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Thread: (Bi)Monthly Don't-Create-A-Servant Contest

  1. #41
    Absolute Mistake, and Patriarch of the AAA Clan, a Beast's Lair Subsidiary Anime Aurelius Anomaly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamerless View Post
    What better question is what is the Gorilla not doing here?
    And I already don't have to know the answer, because the answer is already there. Cause monke. Monke is eternal.
    In the hidden plains of the Internet, there are only the lurkers.

  2. #42
    rex mortuus est, vivat rex! MuramasaMachII's Avatar
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    I actually had a vaguely creepy idea I was going to use if I joined this contest, but I probably wouldn't have the time. It related to the Monke as well... in a strange way at that.

  3. #43
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Kabalisto Koga's Avatar
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    i have a Question is this incident happening in the 20 century or before ? i would need this info ?
    Your verified Chikara-production Studios !

    Dont ship me with anyone unless i say so !

    When you wake a Dragon in his Lair...





  4. #44
    失敗作の神 God of Failed Work Spelror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuramasaMachII View Post
    I actually had a vaguely creepy idea I was going to use if I joined this contest, but I probably wouldn't have the time. It related to the Monke as well... in a strange way at that.
    the bullet as a mystic code, or maybe the child grew up to be the head of zoology.

  5. #45
    世はまさにパンテオン Comun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kabalisto Koga View Post
    i have a Question is this incident happening in the 20 century or before ? i would need this info ?
    Anything not written in the prompt is your choice and you don't need to make your story match with any other participant's story.

  6. #46
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Kabalisto Koga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comun View Post
    Anything not written in the prompt is your choice and you don't need to make your story match with any other participant's story.
    thank you for the answer i were unshure so the Red line is the only thing i should work around so it can be either Mages other beings ? anything ?
    Your verified Chikara-production Studios !

    Dont ship me with anyone unless i say so !

    When you wake a Dragon in his Lair...





  7. #47
    Local Extra Class Aficionado DelRey's Avatar
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    The thread is 3 pages long so far. Read them and you will find answers
    "Let's see the color of your coin, my friend."



    Behold my vault of Heroes.
    Where the Heavens and the Abyss breath the Music of Humanity.


    The King's duty is to provide. And provide, I shall.
    University of Formatting | Gallery of Potential | Memorandum of the Extra Class Kings

    Our Kingdom will grow. And we shall know each citizen.
    Create-a-Servant 4 soon.

  8. #48
    失敗作の神 God of Failed Work Spelror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kabalisto Koga View Post
    thank you for the answer i were unshure so the Red line is the only thing i should work around so it can be either Mages other beings ? anything ?
    homie just go wild

  9. #49
    rex mortuus est, vivat rex! MuramasaMachII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spelror View Post
    the bullet as a mystic code, or maybe the child grew up to be the head of zoology.
    No, it was much weirder. basically, it was backwards Darwinism. The magus wanted to
    regress to Zero
    return to the earliest state of being, the Root
    . They did this by transfiguring their body slowly yet surely into a monkey.

  10. #50
    失敗作の神 God of Failed Work Spelror's Avatar
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    homie took reject humanity return to monke to a different level

  11. #51
    هههههههههههههههههههه Kamera's Avatar
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    Well, this has not been very successful so far.
    Check out the officialTM Create-a-Servant discord server









    Blindfold your eyes, so that the approaching night may strike no fear in you.
    Let it not burden your soul, nor numb your strides.

  12. #52
    不死 Undead PA270's Avatar
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    From what I've seen over on the Womb Thread, Random and Salt Pillar are actively working on their entries, so hopefully we'll have at least two more before the end of the submission period.

  13. #53
    後継者 Successor Bugs's Avatar
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    Can also confirm work is being done on my end.

  14. #54
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six pinetree's Avatar
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    Same.

  15. #55
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Kabalisto Koga's Avatar
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    WEll i work on the entry and incident but i might just only manage to writhe a Mage sheet out as thinking out is rather fast but tho think out how to writhe it out is the difficult part
    Your verified Chikara-production Studios !

    Dont ship me with anyone unless i say so !

    When you wake a Dragon in his Lair...





  16. #56
    夜属 Nightkin Salt Pillar's Avatar
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    I've been sick for a week now, so my work has been churned very slowly. It'll happen though. I hope.
    Quote Originally Posted by Random View Post
    For a moment I had a flash of inspiration about a NP that mixes and matches the attributes of its targets... Unfortunately, Barbara Walker is alive...

  17. #57
    不死 Undead PA270's Avatar
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    I mean, it's You's call, but maybe the deadline could be extended by a day or so? Just to give everyone still working a little more breathing room.

  18. #58
    夜属 Nightkin Salt Pillar's Avatar
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    wrong button oops
    Quote Originally Posted by Random View Post
    For a moment I had a flash of inspiration about a NP that mixes and matches the attributes of its targets... Unfortunately, Barbara Walker is alive...

  19. #59
    Local Extra Class Aficionado DelRey's Avatar
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    There are plans on myour end too. Private life takes time away tho
    "Let's see the color of your coin, my friend."



    Behold my vault of Heroes.
    Where the Heavens and the Abyss breath the Music of Humanity.


    The King's duty is to provide. And provide, I shall.
    University of Formatting | Gallery of Potential | Memorandum of the Extra Class Kings

    Our Kingdom will grow. And we shall know each citizen.
    Create-a-Servant 4 soon.

  20. #60
    邪魔 Spanner Random's Avatar
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    She'd become a Seeker because she couldn't stand deadlines.
    She was just a glorified librarian! Just a librarian, okay?!
    The worst case scenario wasn't actually supposed to happen!
    Perhaps that was what those in charge of manning the launch pads for nuclear weapons thought too.
    The monocle-styled Mystic Code resting on her nose was starting to hiss with the strain.

