Page 3 of 6 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 118

Thread: Grail Works, Ltd: A Royal Mess (F/SN, P5R, E3E)

  1. #41
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    According to most, my own little world
    Age
    43
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,431
    Blog Entries
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Kieran, could you possibly find us a more heroic Sorcery Path for us to look at, and to see if that would fit your SI better that way?
    Easily.



    Pact with an Ifrit Lord

    You have stood in the court of one of the ifrits or another elemental lord of fire. Beneath the judgment of his burning eyes, you passed whatever test of righteousness he saw fit to impose. The pact you struck lets you draw strength from the element of fire and shape its destructive power to your will.


    Shaping Rituals

    Whenever the sorcerer takes a shape sorcery action, she may draw an additional (Essence) sorcerous motes from any fire within medium range, coaxing its power into her spell. This diminishes the flame—a hallway of torches will be extinguished by a single invocation, while a bonfire might die down to small flames after the first, then go out altogether after the second. However, if the sorcerer is fighting near (or in!) a burning building, she has a nearly endless source of sorcerous motes to draw on. She may draw from fire elementals or other spirits of flame as well, draining (Essence) motes from their pools, but only if her shape sorcery roll exceeds their Resolve, and no more than once per scene against any one spirit. When the sorcerer draws Essence to fuel her control spell, flames are not diminished, and spirits do not lose the motes drawn from them. The sorcerer’s patron offers her power in exchange for burnt offerings, breathing in the smoke of her tribute and ewarding her with glory. The sorcerer may make a prayer
    roll (Charisma + Performance, difficulty 5 minus the Resources value of any sacrifices offered along with the prayer) seeking power from her patron. Success grants her sorcerous motes equal to (her Essence + extra successes on the roll). These motes last for the duration of the story and can be spent towards any spell she casts. She cannot pray for power more than once a day, and receiving new motes replaces any granted by past prayers.

    The sorcerer has learned to cultivate the flames of passion in her own heart, using them to stoke the power of her spells. Whenever she would gain a point of Willpower from upholding an Intimacy that represents a passionate emotion or fervent belief, she may instead claim 5 sorcerous motes. These motes last until the next sunrise and can be spent towards any spell she casts. Additionally, she may shed a level of intensity from such an Intimacy to channel its fire towards a spell she is shaping, adding sorcerous motes equal to the (original) intensity of the Intimacy. She cannot tap an Intimacy more than once per day this way.


    Other Benefits

    Unburnt Majesty (Merit ••): Having contracted with a lord of flame, the sorcerer commands the fealty of lesser fires. She doubles 8s on rolls to resist environmental hazards based on fire or heat, and adds her Essence to both soak and hardness against purely flame-based attacks such as firewand blasts.

    The Burning Name (Merit ••): With the utterance of her patron’s name, the sorcerer may call forth flames, sending them streaming from her eyes, fingertips, or mouth. She might use this to light a campfire or incinerate ropes that bind her hands, and can also use it as an attack, rolling (Intelligence + Occult) to direct the flames, which are treated as a light mundane weapon with the lethal, thrown (short), and mounted tags.

    Suzerain of Endless Flame (Merit ••): Fire answers readily to the sorcerer’s will. Whenever the sorcerer casts a spell that creates or manipulates fire as its primary effect, or summons a fire elemental, its cost is lowered by three sorcerous motes. If it’s her control spell, she may also waive a single point of Willpower from its cost once per day.



    . . . Or, for the less "bargain with eldritch power"-inclined . . .



    Root-Lore

    There’s a language in the world’s trees, herbs, and flowers, each teaching subtle lessons that reveal Creation’s deepest mysteries. Not every herbalist and apothecary can divine these secrets; mastering root-lore requires both slow, careful study of Creation’s flora and a piercing insight into the truths behind them. Those who walk this path read secret wisdom from the petals of flowers and draw power from roots and herbs.


    Shaping Rituals

    • Master Apothecary Enlightenment: Successfully introducing a fact about herbs or treating a patient using herbal medicine awards the sorcerer
    (Intelligence + extra successes) sorcerous motes, which last until the story ends. Completing a basic or major crafting project to create a medicine,
    drug, poison, etc. from plants grants (Intelligence + silver points awarded + [gold points awarded x 2]) sorcerous motes, which last until the story
    ends. The sorcerer can only have sorcerous motes from one use of this ritual at a time; to accept more, she loses any from previous uses.

    • Sorcerer’s Harvest: When the sorcerer takes a Shape Sorcery action within medium range of a prominent living plant, such as a tree, large hedge, or flower garden, she can draw (Essence) sorcerous motes from it towards the spell. She can also draw power from a wood elemental within medium range, draining (her Essence) motes from him, but only if her Shape Sorcery roll exceeds his Resolve. Each such source can only be tapped once per day. Drawing motes to cast a control spell doesn’t count towards the once-per-day limit.

    • Thousand Blossom Arts: The sorcerer can spend a few hours foraging in the wilderness to retrieve a puissant plant, a difficulty 2 (Intelligence + Survival) roll. The roll’s difficulty is increased in areas with sparse plant life. Collecting multiple reagents raises the difficulty by 2 but provides an effectively unlimited stock. Once per scene, she may incorporate a reagent into a spell, contributing (highest of Intelligence, Lore, or Survival) sorcerous motes towards it. Reagents retain their power for a week and can only be used by the sorcerer who harvested them.


