. It wouldn't have been enough time to have a proper tea with her anyway. However, would she object to Cain leaving her a cup of tea to have at her leisure, since he's already here and ready to make one? You'll be having one anyway, so two wouldn't be a bother.

Inform Kira and her Royal Guards about the multiple magical intrusion attempts upon your apartment last night that Sisah told you of. There should be a full report on its way with the details, but Sisah suspected its connected to Karas in some way. You wanted to know if the mages overseeing the wards on her office detected intrusion attempts as well, and if so then what times. And you want to know if the same happened anywhere else in the palace last night. But even if there wasn't a attempt here, you think she shouldn't go anywhere that isn't strongly warded for the time being, as well as our father and anyone else Karas may wish to target.

Give Kira a close parting hug and tell her that you hope the both of you and your father can sit down together and have a family dinner. And maybe she could cook it, or at least part of it. You liked when she cooked, back before she had to take on her royal duties. Oh, and ask just how late today you have to finish working on these documents. Like by end of business hours or before midnight?

Once you're out the door, flip through the documents Kira gave you and skim them over to get a feel of how long they'll take. It'd be preferable to handle them before Briannah finishes what she's doing, since otherwise she's going to be waiting about for you. You'll have to figure out what you're going to do next depending on how time consuming these documents are.

...And this is important but unrelated to the current situation, but you should see about discreetly getting discreet extra armor for your groin. After all, your "family jewels" are probably the most politically valuable ones in the whole of Risavia right now and for the foreseeable future. Taking a destructive but non-fatal hit to them would be a disaster. This also means no sex acts that may put them at risk of getting hurt. So if you try out being dommed by Thalia make sure she knows to not smack you down there.

>We can detect faint traces of magic, ma’am...
But from what? Could they be picking up the dream magic you got by eating Xuv's mind-souls? Or the binding Xuv put on your soul? Or even residual magic from the fertility potion's effect? Or were there any other magics placed on you recently? You ought to ask Sisah to take a closer look at you for trace magic and the type of magic, and then ask Tim to as well later.

>Shh! She doesn’t get enough sleep as it is! Don’t make her force us to keep her awake even longer.
Ah, so Kira's Royal Guard aren't terrible like you thought, just caught in a bind by Kira's orders. You should write a little note thanking them for that, as well as asking them to let you know if Kira keeps giving them such orders or otherwise isn't sleeping as much as she ought to and you'll try and talk sense into her. Give the note to the Royal Guards in the office antechamber so Kira doesn't know about it and countermands it.

>Let just say that your willing engagement with your soon to be wife hit him hard. Especially the “willing” part of it. Calling you a species traitor and the like…
...Goddammit. It was because of you that Karas went fully over the edge to where the Nightmare could possess him. If you had stepped out into the hall to speak with Kira when she asked how things were going with Briannah, Karas would not have been shattered. Instead you pettily rubbed it in his face for what he did to you. Dammit. ...But what happened, happened. There's no use in beating yourself up now for it. Take it as a important lesson that your words can have serious consequences and to be wary of using them in anger or spite.

>Those nations close enough to make a different aren’t nations that are willing to get between fanatics or the undead just because of a lot of coin.
Then Risavia stands only with the Zadian Empire and its Serpens allies against Lorentia and the Dynasty. And there's no hope of a diplomatic solution with Lorentia, is there? No deal to cut them in on the trade route in exchange for passage of it through their territory? And the Dynasty is so fanatical towards their war god, diplomacy is a total non-starter, is it?
>>
No. 774222 ID: 65a774
File 148520498818.png - (40.85KB , 686x526 , 36.png )
774222

>It would be best to mention the dream walking later…
Right… let’s keep her from believing that you’re a complete loon for a bit longer.
>I think it might be a bit late to salvage your reputation if that withering glare is any indication, buddy.
She might not have much respect for you but at least she doesn’t think you are crazy.


>Ask her if one cup of tea really would be so bad right now. I doubt her schedule is so hectic that she can't even spare 5 minutes to simply relax and wake up a little bit before going back to work.
:KiraSB: As I just said, I’m going to take a nap after I’ve got some things rolling. I really don’t have time for more breaks than that.
>However, would she object to Cain leaving her a cup of tea to have at her leisure, since he's already here and ready to make one?
:KiraSB: I rather not drink it before going to bed… and by the time I get back here it will be long cold, so no, I’m fine without it. I can just order my own tea if I so desire, brother.
>Doesn't it concern you a little bit she lied to you...? Or went against your wishes, as the case may be?
:KiraSB: She haven’t lied to me yet… and it’s her project, not mine. Still, she is rather… thin on the details.
>Whatever her plan is, I don't trust it. It just doesn't feel right for some reason.
:KiraSB: Hmm… trust or not, I really need to know more about it before I make a decision. Was I really that desperate that I was willing to shoot into the dark like that? Hmm… but never mind that; let us leave the topic for now, shall we?

>That was a joke sis. Because if I actually could do that, I'd still have both of my eyes.
:KiraSB: Still… please refrain from killing people, alright? The paper work is rather annoying to write up every time I have to execute one of you.
:KronosSB: Err-
:KiraSB: I jest, Kronos, of course the paperwork is trivial compared to losing you.
>Inform Kira and her Royal Guards about the multiple magical intrusion attempts upon your apartment last night that Sisah told you of.
:KiraSB: Yes, I believe I read the report on that just a moment ago. I’ve already dispatched some people to look into it.
>You wanted to know if the mages overseeing the wards on her office detected intrusion attempts as well, and if so then what times.
:KiraSB: No, there hasn’t been any other intrusion attempts that I know of.

>Heeeey, are you calling me dumb?
:KiraSB: …I’m calling you a lazy bum that hasn’t worked a day in his whole life, not dumb… but considering how long it took for you to realize I might have insulted you…
:KronosSB: Hey!
>When you take the pages, make a comment on how you hope these aren't the pages she drooled on in her sleep.
:KiraSB: …I don’t drool in my sleep.
:NonSB: Sure you do.
:KiraSB: *DeathGlare*
:NonSB: Err… I mean, the Queen doesn’t drool in her sleep!
>Oh, and ask just how late today you have to finish working on these documents. Like by end of business hours or before midnight?
:KiraSB: I want them lying on my desk when I wake up tomorrow morning.

>Offer a hug and wish her well.
She gladly embraces you back, all the hesitation from the last few hugs seemingly gone.
>Then say, "But if I catch you sleeping at your desk again, I'm going to ask these ninjas to help me drag you to your bed and tie you down in it so that you'll have no choice but to get some sleep!"
:KiraSB: I’m not planning on sleeping on the desk again anytime soon, Kronos.
:KronosSB: I hope so. Now, I need to be off. Goodbye Sis.
:KiraSB: Goodbye, Kronos… oh, and brother? …be safe.


>Don't forget to get your gun from the guards outside the room and Sisah!
You got… *dun dun duuun!* …a Sisah and a gun! *Woop!*
>Now once she leaves take a quick peek at the papers she's given you and see if you can't get a quick idea on what they are about.
Err… something about taxes and logistic? You have no idea what to make of this.
>So... is Cain an expert on paperwork? It's NOT that you want his help, I think we should ask him how much time he estimates it will take to do all of that
:CainSB: I’m sure you can master the pen and wrestle those devilish papers into submission in an hour… maybe two? Either way, I can already see that you’ll need some reference material for those… I’ll see too it they will be delivered to your room, sir… though it will take an hour or two as well. Now, tea sir?
:KronosSB: Don’t mind if I do.
>>
No. 774223 ID: 65a774
File 148520500428.png - (49.72KB , 686x526 , 37.png )
774223

>There's no hope of a diplomatic solution with Lorentia, is there? No deal to cut them in on the trade route in exchange for passage of it through their territory?
You’re not sure how the situation with Lorentia is right now, but you do know that they used to be a lot more diplomatic before the war with the Dynasty. A bit paranoid, but still making solutions without bloodshed.
>And the Dynasty is so fanatical towards their war god, diplomacy is a total non-starter, is it?
Of course, the countries that used to be where the Dynasty is now used to be diplomatic as well… and you can see how that turned out. You’re pretty sure there is no way to parley with those fanatics.

> ...And this is important but unrelated to the current situation, but you should see about discreetly getting discreet extra armor for your groin. After all, your "family jewels" are probably the most politically valuable ones in the whole of Risavia right now and for the foreseeable future.
Your mythril armor does offer some protection in… that area, but maybe you should look into a proper cod piece or the like? Hmm…
> ...Goddammit. It was because of you that Karas went fully over the edge to where the Nightmare could possess him. If you had stepped out into the hall to speak with Kira when she asked how things were going with Briannah, Karas would not have been shattered.
You’re pretty sure he would still go over the edge even if you didn’t do that… right? He probably would have attacked someone else if you didn’t rile him up, wouldn’t he?
:SonorkSB: Yeah, keep telling yourself that.


>You wanted Bri to be with you when you go visit Zela, Bel, and Tim, so until she's done doing what she's doing, you'll have time to work on the paperwork your sister gave you.
Hmm… as it would take a while for the material you need to arrive and Bri is still probably busy…
>Go visit your father and after that, Thalia wanted to talk to you.
As you enter the kings sick chamber, you are met with the sight of your father, lying in a kind of slated resting chair, listening to a story being read to him by a… an old Sakkilian lady?

:NonSB: -and with a purple flicker, they suddenly found themselves just a feet above the ship. With gravity making it known again they landed on the wooden planks with a low thud. "Don't worry, that hard wood is the boat" Scanlan retorted as- oh?
:KronosSB: *Cough*?
:HeliosSB: Ah, my son! So good to see you again!
:KronosSB: Popa?
:HeliosSB: Now, now, don’t give me that face. I’m completely fine, I’ll have you know. Fit as a fiddle! …well, as long as I follow the good doctors directions I will be, but I’m fine right now, no need to worry your head over me, no.
>>
No. 774230 ID: 398fe1

>>774223
Oh hey! Is this the Sakkilian lady he's making friends with? Introductions are in order!

>Karas
You had no way of knowing he was being mentally manipulated when you said those things to him. Nor did you know he was capable of going as far as he did. You couldn't have even done anything for him until today, and even if you could have, he still would have been convicted of the assassination plot and that would have sent his mind over the brink, probably. I mean, could you have hidden your feelings for Bri from him? It's *possible* that you could still save his mind tonight by purposefully seeking it out via your dream mirror, but inside a mind as far gone as his, you are just as likely to die.
>>
No. 774231 ID: f9d2ed

twitchy tail means anger/excitement, right? Maybe she doesn't appreciate the interruption (she might be a nurse reading to him to get him to rest). Or maybe she was about to get to the risqué good part of the story.

It does feel like you're interrupting, so make it quit.
>>
No. 774232 ID: 094652

>Tail wag
Okay seriously, they need to develop a metal brace for those tails, because all their emotions can be read in a single wag.

>Fit as a fiddle
"Poppa, I can see better though my eye socket than you can. You need rest. Also, is this some kind of arcane Sakkilian mating ritual?"
>>
No. 774235 ID: ba506f

ask if you're interrupting something as you didn't mean to be rude. Oh and be polite and introduce yourself to the nice lady. She probably knows who you are but still no need to be disrespectful. It's also an easy way to find out who she is as well without sounding like your suspicious of her.
>>
No. 774240 ID: 002d50

>You’re pretty sure he would still go over the edge even if you didn’t do that… right?
If you'd have done anything- and I'll interject that the queen is just as culpable as you, having asked those questions in his presence in the first place- you'd have made him feel betrayed, which is quite different from the stark raving mad that we actually got. Not that what you did was a nice thing, mind.

Hugs now. Tell him your sorry for all the times you did stupid things and scared the bejesus out of him. Also that you couldn't visit before now.
> I’m completely fine, I’ll have you know. Fit as a fiddle!
Tell him you hope you have lots of opportunities to tell him again.
Then, remember your decorum and introduce yourself to the lady.
>>
No. 774252 ID: 91ee5f

>>774223
The Sakkilian women are grown big aren't they? Especially around the rear area! In fact, I think this lady's rear is larger than Bri's!

...no! Bad boner! Stop looking at this lady's ass! Stay loyal to Bri's ass!

...damnit! Stop thinking about Bri's glorious ass! Now is not the time for that!

Anyways, introduce yourself and tell dad you wanted to visit. Try to keep this visit short because it looks like you interrupted at the best part of the story.
>>
No. 774292 ID: 6612fa

>>774252
her rear i doubt rear is as majestic and large as bri's.
also why are you thinking of your dads concubine like that, i mean i can only assume since he showed interest in it last time we talked to him about the subject.
>>
No. 774362 ID: fe7355

Give your father a big hug and tell him that you can't promise at all not to worry about him. After you were informed yesterday morning he'd had a heart attack, you were struck that even after he stepped down from the throne, when he and you could finally really be father and son together after all these years, it's toll on him would take him away from you. So you're going to meet with him every day and have a walk once he's able to again. And you're going to make sure he's on a better diet. You're gonna do your darnedest to see that you have that fishing trip with him and more, and that he'll see your children, his grandchildren. ...And whisper to him that yesterday Kira told you of her congenital condition and how important that makes you now. You've taken to heart you can't take risks like you've done before anymore.

Offer your hand to the lady to shake, introduce yourself and ask what brings her here. She's not your father's nurse, is she? Ah, was it by Briannah's doing that she came to be here? You did talk with Bri about that after you two had lunch with your father. And what is it that she was reading to him?

Let your father know you saw Kira right before coming here and give him the good news that she finally is taking his advice that "no one rules alone" to heart and meeting with her advisors right now to delegate. And you asked to help her with her workload as well, and she agreed, giving you some of the paperwork to handle.

You notice the lady has rather strikingly blue scales, doesn't she? Almost the same color as your father's feathers. Just how many shades of Sakkilians are out there? And the way her tail tip is waving about hints that she's enjoying your father's company, so that's good.

And you think you know why your father drank so much: Guilt. Horrible guilt that in his grief and rage over your mother's death he threw away all that had been worked for with the Zadian Empire and took Risavia into a pointless war with them. One that nearly ruined the nation, and would have if not for the Serpens' guns. One that cost the lives of countless Risavians and Zadians, left more maimed in mind and body, and threw away so much of this nation's wealth. One that took him away from his children when they so needed his love and guidance, and led to two of them turning traitor. He drank to forget the crushing guilt of all this.

>Your mythril armor does offer some protection in… that area, but maybe you should look into a proper cod piece or the like? Hmm…
That, and also looking into putting some of your "seed" on ice as additional insurance. Not a topic you wish to think about, but it's prudent with so much at stake.

>You’re not sure how the situation with Lorentia is right now, but you do know that they used to be a lot more diplomatic before the war with the Dynasty. A bit paranoid, but still making solutions without bloodshed.
So the big question is: What changed to make them turn away from diplomacy with Risavia? Because right now, you'd think that the best way to cut a deal with them would be for aid against the Dynasty. If they won't listen to that then something else is in play. What started the war between Lorentia and the Dynasty? Just the Dynasty being expectedly aggressive or something else? ...Wait. Didn't you hear it mentioned that the Empire-Risavia diplomatic conference you and your mother was attending had something to do with countering Lorentia? Maybe not a alliance, but something against Lorentia. Could Lorentia's attitude have shifted because of that? You definitely need to dig up more on this and look into it in depth. That is, after the Nightmare situation is resolved and you have time to.

>>774252
>The Sakkilian women are grown big aren't they? Especially around the rear area! In fact, I think this lady's rear is larger than Bri's!
While it is true that Sakkilians are generally more well endowed in the posterior, even the men, and this lady's rear is a rather fine example, no other derrière can possibly compare to Briannah's. Hers is as close to perfection as possible in this world. However, it's rude to be checking out the lady's butt and Kronos shouldn't be doing that in the first place.
>>
No. 774849 ID: 65a774
File 148546615771.png - (56.18KB , 686x526 , 38.png )
774849

>You had no way of knowing he was being mentally manipulated when you said those things to him. Nor did you know he was capable of going as far as he did.
R-right… it wasn’t your fault… you couldn’t have known… yet… if you didn’t say those things…
>You couldn't have even done anything for him until today, and even if you could have, he still would have been convicted of the assassination plot and that would have sent his mind over the brink, probably.
…so no matter what you would have done, he would become… that thing…?
>I mean, could you have hidden your feelings for Bri from him?
…damned if you do, damned if you don’t, huh?

>Just how many shades of Sakkilians are out there?
…You’re pretty sure they just exist in green, orange and red types… yet… a blue one? Hmm… is there another race of them you don’t know about or is it some kind of scale… you don’t want to say defect but… now you are curious but… you can’t just ask, can you?
>Twitchy tail means anger/excitement, right?
A tail that is curling like that means happiness or excitement if you’ve learned anything from Briannah… their anger tail is more… flailing and twitchy.

>And you think you know why your father drank so much: Guilt. Horrible guilt that in his grief and rage over your mother's death he threw away all that had been worked for with the Zadian Empire and took Risavia into a pointless war with them.
…oh gods, he must have felt terrible for so long…
>Also looking into putting some of your "seed" on ice as additional insurance.
Wait, you can do that? You’re pretty sure you can’t do that…


>Give your father a big hug and tell him that you can't promise at all not to worry about him.
:HeliosSB: -OFF! Easy there, boy. It is good that you care for me, son, but don’t go worry yourself to death over me, you hear?
>You're going to meet with him every day and have a walk once he's able to again. And you're going to make sure he's on a better diet.
:HeliosSB: Oh… well, actually, the doctors has given me a rather strict diet already… no more fat foods, more exercise and no more… alcohol… *cough*… but I’d love if you would accompany me on one of my walks, Kronos.
>You're gonna do your darnedest to see that you have that fishing trip with him and more.
:HeliosSB: Oh, don’t you worry about that! These bones might be old, but they still have a few years of fishing in them. What do you say about as soon as things starts dying down a bit we’ll head out to our lake house and enjoy the last of summer there?
:KronosSB: That sounds lovely, popa…
>and that he'll see your children, his grandchildren.
:HeliosSB: Oh? Is there something I could know about?
:KronosSB: Err-
:HeliosSB: Oh, I jest, of course. But I’m sure you and Briannah will find a lovely surrogate to bear your children, son…
>...And whisper to him that yesterday Kira told you of her congenital condition and how important that makes you now.
:HeliosSB: Ah… that… yes… so you must understand that a child not of our blood will not do, will it?

>The Sakkilian women are grown big aren't they? Especially around the rear area! In fact, I think this lady's rear is larger than Bri's!
…while that is a rather nice and big rear, you’re pretty sure it’s not as big as Bri’s… this lady is clearly shorter than her but nearly just as wide, which make her look more… plush? Either way, size isn’t everything… this rump has a lot more fat and is thus less firm than Bri’s derrière.
>However, it's rude to be checking out the lady's butt and Kronos shouldn't be doing that in the first place.
…oh right, you shoul- um… going by that coy smile and raised eyebrow you’re pretty sure she noticed you staring…
:OpalhiaSB: Why, I can tell that yah are ye father’s son just by looking at yah, heh…

>Oh and be polite and introduce yourself to the nice lady. She probably knows who you are but still no need to be disrespectful.
:OpalhiaSB: It is an ‘onor to meet yah, Prince Kronos. Mah name is Opalhia and I’m ‘ere seeking employment from ye father.
>Ah, was it by Briannah's doing that she came to be here?
:OpalhiaSB: Why yes, it was. She told me the King might need a personal caretaker after ‘e steps down, so ‘ere I am. So far it seems she was right.
:HeliosSB: Well, I am still considering, but you do seems to have the credentials and the personality that I am looking for…
>And what is it that she was reading to him?
:HeliosSB: “The Adventures of Vox Machina, Vol. 4”, it’s a book I’m been reading.
:OpalhiaSB: He asked me to read it to him. Luckily, I’ve read two of them before so I know some fitting voices of the characters.
:HeliosSB: My eyes get so tired these days from reading to long… and actually having someone enthusiastic about reading it to you is quite the treat. Her voices are fantastic as well!
:OpalhiaSB: Oh, yah just say that to make me blush.
>Ask if you're interrupting something as you didn't mean to be rude.
:HeliosSB: Well… they were just being chased by this horrid monster that they found in a cave…
:OpalhiaSB: But they escaped form it, didn’t they?
:HeliosSB: Oh please, it had large leathery wings, didn’t it? It will just fly after it and they’ll just have this really cool high speed sea battle, won’t they? But never mind that, of course you’re not interrupting anything son. Stay as long as you want! So, how are things with the wife, eh? You two getting along? And have you heard anything from your sister lately?
>>
No. 774850 ID: 398fe1

>>774849
You and Bri are doing quite well, and Kira is finally loosening her deathgrip on her paperwork and is allowing you and some trusted advisors to help her out.
>>
No. 774916 ID: fc8506

>you can’t just ask, can you?
It's only of academic significance anyway.

>So, how are things with the wife, eh? You two getting along? And have you heard anything from your sister lately?
As well as can be helped. Sometimes I feel like a fireman, like I'm only facing problems when they're already nearly out of hand. I just talked to Kira, she was up to her beak in paperwork. Apparently she was resistant to the idea of delegating to her advisors for some reason, but that's been resolved, at least for now. She said she'd visit you later by the way, so tell me how that goes. Or if she reneges, let me know and I'll dig her out of the paperwork pile on her desk for you. And Bri, well, she's just full of surprises that... just don't have to be. I just wish the both of them would open up more.
>>
No. 774956 ID: 01d9f4

>>774849
I'm actually working now!
For the first time!
>>
No. 775079 ID: 65a774
File 148554687379.png - (18.32KB , 686x526 , 39.png )
775079

>It's only of academic significance anyway.
You still want to know what more colors you should expect. After all, if there is enough of them you’re pretty sure Bri will someday surprise you with a “Taste the rainbow” joke… in the bedroom…

>As well as can be helped. Sometimes I feel like a fireman, like I'm only facing problems when they're already nearly out of hand.
:HeliosSB: Ah, the curse of those with responsibilities. I know that sometimes it might seems that all odds are against you, son, but do know this, we will always have your back, no matter what. Trust in others to help you as you helped them.
:OpalhiaSB: Standing side by side, even the weak can lift the heavy?
:HeliosSB: Something like that, yes.
>Kira is finally loosening her deathgrip on her paperwork and is allowing you and some trusted advisors to help her out.
:HeliosSB: Ah, good! As I said, you need to trust those near you to help or nothing will be done. No king rules alone.
>I'm actually working now!
:HeliosSB: Really now? Is this the old way you used to “work” or are you going to actually complete your tasks this time?
:KronosSB: Dad…
:HeliosSB: Oh, but I jest. But still… I do remember the hardship we had to go through whenever you got a new set of homework. Why, I’m sure you spent more time and energy trying to get away than actually doing them.
>She said she'd visit you later by the way, so tell me how that goes.
:HeliosSB: Ah, good… I do want to talk to her.

>You and Bri are doing quite well.
:HeliosSB: Ah, that is good to hear.
:OpalhiaSB: From what I’ve heard from gossip around the palace, you two are doing more than just well.
:HeliosSB: Oh yes, she is a loud lady, isn’t she?
>She's just full of surprises that... just don't have to be.
:HeliosSB: Is she? Well, I guess you haven’t earned her trust yet.
:OpalhiaSB: From what I know, she is secretive even to those she trust.
:HeliosSB: Well… then I’m sure you can get her to open up, son.
>I just wish the both of them would open up more.
:HeliosSB: Hmm… don’t prod to hard, or the shell will just get harder.
:OpalhiaSB: I am sure, if given time, they will open up more to you, sire.
:HeliosSB: Just don’t expect them to do so out of the blue. Work is required.

:NonSB: Excuse me, but I have to politely ask all guest to leave in a moment. Lord Helios doctor will soon be here to take some test and will need his full attention.
:KronosSB: Oh, well… I guess this is goodbye for now then.
:HeliosSB: Do take care son… and be safe, you hear?
:OpalhiaSB: It was an ‘onor to meet yah, sire… and you as well, Lord Helios.

Well… what now? You have to wonder if Bri is done yet… or is there something else you want done before meeting with her?
>>
No. 775080 ID: 28415f

Start with the Job Kira gave you.
>>
No. 775090 ID: 398fe1

>>775079
Start on your work. Who knows how busy this day will get? Just be sure to set it aside once it's time to meet with Bri.
>>
No. 775101 ID: 91ee5f

>>775079
Thalia wanted to talk to you about something.
>>
No. 775157 ID: 2e7f74

>>775101
We should definitely talk to Thalia, but later. I think she's on the list of advisors that the queen's summoned and will be busy right now. We'll talk to her once our assignment's done and we need a second pair of eyes to check things over.
>>
No. 775242 ID: 65a774
File 148561813892.png - (28.65KB , 686x526 , 40.png )
775242

>Start with the Job Kira gave you.
Your pen starts scrawling answers to questions about taxes, support and infrastructure. Taking care to go through all the advisors words on the matter, as well as the reports and facts Cain have gotten for you, you believe you’re able to find suitable answers for each problem that is hidden in this pile of papers.

In the end, it seems to end up between a choice of pragmatism and altruism, but you try to walk a path of balance between them.

For a little over an hour you toil over the papers, but in the end it seems like even you are able to slay horrid beast like these ones.
>We need a second pair of eyes to check things over.
:CainSB: Hmm, yes, this does look good, sir. I’ll just need to write it up a bit more properly and I’ll deliver it to the Queen.
:KronosSB: Write it properly?
:CainSB: If you don’t mind me saying, your handwriting only equals is that of a child… well, more like a doctor, but you get what I mean. That and the language you use in some places need a bit of tweaking to make sure it can’t be misunderstood or bent the wrong way. Don’t worry, it will only take about ten minutes at most, sir, as I’m a rather fast writer when I’m following a script.
:KronosSB: Well… then do that, Cain, if you deem it necessary.
>>
No. 775243 ID: 65a774
File 148561815258.png - (85.26KB , 686x526 , 41.png )
775243

>Thalia wanted to talk to you about something.
And you wanted to talk to her. Let’s pay her a visit.
>I think she's on the list of advisors that the queen's summoned and will be busy right now.
…hopefully she will be done by the time you get there.