    She would have needed Magic to sift through everything on these aeons and aeons of shelves.
    Her gut impacted the railing at the same time as her hands, and she caught a glimpse of just how far down it all went.
    The bottom was dark.
    Nothingness, all the way down.
    Almost two thousand years of history was rendered as volume, and it opened its carnivorous maw in a threat and a taunt.

    She had to keep searching.

    One of its fangs had the answer.

    Wall
    Guatemala City, 21 September 2020
    .
    Shelf
    Xe arrondissement municipaux de Paris, 21 September 2019
    .
    Folder
    Magecraft, with provided context, executed within the administrative boundaries of Cape Town on 21 September 2018 between 09:00 and 10:00
    .
    Repeat, forever.

    Okay. Think.
    Anything thinner than a certain amount could be written off. How thin? She had no idea. But it had to be statistically significant if she wanted to search. A process of elimination was essential.
    That was as good a place as any to start.
    After that... maybe she could take a certain path, and wind backward. This wasn't a needle in a haystack. A Representative of Mystery... Something that represented Mystery would probably have had a lot of threads tying back to it, right?
    She would just have to research. Read everything. Context would arrive.

    "Okay," she breathed.
    She traced her fingers along the rough surface of an unvarnished wooden shelf.

    Calm down. You can find it.


    The monocle evaluated the Mystery of each and every one of the white paper envelopes as her gaze passed over each, and then...
    She frowned.
    "That's different."
    April 27th, 202█. Encrypted communications performed through Magecraft and associated with the Société d'Arcueil, on the subject of the Saturday Lord.
    Unfamiliar words crept up on her.

    It was a place to start.

    She took out the folder.
    Heavy.
    This thing was like a hardback book.
    She cracked open the seal, and flipped past the cover labelled "[INTERCEPTED CORRESPONDENCE]"































    Illustrious Laplace,

    I have fulfilled your request.

    The following information is a collection of various recordings and documents that have been deemed relevant or explanatory to the tenure of the Saturday Lord.

    Please note that the Clock Tower committee on this matter has considered the case closed since 19 January 1999. Obviously, while we of the Société do not strictly consider their decrees binding, I must advise you strongly that breaking their taboos may well make enemies of at least some of them.

    To be specific: there is an ongoing Order that continues to classify further inquest into this incident as an absolute taboo under the Concealment of Mysteries.

    In particular, investigation into the Magecraft of the Saturday Lord has been banned with an amendment to the very same ruling that has forbidden the research of Reality Marbles.

    I can only hope that this satisfies your curiosity,
    [illegible illegible illegible illegible illegible illegible] my highest esteem all the same.

    Ever faithful,
    Luna


    P.S. [illegible illegible illegible illegible illegible illegible illegible illegible] "Moth-Eaten"(?) [illegible illegible illegible illegible illegible] Herydir-Dragilaz. The Barthomeloi clan has declined to comment on my [illegible illegible illegible illegible].























    Figure 1
    Since death is the cessation of life, it cannot be experienced, nor be a harm, nor a proper object of fear.




    Excerpt from Lesson 1 Let’s talk about not being alive.

    To be clear, I’m not strictly talking about having died. Before we can discuss something so gauche, let’s start with something more palatable.

    Were you dead before you were born? That which is dead is distinguished from the living by an absence of life, and there was certainly no life in a creature that had not even been conceived yet.

    But in spite of that, most would judge: no, you were not. The concepts are parallel, but there is an important distinction to be made here. Death is not the cold, but the cooling. It is an ending - that something was is a necessary implication of it disappearing. That disappearance is what we would call death.

    That which has not come to life cannot die, because it has yet to even be born. Such a notion would make sense to anyone. But still, the distinction remains unclear.

    Either there is an innate potential energy to things that have yet to exist…

    …or there is something left behind after the extinguishment of life.

    Can we determine the answer to this dilemma?

    No, we cannot. It is a trick question. The dilemma is false.






    Excerpt from Profile: Herydir-Dragilaz
    a clan of Scandinavian Magi, who are allegedly descended from a King of Norway from the Age of Gods. The king once fought a brutal, unending battle until Ragnarök due to the bloodthirsty curse of his own dwarven sword. Their claims of direct descent from ancient times are dubious at best, as their records only date back as far as the 15th century - while it can be said for sure that the family is at least 600 years old, there is no confirmed direct lineage dating back to before Ragnarök. However, their declaration is not entirely baseless, as the family is currently in possession of the very same sword which was once wielded by that king.

    In their attempts to claim their birthright once more, the family developed a thaumaturgical formula specifically to be able to wield the power of the sword without triggering the curse that brought about doom when it was drawn. The result was simple: they would simply never draw the sword, but instead draw on its mighty powers. And so, Scabbard Magecraft was born: an art unique to the Herydir-Dragilaz lineage, wherein the Magus themselves would become the sheath to a great magic sword, wielding its strength as though it were their very own. In essence, a practitioner of Scabbard Magecraft becomes the incarnation of the sword that they are bonded to. Over the centuries, the clan amassed an impressive number of fragments that were once pieces of Noble Phantasms - although their Mystery had always declined dramatically due to severe damage, rendering them shadows of their former selves, even a piece of a former Noble Phantasm is far beyond what a normal Magus would be able to produce. Furthermore, the collection is often expanded by way of politics - the head of the clan, for example, recently brought the Japanese sword Hotarumaru into the family's possession through his marriage to one of its current custodians






    11 Mar 1997

    Do you think of me as heartless, Sveinn? Have I ever held the place of a mother in your eyes?

    I know better than to answer that.

    Is that so?

    No matter what I say, it's just going to hurt, right? Besides, I'm sure that there are plenty of kids like me in the family history.

    I suppose that's true.

    Good for you. You managed to make a whole generation of swordbearers. Four out of five is a pretty good track record.

    I didn't intend to make this personal.

    Of course not. You sound far too bored. Why did you even ask...?

    I just wanted to remind myself.

    ...I guess that's fair. Hotarumaru wasn't designed to make people immortal. Sorry.

