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    After some time spent aiding the rescue efforts in the trail of destruction Stratford's building-gone-monster had left, Sei returned to the rooftop located away from the action, where she had left her bag before getting involved. Much to her relief, the building it rested on was more or less untouched, but there was definitely some cleaning of junk and debris to do outside. And with no roof access, the bag was still there, exactly as Sei had left it. Confirming the contents hadn't been messed with by some unknown figure, Sei looked westward. Megalopolis University still needed that form. And with the destruction that had just sliced through so much of the city, Sei knew the trains would be delayed, if not stopped entirely, for some time. Which only meant one thing. Making the rest of the trip, and quite possibly her return trip - on foot. Certainly doable, but not something she wanted to do. Least of all in her current state, but she didn't have time to get patched up. Happy friggin' birthday, Sei. Megalopolis University, 1:58PM This wasn't the first time Sei had to run an errand for Alice, nor was it the first time said errands took her all the way across town like now. The campus was certainly a far cry from the rainy slums she currently resided in, generally for the better at that, but if she had to pick one or the other, Sei would go live in the 13th District any day of the week. Out of the way, generally little foot traffic, and the district wasn't fractured in what Sei considered a glorified gang war. Luckily, people generally didn't bother her, so she had no reason to bother them either. As Sei entered the building she needed to in order to turn in the form, the first thing she noticed was that the receptionist working here today wasn't the one she used to see coming here. While she hoped they were just out sick today, she did know that this would be an awkward conversation. "Excuse me," Sei said, stepping up to the desk and pulling the form out of her bag. "I need to turn in this form on behalf of Alice Solari." The receptionist looked up from his phone, to Sei and the paper she had set down. He seemed to be taken aback by the busted-up state Sei was in, but also seemed to dismiss it fairly quickly. Sei wasn't sure if that was just professionalism or if this university was really that violent, but she hoped it was the former. "Form for Alice Solari... and you are?" "I live with her." "She couldn't deliver it herself?" "She said she'd rather not do it in person if she can help it. I'm only here because there was a problem with the university website stopping her from sending it online." "So why's she sending her flatmate instead? One who seems to be a bit torn up, at that." "With all due respect, is that really any of your business? Alice's paperwork is right here, that's what matters, right?" "Ma'am, I'm gonna be completely honest with you, this is my first day working this desk, and I'm just trying to make sure you aren't submitting forged paperwork." "I can call her if you want." Without waiting for an answer, Sei reached back into her bag. It seemed she'd missed a few texts from Alice, but nothing important. Call her phone, and after a moment of waiting... "Hello?" "Hey, it's me, I'm at the university and... what's that noise?" Through the phone, Sei could hear some sort of background noise coming from Alice's end, that she didn't normally hear in these calls. "Oh, tha--AAH!!" Sei heard the unmistakable sound of a person falling down, and several metal objects clattering against the floor. "Alice!?" "Everything's fine! I just slipped! What's up?" "Right... I'm at the university. This guy at the desk wants to confirm you're real and I'm not forging your papers." "Seriously? Put him on." "Sure." Holding the phone out for the boy on the other side of the desk, Sei said "She wants to talk to you." "...hello?" "Hi, this is Alice Solari. Student ID number XXXX, major is theology. I'm not sure what's up with the website, but I wasn't able to submit that form online, so I sent Sei to do it for me. If I'd realized this would turn into a whole thing I would have just emailed my professor instead, but here we are. We were able to submit forms like this in the past with no problem, so I don't know why it's any different today." 