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926761 No. 926761 ID: 7816e7

18+ adult content
Chapter 8: the wild hunt

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

The sun once again shines on the city of Moot Point. Augustine Moot keeps her watchful vigil overhead, an eternal symbol of the stability and safety. But the long shadow cast by the city’s new mountain brings mutterings of worry among the streets. Rumors work their sinister magic as citizens gather and wonder what could be lurking within it.
367 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
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No. 931789 ID: b1b4f3

>>931787
I'm more concerned about relative lifespans.
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No. 931818 ID: edf377

>>931786
That was a nice end.

Kinda hope the next chapter involves Caleb in some way, only because we haven't put him in our party yet since the ship chapter, also maybe Delilah and Cecil again, just cause I wonder how they're doing.
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No. 931831 ID: a9af05

>>931787
Who knows? We just have to wait and see what Toxo will reveal in the quest.
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No. 932004 ID: 7816e7
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932004

Epilogue

Footsteps echo through the hallways of the Sender Academy. Guardian Sender, Mariana Rue-Larrey crosses under ornate archways carved with atomic precision. She admires them as she passes; each cut and line a testament to the skill of the senders before her. The intricate designs spiderweb across the walls, giving the impression to visitors that they’re trapped in a complicated math problem.
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No. 932005 ID: 7816e7
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932005

Finding an appropriate gate room, she steps inside and shakes her hands free from her robe. Double checking the requested beacon point, the guardian opens a gate to the requested location. Two figures step through the blinding, white disk.

“Gabriel Wikk, how good to see you again! I didn’t quite make out the message you sent me. There seemed to be a lot of noise in the background.” Her beak twitches this way and that as she assesses something. “Have you been drinking?”

“Nixxy had most of it.” He swears as he touches his fingertips to his badge. “Anyway, got someone here you gotta meet. Clio, this is Mariana. She’s a spirit guardian, which is like me but more badass.”

The robed figure dips her head. “Nice to meet you, Clio."
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No. 932007 ID: 83bf07

Oooho, be respectful. Bow your head but don't over do it, Clio.
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No. 932009 ID: b1b4f3

Gabe maybe it's time to bring up Clio's family. You want to find them, due to them potentially being descendants of Augustus Moot, but also Clio would probably want to see them again right?
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No. 932017 ID: a9af05

>>932005
Don't forget to include the fact that Clio seems to be self-taught and with a little training at the academy, she can help a lot of people!
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No. 932035 ID: c1212a

You can enter, right? I'm not sure which is rude, making her maintain the portal or bringing in an outsider.
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No. 932038 ID: a2db42

Ooh, Clio's rough self-taught portals might not fit in around here so well, right away. Gotta make a good first impression. Tell Mariana to "watch this", then tell Clio to let her see that sword thing. While she's still recovering from her mind being blown, tell Mariana that Clio is an entirely self-taught sender, and isn't that amazing? Then tell Clio to show a quick portal as well.

We want to try get a nice balance where Mariana is impressed but Clio doesn't get overwhelmed. I'm hoping Gabe has already told her the sword thing isn't a technique the rest of them know, and he should tell her soon if not, but the whole "possible descendant of a legendary hero" thing is probably too much for right now. Might give her a big head, might crush her with comparative inadequacy, both aren't good. Better not to mention it for now.
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No. 932040 ID: 91ee5f

>>932005
Have Clio show off that cool sword thing she can do!

>>932035
It says in the update that Gabe and Clio already stepped through the portal.
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No. 932075 ID: 58b4f3

>>932005
>"Have you been drinking?”
>“Nixxy had most of it.”
Does she even know who Nixxy is?

You could also explain that you were drinking because you saw one of your friends bend the knee and propose to one of your other friends. I'm sure Mariana would be excited to hear about that and she'll understand you wanting to celebrate with a drink!
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No. 932233 ID: 7816e7
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932233

“We, uh, ran into Clio today while helping out a friend. She’s a gate user, born with it!” Gabe’s eyebrows jump up and down excitedly.

“I-I’ve never heard of that,” Mariana scratches under her beak as she mulls this over, “but I suppose it isn’t impossible! That’s quite amazing!”

“I was wondering if she could enroll. You know: learn the ways of the Sender and all that shit?”

“I mean I have some sway, but I’m not really the one in charge of admissions. I’d be happy to vouch for her though...”

