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[CYOA] Seven Wizards for Seven Apocalypses: Now with an ending slapped on



  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2016
    We don't want the Sink to absorb the source of all our power, naturally. But why don't we want the Sink to absorb the source of our enemy's power? I raise the suggestion of attaching a few tons of explosives to the Sink's cage and letting it go winging off at super-speed.

    Edit: I am the type of player to push buttons just to see what they do.

    Bursar on
    GNU Terry Pratchett
    PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | FallenIdle#1970
    Hit me up on BoardGameArena! User: Loaded D1
  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    I do wonder what would happen if we had a positive mana income after the shards were returned through the weir.

    We can gain about 12ish mana per turn so in like 50 turns of reinforcing the weir we might be able to do the 250 mana option.

    I say devour resources and construct devotion.

    Well actually I want to assault the flying island but that does not seem popular.

    E 3 # - Fortune

    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Bursar wrote: »
    We don't want the Sink to absorb the source of all our power, naturally. But why don't we want the Sink to absorb the source of our enemy's power? I raise the suggestion of attaching a few tons of explosives to the Sink's cage and letting it go winging off at super-speed.

    Edit: I am the type of player to push buttons just to see what they do.

    It's a bit late but I'll add an option to let it go on the next turn

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • CindersCinders Whose sails were black when it was windy Registered User regular
    K4# fortune

  • BursarBursar Hee Noooo! PDX areaRegistered User regular
    I keep forgetting to actually vote when I make comments.

    N 3 $ Fortune

    GNU Terry Pratchett
    PSN: Wstfgl | GamerTag: An Evil Plan | FallenIdle#1970
    Hit me up on BoardGameArena! User: Loaded D1
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    It'll be the weekend before I update. Work+baby is kicking my arse.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    Turn 59

    Decision K 3 #: Eat, Train Graniteguard and have a wizard tower based religion
    Bonuses: +3 Mana, +3 Fortune

    Mana: 80 [+7/turn]
    Fortune: 0/50 [+1/turn]
    Growth: 4/10 [+2/turn]
    Peasants: 7 (23 labour)
    Population: 25
    Shelter: 50
    Food: 78 [Excess to New Thett]
    Resources: 37 [+8*/turn]
    Silver Pieces: 62 [-1*/turn]
    Study: 39/50 [+7/turn] [Taster of Stone]
    Husbands: 0?
    Time: 9 [-1/turn]
    New Thett Loyalty -9/0 (+3/turn)

    *+1d6+3 to lowest total

    The Obsidian Tower
    Ambient magic: +2 mana / turn
    Fused shards: Foreseen, Loyalist: +11 mana / turn, +1 resource / turn, +1 growth / turn, +1 study / turn, +1 fortune / turn
    The Sink: -5 mana/turn
    [Ashvent] - Prevents scrying in the region
    [Scholar's Hall] - Allows research, +1 study/turn

    [Fertile Farm] = +17 food
    3 [Farm]s (+12 food each = 36 food)
    [Burning fishery] = +25 food, -1 mana/turn
    [Glass houses] = +25 shelter
    [Granite houses] = +25 shelter
    [Lumber yard] = +1 resource / 8 peasants / turn)
    [Tavern] = +1 growth / turn
    [Mercantile Guild] +1d6+1 / turn to lowest of silver pieces or resources
    [Shardforge] = + 1 resource / turn
    [Mine] = +4 resources / turn, +2 silver / turn
    [Scouting] = Difficulty 15 check when exploring to uncover additional bonuses
    [Galleon] = Allows whaling and sea movement
    [Mana Focus] = +1 draw dice, -3 to draw difficulty
    [College of Wizardry] = Allows cultists, +1 study / turn
    Augment in College: +1 study/turn, apprentice check difficulty reduced by 1
    [Devotion] Statue of Cinderella striking down Axiom= +2 mana / turn
    [Devotion] Statue of a crashed flying island= +2 mana / turn
    [Devotion] The Church of the ashes = +2 mana / turn
    The sect of knowledge (+1 study/turn, devotions produce an additional +1 mana/turn)
    [Glassworks]: -5 mana/turn. Gives non-summoned trainable units new traits
    [Explorer's Guild]: all scout actions now generate bonuses, +1 study / turn, +1 silver pieces / turn

    New Thett
    Spy = -1 silver pieces / turn, +1 to mercantile guild
    Trade route: +2 silver pieces / turn, +1 loyalty/turn
    -5 silver/turn

    No presence

    Individuals & Armies
    Cinders, The Foreseen Lavashaper
    Combat: 6 dice, 3+ strength [Very Lucky] [Battle Scholar] [Wizard] [Ranged(short)] [Deadslayer] [Aftermath] [boil A]
    Equipment: Vulcanus
    Vote bonuses: +1 Mana or +1 Fortune per vote

    Misty, The Ivory Apprentice Rainbringer MISSING
    Combat: 3 dice, 6+ strength [Distracting] [Wizard] [Deadslayer] [boil B]
    Knowledge: +1study/round

    Combat: 2 dice, 9+ strength [armoured 2][defender 2])

    Combat: 2 dice, 9+ strength [armoured 2][defender 2])

    Combat: 2 dice, 9+ strength [armoured 2][defender 2])

    Magma cultists[**]
    Combat: 4 dice, 6+ strength, [hellfire] [manaburn] [unstable] [boil A]

