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[IC] (Promethean: The Created 2E) Muddy Waters

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  • Scout
    Conditions: Introspective, Informed (Amalgama LTD), Inspired (Alchemy), Disquiet 2 (Amalgama), Steadfast, Tormented
    Alembics: Heed the Call (0) Plumb the Fathoms (0) Internalize (0) Weaponize (0)
    Health: ALLLLL | Willpower: 6/6 | Pyros: 5/13 | Beats: 2/5 | Vitriol Beats: 4/5
    XP: 1 | VXP: 1

    Scout's mind was blazing along the trail of firestorm alchemy. Flux transmutations could do it. He looked to Earth, then changed the plan again. Not efficient. An athanor yes... perhaps if anyone knew where one was already... but he hadn't heard anything about that yet. He could make one... that would be complicated, possibly take more time than he wished to spend. But to draw forth the flame immortal... yes, he could do this.

    I'll put that dramatic failure for sublimation by fire here, if it hasn't already hit. Seems like a great spot for it.


    The distraction was probably why his half-hearted attempt to to sublimate Satin's torment failed so spectacularly. The wasteland crept out around them again, and the scorching of Azoth left him with a lot of damage, but despite that his flesh tore and left him looking just as when he'd weathered the small firestorm from before, his attention was entirely focused. Focused on the thought process he had going. He felt excited at the prompt of discovery. Oh, perhaps amalgama had a device that could generate the flux for a firestorm. It would run on sacred vitriol, but if vitriol had already been stolen, why not put it to use? But for that to work, he'd need for them to already have such a device... or perhaps he could use the vitriol that had already been stolen on the spot. But he would need to find their vitriol storage. And was this blasphemy? Or was it doing the right thing? Surely the research he pursued was worth the potential risk, and furthermore, it would also destroy the Amalgama building. And free their friends. Yes, free Adonis and the others. That was important to Earth and Mark 5, so it would have to be at least a secondary goal.

    I'd like to use this as a moment of Obsession to refill Scout's willpower. However, with the already chosen dramatic failure of Sublimation by Fire that putting up another wasteland, that drops me to 1 dice to resist.
    Well that went worse than expected.. I'm going to hold off on using steadfast for now. I feel like it's going to be important later when he's trying to do something that could get everyone killed if he fails, like forcefully generating a firestorm from scraps of amalgama technology. I will for kicks, make this one a dramatic failure though. Because being double-ly tormented as an Osirian is awesome! I don't think I can get another beat from a dramatic failure that fast? But still this is amusingly worth it.

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    • Mark 5
      Conditions: Tenacious, Guilty, Inspired
      Tilts: Arm Wreck
      Alembics: Hygeius (0), Motus (1), Charites (0), Unbroken (0), Unconquered (0), Unfettered (0)
      Health:LLLLLLLLLBBBO | Willpower: 4/6 | Pyros: 6/11 | Beats: 1/5 | Vitriol Beats: 0/5
      Experiences: 3 I Vitriol Experiences 1
      "YOU!" Mark 5 near exploded, as he grabbed Joshua by the collar. Power still flowed through his body, and his wrath and confusion at being betrayed by his fellow Pilgrim made him lash out. He wanted to bash that treacherous head in! If it hadn't been for him, he would have been able to save ...
      Mark 5's rage evaporated. No. He wouldn't have been able. Not when they had someone that could spew Flux and render him harmless, powerless... useless.
      For what use had he been? He had achieved nothing. Guilt filled his head. He needed to know more before acting. He needed to know his Intention. Something he said. Something about a mission....

      "I have a message for you. I was found by a Messenger of the Principle, and told to be in this place, for you and your throng.
      I was told to be here when a great storm would break, because it is important for you to witness it."

      His mighty shoulders slumped, and he let go of Joshua. "Why? Why did you betray us?"

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      • Adonis
        Conditions/Tilts: Masked (Refinement), Connected (Erwin, Persistent; Katerina, Persistent) Disquiet (Waitress, Stage 1), Callous, Beaten Down, Drugged
        Alembics: Eros (0), Assimilate (0), Stalker (0), Eris (0)
        Health: LLLLLOO I WP: 5/5 I Pyros 10/10
        Beats: 0/5 I Vitriol Beats: 0/5
        Experiences: 2 I Vitriol Experiences 2


        Adonis winces when Isla points out the lie. No, she definitely isn't a child. So he should stop treating her like one.