:NonSB: H-hey! You can’t just waltz on in here! Who are you and what is your business with the general?
:KronosSB: I am Prince Kronos and I need to talk to general Thalia immediately.
:NonSB: My apologies, Prince, but she is very busy at the moment and aren’t accepting any visitors at the moment. Can you come back later?
:KronosSB: …is she meeting with my sister, the queen?
:NonSB: Meeting with the- what, no, she’s just taking her after lunch n- I mean, she is busy, my lord, and she has asked to not be disturbed right now.

...you almost have a case of déjà vu here…
>>
No. 775248 ID: 91ee5f

>>775243
>she’s just taking her after lunch n- I mean, she is busy
I'm pretty sure he was about to say "nap" right there. Thalia did mention that she was having trouble sleeping because of the nightmares she's been having, so if you can get in there without making enough noise to wake her up, you can dreamwalk into Thalia's dreams and help her, just like you did with your sister earlier.
>>
No. 775258 ID: ba506f

...At least tell me she's at least sleeping on a real bed and not slumped over her desk? Lot's of people seem to be doing that lately and I can't imagine it's good for the back.
>>
No. 775263 ID: 398fe1

>>775243
Ah, another opportunity to fight the Nightmare. Tell him that your business cannot wait, and you believe that Thalia will be relieved to see you. In fact, you think you can take a great weight off her shoulders.
>>
No. 775267 ID: 2af782

Mock the giant dwarf's inferior eyepatch.
>>
No. 775285 ID: fe7355

Tell the man that it's okay that General Thalia is taking a after-lunch nap; He doesn't have to cover for her. Honestly, it seems like everyone in charge around here has been in desperate need of sleep lately, so you won't complain. However, you do have a important private matter to discuss with her that can't wait. You'll take the blame and cover for him if he wishes. He can say he valiantly tried to stop you but you slipped past. But you do need to see General Thalia now. You'll even be the one to wake her so she directs her ire at you and not him. That okay?

You do notice that this guard's armor is rather dinged up and dirty. Or is he a soldier in the army? Either way, is it because he hasn't had enough time to properly tend to it, or is it because there hasn't been enough money to repair and maintain the armor.

And it's unusual for a human to be in the palace guard or the army, is it? How common is it that non-Varks are in either of those groups?

>If you don’t mind me saying, your handwriting only equals is that of a child… well, more like a doctor, but you get what I mean. That and the language you use in some places need a bit of tweaking to make sure it can’t be misunderstood or bent the wrong way.
Looks like you're gonna have to add penmanship practice and studying the art of the word to your list of things to do if you're to be taken seriously. Start with checking how Cain edited your text into the final draft before it is sent off and ask him why he made certain changes.

>>775267
Geez, no. Don't insult the man, especially since he most likely lost that eye protecting Risavia. And that's probably a Risavian army issue permanent eye patch, likely stitched in place so it can't be knocked off or grabbed in a fight. So insulting it would be insulting the army as well.
>>
No. 775286 ID: 2e7f74

>Well… then do that, Cain, if you deem it necessary.
Are you sure? Your sister will know Cain's handwriting, she may think you passed the entire job off to him. Also, make sure he's actually touching it up and not slipping riders in or something. Maybe leave the original copy with the final draft and a note explaining the situation when you leave it on her desk.

>You can’t just waltz on in here!
Yes I can. As a matter of fact it's one of my most cherished royal privileges.

Listen buddy, she specifically requested my presence and is more than capable of talking over lunch, and as a matter of fact I can't come back later because I'll be with my wife.
>>
No. 775297 ID: 39633e

Who the fuck IS this guy? Why is there a tall dwarf as part of Thalia's entourage?
And why the fuck do so few people recognize you!? Do we need to get you a really big hat with your name on the front?
>>
No. 775321 ID: 72445c

His equipement seems to be a bit... "unmaintained"... Has he been having troubles trying to keep his gear on good conditions? What kind of soldier worth his name would leave his weapons and arms to degrade like that?

Also, I hope your gun is ready, Kronos, just for the mere chance that this loyal guard turns out not being really that Loyal. The fact that he doesn't seem to recognice you only serves to make him look even more suspicious, but he could just be a new comer.
>>
No. 775329 ID: fe7355

>>775286
>Listen buddy, she specifically requested my presence and is more than capable of talking over lunch, and as a matter of fact I can't come back later because I'll be with my wife.
Er... He said Thalia was taking a after lunch nap, so lunch has already passed. And Kronos specifically saying he can't come back later because he'll be with his wife kinda makes it sound like he's having a affair with Thalia.

>>775297
>Who the fuck IS this guy? Why is there a tall dwarf as part of Thalia's entourage?
I think he might just be a beard-y human. Though that rune inscribed band around his beard braid looks right dorfy, so I dunno.

>And why the fuck do so few people recognize you!? Do we need to get you a really big hat with your name on the front?
Or a name tag pinned to his jacket with "Hello, my name is: Prince Kronos Helios Mediean the Second" printed across it. But seriously, Kronos' visage is likely not widely known 'cause he's been in the political background until about a week ago; Intentionally so, so as not to be a threat to anyone. Consequently, his face isn't on portraits all over the place like Kira, and he hasn't been out in public much, so most folk don't recognize him, even in the palace. Or it might be that him getting a eye patch is throwing off those who know in passing what he looks like.

>>775321
Good point about the state of his armor and uniform. Kronos should directly ask him why they're so scuffed and dented and unkempt. Then perhaps if he refuses to budge Kronos could get him to leave by ordering him to go maintain and polish his armor and clean his uniform and not return until they're done. That is, unless Kronos doesn't have direct authority over a member of the army.
>>
No. 775477 ID: 65a774
File 148571729288.png - (38.81KB , 686x526 , 42.png )
775477

>Mock the giant dwarf's inferior eyepatch.
Dwarf? He is nearly as tall as you are, so he is clearly not suffering from dwarfism. And why would you mock him? You have nothing to gain from doing something as petty as that.
>Are you sure? Your sister will know Cain's handwriting, she may think you passed the entire job off to him. Also, make sure he's actually touching it up and not slipping riders in or something.
…crap. A bit late to change your mind now… he will already have delivered it by the time you are done here.

>Why the fuck does so few people recognize you!?
Because your looks aren’t that well known outside of the aristocratic circle? After all, you can’t put up a painting of you in every street corner, now can you? That would be ridicules. It’s clear that this man isn’t part of the usual palace fare, so it’s a given he would have no idea how either I or my sister actually looked like up close.
>Do we need to get you a really big hat with your name on the front?
Hmm… you never did like hats… maybe a name tag? Nah…
>You do notice that this guard's armor is rather dinged up and dirty. Or is he a soldier in the army?
He is definitely a soldier… probably one of the ones Thalia called in just a day or two ago.
>How common is it that non-Varks are in either of those groups?
Not that common, but they do exist. The palace guard is pretty much completely Varkian, mostly because the capital is mostly Varkians. This soldier looks like a Lorentian, so it’s possible his forefathers moved here a few generations ago… or he’s from one of those towns near the border…


>Yes I can. As a matter of fact it's one of my most cherished royal privileges.
:NonSB: …while I admit I can’t actually stop you, my lord, I’m still asking you as politely as I can not to waltz in here…
>Tell the man that it's okay that General Thalia is taking an after-lunch nap; He doesn't have to cover for her.
:NonSB: I didn’t- I mean… fine… right… She is napping at the moment, so please don’t disturb her.
>Tell him that your business cannot wait, and you believe that Thalia will be relieved to see you. In fact, you think you can take a great weight off her shoulders.
:NonSB: Still… can you wait, Prince Kronos? She gets very cranky if she doesn’t get her naps…
>You'll take the blame and cover for him if he wishes. He can say he valiantly tried to stop you but you slipped past. But you do need to see General Thalia now. You'll even be the one to wake her so she directs her ire at you and not him. That okay?
:NonSB: …fine, fine… just… leave your weapons and that guard of yours out here.
:KronosSB: Can do.

>Ask him why they're so scuffed and dented and unkempt.
:NonSB: Oh, my apologies, my liege, but most of us weren’t prepared to be stationed somewhere as fine as the Palace. We simply haven’t had the time to properly care for our looks yet.
>is it because there hasn't been enough money to repair and maintain the armor?
:NonSB: We have the gold to properly maintain our arms and armors, sire, but we can’t replace every piece of that gets a little dent on it. These scratches are just superficial, thus it would be a waste of coin to repair something that will be dented in the very next engagement.
:KronosSB: Yet, the guard here seems to be able to do so…
:NonSB: With all due respect, sire, the guards here don’t see actual combat. They deal with petty thieves and lone assassins in these gilded halls, not armed groups of soldiers in the middle of the forest or some such.
:KronosSB: Point… still, do tidy up a bit.
:NonSB: When we get the time, my liege.

As you enter Thalias office, you find her sleeping soundly, letting out a light snore. Suddenly, she lets out a whine before she starts to twist and turn for a bit… and then the light snoring is back… it seems like her dreams doesn’t agree with her today.

>...At least tell me she's at least sleeping on a real bed and not slumped over her desk?
She’s sleeping on a couch, actually… looks like she actually took a real break instead of just collapsing, so that’s good.
>If you can get in there without making enough noise to wake her up, you can dreamwalk into Thalia's dreams and help her, just like you did with your sister earlier.
…you can feel yourself being pulled into the dream world once again…
>>
No. 775478 ID: 65a774
File 148571730292.png - (48.73KB , 686x526 , 43.png )
775478

:NightmaresSB: One chance… leave… forget about this… and you and the one you love will be spared…
>>
No. 775479 ID: 65a774
File 148571730902.png - (46.76KB , 686x526 , 44.png )
775479

As you wake up in the familiar halls of the catacombs, you find yourself in a cage made out of seared flesh and gnarled teeth. It seems like the nightmare is finally starting to take notice. There is a key hole on one of the bars, but it doesn’t seem to actually do anything?
>>
No. 775482 ID: a34124

Try drawing an X and then bisect it with a vertical line to represent the six nanquest
>>
No. 775483 ID: 616bfd

There appears to be a key on the far wall, not that you're able to reach it. It could be the key to the 'prison' you're in at the moment. Can we "Dream-physics" the thing into our hands by any chance?

Grab hold of the 'bars' (try to avoid the evil teeth parts). Are they firm and solid, or soft and malleable?

Also, was that guy in that hallway over to the left there before? Because I don't think he was. Do you by any chance recognize them? And that writing wasn't there before either, can you see what it says? (Likely 'HELP' or 'HELL' but it couldn't hurt to check)
>>
No. 775485 ID: 398fe1

>>775479
Ask if that guy is still alive. If he is, he could toss you the key.
>>
No. 775487 ID: 2e7f74

Try picking it anyway. Otherwise just brute force your way through, not like flesh and bone are known for their incredible strength. I think I see a key on a hook and someone against the wall, if he's not dead he can help.

This may have been a bad idea- it didn't look like Thalia was having disturbed sleep and we're definately on Krotos' radar now. I guess we should be rooting out his influence wherever we can, though, and the fact that he's trying to negotiate does not speak to his position of strength.
>>
No. 775489 ID: 91ee5f

>>775479
What's that on the wall to the left? I can't see it because one of the bars is in the way.

>Dead guy.
Isn't that one of the Archbishop's priests from the temple?

>Nightmare cage.
Well, there's a Nightmare key on the way over there. How're you gonna reach that?

You've picked dream locks before, so I guess if you need to, you can pick this one also. Just.....be careful.
>>
No. 775492 ID: 398fe1

>pick the lock
Oh yeah I forgot Kronos could do that. We can literally see the shape of the key over there too so it should be easy.
>>
No. 775503 ID: 65a774
File 148572643964.png - (26.94KB , 686x526 , 45.png )
775503

>This may have been a bad idea- it didn't look like Thalia was having disturbed sleep and we're definitely on Krotos' radar now.
Actually, it looked like she was having a bad dream right now, what with the whining and twisting around. Though, Krotos definitely know you are here now.
>Try drawing an X and then bisect it with a vertical line to represent the six.
Well, that accomplished absolutely nothing…
>Can we "Dream-physics" the thing into our hands by any chance?
You can’t “dream-physics” anything, sadly. Otherwise you would just walk out of this cage like it was nothing.
>Grab hold of the 'bars' (try to avoid the evil teeth parts). Are they firm and solid, or soft and malleable?
They seem as sturdy as steel! Ow- and those teeth are really sharp!

>You've picked dream locks before, so I guess if you need to, you can pick this one also. Just.....be careful.
How? It’s just a hole? You’re not sure how you’re supposed to-
>We can literally see the shape of the key over there too so it should be easy.
…you can guess you can pretend there is an actual lock there with that shape? Hmmm…

Hmm…

Dumelidum…

hum hum…
*Click*
Eh? It actually worked? Well, you guess you’re free from the cage?

>What's that on the wall to the left?
A plaque with a quote: ”Innocence guides the way, guilt loses the way.”

>Isn't that one of the Archbishop's priests from the temple?
…that what it looks like. One of the explorers sent down here, perhaps?
>Ask if that guy is still alive.
He is… or maybe it’s a she? Whoever it is, it is very much dead going by those wounds and the amount of blood on the floor. In fact, you believe you’ve found the person who’s been going around down here bleeding everywhere.
>>
No. 775507 ID: 65a774
File 148572648874.png - (9.63KB , 686x526 , 46.png )
775507

As usual, there is also a map here:
1. Main office.
2. Lord General Thalios office.
3. Office A.
4. Office B.
5. Bathrooms.
Red dot: You are here.

…and someone have scrawled with a crayon at the end:
6. _________ Not important.

…it seems the original crayon message was drawn over.

Now, for the door… there is no doorknob… or hole… or anything else for that matter. You try to open it, but it’s firmly locked. The only thing special about is the text: “Report, soldier.”
>>
No. 775508 ID: 2e7f74

What've they written on the wall? HERE? HERD?

Do you know the proper syntax a soldier uses to address a superior in the military tradition Thalia is a part of? Use that, and say you're here on the authority of the queen.
>>
No. 775510 ID: 398fe1

>>775503
Check the wounds on the body. How did they die? Also look under their mask or whatever.

>>775507
Announce your intentions. Ask the door for permission to enter her dream, to fight the Nightmare. Sir.
>>
No. 775663 ID: 109c73

The cage seems too easy to escape. Especially for someone who would know you and your skills. Why would he leave the key in plain sight. Is this his plan? Should you be unlocking these?
>>
No. 775714 ID: 65a774
File 148580235447.png - (16.88KB , 686x526 , 47.png )
775714

>The cage seems too easy to escape. Especially for someone who would know you and your skills.
The only one that you’ve actually told about your skills to is Cain… though, you’re pretty sure your father knows too… but Krotos? You’re pretty sure he didn’t know about it.
>Why would he leave the key in plain sight. Is this his plan? Should you be unlocking these?
You’re not sure how it would be bad for you to open these... hmm… maybe it was a warning? To show that he can manipulate things in here? He did ask me to leave and forget about this…
>The fact that he's trying to negotiate does not speak to his position of strength.
That sounded less like negotiation and more like a warning. It’s fully possible that he just doesn’t want to hurt me, what with me being his beloved little brother and all… though, blood doesn’t seem to matter much these days…

>What've they written on the wall? HERE? HERD?
Hmm… here? What would be here? And herd? That doesn’t make sense… Hero? Heri? Hera? Hery? Heru? …or is it just “Her!”?
>Check the wounds on the body. How did they die?
…you’re not sure, but it doesn’t look like a clean wound. You’ve never seen a gun, sword or club do something like this.
>Also look under their mask or whatever.
There is a young Varkian man looking back at you with lifeless eyes under it. You have no idea who it was or if he even was a priest in the first place.


>Do you know the proper syntax a soldier uses to address a superior in the military tradition Thalia is a part of? Use that, and say you're here on the authority of the queen.
:NonSB: Who’s there? State your rank, name and purpose!
:KronosSB: Err… Price Kronos reporting, I am here on the authority of the queen?
:NonSB: Prince? What Prince? There aren’t any Princes around these parts!
:NonSB: I’m pretty sure he said private, sir…
:KronosSB: Private Kronos reporting… sir…
:NonSB: …very well, come on in then.

As you enter, you suddenly find yourself weighted down by the armor commonly worn by the soldiers of your nations. It seems like the dream believe you are just another soldier and not a Prince.

:NonSB: Who’s the one the queen ordered you to meet with, Private?
:NonSB: I’m guessing Lord General Thalios. He’s the only one who’s important enough to get a message directly from the queen.

Thalios, huh? He must be related to Thalia somehow… perhaps her father? Brother? Hmm…
>>
No. 775719 ID: 398fe1

>>775714
Or that's Thalia's birth name, before she decided she wanted to present herself as female. When you've got both male and female characteristics, birth names can be difficult.

Just to test, say that you're not sure if it was Thalia or Thalios.
>>
No. 775723 ID: 710efc

> That doesn’t make sense… Hero? Heri? Hera? Hery? Heru? …or is it just “Her!”?
Half of those aren't words, and the others don't have the long vertical stem that they started writing before they died.

>He must be related to Thalia somehow… perhaps her father? Brother? Hmm…
...I'm not surprised, just disappointed. It's her birth name, the one before he became a she. Also you should have claimed a higher rank. You could have said you got a field promotion or brevet rank by virtue of having a heartbeat and just haven't got the shines to tack onto your uniform yet.

Anyway, take a detour supposedly to hit the head, but actually to see what's behind door number six, and possibly in the offices.
>>
No. 775726 ID: 91ee5f

>Thalios
Oh, that's actually Thalia. Remember, she said she wasn't born a woman. She had magical help to "find another form he was more comfortable with".
>>
No. 775964 ID: 6612fa

>>775714
she is murdering dream constructs of soldiers that can't take her seriously as a woman.
lol
>>
No. 775970 ID: 91ee5f

>>775964
Where did you even see that? Thalia can't exit her dream, only Kronos , the Nightmare, and the Archbishop and her followers can enter the hallway where we found the dead body.
>>
No. 776010 ID: 65a774
File 148588037705.png - (27.23KB , 686x526 , 48.png )
776010

>Half of those aren't words, and the others don't have the long vertical stem that they started writing before they died.
You were just adding vowels on the end to see if you were able to just stumble over something. Apparently not, though.
>Or that's Thalia's birth name, before she decided she wanted to present herself as female.
Oh right, that. It’s probably that then. Though, you have to wonder why she is using her original name in here.
>...I'm not surprised, just disappointed.
Hey, you just had an odd vision of your nightmarish brother, escaped a cage made out of rotten meat and teeth as well as some hands on experience with a rotting corpse. You’re a bit distracted, alright?
>Also you should have claimed a higher rank.
You were just playing along with what they said after they refused to give you entry for being Prince. Besides, suddenly having a new officer appearing from nowhere might make people start asking questions… or, as this is a dream, something like that might be the norm? Hmm…
>She is murdering dream constructs of soldiers that can't take her seriously as a woman.
…huh? Where did you get that from? You’ve haven’t seen any dead soldiers anywhere in here!


>Just to test, say that you're not sure if it was Thalia or Thalios.
:NonSB: Thalia? Who is Thalia?
:NonSB: I think it’s the freak at the end of the hall, sir.
:NonSB: Ha! Then it’s definitely for Lord Thalios. Unless it’s a message of dismissal for that monstrosity… or even better, an order for her execution.
:NonSB: That thing deserves to be put on the pyre if you ask me. You’re not supposed to mess with things like that!
:NonSB: Bah, freak! *Spit*
:KronosSB: Err… right… I think I can take it from here, sir.

>See what's behind door number six, and possibly in the offices.
Going by the signs, office A and B are being used by some lesser officers, probably those that are working right under this Lord General. As for door number six… well, that graffiti doesn’t bode well at all… but they did say Thalia was down here so…
>>
No. 776011 ID: 65a774
File 148588038896.png - (39.46KB , 686x526 , 49.png )
776011

As you enter the room at the end of the hall, you find yourself in front of a… a small child drawing with crayons? This is Thalia?

:ThaliaSB: Um… I-I t-think you g-got the w-wrong door… s-s-sir…
>>
No. 776016 ID: 710efc

Red eyes? This... child is the thing that haunts Thalia's soul? I mean, we haven't seen Thalio yet so there's porbably more to it, but still.

What do those scribblings say?
>>
No. 776020 ID: 91ee5f

>>776011
Oh, now I get it! Thalia doesn't think she's doing a good job as a General and sees herself as a child trying and failing to do an adults job.
>>
No. 776024 ID: 398fe1

>>776020
And also she's still self-conscious about her body.

>>776011
Shrug and say it's fine, you're in no rush. Ask what she's working on.

I don't think we have enough information to solve this particular problem yet but let's get some info while we're in the room. Oh! I have an idea. Go to the bathrooms and get something to wash the graffiti off. That should improve things a bit.
>>
No. 776074 ID: 4ca8fb

"Ah, Sorry, I'm kind of new here, I'm still trying to get around this place... Do you know where I could Find Thalia? I'm supposed to report to Her."

Let's see if having a subordinate makes her have some more trust on herself... If She asks, say you are pretty sure you heard "Thalia" and not "Thalios". Don't suggest the posibility of going to check, and if she thinks about that, say that you are going to do it by yourself later, it's not like you are in a hurry, you arrived one day earlier than expected. (Remember to introduce yourself with rank and name.)
>>
No. 776082 ID: 65a774
File 148590086603.png - (11.60KB , 686x526 , 50.png )
776082

>Red eyes? This... child is the thing that haunts Thalia's soul?
You’re pretty sure they are brown, not red… as in her normal eye color… err… wait, doesn’t she have green eyes? Maybe they are red?
>Oh! I have an idea. Go to the bathrooms and get something to wash the graffiti off. That should improve things a bit.
You’d rather find a janitor closet for that… though it is a good idea. Hmm… actually… maybe you can trick the soldiers to remove it somehow? That way you won’t have to spend the whole dream scrubbing walls.
>What do those scribblings say?
It’s kind of hard to read, as it written in a childish scrawling but… hmm… “Cool Legon attack bad dead forest with Alpa tatiks!” …spelling errors aside, this is clearly a child pretend orders and not actual military tactics…

>Oh, now I get it! Thalia doesn't think she's doing a good job as a General and sees herself as a child trying and failing to do an adults job.
…she is rather young for being a general… and the other you did say people though she was inexperienced for the job… that she only got it because those above her was killed in the war. It is possible even herself think that she’s out of her depth on this, that she’s just a kid stuck in a grown up position.
>And also she's still self-conscious about her body.
Going by the graffiti outside… yes. You have to guess not everyone is as accepting about her being a man once as you were.
>I don't think we have enough information to solve this particular problem yet.
Then lets gather up some more, eh? Her dream would be the perfect place to find all her secrets and the like, wouldn’t it?


>Shrug and say its fine, you're in no rush.
:ThaliaSB: Oh… um… then… … …hi?
>Do you know where I could Find Thalia? I'm supposed to report to Her.
:ThaliaSB: Err… that’s me? Why do you w-want to see me?
>Let's see if having a subordinate makes her have some more trust on herself.
:KronosSB: Private Kronos, reporting for duty, ma’am.
:ThaliaSB: W-WHAT!? No, that can’t be- y-you have to have r-read that wrong! It was probably Thalios you’re s-supposed to report to, n-not me!
:KronosSB: The queen herself sent me to find you, ma’am, are you telling me she is wrong?
:ThaliaSB: Oh… err… n-no, of course not. It’s j-just… I’m j-just a… a child… an inexperienced… child…
>Ask what she's working on.
:ThaliaSB: O-oh? T-this? Err… n-nothing… nothing at all…
:KronosSB: Looks like some kind of orders?
:ThaliaSB: NO! Nonono… it’s… err… just… um… T-Thalios has f-forbidden me from… f-from… t-these aren’t orders… no… um…

For just a second you can hear someone shouting orders outside in the hall, but it quickly becomes quiet again as if nothing ever happen. Is that just the normal routine here or is something wrong?
>>
No. 776103 ID: 7ea7cc

I can't think of anything do do about this one. Maybe check and see what the commotion is about?
>>
No. 776105 ID: ba506f

ask them about this Thalios and what they're like. Also what's her rank her?
>>
No. 776106 ID: 398fe1

>maybe her eyes are red?
Is it possible she has a birth defect in relation to her eyes? Like albinism? That's not the same red that's associated with the Nightmare, anyway. She seems fine, here, this is just a source of her personal insecurities.

I think we should go gather more information from the rest of this dream.
>>
No. 776107 ID: fd5137

>>776082
Might need to get her confident enough to do it first, but finding out what she thinks of Thalios is probably crucial here. I think she might be insecure that there's no way she can measure up to this ideal of what Thalios is/could have been. Might be way be way off though so don't stress the point.

For now, find out what the rules for her are and why. Why no orders?
>>
No. 776184 ID: 91ee5f

>>776106
>birth defect
Or maybe her eye color changed when she magically changed genders?
>>
No. 776213 ID: 398fe1

Oh, and another thing: previous dreams forced us to deal with the Nightmare seed in the dream before the insecurity. I'm betting General Thalios represents the Nightmare seed.