    Other Benefits

    Greenfriend (•):
    The sorcerer is one with the flora of Creation and worlds beyond. Treat wood elementals,
    sentient plants, and similar beings as having a Minor Tie of affection toward her.

    Ever-Blossoming Mastery (••): When the sorcerer casts a spell that creates or manipulates plants, wood, or associated spirits, it costs three fewer sorcerous motes. If it’s her control spell, she may waive one point of its Willpower cost once per day.

    Esoteric Botany (•••): Once per week, the sorcerer may add (Occult) Charm dice on a Survival roll to forage for plants, a Lore roll to introduce facts about them, or a Craft roll to create medicines, poisons, etc. from them.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  2. #42
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Age
    30
    Posts
    451
    I'm personally happy with whatever you come up with. I believe you're encouraged to make up Sorcery paths in conjunction with the Storyteller, and balance them against the sample ones, so tailoring something seems fitting. Most of the example ones have very opinionated flavor implications.

    From the sound of it, you have a very people-oriented Sorcery path, so some vague ideas for Shaping Rituals follow
    - You could lean on reciprocated Ties, similar to Mara, but less uh, evil. The Power of Friendship is overwhelming here.
    - Drawing power from activities that strengthen relationships in Persona, giving gifts, hanging out, etc. Not entirely sure how you'd model that. Master Apothecary Enlightenment might be a baseline with different activation requirements.
    - Generally drawing power from Intimacies; I think the Ifrit path has something like this, as does Wyld, though the latter seems more parasitic.

    I'm not sure if some combination of all those is overpowered, though; it seems like some Shaping Rituals are a lot more easily-applicable than others, so having many that you can easily fulfill might be unfair.
    Last edited by Arbitrarity; September 26th, 2022 at 07:46 PM.

  3. #43
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    According to most, my own little world
    Age
    43
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,431
    Blog Entries
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    I'm personally happy with whatever you come up with. I believe you're encouraged to make up Sorcery paths in conjunction with the Storyteller, and balance them against the sample ones, so tailoring something seems fitting. Most of the example ones have very opinionated flavor implications.
    To be fair, they are tailored to the Exalted world - though if I could reasonably interpret Jeanne d'Arc as an "ifrit lord," I might . . .


    From the sound of it, you have a very people-oriented Sorcery path, so some vague ideas for Shaping Rituals follow
    - You could lean on reciprocated Ties, similar to Mara, but less uh, evil. The Power of Friendship is overwhelming here.
    - Drawing power from activities that strengthen relationships in Persona, giving gifts, hanging out, etc. Not entirely sure how you'd model that.
    That is kind of the plan, thus far; though I'm focussed on the Minor Arcana, rather than the Major . . . Though, for my own sanity, I'm going to ignore the two extra face cards that the Visconti-Sforza deck (which Persona 5's Tarot is based on) contains, because that would mean 24 Social Links - i.e., more than Joker is dealing with . . .!


    Master Apothecary Enlightenment might be a baseline with different activation requirements.
    - Generally drawing power from Intimacies; I think the Ifrit path has something like this, as does Wyld, though the latter seems more parasitic.
    It does seem to be a theme, yes.


    I'm not sure if some combination of all those is overpowered, though; it seems like some Shaping Rituals are a lot more easily-applicable than others, so having many that you can easily fulfill might be unfair.
    Quite - and I'm trying to keep him low(er)-key than the nominal protagonists . . .
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  4. #44
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    At a computer
    Age
    31
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,329
    Blog Entries
    30
    Kieran, could you possibly elaborate, please?

    - - - Updated - - -

    What I mean is, what are the different face cards for the Minor Arcana in that version of the deck?
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

  5. #45
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    According to most, my own little world
    Age
    43
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,431
    Blog Entries
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Kieran, could you possibly elaborate, please?

    - - - Updated - - -

    What I mean is, what are the different face cards for the Minor Arcana in that version of the deck?
    The Minor (or Lesser) Arcana correspond to the four suits you see in playing cards - because originally, that's what the Tarot was for, before fortune-telling ever entered the picture. As such, they have Kings, Queens, Knights/Knaves (Jacks), and Pages, which I've also seen rendered as "Prince/Princess" in other decks. The Visconti-Sforza decks add "Damosels" (which I might, where appropriate), and "Lady on Horse" as face cards, which I don't plan to. In any case, the face cards usually represent querents in Tarot readings (i.e., those getting the reading), and correspond to a mature or immature male or female, depending.

    Otherwise, in Tarot decks, the four suits equate to the Suit of Wands/Clubs (also corresponding to element of Fire, the class of Artisans, and the faculty of creativity and free will), Pentacles/Diamonds (element of Earth, the class of Merchants, the faculty of material body/possessions), Cups/Hearts (element of Water, the class of Clergy, the faculty of emotions and love), and Swords/Spades (Air, Nobility/Military, Reason).