        "Nothing good, I know that. They've figured out a way to make Alembics into drinks." He doesn't say more, because he figures the others can figure out what that means.
        The Frozen Pilgrim's words take Adonis by surprise. He blinks a couple times. She let herself be captured because she felt grateful to me? Her question leaves him silent for a few moments as he thinks it over. He stares at the floor of the truck and responds. "You look like a Created I knew. A Muse named Elektra. She was the first other Created I ever met. She was my first true friend, taught me a lot. But I let her down. I failed her." He's surprised at himself for saying this: he's never brought it up to any other Created before. He doesn't say any more; he raises his head to look her in the eye again. "I guess I'm trying to make up for some sins I'm carrying around."


        Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

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        • The Named known as Earth stretches their alchemical range, tapping into the practical aspects of Cuprum they had not yet experienced. They could see what others could only guess at- what would they see if they turned that gaze inwards? Joshua neither flinches nor moves when Mark 5 rushes to grab him by the throat, his mind is perfectly placid, and Earth can see nothing. The Golem seems perplexed at Mark's outrage "But I did not betray you. I did not lead them to you. Angels told me to wait, to speak with you, so that you would not flee the storm. I did so, because I was told it would show me where to step next on my Pilgrimage, and it did! "

          The ground shudders and warps as the snow seems to curdle into frozen scum under their feet, Divine Fire bursting forth from Scout's battered and bruised body, ripping its way out of his flesh, doing horrific damage his slight frame. Fire bursts from Satin's flesh as well, sublimating fresh skin and blood back into mist, and they grab hold of the generator, letting a single, clear burst of the charge undo the damage and the flow of the Flame Immortal healing them completely. Satin steams, melting the snow around them, and Earth can see the heavy black storm clouds of Torment gather around them like thick storm clouds. It would be shocking, horrifying even, if they hadn't just stepped off the Fury's road. It was a wave of absolute fury, a disregard for life so complete that it almost reminded Earth of a Pandoran in a feeding frenzy. Almost. A fleeting image flashes by, the silver wolf-beast emerging again, a massive, dextrous paw engulfing Scout's head and tearing it clear of his shoulders. It would be easy to do in that form, and he was weak enough that it was feasible.

          Earth's gaze shifts again, focusing on the Scarlet Woman, her Azothic Radiance burning with the pale blue flame of calm curiosity, a carefully controlled ghost of a smile on her lips, but smouldering underneath the robin's egg blue, bleeding into it to form a halo of imperial purple, is a visceral deep red. Red like raw meat, red like blood bright from the wound, red like arousal, red like need. The interplay is... complex. Like the Scarlet Woman wants to watch and wants to act, but more than anything else she wants to watch someone else do something they will regret. Where does impurity lie in the soul? What encourages it to emerge? A Cathar's questions, and the devilish Cathar whip in a sharpened tongue.

          When she shifts to look at Solomon the blue-skinned Osirian has a head wreathed in the pale grey clouds of regret, and beneath those clouds a storm of colour all directed at Satin. He is incandescent with the indigo of disgust, but it is not clear who it is directed at, though it is shot through with the pale amber glow of love faded over time. There is also the bright green bubble of resentment, simmering beneath the indigo, threatening to bubble to the surface, but even as Earth watches the indigo deepens and the amber glows more brightly, like a conscious effort to keep the resentment from boiling over. The uncomfortably cheerful yellow of discomfort, pale yellow, mustard yellow, the kind of yellow one would make a particularly appalling wallpaper, gleams about his hands, but even as the tension in Solomon's body rises the yellow is smothered by the earthen tones of resolve. He isn't going anywhere for now.

          Trying again to examine the enigmatic Golem in black, Earth sees clearly the colours of Joshua's Azothic Radiance, and there is the blue and gold of awe and inspiration. Blue and gold like a pharaoh's death mask, like the Ishtar Gate of Babylon (Earth has seen pictures of that, once upon a time. Ishtar was the Demiurge behind the Tammuz line). His attention is on Mark 5, battered and blackened by his own bile, but still powerful, still confident. Such power! Such skill! Within his hands, the ability to shake the foundations of the world. When Earth gazes for the black-clad Golem's Refinement there is a burst of blinding white light that is like trying to stare at the sun, like his Azoth is trying to burn through his skin, leaving him looking like little more than a ghost wrapped around a blazing white phosphorus core. Light-Bringer. Student of the ephemeral.

          When Earth turns their gaze elsewhere, they can see, simultaneously, the Created gathered under the Louis Riel bridge, and the interior of the Amalgama van. All the mercenaries without their helmets, looking so terribly human. The Captain marked so clearly by her scars. Adonis, Tom Barebones, Isla, and the Frozen Pilgrim chained a couple of seats down. She hears Adonis talk about some Pilgrim he used to know, a Muse named Elektra. That he'd failed her. The Frozen Pilgrim turns her head, and makes eye contact with the Earth-presence.

          She smiles.