6th District, 3:00PM After a frankly infuriating amount of back-and-forth between Alice, Sei, and the poor boy working the desk who was a bit too vigilant against potential forgeries, culminating in the form finally being submitted, it was time to go home. While she was glad to leave the campus, Sei remembered that she still would have to make the return trip on foot, likely as not. Especially since she wanted to check the site of the disaster of the day, to make sure everything didn't go back to shit while she was gone. Between her earlier injuries, exerting the power of the kami to hasten her trip to the university, then doing it again to get back to the scene, Sei was barely standing by the time she got back to the Samsara Titan's resting place to confirm that it was still immobile, and that efforts were still underway to fix things up. She couldn't help but wonder how they planned to get rid of the building. Her Fount senses were tingling though. In addition to at least one Fount still aiding in the rescue efforts, she could detect a small cluster of them in a bar nearby. Probably the group that had helped fight the thing earlier, if she were a guessing woman. Dragging her feet to the place in question confirmed her suspicions. It seemed Elita was receiving questions from someone, but Sei didn't pay much mind to the details of the conversation. Instead, she scoped out an empty seat at the bar, put herself in it, and promptly flopped her head against the bar. Mentally exhausted from the chaos and death from just a few hours ago, and physically exhausted from the trip to university and back, Sei was more than happy to just sit here for a while. That was, until she felt yet another Fount's presence. Turning enough to look at the door behind her while still keeping her head on the bar, she saw... someone familiar, but she couldn't put a name to the face at this exact moment. But she definitely knew who this guy was. Him and that power of his. Good kid, really. "I... I surrender..." He managed to get out, his voice barely a whisper. "I-I'm sorry..." "For what, exactly?" Sei groaned. "You don't seriously think you did all that, right?" "You don't have to try to make me feel better..." Karna muttered. His hands was still shaking as he took a deep breath. "I always knew this Fount Power was dangerous... I just... never thought..." "It absolutely is dangerous, but that's not what I meant. Elita here and myself were inside that tower monster thing earlier. Someone... hypnotized the mayor or something, I guess. However they did it, or whoever it was, it couldn't possibly be you. If you really wanna do something to make up from a crime you didn't commit though, I'm sure nobody would say no to some extra help in rescue & cleanup efforts. I'd help, but my legs feel like warm pudding after going to the university and back. And I still have to get back home too..." 6th District, 3:00PM "‼↨☺♀♀☼↨." Above a pile of debris, a rift in the world opened. The face - or what seemed like a face, anyway - of something that defied imagination reared its head from within. Its mouth opened wide, and from within came a number of tongues, reaching out, grabbing piles of rubble and metal, and pulling them into the mouth from whence they came. "¶◘↕☼↨." Elsewhere in the affected area, a long, jagged tentacle reached from what seemed like thin air. Each of the suckers on the tentacle seemed to be a small arm in its own right, each one scooping up some of the wreckage in the area and tossing it aside, clearing the way to find would-be survivors stuck in the rubble and debris. Survivors that, if Kiyoko were to find any, would surely be greeted with a passionate welcome and explanation of the life-saving greatness of the Old Gods. "♥☼♀♀♣♥¶." In a part of the affected area Kiyoko noticed she'd been neglecting, a few smaller, more easily-described arms descended upon the ruined area. They reached down, picking up whatever loose ends needed removing from the streets to ensure people could get through with ease, and bringing them upward into the hole in the world that accommodated them. Quite frankly, this was a whole lot of work! Far more than one person could ever hope to accomplish alone, even with some otherworldly assistance. And Kiyoko had been hard at work since the Samsara Titan stopped moving. A break was more than well deserved, and it was probably wise to confirm the other Founts that had helped during the crisis were all alright. Closing up the holy book for the time being, Kiyoko turned, and went a few blocks over, to a rather beaten-up bar that had tragically lost its roof in the chaos from earlier. Inside were several Founts, most of whom Kiyoko recognized from the efforts earlier today. Including one who was asking a lot of questions. Well, if it was answers she sought, Kiyoko was happy to provide. "Pardon me," she said, approaching the questioning blonde in question. "I mostly played a backing role, but I may also be able to provide some insight on the affairs that happened here." "You sure you wanna speak?" April raised a brow