    . . . And some of that may lay hints as to future ideas, if you think it through - and a few I'm hoping will be complete surprises.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  6. #46
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    At a computer
    Age
    31
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,329
    Blog Entries
    30
    Wait... Damosels? What's that supposed to be? Does that mean like a Damsel in Distress?
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

  7. #47
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    According to most, my own little world
    Age
    43
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,431
    Blog Entries
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Wait... Damosels? What's that supposed to be? Does that mean like a Damsel in Distress?
    Essentially, yes - so I may use it instead of "Page," where appropriate (because I can think of at least one idea where it'd be appropriate.)
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  8. #48
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    At a computer
    Age
    31
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,329
    Blog Entries
    30
    Thanks for the clarification, Kieran... sheesh. How many different types of Querent Cards are there in the existence of Tarot?

    Anyway, how do you intend to use the Damosels card in this idea of yours?
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

  9. #49
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    According to most, my own little world
    Age
    43
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,431
    Blog Entries
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Thanks for the clarification, Kieran... sheesh. How many different types of Querent Cards are there in the existence of Tarot?
    Generally, sixteen - the four face cards of the four suits - though I think theoretically any card might serve . . .? *Shrugs* I've never actually had a reading done, or tried to give one, so I can't say with certainty.


    Anyway, how do you intend to use the Damosels card in this idea of yours?
    If the source of the link is a young girl, of course.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  10. #50
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    At a computer
    Age
    31
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,329
    Blog Entries
    30
    ...maybe I mistyped something in what I was saying to you. I thought you were talking about the Damosels and Lady on Horse cards in each suit as well. Would that make it be 24 Querent cards?
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

  11. #51
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    According to most, my own little world
    Age
    43
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,431
    Blog Entries
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    ...maybe I mistyped something in what I was saying to you. I thought you were talking about the Damosels and Lady on Horse cards in each suit as well. Would that make it be 24 Querent cards?
    Assuming they're meant to be querent cards, yes, it would be 24 - which is why I'm not doing that, because it's as much or more than Joker's Major Arcana (22 - 24 with Faith and the Confessor) Social Links.

    And as a bit of history lesson: the Visconti-Sforza "deck" (which is the version that Persona 5 draws from) as it turns out, is actually the collective remains of fifteen separate Tarot decks (making it more of a collection, really), which is why it has oddball entries like the Damosel and Lady on Horse - and the Faith (Kasumi Yoshizawa) and Hope (Sophia) trumps/Arcana. And there's also a Caritas (Charity) trump that the series hasn't used yet, naturally; maybe another spinoff . . .?
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  12. #52
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    At a computer
    Age
    31
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,329
    Blog Entries
    30
    :O Wow... didn't realize that was even a thing. Thanks for the info.
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

  13. #53
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    According to most, my own little world
    Age
    43
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,431
    Blog Entries
    194

    Chapter 4 – Strange New World

    DISCLAIMER: Tsukihime, Fate/Stay Night, and all related characters and concepts are the creation and property of Kinoko Nasu and the staff of TYPE-MOON. Persona 5 Royal, the Persona series and all related characters and concepts are the creation and property of Atlus. Exalted, Scion and all related characters and concepts are the creation and property of White Wolf/Onyx Path Publishing.

    This is a not-for-profit, just-for-fun project.


    Writer's Note: Certain dialogue sequences in this story are lifted from Persona 5 Royal, but I trust in the intelligence of my readers (and the availability of the game) to recognise them when they see them.









    Somewhere in Tokyo (presumably)
    Time unknown









    He’d been hit by a car before. The memory was vivid: being sent sprawling to the road and frantically trying to get himself out of the path of the vehicle and any following ones. And all because some idiot decided they could make the turn before the oncoming traffic reached the other side of the intersection, and pedestrian walk signals be damned . . .

    That had been a glancing blow; this was a direct hit—the only saving grace was that he was almost twice his past size in terms of mass, and literally supernaturally tough. An impact that would undoubtedly have killed a hundred-pound Japanese schoolgirl was something he actually could walk away from.

    . . . Which was not to say that it didn’t injure him (it did), or hurt (severely), but the shock of his being hit paralysed the crowd long enough for him to try and roll with the impact and get out of direct view so that he could try to wander off somewhere secluded and heal. Because at the rate he was burning Essence, his anima banner was going to flare when he invoked Halting the Scarlet Flow—his personal pool had only a mote left.

    Always assuming that my math is correct, which is a hit-or-miss thing when I’m not in pain—and probably bleeding internally . . .

    The only good part of the impact was that its momentum and his own sent him flying, given that he’d been in mid-leap when it hit, allowing him to curl his body in preparation for another jump as he went hurtling towards the corner of a building.

    He leaped, and the winds rose—

    [Silver Curtain Parted]

    Hazy midnight-blue light, velvet soft and limned in silver, suffused his form, revealing gleaming patterns of silver etched into his skin that glowed like moonlight, surrounding and highlighting a central ring upon his brow. As the dreamlike veil enfolded his body in eye-catching blue, the silver light similarly drew attention by casting his shadow; not that of a man, but of an owl, no lesser in size . . .

    And this is just going from “Dim” to “Glowing . . .”