We could fake orders from the queen relieving him of duty, once we confirm that it's what needs to be done. Personally I'm not sure we should. If Thalia believes herself to be inexperienced and is beating herself up over it, maybe that's just the naked truth? We can get rid of the graffiti and maybe get some of the dream soldiers to help "Thalia" learn how to do her job better instead of mocking her about it. That could help her out without expelling what seems to be a legitimate worry.
>>
No. 776312 ID: 65a774
File 148597226508.png - (17.73KB , 686x526 , 51.png )
776312

>Is it possible she has a birth defect in relation to her eyes? Like albinism?
…but, from brown to green?
>Or maybe her eye color changed when she magically changed genders?
Hmm… maybe? Or this is just some dream symbolism or something. Who knows!?
>I think she might be insecure that there's no way she can measure up to this ideal of what Thalios is/could have been.
To believe that the original you, the one that you didn’t identify with would get the respect you think you deserve? A belief like that would eat you from the inside, yes.


>Ask them about this Thalios and what they're like.
:ThaliaSB: Why, he is a big meanie pants! Always angry and yelling and rude to everyone. But everyone is nice to him because he won this big war and stuff. It’s so unfair! I helped too but they don’t care one bit about that!
>Also what's her rank?
:ThaliaSB: R-rank? I’m not a… a… um… soldier?
>For now, find out what the rules for her are and why. Why no orders?
:ThaliaSB: I’m just supposed to stay in here and cause any trouble. Last time I wrote orders Thalios got angry and yelled at me.

>Maybe check and see what the commotion is about?
:ThaliosSB: What is the meaning of this!?
:ThaliaSB: It wasn’t my fault! I promise!
:ThaliosSB: Any message from the queen is supposed to go through me! I am the Lord general here! Now give me the message the queen sent with you.
:KronosSB: Err…
:ThaliosSB: I’ll have you know, I will not accept tardiness in this matter. I’ve been waiting for a message from the queen for months now and I will not be denied for much longer!

It seems like the commotion found you.

>We could fake orders from the queen relieving him of duty, once we confirm that it's what needs to be done.
...but how are you supposed to be able to fake orders from your sister?
>>
No. 776317 ID: 398fe1

>>776312
Hmm, no red eyes here either. ...maybe this situation is more like yours. From the sound of things, Thalios is as neglected as Thalia.

How about this: tell him the message is that his unit is up for inspection in a couple of days. Personally suggest that the graffiti should be cleaned up as not to offend the Queen, and tell him there's a second message if he wants to speak with you in private. Tell him there have been reports of the abuse of a child, and that the queen looks down upon such behavior. Then maybe ask what exactly is going on here? Why is Thalia not working alongside the squad?

Alternatively you could say this was a surprise inspection, you're the inspector and so far things are not looking good. Problem is you'd have to hope like hell the dream gives you the identification to pass as that authority once you say you have it. Might be too risky to do that.
>>
No. 776367 ID: 34999d

We could always claim the the order was that we are to be her new subordinate to stall for time.
>>
No. 776532 ID: 5ab00f

>...but how are you supposed to be able to fake orders from your sister?
She's really methodical, I think faking big orders would be dangerous if we don't have anything to give us the authority needed...

Alright! Time for the bluff of a lifetime!

Let's start with something credible: My apologises, sir, I just arrived, and when I got to the door the guards didn't informed me that I was supposed to report to you first, lord general, before proceeding to do what I was tasked.

(if possible, try to talk to him in private) The message is that the Queen congratulates his efforts during the war, and that she was considering to make him the court's future military advisor, if he was interested, it's nothing official yet, but just for his consideration. Of course with all the work she has, there will be some time until any other news about the topic arrives, but she wanted to know your answer. If he needs time to think up an answer, there is no hurry, after all she asked me to deliver your response, And before leaving I must finish my other task, which is that I was supposed to report to Thalia, and be under her command for some time.

Or perhaps the "inspection" idea already suggested by >>776317 could also work.
>>
No. 776536 ID: 5ab00f

Also, the lack of red eyes is concerning. I think that the nightmare may have learned and now it's hiding in order to not give us a clear target.
>>
No. 776565 ID: 91ee5f

Guys? The red eyes aren't the only give away to the Nightmare's influence! Its influence is also through people that are black figures in the dreams! In Bri's dream, it was Dragon Bri as her self-hatred. In Kira's dream, it was former king Helios as Kira's self-criticism. So think! What does Lord General Thalios represent for Thalia?
>>
No. 776567 ID: fe7355

>>776532
For gods' sake, why are you suggesting bolstering Thalios' position?! That's exactly the thing that would reinforce Thalias' erroneous belief that if she had stayed a man she would have been great! Kronos may as well kick little Thalia between the eyes if he does this!

>>776565
Didn't we figure this out already? Thalios represents Thalia's erroneous belief that if she hadn't gone though with her gender change and stayed a man that she would have become the great general she feels she should be. That because she went down the path of becoming a woman, coupled with her young age, she was either ignored or derided despite her military brilliance. Which would have meant she'd never be able to be the woman she felt she really is for years and years if not the rest of her life.
>>
No. 776576 ID: fe7355

You don't have to fake orders from Kira, you just have to get Thalios out of the dream. Just convincing him that he has to see the queen would be enough, wouldn't it?

Tell Thalios that, first, Queen Kira sent you to serve and protect Thalia, and, secondly, that Queen Kira has summoned him to account for his actions. That the reason she hasn't contacted him in months and had him holding is because she was conducting a thorough clandestine investigation of him. And she's discovered that, to start with, he's a fraud. That most of the brilliant military actions that were the basis for his elevation to lord general were taken from the child prodigy Thalia. That it is Thalia that is worthy of the position of lord general, not him. And furthermore, his treatment of Thalia, either directly or through those under his command, is deplorable and unbecoming of a officer of the Risavian army. That condoning and even encouraging the writing of slurs against her by the rank and file along with everything else he allowed them to do and say is terrible. Allowing such attitudes and behavior to flourish among the ranks under his command is deplorable.

Queen Kira sent you with the message that Thalios is to report to her immediately, whereupon he will see the evidence gathered and given the choice whether to quietly resign or go to trial to fight it. She also told you to tell him that if it's the latter, the trial will be public, along with all the evidence she's gathered. All of Risavia will see what a fraud and cad he is, and his name will be drug through the mud. Oh, and if he doesn't report, Queen Kira has a platoon of guards ready to storm this office to drag him out, dead or alive.
>>
No. 776581 ID: 91ee5f

>>776567
>Didn't we figure this out already?
Apparently not because some people are saying "he doesn't have red eyes, so the Nightmare isn't influencing him".
>>
No. 776612 ID: 65a774
File 148606844262.png - (9.20KB , 686x526 , 52.png )
776612

>Also, the lack of red eyes is concerning. I think that the nightmare may have learned and now it's hiding in order to not give us a clear target.
Hmmm… either that, or we’ve been misinterpret what those eyes means...
>...maybe this situation is more like yours. From the sound of things, Thalios is as neglected as Thalia.
He is a part of her, after all… you’re going to guess all lot of Thalias problems in here stems from being ignored…


>Tell him the message is that his unit is up for inspection in a couple of days. Personally suggest that the graffiti should be cleaned up as not to offend the Queen…
:ThaliosSB: Inspection? Ah, yes, of course. I’ve already ordered for it to be removed, but it seems like my men haven’t had the time to get around to it yet.
:NonSB: But you said-
:ThaliosSB: *Glare*
:NonSB: Of course, sir, right away! We’ll make sure these walls are as new in just a moment!

…at least you got him alone now.

>Ask what exactly is going on here? Why is Thalia not working alongside the squad?
:ThaliosSB: She is but a child, nothing more.
:ThaliaSB: But I-
:ThaliosSB: While she might have some… insight at times that proves fruitful, most of it are simple childish nonsense.
:ThaliaSB: oh… yeah…
>Tell Thalios that, first, Queen Kira sent you to serve and protect Thalia.
:ThaliosSB: Serve and protect!? Why would the queen even care about the existence of this… this thing!? Why does she care about it and not me!? No, this has to be an farce… can you in some way prove that the queen sent you!?
:KronosSB: Of course! I have the seal of the queen right… err… here?

To the amazement of both Thalios, Thalia and yourself, you managed to pull the seal out of your pocket to show them.

:ThaliosSB: …that… is the seal, alright… I… I didn’t think… but…

>Secondly, that Queen Kira has summoned him to account for his actions.
:ThaliosSB: …account for my… actions? But… I’ve been loyally serving her for… for years… and… but…
>That the reason she hasn't contacted him in months and had him holding is because she was conducting a thorough clandestine investigation of him. And she's discovered that, to start with, he's a fraud. That most of the brilliant military actions that were the basis for his elevation to lord general were taken from the child prodigy Thalia.
:ThaliosSB: What!?
:ThaliaSB: What!? That’s not true!
:ThaliosSB: But… I… I wasn’t… I haven’t…. I’m the Lord General, I can’t be… be… but… I’m not a fraud… but… the queen… what she says is the truth… she… she cannot lie… I… but… I’m not…
>Queen Kira sent you with the message that Thalios is to report to her immediately, whereupon he will see the evidence gathered and given the choice whether to quietly resign or go to trial to fight it.
:ThaliosSB: But… I’m not a fraud… but… if she… the queen can’t be wrong… she… I… I’m a…
:ThaliaSB: …I’m a… a… fraud?
>>
No. 776613 ID: 65a774
File 148606845281.png - (32.99KB , 686x526 , 53.png )
776613

Suddenly the very world shakes, making you almost lose your footing. Neither of the Thalia’s seems to be affected though… that is, until Thalios visible starts to crack in front of you.

:ThaliosSB: …a… fraud… I’m nothing-
:ThaliaSB: -but a… fraud…

With the sound of breaking glass, he falls into literal pieces in front of you.

[Thalia’s Pride has been shattered.]
>>
No. 776614 ID: 65a774
File 148606846157.png - (7.69KB , 686x526 , 54.png )
776614

The world suddenly fall into darkness and everyone around you simply cease to be. The soldiers that had just returned with buckets and mops are suddenly gone… and it is like the child that was behind you was never there in the first place. The only one left is… Thalia? Thalios? You can’t tell… it is someone who is on their knees, clutching their head with their hands in desperation.

:ThaliosSB: …I’m just a… a…
:ThaliaSB: Fraud… nothing but a…
:ThaliosSB: :ThaliaSB: Fraud… I’m nothing… I’m just a joke… a child… I am nothing…

[Thalia has fallen into despair…]

…you might have overdone it a bit…
>>
No. 776638 ID: fd5137

>>776614
>nightmare red eyes
guys it's not a fixed thing, Kronos' had a yellow eye and the physical? nightmares don't even have irises, just tiny pupils

>Thalia has fallen into despair
ahaha, fuck. okay that's some shit to be fighting on 2 fronts here, need to comfort one without hurting the other in such a way as to let Thalia reconcile her own identity. Bloody amplified insecurities, this isn't cool, douchebag nightmare tactics!

Anyway the dream doesn't seem to be over, so lets see if we can't undo this a bit.

"Oh good, you're not acting all split. Now listen up because you didn't let me finish; all of you was being a fraud there, you're neither a little girl playing pretend that lucked out, nor are you a leader successful but unhappy; you are General Thalia, who was willing to go up against the clergy and royalty both for the sake of queen and country in the most trying of times and if that's not above and beyond the call of duty I don't know what is. Now stand up and don't let me of all people get you upset."
>>
No. 776646 ID: 398fe1

>>776614
God damn it. Did you forget you were in someone's mind? Don't take drastic action without knowing full well what you're doing! This could be disastrous! At least her eyes are the right color now, which means this might be the true Thalia.

Well you broke her, I guess now you have to build her back up. Tell her the fraudulent part of her was her insistence on attributing her successes to an idealized male form, and her insecurities on a childish female form. She has neither of those forms in reality. She needs to be honest with herself about her accomplishments, and she does not have to conform to one physical sex to be accepted.

Reassure her. Get her to stand up, see if you can inspire the confidence she needs to come out of the closet.
>>
No. 776687 ID: 91ee5f

>>776614
>…you might have overdone it a bit…
Well.....technically it was a good thing that happened. They're not black anymore, which means the Nightmare's influence is gone now. Sometimes you've got to break something, in order to build it back up stronger than it was before.

But in this case.....maybe you did go juuuuust a little too far.
>>
No. 776721 ID: 320659

Well, look on the plus side; I'm sure your brother'd be impressed with you.

Sarcasm aside, at least now we don't have to play act as a soldier anymore, and hopefully she won't give you cocky attitude when she wakes up. Take off the armor. Refer to her as 'general' to avoid Thalia/Thalio splitting up again.
>>
No. 776767 ID: 8cb228

You need to quickly salvage this before you all wake up. Quickly use your decorum to speak:

"Now that I have your attention, those weren't the terms she used. I exaggerated so you would take this seriously. But there ARE some things she has noticed that she does not like about what she sees. The queen sees two incredibly talented, intelligent people--people she placed together so they could achieve great things, together. So she, and the kingdom needs you to work together, but she sees that you two are feuding. You need to begin to respect one another, to cooperate, and to treat each other with the dignity that each of you deserve. You are both geniuses; act like it. To that effect, she has a new title and rank that the two of you will share, as equals. You two are to be co-consuls, of equivalent rank to one another for purposes of planning, with veto power over one another in the hopes that this will encourage the cooperation and the appropriate decorum between the two of you that the kingdom so desperately needs."
>>
No. 776871 ID: fe7355

...Gods' fucking dammit, Kronos. "Overdid it?" Don't you dare sugarcoat this. You did almost exactly the wrong thing you could have done. You shattered the thing that Thalia takes the most pride and worth in: Her military genius. The thing that makes her feel that she's worthwhile. And you did it by throwing the most effective thing you could have at it: The disapproval of Queen Kira, the one person in the world Thalia trusts the most and most desires the approval and attention of. You had her call Thalia a fraud when Thalia already halfway felt that way. Fuckin' dammit, Kronos... Why the hell did you think this wasn't a bad idea? And why did you keep going when it was obvious both Thalia and Thalios were unraveling and it wasn't working? ...Well, whatever twisted train of thought, or lack thereof, you had, you 100% own this fuck-up. And you're going to fix it, no matter how long it takes.

Since Thalia holds the queen in such high regard, you need to use that to try and pull herself back up. Stand before Thalia and state that it is thoroughly apparent to you that they are no fraud. Their great deeds are real and theirs wholly, no matter their form or age, and those deeds speak for themselves very, very highly. And from this you can only conclude that the queen's investigators have deceived her, making gross exaggerations of what has transpired. No doubt as part of a plot to depose the rightful leadership of the military. Say that the queen needs them now more than ever to spot and root out the deceivers and to watch her back. Then stand at attention, make and hold a salute and say that you would be honored to serve under them. You along with every other member of the military, as it should be.
>>
No. 776948 ID: c1ba17

>>776614
She... takes pleasure in being better than her insecurities?
Or she beats herself up for them?

I'm confused myself as to what's going on in here. She definitely wants to be a woman... but her pride resides on self hate believing that her woman side is a child?
>>
No. 776951 ID: fd5137

>>776948
Nah it seems her problem is she associates the things she's proud of with Thalios and believes/worries he'd have been even better at them and gotten the recognition for it.

Meanwhile she thinks that it's childish and wring to have given in to feeling wanting to be Thalia, coupled with the worry of how others perceive her.

In Thalios she imagines all her strengths would have been stronger and more deserving of them, in Thalia she imagines the source of all her failings and that that's all others see when they look at her.
>>
No. 777069 ID: e58cff

Holy shit, Kronos... I Think you just justified your sister's disstrust on you...

... In my point of view, This has nothing to do with Thalia changing sex, if she had those insecurities before changing, then she probably wouldn't have done it in the first place, unless she was encouraged to do so, but then, that encouragement banished, perhaps during the war? Anyway, I feel like that doesn't have anything to do with the problem, as she didn't seem to have a real problem whith people knowing when we found out, aside from it being obviously awkward.

What I think is happening here is a struggle between "doctrine" (Thalia) and "Creativity" (Yough Thalia). As far as I know (I could be wrong in this though, I'm just a fan of military history) Doctrine tends to be a priority over imagination or creativity. Thalios is probably the embodiment of what Thalia believes she should be by following the doctrines, and since she believes that she is doing a bad work, it's probably because of her bad skill, after all there is no way the doctrines are wrong. On the other hand, creativity is often not encouraged since in the same way it can fix many problems, it can cause them, and That's why she sees creativity useless most of the time. What we should do is find a way to make her understand that if she wants to be a good general like what she sees as "thalios" she will need some creativity. We would need to make her accept the other parts of her, and understand that where there is lack of experience, she must compensate with imagination.

My original plan was to gain some time so we could get some extra information that we could use, Right now, I don't know what to do... Perhaps we could ask "Why do you think you are a fraud?" Since it seems like she cares a lot about what other people thinks, and that can be a problem too.
>>
No. 777080 ID: 65a774
File 148622594470.png - (16.98KB , 686x526 , 55.png )
777080

>Well, look on the plus side; I'm sure your brother would be impressed with you.
…his approval fills me with shame…
>Well.....technically it was a good thing that happened. They're not black anymore, which means the Nightmare's influence is gone now.
Is it? Is that what this means?
>At least now we don't have to play act as a soldier anymore, take off the armor.
As soon as you even start thinking about removing it, it’s already gone. You’re back to your Princely self.


>Now that I have your attention, those weren't the terms she used. I exaggerated so you would take this seriously.
:ThaliaSB: You… exaggerated?
:ThaliosSB: You lied to us!?
:KronosSB: Err… no, I made a point? I mean… I still have more to say… the queen still has a message you need to hear.
:ThaliaSB: …no more lies…
:ThaliosSB: Tell us what she said for real this time!
>Why do you think you are a fraud?
:ThaliaSB: Because… they all say that I am… they say I’m not supposed to be here… that I only got this position because of losses under the war… that I am to young and inexperienced…
:ThaliosSB: Because… I am being ignored… my ideas thrown away… my competence unused…
:KronosSB: Then why are you listening to them? Ignore their words and let your deeds talk for themselves!
:ThaliaSB: …don’t listen?
:KronosSB: As for you, if you’re sick of being ignore then make them listen! Put your foot down! You are a general! Don’t just sit in your office and sulk!
:ThaliosSB: I… make them… listen?

>The only thing that is a fraud here is your image of yourself, you're neither a little girl playing pretend that lucked out, nor are you a leader successful but unhappy; you are General Thalia.
:ThaliaSB: General…
:ThaliosSB: …Thalia?
>Who was willing to go up against the clergy and royalty both for the sake of queen and country in the most trying of times and if that's not above and beyond the call of duty I don't know what is.
:ThaliaSB: Our loyalty…
:ThaliosSB: …our duty…
>The queen sees two incredibly talented, intelligent people--people she placed together so they could achieve great things, together. So she, and the kingdom needs you to work together, but she sees that you two are feuding.
:ThaliaSB: The queen?
:ThaliosSB: She actually… sees us?
:ThaliaSB: She knows of us?
:ThaliosSB: She isn’t… ignoring us?

>Their great deeds are real and theirs wholly, no matter their form or age, and those deeds speak for themselves very, very highly.
:ThaliaSB: We turned the battle of the great river from a blood bath to a victory…
:ThaliosSB: …we defended the city of StoneHimmle from a massacre…
:ThaliaSB: We did…
:ThaliosSB: …great things…
:ThaliaSB: :ThaliosSB: …together… we turned the war around…
>Then stand at attention, make and hold a salute and say that you would be honored to serve under them. You along with every other member of the military, as it should be.
:ThaliaSB: …but you are the… Prince…
:ThaliosSB: …even the Prince would… yes…
:ThaliaSB: I remember now…
:ThaliosSB: I know why I am here…

With your support, Thalia manages to get back onto her feet, though she is still a bit unsteady. What is worrying, though, is that her white color is suddenly split by lines of the color black. At first, they are small… but as she stands up, they grow wider and wider, only ending as half her body is covered in darkness instead of light. ...is this supposed to happen or should you be panicking?

:ThaliaSB: I… I… I’m here for a reason…
:ThaliosSB: I am here because of my deeds…
>>
No. 777082 ID: 98b0f4

>I am here because of my deeds…
That does not bode well considering the sheer amount of atrocity that that characterized the war. If she thinks that kind of stuff is the only way she can get ahead or get noticed, well...
>>
No. 777095 ID: 398fe1

>>777080
I suspect the Nightmare doesn't have a seed in Thalia at all. Black and white can just be yin and yang, you know.

Ask her if she's feeling better now.
>>
No. 777104 ID: 398fe1

...in fact, her not having a Nightmare seed could be a way the Nightmare is fighting against Kronos. After all, weren't we warned about seeing threats where there are none? That it would make Kronos jump at shadows and harm those who do not deserve it?
>>
No. 777155 ID: 7f79ef

I think the nightmare convinced her Pride that she was undeserving of her station, same way Kronos' Doubt was convinced that they deserved to die. You've combined them, and that leads to a more permanent solution, but this is indeed a concern because she might go renegade from the new paradigm. Try to talk some more, see if you can convince her to work WITH the crown instead of on TOP of it.
>>
No. 777159 ID: fe7355

You can't rightly tell if this is the two conflicting halves of Thalia's psyche reconciling or something involving the Nightmare or something else entirely... It doesn't really feel like the Nightmare's doing, 'cause if it was the black half, the half you think was Nightmare influenced, wouldn't have stopped at half; It would have kept going and taken over, wouldn't it? Perhaps the Nightmare never was never directly in Thalia's mind, just its ambient vibes amplifying discord and fears and such. And that Krotos not noticing Thalia would fit with her being ignored, wouldn't it? Kira and Bri, they both had reasons for Krotos to take direct interest in them and plant Nightmare seeds in their dreams. But Thalia, she would have been out of Krotos' sight, wouldn't she? You'll have to accept the possibility that the Nightmare was never here and that you were jumping at shadows. And that the coloration of little Thalia and Thalios may have been by Thalia's psyche alone and not by outside influence.

Unfortunately, this uncertainty leaves you without any clear course of action because you don't know what the heck is going on with Thalia right now. You need to find out more first. Ask Thalia what she remembered, for what deeds she believes she's here for, and what reason she thinks she's here for.
>>
No. 777168 ID: 89b351

>>777080
Not just your deeds, but the heart and mind behind them.

You've been an asset to the kingdom, even if only for having it's wellbeing foremost in your mind when others would seek personal gain. Myself, the Queen and a few others have taken note.

We've all had enough Great people in our lives that fell to darkness, what we need is Good people like you, General Thalia, because without them everything is lost.
>>
No. 782211 ID: 259b4c

Do not only think of your deeds... Think of what You are going to do. You are A General of this kingdom, and you will defend it, even in the direst of times. Your actions will speak for you better than words, maybe you are not the very best general in the world, but you will try to be.

But for that, you will need both creativity, knowledge and experience, not only yours, but also of your friends and people you trust. Keep in mind that you will need help sometimes, and it's not shameful to ask for help, specially if you are out of ideas. Remember, people may speak bad of you, but there msut be people that trust in your capabilities, show them they are right in trusting in you.
>>
No. 782216 ID: 398fe1

...maybe you shouldn't pump up her ego any more. If black is Pride and white is Despair, you should try to lessen both if previous minds are any indication. Tell her that even if she has worked hard to get where she is today, the queen may not appreciate a big-headed general. She should keep a sense of humility, and know her place.

Also tell her not to feel so bad about what she is, either. Her body is attractive in the way she presents it, even if she isn't quite where she wants to be just yet. You're willing to help her if she needs it.
>>
No. 792476 ID: 65a774
File 149108079346.png - (12.60KB , 686x526 , 56.png )
792476

>That does not bode well considering the sheer amount of atrocity that that characterized the war. If she thinks that kind of stuff is the only way she can get ahead or get noticed, well...
You’re pretty sure she’s known for wrestling victory from the jaws of defeat and conquering enemy forces far superior than her own, not for any battles against civilian forces. In fact, you’re pretty sure most people are trying to brush things like that under the carpet so they can be known for their heroics instead of sins…
>It doesn't really feel like the Nightmare's doing, 'cause if it was the black half, the half you think was Nightmare influenced, wouldn't have stopped at half; It would have kept going and taken over, wouldn't it?
Hmmm… it does seem off… in fact, you’re not sure you’ve been fighting the nightmare at all in these dreams…
>I suspect the Nightmare doesn't have a seed in Thalia at all. Black and white can just be yin and yang, you know.
Has the nightmare had a seed in anyone you’ve been to so far? The darker version does indeed seem far more aggressive than the white ones… but they are still part of the people which dreams you’ve been in.
>I think the nightmare convinced her Pride that she was undeserving of her station, same way Kronos' Doubt was convinced that they deserved to die.
…and it convinced her self-doubt that she was a useless little girl. Just as it convinced Briannah that she was alone and that she was a monster… and that Sis shouldn’t trust anyone and that she wasn’t fit to be a queen. The nightmare never left a seed for you to find… it just warped what was already there. It uses peoples fears against themselves…


>Ask her if she's feeling better now.
:ThaliaSB: I… I feel…
:ThaliosSB: …torn…?
>Ask Thalia what she remembered, for what deeds she believes she's here for, and what reason she thinks she's here for.
:ThaliosSB: At the great river… facing a force ten times greater than our own… our leaders killed in an ambush… I single handily turned everything around and led us to victory… and won the respect I deserved.
:ThaliaSB: At the great river… I threw away the chance of revenge for the sake of my men… I saved dozen upon dozen of people from the brink of death… and won the loyalty I deserved.
:ThaliosSB: I used their lust for battle, their pride against themselves…
:ThaliaSB: I used compassion, made myself on the same level as my men…
>Not just your deeds, but the heart and mind behind them.
:ThaliaSB: See? You need me… your strategies alone can’t win wars…
:ThaliosSB: Hmph…
>You will need both creativity, knowledge and experience, not only yours, but also of your friends and people you trust. Keep in mind that you will need help sometimes, and it's not shameful to ask for help, especially if you are out of ideas.
:ThaliaSB: And allies can only be won with compassion and understanding…
:ThaliosSB: …then you might have some use after all.

