13th Jan 2020, 5:58 PM
Spill it

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Spill it
"What am I hiding...?"

You feel a pulsing soreness in your lower back.

"What am I hiding?"

You step toward her. Your face feels like it's on fire.

You're fully aware that you should stick to the script--play defensively, act soft, hope that Kate can recover her will to go aggro while you look like the more diplomatic option.

You are also about to explode and take the whole office with you.

"About three days ago I fled from the town I grew up in. The girl that was supposed to come with me--the girl I've been dating since god damn elementary school, the girl who TOLD ME it would come to this someday, bailed on me. I'm stuck in this WEIRD town, with HORRENDOUS, undiagnosed anxiety and the worst nightmares I've ever had.

Whoever sold me the house lied about it having a washer and dryer, and also left out--oh, I dunno, the fact that it's known all over Ninelives as the spooky house. SOMEONE needs to be held accountable for this and I want names--someone's going to court, whether it's YOUR Nosferatu looking ass or the previous owner. That you're standing here, threatening MY friend and trying to tell ME, the dumb bitch that has to LIVE in that house, that YOU have a right to know ANYTHING--"

You lean in.

Real close.

"--It's fucking laughable, Mayor Parsons."



You have a lot of trouble reading the mayor's face.


There's a stern silence that feels like an eternity.


Her brow finally furrows hard enough that you can see it beyond her opaque glasses.


"...Are they different nightmares? Or have they been the same nightmare?"

"Oh, shit," Kate blurts out.

Fuck.

Fuck fuck fuck she knows about the dream but she didn't know you were having the dream

"Well-- I mean--" Fuck quick think walk it back "...I've only slept there twice, I don't know--"

The mayor leans in closer to you, almost pressing her face to yours.

"Since we're being frank, Ms. Stevens, please--allow me.

Those nightmares will kill you."


Another silence ensues.

Your mind races.

You could try to change the narrative. They could be different dreams, she doesn't know. It could just be regular stress dreams. People have those! It's normal! It's believable! You lie all the time, you're pretty decent at it by now. You can salvage this.

On the other hand

you're so damn tired of lying.

Kate's shocked reaction said a lot, and you don't think the mayor is ready to buy whatever bullshit you want to try and spin about these being totally different, regular human dreams you just strongly felt the need to mention for some reason.

Whatever huge burst of adrenaline you had is very rapidly fading.

You're just

mad

and tired.

"Who cares. It's already killed me once," you mutter.

"No," the mayor replies, "I mean it will actually kill you. Regardless of what you believe that dream to be, it does not belong to you--and there are things within that are not yours. If you continue to have that dream, Ms. Stevens, it will kill you, in real life."

"Why is the house even THERE?," Kate asks. "Bulldoze it, man. Blow that shit up."

The mayor is...

quiet.

Hesitant?

"It's... not that simple," she finally says.

"I can't just stop dreaming," you state. "Maybe you're new to this but normal dreams don't even work like that."

"Find a way," replies the mayor bluntly, "or sell me the house. This is not a problem you can solve, Ms. Stevens. What you have become entangled in is a very complex, very precarious and very dangerous situation."

"A situation that you're going to keep being vague and mysterious about," you huff. "Right? Even though it's my life on the line apparently, you're still going to--"

"I will assist you however I can in getting you out of that house," the mayor interjects. "I will not help you further endanger yourself."


Another silence.


This time, it's Kate that breaks it. "Are you seriously worried about Plaire? Or are you worried she's gonna find what you're looking for?"


A much sterner silence.

Kate's voice is low. Calm.

She steps closer, but not quite in the mayor's face.

The mayor seems... caught off guard.

Kate continues. "You said there's things within that aren't Plaire's. You could have said there's monsters, that'd have been a lot scarier. ...But you were real vague, and I don't think that's just you and your Count Orlok routine, I think there's something you want in there. That's why you haven't wiped that house off the face of the earth, and that's why you want Plaire to sell it to you."

Fuuuck?

You can tell Kate's making a conscious effort not to curse--to sound more like a lawyer making a case.

