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Thread: [Quest] Lost Singularity - Fimbulwinter

  1. #101
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    oh cool
    so how much do we need to level up until we can eat and metabolize concepts

    - - - Updated - - -

    also i'm actively reading this but that seriously every choice seems geez louise its going to kill javier so voting is hard
    Quote Originally Posted by Canon View Post
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    That's exaggerating my point.

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    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    5. Eat the zombi- No. No, that's a joke. Please don't eat the zombies.

    2. Run uphill along Urriola Street, away from the zombies…but towards the unknown gunfire.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  3. #103
    The Icon of Self-Deprecation Xaodzilla's Avatar
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    2. Run uphill along Urriola Street, away from the zombies…but towards the unknown gunfire.

    Even if the gunfire isn't friendly, it might help as some cover.

  4. #104
    A Two-Named Thief Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    None of these seem ideal but... choice number 2 seems the least likely to get us killed. Maybe.

    2. Run uphill along Urriola Street, away from the zombies…but towards the unknown gunfire.
    Quest of Fate (Update: 13/06/2018)

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  5. #105
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'll go with number 2 as well.
    My fanfics:
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    - A duel between Cú Chulainn and Scáthach.
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    He Was a Good King (a Fate/Stay Night one-shot) - A short exploration of Beowulf's character as a hero and a king.

  6. #106
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    ​#2
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

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  7. #107
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    Urriola Street (In front of Casa Volante Hostel)
    Day ?
    ????? Phase – 05
    Cold (-13 °C/8.6 °F)


    Character Status
    Health: Stable
    Sustenance: Poor
    Warmth: Stable
    Stamina: Poor
    - Magic circuits activated.
    (BGM)

    My head darts from one place to another in two seconds. From the undead that slipped and slowly stands up, to the pair of dead women clambering up the sloped street, to the single open direction, and the irregular staccato of automatic gunfire—rather, it’s more than one gun, isn’t it?

    So, it’s a matter of the danger in front of me versus the unknown danger uphill…but the fact remains that I can’t take on three of these things on low fuel, especially if those two can dodge as well as the one on the stairs.

    I’m running. It’s the choice that ensures I live a few seconds longer, 100%.

    Calling it “running” is an understatement, though. The street is made of cobblestone, and it is wet and slippery in this hellish weather. Fortunately, the undead are clumsier than I, so I can confidently put some distance between us. Unfortunately, it’s all two-story buildings from the hostel to the crossing with Alvaro Besa; it’s all straight ahead, with nowhere else to run.

    Valparaiso has some seriously long street blocks.

    When I reach the Y-crossing in question, I instinctively stop. Alvaro Besa is to the right; if I go on that direction, it’s just the stupid long route to the Yugoslavian Promenade. To the left is the continuation of Urriola; the gunfire comes from that direction, as irregular but unceasing as before.

    The Promenade…what if those zombies are actually smart enough to take the shorter route up the Apollo Stairway and ambush me?

    It sounds ridiculous, but I’d rather put some more distance. Let’s keep going ahead.

    The slope grows gradually steeper, along with the effort in my breathing. Normally, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I feel the weakness of overexertion and hunger; a single “energy bar” from the supermarket does not fill an empty stomach nor supply the necessary calories. It feels like my body is burning from the inside out—a reminder that the only thing that keeps hypothermia at bay is my activated magic power. I have to assume night will come at some point; I don’t think I want to be out here when that happens.

    All in all, the situation is actually pretty shitty.

    Ah, there. Some ten meters ahead, there’s finally a crossing with another street—

    Holy crap!

    When did they get so close!?

    Ignoring the frantic beating of my heart, I look to both sides of the street before darting to the house to my left, the only one with the door at the same level with the sidewalk.

    One kick, two kicks—

    A smashing sound stops my third kick, and I don’t even have the time to mentally kick myself for bothering to look behind me…and above?

    There’s someone there. My heart stops for a moment.

    The figure, half-kneeling on the rooftop of the building across the street, launches herself upwards in a superhuman leap. She is even more lightly dressed than I am, but it clearly does not seem to hamper her acrobatic agility.

    Our eyes meet.



    “…Maria?”

    Her eyes widen in recognition…a moment before she crashes through the window of the building right next to where I stand.

    “Aw, fucking shit!”

    Yup, that’s Maria’s voice alright. I guess window-crashing was not part of the plan; sorry for distracting you in mid-jump.

    And that’s when I hear the many footsteps just around the corner, and I remember I was kicking this house’s front door. Well I screwed up.

    Absurdity's Pinnacle

    What.

    Seriously, what.

    I know what’s happening here: my mind is focusing on the sheer absurdity of the whole thing because the alternative is to come into terms with the fact that those…soldiers are indeed standing right there at the end of the block, staring at me and packing some serious guns.

    The corners of my lips are twitching into a smile even as my legs are trembling. Ah, see, they’re raising their guns to aim at me. In slow motion, even.

    Oh crap, I’m gonna laugh. This is too absurd. I’m gonna die laughing while fucking Nazi commandos tear me apart with automatic gunfire.

    Should’ve tried my luck with the zombies.



    ……

    ………

    No, you don’t!

    Again, the sound of a window breaking.

    Why didn’t she just use the window she had already—oh whatever.

    Seemingly acknowledging her as the greater threat, the soldiers raise their guns past me and further upwards.

    Her weapon is a sword; an inelegant thing with pointlessly irregular edges, almost ornamental in its impracticality. Yet she swings it, and even I from a distance can feel the currents of chilling air parted by the slash. The soldiers, standing much closer as they were, are blown away like a house of cards in front of a fan.

    I feel a bout of dizziness, and my hand reaches for the nearest wall for support. My head is spinning, but that’s not quite…

    The soldiers, too, are fast to recover, using inertia to roll backwards and standing in a single fluid motion despite their bulky body armor.

    But she’s already landed in that time, and she’s even faster.

    No.

    She is too fast.

    Superhuman strength is followed by superhuman speed, and a single slice separates a soldier from his arms. A moment later she is in their midst, slicing and dicing with abandon, with ease that brings into question why she was fleeing from them before I found her.

    There are no screams.

    No sound escapes the wounded, but those who can still wield their firearms jump back and away from the dervish, seemingly discarding their wounded allies as they heartlessly open fire. But, again, the girl is faster, launching herself like a rocket, straight upwards, while those she had wounded are torn apart by their own companions.

    This time she did not leap to a nearby rooftop. In the moment of stillness of the jump’s highest point, she raises her sword over her head, and the blade glows in a myriad dazzling colors. Is it light, or is it magical energy concentrated to a point it is visible to the naked eye? Whatever it is, it exacerbates my dizziness and makes my knees weak.

    No.

    It’s more than that.

    My magic…my magic is trickling away.

    “Get fucking lost!”

    She shouts, and I don’t get to see what happens next. There’s just light that swallows everything, and a thunderous explosion that blows my body together with my consciousness.

    “Aw crud, I overdid it!”

    Oh, for fuck’s sake, Maria.

    ***** *****

    (BGM)

    When I open my eyes…ah, this is familiar.

    I can’t stop myself from tightening my muscles and curling like a kitten. I’m back in the cocoon of blankets and sleeping bags, and it’s just too comfy in here. Aaah, how nice~

    Then my stomach grumbles and brings me back to the real world.

    I can still hear the chilling wind dancing in the room. I was never in denial, but it’s still somewhat disheartening to know what awaits me outside of this warmth.

    But I can’t stay here forever. After all that walking and running, I’m very thirsty and my throat is dry. Zombies or nazis or whatever, I need sustenance.

    I guess Maria brought me back here. With those absurd powers…really, what’s the deal with that?

    What…kind of world have I been thrown into?

    I’m out of the cocoon and shivering on the spot. Goddammit, gotta do something about the broken windows. There are probably tools around, but what to close those holes with? An issue for later.

    Everything’s exactly where it was last time. My things are also still here. There are no frozen zombies roaming the street, though.

    I’m so tired…what time is it, anyway?

    My steps take me naturally to the common area; if I’m gonna try to feed myself, it’s the place to go—

    This place is a mess! What the hell!? What’s this kitchen catastrophe!? Did the soldiers open fire in here? Did the zombies try to cook in here!? Why does that pot have a hole in the bottom!? How can that cupboard be on fire in this weather!?

    And who do you think you are, seated so coolly in the midst of this mess!?

    Warrior Transcending Mankind (?)
    Click here to toggle visibility of Pixiv image
    Haa…calm down, Javier Lucero. You’re low on fuel; reacting to everything is just a waste right now. Just…calm down.

    Alright. Focus on the idiot sitting there like she’s a big shot.

    “So,” I say. “What are you?”



    “Those are your first words? I guess I’ve been bound to a terrible Master.”

    The girl in black gives an exaggerated shrug.

    “Maybe I’m the most unlucky of all,” she adds.

    …let it be stated right now.

    This girl, Maria Westinghouse, is an idiot.

    “Are you trying to act cool, Maria?”

    Her faux-mocking expression switches to something annoying bright as she pulls back her hood and facemask in an instant.

    “Is it working?”

    “You told me you’re nineteen. Be an adult, Maria.”

    “Pooh! I dun wanna be an adult like youuu!”



    I walk past the grown-up child in overly unsuitable attire, towards what I assume is the result of this whole…disaster. The pot—not the one with the hole; another, bigger one—exudes warm vapor, and I can feel the heat of the soup as I stand in front of it.

    “This…actually smells pretty good.”

    “I can cook, ya know,” said the pouty girl. “It’s just, none of the appliances work so I had to make up for it with magecraft…it’s the first time I use it for something like this, and I’m still getting used to handling so much…it’s B rank, ya know? B rank!”

    It became incomprehensible at some point, but she did use a certain word.

    She said “magecraft”.

    “So, you really are—”

    “Aaah, but to think Javier was a magus!” continues the girl, washing over my attempt at leading the conversation. “Mah, that turned out to be helpful, so lucky me I gue—ooh? So maybe I’m not the unluckiest after all!”



    It’s like the floodgates are opened.

    “Ahaha, this is the first time. Like, ‘surprise magus!’, or something. I wonder if this happens to other magi.”

    What.

    “Hey, hey, did you go to the Clock Tower? I didn’t go myself, so I’m kinda curious. How is it? Studying there, I mean. Is it sorta like Hogwarts?”

    What.

    “Naah, that doesn’t sound like the Mage’s Association grandma told me about. So, edgy Hogwarts? Isn’t that Durmstrang?”

    What.

    “No way, no way, Potterverse magic is way too ridiculous anyway, right? Ahaha…haha…haa…”

    Something in my face seems to put an end to Maria’s rambling, as her eager smile changes into a grimace that doesn’t suit her youthful face.

    “You…don’t understand a word I’m saying, do you?”

    I shake my head.

    A moment later, she is standing on the far corner of the common area, with her back to me and her hands clutching her head.

    “Aw fuck, I just shattered the Masquerade! Grandma’s gonna kill me!”

    I can hear you, you know.

    “Wait, does that mean I hafta kill him?”

    Please don’t kill me. Also, you left your sword over here.

    “No, wait, he’s my—and if I think about it, this whole mess kind of bent over the Masquerade and fucked it in the ass, so I didn’t really mess up!”

    You’re the one who’s messed up. Wait, are you acting like an umpire?

    “Alright! Saaaafe!”

    No, no, out. You’re totally out.

    Seemingly having calmed down, the girl finally turns to face me properly again. Oh, a normal smile. That’s good I guess.

    “So, um…”

    So now you’re acting coy?

    I point at the soup.

    “We can talk as we eat.”

    She winces upon realizing she had missed the obvious. But she is quick to compose herself, or rather, she has no shame.

    “Right-o!”

    “But first put that fire off,” I add, pointing at the cupboard.

    “Ah…right, ahaha…”

    Choice Time
    You may ask up to three questions to Maria during your meal.


    1. About “magecraft” and “magi” in general.
    2. About her ridiculous powers.
    3. About the frozen city.
    4. About the zombies and the soldiers.
    5. About the people trapped in ice.
    6. About food and water supplies.
    7. Write-in.


  8. #108
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  9. #109
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    1 - It'll boost our own knowledge and abilities3 - For obvious reasons6 - We're still in the survival genre so this is important
    Quest of Fate (Update: 13/06/2018)

    Shameless Self Promotion

    THE GREAT HERACLES HUNT
    A Magus RP taking place in the Apocrypha timeline
    C
    aS Masterpost

    Hermes' List of Fan Fics


    Hall of Hermes Praise

    Quote Originally Posted by Saron View Post
    It's official. Hermes is the old man hipster of CaS.
    Quote Originally Posted by SpoonyViking View Post
    ...Are you the protagonist of a YA novel? Perhaps an otome game?




  10. #110
    三十四 Thirty Four 34's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafflesiac View Post
    I hoped they wouldn't feature because not once have I liked Fate's take on ANCIENT ALIENS. It's stupid for beings from humanity's myth and history to be the result of ANCIENT ALIENS all along, even insulting to an extent. Velbers are bad, Alien Trees are bad, Foreigners are bad, stick with humans relating to humans please Nasu.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheSeaDragon View Post
    Nasu was always a pen name. It was Georgio Tsoukalos all along

  11. #111
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    Be sliced by the blades of summer snow, fragile thing..

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    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    #1, 3 & 6
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

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  14. #114
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    Chaos Ruler Maria. This is gonna be WHACKED!

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    Likes attention, shiny objects, and... a ball of yarn?

    I joined two years too late...
    Quote Originally Posted by Hymn of Ragnarok View Post
    That makes me think of Rin as a loan shark.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hymn of Ragnarok View Post
    Admittedly, she'd probably be the hottest loan shark you'll ever meet. She'd probably make you smile as she sucked you dry.


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    Not with that attitude.

  15. #115
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  16. #116
    鬼 Ogre-like You's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canon View Post
    On You's tombstone it will read
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    That's exaggerating my point.

  17. #117
    いっくわよー、なの! Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Casa Volante Hostel
    Day ?
    ????? Phase – 06
    Cold (-13 °C/8.6 °F)


    Character Status
    Health: Stable
    Sustenance: Poor
    Warmth: Stable
    Stamina: Poor


    (BGM)

    “So? What’s going on?” I ask the obvious, most immediate question, all the while the delicious warmth of the soup spreads from my mouth throughout my body.

    “Hmm, who knows.”

    Well, how’s that for a start.

    “Wha—don’t look at me like that! What do I look like to you, the answer woman? I’m not fucking Merlin, I don’t know what I don’t know.”

    She does have a point, but it still sounds kinda pathetic when she says it.

    “I mean, I had a hunch something would happen, but who the hell could predict something like this? I mean, just look at the scale of this shit! How do you even pull this…ah, well, I guess the likes of a Servant could…”

    At some point she began talking to herself. It doesn’t take her long to remember she is not alone, fortunately.

    “Ah! Well, um, just to make things clear, I have no idea what’s going on, but I can swear I didn’t do it.”

    “No problem. I’ve already figured no have neither the skill nor the will to pull off something like this.”

    “Uwah, subtle sarcastic insult. When was the last time you had a girlfriend, Javier?”

    Oof, low blow.

    “Anyway, I guess you can tell the situation is pretty bad,” she continues. “It’s at least bad enough for the Counter Force to get involved.”

    “There’s another new term.”

    “Aah, Counter Force, huh…” She scratches her head for some reason. It is clear in her expression, however, that she’s rarely in the position of one who explains things. “Hmm, well, to put it simply, it’s kind of an immune system for the Human Order?”

    That…kind of makes some sense, and kind of really, really doesn’t. At all.

    “Aaah, um, let’s look at it this way: there’s a ‘way the world works’. The ‘common sense’, or ‘the laws of nature’ as defined by human perception and rationality.”

    “Wait, wait, are we going into universal anthropocentrism here?”

    This is starting to sound like the kind of talks I’d have on the evenings with Father Scherer. If anything, I learned from that weird priest all the philosophy I dozed through during high school.

    “Um, no, not quite. I mean, it’s not that the universe is anthropocentric. It’s that Man, by standing above nature, has imposed an anthropocentric ‘system’ upon the World.”

    “So you’re saying the laws of nature aren’t really universal.”

    “They’re universal within the common rationality of man.”

    Well now that explains everything.

    “But we’re really digressing here.”

    I…guess. It’s not like the complete overhaul of my understanding of the world is of any relevance to the matter at hand.

    “The Counter Force…is a part of the ‘system’ governing the World, as defined by the current Human Order. You could say it’s the World’s survival instinct, constantly acting to ensure its own perpetuation.”

    “And now you’re asking to give human attributes to an abstract…something.”

    “Why not?” She shrugs. “It originates from man in the first place.”

    It kinda sucks when she acts like she knows more than I do. Which she does, but that’s beside the point.

    “So…this Counter Force, you say it has intervened. What does that even mean?”

    “It means that what’s happening here is a significant threat to the Human Order,” explains Maria while patting her chest for some reason. “It makes sense if you look at me; the agent of the Counter Force could not manifest on its own precisely because this place has been isolated from the Human Order, so it had to improvise by possessing a suitable vessel.”

    “Okay, I didn’t get that.”

    “Figured as much,” admits the smiling girl. “So here’s the summary for dummies.”

    Hey.

    “Whatever’s happening in here, it’s really bad, so a ‘system’ called the Counter Force sent an ‘agent’ to deal with it. But the agent could not make it in here on its own, so it snuck in by possessing someone who was already inside.”

    She shoves her thumb on her chest armor—really, stop drawing my gaze to your boobs.

    “Right now, the ‘agent’ and ‘Maria Westinghouse’ are effectively one and the same. I already had a reason to investigate this situation, but now I have the power to actually stop it.”

    “…huh,” is my reply. “So? Why haven’t you?”

    “Uwaah. So Javier’s the type who doesn’t vote but complains about politicians all the time.”

    What the hell kind of association is that? Rather, that was an insult, right?

    The cheeky girl crosses her arms and tries to look stubborn.

    “Well, mister demanding, if you really wanna know, I was taking care of you. You’re supplying me with magical energy, so I kinda need you alive.”

    Wait.

    “You’re the reason I passed out just now.”

    “Eeeeh…”

    She’s looking away. And making weird hand gestures like some overexcited marketer.

    “Weeell, I wouldn’t have had to pump out more energy to save you if you hadn’t pushed yourself and gone outside. So, if we look at the whole, wide picture, it would be fair to say it’s your—”

    “Be quiet, parasite.”

    “Ugah! Zero gratitude!” She exclaims while recoiling as if she had taken physical blows. She’s such a kid.

    “Well…so, you need my magical energy to use those powers—ah, I guess those powers come from this ’agent’ person.”

    Maria nods. Now she looks like a small animal. Why are you acting like I’m going to hit you? Do I look like that kind…maybe I should stop there.

    “And I guess you’re using those powers to put an end to this mess.”

    She nods again.

    “That…um, at least that’s the plan.”

    My turn to nod.

    “Well, that shouldn’t be a problem…it shouldn’t, right?” Now I’m not so sure. “I mean, you’re not gonna suck me to death or something, right?”

    “Javier, that’s sexual harassment.”

    Oh, why the fuck I even worry about you.

    “Says the one wearing a chainmail bikini.”

    “It’s chainmail shorts, you slanderer you—aah, my soup!”

    See, that’s what you get for slamming the table like that.

    “More importantly, Maria—”

    “Why do those words make me feel rejected for some reason…?”

    “Now that you brought it up: how long was I unconscious?”

    “Ah.”

    Instead of answering right away, she goes at the soup with gusto. Just like the chili con carne, she abandons all pretense of manners for the sake of fulfillment as fast as humanly possible. It’s just a little bit gross.

    It really shows the difference between men and women in human mentality: if she were a guy, I’d probably think it’s disgusting as fuck.

    “A bit over 24 hours,” Maria quietly replies. She’s looking away, like she’s not sure what to do or say next. “There’s no way to tell the exact time, but it’s afternoon right now.”

    “And speaking of that,” she then says, jumping off her seat. “You’re eating warm soup and all, but you’re still freezing in here. Let’s go back to the room and get you wrapped up. We can keep talking there.”

    *** ***

    (BGM)

    It’s a bit silly, but it is indeed very comfortable, this little bunker of blankets. Wrapped in a sleeping bag like a big caterpillar, I looked at Maria calmly seated on the other bunkbed in the room.

    “The cold really doesn’t affect you, huh.”

    “Hmm, yeah, I guess. I mean, it does feel cold, but it doesn’t really bother me. I mean, it’s nothing like that initial wave.”

    She doesn’t need my cue.

    “You were with me. You saw that sun that did not belong, and you felt the first blast of extreme cold. The temperature dropped rapidly to an absurd degree. Like, that probably was below minus three hundred or something.”

    Minus three hundred…ah, right. Fahrenheit. She’s American alright.

    “That’s why everything froze almost immediately. Then the temperature went back up just as quickly, but it’s stayed below freezing point. I survived thanks to Saver, and you…”

    Hey.

    What’s with the dramatic pause.

    Why are you blushing like that.

    Stop blushing like that.

    “…I did my best.”

    “What does that even mean.”

    “I did my best,” she repeats, looking down at her clenched fist with unusual seriousness.

    Why are you pumping your fist? Explain the pumping!

    “I haven’t found other survivors, but I haven’t really looked that far…or that thoroughly,” she then declares. “I didn’t want to move around too much while you were still unconscious. Everyone is frozen like that, and…”

    “When the ice breaks they rise as zombies.”

    “Um.”

    A heavy silence ensues.

    Of course, magic or powers or whatever, neither of us is really used to death on this scale…or undeath, for that matter. I have to admit, the moment I realized my life was threatened, I forgot the monster I was attacking was just a homeless man in life. Humans do get used to anything, but, do I really want to accept that?

    What can we do, though? Even if we can somehow take them out of the ice and bring them back to health, we’d still have to take care of them. Food and water are not as readily available, and the environment has become too hostile. We can’t just go and help everyone, so how do we decide who to help?

    “I can run away from them easy, so I didn’t bother fighting them,” says Maria. “But that square on the other side of that hill across the street. The big square, with the statue.”

    “Sotomayor?”

    “Uh, maybe. Anyway, it was plagued with zombies when I was nearby. Maybe it’s a hint?”

    Zombies? What I saw from the promenade was a lot of people encased in ice, which made sense: Sotomayor Square is a major public spot; there’s always plenty of people there. Does she mean all those ice blocks broke already? Isn’t that the worst?

    “That…if there’s so many of them, then we’re not safe here.”

    You are not safe here,” Maria felt like she had to clarify. “But really, if the people of this city are being turned into zombies, then nowhere is safe. Before you ask, my bounded fields are the basic of the—aw man, you don’t know ‘bounded fields’. Forget I said anything.”

    I’ll get over it. More importantly…

    “An attack from behind, hmm?” Maria muses upon my narration of the short encounter with the zombie hobo. “Well, if you think in terms of mystery, there’s a bunch of ways it could pull that off, but until shown otherwise I’d go with the obvious one: there was a second pair of eyes that saw your attack and could direct the zombie to evade it.

    Well, yes, in a situation like that, before thinking of occult things like precognition or a mysterious sense, you’d assume the ‘trick’ was simply a second person. Is it really that simple in this case?

    And there’s also…

    “The soldiers? They’re Nazis, no?” Maria says placidly all the while admiring her weird-ass sword.

    “Nazis, huh…”

    “Yup. Nazis.”

    “Right, right…”

    …wait.

    “Nonononono. Why’re we just accepting this like it’s normal?”

    Maria shrugs while performing some halfhearted stretches on the bed.

    “This is a Singularity, isolated from the Foundation of the Human Order. I don’t think there’s such a thing as ‘normal’ in here.”

    “Oh, spare me the magibabble, Maria. Those were Nazis.”

    “Yeah, I think we’ve already come to an agreement on that.”

    “Why are there Nazis, Maria!?”

    “Weeell, if I remember my history correctly, Nazism started in 1919 as the German Workers’ Party. But if we really want to look for the origins of National Socialism, we have to go further back to the rise of Voelkisch nationalism and Arianism in the 19th century—”

    “Don’t make me go over there, Maria.”

    “What, you can’t hear me? I can move closer—”

    “The soldiers, Maria. Explain the soldiers.”

    “Ahahaha, I kinda like how you say my name.”

    This giiirrrl!

    The way-too-easygoing girl pulls her left knee up, so she can rest her hands and head on it.

    “Well, it’s not like they’re reaaally Nazis. They aren’t real people. Aah, I was so relieved; I mean, I was such a rack of nerves when I cut down the first one…”

    “Maria.”

    “Ah, right, right.” She doesn’t look apologetic at all, the brat. “You didn’t see it, what with the fainting and all, but they aren’t made of flesh and blood. I’d say they’re some sort of etheric construct, but you wouldn’t get that, so I won’t bother.”

    Fucking cheeky brat. I can see your smug-ass grin from here.

    “Then again,” she continued, her facial muscles easing down into a neutral expression. “I’m far from an expert. Really, I’m not even a magus, I’ve just got a bunch of knowledge conveniently dumped in my head courtesy of the Counter Force.”

    “Whatever. It still doesn’t explain why they are Nazis.”

    I say that, but I know otherwise. There is a completely obvious explanation, I just don’t want to admit it.

    “Isn’t it obviously because Nazis are behind this whole mess?”

    Aaaarrrgh.

    Yes, yes, where else can my head belong right now, other than buried in my palms?

    “Ugh, so we’re really in the plot of a B-movie.”

    “I’d go with third-rate fanfiction myself.”

    *** ***

    Maria at some point ended up on my bed.

    Of course, I’m comfortably wrapped in my mound of warm softness, while she’s just sprawled across the bed’s width.

    “I just thought about it.”

    Maria dazedly turns her head my way. Wait, are you falling asleep?

    “How did you even make soup?”

    A frown.

    “I’m sure you already know how to make soup.”

    “That’s not what I—water. How did you get water?”

    “Ah. I first thought I could find a spare bottle for the dispenser, but the cold broke the plastic, so that was no good.”

    I can tell. She’s purposely delaying.

    “So I just melted and boiled some of the snow and ice lying everywhere.”

    Maybe I am underestimating this girl. Maybe not.

    “I think my stomach hurts a bit…”

    “That’s your mind being a pussy.”

    Damn. If a woman says that to me, how am I supposed to respond?

    “You sure it’s safe?”

    “It’s the ice blocks trapping the people that’re weird. Everything else’s just normal frozen water. And you don’t look like you’re dying to me.”

    Do you really have to go so far as to use the word “dying”? You sure are bad at reassuring people; not that I can claim the opposite about myself.

    “Fair enough. How about food?”

    “There’s still soup—well, I guess it’s frozen by now, but we can eat the rest of it later. Aside from that…I’d say we’ve got food for about two more days. More if we ration it, but you’re my battery and I’m the brawn, so I’d rather have us at top condition whenever possible.”

    We stay here, in silence, for a while. There is no other sound but the chilling breeze. Occasionally, I hear the dire sound of breaking ice. But we remain here, as if trying to disconnect ourselves from this frozen hell. As if we were characters in an MMO and we wanted our players to log out.

    Or maybe I’m just too comfortable in here.

    “So? What now?” Wait, she’s the one asking me?

    “Wait, aren’t you the one with some mysterious ‘agent’ giving you powers and shit? Go out there and fix things.”

    Oh, so she can actually make a perfectly flat expression.

    “Yeah, sure, I’ll just go out there and rampage until you’re out of magical energy and die, or some random zombie, soldier or Servant finds you and kills you. Fun times for everyone.”

    There was an extra thing right after soldier, wasn’t there?

    “I don’t know how much I can push you when you’re at full tank, so I’m taking it easy for now,” she declares before looking away. “I’m not being lazy. I want to put an end to this more than anyone.”

    She says something else, but it comes out so quietly it eludes my ears. Looks like I touched a sensitive spot I was not aware of. For once, she actually sounds irritated.

    And now I can’t stop myself from wondering.

    Hey, me of ten years ago: in this situation, what would you have done? Would you have cared? In the first place, would you have allowed this girl to get this close? No, in the first place, I still barely know this person; it just so happens we’re the only ones in this mess as far as we know. Does that count as closeness?

    I’m normally not one to think this hard about things like this. Rather, I gave up thinking about it. People—well, most people—are irrelevant. I have met meets a myriad other people throughout my life, but how many of those truly register in the mind? The countless faces on the street are immediately forgotten. So is the person I happened to chat with for a while in the doctor’s waiting room or the cashier line at the supermarket. The many sailors I’ve worked and lived with at sea; just how much did I get to know them in the end? The women I’ve been intimate with; one-night stands, never to meet each other again.

    People are merely faces. Merely impressions. People are nothing but what they want to project to the world. It’s all superficial, so it’s worthless to think about it. Stick to that, Javier Lucero.

    She needs my magical energy to end this. I need her power to outlive this.

    Work with that, Javier Lucero. As you’ve always done.

    “Well then, let’s think of our next move.”

    There’s plenty to consider beyond “figuring out how to end this”: looking for other unfrozen people, securing this building and readying it as a base of operations, acquiring more suitable clothes for moving around in the chilly outdoors, and who knows how many other things.

    I have made it on my own for almost ten years. I can think of it as a preparation for this. If anything, now I have a powerful tool at my disposal, and I don’t stop myself from looking at it, just as it looks at me pushing myself out of my comfy mound with doubtful eyes.

    And powerful and rather fit tool, now that I look at it properly. Not a trace of fat on that stomach. You have my respect, Maria Westinghouse.

    The light of the sun is dispersed by the carpet of grey clouds, so it is hard to tell the time, but I can tell it is getting darker. Evening approaches. Normally, it would be the time to ease down and rest for the new day.

    But our challenge is just starting. Resting will have to wait a bit longer.

    “Alright, my suggestion,” Maria suddenly declares as she too pushes her torso off the bed. “Well, more like a question.”

    “I’m listening.”

    “The sewage system must be frozen too, so, um, where you gonna go to take a dump? I need to know, ‘coz I don’t wanna be anywhere near there, like, ever.”

    …oh, for fuck’s sake, Maria.


    END OF AFTERNOON PHASE

    *** ***

    Warning!

    This is a Save Point. It replaces the previous Save Point.

    If your quest reaches a Dead End, you may choose to resume it from this point.

    *** ***

    Quest Rules: Phases and Actions


    • Fimbulwinter is an Adventure quest, with some influence from the Survival genre. However, given the circumstances of the setting, attrition from lack of food or water should rarely be a critical issue for our heroes.
    • Each “in-quest” day consists of five Phases: Morning, Midday, Afternoon, Evening, and Night.
    • Quest players get to decide on Javier’s and Maria’s Actions during the Morning, Afternoon, and Evening Phases through voting, as detailed below. If they have other allied NPCs in their Base, the players can also decide on those NPC’s Actions.
    • At the end of each Phase, the players will vote on Javier’s and Maria’s Actions to take in the next Phase, following the rules outlined below.
    • Javier and Maria can take either an Exploration Action or a Management Action on each Phase, or they may choose to Rest. Note that Javier’s and Maria’s actions are allotted separately, even if they are physically together. In other words, even if the two are, for example, traveling together to the same location, this counts as the available action for that Phase for the two of them.
    • In an Exploration Action, the character (Javier or Maria) leaves the relative safety of their Base to brave the perils of the frozen city, for whatever reason: exploring a certain area, looking for other survivors, meeting with distant allies, challenging enemy Servants, etcetera.
      • To do this, quest players will vote on the location to be visited by the character, among the locations unlocked in the Singularity Map.

    • A Management Action is one intended to further Javier and his allies’ survival in the frozen city. Examples of Management Actions are presented here, but they are not limited to these options—writing in a different course of action is still an option, within the boundaries of QM fiat.
      • Forage: The character leaves the base explicitly in search of necessary things like food, tools, materials, etcetera. It is especially important to ensure ready availability of water at Base. Do keep in mind that every Exploration Action is to a degree also a Forage Action—even if they leave Base with a different purpose in mind, our heroes are mindful enough to keep an eye for valuable resources wherever they go.
      • Prepare Meals: The character, which must be at Base to use this Action, prepares meals for everybody currently at the Base, if there is enough food and water. The Food and Water level of the Base will define the resulting Sustenance levels of those partaking of the meal. There is not a separate “Eat Meal” Action. It will be assumed that, when a Prepare Meals Action is taken, all allies at Base partake of the meal.
      • Repair: The character performs repair work on the Base, aiming to improve either the Warmth or Fortification level of the Base.
      • Change Base: When Javier performs this Management Action, the previous Base is abandoned, and his current location becomes the new Base. All allied characters (including Maria) must then take Change Base Actions to move into the new Base.
      • Instruction: The character studies magecraft or teaches magecraft to another character also taking the Instruction Management Action (as a student).

    • When a character is set to Rest, they rest at their current location for the entire Phase’s duration. This is an important choice for the restoration of Health and Stamina. Unless the players’ choices trigger a different outcome, all allied NPCs always take the Rest Action in every Night Phase.

    Character Status Rules & The Status Scale


    • Our Protagonist, Javier Lucero, has four status parameters of note, described further below.
    • Each status is attributed a value or level in the Status Scale: Critical Poor Stable Good Optimal Superb.
    • Javier’s status parameters are updated at the beginning of each scene (story post).
      • Health is Javier’s overall physical and mental integrity—his hit points, in videogame terms. Health dropping below Critical would result in Javier’s death.
      • Sustenance represents the degree of food and water intake Javier has taken. Sustenance is updated on the Phase following a Prepare Meals Action from which Javier benefits. It is a critical status in that it acts as a hard, intrinsic limit on Javier’s physical and mental performance.
      • Warmth indicates how well Javier is currently protected from the harsh cold of the frozen Valparaiso. It is a critical status in that it acts as an external limitation to Javier’s physical and metal performance.
      • Stamina is an assessment of Javier’s current physical capabilities. Stamina also includes Javier’s capability for casting spells—his MP, if using videogame vernacular. Javier’s Stamina value can never be higher than his current Sustenance value without supernatural means.

    Base Rules


    • Javier can claim a specific location as his Base. A Base also has four status parameters:
    • Food is the Base’s stock of edible sustenance. It determines the effectiveness of Prepare Meals Actions performed at the Base. If the Base’s Food status is insufficient to feed every person at Base, a vote must be performed to prioritize the rationing of the remaining food.
    • Water is the Base’s immediate access to the vital liquid. It determines the effectiveness of Prepare Meals Actions performed at the Base, and the restoration of Health through Rest Actions. Insufficient consumption of water every day has an immediate effect on a character’s Health and Stamina.
    • Warmth represents the Base’s degree of protection against the elements. It replaces a character’s Warmth status while at Base, if higher. Keep in mind that no amount of warm clothes will protect you for long in the middle of a blizzard, and that is not the worse Fimbulwinter will throw at you.
    • Defense represents the Base’s fortification level against physical assault. Of course, walls may stop bullets and blows, but only mystery can protect against mystery.

    Opening Post is also updated with this information.

    *** ***


    DAY 1 – EVENING PHASE SETUP

    Character & Base Status
    Health: Stable
    Sustenance: Stable
    Warmth: Stable
    Stamina: Stable

    Food: Good
    Water: Optimal
    Warmth: Poor
    Defense: Poor
    Singularity Map (opening in separate tab recommended)
    Choice Time
    Javier’s Evening Action (Remember, only one Action per Phase!):

    • Exploration Action
      • Port: Look for survivors among the port’s hardy people.
      • Sotomayor Square: Check on that hint about a zombie infestation in the city’s biggest square.
      • Unimarc: Go back to the nearby supermarket and mall to loot collect valuable resources, and hopefully find more suitable clothes for this hellish cold. No, I’m not secretly hoping to see that maid again.
      • Yugoslavian Promenade: Return to a higher spot to scout the surroundings. Also, I’m worried about Father Scherer. I’d like to find a safe route to the church uphill.

    • Management Action
      • Forage
      • Prepare Meals
      • Repair
      • Instruction
      • Write-in

    • Rest


    Maria’s Evening Action (Remember, only one Action per Phase!):

    • Exploration Action
      • Port: Didn’t stop by there while Javier was out of business. Might as well check now.
      • Sotomayor Square: If I have to kick zombie butt, then zombie butt shall be kicked.
      • Unimarc: I don’t feel I need much food now that I’m half-Servant, but it’s easier to think and be awesome on a full stomach. And we can’t have his flat ass freezing on me now, so let’s find him some clothes. What’s his size again?
      • Yugoslavian Promenade: I’d like to have control a high, vantage point. Also, there’s something I wanna check out over there.

    • Management Action
      • Forage
      • Prepare Meals
      • Repair
      • Instruction
      • Write-in

    • Rest

    Last edited by Daneel Rush; Yesterday at 03:11 PM.

  18. #118
    Beats By Matthew ft. Dr. Para Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  19. #119
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    Javier:

    Management Action - Repair


    We may be staying in the hostel for the moment, so it's best to reinforce the place to make it warmer and slightly more livable.

    Maria:


    Exploration Action - Unimarc

    In order to keep our supplies up, best to familiarize ourselves with the market in order to maintain the stream of food.



    We going Frostpunk bby
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

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    Now Revamped!

  20. #120
    A Two-Named Thief Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafflesiac View Post
    J: Repair windows
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    Same here.
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