    Stillborn Memories
    Combat: 3 dice, 5+ strength, [sluggish] [mana-eater]

    Stillborn Memories
    Combat: 3 dice, 5+ strength, [sluggish] [mana-eater]

    Stillborn Memories
    Combat: 3 dice, 5+ strength, [sluggish] [mana-eater]

    Foreseen cultists
    Combat: 3 dice, 3+ strength, [destined] [manaburn]

    Combat: 3 dice, 8+ strength [brutal]

    Grand Worm*
    Combat: 10 dice, 7+ strength [Digest]

    Sanders, The Magma Wyrm [adds +25 to fortune threshold. Improves fortunes]

    Elephantite x1
    -1 mana/turn
    15 peasants of labour

    Ludovic, Garin and Alaine: The three senile wizards
    Living in Shady Mages Retirement Community within the Obsidian Tower
    +1 study/turn
    -1 time/turn]

    Mitel the husband

    [*] In New Thett
    [**] With traders

    [Adaptable] During a round, one positive trait of the target is cancelled
    [Lucky] One reroll per round
    [Very lucky] Two rerolls per round
    [Ranged(short)] Make one attack without retaliation before melee
    [Wizard] Must spend 1 mana / round or lose all but one dice
    [Mana eater] An engaged wizard must spend an extra 1 mana / round
    [Swarmfighting] +1 on rolls when targeting an enemy targeted by another ally
    [Hard to kill] If beaten in combat make a difficulty 8 check. On success the unit is not destroyed
    [Sluggish] Only rolls dice every second round
    [Battle Scholar] +1 study / round and +1 study on a natural 10
    [Armoured N] Unit has N armour that are lost in place of dice
    [Obscuring]: target rolls one fewer dice (cannot reduce dice rolled to fewer than one)
    [Deadslayer]: Makes a difficulty 8 check each round. On success deals a dice of damage to a random bonemancy enemy unit
    [Distracting]: All target rolls are made at -1
    [Aftermath]: Each turn, make a one dice attack against a random enemy unit other than the current target
    [Hellfire] = Any natural 10s rolled in combat grant an immediate extra attack roll
    [Manaburn] = Must spend 2 mana / round or be destroyed
    [Unstable] = Any natural 1s rolled in combat deal one dice of damage to the unit
    [Boil A/B] = One additional attack roll if a friendly unit with an unmatched trait is in combat
    [Defender X]: Engages X enemy units
    [Noncombatant] : Does not roll attack dice
    [Destined]: Instead of losing a dice pay 5 fortune and 10 mana
    [Digest]: Every unit destroyed produces resources equal to its number of dice
    [Defender N]: Will always be targeted first by enemies and will be targeted by N enemy units
    [Sharp]: A roll of 9 or 10 deals 2 dice of damage
    [Inferno N]: When destroyed, immediately make N extra attacks
    [Brutal]: +1 on dice rolls for every dice the target opponent has lost

    Grants Ranged(short) to the bearer

    The Archive
    Reflections on the twin shards and their ultimate connection to the artifact once known as The Weir
    Lowers difficulty of drawing by 2
    Increases output of drawing by +1/dice
    Increases mana income by +1 / turn
    Allows shard fusion/destruction

    A detailed consideration of the entities which lurk below and how to effectively bind them into perpetual servitude
    Allows Smoulderlings and Elephantites to be summoned

    Of the interplay between bonemancy and lavashaping: Flaming skulls or smouldering corpses?
    Grants [Wizard] units [deadslayer] ability

    On the origin of Vulcanus by means of ethereal selection, and the sub splintering of the world crystal]/i]
    Grants Cinders [Aftermath]
    Allows construction of the Shardforge
    Makes Vulcanus loyal

    On the interactions of lavashaping with the wider inherent energies of the natural world, a study into previously forbidden aspects of the college
    Allows construction of the Glassworks
    Allows volcanoes to be raised
    +1 dice, +1 strength to lavashaper [Wizard]s
    +1 dice to Magma culstists

    A discourse concerning cosmological systems: On the marvellous proportion of the celestial spheres and on the true and particular causes of the number, magnitude and periodic motions of the heavens completed
    Mercantile guild improves from 1d4-1 to 1d6+1
    Can train Foreseen Cutists
    Can construct the Cosmic Looking Glass
    Can trade fortune
    Cinders is now [Very Lucky] rather than [Lucky]

    A primer on locks, seals and bindings
    Allows the Institute within the city to be unlocked
    All summon spell mana costs reduced by 5%

    The triumph of life at the expense of cultivation: The lingering question in the dying world
    Farms produce +2 food
    May now produce Burning Fisheries

    Dismemberment of the physical form and distillation of the dominant ethers within the autonomous construct gifted by the wizard Ingvar
    May now detect hidden automata
    Lumbermill improves to +1 resource / 8 peasants / turn

    Reflections on the fundamental truth that The Weir existed not as one artifact but two distinct halves spread across worlds
    Increases draw dice by 2 sizes
    Drain from proximity to The Sink reduced to -5
    Know the location of the other shards
    May now return owned shards to the other world
    May now perform the ritual of unmaking


    Sultan Ofan: New Thett, the merchant hub
    Relations: Governmentless!
    Spy in place: Undetected

    The Senate: Drome, the plague-ridden city state
    Relations: Hatred of all wizardry / In-exile