>Tell her that even if she has worked hard to get where she is today, the queen may not appreciate a big-headed general. She should keep a sense of humility, and know her place.
:ThaliaSB: Be one with the men, and earn their loyalty.
:ThaliosSB: Be one with the officers, and earn their respect.
>You've been an asset to the kingdom, even if only for having its wellbeing foremost in your mind when others would seek personal gain. Myself, the Queen and a few others have taken note.
:ThaliaSB: We need to help those in needs…
:ThaliosSB: We need to defend our nation…
:ThaliaSB: :ThaliosSB: We are… We… I… I am… I am an asset to the kingdom…
>We've all had enough Great people in our lives that fell to darkness, what we need is Good people like you, General Thalia, because without them everything is lost.
:ThaliaSB: :ThaliosSB: I am a light in the darkness… I am respected... by those that matters…

The amalgamation in front of you splits in two… and recreates the two half of Thalia that was here from the beginning... Thalia, the small girl as well as Thalios, the mighty general.

>Do not only think of your deeds... Think of what You are going to do.
:ThaliosSB: What I’ll do now?
:ThaliaSB: …we need to talk with her…
:ThaliosSB: The Queen… we need to talk to the queen!
:ThaliaSB: :ThaliosSB: We must talk her out of her stupor… we must convince her we can help! Why are we standing around here when she needs us!
:KronosSB: Then stop fighting among yourself and move it, soldier, your queen needs you!
:ThaliaSB: :ThaliosSB: For Queen Kira!

[Thalia’s Pride and self-doubt has been subdued… for now…]

:ThaliaSB: Thank you prince… for believing in me…
:ThaliosSB: Thank you… for reminding me who I am…
>>
No. 792477 ID: 65a774
File 149108080432.png - (43.89KB , 686x526 , 57.png )
792477

:ThaliaSB: *Snrk* Huh? T-the Queen… I need… to… talk? Okay, whoever is holding their hand against my face better have a good reason to do so, or someone will be walking out of here with a broken hand…

…uh huh…
>>
No. 792485 ID: 4854ef

Just trying to wake you up, you've been a heavy sleeper.
>>
No. 792516 ID: 91ee5f

>>792477
Pull your hand away, just to be safe.

"You wouldn't break the hand of your prince, would you? Anyways, I've been trying to wake you up because the Queen has called for her advisors and the like to be assembled. And I'm sure you, General Thalia, are considered to be one of the Queen's 'advisors and the like'."
>>
No. 792529 ID: fee32f

Wow, somebody needs a nap. OH WAIT.

I thought you only got indignant and crabby for me, you know. I'm a little hurt you'd threaten to maim a someone without knowing who they are. I mean, I thought what we had was special...!

Well I hope you've got a new clarity and direction on life because the queen is calling her advisors and you should crash the party, confront her about how she's letting the Archbishop get away with everything.

OH! Ask her to give a note to the queen while she's there, explaining how Cain insisted he edit the job she gave you because of your handwriting, and that you didn't just pass the job on to him. There's an original copy if she wants proof.
>>
No. 792534 ID: 6612fa

>>792477
"you were sleeping in the middle of the day and muttering to yourself, just making sure you didn't have a fever, otherwise i would have to call a doctor. "

king of smooth
>>
No. 792541 ID: 398fe1

>>792477
Tell her the thing in the crypt infects dreams, and you developed a form of magic that can directly combat it. So you just helped her out a bit. She feels better now, doesn't she?
>>
No. 792731 ID: fe7355

Briannah mentioned to you that Thalia wanted to talk with you about some things that happened at the trial yesterday, so ask Thalia what it is she wished to speak with you about. There's also those two Nightmare incidents last evening you wanted to inform her about, adding what the ward situation was with each one. And also let her know about the multiple magic intrusion attempts on your apartment overnight that Sisah noticed and bolstered the wards against.
>>
No. 792760 ID: 65a774
File 149113591189.png - (34.20KB , 686x526 , 58.png )
792760

>Pull your hand away, just to be safe.
Before you’re able to escape her grasp, she grabs you by the wrist… hard. Painfully so.
:KronosSB: Ow…
:ThaliaSB: …Wait, Kronos?

:KronosSB: You wouldn't break the hand of your prince, would you?
:ThaliaSB: …don’t tempt me.
:KronosSB: I was just trying to wake you up, you've been a heavy sleeper.
:ThaliaSB: By caressing my check!? You’re supposed to shake someone shoulder to wake them up, not dragging your hand across their face!
:KronosSB: You were sleeping in the middle of the day and muttering to yourself, just making sure you didn't have a fever, otherwise I would have to call a doctor.
:ThaliaSB: ...fine, if that’s the way you want to put it. Now I really hope you have a good reason to… actually, I hope you don’t have a good reason to be here, because I want to hurt you.

:KronosSB: I thought you only got indignant and crabby for me, you know. I'm a little hurt you'd threaten to maim someone without knowing who they are. I mean, I thought what we had was special...!
:ThaliaSB: Oh, Prince Kronos, please… of course what we have is special. The hate I feel for you is more intense than the combined might of ten thousand suns!
>Tell her the thing in the crypt infects dreams, and you developed a form of magic that can directly combat it. So you just helped her out a bit. She feels better now, doesn't she?
:ThaliaSB: …Kronos, please… I just woke up. I don’t need to hear your inane fantasies right now.

>Briannah mentioned to you that Thalia wanted to talk with you about some things that happened at the trial yesterday.
:ThaliaSB: The trail? Oh that… right… you do remember that you sent me a warning about a possible attack on the queen? Well, we didn’t really find anything that would be threat to her.
:KronosSB: …so… you have nothing-
:ThaliaSB: But we did witness something a bit suspensions. There were three priests standing around close to where you said the attack would come from. They left as soon as we got there, so we didn’t have the time to really ask questions, though…

>Let her know about the multiple magic intrusion attempts on your apartment overnight that Sisah noticed and bolstered the wards against.
:ThaliaSB: …hmm… I’ll need to talk to your guard about that… if it is true, it’s rather interesting.
>There's also those two Nightmare incidents last evening you wanted to inform her about, adding what the ward situation was with each one.
:ThaliaSB: So let me get this straight… you were attack by your brother… who has suddenly become a demonic beast that knows powerful magic?
:KronosSB: …um… yes?
:ThaliaSB: … … …I really, really want to ignore everything you said and just chalk it up to you being insane as usual, but it would explain how he suddenly just disappear, wouldn’t it? Dammit, why can’t we have a normal conspiracy to deal with instead of these… these unreal constructs of a twisted mind. But fine… I’ll look into it… though I don’t know where to start with something like this…
:KronosSB: Wait, so you believe me about my brother being a living nightmare, but not that I have dream magic?
:ThaliaSB: …Kronos, please, I hope for all our sakes that you don’t have any kind of magical abilities, as your sheer incompetence would doom us all. Now, if there wasn’t anything else, I need a nap… no wait, I just took a nap. I mean I need a drink…
:KronosSB: Aren’t you still on the clock?
:ThaliaSB: …seeing as I can’t break your wrist, I’ll simply have to take other measures to deal with all this pent up stress, okay? Now, if it wasn’t anything else you wanted, can you please leave?
>>
No. 792762 ID: 225aa6

If she's looking to burn off pent up stress we could always offer to let her spar with Briannah. We'll even promise not to watch if they decide to wrestle.

Oh wait, we want to keep our wrist, right? Just leave that last sentence out.
>>
No. 792763 ID: 0b99d7

>>792760
Yeah, though you might want to be light on the drink since Kira is likely to want to talk to you in the near future.
>>
No. 792769 ID: 91ee5f

>>792760
Ask General Thalia if she counts as one of the Queen's "advisors and the like". Because the Queen has called for them to be assembled and Thalia wouldn't want to be late for that, right?
>>
No. 792787 ID: 094652

And now, to the pub!
>>
No. 792798 ID: 65a774
File 149115645625.png - (33.93KB , 686x526 , 59.png )
792798

>If she's looking to burn off pent up stress we could always offer to let her spar with Briannah.
:ThaliaSB: …spar? Knowing General Briannah, I bet there will be a double meaning behind that word. She keeps trying to convince me to “spar” with her… and you…
:KronosSB: Wait… try? Didn’t you agree to it last night?
:ThaliaSB: Don’t remind me. It’s was just a moment of weakness. As much as she wants me to spar with her, I’m not just going to throw myself at her… or you… or that assassin of hers… I bet she would even try to get that Serpent bodyguard… of… yours… hmm…

For just a moment, Thalia is lost in thought… before cracking a wicked looking smile as she looks at you. This cannot bode well…

:ThaliaSB: Hmm… you know what, I’m going to need to have a talk with your wife soon enough…


:KronosSB: You might want to be light on the drink since Kira is likely to want to talk to you in the near future.
:ThaliaSB: Really? The Queen wishes to speak to me? Why?
:KronosSB: Because the Queen has called for her "advisors and the like" to be assembled.
:ThaliaSB: … … …so she is finally taking some action, hmm? Then I must not tarry any longer. If she needs me, then-

As if on que, Major Xarrin enters Thalias office.
:XarrinSB: General Thalia? Queen Kira has requested that yah-
:ThaliaSB: Yes, yes, I know already, she called for an assembly of her advisors. I’m on my way. I just need to grab a few papers…
:XarrinSB: Yah ‘ave already heard of it? Oh, Prince Kronos? What are… never mind, that’s not something I should concern myself with.
:ThaliaSB: Prince Kronos, I have to ask you to leave so I can lock up my office?
:KronosSB: Oh… um… of course…

>And now, to the pub!
You wish you should just take time off and visit the bar for a few drinks… but do you have time for that? You still have a lot to do… like… err… you need to talk to Briannah again and… um… something else? What were you doing again? It felt like you’ve been wandering inside dreams for months now so you’ve kind of forgotten what you were doing…

:XarrinSB: Oh, and if yah would excuse my forwardness, sir, but may I ask if General Briannah is… alright? She seemed rather… upset… and she gave me this letter to read… ‘ave something ‘appened?
>>
No. 792800 ID: cbf946

Take Xarrin with you to the pub.
>>
No. 792801 ID: 398fe1

>>792798
Upset? That's a bit odd, nothing we know about should have made her upset. I wonder if Belseth got in trouble? Read the letter.
>>
No. 792804 ID: fee32f

There was something of an incident this morning, but I thought it was resolved.

Well, let's read it.
>>
No. 792928 ID: fe7355

The letter Bri gave Xarrin sounds like one of those letters of apology she was going to write to those she'd wronged. That's not worrying, but that Bri was in some way upset when she gave it to Xarrin is.

Ask Xarrin in what way Bri was upset when she gave that letter to him. Then tell him that Briannah was real introspective this morning, and she'd got up before you woke to head up to a window over the main courtyard to think deeply about what she's done and how she's acted. It was serious enough to worry Doxan into leaving her side to get you to talk with her. You two had a deep talk together which you think went quite well and when you parted she went off to start writing letters to folks that she's been putting off. So you think she's alright, and that is probably one of the letters she went off to write. He should read it. To himself, that is. Unless he wishes to share it with you. ...But if he reads anything worrying in there, you'd really like him to share.

Oh, and if you can catch Thalia or walk with her on the way to the council, tell her about the summoning ritual Tim did that knocked him out and into a nightmare. One where he was being chased through the Catacombs by a murderous abomination that sounded rather like it might be the same one Thalia's nightmare had. She may want to talk with him about that sometime later. It also shows at least somewhat that all this Nightmare stuff isn't just in your head.

>It felt like you’ve been wandering inside dreams for months now so you’ve kind of forgotten what you were doing…
Guess one major risk of dreamwalking is your sense of time getting seriously warped while in a dream, as evidenced by that period in the depths of Bri's despair that felt near-endless. You really hope you don't end up in another temporal warp like that one again. You fear if you are you might forget everything for good be trapped forever.

As for what you were planning to do, you wanted to visit Belseth and Zela to talk and work out what your relationships with them are. You also wanted to visit Tim to check in on him, see if he's doing okay after his run-in with the Nightmare, and hang out with him as a friend, as well as tell him some of what has happened and ask what he's found out and his advice. However, you wanted Briannah present in all three of these meetings. Belseth and Zela because your relationship with them will involve Bri one way or another, and Tim 'cause Bri wanted to see that cute little earth elemental again. So apparently your next destination will be Briannah before any others. Ask Xarrin if he knows where Bri is.

>There were three priests standing around close to where you said the attack would come from. They left as soon as we got there, so we didn’t have the time to really ask questions, though…
The six eyes Xuv said she was watching the royal door from. The ones with so much hatred for Kira. That must have been the Nightmare, Krotos, reaching through those three priests, probably watching through and possibly directing them. It does not bode well that the Nightmare has its claws that deep in members of the priesthood. It means any of them could be the Nightmare's agents and you don't know which ones. And as priests, they can move about and get close to targets without raising suspicion. This is even more bad news you didn't need.
>>
No. 792950 ID: 241e41

>>792760
>>792798
Didn't you decide you needed to apologize to Thalia for teasing her the other day? And not keep doing it, since she clearly doesn't appreciate it?

>You still have a lot to do… like… err… you need to talk to Briannah again and… um… something else? What were you doing again?
The other things we have to do today... Well, for starters, we could try to make a mental list of our various acquaintances and consider whether we should spend more time with any of them in particular. It would help to get your thoughts sorted out.

There's that painter girl, Zela. There are some things we need to talk to her about.

We need to check up on Tim, since he's been having Nightmare troubles.

You vixited your father already, and he seems to be doing fine.

You had planned to research ancient history to confirm some of your theories about the gods.

There's that paperwork you did for your sister. Cain delivered his revised copies, but you might want to bring the originals over at some point to compare notes, just to make sure that nothing important was lost in the phrasing. And to prove that you actually did it yourself and didn't just skip out on your job.

Actually, Bri wanted to be there for a lot of those. We should see what's up with her letter before anything else. We were planning on meeting with her later anyway, and she might be done with her business by now.

Is there anything we're forgetting that only came up on previous days? There are so many subplots, it's hard to keep track of them all.

And remember to stay safe! There are magical intruders afoot.
>>
No. 792973 ID: fe7355

>>792928
On second thought, don't share nearly so much as this about what happened with Bri since it implies and hints too much that she's having psychological issues. She doesn't want that kind of thing cycling in the rumor mill or worse. And she also told you to keep it discreet, didn't she? Better cut your response down and watch what you say.

Instead ask Xarrin in what way Bri was upset, and tell him that she was doing alright when you parted this morning. Say that she was in real introspective thought when you woke and you had a deep talk with her and worked some things out before she left. Say that before she left she said she was going to write letters to folks she should have done that she'd been putting off for too long. Ask Xarrin if he'd be okay with reading that letter now. To himself, of course. If he wishes to share it with you afterwards, that's his choice.
>>
No. 793042 ID: fe7355

Check if that drawing of the Nightmare you had Zela make is in your suit pocket. You'll want to show that to Tim and Thalia to check if it showed up in their nightmares in the same form at all. Especially Tim, since Xuv's ritual dropped him right in the Catacombs with the Nightmare.
>>
No. 793071 ID: 65a774
File 149123956519.png - (58.84KB , 686x526 , 60.png )
793071

>The letter Bri gave Xarrin sounds like one of those letters of apology she was going to write to those she'd wronged.
It does, doesn’t it… wait, doesn’t that mean she has… dated Xarrin?
>Check if that drawing of the Nightmare you had Zela make is in your suit pocket.
It’s still there, right were you left it.

>There's that painter girl, Zela. There are some things we need to talk to her about.
Indeed… but you should get Briannah before you go see her…
>you wanted to visit Belseth.
…oh right, Bel… you need to know what happened to him yesterday. Though, you should get Briannah first before you see him as well.
>We need to check up on Tim, since he's been having Nightmare troubles.
Hmm… Bri did want to see the elemental again… but that can maybe wait for another day? Seeing Tim himself is more important than that.
>You had planned to research ancient history to confirm some of your theories about the gods.
Right… how are you even supposed to do that? Searching through the library will probably take days… and might not even give anything concrete. Hmm… is there someone you can just ask for the information, maybe? But who would that be?
>There's that paperwork you did for your sister. Cain delivered his revised copies, but you might want to bring the originals over at some point to compare notes, just to make sure that nothing important was lost in the phrasing.
You guess you should do that… but let’s at least wait until Kira is done with all these meetings.

>And remember to stay safe! There are magical intruders afoot.
Right… stay with Sisah… and stay within the warded sections…
>Didn't you decide you needed to apologize to Thalia for teasing her the other day? And not keep doing it, since she clearly doesn't appreciate it?
…you did? Maybe you did… but did you even tease her this time? She’s the one who started talking about “sparring” instead of the regular kind of sparring, not you…


>Ask Xarrin in what way Bri was upset when she gave that letter to him.
:XarrinSB: She seemed… down? She wasn’t ‘er usual bombastic, smiling self, that for sure. Though, I ‘ave to wonder… why did she give me a letter instead of just telling me what she wanted?
>Say that she was in real introspective thought when you woke and you had a deep talk with her and worked some things out before she left. When you parted she went off to start writing letters to folks that she's been putting off.
:XarrinSB: Hmm? But why did she write me a letter? I don’t think we’ve ever really… well, there was that one time with the misunderstanding but… ah, never mind, please ignore my ramblings, sir.
>He should read it. To himself, that is. Unless he wishes to share it with you.
:XarrinSB: …I’m going to read it when I get some private time later, sir. Yah might be ‘er soon to be ‘usband, but she still deserves some privacy.

>If you can catch Thalia or walk with her on the way to the council, tell her about the summoning ritual Tim did that knocked him out and into a nightmare.
Seeing as you’re standing right outside her office, it isn’t hard to catch her on her way to the meeting. Though, she seems to be in a hurry, so better not keep her for long.
:ThaliaSB: He did what!? Gah! I really need to go give him a piece of my mind then! This is a palace, not some laboratory!
>Show her the drawing of the nightmare.
:ThaliaSB: That… that looks remarkable familiar, yes… I think I’ve seen it before…
:XarrinSB: Really? That thing? That doesn’t look like something from our world at all! Where have you seen something like that?
:ThaliaSB: …in my nightmares.
:XarrinSB: …oh.
>The six eyes Xuv said she was watching the royal door from. The ones with so much hatred for Kira. That must have been the Nightmare, Krotos, reaching through those three priests, probably watching through and possibly directing them.
:ThaliaSB: Indeed, that’s why I brought them up. It wasn’t until after they’d already left that I realized the… connection. Now, if you’ll excuse me… I need to carry all these files to the Queens chamber…

>Ask Xarrin if he knows where Bri is.
:XarrinSB: General Briannah? Why, at the meeting, certainly… she’s probably going to get swamped with work there as well, so if it isn’t something super important, it might be prudent to wait with it to tonight, sir.
>Take Xarrin with you to the pub.
:XarrinSB: Eh? Yah want to share a drink? I… guess I ‘ave some time right now, sir but… hmm… things ‘as been rather ‘ectic lately so drink wouldn’t ‘urt… yah ‘now what, maybe I should go for a drink. What’s the worst that could ‘appen, eh? That is, sir, if yah ‘ave the time to share a drink or two?

…do you? It seems like Briannah will be busy for a long while yet so... maybe you’ll need to meet with Bel and Zela alone? Hmm…
>>
No. 793114 ID: fee32f

Sure, bring Tim too!
>>
No. 793243 ID: 398fe1

>>793071
Considering we can't really do anything else at the moment, sure. Let's spend a little time getting to know Xarrin better.

>>793114
Can we do that?
>>
No. 793287 ID: fe7355

>>793243
>Considering we can't really do anything else at the moment, sure. Let's spend a little time getting to know Xarrin better.
What are you talking about? There's nothing stopping Kronos from meeting with Belseth, Zela or Tim right now. It was only preferential that Briannah come with him to meet with Bel or Zela, not a requirement. And since it appears Bri is gonna be stuck in meetings for quite awhile, probably until dinner and maybe through it, killing time with Xarrin until she'd done looks like rather a poor use of Kronos' time.

While it is only early afternoon, time has a nasty habit of slipping away when drinking and socializing and how much time we have left is something we don't know. Kronos' time should be prioritized towards that which is more likely to lead to the safe future of Risavia and the region, followed by the future of his wife, family and friends and his personal relationships with them. And while getting to know Xarrin under normal circumstances would be a good idea, the situation right now is not normal and unfortunately socializing with him will have to take a lower priority. Besides, he's on duty so shouldn't be drinking anyway. If shit suddenly hits the fan, he ought to be totally sober to lead his subordinates.

Considering the priorities, the person Kronos should go meet right now is Belseth, since he intersects with both the priority for the future of Risavia and the future of Kronos' personal relationships. So go see Belseth first.

>Sure, bring Tim too!
>Can we do that?
There are things that Kronos needs to talk with Tim about related to Xuv, the Nightmare, the Archbishop and such that should not be spread around. That means Kronos shouldn't talk about them in front of Xarrin, which means bringing Tim along would not be productive.
>>
No. 793322 ID: 65a774
File 149131392144.png - (22.83KB , 686x526 , 61.png )
793322

>Considering the priorities, the person Kronos should go meet right now is Belseth.
:XarrinSB: Yah’re looking for master Belseth? I’m sorry sir, but yah’re out of luck then. Master Belseth is apparently rather busy at the grand temple and isn’t seeing anyone at the moment. ‘e even refused to see the queen, as there were… “other matters” ‘e needed attending to that was more important.
:KronosSB: (…that sounds rather ominous…)
>Meet with Tim then.
:XarrinSB: I do believe the royal mage retired to the palace bar after his meeting with the queen, sire. So… if yah’re still up for that drink I can take yah there?
>Kronos shouldn't talk to Tim in front of Xarrin.
:XarrinSB: Ah, if there is something yah two need to speak about in private, then I can take my drink alone.
>Besides, he's on duty so shouldn't be drinking anyway. If shit suddenly hits the fan, he ought to be totally sober to lead his subordinates.
:XarrinSB: I was actually considering something that’s just a bit sweet and not something that will… obstruct my work, sir. So it will be on the light side… if it ‘as any alcohol at all. So… to the royal watering ‘ole, eh?


You indeed find Tim having a drink at the royal bar… though, going by the smell, it’s not his first one. He looks even worse than last time, as it’s clear he hasn’t gotten any sleep tonight either. Those nightmares really must be doing a number on him?

:TimSB: Ugh… Prince Kronos? Can’t a poor mage drink his sins away in peace?
:KronosSB: How are you feeling?
:TimSB: Feeling? What does it looks like? It feels like I’ve been run down by the chariots of hell while the god of death and darkness chews on my soul!
>There are things that Kronos needs to talk with Tim about related to Xuv, the Nightmare, the Archbishop and such that should not be spread around.
:KronosSB: Err… maybe you should lower your voice a bit when you… talk about her?
:TimSB: …her? You mean Xuv!? Bah! Who cares if I summon her again! She’s already in my head! Besides, who would know who this… this… XUV is… eh? Heh… hehe… *hic*
>>
No. 793323 ID: 65a774
File 149131393268.png - (26.27KB , 686x526 , 62.png )
793323

:XarrinSB: …did… did you just mention Xuv? As in… the supposed god of Love?
:TimSB: Maybe? …err… w-wait, how do you know about… um…
:XarrinSB: Oh, I was studying the ‘istory of the old empire before I was drafted… so I’ve actually ‘elped dig up one of her old temples up north right as the war was beginning.
:TimSB: …wait, temples!?
:KronosSB: She had temples!?
:XarrinSB: …yes? I mean, there’s a ton of ruins out in the frozen tundra that’s still in rather good shape, so there are nearly intact temples out there for all the six “gods”?
:TimSB: But… they… destroyed everything about… her?
:XarrinSB: …oh, you mean the Illiasia crusade that happened a few hundred years ago? They never got into the northern parts of the empire, so most of our old texts and ruins of the old days are still there. Though, don’t tell the temple that, they rather not hear about it at all… doesn’t really fit their version of the story, does it?
:KronosSB: But… I… there’s…
:XarrinSB: Ah, I must apologize, but it seems that I’ve… um… stolen your conversation. I’ll just leave then…?
>>
No. 793329 ID: fceae5

Well, THAT explains a few things!
Maybe Kronos should have a drink himself.
>>
No. 793368 ID: 398fe1

>>793323
Alright. Just tell him, and bring Tim up to speed on the things he doesn't know. You met Xuv via an old summoning ritual. She was imprisoned in the catacombs, her soul and body separated. You had contacted her body which still had her mind in it, while Tim contacted her soul; unfortunately her soul was taken over by an evil cluster of imprisoned mortal souls in the catacombs you've been calling the Nightmare. Xuv's mind was half-crazy and was causing trouble for you, so you convinced her to just... die. As she died she gave some dream magic to you, so you can fight the Nightmare. If Tim were to fall asleep right now you could enter his dreams and drive out its influence. On the other hand the Nightmare knows you're doing this. It gave you an ultimatum in the last dream you visited.

Ask Tim if he has any idea how to make this sort of thing safer for you. Some sort of protective magic to reduce injury in the dream world, or something to pull you out as soon as you start taking damage? Maybe a way to separate the bind between physical injury and dream injury, so that if you die in the dream you don't die in real life?
>>
No. 793403 ID: 094652

... WHY ARE YOU NEVER INFORMED OF THESE THINGS?!