    Still, thank Luna that had worked—he hadn’t actually been sure a Metaverse equivalent to the area had existed, since he wasn’t aware of where he actually was (which meant there might be no Palace extant), and Mementos depicted itself as the Tokyo subway system, with no indications of leading to an “aboveground.” On the other hand, he knew that the “Jails” in Persona 5 Strikers could and did encompass real world areas, and he knew in the “late game” that Mementos was capable of fusing with reali—

    Gravity suddenly and insistently tugged against him.

    Oh, right—I’m in midair . . .

    Frid reached out to grab at a windowsill, straining against his own weight, even as he looked around, judging directions and distances. Finally, he hauled his legs up underneath him, aim, pulled in and leaped—

    And the winds hurled him across the street, sending him rolling across a lower building’s rooftop.

    Fucking owww . . .

    Small mercies—he was tough enough to get away with the impact without getting any further injuries. And it was official: picking Stormwind Rider as his “control spell” had been one of the best decisions he’d ever made. Even if it would make winds flare up when he got agitated, the ability to move one “range band” per jump, even for only a handful of times per day, had already more than proven itself.

    Saved the girl, got out of sight, and managed to get to solid ground, more or less, without pushing my anima banner any further, all in three jumps and about thirty seconds—yeah, definitely worth the investment. . .

    At least, Frid hoped he’d saved the girl—the truck hadn’t killed her, at least. If she’d landed wrong when he’d shoved her . . . No, no, it should be fine—that had been the new girl for Persona 5 Royal, hadn’t it? The glimpse he’d gotten of her face had looked right, at least . . . Yeah, she should be fine; the protagonists in the series had some awful crap happen to them, but short of a very few, they tended to be survivors. She might’ve broken a few bones, but she ought to be OK in the long run.

    And if I ever remember what her name is beyond “Kasumi,” I might be able to check . . . Oh, shit—this isn’t just Persona 5, it’s Persona 5 Royal; I actually know more about what happens in STRIKERS than I do in this game . . .!

    With an effort, Frid wrestled down the panic. He might not know the exact details, but he’d played Persona 3 FES and seen both walkthrough videos and the anime of Persona 4 Golden, so he knew that the main plot would be unaltered—and largely irrelevant in relation to whatever new stuff the game had in store. It would revolve around Kasumi and be Joker’s problem; as long as he hung around the kid as much as Morgana did (which shouldn’t really be an issue, seeing as he planned to more or less do that anyway), he should be in a position to deal with things.

    Just not be as well-informed about them as he’d like . . .

    A sigh escaped him, bringing with a sensation of hot droplets on his chest, and reminding Frid that he was still bleeding . . . With an effort, he concentrated on healing the damage—and the surge of Essence sent his anima banner from “glowing” to “burning.”

    The light of the caste mark on his forehead was subsumed into the silver glow suffusing his banner, all but washing out the previous blue in an inversion of the previous colour scheme. Frid felt an energising chill on his skin, like night air, and he knew that objects which were touched by the banner would be left cool and damp, as though left in the open elements at night for several days. As with many things, this was a reflection of an element of the Solar Exalted; their anima banners, at this level, warmed and dried objects as though touched by the summer sun—and thus, the Lunars complemented them.

    There was no hiding in this—at “glowing,” his anima banner had him lit up, but it was still possible to visually conceal himself, under the right circumstances (and with no small amount of luck). This was a full-on silver spotlight, much like going Super Saiyan; it was one step below what the anima banner chart called “bonfire/iconic,” which was not only much more elaborate, but visible for miles . . .

    The Lunar neither needed nor wanted that kind of attention—not yet. There were points where it might be useful, such as needing to draw fire away from Joker and the other Phantom Thieves, but here and now an active anima banner at any level was a literal target on his back. To say nothing of what the ultimate enemy might actually be able to detect—after all, it claimed to be a god, and the Exaltation was a piece of another god grafted to his soul—flaring its power might be readable as some form of challenge on a wavelength Frid didn’t even know existed.

    (Not that he didn’t fully intend to kill the thing—or help Joker do it, anyway—but rushing the literal final boss at this point was both suicidal and stupid, and Frid wasn’t supposed to be either of those things.)

    Fortunately, the Metaverse’s setup as “the collective unconsciousness of humanity,” particularly in the case of Mementos, meant that the resident Shadows largely kept to human forms and limitations unless provoked. And on a rooftop that was this high up, he was unlikely to draw attention even at his current illumination level; still, he remained on guard. After all, the opening cinematic made a point of showcasing helicopters, and if the buildings mirrored the real world to the level of having security cameras, thermal sensors or pressure plates, it was possible some “security guards”—or more accurately, Shadows in the general forms of security guards—might come to check out the “intruder . . .”

    Fifteen minutes passed—the Lunar knew this, because his anima banner softened back into its “glowing” state—and nothing happened. Either he was reading too much into the possibilities, or he genuinely hadn’t been noticed.

    All right, Frid decided, let’s see what happens if I am noticed . . .