          OOC: Caladriu take a Beat from your Refinement Condition. This is a step for Earth, they're assessing and studying rather than acting, and that's an extremely Cuprum thing to do.

          The Van

          While processing the concept of Alembics and Distillations in potions, Isla scrunches up her nose in disgust at the idea. Alchemy is a thing you just do, anything else seems just so horribly artificially. Tom, on the other hand, seems to jolt out of his reverie, trying to reach into his coat for his notepad and pencil, for his tape recorder. The words have to be right before he can say them, or why say anything at all? The Frozen Pilgrim considers Adonis' words carefully, placidly staring him in the eyes with an easy gaze, face shifted back to the relaxed mask of bemusement. The near-silent, intimate voice, so quiet it might as well be his own thoughts, drifts (emanates?) again.

          "What is a sin?"

          And then the Frozen Pilgrim turns and looks... not at the Captain, but around them, like they know something that the Captain doesn't. And then she does something strange. She smiles, warmly and reassuringly, the way Adonis has seen human mothers look at their children.

          OOC: Haberdasher I just realized enough time has elapsed that you can resolve Disquiet (Waitress) for a Beat, though, of course, you could trade it for Disquiet (The Captain) instead. You'd still get the Beat for resolving the previous one, but now you get a whole new complication that will quickly come up!


          My Homebrew Hub

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          • Mark 5
            Conditions: Tenacious, Guilty, Inspired
            Tilts: Arm Wreck
            Alembics: Hygeius (0), Motus (1), Charites (0), Unbroken (0), Unconquered (0), Unfettered (0)
            Health:LLLLLLLLLBBBO | Willpower: 4/6 | Pyros: 6/11 | Beats: 1/5 | Vitriol Beats: 0/5
            Experiences: 3 I Vitriol Experiences 1
            "FLEE?!!" Anger returned to Mark 5 in a flurry.
            Who did that guy think the Titan was? "Run from adversity?! I am a Titan! We don't run, we embrace!"
            Exasperated, Mark 5 sighed. He looked into Joshua's eyes. "You have betrayed us, if unwittingly. If you had not distracted me, all this might have gone differently."
            He looked down at his fist. "I would have been able to hurt them more than I did, and they would have had to rely on their damned Flux much sooner. At the very least, they might have gone for me rather than Isla..." Looking back to Joshua, he wanted to say something along the lines of "hope it was worth your step forward" in an acidic tone, but if what Joshua said was true, he had only acted according to the whim of the Principle.
            Thinking that he might have done the same thing made Mark 5 angry with himself. Chaotic creation, that's what the principle was. And here, it had created pain and suffering.
            He brushed past Joshua with definetly more force than necessary, and stepped to the generator to heal.

            Wow, Scout is in bad shape, he noticed. What did they DO to him?

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            • Earth
              Conditions: Patient, Watched
              Alembics: Verto (0), Stereo Humour (3), Arc (0)
              Health: OOOOOOOOOO | Willpower: 3/5 | Pyros: 5/12 | Beats: 3/5 | Vitriol Beats: 2/5

              It's amazing how much you notice when you step back instead of charging in and throwing lightning bolts left and right. Were those auras always there?

              Mark 5 is furious at onyx-eyes, but instead of jumping in, Earth waits and watches his bright red anger ground out into muddy guilt and exasperation. Scout is studying Earth like a specimen, discarding them, not focused on Satin's Torment but rather distracted by some beautifully complex scheme in his mind's eye. The operation of Saturninus backfires horribly. Two Radiances are now choked with Torment. Satin sinks deeper into vicious fury, ready to kill. The Scarlet Woman would be glad to see the wolf come out again. Earth knows that love is a sweet sickness of the spirit, a fairy-light that draws the afflicted into doing terrible things, so it makes perfect sense that the emotion would be mixed with disgust and resentment in Solomon's aura. Like Earth and Dead Girl, there is a heavy chain of history between Solomon and Satin.

              On a second look, Joshua's colors make sense. Another one of Ishtar's wayward children, stricken by a glimpse of the divine. Did the angels reward him with a vision for delaying Mark 5? If he's refining himself into burning Phosphorus, he won't want to calm things down. Might even make things worse. It's a volatile situation, and the only one here who's going to prevent an unstable reaction is Earth. That's new.

              The Pariah cuffs Scout on the shoulder and points him to the generator. "You blew it, short stack. Go ride the lightning before a wolf eats your hand. (i swear you'd starve if we didn't feed you.)"

              That's a start. At least it'll get him out of Satin's way before the Riven bites. Earth tries to give him some constructive direction: "We want the same thing. If you're scheming, start by looking around. Something must've brought Mark's pal here. Can you still do that thing where we lick your blood and get smart ideas? This is a good time for inspiration."