    What are you apologising for? Did you offend me?



    No, I didn't. Seems like the weather's bad today. Anyway, I'm going to get back to work now. I'm halfway through a paper.

    I see. Is this the Department of Archaeology?
    My son also works here, but I think I am something of a burden to him, so please don't mention that I came unless he asks.

    Trust me, he won't even notice.
    I'd say to tell Dad I said hello, but I think I'm a burden to him, so don't mention that I was okay unless he asks.






    Excerpt from letters from the Vatican
    which is precisely what I would like to write to you about. Concerning the assassination attempt you thwarted, the Pope is certainly very grateful to you. It would certainly cause quite the furore if His Holiness had been to die from a rogue Templar. Killing by secular means is one thing, but you put a stop to something unforgivable, even if you did so by almost destroying the entire Vatican. You have had your disciplinary action already, so I will stop at thanking you.

    Unfortunately, I suggest you take a break for a while, Sister Caulendale. Penance aside, I fear that you have turned yourself into quite the target of any co-conspirators who may still be active. With your permission, I intend to temporarily suspend you as an Executor, although this may require revoking your access to the Scripture that has modified your body. With some light politicking on my part, I should be able to grant you a degree of qualified diplomatic immunity during your leave, but whether or not your body can withstand parting from your nail is to be left to your own judgement








    appearance of Ethidemiliasite Meluastea Enmorde (a.k.a. "Moth-Eaten"); 11 Mar 1997
    "So that's why they call you that," Sveinn frowns across the desk.

    The bugs must be chewing on the necrosis again. I'm like a rag to them. There's nothing unusual about that. A corpse's role is to sustain new life.

    But all the same, he looks... disgusted, perhaps.

    "I thought they were just making fun of you because of your familiars. I didn't realise they actually... you know."

    The Curtailment in my right eye socket is begging me to know less of it. But it doesn't really matter.

    I wonder if he's nauseous about the moths or about me more.
    Oh, maybe I'm starting to smell bad. I check my fingers.
    I had dipped them in perfume this morning as always, but the trouble with a cold body is that it has trouble dispersing on its own.
    But since heat accelerates the rot, it often just mingles with the stench.

    "It's not that," he says. "Even if you're from a minor branch, it just annoys me that the Archaeology Lord clan is..."
    He pauses, as if to gauge me.
    "...trying to crack into necromancing their own members. I joined this department because it didn't get up to this sort of thing."

    He joined Rocks Road because he is impotent, and everyone knows it.

    "It's not necromancy. We construct the future and turn it into the past."
    "I don't know what that means," he replies, "and you probably shouldn't explain."
    "Okay," I say. "But I'm not all old and dead."
    "Is that so."
    "It is. I have plenty of youthful parts, if you want to see."
    "I don't."
    "And just so you know, I can still make babies."
    "I don't care!"

    He's getting mad.
    Is it because I turned it into a joke?
    Cute.

    "Sorry. I'm having a bad day. I just wanna get this paper done," he sighs.

    The book in his hand is titled An Analysis of the Runes of the Hávamál.























    Figure 2
    A chemical that mediates the transmission of a nerve impulse across a synapse or a neuromuscular junction.




    Excerpt from Lesson 2 Discard the notion of the soul for now. You will not need something so indeterminable in my classroom.

    Mind is as physical as it is spiritual. It is a gradient that bridges the immaterial with the electrochemistry of the corpus. Psychological activity can be measured and quantified through the holistic analysis of neurotransmitters. When interpreting intelligence and will, one must here comprehend it as the sum of the activities of specialised and pre-coordinated viscera.

    Information is trivial to materialise. Everything that you are exists within the structure of your nervous system. Simply put, anything extraneous to neurology is extraneous to zoological theory.

    In order to find the
    boundaries
     
    of the theories in Zoological Magecraft, we must first concede to monism.

    And that is where we will pick up next week. Feel free to pack up.

    What is it, Herydir-Dragilaz?







    appearance of Symblemis Gaiuslink (Lord Gaiuslink), 13 Dec 1921 - 26 Dec 1997); 14 Mar 1997
    They call him "Zentaure" for a reason.
    Standing up close to him, I really do think I'd prefer to wrestle a horse rather than the man looming two heads taller than me.

    "I wanted to ask," I say, "about something you said last week. You mentioned it being a false dilemma..."
    I try to remember his exact phrasing.
    "About death. How either death leaves something behind, or it takes something you had before you were born. What did you mean?"

    His gaze is intense. He gives my heart a moment to beat more blood to my brain.
    And then...
    "You weren't paying attention," he determines.
    "Did... we cover that today?"
    "We didn't," he confirms. "There's nothing to cover. The solution is in the nature of the question."

    I don't understand, and he can see it.
    He takes a piece of chalk from the blackboard and holds it above his shoulder.
    "When I let go, what will happen?"
    "It'll fall?"
    "On what grounds can you say that?" he asks. "It isn't moving. How can you declare so brazenly that it will spontaneously start simply because I drop it?"

    The question feels almost patronising, but...

    "I know what gravity is, professor. You're just counteracting it by holding on."
    "It's potential," he explains. "But it won't fall any further when it touches the ground. Why?"
    I consider his framing. "The potential is lost, I suppose?"
    "No. The potential is transformed. A phenomenon was actualised. Could-be becomes was. In the moment in-between..."
    It falls.
    "...it is."
    It chips against the wooden floor with a click.
    "You understand?" he asks. "Nothing is gained or lost. It's nothing but metamorphosis. Unborn potential is heat."
    He bends down, picks the split chalk up, and sets it back.
    "Heat disperses into cold," he continues. "That dispersion is the state of living - life is the great rearranger, a vector from birth to death."

    His presence is ever weighty, so much so that it's easy to forget, but I once heard that Lord Symblemis Gaiuslink's mother came from the Department of Modern Magecraft.
    I've never met her, but he seems like he takes after her.