    The Drowned Lady: In the dungeon
    Relations: Seething hatred

    Caldeot: The town by the (un)Drowned City
    Relations: ???
    Status: Held by enemy forces

    Almightly Huri:Ganghaan, The Never Fallen City
    Relations: Demanding
    Spy in place: Undetected

    Tzo'lin: The Undying Pious servant of The Bound Giant
    Relations: Hostile
    Status: Possibly now fused with his god

    Ingvar: The Instigator Mechano-Sage
    Relations: Unknown

    Talen: The Stormlord Warrior
    Relations: Fighty

    Axion: The Fistcaster Loyalist

    Nephroditi: The Bonemancer Wanderer

    Selin:The Silver-tongued Spirit-Weaver

    Carefully forged ingots of glass lined the shelves. It was a rainbow of mastercraft. Cinders could bear the hunger no longer, she picked up one of the heavy prisms and brought it to her mouth. She did so with a twinge of embarrassment and a flicker of shame, but that first taste filled her with such strength that she was able to cast such feelings aside. She bit into the vitreous solid, it cracked and fragmented leaving a razor finish that she did not mind. Blood poured from her lips as her soft flesh was painlessly opened. Rolling her tongue through that pointed mouthful she could see so much more of the world. Her studies on this strange demi-elemental magic fell into sudden clarity and the volcano within her flared into life.

    Alone in the storehouse, Cinders gorged herself.
    [Devour: +14 mana, +4 study]

    Some time later she stumbled out into the fading light of the afternoon. Her head was light and every step unsteady. The villagers watched her, terrified at the drunken sight of their mistress. Cinders barely noticed the changes in the town. The two statues, one of her and one of the island, were ringed with peasants. They had taken off their stained burlap and dressed themselves only in wood ash and colourful clay pastes. Some had thrown themselves to the ground and mumbled incoherent prayers, while others danced and sang and the rest merely stood in quiet complementation before the carefully wrought tributes to Cinderella the lavashaper. Of the clergy, there was little evidence on the streets. Murshid Christianna had moved her chosen few from preaching openly into the college, the home of Cinders' cults. The more formal side of the Church of Ashes concerned itself with the fundamental questions of reality. Treatises were carved into tablets. Raw elemental matter was dredged up from the heart of the world for study. And a few even allowed the augment to open their minds further.

    Cinders did not see this, their efforts were pathetic compared to the pure transcendance she had briefly achieved. In her start of bliss she was fully aware of the The Sink and how little by little it eased its way from the assembled restraints. She could examine the problem analytically without being plagued by pointless doubts. Moving behind her all too human concerns she could read the true destiny of the world, even with the voids caused by the floating island, she could see that the immediate future was significant and not just for her and not just for this world. The coming weeks would determine the fundamental underpinnings of the future. Of all futures.

    Similarly she was fully aware of the commotion in the marketplaces despite not casting them a second glance. Even with the diplomatic troubles surrounding access to Ganghaan andbeyond, the annexation of New Thett had provided entry into new markets and the mercantile guild had uncovered new opportunities. Cinders' mines produced plenty of coal, but the material was hardly of use to her own people given the pure heat produced by shardforge. New Thett itself did not have the industrial base either to accept much of that glut and so the coal had simply been stockpiled. The excess had always annoyed Arcbeth, head of the guild. She knew that the coal should have value, but now she had found a market. The southern traders who arrived at the Thetti marketplaces with their fine silks and stout horses had usually bartered for preserved food and little else. With the greater access provided by the occupation, however, Arcbeth had come across an interesting fact. Those same traders would often spend a little time casting their eye over any arms that were on sale, despite very rarely making any purchases and their own weaponry was only very occasionally steel. A few words in the right ears and a very happy merchant from a city whose name Arcbeth couldn't pronounce committed herself to taking all the coal she could carry. And that started quite the rush amongst her rivals.
    [fortune event, mine output increases by +1 resource/turn, gain 10 resources, 10 silver and 5 New Thett loyalty from excellent trade]

    As night fell, the euphoria wore off and Cinders watched black clouds drift over Glassalia. Looking in the direction of Caldeot she caught flickers of lightning in the distance, but the storms were still a way off reaching her own territories. At the tower, only a light drizzle fell, mostly turning to mist before it struck the warmed ground.
    [The Sink will break free of its restraints in 3 rounds.]

    Decision Time
    (A letter, a number and (if you like) your vote bonus (mana or fortune))