Or a detective.

You realize that you've not only straight up switched roles, but that Kate realized it, too--and she's leaning into playing Good Cop.

Or at least, Less Angry Cop.

"The house might be dangerous," Kate concludes, "but there's something there and you want it. You weren't sure the house was still... uh, working until Plaire mentioned the dreams. I'll bet you've tried to buy it before--but when the mayor starts trying to buy the house where someone died, people ask questions, and you don't want that. ...So you had to play fast and loose. Wait and see if it still does what it does. Wait for someone to come to you about it."

"Or wait for someone else to fucking die," you add.


The mayor

for a moment

is silent.


"There is..." She adjusts her glasses. Her posture, demeanor, all of it has changed. Parsons has pulled herself out of your face, and is now back to leaning on her desk. "...There is a great deal more going on here than you could possibly understand. More than I could possibly explain. Regardless of my intentions, I haven't lied to you--if you continue the current course you will die in that house. Get rid of it. Stop having the dream. I will not take responsibility for more bodies and I will not help you dig deeper. Both of you will be leaving without the property history."

You take a slow, steady breath. "And if I go to the news about this?"

The mayor does not hesitate this time. "Then you run the risk of attention from forces in this world. I've already spoken with federal agents once about what went on in that home--and I'm sure Mondol has a brain trust all too eager to tear the place apart and see what makes it tick. I've told you all I should need to, to make you understand the very real danger you are in."

She drinks the remainder of the glass.

"You may have paid for that house, Ms. Stevens. You may see things in that nightmare world that are directly inspired by your own brain...

but you are not its master, and you are not in control.



There's no one left who can claim they ever were."

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13th Jan 2020, 6:16 PM
13th Jan 2020, 6:20 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
................ Time to go buy a crowbar and enlist Kate in seeing if the place has a hidden basement or an attic we missed.

..... anyone want to bet on how Plaire's house is related to what happened to the old library? Gotta be honest all the strange shit feels interconnected in this town to me.
13th Jan 2020, 8:04 PM
pkrankow
+1. Potential dream weapon too.
13th Jan 2020, 8:36 PM
Snervalton
+1 to poking around the spooky house!
14th Jan 2020, 3:13 PM
Yes, I like the idea of exploring the house, and there is definitely something going on in this town.
13th Jan 2020, 6:22 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
On an entirely different note: Plaire doesn't have to be in control of her dreams, she just has to keep ahead of what's going on in them. might be a difference between flying by the seat of your pants and being in control, but that's really just being more than one step ahead of where you are now.
13th Jan 2020, 6:26 PM
Another random note
Does the city's name give anyone else bad vibes?
" ninelives " or nine lives in the dungeon.
13th Jan 2020, 6:43 PM
actually weirdly brought that up in the discord already
13th Jan 2020, 6:51 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
well, more like 8 lives remaining now..... wait a minute, can we get 1-ups?
13th Jan 2020, 9:58 PM
Snervalton
Does that fade that Plaire did last night count as a death? If so then she only has 7 lives left. We don't even know whether there's going to be a shadow-Plaire that spawns at the location of the fade or whether Plaire will begin tonight's crawl there.
13th Jan 2020, 10:03 PM
Snervalton
Then again, the name of the town might have nothing to do with people getting killed or surviving in their spooky-house dreams. The town might have gotten that name long before the spooky house and whatever forces are behind it existed. We don't know exactly what caused the previous owner of the house's death.
13th Jan 2020, 6:25 PM
I think we should offer to work with the mayor. Like she said she does t SEEM to have lied and if we make it clear that were not going to stop she might relent.
FIRST: ask her if she would be interested in learning more about what's inside the dreams. But if she wants information its give and take.
13th Jan 2020, 6:32 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 say we have nothing to lose we either become homeless or die.
13th Jan 2020, 6:44 PM
yeah this definitely a move we're going to have to make to get anything from her now
13th Jan 2020, 10:03 PM
Limrix
-1, I'm opposed to making any commitments yet. If the mayor has a grand scheme we need to thwart, we will want some tricks up our sleeve.
14th Jan 2020, 1:37 PM
+1 I'm for that.
Plaire should tell the mayor that she only died once out of two because she understood how some of this dream works. And that she turned the last thing that 'had a right to know' into a burning mess. Which is probably more info than whatever she got from the previous owners.
So yeah, if the mayor wants something from inside it, Plaire can try and find it at a discount that Mondol will never give her. But in exchange we could use some actual support.