              Now to see how the theory of far-seeing works in practice. Claw dipped in the thawing blood, heterochromatic eyes blink. Earth's brown eye looks at the underpass, and mystic hazel looks at the owner of the blood.

              ---

              There she is. The Captain's face appears first, marked with burn scars, smelling of iron and sweat, and the vision blooms out from that central point.

              They're human under the armor. No horns or scales. Weak, pathetic humans. But how does this fit into a normal human life?

              Adonis is there, pouring his guts out. Feels like reading somebody else's diary. And Tom Barebones fumbling with his tape recorder, and that small clay golem Isla that Mark 5 likes, and a soft snowy woman...looking back?

              ???

              What's that expression? No one's ever looked at Earth quite that way before. A smile of...hunger? Mockery? Desire? Contempt? Maybe if they look a little deeper...

              Attempting to use Hearing the Inner Voice on the Pilgrim. Wits+Composure+Azoth vs Composure+Azoth. 9 dice for me: 2 successes.


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              • Scout
                Conditions: Introspective, Inspired (Alchemy), Informed (Amalgama LTD), Disquiet 2 (Amalgama), Steadfast, Tormented
                Alembics: Heed the Call (0) Plumb the Fathoms (0) Internalize (0) Weaponize (0)
                Health: OOOOOO | Willpower: 6/6 | Pyros: 8/13 | Beats: 2/5 | Vitriol Beats: 4/5
                XP: 1 | VXP: 1


                Scout glanced up to Earth as she cuffed him. His eyes seethed for a moment, squinting at her. She thought she could push him around just because she was bigger, stronger, more in tune with her power? Scout took heed of her words, though and relaxed a moment. Yes. His body was heavily damaged. What was that second part she'd said?


                Assuming it's 8B source as Earth did, I will heal 1Ag, 3L, and 1 pyros on my first round, thanks to efficient conductor. 2nd round is 2L and 2 pyros thanks to efficient conductor. I'm assuming this takes care of the arm-wrack tilt, given there is 4B of extra electricity in that round.


                Scout let the anger flood out of him as he restored his health and pyros. With that comes clarity. "You want to lick my blood to... ah. You mean you wish to Glimpse my journey. How is looking into my past going to help us now? I already have an idea on how to utterly destroy those pathetic worms for their assault. I just need the ingredients. Enough vitriol would do the trick. I could perhaps steal from the stores they have stolen from the dead, or formulate some from my own person, though that won't get as large of a firestorm. I can probably figure out how to put a timer on it so we wouldn't have to be near it for activation. We'll probably need to reduce our detectable azothic radiances for any sneaking in. And even then I'm sure their security would likely notice us. Especially since we'll be in a rush as they're likely to start processing their acquisitions soon. Which will limit the amount of time I have to create the bomb. I suppose I could create a normal bomb, that doesn't use pyros, but they might contain that. Oh, what if we did multiple bombs, but only one was a firestorm bomb? That could do. But we'd need ingredients. And even then, I'm not an experienced chemist *yet*, so unless one of you know how to make bombs," he rubbed his chin, "If they can detect Azoth, it'll mean I might have to create the bomb from within the facility. I don't know if a firestorm catalyst would radiate any sort of warning signal or energy before it's detonation."

                "Hmm... oh we could have the Mark 5 Weapon level the complex on one side as an alternative. If he can do that earthquake thing again, it would put him in considerable danger, but would create a large enough distraction for us to get in. And then all we need is for someone to short out the power in their facility. Easy enough for you Earth?" He glanced to each of them as he spoke, but didn't really pay any heed to their faces. He didn't have time to consider the implications of their emotions right now. That was Adonis's job. And Adonis... "If Adonis is smart, he'll be attempting to use that gold of his to turn them against themselves about now. I'm afraid I'm not able to manipulate disquiet in that manner, but I did suffuse that squad with a sufficient amount. I wonder if I could suffice the entire building with disquiet... and what exactly sort of an effect it would have. Oh, what if I intentionally generate a wasteland, spoiling the liquids in their facility? That would probably ruin a sufficient amount of their alchemical supplies, right?"

                Scout was rambling now. Guessing, taking shots in the dark. His mind was working overtime, but he couldn't nail down a single good idea.

                Indulging in Introspective until someone stops him and forces him to get moving. Be warned, I'm good at rambling :P
                Last edited by ArchonAres; 07-31-2017, 03:43 PM.