Great, you found Xuv's temples but ATE XUV'S BRAIN. You didn't absorb any of her access codes and now you can't just open her vaults.

Just... send someone on an expedition to the north.
>>
No. 793427 ID: ea92d7

>>793403
You don't understand, Kronos is supremely ignorant- If he weren't, he'd have joined his brothers in madness long ago. The iniquity of antiquity buried in a place where death has no meaning mere feet beneath his feet has spawned an abomination of blackened viscera and bone that straddles the physical and the metaphysical, and threatens to conquer the world by rotting away his family and friends and then usurping the husk of what was a royal family. Anybody who understands the implications of what is happening here would be driven to insanity or drink.

Ask Tim what's weighing his mind, aside from the abominations from beyond death. And the utterly shagged political situation. That gets everybody down.
>>
No. 793597 ID: 65a774
File 149139923758.png - (54.49KB , 686x526 , 63.png )
793597

>Maybe Kronos should have a drink himself.
You already have a drink… but maybe you need a stronger one? …or a bottle…
>You don't understand, Kronos is supremely ignorant- If he weren't, he'd have joined his brothers in madness long ago.
H-hey, just because you’re a bit oblivious to your… err… surroundings… um… you’re not ignorant, just… err… lazy?
>Anybody who understands the implications of what is happening here would be driven to insanity or drink.
Then it’s a good thing you apparently can’t?


>...WHY ARE YOU NEVER INFORMED OF THESE THINGS?!
:XarrinSB: Um… yah never asked?
:TimSB: But why haven’t I heard of it either? All I’ve heard about are small shrines dedicated to forgotten pagan gods up there!
:XarrinSB: Well… see… ye church doesn’t really acknowledge Xuv’s existent, so temples become insignificant shrines for them. A lot of what we find up there strengthens our theory of there being six powerful people in charge of the old empire that crowned themselves gods, which is something the temple steadily refuses to ‘ear about. Though, we have had a bit luck with the latest Arch-bishop, the ones before ‘er proclaimed everything we found heresy so…
:TimSB: …and the temple had a lot more power before King Helios pulled them back under the war... no wonder we have so little information about that…
:XarrinSB: That… and most people doesn’t really find it important. I mean, why would the queen for example care if there were some old ruins up north, eh? Though… she did ask about it when she called me a few hours ago…
>Just... send someone on an expedition to the north.
:XarrinSB: Um… I’m sure there are already people digging up there?

>Alright. Just tell him, and bring Tim up to speed on the things he doesn't know. You met Xuv via an old summoning ritual...
:XarrinSB: Met her!? She’s still alive? As in, the Xuv from the old empire!?
:KronosSB: Um… actually… I kind of convinced her to kill herself? She was rather mad, after all…
:XarrinSB: I… yah… I… I guess that would be for the best, yes… but think what we could have learned…
>As she died she gave some dream magic to you, so you can fight the Nightmare. If Tim were to fall asleep right now you could enter his dreams and drive out its influence.
:TimSB: Whoa, whoa wait a moment? Dream magic? As in… walking in dreams? Isn’t that super dangerous? I mean… I wouldn’t want someone to enter my subconscious and mess around, would I?
>Ask Tim if he has any idea how to make this sort of thing safer for you. Some sort of protective magic to reduce injury in the dream world, or something to pull you out as soon as you start taking damage?
:TimSB: Eh? I’m really not the one you should ask about dream magic… but I… guess I have some… um… warding magic or some such? That might… help? Maybe?

:XarrinSB: …you know, if it wasn’t for the Queen ordering me to help you with this, I would say that you’re quite mad for believing something like this… I mean… a leader of the old empire still alive… a living nightmare trying to destroy our nations… dream magic? It’s sound absurd.
:KronosSB: Kira ordered you to help me?
:XarrinSB: She asked me to aid you with what I knew about the old empire… that’s why I… um… butted into the conversation when I heard you mention Xuv. She said that if there was any truth to all this, you’ll need some assistance, sir. So… I’m at your disposal, I guess?

>Ask Tim what's weighing his mind, aside from the abominations from beyond death. And the utterly shagged political situation.
:TimSB: Well… I have to take care of this childlike elemental all day… and I don’t get any sleep because of nightmares and stress… and I’ve lost my apatite… and both of my best friends doesn’t have time to hang out anymore because they are both getting married soon while I’m left behind all alone… so yeah, I’m a bit down? And now you’re talking about entering my dreams and mess around… I really don’t like the sound of that either…
:XarrinSB: But it would ‘elp with these nightmares, no?
:TimSB: They are just nightmares, they will go away on their own… unless there really is some nightmare beast down there doing this? Gah! This really isn’t my week…
>>
No. 793610 ID: ea92d7

> um… you’re not ignorant, just… err… lazy?
I said SUPREMELY ignorant. You are something much more than run of the mill ignorant, you know literally nothing about anything of note. The only thing you've shown any knowledge of is astronomy, and I'm willing to bet your teacher dropped like a dozen plot hooks that elder things from beyond the stars are going to return to earth and that you failed to pick up on any of it, before your teacher completely lost it and ran crying and laughing into the woods without leaving a trace, and your family lied to you about where they've gone.
>Then it’s a good thing you apparently can’t?
Good for you. Not so much the people who depend on you. But it's not like they're that bright anyway so you know whatever.

> but think what we could have learned…
Some things ought to remain forgotten.
>a leader of the old empire still alive… a living nightmare trying to destroy our nations… dream magic?
I fail to see how this is THAT absurd. There's some seriously bad shit in the catacombs, everybody knows that. It's all of the evil we could find and create all bottled up in one place, and we just... assume it's going to stay there? And what makes dream magic so unbelievable?

>They are just nightmares, they will go away on their own.
That's what everyone's been saying. I think the dramatic shifts in how Bri and Kira have been acting are testament that it runs deeper than that.
>>
No. 793619 ID: 4854ef

>And both of my best friends doesn’t have time to hang out anymore because they are both getting married soon while I’m left behind all alone…

Aww Tim, right now things are just supremely hectic what with the politics, the crazed magic and all that causing a big ruckus that's making it harder to deal with things. It's not like this is something that's going to last forever.

You're still our best friend and we'll be trying to hang out more when things don't seem to want to murder us in our sleep.
>>
No. 793620 ID: 8cb228

So, since you aren't currently consenting for me to enter your dreams, -which is fine, medical procedures shouldnt be done lightly- is there any other way we could determine whether my understanding that you are under the influence of a nightmare entity which is directly attacking your psyche is true or not?
>>
No. 793621 ID: 398fe1

>>793597
Tell Tim you've done it three times now, and you've gotten the hang of things. It's up to him whether he trusts you enough to risk it.

Tell Xarrin you are deeply grateful you can finally talk openly about this crap. Ask him if he's ever heard of a seventh god. You got a few hints during all this weirdness that there's a "Forgotten One" manipulating events behind the scenes.
>>
No. 793637 ID: 65a774
File 149141465318.png - (53.23KB , 686x526 , 64.png )
793637

>I said SUPREMELY ignorant. You are something much more than run of the mill ignorant, you know literally nothing about anything of note.
You’re starting to sound more and more like the other Kronos, you know that?

>Aww Tim, right now things are just supremely hectic what with the politics, the crazed magic and all that causing a big ruckus that's making it harder to deal with things. It's not like this is something that's going to last forever.
:TimSB: Things will calm down, sure, but both of you are still going to be married… and have children… there’s not going to be time left for us to do all those things we wanted to do… all those things we used to do… all that crazy shit we came up with. So even after all this, it’s just… we’ve grown up, haven’t we? Yet… I still want to go back to how things used to be, when we had all the time in the world to just… live…
>So, since you aren't currently consenting for me to enter your dreams, -which is fine, medical procedures shouldn’t be done lightly- is there any other way we could determine whether my understanding that you are under the influence of a nightmare entity which is directly attacking your psyche is true or not?
:TimSB: I… err… don’t… know? You know… this is starting to sound more and more serious by the moment…
>Tell Tim you've done it three times now, and you've gotten the hang of things. It's up to him whether he trusts you enough to risk it.
:TimSB: It’s not that I don’t trust you… is that I’ve known you since we were small, Kronos. You’re not the most…reliable person there is… but… if you really think I’m at risk…
>I think the dramatic shifts in how Bri and Kira have been acting are testament that it runs deeper than that.
:TimSB: …Maybe it would be for the best if you… did… but… I don’t know if I want you too… but still… I… I need to think about it…


>Tell Xarrin you are deeply grateful you can finally talk openly about this crap.
:XarrinSB: Don’t thank me, thank the queen, sir. She’s the one who sent me.
>Some things ought to remain forgotten.
:XarrinSB: True… I did say it might have been for the best she didn’t survive… but still…
>I fail to see how this is THAT absurd. There's some seriously bad shit in the catacombs, everybody knows that.
:XarrinSB: Bad shit as in undead monstrosities, yes, but not something like this. The undead may shamble around and eat the souls of those they manage to catch, sure, but this is so much worse. Of course, there are undead that can use magic, like liches, or undead that can pretend to be alive, like those spirits of vengeance that pops up at times, but we weren’t expecting something that spreads nightmares and tries to crown itself god or something…
>Ask him if he's ever heard of a seventh god.
:XarrinSB: They aren’t really gods, yah ‘now, just powerful people proclaiming themselves gods. But a seventh? Hmm… well, we do ‘now that each of the “gods” was originally a normal person of each species… like how Xuv was a Sakkilian while ye Illiasia was an Uredo. The only species that doesn’t have one is the Serpents… as they don’t really create gods, do they? So the theory is that there was indeed a seventh member of this leading body of old, but it simply didn’t see itself as a god, even if it was just as powerful as the rest.

As Xarrin ends his exposition, one of the Palace guard walks up to the table and holds up a scroll for him to take.

:NonSB: Major Xarrin, there has been some… developments at the temple. General Thalia wanted you to see this at once… as well as Prince Kronos. Here.
:XarrainSB: Hmm? What is this? A wanted note?
:KronosSB: Here, let me see.
>>
No. 793638 ID: 65a774
File 149141466397.png - (33.91KB , 686x526 , 65.png )
793638


Wait, isn’t that Elete?
“Wanted: Romana Thundros. Female Varkian in her late twenties.”

“…Wanted for the murder on the Arch-bishop”!? What?

>>
No. 793640 ID: f6a086

*SPIT TAKE* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzQLvbrr9lI

BUT THAT MEANS

Oh crap

RAID THE CHURCH, NOW! We have to get Belseth out of there before Artie performs the ritual!
>>
No. 793642 ID: 398fe1

>>793638
She got possessed and killed the Archbishop? The Nightmare wasn't supposed to strike until the ritual! Did it move up the schedule because of your interference? Or was Romana an agent of the Forgotten One the entire time? (This doesn't fit with the predictions in the previous opening post, either)

Well, fuck. Ask if Belseth is okay. He was meeting with the Archbishop and may have been attacked as well.
>>
No. 793669 ID: 91ee5f

>>793637
>Things will calm down, sure, but both of you are still going to be married… and have children… there’s not going to be time left for us to do all those things we wanted to do… all those things we used to do… all that crazy shit we came up with. So even after all this, it’s just… we’ve grown up, haven’t we? Yet… I still want to go back to how things used to be, when we had all the time in the world to just… live…
Don't be like that! If we have kids, then we'd need someone to teach them magic. What do you say to that, Uncle Tim?

>>793638
Now would be a good time to say who that looks like to you!

Also, if the Archbishop is dead, then who the fuck has everyone been talking to?! Is it an imposter?! Is Belseth safe?! What do we do now?!
>>
No. 793691 ID: 2909d9

>You’re starting to sound more and more like the other Kronos, you know that?
ooh, ouch. Now say I'm wrong.
>but still… I… I need to think about it…
That's all I'm asking.

Guys calm down, I think this might be your sister being sneaky again. Since Elete and the Archbishop are the same person, this way the Queen can take her out without overtly assaulting the church. Even if they've found a body, nobody will be able to know if it's just somebody in the archbishop's clothes. That said, we should locate Belseth quickly.
>>
No. 793763 ID: 225aa6

Inform him of your encounters with Elete. It's probably best they know of any aliases she uses.
>>
No. 793781 ID: 398fe1

>>793691
We can't be absolutely sure Elete is the archbishop. It seemed likely at the time, but it was nearly as likely she was just someone sent by the Archbishop to try to get information out of Kronos without him suspecting anything.
>>
No. 793790 ID: fe7355

>>793781
Eh, the Archbishop probably didn't send "Elete" at first specifically to get info out of Kronos since at that point the Archbishop likely didn't know about the prayer book. It's more likely that since Kronos was part of the Archbishop's plans that the Archbishop wanted to find out why he'd sent a request to the Temple for a priest. And then Kronos, in a monumental act of foolishness, handed Elete a jackpot when he asked her to perform Gaisia's ritual with him. That's what really put him front and center in the Archbishop's sights. Without that act, it's likely the Archbishop would have not known about the prayer book and then asked for it later.

And while we don't know if Elete was herself the Archbishop, thanks to Thalia's monitoring of the Temple and the Archbishop we can be reasonably confident that Elete is, or was, either one of the Archbishop's agents or possibly the Archbishop's body double. (See >>/questarch/749637 for where Thalia said that.) She isn't someone from outside the Temple impersonating a priestess or some such like that.
>>
No. 793888 ID: fe7355

What the fuck?! What, where, when and how did this happen?! Tell the guard to tell you what the hell these "developments" at the Temple were. Show the wanted poster to Tim and tell him and Xarrin you knew the lady depicted in it. She was that priestess that came when you sent a request to the Temple for someone to answer some questions of yours. Gave you the name "Elete" which you later found out was false; Made up on the spot from the name of the author of the book she was reading at the time. Tell them you suspected for a bit she might have been the Archbishop herself, out of her official robes. Thalia told you later that "Elete" was very likely a agent of the Archbishop, possibly even one of the Archbishop's body doubles. So what the hell happened to turn her to kill the Archbishop? ...Or, and don't say this out loud, "Elete" didn't kill the Archbishop and this is some kind of plot on Kira's part to remove the Archbishop without sparking a civil war.

Anyway, you need to find out what happened, but going straight to the Temple sounds like a bad idea. You'd normally ask Sisah, but she doesn't know more than you right now. Maybe the captain of your personal guard has caught wind of the details? Anybody else you, Tim or Xarrin can think of you can check with on this without leaving the palace or getting in the way of operations? Oh, and perhaps Xarrin and Tim would like to accompany you while you check this out? Tim did want to spend time with you doing crazy shit, and shit seems to be starting to really go crazy around here.

>Yet… I still want to go back to how things used to be, when we had all the time in the world to just… live…
Tell Tim you kinda share the same sentiment. You wish you still had the luxury of being the carefree royal family fuck-up, able to do whatever on a whim and only noted as a source of zany court gossip. But that time is past. You have real responsibilities now, with people relying on you, for what must be the first time, and there's more to come. And not just those responsibilities of marriage. You're gonna take some of the mountain of work off Kira's shoulders. And you're gonna spend the time with your dad you never had when he wore the crown. But that doesn't mean you'll be abandoning Tim. Just that you can't run off on whim to do whatever crazy shit pops into your head. We're just gonna have to schedule our crazy shit now. Heh. And tell him if he feels like you're neglecting him to tell you. He knows you're prone to social obliviousness at times, so you'd do with him metaphorically bopping you on the head about that.

>…Maybe it would be for the best if you… did… but… I don’t know if I want you too… but still… I… I need to think about it…
Yeah, you're having some misgivings about this as well. The Nightmare pretty much warned you the last time you meddled with its shit that the proverbial gloves were off. Perhaps if things don't work out otherwise with dealing with the Nightmare, Tim could leave the capitol and head far away. Putting distance between it and him might weaken its effect. ...And if things do go horribly wrong, he'd be out of the immediate area of effect and can just keep on running, probably all the way out to the Serpens' isles.

>True… I did say it might have been for the best she didn’t survive… but still…
Tell him to not even begin to think that there was a possible way to wring benefit or knowledge out of keeping Xuv around. From your personal experience with Xuv, you're 110% sure it's for the best for everyone in the world that she is dead. If Xuv had gotten out, which she would have eventually, Risavia would have been the epicenter of a orgy of terror, bloodshed and horrific sexual depravity brought about by her to feed her power and sate her deep hunger. She fed on strong emotion, those based on lust preferred, but any would do. And she didn't care one iota about mortals beyond feeding off them or being tools or playthings if they somehow amused her. Once she had other possible ways than working through just you, she showed her true colors. She was the ultimate form of the very worst of the worst nobility, multiplied times itself tenfold. A immortal tyrant with the power of a god, power unchecked and uncheckable.

...However, you admit the Xuv you dealt with was not the real Xuv. The real Xuv died at the end of the last age, along with all but one of her "godly" ilk. What you dealt with was a facsimile, formed from souls in the Catacombs blobbing together in Xuv's corpse. Pressing into the cracked mold of her rotting brain and forming a probably at least somewhat incomplete and warped version of Xuv's mind. So what you were facing was basically undead Xuv. How much this Xuv resembles the real, original Xuv, you can't say. The real Xuv might have been much different, but that's a puzzle for the archaeologists and historians to figure out the truth of.
>>
No. 793946 ID: 65a774
File 149148959482.png - (61.82KB , 686x526 , 66.png )
793946

>Since Elete and the Archbishop are the same person…
Are we even sure she is the Archbishop? There were clues that she was, yes, but no actual solid proof.
>Thanks to Thalia's monitoring of the Temple and the Archbishop we can be reasonably confident that Elete is, or was, either one of the Archbishop's agents or possibly the Archbishop's body double.
She definitely was working for the Temple, that we do know.
>I think this might be your sister being sneaky again. This way the Queen can take her out without overtly assaulting the church.
Hmm… it is possible that this might be a plot dreamt up by the Queen… but would she really do something this harsh towards the Archbishop? They might be butting heads, but does she really have reason to remove her like this?
>She got possessed and killed the Archbishop? The Nightmare wasn't supposed to strike until the ritual!
Hmm… she might have been taken by the nightmare, yes… yet… there is something not adding up with all this. You’re just not sure what.
>RAID THE CHURCH, NOW!
You’re not going to run in guns a blazing… that would be foolish.


>What, where, when and how did this happen?!
:NonSB: We’re still not sure exactly when she was killed, but they found her body in her room when they came to wake her up.
>Tell the guard to tell you what the hell these "developments" at the Temple were.
:NonSB: Last night the Archbishop was killed in her own room at the temple. The last person seen leaving was the lady on the wanted poster. She was both spotted by the guards as well as registered by the magical lock on the Archbishops door. Our investigation is a bit slow as currently the priesthood is in shambles… they are seemingly more concerned about electing a new Archbishop than actually finding her murderer.
>Ask if Belseth is okay. He was meeting with the Archbishop and may have been attacked as well.
:NonSB: We have had no reports of anyone else being harmed.
:XarrinSB: I saw ‘im just a few ‘ours ago, sir, so ‘e should be fine.

>Inform him of your encounters with Elete. It's probably best they know of any aliases she uses.
:XarrinSB: Yah ‘now ‘er? Elete yah say? Well, we better inform the guard about that.
:NonSB: I’m on it sir.
>Anybody else you, Tim or Xarrin can think of you can check with on this without leaving the palace or getting in the way of operations?
:XarrinSB: Well… one of the priests, maybe? I would suggest Master Belseth if ‘e ‘as the time… as ‘e would probably be the one who’s the most trustworthy towards yah. Other than that…
:TimSB: Doesn’t Cain usually know everything about everyone before anyone else? I mean… this might be out of his depth, but still?
>Oh, and perhaps Xarrin and Tim would like to accompany you while you check this out? Tim did want to spend time with you doing crazy shit, and shit seems to be starting to really go crazy around here.
:TimSB: When I say Crazy shit I meant fun stuff, not dangerous stuff. You know… like how we used to surf down the long slope on shields… or dive from spectacle rock… or build windgliders and jump of the roof?
:XarrinSB: Um… well, I was ordered to ‘elp yah with ‘istorical knowlage and not… this? I mean… can’t we leave it to the guards? Chances are ‘igh that she’s still ‘iding somewhere around the palace and will be found soon enough?
:TimSB: Not if she disguised herself! Here, give me that wanted poster and a pen and I’ll show you just how easy it is for her to just disappear!

Scribbling all over the picture on the wanted poster, Tim seems rather pleased with the results as he presents them.

:TimSB: Ta-da! She looks nothing like her old self, does she?
:XarrinSB: …yah just drew a pair of glasses and a mustache on her…
:TimSB: And a beard, don’t forget the beard!


>Don't be like that! If we have kids, then we'd need someone to teach them magic. What do you say to that, Uncle Tim?
:TimSB: …you know I don’t like kids very much, right? They are just loud and annoying… and teaching them magic would be a really bad idea.
>Tell Tim you kinda share the same sentiment. You wish you still had the luxury of being the carefree royal family fuck-up, able to do whatever on a whim and only noted as a source of zany court gossip. But that time is past. You have real responsibilities now, with people relying on you.
:TimSB: Yeah, it is… sad but true…
>Yeah, you're having some misgivings about this as well. The Nightmare pretty much warned you the last time you meddled with its shit that the proverbial gloves were off.
:TimSB: …wait, are you still trying to convince me to go through with it or not? Because that doesn’t sound very convincing at all!
>Perhaps if things don't work out otherwise with dealing with the Nightmare, Tim could leave the capitol and head far away. Putting distance between it and him might weaken its effect.
:TimSB: I’m not running away. My life is here. I rather have you muck about my dreams than leave everything I got right here, Kronos. Ugh, I hate to ask you to do this… but if you honestly think it will help…
>>
No. 793963 ID: 2909d9

>They might be butting heads, but does she really have reason to remove her like this?
It isn't like she hasn't gone to greater lengths to entrap people. Now she's looking at the situation without the Nightmare's interference, and I'm willing to bet she has access to more intelligence than you do to boot.
>>
No. 793965 ID: 398fe1

>>793946
It will. Just gotta be more prepared for danger this time.
That means Kronos should get his armor on, and carry both his guns so they're likely to transfer into the dream. I wonder, can he bring Sisah in with him if they're holding hands or something when he enters Tim's dream? Sisah should at the very least be consulted on this, as it's her job to protect him.
>>
No. 794061 ID: fe7355

Before you forget, show Tim the drawing of the Nightmare and ask him if it's what he saw in his nightmare. Tell him that it's what accosted you in that un-warded alley last night. And that you showed it to General Thalia and she said it looks just like what she saw in a recent nightmare.

>>793963
But the time line doesn't fit. Queen Kira was still under the Nightmare's influence up until a couple hours ago, at most. Kira didn't see that the Archbishop's plan was suspect and was overly trusting of the Archbishop until after Kronos kicked that influence out. The Archbishop was presumably killed some time before this morning, when she would have been woken by her servants, hours before Kronos ventured into Kira's dream. That means it's very unlikely it was by Kira's order the Archbishop was killed.

>>793965
Kronos is already wearing his mithril chainmail underarmor; With all that's going on, he never goes out without it on. And, if I remember correctly, he's also been carrying both Krotos' ice pistol and Briannah's Singing Dragon as well. However, when Kronos was in Bri's dream he only had his ice pistol, but it morphed into the Singing Dragon when the time called for it. So what Kronos is actually wearing might not transfer into the dream realm.

As for ways to protect Kronos, Sisah and Tim could work together to stack wards up on both Kronos and Tim. Tim because Kronos would be entering his dream, so without a ward there Kronos would be unprotected. Though, without knowing what to ward against, they couldn't do more than make general wards, could they? Maybe if they layer up enough of them it'd work?
>>
No. 794111 ID: 65a774
File 149158517610.png - (56.28KB , 686x526 , 67.png )
794111

>The time line doesn't fit. Queen Kira was still under the Nightmare's influence up until a couple hours ago, at most. Kira didn't see that the Archbishop's plan was suspect and was overly trusting of the Archbishop until after Kronos kicked that influence out.
That’s right… so it can’t have been Kira’s work… but then who was it? You don’t think Elete would just off the Archbishop… and the nightmare was still using her, wasn’t it? …or did she find out about the nightmare and thus became a threat? Hmm…

>Kronos should get his armor on, and carry both his guns so they're likely to transfer into the dream.
You’re already wearing your mithril chainmail as well both your guns. You’re not sure if the armor carried over into the dream, but your gun did, didn’t it?
>I wonder, can he bring Sisah in with him if they're holding hands or something when he enters Tim's dream?
…that doesn’t sound very plausible, but it’s worth a try?


>Sisah should at the very least be consulted on this, as it's her job to protect him.
:SisahSB: I don’t like this one bit, sir. Putting yourself in more danger is the opposite of what I want you to do, especially danger I cannot protect you from. But it might be for the best, as things might get even worse if you don’t do it. It’s quite clear that you’ve had some kind of effect on people today and it seems to be for the positive. I just implore you to not do anything rash… or put your life on the line unheeded.

>Before you forget, show Tim the drawing of the Nightmare and ask him if it's what he saw in his nightmare.
:TimSB: Eh? I… think I recognize that thing? Maybe?
>Tell him that it's what accosted you in that un-warded alley last night. And that you showed it to General Thalia and she said it looks just like what she saw in a recent nightmare.
:TimSB: …wait, it attacked you? Is this true, Sisah?
:SisahSB: I can’t say, as I wasn’t present at the moment. Prince Kronos had ascended through a window for reasons I rather not go into and left me behind when it supposedly happened. I can confirm that Thalia indeed said she saw that thing in one of her nightmares.
:TimSB: Huh… then… maybe I really need your weird dream magic?