as the other young girl approached her, "I'm not exactly keen on questioning kids." "I'll have you know I am a legal adult. And while it may sound silly, I've always wanted to receive a press interview. Though I do wish it were under better circumstances..." "Better circumstances, huh? What circumstances would those be?" "Something like... "New Religion Takes Megalopolis By Storm!" perhaps. "Exclusive Interview With Head Priestess Kiyoko Nanashi: Learn More About The Divine Grace And Unfathomable Glory Of The Old Gods!" A girl can dream, right?" "You sure can," April smiled a bit... before her expression dropped entirely. "Not interested. I'm not going to be a mouthpiece for yet another cult." "Please, this isn't a cult. A cult is something like those Hyperion folks, who believe so fervently in something so obviously fake. What I preach is very real. More real than us, perhaps! Plus to qualify as a cult we'd need more than one member, but that's not the point. The Old Gods are very much real, and I've got the book to prove it right here." Gently extending the Necronomicon in April's direction, Kiyoko smiled "Read it if you don't believe me. Just a little peek, and you'll never see this world the same again. Surely you'd have nothing to lose if it's so fake, right?" Alas, it seemed Kiyoko's attempt to get someone else to read the holy book's pages had fallen on deaf ears. Either April wasn't listening anymore, or had spontaneously lost her sense of hearing entirely. Very well. Transgressions are meant to be forgiven, so I'll wave this one off. I'm sure she'll come around eventually.
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    ←Previous Post Week Thirty-Eight -- The Necromancer I entertained a delegation of experts from overseas, eager to plumb the depths of their knowledge and share with them certain techniques and alchemical processes I had found to yield wondrous and terrifying results. Having learned all I could from my visiting guests, I murdered them as they slept. The changes made for the Veteran-level Necromancer fight aren’t worth talking about if only because they’re so expected. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any new developments on this run, though. Let’s just get right into all that. CowCow gets the damage trinkets because The Goliath is already pretty damage-focused and just needs some accuracy. The Goliath isn’t the best class given how most of the enemies resist the bleed status effect of his main attack, but he’s still rather strong, and his random stun won’t have any other targets if he does it fast enough. Jumping ahead a little bit, I wish I managed to get a screenshot of CowCow’s damage numbers because he was hitting for like 45 on a crit. Anyway, it’s a pretty standard party, I think. Audrey lunges forward to put Cow in the optimal position to use his own lunge on turn one, Euryale is the healer, and The Goliath is the tank at the front. Both Cowcow and Euryale can also manage the Thrall’s “stress on every little hit” mechanic as well, so we shouldn’t have any trouble at all. (they write, having already played through the mission knowing exactly what trouble there is to find) Oh, look at that, two more infections. This is getting to the point where I should probably take some blood with me just for peace of mind. This is a medium dungeon, at least, which means less time for these vampires to waste away, and being a boss dungeon makes it even shorter since we know exactly where we’re going and the shortest path to get there, but these infections are adding up. Dare I try and cure them for a bit or do I just keep pushing onwards a little further? There’s also the matter of a new enemy type flying around the dungeons, the gargoyle. They are mostly annoying thanks to their high prot, but their low health means a good pick to the face courtesy of Audrey the Graverobber takes care of them easily through that. They’re also unholy, which means CowCow has little trouble as well. That isn’t to say they aren’t annoying. They either rend the front two rows and can shuffle them back or they can tail swipe the back two rows to stun them. They’re not great to keep around, but they also could easily be worse. The biggest change to the Necromancer is the enemies it summons. Sure, it has appropriately buffed health and damage numbers, but the strategy of “hold the fort and pick off the summons to keep the fight manageable” is a lot harder when the first thing it summons is a skeleton with stealth, or a tanky skeleton that takes at least two rounds to kill. Of course, that’s where the stuns come in, making the Necromancer much easier to race by virtue of simply limiting its turns. And when the stun comes with a hefty 20 Crusader damage attached, it’s pretty easy to see where things are going. That being said, it’s technically Audrey that gets the kill by virtue of getting the last hit and having her blight being part of the DOT that ends this particular necromancer’s career. There are getting to be a few too many infected adventurers waiting around with little to do, and this is our one chance before champion-level dungeons to try and alleviate that. The actual breach of the courtyard grounds won’t be next week, but we do have to get our potential party ready. See you then, -r ←Previous Post
