30th Aug 2021, 1:10 AM

Relax and receive positive vibes

Relax and receive positive vibes
"Look," you begin, finally removing the bloody tissue from your nose, "potluck first, worry about Choir shit later. Has anyone heard from Kate?"

Cici and Marlow both shake their heads. Cici begins, "I think she had to work tonight...?"

"...Alright." Hmm. "Potluck first, then worry about Kate, then worry about Choir shit later." Or potluck while worrying about Kate. Be honest, it's that one. "Cici--who's Bebe's friend?"

"Áurea!," Cici replies. "They... miiiight be dating? Bebe's been real vague about it."

"Lagi and Afu's mom," you continue. "I caught her name, but--"

"I don't know her name either," Cici admits.

You turn to Marlow, who shakes his head.

"You work with her son!"

"She's just Mrs. Masina to me!," he says with a smile and a shrug.

You throw your hands up. "Cool! Fine, good enough. Who's, uh--" There was a third one. Wait. ...Yes. "Who's furniture store girl?"

. . .

Absolute silence, at least from this room.

Seriously? "NEITHER of you know who she is? Who did she arrive with...?"

Blank stares.

Shrugs.

What the fuuuck "Okay, uh--if I start interrogating her I'm gonna look like an asshole."

"So we keep it low-key!," Cici suggests. "Marlow and I'll figure out what we can. I'll bet I can get Bebe to pick up on it, too!"

You nod. "Alright." Deep breath. "Let's fucking do this."

. . .

"I don't actually know what I'm doing," you then confess.

Marlow shrugs. "It's a potluck. There's not much to do."

"Yeah, but," uhhh "I overthink shit. A lot. And now I'm back at full overthinking shit capacity."

"We've got your back, Plaire!," Cici declares. "You'll do fine."

She motions to the door.


The three of you take your exit.



Everyone still seems to be enjoying themselves. Maria's dad left, but if that's the only early bail after you spent so much time hiding in your room, well, you're going to count that as a win.

. . .

You're still worried about K--



The front door suddenly slams open and


speak of the fucking devil






Kate Halford. Also a six pack of beer.

"Yooo let's turn this potluck into a potFFFfffffhello Mrs. Masina," Kate backtracks rapidly.

"Mmhm," Mrs. Masina replies.



The potluck continues fairly smoothly.

You successfully make small talk.

With strangers, even.

You successfully enjoy some damn good macaroni and cheese.

There's other foods there, too, and they're alright, but,

Kate, Cici, Marlow and his wife (you didn't ask her name when you were asking for names WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS) do the majority of the legwork--or at least, you assume they do, because you don't really know what the legwork of hosting a potluck looks like.

Cici, Marlow, and indeed Bebe strike up a few conversations with furniture store girl. You manage to hide your growing suspicions concerning her attendance.

At least, you think you hide it well.

You're pretty sure.

Overall you don't really accomplish much

but it's a potluck and this might just be it.

People have fun, so, whatever.

That mac and cheese <3

As the hours tick on, the crowd begins to thin--everyone politely declaring they have work tomorrow or whatnot as they thank you for the good time.

Eventually, the potluck whittles down to... uh... the remains of a potluck.





It's about 1:10 am.

"The girl from the furniture store's name is Denise," Cici begins. "...That's it. That's all I got!"

"Yeah I have no idea who that chick was," Kate adds. "She was nervous as hell, though."

"She's a spy," Marlow says bluntly.

You all turn to stare at Marlow, who merely shrugs like it's incredibly obvious.

"Sent by who?!," Kate laughs.

Marlow simply shrugs again. "Hell if I know. You got a better explanation?"

Cici shakes her head. "That girl looked one loud noise away from a panic attack, I can't see her being a spy." She turns her attention to you. "How are you doing with the... uh...?"

She makes a hand motion you cannot possibly interpret.

"The what?," Kate asks, clearly not getting it either.

You take a deep breath, and explain the whole Choir/Between/Grandiose Paradox/Human Survival Instin--

"Fuck," Kate blurts out, "I leave you alone for half a day and this is the kinda shit that goes down? How are you holding up?"

"I..." You hesitate, then shrug. "I'm doing okay? I guess? For how weird everything got I... I actually feel pretty good. ...I think the Choir knows I know about the Choir now, but uh, the reaction's been pretty mixed. ...They're giving me a lot of positive vibes, though. Like... mind hugs."

"Aww," Cici says. "Now I want a mind hug."

"So what now...?," Marlow asks.