    Peasant action:
    A: Build houses (shelter for 25 peasants) (pay 15 resources)
    B: Build a farm (+12 food) (pay 15 resources)
    C: Build a burning fishery (+25 food, -1 mana/turn) (pay 20 resources and 10 mana)
    D: Build a jade mine in the ravaged lands (+1d4-1 silver/turn) (pay 25 resources)
    E: Construction of an article of devotion [specify the form] (+1 mana / turn) (pay 30 resources and 30 silver. Cannot be paid for in mana)
    F: Construction of defensive walls (5 dice, N/A strength [Defender 5] [Non-combatant]))(pay 100 resources and 10 silver)
    G: Construction of the Cosmic Looking Glass (+1 fortune / turn, allows the type of fortune to be chosen) (pay 50 silver, 50 resources and 50 mana)
    H: Explore the world [specify direction] (Always yields a minor bonus)
    I: Go whaling (difficulty 5 or lose 1d6 peasants, produces 5+1d6 silver pieces)
    J: Train Glaivekin (2 dice, 7+ strength with [swarmfighting], [sharp] and [ranged(short)]) (pay 5 resources and 5 peasants)
    K: Train Graniteguard (2 dice, 9+ strength with [armoured 2] and [defender 2]) (pay 5 resources and 5 peasants)
    L: Train Magma Cultists (4 dice, 6+ strength [hellfire] [inferno 2] [manaburn] [unstable]) (pay 5 resources, 5 mana, 5 silver pieces and 3 peasants) (difficulty 15 to also produce a new apprentice)
    M: Train Foreseen Cultists (3 dice, 3+ strength [destined] [lucky] [manaburn] (pay 5 resources, 5 mana, 5 fortune and 3 peasants) (difficulty 15 to also produce a new apprentice)
    N: Have the peasants work a double shift (produce 1d6+5 resources)
    O: Flood the trade markets (pay 50 resources, produce 3d6+10 silver pieces)
    P: Send a spy to Ganghaan (pay 1 peasant, 10 silver pieces and 1 silver piece / turn) (improves mercantile guild by +1)

    Cinders action:
    1: Help the peasants (Pay 2x resource cost in mana and 0 resources on build, or pay 5 mana on production to obtain +1d8 resources, or pay 5 mana on whaling to remove check)
    2: Try to draw more mana from the crystal shards (difficulty 8: Gains 4d12+4 mana, Failure means being lost inside The Weir)
    3: Devour resources (pay 25 resources, produces 2d8 mana and 1d4 study)
    4: Accelerate the experiments (pay 3 mana, produces 1d8 study)
    5: Summon Smoulderlings (produces a [Smoulderling] unit, 4 dice, 6+ [Obscuring], pay 38 mana)
    6: Summon an Elephantite (produces labour equivalent to 15 peasants, pay 29 mana and 1mana/turn)
    7: Summon a Grand Worm (produces a [Grand Worm] unit, 10 dice, 7+ [Digest], pay 72 mana)
    8: Raise a volcano (specify location) (+1 mana / turn, +1 resource / turn, destroys the local area) (pay 100 mana)
    9: Invoke the ritual of the statues (specify question) (also potentially gain Stillborn Memory units ) (pay 125 mana)
    10: Part the sea and create a path to Drome (pay 100 mana)
    11: Perform the ritual of unmaking to destroy The Weir and bind the contained energies to yourself (pay 250 mana)
    12: Reinforce The Sink's restraints (pay 25 mana) (adds 1d4 rounds before it is pulled to the north)
    13: Release The Sink entirely and allow it to head north (specify any units to chase it) (removes the -5mana/turn penalty from proximity)
    14: Extract a peasant's time (-1 peasant, +3d6 time)
    15: Pass the fused shard of The Source through The Sink to return them to the other world
    16: Attack somewhere (specify where & units)
    17: Personally travel to Ganghaan and try to establish diplomatic relations
    18: Have the New Thett spy hunt for sympathisers (difficulty 10 check to gain +2 loyalty. On a roll of 3-4, lose 1 loyalty instead)
    19: Travel to New Thett to remind the citizenry of their new master (+1 loyalty, costs 5 mana)
    20: Do some other diplomacy (specify who and what)
    21: Rearrange military (specify the split of units between Traders and Glassalia)
    22: Muse quietly on your throne

    (Sorry about that being uninspired, but you lot had waited long enough)

    Mojo_Jojo on
    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • DelmainDelmain Registered User regular
    Wait, can we not release the sink and follow it to war?

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    You can now!

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    L 17 (take gladiators, graniteguard and forseen cultists - Share what we know about the dying world and how to find the mechanical imposter men, explain Ingvar trying to replace all humans with the monsters.) - Mana

    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
  • CindersCinders Whose sails were black when it was windy Registered User regular
    Is there any option for burying the thing?

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Cinders wrote: »
    Is there any option for burying the thing?

    There will be (if) when you figure out how to move it intentionally.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • CindersCinders Whose sails were black when it was windy Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    k 4 - Mana

    Cinders on
  • TipharethTiphareth Registered User regular
    K2 - Mana, if we do this we could turn Caldeot into a volcano next turn, that might stop them temporarily from trying to grab the Weir atleast. It will also be immensely satisfying.

  • CindersCinders Whose sails were black when it was windy Registered User regular
    Tiphareth wrote: »
    K2 - Mana, if we do this we could turn Caldeot into a volcano next turn, that might stop them temporarily from trying to grab the Weir atleast. It will also be immensely satisfying.

    If we devour resources, and everyone goes mana bonus this round, we could also potentially finish our research this turn and make a volcano.

  • DelmainDelmain Registered User regular
    Firstly, we don't know that it's still over Caldeot.

    Secondly, it's flying, summoning a volcano under it probably wouldnt hurt it as much as we'd like

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Delmain wrote: »
    Firstly, we don't know that it's still over Caldeot.

    But you do know that the other shards are still there

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    k 4 - Mana

    We are nearly there on study which I like, and agree we need more units. Unsure about the volcano effect on flying place, would rather save for ritual of unmaking. But I think attacking is something we need to do sooner than later.

    Thought- can we even get our units up to the flying city? I think we have enough lavamancy to make stepping stones or at least ground thing, but that should be a consideration. specially if they have ranged units that get free attacks.