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                • Earth
                  Conditions: Patient, Watched
                  Alembics: Verto (0), Stereo Humour (3), Arc (0)
                  Health: OOOOOOOOOO | Willpower: 3/5 | Pyros: 5/12 | Beats: 3/5 | Vitriol Beats: 2/5


                  Earth closes their clairvoyant eye for a minute. It's a lot to take in. Mark 5 is rejuvenated, Scout is...monologuing. Even a brick-dumb Tammuz like Earth can tell you that endless words are a sign of Torment. Who knew that Osirans suffered the same way?

                  "Yo, I know I'm not the brain genius of this throng, but calling down a firestorm is a really dumb idea. You gotta respect the vitriol. Trust me. And I mean, it might be easy for me to short the power, but it'd be messy...wait, are you making fun of me?"

                  Ugh. How are you supposed to motivate someone who's A) smarter than you, and B) unbalanced? Where's Adonis when you need him?

                  "You're just building sandcastles- you're not even building sandcastles right now, you're just spilling words. Mark, help me out here. We've got a lot of parts here, but no plan. Lashing out isn't gonna help when they've got all the guns and the potions and they know the territory. Scout: do the work."

                  Both Earth's hands are on his shoulders. That line always worked for Heartsblood: do the work. Speaking of which, there's still Satin's Elpis to decode...

                  Wits+Empathy+Stereo Humour 2+Equipment (good relationship) 2 to infer Satin's Elpis, and a way out of their Torment. 6 dice: failure.


                  No good ideas. There's that Alienated nature bubbling up again. Despite tonight's conversation, Earth doesn't know Satin very well at all. But who does...?

                  Solomon. Earth takes him aside for an awkward conversation. "Hey. Man to man. I guess you two know each other. Do you know how to balance Satin's humours? Can you two go off somewhere and...work on that? I'm just trying to keep any heads from getting ripped off."

                  I'm gonna pitch this one as a Cuprum-related Milestone. Rather than taking personal responsibility for helping Satin without really knowing how, Earth is choosing to put aside their jealousy, step back, and humbly ask someone else with greater expertise (ie, Satin's ex) to soothe the Ulgan's Torment. And generally following the Hermit Role by distancing from a close confidant.


                  Earth opens their clairvoyant eye to focus on the van again. What does the Captain think about all this? Maybe the Frozen Pilgrim watching earlier was just a trick of the mind.

                  Attempting to listen in on the Captain's thoughts with Hearing the Inner Voice. Hopefully I'd like a sense of "what does she expect to happen next, is this situation gonna resolve in the next few minutes or does the throng have an hour or two to prepare?"

                  Wits+Composure+Azoth, 9 dice: 3 successes.
                  Last edited by Caladriu; 08-01-2017, 03:27 PM.


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                  • Louis Riel Bridge

                    The Named Pariah tries to hear the Frozen Pilgrim's mind, but that calm, reassuring smile holds without faltering, facial expression unchanging. Earth's mind smoulders, filled not with thoughts, but instead with clarity, awareness, knowledge bordering on instinctual. Earth gets a flash of that alchemist from November (it seems so long ago) the one Adonis distracted to protect the Throng, and they see him arguing with Adonis, heatedly. It reminds Earth of the rows they used to have with Dead Girl. But watching Adonis argue with the alchemist... it doesn't fill them with anxiety, or concern, but instead with contentment, even joy. This argument is something that must happen.

                    With Scout musing on the virtues of earthquakes and Firestorms, Solomon and the Scarlet Woman share a concerned glance. The blue-skinned Nepri's face brooks no reproach, she is not to antagonize him, and the slight flash of fear bordering on delighted disgust shows that she knows better than to mess with someone whose idea of a surefire plan is to unleash the truest expression of the Divine Fire's wrath. When Earth approaches Solomon, the elder Pilgrim simply nods while Satin stands to the side and broods, breathing hard and trying to avoid looking at Scout. Solomon walks over, whispers hard but not unkindly, and the two storm off. Talons flex and retract and Satin's flesh ripples, adopting a form with significantly more muscle tone than the one Earth is used to.

                    Focusing back in on the van, Earth hears the echoes of the Captain's mind. She can hear the whispers of several voices at once, far more than she is ready to hear, and it borders on overwhelming. What Earth manages to process is the sense of general discomfort at the homunculi (that's an interesting word) talking to one another, making them seem sympathetic... approachable. None of them thought that this is where they would end up when their medical practice, or spiritual practice, or mystical experimentation, started to smoulder with something incredible, something miraculous. Raided houses, raided labs, raided churches, broken bones. Monsters in the night. The only way to make it stop was to become a leg-breaker and fire-starter yourself. They just want it to end but they'll be at the office in ten minutes and then the homunculi will go into processing and initial testing for the next several hours. But their part is done.