"Now," Kate smirks, already pulling a bag of level out of her jacket pocket, "the real party starts. You brought your ghost shit, right?"

Marlow nods. "Yup."


You all head to your bedroom.





"This," Marlow begins, motioning to the big... camera... sensor thing mounted above your dresser, "...is my baby. It's a full range environmental detection instrument. It logs changes in temperature, humidity, air pressure... even vibrations, and any big EMF disturbances. I had to make a couple adjustments--this house already puts off way, way more power than I think I've ever seen."

Kate takes a drag of level. "Don't you normally use it in abandoned houses, though...?"

"Well..." he pauses. "Yeah."

"What's the smaller one?," you ask, motioning toward the square setup stuck to the wall next to your computer.

"That," Marlow explains, "...Tracks the movement of etheric bodies. ...Allegedly. They advertised it as a way to monitor astral projection, but I'm about 90% sure it just reads body heat. There's a lot of hucksters in the ghost hunting industry."

Kate smirks, rolling her eyes. "Yeah, who'd have thought."

"But," Marlow continues, "it's small and easy to carry, so I thought what the hell and brought it anyhow. I got a few more minor tweaks to make to the big boy, so if there's any other preparations y'all need to make... well, start makin' 'em."

Cici is the first to reply. "I forgot the sleeping bags," she states, "but I can go get 'em real quick!"

"I should..." hmmm "prooobably play a game before we go to sleep. ...And decide who I'm going to dream ring."

"And I..." Kate takes another puff, "am getting the fuck outta here."

"You sure?," Cici asks. "You just got here!"

"Yeaaah but," Kate kind of shrugs, "when we both slept over here, Plaire had to choose between our tarot things, right?"

"Choose wisely the accomplice," you mutter.

Kate gives you a point. "Yeah, that shit. If all three of us stay here, she's gotta choose between three..."

"...And we don't know if there can be overlap or not," you conclude, seeing where she's going with this. "Marlow could be a Devil or a Sun, too."

Kate nods. "I did a lil' research of my own, and there's like... what, 22 Major Arcana? If Marlow even has a tarot and I stay, that's like a 1 in 11 chance of Plaire having to pick between THE SUN, THE DEVIL and also THE DEVIL. If I don't stay she might still be stuck picking between two Suns, but that cuts the odds down to 1 in 22, and if some shit goes wrong..." Slightly bigger shrug. "Look, I'm a stone cold badass but Cici--you've picked me up and carried my ass around like a toddler before, AND you're tougher in the dream. ...For now. The hierarchy's pretty fucking clear."

You wince. You don't want Kate to be left out of this entirely, but... she also makes some pretty fair points, and she did want to take the night off from dream dungeoning.

You do feel obligated to point out: "We don't know if the signs CAN overlap. There may only be one Devil, one Sun, one Fool..."

"That'd be a hell of a coincidence," Kate replies, "the only Devil and the only Sun and the only Fool all rollin' in the same small town. All gay as hell."

"Maybe it's destiny!," Cici suggests. "Maybe the magic called us together."

...You somehow doubt that, buuut "What if your Major Arcana isn't assigned until you actually enter the dream? Like, the spell or whatever it is can distribute only one Fool sign, one Devil, etcetera. We also don't know that it doesn't do Lesser Arcana--just because we haven't seen one yet doesn't mean Marlow can't be, I dunno, the Knight of Cups or something. That changes the odds a lot."

"You wanna gamble on two huuuge guesses?," Kate asks. "Like, those aren't even assumptions, that's just hope."

Cici puts her hands on her hips. "And what's wrong with hoping?"

"Nothin'." Kate takes an especially drawn out hit. "...But we got a countdown, and all kinds of other weird shit breathing down our necks."


"...I think Kate's right," you finally admit. "I can't guarantee that Marlow's not our second Devil, and I can't guarantee that if he is, Kate won't be dragged back into the dungeon on accident. I could argue the odds of Marlow being a Devil versus him being a Sun, or whatever, but I don't know enough about how the dungeon or the tarot assignment works to make that kind of claim. ...I don't even know that much about tarot, if we're being honest."

"And thus," Kate says with a flourish and a small bow, "me, gettin' the fuck outta here."


Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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30th Aug 2021, 1:41 AM
Leah9572
Wish her good night and thank her for the beer.
30th Aug 2021, 1:46 AM
Just for fun, let's ask what Marlow thinks he might be. Def. make sure Kate's okay. Did we ever get to check in?