  • DelmainDelmain Registered User regular
    K 4 Mana

    I'd rather have the mana and hope we can finish this research, maybe see what it allows us to do and judge from there.

  • jakobaggerjakobagger LO THY DREAD EMPIRE CHAOS IS RESTORED Registered User regular
    K 4 Mana

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    D - 4 Mana

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Turn 60

    Decision Finish

    At exactly midnight Cinders began her attack. Knowing the precise time was an unexpected benefit of her mastery of fortunes. The poorest of the layfolk told the time by the position of the burning mass in the sky, which made it quite impossible to ever say when it was midnight outside of some uninteresting fringe cases. The more wealthy used elaborate mechanical constructs that required daily charging with salt, toil or bonemeal. Back in the world of her youth there had been magically driven devices, but even those were beneath her now when she was simply always aware of the exact position of the bright sun. Including when it was hidden below the horizon. Not that there was a reason to wait for midnight. This was no carefully planned ritual that required cosmological conjunctions. It just felt right. She had stood in the dark for some hours watching the patrols wend their way through the narrow lanes and tight alleys of the city. She could even spot the occasional lookout peering over the edge of the floating island. The air was motionless and despite the hour the stifling heat of the day still remained. Another mage might have sweated and complained. Cinders embraced the warmth.

    Silently she raised a hand. The cobbled streets of the city, still strewn with rotting algae and stinking muck from when they had resided beneath the lake, rumbled and split. Lines of orange light traced out an unpronounceable rune through winding passages and crumbling buildings. The more sodden structures collapsed entirely. It was a warning to any of the floating city above that happened to be watching but it came too late to act.

    The volcano rose. A steep peak produced from the stone, brick and steel that had once been The Institute. As it formed the world screamed. The thick smoke that belched out was lit from beneath with a constant boiling hue. It rose ever upwards until it crashed into the base of the floating island above. The ancient centre of wizardry was destroyed. Any final secrets that had been hidden within were now lost forever. Not that it mattered.

    Cinders had called her volcano through the drowned city and up into the flying one above it. The mechanisms that supported the island-fortress were robust, they had been made to withstand most assaults. And indeed the upper city did not fall. Instead, improbably, the volcano skewered it while the lava that it vomited out cemented the upper city in place above the lower. The impact was worse than any natural quake. Entire hills of stone and soil fell away destroying sections of the lower city and crushing any unlucky soul caught beneath. The damage to the upper city would be similarly catastrophic, but down in the wooded surrounds of Caldeot, Cinders could not yet see to confirm that.

    As the volcano rose her forces charged. They came from all sides. Some through the mostly deserted town of Caldeot. Heavily armoured granite guard were outpaced by the cultist hordes and lightly armoured glaivebearers. They raced for what had been The Institute, the still cooling spire of the volcano that offered a steep route into the heart of the upper city.

    Already, the forces of the remaining shards began their counterattack. Flashes of lightning joined the magma glow and the endless grinding of the volcano burying itself further into the base of the no-longer-floating city was joined by rumbles of thunder. Then came the clang of steel and iron and the wet sounds of glass penetrating flesh.

    The battle strategy had troubled Cinders. It had taken considerable effort for her to raise her forces and win or lose only the barest scraps would be left to her when the day dawned. Was she right to sacrifice them? Would their souls torment her along with the spectres of Axiom, Selin and Nephroditi? In their final moments would they realise that Cinders had abandoned them as a diversion? The lavashaper had done her best to push human emotions aside but some residues always remained. Pawns were born to be sacrificed. It was their destiny and she could see that. Almost. The floating island remained removed from any fortunes that she could predict. A black gaping void in her divinations. There was nothing to do about that now. Beneath her feet a column of stone erupted through the shin-deep grass. Cinders rose into the air and put the concerns of her followers and fortune beneath her.

    The surface of the upper city was ruined. Foundries and workshops had collapsed in on themselves or been set ablaze by the impact. Teams of southern soldiers charged this way and that, desperate to get down to ground level to repel the attack. Dozens of smaller flying islelets remained mobile, and now they were overloaded with expert warriors desperate to defend their home and master. Cinders did not interfere with their exodus. She allowed them past her to butcher her warriors of Glassalia. She moved lightly through the semi-ruined city, moving towards the draw of the other shards.

    The air up here was acrid and thick with the oily effluent of industry. It stung the eyes burned her nose. Wet rainbow sheens glittered off fallen chimneys. Ahead of her a trio of southfolk rounded a corner, serrated axes in hand and skin marked with the harsh lines of their geometric tattoos in inks of pure white, mustard yellow and sick greenish-blue. They charged without hesitation, pupils wide behind their horned helmets and mouths frothing. A wave of her hand and blinding white semiliquid spikes snapped out of the rubble and into the torso of each of the berserkers. The poisonous lichens stuffed into their mouths dulled their sensations of pain to the extent that two of the three were briefly able to try and pull themselves free before bursting into flames. The lavashaper continued on her way, weaving between the three screaming pyres.

    Down below her grand worms had surged from their hidden positions and engulfed a vast figure formed entirely of swirling knives. The entire suspended city rocked as one or the other impacted with the load bearing lava shaft. In short order the giants of the two forces would achieve mutual destruction. A deep groan shuddered up through Cinders' feet as the ground began to tilt. She called up fresh spears from the heart of the world, skewering the upper city with smaller satellite pillars. For now it held, but left her climbing a steep incline toward her goal.

