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File 150238949954.png - (51.48KB , 687x524 , 1.png )
821558 No. 821558 ID: 65a774

“And so it all comes to an end, old friend, with a simple choice.”

-Fate.

Discussion: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/92354.html
Wiki and previous threads: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Strange_Bedfellows
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>>
No. 821559 ID: 65a774
File 150238951230.png - (54.87KB , 686x526 , 2.png )
821559

:KronosSB: …I’m threatening your King.
:KrotosSB: Indeed you are… you’ve grown as a Regicide player, brother.
:KronosSB: …you came back just to tell me I’m a better Regicide player?
:KrotosSB: Oh, of course not… beside, my… death was highly exaggerated.
:KronosSB: I know… I meant from being a monstrous dream monster that is trying to take over the world.
:KrotosSB: I… um… I think that’s an exaggeration as well?
:KronosSB: So… you’re not the one who’s been trying to drive people mad and possess them?
:KrotosSB: …I can’t say I’ve… no? I mean… I’m pretty sure I haven’t… are you trying to distract me from the game?
>>
No. 821560 ID: 65a774
File 150238952108.png - (23.59KB , 686x526 , 3.png )
821560

:KronosSB: To the five with the game, stop stalling and tell me why you’re here already.
:KrotosSB: Why, can’t I visit my favorite brother just to see how things are? I’ve heard you’re going to be married… I do hope the Varkian gal you’ve found is proper and decent.
:KronosSB: Krotos… stop playing games and just tell me what is going on.
:KrotosSB: Only if you tell me how you are doing, little Kronos.
:KronosSB: …brother… Why. Are. You. Here!?
:KrotosSB: Hmm… well… I guess it all began when I was thrown into that vast underground prison… and found that living corpse…
:KronosSB: You met Xuv!?
:KrotosSB: Mmmmaybe? Now, tell me about that wife of yours.
:KronosSB: But-
:KrotosSB: I told you… only if you tell me how you are doing, little brother…
>>
No. 821566 ID: 7b7ab3

Briannah is a wonderful, beautiful person. Kronos was wrong about so many things before he met her. He was right about a few, too, but that's neither here nor there. Briannah is so much more than her species and profession. She's a lover and an artist with an appreciation for the beautiful things in the world. Kronos could really just go on and on about her.
>>
No. 821568 ID: fc33ea

>Only if you tell me how you are doing, little Kronos.
Very poorly. I'm loosing body parts at an unsustainable rate and literally every singular individual around me is engaging in the most self destructive behavior under the impression that they're making progress toward untenable goals. Except my wife, who has been self sabotaging just because. Insanity is becoming endemic- Karas has already completely lost it and ran off into the woods to live with the wolves or something. The church has been taken over by demons who want to wipe out all royalty. If Kira knows the full extent of the threat she is under, she won't tell me about any plans she has to combat it, meaning I can either hope her well informed and her judgement uncompromised- which is unlikely- or deal with it myself. But we both know you knew all that.
>>
No. 821569 ID: 3ce125

Oh yeah Briannah is his ex. Tell him you're both very happy with your relationship, but what he did to her still gets in the way sometimes. Why did he do it?
>>
No. 821570 ID: 638191

SHE HAS A REALLY NICE ASS
>>
No. 821586 ID: 36c133

"We are born of the butts
Made men by the butts
Undone by the butts

And that's all I have to say about my wife."
>>
No. 821671 ID: 91d650

"At this point, I think she's happier to have me than she ever was to have you."
>>
No. 821673 ID: fc33ea

Drop the act. Whatever I say, you'll say otherwise.
>>
No. 821904 ID: 65a774
File 150247398389.png - (33.25KB , 686x526 , 4.png )
821904

>Drop the act. Whatever I say, you'll say otherwise.
:KrotosSB: …I’m not… sure what you mean by that, brother…
:KronosSB: Don’t brother me. Are you even my brother? And if you are, do you really think I’ll trust you again after all you’ve done?
:KrotosSB: …Kronos? I’m not sure what I’ve done that warrant such mistrust but… please, I just want to see my little brother again.
:KronosSB: …ugh, I know this will come back and bite me in the tail feathers later but fine… I’ll play your little game…
>I'm losing body parts at an unsustainable rate…
:KrotosSB: I was going to ask about the eye… how did you…?
:KronosSB: Karas tried to kill me with an assassin.
:KrotosSB: What!? Karas did that! But… what would possess him to…
:KronosSB: Isn’t your chock a bit hypocritical?
:KrotosSB: Eh? What are you… I don’t know what you’ve been told, but I would never hurt my own blood.
:KronosSB: If you say so…

>Literally every singular individual around me is engaging in the most self-destructive behavior under the impression that they're making progress toward untenable goals. Except my wife, who has been self-sabotaging just because.
:KrotosSB: So it’s actually gotten free then…
:KronosSB: Isn’t that your doing?
:KrotosSB: No, I… I was trying to stop it… at least… I am now…
:KronosSB: Uh huh… of course you are…
>The church has been taken over by demons who want to wipe out all royalty.
:KrotosSB: Demons? No… just people’s dark ambitions, twisted into monstrosities. I… I was one of them once, as well…
>Kira knows the full extent of the threat she is under, she won't tell me about any plans she has to combat it.
:KrotosSB: That does sound like sis alright… to proud to seek help… or show weakness… that’s why she will never be a good queen. That’s why… I wanted to replace her…
:KronosSB: …didn’t you say you would never hurt your own blood?
:KrotosSB: I would make her willingly step down… or force her to step down. I didn’t want to kill her.
:KronosSB: Of course you didn’t…

>Karas has completely lost it and ran off into the woods to live with the wolves or something.
:KrotosSB: It… it must have gotten to him… just as it did to me, huh?
:KrotosSB: …the nightmares?
:KronosSB: If you want to call it that… it gnaws at you… promise you everything you want… but it only amplifies your worst attributes. It takes over and makes you… do terrible things…
:KronosSB: …you keep saying that it controlled you…
:KrotosSB: I… when I was thrown into my prison… and the poison was killing me I… I stumbled upon the five. They manipulated me… tried to turn me into their pawn…
:KronosSB: …but how did you break free?
:KrotosSB: It’s because of you… it was just a few days ago I think… they managed to drag your dying body into catacombs somehow… and wanted me to take your place. After all, who would know the difference?
:KronosSB: …but… you didn’t?
:KrotosSB: I… couldn’t just watch you die, brother, so I… carried you back up… the voices was furious… livid… and since then I’ve not been able to… return. I’ve been wandering these dreams, trying to find a way out but I don’t think I’ll ever find my body again… and even if I did, it’s probably not in the same shape that I left it in… ugh… I don’t want to think about what they might have done to me… no… let’s… let’s change the subject, shall we? That wife of yours… she’s… doing fine?
:KronosSB: Speaking of changing the subject, I just dethroned your king.
:KrotosSB: …so you were distracting me, then…
:KronosSB: Can’t it be both?
>>
No. 821905 ID: 65a774
File 150247399314.png - (57.55KB , 686x526 , 5.png )
821905

>Briannah is a wonderful, beautiful person. She's a lover and an artist with an-
:KrotosSB: Did you…. Did you just say Briannah? As in the empress daughter?
:KronosSB: …yes?
:KrotosSB: B-but they… they told me she died! That she was killed! That I… so she wasn’t there, after all!? It was just their lies! She’s still alive!
:KronosSB: Wasn’t… where?
:KrotosSB: The summit! I knew she got my message and had already left! I would never dream of hurting her!
:KronosSB: …err… right…
>Why did he do it?
:KrotosSB: …huh? Why did… I… I just wanted what was best for our nation… our people… our family…
:KronosSB: …by becoming King?
:KrotosSB: …who else could lead us to a better tomorrow, hmm?

>SHE HAS A REALLY NICE ASS.
:KrotosSB: Ever since I was thrown into this prison, I’ve dreamt of that glorious thing…
:KronosSB: All men who has witness it dreams of it…
:KrotosSB: We are born of the butts…
:KronosSB: Made men by the butts…
:KrotosSB: Shaped by the butts…
:KronosSB: Undone by her butts…
:KrotosSB: The way it wiggles as she runs…
:KronosSB: The way it flattens when she sits down…
:KrotosSB: The sound it makes when you hit it…
:KronosSB: The feeling of those buns in your hands…
:KrotosSB: Mmmm…
:KronosSB: Indeed…

…wait, did me and my brother just fantasize about my wife’s ass together!?
:KrotosSB: W-wait, d-d-did we just f-fantasize about my love’s butt t-together!?
>>
No. 821910 ID: 91ee5f

>>821904
Are the game pieces supposed to be able to do that?!

>>821905
How about you tell him the story that everyone else has told you? What your sister told you he did and what Bri told you he did.

Also, tell him about how your sister has changed and is actually asking people for help now.

>…who else could lead us to a better tomorrow, hmm?
Is he even aware of how evil that sounds? Just because he thinks he can do better, that doesn't mean he actually would be better.

Not sure if I trust him enough to talk about the Archbishop trying to turn Belseth, Bri's brother, into a god. But I guess we can ask if the method she's going to use (consuming the 5) would actually work or just turn them into a vessel for the Nightmare to posses?

>Bri's ass.
.....make a small mention of how she's almost gotten stuck in the doorways a few times.
>>
No. 821911 ID: fc33ea

Why did he need to get Kira to step down? I thought Krotos was the eldest?

Enough of that, it's time for you to get your story straight. Who told you Bri died? I've talked to Bri about the day you attempted the coup, she says you're the one who shot her. You were thrown in the catacombs for treason, something about an attempted large scale poison plot. How can you make that out as something other than an attempted coup?
>…who else could lead us to a better tomorrow, hmm?
On my life- LITERALLY EVERYBODY THINKS THAT. Karas, the Archbishop, all the rest of the malcontents who want the war to continue. They all want to run the country, hell to stability and hell to everybody in their way. Krotos, you sacrificed EVERYTHING in your bid to be king. Life, love, freedom- you're a wandering, restless spirit for god's sakes, if you really are what you say. And still, no matter how betrayed I feel or how many people you've hurt, I can only feel sorry for you. None of us have lost as much as you.

...Also, was it you who pulled that fucking cologne prank? I nearly got a concussion.
>>
No. 821914 ID: 3ce125

>>821904
>I stumbled upon the five
Uh but they're dead? Like, their souls aren't even trapped down there. Their corpses are all that remains. Even if he's not lying, it wasn't the five, it was the seventh creating an illusion.

Anyway, tell him Briannah's side of the story. About his betrayal. He said he got poisoned, was that BEFORE he tried to kill her?
>>
No. 822113 ID: 8cb228

Look, I don't know to what extent you are something pretending to be my brother, or an echo of my brother with some of his memories, or something that was actually once my brother and still is a meaningful piece of him. Keep behaving and I will keep humoring you... but you might want to stop playing with me. I've been through too much shit for games, 'brother'. Also, your story has some holes in it compared to what I know.
>>
No. 822154 ID: bf8f3f

Wait isn't he the one that tried ti kill Bri? Isn't he the reason shes missing a hand? I don't remember all the details of her story.
Also didn't he try kill your father or at least try have him assassinated?

Maybe we should tell him what his "body" has been up to.
>>
No. 822161 ID: fe7355

While you know this Krotos could be a impostor, or possibly a trap based on your memories of your brother to get you to stay here, you just can't ignore the possibility that he really is your brother Krotos. Or, rather, his trapped soul and memories and personality. That he was buried under the influence, lies and perception and mental warping of the Nightmare, but now he's free of all that. And if that's true, he has knowledge and insight into what the Nightmare's plan and desires are you won't get anywhere else. So for now, treat him like he's Krotos and be happy you get to see your brother again, but still be wary of what you say since the walls may have ears. Once you're out of here, then you can choose whether to trust what he says or discard it.

Admit to him that yes, we were both fantasizing about Briannah's behind together. This dream is a kind of shared mind-space, so you guess that may have happened because we have similar thoughts of desire for her posterior and they kinda resonated with each other. ...She really is a wondrous lady in so many ways than just her sublime rear, isn't she? The both of you are lucky to have and have had her in our lives, even though the circumstances with Krotos didn't turn out well at all.

How funny is it that two princes of Risavia would fall for a Sakkilian lady, given all of our nation's terrible history with them? And doubly odd for you, with your phobia of Sakkilians. Well, you have Xuv to give small thanks to for countering that. But you guess that attraction runs in the family, since your father also fancies Sakkilian gals too. Did Krotos know that our father chased Sakkilian tail back in the day, before the war?

Ask him just how many days ago the Nightmare, or whatever it is, dragged you down into the Catacombs and he carried you back up. Just what did he see and was told? What condition were you in? 'Cause if it's back when you went into the family crypt and those damn spores nearly killed you, then that doesn't jive with your first meeting with Xuv. Your spirit ended up with her, not wherever Krotos was in the Catacombs. And then she gave you the "gift" of chaining your soul to your body, right before sending you back. ...Why she had to painfully impale your spirit through the torso with her tail spike and make you feel just like you died right before that, you don't know.

Ask Krotos when he sent that message to Bri before the summit, and by what way. Then tell him you have something to tell him he won't like, but he should hear: Briannah didn't get that message, or perhaps she didn't heed it. Either way, she was at Brianthor's side that fateful summit three years ago. ...And was very nearly killed by Krotos.

After shooting and killing Brianthor, Krotos tried to shoot her in the face, but she blocked the shot with her left hand. Then he shot her in the lower left leg, and when she was down slashed her belly open with his sword and left her for dead. It was only by luck and a supreme act of will on her part, and a desire to spite Old Man Life, that she hung on until the medics arrived. She was in a coma for a month after, and you don't know how long in recuperation and rehabilitation after that. Her face has major scars on the left side and she has a huge scar across her abdomen. She lost her left eye, her left hand and her left leg at the knee and below. She wears magically animated prosthetics for the latter two now.

But much more than the physical damage is the psychological damage. The utter betrayal. The failure to protect those she was supposed to. The failure in her duty. It is a crushing weight on her psyche, very nearly more than she can bear with all she's suffered from before. But you'll be there to help her carry that load every day forward.

And other than what he did to Briannah, and killing his accomplice Brianthor, thinking he could rule over both Risavia and the Zadian Empire with him out of the way. And as part of his plot it seems he was going to assassinate our father too. It failed and our father only got a nick cut out of the top of his beak in the attempt, but that does not sound at all like "never hurting your own blood."

Tell him this isn't the first time you've been in a dream rendition of his bedroom. The last one you were in had a memory of his of his journal out and open and what was written in it does not reflect well on him at all. It mentioned the voices speaking to him, but it also read like he only coveted the throne for the adoration he believed it would bring, and the position's power he could use to kill Hivers. So, what explanation does he have for that?

Hold up your recently acquired Serpens-shaped artificial right hand for Krotos to see and say you've lost more than just a eye as a result of that damnable Nightmare's influence and machinations. You can only hope this dream replacement means you won't lose your real hand, but it might just be too different to work. ...But if Krotos gave you his right hand, maybe it could be stitched in place of your lost one. ...No, you don't know if he's really Krotos, so sticking a part of him onto you would be too risky. Besides, you don't have anyone appropriately skilled here to do the work of removing then attaching a hand. And it may not even work if it was transplanted.

Tell him that you don't know how long we have together, so he needs to tell you everything he knows about the Nightmare and its plans before we talk more about other things. Start at the beginning, with when he first felt its contact with him, but you don't need every detail after. You want to know its recent actions, plans and resources more than what it did before. You particularly want to know how Belseth and the Archbishop fit into its plans. And how the heck the Archbishop hasn't been totally corrupted by the Nightmare by now.

>Did you…. Did you just say Briannah? As in the empress daughter?
...Wait, when did Briannah find out she was the Empress' daughter? Before or after she was nearly killed three years ago? Because if it was after, then how did Krotos find that out?

>Karas tried to kill me with an assassin.
You know that's not true. Karas specifically said he wasn't going to kill you. His plan to frame you for murder was to discredit you so you wouldn't be a political problem for him, and so that you'd be safely locked up and out of the way until his coup was finished and he'd release you. That assassin tried to kill you by her own decision and not Karas' order.

>>821914
>Uh but they're dead? Like, their souls aren't even trapped down there. Their corpses are all that remains. Even if he's not lying, it wasn't the five, it was the seventh creating an illusion.
While it could have been a illusion or deception of some kind, it's more likely that the Five's corpses, once placed within the Soul Kiln/Catacombs of the Godless, had the same fate as Xuv's corpse befall them. If I remember correctly, it was Dreamer that said that the Xuv we met was not the real Xuv from the previous age, but rather a amalgam of trapped souls from the Soul Kiln that had invested Xuv's body after she died. They flowed into her corpse's brain, molding into the degrading neural pathways to gain a warped and incomplete version of her memories and personality. So when Kronos devoured Xuv, it was that amalgam of souls in the form of Xuv's mind he ate. The real soul of Xuv had already been loosed into the Soul Kiln a age ago, trapped, until the longest of odds had it cross paths with Krotos right before he died and it entered his body. Or perhaps, his corpse.

This is in line with the way the dead in this world, if not handled properly, will become a vessel for any passing soul fragments and rise again as undead. The Xuv we knew was basically a divine zombie. And since the Five's corpses also apparently ended up in the Soul Kiln too, they've been infested by mortal souls that were trapped here as well. They too became undead, same as Xuv. But since they, as far as we know, died outside the Soul Kiln, their divine souls ended up flowing into the River of Souls to become part of it's circular current.

Now, we don't know how much Krotos knows about the Five he met and what they really are. Kronos should ask Krotos what he saw and felt and heard when he met the Five, and the times afterwards. What did they look and sound like? What did they say? What did they tell him? What does he think they are? Does he know there was a Sixth and a Seventh?
>>
No. 822425 ID: 65a774
File 150266342556.png - (41.82KB , 686x526 , 6.png )
822425

>Are the game pieces supposed to be able to do that?!
You’re in a dream. You’re not going to be surprised if they started nibbling on your fingers next.
>Why did he need to get Kira to step down? I thought Krotos was the eldest?
Father choose Kira as his successor, thus she was to be the queen instead of Krotos. It is a simple as that.

>...make a small mention of how Bri's almost gotten stuck in the doorways a few times.
:KrotosSB: Yeah… I’ve seen it… in fact, I was actually thinking about resizing the doors to my room…
:KronosSB: ...just enough that she wouldn’t notice until she got stuck… and then needed help…
:KrotosSB: :KronosSB: heh… to be pushed out… mmm… um… *cough*…
>...She really is a wondrous lady in so many ways than just her sublime rear, isn't she? The both of you are lucky to have and have had her in our lives.
:KrotosSB: *Sigh* if only thing had gone differently… I still love her, you know… I truly do…
>Tell him about how your sister has changed and is actually asking people for help now.
:KrotosSB: She has? Well, I guess even the most stubborn wolfhound will learn sometimes.

>Who told you Bri died?
:KrotosSB: They told me I killed her under my trail… that I murdered her in her sleep in cold blood…
>I've talked to Bri about the day you attempted the coup, she says you're the one who shot her.
:KrotosSB: I what!? But I didn’t… she wasn’t supposed to be there… I only… the only ones I attacked was the leaders… and some guards… who was… wearing helmets… by the five…
:KronosSB: She lost her eye, left leg and left hand that day…
:KrotosSB: So… s-she’s still alive… I… at least I can be thankful for that. Gods… I can’t… did I really…?

>You were thrown in the catacombs for treason, something about an attempted large scale poison plot. How can you make that out as something other than an attempted coup?
:KrotosSB: Poison? I was never planning on… well, I was planning on poisoning the Empire’s imperial palace in case the Empress refused to surrender… by never anyone on our side.
>Part of your plot was trying to assassinate our father too. It failed and our father only got a nick cut out of the top of his beak in the attempt, but that does not sound at all like "never hurting your own blood."
:KrotosSB: Do you honestly think I would try and kill our poppa!? Even if I was desperate enough for the throne to kill my own blood, it would be a lot simpler to just wait a few years for age to force him off the throne. No, it was Brianthor who was the mastermind behind that. Why do you think I had him killed? I don’t backstab people needlessly… but if they try to backstab me…
>Your journal mentioned the voices speaking to him, but it also read like he only coveted the throne for the adoration he believed it would bring, and the position's power he could use to kill Hivers.
:KrotosSB: My… journal? I’ve never had a… wait, Hivers? I know I’ve never liked Hivers but… that sounds a lot more like something I would come up will while being driven mad by that… nightmare thing.

>Uh but aren’t the five dead? Like, their souls aren't even trapped down there. Their corpses are all that remains.
:KrotosSB: T-they are? But then… who… ugh, I should have known… they were just mad voices, after all. Though, to be fair, I wasn’t really in the right mind when I met them.
>Ask him just how many days ago the Nightmare, or whatever it is, dragged you down into the Catacombs and he carried you back up. Just what did he see and was told? What condition were you in?
:KrotosSB: I’m not entirely sure how long ago it was… but… I had wandered the catacombs for years by then, seeking revenge and blood by the instruction of those voices. I’m not entirely sure what I… or how… or when… it’s all a haze by now… but I know that when I found your near lifeless body… and saw what they had done to it I… I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t hurt you… so I woke up… and carried you away from those toxic spores you had engulfed.
>Is he even aware of how evil that sounds? Just because he thinks he can do better, that doesn't mean he actually would be better.
:KrotosSB: … … … … …you know what, it does sound rather evil and selfish… yet… I really do think I might have done things better… but it’s a bit late to consider that now, isn’t it?

>Tell him that you don't know how long we have together, so he needs to tell you everything he knows about the Nightmare and its plans before we talk more about other things.
:KrotosSB: …um… I’m not entirely sure but… I think they needed a host… someone to contain them all… and then they wanted to recreate the empire of old... with them as their new god. Though, someone has been sabotaging them from the inside, trying to steal to power for themselves to put into some Sakkilian priest... I think they were planning on ending that threat once and for all right before I left… but I don’t know what happened after that… after I saved you. Either way, you need to act fast… if my count is right, they are ready to ascend again in just a day or two… when the twins are kissing for the first time.

:KrotosSB: You’re right about one thing… we don’t much time left. I can feel you starting to wake up, so if you have any other questions ask them now, brother. Oh, and is there any way I can help? I know that you don’t… trust me yet, but I want to make amends… for leaving you as I did… and for Briannah… my loOW!! Stupid game piece bit my finger!
>>
No. 822435 ID: 094652

>>822425
Dude, they added a vore fetish to the queen! I wonder if the king makes a squaking noise...
>>
No. 822443 ID: 91ee5f

>>822425
>She has? Well, I guess even the most stubborn wolfhound will learn sometimes.
Believe it or not, I'm the one that convinced her to open up and ask others for help. She even gave me some papers to do some work on.

.....what? Don't look at me like that! I asked her to give me the easy stuff, so that I won't mess up something important!

>Sakkilian priest
That would be Bri's brother, Belseth. And the Archbishop is the one trying to transfer the power to him.

I'm trying to stop that because it sounds like she's unknowingly turning Belseth into a vessel for the Nightmare to posses!

>when the twins are kissing for the first time.
The twin moons?!

>Oh, and is there any way I can help?
Is there anything I can do to stop them? I've been running myself all over the place trying to come up with some kind of plan, but I can't figure anything out!

>my loOW!! Stupid game piece bit my finger!
Try to contain your laughter at how funny it is that happened. Then fail miserably at containing your laughter and start giggling uncontrollably at him!
>>
No. 822447 ID: fc33ea

Do you still have that loose eye? what about your arm, is it gone? Can he do anything about that?

If he can Enter Kira's dreams, that would be helpful. He's got the intel she needs, and can probably motivate her to act, as well. You can probably tell him how to navigate the labyrinth. I think the judgement she passed weights on her heavily, talking to her might help her regain some of her spirit. Just don't visit dad, his heart can't take any excitement anymore.

Also, moral quandary. How is the best way to deal with these dead gods and their power? I feel if we take their power and give it to that Sakkilian priest it will just be making the same problems the old empire ran into from new cloth- no more elementals, souls don't end up at the mana river, everything collapses when the mana runs out, and in the meantime the fate of the world rests on the razor's edge of one man's judgement. On the other hand, just smashing the thing might level the whole city. That's also bad. I need more options.

Who told you you killed her in her sleep? and who was in charge of delivering the message for her to flee? I feel there's some kind of plot going on behind the scenes here- someone also drugged the guard to the entrance to the catacombs and I don't know who.
>>
No. 822471 ID: 3ce125

Hey let's not go spilling sensitive information to this guy. Yeah his story sounds plausible but it could still be a trick and we have no evidence it's true.

Tell him if he can sabotage the Nightmare's plans in any way then he can do that. Maybe dig up some helpful information about how to traverse the catacombs and reach the chamber of the five? You'll try to verify his story somehow, but for now it's hard to trust what he says. Also if he can find any information whatsoever about a seventh god, the Serpens god, then that would be helpful. Even misinformation is hard to come by in regards to the Forgotten One.
>>
No. 822592 ID: fe7355

Genuinely chuckle while you reach over to help get that piece off Krotos' finger. Say that it figures that such a piece would have a taste for succulent Vark flesh.

Tell Krotos that you don't know just how he could help, since you don't know what he can do. He's stuck in the dream-Catacombs, right? ...Could he scout out the route from your dream's entrance to where these "Five" are? Maybe eavesdrop on them too? Then he could meet you in your dream later tonight to tell you how to get there and anything else he's found out.

He may also be able to move between the entrances to Briannah's, Kira's and General Thalia's dreams and check if they've been entered by any of the Nightmare's agents. And speaking of a the Nightmare's agents, does Krotos have any idea how many in the palace, the Grand Temple, and the capitol are in thrall to the Nightmare?

And could he possibly find Karas' dream and scout out how badly he's been corrupted and if he could do anything for him? Is there anything that could possibly be done to cut Karas free of the Nightmare's grip?

And if there's anything else Krotos thinks would help you, he should do it. Now, is there anything he wants you to tell anyone once you wake up? Anything for our father, or Kira, ...or Briannah? Anyone else he'd want to relay a message to? Anything hidden he'd want to share the location of, or other secrets he wants to share that would be lost with his death?

And they wanted him to possess your body, to take your place, but to what ends? What'd they need him for? ...And would it be possible for him to possess the body of another dying Vark and be brought back?

>*Sigh* if only thing had gone differently… I still love her, you know… I truly do…
...Tell Krotos that Briannah still had, and has, some kind of feelings for him, even after what he did. She loved him for real, and she cherishes the memories of who he was... Before he... Y'know...

>I what!? But I didn’t… she wasn’t supposed to be there… I only… the only ones I attacked was the leaders… and some guards… who was… wearing helmets… by the five…
You wonder why he didn't notice that she was among Brianthor's bodyguard, given she's so tall and... well... wide compared to other Sakkilians. Wasn't it mentioned a Sakkilian of her prodigious size is a real rarity, with only one or two born in a generation? That might have been a exaggeration, but such giants are still quite rare. She'd stand head and shoulders over the rest of the guard. ...Unless the guards were all, or most, giants like her. That would make sense for guarding a group as important as the Empire's high command and Brianthor.

>Do you honestly think I would try and kill our poppa!?
Well, that's what our poppa said when he laid out to you what Krotos did. Granted, he also told you that Krotos was buried in a unmarked grave in the middle of nowhere, when in actuality Krotos was brought in secret before Kira for trial and thrown into the Catacombs, so he may have been lying or misinformed. It may have been that the assassination plot, and the poison plot, was laid at Krotos' feet so as not to inflame anti-Empire sentiment in the post-war negotiations. Though, considering the whole mess with Krotos' treason has been kept secret from all but a very few, doing such a thing wouldn't make sense.

>No, it was Brianthor who was the mastermind behind that. Why do you think I had him killed? I don’t backstab people needlessly… but if they try to backstab me…
And, again, your poppa told you otherwise. He said Krotos backstabbed Brianthor thinking he could take both Risavia and the Zadian Empire for himself. ...Which is really dumb 'cause the Empire's citizens would never stand to be under such rule and half the whole nation would turn become guerrillas or revolt. So another case of your father possibly either lying to you or having been lied to. Does Krotos have any idea where there'd be proof of Brianthor's betrayal of Krotos, or of his assassination or poisoning plot against Risavia?

>but I know that when I found your near lifeless body… and saw what they had done to it I…
And what, exactly, had they done to you?

>I think they needed a host… someone to contain them all… and then they wanted to recreate the empire of old... with them as their new god.
Did they say anything about what criteria they had for such a host? As in, what that host needed to be, and what needed to be done to that host, to be a vessel for them all.

>Though, someone has been sabotaging them from the inside, trying to steal to power for themselves to put into some Sakkilian priest...
Sounds like that's the Archbishop and Belseth, though you can't be certain. It might not be the Archbishop but someone else that was looking to steal the power to put into Belseth.

>I think they were planning on ending that threat once and for all right before I left… but I don’t know what happened after that… after I saved you.
This could mean they were gonna to neutralize the Archbishop, Belseth, or both of them in some way. Considering they made a move on the Archbishop and she escaped, they may have decided to turn on Belseth to remove him for good, just to be sure the Archbishop can't enact her plan. Fuck, you need to get him out of the Grand Temple ASAP, before it's too late. ...Oh, you hope to the heavens it's not too late already.

>Either way, you need to act fast… if my count is right, they are ready to ascend again in just a day or two… when the twins are kissing for the first time.
That's referring to the twin moons and when they start crossing over each other, right? Huh, you thought they were gonna do it next week when both moons are full and the level of ambient magic would be at its zenith. Anyway, Kronos, you know just when the next time the moons are going to start crossing is?

>Father choose Kira as his successor, thus she was to be the queen instead of Krotos. It is a simple as that.
You have to remember to ask your father why he chose Kira over Krotos, at a future point when things aren't so hectic and dire.

>Yeah… I’ve seen it… in fact, I was actually thinking about resizing the doors to my room…
>...just enough that she wouldn’t notice until she got stuck… and then needed help…
...If you got new, extra reinforced, and thus extra thick, door frames and doors, that would excuse the fact that the doorways would be narrower as a security precaution. Though, perhaps not on all the doorways in your apartment and just on your bedroom door and the entrance to your apartment.

And before you wake up, give your brother a close hug. He may or may not really be Krotos, but if he is then you don't want to miss what may be the last chance to hug him.

Alright, once you wake up there's a few of things you need to remember to do. First is giving a debriefing to Sisah, the Archbishop, and Cain on exactly what happened after you entered Tim's dream, in full. You'll also need to tell General Thalia and maybe Kira too.

Second is finding out exactly what happened around when you entered the royal crypt and were rescued from it. Were you found inside or outside, who drugged the entrance guard, and so on. That'll corroborate what Krotos said or not.

Third is getting as much of the damn story around Krotos and Brianthor's actions as possible. Who knew what when, the order of orders and what those orders were. Find out if Krotos is telling the truth or not about his involvement and Brianthor's supposed betrayal. You're probably going to have to pin Kira down on this. Related to this is finding out of Krotos kept a journal of any kind for real, and if so where it is now.

Fourth is finding out where Krotos' message to Briannah went to, if it ever existed. Better ask Krotos how he attempted to send his message to Bri and who would have handled it.

And long term, you really need to find out if there's any way to stick some kind of goddamn overflow drain or pressure release valve into the Soul Kiln. 'Cause having psychic sewage backing up into the metaphorical basement of the palace, the Grand Temple, and the whole capitol and polluting the dreams and minds of everyone here to varying degrees has probably been fucking up Risavia for who knows how long. Maybe as long as there has been a Risavia. That would explain why your nation's culture and traditions have been rather brutal, such as "recycling" the bodies of slain enemies and all the horrid shit the Temple got up to in the past.

>>822447
>I feel there's some kind of plot going on behind the scenes here- someone also drugged the guard to the entrance to the catacombs and I don't know who.
It wasn't the entrance to the Catacombs of the Godless, but rather to the Royal Crypt. But that aside, it's true we never did find out who drugged that guard's rations with sleeping potion and dragged them into the bushes. I thought it may have been Doxan acting under Bri's orders to clear the way for Kronos to enter the crypt. Though, if Doxan did have such orders he probably would have picked and removed the padlock on the crypt gate too. And if he did that, he would have seen the copious amounts of warning signs and probably headed Kronos off before he went into the toxic spore cloud. So something is indeed fishy around the circumstances of Kronos entering the royal crypt.
>>
No. 822945 ID: 65a774
File 150280881735.png - (32.35KB , 686x526 , 7.png )
822945

>Dude, they added a vore fetish to the queen! I wonder if the king makes a squaking noise...
You wouldn’t really call that a fetish… a beast that eats people isn’t really into it that way, are they? …and the king gave off a squeaky VARK when squeezed…
>What about your arm, is it gone?
Your hand is still here… yet… it’s kind of itchy… and hard to move? You can barely feel your fingers anymore…

>Genuinely chuckle while you reach over to help get that piece off Krotos' finger. Say that it figures that such a piece would have a taste for succulent Vark flesh.
:KrotosSB: Ugh… so you know about her less than… stellar reputation then?
>Believe it or not, I'm the one that convinced Kira to open up and ask others for help. She even gave me some papers to do some work on.
:KrotosSB: …really?
:KronosSB: ...what? Don't look at me like that! I asked her to give me the easy stuff, so that I won't mess up something important!
:KrotosSB: Oh no, I didn’t mean it like that. In fact, I rather have them give you something harder. After all, you have a great mind, Kronos, and it’s a shame it’s been wasted on… well, nothing. I’ve always wanted them to give you more responsibilities.

>Who said you killed Bri in her sleep? Who was in charge of delivering the message for her to flee?
:KrotosSB: They told me when they held my trail… and I was the one who delivered the message. I… I guess she must have misunderstood me… or not heeded my advice for some reason…
>...Tell Krotos that Briannah still had, and has, some kind of feelings for him, even after what he did. She loved him for real, and she cherishes the memories of who he was... Before he... Y'know...
:KrotosSB: …thank you for telling me that… even if it a bit late for that, it still warms my heart I didn’t screw it up completely…

>Does Krotos have any idea how many in the palace, the Grand Temple, and the capitol are in thrall to the Nightmare?
:KrotosSB: I can’t tell you that, sorry… but I do know that their influence is still weak up there. A dozen… maybe two? They can’t be that many.
>Is there anything that could possibly be done to cut Karas free of the Nightmare's grip?
:KrotosSB: He need to be willing to give up his own negative emotions and embrace his good ones. I… I don’t know how you can do that, though… as I don’t think he loved you as much as I did…
>Huh, you thought they were gonna do it next week when both moons are full and the level of ambient magic would be at its zenith.
:KrotosSB: Apparently, it’s when the moons kiss that the way to… I think they called it “a river of souls”? Apparently the way to it will be easiest to access right then… just before all the mana spill over into our world.

>Is there anything I can do to stop them? I've been running myself all over the place trying to come up with some kind of plan, but I can't figure anything out!
:KrotosSB: I’m not sure… go down there and burn their bodies? …or steal their powers? They seemed rather afraid of that?
:KronosSB: Just smashing the thing, or in this case burn them, might level the whole city.
:KrotosSB: Hmm… but if you could… I don’t know, use up their powers first? Absorb it willingly but not ascending into godhood? Is that even possible?
>Maybe dig up some helpful information about how to traverse the catacombs and reach the chamber of the five?
:KrotosSB: Oh! I can help you with that! I’m pretty sure I know the way into the depths already.
>Also if he can find any information whatsoever about a seventh god, the Serpens god, then that would be helpful.
:KrotosSB: …wait, seven? They are five gods, Kronos… I’ve never heard of a seventh… or sixth for that matter…
>Maybe eavesdrop on them too?
:KrotosSB: I can try… though I don’t think we really have time to do something like that, do we?
>Then he could meet you in your dream later tonight to tell you how to get there and anything else he's found out.
:KrotosSB: If we have the time… though, you might need to stop this today! You don’t want to need to rush down there in the last minute to stop the ritual if they are doing it tomorrow, do you?
>Now, is there anything he wants you to tell anyone once you wake up? Anything for our father, or Kira, ...or Briannah?
:KrotosSB: Tell them… I’m sorry… and tell Bri I… still love the way the moon reflect in her eyes…

>And before you wake up, give your brother a close hug. He may or may not really be Krotos, but if he is then you don't want to miss what may be the last chance to hug him.
:KrotosSB: …I miss you brother… I truly do…
:KronosSB: I do too, Krotos… I do too…
>>
No. 822946 ID: 65a774
File 150280882806.png - (59.23KB , 686x526 , 8.png )
822946

All the sudden you’re back Tim’s study, your hand still touching his body as if not a moment has passed since you ventured into his dreams. You have to take a second to steady yourself after everything that has happen, your thought immediately goes to your right hand that you supposedly lost. With a sight of relief you can see that it’s still there… if a bit… itchy?
:ThaliaSB: Are you alright, Prince Kronos?
:XarrinSB: What just happened?
:EleteSB: Hmm… I can feel a heavy darkness being lifted from the mage… but now the Prince has it instead?

>Alright, once you wake up there's a few of things you need to remem-
GAH! Your hand is itching like crazy! Why is it-
>>
No. 822947 ID: 65a774
File 150280883693.png - (24.07KB , 686x526 , 9.png )
822947

:ThaliaSB: …wait, did you just imply that the Prince is…?

It looks fine at least… it just feel itchy… and cold… and… hard to-
>>
No. 822949 ID: 65a774
File 150280885865.png - (27.93KB , 686x526 , 10.png )
822949

”Peek-a-boo…”
>>
No. 822950 ID: 4854ef

Smack evil hand into desk palm down.
>>
No. 822952 ID: 91ee5f

>>822949
To all the people that said, "Let's get Kronos to replace his hand with something in the dream." I say to you: Good going, now Kronos' hand is possessed!

Just tell everyone that your hand is possessed and tell them to cut it off before it tries to strangle you and kill you, since that's apparently the only way to stop you from interfering with the Nightmare's plans!
>>
No. 822953 ID: 486e87

First, ask if anyone else is seeing that, just to confirm that it is not a hallucination. If it's real, then I'm afraid you might need to amputate it.
>>
No. 822954 ID: fc33ea

>>822952
It was never actually replaced by anything. Blame the people who decided to shoot a demon, as the demon dared us to do, in a Kaktus quest.

>Peek-a-boo…
I see you!

Burn it.
>>
No. 822962 ID: 91ee5f
822962

>>822954
Remember Mad Scientist Sisah in Tim's dream? Everyone said, "Let her give you an artificial hand because it'll let you keep your hand in the real world." That's when his hand was replaced.

Also, remember that Nightmare thing that was chasing Kronos everywhere in Tim's dream? You know, that one guy that repeatedly called Kronos a spoiled brat and hated Kronos because he was rich? This guy: >>801070 , right here. He's the only guy that ever says "Peekaboo" to us. So, since he's in our hand, let's cut him off before he tries to strangle us with our own hand!
>>
No. 822963 ID: 91ee5f

>>822962
Damnit, it's not working.

How do you make a link to a post in the archive?
>>
No. 822981 ID: 3ce125

>>822949
Welp, time to cut off your hand and get it replaced with a prosthetic like Bri's.
>>
No. 823067 ID: 514d36

jack off with your other hand and cum in its eye.
>>
No. 823068 ID: fe7355

It's that fuckin' monster Nerfatu! Since he ate your right hand's soul in the dream, he musta moved into its empty "soul space" after you incinerated and expelled him from Tim's dream.

Grab your right wrist with your left hand to keep Nerfatu from possibly moving anywhere. Pay attention to if the itching and coldness starts creeping up your right arm 'cause that probably indicates Nerfatu's possession is spreading. If it does you'll have to move with haste to act.

Pin your right hand down on a table and tell everyone to look at it. Are they seeing what you're seeing? Quickly say that while in the dream your right hand was bitten off by a monster named Nerfatu that looked very much like that Sakkilian shaped one the Archbishop drew. Say you think it moved into and possessed your now soul-less hand after you drove it out of Tim's dream. Explain it feels really itchy, cold and hard to control. And add, if they couldn't see anything, you saw a blood red eye open in its palm and it spoke to you in your mind.

Tell Sisah to take your pistols away; You don't want Nerfatu possibly grabbing one if he takes control of your right arm. Ask the Archbishop to focus her senses on your right hand and examine it carefully. Does it feel cold to the touch? Ask the Archbishop if it'd be in any way possible to exorcise your hand, or at least contain Nerfatu so he doesn't spread or loses control. And say you're open to any ideas she, or anyone else here, has.

There is one very long shot that might save your hand. Remember how that earth elemental drew the death out of those dead mushrooms and converted it into life magic to regenerate them? There's a slim chance it could do the same to your hand, drawing Nerfatu out and restoring it. It's worth a try, so quickly find where the earth elemental is, slap your right hand onto it and hope for the best.

However, if nothing else works, you'll need to have your right hand amputated. You'd really prefer if a surgeon did it under proper medical conditions, but unless it's obviously gone bad they're not going to take your hand off on just your say-so. That leaves doing it here. Tim has cutting tools he uses to prepare biological specimens, doesn't he? Scalpels or razors or such? And more than one person here has a belt that can be used to cinch your arm off. Alternatively, the Archbishop might be able to incinerate your right hand with holy flame, assuming the heat could be contained so it wouldn't mess up your lower right arm too.

>>822954
Oh, you think we all don't already feel horrible 'cause we fucked up so terribly?! It felt bad enough knowing because we were fuckin' idiots Kronos would lose his hand, but it happening this way makes me feel all shitty and anxious all over again. So don't you fuckin' lay even more blame on us. I don't even see your ID back then making a choice for or against, so where the fuck were you at that pivotal moment, huh? Huh?!

>>82296
Like this >>/questarch/801070. Gotta put '/questarch/' in for stuff that's been archived.
>>
No. 823072 ID: 91ee5f

>>823068
Like this: >>/questarch/801070 ?
>>
No. 823073 ID: 91ee5f

>>823072
It worked!
>>
No. 823182 ID: fe7355

If it comes to it, the quickest and cleanest way to amputate that possessed hand might be Sisah's blade. Being magic, it probably has a edge sharper and surfaces smoother than any other sword or knife in here, so it'd cut through your wrist and its joint with ease. Though, convincing her to use it on the one she is supposed to guard is probably a whole tougher matter.
>>
No. 823198 ID: 35089a

this is ma fappen arm!
>>
No. 823322 ID: fe7355

Just thought that perhaps it'd be possible to trap Nerfatu in your hand after it's amputated instead of incinerating it. Though, it'd take setting up seals and wards and if he figures out what's happening he'll probably flee back into the dream-Catacombs, if he can. And the wards and seals may not even work, but it'd be work a try.
>>
No. 823473 ID: 65a774
File 150299286164.png - (15.42KB , 686x526 , 11.png )
823473

>Smack evil hand into desk palm down.
:NerfatuSB: I will feast upon your-
*Bang!*
:NerfatuSB: Ow…

:KronosSB: Did anyone else just see that… or he-
>>
No. 823474 ID: 65a774
File 150299286718.png - (71.07KB , 686x526 , 12.png )
823474

:NerfatuSB: DIE!
Before you can react, a giant claw nearly strikes you square in the face. You see the light blue sign of magical shielding as it is deflected at the last second and you thank the five for what you assume is Sisah’s protection.
>>
No. 823475 ID: 65a774
File 150299287794.png - (40.54KB , 686x526 , 13.png )
823475

Within seconds, you find general Thalia struggling to keep your now monstrous hand in check while Sisah lines up her blade to slice it off.
:ThaliaSB: I can’t h-hold it forever…
:EleteSB: We need to cut it off!
:SisahSB: Sorry for this, sir.
:KronosSB: W-wait!
:EleteSB: It’s already spreading through your arm! If we don’t do anything right now, it-
:KronosSB: T-there might be another way! The earth elemental! It drew out death and converted it to life earlier, maybe it can draw this thing out as well.
:XarrinSB: You mean this little stone man over here? He does seem rather excited about something… or he’s just trying to escape.
:EleteSB: We don’t have time of “maybe”! Either we cut off your hand right now or you’ll lose your arm… or worse!
:SisahSB: …it’s up to you sir, do you want me to cut it off or do you want to try the elemental?
:NerfatuSB: Haha… you can’t stop me, Prince, I will c-
:ThaliaSB: Shut it.
:NerfatuSB: Ow…

So… definitely lose your hand… or risk your whole arm?
>>
No. 823477 ID: 3ce125

>>823475
Either way you need a prosthetic. Let's experiment! Try the elemental, see what he can do.
>>
No. 823478 ID: 1e7aa8

Tell sisah to cut your hand off. IF it spreads any further, take the entire arm!
>>
No. 823482 ID: 91ee5f

>>823475
We don't have time for this indecisive bullshit! We can do both!

First, have them cut your hand off, so you don't lose your entire arm! Then give your possessed hand to the elemental! If the elemental ends up doing nothing, then at least your hand will already be cut off so it won't get worse from choosing the wrong option!

>>
No. 823483 ID: 813db0

you're just going to be a brain in a jar by the end of this bro... see if the elemental can save the arm
>>
No. 823485 ID: fc33ea

I'm pretty sure this is one of those things where you loose no matter what because plot, but hey, nothing ventured nothing gained. Get the elemental over here. You either get full use of your hand, or you'll have to tie off your sleeve higher. As far as gambling goes you've wagered much worse.
>>
No. 823487 ID: fc72e2

>>823482
This. Cut the hand, try the elemental on it. If they can make prosthetics this good, they can also reattach the arm if the elemental succeeds in purifying it.
>>
No. 823495 ID: fe7355

It's not just your whole arm that you're risking here, it's your life and soul. You heard the Archbishop say "or worse." If Nerfatu spreads faster than thought, or under the skin where it won't be seen, and gets into your torso, then you'll be doomed to being tortured and consumed by him. The fate of so much, so many people, of those you love and care for and those that love and care for you, now lay on you, what you know and what you can do. To risk so much for the unknown chance of keeping your hand flesh and blood is far beyond foolish. ...But there is another chance you can take that will not be anywhere near as risky.