    He knew he was powerful in the terms of the Exalted setting—relatively speaking. He had a high Essence rating and correspondingly high pools, high Attributes, and access to a wealth of Charms and Knacks that gave him a wide range of tools to handle potential situations. Some of that was down to trying to cover Morgana’s role in the game—serving as the team’s guide through the Metaverse, their transportation, and the Phantom Thieves’ first healer, as well as a combatant—and some of it was down to Frid’s own paranoia, trying to cover possibilities. As such, even without using Essence, he should be at roughly Captain America’s level, physically (though not in terms of training), going by the usual ratings in White Wolf/Onyx Path games for his stats. That being the case, he thought himself fairly well-equipped, all things considered.

    But was that true? After all, Third Edition was not the most well-defined version of the system when it came to hard, quantifiable parameters. For example, the rulebook spoke of “range bands,” rather than distances or movement speeds—it described feats of strength, without setting actual numbers on what a character might lift or carry in terms of weight. And the Persona series was almost worse—character stats went from 1 to 99, with no indication of scale or what they really amounted to.

    . . . And who knew what might occur, when the two systems came into conflict?

    Frid needed to know. And he needed to know before other people’s lives were on the line, when they were depending on him to protect them—because long before any of the Phantom Thieves awakened their Personas, they were just inexperienced teenagers. And right here, in the relative privacy of Mementos, was probably the safest conditions he was going to get to test that theory.

    Scanning over the edge of the rooftop, he spotted a free-roaming Shadow. Not the Reaper, thankfully (which was another reason to keep moving; Frid DID NOT want that bastard showing up), but something isolated enough that getting into a fight wasn’t likely to draw others if he was fast enough. The catch was, until he got its mask off, there was no way of knowing precisely what it was—or even how many Shadows it comprised—but if he could take it by surprise, he’d at least start with the advantage. And as an added bonus, Essence recovery was accelerated in combat: five motes per round (i.e., six seconds) rather than per hour. If he was lucky and fought smart, he could refill his Personal Essence Pool, and not risk flaring worse—or requiring the better part of an hour to stop glowing, so he could get back to the real world and figure out where and when he actually was.

    A savage grin stretched its way across the Lunar’s features at the thought.

    I can practically hear the theme music . . .

    He leaped—








    As he staggered into consciousness, Jack-O’-Lantern reflected that they never saw it coming: one second, they were drifting along, and then it was like a meteor crashed into them, with a booming command of “REVEAL YOURSELF!” echoing behind it.

    The shock was great enough to compel unthinking obedience, and Jack and his brothers crawled upwards into consciousness, five of them circling their larger companion, Mandrake. He was the powerhouse of them, and would undoubtedly punish whoever or whatever had—

    A blue of blue-and-silver light shot forward, before pivoting on the spot to swing its momentum into a roundhouse kick that tore Mandrake in half.

    Oh, shit.


    Now that he was semi-conscious and it was standing still, Jack could make out a humanoid shape covered in blue light whose contours were seemingly defined by coldly shining lines of silver running across it. Their glow shone over and beyond the limits of the form, seemingly terminating (or originating from, maybe?) a ring etched on the brow. Beyond the general shape (human, male), it was like nothing Jack or his brothers, had seen before—and that made it dangerous.

    As though
    one-shotting Mandrake didn’t . . .

    The thought came to him woozily—Jack still wasn’t quite up to fighting fit, yet. That said, his brothers were faring better: One of them fired off an Agi; which, admittedly, the attacker dodged almost casually, but the attempt at a retaliatory strike was foiled by the other Jack-O’-Lantern floating out of range just as easily.

    All right, Jack thought, even as his brethren abruptly reversed course at high speed, darting forward to capitalise on the loss—and was foiled as the attacker leaned out of the way of the swung lantern. We can still win this. We just need to keep at range and pepper the guy with Agi until he’s too boxed in to dodge, and—

    Even as the thought entered his head, the attacker growled, “Big mistake, bub,” bringing his arms across his chest and out in an X-pattern that terminated at his hips, and with a sound like crackling ice (that sounded to Jack like “SNIKT,” for some reason), a trio of icicle-like talons abruptly grew from the back of each hand.

    The action puzzled the Shadow. Sure, ice was bad news for them (it came with the fire affinity, and all) but those were attached to his limbs, and they were flying. Yeah, it increased his reach a bit, but still—

    The striped figure made a snapping motion, with his wrist, like waving away a fly—and the jagged icicles shot forward into one of the other Jack-O’-Lanterns. Impaled thrice over, both Shadow and barbs melted away into the aether.

    OH SHIT!

    By the time Jack had gotten hold of his gibbering terror, the monster had repeated the action, eradicating another of his brothers—and any hope that that would be the end of it died as the icy barbs regrew on the ends of his knuckles, allowing it to happen again—and AGAIN—!

    “WaitWAITWAITWAIT—!”

    It took Jack a moment to recognise the screeching as his own voice.

    The monster stilled, the razor tips of its frozen blades gleaming murderously in the somehow-expanded silver light of its aura, casting its shadow over Jack like a primeval predator of the Ice Age, cold and as pitiless as the Arctic night it seemed to have been given form from . . .

    Talk,” it growled, and Jack began babbling.

    “If-if you spare me, I’ll give you something good . . .?” he tried desperately.

    It would hurt to give up his treasure, but if it spared his life, Jack thought holding onto it all this time had been a good decision . . .