    “The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation - well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the Second Law of Thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”

    Arthur Stanley Eddington






    Excerpt from notes
    but there is a Dead Apostle in London.
    And I don't have my sword, of course, since that's part of the sanction.
    Still not happy about that, but I guess an Ash Lock is better than dealing with them with my bare hands.
    Bet I could, but I don't really want to try






    Between the delinquent nun and that amateur linguist, I think they actually defeated me.
    I thought they'd mistake me for the vampire we've been chasing because of my Magecraft, so I played into it. Holy weapons don't work against me.
    She had no choice in the first place, but he didn't fall for it. He must be really intent on protecting that girl he's been fawning over.
    I mean, runes? What a humiliating thing to lose to in the final decade of the 20th century.
    The next day, I asked him what they were for. I recognised him from Zentaure's classes, so I thought it'd be something profound.
    He wants to make a sword, he says, so his family will take him back.
    What a joke. Even I can tell there's no future in that.
























    Figure 3
    A body can never be said to contain heat which is thus a transient phenomenon.




    Excerpt from Lesson 3 I mentioned last week that information is trivial to materialise. Books, songs, stories, images, thoughts. But it never travels alone. Something has to form the patterns. Information requires a medium. It is, in a physical sense, almost exactly the same as energy.

    It’s easy to be skeptical of this idea, so to illustrate, let’s have a thought experiment.

    How many of you have tidy rooms?

    Fewer than there should be, apparently.

    Consider: what is it that makes them tidy? If I picked a random object and moved it to a random place, would it be more or less tidy for it?

    Order is a statistical anomaly. It does not emerge on its own, simply because the probability is too low. Yet, some of you do have tidy rooms. Who is responsible for that? Why is that the case?

    The answer is simple: you have dedicated energy to determining the proper arrangement of the room. The cost has been paid already by your household, which taught you what an orderly room should look like. The education becomes potential energy in the form of knowledge.

    This is the answer to a certain famous paradox. The thought experiment isn't one of Magecraft, but it is still relevant for our purposes: a rather well-known physics problem called







    appearance of Azegami Chiba (prior to hydrafication); 9 Jul 1997
    The sunlight reeks.
    I can't stand being around this girl, but I suppose you reap what you sow.
    There's nothing physically unpleasant about her, but Azegami Chiba's obsession with corpses is so beyond vile that I can't fathom her being outside campus.
    Eccentricity is the price that must be paid for the talents of the Chelon Canticle Brigade, it seems.
    Barthomeloi Lorelei's personal army is probably full of noxious people.

    "And how goes your little vampire hunt?" she asks.
    She's been pestering me about it ever since we defeated her that time we crossed paths.
    She seemed to feel like Caulendale and I were encroaching on her territory, and now she keeps bugging me.
    I don't know why. Caulendale is the one who beat her. I barely did anything.
    I'm a million light years away from their ridiculous strength. If anything, I'm just her tour guide.
    But Azegami eyes me up all the same, twirling the
    kasa-bake
    meat parasol
    as it rots in the summer heat.

    "Tough," I finally manage to admit. "I mean, that... what did they call it, miasmic physiology? It's getting hard to even track them down."
    A sly grin.
    "You're lucky I'm full of myself," she taunts, "or else it would have been over in a day. But I just can't bring myself to report that I lost to a pair of nitwits like you."

    It's sarcasm, of course. She's having a great time.

    She probably shouldn't be.
    The fact that Clock Tower hasn't been able to detect anything on its own is bad news.
    Whoever is moving in London, they clearly have the knowledge to subvert the eyes of the Observatory.

    "I see. Is that why you started attending Gaiuslink's lectures, Archaeology student?"
    "I was already attending them. I'm minoring in Zoology because it's interesting."
    "Moth-Eaten was in your old classes though."
    I do not flinch. I don't even flinch a little bit. I'm quite deliberately putting a lot of work into not flinching.
    "I don't know what you're talking about."
    "Yes you do. I can see you two lovebirds from space. Zentaure was even grumbling about how much you obviously want to 'help' her."

    I was planning to let that go, but the way she says it like it's a bad thing grates on me.

    "It bothers me to see her rotting away," I frown. "It's nothing more than that."
    Azegami laughs, a fingertip tracing a gap in her parasol's stinking membrane.
    "You hate the dead that much?"
    "I hate things that have no future."
    She laughs at something that flies over my head.
    "She is her own future, just like she's her own past. You're not saving anyone. Come on, I'm sure Zentaure gave you at least one speech about death already."

    Yeah. He's spoken enough to teach me that a future can't exist in the present.
    If I learned anything from him, it's that life is a direction.






    Excerpt from Hávamál
    Runes will you find, and fateful staves,
    Very potent staves, very powerful staves,
    Staves the great gods made, stained by the mighty sage,
    And graven by the speaker of gods.

    For gods by Odin, for elves by Dainn,
    Dvalin for dwarves,
    Alsvid for Jotuns, and I
    Carved some for the sons of men.

    Do you know how to write? Do you know how to read?
    Do you know how to tint? Do you know how to try?
    Do you know how to ask? Do you know how to offer?
    Do you know how to send? Do you know how to slaughter?

    Better don’t ask than offer too much;
    A gift demands a gift.







    appearance of Tegeirian Arianrhod Caulendale (with Holy Scripture Nenasiten Nokŭt); 9 Jul 1997
    "You're a Christian, right?"
    I don't mean to ask, but the question slips out. Maybe because we just finished off the last Dead Apostle for the night, but my curiosity has boiled over.
    "No," she replies.
    The answer feels like a short-circuit. "Uh?"
    "I don't generally tend to get my opinions on things like morality or cosmology from Iron Age theonationalists. Next question."
    Right. Yeah.
    This is the woman who was mocking Ayn Rand in my general direction for a solid fifteen minutes just yesterday, after all.
    I guess she's just kind of like this with everything, sanctity be damned.
    "You're not very charitable to your own organisation, are you?"
    "If I were, I wouldn't be able to use a sword with the attributes of the devil, would I? My body has its curse, remember?"
    I frown. "Are you talking about that Scripture you were banned from using?"
    She shrugs lazily, apparently content to leave that to my imagination.
    "You make a Scripture with the spiritual power of the Holy Word. Jesus Christ is God, and also the Logos, and so on."
    I'm not sure what she's getting at, but I let her continue.


