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Thread: Matou Shinji and the Broken Chains (HP/FSN CYOA)

  1. #4301
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sileaf View Post
    2 is overused and boring
    If I were to do 2, Shinji would not be the Gandalfr, nor the familiar of Louise (thus, no dealing with the children of the Academy and the like, or the whole drama with the Kingdom of Tristain. Frankly, he'd probably be Lífþrasir, since it would be just like fate/destiny to throw him into basically the British Civil War. Again.
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; July 16th, 2018 at 01:53 PM.

  2. #4302
    Quote Originally Posted by alfheimwanderer View Post
    If I were to do 2, Shinji would not be the Gandalfr, nor the familiar of Louise (thus, no dealing with the children of the Academy and the like, or the whole drama with the Kingdom of Tristain. Frankly, he'd probably be Lífþrasir, since it would be just like fate/destiny to throw him into basically the British Civil War. Again.
    He will still be familiar and get dragged into void mage conflict automatically though, just different master.

    Now if he is there as mage instead, that open up wider possibility to explore and choices.

  3. #4303
    [X] Place a Flow Ofuda down at his current location and Meditate for a while.

    I doubt his mind can handle the upload at the moment with his current state of mind; what with the forced knowledge shoved in from Lestrange, the sprite hanging around in his head, and the lack of sleep.

    Now that it somewhat safe, we can meditate to see if we are blocked from jumping out of here. However I strongly urge that we place an ofuda down first so that if we do jump out to somewhere else that we can jump back...assuming of course that nothing prevents either thing.

    All this talk of NG+ routes is always fun to think about. Thought given my love for Mass Effect I am heavily bias to that option. Shinji can become the Jon Grissum of the universe, exploring the first mass jump into a strange new world.
    Last edited by Skull Leader; July 16th, 2018 at 11:39 PM.

  4. #4304
    Mass Effect is great because with the amount of firepower involved, his abilities won't overshadow the setting.

    I was always very puzzled how humanity wasn't utterly crashed during the First Contact. I wouldn't mind seeing it explored with a little Seaweed twist.

  5. #4305
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malorius View Post
    Mass Effect is great because with the amount of firepower involved, his abilities won't overshadow the setting.
    Mind you, if I do go for ME, it won't be on the same point in the timeline, nor will Shinji be representing all of humanity necessarily. Further, rather than the Council and the three core species we tend to look at, I'll be looking at some of the species that aren't concentrated on as much, such as the Drell, the Hanar, and the Elcor. Atlas may or may not have an interest in dying worlds, after all, since its an opportunity to field test some of their research...
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  6. #4306
    Unless you handwave the magecraft issue, Atlas will not test anything anywhere besides Earth.

    Magical Slave Collector Boy Wakame when?

  7. #4307
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malorius View Post
    Unless you handwave the magecraft issue, Atlas will not test anything anywhere besides Earth.
    Conventional magecraft certainly won't work beyond earth. With other things, like the devices they've created, its harder to say, depending on the principles on which they operate.
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  8. #4308
    I was under impression that all expressions of magecraft are based on Earth's field of influence. Atlas technology should be the same. It's not like Reality Marbles can be harnessed, right?

    *Remembers Gamaliel*

    Um. Conceptual weapons still work within limits of magecraft... I think? My Nasu-fu is weak, admittedly.

    Oh well. I'll just have to trust you on this.

  9. #4309
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malorius View Post
    I was under impression that all expressions of magecraft are based on Earth's field of influence. Atlas technology should be the same. It's not like Reality Marbles can be harnessed, right?
    Magecraft is based on Earth's field of influence, yes.

    However, Atlas tech is not necessarily magecraft - do remember that something like the Black Barrel - a conceptual weapon created by Atlas - continues to work even in the Land of Steel Era, when Gaia is quite dead.