Quickly tell them to pin the hand down once it's amputated and bring the elemental over to touch it. Then clench your beak, brace yourself against the coming pain and tell Sisah to make the cut.

If the elemental restores your hand to the point it can be reattached by the medical wing doctors regain full function, then everything worked out well. If otherwise, then you can still be satisfied you made the right decision. And a magic prosthetic hand is not so bad, as Briannah shows. Perhaps with your effort and support of bio-magic research you'll be able to get a new hand grown some day. Or maybe there'll be god-like magic about one way or another soon that can restore your hand, your eye, and all that Briannah has lost too.
>>
No. 823501 ID: 91ee5f

I just thought of something.

Didn't the elemental aggressively bite Kronos when he only had Xuv's "gift" in him? And now, we've got Xuv's powers, since Xuv killed herself by forcing Kronos to eat her.

If the elemental touches Kronos directly, how do we know the elemental won't take away the Dream Walking powers?

This is another reason we should cut off the hand first! We don't want to accidentally lose our ability to purge the Nightmare from people's dreams!
>>
No. 823512 ID: 094652

Risk your arm. Your little friend could be useful if handled correctly.
>>
No. 823516 ID: fc33ea

If the hand gets cut off, what are the chances it skitters off of just crumbles to ash?
>>
No. 823745 ID: 830fb7

isn't that hand the one you lost to the nightmare, if so it could be that when you loose a limb to one it becomes infested in the real world. You where told that loosing a limb in the dream walking state would have real world effects on your body, but you didn't think this is what was meant.
>>
No. 823770 ID: 51b8ec

Cut it off, I say! There is naught to be gained from tolerating such vileness upon your person!
>>
No. 823822 ID: 5bcb58

I say give the rock bab a chance.
>>
No. 823823 ID: 91ee5f

>>823822
It can have its chance when we cut off the possessed hand and give it to the elemental!
>>
No. 823988 ID: 65a774
File 150326772192.png - (53.94KB , 686x526 , 14.png )
823988

>We don't have time for this indecisive bullshit! We can do both!
You can’t really cut off and not cut off your hand at the same time…
>You're just going to be a brain in a jar by the end of this bro...
Unless you find a way to end all this, you’re probably going to end up even less than that.
>If the hand gets cut off, what are the chances it skitters off or just crumbles to ash?
Seeing how its currently trying to kill you, you’re going to go out on a limb and say that it will probably continue doing so even if it’s not attached to your arm.


>Hey, nothing ventured nothing gained. Get the elemental over here. As far as gambling goes you've wagered much worse.
:KronosSB: Q-quick! The golem! BRING IT HERE!
:EleteSB: But your very soul might-
:KronosSB: DO IT!
:SisahSB: Do as he commands, Major.
:XarrinSB: Err… r-right… let me just… Ow, stop fighting back you little-
>>
No. 823990 ID: 65a774
File 150326773589.png - (67.75KB , 686x526 , 15.png )
823990

:XarrinSB: GAH! Dammit, I lost my grip- LOOK OUT!

The elemental manages to slip out of Xarrin grasp and it doesn’t waste a moment before lunging towards you… or to be more precise, your hand. As it connects and sinks its “teeth” into your flesh, you involuntarily stumble backwards, ensuring that Thalia loses her grip of your arm and Sisah’s sword is knocked away from your wrist. Of course, you barely notice any of that as your mind is currently filled with but one thing. PAIN!
:ElementSB: *HISS!*
:KronosSB: AAARGH!!!
:EleteSB: Quick, remove it before-
:SisahSB: No! This is the Prince orders!
:ThaliaSB: Look! His hand is turning back to normal!

You can feel your hand returning to your control… but as more and more feeling of your hand returns, the worse the pain gets. Your only bright point in all of this is listening to the sweet music of Nerdfat howling in pain and agony.
:NerfatuSB: NO! NONO! ARG… YOU CAN’T gnnt… do this… to… me… … …

>Didn't the elemental aggressively bite Kronos when he only had Xuv's "gift" in him? And now, we've got Xuv's powers, since Xuv killed herself by forcing Kronos to eat her…
But as the feeling in your hands returns, you can feel the elemental starting to consume something else. You can feel your very being, your soul, being dragged out of your body… or at least, something that is hanging on to it.
:KronosSB: NNGJH!?
:ThaliaSB: ...his hand looks normal again… should we remove the elemental?
:SisahSB: …Sir? What are your orders?

Then suddenly, you can hear a familiar voice screaming in your mind.
:XuvSB: ARGHH! NO!

… … …You can feel your soul getting torn from your body… yet… if Xuv is in there… do you let the elemental continue?
>>
No. 823993 ID: 3ce125

>>823990
Uh, no??? If you lose Xuv you lose your connection to the dream, which means you lose your only weapon against the Nightmare.

We know she still exists, now. We can try to contact her again in your dreams, find out if she was just pretending to be crazy so that you'd "eat" her and give her another place to hide from Life and the Nightmare. I suspect she's still planning to use your first born to take over the world but we can put a stop to that via either Life or the elemental. You have the advantage, don't be hasty.
>>
No. 823997 ID: fc33ea

Leave it. Xuv can't continue to influence you or anyone else, it's bad news if she's still alive.
>>
No. 824004 ID: 4d606a

Don't let the elemental continue. It looks like there might be some "overlap", or at least not a transition that's easy to sense, when it switches who exactly it's draining, so if you tried to get rid of Xuv like this you'll end up with some part of yourself gone too.
>>
No. 824008 ID: 91ee5f

>>823993
This!

>>823997
But she's hanging onto Kronos' soul! If she gets yanked out, she's gonna take Kronos with him and he'll die!

In fact, since Kronos was supposed to die after entering the catacombs, isn't that the reason Life attacked Kronos in the first place? Life even said that Kronos' soul is pretty much glued to his body, which is something that Life doesn't like. What if Xuv is the reason that Kronos is still alive right now and she's keeping his soul in his body?
>>
No. 824029 ID: 094652

Just a few more seconds to randomize the Xuv sub-AI, then yank it off.
>>
No. 824039 ID: 1e7aa8

Get the elemental away before it does drastic and/or poorly understood things to you/your soul!
>>
No. 824067 ID: fc33ea

>>824008
He's 'died' when Life talked to him too. Every time, he's gently explained his situation and gotten new information and opportunities. This could be the pat to the third option we need.

Oh hey, if we take the Elemental to the Catacombs, he can eat up all the energy without causing an explosion!
>>
No. 824075 ID: 91ee5f

>>824067
That sounds like a plan to make the elemental explode from being overloaded with too much energy!
>>
No. 824095 ID: 5bcb58

Yenk tat lill' suka off!
>>
No. 824193 ID: fe7355

If Xuv is still alive after you devoured her, then she knew it wouldn't kill her. She hid herself within your soul, for what reasons you don't quite know. But what you do know is she'll do anything to be reborn and restore herself to her godly power.

You cannot let Xuv remain within you, for the second she sees a way to grab that power she will devour your soul from the inside out and take your body to get that power. Or if she does not make a grab for divine power before the Nightmare is dealt with, she will possess any child you have, with Briannah or otherwise. Sooner or later, you will have to destroy Xuv, and better now when she's caught off guard than later when she is wary and can try to eat your soul or some other nastiness.

Leave the elemental to continue. It will very likely eat a hole through your soul to get at Xuv within. While her removal will almost certainly remove your dreamwalking ability, you've already done enough with it and gathered enough intel via it that you can continue on without it. Trading that for being sure Xuv won't ruin everything at the last minute is worth it.
>>
No. 824194 ID: 91ee5f

>>824193
I guess.....maybe you're right?

Looks like Kronos and Bri will have to adopt and/or have surrogate children after all. Which sucks because they were really wanting to have a natural born child from both of them. I guess that's not gonna happen after all.
>>
No. 824195 ID: 3ce125

>>824193
What about Belseth? Even if we don't need dreamwalking to protect him from the Nightmare (like for instance using the elemental to suck out any more seeds) we really should go in to try to sort out some of his emotional baggage, groom him to become a better god.

Also it's possible the only reason the seventh god hasn't shown up in person is because Xuv is still alive... he's waiting for the perfect board, remember?
>>
No. 824200 ID: 91ee5f

>>824195
You've also got a point.

Damnit, now I'm even more confused! What do we do?!
>>
No. 824204 ID: fc33ea

>>824200
I guess we can always put the lil' green bastard back on later to finish the job. Maybe eating an entire demon will make him grow faster and we'll soon be able to communicate what bits of soul magic or whatever we do and don't want him to eat.
>>
No. 824214 ID: 35089a

>>824193
The problem is that there's no guaranty we'll survive if it rips out our soul with her.
>>
No. 824234 ID: 4854ef

Don't let it continue!
>>
No. 824289 ID: 65a774
File 150342090815.png - (36.02KB , 686x526 , 16.png )
824289

>Get the elemental away before it does drastic and/or poorly understood things to you/your soul!
You barely manage to get a gesture out before Sisah rips the elemental from your hand, taking what little is left of Nerdfat with it. The terrible pain you were feeling quickly subsides, replaced with a feeling of… coldness. Looking at your hand now, it’s quite unbelievable that just a few moments ago it was sprouting eyes and claws, as the only evidence left is the small wound the elemental created. After confirming that you still can move your fingers, you can’t do anything but conclude that you somehow managed to save your hand from Nerdfat completely… who would have thought, huh?

>If Xuv is still alive after you devoured her, then she knew it wouldn't kill her.
…why can’t you help but feel like you’ve been playing into her hand all along… that this decision will come back and bite you sooner or later… she is not to be trusted, is she?
>What about Belseth?
You have to find a way to communicate with him... you need to know if he’s still okay or not!
>Oh hey, if we take the Elemental to the Catacombs, he can eat up all the energy without causing an explosion!
…or the elemental will simply blow up by itself.
>Maybe eating an entire demon will make him grow faster and we'll soon be able to communicate what bits of soul magic or whatever we do and don't want him to eat.
:Elemetal: *HISS!*
…apparently not.


:ThaliaSB: So… can someone care to explain what just happened?
:XarrinSB: Did you… save the mage or…?
:EleteSB: After years of studying soul magic, not even I’m so sure what just happened… did I miss something?
:SisahSB: That thing very much reminded me of some of the stronger undead I’ve faced. Though, they possessed whole bodies, dead ones, instead of just hands…
:EleteSB: …wait, you mean you’ve met undead who started sprouting eyes and claws?
:SisahSB: It’s usually eyes or mouths… I’m not sure what the fascination they have with those, but they are usually creatures created by the remnants of the old empire… you know, souls of the old dead who haven’t been able to move on…
>>
No. 824298 ID: 3ce125

>>824289
Well congratulate Sisah because she's exactly right. That was a soul that was until now trapped in the catacombs. Every criminal condemned to rot down there has had their soul trapped, and many are now plotting to take revenge upon the living.

Also yeah Tim should be fine now. Check on him.
If anyone here knows about Xuv you better tell them she's still alive.
>>
No. 824316 ID: fc33ea

>why can’t you help but feel like you’ve been playing into her hand all along… that this decision will come back and bite you sooner or later…
Because it totally will. She's protected by your fear of loss. You forget the last time your soul got yanked out, Life actually wanted to do worse than kill you. And the time before that, Xuv was trying to intermittently eat or rape you. You talked your way out of all of it- don't loose faith in your silver tongue now. At least if your soul were pulled out you could have gotten a read on the situation, communicated concerns and demands with the elemental, and promised to bring it to the catacombs if it selectively eats the things you want it to, since you won't be able to make it to the catacombs without the blessings and tools Xuv gave you.

>…or the elemental will simply blow up by itself.
Or maybe it can just stop eating once it's full, and the energy deficit will foil everybody's plans? Oh if only there were a way to communicate with it like we did with Life and Xuv.

Tell Sisah she's exactly right, and that it was possessing Tim. How can they be dealt with? And tell everyone you think Xuv is still in you, and you want the Elemental to remove her too, but it may remove your dream magic and... other important perks Xuv gave you as well. You've had your soul yanked out a couple times before so you don't think you'll die, though.
>>
No. 824478 ID: fe7355

Tell Sisah to keep that elemental close and stick it on you and not take it off for anything if you either order her to or if you are suddenly in pain for no explicable reason. Say you'll explain why in a bit. This standing instruction will hopefully catch Xuv if she makes a play to take your body over, assuming it isn't sudden and painless.

Tell them that what Sisah described is pretty much what happened to your hand. Say that when you were in Tim's dream the monster that had invaded them, Nerfatu, bit your right hand off and ate it. You think that that was the part of your soul that occupied your right hand, so when you expelled Nerfatu from Tim's dream he moved into your now soul-less hand. Hopefully the earth elemental killed him for good this time.

Show them the drawing the Archbishop made of the Sakkilian-like monster and tell them Nerfatu looked a lot like it, though he could shape-shift to a degree. And he wasn't originally a Sakkilian, but a Vark. His sister was murdered by a noblewoman, he murdered the noblewoman and was thrown into the Catacombs for it. It was his all-consuming hatred for the nobility that turned him into the monster you faced. Also ask them if they've heard of a commoner murdering a noblewoman in the last few decades.

As for why you told Sisah what you did, tell them that Xuv is still alive and contained within your soul. ...Well, technically a amalgam of souls mimicking the mind of Xuv and not the real, original Xuv, but the danger from her is all the same. Anyway, she's in there because, when she invaded your dreams and tried to eat your soul when you did not do what she wanted, you tricked her. Played her desires against her. ...And you ate her. ...Whole. That's how you got her dreamwalking power. And you thought that killed her, but apparently not because you heard her scream in your mind when the earth elemental was done with Nerfatu and kept going, pulling your soul partially out. That's why the elemental is still trying to get at you. It senses Xuv's undead soul within your soul and seeks to eat it.

Xuv likely planned this so she could hide, ready to spring when the time was right. And obviously you can't leave Xuv in there. She'll try to devour your soul from the inside out and take your body over when the opportunity to recover her divine power presents itself. Or play the long game and possess your first born child. But just letting the earth elemental work on you presents the risk it won't eat a hole through your soul to get at Xuv, but rather eat all of your soul along with hers. Maybe the bind Xuv made between your body and soul would be strong enough to keep your soul from getting ripped out too. Man, you wish you knew a way to poke a hole in your soul so the elemental could get at Xuv. That or the spiritual analog of syrup of ipecac to induce soul vomiting.

It's vital that you share everything important you've found out with them, and preferably write it down, in case you don't survive trying to get Xuv out or if she makes a move on you that succeeds. Start with the most recent, your meeting with Krotos' spirit in the dream-Catacombs. Yes, you know you can't really trust what he said is true, but you can't ignore the possibility he was manipulated and warped by the Nightmare like Karas was and is trying to atone now. Anyway, the most important bit of info he relayed is that the Nightmare Five is gonna make their move when the twin moons kiss in a day or two, not next week when they're at their fullest like you thought. That means we have to move real soon to stop them.

You need to get Belseth out of the Grand Temple ASAP, or at least make contact with him. If the Nightmare isn't out to kill him, it'll be looking to use him as a vessel or at least turn him into another monster like the others it corrupted. Does your present company have any ideas on how to do that? Perhaps a royal demand he come to a meeting with the queen immediately, hand delivered by the royal guard? They couldn't reject or waylay that without tipping their hand and giving us cause to send in our people to bring Belseth out.

Ask the Archbishop exactly where the corpses of the Five are being kept and where they were before. Were they within the Catacombs? Because if so, they've been infested with trapped souls from down there, same as any other corpse would. That's what happened to Xuv's corpse to create the Xuv you've been dealing with. So we're facing undead gods here.

And where's Cain? You want to check how he's doing after getting stuck with that needle. And you owe your thanks to the Archbishop for that guardian she made with Cain's blood. If not for it you'd be dead, or worse than dead, by Nerfatu's hand.

>you know, souls of the old dead who haven’t been able to move on…
Which the Catacombs of the Godless are full of 'cause back in the time of the Old Empire it was known as the Soul Kiln and the agony of those souls condemned to it powered a sizable chunk of that empire. But it's now broken, cracked and leaking souls out and would have drained if not for more souls getting thrown in (side-eye at the Archbishop) or flowing in from wars and shit like that. So we're sitting on top of a giant leaky barrel of the souls of the murderous, the mad, attempted usurpers, traitors, the falsely convicted, and all other manner of the wronged and the wrong-ers.

>The terrible pain you were feeling quickly subsides, replaced with a feeling of… coldness.
Haven't you felt that feeling of coldness before? Was it related to Xuv before? No, wait, it was after Life pulled your soul out, wasn't it? That would fit. Anyway, touch your right hand with your left to figure out if it's just a feeling of coldness or your right hand really is colder. Also ask someone else to touch your hands to check if the right one is cold.

>…or the elemental will simply blow up by itself.
Or they can feel when they're getting full and stop. Or they have a deeper connection to the earth and can feed the reformed energy back out there. Who knows? But whatever it is, if you had more earth elementals it would greatly improve the odds. There are more earth elemental "eggs" buried in the garden, it's just a matter of locating them. Perhaps there is some kind of magic or detector apparatus that can home in on a elemental signature the same or similar to this little earth elemental. Tim may know more on this subject. If it is possible to find those other earth elementals, then you want to get them found and dug up ASAP.

And now that you know that a earth elemental can restore a partially physically possessed person, then it's likely it could at least devour if not restore one who is fully possessed. ...And other than that, maybe it could restore lost limbs or eyes or other organs. Sew a replacement part taken from another in, then have the earth elemental reform and regenerate that part into one that matches the person it's attached to. This idea definitely warrants testing and investigation later.
>>
No. 824489 ID: 91ee5f

I still don't think we should let Belseth become a god.

He'll be immortal and he'll be forced to watch everyone he loves slowly be murdered by time, until they die of old age.

And if we fix his head so that he'd be a good god, then he'll let his loved ones die because it'd be wrong to keep them from the after life or whatever it is. And then he'd eventually be so overcome by sadness and loneliness, he'd be unable to do what the Archbishop wanted him to do. And without him to guide them or unable to correctly guide them, the mortals of the future will turn on each other and eventually end up restarting the cycle once again. It'll just be a problem for someone else in the future to have to deal with and they might mess it up and completely mess up the world beyond repair, causing Life to have to reset the world again.

We need a permanent solution to break the cycle and making a god isn't one of them.
>>
No. 824491 ID: 3ce125

>>824489
There is no afterlife. Souls are recycled in the river of souls. The cataclysm was caused by the creation of an afterlife because the river of souls dried up.

War is ok. The afterlife is not.
>>
No. 824493 ID: 91ee5f

>>824491
So instead of having to watch his loved ones die of old age once, he has to watch them die of old age repeatedly for the rest of time? Yeah, that's so much better.

Why should he have to go through something like that? Why does he have to become a god? Does he really want to do this or does he only want to do this because the Archbishop told him that he's the perfect candidate so he has to do this?
>>
No. 824496 ID: 91ee5f

>>824493
Honestly, it sounds like this "become a god" thing was just dumped on Belseth and he's being forced into becoming a god. It doesn't even sound like he's been given a choice to say yes or no to the whole plan, which is completely unfair to him!
>>
No. 824497 ID: 3ce125

>>824493
>repeatedly
No, reincarnation isn't a thing. Souls are recycled into new souls.
>>
No. 824503 ID: 094652

Gleesef? 3-Celsius? We all want to make this argument. We all KNOW where this argument leads. You have used three posts to specifically debate against each other about this when there is a Quest Discussion link in the title post. Don't burn this quest right when we're at the final thread.

>>824289
Can we attempt to do this on Belseth? What happens if we stick a few dozen elementals and overclock them to maximum suction when he's at his weakest point in the ritual?
>>
No. 824520 ID: 3ce125

>>824503
I wasn't arguing. I was stating the facts.
>>
No. 825493 ID: 65a774
File 150385913335.png - (56.21KB , 686x526 , 17.png )
825493

>You have used three posts to specifically debate against each other about this when there is a Quest Discussion link in the title post. Don't burn this quest right when we're at the final thread.
…wait, did Kome just make an rational argument to make the thread less chaotic? …who are you and what have you done with the real Kome!?

>Because it totally will come back and bite you. Life actually wanted to do worse than kill you. And the time before that, Xuv was trying to intermittently eat or rape you.
Geez… you really are fucked, aren’t you?
>You talked your way out of all of it- don't lose faith in your silver tongue now.
Y-yes… you talked yourself out of trouble before… you can do so again…
>Maybe the elemental can just stop eating once it's full, and the energy deficit will foil everybody's plans?
Maybe… or it will be like creating a waterfall to drink from. Either it will drown in it or let it spill out in the world.

>Can we attempt to do the elemental thing on Belseth?
He isn’t possessed… yet… and you rather stop this before he is.
>I still don't think we should let Belseth become a god. He'll be immortal and he'll be forced to watch everyone he loves slowly be murdered by time, until they die of old age.
And that is different from now how exactly? Everyone has to watch those they love die… or leave them by dying themselves. Nothing last forever, after all.
>And where's Cain?
…you have no idea. He’s just gone… and where did Thalia come from? She wasn’t here when you went into the dream. How long where you actually gone?


>Tell Sisah to keep that elemental close and stick it on you and not take it off for anything if you either order her to or if you are suddenly in pain for no explicable reason.
:SisahSB: Got it, sir.
>Tim should be fine now. Check on him.
:TimSB: Never fear… super Tim is… here…
:XarrinSB: ‘e does seem to be sleeping more soundly right now.
:ThaliaSB: His sleep was rather… unsound when I arrived. He was almost convulsing and screaming out loud for a while there.
:KronosSB: …really?
:EleteSB: We were actually debating about waking him up… but you seemed to calm him down somewhat before we did it.
>Tell Sisah she's exactly right, and that it was possessing Tim. How can they be dealt with?
:SisahSB: …Peirce their center of mass to destroy them completely? As I said, I’m used to kill things that possess the dead, not the living.

>Tell them everything!
:ThaliaSB: So… you walk through dreams?
:KronosSB: That is correct.
:ThaliaSB: And you ate an old forgotten god?
:KronosSB: Indeed.
:ThaliaSB: And there’s some nightmare creature under the temple trying to become a god?
:KronosSB: And we need to stop them.
:ThaliaSB: …if it wasn’t for everything that’s already happened, I would have just thrown you into the mad tower and been done with it.
:EleteSB: Sadly, as mad as it sounds, it seems to be true.
:XarrinSB: And even if it wasn’t, we can’t take the chance.
:ThaliaSB: … … …and we have to put our hopes on the Prince? …well, we’re doomed.
:KronosSB: I appreciate your vote of confidence, Thalia. It means a lot.

>Show them the drawing the Archbishop made of the Sakkilian-like monster and tell them Nerdf- Nerfatu looked a lot like it, though he could shape-shift to a degree.
:EleteSB: So what I saw was actually real, then…
>And he wasn't originally a Sakkilian, but a Vark. His sister was murdered by a noblewoman, he murdered the noblewoman and was thrown into the Catacombs for it.
:EleteSB: Wait… what did you say? A Vark who’s sister was killed? Big bill? Grey feathered? What was his name again, Ner something?
:KronosSB: Um… I think he was grey, yes… and he called himself Nerfatu.
:EleteSB: …that man wasn’t throw into the catacombs. That sounds like Nero, one of the higher ranked priests of the temple. Though, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t murdered anyone… if he didn’t do it recently.
>Ask the Archbishop exactly where the corpses of the Five are being kept and where they were before.
:EleteSB: They are still where we found them, in a huge secret chamber located right under the temple. We’ve constructed a way to it right from the temple, but it will be too heavily guarded for us to enter. There is still an entrance from the catacombs but… that’s not a place people should venture needlessly.

>The Nightmare Five is gonna make their move when the twin moons kiss in a day or two, not next week when they're at their fullest like you thought.
:EleteSB:
:ThaliaSB:
:KronosSB: …what? Why are you looking at me like that.
:XarrinSB: …because the moons will kiss tonight, not in a day or two.
:KronosSB: …w-what!?
:EleteSB: …which means we need to stop them right now.
>You need to get Belseth out of the Grand Temple ASAP, or at least make contact with him.
:EleteSB: And how are we supposed to do that?
:BriannahSB: Maybe ask the Archbishop to bring ‘im out? She’s meeting with the Queen right now so yah can probably catch ‘er before she return to the temple…
:EleteSB: …wait, what did you just say?
:XarrinSB: G-general Briannah!? What are yah doing ‘ere?
:BriannahSB: ‘ere to see my ‘ubby. Cain told me I should find ‘im ‘ere.
:ThaliaSB: Ah, yes. The Queen summoned the Archbishop just as I left to come here. Apparently, she is rather… skeptical of what is happening in the temple… and wants to assemble an armed force to storm it outright if she wasn’t able to convince the Archbishop to change a few things... forces including our Royal mage, Tim here. But if we need to get in there tonight… maybe she’ll need to rethink her current schedule?
>>
No. 825501 ID: 91ee5f

>>825493
"MY SISTER IS IN A MEETING WITH THE IMPOSTER?!?! Please tell me my sister is being heavily guarded right now!"
>>
No. 825505 ID: 3ce125

>>825493
We need to get to the queen right now, she's in mortal danger! The "Archbishop" is an impostor!

Also if Nero's any indication, the Nightmare's servants have had their memories altered. Or been lied to about how they died. I wonder if we can snap them out of it? Ask Elete for any information about dramatic backstories of the other priests that went missing. Anyone who had motive to commit a serious crime has likely been brainwashed to think they did it and were sent to the catacombs. ...Kronos' brother was lied to as well... I wonder if ALL of the souls in the Nightmare are like this? Lied to by the seventh god in order to strengthen their negative emotions and turn them into weapons?
>>
No. 825507 ID: fc33ea

Well for fuck's sake, how long was I out?!?

Okay, lets crash the meeting and feed the impostor to the elemental before that goes south. After I explain the situation to the Queen, I need to sort out the fact that Xuv is still possessing me.
>>
No. 825554 ID: fe7355

Shit, we need to get to Kira right now. Whoever was chosen by those Nightmare corrupted high priests to be the Archbishop is likely one of them. We can't risk whoever that is anywhere near the queen. They most likely won't try anything overt, but just being in proximity may allow warping Kira's psyche again. You just evicted that damn twisted parody of your father from Kira's mind and you're not gonna let 'em stick it back in again. But even if this Archbishop isn't corrupted, we still need to inform Kira of what's happening.

Give Bri a quick hug and kiss and tell her that she'll hear everything that's happened, but not right now. You're gonna have to retell it all to Kira, so she can hear it then. You'll tell her a bit on the way though. Right now time is of the essence and we have to get to Kira ASAP.

Tell Sisah to keep that earth elemental with her. We'll bring it close to the Archbishop meeting with Kira and if it throws a fit we'll know they're corrupted.

Tell Elete to grab her drawings and the Archbishop's seal. Ask if there's only supposed to be one of them, because if so and this other Archbishop has one too that should raise some doubt about who's really the Archbishop, or at least if there are counterfeit seals about. Also ask if there's anything only she and Kira would know that could possibly back that she's really the Archbishop.

On the way tell Bri that Elete is the real Archbishop. She was attacked last night by members of the priesthood that the Nightmare had turned to the point they became monsters and barely got away through her escape tunnel. You believe this 'cause Cain backs up her story.

Continue by saying you also entered Kira's dream and removed the Nightmare's influence on her in the form of a warped shade of your father. He was telling her not to trust anyone and to do everything herself, with only one glaring exception: The Archbishop. You thought it was referring to Elete, but this replacement Archbishop is probably the one it was referring to. You also entered Thalia's dream to check for the Nightmare's influence, thankfully not finding any. Then you entered Tim's dream and... Uh. It's gonna take awhile to explain what happened after that point, so she'll hear it when you tell Kira the whole thing. He is safe, so no worries there.

Ask Bri and Thalia if there's anything else from the meeting with Kira that we ought to know about.

>…that man wasn’t throw into the catacombs.
Inform Elete that you were incorrect when you said Nerfatu was cast into the Catacombs. He didn't say he was, just that he killed the noblewoman and you assumed he was condemned to the Catacombs for that.

Do ask Elete about the other priests who ventured into the Catacombs with her, both the ones who obviously turned and those who didn't. What's in their backgrounds that the Nightmare could use to get its claws into them? Injustices, pride, revenge, or anything else it could pull on?

>>825505
>Also if Nero's any indication, the Nightmare's servants have had their memories altered...
While it's possible, it's not because Nero/Nerfatu thought he was thrown into the Catacombs. I went back and checked what Nerfatu said and he didn't ever say he was condemned to the Catacombs. That was just a assumption on our part since he said he killed a noblewoman.
>>
No. 825683 ID: 65a774
File 150394356736.png - (47.13KB , 686x526 , 18.png )
825683

>If Nero's any indication, the Nightmare's servants have had their memories altered.
…except he never did mention being thrown into the catacombs, you just assumed that… and it’s fully possible he killed the noblewoman after he was infected, isn’t it?
>Feed the impostor to the elemental before that goes south.
We don’t even know if that will work… or if we actually need to kill the imposter. Let’s not be hasty.

>How long was I out?
:EletaSB: About half an hour. But I’m pretty sure the meeting was already starting when you found me with Cain.
>Give Bri a quick hug and kiss and tell her that she'll hear everything that's happened, but not right now.
:BriannahSB: Aw, and ‘ere I was ‘oping we could spend some time together, just the two of us…
:KronosSB: Sorry, Bri, but more important things are happening…
:BriannahSB: *Whispering* Just don’t forget our daily session, love…
:KronosSB: Err… heh… um… r-right…

>Do ask Elete about the other priests who ventured into the Catacombs with her, both the ones who obviously turned and those who didn't.
:EleteSB: I’ve never actually ventured into the catacombs proper myself, but it’s hard to tell who or who hasn’t been corrupted by that fact alone. Hmm… but if Nero became that thing I saw… then… maybe the other one was Hera? Hmm…
>Tell Sisah to keep that earth elemental with her.
:SisahSB: As you wish, sir.
>Ask Bri and Thalia if there's anything else from the meeting with Kira that we ought to know about.
:ThaliaSB: Most of the meeting concerned things not related to this. The temple acting odd is… or was not our primary concern, mostly as we didn’t know the full extent.
:BriannahSB: ‘er majesty wants to try to solve it diplomatically before taking up arms… but if there isn’t any other solution…

>We need to get to the queen right now, she's in mortal danger! The "Archbishop" is an impostor!
:BriannahSB: An imposter? How do you know?
:EleteSB: Because I’m the real Archbishop!
:ThaliaSB: …wait, what?
:XarrinSB: Even if Elete ‘ere is talking out of ‘er arse, we still need to check on things after all we’ve witness so far.
:ThaliaSB: …right. Let’s head to the Queens chamber then.
>>
No. 825686 ID: 65a774
File 150394366362.png - (60.56KB , 686x526 , 19.png )
825686

As you arrive at Kira’s chambers, you meet a familiar face, or in this case mask, leaving it.

:ArchSB: Ah, if it isn’t Prince Kronos.
:NonSB: Your lordship, we don’t have time for this.
:ArchSB: Now, now… I just need a minute. After all, we never finished our… conversation we had the last time when we met in my chambers.
:NonSB: Let the Archbishop speak...we have time…
:NonSB: Hmpf…

Trailing behind her is two other priests… one of them female who’s face is obscured by a mask, the other a rather angry sounding male that looks… familiar… and going by how he seems to be trying to kill you with his mind, you’re probably familiar to him as well.

:ArchSB: Prince Kronos, if you have a moment. Can you speak of your plan to visiting your mother, bless her soul, as you told me before we were so rudely interrupted just a day ago?
:KronosSB:
:ArchSB: Do you wish to take this privately? I’m sad to say that cannot be done at this time… it’s not like when we met up to play that game of Regicide… or when we first met in the park. Though, I never did thank you for the dinner you offered, did I? Either way… about your mother… are you still planning on visiting her?
>>
No. 825690 ID: 3ce125

>>825686
Ignore her. She's obviously trying to cast doubt on Elete by tossing all that information she "shouldn't" know at you all at once. I think she knows that stuff either because she's been spying on Elete or due to some magic god bullshit. The fact remains she has a monster in her midst. Provoke Nerdfat. Forcing him to show his true face will make it clear what side this "Archbishop" is on, at which point you and your guards can destroy him.

Taunt him about how you played him like a fool in the dream. Make it sound like you're an elitist nobleman, the exact kind he hates.
>>
No. 825694 ID: 91ee5f

>>825686
>>/questarch/797934
Yeah, that's him alright.

>>825690
I don't think mentioning the dream would help. Sure, Nero/Nerfatu would get it, but everyone else will think Kronos has finally snapped from the stress and has started making things up to accuse random people of conspiracy.

Maybe we should try using stuff from this story: >>/questarch/797255 he told us in the dream instead? Using his love of "her" should get him to snap!
>>
No. 825696 ID: 3ce125

>>825694
We literally just told everyone about the dream and Nero.
>>
No. 825698 ID: 91ee5f

>>825696
I guess. But I still think we should get him to snap at us a different way, otherwise the "Archbishop" will see what we're trying to do and will stop him from causing a scene in public.

Maybe we can use his hatred of nobility?

Like as we're talking to the "Archbishop", we mention how worried we are about poor Kira and how overworked she is from all the good she's done. And we keep going on about all the good that Kira has done until he snaps at the "lies of nobility".
>>
No. 825844 ID: fe7355

>>825690
You seem to be under the mistaken idea that this Archbishop is attempting to impersonate Elete by saying things only Elete, or Elete in her role as Archbishop, told Kronos. This is wrong for two reasons. First is that it doesn't make sense for this Archbishop to impersonate the Archbishop Elete because the official Temple line is that the Archbishop, who we believe is Elete, was murdered last night. They then pinned that fabricated murder on Elete. (See >>/questarch/793638 and the following update.) With the position of Archbishop now empty, the priesthood elected a new Archbishop, the one before Kronos right now. All this is news that would be known throughout the palace, so attempting to pass as the previous Archbishop to Kronos would not make sense.

Secondly, what this Archbishop is saying doesn't match with Kronos' previous meetings with Elete or Elete in her role as Archbishop. Kronos never played Regicide with Elete or the Archbishop, and has only played against Krotos, Briannah and Belseth in the past few days. Kronos did first meet Elete in the garden, which could also be considered a park, but he also first met Belseth in the garden too. And in the past few days Kronos hasn't had dinner with, or offered dinner to, anyone other than Briannah or Belseth.

Based on what this Archbishop is saying, I'm thinking that "she" is actually Belseth, elected to the position by the Temple priesthood. The fact Kronos hasn't met with anyone in their chambers who has a form that could fit into the Archbishop outfit that the priesthood would have picked as Archbishop besides Belseth would be in line with this. And a day ago Kronos and Belseth were "so rudely" interrupted by Hera right before they were gonna get it on. It's the only interruption I can think of that would fit a day ago.

As to why this Archbishop, who might be Belseth, is talking about Kronos visiting his mother, which I can only assume is either her ashes in the royal crypt or the monument to her in the garden, I don't know. I can't remember if Kronos talked with Belseth about the royal crypt or his mother. It might be a hint to visit her ashes, or to go through the royal crypt into the Temple, or something else entirely. Maybe something was left at her urn in the royal crypt. Or it could be a made up pretense for the Archbishop to get away from Nero and that masked female priestess, which I have a feeling is Hera, and speak with Kronos in private in the royal crypt.

------

Kronos, wrack your brain for anything in the past several days that matches what the Archbishop just said to you. How much of it lines up with Belseth? Enough of it that it's probable this Archbishop is Belseth. And the way this Archbishop is talking about your mother may be hinting that you should visit her urn in the royal crypt or her memorial in the garden.

Tell the Archbishop that you are planning on visiting your mother and you'll leave it at that. But if the Archbishop could give you but a moment before they leave, you have something wonderful to show them. Motion to Sisah to bring the earth elemental up close to the Archbishop and the priests and pay attention to its reaction. Tell them that this is a brand new earth elemental, born of the death of the ancient garden earth elemental, the first elemental born since the age of the Old Empire. That magic has returned to a degree that new elementals are being born is great news, and which you were going to present to the queen. No doubt the Archbishop can see how important this is. Anyway, you won't waylay the Archbishop any longer and bid them goodbye. And as the Archbishop leaves pay close attention for signs of a Sakkilian tail or feet under those robes.

And is Elete with you right now? If she is, she does have her disguise up? She should, because if she doesn't, or it's seen through or detected, and the Archbishop and those two priests see her, shit is gonna hit the fan real quick since she's wanted for murdering the previous Archbishop.

There is another way you could be rid of Xuv than using the earth elemental: Old Man Life. If there's any entity in the world that could remove Xuv from within your soul without destroying you, it'd be him. If you fulfill your end of the bargain with him, he'll come to uphold his end to undo Xuv's "gift." When he does he'll find the bonus of Xuv trapped within you and yank her out as well. So complete your deal with Life and Xuv'll be extracted and eaten by him.

>Hmm… but if Nero became that thing I saw… then… maybe the other one was Hera? Hmm…
Hera was the one who came to Belseth's quarters and interrupted you and him yesterday evening. ...Oh! You remember just outside the entrance to Thalia's dream there was a dead priest that tried to write a word on the wall in his own blood? "HER" followed with a incomplete letter. (See >>/questarch/775503) Odds are he was trying to write "HERA" and died before he could finish.

>...one of them female who’s face is obscured by a mask...
That might be Hera. Did her voice sound like the one you heard through the door to Belseth's quarters yesterday?

>...the other a rather angry sounding male that looks… familiar… and going by how he seems to be trying to kill you with his mind, you’re probably familiar to him as well.
He has gray feathers like Nerfatu had, his face also looks like the one Nerfatu formed when the guardian appeared, and he's giving you a look like he's shooting death beams from his eyes, so it's almost certain he's Nero. You can check with Elete later to confirm that. Looks like he's seriously pissed off he couldn't kill you via the dream.
>>
No. 825847 ID: 91ee5f

>>825844
>Or it could be a made up pretense for the Archbishop to get away from Nero and that masked female priestess, which I have a feeling is Hera, and speak with Kronos in private in the royal crypt.
Possibly. Or there could be an ambush waiting in one of those locations and they're gonna capture/kill Kronos when he shows up for that "private meeting".

>Archbishop could be Belseth.
Hmmmm, maaaabye??? I just don't see it.

As a Sakkilian, Belseth is both taller and wider than the person standing here in the Archbishop's clothing. And I don't see that mask fitting over Belseth's snout.

Then again, you could be right.

>Show elemental, see how it reacts.
Is the plan for the elemental to leap at one of them and start draining the "evil" outta them?

Because if that happens, that would be our proof that they're impostors and/or doing something evil, but someone else, possibly Kira since we're right outside her room, might see it as us outright attacking the Archbishop!

But if we're only showing them to see the elemental's reaction, that sounds like a good idea.....as long as the little shit doesn't start biting Kronos!

Also, if Nero/Nerfatu was aware of his failed attempt at killing Kronos by possessing his hand here in the real world, showing the elemental might get a reaction outta him also, since the elemental is what stopped him!
>>
No. 825851 ID: fe7355

>>825847
>Possibly. Or there could be an ambush waiting in one of those locations and they're gonna capture/kill Kronos when he shows up for that "private meeting".
Which is why Doxan will sneak in first to scope the place out, and at least Sisah will be with Kronos to protect him, and possibly more people. ...Ah, but the big problem is the royal crypt isn't heavily warded like the palace. Remember, there was an attempt to break into Kronos' apartment via magic, so he can't risk going outside strongly warded areas. Perhaps there's a way to carry a strong ward with him, though.

>As a Sakkilian, Belseth is both taller and wider than the person standing here in the Archbishop's clothing. And I don't see that mask fitting over Belseth's snout.
If I remember correctly, male Sakkilians are pretty close in size to male Varks; It's the female Sakkilians that are bigger, with those of Bri's size being rare outliers. So Belseth could possibly fit in the Archbishop robes. The mask, I dunno... But looking back at images of Belseth's head and comparing it to Kronos', it's not that much deeper. The Archbishop's mask might be able to fit on Belseth's head.
>>
No. 825852 ID: 3ce125

>>825844
>This archbishop is Belseth
Oh shit, you're right. All that was just to tell Kronos who he is without saying it plainly, possibly because he's being held captive by the two corrupted priests and if he says anything suspicious they'll kill him. What's he implying with the thing about Kronos visiting his mother? Is that code for "are you still going into the catacombs"? In that case Kronos should say yes, he was going to do that tonight.

Provoking Nerdfat might still be an okay idea since it'll get some heat off of Belseth. If we can pull him to safety after getting rid of Nerdfat somehow then we can take on the second priest by herself, but I suspect Nerdfat will wind up killing a bunch of our forces and we'll have to retreat and regroup.
>>
No. 825905 ID: fe7355

>>825852
But if that's the case, the Archbishop coulda made a run for it in the palace and invoked the protection of the palace guards or the royal guard. Heck, if the Archbishop started spilling the beans and took cover behind Queen Kira, the royal guard would have taken Nero and the other priest apart if they tried anything.
>>
No. 825919 ID: 91ee5f

>>825905
Probably couldn't say anything with these two "priests" right next to him all the time.

Even though it was supposed to be a private meeting, I'm sure Kira had a few guards in the room with her and these two "priests" never left the "Archbishop's" side the whole time.

Although, I have to ask, can Kronos tell it's Belseth? When this "Archbishop" is speaking, does that sound like Belseth's voice? Because if it does sound like him, Kronos could probably get away with saying, "You're voice sounds familiar. Belseth, is that you?"

Is that a good idea?
>>
No. 825949 ID: fe7355

>>825919
If the Archbishop is Belseth, which we don't know for sure, then we have to ask why he's not just saying he's Belseth instead of being so round-about about it. He's being cryptic because he feels he can't say it outright, either because those in the position of Archbishop are supposed to discard everything from their life before or some other reason. So asking the Archbishop if they are Belseth won't get a answer one way or the other, but it will signal that Kronos thinks the Archbishop is Belseth. I don't know if admitting this is a good idea or not, so better to err on the side of caution and not say it.

There's also the possibility this Archbishop isn't Belseth and is using info gleaned from Belseth or from spying on Belseth to attempt to mislead Kronos. That muddies the waters on whether this is Belseth or not more so.

We could figure out if Belseth has been chosen as the Archbishop by asking Kira. She undoubtedly has a few spies in the Temple and reports from visitors on comings and goings. If Belseth has vanished since shortly before the priesthood chose a Archbishop, it's likely he was the one picked.

>When this "Archbishop" is speaking, does that sound like Belseth's voice?
Kronos can't tell if Belseth is speaking because the Archbishop's voice is altered by a spell presumably enchanted into the mask of office. It's been mentioned a few times before, first by Belseth here >>/questarch/681115 that "she's always wearing this mask... and her voice is clearly manipulated."
>>
No. 825957 ID: 91ee5f

>>825949
>Might be Belseth, might not be Belseth.
Yeah, you've got a point, we're just guessing and don't actually know if that is Belseth.

So, back to Plan A: Somehow getting Nero/Nerfatu pissed off enough to attack us here in the open in front of important people and get him in trouble?

Or do we go to Plan B: Show off the elemental to see how it reacts to the "Archbishop" and the "priests"?
>>
No. 825958 ID: fe7355

>>825957
>Yeah, you've got a point, we're just guessing and don't actually know if that is Belseth.
Oh, but I think we have a way to know if the Archbishop is Belseth. It was mentioned at one point that Belseth is the only Sakkilian priest in the Temple. So if there are signs of a Sakkilian tail under the Archbishop's robes, or Sakkilian feet spotted under the hem of the robes, it can be reasonably assumed the Archbishop is Belseth.
>>
No. 825965 ID: 91ee5f

>>825958
That's another good point.

I just want to know if we do see a Sakkilian tail/feet, are we allowed to ask if it's him?
>>
No. 826005 ID: fe7355

>>825965
If there's sure signs the Archbishop is Sakillian, then yes, Kronos can ask if the Archbishop is Belseth. He won't get a answer, since the Archbishop is supposed to not admit who they were, but it will signal Kronos knows to Belseth, and also let the rest of Kronos' group know as well.
>>
No. 826172 ID: 65a774
File 150413103587.png - (58.49KB , 686x526 , 20.png )
826172

>Elete with you right now? If she is, she does have her disguise up?
She is with you disguised as a servant, though not magically this time.
>There is another way you could be rid of Xuv than using the earth elemental: Old Man Life. If you fulfill your end of the bargain with him, he'll come to uphold his end to undo Xuv's "gift."
…unless it’s already too late by then…

>Kronos, wrack your brain for anything in the past several days that matches what the Archbishop just said to you. How much of it lines up with Belseth?
...all of it? Wait… is the Archbishop Belseth? It can’t be…
>It was mentioned at one point that Belseth is the only Sakkilian priest in the Temple. So if there are signs of a Sakkilian tail under the Archbishop's robes…
You can spot the tip of a green tail poking out from under the Archbishops robe, placed in such a way that it won’t be spotted by the other priests. That can’t be a coincidence.
>As a Sakkilian, Belseth is both taller and wider than the person standing here in the Archbishop's clothing. And I don't see that mask fitting over Belseth's snout.
Whoever is standing in front of you is slightly taller than Elete… like Belseth would be. As for the mask… it might fit?


>Tell the Archbishop that you are planning on visiting your mother and you'll leave it at that.
:ArchSB: I am sad to say that I cannot personally accompany you… nor can I send another priest to bestow their blessing either. But I will send someone to deliver the proper incense and candles for a proper blessing for the dead. Just make sure you follow the instructions given.
:KronosSB: …instructions? For candles?
:ArchSB: For the blessing. Trust me, Prince Kronos, it would be proper if you followed them. Though, I have to ask you to be cautious… the crypt might still have dangers, so do not procced alone. You do remember last time, don’t you?
>If the Archbishop could give you but a moment before they leave, you have something wonderful to show them. Motion to Sisah to bring the earth elemental up close to the Archbishop and the priests.
:ArchSB: Oh? What is this?
:SisahSB: It’s an elemental. Here, take a closer look.
As Sisah brings the elemental forward, you can see Nerdfat take a step back on reflex, while the masked priest seems as stoic as ever. The elemental on the other hand happily jumps into the hand of the Archbishop and… gives of a happy little whistle?
:ElementalSB: *Purr*
:ArchSB: Why, how cute… it seems that it likes me. What did you say it was? An Elemental?
:KronosSB: It’s a brand new earth elemental, born from the death of the ancient garden elemental that used to reside here. It’s the first elemental born since the age of the Old Empire, which means magic is returning once again, isn’t it?
:ArchSB: It is indeed good news… and a being of the earth, you say? No wonder it likes me, as a being of life it must see me as a friend.
:NonSB: S-sir… it’s time for us to leave?
:ArchSB: Ah, of course, of course…
:KronosSB: Just one moment…

>Taunt Nerdfat.
:KronosSB: Ah… and you must be Nero, correct? You must excuse me for what happened last time we met. I didn’t mean to make you look like a fool.
:NonSB:
:KronosSB: But, that’s the way it is, isn’t it? You’re just some commoner while I’m… why, of superior blood, no?
:NonSB: Grr…
:NonSB: At easy, brother…
:KronosSB: But I’m sure you can’t even fathom that. You commoners are barely people in the end… I’m sure they didn’t even know the name of your sister in the end.
:NonSB: Why you little-
:NonSB: Brother Nero, remember our teachings.
:KronosSB: She was nobody, after all… just someone to be forgotten.
:NonSB: Breathe… focus… seek joy, Nero.
>Ask if the Archbishop is Belseth.
As the other priest is distracted by trying to calm down Nerdfat, you mouth the word Belseth towards the Archbishop, whom give of a nod in confirmation.

:NonSB: Archbishop, it is time to leave. Right now.
:ArchSB: Ah, but what is the rush? I’m not in any danger, am I? But you might be right… Prince, do not worry, as I am sure you will find what you seek if you continue the path y-
:KiraSB: What is going on here?

Suddenly, the large doors to the Queens chamber are open and the imposing figure of your sister is standing in the open portal.

:KiraSB: …brother?
:ArchSB: And with that, I’ll take my leave. I’m sure the Prince and Queen needs their privacy. May the five be with you both. Nero, Hera, let us leave.
>>
No. 826176 ID: 3ce125

>>826172
Damn, we couldn't get Nero to break his disguise. Unless "Yeah just walk away, Nerdfat. Just walk away" would push him over the edge.
Let them go, then make it clear to the rest of your group who that was, and why you said those things. To them it probably looked like you just went on an extremely uncharacteristic tirade against common folk!

Hmm, I wonder if the seventh god was the god of emotion. "seek joy" isn't part of the church's teachings is it?

Once you have your sister in private see how the elemental reacts to her. Assuming it doesn't bite the shit out of her (or does and drains something out of her), first tell her about everything you've learned since the last time you spoke. Then ask Elete if she knows anything about Hera. Anything we can use against her?
>>
No. 826184 ID: 91ee5f

>>826172
>as a being of life
I'm pretty sure Belseth just gave you a hint on how to hurt them. Especially when you consider how Nerdfat reacted to seeing the elemental!

>>826176
This.

And also confirm to everyone that the new Archbishop is Belseth.
>>
No. 826185 ID: 3ce125

Oh, and once you've gotten Kira up to speed, use the elemental on yourself again. If you get close to death, Life will show up and see what you're doing, and he will take Xuv's soul instead of letting the elemental eat it. He will also be able to do so without killing you, I expect... and you can tell him about what the seventh god is planning.

At this point we know Belseth is clean so we don't need the dream powers anymore.
>>
No. 826186 ID: 91ee5f

>>826184
*how to hurt those priests.
>>
No. 826187 ID: 91ee5f

>>826185
>Seventh god.
That's still a guess, which is also unconfirmed to be true or not.
>>
No. 826230 ID: 91ee5f

Wait, I just realized something!

This is our chance to expose Nero and/or Hera!

We just need to think of a way to subtly tell Belseth to give the elemental to them! Hell, all he needs to do is point the elemental at them and it'll take care of them!

So before he hands the elemental back to Sisah, tell Belseth, "Holding the elemental always seems to help calm people down and get them to relax. So I thought I'd share it with you, since I'm sure you must be very stressed. It's like that old saying, 'We must take what's in our hands and share it with those around us, because only then will you truly be set free.'"

Yeah, I know, that's terrible, but it's the only thing I can think of and unless someone can come up with something better, that's what I want to say!

If Belseth is being forced to do this, then hopefully he'll get the hint to give the elemental to Nero and/or Hera! And even if he's not being forced by them, then maybe he'll try to give the elemental to them anyways!
>>
No. 826241 ID: 91ee5f

>>826230
Or if we just want to screw being subtle and be more direct, we could instead tell Belseth, "Holding the elemental always seems to help calm people down and get them to relax. So I thought I'd share it with you, since I'm sure you must be very stressed. Surely all of you have enough time to hold the elemental? It might help you relax."

Again, I know it sucks, but it's the best I can think of!
>>
No. 826288 ID: fe7355

Even though it was aimed at Nero for good reasons, saying such vile things leaves you feeling a little dirty inside. That he didn't crack and attack you, either in his monstrous form or not, actually makes sense. Nero, with his murderous hatred of nobility, would have had to be well prepped to come into the palace and be in the presence of the queen without losing control. He knows that if he did, it'd be all over. He'd be cut down and the palace would have justification to storm the Grand Temple, ruining the Nightmare's plans. And because he knows that, with Hera's support it's unlikely he will snap with further insulting, and if he did he would keep himself from changing shape when he attacked you. That would make it look like you were in the wrong, trying to goad him into a fight.

Once you're in private with your group, make sure to tell them you were trying to goad Nero into losing control and shifting form to try and attack you. If he did that in front of everyone present, it'd be undeniable proof he'd been corrupted and turned by some kind of dark force, and giving full warrant to move on the Grand Temple.

Also ask Kira what she and the Archbishop spoke of, followed by informing everyone that the current Archbishop is Belseth, in case they haven't already figured it out.

Before you start to spill the more pertinent beans to Kira, whisper to Bri to ask if she would admit what she's seen with her Sight to Kira and the others present if you need her to corroborate what you say. Like your conversations with Chronicler, seeing the Rune of Eternity tattooed on Belseth's groin, or her encounter with Old Man Life. You may not need to call on her, but you want to know if she would if you have to.

Then it's time to brief Kira on the dire situation, though you can't go into full detail because that'd take hours and hours you don't have. Tell the most vital stuff and the context for it first. Elete tells her part, then everyone else that was present in Tim's study tells what they saw, and then you go into what you've seen and experienced.

Remember to ask Elete what happened to those copies of the summoning rituals you had made, then tell her that the ones to the Five were real and the one to Xuv was fake. ...And in hindsight, you really, really regret not having Tim and Cain make fakes for all six rituals because you may have handed over what was needed to advance the Nightmare's plans.

Also draw the Rune of Eternity, show it to Elete and ask her if she's seen it anywhere, perhaps in the chamber the Five's remains are. Then burn the paper the rune is on to ash so it doesn't get out.

>>826184
>I'm pretty sure Belseth just gave you a hint on how to hurt them. Especially when you consider how Nerdfat reacted to seeing the elemental!
So any magic that'd be opposite death? That'd mean any magic specifically made to put down undead would work. Mages that are trained to specifically fight Lorentian undead forces would know that kind of thing. And focused life magic such as healing spells would work too. I wonder if it'd be possible to make a arcane cannon or firearm that shoots pure life magic.

>>826185
>At this point we know Belseth is clean so we don't need the dream powers anymore.
But what if Kronos needs them for someone other than Belseth, or to stop what the Nightmare's plan is? We don't know what Kronos may need them for. ...But we also can't risk the Nightmare possibly being able to reach back up through Xuv to get at Kronos, or Xuv making a move on him in the meantime.

...I'm thinking put it off until at least after Kronos has told what he knows about what's happened and is happening to Kira and others, in case things go wrong and he's killed. And at the latest, do it before entering the royal crypt or the Catacombs, since those are either Xuv's domain or the Nightmare's and either may be able to get to Kronos via Xuv within him.

And when it's done, Kronos should stick the earth elemental on one of this feet instead of his hand. If it does rip out a chunk of his soul in the process, better one of his feet or legs dies and needs to be replaced with a prosthetic than a hand or arm. And also have someone magically or mundanely monitor his life signs and soul condition and pull the elemental off if Kronos is on the very edge of dying.

>>826230
>>826241
This is a good idea, though after what Kronos just said to Nero it would sound kinda odd that Kronos was suddenly concerned about Nero and Hera's stress. But that doesn't matter if Belseth catches on to what Kronos is getting at. He'd push for them to hold the elemental. And while Nero knows the potential danger of the earth elemental, Hera likely doesn't. She'd accept holding the elemental and if it senses she's corrupted then the jig is up.
>>
No. 826314 ID: 91ee5f

>>826288
>seeing the Rune of Eternity tattooed on Belseth's groin
But I thought Belseth said he didn't have anything down there?

I remember him saying that if he wanted another tattoo, he'd have to put it there, since that's the only spot on his body that doesn't already have a tattoo.

Either he said that or he said he's nervous about trying to put one there, considering how sensitive that area is.

>This is a good idea, though after what Kronos just said to Nero it would sound kinda odd that Kronos was suddenly concerned about Nero and Hera's stress.
I didn't want to continue doing that in my earlier posts because big sister Queen Kira has opened her doors and is standing right there. She wouldn't approve of what Kronos had said. And so far it looks like she couldn't hear what was being said and could only tell there were people talking outside her door, so I'd rather Kronos not start mouthing off in front of her and she clearly hears what he says, which will ruin our chance to expose Nero and/or Hera!

Because at the first sign of disrespect from Kronos, Kira will end the conversation, apologize to the "priests" and let them and Belseth leave, and then proceed to yell at Kronos for being disrespectful!
>>
No. 826336 ID: fe7355

Kronos, be honest about where you got your most recent info from and tell Kira and everyone else present your whole encounter and conversation with Krotos, minus the part with your mutual appreciation of Bri's behind. You want to know if any of what he said is true, or could be true, and what he was told at his secret trial. Say that you think what happened to Karas, with him being manipulated and influenced by the Nightmare, could have happened to Krotos as well. And tell Kira and Bri what Krotos wanted you to relay to them. Also hold on to Bri's hand throughout this because hearing what actually happened to Krotos and what he said to you is probably going to hit her hard in one way or another and she's gonna need comforting. Maybe Kira as well.

>>826314
>But I thought Belseth said he didn't have anything down there?
Right, he doesn't have anything tattooed there now, but the prompt to ask Belseth about a tattoo there was 'cause Bri said she had seen it with her Sight during a sexual encounter with him. See >>/questarch/724432 for the conversation between Kronos, Briannah, and Belseth where Bri asks Bel about the tattoo she saw on his groin.
>>
No. 826697 ID: 65a774
File 150429575522.png - (46.52KB , 686x526 , 21.png )
826697

>Subtly tell Belseth to give the elemental to Nero and Hera.
:KronosSB: Wait, before you leave, what does your two priest friends think of the elemental?
:NonSB: …we-
:KronosSB: Maybe you need a closer look before you can say anything. Isn’t that right, Archbishop?
:ArchSB: …ah, yes, of course. Here, hold it for a bit and tell-

Before the Archbishop can finish his sentence, the mask clad priest grabs the elemental from his hands and forces it onto Sisah instead. The elemental on its part seems confused at first before giving off a soft whine, as if it already misses the Archbishops embrace.

:NonSB: We really do not have time for this, exalted one. We need to leave right now.
:ArchSB: Well… if you insist. Let me just say that it was a pleasure seeing you again, Prince Kronos.

As he speaks, it grabs your hand and shakes it. The reason for this gesture becomes apparent when he let go, as suddenly there is a small note hidden in the palm of your hand.

:ArchSB: Oh… and remember to follow the instructions.

You make sure to wait for the Archbishop and the priests to disappear down the corridor before looking at the note in your hand…
“From the book of Daybreak: Saina 13:12
But of those engulfed in darkness only the ones who had found their light prevailed. As sin and corruption swept the world, those following the light remained untainted. Only one that is truly innocent can dispel the darkness and light our way from sin. Let those without sin inherit our world, or let it be consumed by the wave of darkness created by our prideful folly, like the world of old.”
…Some of the words is seemingly underlined, signifying their importance… and the note itself is signed with an odd symbol… you swear you’ve seen it somewhere before?
>>
No. 826698 ID: 65a774
File 150429576667.png - (55.34KB , 686x526 , 22.png )
826698

>Make it clear to the rest of your group who that was, and why you said those things.
:EleteSB: Well, yes, it was kind of obvious what you were trying to accomplish.
:XarrinSB: It was? I just thought those rumors I’ve ‘eard about yah were dead wrong.
:ThaliaSB: Can we please focus on more important things than the Prince opinion on us common folk?
>Ask Elete if she knows anything about Hera. Anything we can use against her?
:EleteSB: Hmm… she has very bad eyesight?
:KronosSB: Let me guess, some noble tried to blind her?
:EleteSB: With acid if her story is to be believed, yes.
>Remember to ask Elete what happened to those copies of the summoning rituals you had made, then tell her that the ones to the Five were real and the one to Xuv was fake.
:EleteSB: Actually, all six where real… because the ritual with did with them worked perfectly.
:KronosSB: …what? But… I… I made a fake and…
:EleteSB: Yet it still worked… which means the ritual is ready to be used.
>Show the Rune of Eternity to Elete and ask her if she's seen it anywhere, perhaps in the chamber the Five's remains are.
:EleteSB: Hmm…where have I seen that thing before? Let me think about it…

>Once you have your sister in private see how the elemental reacts to her.
The elemental just seem grumpy…
:KiraSB: Ah, yes, Tim did write a rapport on this thing. Now, why did you come here with it?
>Ask Kira what she and the Archbishop spoke of.
:KiraSB: We tried to smooth things out diplomatically. But it didn’t work, they still refuse to tell me about what they are actually doing in the temple and with things going as they are I might be forced to take more… direct actions.
>Tell her about everything you've learned since the last time you spoke.
:KiraSB: What… they are doing some ritual tonight to… attend godhood!?
:ThaliaSB: Everything we’ve found so far points in that direction, ma’am… though, a lot of it is... word of mouth.
:KiraSB: How do you know this?
>Kronos, be honest about where you got your most recent info from…
:KronosSB: …I love the way the moon reflect in your eyes.
:KiraSB: …what is-
:BriannahSB: K-Krotos!? B-but… b-but that’s… NO!
:KiraSB: Krotos!? You met… what!?
:KronosSB: I found him the world of dreams… and he told me a lot. About what the nightmare is doing in the temple… and about Bri… and about his trail. He said he was innocent.
:KiraSB: Of course he would say that.
:KronosSB: …and is he?
:KiraSB: …there were evidence that supported the claim, but there was so little time to… never mind, that is a thing of the past. No, we need to focus on the here and now… you said they are doing the ritual tonight? That’s not good… not good at all… we need to stop them.

>Oh, and once you've gotten Kira up to speed, use the elemental on yourself again.
…are you sure? Things might not go well if you try that again… then again, things might not go well if you don’t. Do you take the chance or do you hope it’s nothing?
>>
No. 826715 ID: fc33ea

>Only one that is truly innocent can dispel the darkness and light our way from sin.
I'm telling you man, THE ELEMENTAL. Don't tell me it'll explode, you were about to let the same thing happen to Belseth and didn't bring up concerns about his wellbeing. Everyone else is tainted by this world, even you. Let the elemental use up the power, and the kingdoms' lands will flourish like the royal garden once did.

>Do you take the chance or do you hope it’s nothing?
The usefulness of dreamwalking has run it's course, the time for subtle approaches is over. You can afford to gamble it. I've told you, you've had your soul pulled out twice before. You'll manage fine.
>>
No. 826724 ID: 91ee5f

>>826698
Really, Kronos? You didn't tell everyone that was Belseth? Why didn't you tell them yet?!

Make sure you show everyone his note. It's obvious that he's trying to tell you how to stop all this and that symbol and the underlined words are hints on how to do it!

And I think one of those lines might be about needing to not be corrupted in order to do something to stop them. Well, since you helped some of the people in this room get rid of their corruption, they should be good.

.....now all that's left is to get rid of your own corruption. It's time to get rid of Xuv.

>>826715
>Everyone else is tainted by this world, even you.
No shit. Nobody is perfect.
>>
No. 826726 ID: 12aed4

The problem is that we don't know if our soul will get pulled out along with Xuv or damaged in some way, the elemental is still young and may fuck up.
We need to contact the Old Man some how, he's our best bet at fixing this shit. The elemental can be plan B or something.
>>
No. 826745 ID: 3ce125

>>826698
Use the elemental. "Only one that is truly innocent" means you need to get rid of Xuv. Also I don't think you're truly innocent anyway. Is there anyone you know that matches that description? Someone without sin? ...I wonder if the elemental counts. It's bitey but it's not exactly sinful.
Heck, if the elemental's reaction to belseth has anything to do with the underlined phrase he might be telling you that he's the only one that can stop this and you need to trust him. I wonder if Life infused him with something that would help?

You're probably gonna wind up talking to Life shortly(because he shows up if you're at the brink of death), and he needs to know about what's going to happen.

>strange symbol
It's the tattoo he has on his back.
>>
No. 826752 ID: fc33ea

>>826724
The pseudo incest, fornication and beating assassins to death with bits of furniture go a bit beyond 'imperfect'. Hardly exceptional taken next to what everybody else has been up to, but far from 'truly innocent'.
>>
No. 826761 ID: 91ee5f

>>826745
>It's the tattoo he has on his back.
Oh, yeah! It's that big giant one in the middle of his back! But that's not helpful by itself.

Didn't he tell us what each of his tattoos is supposed to mean? If so, then what is this specific tattoo supposed to represent?
>>
No. 826927 ID: 91ee5f

>>826761
Oh, also mention that you believe Belseth is being forced to do this and mention everything he talked about, including the "visiting your mother" thing and the candles, pretty much mention it all.

And now might be a bad time to remind you, but if you don't hurry and stop them, then you'll have broken your promise to Old Man Life and he's gonna punish you.

Maybe you should mention this to everyone? That way they'll know how important it is for you to stop this from happening. And if asked when this promise was made, say, "Sisah, remember when I just suddenly collapsed and I was freezing cold? I woke up and told you this, but you said it was a hallucination. I hate to say it, but it all happened."

Also remember, you don't actually need to stop them yourself, all you need to do is destroy the wards, which is the Eternity Rune, that are preventing Life from finding them. Once you do that, Life will come in and put an end to it himself!

Jeez, it's hard to think clearly with all of this stuff going through your head! Maybe you can clear your head with a nice cup of tea?

And then Cain pops up outta nowhere and scares everyone in the room! But at least he's brought enough tea for everyone in the room!
>>
No. 826994 ID: fe7355

Delay attempting to pull out and destroy Xuv with the earth elemental. Beyond the risk to your body and soul if it goes wrong, you don't know if you'll need the dreamwalking ability at some point to stop the Nightmare's ascension ritual or save someone else. And there is one way you do know you'll need that dreamwalking ability, and that's to communicate with Krotos again. Besides any other intel he may have gathered, the most vital info you need from him is directions through the Catacombs to the chamber the Five's corpses are in. With the front entrance to that chamber so heavily defended and fortified the odds that all the forces Kira could bring to bear could break through in time are not good. It's likely that the only way to get into that chamber in time would be via the Catacombs, and for that you need Krotos' directions. In the mean time you'll still keep the earth elemental very near by, with standing orders to stick it on you if anything odd happens with you that isn't expected.

Hold Bri's hand, look her in the eye and tell her you're so sorry you said all you did. You... You could have lied and said it was from someone other than Krotos and protected her from the pain of the truth. ...You're sorry.

Ask everyone here if they've figured out who the new Archbishop actually is, and for anyone that hasn't inform them that it's Belseth under the mask and robes. Then tell everyone what he was heavily hinting that you should do, which is go into the royal crypt to your mother's ashes and find instructions from him. Then show them the note he slipped you before leaving. Also say that you suspect he might be being forced into doing what he's doing.

Now, you recognize the symbol on the note Belseth gave you as being the same as the tattoo that covers his back. He said he got it at the age of eighteen, but he didn't say what it meant or was for. Though, you did find out the five fanned nails at the top are supposed to ward against chaos and promote order. Perhaps Elete has some idea what the symbol means.

As for the underlined text, you don't know for sure. If he's saying he's the only one who is truly innocent, without sin, and is the only one to ascend to godhood, that can't be true. He's got his flaws, he just has a lot more virtues than most. ...Though, who could be truly innocent and without sin in this world. A newborn? ...A newborn elemental? Hm...

...Wait, you might be thinking all wrong about what this text means. Remember how the intersections outside the dream entrances in the dream Catacombs had plaques with scripture or sayings on them? Perhaps this underlined text indicates a intersection or entrance in the Catacombs you need to go to. Tell everyone here that, and also what was written on the three plaques you saw in the dream Catacombs and where you saw them. Maybe Elete can identify if they're from scripture.

Ask Kira if she's aware of the old priests' way from the Grand Temple into the royal crypt. Because it would be a good back way into the Grand Temple's basement a force could sneak in through. Say you know this because you had Doxan break in that way and scout the Grand Temple basement and the lock on the door in should still be broken. He can provide all the details he gathered to any force Kira wishes to send in that way.

Ask Elete if that overgrown patch in the garden is over the chamber the Five's corpses are in. If it is, then would it be possible to breach the tunnel to it with earth mages? The chamber itself you suspect is heavily warded and magically reinforced to have survived as long as it has, but the tunnel is mundane. Alternatively, if a breach isn't possible, how about collapsing the tunnel?

...And also ask Elete if the route through the Catacombs to the Five's resting chamber was mapped by the Temple. If they did, then if you got your hands on that map it'd make things much easier.

And ask everyone here if they know where you were found after your near-death experience in the royal crypt and by whom. And did they ever find out who drugged the royal crypt guard and who moved him in to the bushes? You want to know if Krotos could have carried you out of the royal crypt and who drugged the guard because whoever they are probably was in league with the Nightmare to get you down there.

>Actually, all six where real… because the ritual with did with them worked perfectly.
Motherfucker! How was that possible with a fake ritual?! ...You shoulda faked all of them. ...Oh no. Or there wasn't a fake at all. Did Cain go against your orders and sent a real copy? Could Elete possibly draw the ritual circle for Xuv she got from memory? Because if it's the real one then Cain did give them a copy of the real ritual and the implications of that are... Bad, at the least.

>Before the Archbishop can finish his sentence, the mask clad priest grabs the elemental from his hands and forces it onto Sisah instead.
Well, you at least now know that Hera won't set the earth elemental off so she's likely not throwing off strong magical death or corruption radiation or could hide or shield it.

>…there were evidence that supported the claim, but there was so little time to… never mind, that is a thing of the past.
Oh no you don't get to wave this off as being a thing of the past because that past has come right back around to bite the present in the ass. Now, what was there so little time for that she couldn't spare any time to investigate whether Krotos was innocent and the plots against Risavia were Brianthor's doing? And why the hell was Krotos told at trial that while in a trance he killed Bri in her sleep?
>>
No. 827007 ID: 91ee5f

>>826994
>Don't get rid of Xuv yet.
You sure that won't hinder or be used against Kronos when he goes into the Catacombs?

>Well, you at least now know that Hera won't set the earth elemental off so she's likely not throwing off strong magical death or corruption radiation or could hide or shield it.
Not true. I think Hera just didn't give the elemental a chance to react to her, so it didn't get a chance to bite her, since it's needed to bite things in order to uncorrupt them.

Speaking of earth elements, do you think it would be a good idea to take the elemental to the center of the garden? Because we discovered here: >>/questarch/723758 that all of that is in the shape of the earth goddess' symbol, so maybe it'll help the elemental?

Then again, it might just be a huge was of time.

>Perhaps Elete has some idea what the symbol means.
I hope she does!

>Oh no you don't get to wave this off as being a thing of the past because that past has come right back around to bite the present in the ass.
Yeah, big sis may be the Queen, but we can't let her just say that and not elaborate!
>>
No. 827013 ID: 3ce125

Wait a second, if the ritual to summon Xuv worked, what did they talk to her about? WHEN did they talk to her? At one point Xuv showed up without being summoned, and implied she was summoned by someone but didn't want to talk to anyone but Kronos. Was that a lie? I feel like the only reason she'd have to lie about that was to make it seem like it was safe to give the archbishop the summoning ritual. Which means she wanted to be summoned by the archmage all along... which means she's probably trying to take advantage of the ascension ritual as well.
>>
No. 827112 ID: fe7355

>>827007
>You sure that won't hinder or be used against Kronos when he goes into the Catacombs?
Can we be sure of anything here? It could be that having the dreamwalking ability will greatly help Kronos in the Catacombs. And the royal crypt is not in the Catacombs, so we still have that to go to before possibly continuing to the Catacombs. We can wait and attempt to remove Xuv after going to the royal crypt. And I also have the meta reason to be hesitant to remove Xuv now of Kaktus not just going through with it and giving us a choice. I think he's giving us a chance to avoid shooting ourselves in the foot taking Xuv out too soon.
>>
No. 827124 ID: 91ee5f

>>827112
You sure that's what Kaktus is doing? He could just be fucking with us again. I mean, we had a legitimate way to rescue Belseth early and Kaktus basically slapped us in the face and said, "No! I worked hard on making this final battle and I won't let you skip it by taking the easy way out!" At least, that's what it felt like to me. .....maybe I'm just being a sore loser because that was my idea and it easily got shot down by Kaktus? .....yeah, just ignore me, I'm being an asshole.
>>
No. 827161 ID: 65a774
File 150438445698.png - (47.48KB , 686x526 , 23.png )
827161

>We need to contact the Old Man somehow, he's our best bet at fixing this shit.
And how exactly are you planning on doing that? We can’t just write him a message, now can we?
>Is there anyone you know that matches that description? Someone without sin?
Hmm… is there someone that hasn’t done anything that might be considered bad? Bri, Doxan, Sisah, Thalia and Xarrin are all soldiers who’ve killed… Elete sees herself as a sinner… Tim has used his magic to harm in the past… is there someone you’re forgetting? Is there someone who wasn’t corrupted by the war?

>Hold Bri's hand, look her in the eye and tell her you're so sorry you said all you did. You... You could have lied and said-
:BriannahSB: WHAT!? Are yah telling me yah’re willing to lie right in my face just because yah don’t think I can ‘andle it!? WHAT THE F- …ngg…
:KronosSB: I-I’m s-sorry, I d-didn’t-
:BriannahSB: No, Kronos, I’m sorry… I… I didn’t mean to burst like that…

She bends down and embraces you in a heavy hug, whispering sorry in your ear as her snout passes it. You can’t do anything but embrace her back…

:KronosSB: We both made a mistake and are equally sorry?
:BriannahSB: …I can live with that.

>You don't get to wave Krotos trail off as being a thing of the past because that past has come right back around to bite the present in the ass, Kira.
:KiraSB: The trail was more about politics than justice. The evidence pointed towards him, but we didn’t have enough time to properly evaluate everything. In the end it did not matter, innocent or not, it was necessary for the peace. As inhumane as it sounds, sometimes one must be sacrificed for the many.
>Ask everyone here if they've figured out who the new Archbishop actually is.
:XarrinSB: Well… it looked like a Sakkilian under-
:KiraSB: It’s Belseth. Yes, we already know.
:BriannahSB: It is? Hrmm… I guess the way ‘e moved was familiar…
>Mention that you believe Belseth is being forced to do this and mention everything he talked about, including the "visiting your mother" thing and the candles.
:ThaliaSB: A trap?
:XarrinSB: Or ‘e ‘as found a way to aid us.
:EleteSB: Either way, we need to be careful. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
>>
No. 827162 ID: 65a774
File 150438446711.png - (22.29KB , 686x526 , 24.png )
827162

>Show them the note he slipped you before leaving.
:EleteSB: Hmm… interesting. I do know this excerpt; yes… it’s about gaining entrance to the celestial city after death… only those free of sin are worthy to enter the afterlife, after all.
>Is there anyone you know that matches that description? Someone without sin? ...I wonder if the elemental counts.
:EleteSB: By the belief of the five, those that cannot actively choose for themselves cannot be considered truly innocent, and thus cannot enter the celestial city. They are to be reborn instead to live the lives they were denied… so it’s highly possible the text refers to a fully grown person and not a child of stone.
:BriannahSB: So… we need to find someone that’s innocent?
:SisahSB: That would exclude most of us.
:XarrinSB: Hmm… it has to be someone that wasn’t part of the war, then?
>Perhaps Elete has some idea what the symbol means.
:EleteSB: …I can’t say I’ve ever seen it before. The top is-
:BriannahSB: That’s the tattoo Belseth got on ‘is back. It doesn’t really mean anything… so I’m going to guess ‘e drew it to make sure yah knew it was from ‘im, eh?

>Ask Kira if she's aware of the old priests' way from the Grand Temple into the royal crypt. Because it would be a good back way into the Grand Temple's basement a force could sneak in through.
:KiraSB: Expect they know we are coming, making it an ideal place to bottleneck our forces and take us out one by one.
>Ask Elete if that overgrown patch in the garden is over the chamber the Five's corpses are in. If it is, then would it be possible to breach the tunnel to it with earth mages?
:EleteSB: It took us months just creating the tunnel between the chamber and the temple. There is no way we can dig down in just a few hours!
>...And also ask Elete if the route through the Catacombs to the Five's resting chamber was mapped by the Temple.
:EleteSB: Yes, several times in fact. But as the catacombs seem to be different each time someone ventured down into them, the maps are useless.
>Wait a second, if the ritual to summon Xuv worked, what did they talk to her about? WHEN did they talk to her?
:EleteSB: We didn’t talk to her. We thought her dead, remember? No, we used it to find her corpse… or tried to, at least. Instead, we found a decaying corpse of a Varkian, a corpse containing the same power as the other corpses of the gods.

>Jeez, it's hard to think clearly with all of this stuff going through your head! Maybe you can clear your head with a nice cup of tea?
:EleteSB:
:KiraSB:
:ThaliaSB: …um… so…?
:KronosSB: …where is Cain?
:BriannahSB: Last I saw off ‘im was when ‘e directed me to Tim’s study to find yah. ‘e said ‘e ‘ad some important business to attend and that ‘e might not be available for a while.
:KronosSB: …not available? Cain? What?
>>
No. 827163 ID: 65a774
File 150438447852.png - (38.71KB , 686x526 , 25.png )
827163

>Use the elemental.
Sisah holds the elemental on the floor, close to where you’re foot currently is. It’s clear that the elemental is agitated by your presence, as it continuously hisses at you while trying to escape your bodyguards grasp.

:SisahSB: Are you sure about this, sir?
:KronosSB: …let it go.

As soon as she releases her grip, the elemental jumps onto your foot and-
>>
No. 827164 ID: 65a774
File 150438448672.png - (41.63KB , 686x526 , 26.png )
827164

And then your soul is ripped from its body… not by the elemental, but from something far worse.

”C-cease this insanity immediately or I’ll… I’ll consume your soul HERE AND NOW! I AM XUV! I AM THE GODS OF GODS! THE BEGINNING AND THE END! I WILL NOT BE DENIED MY BIRTHRIGHT! CEASE OR BE UNMADE!”
>>
No. 827168 ID: fc33ea

Yeah okay, the only way we'll be able to communicate to take the elemental off is if you put our soul back though. Eating us won't save you.

And then just wait for the lil guy to finish his business. Damn shame you'll probably loose the 'gifts', but hey, hopefully you made the most of them in the time you had them.

And for a truly innocent person, find Zela, the painter.
>>
No. 827171 ID: 3ce125

>>827164
"Xuv, please. This is better than Life getting to you. He will find you one day if you become a god again, then he'll trap you forever in endless torment. I'm trying to save you! Death is the only escape from Life! This will help both of us, so please, let go."

While you've got her attention you also need to ask her who the Serpens/Seventh god is.
>>
No. 827179 ID: 91ee5f

>>827162
>Hmm…it has to be someone that wasn’t part of the war, then?
Wait.....what about Kronos himself? He wasn't part of the war. In fact, he pretty much just stayed home and partied during the entire war.

Or maybe even Cain? I don't think he was affected by the war either.

>Instead, we found a decaying corpse of a Varkian, a corpse containing the same power as the other corpses of the gods.
Krotos?

>>827168
>And for a truly innocent person, find Zela, the painter.
She's the painter's apprentice.

And no, she's a terrible choice!

I mean, if she was more involved and was actually aware of what was going on, then yeah, maybe I'd choose her. But if we approached her now and dumped all of this info on her, she'd probably end up fainting again!

We need someone that actually knows what he/she is doing!
>>
No. 827190 ID: 3ce125

>>827179
>Zela doesn't know shit about this
That's actually a GOOD reason to choose her. Innocence in itself implies some measure of incompetence at handling dangerous situations.
>>
No. 827191 ID: fc33ea

>>827179
What point does complaining about pedantics do if you aren't going to present an alternative? Kronos is a pseudo-incestual fornicator who beat an assassin to death with a table leg and Cain is explicitly unavailable.
>>
No. 827214 ID: 91ee5f

>>827190
Ok, so what's you plan? Just walk up to her and say, "Hey, we need you to do something really dangerous or else the world is gonna end."?

>incompetence at handling dangerous situations.
So you want someone that has an inability to do something successfully? Isn't that the opposite of what we want?

>>827191
>What point does complaining about pedantics do if you aren't going to present an alternative?
Excuse you, I did offer alternatives. The same ones you are currently shooting down. Where are your alternatives so that the rest of us can shoot them down or accept them as possible options?

>beat an assassin to death with a table leg
So killing someone in selfdefense disqualifies him from this?

But you're probably right about that other stuff.

>Cain is explicitly unavailable.
That doesn't mean we can't go and find him. I'd say this is more important than whatever he's doing.
>>
No. 827226 ID: 3ce125

>>827214
>plan
Yep, pretty much that. What's wrong with it?

>So you want someone that has an inability to do something successfully? Isn't that the opposite of what we want?
...no? We'll be handling the dangerous situations with our guards. Once we get her there to do whatever she's supposed to do, it'll be fine.
>>
No. 827235 ID: 91ee5f

>>827226
>Yep, pretty much that. What's wrong with it?
Knowing Kaktus, doing just that and it would work, would be too easy.

>...no? We'll be handling the dangerous situations with our guards. Once we get her there to do whatever she's supposed to do, it'll be fine.
I thought the point was to send in someone without sin all alone because it's an area that'll only allow that person in and everyone else is unable to follow, since they're not without sin? Isn't that what was being said?
>>
No. 827244 ID: fc33ea

>>827214
>Excuse you, I did offer alternatives.
Try ones that make an ounce of sense next time. My alternative Is Zalia because the sole qualification is "innocence". Since you seem to be having trouble with this, Innocence doesn't mean good in a fight or quality as a leader or performance under stress, it means free of moral wrongdoing.

>That doesn't mean we can't go and find him.
Oh sure, we have plenty of time after all. Cain is a tame street urchin and suspicious as hell to boot, he'd make a bad candidate even if he was available.

>>>827235
Why the hell would you think this? Belseth literally said "do not proceed alone" and Elete described where the gods are lying as she saw herself after an extensive dig effort involving many people. Are you trolling?
>>
No. 827281 ID: 91ee5f

>>827244
>Since you seem to be having trouble with this, Innocence doesn't mean good in a fight or quality as a leader or performance under stress, it means free of moral wrongdoing.
That's not even close to why I chose them.

We were told, "Not involved in the war." and I just chose them because they weren't in the war.

But, yeah, I guess they're not good choices. Sorry for being an idiot and making such stupid suggestions.

>Are you trolling?
If I was, then my name would be Kome.
>>
No. 827323 ID: fe7355

Okay, think and analyze the situation. Xuv didn't eat your soul right after you ate her and take over your body, which signals that she needed to remain within your soul. Most likely this is to hide, probably from Old Man Life, and lie in wait until within a area hidden from His view to eat your soul and take over. And Xuv didn't eat your soul right away now, instead resorting to bellowing threats and bluster. She knows if she did, either the earth elemental would just eat her, or she'd be exposed, likely to the Old Man. But if she doesn't do anything, or you don't relent, the elemental will eat her. And she knows that you know that if you did capitulate that she'd just eat your soul or worse for your insolence later. So she's backed into a corner here and she knows it.

However, even though Xuv is in a corner don't think she wouldn't eat you just out of spite, even though she'd soon come to a end herself after. ...But, if it comes to that, if she swallowed your soul whole it may not be the end for you. Once you two swapped positions, with you on the inside, her soul would be fully exposed to the elemental. It would consume her from around your soul, assuming it worked fast enough. And since Xuv survived within your soul to now, then perhaps you could within hers for a bit.

Though, there's also the risk Xuv would start with biting off your soul-limbs, or, worse, your head, so if the situation swings towards her for sure eating your soul, goad her so she'll do it whole, then fight all the way down to delay for the elemental to work. And keep your arms and legs close in so she doesn't get ideas about biting them.

And keep in mind that Old Man Life shows up at endings. Whether it is your life or Xuv's that is about to end, the Old Man is gonna show up, and then Xuv will be truly doomed.

Pay attention to your surroundings and if time is still progressing or if you're in the accelerated state you've met Xuv in before. If things aren't frozen then you could attempt to delay by yammering on.

Ask Xuv if her desire to die was all a ruse to get you to eat her so she could hide within your soul. Was that her plan from the start? Because with all the points it could have failed for her, that was a bad plan.

Ask how she can explain that this earth elemental is trying to eat her if she's a god. Don't earth elementals only go after dead things and souls that should pass on? Shouldn't it recognize she's a god and not?

If Xuv makes a move to eat your soul, fake fear as you tell Xuv you'll cease, she just needs to stick your soul back in your body. Then when she does, don't do anything so the elemental has a bit more time to work before Xuv yanks your soul out again. Then tell her she'll have to give you a really, really damn good reason to stop this before you will.

>Instead, we found a decaying corpse of a Varkian, a corpse containing the same power as the other corpses of the gods.
That fits with what you've been told: That Xuv's soul intersected with Krotos' body right around when he died and became lodged in it.

>WHAT!? Are yah telling me yah’re willing to lie right in my face just because yah don’t think I can ‘andle it!? WHAT THE F- …ngg…
Oh, gods, why did you ever think that you should say that? You love Bri and you will never lie to her, not even a little white lie. There is far too much dishonesty and deception in this world already, and you've both been hurt by it in one way or another. You won't have your relationship with your wife and love be tainted by even a few lies.

>>827235
>>827244
>>827281
I feel the need to remind y'all that Archbishop Elete spent a long time searching far and wide for suitable sinless candidates for ascension before settling on Belseth. And she almost certainly had a thorough vetting process to weed out those with hidden sins. So the odds that a better candidate than Belseth just happens to be within the group of people Kronos knows is tiny. And I'm not going to bank on narrative conservation of characters meaning it'll be Zela just 'cause Mirror Kronos said she's innocent. Who knows what she's done, known or in secret, that would be a sin. She'd need to be vetted intensely before she could be deemed suitably innocent and sinless.
>>
No. 827399 ID: 65a774
File 150447933534.png - (49.08KB , 686x526 , 27.png )
827399

>Knowing Kaktus, doing just that and it would work, would be too easy.
You really find me that predictable?

>Xuv, please. This is better than Life getting to you. He will find you one day if you become a god again, then he'll trap you forever in endless torment. I'm trying to save you!
:XuvSB: Save me? SAVE ME!? I AM THE GODS OF GODS! That… that thing is nothing compared to my might! I AM EVERYTHING! I. AM. ENDLESS!!!
>The only way we'll be able to communicate to take the elemental off is if you put our soul back though. Eating us won't save you.
:XuvSB: You can still control your arms! Just rip it off! DO IT NOW OR I’LL CONSUME YOUR SOUL OUT OF SPITE, MORTAL!
>While you've got her attention you also need to ask her who the Serpens/Seventh god is.
:XuvSB: Serpens? SERPENS!? SERPENS DON’T HAVE GODS!! Those… those filthy things… disgusting things… godless husk with their metal men… they deserve to die… all of them… WORSHIP ME OR FACE MY WRATH, MAGGOTS!
:KronosSB: B-but the seventh-
:XuvSB: WE WERE SIX! AND NOW WE ARE ONE! ONE GOD! ONE! ME! I AM THE GOD OF GODS!
>Ask Xuv if her desire to die was all a ruse to get you to eat her so she could hide within your soul. Was that her plan from the start?
:XuvSB: I put my seed in you when we first met… consuming my body was just a way for me to regain more of my powers… now, STOP ASKING QUESTIONS AND MAKE THE ELEMENTAL CEASE ITS FOOLISHNESS!
>Because with all the points it could have failed for her, that was a bad plan.
:XuvSB: I AM A GOD! I CANNOT FAIL! HE TOLD ME SO! HE TOLD ME WHAT TO DO TO BE ENDLESS! FATE CANNOT LIE! I AM CHOSEN BY FATE HIMSELF!
>Ask how she can explain that this earth elemental is trying to eat her if she's a god. Don't earth elementals only go after dead things and souls that should pass on?
:XuvSB: I… but… I… I AM… god… and… ENDLESS! I. AM. ENDLESS!
>Just wait for the lil guy to finish his business.
:XuvSB: WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? STOP THIS ALREADY!
:KronosSB: I’m calling your bluff.
:XuvSB: …w-what!? B-bluff!? I’m not… I wasn’t… I WILL CONSUME YOU!!
:KronosSB: *MFF*!?
>>
No. 827400 ID: 65a774
File 150447934343.png - (35.11KB , 686x526 , 28.png )
827400

Time finally seem to catch up to the two of you as the elemental manages to finally catch Xuv by the tail… literally…
:XuvSB: NO! I AM THE ENDLESS! I AM DEATH! I CANNOT BE U-unmade! I am… etern*AH!*
You can’t be sure if her last scream is one of fear or passion, but you can feel her very essence being ripped from you and disappearing into the elemental... and just like that, she is gone.
[The Mind of Xuv has ceased to be.]
>>
No. 827401 ID: 65a774
File 150447935316.png - (20.03KB , 686x526 , 29.png )
827401

When you come to again, you find yourself in the arms of your beloved. She hugs you tightly, using her own body as a seat for you to lean on. The elemental on its part seems rather content having consumed a supposed god and its former aggression towards you disappeared completely. As you take a moment to just lie in Briannah’s arms, you feel that something is missing… something deep down… yet… there is something else washing over you, something familiar… a warmth that you can’t really place… but a warmth you’ve missed without even knowing it existed.
:BriannahSB: …are yah alright?
:KronosSB: …I’m better than alright…
:ThaliaSB: …what was that thing just now…?
:XarrinSB: …that was Xuv… the god of death… so… everything yah said was true…
:KiraSB: …hmm… I guess this is proof that you’re not just mad after all, brother…

>I feel the need to remind y'all that Archbishop Elete spent a long time searching far and wide for suitable sinless candidates for ascension before settling on Belseth.
Belseth wasn’t chosen because he was innocent, he was chosen because he had the smarts to use the power, the morality to use it for good and the will to not be corrupted by it. Innocents were probably just a bonus… if he even is innocent.

>Wait, a rotting Varkian corpse? Krotos?
:EleteSB: It’s a possibility.
:BriannahSB: K-Krotos…

>For a truly innocent person, find Zela, the painter.
:ThaliaSB: A civilian? I rather not bring someone like that along on a dangerous trip like this.
:KiraSB: She’ll need to be guarded, that’s for sure…
:EleteSB: Hmm… a painter? She might be innocent enough to work…
>Wait.....what about Kronos himself?
:EleteSB:
:ThaliaSB:
:KiraSB:
:KronosSB: …what?
:EleteSB: Didn’t you beat someone to death the other day? …and looking at the body you left behind, you continued to beat her in rage long after her skull had caved in and killed her... and as wrath is a sin…
:KiraSB: Not to mention that fistfight you got into with that noble last year…
:KronosSB: I get the point… besides, he was really… rude towards the servants…
:KiraSB: And the time you stole my favorite doll in revenge for-
:KronosSB: I said I get it!
>maybe even Cain?
:KiraSB: ...*pff*… wait, you’re not serious, are you?

:XarrinSB: So… our ‘opes are on a painter, then?
:BriannahSB: Someone that’s never ‘eld a sword in ‘er life… great…
:EleteSB: Hmm… a painter… Kronos, think back… you’re the one with the most experience with this nightmare… do you know how it would react towards someone like this painter?
>>
No. 827406 ID: 094652

>>827400
I feel like you should find a poster of Xuv and stamp it with a giant flip-the-bird stamp. Aww, the widdle elemental looks happy!