    "Have you ever heard of Caubac Alcatraz?" she asks.
    I haven't, and she can see it on my face.
    "He's a powerful Dead Apostle. He once attempted to turn God's love into a Scripture," she explains.
    This immediately feels like a dense subject, but she continues before I can protest.
    "The world is made of God's love, God is love, and man is made in the image of God. So, why not inscribe all of the information that makes up a human in order to prove God's perfect universe?"
    My frown returns, even deeper. "Wouldn't that just, you know...?"
    "Go on."
    "...I feel" - nervous that I'm about to ask a stupid question - "like that would just make a human."
    "Right?" she smirks, half-laughing. "It's obvious. It's so obvious that even a total outsider like you can't even hear about it without immediately knowing where it's going."
    She's barely holding back a barbed tongue.
    "But apparently, that thing actually is a model of the universe. It's just also a human. I'm told that our favourite clown of a vampire went ballistic when he figured it out."
    I nod slowly. "And you took that as proof against God's existence, I guess?"
    "I didn't even need to go that far. My point is that the underlying principles of the Holy Church are a farce, and everyone knows it."
    "Then why do you still work for them?"
    "I like humans. I don't like Dead Apostles."
    The statement is simple, but it's tinged in blood.
    "If the Bible teaches them to spend their energy on letting me kill vampires, that's all I need," she says.
    I'm worried that I'm enabling something, but I don't think she's going to accept an intervention.
























    Figure 4
    As a necessary and manifest condition of life, breath and breathing have a literal and metaphorical importance in religions.




    Once upon a time, a girl named Archibald was angrily in love with a boy named Barthomeloi.

    The two of them, both of high birth and standing, possessed of wondrous talent, were betrothed to one another. They bickered and fought over everything petty, but they quietly could not have been happier.

    Though they were both princes, steeped in esotericae of the unknown world, and though they were obsessed with appearing stronger than each other, the pair were as giddy as any youthful lovers should have been.

    Ever does youth breed foolishness.

    The girl chanced upon a cemetery on the night of a blue moon in the throes of infatuation, and carelessly wished to live like this forever while the gravekeepers listened.

    She was offered something cruel, but she joyously accepted, just as all those lost in their own wishes always have and always will.

    The girl was born again as a corpse, pale flesh icy in the dark. The sun and the rain were harsh to her, and the days were identical to one another.

    She did not realise until her wedding day that she had been been this way for one hundred years.

    And so, in despair, she offered herself to her siblings' descendants and the grandchildren of the boy she loved. In embracing the family of the past, she sought to regain the things dear that she had lost by servitude of those who had departed.

    It was not enough. She desired to return to what she was before. She could not imagine a future as she was now. The only tomorrow was yesterday.

    And so, with the power to roam the city of her past granted to her in secret by the families she served, she began to scour it for a secret to become her own past once again.





    26 Dec 1997

    You're a... fucking moron... Orvxnr Petra!

    Be silent, Zentaure. If I had known two hundred years ago what you would have turned yourself into, I would never have granted you immortality in the first place. You think you can defy me, just because you've tried to restore your humanity with your pitiful transformation Magecraft? I hate people who can't accept reality. The curse will not dissolve just because you're wearing a mask.

    Who exactly... is denying reality? I'm not letting you... start a civil war... just because you can't... get over yourself!

    Bold words indeed from a teacher bleeding to death on the floor of his own classroom. It's almost poetic, in a way. If you had been enough of a man to embrace what you are, the miasma that kills humans above all else would probably have failed to curse you to death. Ho-hum. So it goes.

    What do you think you're doing, you hypocrite?!

    I am not a man, Zentaure. I am a fair yet forlorn maiden. It is my prerogative to bend reality over my knee for the sake of love and justice. To that end, I will take what I came for. It was none of your business anyway. You should have remained in line with the rest of your family - a dog.






    "Stay back!" Gaiuslink cries, but Caulendale obviously doesn't listen to a word of it.
    She lunges for the vampiress, swinging the Ash Lock on her fist like a wild animal.
    It does not make contact. The night-coloured air engulfs her, and she is sent choking to the ground as it caresses her flesh.
    "Strange," comments the Dead Apostle offhandedly. "It seems you've also become something more twisted than a human. But it won't be enough, I'm afraid."
    Instinct kicks in, and I try to run for her, but Azegami grabs me.
    She's right. I know she's right. There's nothing I can do to help, but...
    "Let Enmorde go! She's done nothing to you!" I find myself demanding.
    The Dead Apostle frowns, turning her gaze to Moth-Eaten. "I thought she was a Meluastea. It doesn't matter anyway. What, did you think this was personal?"

    My blood is boiling. But if I take a single step closer, I'll die.
    I can see Gaiuslink's body shifting and twisting, trying desperately to adapt to the miasma. It's not working.
    Caulendale is still trying to scream on the ground as her very soul is poisoned.
    Moth-Eaten isn't even struggling. She knows there's no point. She just stares, trembling in horror at the despair unfolding in front of her.
    I'm just a normal person. After all this time, I still don't have a
    future
    sword
    I can wield to fight against that certain death.

    "There are some secrets that will not even be found in a clan's archives," the Dead Apostle explains. "So I'll just have to dissect her for myself. Nothing to be done about it. If you want to blame anyone for this outcome, blame the Department of Archaeology for being so stingy with their precious Mysteries."