    She was muttering now under her breath, but at least she could see her destination. A fresh peel of thunder announced a hammer falling from the heavens. As before Talen caught it casually as it hurtled down. Where there had been nothing the stormlord now stood. She nodded at Cinders. The lavashaper managed a smile,
    "Good to see you again, Talen. The knee looks better already. Got a fresh mechanical one did you?"

    Clad in her runed plate, her former ally nodded back,
    "The wonders of my side in this, I suppose, Cinderella. I expected you to come earlier. Cutting it fine, aren't you? Well. Let's not wag our tongues all night."
    Her helm snapped shut around her head, sealing the wizard entirely in that thick metal carapace that she carried far too easily for its immeasurable weight.

    She hurled the hammer. A lazy attack that went wide. Except that Talen was not one to ever miss. Cinders ducked and rolled. The stormlord was behind her now, having caught her own weapon and brought it down in a heavy downward swing that would have crushed her skull if it had landed. A new trick. One that was all too reminiscent of how Nephroditi had fought.

    The hidden armoury of the warrior sprung into existence and she selected a thick bladed shortsword in her offhand. The vast library of arms was replenished now and even as it blinked out of existence Talen was springing forward hammer and sword carving through the air. Cinders had fully expected having to deal with Talen once and for all, and her patience had worn thin. Hopping out of reach, she raised a hand into the air and called Vulcanus down to her. The spinning disc of sentient blades broke through the leaden clouds producing a brief wake of electricity that marked its path through the air. Catching it, Cinders pulled her ally down and around to grip it with both hands and use the artefact as a shield. Talen's hammer struck squarely against Vulcanus' forged features,

    A second blow came followed by a third. Talen was gaining momentum and slowly battering Cinders back. In response she released her grip and stood upright. After all, Cinders had only needed a few seconds. The slanted field of rubble around her burst into a spectrum of reds and oranges. A sea of magma extended for a dozen yards in every direction. The molten stone lapped lazily against Cinders' ankles, nothing more than a comforting warmth.

    Talen was only caught briefly. More than enough to painfully end a mundane opponent but Talen's armour made her far from mundane. A flash of blinding lightning and Talen was in the air. Wings of shining silver extended from her back, flapping more sedately than one would imagine necessary to keep the armoured mass of the stormlord airbourne. Already the liquid stone on her boots was cooling into an ugly brownish mass of lavarock.

    "Good, Cinderella. That was almost enough. You know what they say about almost though."

    Vulcanus slashed through the air at Talen. The artifact was spinning so quickly that he was reduced to a featureless blur. With a stroke of her new wings, Talen pushed herself upwards and away, ably dodging. As she flapped higher she selected a bow from her portable armoury. Dealing with a flying opponent put Cinders at a disadvantage, her magics preferred to keep her anchored firmly on the ground. Once more lightning flashed behind her. Talen was standing outside the rough circle of lava. Another Talen to the one that was notching an arrow in the sky above. Lightning flashed again and again as various weapons streaked down through the heavy clouds to be caught by other versions of the stormlord. A full dozen versions of the mage surrounded Cinders now.

    "I did say how I loathed these one on one duels. In war as in life one should use any and every advantage available."

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    In the city below, the conflict was still focused around the central spire that had once been The Institute. The granite guard had formed a living wall around it while the rest were busy climbing broken staircases and scaling still-warm cliff faces in an effort to breach the exposed mechanical flesh of the island above. The largest of the stillborn memories remained below too, being impractically shaped to try and follow their smaller brethren upwards. The first waves of enemies had mostly been human. Expertly trained and battle-hardened, but very familiar beings of flesh and blood. Where they had fallen they were replaced. Animating spirits took hold of their weapons and armour or bonemancy used their corpses as marionettes to fight on. The dead lacked the speed and ferocity of the living but they were almost impervious to injury. Only reducing them to broken piles of gore and shards of metal was enough to prevent them rising again. Little by little the granite guard were falling.


    The sky was marked with the twinges of predawn now and the ground around Cinders was reduced to uneven glass. A light fog drifted across its surface, hissing where it touched the surface. Embedded in that cooling vitreous landscape were the rent forms of all but one of the Talens. Weaponry of every conceivable form studded the field of battle. Her hands were reshaped in stone claws and they were embedded in the chest of the last of the identical wizards. Talen's helm was retracted and Cinders watched as the last flickers of life fought on. A slick bluish foam ran from the corner of her mouth. Tearing open the armoured plate that covered her chest the lavashaper confirmed her suspicions. Where there should have been flesh and bone there was only a collection of broken gears, counterweights, shafts and cams pushing against one another. And deep within, a tiny crystal. A small reminder of her own shard. The heart of an automaton-mage. Cinders crushed the magical core and allowed the form of Talen to fall away. Perhaps one of them had been the original. Perhaps not.

    For a time she stood alone in the silence. Nobody else was coming. There was nothing left to oppose her now. The rest of the enemy were dealing with whatever scraps of her own army had breached the interior of the island. Reaching down she ripped the head free of the final Talen and entered the central hub. A squat tower at the heart of the upper city that housed the remaining fused shards.

    It was dark inside. A perpetual gloom that refused to be pushed back regardless of what Cinders set light to. She squinted. A diminutive form stepped forward.
    "Hello Cinderella. It's a shame that you didn't respond to my invitation earlier."