    Plus well, there's their work with Psuedo-spiritons, which allows for transfer of consciousness into virtual worlds and such (and given that the great Pseudo-Spiritron Computer was only built after the disappearance of mana from the world, it demonstrates that its not just their weapons that work in a post magecraft world).
    Last edited by alfheimwanderer; July 17th, 2018 at 05:32 PM.
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  10. #4310
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Choice 349: [x] Meditate for a while, at least nothing's coming after him, and he needs the rest




    Chapter 86. Into the Breach

    Looking around an expansive cavern illuminated only by the distant light of bioluminescent moss, Matou Shinji shivered – and not just because it was rather chilly this far underground. There was something about this place that was unnerving in a way he could not rationally explain, yet which set the more primitive aspects of his mind on edge.

    Possibly it was the way the water was still and dark and deep, with who knew what beneath its supposedly placid surface.

    Perhaps it was the fact that he didn’t know how many meters of stone there were between him and the surface, and that he had no idea where this was.

    Or perhaps it was the faint voices he could hear, whispering just loudly enough to be audible in a thousand forgotten tongues – none of which he understood, but all of which he thought he could almost understand if he just listened, just opened his mind and—

    ‘No. None of that,’ he told himself firmly, reinforcing his mental barriers as the voices faded from his hearing. His defenses had been slipping lately, what with the after-effects of the damage he’d suffered, his fatigue, and the extra knowledge that had been crammed into his head regarding Thought Acceleration, thanks to Lestrange. ‘I can’t afford for them to fail. Not now. Not when I’m finally out on the isle again.’

    But where was he?

    Underground, yes, but that didn’t really mean anything.

    ‘I think I remember something about exploring a cave system, but…’ beyond the barest details, his memory remained stubbornly blank. Even if he remembered though, there was no guarantee that such knowledge would be helpful, as there could be a number of separate caves on this isle, without any connections between them. ‘Well, maybe. That’s not my problem right now though.’

    Right now, the issue was that he couldn’t see what was going on around him, as the tiny bit of light was both too distant and too faint.

    ‘I can’t tell what the chamber looks like, or where a way out might be. Bother.’

    Nor did he really feel like crossing the water to the shore – if there even was a shore – whether by swimming or by water-walking, because he had no idea what was beneath the surface. Was there some kind of footpath, made of hidden stones? Were there creatures – inferi or other undead perhaps? Was there something else?

    ‘If I had fusion, I wouldn’t be bothered with any of this, but…Zelkova isn’t back yet, so my options are a bit more limited. I guess I could use my wand to light up the cavern…’

    But after a moment, he decided against that too.

    If there was something unfriendly here, no doubt it would home in on a sudden appearance of something bright and shining, and without his usual trumps, the boy didn’t exactly feel confident about having to engage in combat.

    ‘…if only I had a way to see what was around me without using Lumos…’

    Just as the thought came to his mind, the boy felt a heavy weight tugging at his arm, with the boy looking down to find that he was holding the mirror-smooth shield that he’d somehow acquired. He remembered – vaguely – using it to track those who were heading towards Lestrange in that ambush at the end of the preliminaries, but more than that…

    Before he had time to puzzle over what the shield might be able to do for him, the disc of metal chirped, with a strange pattern appearing on its back.

    'No. Not patterns. It’s like…a map?'

    A 2D projection of his location anyway, which given that he was underground in a cave, wasn't the most useful thing in the world, though it was enough for now, given that it showed him the rough size of the chamber he was in, including several tunnels leading out of it.

    Two – no – three – tunnels, though he wasn't sure how he would get to any of them, given how vast the cavern was, and there being no discernible footpath or convenient stones crossing from the platform to one of the tunnels.

    'I don't even know if they're underwater...'

    That was the other issue, since the map gave him no indication of where these tunnels were located vertically. And if they were underwater, well, then the pair of large, red dots moving languidly about his position on the mini-map might be something to worry about.

    'Something's there...something probably dangerous, too…’

    Or at least, that was how his mind understood what was being shown, though he had no idea if his interpretation was correct, as he dismissed the shield and reached for his pouch.