In case Marlow's got particularly unique skills, we'd better know now. I'm sure nobody is going to be useless, per se, but seeing what we really need (imo) are some answers, maybe he's our best bet?
30th Aug 2021, 1:50 AM
Cyanic
not a long talk, we did talk and she at least got a bit of that bad stuff out by talking even if a bit, and we did give her a side hug lol

+1 to the asking about unique skills, maybe has something that can translate into the Dream
30th Aug 2021, 2:04 AM
Xylas_Incarnum
Honestly Marlow strikes me as The Wizard right now.
30th Aug 2021, 5:37 AM
GS
Marlow might be the Hermit in tarot terms.
He is a wise elder who provides guidance.
30th Aug 2021, 5:40 PM
BJBlack
For what it's worth, I've had Marlow mentally tagged as The Tower since Page 65 (link), when he said he'd blow up Mondol's boiler room if they bulldozed the Back Room's little strip mall.

And, they'd know he was going to do it, and they still wouldn't be able to stop him.

So, I figure he's got affinity with Destruction, if he could pull that off.
30th Aug 2021, 1:48 AM
Cyanic
Glad that Choirhugs didn't horrendously backfire! (yet)

Multiple things:
*If Plaire feels overwhelmed at all, and Choirboost isn't helping, Brainsate could be a good idea.
*If Kate is up to it, we know she doesn't know "nerd shit" that well, but we could invite her to play notMario/Mustachio, this version might not have coop, but either way, we play it a bit, and maybe teach Kate how to play some of the classic video games, could be a good small, temporary thing to take our minds off paranormal shit (even with Marlow tweaking his ghost hunting tools in the background lol). Just make sure we're patient and don't backseat her lol
*Ask Marlow his wife's name, because we forgot to ask earlier oops

I wanna give Cici a mindhug too, but uhh
seems like a bad idea if we accidentally "detach" from Plaire with not a way back, there might only be one ChoirHost at a time

also potentially Choir powers are stronger in the Dream than in the waking since that's closer to dimensional boundaries and all that
30th Aug 2021, 1:54 AM
Xylas_Incarnum
...... Huh, think we can crib off of darksouls and become summonable helper minions or some shit then?

As far as Choir hosts go, wouldn't worry too much so long as Plaire remains the main focus if BiM was any indication, though we are apparently damaged from that series of events.
Still, keeping it within the party shouldn't be too much of a strain.
30th Aug 2021, 2:00 AM
Cyanic
I don't think we can do the souls summons since the game powerups seem to be mostly the physical moves that the player characters would already have like darkrolls and notMario jumps, and none of the non-physical powerups

we also haven't tried captemon yet, oof
31st Aug 2021, 1:57 PM
PurpleKetchup
Methinks Plaire would have to play a game with built-in (npc) helpers to get anything like that in the dream.
... Kinda like option upgrades in shmups, or similar.
If there's anything like that in the collection of companies who made dream games, could be worth a try.
30th Aug 2021, 7:09 AM
Another Guest
Glad +1 :)
30th Aug 2021, 7:12 AM
Another Guest
+1 to invite Kate to play Mustachio
+1 to ask Marlow his wife's name
30th Aug 2021, 6:09 PM
BloodyPaladin
+1 Please ask about wife's name Plaire.
30th Aug 2021, 1:50 AM
Xylas_Incarnum
Well, let's put the pot luck leftovers in the fridge... and Plaire doesn't have plastic wrap or either aluminum or tin foil, does she... I hope the coverings are still intact enough to make due then.
oh well.
Ah, right, with how so much shit seems to be slipping Plaire's mind every now and then I think she need a joint of Level. *looks up the drugs listed on the BiM wiki*... wait no I was thinking Cleantex. Level was the calm the fuck down cig, cleantex was the conspiracy theorist's little friend when it comes to remembering and putting shit together.

Also I sorta feel like we might want to look into finding out if dear ol' Dr. Finch has public contact information considering he'd probably want to know beings from outside of normal reality name dropped him recently. Maybe. .... Ok yeah, let's face it Finch and Caius would be all over this shit if they knew about it... hell most if not all of the old crew would be too. Particularly how some of the rooms here definitely seem to be at least tinged with.... Jane Doe's influence.

.... Another thing: Marlow's got a truck or some other vehicle right? If so, should ask him if he's good with heading to the dump or a discount furnature store because Plaire's place needs more furnature. Badly. Make a house a home and all that.