“Gabe, I dunno about this, I mean look at this place...” Clio’s gaze travels around the exquisite stonework as her claws pick at her threadbare coat.

“Are you kidding? I was just a dumb farm boy when I signed up. Don’t worry about it.” His hand travels to the seal at his chest, fingertips resting on gold in a sign of honesty. “It’s in your blood, Clio. You know how I know? That sword thing you did!”

“What, this?” She coils her grip around an imaginary hilt as light flares between her fingers. It extends out roughly a foot in a tapered point that sizzles as it carves through the air. “What’s so special about it?”
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No. 932234 ID: 7816e7
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932234

Mariana grips the front of her robe as she gasps. The guardian waves a hand frantically and a gate opens; a chair drops through with a clunk and she collapses into it. “Is that..?”
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No. 932236 ID: 989a71

I believe it is.
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No. 932242 ID: b1b4f3

>>932234
Nobody's told her? You should tell her.
The only other person known to summon a sword of rift magic was Augustus Moot.
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No. 932249 ID: 94e3ab

Gabe, grin ear to ear and all but vibrate through the floor in excitement as you answer Mariana, "The Claiomh Solais." Clio, have no clue what's the big deal about this and ask as much. Gabe and Mariana, sit Clio down and finally explain to her in full why this spell, and she, is such a big fuckin' deal. Gabe, inform Mariana that you know it's the real deal because you saw Clio use it to cut a binding spell built to hold a god. Clio, feel rather overwhelmed.
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No. 932251 ID: e7848c

>>932234
See why we're so interested in her enrolling?
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No. 932253 ID: b1b4f3

>>932251
Well I mean we were gonna do it even before she showed off her fancy dagger.
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No. 932256 ID: 497c9a

CLAIMH SOLAIS! Used by the famous augustine moot. So famous she got a monolithic statue in the middle of the town named after her. That we were just in.
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No. 932265 ID: 7ac36b

I agree with >>932038 , let's not tell *too* much about the spell's origin (at least not right away). Mentioning it's very uncommon among senders should be enough for now.
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No. 932271 ID: f57349

Well, I dunno. IS that something whoever's in charge of admissions would want to hear about sooner rather than later? You're having trouble standing up even though I'm the one with the buzz, so maybe this spell has enough sway for everybody.
>>
No. 932273 ID: 3ed3c3

>>932234
Well, what else could it be?
>>
No. 932278 ID: 7ac36b

>>932271
We're not trying to keep it from the higher-ups, but from Clio herself (so it wouldn't go to her head).
>>
No. 932292 ID: bcc41d

>>932234
>is that...?
Nod, with stars twinkling in your eyes.

"Uh-huh."

>What's so special about it?
"History~"

>>932278
Not so worried about it going to her head as much as her being compared up against Augustine Moot might set a standard for her that she'll never feel able to reach.
>>
No. 932293 ID: a9af05

>>932278
I'm more worried that she'll end up getting scared and running away, when everyone sets high expectations of her and she's unable to meet those expectations.
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No. 932300 ID: c1212a

It's no joke neither, busted through Casey's god-binder spell thing no problem. The real deal.
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No. 932323 ID: 7816e7
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932323

Gabe beams, “I think so. I wanted to get your opinion.”

“Gabe, this isn’t a prank, is it?”

“I saw it cut through Casey’s binding spell. Its real.”

“What’re you talking about? What’s so special about this thing?” Clio holds the legendary weapon up for examination.

“Its called the Claíomh Solais, the sword of light.” Mariana ruffles her feathers and lets them settle as she regains her composure. She stands up from her chair and clasps her hands together. “I-I’m sorry, I... That is a very old spell, thought to be lost for centuries, created by our founder: Augustine Moot. I… never expected to see it with my own eyes.”

“Moot, that’s the big statue statue with the sword?” She eyes the magical blade with skepticism. “Seems like hers was a lot bigger...”

“Since the end of the Wild Age, many spells have...” she rotates her hand in a vaguely expository loop, “...diminished. The size of the spell doesn’t really matter: what matters is what it is.”

“And that is?”

“Well... most gates don’t behave as objects: they’re regions in space. They’re static, although they do have some momentum relative to the caster and planetary orbit-“ She pauses, reading Clio’s confused expression. “Gates aren’t things, they’re places-” She simplifies with a series of pointed hand-chops. “That spell behaves differently: you can pick it up, touch it, wave it around. It has depth and shape to it. The Sender Order has spent the last five hundred years trying to figure out how it worked.”