    ‘I guess, if I don’t know what’s going on, or where the exit might be, it would probably be safest to enter spirit form?’

    He only had a few vials of the prototype elixir he’d developed, but in this kind of situation, probably better safe than sorry. He wasn’t going to hazard the water while whatever those things were lurked beneath, since he was reasonably sure if the shield was flagging them as dangerous, they’d be able to swallow him up in one bite.

    …he remembered the Selma that George had faced in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, after all. That had been quite a nasty piece of work, and if there was more than one of them here, well…

    ‘I already lost an arm and a leg. Even if Master replaced them, I don’t want to have to go through that kind of thing again.’

    And that was just if he lost one of his flesh and blood limbs. If he lost one of the puppet replacements, he didn’t even want to imagine how the puppeteer would respond. His former Master could be just as scary as her sister the Magician, after all, not that he was anywhere foolish enough to say that to her face.

    ‘Well, bottoms up.’

    With an ironic little toast, the boy filched out a vial of Elixir of Fading and downed a full dose, the aches and pains – and fatigue – of his physical form swept away by a surge of utter euphoria as he faded from the material world.

    Like this, he could see. He could see.

    He laughed gaily at the sight of hundreds of other spirits drifting all around him – some humanoid, some no more than shimmering balls of light, glowing silver in the darkness, his spectral form feeling the urge to rise and join them as they flew – free.

    Like this, he could hear, could understand the half-words and broken thoughts, the little ripples in reality as the spirits which had once passed through him now swirled about his position, chiming and thrumming and humming, a siren song beckoning him to join them.

    ‘A song…’

    A song that grew louder, louder, louder still, the longer he remained on the platform, until what had once been merely background noise had grown to something like a waterfall of sound, a symphony of voices that threatened to blank out his thoughts. He...he...he had to...

    ...what? What did he have to do?

    He felt himself rising into the air, his mouth opening as he spoke what he thought might be words, or perhaps they only sounded like words, since he didn’t know what “fhtagn” could possibly mean. But did it matter? He was…he was so very tired, with everything he’d experienced weighing on his conscience, on his mind. Would it not be better to just surrender his burdens? To give up his yoke and—

    The face of a stern, purple-haired woman – of Sokaris – looking at him in disappointment flashed through his mind, with the boy jolted from the bliss he’d nearly been trapped by more effectively than if someone had poured ice water over his body.

    ‘…what did I nearly do?’ he thought in horror, his spectral form lurching away from the others, throwing itself down, down, down into the water, in the opposite direction from where they were all heading.

    There, the whispers ceased, with the voices and the music giving way to utter silence, his mind now thankfully free of outside influences – even the euphoria Fading normally inflicted on him.

    ‘I forgot. I forgot that in spirit form, I’m much more vulnerable to things which aren’t physical.’

    To other things of spirit and to mental compulsions, in particular, with the latter being especially problematic since his defenses were already frayed, what with only one partition being available to him, so he couldn’t “cycle” them.

    As he was thinking about these things, a massive form brushed by him.

    Something like a giant serpent, its form surrounded by a shroud of prana, which to his spiritual senses, all but glowed.

    'A Selma...?'

    He didn’t think so, but it was hard to say, as he'd never really taken the time to read up about magical beasts, unlike Luna. Perhaps he should have done so in preparation for the Competition, but he’d had no idea where one could begin looking for this sort of information.

    At least, not below NEWT level.

    It seemed to circle him, looking at him with a great golden eye for what had to be nearly a minute, before losing interest and swimming away, much to the boy’s relief.

    ‘…I thought I was going to die there.’

    A creature possessed of enough mystery could certainly harm things of spirit, after all, and if that hadn’t been a Selma, but something like a water dragon, well…

    ‘…come to think of it, Sajyou-senpai did find a dragon’s orb around the isle, so it wouldn’t be strange if that was a fleshy remnant or shadow of one.’