Depending how the mayor takes this, Plaire should withhold further details, or not.
And what's dangerous in these documents that she wants to hide ?
13th Jan 2020, 6:31 PM
Hari_Seldon
Say if we sell that house we will be homeless.

Say we don't mind if dying in that house is a risk. We died in our dream once our first night but did not die the second. Is that INTERESTING to you, mayor? A previous owner was hepless being cut by a saw mill (http://mda.thecomicseries.com/comics/43) but we are not helpless.

Edit: Actually we should not say this until we see a solution to the house only then might the mayor change her mind.
13th Jan 2020, 6:51 PM
Fishbulb
Be somewhat honest with the mayor and tell her that we need some time to process all of this, which will hopefully buy us a little bit of time before Parsons starts with her plan B. See if Kate knows of any occult-adjacent people, and also check out the Back Room to see if they know anything about The Spooky House.

Edit: Also might be good to investigate Mayor Parsons if possible to see if she is not as evil as Mondol Corp.
13th Jan 2020, 10:04 PM
14th Jan 2020, 1:16 PM
We already tried looking up the Mayor. Her history suggests she spontaneously existed soon before she became mayor.
14th Jan 2020, 3:21 PM
I agree with asking around about the house.
Also, dumb question: what's the Back Room, again? Nevermind, I remember, it's the game store.
13th Jan 2020, 6:52 PM
pkrankow
We may need better dream equipment. This is magic. Bad magic.
14th Jan 2020, 2:29 PM
pkrankow
Small stuff. Chalk, crayons, Sharpie, pencil and a notebook.

Chalk can be sidewalk chalk, soapstones, or blackboard chalk. Leaves a mark on many surfaces, including floors and walls.

Crayon can be China pencil or school crayons. Leaves a mark on smooth surfaces, such as metal doors.

Sharpie writes on smooth surfaces and dry things like paper and skin.

Pencil is mostly for the notebook to try to take information between dream and awake.

We may want to look up spells of protection and online and at the library and copy some into our notebook. Maybe we can create a wall or shield ... or just take an extra hit.
14th Jan 2020, 6:00 PM
Snervalton
I doubt we're going to find any magic instructions online, at least none that work as advertised. This story takes place in the same universe as Blood is Mine and magic was strictly outlawed in that world. Plaire will probably have poke around some very shady places if that's the kind of thing she's looking for.
13th Jan 2020, 7:03 PM
Leafia_Barrett
It was brought up in the Discord that the fact that we survived a night, that we were able to fight back, may be a major talking point. The dream may not belong to us, and we may not be in control of it, but we are not a helpless spectator. We have power there. And whatever the mayor wants with that house, if we walk away, she may not find anyone else with that kind of freedom.

On an unrelated note, we may need to look into arranging a secondary place to sleep, so we can engage with The Dream on our own terms, not its terms.

EDIT: It was brought to my attention that this is something we should hold onto for the time being. Negotiation and poker facing is one of my biggest weaknesses, so I'm going to trust people's judgment on that and say we break contact at this point. We've gotten plenty of information. The secondary lodgings thing stands though.
13th Jan 2020, 7:10 PM
Hari_Seldon
Not sure what to do about that. When should we tell the mayor we don't die every night and may have control over the dream? Now or days from now when we have more information? The mayor is being unhelpful even with our honesty so I'm leaning don't say we have control yet.

Edit: telling the mayor later MIGHT be OK but only if we can convince her we have a solution.
13th Jan 2020, 7:04 PM
Fallout from this:
*Whispering back at home: 'Seven more nights then you're Ours. Pleasant dreams.....Plaire.'
The next morning the town awakes to find posters plastered Everywhere:
*Party at the spooky house! Bring gas cause we're having a bonfire big enough to make Burning Man envious!