>>827401
Honestly? I think it would try to rape her.
>>
No. 827408 ID: 3ce125

>>827401
>something missing
Yeah you probably lost the dream power. Or the fertility boost.
>warmth
...it's possible you were in a state of pseudo-undeath and that's been removed as well.
>FATE
Interesting. Did she mean the chronicler, dreamer, and whatever the present-entity is? Wait a second, didn't the dreamer tell us that Xuv was fully dealt with? Maybe the chronicler/dreamer is the seventh god, trying to manipulate Kronos with selective information or misinformation.
Or maybe she was simply given only the information she asked for. She got instructions on how to become a god, and indeed she did not fail in becoming one. I doubt it told her that she would eventually die anyway, like all things.

Hmm... Bri's nightmare preyed on her self-hatred and despair. Kira's nightmare preyed on her pride and self-doubt. We can't really be sure what it used against Tim since we fought it directly instead of indirectly. Probably his loneliness and perfectionism. Anyway, negative emotions are the opening it needs to plant a seed. Are we sure Zela's mind is well-balanced and healthy enough to face the nightmare unscathed? Well, we can ask her for her honest opinion about her inner demons, so she can be prepared to steel herself against it.

OH, and when the nightmare attacks you directly like it did to Kronos in that alley, it uses your fears against you.
>>
No. 827410 ID: 91ee5f

Isn't Lust a sin? Because I seem to remember Zela lusting for Kronos.

Or maybe I'm thinking of someone else?
>>
No. 827419 ID: 22d3a4

>>827406
Jesus man you can't just say that.
>>827410
The way I remember it, Kronos was the lusty one in that scenario. Artificially induced lust sure, but it was still Kronos.

Do you mean Zela in particular, or just it's usual M.O.? The thing inflates people's insecurities and perceived faults to the point where they can not or will not take action against it. The dreamwalking was good for dealing with it at the source, but I wasn't about to let xuv into the catacombs. As for Zela in particular... the only thing I can think is that some hivers were disappearing or being murdered or something, I hardly know if that's related.
>>
No. 827424 ID: 91ee5f

>>827419
>the only thing I can think is that some hivers were disappearing or being murdered or something, I hardly know if that's related.
That's got nothing to do with Zela.

But I think that was something that Karas, Kronos' other brother, was doing to try and frame Kronos?
>>
No. 827499 ID: fe7355

Pick up the earth elemental and hold it so both you and Bri can pet it together. It seemed to like Bri before, and it really liked Belseth, so that makes you wonder what it is about them it likes. And you also wonder how it'd react to Zela.

Tell Elete that the Nightmare finds hold in negative feelings, damaged psyches and personal faults. Passively amplifying fear and paranoia and destructive emotions, tearing down trust and cooperation to remove opposition. And in those it can most reach and influence who it feels are useful, it'll whisper promises of every one of their dark desires fulfilled if they but do its will. That's how it wormed its way into Krotos, how it turned Karas, and how it influenced you and Kira and our father without us even knowing.

With one as innocent and without mental trauma as Zela, you do not believe the Nightmare would find enough cracks to get its claws in her. When you were in the dream Catacombs figuring out who you would help by dreamwalking, you were told Zela is one of the few around you that has not been hurt or damaged in some way; A innocent. When you asked her if she'd been having nightmares lately, unlikely many others in the palace she had not, which you thing means the Nightmare was not worming its way into her dreams. And she is... Was... A virgin. Until last night. With you... Um... You don't know if being a virgin would make one more innocent or not, but you have a feeling it would and that you figuratively fucked our chances by literally doing so.

With the way Zela left your apartment this morning in seeming embarrassment and before you woke up, you have a bad feeling that she may be feeling like she was seduced and used by the cliché of a lustful prince. And if she's feeling that, then that is a hurt the Nightmare could take advantage of. That means you and Bri should meet with Zela in private and talk things out. Once that's done, then bring her to meet with Kira and drop the news of what she is needed for on her.

You'll need to meet Zela somewhere that isn't her quarters since it's not warded adequately. The studio or your apartment would do. And have tea brought in for the meeting so she can get a taste of what good tea really is.

We should all also try to think of any other people that might be innocent enough for this situation. Like, you haven't thought of Head Librarian S’bk’ta or Whispers of Growth. And we also should find out exactly when the twin moons will "kiss" each other tonight, because shortly before that is how long we have.

Tell everyone here your verbal exchange with Xuv. It appears Fate was at work here, or a entity that could impersonate Fate to Xuv. But how long ago Fate came to Xuv, you have no idea. Could have been all the way back in the Second Age, could have been a week ago. And what was that about Serpens "metal men" and being "godless husks?" What the hell was the Seventh up to to be cast down and stricken from all record, becoming the Forgotten One?

Whisper to Bri that after Xuv was unmade by the elemental you felt something is missing deep down, and you also felt a warmth wash over you you didn't even realize you were missing. You think her "gifts" are gone now, including the one that would allow you two to have a child together. It's definitely for the best Xuv is gone, but that one gift you wish you could have kept. ...But maybe it already did its work. Remember, Bri wasn't wearing a contraception charm last night when you laid with her after Zela. So you two will find out in a few weeks whether it took or not. ...And whether it bypassed the charm with Zela.

...Before you leave, ask Kira if she sent out any orders before that could have reached Cain that said to aid the Archbishop in her plans if the opportunity arose. Kira was aiding the Archbishop before, so it's possible Cain got a directive to aid the Archbishop's plans, which is how the rituals she got worked; He made accurate copies of them all. But you'll need to ask Tim if Cain asked him to make a fake Xuv ritual to check this, though Cain could have just substituted his own copy of real ritual for the fake.

And something to keep in mind as a potential threat in the future, long after this situation is resolved, is Xuv's corpse. It's still down in the Catacombs somewhere, where souls could infest it and potentially create another Mind of Xuv like the one you faced. You can only hope that by now it is so far decomposed that no coherent entity could form in it and it'd be just another mindless undead.

>K-Krotos…
...Bri still feels for him deep down, doesn't she? ...Tell Kira that if after all this Krotos' body is recoverable, put it on ice and do a thorough, secret, investigation into what happened three years ago. If he turns out not actually guilty, clear his name in whatever secret records mark him a traitor, give him a proper cremation and place his ashes in the royal crypt.

>>827408
>Well, we can ask her for her honest opinion about her inner demons, so she can be prepared to steel herself against it.
Considering the short time we have to find out if Zela really is innocent, perhaps the use of lie detection magic would be in order.
>>
No. 827505 ID: 91ee5f

>>827399
>You really find me that predictable?
*insert shoulder shrug here*

But seriously, the only "predictable" thing you do is you make us have to think really hard to find the answers we're looking for! Which is a good thing!


>>827401
>Xuv's influence is gone.
I guess if Bri isn't pregnant with a biological child from both of you by now, then it looks like you guys will have to talk about finding a surrogate to continue your bloodline after all.

But that's a conversation for later, when all of you aren't busy trying to save the world.

>>827499
>And she is... Was... A virgin. Until last night. With you... Um... You don't know if being a virgin would make one more innocent or not, but you have a feeling it would and that you figuratively fucked our chances by literally doing so.
Let's.....not talk about that in front of everyone.

I mean, we can't exactly stop Bri from saying something, but Kronos should at least make an effort to not say something.

>you and Bri should meet with Zela in private and talk things out.
Yes, let's do that.
>>
No. 827602 ID: 65a774
File 150456027363.png - (51.09KB , 686x526 , 30.png )
827602

>I guess if Bri isn't pregnant with a biological child from both of you by now, then it looks like you guys will have to talk about finding a surrogate to continue your bloodline after all.
Not that that will stop Bri from trying…
>...it's possible you were in a state of pseudo-undeath and that's been removed as well.
…that might explain why the elemental was so aggressive towards you. It saw you as an undead creature, an abomination to the natural order of things.
>Wait a second, didn't the dreamer tell us that Xuv was fully dealt with?
It said she was dead… which… technically she was? Gah, you hate exact wordings…

>Pick up the earth elemental and hold it so both you and Bri can pet it together.
:ElementalSB: *Purr*
:BriannahSB: Aw, isn’t it so cute…

>Tell Elete that the Nightmare finds hold in negative feelings, damaged psyches and personal faults. Passively amplifying fear and paranoia and destructive emotions, tearing down trust and cooperation to remove opposition.
:EleteSB: While is modus operandi is fear and paranoia, so far only those with real darkness in their hearts seems to be affected initially. It needs a place to grow, is my guess.
:KiraSB: So you’re saying I have darkness in my heart?
:ThaliaSB: My queen, considering the things we’ve done for this nations… I’m sure we all have things haunting us.
:BriannahSB:
:KiraSB: Hmpf… I guess you’re right… I do have things I regret… things that needed to be done…
>With one as innocent and without mental trauma as Zela, you do not believe the Nightmare would find enough cracks to get its claws in her.
:EleteSB: Without having experience and seen what we have, her fears and paranoia won’t control her like it has done to us.
:BriannahSB: Hrnn… she sounds more naïve if anything…
:ThaliaSB: Isn’t that the same thing?
:XarrinSB: Naivety is bliss, after all…
>Isn't Lust a sin? Because I seem to remember Zela lusting for Kronos.
:EleteSB: Excess lust is a sin, correct, though its only really considered when it drives you to do… less than moral things… or let it control you completely. Neither seems to fit this painter from what I’ve heard so far. Having daydreams about someone isn’t really being consumed by lust, is it?
>We should all also try to think of any other people that might be innocent enough for this situation. Like, you haven't thought of Head Librarian S’bk’ta or Whispers of Growth.
:XarrinSB: ‘aving more options is always better in the end.
:ThaliaSB: There’s no way we’ll bring more than one civilian down there!
:EleteSB: That’s a given… so let us start focusing on one of them as see how it goes?

>Ask Kira if she sent out any orders before that could have reached Cain that said to aid the Archbishop in her plans if the opportunity arose.
:KiraSB: I haven’t sent any orders like that to him... ever…
>Tell Kira that if after all this Krotos' body is recoverable, put it on ice and do a thorough, secret, investigation into what happened three years ago.
:KiraSB: While I do want to know the truth, sometimes a lie is more important than it. His judgement is what created the necessities for the peace between our nation to be signed… unearthing it now might be a political disaster.

>You and Bri should meet with Zela in private and talk things out. Once that's done, then bring her to meet with Kira and drop the news of what she is needed for on her.
:BriannahSB: We really do need to talk things out with ‘er, eh?
:ThaliaSB: The question is… where is she now?

As if on que, one of the queens royal servants enters her chambers and whisper something in Kira’s ear before leaving again.

:KiraSB: It seems like this Zela is currently out in the garden, hidden away near the lake painting by herself.
:KronosSB: Then send for her? Tell her we’ll meet her in the studio.
:KiraSB: I did… and she politely refused.
:BriannahSB: She refused the queens summons?
:KiraSB: I can send a… harsher summons for her if you want to force her here… still, she might not consider that… polite. Maybe it’s for the best if the two of you went to her instead?
:SisahSB: But the garden is not as well protected as the palace.
:XarrinSB: Aren’t yah going to the crypt later anyway?
>>
No. 827612 ID: 22d3a4

>So you’re saying I have darkness in my heart?
Lack of trust, to be exact. It was interfering with your ability to delegate. By the way, did you get that assignment you gave me? Cain had it last, he said he wanted to fix my penmanship before he gave it to you.
>But the garden is not as well protected as the palace.
We'll be going into the maw of the enemies' stronghold of power before this is over, no sense in getting cold feet now.
>>
No. 827617 ID: 094652

>His judgement is what created the necessities for the peace between our nation to be signed… unearthing it now might be a political disaster.
And IGNORING a major physical threat to entire cities because of the social scandal involved is cowardice! You've both done worse things than slander and propaganda, so stop intentionally turning your back and discarding your armor on a credible and hostile threat! At the very least, stop saying that it's better to let a rampaging monster destroy the lives of dozens than to allow a revelation that could restart a civil war, when that ISN'T the situation! That THING is on the verge of destroying the entire world, and THIS is the most concentrated hallway of influential leaders since the war began, so do your jobs and find a solution that doesn't involve ignoring either problem!
>>
No. 827660 ID: 91ee5f

>>827602
>So you’re saying I have darkness in my heart?
Kronos, explain exactly what kind of darkness you saw in her dreams. And when you tried to help her she immediately ran into a corner and begged you not to kill her, while an image of your father in a wheelchair was encouraging you to kill her and take her place.

Then explain that if you didn't go into her dreams to help her, she would still be under the control of her self-criticism and paranoia and she probably would've literally worked herself to death by now. Or she would be another pawn under the Nightmare's control by now.

That's what used to be in her heart. And you're glad that you managed to help her before it was too late.

>Zela is in the garden.
>The garden is less protected.
Bring weapons, bring the elemental, and then you, Bri, and Sisah go get her.
>>
No. 827702 ID: 8cb228

Before explaining in exact detail what the nightmare showed to anyone... remind them that the dream is, specifically, a very meaningful metaphor to their deepest fears. Do they really want you to say exactly what you saw, in that context?
>>
No. 827703 ID: 22d3a4

Also, is Bri licking the back of your head?
>>
No. 827706 ID: 91ee5f

>>827703
She's just showing her affection. Let her affectionately lick the prince.
>>
No. 827707 ID: 22d3a4

>>827706
I just don't want him to get cowlicks is all. Can't be a part of an assault on a demon stronghold with silly hair.
>>
No. 827712 ID: 91ee5f

>>827707
Well it's a good thing Bri isn't a cow and Kronos has feathers instead of hair! XD
>>
No. 827716 ID: 22d3a4

>>827712
*I just don't want him to get sakkilianlicks is all. Can't be a part of an assault on a demon stronghold with silly plumage.
>>
No. 827767 ID: fe7355

Yeah, you are going to the royal crypt later, but you'd prefer not to give any more shots at you than need be. You don't want to get tele'd away like Karas might have been, or a some Nightmare monster erupting from under your feet like a dirt kraken. ...Or Karas coming out of the ground to drag you into the depths. You don't know what your other brother has been doing since his escape by the Nightmare's hand, but you have a bad feeling he's going to pop up at the worst time.

Anyway, don't we have options for stronger mobile warding? Stuff developed to protect the monarch, nobles, generals and other VIPs when they have to move about or visit locations without warding. Rugs embroidered or panels engraved with warding runes and the like. Could we take a long narrow warded carpet, connect the ends and walk in the middle of the loop like it was a giant floppy unmoored hamster wheel?

You also know the royal carriages are warded, though you don't know how heavily. Maybe we could ride in that to the royal crypt entrance. ...Could you get near Zela in one of the royal carriages? Oh, gods, she'd squee so hard at being beckoned into the royal carriage by the prince. ...Though, after last night she may not be so enthused with royalty, or just you in particular.

Wait a second. Isn't the overgrown area over the Five's resting chamber near the lake? Or was it the pond? Are they the same body of water? Well, whatever it is, Zela might be standing in it. You need to know from whoever tracked down Zela exactly where she was. Because if she's standing over that chamber, you don't know if that'd be good or bad for you going out there to meet her. The intense life magic radiation may keep the Nightmare's monsters at bay, or the close proximity to the corpses of the Five would mean it's the Nightmare's strongest position. You just don't know.

You do wonder how this little earth elemental would react to being exposed to all that life magic over the Five's chamber's spot. Would it dive into the ground and start sucking up the magic and grow bigger? Would it possibly move through the soil into the tunnel to the Five's chamber and enter it to attempt to eat their corpses? And you wonder if all the other earth elemental "eggs" out there have "hatched" and there's a bunch of little earth elementals doing who knows what.

You think sending some mages to the royal crypt to bolster the wards on it and start adding a warded path towards the palace would be a good idea to prepare for you going there.

Actually, Zela may be more receptive to a message written by you asking to meet than the queen. Write to Zela that you and Briannah want to meet with her right away to talk about last night and what we're gonna do going forward. Then add that you'll have to meet where it's heavily warded due to a serious attempt to breach your apartment's wards overnight. Ask her to write in reply where she would wish to meet within that criteria.

And after all this mess is sorted out, if it's sorted out, you think it'd make sense to try cleaning up the Catacombs by sending some of these new earth elementals into it. Slowly clear out the built up death and despair that's been oozing up for who knows how long, and gradually bleed off the Catacomb/Soul Kiln's massive magical charge.

Give Bri a kiss before you two head out. ...You didn't realize until just now, but Xuv's moving of your fear of Sakkilians out of the way of your love for Bri probably was removed by the elemental too. You guess what she said about you having a real love for Bri was true and she didn't create or manipulate it in you, which is really reassuring.

>>827617
Dude, chill. Digging into whether Krotos is guilty or not isn't gonna help the current situation. Maybe it would have alleviated some of the dark emotional power the Nightmare is feeding on, but that would have had a appreciable effect if it was done months ago, not right now. And whether it would or not it'd would have had a effect, it'd still take months to do the investigation. That is time we definitely do not have now.
>>
No. 827772 ID: 12aed4

>she might not consider that… polite.
Oh gee you're right I hadn't considered that.
Maybe we should send her a few snack and some tea and kindly ask her to meet with us when shes finish.

Also did you forget you're the Queen cause I think Zela did.
>>
No. 827846 ID: fe7355

If Zela chooses to stay put after receiving your message, or chooses a time to meet in a safely warded area that's too late, and there isn't a heavily warded mobile option that could get to her such as the royal carriage, then send a couple mages out ahead to lay down strong temporary wards where Zela is and remain there to reinforce them. And keep reinforcements nearby on stand-by but out of sight in case an attack is attempted on you.

...Maybe if you don't stand on the ground it'd be harder for the Nightmare's magic to reach you. Climbing onto a tree would be worth trying if the wards are hit and can't hold.
>>
No. 827847 ID: 65a774
File 150463533355.png - (37.39KB , 686x526 , 31.png )
827847

>Is Bri licking the back of your head?
She does that at times, yes…
>I just don't want him to get cowlicks is all. Can't be a part of an assault on a demon stronghold with silly hair.
…you don’t have… hair? And what is this cow thing?
>I just don't want him to get sakkilianlicks is all. Can't be a part of an assault on a demon stronghold with silly plumage.
If anything, it might distract the demons long enough for you to get in the first shot. Hmm… maybe you can find some clown makeup as well… nah.

>Don't we have options for stronger mobile warding?
Nothing that might be used in the garden, no. After all, the magic used was a bit more… powerful than the usual fair people have access to… even when it comes to other kings and queens. The one thing you have that sufficiently protected is the royal carriage, but the gardens aren’t built for its usage.
>Oh, gods, she'd squee so hard at being beckoned into the royal carriage by the prince.
Then again… maybe you can… no… but if you open up… no, you don’t have time for it…
>You think sending some mages to the royal crypt to bolster the wards on it and start adding a warded path towards the palace would be a good idea to prepare for you going there.
Even as a Prince, or in Kira’s case, Queen, you don’t have access to those kinds of mages on a snap of a finger. You got the royal mage, Tim, but he’s asleep...


>Lack of trust, to be exact. It was interfering with your ability to delegate.
:KiraSB: Hmpf… just because I’m a bit… skeptical…
:XarrinSB: Paranoid…
:KiraSB: What was that?
:XarrinSB: Nothing, you highness.
>By the way, did you get that assignment you gave me? Cain had it last, he said he wanted to fix my penmanship before he gave it to you.
:KiraSB: I notice… though I’m pretty sure the assignment was written by you initially. A lot of the solutions are rather… unorthodox… and rather fitting to your way of thinking, brother.

>Bring weapons, bring the elemental, and then you, Bri, and Sisah go get her.
:KiraSB: Major Xarrin, go and collect a handful of Kronos Royal guards and escort them personally. I will not have you walk out there alone, Kronos.
:XarrinSB: At once, my lady!
>Give Bri a kiss before you two head out.
As you turn around to look at your future wife, you can’t help but feel a bit… odd…
>>
No. 827848 ID: 65a774
File 150463534285.png - (36.19KB , 686x526 , 32.png )
827848

As she smiles you can’t help but to take a step backwards. You feel your heart jump a beat and visions of the horrors those teeth can do fills your head… yet, under all that fear, you still feel a love for her…

:BriannahSB: Is something wrong?
:KronosSB: Oh… err… n-no… of course not…
:BriannahSB: Hrrnn?

>You didn't realize until just now, but Xuv's moving of your fear of Sakkilians out of the way of your love for Bri probably was removed by the elemental too.
…and now it’s back. That kiss will have to wait.

:EleteSB: Do try to bring the painter back here as soon as possible. I need to… test her to see if she’ll be considered innocent enough by the five’s standard.
>>
No. 827849 ID: 65a774
File 150463535190.png - (52.14KB , 686x526 , 33.png )
827849

>Wait a second. Isn't the overgrown area over the Five's resting chamber near the lake?
It is… but you don’t think Zela would be there. It’s completely overgrown, after all, making it hard to wander into… unless you like getting consumed by the underbrush, that is.
>You do wonder how this little earth elemental would react to being exposed to all that life magic over the Five's chamber's spot.
Hmm… it might be worth a try? You did bring him with you after all.

With a half a dozen armed guards, Sisah, Briannah and an elemental, you find yourself in the middle of the garden. Maybe you’ve been paranoid, as they’d surely attacked you by now if that was their plan… right?

:XarrinSB: What are your orders, sire? Shall we follow you while you meet with her or create a perimeter around the area?
>>
No. 827850 ID: 65a774
File 150463537023.png - (36.36KB , 686x526 , 34.png )
827850

“Brother…”
>>
No. 827851 ID: 65a774
File 150463538275.png - (50.91KB , 686x526 , 35.png )
827851

”…really? Is this the welcome I get?”

>You don't know what your other brother has been doing since his escape by the Nightmare's hand, but you have a bad feeling he's going to pop up at the worst time.
…you’re not sure if this is the worst time, but there he is…
>>
No. 827852 ID: 094652

Well, it's not THE worst time. I mean, all these fragile heads of state brought their praetorian guard squads. That's a lot of halberds.

Everyone not ready to die for queen and country, back away slowly.
>>
No. 827887 ID: 486e87

You appeared rather suddenly Krotos. Also, to put it bluntly, you look like a necromancer's mad experiment at the moment. Has anyone got a mirror?
>>
No. 827922 ID: 018165

Something's been done to you, brother. You don't look well. Please, allow me a bit of prudence, I believe it's warranted.
>>
No. 827939 ID: 91ee5f

>>827851
*exasperated sigh* "Brother, their response is an appropriate one, considering your appearance. Although, that's something you can't exactly control, is it?"

Make sure you hold the elemental and don't let it get your brother before he gives you a report on what he's learned.

But also, don't blindly believe everything he says, just in case the Nightmare is trying to use him against you. There's still no way for him to reliably prove that he's helping you.

But if it turns out that he is helping you, then you ought to at least give him a proper burial later. It's the least you can do. Whether you can convince Kira to clear his name is still up in the air and something that you can't promise, so a proper burial is really the only thing that you can do for him.
>>
No. 828106 ID: fe7355

Goddamn it. Well, it was going to happen, whether it was now, on the way to the royal crypt or in the crypt itself. At least this way it's in full view of the guards Kira undoubtedly has watching you from the palace for trouble and they're about to raise the alarm and send reinforcements.

Remember that there's a bunch of earth elementals born from the old garden elemental still in the ground here and that they have likely woken up by now. They will sense Karas' presence and move on him, you just need to keep him busy for a bit. Getting him on the grass and loose soil instead of the paved path may also help the elementals sense and move to him, so try and shuffle back onto it with your group. Preferably towards the overgrowth over the Five's chamber so the earth elemental with you can potentially absorb life magic from there, and your group can possibly flee in there in the hope all the life magic will repulse Karas.

Karas didn't immediately and silently eviscerate you when he popped in, instead speaking, so he's not here to kill you immediately. Don't take that as a indication he's just here for a chat. He may just want to make you suffer some way first like Nerfatu did. And also remember that Briannah and Xarrin are at serious risk of being attacked so try and shuffle them back from Karas if they don't do so themselves.

And be prepared to quick draw your Singing Dragon, flip it to flame and fire it on Karas if he attacks your group. Unlike the dream, he has a physical presence here, so your gun will probably work.

Before you turn around to face Karas, look at the elemental. Is it throwing a fit at Karas' presence? Because if it's not, then most likely he's just some kind of psychic projection and not physically here. Also, who's holding the elemental? Sisah or Briannah? Hopefully Bri because she's much more in danger from Karas attacking her than Sisah. And when Karas does make his move, don't just brandish or throw the elemental at him since he'd see it coming. Drop it and it'll bee-line for him, hopefully low enough that he won't notice it in the fracas.

Turn towards Karas and keep your eye on him as you motion to Xarrin to move back and step a good bit back yourself. "Karas, it's the welcome anyone who suddenly appears behind a prince would get, especially one who looks like you do now. Anyway, hello, brother." Keep moving backwards towards the grass. "I wish we didn't have to meet like this."

Tell Karas that you've regretted the last things you said before him, when he was in that cage in his room. You were so angry at him for plotting to frame you for murder and the situation that lost you your eye that you wanted to twist the verbal dagger in him. He knows how you are when you're enraged. But once the fury faded you've wished you didn't many times. You wished that your last words to your brother weren't to spite him. But now they won't be your last words. Ask Karas what he came to you now for.

>You feel your heart jump a beat and visions of the horrors those teeth can do fills your head…
And so can the sharp teeth of a wolfhound and you don't cower in fear from them, do you? What matters is who's mouth those teeth are attached to, and in this case it's Briannah, who you know would never, ever hurt you. ...And also remember the glorious things she did with that mouth and tongue in bed with you. You won't get to experience that again if you fear her.

>…and now it’s back. That kiss will have to wait.
You know you have to tell Briannah about Xuv suppressing your fear of Sakkilians and that that suppression is gone now. Take the first opportunity to get her in private to do so because the sooner she knows the truth, the longer you two have to work it out.
>>
No. 828113 ID: 91ee5f

>>827939
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention this earlier.

>>827848
>Fear of Bri had resurfaced.
No, bad Kronos! That's the old Kronos talking! Your a new Kronos that shouldn't be afraid anymore! Xuv repressing your fear is a crutch that you need to stop leaning on, now that it's gone! Fight away your fear and don't you fucking dare even think like that about Bri ever again!

>>828106
You sure that's Karas and not Krotos? It could be Krotos here to tell us what he's learned about the Nightmare's plans, like he said he would do.

I guess the only way to tell would be to see how he reacts towards Bri. Any sorta flattery, it's Krotos. Any sorta racial slurs, it's Karas.
>>
No. 828118 ID: 22d3a4

>>828113
>No, bad Kronos!
That's actually not helpful. Childhood trauma is not his fault or under his control.

If you don't mind me being direct, Krotos, You look more haunting than death itself.
>>
No. 828121 ID: fe7355

>>828113
>You sure that's Karas and not Krotos? It could be Krotos here to tell us what he's learned about the Nightmare's plans, like he said he would do.
Krotos said it was Karas in >>827851. The "other brother" in the redtext is referring to Karas. Dunno how Krotos could tell it was Karas' voice, since it's probably as messed up sounding as Karas looks now. ...Though Karas lost his right eye, not the left one this being is missing. (See >>/questarch/668636 for first clear view of Karas' face showing his missing eye.) Probably a art error on Kaktus' part.

Krotos also said that he was stuck in the Catacombs dream since he saved Kronos against the Nightmare Five's wishes. They severed his connection with his body and took it over. Presumably Krotos couldn't take control of another body or manifest any other way since if he could he likely would have.
>>
No. 828122 ID: 3ce125

>>827851
Okay immediately get away from him so your bodyguard and guards can protect you. Then, since he's not attacking, ask what he wants.
>>
No. 828151 ID: 91ee5f

>>828121
Ok, then it's a good thing it is Karas. He'll probably end up running his mouth again and accidentally reveal what the Nightmare's plans are and how to stop them!
>>
No. 828153 ID: 8cb228

Hey. The fear thing is something to work through with your wife's help later. There's ways to do it the old fashioned way; to turn the fear into something to enjoy, as part of your play. The mind is a wonderful thing, and very plastic. And you and your wife are going to work on helping teach each of your minds to be the way you want. Together. The old fashioned way!
>>
No. 828175 ID: 65a774
File 150472219733.png - (89.49KB , 686x526 , 36.png )
828175

>Don't blindly believe everything he says, just in case the Nightmare is trying to use him against you. There's still no way for him to reliably prove that he's helping you.
…you’re pretty sure you’re thinking of the wrong brother. That is Karas, not Krotos… as in, the one who wants you dead.
>You know you have to tell Briannah about Xuv suppressing your fear of Sakkilians and that that suppression is gone now.
If you want your relationship to work, she needs to know… but now is not the time for that. You need to stop the nightmare first… fears can wait until tomorrow.
>And so can the sharp teeth of a wolfhound and you don't cower in fear from them, do you?
You’d be weary of any wolfhound that barred its teeth towards you… especially if it jumped up to be on your level. You’ve seen those things rip a riding raptor apart by the fives sake!
>The fear thing is something to work through with your wife's help later. There's ways to do it the old fashioned way; to turn the fear into something to enjoy, as part of your play.
You’re sure you will find a way to overcome it… you’ve fought gods and won… a bit of fear is nothing compared to that…


>Something's been done to you, brother. You don't look well.
:KarasSB: YOU! YOU DID THIS TO ME! You are to blame! You’re the one who deserve to be twisted like this, monster!
>Tell Karas that you've regretted the last things you said before him, when he was in that ca-
:KarasSB: REGRET!? HA! Please, do not humor me. Did you do it all just to spite me!? You wanted to see me suffer, didn’t you? You and that she-bitch of yours… YOU’RE NOT VARKIAN!
>Ask what he wants.
:KarasSB: For you to DESPAIR!!!
:KronosSB: Wh…?

You watch as the soldiers lower their halberds, some of them even letting it drop onto the ground, as they fall onto their knees in defeat. They know, just as you do, that it’s pointless to resist. You can’t do anything… there’s no way out… there’s no hope left. As this realization washes over you, the strength in your legs fails you and you fall down onto your knees… you know it’s over… you’ve failed… you can’t win. Looking around, you can see the rest the poor fools who came with you. Nearly all of them are on their knees… or in fetal position on the ground… even the elemental has given up and become an inert pile of stones. Only Briannah and Sisah is still on their feet… the former seemingly to shocked to do anything… while the latter seems to be boiling with anger…

:KarasSB: It’s all pointless… don’t you see? You cannot win… you never had a chance… no… precious little brother… at least find the strength to seek joy in these last precious moments… before I-
:SisahSB: NO!

Suddenly Sisah is standing in front of you, her shielding visible engulfing the both of you as she protects you with her own body.

:KarasSB: …why do you even persist? Can’t you see it’s already over… everything you’ve done is for naught… everything you’ve tried has failed. It was all pointless.
:SisahSB: I… I… I c-can’t… l-let you… even if I can’t stop you… I… I’ll die before you harm him!
:KarasSB: …very well… then I will not harm him… no, I shall make you suffer… make you feel what I did. While I might not be able to hurt you physically… I’ll do so emotionally… please… take a guess… guess how I will hurt you, brother. We have time… after all, it’s not until midnight the gods will ascend… when they use that clueless priest to open the way… he thinks he can stop them… delay them… but his pride will be his undoing! Even if he should strike when they were at their weakest just as the ascended begun… he’s alone… and no one can help him. No… but you will have to wait for that… now… let’s make you suffer… I will destroy everything you hold dear… starting with that disgusting thing you call wife.

>Ok, then it's a good thing it is Karas. He'll probably end up running his mouth again and accidentally reveal what the Nightmare's plans are and how to stop them!
It doesn’t matter how much he lets slip… in the end, nothing of it will matter… you’re already too late…
>>
No. 828179 ID: 3ce125

>>828175
If nothing matters then you can do anything you want. Like shooting him.
>>
No. 828194 ID: 91ee5f

>>828175
>YOU! YOU DID THIS TO ME! You are to blame! You’re the one who deserve to be twisted like this, monster!
Wow, someone's living in denial. He refuses to acknowledge his own actions that lead to this!

Like how there is evidence found in his room, written by his hand, explaining how he was going to frame you for murder and how he planned on ascending to the throne so that he could reignite the war with the Sakkilians!

It's his own fault that he's like this, not yours! At least now, what he looks like on the outside will match what he looked like on the inside!

>While I might not be able to hurt you physically...
Hey, Kronos, guess what? Karas just told you that he can't even touch you! The only thing he can do is throw a temper tantrum and make you feel sad! He's just a bunch of hot air!

>he thinks he can stop them…delay them…but his pride will be his undoing!
And Pride is a sin! Meaning Bel will get corrupted if you don't get there first!

>Even if he should strike when they were at their weakest just as the ascended begun…
And right on cue, your brother opens his mouth and doesn't know when to shut the fuck up!

>he’s alone…and no one can help him.
That's only temporary! Once you get down there with everyone, he won't be alone!

>let’s make you suffer…
You're already suffering from how much he's talking! He must really enjoy the sound of his own voice because he just will not shut the fuck up already!

>I will destroy everything you hold dear starting with that disgusting thing you call wife.
Oh fuck no! He did not just insult Bri! Are you just going to sit there and let him insult Bri like that?! He can talk shit about you all he wants, but under no circumstances is he ever allowed to speak about your wife like that!

>It doesn’t matter how much he lets slip…in the end, nothing of it will matter…you’re already too late...
He's wrong. It's not too late. The sun is still in the sky, so you've still got plenty of time before midnight! There's still time to stop this!

Besides, if nothing mattered, then why is Karas so desperate to slow you down? If you really had no chance of stopping this from happening, then the Nightmare wouldn't even bother trying to stop you!

And since it's trying to stop you, that means it believes that you are dangerously close to stopping it and it's trying to stall for time! Meaning it believes that you're a threat! And if it believes that you're a threat, that means that you can still stop it!

There's still hope! All you have to do is get passed Karas!

So stand up! You've faced Nerdfat, who could actually hurt you, so you should have no problem beating Karas, who can't physically touch you!

When you stand up, inform Karas, "You're not my brother! My brother died the night he tried to frame me. The only thing you are is a monster that's taken my brother's name! However, I must thank you for telling us everything we needed to know to stop you. It was quite amusing how you made a fool of yourself by doing that!"

If you stand up to him, then everyone around you will see how powerless Karas is and then they will stand up as well! And when everyone stops being afraid of Karas, then he literally loses his powers and can't do anything to stop you! And that's when you throw the elemental at him to get rid of him!
>>
No. 828387 ID: fe7355

>>828194
>Hey, Kronos, guess what? Karas just told you that he can't even touch you! The only thing he can do is throw a temper tantrum and make you feel sad! He's just a bunch of hot air!
>So stand up! You've faced Nerdfat, who could actually hurt you, so you should have no problem beating Karas, who can't physically touch you!
Do you think that Karas is under some order or binding from the Nightmare not to harm Kronos? Or that he's incorporeal and can't physically touch anything? Because that's not what is stopping him. Right before Sisah stepped between Karas and Kronos, Karas said "at least find the strength to seek joy in these last precious moments… before I-" which sounds a lot like he was going to strike Kronos down. That means it's Sisah's shielding that is stopping Karas from killing Kronos, not any command from the Nightmare or lack of physical form. And even if that shielding wasn't the only thing staying Karas' attack, it's far, far too risky to base any choice of actions on the belief that that shield isn't the only thing stopping Karas.
>>
No. 828391 ID: 91ee5f

>>828387
Oh, finally, you showed up!

You're the person that usually makes really long posts full of things that I usually end up missing, like what you said just now. So please tell me that you also have some way to help restore Kronos' hope!

Because I'm always afraid that I'm gonna screw something up if someone else doesn't show up and say something better than what I said!
>>
No. 828431 ID: 12aed4

You still have breath in your body! So long as this is true you can still stand, you can still try, you can still succeed! So long as you are alive nothing is impossible!

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
>>
No. 828441 ID: fe7355

Kronos, you know this despair is a lie. Karas said as much with "for you to DESPAIR," right before the wave of hopelessness hit you. It is but a power granted to Karas by the Nightmare, most likely because it saw a way to use him to stop the threat of you. Because you are a threat to the Nightmare's plans. Are you going to believe the claims of imminent triumph and that you can do nothing from one who's in the thrall of the very entity that seeks that triumph? No, you are not, because it has every reason to lie to you. If it was as secure in its triumph, if it was already too late, then it would not have bothered with Karas at all. And the very fact that it has nobody better to throw in your way than blabbermouth Karas speaks volumes to how little the Nightmare has on its side and how tenuous its chances of success are. If nothing but Karas and his aura of lying despair is keeping you from victory, then all is needed is to stand up and put him down.

And you've felt such despair before, in Briannah's dream, and even under its crushing weight you stood up and continued on. You moved on because of one thing, one light: Briannah, your love. You have pushed on before in the face of such despair and you can do it again. And this time, it is easier because you know exactly the source, and you know it is moving to kill your beloved. You can get in its way. You can pull Sisah and her shielding over to Bri and you can stop it. You can strike down this despair inflicting Briannah. It's right there, in the twisted form of Karas!

But if that's not enough to move you, to realize what Karas says is pointless is but a lie from him, then consider this: If nothing matters and it's all going to be over at midnight, then in this time you have left you are free to do anything. And in that freedom, you choose to not die on your knees. You choose to pull Sisah over to Bri to shield her so you may spend your last hours together. You choose to draw your Singing Dragon on Karas and reduce him to smoldering ash. You choose to push on and try and stop the Nightmare anyway. And you choose to find out for yourself if it truly was futile or if what Karas said was a lie. ...And choose to go on out of sheer spite for what Karas and for the Nightmare Five want you to feel.

And out of turning the verbal screws on Karas to spite him, start laying down some truths to him. Tell him that the fault for what he looks like lies not with you or him, but these "gods" he now serves that you know as the Nightmare. He knows they have emotional and psychological manipulation powers; He's using them right now, after all. They've been influencing him since the traumatic day he lost his eye to those Sakkilian war orphans he was trying to save from mistreatment. It was by that trauma, that fear and hatred, the Nightmare could get its claws into him. It cultivated that hatred of Sakkilians in him. And it also did the same to those war orphans, growing their hatred of Varks into a completely consuming feral rage. Through it all, it's been the Nightmare pushing and influencing him. And now he's its pawn, his strings being pulled to do its bidding. To say its lies and be a ineffectual roadblock.

Lay down for all to hear that this sudden despair is naught but lies, a power given to the warped brother you've lost to try and waylay us. That they need to do so speaks to how much of a threat we really are. And that they had to resort to sending Karas speaks to a lack of anyone even halfway competent on their side to send. And yell to Briannah to look at you, and tell her to get over to you so we can kick his ass into the ground together.

>>828391
Heh, welcome to the club. Why do you think my posts are often so damn long? I feel I don't know what will work or whether I'm screwing up, so I keep typing and throwing words at the wall in the hope that some of them are the right answer and will stick and everything won't crash into the ground and explode. And after I post I worry over and over in the back of my mind that I fucked up completely and ruined the quest or got a character stupidly killed and hope that someone else has posted a correct answer.
>>
No. 828519 ID: fe7355

>>828441
To clarify my suggestion's order of actions once you get up: Draw your Singing Dragon and fire its flame mode at Karas, (making sure nobody else is caught in the flame,) while pulling Sisah towards Bri to get Sisah's shielding around Bri. Then once she's in the shielding start saying the things if Karas isn't dead or retreated while you're reloading to fire again. No standing about yammering while Bri is in imminent danger.
>>
No. 828524 ID: 91ee5f

>>828441
>It cultivated that hatred of Sakkilians in him.
Would it help to point out that his face is currently in the shape of a Sakkilian's snout? Because pointing out he now looks like the very thing he hates might get a reaction outta him! .....maybe?
>>
No. 828532 ID: 65a774
File 150480346813.png - (64.81KB , 686x526 , 37.png )
828532

>Pride is a sin! Meaning Bel will get corrupted if you don't get there first!
Belseth is already corrupted… he’s gone… it’s all over…
>That's only temporary! Once you get down there with everyone, he won't be alone!
You’ll never get down there… no one will… you will die here and now…
>He's wrong. It's not too late. The sun is still in the sky, so you've still got plenty of time before midnight! There's still time to stop this!
It’s too late... you don’t have the time... everything is over…

>Kronos, you know this despair is a lie the real thing. Karas said as much with "for you to DESPAIR," right before the wave of hopelessness hit you. that it was hopeless…
Everything is a lie… everything was a falsehood… nothing was real...
>You've faced Nerdfat, who could actually hurt you whom you only escaped by sheer luck , so you should have no problem no chance of beating Karas, who can't physically touch you will rip your throat out!
You never had a chance, did you? You were supposed to die to that creature… yet you tried in vain to fight your fate… there’s no use fighting fate… you will die here…
>If nothing matters then you can do anything you want. Like shooting him yourself.
…it’s the only way. You reach for your gun and remove it from its holster… you need to end this… end yourself… it’s the only thing you can do.

>Oh fuck no! He did not just insult Bri! Are you just going to sit there and let him insult Bri like that?!
B-Briannah… Bri… no…
>You still have breath in your body! So long as this is true you can still stand, you can still try, you can still succeed! So long as you are alive nothing is impossible!
Your legs are shacking like mad as you try to stand… you grip the gun so hard that your hand hurts… no… he can’t hurt her… you can’t let him.

>Tell him that the fault for what he looks like lies not with you or-
:KarasSB: Shh…

You were so distracted you didn’t notice him move. All the sudden his behind your love… a blade against her throat… as you see a small dripple of blood emerge you lose the last of your will and let go of your gun, letting it fall to the ground as your legs once again gives away under you.

:KarasSB: One more word from you and I’ll slit her throat…
:KronosSB:
:KarasSB: That’s a good boy… now… do you want her to live? I’m willing to make a… deal. Kill yourself… shoot yourself in the head… and I’ll let her go…

With a shaking hand your reach for your gun once again… you can’t let him hurt her… even if it means ending yourself instead...

:KarasSB: Remember… there’s nothing else you can do… this is the only way to save her… all other options are gone… there won’t be any cavalry riding in at the last moment and sa-
>>
No. 828533 ID: 65a774
File 150480347712.png - (43.65KB , 686x526 , 38.png )
828533

…and with that, Karas is simply… gone?

Zela: Hello? What’s all that ruckus about? I’m trying to paint here, so if you should be so polite as to… why is everyone lying on the ground for?
>>
No. 828539 ID: 486e87

What the fuck just happened?
>>
No. 828569 ID: 3ce125

>>828533
Drop the gun again and hug your wife. That was fucking terrifying. Thankfully now we know exactly why we need to bring Zela- her very presence will banish Nightmare phantoms like what you just encountered.
>>
No. 828620 ID: 094652

>>828532
>there won’t be any cavalry riding in at the last moment and sa- *poof*
... @#$%ing troll. He's BLUFFING. Do not expect Zela to save you next time, Karas did that to trick you into thinking she's Eldritch repellant.
>>
No. 828627 ID: 3ce125

>>828620
Briannah's neck still bears the wound. He was physically there, trying to get Kronos to kill himself because Sisah's shielding was blocking him. I'm guessing Sisah was only able to stand up to him, not Kronos, which is why she didn't just take the gun away. Anyway my point is there was no reason for him to try any trickery when he was already going to win.
>>
No. 828648 ID: 91ee5f

>>828533
"Zela, we need to talk. Please come with us to see the Queen. No, you're not in trouble, this is just something very important."

>>828539
Kaktus just gave us a Deus Ex Machina.
>>
No. 828756 ID: fe7355

...Bri. Bri's alive. You're alive. You're all still alive. It's... It was Zela's presence that drove Karas away. ...And you suddenly realize that she's done so before, when you collided with her outside that ally. The Nightmare being that was chasing you then was not just in your head, but Karas physically manifested. You owe her your life and you never knew it.

Run towards Bri and leap up to embrace her tight, wrapping your legs around her middle, and break into tears. Blubber that you love her. You love her and you couldn't let her die and your mind was so clouded, twisted that you... You really believed Karas' lie. Every thought you had was warped into hopelessness and despair by him. And if Zela had not come along, you... You... Dammit, pull yourself together. This place isn't safe, even with Zela here, and the clock's ticking on the Nightmare's plan regardless. Action now, emotional breakdown later.

Get down from Bri and tell everyone here to get over to Zela, helping anyone who's still down near you up. Scoop up the elemental as you head over to her with the group. Give Zela a close hug and tell her that there is nobody in the world you were more happy to see show up than her right then. Then say you're sorry, but she can't stay here because it's too risky for us to stay here much longer. We need to get into the warded walls of the palace soon. Say you'd explain, but it'd take something like ten minutes that we don't have to spare. We'll talk once inside. Then hand the earth elemental to her, telling her what it is as you do, and observe how it reacts to her. You guess it'll be similar to Belseth.

Hurry over to where Zela had set up to paint, see what she was painting in case it a surrealist piece that might contain a clue or insight, and you, Bri and the rest of the group help her pack up. Then you need to make a quick detour to the overgrown patch to hold the earth elemental to it, see how it reacts to the extremely strong magic there and decide what to do with it from there.

...Wait, where's Doxan? He's always shadowing Bri whenever she's out and about. You'd have expected him to throw himself in the way of Karas like Sisah did for you if he was here, or at least be curled up on the ground in despair. Is he off-duty right now?

And once you're back in the safety of the palace and have a moment alone, remember to hug Sisah and thank her for saving your life again. And don't let her tell you it's just the job she's paid for, because it's obvious by now she cares much more for your family than just the coin. She has your eternal gratitude. Hopefully she'll get both her and your wish for you not to be getting into harms way on a daily basis.

Kira should get a truly innocent person or two to remain in her presence for now, just to be safe in case the wards are breached. And Karas probably hasn't limited his actions to just around the palace, killing folk that have "wronged" him who are in the city. Everyone on the jury at his trial comes immediately to mind.