    Maybe something like a water-based version of a wyvern? It hadn’t felt as overwhelming as what he imagined a dragon would feel like, but it hadn’t seemed as unintelligent as a Selma either.

    ‘I’m getting distracted from what I’m meant to be doing. Since I’m underwater, I should look around, see if I can find the tunnels I saw on the shield.’

    The water here was far deeper than he’d expected, with the platform being the major structure in the lake, supported on a pillar of rune-inscribed stone. Which was strange, since shouldn’t erosion have taken its toll over hundreds, if not thousands of years?

    Putting that odd thought out of his mind, he continued moving about through the darkness, and eventually, was able to find the entrances to two tunnels.

    Well, a tunnel through which water came through slowly, and which angled up in a very crooked way, and a channel that wasn’t as much a tunnel as the entrance to an underwater cave system, perhaps even leading to the sea.

    The Selma – dragon – sea serpent thing he’d seen had swum off in that direction, and if he was right in that it had been what the shield had marked with a big red dot, then there was more than one of them around.

    ‘…I’m not going to risk going anywhere near them,’ he told himself. ‘Not when one of those things could probably resist anything I throw at it.’

    His choices were two then: surface and find whatever other tunnel was there, or just take the narrow, winding underwater tunnel upstream, in hope of finding some way out.

    ‘No. I don’t really have a choice. I’d have to be an idiot to surface again, and risk my mind by exposing myself to the chorus of words and thoughts. I barely pulled free of the music's influence once, and I’m…’ he hesitated, shaking his head. ‘I’m not sure if I can do it again.’

    And so, he headed upstream, into utter darkness, navigating by something that was like touch, through water that seemed even richer with mana than that of the lake.

    Indeed, it seemed almost filled to bursting with it, enough so that it leaked into his intangible form, with the boy feeling revitalized, the feeling of euphoria returning as he found his reserves filling to their maximum capacity.

    How long he swam, how long he floated, he didn’t know, only that eventually, he reached what seemed to be the end of the channel, emerging into an underwater reservoir – a vast, flooded chamber into which water flowed from hundreds of tiny cracks and crevices, each different in the level of prana they carried, some of which seemed pure, and some of which seemed somehow tainted, as if cursed or contaminated with something reeking of decay.

    From one, he even sensed traces of what might have been blood.

    ‘Curious. Is this one of those underground reservoirs?’

    If it was, what did it feed, he wondered? As he drifted about, he noted the presence of an outflow channel other than the one he’d come through. Several, in fact, with water flowing through one of them markedly faster than it had come through the tunnel he’d taken to get here.

    For a moment, he was sorely tempted to follow that one down, but…

    ‘I’ve come up this far, it would be a shame to just follow the water down again. Who knows, I might end up back in that cave.’

    And in spirit form, that was something he really could not afford.

    The boy hung in the darkness for some time, not sure which way to go. Downwards or upwards, towards what might be conflict, or away from it. He didn't know – wasn't sure, since while floating in water rich with mana meant that he had no fear of running out of reserves, even if he was to use some nature interference spell, he also couldn't really infuse his own prana into it in any meaningful way – or into the rock around it – before it was swept away.

    His only clue was the blood.

    After all, if there’s blood, that meant that there had to be something bleeding – which probably meant life of some kind, possibly on the surface?

    Or so he told himself, as he moved towards the crevice the blood was coming from, knowing that he was taking his chances, though at least he wasn’t headed to one of the more tainted sources of water.

    He wasn’t an idiot, or so he liked to think so.

    The blood though, the blood…

    It sang to him, resonating with every spiriton of his soul, luring him with the promise of possibilities, and whether rationally or not, the boy decided to follow it to the place from whence it had come, willing his spirit through the treacherous cracks and crevices the blood had seeped through, back to its source.

    And as he did, the song grew stronger, the tugging on his soul more powerful, until at last, he emerged from a last crack into some kind of strange pool, with the music coming from all around him, whispering for him to immerse himself in it.