    She does not get to continue.
    Caulendale is on her feet again.
    A thrown punch, evaded.
    The papers on her hand transform, blossoming into a crossbow. The bolt flies through the vampire's arm, tearing red from her pale flesh.
    Our enemy doesn't waste time on something so pointless as screaming. Her body turns into midnight, grasping Moth-Eaten. The two vanish into the air, flying through the open window and into the cloud-sealed sky.

    Caulendale is gasping for breath.

    Gaiuslink is not.






    Excerpt from Hávamál
    Hung I was on the windswept tree;
    Nine full nights I hung,
    Pierced by a spear, a pledge to the god,
    To Odin, myself to myself,
    On that tree which none can know the source
    From whence its root has run.

    None gave me bread, none brought a horn.
    Then low to earth I looked.
    I caught up the runes, roaring I took them,
    And fainting, back I fell.
























    Figure 5
    Of all the land mammals, humans have the longest lifespan.




    Excerpt from initial report to the Department of Policies regarding Lord Symblemis Gaiuslink's assassination, 28 Dec 1997
    I, Azegami Chiba, am fully willing to accept the consequences in my severe delay in reporting this event. I was not aware of this assassination myself until around four hours ago, and rest assured that I will cooperate with the Department regarding exactly who issued the orders to assault the Isles of Scilly in Lord Gaiuslink's name on the 27th of December






    When a Lord is assassinated, there are certain emergency protocols that come into play almost immediately that will transfer their authority to their Proxy Lords.
    These protocols often occur by themselves. Essentially, the Lord's death is the activation condition for a number of rituals that trigger these protocols.
    It's akin to becoming a blood sacrifice for a few dozen spells at once. It's a very complex system that requires one to have dominion over both information and death itself to interfere with.
    Fortunately, I had a certain teacher who had taught me a thing or two about that.
    I wanted to save Moth-Eaten first. Everything else could wait. If we left her be, she'd just become a dead scandal.
    She's more than just a political thorn in someone's side.

    So as far as succession was concerned, Lord Gaiuslink was still alive as of Saturday 27 December 1997.
    He was about to exercise some emergency powers.

    I told Azegami that she could claim innocence from being under duress, but I got her to help me navigate the power structures and get the order out as soon as possible.
    Gaiuslink is called a puppet family of the Barthomeloi, but that goes both ways.
    Slash the left hand, and the right hand will strike you in retaliation.
    If one were to declare war on Gaiuslink, that would be a challenge to the Barthomeloi clan as well.
    Ordinarily, nothing would happen as a result of this. The Barthomeloi having a Dead Apostle in their service was a secret that they would not allow to come out so easily.
    For Magi, just as many murders looked like suicides, so too did many suicides look like murders. This would be covered up.
    Unless, of course, the precise details of the incident were obscure.

    For instance, there had been a certain Executor who had been in London interfering with a certain "diplomat" and her activities for quite some time now.

    It's been said that the Chelon Canticle Brigade have the authority and expertise to operate swathes of the Clock Tower by themselves.
    Even putting aside their sheer strength, they were comparable to Lords from those political powers alone.
    If a member of the Brigade were here, she could hypothetically have known exactly what they required in order to authorise them to make use of that.
    On top of that, she would have known exactly the necessary steps to take in order for an instruction to deploy to arrive through the proper channels.
    If they were to cooperate with the Department of Zoology, there was no doubt that such a capable force would be able to determine where and when to strike in less than eight hours, and they could no doubt arrive there in less than twelve.
    Once they arrived, a Dead Apostle's entire territory, castles and all, could be reduced to ashes in mere minutes.

    I didn't need to fool them forever.
    I just needed to be able to interfere with the chain of command for long enough to issue a single order that would be guaranteed to work.
    If I could hijack the seat of a Lord, the Lord of Zoology, for just thirteen hours, then we had a chance.
    These would be my last hours in Clock Tower. I already knew that. I wasn't getting away with this.
    But so what? What was I even here for?
    My family had cast me away once too, and the world still turned.
    So, on December 27th, I exchanged my past and present to give her a future.






    There are Magi tearing down my walls.
    There is a monster in the dark.
    Life as information. Information as heat. Heat as phenomena.
    Zentaure had spoken of such things in his younger days to me as he researched.
    I now understand what he was saying better than I ever had.

    At first, it had been a dragon, the image of greed. The irony, I had thought mockingly, in becoming a dragon to save your princess.
    But it went far beyond that.
    The dragon had been the image of the devil.
    "So you have taken in the Scripture of the Adversary," I thought next. I almost congratulated him. It was, after all, a sword. Such a form was perfect for his Scabbard Magecraft.

    But no, it was not that. It had started as a mere imitation of it.
    As I slashed his flesh with blades of wind, he did not bleed ichor, but thousands and thousands of runes.
    The blade lent itself well to imitation. The Abrahamic faiths knew very well the mystic powers of words.

    Even then, that shape did not remain.
    With the very same transformation formulae that Zentaure had once used, the boy transformed his very words into his own life.
    His very existence has become one I could not grasp.
    His shape and size are uncertain. Only the gleaming light is clear.
    His claws and fangs stretch like mountains for years and colours.
    He walks on a thousand legs, and his thousand arms bind themselves with ten thousand manes.
    The stars in the sky are his wings, and the sun and moon are his eyes.
    It is a transient phenomenon. It is one understood only by him.
    He has turned his flesh and blood and history and name into fire itself.
    Through its knowledge, the demon generates perpetual heat.

    As my realm is burned to cinders, as my clan are cremated before my eyes, I have to wonder.
    Will he be able to ever be human again? Yes, he probably will.
    Not by his own power, but by the girl he has come to save.
    Isn't that unfair?
    Why is it that you will be able to return from the guise of a monster, the guise that has trapped me?






    You want to know?

    Tell me.

    I won't.

    ...What?

    I'll never be able to return to how I was. I knew that when I chose this.
    My past is over. It's not coming back. I sacrificed it to get here.

    Then what's the point in you trying to bring her back with you, you fool?
    What's the point in loving something you'll never reach?

    I'm not doing this to be with her. I'll never be able to live by her side.
    That's okay. If I have to let her go, then I will.
    What's important is that she'll get to live, even if not with me.
    This is my last gift to the moth-eaten girl I love.

    Ah. Now I think about it...

    Oh. Now you mention it...

    I never even said "I love you", did I?
























    Figure 6
    For many people it will be enough if at each moment there is a purpose to what they are doing, without every moment being devoted to the same purpose, and without the overall pattern itself having a purpose.




    Thursday January 1st 1998
    "SATURDAY LORD" SENTENCED TO EXILE


    Sveinn Herydir-Dragilaz, the student who impersonated the late Lord Gaiuslink, has been sentenced to banishment without trial by a unanimous vote at the Grand Roll held yesterday after a Barthomeloi representative reportedly attended.

    The details of the late Lord's death are still unclear, but a Proxy Lord of Zoology has confirmed that Herydir-Dragilaz was not responsible for it, and simply took advantage of the circumstances. The motivation to instigate an attack on White Island in the Isles of Scilly is unconfirmed. Additional reports that Symblemis Gaiuslink had been concealing his nature as a Dead Apostle are also not yet publicly substantiated.

    Azegami Chiba, a member of the Chelon Canticle Brigade of Japanese descent, was also accused of knowingly giving fraudulent information surrounding the incident, and is thought to have contributed to the erroneous communication by falsifying official statements from the Department of Zoology according to Herydir-Dragilaz's instructions. Although no official sentencing has been passed on her by the Department of Policies, she has been formally expelled from the Brigade and is awaiting trial later this month.

    Barthomeloi Lorelei, the head of the Brigade, has declined to comment.






    A Magus called Salmac-Jarðar showed up on New Year's Eve, you know.

    Never heard of them. I guess the Meluastea have some connections, huh?

    I almost thought you did it, Azegami.

    Are you kidding? I can't get away with anything right now.
    So? Who is that, anyway? Or does even the sneaky little Moth-Eaten not know?

    They asked me where to find Sveinn. I told them.

    Just like that?

    He won't mind.

    I guess not.

    I have a feeling I know why he was exiled now, at least.

    That was weird to me too.
    I mean, whatever that was he did to fight Petra... That's at least enough for a Sealing Designation.
    Given that I'm getting demoted to Enforcer, I was worried they were gonna make me go after him.
    He got off real lightly, even with both of us pulling the strings.

    It's good news.
    Maybe I'll wait for him to come home next year.

    What do you mean?






    Excerpt from internal communications between Ellen, the Gate of Advancement, and Ganne, the Gate of Rebirth, on Dec 29 1997
    despite the suddenness of his candidacy, I would like to reiterate that Sveinn Herydir-Dragilaz has independently rediscovered a key principle of the Fifth Magic entirely through the use of runes. Although he is disinclined to seek us out on his own, that is all the more reason that I would like to personally arrive to guide him to the open Gate. I understand that it is unorthodox, and that is precisely what I seek the aid of the Gate of Rebirth, as the use of his own existence as fuel has drastically reduced his personal capacity. I appreciate the skepticism regarding the Fifth Magic, and it also exists within my own Gate, but I put it to you: are his methods - the Odic runes - not in line with our edicts and philosophies? Is it not the aim and goal of the Wandering Sea to





    burning life: Rheingold
    SVEINN HERYDIR-DRAGILAZ

    [ [ ACCESS FILE ] ]

    Alias: Saturday Lord
    Rúnatal
    Magecraft:
    Flame Poem
    Exothermic Stanza

    (self-titled)
    Date of birth: May 1 1985 Origin: Convergence
    Height/Weight: 181cm/65kg Element: Fire
    Country of origin: Sweden Circuit Quantity: C
    Affiliation: Wandering Sea
    Ellen, Gate of Advancement
    Circuit Quality: C
    Image colour: White blue Circuit Composition: Normal
    Day of decisive battle: incinerating the Shrouded Keep

    Legacy
    Sveinn's 21-hour period of impersonation have had surprisingly significant long-term ramifications, despite the lack of short-term consequences. The Chelon Canticle Brigade's command structure has been significantly overhauled, as well as there being far more safeguards implemented to prevent identity theft against Lords in the future. The punishments for doing so have become far harsher, and the Department of Policies has set up a branch specifically dedicated to investigation of potentially falsified documentation. As such, Sveinn Herydir-Dragilaz has gone down in infamy as the Saturday Lord, a minor but ultimately significant figure in the legal history of the Mage's Association.

    In addition, significant sanctions have been placed on attempts by the Department of Modern Magecraft to research perpetual motion, as Symblemis Gaiuslink's connections to their faculty have been identified as a key reason why Sveinn was able to come so close to Magic, which is considered to have endangered Mystery. Further investigation into the events of December 27 1997 have been barred for the same reason, and Sveinn's Magecraft has been classified under the same level of secrecy as Reality Marbles.

    After the events of the Saturday Lordship, Sveinn was inducted into the ranks of the Wandering Sea by the Primordial Designate Mirjam Salmac-Jarðar, a member of the Gate of Rebirth, on behalf of a friend from the Gate of Advancement. The Barthomeloi clan agreed to this arrangement, settling on the sentence of exile from Clock Tower on the condition that he remained there. He would be allowed to return once a year on December 31st, when the island Baldanders emerged into the World once again.

    Sveinn currently lives in the Gate of Advancement with an adopted cat named Maxwell. His activities within the Wandering Sea are relatively unknown, but his return trips to his home era have been fairly consistent in terms of where he goes and what he does. As a result of these visits, he has sired four children: two daughters by Ethidemiliasite Meluastea Enmorde and two daughters by Tegeirian Arianhrod Caulendale.