                    OOC: Caladriu replace Earth's Aspiration "Gain a dot of Medicine" with "Push Adonis to confront Erwin" and take the Shaken Condition from the overwhelming cloud of voices. Also take a Vitriol Beat from the minor Milestone. ArchonAres take a Beat from indulging the Introspective Condition.


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                    • Mark 5
                      Conditions: Tenacious, Guilty, Inspired
                      Tilts: Arm Wreck
                      Alembics: Hygeius (0), Motus (1), Charites (0), Unbroken (0), Unconquered (0), Unfettered (0)
                      Health:OOOOOOOOOOOOO | Willpower: 4/6 | Pyros: 6/11 | Beats: 1/5 | Vitriol Beats: 0/5
                      Experiences: 3 I Vitriol Experiences 1
                      Assuming 8 B source:
                      Turn 1: 3 Bashing, 2 Lethal. +1 Pyros.
                      Turn 2: 4 Lethal, 1 Pyros.
                      Turn 3: 3 Lethal, 1 Pyros.

                      It took some time for the Titan to restore himself. The damage to his body was extensive.
                      "Mark, help me out here."
                      Mark 5 turned to Earth. He'd missed something going on, apparently. Scout was spouting stuff non-stop. He held on to him.
                      "Scout: do the work."
                      "Work, Scout!"
                      Mark 5 chimed in. He also gently smacked Scout on the back of his head. Supposedly, that helped with thinking.

                      Basically at the same time, he told his fellow Tammuz "We need to get moving, Earth. They got Isla, and..." The Titan's voice got silent. He lifted his hands, and looked at them. "These are strong hands, aren't they? And yet, I could not hold on to them. They got away. I failed, Earth. Again. I failed. I was helpless, weak. I could do nothing. They took away my Transmutation."
                      He looked to Earth, his eyes practically begging for help. "How can I call myself a hero if I cannot help people?"

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                      • Earth
                        Conditions: Patient, Watched, Shaken
                        Alembics: Verto (0), Stereo Humour (3), Arc (0)
                        Health: OOOOOOOOOO | Willpower: 3/5 | Pyros: 5/12 | Beats: 3/5 | Vitriol Beats: 3/5


                        Following the commands of the Divine Fire and/or alluring ethereal women is nothing new for Earth. Whatever happens, Adonis needs to be set on a collision course with the alchemist. Of course!

                        Listening to the Captain's mind leaves Earth dumbstruck. Many voices? Humans don't even think like they do? Is that how they fit in so easily with each other? The gulf between lead and gold seems wider than ever. Actually, the Pariah has never listened to other Created thoughts either. What if Earth is the only one who's alone in their own head? Is that why they're so broken? It would explain a lot...the thought is unsettling, and it doesn't fade.

                        "We need to get moving, Earth. They got Isla, and..."

                        "Yeah. And Adonis, and Tom, too. I can still see 'em in one eye. We haven't lost the scent yet."

                        But this is more than a tactics issue, huh? Mark looks...powerless. That's new and scary.

                        "These are strong hands, aren't they? And yet, I could not hold on to them. They got away. I failed, Earth. Again. I failed. I was helpless, weak. I could do nothing. They took away my Transmutation."

                        Earth takes Mark 5's hands and feels the weight of them. Small calloused hand and fleshy claw feeling two hunks of stony ironflesh. This little moment is about as intimate as the two of them have ever been, even though it's framed more like admiring a tool than a body. "Strongest I've ever seen. I thought for sure you had 'em back there, man. You could move the world with these hands, if strength was all you needed. But it ain't. "

                        Took away...? Oh. Earth tries to comfort him, and comes off unusually soft. "Mark, that's not on you. What they did- that's Flux. They flared up the impurities in your own charged Alembic and made the whole mix burn out. Once you know what to look for, it's scary easy. You never saw a Freak with that trick before, huh? It's a nasty one. We called it Solvent. I dunno what kinda knockoff they used, but you're lucky it just grounded out your charge. I could do way worse back in the days, and being strong doesn't help a lick. Flux is anti-life. It turns your own imperfections against you until you can't see the perfect bits anymore."

                        "How can I call myself a hero if I cannot help people?"

                        Bringing up the past made things uncomfortable all of a sudden. This is too weird, too scary, too close. Earth pulls back their hands and scoffs at him. "Wait, wait, you're asking me how to be a hero now? We're really screwed this time."

                        Can't shove vulnerability back in somebody's face that easily, though. Not when Mark's worked so hard and so much to keep his fellow golem on the right path. Earth runs a claw through their hair and tries again. "I don't know. I don't call myself a hero, and I know I can't help anyone. Including you."