..... Also Marlow seems to strike me most as the Wizard as far as the Major Arcana goes. .... Erza seems to either be a Heirophant or a Hermit but that's neither here nor there.
30th Aug 2021, 2:09 AM
Cyanic
This is a good idea
wait
do we have a fridge? oof

UHH cleantex probably bad for someone with full anxiety, especially without someone who's well-versed in doing cleantex, Fuse had to instruct us to remember to breathe and don't look at every single life choice we did lol, Griz was doing it a lot so he knew how to cleantex, every other time we cleantex'd someone was just the cleantex effect with none of the other side effects since there weren't additives like in the actual drug, but good to consider if we wanna remember something we just glimpsed (and have taken the precautions)

yeah, that second Heart Room was all sorts of weirdly the same layout as the break room we found Michelle in, that's
probably be a thing
30th Aug 2021, 1:52 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
Marlow strikes me as someone who has at least tried Cleantex before, but valid points all the same. ... Come to think of it Cleantex might get through the mind wipe fuckery going about too but that depends on if the memories were supressed or eaten. Can't really do anything for the second type but it should dredge up the first.

And that was a +1 to see if Dr. Finch has any ...... you know it wouldn't actually surprise me if Finch setup or had setup some website for collecting messages about this sort of thing.
30th Aug 2021, 7:13 AM
Another Guest
+1 to asking Marlow about helping with furniture
30th Aug 2021, 2:45 PM
Snervalton
+1 to preserving and storing as much food as possible from the potluck. Plaire is not in the best financial position right now.
30th Aug 2021, 6:09 PM
BloodyPaladin
I feel like messaging Finch and including certain keywords, phrases, or references is a fantastic way to get put in a gov black site. I'm not going to -1 but we need to be careful about that.
30th Aug 2021, 2:30 AM
Portal In Time
I think playing Legend (of notZelda) before bed would be a good idea, and pair it with Dream-ringing Cici. Powerful adaptable melee skills with summonable energy weapons makes for a good combo! Who knows, we might even get a special buff with her asleep in the house.

EDIT: ALSO, let's have Cici sleep in the living room! I want to see if the house considers her an eligible player if she's just ANYWHERE in the house or not. It would make powernaps much more viable if we can't be in the living room to enter the dungeon.
30th Aug 2021, 5:14 AM
Cuttlefish
Legend of Zorldo
30th Aug 2021, 7:22 AM
Another Guest
30th Aug 2021, 8:15 AM
Skullrama
Definitely dream ring Cici.
31st Aug 2021, 8:50 AM
Lunar Waffles
+1 to dream ring-ing Cici.
30th Aug 2021, 6:06 PM
BloodyPaladin
+1 to being lonk the hero of lowrule
30th Aug 2021, 8:06 AM
YetAnother
Good ideas, +1
30th Aug 2021, 8:06 AM
YetAnother
Good ideas, +1
30th Aug 2021, 2:59 PM
Snervalton
+1 to dream-ringing Cici. However, I don't think Plaire has the Legend of Zelda-ish game, it was just suggested at some point that she emulate it. The games she actually owns are listed on page 2. Therefore, I suggest she play some Captemon, as that's the only game whose powers we haven't discovered yet. But make sure that Captemon is made by a company like Yamauchi, Toward or MASAMOON who put dream stuff in their games and are therefore capable of granting dream powers!(see page 93). We don't want to get to the dream dungeon then find out in the heat of battle that the game we played gives no powers, like with the knock-off volleyball game.
30th Aug 2021, 6:30 PM
Limrix
Yeah I think emulating games wouldn't give you the powers for reasons.
30th Aug 2021, 2:44 AM
Barswanian
Have we gone over what we know about the dream world/castle with Marlow? He might want an idea of layout.

Go over equipment to bring with, and +1 on the idea of getting Marlow's wife's name. He's doing a lot for someone he just met. Not that everyone else hasn't also.

Ask Kate if she'll come by in the morning, to help pick up whatever pieces need picking up.

Pick something to bring with tonight, that will end up getting some do not reset tape put on it. To find out if that object stays in the dream world, if it comes back when Plaire wakes up, or if it comes back and then doesn't need to be brought back while it has the tape.