    The former daughters, Keystine and Bellestrade, have remained within the Enmorde branch of the Meluastea clan. Although Bellestrade is very effective in both the Department of Archaeology as well as very politically savvy, the latter skill is usually dedicated to cleaning up after her much admired older sister. Keystine, by contrast, possesses tremendous natural ability in Magecraft but a chronic inability to pay heed to others, with an incredibly chaotic record of causing all kinds of social, diplomatic, and bureaucratic disasters wherever she goes.

    The situation of the latter daughters, Rucatiel "Cate" Malia Caulendale and Sifa Herydir-Dragilaz, is somewhat more complicated. Both daughters inherited their mother's
    draconic
    demonic
    traits to a certain extent. Cate was separated from her mother - who is now married to one Maria Schweiger - at birth by the Holy Church, and thus has not met her father. Her mother Tegeirian has, of course, managed to meet her multiple times despite explicit orders. Cate is currently acting as an Executor of the Eighth Sacrament, partnered with a gunslinging "holy" woman who absolutely insists on trying to immaculately conceive.

    Sifa was adopted back into her father's clan, and her inherited attributes gave her excellent compatibility with the demonic sword Gram. Due to the lack of any compatible master to the cursed sword Tyrfing, she was adopted by the current head of the Herydir-Dragilaz. This claim makes her the de-facto heir to the status of clan head. Incidentally, no sanctions or punishments have been issued to the Herydir-Dragilaz clan due to the disownment of Sveinn years prior to the Saturday Lordship incident.

    Naturally, aside from what little shared in his most recent contact with the present day on December 31st last year, his movements and current goals are obscure to the outside world. He refers on multiple occasions to "King Odin", "Grimhildr", "Belial", and "Hesperus" in the diaries exchanged with his daughters, but precisely who he is referring to is not explained further.
    Personality
    Likes: Academia, history
    Dislikes: Academics, politicians
    Talents: Opportunism, working with deadlines
    Natural enemy: Barthomeloi Lorelei
    Alignment: Chaotic Good

    Sveinn is extremely lucky, and he knows it. With every bad thing that happens to him, it ultimately leads to an opportunity for growth or advancement for him, and he strongly appreciates that. One might simply consider that to be a product of optimism rather than circumstance, of course - it is in the eye of the beholder. When he was younger, he was almost ashamed of his good fortune, believing himself to have deserved a proper punishment for his failings, but has since written off the concept of failure almost entirely in any long-term sense. Failure, to him, is a transient phenomenon that only serves to become a new path.

    Calm and intellectual, he has substantially mellowed out over the past two decades. His "tsun" component has largely evaporated - perhaps because he lives a life of more solitude than he did before. Largely having departed from politics now that he has entered the Wandering Sea, he continues his research without getting wrapped up in any dramatic developments. Really, it's quite similar to his time at Rocks Road, just... quieter. Because of that, he has little to prove, and little reason to be dishonest with others or himself.

    In the mere twenty-four hours every year in which he can visit his family, he is as doting as he reasonably can be on his children; bringing gifts, advice, and affection. He has substantial qualms with his status as an absent father, even though he knows there is very little that can be done about it. As a result, he has established a custom with his daughters of writing diaries to exchange them every year in order to act the part of a role model as best he can as well as to keep tabs on them. For various reasons, he often cannot visit the Caulendales, in part because they do not have a permanent household, and the Herydir-Dragilaz want as little to do with him as possible, so he will usually spend most of New Year's Eve with Ethidemiliasite and the Enmorde sisters.

    Abilities
    This information
    has been redacted.


    But you probably get the gist of it by now.

























    Figure 7
    So Odin graved in the age ere man, when he arose, when he came home.





    appearance of Keystine Meluastea Enmorde; 31 Dec last year
    She swivels on her chair slowly, turning to face me as I enter.
    On her lap is a small blue butterfly.
    "Well, well, well," she smirks. "If it isn't... Dad."
    "Hey," I greet.
    She grins.
    "You're super late," she assesses.
    A pang of guilt. "Sorry. Got caught up on the way out of the door in Sweden. My own dad seems to be in bad health."

    Her eyes light up.
    "Oh, right, that reminds me! I wanted to tell you! You know that kid, Nils?"
    The name is familiar.
    "So, I've been checking out his work recently, and he's done this crazy thing with his Scabbard Magecraft," she explains. "He's definitely getting invited to this thing I'm planning, by the way."
    She's talking pretty fast, and doesn't deign to elaborate before she swaps off the topic.
    "It gave me an idea for who I should summon, so I wanted to ask if you could put a word in for me with those guys later today."
    My eyebrow curls up before I even realise. "Summon?"
    "Yeah. See, Bel doesn't get it, but I was talking to this old fart, Darnic Prestone, and I got to doing some reading."
    Oh boy. I have no idea where this is going, but I can see the flames of a mad genius in those eyes.
    "Turns out, in Japan, there was actually this thing," she rambles, "you know how you do something pretty close to Magic?"
    The butterflies around her quiver, as if her excitement is flowing through them.
    "There's this huge thing that was used for the Third Magic, apparently, and they took it apart about ten years ago."
    I think I've vaguely heard of this, and nod for her to continue.
    "So, like I say, I was talking to Prestone, and I had this great idea."


















    THANK YOU, LUNA.

    THIS HAS PROVED VERY INFORMATIVE.

    THAT WILL BE ALL.

    - LAPLACE









    Author's NoteAuthor's Note
    Whew, this was a big one. It wasn't anywhere near the scope I wanted it to be, but I wasn't gonna make it if it were.
    Suffice to say, I don't think I'm going to be this ambitious next time. Maybe I'll include the cut content in the snippets thread or something, and hopefully this makes sense without it.
    Special thanks to Izshta, who isn't on this site but allowed me to reference her stuff.
    Every name I dropped has lore, obviously. They might emerge again some day, if I get my shit sufficiently together.

    Fate\last call
    night, dawn, and the birth of stars

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