>>828539
A terrifying example of the level of mental manipulation power Karas has been given by the Nightmare. Twisting thoughts, warping them into utter despair and hopelessness, effectively removing a person's ability to decide for themselves. (And for that first post in the update, putting a feeling of total helplessness in us, the suggesters, or at least me. Goddammit, Kaktus, I'm still feeling a little weak and sick to my stomach from this.)

It also in no uncertain terms showed that going out into the un-warded garden was a goddamn monumentally stupid and dangerous idea that risked the lives of everyone in this group. And which would have resulted in the deaths of Kronos, Briannah, and probably everyone else here if not for the sheer fucking luck that Zela came over and her presence actually banished Karas. And it was all just to not be impolite to her. If she'd been forced to come into the palace, she would have almost certainly come along with the group to the royal crypt, which would have kept Karas at bay and this whole horrible encounter would have been avoided.
>>
No. 828769 ID: 91ee5f

>>828756
>Run towards Bri and leap up to embrace her tight, wrapping your legs around her middle, and break into tears. Blubber that you love her.
Normally, I'd be against an emotional breakdown in front of everyone. But these aren't normal circumstances, I'm pretty sure everyone here feels like breaking down right now, and if Kronos doesn't do it first, Bri will do it. So, yeah, leaping up and hugging Bri is supported!

>Then you need to make a quick detour to the overgrown patch to hold the earth elemental to it, see how it reacts to the extremely strong magic there and decide what to do with it from there.
Pretty sure after what happened, no one wants to stay out here any longer than necessary, so they're gonna refuse a detour that'll make them stay out here longer.

Speaking of the elemental, let's give it to Bri real quick. Don't want Karas to spread in her the same way Nerdfat was trying to take Kronos' arm!

>Kira should get a truly innocent person or two to remain in her presence for now, just to be safe in case the wards are breached.
Not entirely sure that can be accomplished in such a short notice!

>If she'd been forced to come into the palace, she would have almost certainly come along with the group to the royal crypt, which would have kept Karas at bay and this whole horrible encounter would have been avoided.
But if we did it that way, then we wouldn't have seen that our plan would work!

And if there was no proof, then everyone would have thoughts of doubt in their head by thinking, "Why is this painter here?" , "Is this really going to work?" , "This is stupid." , and other similar thoughts, which collectively would've been enough for Karas or some other Nightmare thing to show up anyways!

So now that it's been proven that Zela is a truly innocent person, there won't be any doubt in anyone's mind!

Also, let's be very thankful that she didn't need to be a virgin! Otherwise Kronos really would've literally fucked their chances at stopping this!
>>
No. 828823 ID: fe7355

Oh, and don't forget to recover your pistol from where you dropped it and check that it's still charged up.
>>
No. 829208 ID: 65a774
File 150497549167.png - (50.21KB , 686x526 , 39.png )
829208

>What the fuck just happened?
…Karas is gone, you’re still alive… and Zela is here?
>Drop the gun again and hug your wife. That was fucking terrifying.
Wasting no time, you rush over to Briannah and hug her tightly. It’s clear she’s still shaken from what happen as it takes some time before she even seem to notice that you’re there.

>It's... It was Zela's presence that drove Karas away. ...And you suddenly realize that she's done so before, when you collided with her outside that ally.
Then it is true… her mere presence will protect you. You must ask her to aid you!
>...Wait, where's Doxan?
You think that’s him picking himself up from the ground behind Briannah?
>Give the elemental to Bri real quick.
As you let go of your embrace, you pick up the reawakening elemental that Sisah dropped and hand it over to Briannah. She accepts it with shaking hands, still confused and traumatized by what just happened.

>Tell everyone here to get over to Zela, helping anyone who's still down near you up.
As you start to speak, Zela finally notices that you’re there…
:ZelaSB: P-Pr-Prince K-Kronos!? Oh gosh…
:KronosSB: Zela, we need to talk. Please come-
:ZelaSB: Eep!! INEEDTOGOBYE!

And with that the painter turns tail and flees into the underbrush. You can hear her fight through thick foliage followed by a rather loud thud.

:ZelaSB: Ow…

As Zela is running away, you can once again feel the darkness creep up on you… and a familiar whispering fills your ears…

:KarasSB: What happened!? Where did he go!? Just you wait, brother… I’ll find you again.
>>
No. 829214 ID: 8cb228

Scream, "ZELA, FREEZE, NOW! THAT'S AN ORDER!"
>>
No. 829216 ID: a633c6

Zela why are you running!
>>
No. 829241 ID: 3ce125

>>829208
ZELA COME BACK OR WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE

Also we need to give a little first aid to Bri, she does have what looks to be a nasty cut.
>>
No. 829284 ID: 4161f0

Call out to Zela, "Are you hurt?! Please, just stay where you are! Don't get up! We'll come help you. Just do not move!" Avoid saying Zela's name in case Karas can hear you right now like you can hear him. You really do not want to risk him putting two and two together and leading to the Nightmare coming after Zela another way. You can say her name again once you're close by her.

Bri is going to be in really rough mental shape for awhile. She's had likely the most mental trauma in her past of anyone here, so Karas' despair power will have hit her extra hard. And he was shaped like something out of her nightmares of Krotos too, adding to her terror. She'll need you to guide her now, while she's still in mental shock, and your full support later to recover.

Take Bri's hand and do not let it go for anything. Ask her to focus on you and in a even voice say, "Bri, that was Karas. We need to go, now. Come with me and we'll be safe." Then move towards Zela with Bri in tow.

As you go, tell everyone else here, besides Sisah, to help each other up then follow you and Briannah. Ask Sisah if she is good to go, and if she can't then stop and help her.

And did Zela rush into the overgrown area over the Five's chamber? If she did then that'll make it easy to check how the elemental reacts to the intense magic there.
>>
No. 829294 ID: 4161f0

>>829284
Oh, and while you're shouting to Zela, rush over and pick your gun up, if you actually dropped it earlier.
>>
No. 829326 ID: 65a774
File 150500108011.png - (55.97KB , 686x526 , 40.png )
829326

>Are you hurt?! Please, just stay where you are! Don't get up! We'll come help you. Just do not move!
:ZelaSB: W-what!? N-n-no! Don’t come! J-just… oh gosh… j-just l-leave… please…
>Take Bri's hand and do not let it go for anything. Ask her to focus on you and in an even voice say…
:KronsSB: Bri, that was Karas. We need to go, now. Come with me and we'll be safe.
:BriannahSB: W-wha…?
>Tell everyone else here to help each other up then follow you and Briannah.
:XarrinSB: W-what j-just ‘appen?
:KronosSB: We were attacked. Everyone, get up and get moving, we need to move somewhere safe… even if Karas probably won’t waste time attacking random guards, but still… Sisah, are you ready to move?
:SisahSB: I’m o-on it, sir.
>We need to give a little first aid to Bri, she does have what looks to be a nasty cut.
:KronosSB: Sisah, can you do something for Bri here? That wound seems rather… um…
:SisahSB: I’ll have it h-healed like the tide.
:BriannahSB: I-it’s just a flesh wound…

Following Zela with Briannah and Sisah in tow, you soon find her and the source of that loud thud. Apparently, doors aren’t the only enemy of large posteriors.

:ZelaSB: Ack! D-don’t look! I’m… gah… oh gosh… t-this is so embarrassing…
:KronosSB: Zela, why are you running?
:ZelaSB: B-beacouse I screwed everything up! I’m sorry! I’m so s-sorry! I didn’t… I wasn’t… thinking! I wasn’t thinking! Everything went so wrong! You probably hate me now… oh gosh… your wife… you have a wife… and she… oh gosh… I hurt her…

>Did Zela rush into the overgrown area over the Five's chamber?
…she is… and speaking of the ankwark…

:BriannahSB: ACK!

The elemental is trying to desperately get out of Briannah’s grip…
>>
No. 829333 ID: 4854ef

Short of gaining inhumanly strength. She aint going anywhere. Mantis Butt definitely aint flexible enough to fit through that.
>>
No. 829351 ID: 24dd1a

What? Oh, she is alright with everything I'm doing!
>>
No. 829354 ID: 91ee5f

>>829326
Now that she's not going to run away, and it's only you, Bri, and Sisah, I think now is a good time to have that talk with her.

Just have her promise that she won't run away from you when you free her.....which might take a while, so talk to her while you try to free her.

After that, ask why she refused the Queen's summons? And then explain why the Queen was summoning her.

>The elemental is trying to desperately get out of Briannah’s grip…
Then let it go, I guess?
>>
No. 829355 ID: 3ce125

>>829351
Not true. She really did not like having to share a bed with Zela even if she didn't have to touch her.

>>829326
Tell her nothing is ruined. Mistakes were made, especially by yourself, and we can move past them, as we're all adults here. Right now the important thing is you need her help.
>elemental
Uhhh I guess you could try letting it go to see if it makes a tunnel to the crypt. It might try to eat the energy out of the corpses of the gods... do we want to let that happen, at this point? I feel like we should at least use some of it. ...maybe we can petition Life to allow you to temporarily use the river of souls to resurrect Krotos(since you have both his body and soul), and see if those who were driven mad by the nightmare are worth redeeming. And to make sure you and bri will have that child she wanted.
>>
No. 829380 ID: 24dd1a

>>829351
>>829355

Oh damn I misunderstood some history of the events. Never mind.
>>
No. 829422 ID: 6604ca

Dammit, seeing a lady in this kind of position is a bit of a fantasy for you, but after your encounter with Karas your libido is so cratered you can't enjoy it. Damn you, Karas!

Ask Bri to hold the elemental tight until Zela is free because you don't know if we'll need to run for it soon after it hits the ground. Ask Sisah if she can possibly cut one of these trees trapping the lady down. Failing that, Bri could possibly push the two trunks apart while Zela backs up to escape.

Move around to Zela's front to speak with her so she doesn't feel quite so embarrassed by you looking at her rear. Tell her that you don't hate her, she didn't screw up and she hasn't hurt anyone. Ask her why she thought all that, that she hurt Bri and screwed everything up. Because of everyone involved, the one that should be most held at fault is you, while Zela is innocent.

You're the one who invited Zela over to "finish things," not even thinking until it was too late that Bri would be there and she had told you she finds Hivers creepy. But your mind was so clouded with attraction it pushed such vital thought out. And you're the one who pushed things along much faster than they should have. Much faster than the lady deserves. She deserved a wonderful dinner date and music and all the best before she made love for the first time. But she ended up looking more the victim in a lustful prince story. It was not right.

You feel you do not deserve to ask her if she would deign to continue a relationship with you, and yet here you are. Would she want to go on with you and try to grow a proper relationship? One which has to include and account for Bri and your love for her.

Would Bri care to say anything now she has on her mind regarding you and Zela?

Then at the end of you and Bri's talk with Zela, tell Zela that there are dire matters that the queen needs to speak with her about. She needs to return to the palace ASAP to meet with Kira.
>>
No. 829428 ID: 91ee5f

>>829422
>Would she want to go on with you and try to grow a proper relationship? One which has to include and account for Bri and your love for her.
No!

The whole point of having this conversation with Zela, is so that Kronos and Bri can gently let her know that they can't be with Zela romantically, not have a love triangle and try to make it work!

However, they can ask if she'd still be willing to be their friend.
>>
No. 829498 ID: 6604ca

>>829428
I am not saying they should try for a love triangle because I know that's doomed because Bri can't stand Zela, removing one side of the triangle. But I don't think Kronos can just cut off all romantic contact with Zela either. Even Bri said that doing that would leave Zela feeling used when Kronos suggested it to her. So Kronos should give Zela a good romantic time for a bit before having a candid talk about their relationship and break up with her gently.
>>
No. 829522 ID: a633c6

If she isn't hearing anything you're saying, that probably means she's got demons and you should let the elemental deal with 'em.
>>
No. 829526 ID: 91ee5f

>>829498
>Even Bri said that doing that would leave Zela feeling used when Kronos suggested it to her.
Well hopefully Bri remembers she said that!

She's still pretty shaken up after what just happened and if she doesn't remember she said that, then she might get upset over Kronos saying he still wants to be romantic with a "creepy Hiver girl" and then she'll go back to thinking that Kronos doesn't actually love her all over again!
>>
No. 829721 ID: fe7355

>>829526
Alright, on second (or third) thought, Kronos shouldn't say he wants to grow a romantic relationship with Zela. At least, not yet. This is gonna take more talking between not just him and Zela, but Bri and both of them. Everyone needs to lay out what they each want, what they don't, and what they're afraid of with a relationship between Kronos and Zela. Because Bri is afraid of losing Kronos' love, even if she doesn't admit it easy, and balancing a romantic relationship with Zela so Bri doesn't start to feel she's losing Kronos is tricky.

But the big question is how much Kronos is doing just to please Zela so she doesn't feel hurt or used. Is he gonna keep going with the relationship Zela has dreamed of, even if he isn't feeling as much the same way towards her? And to the possible detriment of his relationship with Briannah?

And I think I may have poorly worded "one which has to include and account for Bri and your love for her" and it led to a misunderstanding on your part. I meant Kronos' love for Briannah, not for Zela, like I think you thought I did.
>>
No. 829854 ID: 91ee5f

I just thought of something.

Maybe we should get Zela unstuck before we let go of the elemental. Because I'm not sure if it'll make the trees start growing again or if it'll make the trees shrink away. And if it makes the trees start growing again, guess who's going to get squished between those trees when they start growing!

I mean, yeah, it's extremely unlikely that's going to happen, but I think we should get Zela unstuck first, juuust in case that does happen. We don't want her to accidentally get killed because we were careless!

>>829721
Ok, that makes more sense!

And yes, that's what I thought you thought what I was thinking you think I thought.....I think? I think I've confused myself! @__@
>>
No. 829863 ID: a633c6

Less talk, more sticking the Elemental on her. Demons are the one way she'd get these ideas after Bri was so okay with it, or at least seemed to be. She won't hear what you're saying as long as her judgement is so affected.

Hmm, since Tim was also possessed, does that mean he was also an innocent one that the demons were attempting to compromise too?
>>
No. 829864 ID: 91ee5f

>>829863
>Demons are the one way she'd get these ideas after Bri was so okay with it, or at least seemed to be. She won't hear what you're saying as long as her judgement is so affected.
If that was true, then Zela wouldn't have been able to make Karas disappear!

She's not under any sorta influence.
>>
No. 830130 ID: 65a774
File 150523728047.png - (30.34KB , 686x526 , 41.png )
830130

>Short of gaining inhumanly strength, she aint going anywhere. Mantis Butt definitely aint flexible enough to fit through that.
At least not a specimen with that kind of mass…

>Have her promise that she won't run away from you when you free her.
:ZelaSB: Ugh… even if I tried, I wouldn’t get far, would I? J-just get me out of here! …oh gosh… this is so embarrassing…
>Ask Sisah if she can possibly cut one of these trees trapping the lady down.
:SisahSB: …or we can just push her out the same way she went it?
:ZelaSB: Just get me unstuck already! Gosh… it’s starting to shaft… err…

With the combined strength of both you and Sisah you easily manage to dislodge Zela from the trees.

:ZelaSB: Finally… thank you, pr… pr… OH GOSH! I COMPLETELY FORGOT IT WAS YOU! I’M SORRY! Please, don’t be mad! Oh gosh… oh gosh… y-you’re probably furious with me…

>Ask why she refused the Queen's summons?
:ZelaSB: B-because I screwed up and w-wanted to be alone and n-not yelled and oh gosh and she would be some mad and you’re her little brother and oh gosh and I ruined everything?
>Tell her nothing is ruined. Mistakes were made, especially by yourself, and we can move past them, as we're all adults here.
:ZelaSB: A-are we? I… I don’t feel like an adult…
>She deserved a wonderful dinner date and music and all the best before she made love for the first time. But she ended up looking more the victim in a lustful prince story. It was not right.
:ZelaSB: Um… actually… I’m kind of… o-okay being a… um… a quick… um… thing… oh gosh…
:KronosSB: We need to lay out what each one of want, what we don’t and- wait, what did you say?
:ZelaSB: T-that I n-never really wanted anything m-more than to… um… you know… w-with you and… err… it was just a… um… fantasy and… oh gosh… I’m not really made to be a princess? …or the lover of a prince? I’m just me… Zela the painter? I mean, I want to do it more but… once is fine?
:KronosSB: …wait, so you’re fine with me… using you?
:ZelaSB: …oh gosh, I didn’t even… oh my gosh… that’s… that’s… that makes it even more exciting! I w-was used by the Prince! Oh gosh… it’s just l-like in my books… oh… gosh…
>Would Bri care to say anything now she has on her mind regarding you and Zela?
:BriannahSB: I guess if it was just a onetime thing…
:ZelaSB: S-so y-you’re not angry?
:BriannahSB: I’m furious... but mostly at myself. What yah did… hurt me but… I kind of needed that… as a wakeup call. So I can’t really blame yah, eh?
:ZelaSB: Um… okay? I guess?

>Right now the important thing is you need her help.
:ZelaSB: Eh!? My help!? I’m j-just a painter? W-why would the P-Prince need my help!?
:KronosSB: Well… you see-
:BriannahSB: OW!
>>
No. 830131 ID: 65a774
File 150523729004.png - (32.22KB , 686x526 , 42.png )
830131

>Let the elemental go, I guess?
Before you have the opportunity to decide, the elemental managed to escape Briannah’s grasp and jump down onto the ground. It doesn’t waste any time starting to dig straight down and within seconds its whole body disappears beneath the dirt.
>>
No. 830132 ID: 65a774
File 150523729852.png - (21.66KB , 686x526 , 43.png )
830132




…and you don’t think it’s coming back.

:ZelaSB: Wait… what was that thing? …and why do you need my help?
>>
No. 830139 ID: 3ce125

>>830132
Tell her there's some supernatural force powered by the sins of war, and she's completely unaffected by war so she's immune to it, and on top of it her very presence keeps the force away. We're mounting an expedition to strike at the source of it, so we need her to act as a kind of... safe zone for us. We will protect her while she protects us.

Also if the Elemental can just dig down to the crypt then... could we just dig straight down here? I think that was brought up before but if the elemental thinks it can make it, surely that means there's a passage here that doesn't involve solid rock.
>>
No. 830147 ID: 91ee5f

>>830130
>B-because I screwed up and w-wanted to be alone and n-not yelled and oh gosh and she would be some mad and you’re her little brother and oh gosh and I ruined everything?
We should let her know that nobody other than her, Kronos, Bri, and I guess Sisah, know about what happened that night.

We didn't even tell the Queen, which means that's not the reason she was calling for you, Zela.

>Zela's fine with it.
Oh.....well, just be thankful that Zela is so understanding, otherwise this would've been way more difficult.

>Eh!? My help!? I’m j-just a painter? W-why would the P-Prince need my help!?
Would it be easier to explain if-

>OW!

>>830131
>>830132
>…and you don’t think it’s coming back.
It's probably going for the source of whatever's making these trees grow so damn fast! It might even eat that too!

I'm pretty sure it'll show up again when you least expect it to. Whether it'll be bigger or the same size is still something that remains to be seen.

>Wait…what was that thing?
An elemental.

>…and why do you need my help?
Right, like I was saying, would it be easier to explain if Kronos told her now or should we wait until we bring Zela to Kira to explain?
>>
No. 830180 ID: a633c6

That was an elemental, born or spawned or whatever from the one that was in the royal gardens that passed on recently.

So, there are supernatural forces at work in the catacombs that are seeking to take over the nation, and their plans will come to fruition when the moons align tonight. Good news is, innocent people drive them away, as you just did to the attacker in the garden. So, we need you to accompany us into the catacombs so it can be dealt with. Everybody else has at one point 'done what needs to be done' at some point, with the war and so on, and we need to move quickly, otherwise I wouldn't be asking to put you in danger.
>>
No. 830280 ID: fe7355

Well, damn, you hope bringing the earth elemental here will have some great benefit to stopping the Nightmare in the near future, because with it gone you just lost the only way you knew to restore corrupted limbs or detect Nightmare corrupted persons. Best not to stick around in case the elemental is doing something delayed that you don't want to be in the area of effect of when it happens.

Walk and talk with Zela while y'all head back to where Xarrin, Doxan and the rest of your escort is. Once you regroup, swing around to pack up Zela's painting stuff, then start heading back to the palace.

To answer her first question, that thing was a new earth elemental, born a few days ago from the death of the old earth elemental of the palace garden, and the first elemental born in recorded history since the Second Age. This was possible because in the last few months the level of ambient magic in this area is much higher, closer to what it was in the previous age. And that is tangentially related to why you need her help.

Tell Zela that before you can explain things, she has to promise she will keep what you say secret. If she can then you can start with saying that it's because she's a truly innocent person, which means her mere presence drives away the power of the Nightmare and those turned by it. For that reason she's needed to protect a group that will traverse the Catacomb of the Godless to reach the crypt of the Five before their corpses are used in a ritual at midnight tonight to ascend to godhood which will be stolen by the Nightmare. This will plunge Risavia, the surrounding region, and who knows how much farther into a living hell of torment under a insane, vindictive god. And yes, that sounds like you either repeated the plot of a novel, you've gone crazy, possibly both, but it's true. There's enough proof that Queen Kira is acting on it, and why she sent that request for a meeting.

Continue the explanation to Zela by telling her that the Nightmare is a entity formed of souls trapped in the Catacombs of the Godless. Has she heard about the Catacombs under the Grand Temple, the garden and the palace? It's a shifting magical maze filled with traps and undead, built in the age of the Old Empire meant to trap and torment souls of the condemned to extract magical energy from them, now broken and leaking. The Nightmare preys on those who have sinned, or lack of a better term. It gets its claws into a person by their deep dark emotions, amplifying them, and through them influencing their behavior. That is why it has no effect on her; She has nothing for the Nightmare to gain a hold on.

Let Zela know that she's actually saved your life twice and she didn't know it. The first was when you literally ran into her last night. You were fleeing a Nightmare entity that had manifested in the alley, though at the time you thought it was only in your head. Her presence banished it and saved you. Does she remember what you asked her to draw? That is what you were running from.

The second time was just a few minutes ago, when she came to ask your group to not make so much noise. That racket was because you had been attacked by Karas. The Nightmare had been working on him for years by cultivating his fear and hatred of Sakkilians and finally turned him completely after the trial yesterday and now he looks like that drawing she made for you. If she had not come along, you'd be dead, along with Briannah, Doxan, Xarrin and probably Sisah too. You and they are all still alive thanks to her arrival.

>I mean, I want to do it more but… once is fine?
...Ask Bri how adamant she is on you bedding Zela being a "one time thing." What if it's not a regular thing and you gave her fair warning so she doesn't walk in on you two like last night, or if you two did it elsewhere than your bedroom?

>>830139
>Also if the Elemental can just dig down to the crypt then... could we just dig straight down here? I think that was brought up before but if the elemental thinks it can make it, surely that means there's a passage here that doesn't involve solid rock.
Elete did say that it took months to dig the tunnel to the chamber the Five's corpses are in from the Grand Temple, but they also had to do it on the down low which would have made it take longer. Without that restriction, digging a tunnel from the surface would be faster. The distance down from the surface to the chamber would also likely be much shorter than from the chamber to the Grand Temple. Even so, there's only scant hours left until midnight when the ascension ritual is to be performed, which almost certainly isn't enough time to excavate into the Five's chamber or the Temple tunnel even with every resource Queen Kira could bring to bear. And while the earth elemental could presumably dig a suitably big tunnel out in no time flat, we have no way to talk to it to ask it to do so.

Considering how long that chamber the Five's corpses are in has been here without collapsing or being detected, it's likely that its not only built of something stronger than stone but been magically reinforced and warded heavily, and possibly infused with the Rune of Eternity as well to prevent its decay. That means it'll most likely not be able to be broken through by a newborn earth elemental and the elemental will have to go in through any openings in the chamber.

Actually, there might be a old entrance from the Five's chamber to the surface that has been filled in because this chamber is mirrored with the royal crypt and the royal crypt has a surface entrance. That would be easier to dig into than just through the top of the chamber. Kronos should remember to ask Elete if the Five's chamber has signs of a blocked or caved in surface entrance. Still, even if it does there wouldn't be enough time to dig a tunnel down to it. ...But what if instead of shovels we use high explosives? Loads of 'em. Just start blasting the dirt over the chamber away. Maybe even blast above the Temple tunnel to collapse it. There'll be loads of consequences for pulling such a thing, and everyone will know we're coming, but if it could get down and into the Five's chamber and we're out of better options then it's still on the table.

Y'know, the way this earth elemental bee-lined for the chamber of the Five's corpses raises the question of why the old garden earth elemental didn't do the same in all its many years here. Or even just in the time since the Archbishop completed the tunnel and opened up the chamber. With all the magic that's been pulsing out from there in the past months, why didn't the old elemental dive right into it like this newborn elemental? Because it knew it shouldn't for some reason? ...Oh, I hope there isn't some bad shit the old elemental knew would happen if it broke into the Five's chamber or chowed down in their corpses and we haven't fucked up horribly by releasing the new elemental here.
>>
No. 830303 ID: 91ee5f

>>830280
>...Ask Bri how adamant she is on you bedding Zela being a "one time thing." What if it's not a regular thing and you gave her fair warning so she doesn't walk in on you two like last night, or if you two did it elsewhere than your bedroom?
Can we please stop trying to fuck Zela already? Once was enough, it's unhelpful to keep trying, and it's hurtful to Bri.

How would you feel if you asked your fiancé to stop sleeping with someone else, they promise not to, and then turn around and ask that same person you asked them not to see if they wanna sleep with them right in front of your face? Because that's what you're trying to do with Zela right in front of Bri's face.
>>
No. 830308 ID: 91ee5f

>>830303
Also, before we go charging in to fight the Nightmare, shouldn't we check out Belseth's hint? He kept talking about Kronos' mom's remains, so we should at least go look and see if he managed to leave something there for us.

Or did we already sent someone down there to check it out? I don't remember.

And hopefully Elete has had enough time to think about where she saw the Rune of Eternity before, so that she can tell us where she remembers seeing it.
>>
No. 830327 ID: fe7355

>>830303
Okay, I'll at least concede that now is not the time for Kronos to negotiate with Briannah for her permission to conditionally fuck Zela again and put it off to later. But earlier Bri did imply that Kronos could continute to have sex with those he's laid with in the last few days. (See >>/questarch/770761) But Bri did just say "I guess if it was just a one time thing," which is more explicit so it's what should be gone with until Kronos can speak with Bri later.

However, the big thing is that Bri and Kronos agreed back then that she and Kronos should share who they want to have sex with and get each others' permission to first. And Zela just said she doesn't want anything more than a non-romantic sexual relationship with Kronos, meaning Bri won't feel nearly as worried that she'll lose Kronos to Zela. But Kronos asking her about Zela should wait until after tonight since with things being what they are not everyone may live to see tomorrow.

>>830308
We should head back to the place first because Elete said to bring Zela back ASAP so that she could be tested for if she's considered innocent enough by the Five's standards. (See >>827848.) We want to be sure Zela passes muster before bringing her along. We also need to relay what happened out here, especially what Karas said, to Kira and Elete ASAP too.
>>
No. 830348 ID: 65a774
File 150533115830.png - (33.31KB , 686x526 , 44.png )
830348

>...Ask Bri how adamant she is on you bedding Zela being a "one time thing."
This is definitely not the time… besides, you’re not really in that much of a need to bed Zela… at all…
>Be thankful that Zela is so understanding, otherwise this would've been way more difficult.
You’re not sure if she’s understanding or just got what she wanted from the start?
>If the Elemental can just dig down to the crypt then... could we just dig straight down here?
Didn’t Elete say it would be impossible? It’s probably more than just dirt and stone standing in our way after all.
>...But what if instead of shovels we use high explosives? Loads of 'em.
…and where are we supposed to get that much explosives? We don’t have something like that lying around the palace for obvious reasons… or the capital, for that matter.
>I'm pretty sure the elemental show up again when you least expect it to.
…If this was a story, then yes… and it’s pretty much by this point… if a badly written one.


>Walk and talk with Zela while y'all head back to where Xarrin, Doxan and the rest of your escort is.
:ZelaSB: Err… just… d-don’t say anything… oh gosh… embarrassing in front of… um…
>We should let her know that nobody other than her, Kronos, Bri, and I guess Sisah, know about what happened that night.
:ZelaSB: Oh… that’s… t-that’s good…
>That was an elemental, born or spawned or whatever from the one that was in the royal gardens that passed on recently.
:ZelaSB: Wait, an elemental? Aren’t they going… um… extinct?
:KronosSB: Apparently the return of magic means that they are coming back.
:ZelaSB: Oh… neat… um… so… err… is there a… water… one? I’ve heard that they are supposed to be… um… pretty and… oh gosh… paint… one?

>Tell her about the nightmare.
:ZelaSB: …w-what?
:KronosSB: yes, that sounds like I either repeated the plot of a novel, I've gone crazy or possibly both, but it's true.
:ZelaSB: …but that’s… I don’t… those things aren’t supposed to… but…
:SisahSB: A lot of things aren’t supposed to happen… yet here we are…
>We're mounting an expedition to strike at the source of it, so we need her to act as a kind of... safe zone for us. We will protect her while she protects us.
:ZelaSB: W-what!? How… I can’t… but… I’m not… how am I supposed to...!?
:KronosSB: Your… innocent drives them away. They can’t get a foothold in the reality you live in… so they can’t attack when you’re near.
:ZelaSB: But… that’s… um…
>Let Zela know that she's actually saved your life twice and she didn't know it. The first was when you literally ran into her last night.
:ZelaSB: Eh? I mean… I guess you were a bit frighten when you… um… so you really… but I… err…
>The second time was just a few minutes ago, when she came to ask your group to not make so much noise.
:ZelaSB: Oh gosh… y-you mean… I saved everyone there? I… I don’t think… um…
:XarrinSB: Sir! Everyone is accounted for and unharmed… um… sadly we weren’t in any state to follow you on such a short notice but… things seem to have worked out?
:ZelaSB: Oh gosh… this is just to much…

>Once you regroup, swing around to pack up Zela's painting stuff, then start heading back to the palace.
You have some of the guards pick up her stuff… gently. It wasn’t much, just a half finished painting of the pond and a few brushes and stuff…
>Shouldn't we check out Belseth's hint?
It might be prudent to do so while already here… the crypt isn’t that far from here after all. Still, you’ll probably enter the crypt later anyway… but then it might be too late?
>We should head back to the place first because Elete said to bring Zela back ASAP so that she could be tested for if she's considered innocent enough by the Five's standards.
She did tell you to hurry back… but you rather not run back and forth through the garden without reason… and you have a feeling something will come up if you go back the Elete now.

So… check on the crypt… or go back to the palace?
…and Zela seems rather distraught from everything you’ve just told her…
…and Briannah is still distraught from the attack…
…and Sisah seems nervous as well?
…well then…
>>
No. 830490 ID: 91ee5f

>>830348
Let's just go back to Elete. With everyone in their current emotional state of mind, I don't think going into the crypt will be a good idea.

Besides, your sister is very efficient when it comes to managing multiple tasks. So since you told her that you were going to go get Zela, she probably already sent someone down to the crypt to check out whatever Belseth might've been talking about, in order to save time and not just sit around and wait for you to come back with Zela.

In fact, the same thing would've happened if you had gone to the crypt. Your sister would've sent someone to get Zela, while waiting for you to come back.
>>
No. 830504 ID: 3ce125

>>830348
Talk to Sisah, ask if she noticed anything of note. Tell her you're really impressed that she managed to stand up to him while under the grip of that aura of despair. Then comfort your wife.
>>
No. 830543 ID: fe7355

You shouldn't go to the royal crypt right now for at least two reasons. First, based on what Karas said, is that it's very likely the Nightmare already knows about Belseth's plans there. If it has a lick of sense, it will be blocking Bel's actions and have either negated or subverted his plan there. Could be by waylaying the person Bel sends to the royal crypt, could be by altering or removing what Bel has set up there for you. And it's a near certainty that the Nightmare will lay a trap or ambush for you there too. Bottom line, if there's anything there in the royal crypt, you can't trust that the Nightmare's people haven't tampered with or altered it.

You'll need to send in scouts first, the sneaky kind like Cain or Doxan, to search the place and then examine what has been left there and report back what it is before you set foot down there. There's also the matter of the old Priest's Way from the royal crypt to the Grand Temple. That'll have to be blocked off while they're down there so nobody or nothing can come up from the Grand Temple to get at you. Jam the door closed, fuse the hinges, whatever. Just make sure nothing can slip in from the Grand Temple.

Second reason to not go into the royal crypt right now is that your entire group is seriously emotionally shaken. When facing the Nightmare, emotional state is very important because a bad one can amplify its powers and draw its agents and monsters. All of you need a bit of time to recover, talk and get your thoughts together. It could mean the difference between Sisah standing up to Karas and saving your life or breaking down completely. Head back into the palace and get some soothing tea for everyone, including your guards. That is, after y'all meet with Kira and Elete and share what happened out here so everyone is up to speed. You should speak with Bri, Zela and Sisah alone too, since they seem in bad shape.

Tell Sisah she looks unnerved, which is to be expected after what happened here with Karas, and ask her what she's nervous about.

Hug Briannah and comfort her. Tell her you love her and that we'll get through this together and then ask her what she's thinking.

For Zela, sit by her side with a cup of tea and ask her what she's feeling and thinking after getting all this heavy stuff dropped on her.

And take the guards that came out here off duty and tell them to go relax and recover. You'll get another, fresh, group of guards to head out with you next time.

Another possible reason to not go into the royal crypt now is that whatever Belseth was planning to set up isn't there yet, and he didn't give any hints as to when to go. Just how long has it been since he headed back to the Grand Temple?

It's fair odds that you'll need to enter the royal crypt to get down into the Catacombs. Elete said the Five's crypt chamber has a entrance to the Catacombs, so it's make sense the royal crypt, being mirrored with the Five's crypt across the garden, would have had a entrance to the Catacombs too. Remember to ask Elete where the Catacombs entrance in the Five's crypt is, then compare that to the royal crypt's layout.

Oh, and also get someone to watch the entrance to the royal crypt from the palace for anyone entering or leaving, especially ones from the Grand Temple. They may be whoever Belseth sent to set up things for you.

>>830490
>In fact, the same thing would've happened if you had gone to the crypt. Your sister would've sent someone to get Zela, while waiting for you to come back.
Which would have been worse because the royal guards would have forced Zela to come with them, terrifying the poor gal.
>>
No. 830547 ID: 91ee5f

Wait, wasn't there a bunch of toxic fungi down in the crypt that almost killed you?

Didn't someone mentioned that they cleared out the toxic fungi or has that not been done yet? Because if that hasn't been done yet, then that's another reason to not go to the crypt.
>>
No. 830561 ID: 65a774
File 150542697523.png - (58.59KB , 686x526 , 45.png )
830561

>There's also the matter of the old Priest's Way from the royal crypt to the Grand Temple. Jam the door closed, fuse the hinges, whatever. Just make sure nothing can slip in from the Grand Temple.
…wait, wasn’t there a way down to the catacombs or something in there according to the map you found? …or are you just misremembering? You’re pretty sure you asked Doxan to check it out but he didn’t find anything… hmm…
>Wait, wasn't there a bunch of toxic fungi down in the crypt that almost killed you?
That could be cleared out by now.

>Let's just go back to Elete. With everyone in their current emotional state of mind, I don't think going into the crypt will be a good idea.
As you return to the palace, you’re met by Elete waiting near the gate to the gardens.
:EleteSB: So you found her? Good. I need to do some test on her immediately.
:ZelaSB: …w-wait, tests?
:KronosSB: Where is Kira?
:EleteSB: She’s busy holding a meeting… Thalia is there as well. So unless you have something very important, I’d advise you leave her alone for now.
:ZelaSB: What tests?
:EleteSB: Now, if you’ll excuse us…
:KronosSB: Wait just a moment, I have something I need to talk about… to both of you.
:EleteSB: If you must… but do hurry. These test will take a while and I want to finish up as soon as possible.
:ZelaSB: What tests!?
>>
No. 830562 ID: 65a774
File 150542699293.png - (59.81KB , 686x526 , 46.png )
830562

>Get some soothing tea for everyone, including your guards.
You ask some servants to get tea for everyone and soon enough most of you are enjoying a calming cup of tanna.
:EleteSB: Did something happen out there?
:KronosSB: We were attacked. By Karas. He appeared in some kind of nightmarish form… but Zela’s mere presence drove him away.
:EleteSB: Really? Hmm…
>For Zela, sit by her side with a cup of tea and ask her what she's feeling and thinking after getting all this heavy stuff dropped on her.
:ZelaSB: Oh? Um… it’s just… I don’t… know? I’m not sure what to think… or believe… or… oh gosh… it’s like a dream, you know? It doesn’t feel real…

>Kira probably already sent someone down to the crypt to check out whatever Belseth might've been talking about, in order to save time and not just sit around and wait for you to come back with Zela.
:EleteSB: Ah, yes, before I forget, Kira did send someone down into the crypt. They found a smalls stash prepared down there… but it was mostly just incense and things used as offerings to the dead. There was this note though…
:KronosSB: Let me see… 5: 16… 3: 42?
:EleteSB: It’s psalm numbers… to tell you what psalms you’re supposed to sing, I guess?
:KronosSB: Wait, there’s more… it’s faint but… crypt… towards temple… 50 steps… right… way down?
:EleteSB: Hmm… secret instructions?
>>
No. 830563 ID: 65a774
File 150542700157.png - (41.92KB , 686x526 , 47.png )
830563

>Tell Sisah she looks unnerved, which is to be expected after what happened here with Karas, and ask her what she's nervous about.
:SisahSB: Unnerved? No… but I’m a bit skeptical about my shields power… I used up a bit much protecting you from Karas… an unnecessary amount…
:KronosSB: If you hadn’t…
:SisahSB: Still… right now it will probably just hold against two or three strong blows before giving out… and seeing as we’re heading towards danger before I can recharge it…
>Tell her you're really impressed that she managed to stand up to him while under the grip of that aura of despair.
:SisahSB: I’ve already failed to many others… I will not fail you, sir.

>Hug Briannah and comfort her. Tell her you love her and that we'll get through this together.
:BriannahSB: I love yah too, ‘un…
>Ask her what she's thinking.
:BriannahSB: Just thinking of all the cock I’m craving right now. Maybe we should invite someone to relax a bit before the big fight later, eh?
:KronosSB:
:BriannahSB: Don’t look at me like that.
:KronosSB: Bri, didn’t you learn anything from the Zela accident?
:BriannahSB: Sure… but I can’t just change who I am in my mind just like that, can I? While I can refrain from being with someone else and yah can do the same, I can’t really stop myself from imagining Sisah filling yah with ‘er eggs again, can I?
:KronosSB: Bri…
:BriannahSB: Or the two of us worshiping Thalia’s big fat cock together, eh?
:KronosSB: Please…
:BriannahSB: Hmm… maybe we can make it interesting… like… the three barbarian queens managed to capture the spoiled prince and teaches him a lesson…
:KronosSB: Briannah…
:BriannahSB: With cocks.
:KronosSB: Just stop.
:BriannahSB: I’m just saying, a threesome isn’t of the table if we both agree on the third wheel, eh?
:KronosSB: You know, you actually had me worried for a bit…
:BriannahSB: Or maybe I’m just hiding my fears behind perversion again?
:KronosSB: What was that?
:BriannahSB: Cocks?
>>
No. 830591 ID: a633c6

>Good. I need to do some test on her immediately.
Forget tests, I've seen her in the field. She'll do wonderfully.
> Cocks?
Yeah I heard. You even went into detail. What was the other thing.

Bri, Xuv is gone and that means the fear she was blocking out is back. And I know removing the dream demon thing only stopped it from magnifying your fears to the breaking point. We're both going to have to deal with our issues the old fashioned way, and maybe having the kind of sex that makes god-fearing folk bray for excommunications and disownment isn't a good idea?

That said blowing off some steam sounds good right about now, and I wouldn't want anybody else to do it with.
>>
No. 830594 ID: 3ce125

Do we have time for some lovemaking? Like, some actual lovemaking, not fucking.
>>
No. 830598 ID: 8cb228

Love. You should know. Xuv's gone, and so is the artificial block on my fear, among other things. So... we're going to have to deal with our issues the old fashioned way, through hard work and cleverness. I don't know what we should do to start. Maybe something to get me used to your toothy grin? Associate that with a good thing in my head, and 'flip' the fear into something positive?
>>
No. 830601 ID: 91ee5f

>>830562
>Let me see… 5: 16… 3: 42?
>It’s psalm numbers…to tell you what psalms you’re supposed to sing, I guess?
Well, look those up in one of the holy books that's around here somewhere. I wouldn't be surprised if whatever those are, Belseth picked them out specifically because they give you another hint on how to beat the Nightmare.

Yeah, they could just be psalms and have nothing to do with beating the Nightmare, but you should check, just in case there is a hint of some kind.

>Wait, there’s more…it’s faint but…crypt…towards temple…50 steps…right…way down?
It sounds like Belseth is telling you to go to the crypt and then go to the hallway that leads to the temple. Then, starting at the beginning of that hallway, walk 50 steps forward and stop. Then, turn to the right and there should be a way down right there.

>>830563
>Or maybe I’m just hiding my fears behind perversion again?
I think it's about time we all talked about our fears. No more hiding them or anything. We'll all probably feel better if we do.

>>830591
>>830594
>Sex.
I'm not entirely sure now is an appropriate time for that. I'm not sure if we even have enough time to do it properly.
>>
No. 830668 ID: fe7355

Take Briannah's hands in yours. "Bri, I heard what you said, about hiding your fears behind perversion. Did you say that because you wish you didn't feel you had to do that? That you had another coping mechanism besides that one? Would you be up to us going somewhere private and trying to tell me what you're fearful of? And we can make it mutual. I'll tell you my fears too. But if it's way more than you can stand to face now, I'd be okay with just sex this time."

For whichever reason you get in private with Bri, you need to tell her what Xuv did to bury your fear of Sakkilians and that it's back now. "Bri, there's something I need to tell you. My deep seated phobia of Sakkilians, I didn't overcome it as much as you thought I did. Xuv suppressed it so that my love for you could flow free. She said my love would have overcome eventually, she just sped things up for her own purposes. ...And now that Xuv is no more, her suppression of my fear is gone. That was why when I went in to kiss you after Xuv was dealt with, I faltered. My love for you is still there, strong and unbroken, but this fear of mine has twisting roots that run twenty years deep. It will take time and effort, and the help of my true love, to dig them out."

One way you can start to work to overcome your fear is by trying over and over to kiss Briannah, or having her try to kiss you. Try closing your eyes and feeling your way to see if that helps.

One issue with your resurgent phobia of Sakkilians is that you might not be able to stand having one join you and Bri in a threesome or more-some. Your love for Briannah would be enough to keep your fear in check during sex, but with another Sakkilian it wouldn't. So, Xarrin or Doxan would be a problem, but Belseth maybe not so much.

You ought to write down a summary of what happened with Karas, especially his powers and what he ran his mouth on about, and Zela and send it to Kira and Thalia. Suffice to say, any frontal assault on the Grand Temple when Karas or any other Nightmare agent with similar power are about will end in a slaughter for our side.

Also consider having Tim woken up and briefed on the situation so he can lend his help. Though, considering how little sleep he's gotten, even with the Nightmare's influence gone he's not gonna be in good shape for the coming confrontation. But at this point, we need every mage we have on deck.

Getting armor for Zela would also be a sensible idea, since she's gonna be vital to success here and she's also a physically big target. There probably isn't any Hiver armor in the armory, but maybe some was kept as war trophies. Something like pre-charged one- or limited-use magic shielding runes would also be a good idea to attach to her, if available. Same for you and Briannah and Sisah.

>Let me see… 5: 16… 3: 42?
>It’s psalm numbers… to tell you what psalms you’re supposed to sing, I guess?
Could be more hints like the one Belseth slipped to you earlier. Alternatively, they could be directions through the Catacombs to the Five's crypt chamber. Every intersection in the Catacombs has a plaque with a saying or scripture on it, so follow the ones that match the psalms. Either way, look up what the psalms are.

>Wait, there’s more… it’s faint but… crypt… towards temple… 50 steps… right… way down?
Sounds like directions to the secret way into the Catacombs from the royal crypt. But where do those fifty steps start from? The exact middle of the crypt? The surface entrance to the crypt? The crypt end of the Priest's Way tunnel from the Grand Temple? The small stash Bel left?

The Catacomb entrance is most likely along the Priest's Way tunnel, but if it's beyond the door Doxan busted the lock on that means there'll be a clear view from the Grand Temple side towards anyone opening that door. And a clear view means a clear shot, if those in the temple believe that they are so close to total victory they have to defend from any intruders so matter who.

Anyway, Doxan should be shadowing Bri right now, so ask him to step out of the shadows for a minute so you can ask him about these directions. What does he remember on the right side of the tunnel going towards the Grand Temple around fifty steps in, and is that point past the door he broke the lock on?
>>
No. 830788 ID: 8c51fa

>>830563
>Sure… but I can’t just change who I am in my mind just like that, can I?
Well, whenever that change happens, let's hope it doesn't mean giving up kinky sex games. But I don't think we have time for anything interesting right now. Still, that just means we've got plenty to look forward to while we're planning our victory celebration, right?

That said, there's something we need to talk about. Kronos had a deep-seated fear of sakkilians because of his childhood trauma, and when we first spoke to Xuv she said she was magically suppressing his fear to make sure he and Briannah got together. Now that Xuv is gone, it seems that his phobia is returning too. That doesn't make our love any less true; we've seen the kind of person Briannah really is, we know we can trust her, and we know we want to spend our life with her, no matter what Xuv was doing. But now that Xuv's influence is gone, Kronos will have to overcome his fears for real.

Now, what does Briannah really have on her mind?
>>
No. 830889 ID: 65a774
File 150558722046.png - (25.85KB , 686x526 , 48.png )
830889

>Well, look up those psalms in one of the holy books that's around here somewhere.
They are seemingly just random psalms… maybe they aren’t important?
>They could be directions through the Catacombs to the Five's crypt chamber. Every intersection in the Catacombs has a plaque with a saying or scripture on it, so follow the ones that match the psalms.
…or maybe the numbers in themselves are what’s important… hmm…
>It sounds like Belseth is telling you to go to the crypt and then go to the hallway that leads to the temple. Then, starting at the beginning of that hallway, walk 50 steps forward and stop. Then, turn to the right and there should be a way down right there.
It’s possible… but Doxan didn’t find anything down there, did he? Maybe he wasn’t able to look closely enough? It’s worth a try, you suppose… after all, the map showed a secret entrance somewhere near there, didn’t it?


>Yeah I heard. You even went into detail. What was the other thing.
:BriannahSB: That I want grow a cock just so I can fuck ye cute behind?
:KronosSB: …no, the other other thing…
:BriannahSB: That I want us to worship Thalia’s c-
:KronosSB: Bri… *Sigh*… I heard what you said, about hiding your fears behind perversion. Did you say that because you wish you didn't feel you had to do that? That you had another coping mechanism besides that one?
:BriannahSB: E-eh!? I mean… um… I’m…. kind of? I mean… I do love perversion… it’s just… eh… I don’t ‘now ‘ow to do it otherwise?

>Bri, Xuv is gone and that means the fear she was blocking out is back. And I know removing the dream demon thing only stopped it from magnifying your fears to the breaking point.
:BriannahSB: So… yah’re afraid of me again?
:KronosSB: I’m more afraid of your teeth than you. I’ve had… bad experiences with teeth like that…
:BriannahSB: Hrnn… so what now then, eh?
:KronosSB: Maybe something to get me used to your toothy grin? Associate that with a good thing in my head, and 'flip' the fear into something positive?
:BriannahSB: So yah want to rail my big arse while I smile at yah? I can do that… hmm… maybe we can ‘ave Sisah lay ‘er eggs in yah at the same time to maximize the pleasure, eh?
:KronosSB: Maybe having the kind of sex that makes god-fearing folk bray for excommunications and disownment isn't a good idea?
:BriannahSB: Well… if yah just want to breed me then… why, yah don’t like some kink in bed?
:KronosSB: Just… not right now. It’s a bit much… take it a bit slow and all that, right? Still, that just means we've got plenty to look forward to while we're planning our victory celebration, right?
:BriannahSB:
:KronosSB: …what’s wrong?
:BriannahSB: T-that’s the thing… I got this uneasy feeling about all this.
:KronosSB: …you don’t think we’ll make it out?
:BriannahSB: …I’ve experience battle before. Even if we walk out of there alive, there’s bound to be wounds with us. Both physical and mental. We won’t be the same people that walk in when we get out… and I’m a bit nervous of that…
:KronosSB: Hey, don’t worry… I’ll protect you.
:BriannahSB: Heh… that’s my job, love.

>One way you can start to work to overcome your fear is by trying over and over to kiss Briannah.
Having Briannah bend down a bit, you managed to plant a kiss on her snout without any real problem.
:BriannahSB: Well, that wasn’t that hard, was it?
:KronosSB: Now give me a big grin…
But as soon as those teeth came out…
:BriannahSB: …are you al- mff…
…yet you manage to force yourself close… and as your tongues dances together those teeth suddenly seem so far away… at least until you see them again when you disengage from each other.

>Do we have time for some lovemaking? Like, some actual lovemaking, not fucking.
:BriannahSB: What? Isn’t lovemaking when yah fuck each other real good, eh?
:KronosSB: Bri, we’ve already been through this…
:BriannahSB: Yes, yes, I’m just teasing… hmm… well, if yah actually want to take ye time then... I don’t know ‘ow many ‘ours we really ‘ave to spare.
:ThaliaSB: Several, apparently. We’re not moving out until about eight.
:KronosSB: Thalia!? How long have y-you been here!?
:ThaliaSB: Since just now? I just heard General Briannah ask how much time we had as we entered.

:ThaliaSB: Either way, the Queen has tasked me to gather a small force to infiltrate the temple with… and escort you down there, Prince. On that note, I am guessing you want to help protect him, General?
:BriannahSB: Of course.
:KronosSB: A small force?
:ThaliaSB: The Queen will send a larger force through the main entrance… to act like a distraction, if you will.
>You ought to tell Thalia of what happened with Karas, especially his powers and what he ran his mouth on about, and Zela.
:ThaliaSB: Hmm… so Zela was effective at keeping it at bay? Then she’ll be needed as well.
>Any frontal assault on the Grand Temple when Karas or any other Nightmare agent with similar power are about will end in a slaughter for our side.
:ThaliaSB: Except we already know their weakness? Without their powers they are just a bunch of priests… whom will be easy picking for trained soldiers.
:KronosSB: But where will you find a bunch of innocent people?
:ThaliaSB: There is a ton of servants and other workers around here. While we can test them as thoroughly as Elete wants to, we can simple bring a large enough number to make the chances that we aren’t protected near nil.

:ThaliaSB: So… you have some hours to prepare… and make sure to eat some dinner before we head down as well. Oh, and do try not to squander this time on something meaningless, alright?
:BriannahSB: …heh…
:KronosSB:
>>
No. 830901 ID: 91ee5f

>>830889
>…or maybe the numbers in themselves are what’s important…hmm…
Well, when you put it like that, normally when you write down psalms, you don't put a space between the colon and the number. So instead of writing them normally like "5:16" and "3:42", Belseth wrote them down with a space in between the colon and the number like "5: 16" and "3: 42".

So maybe, if you combine the numbers with the faint message of "crypt…towards temple…50 steps…right…way down", you'll get better directions?

That would make it, "crypt 5 , towards temple 16 , 50 steps , right 3 , way down 42". I'm.....not sure about that???

Or maybe the numbers are supposed to be combined to tell you when the Nightmare is planning to do the ritual? So combining the numbers gives you "8: 58" and that's supposed to be the time the ritual is going to start. If that's true, then if you're not going to move out until about 8:00, then you're only giving yourselves 58 minutes to get down there and stop the Nightmare! .....although.....maybe that's not what Belseth is trying to tell you either???

ARRRGH!!!!! I don't know! I'm so confused!

Belseth, I understand that you needed to make a secret message because the Nightmare is holding you hostage and you don't want it to find out what the message is, but did you have to make your secret message so hard to decode?! If you make it too hard for the guy you want to decode it, they ain't gonna figure it out in time to save you!

Then again, maybe the secret message is stupidly easy to decode and Kronos is making us doubt our previous solutions by thinking, "…or maybe the numbers in themselves are what’s important…hmm…"? And if that is the reason, then damnit Kronos! Stop confusing us!

>after all, the map showed a secret entrance somewhere near there, didn’t it?
Let's just check the map and see if any of these directions will work.

>Oh, and do try not to squander this time on something meaningless, alright?
What time is it now, anyways?
>>
No. 830910 ID: 3ce125

Well, you have some time to comfort your wife alongside doing things like checking those psalms and seeing if you can recruit Tim, and finding out where Cain went.
>>
No. 830911 ID: 3ce125

Wait where's Briannah's bodyguard anyway?
>>
No. 830912 ID: fe7355

>>830901
>Or maybe the numbers are supposed to be combined to tell you when the Nightmare is planning to do the ritual?
We already reasonably know the time of the ritual. When Karas was running his mouth (>>828175) he let slip that the ritual will happen at midnight tonight, or at least culminate at midnight. Kronos can also check how close this is by looking up the exact time the twin moons "kiss" tonight. If it's at or near midnight, then Karas wasn't lying and wasn't lied to about the time.
>>
No. 830915 ID: ec506b

>you have some hours to prepare
So Sisah should have time to charge here shield?

>squander
Sooooo you, Bri, Thalia, Sisah, Zela and Doxan?
Or should we wait on that until afterwards when he have Bel as well?
>>
No. 830916 ID: 3ce125

>>830915
REMOVE ZELA
>>
No. 830919 ID: 91ee5f

>>830915
I don't think an orgy is the right answer.
>>
No. 830920 ID: 8cb228

>>830915
No orgy, orgy bad!
>>
No. 830923 ID: be0718

>>830915
No time like the present!
>>
No. 830927 ID: a633c6

Make love like it's your last chance, just the two of you.
>>
No. 831019 ID: fe7355

Offer to Thalia and everyone else you know who's either going to escort you or attack the Grand Temple to share dinner with you and Briannah. They can order anything they want (that can be prepared in the time we have.) And you'll let Doxan loose in the wine cellar to pick out a excellent vintage for us to drain. We don't know who will come back, or in what condition, so we may as well live it up while we can, for we may not get to enjoy it later.

Ask Thalia if she will be busy with preparations all the way through until eight. If not then suggest that she could take Doxan and finish what she was going to do with him last night, if she has enough time. She may not get another chance to, with what is about to happen. Though, there might be enough time later for her to discipline a certain arrogant prince into submission and have her way with him, depending on how things go.

As Thalia says, don't squander this time. You and Bri should go visit your father for a little bit. Show how well he and Opalhia are getting along to Bri, then give him a big hug, tell him you love him and you'll do him proud. After that, visit Kira for just a few minutes in private if she has the time to give her a close hug and tell her you love her and you'll do everything in your power to come back for. And if Briannah has any more letters of atonement to write or deliver, now would be the time for her to do that.

After dinner, you and Bri will make love. You'll kiss, lick and caress each other. You'll kiss each other passionately. You'll put your silver tongue and nimble fingers to work bringing her to screaming ecstasy. She'll put her masterful fellatio skills to work to help "flip" your fear of her teeth. She will use her tail with great skill on your bum, while you'll put a vibrating plug up hers. And you will breed her, hard, like she wants and needs you to, collapsing and cuddling in mutual post-coital bliss.

But that will not be all you and Bri do. In the time left before you have to clean up and gear up for the final fight you'll turn the sexual direction over to Bri to do whatever and as much she wishes so she'll feel satisfied. You've made love like you wanted, now you'll fuck like there's no tomorrow in as myriad ways as possible like Bri wants. She can open up her chest and use any and all of her sex toys and potions. Call in whoever she wishes from these people we know: Sisah, Doxan, and Thalia, assuming she isn't busy and agrees to come. You'll try anything she wants, within reason. And you have some ideas, though she doesn't have to use them. Like being tied at the wrists and dangling by them from her tail like a slab of meat as she's bent over, your waist pinned between her glorious ass and the wall as she pounds you into her. Or you being the filling of a sex sandwich with Sisah and Bri as the bread.

Tim needs as much sleep as he can get before the upcoming fight, so arrange for him to be woken up at seven 'o clock, brought dinner and briefed on the situation.

At some point share with Bri that while you're sad that your fear of Sakkilians is back after Xuv's destruction, you're far more relieved that your love for her stayed. You worried greatly that it could have been nothing but a fabrication by Xuv.

>That I want grow a cock just so I can fuck ye cute behind?
Oh, right, those temporary sex change potions Bri has. ...When you're in private, ask her if those are not supposed to be taken by anyone pregnant. You ask because if Xuv's blessing worked and you two conceived, there may be a slim chance it doesn't need Xuv's power to remain viable. Even though it's real long odds, Bri still shouldn't take any sex changing potions the few weeks it'll be until a pregnancy test will definitively say yes or no.

As for you, considering how important your "family jewels" are now that you're the only one left in your line who can sire a heir to the throne, you shouldn't risk taking potions that change your sex either. Just one that doesn't work quite right and fails to restore your genitals completely correctly or leaves you sterile, and that's the end of the royal bloodline. Once you have a heir and a spare, at the very least, then you can try experiencing what it feels like to be female. ...Which is really a let down because you were rather interested in trying that out sooner rather than later.

And related to this, don't engage in any sexual shenanigans that may risk your "royal jewels" getting damaged. You should also get a sturdy, padded, preferably temperature controlled codpiece to protect against any attacks or accidents. A mithril one to go along with your under-armor.

>…or maybe the numbers in themselves are what’s important… hmm…
It could be a hint that doesn't make sense unless in the context of the royal crypt. Something like the number of urns, or numbered shelves, or something else. But getting more folks to think about what Belseth hinted could mean would be a good idea. Ask Thalia if she read Belseth's note and has any ideas of what it means and where the secret Catacombs entrance is.

>While we can test them as thoroughly as Elete wants to, we can simple bring a large enough number to make the chances that we aren’t protected near nil.
There's one possible major problem with this plan: Seeing and hearing a bunch of untrained, ineffectual priests trying to defend the Grand Temple from a seemingly unwarranted assault and being cut down left and right by soldiers would be a traumatic event for a number of these innocents, rendering them no longer innocent. This would leave parts of our forces unprotected, open for the Nightmare and its followers to throw around its power. And the effect of which has a good chance of being traumatic to see to those still innocent innocents, making them not innocent. The result would be a cascade failure that leads to defeat and many deaths.

Thing is, you can't think of a good counter for this possible failure. We can't blindfold and earplug every member of the group of potentially innocent, could we? But you can't think of a better plan we could do in the time we have then bringing them along. Just being aware of the risk and knowing to pull back if the cascade starts happening will have to do.
>>
No. 831179 ID: 8c51fa

>>830889
>They are seemingly just random psalms… maybe they aren’t important?
We might as well note them down anyway, just in case. What context are they in? Do you think he could be referencing some other book?

Looks like we actually do have quite a bit of time to spare, so we'll have time to indulge Briannah after all. Before that, though, we should take care of practical matters. First, you and Bri should do an equipment check to make sure your weapons, armor, and other gear is in working condition. You'll want to bring plenty of spare ammo for your guns. Do you think you could get any more body armor on short notice? A neckbrace would help cover at least one of Bri's weak spots.

Speaking of protection, how long does it take Sisah to recharge? Also, do we look any different to her special magic vision?

We should also spend some time attending to whatever personal matters we have left to attend to. If there's anything you want to say to anyone, don't leave it unsaid. Do you think you'll want to write a note and hide it somewhere, just in case you don't make it back?

Once we've got the preparations out of the way... this would be a good time to try doing bondage play with Briannah, if you're interested. We know she's a trustworthy and heroic person who would never want to really hurt Kronos, and there's a good chance you'll be putting your life in her hands, so it would help you get comfortable with the idea. Besides, she enjoyed doing it your way, but the two of you haven't gotten around to doing it her way yet.

Don't do anything too hardcore, though; we wouldn't want to exhaust ourselves. We'll need to be fully awake and alert for the main event.
>>
No. 831211 ID: fe7355

On second thought, you ought to let Briannah take charge and do whatever she wants sex-wise here, going along with her rather than holding her back (within reason.) Engaging in sexual perversion is Bri's ingrained primary go-to, tried-and-true coping mechanism when she's afraid and stressed, and right now she's really stressed and afraid under her restrained exterior. It's not a healthy coping mechanism, but it's what she knows and knows to work, and you're not going to be able to build up a better one in the scant time left so just go with it. And besides, you still owe her for the whole Zela debacle, so this will make you two more even, if not totally so. So Bri can pull out all the stops, bringing in any combination she wants of Sisah, Doxan and Thalia, and you'll do as she wishes, just so long as all participants remain in decent shape for the coming battle.
>>
No. 831260 ID: 65a774
File 150575641677.png - (50.03KB , 686x526 , 49.png )
831260

>Belseth, I understand that you needed to make a secret message because the Nightmare is holding you hostage and you don't want it to find out what the message is, but did you have to make your secret message so hard to decode?!
Hmm... He does believe you're rather intelligent... so you're pretty sure at least he believes you can solve this. Maybe you're just missing a piece of the puzzle? Maybe if you follow the other instructions something will come up?
>Sooooo you, Bri, Thalia, Sisah, Zela and Doxan?
Didn't you just tell Bri not to get too kinky... and now you want to throw a giant orgy? By the five, brain, keep it consistent. Still… it is tempting all the sudden…
>don't exhaust yourself.
...which is exactly why you might not want to invite everyone over to plow the prince.

>What time is it now, anyways?
Um... it's about... three? Four? You're not sure... it’s way too late for lunch, too early for dinner, you guess?
>You and Bri should do an equipment check to make sure your weapons, armor, and other gear is in working condition.
Both armor and weapons are ready as they will ever be…

>There's one possible major problem with this plan: Seeing the guard massacre the priests might render them no longer innocent.
:ThaliaSB: We’re not going in to massacre them, we are going to subdue them. Besides, that’s not really what innocence is, at least according to the belief of the five. You’re innocent as long as you’re not doing ill things out of fear and hate… or any other reason for that matter.
>The ritual will happen at midnight tonight, or at least culminate at midnight.
:ThaliaSB: We have come to the assumption that it will happen at midnight, when the moon kiss... Karas mistake only strengthen that theory.
>Find out where Cain went.
:ThaliaSB: We haven’t seen head or tails of him, Prince.
>Wait where's Briannah's bodyguard anyway?
:BriannahSB: 'is right there, ‘iding in the shadows.
:DoxanSB: Sir?
>So Sisah should have time to charge here shield?
:SisahSB: It's powered by my personal mana. The only way to recharge it is to not use magic for a day.

>Offer to Thalia and everyone else you know who's going to escort you to share dinner with you and Briannah. They can order anything they want.
:ThaliaSB: Dinner? Hmm... I guess I can send someone out with invitations to those I plan to take on this escort mission.
:BriannahSB: So... the Prince, me, yah, Doxan, Sisah and Zela?
:ThaliaSB: And Tim and Xarrin. We need a mage and Xarrin has a lot of knowledge of the old empire that might be useful.
>You'll let Doxan loose in the wine cellar to pick out an excellent vintage for us to drain.
:DoxanSB: T-thank you, sir.
:ThaliaSB: ...are you... skeptical of our chances of success?
:KronosSB: I'm skeptical that everyone who goes in will come out the same. Just experience this will probably change us.
:ThaliaSB: ...true.

>Recruit Tim.
:ThaliaSB: I am indeed planning on bringing him, but he'll need all the sleep he can get before then. I'll wake him up to that dinner you promise.
:KronosSB: Hmm... And I do believe I know just what he wants to eat too...
>You and Bri should go visit your father for a little bit. Show how well he and Opalhia are getting along to Bri, then give him a big hug, tell him you love him and you'll do him proud.
:ThaliaSB: The King needs his rest, Kronos. He will notice that something is wrong pretty quickly and even if you don’t tell him, he will stress himself over it. Let him relax for once… instead, make sure you make it back to him instead.
>Visit Kira for just a few minutes in private if she has the time.
:ThaliaSB: She is very busy. You might get a moment with her before the operation begins, but no sooner than that.

>Ask Thalia if she will be busy with preparations all the way through until eight.
:ThaliaSB: I’ll be able to make time for the dinner… and I might be able to make some more time… why do you ask?
:BriannahSB: …*Grin*
:ThaliaSB: …please tell me that you aren’t… I said to make the best out of the time you were given, not to throw a freaking orgy!
:BriannahSB: ‘ey, I didn’t-
:ThaliaSB: I know how you think.
>There might be enough time later for her to discipline a certain arrogant prince into submission and have her way with him…
:KronosSB: If my love allows it, of course.
:BriannahSB: Heh… only if I get to join yah too…
:ThaliaSB: While both tempting and something you direly need, Prince, I don’t think this is the best time for such foolishness.
:BriannahSB: One word. Spit roast.
:ThaliaSB: …that’s two words… and wait, you mean you’ll drink one of those… hmm…
>Ask her if those are not supposed to be taken by anyone pregnant.
:BriannahSB: They just change my outside, love, my inside will still be the same.

:ThaliaSB: I still don’t think-
:BriannahSB: Just imagen, having two new devoted priests to worship ye great, big Cock… A pair of royalty willing to get on their knees for ye greatness, hmm?
:ThaliaSB: …I-I still… Um… t-that’s…
:BriannahSB: Or maybe yah want to punish the arrogant prince by filling ‘im with Serpens eggs before taking turns trying to fertilize them?
:ThaliaSB: … … …I’m n-not entirely c-convinced that… um… the Prince is e-even in on this anymore…
:BriannahSB: Why, love… maybe you can convince ‘er otherwise, eh?
:KronosSB: Err…
>>
No. 831265 ID: 3ce125

Looks like Sisah is planning on making use of Doxan.

Anyway, tell her you're not opposed to anything Bri just suggested. You're okay with butt stuff when it involves ladies. Or ovales which are close enough.
>>
No. 831276 ID: a633c6

For the love of god you know this shit's bad for you, but if you're going to ignore the majority and do it anyway I guess that's just who you are.
>>
No. 831277 ID: 3ce125

>>831276
What are you talking about?
>>
No. 831278 ID: a633c6

>>831277
Bri literally just said she's hiding her fear behind her perversion, that isn't a hook to start an orgy. Kronos shouldn't be doing things that will make him walk funny before a dungeon crawl anyway.
>>
No. 831283 ID: 91ee5f

>>831260
>Hmm...he does believe you're rather intelligent...so you're pretty sure at least he believes you can solve this.
Oh, good, now we can feel even worse if the simple message he wanted you to decode ends up being too hard for you and you fail to rescue him because he wrongly thought you're smarter than you actually are!

>Maybe you're just missing a piece of the puzzle? Maybe if you follow the other instructions something will come up?
Or maybe you can stop trying to figure it out by yourself? There's plenty of people here! Try asking them for help!

>By the five, brain, keep it consistent.
We did. You're the one that latched onto the idea of an orgy!

> ………I’m n-not entirely c-convinced that…um…the Prince is e-even in on this anymore…
She's right, Bri's going overboard with this. Let's tone it down a little.

>>831278
>Kronos shouldn't be doing things that will make him walk funny before a dungeon crawl anyway.
I agree.

And I also think that we should avoid anymore of those potions! Remember how last time Kronos couldn't focus on anything because he overdosed on one of those potions? Yeah, let's not have a repeat of that in enemy territory!
>>
No. 831306 ID: 3ce125

>>831278
It's how she deals with fear, sure. That doesn't mean it's bad for her. As for walking funny, well, that may be a good point, unless there's some way around it.

>>831283
>potions
She's not planning on taking a fertility potion, she's planning on taking a Dick Potion.
>>
No. 831308 ID: 91ee5f

>>831306
>She's not planning on taking a fertility potion, she's planning on taking a Dick Potion.
I know. I'm talking about Kronos himself. I'm saying he shouldn't take any potions, for the sake of not overdosing by accident again!
>>
No. 831330 ID: a633c6

>>831306
This swinging bullshit led Bri to a breakdown that filled her with self-loathing that nearly pushed her over the edge in a very literal way. It's fucking bad for her and it's bad for the relationship. The two of them were meant to have a frank conversation about it that hasn't happened yet, and Kronos doesn't have any dream magic to fall back on if we end up crossing some unspoken boundary again, so until then don't do it.

And what happened to not going along with Bri's ideas because they always end in disaster?
>>
No. 831331 ID: 3ce125

>>831330
Well we already basically agreed on having a threesome with Thalia but if you think a 1-on-1 thing would be better you should probably say so instead of just being bitter and hurtful.
>>
No. 831339 ID: a633c6

>>831331
Was saying swinging was terrible for both Bri and Kronos and that starting an orgy would be an awful idea somehow unclear?
>being bitter and hurtful.
Next say I'm wrong. Bri was on the verge of suicide, I'm not going to sugarcoat it when I say don't go down that path in the future.
>>
No. 831355 ID: 8cb228

I think it's bad for her in the long term, for sure. The question is, is using her go-to method bad for her in the short term? And would she need to do something tried and true, as it were, to be in top shape for the upcoming problems?

I mean, yea, she needs to get her perversion--and her emotional state of relationships-- to a healthy place, but that's something that would take months of therapy, wouldn't it?
>>
No. 831376 ID: a633c6

>>831355
Sex to manage tension doesn't have to, and shouldn't be, self destructive.
>>
No. 831378 ID: 3ce125

>>831376
How is it self-destructive then? Kronos and Briannah both like Thalia, and Kronos has had his butt filled already and liked it. You're acting like any threesome or perverted behavior would be inherently bad for her, but the sexual behavior itself isn't a problem. The problem is when it involves her or Kronos being uncomfortable with something and not speaking up about it.

How about a compromise: spitroast with Briannah in the middle.
>>
No. 831379 ID: 3ce125

Or, you know, now that we know we have a good amount of time, we could do the whole lovemaking thing instead and let Thalia join Sisah and Doxan.
>>
No. 831381 ID: a633c6

>>831378
How the hell does it make a difference who's pitching?
It was literally two updates ago Bri said maybe she was hiding her fear behind her perversion, and the update after that saying she just doesn't know anything else. If Bri has another 'epiphany' half as bad as the incident with Zela, we can't dream delve to salvage the situation again. If Kronos wants to show her lovemaking or what he wanted for their first time or whatever flowery crap, I haven't argued against that- but Kronos can't play with fire and put Bri's well-being on the line.
>>
No. 831382 ID: 91ee5f

>>831379
That should work. On the condition that Kronos makes sure the balcony doors are closed this time, so that he doesn't embarrass himself from someone hearing all of the things he's doing to Bri again!

And Thalia never did get around to what she was planning to do to Doxan, did she? Maybe now would be a good time for her to pick that back up? And I'm assuming whatever it was, it requires 3 people, since Bri was going to help her. So if she'd be willing to allow it, I'm sure Sisah could help her with whatever she was going to do to Doxan.
>>
No. 831391 ID: 8c51fa

>>831260
I think that... Kronos can't deny his own interest in the idea, and he could certainly use some discipline, but we'll have plenty of time for that after the dungeon crawl. We're working on limited time and this isn't something you want to rush into, or rush through. When we're under a little less pressure, Thalia will have time to plan what she wants to do to Kronos, and if anything happens during the trip she can take that into account.

Also, weren't we going to talk to Briannah about this sort of thing, to help her sort out her feelings on the matter so it doesn't go horribly wrong again? We kind of put that conversation on hold. She seemed pretty confident that doing it with Thalia wouldn't be a problem since it wouldn't get in the way of our relationship, but it wouldn't hurt for her to be sure.

I'm also concerned about whether this is what Bri really wants. Didn't she say something about wishing she had other ways to cope with stress besides sexual perversion? We know she has other hobbies; maybe we ought to do something else together to help her relax. Perhaps you could play a game of Regicide with her, or she could make a painting about how she feels.

Do you play music, Kronos? You could play a song for her while she paints your picture. I don't think she's done a lot of painting recently, besides that one time during your courtship. It would be a good way of relaxing before the final quest.

That's not to say that I'm opposed to kinky bondage sex in principle, as long as she's sure about it as well. But if she is then I think you should just keep it between the two of you the first time, to avoid wearing yourself out or getting in too deep too quickly.
>>
No. 831400 ID: 3ce125

>>831381
>How the hell does it make a difference who's pitching?
Because then Kronos isn't having sex with anyone but Briannah. Her emotional weakness involves him putting someone else above her. Again, you're not being helpful.
>>
No. 831402 ID: a633c6

>>831400
Did you actually read the quest? Bri seeing Kronos with Zela made Bri realize her promiscuity was hurting people and that's what caused her breakdown.

If you're recommending this course of action because you know it's a bad idea but want it anyway, go ahead, that's is well within Kronos' character. But don't try to twist and confuse the facts -or only respond to 1 sentence of an argument- to justify your position, it just muddies everything up.
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No. 831407 ID: 3ce125

>>831402
Okay, yes, she had a breakdown because she realized she had a history of just using people for sex. Now she's not doing that, and Thalia isn't going to take any offense.

I'm not making an effort to argue with you because I don't want to-- there really isn't any point in doing so. I'm trying to get you to make a real suggestion or at least clearly explain yourself. "Don't do anything perverted because she might get sad due to undiscovered emotional baggage" is the best summary I can think of for your position, is that close?
>>
No. 831408 ID: a633c6

>>831407
What do you mean she's not using people for sex anymore? What has she changed? She literally just said she doesn't know anything except what she's doing right now. If she's going to change, Kronos is going to have to show her another way.

Again, Was saying swinging was terrible for both Bri and Kronos, and that starting an orgy would be an awful idea somehow unclear?
>>
No. 831411 ID: 91ee5f

>>831407
>>831408
Could both of you please take this over to the disthread: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/92354.html ?
>>
No. 831417 ID: ec506b

>Me: Sooooo you, Bri, Thalia, Sisah, Zela and Doxan?
>orgy
>lots of nos
>orgy
>may happen anyway
YYEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!
This is way I'm not allowed around kids
Remember to take one of each dick.
>>
No. 831427 ID: 35089a

Maybe we can also get Xarrin involved
More "fun"then your body has room for!
>>
No. 831440 ID: fe7355

Okay, stop right there. Kronos, what the fuck are you doing? Not but two minutes ago you were not in the mood for most of Bri's kinky shenanigans, wishing to make sweet love to her instead, only to pull a 180 and be down for being in a orgy directed by her. You can not keep capriciously flipping like this if you want anyone to take you seriously.

But besides that, while Bri's suggestions involving Thalia are enticing, you know giving in to Bri's unhealthy coping method will be bad for her and you in the end. She admitted sexual perversion is the only way to cope with her fears she really has, and that she wishes she had other ways than it. And with how much harm Bri has caused to others by using sexual perversion as her sole coping mechanism, it has to be a major source of her self-hatred. And that leads to her being even more sexually perverse as a means of self-destructive self-punishment. For her sake you can't just blindly go along with what she feels she needs or it'll just get worse. You need to be a check on her, and you need to help her work through this and build more coping methods. And you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with her now. Thalia said to not squander your time on something meaningless, so this is what you should use it for.

Tell Thalia that while you find your wife's suggestions enticing, you can't in good conscience take Thalia away from her duty as a general when we're approaching a battle that will decide the fate of Risavia and beyond. Who knows what may be overlooked if she's not there to notice and correct it. So unfortunately, you will not get to appreciate Thalia's mighty phallus this evening, but perhaps another day. Then ask Bri to come with you somewhere private to talk.

Why is Doxan blushing? And why is Sisah reaching behind him like that? Did she just grab his ass? No, she's reaching too high for that. Well, whatever. If she wants to get it on with Doxan, then that's between them to work out.
>>
No. 831540 ID: 8c51fa

>>831260
Let's put it this way. If Thalia manages to get everyone through this in one piece, the prince would be in on just about anything.
>>
No. 831788 ID: 65a774
File 150593247619.png - (44.66KB , 686x526 , 50.png )
831788

>Maybe you can stop trying to figure it out by yourself? There's plenty of people here! Try asking them for help!
You did read it aloud and no one else had any idea what it meant. Though, maybe it’s prudent to discuss it again before you venture down into the catacombs.
>Maybe we can also get Xarrin involved? More "fun" then your body has room for!
Xarrin isn’t even into men…
>Remember to take one of each dick.
…right, got to try all the exotic flavors…

>She's right, Bri's going overboard with this. Let's tone it down a little.
:KronosSB: Ugh… what am I doing? I’m letting my damn fantasies get the best of me again.
:BriannahSB: Kronos?
:ThaliaSB: As I said… I don’t believe the Prince is completely behind you.
:KronosSB: Bri… she’s right… we’re going a bit overboard with this. We need to take it a bit easy, you know. Especially so close to us going up to… whatever we’re going up against.
:BriannahSB: Aw… but I wanted to ‘ave some fun…
:KronosSB: We can have fun… later, after all this. Right now we need something else entirely… so unfortunately, I will not have the honor to appreciate Thalia’s mighty phallus this evening. Perhaps another day?
:BriannahSB: Heh…
:ThaliaSB: Hmm… maybe. But if we’re done here, I’ll take my leave… before the generals libido starts going out of control again.
:KronosSB: Wait, you never did get around to do that thing with Doxan, did you?
:ThaliaSB: …no, I did not. But I can do that after we’re done with this crisis. As a reward, if you will… now, if you’ll excuse me.
And with that, Thalia walks out the door… leaving you, Bri, Sisah and Doxan alone in the room.

>I'm also concerned about whether this is what Bri really wants. Didn't she say something about wishing she had other ways to cope with stress besides sexual perversion?
:BriannahSB: What I want is to fill that cute bum of ye with… err…
:KronosSB: *Glare*
:BriannahSB: …um… I mean… I want to be with yah and… I want us both to enjoy ourselves so…?
>We know she has other hobbies; maybe we ought to do something else together to help her relax.
:BriannahSB: Other ‘obbies?
:KronosSB: Like painting… or playing Regicide… or… or I don’t know… we can’t base our whole relationship on just having sex all the time!
:BriannahSB: Hrrn… I guess…
>Do you play music, Kronos? You could play a song for her while she paints your picture.
:BriannahSB: Yah can play music?
:KronosSB: I’m trained in the violin… I’m not very good, but I can play.
:BriannahSB: Then I’d love to ‘ear yah play… though, I’m in no mood to paint right now. Hmm… maybe we can play some board gamess? Something a bit more… easy going than Regicide. I want to relax my mind a bit… hmm… maybe something with four players?
>I also think that we should avoid anymore of those potions! At least until after this is all over.
:BriannahSB: Aw, come on… yah’re not fun at all…
>>
No. 831843 ID: 91ee5f

>>831788
>Though, maybe it’s prudent to discuss it again before you venture down into the catacombs.
But by then, it'll be too late! You should figure it out now instead of at the last minute!

Of course, you never did give an answer on my thought of combining the numbers and the faint message together to see if that'd work. But you got distracted by thoughts of sex, so I can see how you'd ignore me.

Anyways, if we combine them, then we get "crypt 5 , towards temple 16 , 50 steps , right 3 , way down 42". Yeah, I'm not sure it's right either, but hey, at least I'm trying!

>I want to relax my mind a bit…hmm…maybe something with four players?
That's probably a good idea. Maybe if you relax and not try to figure out Belseth's message for a while, the answer will come to you or you'll get another hint?

In fact, the answer might become so obvious, it'll hit you square in the beak so hard, you'll be thinking, "VARK!!! The answer is so obvious! Why didn't I think of it sooner?!"

..........so what 4 player games do you have?
>>
No. 831921 ID: a633c6

>Aw, come on… yah’re not fun at all…
Bri I don't want to offend, and I'm not saying that I'm somehow bitter, or even that it's your fault, but your ideas tend not to end well. I mean I'm not going pretend bringing that full guard detachment when you recommended otherwise saved me from some kind of deadly ambush, but Thalia really wasn't meeting in good faith there. I'm also not saying that I haven't made my share of mistakes either, but usually the trouble I get into is more disciplinary, and less imidiately causal. and less dire. That's including my kitchen escapades that made people fear anarchists were placing bombs in the palace. So please forgive me if I'm being overly cautious.

Does she have any ideas about the note? She's known Belseth longer than most anybody else here.

> maybe something with four players?
Oh you and your group activities. What about poker?
>>
No. 831923 ID: 3ce125

Poker sounds good. Or some kind of trivia game.
>>
No. 831941 ID: fe7355

We'd have to check the games cabinet in your apartment to see what's available, but off the top of your head we could play cards like you did with Tim, Sisah and Cain a few days ago. ...Man, it feels like ages since then. And thinking on it, if Tim hadn't read your fortune then things would have gone so differently, and likely for the better, primarily because you took that fortune as a sign to do Xuv's summoning ritual. And you have to wonder what your fortune would be now, and what Bri's would be. Perhaps you should ask Tim to read your fortunes after dinner.

Tell Bri that you aren't adverse to the kinks that she would like to do with you. There's a whole wide expanse of sexual experience she's had that you would like to explore and share together with her. But, you want to pace it out, not rush to do it all ASAP. We have our whole lives ahead of us together, so no hurry.

Though, complicating things sex-wise with Bri is your feelings about how she uses sex as her primary means of coping. It feels like she reaches for sex like your alcoholic father reached for booze. It leaves you feeling kinda like if you sat down with your dad to share all the different kinds of drinks he's had until you're both drunk. It just sits kinda wrong in your mind. That's partly why you don't think it's good to have sex every time she wants and in every way she wants. And that you believe that once she can't just reach for the easy way of sex all the time that she'll find other ways.

Get out your violin as well and play a couple practice pieces to get back into the groove. Does Bri have any requests for what to play that you might know? Maybe you could try playing your mutual song. The one from the night you first made love. ...And that reminds you: Ask Bri what that song is from and why she said it's ironic. ...Keep this to yourself, but you have a feeling that the irony might be because it was her and Krotos' song too.

Mention to Bri that you visited your father earlier and Lady Opalhia was with him. They seemed to get along real well with each other, so thank Bri for arranging their meeting. You hope your father can find at least good companionship with her, if not love. ...And add that you were a bit surprised Opalhia has blue skin. You'd never read or heard of Sakkilians having that color of scales before. Is it a really rare coloration?

What does Bri think of you two going to the next costume ball as a pirate king and queen? Or she could be the pirate queen and you could sit on her shoulder as her parrot. Repeat snippets of what she's said, often at inappropriate times, make demands for crackers and be a general nuisance

>Aw, come on… yah’re not fun at all…
Admit that on second thought, you're being way too cautious excluding all those sex related potions. The fault for what happened before wasn't with them but you for bungling the dosage. As long as we're extra careful that the dosage is correct, and that the duration won't run past eight o' clock, it'll be safe enough to use. ...And you're rather interested in her idea to use a temporary sex change potion on herself.

>>831843
Please don't berate the characters, and by extension the author, for not doing exactly what you want, when you wanted it. And that aside, it'd make more sense to bring up what clues Belseth left at dinner for everyone to mull over rather than now because Thalia, Zela, Tim and Xarrin will also be present then. Specifically, Tim's magic knowledge and Xarrin's knowledge of the Old Empire may shed light on what Bel wrote. And keep in mind there's also the possibility that what Bel wrote won't make sense outside the context of the royal crypt or the Catacombs, making figuring them out here very unlikely.

>>831921
Okay, I have to ask, where did you get the idea that Kronos' fertility potion overdose was Briannah's fault? Because it wasn't. It was Kronos's fault. He's the one who didn't read the directions right when pouring it and accidentally gave himself a double dose. (Reference: >>/questarch/761665 and >>/questarch/761938) And the idea to take a means to enhance his fertility so as to increase their chances to conceive was suggested by Kronos to Bri, not the other way around. She just knew what would work and had it on hand. (Reference: >>/questarch/744201)

This means not only was the OD Kronos' fault, but it was also his idea that directly resulted in him taking the fertility potion in the first place. This means none of what resulted from it can be laid at Briannah's feet as a example of her ideas not ending well. So you need to present other substantial examples to back up your statement that her ideas tend not to end well, and weigh them against how many of her ideas worked so as to be fair. Otherwise your claim is baseless and should not be spoken to Briannah.

This also means that avoiding all sex related potions when Bri and Kronos make love after dinner is being unreasonably cautious. As long as they both read the potion's full instructions, effects, side effects and durations in full beforehand, each double check the dosage before either takes one, and don't take more than one or two potions between them, it'll be fine.

I am left wondering why Briannah gave Kronos a fertility potion when she had a bottle of virility potion in her chest too. Virility is the male equivalent of fertility in females, so it'd seem to make more sense to give him a potion to enhance that.
>>
No. 831967 ID: 91ee5f

>>831941
Yeah, sorry about that. I just think the answer to Belseth's message is supposed to be easy to figure out, but I'm such an idiot that I can't figure it out. This is me being an idiot and trying to brute force the puzzle in the hopes that I'm right for once.

You're right, I shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry.

But I was serious about taking a break from trying to solve it. The answer might just automatically come to Kronos if he's not activly thinking about it. I just wasn't very polite in the way a was suggesting the action.....sorry.
>>
No. 831977 ID: 8c51fa

>>831788
>Aw, come on… yah’re not fun at all…
Not that it doesn't sound fun, but this is a time where we'll want to avoid any potential surprises. Briannah is potentially pregnant right now, and it could be your only chance to have a child together; I don't want to take any chances with possible side effects on the baby, even if they're reasonably safe for adult use.

>Hmm… maybe we can play some board gamess? Something a bit more… easy going than Regicide. I want to relax my mind a bit… hmm… maybe something with four players?
That sound nice. Have you got any board games about a group of adventurers going on a quest or something? I'm sure someone has made at least one of those. It won't take too much mental energy if you're reacting to encounters rather than planning long-term strategy.

Does she have a heroic fantasy novel she's always wanted to read? She could read it aloud with you while you provide thematically appropriate background music.

What I'm getting at is that she likes to be a courageous hero as well as a sexual deviant. That's a significant part of her personality and it would do her a lot of good to remember that side of herself.

>>831921
This isn't a good idea. Bri has severe self-esteem problems already, and it won't help her relax or focus if we exacerbate her guilt complex now.
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No. 832048 ID: 65a774
File 150603177213.png - (46.83KB , 686x526 , 51.png )
832048

>Provide thematically appropriate background music.
When you said you play but aren’t very good, you mean it. You can play… what, one song out of memory, maybe?
>Get out your violin as well and play a couple practice pieces to get back into the groove.
Where did you even put that old thing? Is it even in your apartment? Dammit, where is Cain when you need him? Eh, the violin play can wait…

>Not that it doesn't sound fun, but this is a time where we'll want to avoid any potential surprises.
:BriannahSB: Hey, I’ve used those things a thousand times. I know what they do.
:KronosSB: Bri, you might potentially be pregnant with what might be our only child… if there’s any chance these potions might harm it…
:BriannahSB: I’ve already told yah that it won’t… but if yah’re really that worried... *Mumble* Seven months without fun…
:KronosSB: I… just… let’s just be more careful about what we do from now on, okay? We don’t need to quit completely, but we need to at least read through all the instructions properly.
:BriannahSB: So we can-
:KronosSB: And we need to pace it out a bit. We have our whole lives ahead of us together, so no need to hurry.
:BriannahSB: …I guess we do…

>She likes to be a courageous hero as well as a sexual deviant. That's a significant part of her personality and it would do her a lot of good to remember that side of herself.
:BriannahSB: Heh… I guess that’s one part I can be proud of, eh? Problem is, there are really not a lot of situations where I can show it off… unless I want to suicidaly run of and challenge every wyvern in the land without cause.
>Does she have any ideas about the note? She's known Belseth longer than most anybody else here.
:BriannahSB: Let’s see… hmm… the ‘idden text looks like some step-by-step instructions if yah ask me. Don’t know what they mean, but that’s what I gather from them. As for the numbers… one through six… each number only appears once. So, six things yah need to take in order? Six things yah need to press? I don’t think it’s a coincidence he choose those numbers, at least.

>Mention to Bri that you visited your father earlier and Lady Opalhia was with him. They seemed to get along real well with each other, so thank Bri for arranging their meeting.
:BriannahSB: Good to ‘ear they are doing well. Opalhia ‘ave wanted to meet the king for so long as well.
>...And add that you were a bit surprised Opalhia has blue skin. You'd never read or heard of Sakkilians having that color of scales before. Is it a really rare coloration?
:BriannahSB: It’s a skin disease. She needs to eat special food as ‘er scales can’t really absorb sunlight properly anymore.
:KronosSB: …so she’s like an albino?
:BriannahSB: Well… more like the opposite of an albino. A… bluedino?

>...so what 4 player games do you have?
Going back to your apartment, you waste no time digging out the few board games you have there.
:KronosSB: Let’s see… we always have a deck of cards.
:BriannahSB:
:KronosSB: …and no, Bri. No strip poker.
:BriannahSB: ‘ey! I’m kind of offended that yah think I was considering that. I mean… it’s kind of true but I wasn’t going to suggest it… not seriously, anyway.
:KronosSB: Right… then we have “Trivial Pursuit”… a trivia game about all kinds of subject and-
:BriannahSB: And twister?
:KronosSB: …and twister… yes, I do indeed have twister. We also have this neat game called Hero’s quest for loot. Each player is an adventurer that tries to-
:BriannahSB: …don’t yah mean Quest for Glorious loot?
:KronosSB: Meh, the original name was better… fits with the other titles they did much better.
:BriannahSB: Yah’re such a nerd, yah know that? Oh, and we completely forgot to ask Doxan and Sisah if they wanted to play… and what.
:SisahSB: I’m up for anything… as long as I get an hour break before dinner… I need to… check my gear.
:DoxanSB: I to need to make sure my daggers are… polished properly as well…
:BriannahSB: Of course yah do… heh…

…so, what do we waste our evening on?
>>
No. 832055 ID: 3ce125

Hero's Quest.
>>
No. 832062 ID: 91ee5f

>>832048
>Hero’s Quest
If that's anything like Dungeons & Dragons IRL, then we don't have anywhere near enough time to play that!

>Twister
Although it would be hilarious and fun to see how Kaktus would draw that, I don't think that's a good idea. Kronos is physically the smallest person in the room. If someone slips and falls on him or he ends up underneath everyone when the eventual collapse into a pile happens, he's going to literally get crushed under the other 3 players!

Won't that be an embarrassing death? Crushed to death by playing Twister with 2 Sakkilians and a Serpens.

>Trivial Pursuit
Bri said she wants something to relax her mind and Trivial Pursuit seems to be the opposite of that.

>Cards
I guess we can play a card game? Let's at least make it interesting. Anybody got some money on them? Or does Kronos have any poker chips that can be used?

>as long as I get an hour break before dinner…I need to…check my gear.
>I to need to make sure my daggers are…polished properly as well…
>Of course yah do…heh…
If Bri can pick up on it, then it's pretty obvious on what they're actually going to be doing during that 1 hour before dinner. Just be polite and don't call them out on their sexy times, Kronos. ~~~

And maybe you and Bri can use that same hour to have your fun too? Although, it might be too late for that after how we told her no earlier. No wait, that was for the orgy, we didn't say no to just you and her. Or was that included?

Crap, now I'm confused on if we should have sex with Bri an hour before dinner, when Sisah and Doxan leave the room or if we shouldn't do that at all.
>>
No. 832120 ID: fe7355

Well, the only way it could have been more apparent that Sisah and Doxan are gonna be having sex together in that hour is if Sisah just outright said it. But it does conveniently leave a clear hour where it'll be just you and Bri together in which you can make love to each other. Anyway, on to picking a game.

>Let’s see… we always have a deck of cards.
Honestly, you've played so many rounds of poker and other card games over the years it's gotten kinda boring.

>Right… then we have “Trivial Pursuit”… a trivia game about all kinds of subject and-
Considering how much random trivia you've picked up over the years from reading so many books while cooped up in the palace, it really wouldn't be a fair game. Also, you think this edition was written in Risavia during the war, so there's gonna be some nasty anti-Empire and anti-Sakkilian propaganda questions in there.

>And twister?
You just know Bri was thinking "Naked Twister" then. ...Which does hold some interest for you. Mentally file it away for another day. As for today, you'll pass on this one. In addition to the effect having your bodies rubbing against each other would have that you want to avoid for the moment, there's the risk of injury if Bri is on top of the Twister pile and slips. It'd likely be nothing a trip to the medical wing couldn't fix in short order, but better safe than sorry right now.

>We also have this neat game called Hero’s quest for loot. Each player is an adventurer that tries to-
You'll go with this one, since it's more interesting than the rest of the games here. You have to wonder how Bri knows about it's renamed later edition though. Has she played this game before?

>Where did you even put that old thing? Is it even in your apartment? Dammit, where is Cain when you need him? Eh, the violin play can wait…
Eh, it's for the best. You have a selection of music runes that'd be much more pleasant for your company to hear than you screeching through remembering how to play that violin. Set up a few of those runes to cycle through in the background.

>>832062
>If that's anything like Dungeons & Dragons IRL, then we don't have anywhere near enough time to play that!
From the name alone it sounds like it'll be a parody of D&D in a similar vein to the game Munchkin that will play much, much faster. Probably something like rolling up a murderhobo, hack 'n slashing everything in your way and trying to rack up more loot than everyone else first, with zero RP to get in the way of the dumb fun.
>>
No. 832122 ID: a633c6

Trivial pursuit or cards. For some reason, dungeon delving doesn't feel so fun right now. Do that until dinner.
>>
No. 832194 ID: 65a774
File 150611436583.png - (44.67KB , 686x526 , 52.png )
832194

>Honestly, you've played so many rounds of poker and other card games over the years it's gotten kinda boring.
It is a bit... similar, yes. Though there always the thrill of new opponents… hmm…
>If that's anything like Dungeons & Dragons Quarters and Quetzalcoatl, then we don't have anywhere near enough time to play that!
It’s a bit based on Q&Q, true, but it’s a lot more streamlined and simple. It’s not a roleplaying game, after all.
>you think this edition of Trivial was written in Risavia during the war, so there's gonna be some nasty anti-Empire and anti-Sakkilian propaganda questions in there.
Hmm… you remember now why you stopped playing that game… best to let that sleeping wolfhound lie.
>Won't that be an embarrassing death? Crushed to death by playing Twister with 2 Sakkilians and a Serpens.
…right, so no twister… ever… Bri is simply too big for it to be safe…

>Hero's Quest.
:KronosSB: -and then the one with the most loot points wins. Simple, right?
:SisahSB: It’s a bit… complex, but I’ll learn when we start playing.
:DoxanSB: Wait, so are we working together or…?
:BriannahSB: We start as allies… but as there only can be one winner…
:DoxanSB: So it’s a game about backstabbing? …neat…
>You have to wonder how Bri knows about its renamed later edition though. Has she played this game before?
:BriannahSB: Once or twice… Belseth used to own it… and yah ‘now ‘ow much of a nerd ‘e is, eh? That’s why I ‘now about the renaming… ‘e always was a bit grumpy that ‘e never got the original.

So, the question is… seeing as I’m the only one with any real experience of the game…
Do I completely crush them?
…or do I cripple myself to give them a chance?
>>
No. 832195 ID: 65a774
File 150611437567.png - (42.56KB , 686x526 , 53.png )
832195

>If Bri can pick up on it, then it's pretty obvious on what they're actually going to be doing during that 1 hour before dinner.
…Sisah will help Doxan polish his dagger while she sheaths her sword?
>And maybe you and Bri can use that same hour to have your fun too? Although, it might be too late for that after how we told her no earlier.
…You didn’t say that you were completely against all forms of that, just the more… extreme ones… with a lot of people… and potions.

>Set up a few music runes in the background instead of making your company suffer through you screeching on the violin.
:SisahSB: You want some music, sir? I’ll see if I can find one that fits the mood.
:DoxanSB: Yah don’t ‘appen to ‘ave something to drink? I’m a bit thirsty…
:KronosSB: There’s a drinking cabinet over there. Why don’t you pick out something good we all can enjoy? Just make sure it’s light on the alcohol.
:DoxanSB: Thank you, master.

As Doxan is busy getting something to drink and Sisah tries to find some suitable music, Bri once again start lapping the top of your head, only stopping to whisper in your ear…

:BriannahSB: So… while they are busy later… are we going to… yah ‘now…
:KronosSB: Hmm?
:BriannahSB: I’m just asking because… yah already ‘now ‘ow a want to do it with the potion… so… are yah completely against it or...?
:KronosSB:
:BriannahSB: …so… what do yah want to do, love? Can I drink the potion or do yah want me just the way I am? …because I need to drink it soon if we wants its effect to take ‘old in time... and I really want to try it with yah… if yah’re in on it… err… if yah want to do anything at all, that is…
>>
No. 832197 ID: a633c6

'the' potion? Bri you have like an entire alchemy lab kicking around, what's 'the' potion?

I think the two of us have enough chemistry already.
>>
No. 832224 ID: 91ee5f

>>832194
>So, the question is… seeing as I’m the only one with any real experience of the game…
>Do I completely crush them?
>…or do I cripple myself to give them a chance?
Come on, Konos, be nice. Give them a chance.

>>832195
>Bri whispering about the potion.
"I'm afraid you're going to need to be a little more specific about which potion you're referring to."

>…so…what do yah want to do, love? Can I drink the potion or do yah want me just the way I am? …because I need to drink it soon if we wants its effect to take ‘old in time...and I really want to try it with yah…if yah’re in on it…
"I just want to appreciate you for your natural beauty."

>err…if yah want to do anything at all, that is…
"I'm not that mean. Of course, I want to do something.....later.....when they leave."~ *kiss*
>>
No. 832226 ID: 3ce125

>>832197
The Dick Potion.

>>832195
>she really wants to dick you
If she wants it that badly then you should just let her do it. Be compassionate to your wife. But only if she lets you put it in her butt too.

>crush them?
Ask them what they want! If you crush them and they weren't expecting you to play seriously then they might not have any fun, but if you cripple yourself when they were expecting a strong opponent then they also won't have fun. Perform to their expectations, it's part of being a friend and a leader.
>>
No. 832239 ID: 8cb228

I think you should do whichever ONE potion you most want to do, love!
>>
No. 832243 ID: a633c6

Oh, and as for the game, just have fun. I don't know if your idea of fun is playing with your food, or if you'd rather crush your opponents, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women, but you do you.
>>
No. 832256 ID: 600f38

>While I do want to know the truth, sometimes a lie is more important than it. His judgement is what created the necessities for the peace between our nation to be signed… unearthing it now might be a political disaster.

Calling bullshit here.
We need to know the truth, and none of the royal family is going to restart the war over this.
Bri is committed to this alliance, and deserves to know the truth. She is the official representative to the empire, and can decide what information needs to be shared.

Besides, it would be trivial to cast it as a plot to frame the prince in an attempt to extend the war which was uncovered to late. That way if the story leaked it would be a tragedy caused by those who advocate for war.


>>832195
"There's a chance the seed I have at the ready is still... compatible. I'm going to plant it where it will do the most good. ALL of it.
Lets save the potions for when we come back."
>>
No. 832272 ID: fe7355

Just to be clear, she is referring to the temporary sex change potion? If so, then you can say you would not be adverse to her taking a dose and plowing your bum, after you've licked her length like a lollypop. And you also have to admit you're interested in trying that potion yourself at some point too. But in either case only after you read the potion's documentation in full. In her case you want to be sure there's nothing like a warning against ladies taking it if they are trying to get pregnant, since that would indicate a recently conceived embryo would be destroyed by the potion's effect. You're a fast reader so it'll take only a short time and maybe delay the game a little bit.

Don't be so sure that you're the only one with real experience at this game. Briannah may have played much more of it with Belseth than she's letting on and withholding that fact so she'd be underestimated. It is a game of backstabbing, after all. So play to the best of your ability, but be a gracious winner if you do trounce everyone else. No gloating.

...And is that that damn Sakkilian anatomy book on the table to your left? The one that you read three nights ago and nearly had a panic attack when it confirmed the extent of Sakkilian consumption capabilities? What is it still doing here? You'd have expected Cain to have returned it to the library by now after its effect on you. ...Wait, did you tell Cain about that or to return that book? You can't remember if you did, so maybe the maid just put it back on the table from where you dropped it. Well, you're not going to ever open it again without a real damn good reason to, especially now that Xuv's suppression of your fear of Sakkilians is gone.
>>
No. 832457 ID: 8c51fa

>>832195
She's getting really insistent on this, isn't she? Didn't she already agree to stop pressing the issue? Shutting her down so often is starting to make me feel guilty, but it's not making me any more comfortable with it. I can accept that her potions are safe for recreational use, but I don't want to risk using them while she's pregnant unless we can be certain that it won't have any side effects on a developing infant. And I don't want to just hope for the best because they're not supposed to be permanent or affect her insides; there are lots of drugs that have only mild effects on adults but can cause serious birth defects if taken during pregnancy. If we don't have strong evidence that it won't do any harm to a baby, then I'll be constantly worried about it until the egg finally hatches and we can see our child with our own eyes.

Again, it's not that I don't want to try it or that I'm rejecting that side of her. I just want to be careful, becaue I know how much we'll regret it if something goes wrong. And it's not like we have to give them up completely; we'll have more chances to use them in the future. In the mean time, there are plenty of other things we can do instead.

...But that's what she's worried about, isn't it? We might not want to say it out loud so she won't have to dwell on it, but she's probably worried that this will be the last time you spend with each other. She wants to try things now because she might never get another chance. Honestly, I can understand why she feels that way; there are some things that I want to try now, before we put our lives at risk, but we won't have time to try them all. I know the old saying "hope for the best, prepare for the worst", but I think we should prepare for the best too.

And if this does turn out to be the last time we spend together, we should make it a time we can look back on without regret. And I know Briannah would regret it immensely if the last thing she did with you was pressuring you into something you weren't okay with. So let's just enjoy ourselves for a while and have a day we'll remember fondly.
>>
No. 832495 ID: 22d3a4

Yeah that sounds like a great time and everything, but it will be the worst possible time to be dealing with the fallout of a potion's effects if shit goes wrong, again. If she tells you it's safe, remind her she has a very relative definition of safe.
>>
No. 832508 ID: fe7355

>>832457
Those are some very good points. We don't know what kind of testing and trials that temporary sex change potion was put through regarding those who are pregnant, if any. Who did the study and on whom? Was it done properly? Was data not altered, fabricated or omitted? Has the study been repeated with same or similar results by others? Did they thoroughly study the effects on very early pregnancy, in the few weeks before a pregnancy test can even detect one? It could be that the potion's effect would disrupt the embryo, killing it. And then there's the possibility of other lasting effects on the child. It wouldn't be a stretch to think that this potion could mess up their sexual development in some way. There's just so many ways that potion, and others, could be bad for a pregnancy and we wouldn't know it.

It may feel like you're being excessively cautious, but it's warranted as this is the only chance you two are going to get to have a child together. When Bri takes a pregnancy test in a few weeks, when it'll be 100% accurate, if it comes up negative you don't want the two of you left with a feeling that it may have been because of something you two did that could have avoided and not just Xuv's magic going away.

Unfortunately, this caution also extends to alcohol and other drugs, recreational or medicinal. This could be a issue with the psychiatric potions Bri has to take regularly to keep her depression in check, or to get to sleep. She can't just stop taking them because the effect of not having them on her and her pregnancy would most likely be worse than continuing to take them. You need to ask the Royal Alchemist and other alchemy scholars and masters about this and her other potions' possible effects on a pregnancy.

However, no potion doesn't mean she can't pound her beloved's behind in another way. She could wear a strap-on, or use a double-ended dildo, possibly for that "butt buddies" thing she mentioned a few days ago, or use another of the many sex toys she has. Of course it's not the same as if she had a flesh and blood penis, but isn't this more about the joy of feeling so intimate with the one you love than the method used?

>>832495
While it's unlikely that she'll take a incorrect dose since after what happened with Kronos they'll both double-check that it is correct, it may have another detrimental effect while on the mission when it wears off. Briannah being distracted even a little by the feeling of her genitals shifting from male back to female could mean the difference between her reacting in time to block a strike or failing to.
>>
No. 832657 ID: 8c51fa

>>832194
Briannah might not be as inexperienced as she claims. It wouldn't be the first time she tried that trick. If she's trying to fake you out, then it would be enjoyable to match wits with her, but if she's not then I don't want to ruin her fun.

Here's what I suggest. For the most part, play to help the party and increase their overall success, so that everyone will be having fun with the game. At the same time, make it look like there's a subtle weakness in your strategy, one which would make you a tempting target but which only an experienced player would be able to notice and exploit... but also set it up so that anyone who tries to do that would be caught in a hidden counter-trap and be easy prey. Briannah would appreciate an opponent who's grown wise to her tricks... and if Doxan or Sisah prove to be cleverer than you think, we'll be able to catch them too. Don't forget what we learned about not overlooking pawns.

>>832508
That's also important to consider later, but for now we don't need to make in-depth plans for matters of long-term importance. As long as we don't mess anything up, we can just relax and have fun for now, and make plans for the future when we've gotten past the imminent danger.

I also think that we shouldn't be too hard on Briannah about it unless she keeps being stubborn. There are good reasons why she shouldn't be using magic potions during pregnancy, but we don't need to bring them up now for the sake of making her feel guilty. We can just tell her that it's going to take a lot of evidence to put our minds at ease, and reassure her that there are plenty of other things we can try today. For instance, she's probably got a leather harness somewhere that would look good on Kronos. We'd be happy to do something like that today as long as it's just between us.

Here's an idea. Bri can pick out a potion for Kronos to try, and he'll try to guess its effects before the end of the game. As long as it doesn't interfere with his ability to concentrate during the game, it shouldn't be a problem; I trust her enough to be confident that she won't accidentally mess up the dosage or pick something that would last long enough to interfere with the mission.
>>
No. 832802 ID: 65a774
File 150637640092.png - (33.28KB , 686x526 , 53.png )
832802

>Briannah might not be as inexperienced as she claims. It wouldn't be the first time she tried that trick.
You can’t underestimate her, can you?
>For the most part, play to help the party and increase their overall success, so that everyone will be having fun with the game.
We’re supposed to have fun, all of us… you’ll do your best to make sure everyone does.
>At the same time, make it look like there's a subtle weakness in your strategy, one which only an experienced player would be able to notice and exploit...
Can you even do that in this game? Hmm…

>Bri, you have like an entire alchemy lab kicking around. Just to be clear, you’re is referring to the temporary sex change potion?
:BriannahSB: …yes?
:KronosSB: You know… I think the two of us have enough chemistry already.
:BriannahSB: Yet we’ve still ‘aven’t filled the smaller flask with liquid, ‘ave we?
:KronosSB: It’s just… I still don’t trust it… not if you’re actually…
:BriannahSB: It’s safe, trust me.
:KronosSB: Still… I’ll be constantly worried about it until the egg finally hatches… and if you never carry any eggs at all… I… I can’t help but blame myself…
:BriannahSB: … … …if yah’re really that worried then… I’ll relent. I won’t take any potions like that… not until this is all over… still… I was really looking forward to this…
:KronosSB: We’ll have more chances in the future… meanwhile, no potion doesn’t mean you can’t pound my butt, does it?
:BriannahSB: …heh, I guess not. Hmm… maybe we can finally become butt-buddies… I do ‘ave a double sided weapon lying around… or do yah prefer a more classic sword?
:KronosSB: Err… heh… um… I mean… maybe a bit soon to… or h-how about this… you can choose a potion for me to try… and I’ll try to guess what you gave me before the game ends?
:BriannahSB: Now that does sound kind of fun…
:KronosSB: Though… with my luck it will be the worst possible time to be dealing with the fallout of a potion’s effect if shit goes wrong… again.
:BriannahSB: Don’t worry, I’ll make sure yah don’t overdose again. Yah trust me, don’t yah?
:KronosSB: I do… but then there's the chance that the seed I have at the ready is still... compatible. Maybe we shouldn’t… um… waste it?
:BriannahSB: Heh… are yah afraid that little Beatrix will never be because… yah ‘now, I was about to say something a bit to morbid there… ‘ot, but morbid.

:BriannahSB: So anyway… I’m guessing the potion isn’t an option anymore… so… what do yah want to do instead? Become Butt-buddies and play with some toys with me? …or do yah trust me enough to try one of my… special potions? …or do yah just want… hrnn… do what we usually do?

You can’t help but hear the disappointment in her voice as she mentions the last option. Yet you do not have much time before something else catches your attention. Both Sisah and Doxan have found what they are looking for… yet they both seem to be at odds to the others choice. Sisah is arguing that the alcohol Doxan chose is to strong, while Doxan is arguing the music Sisah chose is to hectic.

:BriannahSB: …Maybe yah should go sort those two out while yah think, eh?
>>
No. 832878 ID: 3ce125

>>832802
You trust her enough to try a potion. Butt stuff isn't off the table regardless.

>bodyguard squabble
Ask them to pick out something everyone can agree on. Maybe they can swap tasks if that gives better results?
>>
No. 832884 ID: a633c6

>Sisah is arguing that the alcohol Doxan chose is to strong, while Doxan is arguing the music Sisah chose is to hectic.
Is there a problem, girls?
If they complain that neither of them is a girl tell them to damn well act like it. You still have that music box, right? Bring that out, along with more varieties of alchohol.

Tell Bri we'll see where the night goes and you'll keep an open mind if she does too.
>>
No. 832894 ID: 91ee5f

>>832802
Whisper to Bri, "I'm not that mean! We'll skip the potions this time, buuuut.....I guess you could pull out some toys if you want."

>Sisah is arguing that the alcohol Doxan chose is too strong, while Doxan is arguing the music Sisah chose is too hectic.
"Oh, I didn't know you two were married! When did that happen and why didn't you invite me and Bri?"

And when they ask what you're talking about or say that they're not married, that's when you say, "Then why are you two arguing like an old married couple?"

After that, go see what they both picked out. And then you and Bri help them decide if the alcohol is too strong and/or the music is too hectic.
>>
No. 832942 ID: fe7355

"What the heck has gotten into them? Yeah, I better go sort 'em out." Walk over and ask 'em what's the big argument about, and say that everyone here should give their input on the matter. For the drink, remember that we'll be having a fine wine chosen by Doxan at dinner in a few hours, so keeping the alcohol level very low would be prudent so we aren't inhibited any on the big mission. As for the music, you're partial to something symphonic and sweeping, evoking wide horizons, but what does Bri have in mind? You remember she said she likes big, bombastic orchestrated pieces and little, slightly sad songs.

If the effect of Xuv's magic on your sperm is still there, it likely effected every sperm in you, not just the ones you're about to "shoot." And if you remember correctly what you read of male sexual biology, there's more than one "shot" worth of matured sperm down there "in the pipe" at any one time. This means you'll have more than one chance, you just don't know how many more. So try and avoid spreading your seed where it won't possibly take, especially the first few shots, and not use more than a few this evening. But you do know that once you and Bri and through this ordeal and it's a brand new day, you two are gonna hole up in your bedroom, mutually knock back fertility potions and breed her 'till every drop of possibly compatible seed you have is in her.

As for your decision on what Bri is suggesting, you trust her more than enough to take her special potion. And you'll be up for trying some butt shenanigans in bed as well. However, you do want to get to plow her and plant your seed at least once first. You'll take a little alchemical assistance if you can't recover afterwards in a timely manner for the other stuff.

>Heh… are yah afraid that little Beatrix will never be because…
Is that the name Briannah imagined she'd give her first daughter? You wonder what special significance it has to Bri, if any. You also wonder if she has a boy's name lined up too. Your guess is it'd be her father's name, "Eratin."
>>
No. 833128 ID: 8c51fa

>>832802
>Can you even do that in this game? Hmm…
Maybe, maybe not. It would require a high degree of skill and subtlety to pull off, if you get the chance at all, but it would be fun to see if any of them can see it coming.

Is there a way to influence whose character gets which items? You could try to set things up so that each of them gets treasure that makes them strong against monsters but weak against another player, so that if any of them betray the group you'll have a good shot at defeating them in turn.

Ultimately, we've just got to remember that our goal isn't to beat the other players, we're just here to have fun. Of course, we can have fun trying to win, but the competition is what makes it exciting.

>narrowly avoiding morbid sex jokes
Thank Heaven for that. We already got too much of that from Xuv.

Well, I guess we can't really thank Heaven for that. We can thank Briannah, then. Mentally, because mentioning it now would be kind of awkward.

>anal toys
>secret magical potions
Both of those sound good to me. Bri knows her potions well enough to avoid ones that would cause trouble later, and I know you'd enjoy getting pegged in your cute fluffy butt as much as she would. And if Bri's in the mood for it, today would be a good day to let her try binding and dominating you. I know you've had some interest in that for a while.

>drink selection problems
Do their species have different alcohol tolerances? I agree that we should play it safe with our drinks here, since we're also going to be drinking at dinner and won't have time to get it out of our system. Do you know how much alcohol is in the drink Doxan picked out, and how much it would take for you to be inebriated? We should make sure to undercut that threshold by a significant amount.

>music selection problems
Do you recognize the music that Sisah chose? I think we should pick something heroic and bold but not too frantic, something that would go well with an exploration scene as opposed to a battle scene. Maybe we could have two soundtracks, one for exploration and one for combat. Would it be inconvenient to switch between them?

Since they don't like each other's choices, ask them what they would have chosen instead. But there's no need to give them any grief over their disagreement; it's a normal part of the planning process. Everyone's got their own tastes.

>>832942
>residual magic sperm
I don't think that's going to be an issue. We saw that the earth elemental sucked out everything remotely Xuv-related out of Kronos, and we don't have a reason to believe there's anything left in him anywhere. The elemental didn't show any interest in Kronos' genitalia, which is fortunate for several reasons. But I guess Xuv could have altered it at the genetic level rather than just applying god-magic, so there's no harm in trying it.

Could we extract and preserve Kronos' sperm for later? Has Risavian science figured out how to do that yet?
>>
No. 833525 ID: 65a774
File 150670424543.png - (76.24KB , 686x526 , 54.png )
833525

>We've just got to remember that our goal isn't to beat the other players, we're just here to have fun. Of course, we can have fun trying to win, but the competition is what makes it exciting.
Indeed, this is a time for having fun. You’re probably worrying about it unnecessarily.
>Is there a problem, girls? If they complain that neither of them is a girl tell them to damn well act like it.
Considering one of them is a girl and the other is from a culture that sees women as superior you’re not sure that insult would really work.
>The elemental didn't show any interest in Kronos' genitalia, which is fortunate for several reasons.
Very fortunate… though, does that mean Xuv “blessing” is already gone? …or did she do something a bit more… permeant?
>I know you'd enjoy getting pegged in your cute fluffy butt as much as she would.
… … …w-well, that’s… um… w-why are you even having this d-discussion with yourself?


>You trust her enough to try a potion.
:BriannahSB: Oh, really? Hmm… hehe… I know just the one yah deserves…
:KronosSB: …why do I have the feeling I will regret this.
>Butt stuff isn't off the table regardless.
:BriannahSB: I’ll make sure to not go to ‘ard on ye, love, don’t want to walk funny later, eh?
:KronosSB: I… um… appreciate the concern…
>You do want to get to plow her and plant your seed at least once first.
:BriannahSB: But do we really have time for that?
:KronosSB: I could always take a potion to speed things up a bit, can’t I?
:BriannahSB: …weren’t yah against those kind of potions just a moment ago? …yah ‘now, in case it ends up like last time?
:KronosSB: …oh right… I… kind of forgot about that for a second. Right, no potions like that… but I do trust you to choose a less… um… dangerous potion for me now.
:BriannahSB: Of course. I’ll go get it right away.
:KronosSB: Meanwhile, I’ll sort out those two.

As you approach the bodyguard pair, they are still arguing over their respective choices.

:KronosSB: Oh, I didn't know you two were married! When did that happen and why didn't you invite me and Bri?
:DoxanSB: Eh?
:SisahSB: Oh har har, sir. No, we’re just having a discussion.
:DoxanSB: A civilized one at that… not counting a few uncivilized words…
>Ask them to pick out something everyone can agree on.
:SisahSB: Well… there’s the problem, sir…
:DoxanSB: She got kind of a unrefined taste.
:SisahSB: And Doxan got a shit one, sir.

>Since they don't like each other's choices, ask them what they would have chosen instead.
:DoxanSB: Something a bit calmer… softer. I rather not stress myself up unnecessary before a mission. I’ve always preferred to relax... to meditate…
:SisahSB: …to fall asleep. No, I don’t think listening to a waterfall will be very fitting to the board game. As for the liquid… let’s just say I rather not have any alcohol inside when we venture down… and I prefer those that watch our back are the same.
:DoxanSB: It’s not that strong! Besides, the only thing without alcohol ‘ere is juice! Why drink freshly pressed juice worth a ten when we got a hundred years old bottle worth tens of thousands?
>For the drink, remember that we'll be having a fine wine chosen by Doxan at dinner in a few hours, so keeping the alcohol level very low would be prudent so we aren't inhibited any on the big mission.
:SisahSB: Which mean we’ll get even more alcohol in us…
:DoxanSB: Ugh… fine… but I’ll get to choose anything for dinner, yah ‘ear?
>I think we should pick something heroic and bold but not too frantic, something that would go well with an exploration scene as opposed to a battle scene.
:SisahSB: Go well with exploration?
:KronosSB: That way it’s both a bit calming as well as uplifting, no?
:DoxanSB: Hmm… I guess?
:SisahSB: I’ll see what I can find… though, your selection isn’t optimal… and it’s hard to see what is what in the dark like this.
:DoxanSB: Dark? It’s only just after three in the middle of the summer! ‘ow can it be dark? …actually, it is a bit dark in ‘ere, isn’t it?

As the two of them leaves, Briannah returns holding a small bottle with a green, fizzling liquid in it.

:BriannahSB: Well? …are yah ready?
>>
No. 833526 ID: 91ee5f

>>833525
Uhhh guys? Are the moons supposed to be that close to each other already?!
>>
No. 833527 ID: 3ce125

What the fuck is fucking going on?!
>>
No. 833530 ID: 65a774
File 150670677299.png - (19.79KB , 686x526 , 55.png )
833530

>Are the moons supposed to be that close to each other already?!
:BriannahSB: ‘ey, is it dark already? Doesn’t the sun usually set in like… six ‘ours?
:SisahSB: …um… the moons aren’t supposed to be up yet…
:DoxanSB: …are the moons about to… kiss?
:KronosSB:
:BriannahSB:
>>
No. 833531 ID: 0d45a9

Aw, fuck. How on earth are they that close already? I thought we had more time.
>>
No. 833533 ID: 3ce125

Looks like the Forgotten One has played their hand. Only a god could push time forwards like this. Wouldn't Sisah have noticed the magical surge required for that though?
Is it possible this is an illusion?

Time to storm the crypt I guess.
>>
No. 833541 ID: 91ee5f

>>833530
What time is it? Look at a clock to see if you guys took longer than you thought trying to play a game or if the sun and moons were magically forced speed up!

Everyone go find Kira and/or Thalia right now!
>>
No. 833564 ID: 600f38

>>833530
"Bri, cork that back up.
Everybody, the meeting point is the entrance to the catacombs. ASAP.
Sisah, get Zela.
Doxan, inform the General.
>>
No. 833571 ID: 5ca8f3

>>833564
This seems like the best course of action. In the meantime, gather your armor and weapons.
>>
No. 833603 ID: fe7355

How? Fucking how?! Making it day or night, moving the whole damn planet and moons around, is firmly in the category of divine level magic! They shouldn't have that kind of power until after they do the ritual, not before! This is some epic fucking bullshit!

...Wait, wouldn't the surge of magic to do that been gigantic, more than enough for Sisah's eyepiece to pick up or at least sense the palace wards blocking it? And why didn't they just go to exactly when the twin moons kiss? Also, if they did have that kind of power they'd have won already. So what else could it be?

Mass illusion? But it doesn't make sense for them to do something that would hasten our response. Temporal stasis? Freeze the whole palace in time, maybe even the whole capitol besides the Grand Temple, so nobody can challenge them. That fits better, but if that's it you don't know why they stopped doing that before the ritual even started. Maybe they needed all the magic power for the ritual. Well, whatever the reason you thankfully still have some time to stop them. Get moving!

Tell Bri to put that potion back and get her helmet on 'cause it's go time. We've gotta hurry and round up Zela, Thalia, Tim and Xarrin, meet up with Kira, then do a equipment check before heading to the royal crypt. ...Fuck, this temporal bullshit is gonna seriously screw with the plan for the distraction attack, since there isn't going to be nearly as much time as expected to organize it. We may have to go in without it, though you really hope that isn't necessary.

Check the clock on the way out, and any other clocks you pass by. They've probably all been effected as well so they won't be telling the correct time, but you may as well look at 'em. Also grab a astronomer or anyone else that has knowledge of the moons and find out how long it is until they "kiss," based on the current gap between them.
>>
No. 833646 ID: 094652

Genius, really; it's subtle for commoners, ridiculous for scholars, deemed unimportant by the military, deemed inevitable by kings, and even if you disrupt the ritual and kill the caster, the physical effect can't be stopped without precise and abundant force. Best of all, it'll look like the biggest accident in the solar system - well, second biggest, if you count the sun going supernova.

I don't care how ridiculous it sounds, but you have to find a way off this planet. NOW.
>>
No. 833853 ID: 65a774
File 150687809060.png - (48.26KB , 686x526 , 56.png )
833853

>Looks like the Forgotten One has played their hand. Only a god could push time forwards like this.
We’re still not sure what this Forgotten One goal is… or if it’s even part of everything that’s happening. What’s for certain is that something very powerful is currently working against us… but if it’s a new player or if it’s simply the nightmares doing…
>I don't care how ridiculous it sounds, but you have to find a way off this planet. NOW.
...how? As far as you know no one has ever reached the heavens, not even the gods… besides, there’s nothing out there anyway. Just a bunch of specks of light and darkness... this world is the center of the universe, after all.

>What time is it?
It’s just after three… supposedly.
>Check the clock on the way out, and any other clocks you pass by.
All the clocks here say the same thing… that it is just after three o’clock.
>Gather your armor and weapons.
You arm yourself with both your guns and make sure your armor is properly fitted, while Briannah grabs her helmet, sword and a few potions of some kind.


>Wouldn't Sisah have noticed the magical surge required for that though?
:SisahSB: My tools haven’t given off any kind of readings on this, sir. It seems a bit beyond… um… beyond what my enhancements were designed for. What they were made to detect are simple parlor tricks compared to this. This is someone who’s throttling the very heavens, sir.
>Sisah, get Zela.
:SisahSB: No. I’m not going to leave your side, sir. Send a servant instead.
:KronosSB: Right…
>Bri, cork that back up.
:BriannahSB: Oh… um… right…

Bri looks around a bit, searching for something before simply drinking the potion and throwing it in the trashbin.

:KronosSB: Err… was that really…?
:BriannahSB: Don’t worry, it was just water… with some bitter tasting coloring and fizz…
:KronosSB: …water?
:BriannahSB: Yes, water. I wanted to see if yah would drive yeself mad trying to figure out what I gave yah while we played. Kinda funny, eh?
:KronosSB: I… guess?
:BriannahSB: Then I’d give yah the real thing after the game was done… something a bit more… exotic, heh…

>Get out of the apartment. We've gotta hurry and round up Zela, Thali-
:KronosSB: :ThaliaSB: -OFF!!
>>
No. 833854 ID: 65a774
File 150687810681.png - (61.16KB , 686x526 , 57.png )
833854

:KronosSB: Thalia?
:ThaliaSB: There you are. Good. I guess you’ve seen the sky as well? Queen Kira is preparing to assault the grand temple in a few minutes, so we need to hurry and prepare for our journey down into the catacombs. We only need to wait for the mage to finish his coffee…
:KronosSB: Coffee? You mean Tim?
:ThaliaSB: Indeed. Tim, Xarrin, Elete and Zela are all ready to for this venture.
:EleteSB: Zela has proven to be quite the innocent maiden. Why, I’d pay handsomely for a steady supply of her pure blood.
:ZelaSB: Err… I’m n-not-
:EleteSB: Not that kind of maiden, thankfully.
:ZelaSB: Wait, w-what was that a-about… err… blood?
:EleteSB: We’ll discuss that later.

>Is it a mass illusion? But it doesn't make sense for them to do something that would hasten our response. Maybe temporal stasis?
:ThaliaSB: So far the only thing we know for sure is that its local… very local… as in its only visible over the palace.
:EleteSB: Tim had a theory that it was a portal through time itself of some kind…
:KronosSB: A portal through time? Is that even possible?
:EleteSB: Tim said the same thing… but we’re facing something that bend reality to its will… something like this might be a simple matter.
:KronosSB: …yet it hasn’t done a very good job trying to stop us…
:EleteSB: Have it actually tried? For all we know everything we’ve witness and experience is simply side-effects from its true goals.
:KronosSB: Or it’s simply not as powerful as you think…
:ThaliaSB: Either way, we need to move out soon. I believe everyone is ready… unless you have any last minute changes you want to do, sir Kronos.
>>
No. 833860 ID: 3ce125

Foreshadowing says Cain is the Forgotten One and the Nightmare goons are under orders to avoid killing Kronos either because of personal attachment or because Kronos needs to do something important.

>>833854
This might be a good time to ask how Cain is able to sneak up on two skilled bodyguards without any trace of magic, while pushing around a tea cart.

It'd also be a great time to contact Life but I'm not sure we have any access to beginnings or endings right now.
>>
No. 833888 ID: fe7355

If you're still at or near your apartment, hurry back and pocket the music rune containing your and Bri's song. It helped in her dream, so maybe playing it could bring her back if she gets mentally assaulted and incapacitated.

And ask her to open or take her helmet off for a moment so you can give her a deep kiss. She's probably going to be keeping it on and closed for the whole mission, so this will be your last chance for you two to kiss for awhile. ...And hopefully not the last one.

Since it's feeling kinda like you've fallen into a Q&Q campaign, ask about bringing a couple coils of rope and a couple of poles. They'll be good for trap checking in the Catacombs, among other things.

Ask Thalia if anyone has measured the distance between the moons to determine how long we have.

>...while Briannah grabs her helmet, sword and a few potions of some kind.
Ask Bri what potions she got and which one is which so you'll know if you or anyone else in the group needs to use them. You'd be right to assume healing ones, with maybe a stamina one? ...Not that kind of stamina, but the general physical kind.

And does she have a shield as well? You don't think you've seen her equipped with one, even in her dream, which strikes you as a little odd. You'd think with her great strength she could wield one easy in addition to the rest of her gear and armor.

>>833860
>Foreshadowing says Cain is the Forgotten One...
Nah, my money is on him being a agent of Fate, meant to help Kronos survive until at least this pivotal moment. But there's no way for us to find out that we know of, so we can only speculate.
>>
No. 833894 ID: 91ee5f

>>833854
>Not that kind of maiden, thankfully.
Good news, Kronos! You didn't accidentally literally fuck away your chances of stopping this!

>unless you have any last minute changes you want to do, sir Kronos.
"The only changes I'd want are: Getting a chance to eat, understanding what Belseth was trying to tell us with his hints, Belseth actually making his hints easier to understand, and preferably, having none of this 'end of the world' bullshit happen in the first place! But other than that, no, I can't think of anything else."
>>
No. 833974 ID: fe7355

Get the prayer book out of your chest's secret compartment and pocket it. If it ends up in a situation where the rituals to the Six in it will be needed in some way to stop what's coming, better to have that book than rely solely on just Tim and Elete's memories of the rituals. You'll also be able to show the book to Elete so she can tell you if the ritual to Xuv she got was the one from the book or a fake.
>>
No. 833995 ID: a633c6

Get your armor, and reloads for your gun. Bri should get her armor too.
>>
No. 834043 ID: 65a774
File 150696549266.png - (25.25KB , 686x526 , 58.png )
834043

>Foreshadowing says Cain is the Forgotten One.
Cain, your manservant, is a god so old time itself has forgotten him? That sounds… implausible. While yes, he can appear and disappear on seemingly a whim, but a god?
>My money is on him being an agent of Fate, meant to help Kronos survive until at least this pivotal moment.
Hmm… considering how many times he’s pulled you out of the fire… still… he’s your manservant… why would something like fate care enough about you to be a manservant?
>It'd also be a great time to contact Life but I'm not sure we have any access to beginnings or endings right now.
You guess you can always have someone hanged for a petty reason like the rest of nobility does… or just crush an insect or something.

>Good news, Kronos! You didn't accidentally literally fuck away your chances of stopping this!
…the question is still, have you non-literally fucked away your chances of stopping this?
>If you're still at or near your apartment, hurry back and pocket the music rune containing your and Bri's song.
You’re just outside the door, grabbing the rune wouldn’t be a problem.
>Get your armor, and reloads for your gun. Bri should get her armor too.
You’re already wearing your armor… and the guns are loaded and ready.
>Get the prayer book out of your chest's secret compartment and pocket it.
Right… you guess it might be useful…


>The only changes I'd want are: Getting a chance to eat, understanding what Belseth was trying to tell us with his hints, Belseth actually making his hints easier to understand, and preferably, having none of this 'end of the world' bullshit happen in the first place!
:ThaliaSB: While I can’t really help with you misunderstanding your boyfriend, I do have a few soldier rations on me if you’re really hungry.
:KronosSB: *Nibble* …w-what is this thing?
:BriannahSB: It’s protein, that’s what it is. *Crunch* Mmm… I love these… *CrunchCrunch*so much better than the crap the Empire made…
:KronosSB: Ugh… I think I rather go hungry…
>Ask about bringing a couple coils of rope and a couple of poles. They'll be good for trap checking in the Catacombs, among other things.
:ThaliaSB: We got ropes and other tools already ready. It’s expected that we might need to use it on our venture down into the catacombs.
>Ask Thalia if anyone has measured the distance between the moons to determine how long we have.
:ThaliaSB: We are not sure… an hour? Maybe more? We do not have a lot of time, that we know.

>Show the book to Elete so she can tell you if the ritual to Xuv she got was the one from the book or a fake.
:EleteSB: This looks exactly like the ritual I got… it’s almost uncanny how well copied it was… even this ink stain was copied…
>Ask Bri what potions she got and which one is which so you'll know if you or anyone else in the group needs to use them.
:BriannahSB: They are all ‘ealing potions. Those are the ones that are the most useful. So if yah start bleeding, just swing one of these and yah should stabilize... though the wound might still be crippling until yah get proper ‘ealing.
>And does she have a shield as well? You don't think you've seen her equipped with one, even in her dream, which strikes you as a little odd.
:BriannahSB: Shield? I’m wearing full plate armor, a shield seems a bit redundant on that.
:KronosSB: …you’re not wearing anything on your legs, though.
:BriannahSB: Well… I usually wear armor there to but as I wasn’t expecting to do something like this when I traveled ‘ere… either way, I’m not trained with a shield… and it would ‘inder my fighting style with a two handed broadsword… or in this case, probably a longsword as we will be somewhere a bit cramped.

>Ask her to open or take her helmet off for a moment so you can give her a deep kiss.
Luckily, she isn’t wearing her helmet yet…
:TimSB: Get a room, you two… I haven’t had enough coffee for this…
>>
No. 834044 ID: 65a774
File 150696550045.png - (32.75KB , 686x526 , 59.png )
834044

…and here you are once again, the crypt of the royal family.

:ThaliaSB: So… where to, Prince? You’re the one who said there was a secret way into the catacombs from here…
:SisahSB: We’re ready to move out at your command, sir.
:TimSB: Ugh… why does something like this always happen when I’m tired?
:EleteSB: As soon as we enter the catacombs I might be able to lead us to the crypt of the gods. We just need to get into it first.
:BriannahSB: Well, Kronos? Show them ‘ow it’s done…

Right... like Belseth note said… “5:16, 3:42. Crypt, towards temple, 50 steps, right, way down.”… whatever that means.
>>
No. 834048 ID: 3ce125

>>834043
>This looks exactly like the ritual I got
Looks like Cain did not follow your directions.

>>834044
Maybe the number sequence is a combination. Six gods, six numbers. Can you press any of those marked stones on the ground? Which god is number 1 though? Maybe the one pointing towards the temple? Or should we just assume the god of light is 1?
>>
No. 834070 ID: 91ee5f

>>834043
>This looks exactly like the ritual I got…it’s almost uncanny how well copied it was…even this ink stain was copied…
>even this ink stain was copied…
If someone copied that by hand, they wouldn't have copied a stain like that. Could someone have magically created a copy of the rituals and then given them to her?

>>834044
According to Belseth's notes, I think we're supposed to go towards the direction of the Temple and walk 50 steps in that direction. Then when we get to 50, we're supposed to turn right and there will be a way down right there.

Also tell them that if we end up getting lost, it's because Belseth gave us terrible directions.
>>
No. 834073 ID: 600f38

>>834043
>You guess you can always have someone hanged for a petty reason like the rest of nobility does…
Hang some nobility for the petty reason of hanging someone for a petty reason.
Make it a point that you're new to this whole authority thing, and you're taking cues for how underlings are supposed to be treated from your own underlings; you will treat the nobility under you the way they treat those under themselves, and what you've learned so far is that executions are supposed to be regularly applied for entertainment and discipline - although you personally find the practice distasteful, if that's how the nobility thinks is required to ensure obedience...
>>
No. 834087 ID: 830fb7

>>834043
Long sword? Over a broadsword? In terms of size they are around the same length. A long sword is generally around the same length as a bastard sword, with the only main difference being that a bastard sword has a 2 handed hilt. And broadswords are topically arround that length.
>>
No. 834092 ID: a633c6

>it’s almost uncanny how well copied it was… even this ink stain was copied…
Once you're done here, you need to carefully compare the original copy of your assignment and the revised version Cain gave to your sister.
>>
No. 834218 ID: fe7355

Look around the place and compare it to what you remember from when you were last here and under the influence of Xuv and toxic spores. How is the floor the same or different? And what about the wall with the bricked up doorway marked with Xuv's symbol? Is there anything of note there? Anything of note on the ceiling?

Before you say your ideas, has everyone been told the contents of Belseth's note so they can think up their own ideas? If not, do that now. Now, you have five ideas.

First idea is walking fifty steps along the tunnel to the Grand Temple and looking at the wall on the right for any marks on the stonework that match the numbers in the note. Issues with this is where to start walking from and how long a stride to use. We'll go with from the center of the crypt and a stride that matches Belseth's to start with.

Unfortunately, a big problem is if those fifty steps take us beyond the door. Open that door and we'll probably catch either gunfire, crossbow bolts or magic spells from down the temple end of the tunnel. And they might have rigged the door with a trap to blow up anyone who opens it, or just barricaded it shut from the other side. We got a pole long enough to try pushing it open from a safe spot, or can we pull it open with a rope? But if we do, you don't want to open the door until we exhaust all other ideas because it'll expose anyone who crosses in front of the open tunnel to shots from down it.

Second idea is similar to the first, except that the 5:16 and 3:42 correspond to times when the way into the Catacombs is open in that spot on the right side of the tunnel. You hope it's not this one because we'll have waste... What time is it now? Quarter past three? Later? Around twenty to thirty minutes waiting around when we have only roughly a hour left.

Third idea is that the "50 steps" may refer to stair steps. Are there fifty or more steps down from the surface into the royal crypt? If there are, then look to the right at the 50th step for any numbered markings to be pressed.

Fourth idea is that the numbers refer to the Six and have something to do with the medallion set into the floor here. Assign the "1" to the symbol pointing towards the Grand Temple and the rest in order going clockwise, then press them in the order in Belseth's note. Of course Xuv's symbol would have been chiseled out long ago, but just pressing the spot where it was may be enough. But if it doesn't work then assigning the numbers to the symbols counter-clockwise. And if that doesn't work, brute force it by putting the staring "1" at each god's symbol in turn, trying clockwise and counter-clockwise number assignments. ...But you're not so sure about this idea because it doesn't include the "50 steps" from the note.

And your fifth idea is that Belseth's note might only make sense in the context of either where he left the pack with the note, or where your mother's urn is. Better check both of those locations.

Also, double check that everyone knows that we have to move as a group with Zela. Which unfortunately will make checking these ideas out slower because we can't split up, but that can't be helped.

>This looks exactly like the ritual I got… it’s almost uncanny how well copied it was… even this ink stain was copied…
Dammit, it's looking more like Cain made a legit copy of Xuv's ritual, going against your orders. ...Though, would he have made such a exacting copy given it wasn't needed and there was a time constraint? Are there magical means to make copies of documents that could have been used on the prayer book to make such a exact copy? Or mundane ones using mirrors and other optics to project a image on paper to copy? ...It's possible he inserted a exacting copy he made earlier while doing the translation for you. But dammit, why would he have given Elete a real copy of the ritual at all?! It makes no sense when he had to at least strongly suspect it would be used for ill.

Hand the prayer book to Elete for a minute and ask her to look at the other five rituals and tell you if the copies she got are as uncanny as the one for Xuv. Then ask Tim if Cain came to him a few days ago to ask him to make a convincing fake Xuv ritual along with real copies of the other five rituals. Cain almost certainly did do that and put a copy he made of the real Xuv ritual in in place of the fake one, but it doesn't hurt to check to be sure. Also ask Tim how exact were the copies. They didn't include more than what was required to perform the rituals, right?

>Get a room, you two… I haven’t had enough coffee for this…
...You didn't realize it until just now, but in addition to fears of losing best friend to Briannah, Tim is probably also bitter that you get your true love dropped in your proverbial lap while he hasn't found someone to love. You really are gonna need to make sure to work to stay friends with Tim despite your marriage and new obligations, and also help him find someone who'll love him.

>You guess you can always have someone hanged for a petty reason like the rest of nobility does…
Shame on you for even considering this. All the terrible injustice perpetrated by the nobility along with their horrid, callous behavior and gross excess is a big part of why Risavia is in such poor shape now. You're better than that. You'll have to be, for the future of Risavia. But what's more, the nobility's vile actions are why Nero and Hera were able to be turned by the Nightmare. And a significant part of why the Archbishop felt the need to make a new god at all.
>>
No. 834248 ID: 65a774
File 150704292928.png - (76.21KB , 686x526 , 60.png )
834248

>Looks like Cain did not follow your directions.
First he disappears without a trace… and now this? You don’t want to suspect him… but something isn’t right.
>If someone copied that by hand, they wouldn't have copied a stain like that. Could someone have magically created a copy of the rituals and then given them to her?
Hmm… they usually use printing presses and the like for copying… but the stain? You’re not sure how he managed that.
>Once you're done here, you need to carefully compare the original copy of your assignment and the revised version Cain gave to your sister.
Right… but that’s then… you have far more important matters to focus on right now.

>Shame on you for even considering hanging someone.
You were being sarcastic, brain… geez, why do you even have to tell yourself that you were sarcastic?
>Hang some nobility for the petty reason of hanging someone for a petty reason.
While tempting, that would probably lead to civil war or something… or just an assassination.
>Look around the place and compare it to what you remember from when you were last here and under the influence of Xuv and toxic spores.
Hmm… it’s mostly the same… expect that the door which lead to Xuv’s domain now leads to the entry stairway. In fact, it looks like the place Xuv symbol was before is now instead an arrow pointing to the outside. Other than that… oh, the door the hallway leading to the temple is open as well… and you think it’s… you think you can see a pile of rubble at the end of it… as if someone has deliberately caved it in. You guess they don’t want anyone entering the temple from the crypt…


>Long sword? Over a broadsword? In terms of size they are around the same length.
:BriannahSB: Well, the long sword is my father’s, so it’s made for males… as in, it’s a toothpick for a longsword. More of a short sword in my ‘ands, really…
:KronosSB: I don’t think the naming convention of swords work that way, Bri.
:BriannahSB: It’s about ‘alf the size of my broadsword, so it’s a ‘alf-sword then?
>Before you say your ideas, has everyone been told the contents of Belseth's note so they can think up their own ideas?
:BriannahSB: I already said that the numbers are probably a code or something.
:ThaliaSB: As for the rest… I think he wanted us to go towards the temple… but that way seems to be blocked off.

>Maybe the number sequence is a combination. Six gods, six numbers. Can you press any of those marked stones on the ground?
:KronosSB: These symbols here on the floor… you can’t press them, can you?
:TimSB: They are solid stone, Kronos, so no, we can’t.
:KronosSB: Hmm… though even if we could press them, which god would be number one anyway?
:XarrinSB: The god of air, if I’m to guess.
:KronosSB: Huh? Why?
:XarrinSB: As the year started with the season of air with winter? Then when spring came it was the season of water… then life and fire for summer, earth with autumn and death with winter.
:KronosSB: Really? Interesting…
>>
No. 834249 ID: 65a774
File 150704293974.png - (35.71KB , 686x526 , 61.png )
834249

>I think we're supposed to go towards the direction of the Temple and walk 50 steps in that direction. Then when we get to 50, we're supposed to turn right and there will be a way down right there.
You walk down the corridor, making sure to count each step you take as you itch ever closer to the large pile of stone blocking out access to the grand temple. As you reach the count of fifty, you look to your right and see… nothing?

:KronosSB: Aw, come on… there’s supposed to be something here…
:SisahSB: …I think I see something a bit further down… behind all that filth and plant life over there.
:KronosSB: Oh… let me just remove some of this overgrown… hmm? Some kind of disc?
:XarrinSB: Ah, let’s see… it’s the symbols of the day, I believe. The sun for the middle of the day, sunset, night and then sunrise, yes?
:KronosSB: …and this helps us how, exactly?
:SisahSB: I think you can press them like buttons, sir…
:KronosSB: …in what order? There isn’t six buttons to press here, is there?

>Double check that everyone knows that we have to move as a group with Zela.
:BriannahSB: Of course.
:XarrinSB: We’ve already discussed matters before yah joined us, my lord.
:ZelaSB: Err… oh gosh… just… t-tell me if I’m t-to slow…
>Hand the prayer book to Elete for a minute and ask her to look at the other five rituals and tell you if the copies she got are as uncanny as the one for Xuv.
:EleteSB: I’m not sure… I wasn’t as interested in them… but they do fit the rituals we already know of.
>Then ask Tim if Cain came to him a few days ago to ask him to make a convincing fake Xuv ritual along with real copies of the other five rituals.
:TimSB: Eh? Um… sure? I think? …I did something with the rituals with him, yes? Oh yeah… I did make a fake one, I remember now… why, you should have seen it, some of my best work yet!

>A big problem is if those fifty steps take us beyond the door. Open that door and we'll probably catch either gunfire, crossbow bolts or magic spells from down the temple end of the tunnel.
The tunnel has been collapsed from the other side. We were just lucky the disc wasn’t buried in the rubble as well.
>>
No. 834269 ID: 3ce125

>>834249
Ask Tim what part of the ritual he changed.
5:16 and 3:42 could be times of day, but... I don't know. Check for traps to see if there's a consequence for putting in the wrong combination.
>>
No. 834325 ID: 830fb7

>>834249
The code for opening it could be in the parts 5:16 and 3:42 because a secret entrance to a holy place could be related to a holy book (it could be obscure).
>>
No. 834330 ID: fe7355

This is exactly why we brought long poles. Use a pole to push the buttons from afar, in case a incorrect sequence activates a trap.

Your first idea is to think of 5:16 and 3:42 as being the positions of the hour and minute hands on a clock's face. Overlay those clock hand positions on this disc and press the buttons in the order of which quadrant the hand is pointing to. That'd be hour hand at 5, then minute hand at 16, hour hand at 3, and minute hand at 42. This gives the button sequence: Night, sunset, sunset, sunrise.

Your second idea is more complicated. It involves assigning appropriate seasons to the time segments on the disc, then pressing them based on which god goes with each season in the order of the numbers Belseth wrote. So winter would be night, spring is sunrise, summer is day, and autumn is sunset.

And to be totally sure, ask Xarrin if the sequence of the gods is first air, second water, third life, fourth fire, fifth earth, and sixth death. If that's correct, then the sequence of numbers Belseth gave, 5:16 then 3:42, would mean: Earth, air, death, life, fire, water.

When matched to their seasons the sequence would become: autumn, winter, winter, summer, summer, spring. And finally, matching those seasons to the buttons it'd be: sunset, night, night, day, day, sunrise.

Now the question becomes whether Belseth would make his hint the simpler one or the much more complicated one requiring knowledge of the numerical order of the gods and the leap of matching their seasons to the time periods of the day. Would Belseth be too clever for his own good?
>>
No. 834333 ID: 91ee5f

>>834330
Really? I was thinking he only has to push 2 buttons.

Like where would the sun be positioned in the sky at 5:16 and 3:42? And then Kronos will push those buttons and hope that it's just a "choose all that apply" instead of having an order to push them in.

>Would Belseth be too clever for his own good?
If it is that complicated one, then I think after saving him, Kronos should be allowed to flick Belseth on the nose and tell him to not make the secret message require a giant leap of logic like that next time! .....hopefully there won't be a next time.
>>
No. 834347 ID: fe7355

>>834333
Yeah, I thought of that possible solution too, but dismissed it for two reasons: First is because a two press solution seemed way too simple and easy to brute force when this is supposed to be a secret way into and, more importantly, a way out of the Catacombs. You don't want to risk it opened up and left that way for undead or condemned convicts to possibly come out, or for random nosy royals or groundskeepers to poke and accidentally open.

My second reason is that the times are ambiguous because we don't know if they are based on a 12-hour or 24-hour clock, and if it's using a 12-hour clock whether each time is AM or PM. That leaves four possible combinations of AM and PM for these times. We also don't know at what time each period on the dial starts and when they end at. Is the day period centered on noon or does it start at noon? Are they all the same length of time? Those kinds of questions we don't know the answer to.
>>
No. 834454 ID: 65a774
File 150713644053.png - (36.44KB , 686x526 , 62.png )
834454

>Ask Tim what part of the ritual he changed.
:TimSB: Eh… a rune here, a rune there… a few chants… you know, basic things.
>Check for traps to see if there's a consequence for putting in the wrong combination.
:DoxanSB: I cannot see any traps around, sir.
:SisahSB: Hmm… I can’t detect anything magical either…
>This is exactly why we brought long poles. Use a pole to push the buttons from afar…
Except, as the disc is located in the middle of a narrow corridor, there wouldn’t be enough room to get any leverage to press the button from a distance…
:SisahSB: Sir, allow me. Just tell me the combination and I’ll put it in.
:KronosSB: Oh… um… sure…
:SisahSB: Though… I don’t think I can press down the individual segments? They all seem to be stuck to the disc as a whole.
:KronosSB: Hmm… I think you need to rotate the whole disc? Try to pull it out first.

Sisah manages to pull the disc a centimeter or two from the wall, revealing a small etching above as well as leaving it hanging freely from an unseen axel. The snake looks up to you expectably as she waits for your command.

>Where would the sun be positioned in the sky at 5:16 and 3:42?
:SisahSB: Um… that depends?
:KronosSB: Right… it’s probably not that, as it would change depending on the time of year it is…
>Your first idea is to think of 5:16 and 3:42 as being the positions of the hour and minute hands on a clock's face. This gives the button sequence: Night, sunset, sunset, sunrise.
:SisahSB: …and sunrise… nope, nothing…
:KronosSB: Hmm… how about…
:SisahSB: Wait, let me just reset it.
>Assign seasons to the time segments on the disc. Winter is night, spring is sunrise, summer is day and autumn is sunset. Then we combine what Xarrin said with the numbers to get the sequence Earth, air, death, life, fire and water…
:SisahSB: Err… I don’t have a earth symbol on the disc?
:KronosSB: And as earth is autumn, that would make it sunset, which means-
:TimSB: Sunset, night, night, day, day, sunrise. No need to explain every step, Kronos.
:KronosSB: Fine fine…
:SisahSB: And sunrise… … …maybe if I press the whole disc down again it will-

*ClicK*
>>
No. 834455 ID: 65a774
File 150713644957.png - (22.50KB , 686x526 , 63.png )
834455

You feel a wave of magic flow over you as the very wall seems to take itself apart, revealing a circular stairway going downwards into the darkness below.

:BriannahSB: The way into the catacombs, I presume?
:ThaliaSB: Right… time to organize properly. I’ve heard that the catacombs mostly consist of narrow hallways, which means we need to make a proper walking order…
:EleteSB: I’ll go first. I think I can lead us to the crypt of the gods from here.
:ThaliaSB: And Zela needs to be in the middle… but as for the rest of us…
:KronosSB: Wait, why are everyone looking at me?
:XarrinSB: Yah are the ‘ighest ranking one ‘ere, my lord… and the only one who ‘as any experience with the area.
:EleteSB: *Cough*
:XarrinSB: Almost the only one…

>If it is that complicated one, then I think after saving him, Kronos should be allowed to flick Belseth on the nose and tell him to not make the secret message require a giant leap of logic like that next time!
…you’re going to do more than just flick his snout after all this…
>Would Belseth be too clever for his own good?
…yes? That isn’t really a new revelation, is it?
>>
No. 834460 ID: 3ce125

>>834455
Ranged support goes in the middle, that's the prince and Tim. Sisah can be right behind Elete so we have her magic sensing capability up front, then Briannah, Kronos, Zela, Tim, Xarrin, Thalia, Doxan. Doxan should be stealthy in order to catch rear attacks by surprise. Even if he can't manage stealth in a corridor I assume he's one of the more skilled combatants here and trained to spot ambushes so he'll make a good rear guard.

...swap Thalia and Briannah if Kronos would be distracted by her ass.
>>
No. 834626 ID: fe7355

Ask for a minute to think, then put your finger to your beak to signal to keep quiet and motion for the group to huddle up with you and whisper. You don't want what we say to travel down the stairs to possible hostile ears.

Say you suspect there'll be a ambush or additional traps laid down those stairs by the Nightmare. Possibly both. You say this because from what Karas said we know the Nightmare knows about Belseth's plans, so it or its followers would have figured him pointing you at the royal crypt would be for that plan. And that old partial map of the Catacombs, made by the Temple, showed a likely entrance under the royal crypt, so you figure they would have seen it on a newer map and put two and two together. ...Which makes you wonder why Elete, who's so extensively studied the Catacombs, didn't know about this way in. And for that matter, how did Belseth know about not just it, but the combination to open it?

Anyway, you think that Elete should hang back while we descend the stairs and until we reach a junction so that those more combat capable or with skill in detecting traps goes first. ...Actually, you think she shouldn't be on point at all, since she's the only one who can guide us through. If she's done in by a trap or surprise attack then we're done for. And she's also the only one here who can cast healing magic, which is another reason not to risk her being up front. She doesn't have to be up front all the time, just when we have to choose a direction at a junction, right? So she can hang back until needed at the front.

Put Sisah on point so she can scan for any magical traps ahead, with Doxan right behind her, looking over her shoulder for mundane traps. You'll take the next position, followed by Briannah. That way you have a clear line of fire ahead for ranged targets. And if the situation calls for Bri to move up to assist Sisah with a close quarters hostile, both you and Doxan are more than agile enough to slip back around or even over Bri.

Next back, in the middle, is Zela. She should try to stay low as we go, since she's such a large target. After her is Elete, who'll move up to the front as needed, then Tim, Thalia and finally Xarrin, the three of them comprising our rear guard. Tim is able to see over or around Thalia and Xarrin adequately to target his casting, right?

Of course, if anyone sees any deficiencies in your walking order, please pipe up. While you technically outrank everyone else here, you and they damn well know you aren't experienced in tactics or military matters at all.

Now, there is another possible explanation for the real Xuv ritual getting to Elete: It was Chronicler's doing. Documents are one of its fundamental aspects, so altering the fake ritual's content into a exact duplicate of the real one would be easy for it. And it is already breaking the rules by conversing with mortals, namely you and Bri, to give you a edge so your story would be better, or just to help you not fail. Considering the Forgotten One's endgame is the total oblivion of everything, that would be very good reason for Chronicler and its siblings to bend or break the rules to intervene and stop that, since they'd cease to exist too. So Chronicler may have put the real ritual in to keep the story moving and interesting, or maybe for reasons that actually were to aid you or its objectives in a way you can't see, both or neither.
>>
No. 834849 ID: 8c51fa

>>834455
So we're deciding on a marching order? Okay, let's see what we've got...

This would be easier to sort out with a neat list of our current party members and their relevant skills.

Okay, so we'll want to have people with high alertness and senses in both the front and back of the line to alert us to potential ambushes. I think Sisah and Doxan are the best choices for that; Sisah should go in the front so her magical vision can locate invisible traps, and Doxan can cover our rear with his stealth skills to stop anyone from sneaking up on us from behind. Or is there anyone else with especially acute hearing? Also, can Sisah see magical threats through solid matter? Because it might be best to put her behind someone if that's the case.

Next to them, we'll want strone melee fighters who can react to threats quickly and help fight off attackers. That includes at least Briannah and Thalia, I think. In the front, it would be good to have someone who's also skilled at spotting traps to assist Sisah's magical vision, in case there are any non-enchanted traps waiting for us.

We'll keep our more vulnerable party members like Kronos and Tim near the center. Should Kronos be closer to the front or the rear? His skills are in agility, precision and reflexes, so we might want him in the front to react quickly to enemy groups that we encounter, or behind to stop surprise attacks. Shooting past allies is risky; maybe he should be somewhere close to the front, so he can shoot at enemies before melee starts and then fall back behind the more melee-focused party members.
>>
No. 834977 ID: 65a774
File 150739938385.png - (57.25KB , 686x526 , 64.png )
834977

>Put Bri far back unless you want Kronos to be distracted by her ass…
You’re pretty sure you have enough self-control not to stare when your life is on the line. Though… she is rather big… she’ll probably block sight on anyone standing behind her… hmm…
>Now, there is another possible explanation for the real Xuv ritual getting to Elete: It was Chronicler's doing.
…yeah, that does sound more plausible. It wants this story to go the way it wants it too… and Cain is your best friend, why would he betray you?
>How did Belseth know about not just it, but the combination to open it?
Belseth has had visions of the future before, so you wouldn’t be surprised if he know thing no one else does.


:KronosSB: Alright… We want people that can detect traps in the lead… that means Sisah and Doxan for both magical and mundane traps respectively.
:SisahSB: Sir, there seem to be so much magic in the air itself down there that I don’t think I’ll be detecting anything at all.
:TimSB: *Sniff* Indeed… there’s so much magic welling out from that passageway that my nose gets all stuffed.
:BriannahSB: Wait, yah ‘ave a nose?
:DoxanSB: And any non-magical trap would have stopped working by now... this thing was build ages ago, after all.
:KronosSB: Well… you two are still the ones with the most combat experience… and we need someone with high alertness and senses both in front as well as in the back to make sure we don’t get ambushed.
:SisahSB: I’ll take the front, then.
:BriannahSB: That means yah got to watch our rears, Doxy… snrk…
:DoxanSB: I’ll make sure we’re safe, master.
:KronosSB: And Elete should go second so she can guide us.
:EleteSB: Indeed…

:KronosSB: Then we’ll want our melee fighters, so that can actually reach whatever is attacking us. One in front and one in the back…
:ThaliaSB: I’ll be the one in the front, otherwise no one will see what is going on.
:BriannahSB: Did… yah just call me fat?
:ThaliaSB: No, I called you big… which you are. You barely fit in these small corridors.
:BriannahSB: …well, I guess that’s true…
:KronosSB: Then we our ranged fighter, as in me and Tim, on each side of Zela who will be in the middle.
:TimSB: I’ll be in the back, as I won’t need a free line of sight like you do with your gun to conjure my fire.
:ZelaSB: Um… oh gosh… I g-guess I’m in the… um…
:KronosSB: Of course, if anyone sees any deficiencies in my walking order, please pipe up. We both know damn well that I’m not that experienced in tactics or military matters at all.
:ThaliaSB: It seems well planned out… So, are we ready to go?

>Say you suspect there'll be an ambush or additional traps laid down those stairs by the Nightmare. Possibly both.
:ThaliaSB: Right… Then we’ll send our soldiers in first… Sisah, Doxan?
:DoxanSB: On it.
:SisahSB: As you command.
:ThaliaSB: Elete, you’ll go next followed by Kronos, in case there’s something down there either of you need to see and react to. I’ll make sure we all make it down safely.

Venturing down into the cramped circular stairwell, you find yourself in a small circular room. You can’t help but notice the similarities with it and the entrance hall of the royal crypt, both being the same size and having eight other doors leading away into the darkness, not counting the door you just entered from. As you look around, the stench of death and decay assaults your nostrils and the sheer amount of magical energy down here makes your neck feathers stand on end.

:DoxanSB: Perimeter secure, sir.
:SisahSB: Ugh… there’s so much magic down here that my augmentations are going crazy. I won’t be able to scan for magic down here at all!
:EleteSB: Oh, interesting…
>>
No. 834978 ID: 65a774
File 150739939513.png - (59.26KB , 686x526 , 65.png )
834978

:SisahSB: Eh? Don’t go in there! Come back! We don’t know if it’s safe yet!
:EleteSB: Nonsense, I’ve read enough about the catacombs to know that the halls with this symbol is free of traps… and looking at these runes here on the walls, it outright tells us how to navigate the catacombs without-
>>
No. 834979 ID: 65a774
File 150739940514.png - (49.42KB , 686x526 , 66.png )
834979

:EleteSB: Wai-
>>
No. 834980 ID: 65a774
File 150739941262.png - (35.09KB , 686x526 , 67.png )
834980

*Crunch*
>>
No. 834981 ID: 65a774
File 150739943622.png - (35.28KB , 686x526 , 68.png )
834981

:ZelaSB: Ugh… I’m getting crushed in here… why can’t they build stairwells fit for a Hiver?
>>
No. 834983 ID: efcc58

>>834981
>Watch for traps
No, ThErEs No PoInT bEcAuSe ReAsOnS
>Get crushed by trap
LoL gOoD jOb
>>
No. 834986 ID: 3ce125

>>834981
Welp I guess the bad guys win then.
>>
No. 834987 ID: d887c0

Oh shit.
Oh no.
>>
No. 834990 ID: a633c6

Oh for fuck's sake. That was retarded even by a kronos-tier metric.

Everyone move down so Bri can break down the door & we'll see if she can't be saved.
>>
No. 834992 ID: efcc58

>>834990
But someone will point out the blood in the doorway, which means she's obviously dead and there's no point in trying. If she shows up later only missing a limb, it's a miracle that nobody could have seen coming.
>>
No. 834993 ID: 91ee5f

>>834992
>If she shows up later only missing a limb, it's a miracle that nobody could have seen coming.
That's even more of a reason to check right now.

If she's still alive, then we need to get her out of there so that she can guide us.

And then she can live with the humiliating fact that she was an overconfident idiot and has no one but herself to blame for losing that limb.
>>
No. 835002 ID: 600f38

>>834981
"Bri, can you smash that open?
Doxan, NOW will you start looking for traps in this magical dungeon that we knew had working traps before we entered because the church kept losing followers to them while exploring?"

See if you can get the Old Man's attention. If you tell him we need her to stop them from starting another round of gods that Dreams says will result in the end of all life, he might be willing to make some allowances. Tell him he can't go near places with his antithetical symbol, so if he wants this fuckery stopped then he can't be taking away the tools we need to stop it.

That was kiiiinda bullshit. We knew there were traps in here before we entered because we knew the church kept losing followers to them.
We warned them about traps, and Kronos backing down when Doxan blew him off just made things worse.

>>
No. 835004 ID: 91ee5f

>>835002
>Church kept losing followers to traps.
.....I think what we just saw happen to Elete explains how and why those guys kept dying.

They saw that symbol and thought, "Oh, this means no traps!" and then promptly walked straight into a trap!
>>
No. 835008 ID: a633c6

>>834992
eh, maybe she sat on an old ketchup packet or something. If she were really mashed to death this whole place would look like the floor of a slaughter house.
>>
No. 835013 ID: 3ce125

>Old Man
Hey that's right. If Elete just died, we can talk to Life and tell him what's going on. Also give him the good news that Xuv is dead.
>>
No. 835023 ID: 91ee5f

>>835013
There's a problem with that.

Xuv was down here, yet Life didn't know she was here. Which makes me think that Life isn't going to show up down here like you're expecting.
>>
No. 835032 ID: fe7355

There is no word of profanity known in this world that can adequately convey how you feel about this current situation, nor enough breath in your body to adequately scream it, so you can only let this pass through you like a ghost and think what can possibly be done next.

Consider that this may be illusionary bullshit, meant to break your group's will. Also remember that it wasn't just Zela's proximity but her line of sight that banished Karas, so her breaking line of sight to the group in this chamber while she descends the stairs may have broken her protection on this group. It's also possible that the intense magic down here has reduced her area of effect. Who knows.

Tell whoever is nearest to Zela, on both her front and back, to help her get down the stairwell as fast as she can and into this chamber. And tell everyone behind her on the stairs to get down here as quick as they can so they're for sure in her area of effect.

If this is no illusion, then it means Elete's knowledge of the Catacombs was worthless and she couldn't guide the group anyway. It's probable that the Nightmare has changed the Catacombs' rules around so everything learned of traversing it safely before is worthless. It's also possible that now that there's way more magic down here than before that traps that laid dormant now have enough magic charge to work. You just wish we didn't find out this very hard way that the Catacombs' rules have changed. And to make it suck even more, you also lost the only person in the group who could cast healing magic, who knew the layout of the Gods' Crypt and how the Ascension Ritual works, and who knows what other helpful information.

Ask Tim, Xarrin, and everyone else here if they have an idea what the symbols on the archway keystones mean.

Ask Tim if it'd be possible to tap into all of this ambient magic and using it in some way without everything exploding. It'd unlikely we could do it with who and what we have down here, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

The only one you can think of who could possibly have found out how to traverse the Catacombs safely now that they've been changed is Krotos. But how to get in contact with him? With Xuv and her dreamwalking power gone you can't just take a quick nap to speak with him. But maybe he can manifest in some way in the Catacombs.

You'll call out Krotos' name, but first you want to get everyone into a defensive position. There's decent odds other, hostile things will come running as well. Put Zela just this side of the entrance stairwell doorway, then form a defensive semi-circle around her, you and Tim inside it with her. That done, yell for Krotos.

>>834990
>Everyone move down so Bri can break down the door & we'll see if she can't be saved.
That does not look like a door, but rather a solid block of stone the length of the corridor segment that slid across and crushed Elete into paste against the opposite wall. This may mean that corridor segments with one or both walls composed of a single solid piece stone and not stone blocks are potentially traps.

>>835013
>Hey that's right. If Elete just died, we can talk to Life and tell him what's going on. Also give him the good news that Xuv is dead.
Even if Life does show up, will Kronos be able to see it? He didn't get the ability to see the likes of Life and Chronicler and their kind until after Xuv gave him her "gifts," so it may have been her power that gave him that ability. Now that she and her power is gone, that ability may be gone too. That leaves Briannah as the only member of the group that for sure can see and converse with Life.

>>835023
That's true. The Catacombs of the Godless, originally known as the Soul Kiln, was built to contain souls, so keeping them beyond Life's view so it couldn't just drop in to usher them back into the River of Souls would have to be part of its design. And according to Chronicler or Dreamer, the only reason Life didn't throw a enraged fit about the Soul Kiln doing that was because the Soul Kiln would not last forever, eventually breaking and leaking the souls out, which is what happened. Xuv's soul would have leaked out that way if not for crossing ways with Krotos' dying body and getting stuck in it.
>>
No. 835037 ID: 91ee5f

>>835032
Or maybe the Nightmare didn't change anything and it was Elete's own lack of common sense that killed her?

I mean, just because you see a symbol that tells you, "No traps" that doesn't mean you shouldn't check and make sure there aren't traps!

.....and this is making me think about how Karas said that Belseth would try and stop them himself. He probably read he could do that somewhere, the same way Elete read about those "no traps" symbols. Meaning, just like Elete, Belseth might be acting on worthless information and he's just going to get himself possessed!
>>
No. 835117 ID: 3ce125

Oh, if she did just die and we're already deep enough for Life to be unable to give us a visit, that ALSO means her soul is trapped here. I believe Briannah and Kronos will be able to see her, so she can still act as a guide. An invincible one, even.
>>
No. 835152 ID: 069483

Just face palm.

Remind everyone that these are the CATACOMBS OF THE DAMNED.
Come to the realization that part of the reason for all the crap leading up to and including this God bullshit may in fact just be because of good old fashioned stupidity.
Also realize that maybe you're actually pretty smart all things considered.
>>
No. 835177 ID: 094652

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why everyone thinks religion is full of stupid people. No matter how much research is done, faith is no excuse for ignoring uncertainty in any experiment.

Open the door and figure out the damage. Then get some engineers to weld the deathtrap open.
>>
No. 835178 ID: 65a774
File 150749280280.png - (58.26KB , 686x526 , 69.png )
835178

>If she were really mashed to death this whole place would look like the floor of a slaughter house.
You’re pretty sure most of… um… her is still stuck between the walls…

>Doxan, NOW will you start looking for traps?
:DoxanSB: I am looking! I just said that any trap I might actually find are traps that won’t function anymore. She didn’t step on a pressure plate or broke a piece of thread to activate some hidden machinery… her presence activated some kind of rune of some kind. no, what you need is a trained mage to find these traps, not an assassin.
:SisahSB: And as there already so much magic down here… it’s practically impossible to detect magical traps as well...
:KronosSB: …great… just great… so we’re stuck down here, without a guide and without any way to detect all the traps that litter the corridors here… great…
:ZelaSB: W-why is everyone yelling?
:KronosSB: There’s… a slight change of plans?
:ThaliaSB: Wait, where is the priest?
:KronosSB: About that…
>Bri, can you smash that open?
:BriannahSB: Hrrnn…. It’s a solid block of stone… if it was smaller I might ‘ave been able to move it, but this thing weight several tons.
:TimSB: Hmm… I might be able to use magic to open it… though I’ll need some time to analyze the magical flow down here first…

>Ask Tim, Xarrin, and everyone else here if they have an idea what the symbols on the archway keystones mean.
:XarrinSB: It means judgement… as in, being judged. I guess they mean anyone who enters that corridor will be judged? Going by the symbol of death, I guess someone just got the death sentence?
:ThaliaSB: You didn’t answer my question, where is Elete!?
:KronosSB: Well… she’s… um… she tried to run ahead and… activated a trap?
:ThaliaSB: …w-what!?
:SisahSB: I tried to stop her, but I was too late…
:BriannahSB: Well… fuck…
:ZelaSB: …I-I don’t w-want to be d-down here anymore…

>The only one you can think of who could possibly have found out how to traverse the Catacombs safely now that they've been changed is Krotos.
But he’s not… wait… didn’t he say something about how he could help you find the crypt of the gods? There has to be a way you can reach him, even without Xuv’s powers…
>You'll call out Krotos' name, but first you want to get everyone into a defensive position.
:ThaliaSB: We’re in position, Prince… but why? Do you think we’ll be attacked?
:KronosSB: What I am about to might draw unwanted attention, but we need a guide so… *cough* KROTOS? CAN YOU HEAR ME!?
:BriannahSB: K-Krotos…?
>>
No. 835179 ID: 65a774
File 150749281158.png - (54.48KB , 686x526 , 70.png )
835179

Suddenly, as if he was always there, Krotos is standing in front of you… or… at least a transparent version of him.

:KrotosSB: Ah, there you are! I’ve been waiting for you to come.
:BriannahSB: …It can’t…
:KrotosSB: Quick, you don’t have much time, this way. As long as you use these passageways marked with… with… why is there a wall blocking off this corridor?
:KronosSB: Um… someone accidently triggered a trap?
:KrotosSB: But… there aren’t supposed to be any traps here! I’ve seen countless priests walk right through these corridors before… but… how are you supposed to…
:ZelaSB: Is he… t-talking to himself?
:ThaliaSB: Shh, let him talk… hopefully he’s using his odd powers and hasn’t gone mad.

>If Elete just died, we can talk to Life and tell him what's going on.
You can feel a cold wind in the distance… but it doesn’t seem that it can fully reach you down here. This place seems to be out of reach from Life itself.
>The Catacombs of the Godless, originally known as the Soul Kiln, was built to contain souls, so keeping them beyond Life's view so it couldn't just drop in to usher them back into the River of Souls would have to be part of its design.
It’s been designed to keep souls imprisoned for eternity… and punish them… judge them… wait… what if that’s the reason why there’s suddenly a trap there… Elete was judged… and the catacombs found her guilty.

>Oh, if she did just die and we're already deep enough for Life to be unable to give us a visit, that ALSO means her soul is trapped here.
That’s right… she could still be around here somewhere… but-
>>
No. 835180 ID: 65a774
File 150749281932.png - (99.76KB , 686x526 , 71.png )
835180

Your thoughts are interrupted by scream, a scream no one else seem to notice… then out of nowhere an older, more ragged looking Elete comes stumbling towards you. She only managed to take a few steps before several other spirits appears and lash onto her… several, you notice, are the souls of Sakkilian children…

:EleteSB: NO! LET GO OF ME! HELP ME!
:NonSB: MURDERER!
:NonSB: BETRAYER!
:NonSB: THIEF!
:EleteSB: I only did what needed to be done!
:NonSB: You did it out of selfishness.
:NonSB: You hurt so many out of selfish desires.
:NonSB: You are nothing but filth that needs to be unmade!
:EleteSB: HELP ME! PLEASE!
:NonSB: She is at fault for your brothers!
:NonSB: She is the one who broke your love!
:NonSB: LET HER SUFFER LIKE SHE DESERVES!
:EleteSB: P-PLEASE! Y-YOU CAN’T LEAVE M-ME DOWN HERE!

As the souls starts to drag Elete to whatever fate that awaits her, she reaches out to you in desperation…
>>
No. 835185 ID: 3ce125

>>835180
>she was judged guilty, now ghosts are dragging her into hell
She did what

Oh my god don't tell me SHE was in league with the Nightmare? That explains why she survived the attack against the other priests. Considering when Karas attacked none of you could even run away, it doesn't make sense in hindsight for Elete to be able to escape. That was done just to get Belseth in the position he's in now, and then gain your trust so that she could bring you to the ritual as well.

Don't let her touch you, as she might try to possess you. Ask the red ghosts to keep her restrained and explain exactly what she did. You need to know, so that you can stop any of her plans that would continue without her.
>>
No. 835188 ID: be0718

Grab her! If anyone's going to torment her for eternity for being an idiot, it's you!
>>
No. 835212 ID: d5cc8e

"Dammit, let her go! You don't get to murder someone to then torment their soul! You didn't even offer her a chance of penance!"

And pull her to you!
>>
No. 835213 ID: d5cc8e

>>835212
Also an "I don't care, torment is not the answer!" In response to what they are saying to you. You can clarify to the living after the crisis.
>>
No. 835219 ID: 3ce125

Guys keep in mind we do plan on disrupting the infinity wards down here. Life will recycle all the souls once that happens, she won't be tormented for very long.
>>
No. 835222 ID: 600f38

>>835180
Grab her.
"All true, but for now we still need her.
She's trapped here same as you, and I can't stop you from giving her what she deserves, but please, for the countless people will suffer and die should we fail here, hold off on your revenge for now.

Krotos? Bri?"
>>
No. 835225 ID: 91ee5f

>>835178
>Picture.
So that's what Bri looks like in her armor in color! That looks pretty cool!

>It means judgement…as in, being judged. I guess they mean anyone who enters that corridor will be judged? Going by the symbol of death, I guess someone just got the death sentence?
Are you telling me that Elete passed through a magic symbol WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT IT MEANS?!?!

Come on! If you're going to be studying this place, then fucking learn what the symbols mean!

>>835179
>Krotos appears.
Yay! He's here!

>Krotos tries to lead us down the same path that killed Elete.
.....fuck.

> But…there aren’t supposed to be any traps here! I’ve seen countless priests walk right through these corridors before…but…how are you supposed to…
Then they were probably already possessed by the Nightmare or their sins weren't enough for them to be judged and killed.

>>835180
>older, more ragged looking Elete comes stumbling towards you.
>spirits of Sakkilian children are tormenting her.
Oh fuck.....Elete.....please tell me you weren't sacrificing Sakkilian children in some sort of ritual to keep yourself looking young and beautiful!

Although, if that's not the reason, then explain what she was judged for before you drag her away! We still need her here!
>>
No. 835229 ID: a633c6

>I’ve seen countless priests walk right through these corridors before…
Well we can always depend on your powers of observation, huh.
>You can feel a cold wind in the distance…
What the fuck does that even mean?!?

alright well it looks like somebody's going to escape punishment again because of on some foggy idea of forgiveness and because justice for its own sake is inconvenient sometimes, so let's get this shitshow on the road.
>>
No. 835262 ID: 600f38

>>835229
Justice is doing what is best for society in the long run. Sometimes that means good things happen to bad people, and it can be murky as shit, but you can't allow emotion to cloud your judgement.

She inflicted the madness on those children so Krotos would have to kill them. She inflicted madness upon Krotos to break Bri and the royal family. She likely was behind the assassination of the queen, as it served no purpose other than provoking a war, as was the case with her other actions.
Does she deserve this? Oh, without question. However, she knows more about this ritual of theirs than anyone, and with milions of lives on the line it's far more important that we have that information than allow her to reap her just reward.
Normally justice would say let her suffer to avoid people exploiting this in the future, but if we do that then there is no future. In this case she's getting a few hours reprieve and a chance at partially atoning for her crimes. That is the most just path.
>>
No. 835264 ID: 3ce125

>>835262
The fact that she knows so much about the ritual means we should keep her as far away as possible from it. She could likely still manipulate events to her advantage. Remember that Belseth is well informed on the ritual and Krotos can serve as a guide. All we really have to do is figure out how to reset the trap so everyone can pass through the judgement gate.
>>
No. 835278 ID: 91ee5f

>>835264
>Don't need Elete.
The problem is, Belseth only knows what Elete told him about the ritual, but that doesn't mean that Elete told him everything about the ritual. She might've left out a few things, which would be enough to fuck us up if we rely on Belseth to try and stop it with whatever he knows.

>Krotos can be guide.
Yeah, that's true.

>Reset the trap.
But would that also reset the Judgement Rune? I don't think anyone else is going to risk going through there and having something from their past come back and bite them in the ass right now!
>>
No. 835286 ID: 3ce125

>>835278
I doubt all the other priests are free of sin. The judgement rune kills those who are worthy of death, not just anyone who's committed a crime. Be reasonable.

As for Elete not telling everything to Belseth, that's true, but she could also LIE to us if we take her.
>>
No. 835287 ID: 3ce125

Basically the question here is "do we save the knowledgeable but completely evil motherfucker and take her with us to try to stop her own plans?" and the answer to that is fucking no!
>>
No. 835293 ID: 600f38

>>835287
Our plan is to stop the ritual, and remove every eternity symbol we see.
Once that's done Life will come in and clean up.

If Life takes her then she isn't going to be trapped in here with the ghosts of those she tortured and murdered.
Also, she would hav no way of combining with the other spirits into a gestalt monster like Xuv or the Nightmare. Or escaping. It would ensure she never harms anyone ever again.

Basically, she'd be escaping millennia of torment by jumping right into the wheel of reincarnation. That's acceptable for us, and a trade up for her.
>>
No. 835294 ID: fe7355

DO NOT HELP ELETE! Do not even let her touch you! For one, she is incorporeal so you wouldn't be able to grab hold of her, and even if you could you don't have the strength to wrest her away from all those spirits. But that ghostly state means the only way Elete could escape their grasp would be to jump into your body. And whether that means possessing you or just riding around, it would mean all the spirits down here who are out to exact justice on her will turn on you! They will rip at your soul and body to get her, and even if they can't pull her out they can turn all the magical traps down here on you to get at her. And they will judge you as a accomplice to her crimes for helping her escape, so you will be equally guilty in their eyes.

And she is assuredly guilty. Those souls of Sakkilian children are almost certainly the war orphans that were kept in the Grand Temple's basement by her and went viciously mad down there. The ones that attacked Karas when he went to save them, which sowed the seed of hatred and fear of Sakkilians in him that led him to the Nightmare. Her actions led to their madness and deaths, and to Karas' fate.

With Elete's "ends justify the means" attitude, and with the ends being so massively great in her mind, she must have engaged in a unfathomable amount of terrible acts towards that end. And with her access to the Catacombs she had a easy way to dispose of all those who would dare get in the way of that end who could not be swayed otherwise. All their souls are down here, and they all are coming to drag her to justice. You try and pull her away and you will be dragged down with her.

Ask the spirits what she, the Archbishop, did to be at fault for Krotos and Karas fates, and what she did to break Briannah. What did she do to those Sakkilian children, the war orphans? What did she do to all the others who's souls are trapped down here because of her? Speak all that she has done to deserve this fate.

Ask the spirits who can safely pass through the corridor inscribed with the rune of justice. Then ask that they reopen the corridor of judgment so that we may traverse the Catacombs and put a stop to what the Archbishop's terrible acts have set in motion.

Once Elete has been dragged to her fate, ask Briannah and Krotos if they saw and heard what happened here with Elete's soul. Does Krotos know of the Archbishop's misdeeds? Then inform the rest of the group on what happened since they couldn't see or hear it.

>>835229
>What the fuck does that even mean?!?
It means that Life is somewhere nearby but can't get here because the Catacombs block its entry, as designed.

>alright well it looks like somebody's going to escape punishment again because of on some foggy idea of forgiveness and because justice for its own sake is inconvenient sometimes, so let's get this shitshow on the road.
Please, don't give up and throw your vote behind a choice you don't want just 'cause right now it looks like it'll tip that way. That just reinforces that choice and makes folks who'd vote your way not bother voting at all. There's still time for others to come in and vote our way, or the ones who've voted to try and help Elete to be possibly swayed by argument to flip. It's not over, so please switch your vote to leaving her to her fate, or at least clarify that that what you wrote meant your intention was for that and you were being sarcastic.

>>835262
But you're forgetting that all those spirits that are dragging her away to her just punishment will not just give up if Kronos pulls her away. They will all descend upon Kronos to get her back, and likely judge him guilty for trying to help her escape. Those spirits will then turn the Catacombs and its traps against Kronos. This means she is now a fatal liability to the mission. She must not be saved.
>>
No. 835295 ID: 91ee5f

>>835286
>I doubt all the other priests are free of sin. The judgement rune kills those who are worthy of death, not just anyone who's committed a crime. Be reasonable.
That's my point. Our group has quite a few people in it that might've done things in the past that makes them worthy of death. Bri, Doxan, Sisah, Thalia, and Xarrin could be next to get squished!

>>835287
But is she really evil and was it really her plan? Or was she deceived?

She mentioned to us one time, while she was dressed up as the Archbishop and before we knew it was Elete, that this plan was given to her by her master. And I wouldn't be surprised if this "master" was actually the Nightmare the whole time.

Which would mean that the Nightmare tricked Elete into setting up this ritual in the first place, while making her think that it would benefit the world if she did this.
>>
No. 835302 ID: 3ce125

>>835295
Yes she's really evil, look at what the ghosts are saying- wait why are the sakkilian children here? They shouldn't be here. They sure didn't get thrown into the crypt.

As for our party members being judged worthy of death, I find that very very hard to believe. None of them have done things THAT bad in the past, to our knowledge. If they have, then they'll know better now than to keep it secret from us.
>>
No. 835308 ID: 094652

"... Can you help me save the world? You can have her and leave, but you're only going to get like two hours of revenge if the Beast completes his ritual. Then he'll declare victory over good and ensure only the guilty get to be happy, including her. In comparison, I'll let you stay topside and use all the shiny spirit torture tools if you do something heroic."
>>
No. 835318 ID: fe7355

>>835295
>Which would mean that the Nightmare tricked Elete into setting up this ritual in the first place, while making her think that it would benefit the world if she did this.
If what Krotos said earlier about someone, presumably Elete, sabotaging the Nightmare, stealing power for a Sakkilian priest, presumably Belseth, is true, then Elete already figured the Nightmare was trying to trick her and tried to con it right back. (See >>822425) Which anyone with a lick of sense could see was all kinds of hubris on her part, but she was blinded by the possible divine payoff.

>>835302
>Yes she's really evil, look at what the ghosts are saying-
Yeah, the kind of evil that comes from a unbending ends-justifies-the-means attitude combined with ends she believes are so massively beneficial to everyone that it'll totally eclipse the atrocious means she used.

>wait why are the sakkilian children here? They shouldn't be here. They sure didn't get thrown into the crypt.
The violently insane Sakkilian war orphans were in the basement of the Grand Temple when they were cut down when they attacked Karas and his guards when he came to attempt to save them. That was right over the Catacombs, (not crypt,) so the souls from at least some of them ended up falling into the Catacombs and trapped. And we know the Catacombs can catch passing souls that flow by because Dreamer (or Chronicler) mentioned the war flooded the Catacombs with souls, charging it up more than normal.
>>
No. 835323 ID: 3ce125

>>835318
...okay, I guess that indicates Elete is on our side, despite the evils she committed. We should save her after all. Kronos should feel a bit icky about doing it even so.
>>
No. 835527 ID: fe7355

>>835323
But that doesn't matter because if Kronos somehow does manage to save Elete from her fate, the Catacombs and every soul trapped in it because of her will judge him guilty of helping her escape that fate. It and they will turn against Kronos, and every trap and door down here will be out for his blood. Kronos will not be able to continue and have to flee for his life, assuming the Catacombs hasn't sealed the exit to stop him.
>>
No. 835529 ID: 3ce125

>>835527
Look, she's already died for her crimes. Kronos is already opposed to torture, and we do need her help to save the world or whatever. The catacombs won't judge him for that, and the undead here are already pretty hostile in general. We'd have to worry about the sakkilian children, but I think we could strike a deal with them-- like Kronos could say that once the world is saved he'll give Elete the punishment she deserves. Which involves sitting in the timeout corner, forever.
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No. 836220 ID: 65a774
File 150784129360.png - (43.65KB , 686x526 , 72.png )
836220

>Pull her to you!
>Don't let her touch you, as she might try to possess you.
>Grab her! If anyone's going to torment her for eternity for being an idiot, it's you!
>DO NOT HELP ELETE! Do not even let her touch you!
As Elete is being dragged away to her hellish fate, you can’t do anything but hesitate. A part of you screams for you to rescue her, that no one deserves what she’s about to experie