    Ingvar. Ghostly pale and still so young. No more than a child really. The one who had set them all on this path. The instigator of everything. Against the impenetrable gloom, he looked small rather than powerful. Wordlessly, Cinders tossed the mechanical head of Talen at his feet.

    "A shame that. The warrior defeated in combat. Well, you came this far. Do you have questions? I feel like I owe you that."

    Possibly it was a trap. Was the mechano-sage just stalling while reinforcements could be brought in? Did answers still matter now, or had she moved well beyond that point? In the end she offered only a single word unable to resist getting some ansswers,

    His neutral expression remained,
    "That is fair. My - our - world was a prison created to prevent the death of this one. You know that as well as I. The Institute, the original I mean, the one that you just destroyed, was mostly uninterested in the problem. Magic was power and if it meant that the non-mages ended up extinct did it really matter? Nine disagreed. They banded together across silly factions and internal politics to try and answer fundamental questions of the world with a hope to finding a way to prevent the extinction of their own race. Because deep down, you and the mundane humans are all the same thing. Some of you have just learnt to play with forces that you don't quite understand. It doesn't make you any different. I can dress a buffalo in a fine jacket but it's still just a meal waiting to be cooked."

    Only his lips moved as he spoke, his eyes were squarely locked with Cinders but there was only the barest hint of any expression or emotion. He was not even breathing,
    "In the end they failed. The best they could do was come up with a way to seal away all magic. And so they did. And in the process they condemned every other mage in the Institute to imprisonment in that tiny shadow of a world that you grew up in. And despite being crude and unjust it worked. For a time. The lack of understanding was their undoing. They did have a little foresight with the flooding of the city around the Institute, I'll give them that. They drove humanity from its birthplace and the race spread across the world. Some of them stayed to maintain a vigil. Others became recluses. And some even deigned to die. But The Institute was sealed away from even the most curious of explorers."

    "They never even understood what they had created. They were all ignorant of their greatest achievement. At least until you agreed to help me with that little ritual. You call me The Weir, I prefer to think of myself as what comes next. What rises from the failed experiment that was humanity. I made the first of my children in your image, but that was just a means to an end. Now there is no need to pretend we are not beyond you by every metric."

    Ingvar's face cracked. Angular lines split it into irregular angled shapes and the gloom began to fade. The voice of Ingva (or The Weir?) continued to speak although now it dropped the pretence of using a mouth altogether.
    "I will give you the credit you deserve, Cinderella, you have made this far more time consuming than I expected. I will remember that. I won't sweep your efforts to the side as humanity did when they repainted their creators as slavers."

    One piece that contained most of his left eye and cheek pulled backwards, a perfect piece of a mask attached to a long metallic arm leaving an empty void in the face. His entire body came apart in short order. The gloom began to lift and she could see the spidery metallic limbs grouped together at the far end of the chamber. Came together in a vast machine that filled the entire chamber around her. And at its centre, the fused form of Ingvar's shards. Every surface was part of the great machine. Cinders spotted a number of huge glass cylinders embedded in one wall. Each was filled with a translucent blue slime and the vague outline of a human form.

    "One for each of the six of you and another nine for the original architects of your prison. Sadly, I never really came close to completing that collection. The rest for the incidentals that I felt worth keeping. Mitel, your apprentice and so on."

    The fires burning within Cinders were extinguished abruptly. Her power stolen in the blink of an eye. A chill spread through her body and she fell to the uneven surface of overlapping brass and tin plates. The chamber was fully lit now with a harsh white light that revealed the extent of the sinister factory.

    "If you had come earlier, you might have had a chance at stopping the next stage this world and the end of humanity."

    The ceiling split down the middle, revealing the dawn-tinged clouds and the fading stars between them. And through the opening came The Sink. Cinders had still had time. Its restraints should have held for at least another day before it was able to break them and return here to the drowned city. And even if it had pulled free, Cinders knew how to shield herself from the worst of its draining influence. There was no way for it to rob her of her powers.

    "I paid a visit to Glassalia while you were mounting your less than surprising attack in case you're wondering."

    While The Weir hovered a little way before her, she caught sight of the metallic sphere, her own pair of fused shards descending down through the broken sky. Any bond she had with her shards had been cut. Cinders watched powerlessly as the machine heart opened and her shards returned to their fellows. In a blink, The Source was reformed. The Sink at one end of the chamber and The Source at the other. An impossibility. The two sides of The Weir that should only have been able to exist across different worlds. Spindly mechanical limbs reached out toward The Sink, rapidly forming a cradle around it to match its twin.

    "There is no need for you to die, Cinderella. You may watch the future arrive. I'll restore myself to completeness. That pest Tzo'lin did more damage than he realised. Only temporary though. I can sift through the ethers and repair what he stole from me. And once I'm freed and this world sees a new age begin then I'll take great pleasure in having some very petty revenge."

    The walls of the vast machine-chamber had started to shift and Cinders realised that elements of the machine were breaking off and rearranging themselves. Multi-legged things no bigger than a hand with miniature crystals at their centre scuttling all over. They swarmed over The Source and built new strange structures across its surface. The thing existed in too many dimensions for Cinders to really make sense of with her eyes. Even cut off from her source of power Cinders could feel the fundamental energies at work here. And she was not entirely cut off. Not really. Not all magic relied on the crutch of the shards. The Weir had shown the extent of its own ego with that particular assumption.