                        Torment simmers. But with effort, it subsides. "Well...that's a lie. If I really believed that, I would have turned and ran. But I rallied y'all here to the bridge. So I guess I believe we can help Adonis and the others. But I still know I'm weak in ways that make it hard to do right. I don't pretend to be something I'm not."

                        "I'm gonna be really real with you. You made yourself strong as Iron, but Iron ain't perfect. And the more you make yourself like Iron, the more the big deep imperfections of Iron become part of you. When I lose a fight, it sucks, but I lose all the time and I don't expect better. But you've built up your whole self around being the strongest, so when you lost that fight tonight, it broke you. You put all your weight on your Vitality, and when they cracked that pillar with Flux, the whole temple crashed down. That doesn't mean you embrace Flux- that's where I went stupid. But you gotta start seeing those imperfections as part of what you are. Otherwise, something's gonna break again when we try to help."

                        That's all the motivational juice Earth's got. There was barely any stuttering in that whole spiel. "Think on it, alright? We've got some time. I'm not riding out of here in a hurry just so you can prove you're strong enough. We're gonna make a plan and we're gonna do something on our terms, not the alchemists'."
                        Last edited by Caladriu; 08-02-2017, 07:36 PM.


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                        • Mark 5
                          Conditions: Tenacious, Guilty, Inspired
                          Tilts: Arm Wreck
                          Alembics: Hygeius (0), Motus (1), Charites (0), Unbroken (0), Unconquered (0), Unfettered (0)
                          Health:OOOOOOOOOOOOO | Willpower: 4/6 | Pyros: 6/11 | Beats: 1/5 | Vitriol Beats: 0/5
                          Experiences: 3 I Vitriol Experiences 1





                          "Yeah. And Adonis, and Tom, too. I can still see 'em in one eye. We haven't lost the scent yet."
                          Mark 5 near chocked. Pretty Boy was in trouble, too? He had failed not just one, but several Created? This burden came crushing down with force... wait, did Earth say she can see them?


                          When Earth takes Mark 5's hands he feels strange, uncomfortable. Earth basically never touched him. Not even when they had fought - lightning and all that. That hug back when had been an extraordinary occurence. He wasn't being used to being touched softly, as Adonis had learned. And yet, this was oddly... comforting. Uncomfortable, but comforting. He wanted it to end. He wanted it to go on.
                          "Strongest I've ever seen. I thought for sure you had 'em back there, man. You could move the world with these hands, if strength was all you needed. But it ain't. "
                          But strength was all he had... What else did he need? What was it he lacked?
                          Earth seems distressed for a bit, pushes him away, then comes back.
                          "I don't pretend to be something I'm not."
                          I do, all the time, the Titan thought. Maybe that was what was wrong with him? But how could he give up being - trying to be a hero? Again, it was all he had.

                          "I'm gonna be really real with you. You made yourself strong as Iron, but Iron ain't perfect. And the more you make yourself like Iron, the more the big deep imperfections of Iron become part of you. When I lose a fight, it sucks, but I lose all the time and I don't expect better. But you've built up your whole self around being the strongest, so when you lost that fight tonight, it broke you. You put all your weight on your Vitality, and when they cracked that pillar with Flux, the whole temple crashed down. That doesn't mean you embrace Flux- that's where I went stupid. But you gotta start seeing those imperfections as part of what you are. Otherwise, something's gonna break again when we try to help."

                          The words stung surprisingly deeply. Leave Ferrum? But they needed a Titan now more than ever, how could she say that? He was so close to mastering it all! And yet... Earth's words resonated with something inside the Tammuz, against his will. Ever since what happened before the Firestorm, he had felt... off, and the fight with the Pandoran made him feel even worse, in a way. That there were things he didn't know about himself was bad enough, but those things were... evil, weak. Things he had wanted to purge. What if Earth was right, though? Maybe he had been on Ferrum long enough. He'd heard of Pilgrims becoming stuck in a Role. Maybe he was in danger of becoming stuck in a Refinement? After all, he knew he'd have to try something else sometime, yet always pushed the thoughts away.
                          It's just that Ferrum was so comfortable. He was comfortable with challenging himself. He KNEW Ferrum. He had been MADE for Ferrum. Mudbreaker had intended for him to
                          ..we are shaped by someone else, then shape ourselves.... was made to be a Titan, but it was my decision to become a Titan, to make myself hardy, to challenge myself... be better for it. I am thankful for challenges: they help me understand me. They help me learn new th...you will have earned it, on every step on the way you will have clawed your way up! You will..



                          Of course. So simple. So obvious. Why are these things always so obvious looking back? A real Titan would not eschew the challenge. He had lost sight of what the goal was. It was not being a Titan, it was being human. It was time to move on. Time to learn more about humanity, humans, and himself.
                          And by what Earth said, the smartest choice would be by learning more about that which he had tried to purge all this time.
                          Wow. He really should ask Earth for advice more often.