    “I’m listening . . .”

    “Hee-here you go-ho,” he stuttered, lapsing into the verbal tic the Jack Brothers were known for, even as he all but threw it at the creature that had slaughtered the others and made it look like it wasn’t even trying. “Now away-hee I go-ho!”

    Jack-O’-Lantern fled so quickly that it would seem to many to have outright vanished—but no matter how swiftly it fled, it couldn’t escape the nagging certainty that that thing had no trouble tracking its course at all . . .








    Well, Frid reflected, that was . . . Unenlightening?

    He’d basically torn through the Shadows like they were made of wet paper and balsa wood, and none of their attacks had so much as gotten near him—the ones that had actually been cognizant enough to attack, anyway. And while, as a combat result, that was fantastic, from the point of view of actually learning anything, it was less than ideal.

    The Lunar hadn’t recognised the Shadow in the centre—he’d never filled out the Compendium in any game, whether Persona, Digital Devil Saga or Shin Megami Tensei proper—but its companions were a franchise mascot. “Pyro Jack,” as the West had referred to him until Persona 5 (when he’d been allowed to retake his Japanese name, “Jack-O’-Lantern”) was one of the very first enemies or allies ever encountered in a game. As such, it wasn’t very strong at all; and there was no reason to assume their centre had been much different. Essentially, Frid had confirmed that he could tear through mooks easily enough—but there was no way of knowing how he’d stack up against stronger Shadows like bosses.

    Still, apparently, I got loot out of the deal, at least . . .

    Setting aside the last one’s “something good,” apparently the mechanic of Shadows leaving money and drops behind was actually a thing. The items he was less sure of, but maybe the money was representative of the loss of something vital, given the saying that “money makes the world go ‘round . . .?” Either way, he’d picked up 677 yen for his troubles—hardly a princely sum, but assuming that it was accepted as legal tender, scavenging for funds in the Metaverse became a viable option. What he had wouldn’t last forever, and even if “day labour” was an option like he’d heard, it might be difficult to get with no legal paperwork . . .

    (To be truthful, he had identification—specifically, that of “Godafrid Úa Súilleabháin,” the magus—but Frid figured that it was only going to be useful as long as nobody actually attempted to verify it; the odds of said magus actually existing here were well beyond astronomical, which meant a lack of corresponding records.)


    The Lunar shook his head. While planning was important, and this was necessary, it wasn’t the immediate concern. With careful husbanding of his money, he might last a week; a few days, at least, shouldn’t be a problem . . . And if worse came to worst, Frid supposed, he could always try and find an owl café to hide out in

    (Hey, ridiculous as it sounded, he knew that they were a thing that existed—he’d seen videos before!)

    What was more concerning—at least, to his mind—was what the rest of them had left behind: five piles of yarn, of all things. Even stranger, the stuff felt like it was made of silk to the touch! Who would make yarn out of silk . . .?

    And what the hell am I supposed to do with these . . .? Frid wondered. Are they salable? Some sort of in-battle consumable? What would you even use YARN for? Making sutu—

    He stopped as a salient point suddenly reasserted itself in his memory.

    There’s a crafting system . . . HOW did I forget there was a fucking crafting system?! That video of Lavenza trying to do it was one of the funniest things I’d seen in the whole game!

    This was bad—because of course, it was something Joker was supposed to learn from Morgana, and a quick check of his innate knowledge and skills confirmed that no, “Larceny” did not substitute for “Craft” in this instance. Damn it, he’d made sure he had the skill just so that he could teach the kid how to do stuff like this, and it turned out he’d picked the wrong one . . .?!

    It's OK, he tried to reassure himself. You hopefully have time, and libraries and the Internet exist. It’s not too late to try and pick up the skill—worst case, maybe I can slapdash it by using Intelligence and Wits Excellencies . . .

    (Never doubt the usefulness of being able to add fifteen to twenty IQ points, even temporarily, when it came to solving problems.)

    No, all of these issues, concerning as they were, only highlighted the most immediate problem: figuring out where he was—and when, in Persona 5’s timeline. There was never a firm date, that Frid recalled, for when Morgana was created, only that he’d been created to locate and assist Joker and the Phantom Thieves. He’d broken out of Mementos and reached Shujin Academy’s warped Metaverse form—but that could’ve taken place within hours. For all Frid knew, Joker was on his way there now . . . Fortunately, there was a way to (hopefully) find that location easily enough, even if the Lunar didn’t know exactly where he was at the moment. Better still, it didn’t cost enough motes to flare his anima banner any further.

    The No Moon Caste were the Lunar Exalted’s sorcerers and shamans, and they’d also taken on the role of Luna’s priests from the Waxing Moon Caste—one of the three that hadn’t survived the Lunars’ exile to the Wyld. Most of the shattered remnants of their Exaltations had been mystically fused to form the Changing Moon Caste, but the portions that dictated that role—Luna’s answer to the Unconquered Sun’s Zenith Caste—had remained with the No Moons. As a result, virtually anything related to the occult was tied to them, specifically. And as such, he concentrated, releasing a few motes of Essence in the aether . . .

    And followed them, like a blood trail, to the nearest site of mystical significance.