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    Kaede had spent the last several hours being very quiet. Usually you had to put a book in front of her face for that effect, but she was content now to merely sit and let the adults do all the talking. Her mother was being seen to by the swarm of paramedics who had descended upon the district. Kaede herself had only been allowed to go free by them about an hour before. “Okaa-san,” she had told her mother, hand in hers. “Jeremy told me um, some of the people who helped me out there are at this place down the street… I think I need to go there. I need to know what happened today." And now she was here. Still wrapped in the blanket the paramedics had given her, listening to the large group of Founts talking over the incident. She almost couldn’t believe Stratford was dead. It felt like he had been a fixture of the city forever. And that his killer, the one who had driven him this far, could still be out there. She had been listening carefully to the others the entire time, eyes unfocused as she took it all in, and THAT was the biggest takeaway she had. This could happen again. She frowned, pulling out the Library. She rolled it out on one of the tables near her, the great rainbow scroll glimmering against the wood. She had only translated a small portion of the Library, but there could be something about this, about all this, inside it. She just had to find it. Fast. “The one who compelled Stratford,” she said quietly, the first words she’d spoken. “They’re another Fount, right? Has to be. But if they can force Stratford to do all of this… They’re obviously very strong.” She looked up to April. “They can’t have gone unnoticed with strength like that, right? There has to be a record somewhere. Of who they are, or at least what their predecessors did with it, right? Oh and uuuuh, I guess I can do an interview, um, thing? I might be busy with this for a while though, it's a LOT of work.” She held up one end of the Library, pointing at it. “This has a lot of information in it about magic and other things… I just haven’t been able to decipher a lot of it.” She perked up. “I think I managed to translate the word ‘shadow’ though,” she called perkily to Elita. “If there was a shadow person I can maybe look for that! I’d love to look in your book as well, miss,” she said cheerily to Kiyoko, “see if there’s anything useful in there.” “But we’ve got to figure out who did it, right? I don’t want the thing with the Titan or anything like it to happen again. Besides… It could be one of us, next time. Especially if they catch wise we're poking around.” That was a stark thought, indeed. “So we just have to find out who it was and stop them, right?!?” she asked, rising to stand, the difference miniscule. Kerna’s entrance then thoroughly surprised her. Is it really just gonna be that easy?! - - - - - - - “Hell, if he wants to take the wrap for it, I say fuck it, let ‘im.” The door slammed shut behind a narrow-eyed Kess, Leo’s bat slung up behind her head, one hand on each end of it as she glared around at the assembled group, eyeing Karna in particular. “Saves me a fuckin’ headache, at the very least.” “Kessan-!” Ryo blanched as Kess swung the bat off her shoulders, leveling it at the girl. “Don’t use my full name, you snow-headed shit. Hell are you doing here anyway, having an ice cream social?” She cast her eyes around the room again, raising an eyebrow. “Aaaah, I gotcha… You guys are all the others, huh?” She turned her leg to show off the number 120 that was emblazoned on the side of her calf, visible through a large tear her jeans had incurred during her ejection from the Titan. “Let’s see, and is- HA!” She leveled the bat again, pointing it at Leo as she spotted him behind the bar. “Dropped something, dipshit,” she called lazily, tossing the bat with a little more vigor than was strictly necessary. It slammed into the wall behind him, breaking some of the few intact bottles in a glorious cascade of glass and sound. “Oops,” she said sardonically, striding up to the bar and hopping up on top, turning to sit upon it and lean back to glare at him. “You’re lucky I’m on the clock, or I’d settle our score from earlier.” Leo grinned, grabbing hold of his bat and swinging it around to rest on the bar in front of him, deliberately sweeping it through several more bottles, splattering the wall with alcohol. "You might want to get checked out by our new medic friend here, otherwise it wouldn't be a very fair fight," he raised an arm, pointing toward April with his thumb. Kess barked out a laugh, kicking her feet through the air lazily. “HA! You’re assuming you hurt me enough that I even noticed.” She was very tired, run down from the fighting and the long walk she had taken towards District 7 before she had caught sight of a cloud of shaped smoke in the sky above. One of Morgan’s regularly changing code signals, almost going unnoticed in the great haze of smoke and concrete dust rolling into the air from the Titan’s wake. Go back had been the directive. Kess had sworn loudly and wheeled back around to beat feet back towards the cite of the fight. She was worn out, but she'd be damned if she showed it. “So catch me up; Somebody tldr this shit. The fuck happened?” She looked back over her shoulder at Leo. “Oh, by the way, Bubblegum, you getting in my way to stop me from killing Stratford? Great job, he ate it anyway. Who killed him? One of you plucky shits get the kill on him? No small job.” Her eyes ran over Saranshina, up and down the impressive figure. “Was it Joan of Arc over here?” “Oh, one last thing,” she added, interrupting the one or two voices that had begun to answer her, holding up a hand to point at Ryo. “Hey, you. Get the fuck out. I don’t give a shit what your frigid bitch leader ‘needs to know’, I need to know more and I’m tougher and hotter and more wiling to kick your ass from wall to wall to prove it than you. Shove off.” Ryo’s eye twitched, but that was the sole reaction this verbal onslaught garnered. "I have heard enough about what happened to take care of this on my own. Stay well, Kessandra." And with that she rose to leave, the door quietly closing behind her in a stark contrast to Kess’s entrance. Kess stared at the door for a second with an expression that looked like disappointment. In a way it was. “Well. That was shockingly easy. I feel ripped off. Aaaaah well. I just made this whole shebang way more bearable with a single callout, you can thank me later. And the name's Kess, for the record, not Kessandra.” She leaned back, turning her predatory gaze back to the despairing Karna. “Is it your fault or not, spit it out, man!” she barked, seemingly oblivious to the fact she had been dominating the verbal space since her entrance.
  4. 1 like
    Starfall Street & Path of Legends are 2 of the BEST stories Pokémon has ever created! For 2 entirely different reasons too! All that's left for me to do is beat the Elite 4 and Champion to become a Champion-Ranked trainer, then... Post game time!
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    As the skeleton hound moved to attack Robin's chest, the "dread pirate" reacted in turn, dropping the gun in her hand to instead fill her hand with magical fire. A ball of fire that she promptly drove into the ribs of the hound, before giving the beast a push and releasing the fireball from her grasp, kicking it back enough that Robin would be only trivially singed by her fireball at worst, but she definitely felt the surge of heat from the blast. “Keep moving, uh, that way!” "Aye-aye!" Picking up her guns from the floor, Robin hurried back to her feet as best she could with her good hand barely being usable. It would definitely be harder to aim her guns like this, but actually throwing fireballs was definitely out of the question in these circumstances. Guns it was. Putting away any non-magical firearms, Robin resolved to only use the runelock pistol if her aim was going to be less than ideal. It would be a shame to waste perfectly good bullets, after all. "May wanna mind yer head, Chris!" Robin called out, taking aim as best she could manage with her bad hand, and firing a flaming shot at one of the skeletons not presently occupied with the boy. While it wasn't as clean of a hit as she would have liked, Robin was still able to land a shot on one of the other skeletons, blowing off one side of its upper body in the process. It did seem to drop the walking bag of bones, at least.
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    Walter Jones, Johnny Young Bosch, Karan Ashley, David Yost, and Austin St John have all made posts about JDF passing... it's still hard to think that part of my childhood and someone who made it awesome, is no longer here...
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