                          "Think on it, alright? We've got some time. I'm not riding out of here in a hurry just so you can prove you're strong enough. We're gonna make a plan and we're gonna do something on our terms, not the alchemists'."

                          Mark 5 closed his eyes, holding back bile, and nodded."I will.
                          Oh, and... Earth?
                          Thanks.
                          Never knew you were this wise."

                          His voice was perfectly honest, and there was nothing but thankfulness in his eyes when he opened them.
                          Last edited by Wormwood; 08-02-2017, 08:36 PM.

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                          • Adonis
                            Conditions/Tilts: Masked (Refinement), Connected (Erwin, Persistent; Katerina, Persistent) Disquiet (Waitress, Stage 1), Callous, Beaten Down, Drugged
                            Alembics: Eros (0), Assimilate (0), Stalker (0), Eris (0)
                            Health: LLLLLOO I WP: 5/5 I Pyros 10/10
                            Beats: 0/5 I Vitriol Beats: 0/5
                            Experiences: 2 I Vitriol Experiences 2


                            Adonis thinks the question over for a couple seconds. Sin's something he hears humans talk about, but even he doesn't really understand it. Sharon would read stories about men with strange names- Greek names, like his- who did bad things and came to bad ends because of bad choices they mad. He's heard some humans say that sins are bad things that humans do because the first man and woman ate a fruit that let them know what good and evil are. But that's too much for him to say. So he chooses an answer that another Created can understand pretty well. ‚Äč"Sins are the things that humans and Created do that Cathars are interested in."

                            Adonis follows the Frozen Pilgrim's eyes as she looks at the captain, but... not at the captain?

                            Going to have Adonis see if he can figure out what's going on with the Frozen Pilgrim. Wits 2 + Composure 2 = 4 dice -> 3 successes. Might not be the best educated member of the ramble, but he's clearly got a clue that something's up.



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                            • Earth
                              Conditions: Patient, Watched, Shaken
                              Alembics: Verto (0), Stereo Humour (3), Arc (0)
                              Health: OOOOOOOOOO | Willpower: 3/5 | Pyros: 5/12 | Beats: 3/5 | Vitriol Beats: 3/5


                              No energy for a long IC post so I'll just write up my next actions. I want to "build" a Plan based on Clairvoyance observations and brainstorming with the others, and also do some lucid dreaming for an hour or two to recover Pyros and force an Elpis vision.

                              Build Equipment to make a +3 plan for sneaking into Amalgama. Wits 3+Composure 3-Difficulty 3+Pyros 2. 5 dice: 1 success.

                              Lucid dreaming in the frozen soil. Triggering Vivid Dreams to regain 2 WP from rest instead of 1. Replenish Pyros, Azoth 3+Composure 3+Vivid Dreams 3. 9 dice: 1 success. Harsh.

                              Force an Elpis Vision, Composure+Azoth. 6 dice: 5 successes! I'll take the Inspired Condition, and I get +2 to interpret the vision.

                              Interpret the Elpis Vision, Wits+Azoth+2+Willpower 3. 11 dice: 4 successes. Resolving Inspired for an x-success and +1 WP.
                              Questions: What major or superlative Milestone will I face soon? Who will play a significant part in the next steps of my Pilgrimage?


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                              • Scout
                                Conditions: Introspective, Inspired (Alchemy), Informed (Amalgama LTD), Disquiet 2 (Amalgama), Steadfast, Tormented
                                Alembics: Heed the Call (0) Plumb the Fathoms (0) Internalize (0) Weaponize (0)
                                Health: OOOOOO | Willpower: 6/6 | Pyros: 8/13 | Beats: 2/5 | Vitriol Beats: 4/5
                                XP: 1 | VXP: 1


                                Scout eyed the pair as they attempted to physically interact with him, then went off to be all touchy-feely, snorting. "The Mark Five Weapon is correct, we should move now. We should at least try and get a visual on the facility. The longer we wait, the more likely it is that the others will die. And the less likely it is retrieving them will be an option. We at the very least need more ideas on what the facility can do."

                                He got up and started walking, "I still like the idea of using one of you as a distraction, while we short out the power and go in. I'll be able to track the position of every azothic flame in the facility, but we'll need to be fast, quiet, and destroy as much of their facility as possible in the process. Or leave behind something that will. Again, I'll need more information for a proper plan. Until then, it's all theory and hope. Testing their response to a threat could be useful, but we'd need to do it without revealing ourselves. Perhaps if we set a fire on one corner of their compound... a really big one..."

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