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King's Mulligan [Interactive Project]
let's look for the most elegant or the most scary looking book. like if any of them are glowing ominously or just utterly covered with decoration.
You feel brave today.
You want to find the most elegant or frightening looking tome in the library. Something glowing or decorated, something that catches the eye.

[Image: proxthhumbsup.png]

Styx’s proxy peeks over on occasion but otherwise seems nonchalant about you wandering the library alone.

 The isle ahead is loaded with plenty of books on various utilities, some that you might want to consider at looking through later but nothing that really fits the description of "Forbidden Knowledge" that Styx seemed to promise.

 Still... there's plenty more in this room and a cozy looking spot in the next section that catches your eye. You head your way toward the upcoming doorway.

You push through the door, blinking.

 The sensation of the door disappears from your palms.

 Motion catches your eyes, sending your head swiveling.

 Trees rustle in the dark, all around you.

 Your eyes take a moment to adjust to the dark woods, looking upward to find not a single star in the pitch-black sky.

 You turn around, knowing the previous section of the library will be there.

 But, it isn't.

 No shelves, no sections, no doors. Only more trees.

 And you've already lost your bearings.

 As you stand in the dark, dumbfounded, a sound finds its way to your ears.

 It's faint, but rhythmic. Your best guess A guitar, playing.

 Every strand of instinct tells you to run in the other direction, that something isn't right here.

 But, something about the sound soothes you, gentle strumming putting you more at ease than you expected to be.

 You follow it.

 The gentle tune draws itself more into focus by the time you spot a light up ahead.

 Clearer and clearer it becomes, until finally-

[Image: ArtIguess.png]

 You stumble your way into a small clearing.
A campfire sits at the clearing's center, with a log on either side of it.

 A stranger - clad in a poncho and flat-brimmed hat - sits on the log across from the one you stand behind, strumming at a six-string guitar.

 Their head is down, watching the strings, so you can't get much of a look at their face.

[Image: asdasdadadasdhat3.png]

 But, you think they may be sporting a toothy grin under that cap.

 They're quiet, either unaware of your presence, or simply not acknowledging it.
sit down and listen for a bit
There's a 95% chance I'm thinking of either a Pun or Mega Man at any given time

[Image: 12_10_10_23_11_44_26.png]Character thread here (always a WIP)! [Image: 12_11_10_23_7_45_27.png]
The fact that this is incredibly suspicious is all the more reason to take a listen and try to observe the situation more deeply. Maybe there's a meaning to this place? Most libraries don't have musical forests for no reason.

In any case it'd be impolite to interrupt a song, so sitting down and listening seems apt.
After listening in for awhile, you ultimately decide to take a seat at a log and let them continue until they decide to break.

It'd be rude to interrupt.

The stranger continues strumming the guitar as you have a seat,
not looking up.

???: You're a long way from Swords.

They speak.
But, their mouth doesn't open. The words almost seem to ring in your ear from nowhere.
Their voice is a little raspy, sounding worn-out, but it's otherwise gentle; melodic.

???: Is Wands treating you well?
???: Fitting in? Finding your place?

Tiles: It's a work in progress... rougher than I was anticipating, but the past couple of days have been kind in their own way. A knight's title makes as many comrades as it does enemies it seems..

???: ...Straight to the point, not skipping a beat.
???: Didn't even bother to ask me who I am, why you're here.
???: Direct. Efficient. Honest. Fitting of a knight.
???: I'd caution you to not let that make you inflexible, however.
???: But you can relax, Tiles. Your shoulders are tensed.

They adjust their hat.

???: 'Rough'...
???: That scuffle did look nasty. Almost much worse.
???: Be glad you only cracked your mandible.
???: And, it did lead you somewhere, didn't it?

The stranger finally looks up at you, but they don't stop playing.
Their face is... grinning, yes.
You think.
...Though, the expression reads more 'neutral,' in a way.
The edges of their mouth aren't curled up like any normal smile you've seen.
It's almost more concerning, being unable to read their expression.

???: ...You think it's only your title that gained you comrades.
???: I think that's interesting.

After a pause, their head lowers once more, breaking eye contact.

???: Well. You were direct.
???: Only fair I respond in kind. ...To a point.

???: There's a lot in store for you. Your comrades too, I expect.
???: But you're at the center of everything. You're the catalyst.
???: That's why I'm here.
???: That's why you're Here. Speaking with me.

Another pause in the music.

The stranger stares into the campfire.

???: ...You have questions.
???: I can see a few. Brimming in that head of yours.
???: I'll answer what I can, while I can.

???: A word, however:
???: I can only offer this moment. For now.
???: Spend it how you please, but Don't waste it.
???: Time presses on again, when you leave.
???: There are very few ways to waste time, however.

???: So. Try not to worry.
???: Take a breath, at least.
who are you, and why are you here? does styx know you're here?
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
Hm, well a brief thanks are in order, if this is to be taken at face value.

And even if it ruins the calm nature of this brief reprieve, could we hear some piece of something lost or forbidden. Some bit of lore or tale? It'd be a shame not to have a takeaway from such a splendorous seeming bardic figure. Wink if appropriate. :3
Since you seem to know so much about me and my journey... Do you have any piece of advice for us? Even if I expect it to be cryptic, any thing to look out for, both positive and negative, or any warning to keep in mind.

also seconding, I'm curious who and what you are and how you know us, although I don't quite expect an answer
 ~ Chompy -[Image: Trapling_Chompy_1.png]- some well chosen quote -[Image: Trapling_Cinnanom_2.png]- Cinnanom ~
~ I somehow started drowning in tiny cats and I don't know how it happened ~
[Image: Markus_Card_2.png][Image: Teddy_Card_2.png][Image: Ender_Card_2.png]
[Image: Tiny%20TCP.png]
You play that guitar really well! Are you self taught or did you have a teacher? maybe a bit of both? as you seem to know so much you might already know, but I'm very fond of music myself; someone very dear to me was a musician, and it's stuck with me even though I don't know much outside of (potential Tiles musical talent here ((Singing maybe?)) )
There's a 95% chance I'm thinking of either a Pun or Mega Man at any given time

[Image: 12_10_10_23_11_44_26.png]Character thread here (always a WIP)! [Image: 12_11_10_23_7_45_27.png]
Tiles: Mm, well..

 Tiles: First off I have to applaud your performance, always amazed by those who can play. Someone very dear to me was a musician so I've always had a soft spot, always wanted to myself. Where'd you learn?

They blink, looking somewhat taken aback.

 ???: I can't say I'm any comparison to Jackie's music.

???: I've... 'heard' some, through you.

???: To make someone else feel safe, just by being there, just by playing...

???: ...Well...

???: ...I'm sure the world is a little darker, now.

 ???: But, I know you carry him with you.

They watch the fire, idly strumming unstructured notes once more.
You have an inkling that they're thinking.

 ???: I'm very flattered, that you enjoy mine, too.

 ???: I've... had a lot of time, let's say, without much to do.

???: I've always enjoyed music, so... it seemed a natural hobby to pick up.

???: ...Sets the mood, doesn't it?

 It's difficult to tell, but the edge of their grin curls up some.

An *actual* smile, from what you can tell, albeit slight, and brief.

Tiles: Certainly does... so who are you exactly? I didn't anticipate a woods in this castle.. nor am I sure that it's supposed to be here? I was with Styx last so I assumed perhaps he was with you?

They chuckle, quietly enough that it's difficult to hear over the gently-crackling fire.

 ???: Styx isn't with me.

???: These woods don't belong to the castle.

???: They sprout, where you are. Where I am.

???: Somewhere between the both of us.

???: ...I can't tell you my name.

???: Names are very important, for those like me.

???: It isn't quite as fun to lay all cards on the table, especially in a first meeting like this.

???: Much more interesting to gradually let it all unravel.

???: ...I am enjoying your company, though.

???: So, I'll tell you what I am.

 The stranger looks up, watching you under the brim of their hat,
through the fire.

 ???: I am a salamander.

???: I'm sure you can find out more, should you want to.

Tiles: I'll more than certainly have to look into it then, I might be able to find some information..

Tiles: But our time is limited and I wish to make the most of it so..

Tiles: I must ask if you know something important that you need to pass on. Some forbidden knowledge, advice toward the future, a clue or even a tale that may be beneficial to hear.

Tiles: Anything you can share of value is more than appreciated.

Tiles: If it's too much to ask, I understand..

The stranger strums away, looking at the ground, deep in thought.

Occasionally they glance up at you, as if debating something.

???: I hear there's a local pond with mosaic plants.

???: A great spot for fishing. Might be worth taking a break there, sometime.

 ???: ...That,

???: and you may not be the only survivor of your guild.

???: That is all I can say.

Tiles: I'm not alone...?

Trying to process that claim shuts down about half your brain.

Your eyes waver, your breath becomes unsteady.

A complete loss for words in the moment.

The stranger tilts their head, looking over at you. It's difficult to tell in the dark, and with the grin that never seems to fade, but you think their expression towards is warm.

???: You haven't been.

They let their words hang in the air. The fire begins to wane, crackling as it dims.

???: Well.

???: Seems that's all the time we're afforded here, for now.
The salamander stands up, slowly swinging their guitar onto their back.

???: It's been a pleasant talk.

Tiles: We'll meet again, perhaps?

???: We will.

 As the fire turns to embers,
the woods grow pure black.

 You feel
wind in your hair
 trees rushing past you in the dark

 When you blink, you're back in the library.
 You watch as leaves fall in front of you, then disappear into nothing.

You hear footsteps from behind.

Styx: There you are! Something seems to have breached the castle, frustrating really..

Styx: Worried you’d been spirited away. No idea how anyone managed to break in.

Styx: What happened? Are you alright?
I am indeed alright, and I don't think you were far off with the spirited away comment....
I met a...being? Person? Of some sort. Non hostile and seemed to know quite a lot about me and also had a cool hat and a cool guitar. Said they weren't affiliated with you or the castle. They also seemed to have had to abide by some uhhh rule set or parameters, so I didn't get a name or a lot out else solid out of them but I did get a couple of pieces of information that I'll have to mull over a bit. You mentioned you have a library, yes? If you're okay with it, I'd like to take a look through it, specifically for any books or research materials on the subjects I've been given lead towards.
There's a 95% chance I'm thinking of either a Pun or Mega Man at any given time

[Image: 12_10_10_23_11_44_26.png]Character thread here (always a WIP)! [Image: 12_11_10_23_7_45_27.png]
it might also be prudent to look into salamanders as well, see what this whole deal is
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
Yeah, that's one of the leads I was meaning, here's a list of what i was thinking of: salamanders (maybe specify a book on like, something that wouldn't bring up the amphibian kind (unless we reallywant to know about those too)), a book with like, a map of the nearby area (play it off if we want to be coy about the fishing spot info, maybe as like, wanting to know the area better? Also Tiles knows how to fish, right?)
And maybe the doozy for a few reasons but see if they've got a book on like
Our Family relations/genealogy for the "might not be the last one" info, even if we don't sus out who specifically, it might help narrow down or give us leads on where to look
There's a 95% chance I'm thinking of either a Pun or Mega Man at any given time

[Image: 12_10_10_23_11_44_26.png]Character thread here (always a WIP)! [Image: 12_11_10_23_7_45_27.png]
Tiles: You certainly weren’t too far off with the spirited away comment..

Tiles: Met a rather unusual person, some kind of being who was knowledgeable on quite a few things, wasn’t affiliated with your castle at all according to them and based on your reaction that seems to be the case?

Styx: Don’t think I like that there’s someone outside of contract able to step in here, much less one attempting to snipe me at my own profession…

Styx: I’ll have to fortify the place a little… I

TIles: They seemed non-hostile..

Styx: I don’t trust anything that can access this realm uninvited.

Styx: I should really take you back…

Tiles: I actually wanted to ask about your library..

Tiles: After that whole experience there's a few things I'd like to look up, information that might be useful.

Styx: Hmm...

Styx: I feel I might regret this but..

The proxy slides into frame, giving you a friendly wave.

Styx: If you’re going to remain here any longer I ask that you call in any ally to keep watch over you. My proxy will do its best as well.

Styx: I’m going to have to investigate how someone managed in for the next few hours, friendly or not.

Styx: Give me a name and I'll bring them in if they're up for it.
seconding courier
There's a 95% chance I'm thinking of either a Pun or Mega Man at any given time

[Image: 12_10_10_23_11_44_26.png]Character thread here (always a WIP)! [Image: 12_11_10_23_7_45_27.png]
courier. torment this man
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Tiles: Think I’ll go with Courier. Don’t have many contacts at the moment but xey’re the type who works quick from what I can tell.

Styx: Mmm, Courier is very reliable, makes sense.

Styx:  Xey seem more than up for it. Just a moment then-

As soon as the rift opened, Courier managed to jump through and pull Styx in for a hug.

Styx: C-courier..

Courier: You haven't invited me here in a long time.

Styx: We just need a quick favor…

Courier: That really it? Sure you weren't the one asking for me?

Styx: Women are watching, we really shouldn't in front of them..

You and the proxy golf clap at him in response, watching the rabbit turn red.

The sword chimera snickers.

Courier: Then we'll have to just wait til later. For now, you need me to help you find something?

Tiles: Maps of the area, also any resources on “salamanders”. Unusual ones.

 Styx swears under his breath at that last part, Courier gives him a pat on the shoulder.

Courier: I can do that much.  As for you-

Styx pulls away, face clearly somewhat reluctant.

 Styx: Mm.. have some idea on what to do. Perhaps after this, before Gallows has to go off on his own business later.

Courier: Motley?

Styx: Mm. You know the drill..

Courier gives him a little salute. The proxy takes your hand and offers to lead.

Courier: Best of luck.

Styx: I’ll need it..

The three of you are directed toward a pile of shelves, many documents and journeys in supernatural beings, even a few covering entities. Courier gets right to work while the Proxy oversees things..

An opportunity for small talk while you pile resources perhaps?
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
Hmmmmmm...does Courier have any hobbies xey'd like to tell us about?
has courier heard of these salamander things?
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
[Image: galactus%20tho.png]

You manage through a good stack but nothing seems to come up besides vague accounts. A few catch your eye.

“First Tuesday, Second Winter Moon. Neighbor’s been going off about the stranger he’s met in the woods. Beautiful eyes, smile with a few too many sharp teeth for my liking. Seems to keep going out there to visit him. His drinking partner from work seems to suspect there’s something quite off. Doesn’t come from town, never seems to want to make extended eye contact. Doesn’t seem to live anywhere.

We’re all sure it’s something unusual but as long as he returns home we can’t really assume the worst openly. Seeing theories. Creatures from the stars, a fiendish shapeshifter, the manipulations of fae and salamander. Personal theory is a ghost, that seems correct.”

Another one seems to crop up. The stylings of the material and aesthetics indicate that this book came from very far away.

“Bunch of people moved into town recently. Seem to be looking for work to help build up their home out in the forest. The local couriers and stoics have gotten along well with them, though despite claiming to be in the same business don’t recognize the emblem amongst them.

The cat is quite nice, odd looking for a Karacel. Rabbit seems to be from overseas but claims otherwise when asked. There’s a construct, one of unusual build that doesn’t seem to want much to do with anyone but gets along with the local metalworkers. They seem intrigued with some of the goods he carries.

There’s also the odd couple. Odd looking ruffneck, not the healthiest looking around. Could practically fade into existence if you give them a mean enough look…. Least you’d think so at first glance, but the moment you talk to them life seems to spark as if nothing were wrong in the first place. Their partner towers over, pretty sure he’s a remnant of sorts but he seems too soft spoken to be a real threat.

We’re admittedly used to this sort of thing around here though. Stranges seem to wander in, some claim to be from another world. One of those birds is keeping a Salamander at their home who showed up 6 months ago. We’ll see how that goes.”

There seems to be threads, recurring creature that is more than myth with how widespread discussion seems to be. You’re surprised you’ve never heard of such, though there’s hardly woods in this part of the world. The most vegetation you get grows off in the sea and drifts close enough for fisherman to harvest..

You look over at Courier who seems intensively focused at the moment. Maybe xey know?

Tiles: You know anything about Salamanders by chance? Nothing I find seems to indicate what they are or conclusively match the descriptions I could muster from my experiences besides the mention of woods.

Courier: Nothing really of note admittedly, seen fairy tales with them but don’t know how much you could trust them.

Courier: Elusive I figure.

Courier: Anything interesting there at least?

Tiles: None..

Tiles: I know we have to hurry but I don’t want to leave here empty handed..

Styx’s proxy gives you a pat on the shoulder. The two of you stare at the pile of books she had left on the table behind her.

Courier: Fast reader… any of it useful?

She gave you both a shrug.

Courier: Ah…

Courier: Well you’re doing plenty of good…

Courier: Kind of surprised you wouldn’t know. You spend so much time in here…

There was a sheepish gesture.

Courier: Ah, skim over a lot of it.

Courier: Understandable, not much of a reader myself honest.

Tiles: Ironic with a name like that.

Courier: Truth be, never stuck with a name.

Courier: Have a strange relationship with this whole… everything that comes with being shoved into a body like this but… I think the highs are more than the lows.

Courier: Guess I’m not along in that among this group though. Styx, Creme to a degree.

Courier: I wonder how she’s settling in too, it’s a drastic change.

Tiles: Her form was a mannequin before, it has to be a little less jarring.

Courier: More than likely, hope she’s able to find comfort around here.

Courier: Guess she’s more like Styx than me but.. Even that much has given us a lot to bond over.

Courier: But I don’t want to detail too much, rather let him do that.

Courier: Really need to find more wardrobe too, I have my uniform and a couple of pieces here and there on time off.

Courier: Guess all of today’s newcomers are in the same position..

Tiles: I’ll rebuild, and I’m certain Creme and Ibarra will work things out there.

Courier: Aye..

Tiles: If you don’t read, what do you do?

Courier: Radio, gotten fond of listening to many of the unlicensed stations. Would love to host my own one of these days. Styx is a bit of a expert on all that so… I’ll have to think on it.

Courier: Cooking. Eating’s been a process too, forget to way too often but..

Courier: I like the creative part, and the flavor of a lot of things I’ve tried so far.

Courier: Maybe in a year I’ll be a radio jockey or a chef by the end of this.

Courier: Would need a new name though, a Chef named Courier isn’t well fit.

Courier: Haven’t found words or feelings for a lot yet but we’ll get there.

Styx’s proxy wraps her arounds around xem, the sword’s tail swishes around.

Tiles: I’m certain we can explore all that together sometime, given that we’ll likely be working more in the future.

Courier: Aye…

Courier: Hope this isn’t weird to say out loud, but big fan of the knight look. You and Creme both have those layered outfits, I know a lot of folks have been looking to get their hands on armor in general but those are quite stunning.

Courier: I asked Gallows if he could ask for me but..

Courier: Would one of you set me up?

Tiles: Looking for a little more protection?

Courier: There’s that, but I’m just a fan of the look more than anything.

Courier: Doesn’t feel fair that it’s so hard to come across nice suits and fancy dresses for most. I’d like to get in on that.

Courier: Think the common people deserve to dress well, as much as some might see it as a luxury.

Tiles: It’s not a luxury to seek little bits of happiness like that.

Courier: Don’t think so?

Courier: I have a few sketches of my own, I imagine you maintain your armor and I know Creme’s designed plenty herself so..

Courier: I’d like to pitch them when there’s time.

Courier: But that’s for another day..

Tiles: Mm..

Courier: Think sweaters for sure are one I’m fond of, here’s a certain… flexibility to them?

Courier: Sometimes you feel like one thing or another. A good sweater lets you switch off energy alone.

The sword hands over a pair of books.

Courier: Charts for routes around the area. Could help you find what you’re looking for. Bit longer if you want salamanders…

Courier: Talking like this is making it go by faster I think, keep me occupied il we got a better source if you could.

The Proxy releases xem as xey get back to work, turning toward you and tilting her head as if also awaiting more conversation. Perhaps even wanting to participate.

definitely include the proxy in conversation!

ok get the dirt. what is courier's relationship with styx. the proxy is also allowed to gossip
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[Image: Excited.png]

 You point dramatically directly at the proxy, the eye on its necklaces blinks in surprise.

TIles: Would you like to assist me on this?

THe proxy’s body shifts upright in excitement, clearly thrilled at the idea.

Tiles: Right then, follow my lead.

Courier: Mm? Follow on what-

Tiles: Styx.

Courier: What about him?

Tiles: The two of you seem… close?

Tiles: The way you speak to him seems to soften him up, I see his ears.

Courier: That wouldn’t be much help I don’t think.

Tiles: Oh?

Courier: He’s a snake, at least I believe so?

Courier: He’s admittedly reluctant to show his true form, even Gallows hasn’t seen it more than a couple of times.

Courier: His body language isn’t quite correct for a rabbit because he’s not one in the first place.

Courier: Ears pulling back usually mean distress or confusion, but he does it when he’s happy a lot of the time.

Courier: That’s as far as I understand anyway.

Tiles: But the two of you…

Courier: Complicated?

You turn over to the proxy.

She shifts her head with just a tinge of snark.

Courier: You don’t have to do me dirty like that..

You point directly at the… lizard? Dragon? Whatever xey are.

Tiles: Complicated? He clearly opens up to you more than others.

Courier: It’s not anything incredibly committal but.. We find much in each other’s company.

Courier: But the details are a little more intimate than I’d like to fully detail.

Courier: Very reclusive, as I’ve said.

Tiles: And um…

You look back over at the proxy, she turns her head toward Courier.

Courier: Don’t think she understands you yet, no.

Tiles: Understand?

Courier: Lash here talks, just… not everyone can hear her.

Courier: Proxies are a bit tricky when it comes to verbal communication.

Tiles:... Can she sign?

Courier: Uh..

Lash shakes her head.

Courier: Ah, does not seem so… do you?

Tiles: I’ve picked up some, part of the job.

Courier: Being a knight really asks a lot, always assumed it was more.. Punchy.

Tiles: You’re a protector of the people, not an enforcer of law.

Tiles: And to protect people, you have to understand them. To distance yourself is to take the mantle of a marauder.

Tiles: And to sell yourself to those of status is nothing more than to be a weapon.

Courier:.. Phrasing..

Tiles: Ah… I’m sorry-

Courier: Just messing really, I understand what you mean.

Xey put a few books to the side.

Courier: I don’t know where I’m at right now. A sword, a mammalian dragon, trying to grasp a lot right now.

Courier: Gallows has shown me much of fluidity in people like yourselves that makes me want to try it myself I think.

Lash gives a few gestures and head tilts.

Courier: Aye.. Styx and Gally have both really been nothing but kind about this whole thing, albeit the former isn’t so when it comes to himself.

Courier: Something to work on, be kind to him.

Courier: And.. feel free to address me by any means. Encouraged really.

Courier: Have my preferences with strangers but, I feel you’ll soon be a good friend.

Courier: Maybe assuming a bit much..

Courier: Think I’d like to learn more about you, especially if you’ve caught the attention of so many good people quickly.

Xey slide a book over to you. Lash opens up a portal

Courier: Best I could find. We need to scoot out but..

Courier: Would you be up to a bit of time together before bed? Have biscuits and drinks to share, could invite others if you’d like. Lash can spread word..
Yes of course friendship moment friendship battle royale get that friendship 1000% speedrun, biscuits and drinks are rad.

(No opinion/ideas on invitations.)

biscuits and drinks for sure. for now let's just chill with courier and lash, get to know your comrades in smaller doses
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
Tiles: More than glad to, but for now I think it’d be good to keep it to just us?

Courier: Suppose that makes sense, most of the folks working the safehouse have yet to know you for more than a few minutes.

Courier: Styx is busy and Gallows can’t exactly be here while he’s using their body so..

Courier: And Starman is hard to get downtime with lately, they’re hella busy.

Courier: Suppose Creme but… hasn’t really fully solidified herself as a guaranteed recruit in my head I don’t think.

Courier: Give her a couple of days I guess.

Courier: That unfair?

Tiles: Do you not trust her?

Courier: If Styx and Gally both like her, I know she’s got potential.

Courier: Could benefit too from someone like her, a few folks in town can maintain gear but the idea of making it’s tricky. We have to procure on the spot for the most part, minus Gally.

Courier: But… even then, Styx isn’t a big fan of just loaning out, namely because it’s a lot to maintain and much of it leans a bit too unusual to hand out.

Tiles: Training.

Courier: Aye…. all of his equipment is decades to centuries apart and from across the globe.

Courier: Plucking out things that you’ve never heard of, training with them, and then having to switch off to something else you’ve never heard of.. Not doable.

Courier: And to be frank, few of us are trained to handle more than street scuffling.

Courier: Move somewhere else to continue?

Tiles: Mmhmm..

Courier: Lashy?

The proxy gives the two of you a little bow before opening up a rift for both of you.

You and Courier step through together, Lash being the last one to make it out.

You’re in a rather comfortable looking apartment, one that despite it’ssize simplicity does everything right to make itself feel home.

Courier: Welcome to my place, got settled in last year..

Tiles: Do you not sleep at the safehouse?

Courier: Course I do, have to plenty of days!

Courier: But it’s not sustainable to treat them as long term homes.

Courier: The folks around here are willing to help us make the most of the situation, so long as we continue to support the neighborhood.

Courier: Gally prefers to find spots than stay anywhere consistent. Figures it makes him hard to pin down with how active he is on the field.

Courier starts for the little kitchen setup, getting things going. Lash choses to stay close, not wanting to leave you unattended from the look of it.

Courier: If you really would like, you can stay the night sometime.

Courier: Though I think we’d need to prep a tad better. Don’t want you to not be able to bring Bastion with you, and you’ve still got your armor back there as well.

Courier: Plus… wouldn’t really want to leave Creme and Dive without enough eyes for now.

There is a faint noise of electronic snow coming from the proxy.

Courier: I just worry…

Lash continues.

Courier: Mm.. Is it really that unfair?

Courier: Was given the same cautious treatment for the first few days. Potential ally or not, they had plenty of reason to be careful around one wearing the body of an enemy.

Lash: …

Courier: I still feel a little conflicted on that..

Lash: …
Courier: Mm…

Whatever was said between them certainly seems to lower the sword’s mood a bit.

Courier: Anything you’d like while I get drinks going? Been a minute since we’ve had someone new in this place..
mostly just want to talk...

while i can't tell what lashy is saying exactly, i get the feeling she's not keen on the way you're handling the...creme situation.

do you want to talk about that? or perhaps your....body troubles?
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
Tiles: Mostly would just like to talk for now, seems like there’s plenty on your mind.

Courier: Maybe.

Tiles: Lash doesn’t seem particularly fond about how you’re handling the Creme situation, and talking about the deal with yourself seems a bit.. Difficult?


Courier: Both are true.. Lashy’s right but I can’t help but be a little cautious.

Courier: She seems awfully sweet, but…

Courier: Plan seemed like it’d be easier if we just switched the two out.

Lash: ….

Courier: You did put a lot of faith in me but… I can keep my host asleep.

Courier: And I do plan on extracting them out at some point, whenever someone who’s able to do that is able to.

Tiles: So there’s a conscience still there then?

Courier: Aye, one who I can’t let out until after the war.

Courier: Tried negotiating but, know it’s not going to work out. Letting em’ just run free’s not viable either.

Courier: They’ve seen a bit too much to let them go back, Starman’s made that more than clear.

Courier: And if a change of heart’s not on the table, the solution is..

Tiles: Death.

Courier: Mm..

Tiles: It’s a necessity in this conflict to fight, you know this.

Courier: I’m aware, not worried about that but.

Courier: Doesn’t seem very sporting to take the life of someone who can’t fight back.

Courier: Low ranking officers like this are mandated to serve to some degree.

Tiles: Is there any remorse?

Courier: It’s complicated-

Lashy makes an audible crackle.

Courier: Aye…

Courier: I know Ibarra aided only out of fear. It’s a whole different thing but-

Lash continues.

Courier: Internalize? I mean-

Lash: …

Courier: Yeah..

Courier: I guess that’s really true, Ibarra clearly didn’t want in on this in the first place.

Courier: I do want to work with Creme as well. I know she’d been working on a few concepts to get out of there, should she not be able to claim Ibarra’s form.

Courier: Tinkerings with miniatures, a few forbidden techniques in play.

Courier: I’ve been.. Working on a few things myself, taking inspiration from seeing Styx and Gally’s magic too. Things for… insurance reasons? Could put it like that.

Lashy gives courier a playful gesture, one that causes xem to respond with a sheepish look.

Courier: Those proxies… they’re not too common around these parts from what I understand. Gally claims everyone has them in regions.

Courier: Fact that creme and ibarra have one, one that’s a weapon… that’s new to me. I have to wonder how many forms they can take..

Courier: Would be good to check in with that.

Courier: And I can tell she wants to work with you, seemed thrilled to get her hands on some genuine knight equipment.

Courier: Guessing you know how to maintain it a good bit, and I’ve seen bastion too. Your craft’s wild. You can just make a construct like that?

Tiles: I need resources, and I can only use a scrapbook if I’ve made something before. It’s a tap into memory.

Tiles: I’ve got plenty of history working on little bodies for familiars akin to Bastion.

Tiles: Didn’t expect that mushroom to have such a personality already though…

Courier: Flora with scrap growth can be like that, know how it is…

Xey turn around toward you with a set of cups.

Courier: I guess for myself, I want to be able to help more, maybe express myself too while I’m at it. Thinking of trying other forms of being addressed? Not sure what to try first. Don’t like being exclusively seen as something or other but.. I do get tempted to nudge in some direction or another a bit more.

Courier: Concept of having a body that’s capable of such does make me consider how I want to be seen more… in a sort of abstracted way? The things I'd like to express and show maybe.

[Image: point%20small.png]

Xey glance over at a table, there’s a unfinished contraception that seems to be both organic and synthetic. There's certainly a story to be told here.

Tiles: So what are you aiming for? I have speculations but...

Courier: Mm....

The living sword starts plating things out, cups set to serve

Courier: Drinks are ready, as a heads up. You can go ahead and grab as much as you'd like.

Courier: Don’t know if you’ve got any thoughts regarding all this but…

Courier: I’d like if you stayed with our little unit more. A lot of folks tend to shuffle between safehouse sectors and it’s probably for the best to visit our collaborators in all this but… we could use someone like you a lot. Starman seemed to like you pretty quickly too…

Courier: But um.. yes..
ask more about the body, compliment xem on xyr taste in style and ask what parts are xyr favorite

also, ask about starman and what to expect
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
You point over toward the body.

Tiles: Tell me about your work there. Seems like a lot of unique choice there. It’s stylish but I have to wonder what you have in mind.

Courier: Well.. hmm..

Courier: Part of it’s pieces that seem like they’d make for a fun shape when it’s all finished, specially once I’ve gotten costume work down.

Courier: Taking a bit there.

Courier: Part of it is well.. Body I’m using’s been put through a lot of risky situations.

Courier: Insurance, never known.

Courier: Part of it is for just… exploration?

Courier: Like being able to walk around, like the big ears and snout but.. Something not quite.. Hmm.

Courier: When you’re spent most of your life a sword, and you’ve been thrust into a form massively different.. Even if you’re happy with it, it’s quite different.

Courier: And I guess the goal here is something to bridge the gap? Upright and humanoid, but not quite.. Looking like someone like you?

Courier: Nothing wrong at all, you and the others at the base are quite lovely, but.. Something further abstracted seems like it could be a good middleground.

Courier: When Styx explained to me that Lashy is the necklace and the rest of the body’s more like a complex limb, made me wonder if I could explore the concept myself.

Courier: Humanoid, but not what you first appear.

Courier: Mix of mechanical elements, bit of slime I managed to get ahold of from the folks at cups, and uh..

Tiles: The organic legs…

Courier: Aye, I had my methods and said slime keeps them preserved. Turns out getting mechanical limbs going is difficult without someone well versed in robotic constructs.

Courier: So I had to salvage something.

Courier: Plus, between you and me..

Courier: Gally and Styx got their tastes, and I wouldn’t mind them looking at me just a little more…

Courier: So you know, Lash’s done plenty to help me too.

Courier: That silly to want that? Figured it wouldn’t be too weird, least for the latter..

Courier: Dunno, plenty to think about.. Wasn’t really thinking much about wanting to connect with people like that for a long time but.. Past year’s been a lot to experience.

Tiles: So you’re relatively new then?

Courier: To the group? A little. Why?

Tiles: How much can you tell me about being onboarded with by Starman? They seem interesting.

Courier: They’re a bit odd at first, think it’s to hide a lot of their more..

Courier: Putting it in a good way..

Courier: They scheme a lot by nature, it’s why they’re in charge.

Courier; There’s technically no official leaders, especially since we’re just one of a number of groups like us coordinating in the area but..

Courier: Our specific circles have been designated the team for field work, if that makes any sense?

Courier: I’m able to get around any situation pretty quickly, so you know.

Courier: Gally is generally the one most active with that though, managed to catch me up to speed so I’m with him a lot there.

Courier: Then Styx tends to be the one who works on projects here. A few mad science nests at safe houses. He’s… really old actually. He tends to stay up late though, Starman often being there as well.

Courier: Get the sense they;’ve had a number of talks with Starman that nobody else has.

Courier: Styx says he’s opened up with them about his situation. One of few people who’ve seen him in person.

Tiles: In person?

Courier: The two share a body, but that’s only because Styx can’t exist in our world otherwise.

Courier: Back at the castle? He can exist on his own.

Courier: But he’s shy to show. I haven’t seen him…

Courier: Seen conflicting answers from both Gally and Starman though. One describes him as a larger reptile with flowing hair, other says he’s some kind of sea snake?

Courier: So I wonder if he’s still hiding his true form.. Inclined to believe Starman’s description more somehow which.. Feels wrong considering how long Gally as been working with him.

Courier: Something about them is special like that though, able to find allies quickly. Makes me jealous…

Lash gives Courier a comforting pat on the shoulder.

Courier: I know, two of them got a lot going on but..

Courier: Do wonder how much my feelings are returned by either…

Courier: I know I said I wanted to take things slow…
have you asked? you Want to go slow? what's the reasoning there- because it sounds like you're pretty conflicted.
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
hmmm, have you considered looking into something that would allow you to have multiple forms? seemingly take a page out of Styx's book as it were and not have to have one true look? it might take some more trust and development there but from what little Styx hinted at it might be something within his power to assist with...

I get ya as far as like, being conflicted with how fast to take things, even if for me it's more friendship and comradery rather than romance. Especially since there's the whole y'know, looming thoughts of "we're in an armed conflict and If I don't tell this person how much I care about them, I might not ever get the chance but also AAAAAA what if it makes things weeeeeird".  I've lost folks who I know knew I cared, I just wish I'd said it more often.
There's a 95% chance I'm thinking of either a Pun or Mega Man at any given time

[Image: 12_10_10_23_11_44_26.png]Character thread here (always a WIP)! [Image: 12_11_10_23_7_45_27.png]
[Image: Eternal%20Reward%20small.png]
Tiles: Have you asked directly?

Courier: I mean.. I’ve said as much and I know at the very least Styx felt that way at first..

Tiles:.. Do you want to go that slow?

Courier: I don’t know….

Courier: Biggest fear is that I won’t be able to return the same feelings and vice versa. Has me more nervous than I should be..

Courier: What if they assume more? What if I’ve assumed too much? What if I want more than they’re comfortable ever giving..

Courier: Guess I just want a good gauge of things. Know they both care about me for who I aim though…

Courier: And Styx well.. Sure knows how to whet with words… so to speak.


Courier: Bit much of a pun, aye…

Tiles: You seem a bit conflicted too on the form thing, wanting something to let you take more than one option up at will I’d presume.

Courier: Aye.. would be nice.

Tiles: Can Styx help with that? Considering he seems to hold more than one appearance?

Courier: Not certain, never seen any of his internal appearances. Can’t even exit without borrowing the form of another outside of his own realm…

Courier: And I imagine in my case, to switch forms means storing bodies somewhere, and my current one's a bit of a liability.. With him he just seems to be able to change though but.. there's baggage attached and he's always talking about how he'd be scared that I might not like whatever his true face is.

Courier: Self image issues.. and a bit of frustration at having to live around the schedule of a shared body that's not his own.

Courier: Know that gets to him too. Lashy offers to allow him that assistance when Gally is busy but…

Courier: Always rejects it..


Courier: Suppose most people can't see proxies naturally either yeah.. that's a problem as well.

Courier: I do know he prefers the forms of clients and their proxies often.

Courier: Strong attachment, perhaps a comfort thing….
Courier: He's got a lot going on…

Tiles: Can’t imagine it helps being under our circumstances. Constant fear for most to ponder your own passing in  time of war, one where you may find yourself with the worry of not letting people around you know how much you care for them. I’ve had my fair share…

Courier: Absolutely lines up. He seems like he’s never one to take well to losing a client… and when it’s Gally I’d be just as upset too..

Courier: Him as well. Can’t die as far as I know but.. If his connections to this world do? He’s effectively gone. Odds if tracking him down are practically none.

Courier: He keeps a room in his realm, one where he takes care of the shells of proxies past.

Courier: Proxies of the departed, nothing but mannequins efeffectivly.

Courier: I’ve helped Lashy maintain as much as the opportunity allows and… 
Courier: Didn't know proxies could go through multiple forms in a lifetime. Lash says she's gone through plenty since Styx loves to rebrand.
Courier: Each time they appear they effectively become different… Enough that it absolutely takes a toll.

Courier: It’s something I hope he opens up about more.. feels irrational the way he handles things sometimes.

Courier: Takes pride in his work, each proxy is a collaborative work between him, his client, and the prox' itself.

Courier: His art, so to speak..

Lashy seemed to blush at that.

Courier: You are!

Courier: They’re so brilliant honest..

Courier: I remember just seeing one resting among the flowers which, wild he can grow them indoors with no sun..

Courier: Beautiful but sad…

Courier: Wish I could meet some of them..

Courier: There’s been  temptation to ask for one but..

Courier: Might be drastic? Strange? Uncomfortable even..

Lashy: ….

Courier: Don’t know if I’d be willing to pact, love Styx to bits but…

Courier: Afraid he’d somehow use that to distance from me more when he’s having a rough time.

Courier: And.. From what Gally has told me, he can be hard to work with…

Courier: Tends to be a bit demanding in stressful 
Courier: That said, a proxy shell does inspire ideas in me…


Courier: Aye, suppose I could be thrust into one…


Courier: I don’t know if stabbing you first for practice is something you'd enjoy.
The proxy shrugged.
Courier: I mean I can float on my own but..
Courier: I'd need help getting all the way in. And most aren't willing to stab themselves with a big cuss off sword just for the experience.
Courier: I am calling you chickenshit, yes.
Courier: More than aware you'd win a fight yes..
Courier: Wait can you do that? Styx hasn't suggested that at all…
Courier:.... Ah…. I mean I'm happy being a sword. 
Courier: Flesh bodies are hard anyway. Good for getting snogged and cuddled but maintaining them is rough…
Tiles: I’m just a tad lost…
Courier: Can’t hear her, right…
Courier: So didn't know she could just give me access to the castle on a psych level…
Courier: Being able to pocket a consciousness sounds handy in theory, especially since I've got a captain dormant in me.
Courier: But I’d need a link to someone who has a contract if not already so… 
Courier: You have a small pact, aye?

Tiles: A limited one, testing the waters.

Courier: Not surprised, he probably sees a lot of potential in you.

Xey quickly got to unraveling the hilt, and gently gestures for your hand your hand. 
Courier: Could you um….
Courier: Just grab it, yeah? Nothing bad or anything just.. I can make a mental link with anyone who touches my true form..
Xeir face blushed.

Courier: I don’t usually tend to do this with people I just met… you don’t have to but uh..

Tiles: What are you doing?

Courier: It’s how we communicate with folks. 
Courier: Can’t do much with it, wildest thing is sharing a dream with someone who kept me under their pillow but… having that link might let me do that much?
Courier: Entity magic and pacts have weird interactions like that. Signals, even a telekinetic one, can get a ton of mileage.

Courier: Just… grab on. When you hear my voice inside your head I’m going to try to make a mental link. If you have permissions toward the pocketing system well..

Courier: Mentally confirm that you’re allowing that.

Courier: And once I confirm I’m good, pull me out of this body’s chest. 

Courier:  If it works, this form will be completely mine… Assuming we have a place put the bastard’s soul for after of course?
Courier: Long as they won't cause trouble…

Courier: From what I understand, the castle is a middleground between a physical and mental place.

Courier: Which is why proxies can free roam when pocketed away instead of just lounging in some space in your head....

Courier: And with this ability, a second consciousness is effectively just a proxy being sent to the castle, no?


Courier: Aye… you’ll be able to hear what Lash says too while we’ve got that link actually. Maybe proxies in general? Not that they’re common in these parts but…

Courier: There’s a risk factor. If it doesn’t work and the other guy wakes up, you’re going to have to get me back in this body through brute force.

Courier: Lash says she has places to store them too so trouble won’t be caused.. Ones that might be better for them in the long run than living among the crown as infantry or just having to kill them..

Courier: Plenty of genuine risks to that but it’d be a lot off my mind. It might be selfish but… I want to be able to be me to the fullest, without having to worry about someone else putting us all in danger..

Courier: And if worst comes to worst, I trust you in preventing them from getting out.. 

Courier: So...?
Go for it!
There's a 95% chance I'm thinking of either a Pun or Mega Man at any given time

[Image: 12_10_10_23_11_44_26.png]Character thread here (always a WIP)! [Image: 12_11_10_23_7_45_27.png]
You place your hand down on the sword.

Immediately, a little voice pops into your head.

Courier: Can you hear me?

Tiles: I.. seem to?

TIles: Never experienced this before..

Courier: Good! Good…

Courier: So..

Tiles: You have my permission…

Courier: Right! Um.. how does this work then..

Tiles: Just.. feel it I suppose?

Courier: Mm.. One moment..

A rectangular rift seems to manifest between the two of you, very small in size.

You can’t make out much on the other side beyond a little light against concrete and the overgrowth..

Courier: That’ll do.. And….

It flickers for a moment, then seals off.

Courier:... Did that work?

Tiles: You tell me…

Lash: I’ve stored them away safely….

Lash: This form is solely yours now..

Courier: You’re sure of it?

Tiles: Only one way to find out, no?

Courier: Right! Um.. before you-

You yank out the blade, accidentally flinging it across the room.

Courier makes a surprised yell at that before going limp.

The wound sealing behind magically.

You manage to catch the body quickly.

[Image: another%20day....png]

There’s nothing in their eyes left but a small warm expression, looking outright peaceful…

You look around for the sword

Tiles:... Courier-

[Image: Swordieii.png]
You’re nearly bumped as xey float of the ground directly in front of you.

Courier:I’m here!

Tiles: You really are a sword…

Courier: Mm. Top quality one.

Lashy: Never had the chance to see you in full before..

Courier: Does it all look alright?

Tiles: Absolutely. Sorry about, well..

Courier: Accidents happen, more than fine myself. Appreciate keeping my ride from hitting the floor.

Courier:Can’t believe that really worked…

Courier: I’d give you both a hug if I could right now..

Tiles: I mean this isn’t too far off…

Lash: Do look happy..

Courier: Well..

Courier: I’m just.. You know..

Courier: Lot to process.

Courier: I should go back soon, hug you both proper after.

Courier: Need help of course but..

Courier: Wow..

Lash twirled some of the hair on Courier’s host body.

Lash: So happy…

Courier: Yeah well..

Courier: We should figure our the rest of our evenings from here..

Courier: Lashy?

Lash: I’m comfortable with anything.. Tiles?
what do you like to do for fun while in Sword Mode? i'm a little unfamiliar, but i'd love to learn.
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
so the serrations kind of imply you could be a parrying sword or a bread knife.

what are your thoughts on baking.
Now that we can understand you, how about you tell us a bit about yourself Lash?
There's a 95% chance I'm thinking of either a Pun or Mega Man at any given time

[Image: 12_10_10_23_11_44_26.png]Character thread here (always a WIP)! [Image: 12_11_10_23_7_45_27.png]
Tiles: Hmm..

Tiles: Just a quick question?

Courier: Yes?

Tiles: What kind of sword *are* you?

Courier: What do you mean?

Tiles: Built like a clubbing tool on one end, those serrations are akin to those of a parrying blade..

Tiles: And there’s a possibility you may be a rather large bread knife.

Courier:.. I do like the idea of kitchen work..

Tiles: Is that a thing? There must be something you enjoy while existing purely as a sword.

Courier: Not in particular, I just.. Like being me like that sometimes I suppose?

Courier: Like being allowed to lounge in just shorts and a loose shirt is the best comparison.

Courier: Casual.

Tiles: That makes sense…

Courier: It’s nice to be in the hands of pretty swordsmen too sometimes but.. That’s just me.

Tiles: Do I classify as such?

Courier: I would say so, at least as far as your kind go?

Tiles:... Pick your next words wisely.

Courier: It’s not what you’re thinking, just…

Courier: I am a being of a drastically different standard of biology from most of our group. Though I can take up residence in a body closer to yours, I’m about as similar to you as a tree.

Tiles: Does it make interacting with people weird?

Courier: No…. does make me easy to bully probably.

Courier: Lashy’s like me too in a way.

Lash: I suppose that’s true…

Tiles: Really?

Lash: Mmhmm! Well… less so.

Lash: My true face is well…

The eye her necklace seemed a little embarrassed.

Tiles: Cute though.

Courier: Isn’t it?

Lash: My nature is as a extension of aspects of my source.

Lash: I’m my own person, but in a way that branches off…

Courier: Aye..

Lash: Have a bad habit of running my mouth though. Styx has a tendency to… keep his reservations on many things. I’m a little more willing to express them which..

Lash: They are my own feelings just as much as his as they are mine but..

Lash: I have to pick and choose sometimes. Because I know he’s upset if I’m too transparent.

Courier: You’ve got right to express.

Lash: Mmmm..

Lash: As the term implies, anything I do is an extension of him by Proxy.

Lash: Have to say, surprised he didn’t offer you to create one.

Tiles: Does he usually?

Lash: Mmhmm.. At least when his pact gives you as much as he’s done.

Lash: Really just sweetener after sweetener for less than he usually asks.

Lash: If I know him, he’s probably thinking in two spaces.

Tiles: Those being?

Lash: He wants to take the load off of Gallows. Even he’s feeling how overworked that poor rabbit’s body is at this point..

Lash: And he’s prepping to jump host if Gallows becomes unable to maintain work on the frontlines.

Tiles: Doesn’t seem the type to want to be there in the first place, Styx.

Lash: No.. But hitching a ride with someone who can is generally preferred.

Lash: Powerful, but not much of a fighter..

Lash: No point in making contract with a host who has what you already do.

Tiles: Hmmm..

Lash: I wouldn’t mind but..

Tiles: Which one is it more likely.

Lash: It’s both.

Lash: The latter being an extension of the former, though he doesn’t want to admit it.

Lash: He loves being seen as a bit of a heel.

Tiles: You’re talking a lot about him but… you?

Lash: Well..

Lash: Hmmm..

Courier: Are you shy?

Lash: No. I just… don’t really know what to say more than that?

Lash: I maintain the castle, I take care of clients, and I like to read during my break time..

Lash: It’s not really a proper job as much as something to pass the time.

Lash: You get bored in that castle very quickly actually..

Lash: I wouldn’t be opposed to more visitors so I’m a little excited about this..

Tiles: I welcome the offer.

Lash: G-good! Yes, good..

Lash: I spend time with Courier, Gallows, Motley…

Lash: I’ve gotten to know Creme as well!

Lash: She’s so sweet… does need comfort often though. I’m glad we got her out of the mirror..

Lash: Do wish she was with us for tea right now, she’d love that I'm sure..
Reply you want to invite her, lash? would that make you feel a bit better?
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
Tiles: Are you wanting to invite her over? If it’d make you feel better I wouldn’t mind..

Lash: That’s not really up to me-

Courier: I’m allowing it, feel like it’s a bit wrong not to.

Courier: Considering her brand and such.

Lash: Mm.. it’s in the name and all.

Tiles: She did prep something rather nice earlier..

Courier: Mm! Wouldn’t mind seeing if she has more secrets.

Lash made a rift appear in front of you.

Lash: Pick her up? Think she’d appreciate being checked on by someone who’s also new to this.

Lash: And with your pact it’s easier to warp you in and out.

Tiles: I’ll see what I can do-

The rift immediately dived into you, pulling you through the other side.

You stumble just briefly enough to make a noise, startling the cat laying on her bed.

Tiles: Sorry, don’t mean to disturb but…

Tiles: Would you be interested in a little time to socialize-

You’re cut off by a whimper coming from her.

You get a bit closer, offering a hand.

Tiles: Are you okay?


???: I’m scared of what might end up happening…

She looks at you with a face that’d clearly been crying for a good while.

Tiles: Creme….

???: No… Not sure honestly..

???: I want to go home… 
[Image: blazblue.png]
ask them if there's anything that you could do to help calm them down, ground them

lash and courier will understand if you're late coming back. it's important to be here right now
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
[Image: Creme%20tears2.png]
You don’t hesitate to leap into action, Courier and Lash will understand if you’re late.

Tiles: I’m here.

Tiles: If there’s anything I can do-

The cat tightens her curl around the pillow.

???: I know you don’t care much for me.

???: You don’t have to pretend to be nice.

Tiles: I’m not pretending to be anything.

Tiles: We just met today but… you are a potential comrade.

Tiles: And I do appreciate you tuning up my lance…

???: ..Did I do good?

Tiles: You did..

???: You hurt me with it..

You pause for a moment to ponder her words.

Tiles: Are you Creme or Ibarra?

???: B-both? I feel disjoined being outside of the mirror.. And I feel like a prisoner inside my body right now. 

Tiles: Have you been alone this whole time? I’m sure someone can help you-

???: Dive tried to pick a fight, didn’t go far. Jackie? He came out of Bastion to talk things down, but Baston tired out pretty much immediately after.

???: Must be someone very special, if they managed to brute force into this world..

Tiles: He is.. Where’s Dive now? They didn’t hurt him, did they-

???: No, they’re just.. Talking with him in the gathering hall.

Tiles: Do you want me to get him-

???: No, not right now.

???: If I’m honest though I don’t want to be left alone right now.

???: Part of me wants to know you, part of me wishes you stranded me in that world.

???:  But.. ultimately nobody hates you here.

Tiles: You were given an opportunity.

Tiles: Don’t feel happy about your collaboration with the crown… but I recognize your struggle.

The cat nods, wiping her face just a little.

???: Don’t blame you, hate myself too for that.

???: I tried to get out of it plenty of times, and everytime I just… froze.

???: Cut down at every attempt to make it out of that world.

???: Bailing at the last second when I swore I’d escape this cursed land and move to something legitimate..

???: Doesn’t matter.

Tiles: Now’s as good a chance as any..

???: Easy for you to say.

???: Now that I’m here I know I’m committed.

???: Creme is more than happy to take your side. I… Ibarra is not.

???: We can only maintain a front for so long but ultimately, we will lose all of it. Our home, the family shop, all of my materials.. Gone.

???: I know this group looks promising to you but.. For me it’s a dead end.

???: That rabbit, Gallows? Kind man, but if he’s the best they could’ve sent for us I don’t think I could make anything to equip this drowning city for war.

The cat’s eyes start to water again.

Tiles: And what of me?

Tiles: I’ll always need work from you, should you be willing...

???: Y-you offer? I mean..

The cat, or perhaps cats...?

They were very visibly flustered at this.

???: Powerful, a perfect model for my equipment but..

???: You’re but one ant against a hateful sky.

???: I’d love to work with someone like you though. Make so many wonderful spades and mails..

???: A truly heroic knight like you, the canvas of dreams...

???: Is that too far? If I am fated to be here... I'd like to make so much for you, anything you desire.
like i said, i'll always need work, especially if i'm standing against a hateful sky as you say. what is it about me that makes me such an appealing canvas, though? it sounds like you're very drawn in.
[Image: TCP%20customs.png][Image: 2411]
Tiles: Like I said,I’ll always need the work, especially if I’m against a “hateful sky” as you’ve put it..

???: That’s fair really..

Tiles: Good reason why guilds prioritize knights who have skills other than combat. To be given the bigger jobs you need to be the best fighter or need to bring things to the table other than a will to clash blades.

Tiles: After all, at the end of the day we’re not a military.

The cat nodded.

???: I suppose that’s true..

Tiles: I do have to wonder though, what makes me so appealing as a canvas?

???:  I said too much outloud, I’m sorry..

Tiles: I’m not bothered just… curious. It sounds like you’re very drawn to the idea.

???: Well..

???: Many things! Knights carry a wide variety of equipment, they prefer personally crafted pieces vs mass produced versions if possible.

???: With the rise of factory made gear among the crown, my work is more about efficiency per dollar than anything else.

???: You lose the finer details, lest you be commissioned for a handful of elites.

???: You’re clearly one who has an interest in more unusual equipment.

???: A lance is hardly the most common dueling weapon. Yours is an execution tool, no?

TIles: It is.

???: Not commonly used for fighting..

Tiles: Mm.. suppose not.

???: Your choice of attire stands out as well.

???: Dress is beautiful, even with the wear and tear it’s take but.. Is it all that practical? You move in it well but..

Tiles: It’s… personal. We’ll put it at that.

Tiles: Is it really that simple?

???:  Well..

???: Hold on we’re having internal difficulties..

Tiles: Should I get help?

???: No just.. Picking our wording widely.

???: ….Photogenic?

???: We’ll work with that. You’re incredibly photogenic in a way I’ve never seen. Pences who take up the sword are historically more..

Tiles: Rough? I’m no different in that regard. Just.. well as you put it, a little photogenic.

???: Right.. If you were to allow me honor of being your main smith.. perhaps I could learn to love this place rather quickly.

Tiles:.. Creme?

The cat made a pitchy noise in response, cadence shifting.

???: I mean, I would like that as well..

???: But…

???: I plan to do my best no matter how you feel about the idea..

???: And.. if you could think of some things you’d like, I could start planning and talking to people here about making it happen! What’s your license category?

Tiles: Master of Blades primary, Proficient in Wands.

???: A spellblade, that explains a lot yes..

Tiles: Mmhmm! Is that helping?

The cat’s cadence shifted again.

???: Yes but… Master of Blades is a very intensive discipline.

???: One you wield with such calmness.

Tiles: I am aware of the stigma..

???: The mark of the destroyer..

???: What does that mean to you?

Tiles: responsibility, courage, to be the hand that clears the old king’s home. And if all goes well, I’ll pave a clearing for something better to be built in its place.

Tiles: I am the people’s demolition crew, nothing more and nothing less.

The cat couldn’t help but purr at that.

Tiles:... Ibarra?

???:... No?

Tiles: You’re.. Hmm. Alright I suppose.

???: What is it?

Tiles: I.. appreciate eagerness, as forward as it is.

The cat’s cadence changed again.

Creme: Spooked her…

Tiles: I can tell. I’ll figure out what to make of that. It’s a pleasant noise I suppose.

Creme: Like this?

An attempt was made, but she was fairly bad at being a cat.

It does get a smile out of you at least, enough for Creme’s eyes to light up.

Creme: S-So, with all that established.. Um.. Perhaps we can talk a little business? You were here for something so we should probably handle that too but.. I would like to brainstorm potential ways to assist you as soon as possible..

She was flustered, and her eyeliner was smeared as well.

It kind of works as a look actually...

At the very least though,she seemed in a much better mood.
Reply, maybe not quite in the as soon as possible vein, but

any old experiments or concepts you've never quite gotten to work before as far as equipment. What's on the cutting edge of your work that's yet to see its proper limelight?

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