Anything else we want to ask her about? Like what Things to watch out for? Contents of the old library? WTF mutant wolves?!

Next dream maaaybe not use the soul-drain torches as much.
14th Jan 2020, 1:44 PM
Hmm, yeah. There's the death issue, but the torches were seemingly linked to Plaire as well. We might have reached a 'bad end' for both attempts.
Best count 6 tries left.

Gotta try only using other weapons next time, assuming those don't tap into her lifeforce either.
13th Jan 2020, 7:36 PM
The mayor said that we run the risk of attention from forces in "this" world. She is implying that we might have other forces attention, forces not of this world. Are we going to see some other dimensional beings? I really want to know.
13th Jan 2020, 7:43 PM
Invite the mayor for a sleepover: I wonder if you can go multi-player in there.
13th Jan 2020, 7:47 PM
+1 I know its not going to happen but dammit I've wanted to know this shit since night 2 if we can get two player in that place
13th Jan 2020, 7:48 PM
Hari_Seldon
-1 if you were serious. When the mayor said "no one" can claim to be in control that includes her. She would die.
13th Jan 2020, 10:05 PM
Limrix
-1, I would say try to sleep at Kate's place if anything. I don't think we'll be in great shape to tackle the dungeon tonight.
13th Jan 2020, 10:19 PM
pkrankow
We are not prepared to tackle dungeon crawling unless our video really gave us _all_ the power moves.

Spending the night at Kate's, or anywhere else, might be good.
13th Jan 2020, 7:45 PM
Hari_Seldon
Whatever we do don't imply that we might have control over the dream and not die in it and not run out of lives and die in real life. We need to wait until we find a solution to not die and only then might we be able to change the mayor's mind.

We could say we are poor enough selling the house could make us homeless but that is better than dying.
13th Jan 2020, 8:56 PM
Snervalton
I don't think there's going to be any changing the mayor's mind, at least until we know what it is that she wants that's inside the spooky house. Plenty of mayors tolerate homelessness in their cities. It looks like she's going to be a rival for the time being.
13th Jan 2020, 10:14 PM
Limrix
As usual, that was a lot of information. I think everyone needs more time to think about this. For the time being, I think it would be wise to try to sleep elsewhere tonight, if only as a way to test if the dreams are tied to ownership or physical location. Kate would probably say yes, given that our house has been stated to be killing us in no uncertain terms. If that doesn't work, Cher probably knows somewhere we could rest for the night in relative safety.

Before we go, we could ask Temperance if we can borrow a town map.

There's still plenty of things we don't know at this point. The real intentions of Mayor Parsons, who or what Mondol is, the true nature of our house, what's in the old library, and what that upside down triangle with a circle in it means. Information is the name of the game, and I think the Back Room may have answers. We should try to get to that tomorrow.
13th Jan 2020, 10:38 PM
Snervalton
+1 to visiting the Back Room to get answers tomorrow
14th Jan 2020, 12:43 AM
If I'm not it's master now
I
will
become
its
master!
14th Jan 2020, 4:43 AM
Just adding my general vote we've got enough info and should terminate this improv-meeting. If we need an exit line we can tell the mayor that we'll, "Mull it over and get back with her."

Right now she's in an advantaged position: She has what we want but we don't have what she wants. We need to do more testing and exploring in the nightmare dungeon so we can at least match her with info we have vs. info she has. At the very least, if we can garner information on how to survive the nightmare, that'd be some real valuable information to barter with.

Also if we can bum a stay at Kate's or somewhere else it'd be a good way to test if the nightmares affect only those who sleep in that place or just whoever the current "owner" is (which in turn would rule out there being a player 2 option).
If we've got limited "continues," rather than test what the minimum limit is to gain powers in the nightmare dungeon, it might be worth our while to test the maximum. We got just the basic abilities of characters by playing for a few hours; would we get all of them if we spent most of the day playing a game instead?

EDIT: Oh hey a thought: Kate mentioned one of the previous owners she talked with didn't make it a month before moving out. If she can remember more specifically just how long (or other owners) that'd help rule out if the name of the town has any real connection to the nightmare dungeon or not (presuming said former owner reliably "died" every night).
14th Jan 2020, 8:18 AM
Snervalton
+1 to asking Kate about the previous owner that moved out.
14th Jan 2020, 3:28 PM
I second (third?) asking about the owner. We might not have acces to the property history, but the habitants must know something about the previous owners.
14th Jan 2020, 10:36 AM
Limrix
+1 to all this. I like the experiment of trying the most of the most busted game we can find. We might even be able to practice some speedrunning strats. I feel like we didn't start with speedrunning skills because that would have been too OP, so getting them will probably help a lot if we choose the right games.
14th Jan 2020, 1:57 PM
Celeste has some heavily abusable physics maneuvers, but lacks anything to deal with melee enemies such as those we encountered so far.

Also I really don't want Not!Plaire to start blasting us with instadeath lasers from 3 rooms away.
14th Jan 2020, 10:51 AM
We may have let slip more details than we wanted to, but we're in a better position than before, information-wise. Lies are no longer needed, but we still shouldn't share everything we know as of yet. Our knowledge could serve as bargaining chips.

Now, as for possible actions from here on:

(1) Ask what Mayor Parsons would offer for the house. Do *not* accept the offer and ask for time to mull it over.

At bare minimum, it should be something exceeding what Plaire paid for the house in the beginning, and possibly include services such as assistance in moving and finding a new place. This is not about greed, this is about still having a place to live.

(2) Do *not* sleep in the house tonight. Maybe sleep at Kate's, or maybe at Cici's, or if nothing else is viable, ask to sleep at the Mayor's office if she wants us out so damn bad.

The mayor has confirmed that sleeping and dreaming in the house is potentially lethal. Now we need to buy time and find answers first-hand. Do the dreams only occur by sleeping *in* the house, or will we find ourselves in the nightmare again? If sleeping outside does not work, then this raises a more important question.

*If we sell the house, how can we be sure that the nightmares will stop?*
14th Jan 2020, 11:42 AM
14th Jan 2020, 2:02 PM
+1 if the mayor rejects the offer to explore the dream for her benefit.
14th Jan 2020, 11:05 AM
Okay, but none of this answers our question about the washer/dryer situation. I know that there's confirmed paranormal nonsense going on now, but that's an actual concern that still needs addressing.
14th Jan 2020, 2:13 PM
As a side note, mayor Parsons got quite close and spoke to Plaire without her noticing any weirdness, so her drink is probably not blood.
That's already something.

Or it could it be deironed blood, but what kind of vampire drinks deironed, come on.
14th Jan 2020, 3:07 PM
First of all, we didn't really get what we wanted from this meeting, but we still got some vital information, so I suggest saying goodnight to the mayor and getting out of there. Now, at least for this night, we should definitely not sleep in the Spooky House. We can ask Kate if we can sleep at her home, or any other place, I'm sure she'll understand our situation and help us out.
Now, I said to not sleep at home at least for this night, and we then have the following options:
1. The Safe way, never sleep in our home, ever; if what the mayor said is true, and I'm almost certain it is, everytime we go into the Dream World we risk to die. So obviously not sleeping at our home removes that problem entirely (unless, as some people suggested, the Spooky House Curse affects the owner of the house and not who sleeps in it). We can still use our house to live normally, we just don't sleep there.
2. The Risky way, prepare as best as we can for the Dream World (by playing the games and by taking with us weapons/other useful items) and keep exploring the dungeon. This is obviously risky (duh), but we might find out more about what is going on.
Either way, we have to investigate in the real world. I suggest starting by asking around and exploring the old library (possibly with Cici or some other strong and reliable person).
Lastly, I suggest working with the mayor. She might not have our best interests in mind, but I'm positive she does not want our death: two people dying at the same place is sure to raise some questions by the townspeople, and the mayor surely does not want that. Plus, if we gain her trust she might allow us to look at the property history.