“Huh... cool.” Clio turns the spell over in her hand, “Claive Solish, was it?”

“Its a mouthful, eh?” Gabe wiggles with excitement. “So she can join, right?”

The guardian rubs her forehead and thinks. “I mean... we’d have to be insane to turn her away. What do you think Clio?”
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No. 932326 ID: e7848c

>>932323
Are you ready to have some stability in your life? Keep in mind that it will require work. Natural talent can only take you so far. As amazing as it is, your born skills have to grow with you as a person.
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No. 932333 ID: b1b4f3

>>932323
Clio will accept of course. She wants to control her magic properly so that she won't hurt anyone by accident again. Then she can try to find her family.
Actually uh we should probably find her family before then, since we need to find out what happened to Augustine Moot and Lord Hekal and that's certainly a good lead. I mean, wouldn't her descendants have some clues in their heirlooms, if they don't outright have some oral history that would help?
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No. 932339 ID: 91ee5f

>>932323
>What do you think Clio?
“I don’t want to accidentally hurt anyone again. If you can teach me how to better control my magic, then I want to join!”
>>
No. 932342 ID: 3ed3c3

>>932323
It would be nice to have a place to lay her head.
It would also be awesome to learn how to be a badass wizard.
Is there a dress code?
What's the policy on outside food and drink?
Smoking or no smoking?
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No. 932364 ID: f57349

Ask about pay. Sounds like they want this more than just about anything, so they can afford to give you an apartment and a meal stipend at least, right?
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No. 932366 ID: c1212a

Trepidation aside, is there even anybody you should say goodbye to or things to pack up?
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No. 932438 ID: 7816e7
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932438

“I- well, I’ve never really stayed in one place too long. But, Gabe said you guys could teach me so I don’t hurt anybody with my gates any more. And- and maybe I can use ‘em to help people I guess?” She shrugs, “Long time ago some folks taught me to use ‘em to take stuff, but... that never felt right. I just, you know, don’t want anybody using my magic like that again.”

“Understandable. Should you ever feel uncomfortable with arrangements here, let me know directly. Is there anything you might need or anyone you should talk to about all of this?”

Clio exhales and slouches, letting the Claíomh Solais fade into sparks. “No, I mean- I have some stuff stashed away in the city I should go grab. Is there a dress code?”

“Not until you get recognized as an official sender. And even then...” Mariana tilts a hand at Gabe and shrugs.

“Pshh, I look amazing.” Gabe winks.

“Y-you’re okay with me leaving to get my stuff?” Clio’s eyes flicker between the senders.

“If you’re as talented as Gabe says, I doubt there’s much we could do to stop you.” She smiles with sage calmness. “Just know that, should you decide to leave, you’re always welcome.”

“Oh, okay. Actually is there a window I could use?”
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No. 932439 ID: 7816e7
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932439

Mariana leads the way outside through corridors etched with geometric patterns. Clio cranes her neck this way and that, trying to take in the mathematical majesty. As they come to an open balcony, the former thief hurries to the railing and spots her destination. “Okay be right back!” She takes a running jump and disappears in a scarlet thunderclap.

Mariana Rue-Larrey sighs and backhands Gabe lightly in the chest. “Gabe! What the Fates? You could’ve told me you’d found the freaking spell of legend. I nearly had a heart attack!”

“Yeah but would you have believed me?”

“Oh Minerva. No, probably not. But still, you don’t just drop that on someone!” She pinches the bridge of her beak. “Where on earth did you find her?”
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No. 932441 ID: b1b4f3

>>932439
Well, a friend of yours lost something and thought it might have been a pickpocket. Turns out that wasn't the case, but you still spotted Clio stealing something so you chased her down. When it became clear she had natural rift magic you decided to help her get her act together. She doesn't even know where her family is at this point. It's a bit sad.
She probably won't be stealing anything from here on.
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No. 932442 ID: cb6404

>>932439

It'd be more correct to say that she found us.
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No. 932443 ID: c1212a

That's a story for when someone else is buying the drinks.
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No. 932445 ID: 3ed3c3

>>932439
Picking pockets out on the streets. She gave him a good runaround when he caught on, too. Gods know the girl has raw talent to spare. Baggage, too. They'll want to be patient with this one.
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No. 932447 ID: 91ee5f

>>932439
>spell of legend
Do you think it’s possible she could be a descendant of Augustine Moot? It could explain her natural magical talent and could explain how she’s able to use the Claíomh Solais.

>“Where on earth did you find her?”
Explain what happened in the market earlier today.

Yes, she’s a pickpocket, but you heard what she said, she doesn’t feel right about that and she wants to change. I really think we can help turn her life around if we give her a chance.
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No. 932449 ID: 724ada

Ok, low voice. Don't want to talk about her behind her back too much, so make this quick. You heard her mention people teaching her to use her portals to take stuff? We ran into her while trying to track down an object a friend of ours had lost, and while it turned out she wasn't involved, she seemed... associated with the business of lost objects, if you get me. Seems to have been living off the streets. Recent arrival, since she didn't know what senders are.

I'm worried about her being intimated by all this. I don't think she's used to, you know... much. And probably is used to having to watch her back and her things. Please keep that in mind.
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No. 932454 ID: 864e49

>I- well, x2
Is there an echo in here?

Mention that you wounder is she's a descendant of Augustine Moot.
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No. 932461 ID: 8d23f0

>>932439
getting some bread at the local bakery :3 <-- Gabe face here
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No. 932463 ID: 10c408

"...To be honest, I only found her at the market because she swiped someone's watch while I was looking for a friend's fireward."

Stress that she's likely had it rough and with her talent, is unlikely to get found if she decides to skip town because of her past.
>>
No. 932465 ID: 419ea7

>>932439
Believe it or not, completely by accident!
we thought she'd robbed a friend of mine, but it turned out to be a misunderstanding.
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No. 932549 ID: 7816e7
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932549

“We though she stole something from a friend of ours. Turned out to be a big mixup, but she’s got tons of talent and has been living on the street.” The lanky mouse shrugs and scratches at the back of his neck. “Sounds like she’s been through some shit, though. I hope she doesn’t just take off.”

“No one can keep running forever, not even a sender. We’ll have to do our best to make sure she has a home here.”

The senders look up at massive shape looming over the Academy. The stone back of Augustine Moot blots out the sky, casting the long shadow of history over the school.

“Do you think...?” Gabe tilts his head at the founder in an unfinished question.

“There’s a lot we don’t know about madam Moot.” Mariana shakes her head and her beak clacks with frustration. “It’s unknown whether she had any relations, let alone decedents. But if they are connected, it would explain a few things.”

“Like what?”

“The origin of gate magic, for one. Historians have long assumed that Augustine borrowed and adapted fey spacial magic when creating the first gate spells. But that would imply spending years of studying among the fey. However this seems out of place, as she seems to have come from extremely humble origins. Apparently for much of her life she could barely read or write, something necessary for mortal members of a fey court.”

“Ugh don’t remind me.” Gabe sags. “I’m supposed to be finding out what happened between her and that vampire. But she didn’t write anything down! Everything I’ve looked at was written after she died!” 

“Well, one can hardly call this a coincidence.” Mariana smiles. “Maybe the Fates are throwing us a bone. With any luck Clio will be the key we need to unlocking this mystery. Thank you for bringing her: even if things don’t work out, I feel lucky just to have seen the Claíomh Solais."

“We should try and see if we can find out anything about her family. I don’t want to pry her too much though: I don’t want Clio to think we’re just trying to use her.”

Mariana pats him on the back. “That’s what makes a good guide: thinking of others first. We’ll let Clio get settled and see what she thinks of the Academy. With any luck, she’ll open up once she’s comfortable. Till then, I suggest you keep researching.”

Groaning, the mouse deflates, his shoulders rolling inwards under the weight of the task before him. "Ughhhh I knew you were gonna say thaaaat."

End of epilogue

New goal: Wedding planners
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No. 932559 ID: 3ed3c3

>>932549
Another wonderful chapter!
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No. 932605 ID: edf377

>>932549
That was a nice epilogue.

Kinda hope the next chapter involves Caleb in some way, only because we haven't put him in our party yet since the ship chapter, also maybe Delilah and Cecil again, just cause I wonder how they're doing.
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No. 932606 ID: 91ee5f

>>932605
Speaking of characters we haven’t seen in a while, I kinda want to see what Mr. Ochre and Flashing Feathers are up to.
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