    Would it be a Palace? Probably—at the very least, he’d be able to tell if it wasn’t, since knowing the nature of the site was part of the power. Would it be Kamoshida’s Palace? That was a trickier question; the book was vague on details as to what might qualify, save to note that “the Storyteller shouldn’t choose the closest such locale, but the most interesting or narratively significant.”

    In theory, that meant Palaces, and it should mean whichever one the Thieves were currently focussed on. That would at least give him a starting point. And as for getting there . . .

    Frid briefly weighed the benefits and risks of casting Stormwind Rider. It would be fast, no question—but it wasn’t subtle, and would take time and Essence that he was trying not to waste. On the other hand, he had no idea what an owl’s maximum flight speed actually was, but he was willing to bet he could beat it. And so, he decided to fly for under his own power for now, and cast the spell if it seemed to be taking too long—and pray to Luna that whatever option he wound up using by the end of the journey, he wasn’t too late . . .

    Flesh became feathers, and he took wing.








    To his surprise, the “site of mystical significance” turned out to be a long way away; at least, by owl speeds. As it turned out, they were really slow in flight—part of the reason they did so basically soundlessly—being built more as gliders than flyers. On the other hand, they could glide for a ridiculously long time for a bird of their size, it seemed, so there were trade-offs.

    As such, after an hour or so, he’d given in and cast Stormwind Rider; the obvious sight of being carried by a dust devil (though no longer having a visible anima banner, at least) was worth the ability to be carried at close to a hundred miles an hour. He was there in less than fifteen minutes, dismissing the spell as he got within sight to approach by wing again, wanting to observe the place before attempting an infiltration.

    It wasn’t what Frid had expected. Rather than the forbidding castle of Kamoshida’s Palace, or any of the others—or even an entrance to Mementos proper—he stood before a soaring, golden cathedral, gleaming with an inner light and warmth, as though it was lit by the summer sun.

    (Seriously—if Frid didn’t know better, he’d swear that a Solar Exalt was inside, with a fully iconic anima banner . . .!)

    It was nowhere the Lunar recognised—maybe it was a Palace from Royal’s exclusive story add-on? But . . . It didn’t feel like a Palace. The feeling his mystical sense got was “demesne”—a mystical territory/sanctuary that a Palace probably would register as—but there was no inherent sense of corruption like he’d expect from “something born from the distorted desires of the human heart.” This felt like a territory set up with protection in mind; he certainly had the uneasy feeling that the warmth and light of the place could turn from “warming” to “scorching” in a heartbeat . . .

    Frid was leery to start with; after all, the Shin Megami Tensei franchise had a long history with Christian iconography, very little of it positive (though equally little was judgmental, compared to anything else in the series). Persona 5 was the first in its series to touch on it directly, with the themes of the Seven Deadly Sins and the final boss being a God of Control masquerading as the Holy Grail . . . Which was the primary reason he hadn’t tried contacting the Works; Servant summoning invoked the Holy Grail directly, and Frid did NOT want that thing knowing he was here at all, much less having a direct shot at him.

    In short, however, this was weird—and he was inclined to approach anything weird very, very cautiously . . .

    So, let’s see what we’re dealing with in the real world, first . . .

    [Silver Curtain Parted]

    A shining bastion dimmed, yet remained the same in form, more or less. Gold and marble became wood and stone, mundane but no less aesthetic. The Cathedral of Light, it seemed, was a church in truth—which was even more puzzling. There was a church in Persona 5, Frid knew, but it was just a set piece for the one Confidant story arc. It seemed likely to be the same one, if only because he couldn’t imagine building an entirely new one when you could just reuse existing assets, but why? Much as he liked the girl, she wasn’t that important—not unless Royal actually went through with the writers’ original plan to make her another Phantom Thief. But she wasn’t Kasumi, who was the only new addition to the ranks Frid knew of (until Strikers rolled around, at least).

    So, who or what could be so important here as to justify adding an entirely new area . . .?


    Then the front door opened—and the Lunar-turned-bird fell off his perch, having just enough time for a single thought before he hit the ground.

    That’s impossible—!
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  14. #54
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    At a computer
    Age
    31
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,329
    Blog Entries
    30
    Kieran, you evil, evil bastard... you're making us wait for the reveal of who it is, aren't you?
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

  15. #55
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    According to most, my own little world
    Age
    43
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,431
    Blog Entries
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Kieran, you evil, evil bastard...
    Harsh - not untrue, a lot of the time, but harsh.


    you're making us wait for the reveal of who it is, aren't you?
    Uh, yes? If nothing else, it encourages speculation and discussion - both of which I enjoy immensely.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  16. #56
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    At a computer
    Age
    31
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6,329
    Blog Entries
    30
    Sorry for the harshness of it, man... seriously, I'm not sure why I said it that way.

    (Yes, I know you used the emoji for sticking your tongue out, but what I said above is still true.)

    I'm starting to think this is Ciel or someone similar. Care to give a hint as to who it is?
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

  17. #57
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Age
    30
    Posts
    451
    Well, I suppose I should get discussing and/or speculating.