    'This…this is a pool of blood.’

    A pool in some kind of cavern, a ritual chamber, perhaps, covered with thousands upon thousands of glittering runes.

    ‘What…? I guess this is progress, but where am I?’

    Only he wasn’t going to get any answers if he just stayed near the pool, and he was pretty sure that if he didn’t go physical soon, his potion would wear off and he’d end up bathing in the mana-rich blood no matter that his intent was.

    Something about that struck him as a terrible idea, given the strength of the compulsions acting on him, and so he forced himself to float away from the pool, until he was over what he was certain was bare stone, and willed himself to return to his cage of flesh.

    “Aughhhh…”

    And as he did, materializing into the room, the thousand aches and pains that flesh was heir to, returned to his awareness, their presence after so long without them making them seem the most terrible things in the world, especially with every trace of the euphoria of before leaving him.

    He collapsed to his knees, his body trembling, his eyes closing as he tried to focus on himself.

    He felt...heavy, weak, tired from having to deal with all this, from being ripped away from that state of freedom.

    Unbidden, his hand began reaching for his potions satchel before he realized what he was doing and stopped himself.

    ‘I can’t. I can’t. Not right now,’ he told himself as he blinked away a wave of fatigue.

    Maybe he should have gotten some sleep last night – maybe his mind would be clearer, and he wouldn't be so uncertain. Maybe he’d have more willpower.

    'Not that anything is certain when I'm in a room with a great pool of blood.'

    It took him a while – how long he was uncertain – but eventually, the boy felt relatively confident that his body was his again, as he opened his eyes at last.

    Only, when he saw what was around him, he blinked, dumbfounded as he saw that the pool of blood behind him was glowing with an eerie inner light, pulsing in time with....

    '...markings on the walls. Runes. A runic array.'

    No, that wasn’t it.

    Yes, at first glance, they looked like runes, but as he got up to examine them more closely, he could see that they were anything but.

    They were...

    'Information. Energy. Meaning concentrated into a memetic unit, to be absorbed by sight, by....'

    ...by touch.

    By the time he realized what he was on his feet and walking towards the wall, one hand outstretched, his fingers were already brushing against the first of the odd designs, and—

    'A face...'

    He saw fire. Fire all around him. Fire, light, and devastation as hundreds of spells roared, thousands of weapons streaking towards...towards...some great titan. He saw bodies, bodies as numberless as the grains of sand on a beach, bodies charred, torn asunder, ravaged by one of a dozen forms of destruction, as yet more poured into the area, charging with all manner of weapons in hand.

    ‘Champions,’ his mind told him.

    And yet their strength availed them not, with the storm of might and magic surging forth, only to be negated, absorbed by whatever they were fighting, the titan growing ever larger as a wave of iridescent light blasted everything away and his awareness returned to the chamber where he stood.

    “What on earth…” he whispered, shaken by the carnage he’d seen.

    Destruction on a scale his mind couldn’t even begin to understand.

    “I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds…”

    He was no stranger to battle and bloodshed, but in the end, all he knew were small unit actions, where a few intrepid individuals faced off against some threat that was only nearly impossible to overcome. What could he do in the face of something so overwhelming, so beyond him, that—

    ‘Aughhhh….’

    Agony shot through him - or maybe just the materialized memory of pain – with the boy staggering back as memories flooded through him, rampaging through his mind, through his scraps of consciousness, with his sense of self fading, eroded by a tidal wave of pain, of malignant information, names, words, concepts for which there were no names, ancient beyond words, and—

    The boy came to in the chamber once more, his head feeling like someone had injected him with molten iron.

    ‘Memories…’

    If each one of these glyphs contained a memory...and there were thousands upon thousands of such memories, then just what was this place?

    …and if he tried to see everything here, to absorb the knowledge stored within, what would it do to him in his current state?

    ‘I can’t. Not like this. Maybe later.’

    But not like this.