Oh! Maybe bring something like a potato again? To see if it ends up being thr yellow mana again?
30th Aug 2021, 7:15 AM
Another Guest
+1, also, check if there's any food let from the potluck that can be safely stored inside her pocket to try the "food->yellow mana" experiment
30th Aug 2021, 8:14 AM
Skullrama
Yeh, take some food is a good idea.
30th Aug 2021, 3:31 PM
Snervalton
+1 to bringing some food into the dream.
30th Aug 2021, 6:05 PM
30th Aug 2021, 6:31 PM
Limrix
+1, hope it's not yellow
30th Aug 2021, 3:24 AM
Guest
Ask if she's alright, cause she seems to be doing this just to avoid the dungeon but she might still like, y'know, not be doing alright from last night
30th Aug 2021, 7:16 AM
Another Guest
31st Aug 2021, 1:58 PM
PurpleKetchup
30th Aug 2021, 3:28 AM
Zophah
I’d say invite Kate to play/watch games with Plaire until she has to sleep, at least to keep her included in the group even if she isn’t going with us into the dream.
30th Aug 2021, 7:16 AM
Another Guest
30th Aug 2021, 5:35 AM
GS
If we ever do manage to get direct communication going, I think we should let Plaire know some of the following:
* We are not gods, nor do we think we are.
* At our best, we are a choir. At our usual, we are a debate. At our worst, we are an argument.
* We have no ability to directly affect you or your world. If you don't want to do something, we can't force you to.
* We predate you and your world, but we are no wiser or mightier than you. All we can do is see your world from the perspective of a relative few. To even fewer, we can give suggestions.
* We may be alien entities to you, but we are merely the humans of our own realm. Please don't be afraid of us.
30th Aug 2021, 5:36 AM
GS
So, has there been any discussion yet about the following possibilities:
A) That the Grandiose Paradoxes are a freudian trio, with Hunger the Beast taking on the role of the id, Haunt Butterfly possibly the superego and Puppet Darkness the ego?
B) That the Grandiose Paradoxes are an expression of mankind's threat to itself, in opposition to the Human Survival Instinct/Noosphere? Like Plaire says, mankind mostly survives in spite of itself. The Paradoxes could be an expression of humanity's capacity for self-destruction.
30th Aug 2021, 7:32 AM
Another Guest
There is a theory on Discord about the Grandiose Paradoxes being parts of the Mayor's mind.

About the Grandiose Paradoxes being the opposite to the HSI, nice theory! Haven't seen it floating around there.
30th Aug 2021, 3:36 PM
Snervalton
Me and Smileyfax had a discussion about this in the comments section of page 173. We were thinking that the Grandiose Paradoxes represented Plaire's various neuroses. I think they're going to end up being the major bosses in the dream dungeon.
30th Aug 2021, 8:05 PM
Another Guest
.-.

That... makes a lot of sense. Good catch, you two :D
30th Aug 2021, 6:38 AM
37212513
God, even if it is breaking the rules a tad, I wanna either give Cici that mind hug or a token for a free hug to be redeemed in the dream, whichever works more.
30th Aug 2021, 7:27 AM
Another Guest
+1! Also, we can do an extra experiment: the Choir can, so far, send suggestions and good vibes to Plaire. As technically we are entering the Dream with Plaire and the House system allows/helps Plaire to have powers on it, maybe it's also allowing/helping us but we didn't test any power yet?

Can we materialize things _into_ the Dream? Even if we can materialize only one thing each time, that helps tremendously as it would allow us to bring stuff to the dream beyond "being equipped by Plaire in the real world"

A free hug token is worth a shot v_v
Everyone who wants to try to materialize a Free Hug Token for Cici(to be delivered later), +1 37212513's suggestion \o/
30th Aug 2021, 7:34 AM
Cyanic
yo, I'm down trying to materialize a free hug token in the Dream, the logistics of how we deliver it to Cici if she's not our accomplice tonight, we'll think of later

+1 for materializing hug token!
30th Aug 2021, 8:15 AM
GS
Trying to materialize something small and harmless could be a worthy experiment...
+1
30th Aug 2021, 6:04 PM
BloodyPaladin
+1 hug token
30th Aug 2021, 6:32 PM
Limrix
You know what sure. +1
2nd Sep 2021, 3:57 PM
Frission
Hug tokeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnnn :D
30th Aug 2021, 7:07 AM
Frission
I think someone said the one game we have that we haven't tried is Captemon? Sure let's play that. xD
30th Aug 2021, 7:22 AM
Another Guest
30th Aug 2021, 7:31 AM
Cyanic
pros and cons:
pros:
*Captemon means we find out some new mechanics, probably very esoteric too, because the mechanics have always been the player character's innate physical skills, no tools or powerups, in Pokemon the player characters are normal people with 'mons having the powers
*probably very good interactions with accomplices

cons:
*not conducive to controlled experiments, especially since we're more likely bringing Marlow in, than Cici
*harder to play with Kate to spend non-supernatural bonding time (if she's up for it) than something like Mustachio
30th Aug 2021, 3:39 PM
Snervalton
+1 to trying Captemon tonight with the following caveat: Make sure that Captemon is made by a company like Yamauchi, Toward or MASAMOON who put dream stuff in their games and are therefore capable of granting dream powers(see page 93). We don't want to get to the dream dungeon then find out in the heat of battle that the game we played gives no powers, like with the knock-off volleyball game.
30th Aug 2021, 5:23 PM
Cuttlefish
If we do play Captemon before bed, we should see if there's anything vaguely orb shaped around we can bring in with us when we fall asleep - given we got dodge roll and jump skills, it seems like our powers are tied to the actual protags of the games we've played. I don't know what a Captemon protag would offer apart from either skills in ordering others into battle and/or the ability to throw balls at things. Maybe the power to turn a baseball cap backwards in a dramatic fashion.
30th Aug 2021, 6:34 PM
Limrix
Yeah, ball thing and baseball cap would be good items to get before doing Captimon. I'd stick with Mario for tonight, he's got some fancy moves.
2nd Sep 2021, 3:55 PM
Frission
I mean if we could capture one of the dungeon monsters and use it as a pet, that's a huge force multiplier in our favor.
30th Aug 2021, 9:48 AM
Pwzysk
Marlow could be a few different arcana based on what we know about him: authority on the occult, at least around here; his scientific and methodical approach to the metaphysical; his willingness and enthusiasm to help interpret all the weird stuff going on in this town

the Magician, in which case he might not turn out to be all that useful *inside* the dream; while the Magician does have a special connection to the Fool, helping her realize her potential, he is mostly a supporting figure with little power of his own

the Emperor, which would be great; the Emperor is a strong, stable arcana with connotations of protection and aid, which we need as much of as we can get

the Hanged Man; I got halfway through justifying this one and realized it more accurately applies to Ezra, the guy who seems to be basically an encyclopedia of weird shit, but also owns a whole store, not because he wants to run a business, but because he has so much odd garbage.
30th Aug 2021, 11:39 AM
Just because Denise is nervous as can be does NOT mean that she couldn't be a spy. Just a very undertrained one. Which usually works pretty well in civilian situations, since you won't be able to tell if she's nervous cause potluck or cause she's spying on you right beneath your nose. In any case, something to put aside until later, let's take care of the business of Now.
30th Aug 2021, 6:36 PM
Limrix
Yeah this was my take.
31st Aug 2021, 1:51 PM
PurpleKetchup
Maybe spy, maybe worse. I'm thinking competition.
Being nervous in a crowded situation can fit someone who leaves booby traps in another person's mind dungeon (that stunt really doesn't sit well with me).

I'll give her the benefit of the doubt until we learn how to pinpoint other dreamers while awake.
31st Aug 2021, 9:09 PM
BJBlack
Supposing Denise is a spy, the employer that comes to mind is Shady Neighbor Guy (link). He wants inside, but he's figured out Player distrusts him. So he's still spying from the outside, and notices the potluck. He rings up an asset,

(read: some credulous fool who fell for his bottom-tier, expired badge)

And convinces her to show up to help her country or something like that. That would explain the undertrained-ness (he's got none to give), as well as the extreme nervousness (she's crashing a party uninvited, and doing "dangerous undercover work").



I really can't see any other parties fielding a crappy spy to a party that wasn't gonna happen until, what, noon or so?



...You know, checking her dish (if she left it behind) for a camera or microphone sounds right up Marlow's alley...
30th Aug 2021, 4:36 PM
Snervalton
Also: Proceed with the ghost hunt before going to bed! Get Marlow to check the house for any leftover surveillance devices from the Feds or anybody else.
30th Aug 2021, 8:28 PM
Another Guest
Given Denise, and how much we don't know about the house, +1.
31st Aug 2021, 1:52 PM
PurpleKetchup
1st Sep 2021, 6:45 PM
1st Sep 2021, 7:55 PM
Snervalton
Oh yeah! Also-also: Check to see if anything is missing from the house. Make sure nobody(like Denise) walked off with anything they weren't supposed to.
2nd Sep 2021, 2:44 PM
PurpleKetchup
Huh... what happens if she left with the dryer?
2nd Sep 2021, 4:06 PM
Snervalton
Heh heh, well then somebody must have seen her leave with it, unless she stowed it in some kind of pocket dimension. Then we'd know for sure that something is up with her!
30th Aug 2021, 5:27 PM
BJBlack
hahaha that moment when you're about to say something obscene and you see an old teacher of yours and you backpedal like a motherfucker because you still (a)respect the hell out of her, (b)know she could and would kick your ass, or (c)both?