>As for ways to protect Kronos, Sisah and Tim could work together to stack wards up on both Kronos and Tim.
:TimSB: I don’t know about that… I’m currently not in the best of minds to cast magic in… what with the lack of sleep and… alcohol currently surrounding my core…
:SisahSB: Even then, what kind of wards would protect someone in a dream?
:TimSB: …I would guess those that shields the mind? Either way… is now really the best time to do this? I mean, I’m pretty sure the only thing keeping me awake right now is willpowers, so going to sleep wouldn’t be a problem… and I guess this is something that needs doing but… I’m not exactly sober? Though, will that even mess with things? Hmm...
:XarrinSB: We could always follow up with the whole Archbishop thing as well, if yah believe something is off with it? Try to talk to Master Belseth or another priest about what ‘appen? …or to Master Cain as the court mage said.
:TimSB: Either way, we really shouldn’t just sit around getting our buzz on right now… as much as I want to…
>>
No. 794127 ID: 398fe1

>>794111
Let's not take any risks. Let Tim sober up before investigating his dream.

Let's investigate the Archbishop's death. ...hang on, the magical lock keeps records of everyone who comes and goes, right? Can we see the full log? I mean, I presume the archbishop herself is present in the log, right?
>>
No. 794150 ID: 094652

I wonder, does the lock have trouble recording when multiple people enter at the same time? Questions like these will determine whether or not the lock was tampered with, which could open up more avenues.
>>
No. 794289 ID: 8f4d2b

I think we should try to talk with Belseth, He could be very affected by the death of the Archbishop, and he may be in need of company. Failing that, we could at least talk to Cain.

Or, perhaps you should try to go to the firing range? You were supposed to train your aim a bit, since you lost your eye, and a lot of stuff was impeding you to do it before, this may be your chance.

Also, is everyone still in the meeting? Because if that's not the case, then you may have a chance to speak with Briannah, You could even met in the firing Range, you know, remembering the first time you both got along.
>>
No. 794326 ID: fe7355

You'll put off delving into Tim's dream mind until he sobers up. You also want to allow some more time to prepare. In the mean time, you want to make sure he doesn't fall asleep. He could head to the medical wing and you could get one of the doctors or medics to administer stimulants to keep him up, then continually monitor his vitals and keep him awake. Alternatively, he could go to his apartment and you could get a doc or medic to go to him. It'd feel thoroughly unpleasant and he'd be mentally loopy the whole time, but he'd be awake and out of the Nightmare's reach. You just don't know how long that could continue without risking his sanity or health, though. A doctor would know more on this.

As for how to prepare, you could throw your money around and ask Cain to get the best warding specialist mage around... Though, you think with all that happened in the last day or so they've probably already been brought in to go over the palace wards top to bottom. See if they know of anything about mind shielding wards, or of Old Empire ones theorized to have that effect. Also get a copy of Zabat's book on wards and get another mage to apply every one that might have a mind shielding effect. And also get dreamcatchers. Loads of 'em. Enough to cover Tim completely and then some. They supposedly catch nightmares and they have the symbol of the Dreamer on them, so maybe they have some deep magic that'd stop or slow the Nightmare down. Though, only way to test that is for Tim to fall asleep for a bit with them in place. Dunno if Tim'd be willing to risk doing that.

You ought to speak with Belseth next, since you have a lot to speak with him about, though meeting with him might not be possible right now. With the Archbishop's death it's likely he's up to his neck in Temple business, helping to keep things in order over there. And if he does have time to meet, he'll have to come to the palace since you can't cross the un-warded garden to get to the Grand Temple. Well, either that or rigging up some kind of portable warding method to cross the garden.

Thinking about the Archbishop's murder, a few speculative ideas come to mind. First is the possibility that the body found was that of the Archbishop's body double, killed by the Archbishop. Though you can't figure out what motive the Archbishop would have to do such a thing. Force a election of a new Archbishop while she goes into hiding somewhere? Make it look like the palace orchestrated the murder to have reason to keep government investigators out of the Grand Temple? And then there's the possibility that the Archbishop has more than one body double, and she had one murder the other while that one was in her quarters, while the Archbishop stays in hiding, finalizing her plan. Anyway, finding out if the body found was actually that of the Archbishop should be a top priority.

Another possibility is that the Archbishop fell afoul of Temple intrigue. Maybe a group of higher-ups in the Temple did not like what she was planning to do, or what she'd done, or they wanted the power of what she was planning to do. The suspicious way the priests were more interested in electing a new Archbishop than finding the murderer of the previous one kinda aligns with this possibility. They'd want to elect a Archbishop from their group to secure their power.

>>794289
One session of training to compensate for his missing eye isn't going to make an appreciable difference in his ability to aim. His time would be much better spent elsewhere. Besides, his aim was true while in the dream, despite missing a eye so it'll be good in there. And if he ends up having to shoot outside the dream, he'll just have to hope it'll be a situation where the Singing Dragon's flame cone would work, since that needs hardly any aiming to hit.
>>
No. 794649 ID: 65a774
File 149175784625.png - (60.57KB , 686x526 , 68.png )
794649

>Is everyone still in the meeting? Because if that's not the case, then you may have a chance to speak with Briannah.
Seeing that Thalia left just a few minutes ago, you’re going to guess yes, the meeting is still ongoing. Though, even if it wasn’t Briannah will apparently have a lot of work to do anyway, so she might not have time to talk either way.
>Another possibility is that the Archbishop fell afoul of Temple intrigue. Maybe a group of higher-ups in the Temple did not like what she was planning to do, or what she'd done, or they wanted the power of what she was planning to do.
Dammit, you really hope there isn’t even more things you need to worry about! Don’t say there’s a freaking civil war going on at the temple while the nightmare is trying to escape!


>Let's not take any risks. Let Tim sober up before investigating his dream.
:TimSB: Well then… I guess I’ll try to sober up? I’ll go get some coffee… the strong Cibic kind.
>You want to make sure he doesn't fall asleep.
:TimSB: Don’t worry about me. It’s not the first time I’ve gone a week without any sleep. I can handle it… even if I’m going to become a bit woozy…

>...hang on, the magical lock keeps records of everyone who comes and goes, right? Can we see the full log? I mean, I presume the archbishop herself is present in the log, right?
:XarrinSB: Yah’ll ‘ave to talk to the temple for that… or whoever is in charge of the investigation if they got it. But yes, the Archbishop soul signature should be on it.
>I wonder, does the lock have trouble recording when multiple people enter at the same time?
:XarrinSB: There are ways to trick those locks, yes, or at least make it ‘ard to read the signatures properly. Several people entering at once would make it ‘arder, which is why most doors that are designed to use them aren’t wide enough to let multiple people in at once.
:KronosSB: So that’s why my door is so narrow. It’s barely wide enough to let Briannah enter.
:XarrinSB: Indeed… and I’ve ‘eard the complaints from General Briannah… she keeps almost getting stuck in many of the doors ‘ere at the palace.


>I think we should try to talk with Belseth, He could be very affected by the death of the Archbishop, and he may be in need of company.
He’ll definitely be busy with everything that’s happening at the temple… but he might be able to make time for you later. You’ll just have to send him a message and hope for the best.
>And if he does have time to meet, he'll have to come to the palace since you can't cross the un-warded garden to get to the Grand Temple.
You’ll make sure you tell him to meet you at the palace if he does have the time.

>Failing that, we could at least talk to Cain.
You find Cain in your private pantry, going over what needs to be restocked with two other of your servants… though, you can’t say you recognize either of them.
:CainSB: …oh, greetings sir… and master Tim… and Major Xarrin? How can I be at your service?
:KronosSB: Cain, have you heard anything about the Archbishop today?
:CainSB: You mean the murder? Well, I’ve heard a few rumors.
:XarrinSB: Rumors? Already?
:CainSB: You’d be surprised at what the servants sees and hear, sir. For example… I’ve heard that it wasn’t actually the Archbishops body they found, but a body double… and that their main suspect isn’t the one who did it.
:XarrinSB: …yah ‘eard that from the servants!?
:CainSB: As I said, they hear and see a lot of things… now, was there anything else you wanted to know about it?

>As for how to prepare, you could throw your money around and ask Cain to get the best warding specialist mage around...
:CainSB: Hmm… I guess I can request one… but it will take a few days, sir… and I know your patience isn’t your strong point sir, so… should I just forget about it?
>And also get dreamcatchers. Loads of 'em. Enough to cover Tim completely and then some.
:CainSB: Dreamcatchers? I think I can get you… two of them? Maybe three? But why would you want to cover Tim in them? Is this some kind of joke I’m missing here, sir?
:TimSB: …w-wait, you’re going to cover me in dreamcatcher? That just sounds absurd! Didn’t you say you had some… some… err… magic thingy you could do?
>>
No. 794661 ID: 393aa5

...You're sure the Varkian doesn't look familiar? like, near-exactly like a certain wanted poster? Especially considering the information they have?

And what's given anybody the idea that any kind of preparation is possible for dreamwalking?
>>
No. 794662 ID: 91ee5f

>>794649
>It’s barely wide enough to let Briannah enter.
>Indeed… and I’ve ‘eard the complaints from General Briannah… she keeps almost getting stuck in many of the doors ‘ere at the palace.
And when she does get stuck, you've got a perfectly good excuse to grab her ass! XD

"No, honey, I'm not taking advantage of your predicament to cop a feel, I'm just pushing to help you get unstuck!"

>Hmm… I guess I can request one… but it will take a few days, sir… and I know your patience isn’t your strong point sir, so… should I just forget about it?
Yeah, that's too long, let's forget about that.

>Dreamcatchers.
Stop. We're not going to cover TIm in dreamcatchers, that's humiliating for him.

I don't know who suggested doing that or why they did, but I think the logic was that it'll keep the Nightmare out while we go into Tim's dreams. Which might've worked, except for the fact that Kronos is going to be using dream magic or whatever it's called! The dreamcatchers could prevent Kronos from entering Tim's dreams!
>>
No. 794663 ID: 91ee5f

>>794662
Also, if that Varkian servant took off his glasses, he'd look almost like your brother.

I'm not saying to accuse him of being your brother, it was just a little observation.

>>794661
>...You're sure the Varkian doesn't look familiar? like, near-exactly like a certain wanted poster? Especially considering the information they have?
.....holy shit, don't tell me. Look at the wanted poster that Tim drew on and compare it to this servant. I think Tim might've just made a lucky guess on the assassin's disguise!
>>
No. 794664 ID: 398fe1

>>794649
>dreamcatchers
That was a joke, Tim. Though it might be a good idea for people to start using them. It's not like you can fix everyone's dreams, and something tells you it's not a permanent fix anyway.

>warding specialist will take a few days to arrive
Uh, is there a faster alternative? It'll need to be today or maybe tomorrow to be useful.

I wonder if that's Belseth in disguise? Eh.
Well, tell Cain if he ever spots Romana to relay a message: Prince Kronos does not believe she is a murderer.
>>
No. 794683 ID: 398fe1

>>794663
>he'd look almost like your brother.
Nope, Karas has a much bigger moustache, has tufts of feathers like horns, and is missing an eye.
>>
No. 794688 ID: 65a774
File 149176721845.png - (60.47KB , 686x526 , 69.png )
794688

>And when she does get stuck, you've got a perfectly good excuse to grab her ass!
That’s Briannah you’re talking about, so you’re pretty sure you won’t even need an excuse to grab her down there, honestly.
>And what's given anybody the idea that any kind of preparation is possible for dreamwalking?
You got to try something, right? It’s better than nothing… and if it does work…
>The dreamcatchers could prevent Kronos from entering Tim's dreams!
…well, crud. Then that idea is a bust…


>That was a joke, Tim.
:TimSB: …I know you, Kronos… if you got the chance, you would have covered me in those thing, wouldn’t you?
:KronosSB: …maybe?
:TimSB: Heh… I would probably have done the same thing if I had the chance…
>Though it might be a good idea for people to start using them. It's not like you can fix everyone's dreams, and something tells you it's not a permanent fix anyway.
:CainSB: I’ll see if I can get something arranged, sir.
>Uh, is there a faster alternative? It'll need to be today or maybe tomorrow to be useful.
:CainSB: Well, I’m sure our court mage can cast a few ward spells… if he wasn’t fueled by pure alcohol.
:TimSB: Hey, just because I like a drink now and again… and then… and…later… err… what was the question again?
>Well, tell Cain if he ever spots Romana to relay a message: Prince Kronos does not believe she is a murderer.
:CainSB: Romana? Who is that?
:KronosSB: Elete.
:CainSB: Ah, I’ll make sure that message reaches her ears, sir.


>...You're sure the Varkian doesn't look familiar? like, near-exactly like a certain wanted poster?
:TimSB: Hey! That’s her! Right there!
:NonSB: Huh? Why are you- OW! HANDS OFF THE MUSTACHE!
:TimSB: Come on, come lose already!
:NonSB: OW! STOP IT!
:XarrinSB: Mage, stop this nonsense!
:TimSB: Dammit… I was so sure…
:NonSB: Ow… what did I do to deserve this?
:TimSB: Maybe it’s glued on?
:XarrinSB: Dammit, mage, ‘e looks nothing like the wanted poster!
:CainSB: Besides, Theodore here has been worked here for over ten years…
:EleteSB: And would I really be so stupid to disguise myself with a false mustache?
>>
No. 794689 ID: 65a774
File 149176722643.png - (40.36KB , 686x526 , 70.png )
794689

…that voice… it was definitely Elete, but it was coming from the Sakkilian servant?

:EleteSB: …I mean… she… she wouldn’t be so… stupid as… err… shit.
:CainSB: *Sigh* Prince Kronos, may I present to you miss Elete? …who was supposed to keep quiet until we should see you alone?
>>
No. 794692 ID: 393aa5

You guys make me feel so smart, you know that?
>…who was supposed to keep quiet until we should see you alone?
Well she better start talking fast, 'cause if this subterfuge is my sister's work I'm standing by her.
>>
No. 794694 ID: 398fe1

>>794689
Alright. Nice disguise. So, what's your side of the story then?
>>
No. 794698 ID: 91ee5f

>>794688
>That’s Briannah you’re talking about, so you’re pretty sure you won’t even need an excuse to grab her down there, honestly.
Actually, a good joke to play on Bri one day would be to quietly arrange for the door to your room to be made slightly narrower while you and her are out doing things. Then you let her walk in first, she gets stuck, and then you can play grab ass while trying to unstick her! XD

.....yeah, save that for later because as things are with the Nightmare, now isn't really a good time to do that to Bri!

>>794689
>Sakkilian servant is actually Elete.
"Ah, so the truth finally comes out. You've finally revealed yourself to be a Sakkilian disguised as a Varkian this whole time!"

*pause for dramatic effect*

".....what? It was a joke! I'm not that stupid!"
>>
No. 794701 ID: affd99

Well this puts us in an awkward position. Harboring wanted fugitives is certainly not one of those things our sister asked Xarrin to do. Unless she did in which case we have some serious questions about how Kira predicted something like this could occur.

I presume Elete is here to tell us what happened to the Arch-Bishop. I'd also be curious why she thought to approach to us about it.
>>
No. 794703 ID: 91ee5f

>>794698
If it turns out that she really was a Sakkilian disguised as a Varkian the whole time you knew her, then say, "Holy shit, I was joking! What a lucky guess!"
>>
No. 794718 ID: d9599b

Does this mean she has a penis now?
>>
No. 794764 ID: fe7355

Before you say anything more, ask Theodore, Tim and Xarrin to step outside. That is, unless Cain or Elete has reason for any of these three to stay and hear what we're gonna talk about. Also confirm with Cain that he's done a sweep of the room for surveillance devices and it's free to speak here.

Say that before Cain and "Elete," or Romana, or whatever her real name is, tell you what's going on, who the heck she is and how she fits into it all, you want to take a guess. You think she's a double agent. Why else would Cain trust what she's presumably told him of the Archbishop's demise and that she didn't do it and would put her in the same room as you. But you think she's not a plant from the palace, 'cause a plant would be professionally trained and wouldn't have blown her cover to offer a retort like she did. One of the Archbishop's people who grew so concerned about what was going on in there she reached out to the palace and has been working for us since. Okay, so how far off were you with your guess?

You'd also like to know how many of the previous times you've met with "Elete" it was the one standing before you now. Was it all three or less than that, and if less then who else was it?

Ask Sisah how quick she spotted that that Sakkilian was someone in disguise, and if it's magic, mundane or a combo of the two. But if she didn't spot it, then that's reason to worry a bit more 'cause there's a disguise that both Sisah can't spot, and one you assume that the palace detection runes can't either.

>Besides, Theodore here has been worked here for over ten years…
Huh. That's odd. Don't you make it a personal point to know who your servants are, or at least enough to match names to faces? So why don't you recognize Theodore? Or is it that you just note the ones that interact with you more, like the maids, and don't go to meet the ones behind the scenes where Theodore presumably works? Or is it that Theodore is one of Cain's informal palace spies, of which you can only assume he has cultivated a network of among the palace servants because how else would he know everything that's going on in the palace so quickly? Even if Theodore isn't, Cain very likely has made such a spy network for at the least to protect you from palace intrigue stabbing you in the back, and probably also as a branch of your father's, now your sister's, espionage network.
>>
No. 794836 ID: 65a774
File 149183712555.png - (69.24KB , 686x526 , 71.png )
794836

>Does this mean she has a penis now?
Why, you really do bring up the most important questions first, don’t you? You’re pretty sure that’s just an illusion, and she’s still the same Varkian below that guise. Besides, even if she had, why would you care? It’s not like you’re planning on seeing what she got. Though… there is way too much dick around here as it is…
>Actually, a good joke to play on Bri one day would be to quietly arrange for the door to your room to be made slightly narrower while you and her are out doing things.
…that would be rather funny… though it has to wait.
>Ask Sisah how quick she spotted that that Sakkilian was someone in disguise.
Now that you think about it, Sisah did draw closer as soon as you opened the pantry door… and now that you look, you can see a slight shimmer in front of you… as if there’s a powerful, active ward spell in action around you. So she probably saw that something was off as soon as you got here?
>Don't you make it a personal point to know who your servants are, or at least enough to match names to faces? So why don't you recognize Theodore?
You’ve heard that name before… and if you remember correctly, he’s supposed to work with the food delivery… though you’ve never seen him in person. So, seeing that he’s in the pantry taking stock, it kind of adds up?


>Ah, so the truth finally comes out. You've finally revealed yourself to be a Sakkilian disguised as a Varkian this whole time!
:EleteSB:
:KronosSB: ...what? It was a joke! I'm not that stupid!
:CainSB: You could have fooled me, sir.
>You guys make me feel so smart, you know that?
:EleteSB: Geez, I wasn’t expecting this, okay? …and after what happened last night...

>Before you say anything more, ask Theodore, Tim and Xarrin to step outside.
:XarrinSB: What? No! I need to ‘now what, exactly, is going on ‘ere.
:NonSB: Well, the mustache assault aside, this is clearly above my pay grade to care about. So if you’ll excuse me, highness, I’ll take my leave.
:TimSB: …and I’m drunk so… I don’t really care except that waiting outside would be boring?
:KronosSB: Err… wait, can we trust that Theodore won’t tell anyone?
:CainSB: You’re paying for them not to tell, sir… and besides, I don’t think he’ll know what to tell either.
>Also confirm with Cain that he's done a sweep of the room for surveillance devices and it's free to speak here.
:CainSB: …this is a pantry sir… a place that you visit how much again? Never was it? Well, I guess whoever would have this place under surveillance would have died by boredom by now.
>Well this puts us in an awkward position. Harboring wanted fugitives is certainly not one of those things our sister asked Xarrin to do.
:XarrinSB: I’m not even sure she’s really a fugitive yet! No, I’ll need to ‘ear what she ‘as to say before I make any decision of what to tell the Queen. There’s clearly something more going on ‘ere than just the murder of the Archbishop… though the first question would be, did yah do it?
:EleteSB: How can I kill myself!?
:CainSB: …jump from the roof?
:EleteSB: You know what I mean. I am the Archbishop! Whoever they found isn’t the real one.

>If this subterfuge is my sister's work I'm standing by her.
:EleteSB: Unless your sister have an army of shape shifting monsters at her beck and call, I’m going to guess she doesn’t have anything to do with this.
:XarrinSB: Wait… monsters?
>Alright. Nice disguise. So, what's your side of the story then?
:EleteSB: I’m not sure exactly what is going on, but I do know it’s doesn’t bode well that they just found one corpse. Last night, I was holding a private sermon with some of the higher priests present. Suddenly, some of them starting sprouting tentacles and teeth everywhere, two of them even burst open to give birth to some horrid beast. They started slaughtering everyone else, so I simply had no choice but to run. If it wasn’t for my own private secret escape route, I’m sure I would have been one of the victims as well.
:XarrinSB: …wait, are yah serious? Monsters are attacking the temple!?
>I'd also be curious why she thought to approach to us about it.
:EleteSB: Because apparently Cain here thinks highly of you… or at least trust you… and you know more than most about this whole mess for some reason?
>>
No. 794845 ID: 91ee5f

>>794836
>Monsters with tentacles and teeth everywhere
Show her that picture of the Nightmare that you drew and ask her if that's the monster.

Then tell her it's your brother, the oldest one. And how his influence drove your other brother mad and how you think that's how he disappeared from his cell.

Then most importantly, ask her if anything has happened to Belseth and ask what she really was planning on having him become a god in some ritual. Because you believe that would only make him a vessel for the Nightmare to posses!

And finally, ask when the immortality rune is. Because if you can destroy that, then everything will be unhidden from the Old Man. Also, remember your promise to the Old Man so that he removes Xuv's influence from you and doesn't kill you!
>>
No. 794847 ID: 393aa5

>…wait, are yah serious? Monsters are attacking the temple!?
I don't believe it either. Well that's not exactly true; I believe it but I still don't trust her.

Anyway, it sounds like the work of my brother. As in, the supposedly dead one. He wasn't actually killed, he was poisoned and sent into the catacombs for treason. That 'miracle' you've been looking for? He's already found it.

But who put out the wanted posters? And why didn't they use your name?
>>
No. 794856 ID: 398fe1

>>794836
Alright, that's really worrying. Tell her what she saw matched the description of the creature you've come to call the Nightmare. Show her the picture. Also, uh, Tim might freak out a little, try to keep him calm. You've most likely discovered its origin: Krotos met Xuv's soul before he died and absorbed it, then by using that power he absorbed a bunch of other souls in the crypt.

Tell her what she saw was most likely a hallucination; that seems to be the Nightmare's main weapon. It haunts dreams and turns the waking world into a nightmare as well in times of stress. She was stressed out or worried before she saw the priests mutate, right? Did she attack any of the "monsters" before retreating?

Hang on, if she used a secret escape route how did she show up on the door log? Also, the door log apparently didn't register the other priests? Or was that not the same room the body was found in?
>>
No. 794861 ID: c1dace

So you came to me because Cain advised it. Why were you seeking advice from Cain then?

I assume since she's here instead of sorting this out with the guard she needs some sort of assistance in proving she's the archbishop.

It's worrisome that they killed other high priests whose bodies weren't found. There could be more of those things disguised as high priests now than there was yesterday. It could be a move to secure the corpses of the five for his own consumption with the archbishop out of the way.
>>
No. 794867 ID: 0b99d7

>>794836
>Cain here thinks highly of you- and you know more than most about this

(Regale them with an abridged story of Xuv, your corpse brother and possessed brother and the Nightmare(s)) conclude with
"As much as this monster business is quite serious and terrifying, I'm a bit glad I wasn't actually going insane and imagining the Nightmare, though it's of real worry that it has a physical presence now."
>>
No. 794869 ID: 094652

STOP.

Elete needs to explain everything. From the top.
>>
No. 794977 ID: fe7355

But then you have to ask why she came to Cain, or if she didn't seek him then how their paths crossed. Then ask what time the massacre happened and line it up with when Karas vanished and your personal timeline last evening. Was it before or after Belseth was suddenly called for a audience with the Archbishop? Was it these shape shifting impostors that did it? Was Hera among the high priests that were monsters or were killed? ...Belseth wasn't there when the killing happened, was he? Oh, please don't let Belseth be dead! ...Wait, the Nightmare needs him for whatever it was planning through the Archbishop, doesn't it? So it'd keep him alive and probably ignorant of what's happening. Or it'd lock him up and put a shape shifter impostor in his place.

And also ask how we can even confirm her identity as the Archbishop. If what she said of shape shifters is true, then even physical appearance and voice would not be a certainty of identity. Is there some kind of soul-print like what's used for the door lock logs kept on file by the palace or temple to compare and confirm ID?

Assuming it wasn't all some Nightmare hallucination, the chamber the bloodbath happened in would hold solid evidence of such no matter how much it's been cleaned. Stuff like traces of blood and viscera worked into the floor, walls, woodwork and furniture. Get the murder investigators to check that particular room for such evidence and if it's there then it'll back the Archbishop's story. And if the high priests block them then that'll be mighty suspicious of them. Ask the Archbishop which room the bloodbath happened in.

Alright, tell the Archbishop that the reason you know more about this mess is... Gods, how the hell do you explain how you know what you know and what's happened this last week without taking hours? ...Okay, say it started for you when you had that near-death experience in the royal crypt. That was when you first met Xuv, who was imprisoned deep in the Catacombs of the Godless. Except you'd later find out it wasn't actually Xuv but sorta a undead version of Xuv formed by trapped souls in the Catacombs infesting Xuv's corpse, pressing into the mold of her brain to form a facsimile of her mind and using the residual "divine" power in it. The actual soul of Xuv left her body when she died in the depths of the Soul Kiln, what the Catacomb was known as back then, at the end of the last age. But it too was trapped in the Soul Kiln/Catacombs of the Godless. And through absolutely astronomically bad luck it intersected with the poisoned, dying Krotos as he blindly wandered the Catacombs. That merger formed what you know as the Nightmare, a entity with, like, 75% of Xuv's "divine" power derived from her soul, with the monomaniacal traitor Krotos as its nucleus. It feeds on nightmares, on fear, on paranoia and despair and such-like, and it stalks the corridors of dreams to amplify them in those it touches. And it feels it deserves and is destined to be god-king of the world.

Anyway, you got ahead of yourself there. Back to after you met Xuv. You whispered her name to the garden earth elemental, hoping to find some corroboration, and it responded. Gave you that Old Empire children's prayer book with the summoning prayer rituals to the six gods. And wanting to try and draw some more info out of Xuv, and also to seek her protection for Bri from... You're not sure what you experienced when you passed out from the stink bomb, actually. Anyway, you did her ritual. Tell Tim and Cain that the rituals did work, it's just that Xuv didn't want to speak to anyone but you. But you started having some encounters with her outside summoning her. She appeared a few times without the ritual, and she appeared in your dreams. Tell Tim that she also entered his dreams the night after he did her ritual with you and made them very, er, "enjoyable" to pay him back. And as time went on, Xuv behaved less amicable-crazy and more violent-demanding-crazy, either threatening in your dreams she'd devour your soul if you did not comply or tempting you with your sexual desires. In the end, you turned her perverted lust for the one thing as a goddess she could never have against her and convinced her to kill herself, using you as the instrument. You will not speak of how that went, but in the end you possessed Xuv's power to traverse dreams. A power the Nightmare desires and wanted to extract from Xuv, and which you can use as a weapon to oppose it.

Also show the drawing of the Nightmare to the Archbishop and ask if she recognizes it. Tell her that Thalia saw it in a nightmare, and Tim thinks he saw it when he did the ritual to Xuv which the Nightmare came back up through and knocked him out. Oh, and tell the Archbishop that you gave her a fake ritual for Xuv, but the other five are real. You think it's a good thing you did give her a fake one, since whoever did Xuv's ritual would get the Nightmare all up in their face. Anyway, tell the Archbishop about your mental encounter with the Nightmare in the alley, and the visions of it you had before then. The one in the old observatory with Belseth, the one with Kira, the one at the trial, and so on. Oh, and tell her that Xuv popped up at the trial, and at one point she said she was seeing through a thousand eyes from where Karas was, and six eyes behind the royal door. So Karas is 100% certainly possessed by the Nightmare, but you'd later find out from Thalia that those six eyes belonged to three priests. Priests that the Nightmare was looking through and planning to assassinate Kira with.

...Y'know, you have to wonder how Belseth didn't know about the stuff Xarrin knows about Xuv and that the gods of yore were likely not actually gods but mortal rulers elevated by magic. You'd think Bel would have read everything available on gods and such, and yet he didn't know this. Rather peculiar, that.
>>
No. 794990 ID: ba506f

Yet another mystery to tack on to Cain. He is well read, even above some scholarly types we know, sometimes seems wiser then your father on your old bird's best days, know ancient languages, knows how to pick locks better then a lock smith, can sneak past or up to trained guards as if he didn't exist until just a moment ago, and has a 6th sense when it comes your wants for tea. Shame he'll never trust us enough to tell us who he really is. Ah well everyone has their secrets and he has had countless times to stab us in the back but has always stuck by our side even while we were doing something that any sane person would want to stay a 1000 yards away from. We may not know a damn thing about him and probably never truly will but he has won our trust and friendship through his undying loyalty anyways.

But even so why did the arch bishop run to Cain of all people for help, surely she had other more influential people she could have turned to? Hell how does she know Cain to begin with... unless they want to go with the "we just bumped into each other and I was desperate" excuse. If they do use that excuse just sigh and go with it.

Oh and one other thing that's kinda bothering me. Why did she pose as a up and coming priestess when we asked for some advice about the other 4 gods and come see us in person? I mean surely she had to have more important maters to deal with then entertaining a misfit prince (which, back then, you have to admit is how some people saw you).
>>
No. 795078 ID: 398fe1

I'd like to caution against dumping too much information on the Archbishop. Kronos should use most of his knowledge as leverage to get her to show us the location of the Infinity runes, and get her to agree in some binding way to never use them again.
>>
No. 795114 ID: 01d9f4

>>794836
We can show the nightmare and talk about an apparent plan to make a god causing the monster to come out, but we can't figure much more at the moment.

Ideally she'll spill what she knows of the attempt.
>>
No. 795470 ID: 65a774
File 149208477289.png - (56.59KB , 686x526 , 72.png )
795470

>...Y'know, you have to wonder how Belseth didn't know about the stuff Xarrin knows about Xuv and that the gods of yore were likely not actually gods but mortal rulers elevated by magic.
Xarrin did say that’s it was only a theory and not actual fact. After all, all they’ve found are old ruins of temples and the like. It very likely that Belseth knows about it, but choose not to believe it. He was convinced that he got vision of the future from Illasia herself, after all. That would have been enough proof of their existence in his eyes.


>So you came to me because Cain advised it. Why were you seeking advice from Cain then?
:EleteSB: Would you believe that I just bumped into him when I made my escape?
:KronosSB: …really?
:CainSB: I was just taking a nice evening stroll in the gardens, sir.
:EleteSB: And you just happened to be in the middle of an overgrown thicket in the middle of the night? No, I’m not buying it either, Prince, but I was out of options. He did at least help me shake off my pursuers, I’ll give him that much.
>Ask how we can even confirm her identity as the Archbishop.
:EleteSB: Err… well… I do have this medallion…
:CainSB: Trust me, sir, she is the real deal.
>I assume since she's here instead of sorting this out with the guard she needs some sort of assistance in proving she's the archbishop.
:EleteSB: The main problem is that the ones with the records of who is the current Archbishop is the high council of the temple… and as they are either dead or been turned into monsters…
:KronosSB: You mentioned a medallion as well?
:EleteSB: Indeed… it’s supposed to be used as a way to identify the real Archbishop, but as people think I’ve murdered the real one… well, they are just going to say that I stole it, won’t they?

>Elete needs to explain everything. From the top.
:EleteSB: From the top? I already told you everything I know about the attack.
:KronosSB: When I say from the beginning I mean from the beginning. Why don’t you start from when you found the crypt of the gods? …and the corpses of the five?
:EleteSB: …w-what did you… how…. How do you!? Did Belseth tell you this!? Have you been spying on us!?
:KronosSB: While Belseth did let some clues slip, it’s not from him that I’ve heard this. You might believe me a misfit prince, many do, but I’ve been involved with gods, the very personification of the future and past, as well as been tasked by life itself to stop the god creating ritual that you sought to do.
:EleteSB: …w-what!? But… that’s not… possible?
:KronosSB: So… from the beginning, Elete…
:EleteSB: …fine. I admit it… we found the crypts of the gods. But you must understand, that is something we can’t tell people, can we? The country is in turmoil as it is… and the knowledge that the gods who would guide and protect us are dead? It would destroyed everything King Helios have tried to create… everything Queen Kira have made… everything I’ve tried to-
:KronosSB: Yes, yes, we get it. And the ritual to create a god?
:EleteSB: Why, if our gods are dead… why not create a new one? A real one… that can actually help us directly?
:KronosSB: And you needed a Sakkilian for it, so you recruited Belseth?
:EleteSB: …what are you talking about? We didn’t need a Sakkilian for anything. No, we choose Belseth because he is unselfish, altruistic and intelligent… even if he has a bit of an ego. You must understand, I know full well that I don’t deserve to become something greater. I have too much blood on my hands as it is… I’ve done too many terrible things… I wouldn’t be able to resist the corruption of power… but Belseth? I believe he would do what was best for us all.
:KronosSB: …so that’s it? You tried to make him a god because he’s… good?
:EleteSB: Indeed. And our preparation was almost completed too. In a few days, when the twin moons are full, the ritual would begin… but last night, something attacked us… and usurped me. I’m going to guess it’s after the ritual itself, isn’t it? To make itself a god?


>Then tell her it's your brother, the oldest one.
:EleteSB: Your brother? But he’s dead!? I oversaw his execution myself!
>He wasn't actually killed, he was poisoned and sent into the catacombs for treason. That 'miracle' you've been looking for? He's already found it.
:EleteSB: But… he should be dead, shouldn’t he? But… if he… miracle? What did he find?
:KronosSB: I do believe he found a lost god… Xuv. Or… at least the soul of hers, her power. And now he seek the powers of the other dead gods so he can become all powerful.
:EleteSB: But… that’s… that’s absurd! …but it fits… they did scream “for the true king” …the true king being your brother?
:KronosSB: Who did? The monsters?
:EleteSB: Indeed… the monsters did… and your brother betrayed us because he… he considered himself the true king, did he not?
>And how his influence drove your other brother mad and how you think that's how he disappeared from his cell.
:EleteSB: So that’s why he acted so strange… he turned his own brother into another monster, then…
>Tell her what she saw was most likely a hallucination; that seems to be the Nightmare's main weapon.
:CainSB: Considering I found her drenched in blood, sir…
:EleteSB: No, it wasn’t a hallucination.

>But who put out the wanted posters? And why didn't they use your name?
:EleteSB: The high council must have approached the guards about it. I’m guessing the guards wants to take me in for questioning, but I can’t trust that the temple doesn’t have a means to hurt me in the guards’ custody… or that the guard aren’t corrupted as well. As for names…well, Romana is one of my names… as well as Elete…
:KronosSB: And your real name?
:EleteSB: …um… just call me Elete, please?
:CainSB: I don’t believe she has a real name, sir… if my sources are correct, she was born a nameless orphan, sir.
:EleteSB: …how did you-
:CainSB: My job is to know things, miss…
>Hang on, if she used a secret escape route how did she show up on the door log?
:EleteSB: Door log? Oh, to my private chamber? My escape route is located there, so I must have entered the room to use it, no?
>Why did she pose as an up and coming priestess when we asked for some advice about the other 4 gods and come see us in person?
:EleteSB: Because the very ground had whispered to me that you’d found something important? Something I needed?
:KronosSB: …the summoning rituals?
:EleteSB: Indeed.
>Ask what time the massacre happened and line it up with when Karas vanished and your personal timeline last evening. Was it before or after Belseth was suddenly called for an audience with the Archbishop?
:EleteSB: Huh? I never called for Belseth? …and it happened right after midnight.

>Show her that picture of the Nightmare that you drew and ask her if that's the monster.
:EleteSB: Hmm… it does… remind me of something, yes… but no, it wasn’t what I… actually, give me a piece paper and a pen, please.
:XarrinSB: Um… ‘ere?
>Tell her that Thalia saw it in a nightmare, and Tim thinks he saw it when he did the ritual to Xuv which the Nightmare came back up through and knocked him out.
:EleteSB: …so it really is real then? …hmmm…

:EleteSB: Oh… and here… here is what I saw.
:KronosSB: That’s… um…
:EleteSB: I’m no painter, I know…
:XarrinSB: It’s actually surprisingly good. I was expecting a stick figure, ‘onestly.

Hmmm… that thing looks rather different from what you’ve seen so far, doesn’t it?

>Get the murder investigators to check that particular room for such evidence and if it's there then it'll back the Archbishop's story. And if the high priests block them then that'll be mighty suspicious of them.
:EleteSB: Well… if you can convince the Queen to take action directly…
:TimSB: Wait… can we back up a bit? I kind of lost it for a bit there…
:EleteSB: …from where?
:TimSB: You said something about… um… a crypt of… goats?
:EleteSB:
:TimSB: I haven’t slept for days! …and I’m drunk! …so excuse me for not… paying… you? Wait, do I owe you money?
:XarrinSB: Yah can read my notes later, mage, not please be quiet.
:EleteSB: Notes? You’re taking notes?
:XarrinSB: Of course. I’m going to deliver this directly to the Queen.
:EleteSB: W-wait, you can’t just-
:KronosSB: If anything can convince Sis to take action, that would be it.
>>
No. 795482 ID: 4854ef

Okay we badly need to get Tim to sleep if his concentration has hit this low a level, drink or no drink.

And now there's the issue that Belseth was called by the Archbishop.. But she claims she didn't call him, so that means he's potentially in danger now as well.
>>
No. 795485 ID: 7df78f

Can't help but feel knowing clandestine information about the archbishop isn't quite within Cain's duty to know things.

Calm Elete down. Xarrin is right. Kira needs to know. It's only a matter of time before the high priests find out we're hiding something and apply pressure on Kira to force us to tell them. If we're open about this with Kira from the beginning it'll go a long way to keeping her trust and preventing them from getting an appointment with us and a truth rug. Plus, it'll be harder for the church to play political games with Kira's own royal guards; our own guard retinue counts at 1 and we have a tendency of wandering into trouble when alone.
>>
No. 795498 ID: bc8e48

>>795482
Dream magic causes little to no time to pass IRL. If we were gonna bring anyone to dream land, now'd be the time. Especially if Elette knows mental wards.
>>
No. 795506 ID: 91ee5f

>>795470
You need to explain to her that Belseth isn't perfect to become a god because he doubts himself and he's losing faith in this plan.

Also, the ritual is going to turn Belseth into a vessel for your brother to posses! And if that happens, just think of all the terrible things your brother will do with that kind of power!

>Medallion
That medallion wouldn't happen to have the Infinity rune on it, would it? Because when you talked to Life, it threatened to take your soul you less you destroyed the Infinity rune, which is blocking Life from seeing whatever is happening in the Temple! And in exchange for destroying it, Life would remove Xuv's influence on you and you'd be back to normal again.
>>
No. 795530 ID: ab71f0

You should mention the fact Xuv didn't die completely due to being imprisoned, but the emergency comes first: Belseth, called into an ambush. This should be concerning enough to interrupt everything else.
>>
No. 795534 ID: ae6f16

>born an orphan
I'm pretty sure that's not how that works.

>I never called for Belseth
Uuumm what?

>Monster
What or who the fuck is that? I mean from where the shit did it come from, how was it made, is it one of the creatures from hell cause if your bro can now control all the monsters in the pit then things are going to get pretty bloodbathy. Also does she know about hell or the Well of Souls or about Life killing the Gods or that they where the reason for the fall of the old empires and the weakening of magic? Should we maybe inform her about this stuff? I think it's about time we inform everybody about all the shit we've been able to work out so far and now we have enough to not be seen as crazy. Big bro seems to be abandoning subtlety and making some moves so it could be time we brought all our allies together and up to speed.
>>
No. 795538 ID: 65a774
File 149210947216.png - (85.73KB , 686x526 , 73.png )
795538

>Can't help but feel knowing clandestine information about the archbishop isn't quite within Cain's duty to know things.
You’re pretty sure a lot of things he does isn’t within his duty… yet, he has never showed anything but undying loyalty for you, so you can’t do anything but trust him, right?
>What or who the fuck is that?
It’s clearly some horrifying beast that you’ll need to deal with later… it’s a given that something called the nightmare would employ creatures not of this world, no?
>Does she know about hell or the Well of Souls or about Life killing the Gods or that they were the reason for the fall of the old empires and the weakening of magic? Should we maybe inform her about this stuff?
You’re going to guess that she doesn’t… and as much as you want to tell someone all of it, you really don’t have that much time to waste explaining everything. Especially to Elete, as you still don’t trust her. If anything, you should gather everyone you trust later to tell them all at once…


>Calm Elete down. Xarrin is right. Kira needs to know. It's only a matter of time before the high priests find out we're hiding something and apply pressure on Kira to force us to tell them.
:EleteSB: …gnn… fine, we need her help. I never liked bringing her into things, but we don’t have a choice this time.
>You need to explain to her that Belseth isn't perfect to become a god because he doubts himself and he's losing faith in this plan.
:EleteSB: Perfection is an impossibility. We simply have to get the best thing we got.
>Also, the ritual is going to turn Belseth into a vessel for your brother to possess! And if that happens, just think of all the terrible things your brother will do with that kind of power!
:EleteSB: I do concur that we need to stop that… thing from completing the ritual, yes, but we still need to perform it after its been defeated. Creating a new golden age for the whole world is beyond any petty politics we can come up with.
>That medallion wouldn't happen to have the Infinity rune on it, would it?
:EleteSB: …a what rune?
:KronosSB: A rune of immortality?
:EleteSB: I… I don’t know what that is, so I don’t think so? Here, I can show it to you… and here’s another picture of those creatures I saw.
:KronosSB: Another one!?
:EleteSB: I said I saw two of them, remember? The rest were just people with extra eyes, mouths and tentacles sprouting out of them.

…okay, those two things really don’t look friendly at all. You really hope you don’t have to fight those things…

>Now there's the issue that Belseth was called by the Archbishop. But she claims she didn't call him, so that means he's potentially in danger now as well.
:XarrinSB: I did see ‘im just an ‘our or two ago… but if they can take other people’s shapes…
:SisahSB: You can’t just rush in there to try and find him, Sir. Remember that someone is still trying to attack you through the wards, so you should stay inside the palace.
>Okay we badly need to get Tim to sleep if his concentration has hit this low a level, drink or no drink.
:TimSB: Eh… I’m fine… really…
>Dream magic causes little to no time to pass IRL. If we were gonna bring anyone to dream land, now'd be the time.
:TimSB: …but if you want to I… I… I really do need so sleep… mmm… sleep…
>Especially if Elette knows mental wards.
:EleteSB: Hmm… I do know some light magic that protect against the darkness… which includes nightmares… though I don’t know if this really count as actual nightmares or not. Hmm… actually, I do have something that might work… though I need the blood of someone that really cares for you for it to work.
>>
No. 795539 ID: bc8e48

>>795538
Blood of dad + Bri + Cain?

Cain is closest. Use Cains blood.
>>
No. 795561 ID: 398fe1

>>795470
>so I must have entered the room to use it, no?
But the door log said she entered then left the room. Like, that was the main reason to suspect her, right? She was the only one on the log aside from the "body double", and it certainly wouldn't be a correct conclusion to make if the door log showed her entering but NOT leaving.

It wouldn't make much sense for this Elete to be a shapeshifter, though. Why would a shapeshifter flee the scene of the crime and run into Cain like that? Oh god I just realized we have to deal with shapeshifters now. (why do you keep doing this, Kaktus?!) We need some manner of security to prevent being ambushed by impostors.

Try the light magic thing, use Cain's blood. Then we enter Tim's dream.
>>
No. 795576 ID: 91ee5f

>>795538
>but we still need to perform it after its been defeated. Creating a new golden age for the whole world is beyond any petty politics we can come up with.
Look her in the eyes and tell her as firmly as possible, "No."

And then explain, that Life said that it would come in and kill Belseth because Life doesn't want anyone creating gods anymore. In fact, that's exactly how the old empire fell, everyone thought it was a good idea to create their own god and then Life decided to remove magic from the entire world for a few thousand years and everyone, including the man-made gods, died. So, unless you want to repeat those exact same mistakes the old empire made and get everyone killed, you will never attempt to create a god!

Besides, the gods have been dead ever since the old empire fell and we've been doing perfectly fine without them. We don't need anymore gods.
>>
No. 795579 ID: 91ee5f

>>795576
Also, why would you even want to continue trying to create a god?! Trying to create a god is what started this whole mess in the first place! And it's going to keep happening as long as you continue trying to make a god! So stop trying to make a god!
>>
No. 795585 ID: 4854ef

Given that your brother took a unique form.. I wonder if those two are specific people turned monstrous.
>>
No. 795587 ID: 398fe1

>>795576
>Life decided to remove magic from the world
No, that's not what happened. What happened was the afterlife starved the rivers of souls, then the world cracked and magic failed because the world is what supports magic. After the gods died and the afterlife was no more, the souls returned to circulation and the rivers recovered, which allowed the world to recover and magic to return.

All Life did was kill the gods and sabotage the rivers so that nobody could become a god again just by drinking from them.
>>
No. 795611 ID: ba506f

>Creating a new golden age for the whole world is beyond any petty politics we can come up with.
Except Life will literally rip out the soul of anyone who tries and rip their soul to pieces to suffer for a 1000 years of unending unimaginable torment. Or at least that's what he told me when he ripped my soul out. That and that he was the one the killed the old gods.

oh and now I'm really curious. Is Cain part of your father's (guess now sisters) spy network or even the one in charge of it or does he just run his own third party spy ring? Because it's easily past the point were anyone would believe he's just a simple butler now. Eh not he'll ever tell anyone anyways.
>>
No. 795614 ID: c8b88b

Tell her exactly what the prophetic entity or entities which described what his divinity would do said would happen, especially to his psyche and in the long term. Mention how reliable these entities are, and name them if possible.
>>
No. 795636 ID: fc33ea

>We simply have to get the best thing we got.
Absolutely not. 'good enough' is unacceptable when you're dealing with things of the magnitude like immortality and godlike power- you owe to everyone, even- no, especially- to Belseth, to do it right. Besides, a good heart is not enough to be a good leader- people often do terrible things with good intention.

> I need the blood of someone that really cares for you for it to work.
Cain's been caring for me since before I could read. Also I dunno if Tim has blood in the traditional sense or if it'd cause some kind of recursion.
>>
No. 795892 ID: 65a774
File 149219501099.png - (46.66KB , 686x526 , 74.png )
795892

>Blood from dad?
Poppa has been through enough already, let’s leave him out of this.
>Is Cain part of your father's (guess now sisters) spy network or even the one in charge of it or does he just run his own third party spy ring?
You do know Kira wanted him to act as a spy, didn’t she? So he must have some connections?


>Oh god I just realized we have to deal with shapeshifters now.
:XarrinSB: Hmm… is it illusions, like the one Elete is wearing, or are we dealing with actual body shifting, like a Shapestealer or a Wraith? …though, both Shapestealers and Wraiths needs to consume their targets first, but still…
:CainSB: Shapestealers are dumb as bricks and a Wraith has a singular goal of vengeance, neither of which fits the description of what Elete saw. Honestly, from what I’ve gleaned from all this, I don’t think we’re dealing with shapeshifters at all.
:EleteSB: But they looked like people I knew!
:CainSB: This nightmare being corrupts people. It’s possible it has just corrupted the priest so thoroughly that they have become beasts themselves.
:EleteSB: Hmm… most of the ones I saw where people that had ventured into the catacombs… then… they are corrupted?
>But the door log said she entered then left the room. Like, that was the main reason to suspect her, right?
:EleteSB: The door log just says that I used the door, not that I left or entered. They’ve probably made sure it looks like I entered with the victim and left alone a while later.

>Absolutely not. 'good enough' is unacceptable when you're dealing with things of the magnitude like immortality and godlike power- you owe to everyone, even- no, especially- to Belseth, to do it right.
:EleteSB: We believe Belseth will do the job splendidly, if he get the necessary guidance to do so. He will usher in the new golden age like the empires of the-
>Look her in the eyes and tell her as firmly as possible, "No."
:EleteSB: No!? Do you know what you’re trying to stop here!? The world needs a-
>And then explain, that Life said that it would come in and kill Belseth because Life doesn't want anyone creating gods anymore. In fact, that's exactly how the old empire fell!
:EleteSB: Life!? Who is this Life and who gave him the authority to decide what we can and cannot do? And how, exactly, did the old empire fall?
:KronosSB: The gods consumed to much magic… so the world fell apart when the river of souls, the source of all magic, ran dry.
:EleteSB: The gods, yes… but one god? There has to have been hundreds of so called gods back then, no? How can one do what a hundred did? Besides, if we know the mistakes they made, we can avoid falling in the same pitfall, no? We’ll just make sure to not consume to much magic.
>The gods have been dead ever since the old empire fell and we've been doing perfectly fine without them. We don't need any more gods.
:EleteSB: Look around you. The world is filled with war, pestilence, famine and death. Is this really the world we deserve to live in!?
:CainSB: She got a point, sir…
:XarrinSB: Enough bickering between yah two, now isn’t the time. Do not forget that the Queen ‘as the final word on this matter. The two of yah will make ye case to ‘er and she will be the one to decide what will be done. But first, we need to deal with the threat right now! This god business can wait.
:EleteSB: But the twin moons-
:XarrinSB: ‘appens more than once a year, we can wait for the next one if needed.

>Cain's been caring for me since before I could read.
:CainSB: Wait… you want my blood?
:EleteSB: I’ll need a needle to draw-
:CainSB: A n-needle!?
:EleteSB: …what’s wrong with a needle?
:KronosSB: Oh right… Cain is afraid of needles…
:CainSB: I’m not afraid of needles, sir… I j-just… don’t really like seeing my own b-blood like that. Isn’t it possible to ask your darling wife for some blood instead, Kronos?
:EleteSB: Oh, man up, it’s just a handful of blood. Are you really going to help us face these things if you’re afraid of a little blood?
:CainSB: I’d face these things gladly to save the Prince, I’ll tell you…
:EleteSB: Yet you’re scared of a needle.
:CainSB: If it’s really necessary I’ll… d-do it… but… Lady Briannah?
:XarrinSB: General Briannah is probably still at the meeting…
:CainSB: …but we can wait?
:EleteSB: I’m not going to stand around doing nothing… if this dream magic will actually work and you want my help, we’ll do it now or never.

:TimSB: Ugh… can’t we just go back to my room already so I can sleep?
:XarrinSB: I do concur that we should go somewhere else. This pantry is ‘ardly the place for this kind of meeting.
>>
No. 795899 ID: 398fe1

>>795892
Yep, let's go to a better, secure location. Tim's room will do, probably, but Sisah should check the room beforehand.
>>
No. 795900 ID: d0ea16

How about Sisah? I'd hope your bodyguard genuinely cares about you.
>>
No. 795902 ID: b8a03f

Blood from everyone, but make sure to heat the needles with fire first, and Kronos gets the blood vials.
>>
No. 795911 ID: fc33ea

>if he get the necessary guidance to do so
And what happens when his guide dies? And the people he cares about, and everything tying him to mortal life?
>Who is this Life and who gave him the authority to decide what we can and cannot do?
He created life, is older than all things and is nearly omniscient. What gives you the authority?
>Is this really the world we deserve to live in!?
Alright mrs. too-much-blood-on-my-hands, tell me more about what we deserve. Things are the way they are because the Old empire flew too close to the sun and thing haven't normalized- yet. Tim can show you what you'll be killing once we're done here. Don't make the exact same mistake again.

Tim's room it is.
>>
No. 795925 ID: 398fe1

If we're gonna tell her who Life is, it better come with a warning not to try to worship him, because he wipes the memory of anyone who tries to do so.
>>
No. 795938 ID: ba506f

>We’ll just make sure to not consume to much magic.
well seeing how he ripped my soul out and threatened to tear it to pieces I highly doubt he gives a shit. The best why to describe him would be a grumpy vengeful old man how is still absolutely pissed that the river ran dry once and will take down anyone he even THINKS is trying to go god again. Hell, he ripped my soul out just because I was talking to the sprit of a dead god that managed to escape his wrath. But yeah anyways, let's go somewhere more comfortable. Also cain think it would help if you closed your eyes?
>>
No. 795948 ID: 4ef7d9

And then Cain was the demons.
>>
No. 796003 ID: fe7355

It feels very wrong that the normally completely unflappable Cain has been shaken so by this, doesn't it? Do you have any idea where his fear of seeing his own blood came from? Anyway, tell him that you wish it could be another way and reassure him that it'll be over quick and he doesn't have to look. ...Um, does the Archbishop know how to draw blood? Does anyone here? 'Cause if not we probably want to summon a nurse or medic or someone skilled in drawing blood. Otherwise it's gonna be painful and frustrating trying to hit a vein.

>Hmm… most of the ones I saw where people that had ventured into the catacombs… then… they are corrupted?
So who and how many ventured into the Catacombs? Especially ones that made multiple trips, since they're probably most likely to be effected.

>The gods consumed to much magic… so the world fell apart when the river of souls, the source of all magic, ran dry.
Kronos, you remembered it wrong. You forgot the fundamental part that the River of Souls is a closed loop with a set total number of souls. A loop which the world of the age of the Old Empire kept either diverting or delaying the souls from one way or another. This eventually created a gap in the flow of the loop that lasted roughly a year. Without that flow all magic in the world ceased along with everything that relied on it, foremost the gods themselves. And it was because their world was so magic dependent that the result was so catastrophic. So as long as souls aren't trapped on this side of the loop, like by the effect of the Rune of Eternity, or a large number delayed too long, then the River of Souls will not run dry. You should correct and clarify this to the Archbishop, Kronos.

So, knowing this, a single god alone will not cause the River of Souls to cease flowing. It's actually in the god's interest to not stem the flow, since a god lives and derives their power from its flow of magic. However, constructing a afterlife and diverting souls into it would eventually cause a gap in the flow if that afterlife is around too long. That means this information about the nature of the River of Souls is vital for Belseth to know if he is to be elevated to godhood.

>>795911
>And what happens when his guide dies? And the people he cares about, and everything tying him to mortal life?
The Archbishop is not talking about one guide but likely a council with a whole ongoing organization behind it to replace members. One that isn't just the Temple, if Kira has anything to say about it. A equal joint venture.

And Belseth cares about many, many more people in this world than just his close family and friends. Nearly all people. That's probably a primary reason the Archbishop chose him. And the fact he feels he could do so little about all those peoples' suffering is one reason he took to drink so often.

>He created life, is older than all things and is nearly omniscient. What gives you the authority?
Incorrect. Old Man Life did not create life, life created him. He was created by the combined fundamental belief of all mortal beings of their own mortality. He is the anthropomorphic personification of life and death, beginnings and endings, and all that which is mortal. And because of this nature, he gets really, really pissed off by anyone trying to become immortal. But if they become immortal, they are beyond his view because he can only see that which is mortal and finite. Oh, and he also tends to the River of Souls, making sure it flows to and from his "garden" where depleted souls are restored before returning to the world. And Kronos should probably tell the Archbishop this.

>Tim can show you what you'll be killing once we're done here. Don't make the exact same mistake again.
What? What are you talking about? Who'll be killing what?

>>795938
>The best why to describe him would be a grumpy vengeful old man how is still absolutely pissed that the river ran dry once and will take down anyone he even THINKS is trying to go god again.
Eh, it's more accurate to say that he doesn't want anyone to possibly recreate the Rune of Eternity or any other means to make people immortal and things eternal, like what happened in the age of the Old Empire. And how it was done back then was directly tapping and studying the River of Souls, so the Old Man is being aggressively proactive in killing any mage that tries that. So it's not the godly power he takes so much offense at, it's the immortality a god has and the possibility they rediscover the way to make others immortal and things endless. If the god was mortal and would eventually die, the Old Man would be less pissed off about them.

>Hell, he ripped my soul out just because I was talking to the sprit of a dead god that managed to escape his wrath.
No, that's not why. The Old Man started to rip Kronos' soul out because he spotted the "gift" Xuv gave Kronos of chaining his soul to his body; Being the personification of mortality, the Old Man really, really hates anyone that tries to dodge death like that. And the Old Man didn't know about Xuv's connection to Kronos until Kronos told him.
>>
No. 796005 ID: b8a03f

>:EleteSB: Look around you. The world is filled with war, pestilence, famine and death. Is this really the world we deserve to live in!?
YES IT IS, STUPID.

You advocate the worship of dead gods. Rivaling nations refuse to help their plagued neighbors. The nobles steal food from the poor. The gods are dead because of their devouring arrogance. We are all responsible, and yet we refuse to acknowledge it.

All of these plagues are our problems, and our job is to find near-fitting solutions to the best of our ability. You're trying to find an easy way out by spending considerable resources and ruthless manipulation to make an entity you can't possibly hope to control. This will not end well, he'll just multiply your problems by patching them up with glue, letting the pressure fill until it finally explodes and ruins the world further.
>>
No. 796136 ID: 65a774
File 149229463602.png - (48.76KB , 686x526 , 75.png )
796136

>And then Cain was the demons.
He might be the demon king himself for all you know.
>It feels very wrong that the normally completely unflappable Cain has been shaken so by this, doesn't it? Do you have any idea where his fear of seeing his own blood came from?
He’s always been averse to getting hurt in any way. Somehow, no matter what the two of you have to go through, he always seems to get out on the other side without a scratch…


>Tim's room will do, probably, but Sisah should check the room beforehand.
:SisahSB: The room is secure, sir.
:TimSB: Of course it is, it’s my room… now… to bed!
:EleteSB: …wait, what’s with the rock under all that lab equipment?
:TimSB: None of your damn business, that’s what.
>Alright mrs. too-much-blood-on-my-hands, tell me more about what we deserve?
:EleteSB: We deserve more-
:XarrinSB: Didn’t I tell yah two to leave it? We ‘ave more pressing matters to attend to… especially if this thing can corrupt people through dreams as yah said… as the mage just fell asleep.
:TimSB: *Snore*
>So who and how many ventured into the Catacombs? Especially ones that made multiple trips, since they're probably most likely to be effected.
:EleteSB: A few dozen, at least… though, most of them were lower priests… that was put on leave elsewhere after the ordeal.
:XarrinSB: So, there’s going to be beasts all over the country!?
:EleteSB: …actually, now that I think about it… those that left this place seemed to recover surprisingly fast. Those that stayed, the higher ranked ones, on the other hand… I always chalked it up to trauma from going down there but… they really did act odd at times.

>How about Sisah? I'd hope your bodyguard genuinely cares about you.
:SisahSB: Sir, I care for you as the one I should protect… I barely know you as a person. Though I would consider you a friend, if a distant one, in better times, I’m not that close to you.
>...Um, does the Archbishop know how to draw blood? Does anyone here?
:EleteSB: I’m a mage of life, light and biological magic. Freshly drawn blood is one of the best components for that kind of craft, so of course I know how to draw blood! …course, I mostly use my own blood, but still…
>and Kronos gets the blood vials.
:EleteSB: I’ll just draw enough for the spell, nothing more.
:CainSB: Do I really have to do this, sir!?
:EleteSB: Yes, now sit down and think happy thought, this will just take a moment.
:CainSB: *Whimper*…



:EleteSB: Tor’kata… Seth… CA’THE!
:KronosSB: …did you really need to paint my face with his blood!?
:EleteSB: Yes. Now… I’ve thrown both a ward that should protect you from ill dreams… as well as a… guarding light made out of the care your manservant feels for you. I’m not sure how these will manifest in the dream but… it’s probably going to be symbolic so… um…
:CainSB: Ow…
:EleteSB: Stop touching the wound, servant, it will only make it worse. So… it’s time for you to do your thing?
:TimSB: *Snore* …ngt…
:KronosSB: …right. I just need to touch him like-
>>
No. 796137 ID: 65a774
File 149229464767.png - (70.59KB , 686x526 , 76.png )
796137

I waCRUSH THEIR SKULLSrned you… Please, doScreams of agony will echo down the halls…n’t make me do this… I doBREAK THEIR BONESn’t want to huSuffering is all we know now…rt you… no moFEAST UPON THEIR SOULSre blood on my haMaster said not to hurt you…nds… why doYOU’RE NOTHING BUT MEATes it huBut we will enjoy this…rt so much… this wiWE WILL ENJOY THE SLAUGHTERll be the eWill you scream as life leaves your body?nd… I’PAIN IS LOVEm sorry, broPain is the only thing left for youther… leave and don’t look back… theTHERE IS ONLY PAIN UP HEREre is only pain doThere is only pain in herewn here… KroI WILL FEAST UPON YOUR CARCASS, KRONOS nos, runKronos… suffer for us…
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No. 796138 ID: 65a774
File 149229466824.png - (82.72KB , 686x526 , 77.png )
796138

Bones cracks underneath your feet as you land in a chamber filled with hanging corpses. The stench of decay and death makes you almost lurch down here… where are you? Is this really Tim’s dream? You’re clearly not in the catacombs this time…
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No. 796161 ID: fc33ea

I think Elete played us hard. Where did she get that spell anyway? Isn't dream magic supposed to be weird and unheard of?

You've got something to cut down those bodies, haven't you? Or so you can see their faces?
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No. 796162 ID: 398fe1

>>796137
Interesting. One voice refers to its location as "up here", another is "in here", and your brother says it's "down here". I'm guessing one of the souls came from deeper down in the catacombs. That implies that deeper down in the catacombs is more peaceful. Also, this confirms that they're being controlled by someone.

>>796138
Yeah, your dream magic got diverted by Nightmare. You're either in your brother's dream or some artificially constructed death trap. Immediately try to summon the guardian of Cain.

Are there only four corpses? Or like, countless? How big is the chamber, could something be hiding in here? Don't touch anything if you can help it, we don't know what part of this is dangerous. Get a good look at the centerpiece there. What is that stuff coming out of it? What's the dark spot on the base?
Keep wary, this place is supposed to kill you somehow. The hanging corpses could attack you, or the bones could reanimate. Have your gun ready at all times.
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No. 796164 ID: 7df78f

Each of the bodies has a different expression. The leftmost looks almost joyful while the rightmost looks furious. Second from the right is very sad, and I can't really tell with second from the left, maybe fearful.

They might each represent one of the voices that you heard on the way in being controlled by whatever is in the center. Although looking back over it there only seemed to be three distinct voices.
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No. 796166 ID: 398fe1

>>796164
In that case I'd say the fat corpse is the odd man out.
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No. 796168 ID: 91ee5f

>>796166
What if the fat corpse is Kronos' dad?! These corpses could represent different people that Kronos knows!

If that's true, then I'd say they all represent Kronos' sister, 2 brothers, and father!
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No. 796169 ID: fc33ea

>>796162
I'm guessing four corpses for the four umbilical chord things, and we have to make some kind of sadistic choice because these dream sequences are all setpieces.
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No. 796174 ID: ac325c

What if these are actually the corpses of the gods?

...

Can we eat them?
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No. 796214 ID: fe7355

No, this is most likely Tim's nightmare. Remember how he described it, filled with death and decay, torn flesh, broken bones and tortured souls. This place so far fits that description, doesn't it? (See >>/questarch/745218) And then he said he was chased by a laughing skeletal abomination that was seeking to rend flesh and feast on entrails, so expect that to show up right quick and be ready to run for your life. Also remember he said it was Vark in base form, so any of these Vark bones might be it. Draw and ready your gun, keeping it close in so it can't be knocked out of your grasp by a surprise attack, and keep slowly turning and listening for any other movement. It's also possible that Tim is in here and being chased by that skeletal abomination, so listen for that as well.

Best guess as to why you didn't end up in the dream version of the Catacombs first is that when Tim did Xuv's ritual it somehow created a direct dream-link back into the Nightmare itself. So you entering his nightmare bypassed the dream-Catacombs entirely and went straight down that link into the Nightmare's mind. ...Oh, you have made a horrible, terrible mistake, haven't you? You're not ready to face the Nightmare like this! Fuck fuck FUCK!

Quickly look yourself over and see if anything is different. Maybe the symbol of Cain's protection is on you somewhere, or in one of your pockets. And look about for anything you'd associate with Cain. A teacup or tea set, a Regicide piece or set, or anything else that he always seems to have.

Did you recognize any of the three intertwined voices you heard before you arrived, and of the ones you didn't what did they sound like?

Untangling the three voices, the one that presumably is Krotos' said: I warned you… Please, don’t make me do this… I don’t want to hurt you… no more blood on my hands… why does it hurt so much… this will be the end… I’m sorry, brother… leave and don’t look back… there is only pain down here… Kronos, run…

The one that might be Karas' voice, since it mentioned its master saying not to hurt you, said: Screams of agony will echo down the halls… Suffering is all we know now… Master said not to hurt you… But we will enjoy this… Will you scream as life leaves your body? Pain is the only thing left for you… There is only pain in here… Kronos… suffer for us…

And the loudest voice, which sounds like it might be the laughing skeletal Vark abomination Tim described that was chasing him in his nightmare, said: CRUSH THEIR SKULLS! BREAK THEIR BONES! FEAST UPON THEIR SOULS! YOU’RE NOTHING BUT MEAT! WE WILL ENJOY THE SLAUGHTER! PAIN IS LOVE! THERE IS ONLY PAIN UP HERE! I WILL FEAST UPON YOUR CARCASS, KRONOS! (I added the exclamation points for readability.)

It sounds like Krotos isn't in control of the Nightmare. It sounds rather more like he's being dragged along for the horrible ride. And he warned you before. He must have wrested enough control to put up that cage around where you entered outside Thalia's dream and give you that warning.

Alright, remember all the ways you can exit a dream. Dreamer said if you fall asleep in the dream realm you will wake up, but considering where you are that's not gonna happen. Maybe if you passed out or were knocked out in here you'd wake up, but you really don't want to test that theory. And then there's advancing the dream-time with significant in-dream changes until the dreamer wakes up, like what happened with Briannah's dream. But this isn't Tim's dream, it's the mind of the Nightmare, so you have no idea how to do that here. Maybe if Tim manages to force himself to wake up again it'll break the link through him. You need to find where he is in here, if only to try and protect him from the abomination that chased him last time.

>>796174
>What if these are actually the corpses of the gods?
No, they're not, primarily because none of them is shaped like the gods. Each of the Five (or Six, or Seven, including the unknown Serpens one) was a different species, with only Ifocen being a Vark, while all these hanging corpses appear to be Varks.
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No. 796216 ID: 094652

Look at the indentation on the flesh altar, right where the stomach would be anatomically. I think you stab a sword in there, that would coincide with the "raised his sword to kill the last beast" suicide thing.
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No. 796280 ID: 65a774
File 149236550289.png - (71.38KB , 686x526 , 78.png )
796280

>I think Elete played us hard.
She did seem rather taken aback with everything that you told her… still, she might just be a very good actor?
>Where did she get that spell anyway? Isn't dream magic supposed to be weird and unheard of?
She didn’t use dream magic, she used normal wards and spells. She said it herself, she’s not even sure if they’ll work… or how they’ll work, but hopefully they’ll do something?
>Did you recognize any of the three intertwined voices you heard before you arrived, and of the ones you didn't what did they sound like?
All of them where just terrible screams…

>This is most likely Tim's nightmare. Remember how he described it, filled with death and decay, torn flesh, broken bones and tortured souls.
Bones, bodies and filled with death… yeah, this might be it.
>Alright, remember all the ways you can exit a dream. Dreamer said if you fall asleep in the dream realm you will wake up, but considering where you are that's not gonna happen.
Even if you could escape, you can’t leave Tim in a place like this. If this really is his dreamscape, than you need to help him.


>Have your gun ready at all times.
Your gun is loaded and ready… both fire and ice is at your disposal.
>Immediately try to summon the guardian of Cain.
Try as you might, there doesn’t seem to be any- wait, what’s this in your pocket? A silver tea spoon? …err… how is that going to help?

>How big is the chamber, could something be hiding in here?
The chamber is a rather large room… and it’s… familiar somehow? Hmm… you’re pretty sure this is actually Tim’s study. The door is in the right place… and it’s about the same size and shape. The only thing missing is all the lab equipment, his weird hollow sphere bed, the rest of his furniture and the portable wall separating his lab and his actual room… so, nearly everything is missing. The only thing left is hanged bodies, bones, a bloodied altar and a crucified corpse hanging over it. Oh, and the door doesn’t open. It’s not locked, but you think there might be something blocking it from the other side.
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No. 796281 ID: 65a774
File 149236551225.png - (75.57KB , 686x526 , 79.png )
796281

>Are there only four corpses? Or like, countless?
There are about a dozen of them… in all kind of sizes and genders… though; you think they are all Varkian?
>You've got something to cut down those bodies, haven't you? Or so you can see their faces?
You got a gun that can shoot fire and ice… and a tea spoon… so, not really? Not unless you want to start a fire.
>What if these are actually the corpses of the gods? Can we eat them?
You’re pretty sure these aren’t the gods… nor are you going to eat them even if they were.
>Get a good look at the centerpiece there. What is that stuff coming out of it? What's the dark spot on the base?
It’s a stone altar covered in blood… and the only remarkable thing about is the symbol at its base… it’s a gaping maw filled with sharp teeth.

…oh, and the body is gone… that can’t be good…
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No. 796290 ID: 91ee5f

>>796281
>…oh, and the body is gone… that can’t be good…
That's not the only difference. That symbol on the wall wasn't there before and neither was that blood dripping from the ceiling!

.....! OH SHIT, IT'S ABOVE YOU!!!!!
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No. 796301 ID: 7df78f

The scrawling on the door would seem to indicate that the maw on the alter has an eye inside of it. Look around for signs of the body before investigating the alter further though.
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No. 796304 ID: 398fe1

>>796281
First, look at the ceiling to see if the crucified corpse is about to ambush you. If so, kill it with fire. If you get in trouble you might be able to summon your guardian by requesting tea, or clinking the spoon against your gun.

Second, stick bones in the maw.
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No. 796310 ID: da1652

>>796281
Cain usually shows up when he's needed.. and usually within moments of asking for or offering someone Tea. Maybe that will work here, too.
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No. 796319 ID: ba506f

are all the hanging bodies looking at you? Also look up.
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No. 796489 ID: 65a774
File 149245197060.png - (55.43KB , 686x526 , 80.png )
796489

>If you get in trouble you might be able to summon your guardian by requesting tea, or clinking the spoon against your gun.
There has to be something you can do with this spoon… though you might not want to make a lot of sounds right now.

>The scrawling on the door would seem to indicate that the maw on the alter has an eye inside of it.
You can’t see anything inside the maw down there. Wait… it looks like there is some kind of small marking in there… like there’s something missing? Like an eye?
>are all the hanging bodies looking at you?
Their backs are mostly towards the walls, which mean they are looking in your general direction, yes.
>That's not the only difference. That symbol on the wall wasn't there before and neither was that blood dripping from the ceiling!
They weren’t? But how can they just appear from nowhere… unless… wait…

>OH SHIT, IT'S ABOVE YOU!!!!! KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!
You don’t even take the time to look up; instead you bathe the whole ceiling in flame. As you do, you manage to catch a glimpse of something throwing itself at you. Before you can react, something huge comes crashing into you.
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No. 796490 ID: 65a774
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796490

With a loud crack, you’re smashed through the door into the hall outside Tim’s study. Somehow, you’re still on your feet and unharmed, only when you dare open your eyes again can you see why. A shield of light, cracked and broken, surrounds you. Is that the ward Elete casted on you? One thing is for certain, it will probably not protect you from another blow, as it shatters into pieces in front of your eyes.
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No. 796492 ID: 65a774
File 149245198861.png - (50.62KB , 686x526 , 82.png )
796492

Looking back into the room you just were in, you can see that the flame has spread to the bodies, creating a large inferno inside. Inside the flames, you can catch glimpses of an abnormally shaped shadow twisting around, cackling in an inhuman voice.

:NonSB: FIRE!? Is that all you got!? GAHAHA! DO YOU REALLY THINK A LITTLE PAIN WILL STOP ME! I will rend your flesh from your bones, stupid Prince!
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No. 796494 ID: d022c3

Run in the direction of meat. Look for anywhere we can hide in on the way.
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No. 796495 ID: 9fb6b4

Run toward Nightmare. That's our target.
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No. 796505 ID: 398fe1

>>796492
Nail it with an ice bolt then run to the Nightmare.

Odd that your gun doesn't fire light anymore.
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No. 796536 ID: ba506f

quick fire a quick shot at it's jaw to try and shut it up and then book it right.
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No. 796554 ID: 01d9f4

>>796492
Nightmare

Faster we handle the situation, the less exposure to harm
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No. 796561 ID: 0fe0c8

>DO YOU REALLY THINK A LITTLE PAIN WILL STOP ME!?
That means we can hurt it (or cause it pain, at least).

Keep shooting fire at it sporadically while backing down the Nightmare hallway. Don't shoot ice unless it is charging through the flames or if your fire gun is about to run out. We don't know if we can actually freeze it, but the sudden temperature change could fuck it up.
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No. 796566 ID: 9fb6b4

Think you can destroy the keystone in that doorway? if not, aim for its ambulatory appendages. It looks like the thing in Elete's drawings- EXACTLY alike- so it probably doesn't have legs, but I'm guessing you still need to dismember it dead-space style because you won't be able to kill it.
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No. 796654 ID: fe7355

Do not, do NOT, DO NOT run towards the Nightmare. The last thing you need right now is to end up caught between this Sakkilian-esq monstrosity and whatever other beasts the Nightmare has with it. Run towards "MEAT." Hopefully it'll be like a slaughterhouse or back of a butcher's shop and maybe you'll be able to lose your scent trail among all the blood and viscera. Or that it'll get distracted by all the meat and stop awhile to eat. (The bold voice in the mixed up text did say it'd feast on Kronos' carcass, so maybe it's got a hunger that'd distract it. I dunno. I'm grasping at straws here.)

Take a ice shot dead center on this beast and make a run for it with all your speed. Yell back the question of what and who the fuck it is as you flee. And DO NOT LOOK BACK as you're running! You look back and in that split second something will invariably jump out or materialize in your path and trip you up. NEVER EVER LOOK BACK!

>>796561
>That means we can hurt it (or cause it pain, at least).
No, that means pain doesn't do jack shit against it. Read the bold portion of the mixed up text here >>796137. It matches this creature's text, in both style and content, so it's likely the same speaker. And from that mixed text, it said "PAIN IS LOVE," so I wouldn't bet on pain slowing it. And as for harming it, it took a full Singing Dragon flame blast to the face and walked through a raging inferno and is still chasing Kronos, so I'm not holding out much hope that applying even more flame or shooting ice will stop or even slow it.

>>796505
>>796536
>>796561
>>796566
Have y'all completely forgotten that Kronos is missing a eye and so has no depth perception and thus crap aim now? And that hitting with ice bolts takes aiming. The odds he's gonna land shots that aren't aimed at center mass are damn small, and even center mass is iffy, so take that into account.
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No. 796655 ID: 094652

Ooh, should have used the fire bullet on all that cooked meat! Cooked items give higher healing abilities (dream logic) - and cooked Vark flesh would overload the enemy's 'nom nom nom' instinct.

Head to the meat locker, fire a freeze shot, and bash the enemy in with a frozen rib rack!

... Man, when was the last time anyone watched the Flints?
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No. 796674 ID: fe7355

And after you shoot and start running, pull out the tea spoon and hold onto it for dear life. That way you'll have it ready to brandish at whatever threat gets near you and hit it if it gets too close.
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No. 796678 ID: 65a774
File 149253837579.png - (137.41KB , 686x526 , 83.png )
796678

>Keep shooting fire at it sporadically.
The fire setting is already out of juice. This is the downside with having a dual natured gun.
>Odd that your gun doesn't fire light anymore.
You’ve been walking between two completely different dreams. Consistency is probably not something to be expected from these things.
>Nail it with an ice bolt.
You fire of a few ice bolts towards the center of the room, but as you can only see shadows twisted by the flame you’re not even sure if you hit anything.
>Think you can destroy the keystone in that doorway?
Not with this weapon, no.
>We don't know if we can actually freeze it, but the sudden temperature change could fuck it up.
Sadly, the ice the gun fires isn’t really the freezing kind, it’s more the sharp kind. The good news is that they don’t melt by the fire… the bad news is that they can’t really freeze things as they shatter into magical residue on impact.
>Bash the enemy in with a frozen rib rack!
There’s no way you’re going to engage that thing in close combat!


>Run toward Nightmare. That's our target.
You run as fast as your legs allow you towards your new destination. You’re in luck, as the corridor curves itself, enabling you to be out of sight when you reach the new room.
>Yell back the question of what and who the fuck it is as you flee.
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