    For now, as he eased himself upright, feeling his muscles protest as if he’d been lying on cold stone for hours, he figured that he’d try to get his mind in order. It was clear by now that he needed the rest, and if he focused on his mental defenses, he didn’t think the urge to know would overcome him.

    Probably.

    ‘Maybe I’ll see if there’s some ofuda nearby I can jump to, too.’

    It wasn’t likely, but what could it hurt to try?




    Choice 350: It takes him a long, long time to find it as he meditates, but there appears to be one ofuda just barely in his range. It seemed almost to pulse in and out of his awareness, and was somewhere above him, but nevertheless, it is there.

    When he is rested, does he...

    [ ] Try to flow-walk out, even if it might be risky
    [ ] Try to figure out another way out of this chamber
    [ ] Examine the pool of blood more deeply & take a sample
    [ ] Go into spirit form and go back into the water - he can find another path from the reservoir, after marking this spot with an ofuda
    [ ] (write-in)
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  11. #4311
    [X] set up warding/bounded field before taking a nap.
    -[x]then Examine the pool of blood more deeply & take a sample

    ...well, the place seems to be devoid of hostile creature.
    Shinji is cluing in how he needs break/sleep
    Last edited by sileaf; Yesterday at 01:15 AM.

  12. #4312
    Meditation works as a rest. Somewhat. So our main priority switches to finding food and water, then back to exploring mysterious ritual.

    [x] Examine the pool of blood more deeply & take a sample


    ...Maybe after a bit of Indiana Jones routine. Hey, it will definitely help to find this place again when Zelkova returns! A sample of the deadly liquid for tracking cannot hurt.

    I hope.

  13. #4313
    It doesn't seem meditation is enough since he did that before coming here and already he is feeling tired.
    I think a proper nap will give more long term stamina so he doesn't have to take break so often.
    I doubt he will have this peaceful a time.

    Well, i could be wrong, but that is what i believe will benefit him in long term.

    He will be out there for two weeks and it isn't guarantee he will even find a place to take break, that i think he should take chance to recharge every day when he find it.

    It has me wondering
    How much time has passed since the start of the trial?
    Last edited by sileaf; Yesterday at 05:09 AM.

  14. #4314
    Yeah, well.

    When he is rested, does he...
    So we can assume that debuff is at least suppressed for the time being. Now is the time to be proactive.

  15. #4315
    The Dread Nekomancer alfheimwanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sileaf View Post
    How much time has passed since the start of the trial?
    About 8 hours?
    "The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." - Thomas Paine

  16. #4316
    I want to explore this place more but this is not the right time for Shinji to do so. He is tired, his mind is not able to handle the dangers and he is hunger.

    We need to leave and acquire the basics for survival, since no book. Somewhere is a darn girl that finding out that she has a month supply of ramen stored in a priceless book.

    Sleeping here is not the best idea. Who knows what this place will do to Shinji when his mind barrier weaks when he is asleep. You are asking for horrible dreams if you sleep here. The blood sample might be nice to grab but I am more of the do not touch this place without gathering more info and being in the right frame of mind. Flowing to a spot that we barely can sense and seems unstable does not sound like a great idea. I would hate to find out what Flow's equivalent of splinching is.

    [X] Go into spirit form and go back into the water - he can find another path from the reservoir, after marking this spot with an ofuda

    We still need to find Elesa so we need to move on. We can always take her here to fully explore this place. Might require giving her a dose of our potion but hey two heads are better than one.

  17. #4317
    Quote Originally Posted by Malorius View Post
    Yeah, well.



    So we can assume that debuff is at least suppressed for the time being. Now is the time to be proactive.
    I suppose it is better than nothing . . . But next chance for a proper rest, i suggest to take it

    [x] Examine the pool of blood more deeply & take a sample

    I think if we are planning to go back here with Elesa, having a sample/proof of what we found will be more convincing.

  18. #4318
    Good thinking. Her tracking abilities are probably better than ours anyway.

    Hope she won't loot our memories!

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