    The loot is presumably Silk Yarn, which is indeed a crafting material. Part of lockpicks, among other things.
    It's rather funny that in a sufficiently easy fight, you can outright regain Essence; that feels not-intended by game design, like any fight where you net-gain essence shouldn't have been a fight. Alternatively reminds me of some game design in Darkest Dungeon that tries to discourage stalling to heal in combat.

    A golden cathedral... hm. We presume it's not Yaldabaoth, since that's what Godafrid expects, and would show up as evil. It's presumably not Hifumi. Ciel (or Noel, Mario, Caren, Kirei) aren't totally out of the question. Holy Church, paragon, extremely unexpected? The last of those strongly implies a character not native to Persona 5.

    Caren actually feels fairly probable, of those options; I'm not sure Godafrid would recognize Noel or Mario, and you do seem fairly fond of her. I should back-track to what you mentioned about tarot suits... Caren would fit as Queen of Cups, particularly. You had mentioned wanting to introduce Ciel, so that's certainly possible as well... especially since you mentioned we're actually in the Works universe, just earlier in time. I forgot that entirely, I was trying to work out why one of those characters would be here, when it's already been explained.

  18. #58
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    According to most, my own little world
    Age
    43
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,431
    Blog Entries
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Sorry for the harshness of it, man... seriously, I'm not sure why I said it that way.

    (Yes, I know you used the emoji for sticking your tongue out, but what I said above is still true.)
    No worries - I was largely joking. If nothing else, I am an experienced GM - being an utter bastard is part of the job description.



    I'm starting to think this is Ciel or someone similar. Care to give a hint as to who it is?
    Sorry, no way to do that without spoiling anything - but it looks like Arbitrarily has done a decent job of laying out possibilities . . .





    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Well, I suppose I should get discussing and/or speculating.
    I wouldn't complain . . .


    The loot is presumably Silk Yarn, which is indeed a crafting material. Part of lockpicks, among other things.
    Yup - and as Frid has noted, he knows how to use them, not make them. Bit of an oversight . . . *Chuckles*



    It's rather funny that in a sufficiently easy fight, you can outright regain Essence; that feels not-intended by game design, like any fight where you net-gain essence shouldn't have been a fight. Alternatively reminds me of some game design in Darkest Dungeon that tries to discourage stalling to heal in combat.
    And amusingly, you can do the same thing in Persona, if you have an SP-regen skill or item equipped, and manage to get through a fight without using any . . . So it's quite "legal," as it were - it's just more efficient, in Frid's case.



    A golden cathedral... hm. We presume it's not Yaldabaoth, since that's what Godafrid expects, and would show up as evil. It's presumably not Hifumi. Ciel (or Noel, Mario, Caren, Kirei) aren't totally out of the question. Holy Church, paragon, extremely unexpected? The last of those strongly implies a character not native to Persona 5.
    Well, it could be someone like Shiomi Kotone, as well - she would certainly fit that last part . . . But yes.


    Caren actually feels fairly probable, of those options; I'm not sure Godafrid would recognize Noel or Mario, and you do seem fairly fond of her.
    A fair point - of course, the same logic might apply to Fujino Asagami . . .


    I should back-track to what you mentioned about tarot suits... Caren would fit as Queen of Cups, particularly.
    This is very true.


    You had mentioned wanting to introduce Ciel, so that's certainly possible as well... especially since you mentioned we're actually in the Works universe, just earlier in time. I forgot that entirely, I was trying to work out why one of those characters would be here, when it's already been explained.
    Quite - so, with Shiki Tohno around, Ryogi Shiki should not be, which means to return to Fujino as an example, she'd not only be seriously out of place in Persona 5, but she should also be long dead . . .
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  19. #59
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Age
    30
    Posts
    451
    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    A fair point - of course, the same logic might apply to Fujino Asagami . . .
    The church having a spiritual presence makes a member of the Church much more probable, or at least, someone with ties to the Church. Fujino doesn't really fit that.

    Quite - so, with Shiki Tohno around, Ryogi Shiki should not be, which means to return to Fujino as an example, she'd not only be seriously out of place in Persona 5, but she should also be long dead . . .
    And similarly, any Tsuki:Re characters outright shouldn't exist, but again, he might not recognize those.

    On a Kirei-related note, it's not impossible for it to be Bazett, since we're before the Fifth War, she was invited by Kirei, and she fits the aforementioned favouritism condition. I'm not really sure where I'd fit her into the Minor Arcana, though Swords or Wands seem to fit.

  20. #60
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    According to most, my own little world
    Age
    43
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    8,431
    Blog Entries
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    The church having a spiritual presence makes a member of the Church much more probable, or at least, someone with ties to the Church. Fujino doesn't really fit that.
    Aside from the Catholic schoolgirl look, at least . . .


    And similarly, any Tsuki:Re characters outright shouldn't exist, but again, he might not recognize those.
    Quite.


    On a Kirei-related note, it's not impossible for it to be Bazett, since we're before the Fifth War,
    Are we? I'm under the impression that the War takes place in February . . .


    she was invited by Kirei, and she fits the aforementioned favouritism condition. I'm not really sure where I'd fit her into the Minor Arcana, though Swords or Wands seem to fit.
    True to all.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •