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Everything posted by Justin OOC

  1. News from the streets of Ptolus, secrets of the upcoming Kickstarter revealed, the release of Stay Alive!, a Humble Bundle treasure trove of Cypher System books, a fireside interview with Monte Cook, and much more in this week’s Cypher Chronicles! You can get Cypher Chronicles, and other MCG news, delivered right to your inbox! The post Cypher Chronicles, vol. 7-2020 appeared first on Monte Cook Games.
  2. The Ptolus Kickstarter is on the horizon, take your character sheet to the next tier, and take a walk on the dark path. All this, streams, and more in this week’s Cypher Chronicles. You can get Cypher Chronicles, and other MCG news, delivered right to your inbox! The post Cypher Chronicles, vol. 6-2020 appeared first on Monte Cook Games.
  3. In which we do a deep dive (get it?) into They Came from Beneath the Sea! (TCfBtS!) with developer Matthew Dawkins. A Dickensian derailment! About the meta-elements in TCfBtS! Connecting it to MST3K Cinematics How Matthew came to make this game How the tone of the game shifted over its development Larry Blamire and meta horror movies A bit about the fiction in TCfBtS! (Dixie helped!) Some thoughts on the humor and inclusivity of TCfBtS! A bit on cult movies A Twilight digression Putting TCfBtS! into Storypath Mechanics discussion Various ways to run TCfBtS! A bit on They Came from Beyond the Grave! Matthew talks about the Midwinter TCfBtS! session (Hi, Gehenna Gaming crew!) Types of characters you can play/crossover possibilities Links: They Came from Beneath the Sea!: https://they-came-from-beneath-the-sea.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared (CW: all sorts of weird shit): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C_HReR_McQ All Flesh Must Be Eaten: https://www.edenstudios.net/allflesh.html Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garth_Marenghi%27s_Darkplace X-COM: Terror from the Deep: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-COM:Terror_from_the_Deep Phoenix Dawn Command: https://www.phoenixdawncommand.com/ Men in Black: The Roleplaying Game: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_in_Black:_The_Roleplaying_Game Trail of the Screaming Forehead: https://www.shudder.com/movies/watch/trail-of-the-screaming-forehead/2228147 The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Skeleton_of_Cadavra Twilight Article Dixie mentioned: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/twilight-isnt-the-worst-film-ever-made-youre-just-sexist Scream: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scream(1996_film) Red Moon Roleplaying: https://www.redmoonroleplaying.com/ The Room: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Room_(film) Gehenna Gaming: https://www.gehennagaming.com/ TCfBtS! Movie Trailer: https://youtu.be/kxLydk4t76s TCfBtS! Actual Play: https://youtu.be/DlcvFpWKH6Y Onyx Path Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/theonyxpath Onyx Path Discord: https://discord.gg/5uckcBk
  4. Greetings! Travis Legge here, returning to continue playtesting for our forthcoming Scarred Lands RPG supplements. The feedback we received on last month’s release of Playtest #1 Hollow Legionnaire Revisited and Goreguard has been incredibly insightful and helped us immensely in finalizing those elements for release! With this post we now begin our weekly releases of playtest material, so please be sure to check back here each week for the latest post! As our team prepares for the release of Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad and Vigil Watch, we’ll be introducing several rules to playtest through Open Development. Check them out, use them at your tables, and let us know what you think. Here’s the details! Thirteen playtest packages in total Each playtest is open for three weeks Each playtest includes a survey for you to enter your feedback and rate your satisfaction with the content Each playtest document will contain a link to a brief survey for feedback. I will post a new playtest each week, with each survey open for three weeks, on the Onyx Path blog. The final Open Development playtest in this schedule will be posted on Tuesday, March 24th, 2020. This week we return to the crimson waters of the Blood Sea! Follow the link to find rules for the Rogue Archetype: Blood Sea Pirate and Blood Sea Alchemy. Try them out at your table and let us know what you think! Link to Playtest #2: Blood Sea Pirate and Blood Sea Alchemy Link to Playtest #2 Feedback: https://forms.gle/SZ1d23mdzPhqhnV6A The next playtest will be posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. See you then!
  5. LESS THAN THREE DAYS LEFT FOR THE V5 CULTS OF THE BLOOD GODS KICKSTARTER! It is, in fact, doing fantastic, with over 2200 backers so far. The comments section, knock wood, has been overwhelmingly positive and energized – which really encourages our team to pop in and answer questions and chat a bit. So, come over and check it out and as a backer you can check out the text that we’ve released to backers so far. Which is most of it. If you disagree with those 2200 other backers and dislike it, you can bail out before the KS is over. No harm, no foul. We want our backers to be into the project, and totally understand when some folks don’t dig it. Not every project appeals to every potential backer. It’s why we set up our KSs this way, now. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/cults-of-the-blood-gods-for-vampire-the-masquerade-5th-ed Most of last week was spent at Mid Winter Convention in a gathering of almost the entire Monday Meeting crew plus dozens of freelancers. And a wonderful group of friends and fans, too. We started with: THE SUMMIT This was a day long – well half a day, it took us 12 hours – meeting where we took a look back at 2019, and then mostly looked at our plans for ongoing projects and how we could evolve our processes. Then we spent the second half of the day looking at how we wanted Onyx Path to grow throughout 2020. What works for us and so should be nurtured and fed with love and effort and money. If we felt something was no longer working, we didn’t just trash it, we looked at ways to change it or replace it so that our original goal for it was more likely to be met. It was loud and long and lively, and ultimately we filled three walls with Post-Its filled with our ideas. We’re already working on some of the changes, with more to come of our efforts all through 2020 (and beyond). Then it was time for dinner, and normally in Milwaukee we’d go to the traditional German restaurant Maders (a tradition going all the way back to when White Wolf ate there during Gen-Con), but then this happened: I cry at the door to Maders: temporarily closed for renovation. So we all ate at a different restaurant, which was perfectly nice, but not steeped in tradition. Sob! Later that night, I joined with our amazing Onyx Pathcast hosts (Dixie, Matthew, and Eddy) for a very silly Pathcast recording that went live last Friday. You can find that on Podbean, or on your favorite podcast venue. Matthew, Eddy, and Dixie “enjoying” their favorite Mario pastime! From there on in, we were attending the convention. So: THE MID WINTER CONVENTION Here is a run-down with a whole lot of pics taken throughout, as were the earlier ones, by the multi-talented Meredith Gerber. Eddy’s Developer Bootcamp. Thursday was set-up for the booth and some professional seminars and panels designed to help freelancers and aspiring creators with tips on such things as running a Kickstarter (Mighty Matt McElroy, Meredith, and I were that panel), to networking, to Eddy’s Developer Bootcamp where he divides attendees into teams, has them come up with a game concept, and walks them through each stage of creation. My favorite idea was a game where a cyber-pug is created in parts, with each cyber-part containing one bit of what I believe was an exploded pug’s body. I heard about it second-hand, so I might not be grasping the full nuanced concept. Friday, for us, was important. This was the day of our Onyx Path Q&A Social, which is a small gathering in a boardroom at the hotel, with snacks and drinks. We’ve found that this works better for us than the traditional panel at this convention. Onyx Path Q&A Social 2020 I explain some minor, inconsequential, point while the gang wait to announce new releases. Matt reminds us to announce Trinity Continuum: Adventure!, TC: Assassins, They Came From Beyond the Grave!, and The Hedge for CtL2e. Naeall Raemonn Pricae makes a point – potentially about Scion, Exalted Essence, or Trinity Continuum: Assassins. Or something that applies to all three at once. Eddy also makes a point – in an elegant and thought-provoking manner. That was our big group event, but individually everybody still had events they were a part of. In fact, right after the Q&A, Matthew demo’d They Came From Beneath the Sea!. Which I didn’t know about until I heard gales of laughter from the demo area and popped my head in to see what the jocularity was all about. It turns out the group was menaced by Commie Seaweed! But with a clever use of improvised Quip and Cinematics cards… …the day is saved by, well, getting the sinister seaweed stoned! Besides They Came From Beneath the Sea!, we had other games of ours being demoed throughout the convention, including Eddy playing Pugmire (big surprise, I know), and at least one more panel – which was for V5 Chicago By Night. Incidentally, mentioning V5 reminds me that not only do we have the Cults KS finishing up, but our friends over at Modiphius still have the pre-order open for Fall of London for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition! You can do that whole pre-order thing for the physical book over there on their website, and get a link for the PDF right away! But, besides helping out our fellow V5 content creators with a plug, here are some pics of Eddy playing Pugmire, and then the V5 Chicago By Night creators at their panel: Eddy demos Pugmire, the very best doggy game in the world! The V5 Chicago By Night creators no doubt revealing some scary and mysterious bit of lore from the book! The Chicago panelists and creators: Crystal Mazur, Matthew “The Gentleman Tongue” Dawkins, Mike Tomasek, and Eddy Webb. And so, to end our little visual tour of our adventures at Mid Winter in Milwaukee, here is a gorgeous picture taken once again by Meredith Gerber, of Matthew and I in a moment of downtime in our habitual haunt, the Monarch Lounge in the hotel: Lords of the Night, indeed! Check us out next week, after we’ve fully recovered – we hope! We’ll have lots more talk about our: Many Worlds, One Path! BLURBS! Kickstarter! V5 Cults of the Blood Gods is in its last few days! Thanks to all of you, the kickstarter has passed $131,000 and 2240 backers, and has trumpeted forward passing through Stretch Goal after Stretch Goal right into the new year! Next on Kickstarter, we are looking at Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition for Chronicles of Darkness! Onyx Path Media! This Friday’s Onyx Pathcast is an in-depth roundtable on the Trinity Continuum with Danielle Lauzon and Ian Watson from the MidWinter Convention in Milwaukee! Check it out direct on Podbean, or your favorite podcast venue! https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/ An abbreviated profile of media this week, as Matthew has only just got back from the States and is a little tired. We’ve a busy week ahead of us on Twitch with Vampire: The Masquerade, Chronicles of Darkness, Pugmire, Aberrant, Changeling: The Lost, Hunter: The Vigil, Changeling: The Dreaming, Scarred Lands and Blood City’s Chicago by Night! As ever, tune in to twitch.tv/theonyxpath to watch these shows live and subscribe to the channel! Our YouTube channel will start boosting its content again this week, with more Scion, Pugmire, Scarred Lands, Aberrant, Vampire and more! Find our YouTube channel on youtube.com/user/theonyxpath and as with Twitch, click subscribe! An Onyx Path News is coming this week! Here’s Occultists Anonymous‘ latest fantastic Mage: The Awakening shows: Episode 72: From The Ashes Before heading to the Yucatan, Atratus visits the soul fragment of a mage in an Atlantean soul stone. The cabal then heads down to Mexico and begins to investigate the ancient pyramid.https://youtu.be/NylE4FsuYfs Episode 73: This Isn’t Kansas The cabal investigates the portal atop the Pyramid of the Magician, for beyond it lies another world, and perhaps a clue to the grimoire they are searching for. Wyrd has spotted what seems to be a living Mayan civilization beyond the portal, but what really is out there?https://youtu.be/CETbEGEbrUU The Story Told Podcast have recently interviewed Onyx Path mainstay Vera Vartanian on the subject of Exalted right here: http://thestorytold.libsyn.com/episode-44-exalted-dragon-blooded-great-houses-part-1-with-vera-vartanian Red Moon Roleplaying have posted the final episode of The Sacrifice for V5 Chicago by Night, run by the excellent Klara Herbol, but as well, they’re still posting episodes of V5 Cults of the Blood Gods and Changeling: The Lost! Find their content on YouTube, Spotify, or redmoonroleplaying.com Drop Matthew a message via the contact button on matthewdawkins.com if you have actual plays, reviews, or game overviews you want us to profile on the blog! Please check any of these out and let us know if you find or produce any actual plays of our games! Electronic Gaming! As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is live! Our dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is awesome! (Seriously, you need to roll 100 dice for Exalted? This app has you covered.) On Amazon and Barnes & Noble! You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble). If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue from which you bought it. Reviews really, really help us get folks interested in our amazing fiction! Our selection includes these latest fiction books: Our Sales Partners! We’re working with Studio2 to get Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau out into stores, as well as to individuals through their online store. You can pick up the traditionally printed main book, the screen, and the official Pugmire dice through our friends there! https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire We’ve added Prince’s Gambit to our Studio2 catalog: https://studio2publishing.com/products/prince-s-gambit-card-game Now, we’ve added Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition products to Studio2‘s store! See them here: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/all-products/changeling-the-lost Scarred Lands (Pathfinder) books are also on sale at Studio2, and they have the 5e version, supplements, and dice as well!: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/scarred-lands Scion 2e books and other products are available now at Studio2: https://studio2publishing.com/blogs/new-releases/scion-second-edition-book-one-origin-now-available-at-your-local-retailer-or-online Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/ And you can order Pugmire, Monarchies of Mau, Cavaliers of Mars, and Changeling: The Lost 2e at the same link! And NOW Scion Origin and Scion Hero are available to order! One more week: DTRPG and its affiliated Community Content sites are running the New Year, New Game sale! A huge number of our PDFs are on sale from all of our game worlds, as well as a Big Scion 2e Bundle with 4 PDFs being offered for $13! https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/299474/NYNG-Scion-2E-BUNDLE As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles at DriveThruRPG.com! On Sale This Week! This Wednesday, we will be releasing the PDF and physical book PoD versions of M20 Book of the Fallen on DTRPG! This book deals with extremely disturbing and mature topics as it examines evil within the World of Darkness, and in Mage: The Ascension, in particular. Please be aware of this before making your order. Conventions! More conventions will be listed for 2020 in the weeks to come- And now, the new project status updates! DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM EDDY WEBB (projects in bold have changed status since last week): First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep) Exalted Essay Collection (Exalted) N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Contagion Chronicle Ready-Made Characters (Chronicles of Darkness) Trinity Continuum: Adventure! core (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!) Duke Rollo fiction (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) TC: Aberrant Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) RUST (Working Title) (Scarred Lands) Under Alien Suns (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Mission Statements (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Redlines Kith and Kin (Changeling: The Lost 2e) Dragon-Blooded Novella #2 (Exalted 3rd Edition) Many-Faced Strangers – Lunars Companion (Exalted 3rd Edition) Second Draft M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) Exigents (Exalted 3rd Edition) Crucible of Legends (Exalted 3rd Edition) Development Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition) TC: Aberrant Reference Screen (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Monsters of the Deep (They Came From Beneath the Sea!) Scion: Demigod (Scion 2nd Edition) Tales of Aquatic Terror (They Came From Beneath the Sea!) Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition) Contagion Chronicle: Global Outbreaks (Chronicles of Darkness) Contagion Chronicle Jumpstart (Chronicles of Darkness) Manuscript Approval Scion: Dragon (Scion 2nd Edition) Masks of the Mythos (Scion 2nd Edition) Trinity Continuum Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum Core) Player’s Guide to the Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness) Post-Approval Development Scion LARP Rules (Scion) Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition core rulebook (Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition) Titanomachy (Scion 2nd Edition) One Foot in the Grave Jumpstart (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2e) Editing Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition) Geist 2e Fiction Anthology (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition) Dragon-Blooded Novella #1 (Exalted 3rd Edition) Legendlore core book (Legendlore) WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness) Mythical Denizens (Creatures of the World Bestiary) (Scion 2nd Edition) Pirates of Pugmire KS-Added Adventure (Realms of Pugmire) Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad (Scarred Lands) Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Terra Firma (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades) Lunars Novella (Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition) Buried Bones: Creating in the Realms of Pugmire (Realms of Pugmire) Post-Editing Development TC: Aeon Ready-Made Characters (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition) City of the Towered Tombs (Cavaliers of Mars) W20 Shattered Dreams Gift Cards (Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th) TC: Aeon Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Vigil Watch (Scarred Lands) Scion Companion: Mysteries of the World (Scion 2nd Edition) Cults of the Blood Gods (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Wraith20 Fiction Anthology (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition) Hunter: The Vigil 2e core (Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition) Let the Streets Run Red (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) M20 The Technocracy Reloaded (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) Indexing ART DIRECTION FROM MIKE CHANEY! In Art Direction Contagion Chronicle – Last of finals coming in. Trinity Continuum: Aberrant Hunter: The Vigil 2e Ex3 Lunars – Art is in. TCfBtS!: Heroic Land Dwellers – LeBlanc working on finals. Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed – Finals starting to come in this week. Cults of the Blood God (KS) Mummy 2 City of the Towered Tombs Let the Streets Run Red – Art notes and contracts finishing going out this week. CtL Oak Ash and Thorn – Figuring out art notes. Scion Mythical Denizens – Need sketches for fulls. Deviant Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad – Finals all coming in. Vigil Watch – Need one more artist. Legendlore (KS) – Starting to gather art needs for KS. Technocracy Reloaded (KS) – Artwork for KS in progress. Scion Companion – Working on art notes for that. TC: Aeon Terra Firma In Layout Trinity Continuum Aeon: Distant Worlds Pirates of Pugmire – With Aileen. Wraith20 Anthology – First Proof. Proofing Dark Eras 2 – Backer PDF going out to backers this week. Trinity Continuum Aeon Jumpstart They Came from Beneath the Sea! – Backer PDF almost ready to send to backers. VtR Spilled Blood – 2nd proof with dev. Chicago Folio – First proof. At Press V5: Chicago – Shipping labels for backers being created, should start shipping rewards soon. Geist 2e (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition) – Shipping to fulfillment shippers. Geist 2e Screen – Being printed. DR:E – Shipping to fulfillment shippers. DRE Screen – Being printed. DR:E Threat Guide – Helnau’s Guide to Wasteland Beasties Memento Mori – Awaiting errata for input. M20 Book of the Fallen – PDF and PoD version go live on Wednesday on DTRPG! Today’s Reason to Celebrate! Almost our entire Monday Meeting crew made it to Milwaukee and back safely, and had a great and productive time at our Summit and the convention. I got stuck for a while in Milwaukee’s airport with a delayed plane, and Ian had a bunch of flights cancelled out from under him, but we’re all home now. Which is, for us, a pretty great trip!
  6. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 9, 2020 — Rich Thomas, founder and creative director of Onyx Path Publishing announced that Trinity Continuum: Adventure! and Trinity Continuum: Assassins will be the next tabletop RPG supplements in the Trinity Continuum line. Both will employ the Storypath system. Trinity Continuum: Adventure! is the newest science fiction-meets-pulp setting ready to be explored on the Trinity Continuum timeline. Set in the 1930s, Trinity Continuum: Adventure! retains its pulp action feel for Daredevils, Mesmerists, and Stalwarts while offering an update to the story. The Æon Society for Gentlemen, now in its tenth year, has evolved. Has philanthropist Maxwell Mercer been successful in his mission to build a community of Inspired? Though many of the same allegiances remain, Trinity Continuum: Adventure! setting advances the setting’s timeline to provide even more mystery and conflict. “The original edition of Adventure! stood alone in the Trinity Universe, and was limited to a single book, offering a tantalizing hint into a fantastic pulp setting,” said content lead Ian Watson. “We’re really looking forward to returning to period, and the exciting potential in being able to expand on it for the first time.” Trinity Continuum: Adventure! is being developed by Danielle Lauzon (Scion: Dragon, Trinity Continuum) and Ian A. A. Watson is overseeing setting-related content. The manuscript is currently in first draft. Trinity Continuum: Assassin creates a modern-day world of shadow for use in Trinity: not the world of hope, sacrifice, and unity posited by the core rulebook, but one where hidden societies of criminals and assassins lurk behind the surface of world government and high fashion. Inspiration strikes to those who seek to perfect the art of the kill. Assassins in the Trinity Continuum work to end the lives of the evil and corrupt. “This is something new for Trinity Continuum, adding additional elements to the modern-day setting,” said Eddy Webb, Trinity Continuum’s coordinating developer. “It’s a chance to showcase the wide variety of parallel possibilities within the Continuum, while tapping into exciting experiences like those seen in Assassin’s Creed and John Wick.” Trinity Continuum: Assassin is being developed by Monica Speca (Trinity Continuum) and Ian A. A. Watson is overseeing setting-related content. The manuscript is currently being outlined. Note: both the Trinity Continuum: Adventure! and Trinity Continuum: Assassin book will require the Trinity Continuum Core rule book for gameplay and will be designed using the Storypath System. The Storypath System is also the engine that powers Onyx Path’s Scion 2nd Edition and Trinity Continuum RPGs. Both digital and print editions of Trinity Continuum: Adventure! and Trinity Continuum: Assassin are planned for the new game following the success of a future Kickstarter. Links: Trinity Continuum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrinityContinuum Trinity Continuum on Onyx Path forums: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/main-forum/trinity About Onyx Path Publishing: Founded in 2012, Onyx Path Publishing is a Pennsylvania-based company dedicated to the development of exemplary, immersive worlds. Working with a group of amazingly talented creators, we explore print, electronic and other forms of media distribution to produce games and fiction based on the Scarred Lands, Pugmire, Scion, Trinity, Exalted, World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness properties. With over 20 years of publishing experience from which to draw, we are industry professionals who love the art of the game and plan to continue making meaningful, innovative contributions in the years to come. On the web: http://www.theonyxpath.com Twitter:@theonyxpath Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheOnyxPath Press Contact: Matt McElroy Email: theonyxpath@gmail.com ###
  7. Are you looking for inspiration to tell stories or narrate a game using the Monarchies of Mau corebook? Want a cat-tastic story to read? Tales of Excellent Cats can help. Edited by Melanie Meadors, this anthology is a collection of fourteen short stories written by established authors such as Elaine Cunningham and Lucy Snyder, as well as up-and-coming storytellers like LaShawn M. Wanak and ZZ Claybourne. Today, we’re pleased to share with a preview from “By Footpad and Clenched Claw”, written by Beth Cato. “What did you do, Raul?” Amelie Cymric von Mau asked the empty room. She wanted to grab her brother by the collar and shake him, hug him, never let go, but he was already gone. Dead. Murdered. In this very room, hours ago. Half his belongings were gone, too. She doubted either the constables or the murderers would have stolen Mama’s old theatrical mask collection off the wall. Papa’s collection of songbooks was gone, too. Had Raul hocked them himself — and if so, why? Was he being blackmailed? Or, perhaps more likely, was a friend of his in trouble? Oh, Raul. So sweet, so gullible. He’d give his right paw to help someone in need. When she’d last seen him two weeks before, she’d been infuriated by how he fussed over her. “I’m not about to fall over dead,” she’d finally snapped at him. Her black tabby tail lashed back and forth. “No,” he had murmured. “We know your death will come slowly.” “I’m fine,” she’d insisted as she left. The memory caused a new flare of sorrow. Her final words to him had been a lie. She should have been the one who died first. Her daily duties as a novitiate minister at the Temple of the Nine prepared her soul for her next life. Raul should have happily bumbled along for decades more, sleeping half the day and going to late shows and thieving just enough to scrape by. Instead, he was dead. The local constables didn’t care about justice. Raul had been a footpad, after all, and not a particularly good one. She’d seen the judgment in the eyes of the officers who came to deliver the bad news. Therefore, it was up to her to find Raul’s killer. That meant she had to move fast. As Papa used to say, she needed to “look for the musician while the last note wavered in the air.” A knock echoed through the door. “Amelie!” a familiar creaky voice called. “Are you still here, love?” Amelie hurried to open the door for Haley. When Amelie and Raul were young kits, they used to joke that Haley was so old, she’d been running the boarding house since the age of the Old Ones. Today, the gray cat looked more haggard than ever before. “I’m so sorry about Raul,” Haley said as she pulled back from a hug. “How do you fare?” Amelie knew she wasn’t merely inquiring about how she handled her sibling’s death. “I’m alive.” “You poor thing. Every time I hear cats go on about Daphne Persian von Cymric and that sick kitten of hers, I think of you. Do you ever tend to her little one?” Amelie supposed she should feel annoyed by how Haley swiftly changed the subject to the singer she and half the city idolized, but she welcomed the tangent today. “No. I heard the hospital can’t do much at this stage.” The older cat’s whiskers drooped. “That kind of suffering shouldn’t exist.” Amelie couldn’t argue with that. Issues like cancer and organ failure had largely been eradicated in the age of the Old Ones when cats took their rightful, dominant place in the world. And yet, Daphne’s kit was dying. So was Amelie. Her head minister said a few of the old, supposedly cured diseases had always lingered among cats, but the cases were usually kept quiet — with reason. Cats could be judgmental and cruel. A vocal segment of the public insisted that chronic conditions didn’t exist, which meant, in their minds, Daphne was surely faking her kitten’s illness to take a sabbatical. Right now, another death was foremost on Amelie’s mind. “Haley, what was going on with Raul? Why are half his belongings gone?” “He carried them out in a crate, whistling as he went. He didn’t seem sad or worried. He must have been under some sort of contract, too. His laundry stank of the sewer this week.” “He smelled like the sewer?” she echoed. “But he usually works — worked — the theater district.” By worked, she meant he picked pockets there. “I wish I knew,” Haley said. “I’ll find out.” Amelie edged out into the hallway. “You’re going already? When do you think you’ll be back? I don’t want to push you, but there’s a waiting list for rooms and—” “Soon,” Amelie said with a curt smile. She knew just who to ask about Raul’s business dealings, but she had to get to him prior to nightfall when he busied himself burgling houses — or before he indulged in one too many mugs of fermented milk. To finish reading “By Footpad and Clenched Claw” by Beth Cato, check out Tales of Excellent Cats today! Now available in multiple formats: Amazon (Kindle), B&N (Nook) DriveThruFiction (eBook/PoD)
  8. Here’s what we’ve released over the course of December. It’s been a big month for me personally, because it’s been the first rush of Trinity Continuum releases! Stay tuned for this year’s Release Retrospective… Onyx Path 2019-2020 Publishing Brochure: DriveThruRPG (PDF) Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook: Studio 2 (print), IPR (print), DriveThruRPG (PDF/PoD) Trinity Continuum: Trinity Continuum Storyguide Screen and Storyguide Booklet: Studio 2 (print), IPR (print), DriveThruRPG (PDF) Trinity Continuum: In Media Res: DriveThruRPG (PDF/PoD) Trinity Continuum: Æon: Studio 2 (print), IPR (print), DriveThruRPG (PDF/PoD) Trinity Continuum: Æon: Æon Storyguide Screen and Storyguide Booklet: Studio 2 (print), IPR (print), DriveThruRPG (PDF) Trinity Continuum: Æon: Æon Æxpansion: DriveThruRPG (PDF/PoD) Exalted: Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought: IPR (print) Exalted: Hundred Devils Night Parade: Heartflame and Rothopper: DriveThruRPG (PDF) The Trinity Continuum core rulebook and the Æon setting are also available together in a PDF bundle. Sales Scarred Lands products for Pathfinder (the Scarred Lands Players Guide and The Wise & The Wicked 2nd Edition) are upwards of 90% off from Indie Press Revolution! Both products are an incredible $5 each! Kickstarter Update The Kickstarter for Cults of the Blood Gods for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition started last week. After hitting its $25,000 funding goal in just 47 minutes (and doubling it in under 10 hours), we currently at $97,321, or 324%. Thanks to our 1599 backers! We hit the following stretch goals: Trail of Bone and Ashes: The Ties That Bind, a playable Hecata story; Old Wounds, exploring the enmity between the Cappadocians, Lamiae, Giovanni, Samedi, and Harbingers; Open Your Eyes: an examination of Golconda; The Wellspring: wherein the coterie take over an abandoned cult Blood Gods Backer T-Shirt Blood Gods Desktop Wallpaper Forbidden Paths: Pathways to Power: cults dedicated to power through fear, influence, or devotion, including worshipers of the Nictuku, errant houses within the Tremere, and the ancestral obsession of the Ventrue Did you miss one of our previous Kickstarters? The following Kickstarted products are still open for preorders via BackerKit: Scarred Lands: Creature Collection 5e They Came from Beneath the Sea!: They Came from Beneath the Sea! rulebook Trinity Continuum: Trinity Continuum: Aberrant Dystopia Rising: Evolution: Dystopia Rising: Evolution rulebook Realms of Pugmire: Pirates of Pugmire Exalted: Lunars: Fangs at the Gate Chronicles of Darkness: Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2 Chronicles of Darkness: The Contagion Chronicle Geist: The Sin-Eaters: Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Community Spotlight The following community-created content for Scarred Lands has been added to the Slarecian Vault in the last month: The Lion and the Serpent Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The following community-created content for Realms of Pugmire has been added to Canis Minor in the last month: Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The Storypath Nexus is now open! So far Scion content has been unlocked. The following community-created content for Scion has been added to the Storypath Nexus in the last month: Road Warriors: Ready Made Characters Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell?
  9. I was planning on Cade doing some fishing, first by himself, then he'd invite the Fellowship to come along after having a really good trip. He's fine with being told no, but it is somewhere they're basically alone, free to be themselves. It's good to do something simple together in his mind, without having to worry about everything else going. For Labor Day, The Allister family will have a big cookout, and Cade would extend the invitation to any of the Fellowship who don't have plans with their family to come over for some good food.
  10. Huzzah—the holidays are almost here! Making gingerbread houses, decking the halls, lighting the menorah, baking Christmas cookies, gathering around the Yule log, exchanging gifts, feasting on good food, singing, dancing, storytelling . . The post Holiday Shipping 2019 and the MCG Shop appeared first on Monte Cook Games.
  11. Diving into the sun, adding some sci-fi to your Cypher System, and best of all, a way for you and everyone you know to give $5 to charity—on us! It’s all in this week’s Cypher Chronicles! You can get Cypher Chronicles, and other MCG news, delivered right to your inbox! The post Cypher Chronicles, vol. 46-2019 appeared first on Monte Cook Games.
  12. Two young men trudged through the desert, far from the city’s limits. The first, adorned in fur and jewelry, led the second, dressed in flax cloth. “There it is!” The first man pointed to a half-buried obelisk stone. “You brought me here to see a rock?” the second man asked. “Once your family realizes we’re gone—” “We’ll be back before nightfall.” The first man dug into the sand beneath the stone, and pulled out an effigy of a cat, carved from lapis lazuli. “I wanted you to see this.” The second man examined it. “Another rock?” He traced his fingers over the sculpted patches of fur and around the perfectly re-created scar over its left eye. He shook his head and smiled. “Mouser,” he said, “It’s Mouser!” The first man grinned. “I know you loved her very much. I crafted this from my memories of her. Now, she will be the Pharaoh of Mice.” The second man hugged the effigy. “Thank you.” “That’s not all,” the first man said, “I will present it to the Tef-Aabhi, and they will look upon my work and proclaim me a fellow master craftsman. Then, I will bring you with me. We will no longer be master and servant, but guildmates. Your family won’t live in the barracks anymore.” The second man looked at the first, shocked. “You don’t mean that.” The first man put his hands on the shoulders of the second, and looked deeply into his gray eyes. “I do. I will aid you and your family for as long as I live. I promise.” ? ? ? Pert-en-hat opened his eyes and grasped at the leather seats. He took a moment to gather his surroundings. It was 2020, and he sat in one of the self-moving chariots his cult called a “van.” The man sitting at Pert-en-hat’s left reached over and grasped his chest. “Easy there, we just hit a bump.” The mummy grabbed the man’s wrist. “Who said that you could touch me?” “Wait!” The man shouted. “It’s me, Tristian! The thief you hired?” “Pert-en-hat,” the woman to his right said, “He’s telling the truth. Let him go.” He looked at her, stared into her gray eyes, and released the man. “I am sorry,” Pert-en-hat said, “When the relic calls to me, my mind gets…distorted.” He watched Tristian shake his wrist and felt a twinge of shame. A year ago, he would have shattered the thief’s arm in three places and summoned a swarm of beetles to devour him before a single cry of mercy crossed his lips. It would have been wrong to do so, but the power would have come naturally. Now, mustering the strength to grab someone was a challenge. “What did it tell you?” The woman asked. “Its name,” the mummy said, “It is the ‘Pharaoh of Mice.’” “So we’ve got its name and where the bastard’s keeping it,” Tristian said, “That’s all I need to know. I’ll give my people the update.” Tristian got on the phone. As he talked, the woman leaned over to study Pert-en-hat’s face. “You learned something else, didn’t you?” She put a hand on his shoulder. “You can tell me.” “Farah, I saw its creator.” “Was it someone you knew?” “In a sense, yes.” “My lord, I don’t understand. Who is it?” Pert-en-hat sighed. “The relic. It’s mine.” ?? ?? ?? The young man expected to see one of the master craftsmen when he entered the guildhall. Instead, the seven cloaked guildmasters of the Tef-Aabhi beckoned him from the atrium into a private hall, and shut the door behind him. He fell to his hands and knees before them. “Most holy Shan’iatu!” He prostrated. “Forgive me; I did not intend to shirk my labor, only to demonstrate my craft.” He looked up, just for a moment. Their faces were well-hidden by the hoods of their cloaks. One of them spoke in a husky, feminine voice. “We know what you’ve done. Show us what it can do.” “Of course.” The man stood up. He invoked the Pharaoh of Mice, speaking its name and holding it above his head. A mouse poked its head from a crack in the floor. Another squeezed through a crevice in the ceiling. Mice from all over the guildhall poured into the room, crowding the floor and standing at attention. “It controls the weak,” the man said. “As long as you believe you rule them, they cannot disobey. Watch.” He commanded the vermin to leave. They fled the room. The workers outside shrieked and cursed as the rodents ran as one through the guildhall’s exit. The mice continued into the town, and then to the sands beyond. He said, “If it pleases the Shan’iatu, I shall add this treasure to the panoply and take my place as master craftsman.” There was a moment of silence. “No,” said the husky voice. “You have earned something greater, should you accept it.” The man blinked. “Yes, of course! What is it?” The Shan’iatu looked at him, and for a moment he saw the heads of animals, not people. “You will learn,” the husky voice said, “In due time.” ??? ??? ??? Tristian looked up at the skyscraper, shaking his head. “Robbing a corporate headquarters in broad daylight. You people are my kind of crazy.” “It’s the only way we can get to the relic,” Farah said. “If Pert-en-hat’s visions are right, it’s in Mr. Collins’ personal safe, and we need him to open it up before you move in.” “Right.” He looked over the building’s blueprints. “I’ve gotta say, this is a way better deal than what I thought we were going to get when we robbed his tomb. I could get used to this.” “He recruited you,” Farah said, “because he saw potential. If it had been any other tomb, you and your friends would not be alive right now. Remember that, before you get too comfortable.” She waved over a woman to join them. “This is Emma,” she said. “She’s the eldest of us. She’ll be heading in for an interview with Mr. Collins. Once she gets him to open the safe, she’ll signal your team over the radio.” “Good to meet you, Emma.” Tristian took her in, low-cut dress and all. “You know, for the oldest member, you don’t look a day over 22.” Emma smiled. “Thanks, but she was 26 when I stole her body.” She winked at him and walked into the building. He laughed. “She’s kidding, right? Right?” Farah pulled out a jar of red liquid from her jacket and drew a sigil into the ground. ???? ???? ???? The young man shuffled deeper into the tunnels beneath the city, where the pillars dug into the earth. He moved shoulder-to-shoulder with other workers. He recognized some of his fellow sculptors. Earlier that day, a group of Maa-Kep dragged the grey-eyed young man and his family from his home. The young man, the family’s master, witnessed their arrest and demanded an explanation. They would not tell him why they captured them or where they were going. When he struck one of the secret police to the ground, the rest overpowered him and carried him to his guildhall. There, servants stripped him of his finery and bathed him. They held him down and poured a bitter drink into his throat. They clothed him in robes with hieroglyphics he didn’t recognize and sent him to march with the others. Now, his head swam as he created the end of the corridor. He stumbled and tried to grasp the wall with an unfeeling arm. His grip lost strength, and he slammed face-first into the floor. Two cloaked figures, Shan’iatu, carried him to an altar. Blood from his broken noise stained it. They did not care. “What is this? The young man’s question mingled with the sound of chanting and screaming nearby. One of the Shan’iatu lifted a long, copper spike above the young man’s head. “You earned this.” The man recognized her husky, feminine voice. “You accepted it. Our empire is eternal, and you will be its vessel.” She thrust the spike into his forehead. It was his first death. ????? ????? ????? Pert-en-hat’s cultists assured him the plan would work. With Farah’s sorcery, the body thief as decoy, and the aid of world-class thieves, they would take the Pharaoh of Mice, and he would return to Duat with the relic without lifting a finger. They hadn’t expected their mark to find the body thief’s radio. They couldn’t have imagined that he knew they were coming. They were not prepared for Mr. Collins using the vessel and commanding every employee to hunt down the team. They would need him after all, and he would need to gather all the strength in his dying body. He sprinted into the building, tossing away the glassy-eyed workers trying to tackle him. When he reached the elevator doors, he ripped them from the wall and hurled them into the crowd. He leaped into the empty elevator shaft. His body melted into the concrete floor on impact and he swam through the building like a fish moving upstream. The Pharaoh of Mice shone like a beacon among the skyscraper’s inferior materials and mediocre architecture. He followed its light. He emerged from the floor of Mr. Collins’ office. The relic stood on the businessman’s desk. It radiated warmth that soothed the mummy. Mr. Collins stood between Pert-en-hat and his goal. Beneath him sat Farah and the others, tied together. “So.” Mr. Collins kept his gun trained on the captives. “You’re the man who wants to steal my treasure.” ?????? ?????? ?????? Pert-en-hat rose from his sarcophagus, confused. He knew Emma, but she was surrounded by strangers. “This is your master,” she said to the others. “Kneel before him!” They did so, save for a woman no older than her late teens. Instead, she moved to him, close enough to get a clear view of her face in the dim torchlight. Her gray eyes seemed alight with wonder. Pert-en-hat stood dumbfounded. “No!” Emma shouted. “You don’t know what he’ll do!” “It’s you,” the young woman said, “from my dreams. My father, and his grandfather, they served you. Do you remember?” The muscles on Pert-en-hat’s skinless face twitched. His mind’s eye saw vague memories of a young man in the desert with eyes like hers, but nothing else. “No.” The woman sighed. “We’ll give it some time, then. I’m Farah.” ??????? ??????? ??????? Mr. Collins stood with a hunch. His eyes were bloodshot and his clothes were soaked in sweat. His body had a corpse’s pallor. “You’re dying,” Pert-en-hat said. “Without the proper invocation, it feeds on you. There’s still time. Give it to me, and I can save you.” “Save me?” Mr. Collins wheezed out a laugh. “When I have the power of a god? No. It’s not me you should worry about.” He shot Farah in the chest. She slumped over. Her blood soaked into the rope. “I have more than enough for the rest of—” Before Mr. Collins finished his sentence, Pert-en-hat leaped on him and smashed his head through his desk, the floor, and several inches into the concrete below both. He convulsed and went still. Emma struggled against the rope. “Farah? Stay with us! Farah!” “She’s not dead,” Tristian said, “Not yet.” Pert-en-hat lifted the Pharaoh of Mice from the ruins of Mr. Collins’ desk. He traced his fingers along the patches in its fur, and the scar on its eye. A husky, feminine voice echoed in his mind. Leave them. They can be replaced. Return it to me. The mummy’s head ached. “I…” “Master, do something. Please!” Emma yanked her body away from Farah. “The police’ll be here any minute!” Return it to me. It’s mine! “No,” Pert-en-hat said. “It’s mine!” He crushed the Pharaoh of Mice in his hands and its power flowed through him. The pain in his body ceased, and he cried to the heavens in joy. He tore the rope binding the cultists. He placed a hand on Farah’s chest, over the bullet wound. “Live!” His life force flooded her body and her wound sealed. She coughed up gold-tinted blood. Pert-en-hat felt a chill spread from his chest to his limbs. His skin shriveled and he fell to the floor. Farah and the others grabbed his body, but their voices sounded far away. Before he returned to the sleep of death, the voice in his head spoke once more. I am very disappointed in you. But I am merciful. We will try again. After all, you are my most beloved servant. ???????? ???????? ???????? Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition is currently on Kickstarter.
  13. Time’s running out for DriveThruRPG’s Halloween Sale! Almost 200 Onyx Path digital products from across the World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness are on sale for 25% off, but only until tomorrow! Some of our top-selling sale products include: Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition Chronicles of Darkness 2nd Edition Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon for Werewolf: The Forsaken Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition Plus: search through DriveThruRPG and its sister sites (DriveThruComics, DriveThruFiction, DriveThruCards, DM’s Guild, Storytellers Vault) for jack o’ lanterns, candies, bats, ghosts, and witches’ hats for some free goodies, including some from Onyx Path! RPGnet has a thread dedicated to where to find things, if you’re in a rush.
  14. Yes, I'm still playing.
  15. What should have been easily dodged attacks were not, as Chaos was trying to focus on defending against Therion and Ryan. In a moment of hesitation, he was struck by both of Yuuki's attacks, which bound him in vines, letting both Ryan and Therion strike him, the former hitting four times. It was impressive, and any lesser foe would have been blown away and sliced to ribbons. It didn't go that way though. unleashing a blast of magic in a sphere around him, Chaos blew away the vines binding him, sent Therion and Ryan flying, the latter blasted into a tree which splintered into veritable toothpicks afterwards. Ryan was coughing up blood, having not been hit that hard in some time.. "Perhaps I cannot kill you directly with spells, sworddancer, but there's always more than one way to get somebody." Chaos seemed so utterly smug and self-assured with having blasted away the two primary threats. It was then that Vesper chose to unleash her unique power, a blast at the very mind of Chaos itself. She could feel her energy replenish, and Chaos screamed as the shadow creatures faltered momentarily in their battle against the elementals.
  16. Cade's availability Game, Friday- Vignette at the game post-game- likely celebrating at bunnee's with everyone. Saturday morning- Working of Mr. Bannson Saturday Afternoon- free, up for anything Saturday Night- free, up for anything Sunday morning- work for Bannson, Church Sunday Afternoon- Free for anything Sunday night- family movie night maybe.
  17. With Yuuki summoning a dozen earth Elementals to her side, The fight was becoming abit more even, as they began to wrestle with the summoned Chaos beasts. They were fairly equivalent in power, and Vesper still found it quite difficult to try to wrest control of the chaos beasts. Chaos chuckled at the attempt, though his glowing eyes seemed to take an angered glow. "How would you like it if I took your pet from you. All it would take is a simple touch." Just as Therion swung down, Chaos used his other hand to bring up his sword, blocking the blow, but the awkwardness of the defense was enough to prevent him from stapping Therion with it, as the spirit backed away slightly. That flaming hand disgorged a torrent of flame which Ryan intercepted, bisecting the blast with his sword, Laevatein. The defense left the sword glowing. "Enhanced Hellfire. That was always so much fun to deal with." he grumbled as he swung, and found his own strike parried by the sword. "Enchanted sword too. It defends its master." Chaos sat there looking at him. "I see you're very observant, and a veteran fighter. Die." with that a pillar of red flame engulfed Ryan." When there was no scream, Chaos sighed. "i'd hoped for more from him." The bamboo shielding him was gone now, but he stood unscathed, and smiling. "Oh you'll get more, not just from me, but from all of us." Tori was still busy with the rushed repairs to the banshee, hoping to get it in the air to help handle the chaos beasts.
  18. "Lady Rika is not in in any way. She is unaligned, which is a benefit and burden. There are many who could be of benefit to know, but nothing that's going to show that much interest in someone so inexperienced as Rika. That said the nature of her servants is different too. Others are figures of myth and legend. You three, are not." Ryan snorted "Of course." he looked to Elias. "it was just for me, not for anyone else. it was a real pain for my magic using allies, but it did come in real handy." He smiled "So we're alone. That's fine we can keep our heads down and see who comes sniffing around. We make a plan to work together to show them why we merit respect."
  19. Mega Girl's attack actually cracked the armor of the minotaur, succeeding in knocking it flat on't back with a resounding crash, smashing several teeth. Starsign's blast skewers the hydra's torso like a luminous drill, actually severing a head at the root, which cause it to scream out in pain, and before it could do more, Columbian moved in and finally broke the creature's left leg leaving it on its belly. Elastica tore into the Kraken, and found it's skin to be pliant like hers, but nowhere close to as durable. The Astovik sisters continued their own battles, with Autumn trying to freeze the minotaur to the ground, as Summer blasted the hydra burning off the leg that Columbian had broken. Starsign yelled at Columbian "Finish it off Columbian!" and Leaps to Maga-girl placing a hand on her should and filling her with health, even the damage to her cybernetics starting to mend thanks to the Cosmic nature of Starsign's healing power. "Thanks, SS," Alison replied, shooting off to try and finish the job on the monotaur, but despite its massive size the minotaur reacted fast, dodging the powerful metahuman's aerial punch by sitting up. Elastica was busy sinking her claws deeply into the Kraken, drawing a loud keening wail from the beast, but it still had plenty of fight left. Hex, rising to her feet quickly reestablished her defensive barrier, surprised that something could even knock it down to begin with, but undettered, as she launched a firebolt at the hydra. The minotaur rises to it's feet, shattering the ice binding it with it's vastly enhanced muscles,, even as it backhands Autumn, sending her flying away from it, knocked unconscious. Summer succeeds in fireblasting another head from the Hydra, before her sister is sent sprawling and rendered unconscious. Before Columbian can Finish off the Hydra it manages to bite him with two heads in a lightning quick double strike, dropping him to the ground with a scream as his wounds hiss and burn. Psypher is still locked in mental combat with the Kraken, blood now flowing from his ears and nose under his costume, but he was still upright and fighting. The tentacles of the Kraken had wrapped around Elastica, but failed to do any damage, though it was surprisingly strong. "Oh no you don't. If you're hitting anyone, that's me." Mega girl growls, booming at the robot after her missed strike, anger at herself burning in her blood. Mega-girl's attack was truly one of vengeance, as it literally blew out the back of the minotaur's head in an explosion of metal and soft tissue, causing it to fall to the ground, defeated. Elastica's cut deep into the space squid, cutting rugged slashes in the tapestry engulfing. It entangled the tigrish Elastica in its tentacles, but almost like thick water, she oozed out of the grapple. "You cannot stop me," she said in a chipper growl, "And you are strong, but not as strong as me. You will not resist me." The tentacles couldn't stop her, but they might stop her allies. Elastica reached for the base of one tentacle, claws digging deep into its pliant, rubbery flesh, and feet braced against the Stellar Kraken's bulk, she began to pull and tear. Starsign spins at Columbian's scream and rushes back to kneel between him and the hydra one hand touch letting her power flow into him healing the damage from the bites as much as possible, but the poison was another matter entirely. Summer, enraged over the injury to her sister, cut loose with a torrent of flame that seared off another head from the hydra, though one of the remaining two bit deeply into her sending poison coursing through her leaving two hissing wounds and intense burning pain. Hex once again cut loose with a powerful eldricth fireball at the hydra, more than a little happy when it connected. The blast incenerated the second to last head which caused the it to scream in pain. The combined assault of Psypher attacking mentally, and elastica physically starting to rip it apart was enough to bring down the Kraken, which landed wetly on the ground, it's tentacles going limp, and it's body simply laying there, ripped open by Elastica. Unceremoniously, Psypher fell backwards, unconscious, but victorious along with his comrade. Starsign moved to heal Columbian further, channeling more of her power into him, but the damage from the poison wasn't something she could stop, though she was keeping it from killing him. Elastica moved to pounce on the Hydra but didn't quite judge the distance right, overshooting, striking only the air and the ground with her fearsome claws. In an Ironic coincidence, MegaGirl came at the hydra from above but also misjudged, likely thanks to being covered in gore from the minotaur, hitting to the other side of it. Hex however was still there, and before anyone else could be harmed, she unleashed a final fireblast, removing the last head, and moments later the rest of the hydra, along with the remains of the other two felled creatures turned to ash and dissipated on unseen winds. In the quiet aftemath, a pillar of blue-white Arclight appeared. Within the pillar was a pedastal with a single red button and a timer that was counting down, with less than an hour remaining. Above it a full body projection of their foe stood, and clapped his hands once. "Very well done heroes, though having three of you unable to continue would normally be horrible, it's a good first effort. I am a man of my word. You have beaten my challenge, and by simply pressing the button, you will release a Counteracting wave that will spare the inhabitants of the city. Until next time brave heroes." with a flourish of his cape, the projection vanished into motes of light, leaving the question of who he was, and if this would really save the city. The issue of questionable time passage was forgotten for now as MG went to check on Autumn. Airway. Breathing. Circulation. Don't move the victim if, say, they got smacked around by a giant robot and might have spinal injuries. Triessa goes to check on her unconscious comrades checking in with the other person who could heal. "How are they doing?" she asks Starsign. Elastica flowed back into her Barbie-esque form, once more wearing a figure-hugging, dark blue bodysuit (or was it just her skin with a different texture?). She joined the others by their fallen comrades. Blank expression shifted into one of concern. She didn't really know how humans fixed themselves other than a vague sense picked up from her once owner. It seemed to involved a lot of laying down or sometimes bedroom athletics with a man. "We might need tot get them to a hospital but we need to shut this down and let the authorities in." came Starsign's reply, followed by Elastica's offer of aid. "Can I help?" Summer knelt by her unconscious sister, as the two male teammates were brought there, as the healers tended the three of them. Triessa stopped to prepare her magic for a curative spell that would remove the poison, knowing they couldn't keep just healing them forever. idly she said quietly "Someone hit that button," she says as she hunkers down to begin. "We need to wrap this up." MegaGirl relinquished her place by Autumn's side soon as Summer arrived, moving to hover next to the proverbial Big Red Button, "So. I'm willing to risk getting zapped pushing the button if no one else has a problem with it." Triessa nods at Mega Girl. "Don't worry. If somethig happens, we've got the tools to keep you alive." With that, MegaGirl hit the button. With the press of the button, the countdown stops, and the pedastal recedes into the floor. A red pulse expands outwards bathing the building, and then the entire city, with no ill effect aside a light tingling sensation. The group of heroes found themselves in the grand lobby before the doors they came in, their comrades gathered there on the floor. Working together they carry them out and no sooner than the door closed, than the entire building began to dissolve into motes of white light, leaving them standing there standing before nothing more than a massive foundation, and before thousands who'd been watching in the square. Their faces were plastered on the screens for a moment longer, and with the roaring cheer of the crowd, the screens went dark. They'd won, the city was safe, for now.
  20. Rika just stared at the other four people, and shook her head. "This can't be real." Ryan sighed, and an actual portal into another world appeared. He reached within and drew forth a sword, and looked at her. "It is Rika. it sucks that you didn't have a choice, and neither did we. Our very best option is to survive and fight to the end so you can have your life back, and we can gone home." "As for us sticking together, I'd suggest Aoi here, partner with Rika, as one of us will not be able to go to some places the same way. Beyond that, I'm betting she can use a Master's crest to summon us to her from anywhere." Lucian nodded. "Yes, and it doesn't even use a crest, it's a simple privelage." Ryan nodded. "Okay, at least that means she can call on us as she needs to then." Lucian nodded. "The ten clans are as I said ten families of magi who have always lived here in Japan. They tend to specialize in their magics but the most powerful use several variety of magic. To become a member, Rika would have to prove blood ties to one of the 10 Clans, marry a member of one of the families, or in special circumstances, be adopted into one of the families." "What would that entail?" "Defeating a large magical threat, and have a member in good standing vouch for you to the family head. They would then decide if you merited admittance, and where in the heirarchy you'd fit."
  21. Ryan sighed. "How the hell did you even get this to work on me?" Lucian just smiled. "You were much more powerful, and with that unique power, Mr. Cross, you'd have been the most powerful Servant ever. I'm not privy as to how it was done, but your special power has been lessened. Since you've been sent and summoned before, it allowed you to be summoned here, though it has placed some limitations on your power." Ryan nodded, but looked annoyed. "I guess it would." He looked to the others. "Before coming here, i'd developed a particular power that rendered me utterly impervious to magical effects. In a war focused on magical combat, I would be virtually unstoppable. I don't have that immunity anymore though, which will take some adjustment time for me." He looked to Elias. "A friendly spar later would be welcome, to see just how far that immunity was reduced, if you don't mind." Lucian nodded. "I have put in the customary three days grace period, starting from the moment she formally contracted all three of you. No one will attack you, or interfere within that timeframe, though after that, well A non-initiated neophyte who managed to contract three powerful Servants all at once isn't something many will ignore." He looked to Anne, and smiled. "There are three great factions, The Helost Collective, which is mostly based in Europe, focusing on true magic as you would think of it. They have the greatest numbers, and most overall power. The Alaran Alliance, Based in the Americas. Their leader is the third most powerful mage alive, Arthur Dendan. He specializes in Cognitive and lightning magic. The final Faction is the smallest of the three, The Ten Clans. They are ten hereditary mage families here in Asia, based out of Tokyo. you are in the heart of their territory, but they're mostly hands-off, so long as public order is undisturbed. The two most powerful magi are Arnhem Bauer, and Chigusa Manami, and they hold to no affiliation or faction, fighting alone, with a dozen Servants each." Lucian looked at them and sighed. "Honestly, there are more factions, dozens really but most have less than ten members, and barely qualify for the Registry. More than that, there are more unaffiliated Magi than not. Thanks to one of the Primal laws, Magi cannot be compelled by magic to join a faction, but there is something to be said for strength in numbers. Still such strength and security is not without cost, as the factions expect their members obedience and fealty."
  22. Rika was somewhat alarmed when two other students showed up, Ryan was still down, though he was awake and whatever that weird pulse was, she didn't have a clue. As soon as Elias came in, he was in pain, and she made to steady him, and accidentally brushed against Aoi as well. and the pulse rippled out again, which sent them both down like Ryan, in debilitating pain, and Rika herself began to glow. "What's going on?" Soon it was over, and instantly the pain was gone. On the back of her left hand were a trio of marks, a stylized cross, a sword, and a starburst. They shown with a near rainbow-like of light, and then faded. The pain vanished instantly and Ryan opened his eyes. "Holy hell you're a mage." Rika looked at him and cocked her head "What are you talking about? I'm just a student, and magic is not real.." "That isn't true, Miss Ajima. Magic is very real, and now that you have claimed your Servants, you are now involved in the Great War. Mages in this world have fought via proxy Servants for all of humanity's history, and you are a part of it." There was a man in the the doorway of the alcove, that now stood there when he'd been nowhere close before. He had light grey hair but looked somewhat young, with steel-grey eyes. "I am your Observer, Lucian. I will chronicle your battles, and while I cannot directly interfere, I am permitted to tell you the general history of the War, and the factions within. Ryan held up his hand, which was marked with the sword crest, though it had more parts and layers. "Master Seal?" Lucian nodded. "Affirmative. She may command you 3 times to do anything, or use her crest to restore you without fail. A master without crests is no longer a master, so Miss Ajima use them sparingly, as you could still be a target, even without Servants now." "I don't want to fight." She said quietly. "I detest violence of any kind. I just won't do it." Lucian shook his head. "Then you will die. That is the nature of the Great War for Magi. You fight, or die. Victory, or death. There are some Magi who've been in the war for centuries now. Their servants are powerful beyond words. Still it is not all doom and gloom. It is a rule that Elder Magi may not attack neophytes unless they're attacked first. More than that. The number of servants that can be used in a formal duel of Magi is the choice of the younger Mage."
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