Anyway, time for tonight's sleep plan. I've been sitting on an unactionable theory, and now's the time to share and act on it. Here it is: if you sleep on the bed, you'll wake up on the dungeon bed (Floor 1F, with the heart note), but if you sleep on the couch, you'll wake up on the couch (Floor B2, with the soda machine). So, like you do with every theory, let's experiment!

Tonight, you'll Sleep on your bed as usual. If the theory is correct, you'll get immediate access to the heart note and your penpal, and the teleport room with the Do Not Reset tape that you looted last time.

Ask Cici if she would Sleep on the couch. This might (fingers crossed) let you get a second Accomplice in, but she would logically start in the soda room. She gets to observe if the damage you did to the couch Reset or not. Then, you'll need to rendezvous somewhere.

It would be nice if she could check on the experiments and meet you downstairs at the Tradesman, but her Accomplice form can't solve the Six Beasts Puzzle. ... Unless she gets to manifest Light Arms to reach down those beast mouths and feel the switches, which you can't bank on. That also means that if Cici doesn't get in the dream at all, you don't get your experiment feedback.

So, the preliminary plan would be to gas the mimic again, float down the maintenance canal again (trying to fall off at the same location, more or less) (and pull your weapon out of the barrel when you bail), then meet at the Bad Feels Room that you propped open with your Do Not Reset blade last time.



Miscellany: Fill your flask. Any beer leftover? Place potatoes. You're gonna have to wear your armor, while hugging your halberd and toolbox, to sleep again, because you still don't know if stuff in your bed and not on your person comes in with you. Potato on the bed, potato in the bed, potato under the bed; repeat with Marlow's sleeping bag and the couch.
30th Aug 2021, 6:02 PM
BloodyPaladin
+1 good idea on that experiment
30th Aug 2021, 6:35 PM
Limrix
+1 to trying more things, we should put the small ghost machine in the box if it can fit.
30th Aug 2021, 7:42 PM
Snervalton
+1 to the potato placing experiment.
30th Aug 2021, 7:59 PM
Another Guest
+1 to the whole experiment, while also being careful to play a game that would make redoing the maintenance canal route easier...

...that, or we could play Captemon as it has been suggested, as now that we know better how to use mana, the equivalent of "mana parries" and "mana ex moves" seem to be possible, which can also make that route more manageable.
31st Aug 2021, 5:31 AM
Cyanic
+1 on the experiment/experiment prep
30th Aug 2021, 6:01 PM
BloodyPaladin
Time to start dunking on the dungeon. I dont know necessarily if choosing Marlow is the best bet, considering the semi tight timer. Especially since we don't know what it does. Knowing what his tarot is, or if we can even pick him is good enough for tonight I think. Give Kate a hug goodbye or, failing that, as awkward a fistbump as possible. For a game I would suggest something that has a lives system. I know it's a physical ability thing but a booby trap ending the nights run is pretty bad. You did a good job at the party, especially considering what you just went through. Very proud of ya.
30th Aug 2021, 6:25 PM
Snervalton
I was kind of thinking that we should choose Marlow as our accomplice tonight, if only to see what his dream form and powers are. That would allow us to make a better-informed choice of accomplices in the future. Who knows, maybe his power set will be the one that best helps us in stopping the timer? Moreover, Kate and Cici didn't seem to want to jump into the dungeon again just yet because of the bad experience they had outside the dome last night.
30th Aug 2021, 8:00 PM
Another Guest
+1 to Marlow being the accomplice.
30th Aug 2021, 8:42 PM
BloodyPaladin
Good point and fair enough, I always advise caution but am certainly aware it's not always warranted or even necessary.
30th Aug 2021, 6:36 PM
Limrix
List of current dream ring candidates:
Cici
Kate
Heather Halford
Lagi
Marlow

I vote for Lagi or Kate tonight.
30th Aug 2021, 6:46 PM
Snervalton
-1 on choosing Kate for dream ring powers. We already found out what hers powers are on night 5 and so we should choose Cici tonight to discover hers.

Also, Heather and Lagi haven't officially told us their True Names yet, so I don't think they are options for tonight.
31st Aug 2021, 5:42 PM
I think it'd be very unwise to try and drag Lagi or Heather into the dream dungeon without a full rundown of what they'd be getting into. (Did we tell Kate's mom anything? I don't think so, but I can't recall for sure).
31st Aug 2021, 7:24 PM
Snervalton
No, to my recollection our interactions with Kate's mom consisted mainly of hearing stories about Kate on the first visit and then about Mayor Parsons on the second. She hasn't been clued in to the full depth of everything that's going on in Plaire's life.
30th Aug 2021, 8:05 PM
Another Guest
+1 for Cici as Dream Ring Chosen.

Heather has the potential of being a good choice in the future, given her emotion-reading powers that can translate in better awareness of the surroundings, but that also implies a chance of having to explain to her how much deep is the trouble that her daughter is, currently, which will make things... more complicated than they already are. So, in the off chance of Heather being a possibility now, -1 to her.
2nd Sep 2021, 3:58 PM
Frission
I thought the whole point of bringing Marlow over was to have him join us tonight. So I vote Marlow. xD
31st Aug 2021, 8:25 AM
Crestlinger
*Sends more mind hugs. If that's all we can do right now directly it's Something at least.

*Sends positive vibes to the house, glad that it got the opportunity to Be a house as host to a proper get together. Probably for the first time come to think of it.

31st Aug 2021, 6:12 PM
Pacifist Weird Child
okay then

Let's play a game or something
31st Aug 2021, 6:21 PM
Okay, I'm intrigued by Denise. Let's see...first, she works at apparently the only store in the city with a key dupe (at least one that's not under Mondol control, and fuck them), only the key dupe machine's busted. Interesting coincidence. Then, she shows up at the potluck by herself, without apparently having been invited by anybody (except maybe Plaire in her fugue state? Still weird, and I wanna know how that conversation went, exactly). I think she's just graduated to a Person of Interest, spy or not.

Tomorrow (maybe, depending on our priorities), let's go on over to Furniture & Whatnot and Plaire asks her out on a date. (This is for counter-espionage purposes, not Tru Luv purposes). Plaire walks in, all "Oh, I was hoping you could make it to my party! Do you wanna go out again?", kind of making like...

...Oh my God, what if Fugue Plaire DID ask her out, and then Denise was super put off when we didn't do anything flirty because Fugue Plaire was gone? Okay, let's ignore this social nightmare scenario for the moment.

But yeah, Plaire goes in, implies that the party was the first date, and tries to convince Denise to go out on a second, less crowded date, where we proceed to subtly grill her. Her friends in town, her family, her employment with F&W, what she knows of our Spooky House, its previous residents, Mondol, etc. etc. If she is a spy, and her nervous disposition is genuine, getting her to crack will be easy.

...Or, it really is just a big misunderstanding, and Fugue Plaire was writing a romance check that Choir Plaire didn't even know existed. If that happens to be the case, we'll have to let her down gentle. (Or, if she seems down with the spooky happenings, bring her into our friend group. Or, if the Fake Spy Date somehow goes really well, we nudge Plaire into leaning into it and seeing what happens).

And of course Denise might just shrug and shoot Plaire down, at which point I'm out of ideas.

(Oh, speaking of key duping, I still think it's a worthy avenue of pursuit. Maybe look up a tutorial online on how to make copies at home).
31st Aug 2021, 8:22 PM
BloodyPaladin
Straight to asking her out seems like a pretty extreme next move. Maybe just pretend to shop (Plaire has no money after all) and having a chat. If she stays pretty darn suspicious then we move from there. I think with the timer we need to move on to more potentially helpful things like library loot?, or perhaps crafting better weapons and armor?, or staking vampires? She needs to be snooped at but timers make me nervous as hell.
31st Aug 2021, 9:10 PM
Snervalton
I also think that tackling the Old Library would be very fruitful, but does it not seem like the author is steering us away from that just yet? Almost as if it has too high a challenge rating for us at this point? That's just the impression I've gotten.

And in regard to the heart countdown, I am also nervous as hell about that. My theory at this point is that the countdown represents the remaining number of days the protective dome outside the alcazar can hold out against the attacks of the hostile gods outside. The Tradesman mentioned a Miasmatic Wound. I think that wound is connected to the health of the alcazar and that a healthier alcazar will be able to project a stronger dome to keep the gods out. Therefore, our first priority when we re-enter the dungeon tonight should be to go and interview the Tradesman to test this theory. After all, the Tradesman is the entity we know with the most knowledge about the alcazar.

Also, if Denise concerns you then maybe consider giving a +1 to my above suggestion of sweeping the house for surveillance devices. No telling what she(or the Feds) may have left behind!
1st Sep 2021, 12:48 PM
PurpleKetchup
+1 to your heart countdown interpretation and dungeoneering priorities.