    Slowly, the lavashaper edged backward towards the still open entryway. The Weir, that inhuman intelligence, seemed to have lost interest in her now and was busily working to restore The Source so it could be merged with The Sink and achieve its full freedom. Cinders did not know how long she had. Minutes? Hours? Days? When it was completed then she would have failed and the next age would begin, one that was no longer governed by her or any other member of humanity.

    Cinders continued her retreat at a greater pace. She walked backwards, keeping her eyes locked on the industry around The Source. Multi-segmented things made up of nameless crystal studded silver mechanisms rolled over one another carving away the imperfections and voids within The Source.

    "Leaving already?"
    The voice kept the high pitch of Ingvar but it didn't come from any corporeal form. Cinders stood now on the riveted steel paving stones of the path leading into the central hub. The open sky was above her. And open ground was almost within reach.

    "There is no escape. Running back to your collection of hovels by the sea won't achieve anything. You should stay here. Stay and watch at the very centre of things."

    Despite a lack of eyes, the intelligence was still watching her. Cinders dropped to her knees and pressed her hands to the ground. Her left hand just passed over the edge of the metallic walkway and fell on packed dirt. She clenched her fist and waited, doing her best to keep the demeanour of the defeated and hoping that the powers of the mechanical enemy did not extend into her own thoughts.

    Around her dawn was in full swing. Possibly her final day. Possibly not just hers. It was now or never. She brought her hand up and stuffed the clod of soil into her mouth. She didn't savour the taste, but swallowed it down and burst into a run. It was the tiniest of sparks. A bare flavour of the power she had once commanded. The dirt here was thin and empty, drained of the vital forces that it should have carried. But it was enough. She was a taster of stone and the ground contained a source of energy outside of the shards and outside The Weir.

    Cinders charged back into the chamber. New crystal and metal mechanical things dropped from the chamber walls and ceiling around her. Others landed on The Sink itself, the half of The Weir that was closest to her. Working together they built themselves into a shield. A barrier to prevent her reaching it.
    "I underestimated you."

    She ignored the voice. Slender needles stabbed into her flesh, projected by some unseen guardian behind her. A thing that looked like the offspring of a scorpion and an anvil lashed out with a pincer that tore a lump of flesh from her thigh. She slowed as the blood coursed out of her. Now she reached the thick fortification that encircled her target. She pressed hands against the surface. A surface that came alive under her palms and began to saw and chew through her flesh. She commanded the metal that made up the barrier. She demanded that it yield to her. It tore inwards, a tiny hole that would barely permit one hand. Through it should could see The Sink itself. She gave everything she had.

    In the distance she was aware of her body being torn into pieces. Bones snapping. Ligaments pulled away. Flesh tearing. But the metal obeyed her. It warped and melted, permitting her to reach her prize.


    She did not listen to the voice and whatever bargain it was offering or final threat it was making. She devoured The Sink.

    The power filled her even as her body failed and her heart took its last beat. The lavashaper, the taster of stone, fell in a heap of barely connected pieces within the broken machine-barrier. Around her the individual elements of the machine intelligence that lurked within The Weir and had masqueraded as Ingvar the mechano-sage ground to a halt.

    And then the two worlds collided. With The Sink destroyed, The Source followed and the artificial world that had been created to contain the toxic influence of magic was no longer separated. The shadow of The Institute and the surrounding city melded with the ruined form of the city beneath the machine island. A final quake ran through the chunk of land plucked from the frozen south and brought above the drowned city. A great quake that toppled most of the remaining buildings. Without the effort of the automatons to preserve their intricate machine-organs that filled the island they too shook to pieces. The central hub collapsed down upon the dying form of Cinderella.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Twenty-nine years later
    Nuava allowed the girl to guide her to the edge of the harbour. The air was foul here, polluted with the debris of ocean-going trade. Seagulls squawked angrily as they fought over some scraps of fish innards that a lazy fisher had dumped on the wooden slats.

    "I remember when all this was a beach, you know."

    "I know, Gran. You say that every time we come here."

    Her aching bones protested as she lowered herself to sit, legs dangling above the grey waters. As unpleasant as the immediate surrounds were, between the two great ships that were busy being loaded or unloaded they had a clear view to the obsidian tower. It was a static black mast in the sea now. The lavafalls had been silenced many years ago and the doorways had sealed themselves. The tower, the former seat of power for the region, was now just a curiosity. Ignored by most except the occasional scholar who would spend a few weeks in the city and try to prove or disprove some theory about the fundamentals of the world. A tiny speck circled the tower, the scything glaive known as Vulcanus, maintaining his eternal vigil.

    Shouting broke out to the left. A trio of masked enchanters dressed in entirely weather-inappropriate velour robes were arguing with the sailors who were manhandling a collection of ornate chests down a gangplank. Nuava and the young girl ignored them. The girl looked behind her briefly before sitting down beside her grandmother.

    "Let me tell you about that bitch Cinderella and how she saved us all from the automatons"
    [Thanks for playing]


    The Almighty Huri uncoiled itself from around the pillar. The gate-chamber deep within Ganghaan was filled with a pulsing bruised light. Limbs twitched and extended, shaking off the tightness of so many tens of years. The Vitaetects had almost finished their voyage through the cosmos and soon they would return to see what their last children, the humans, had achieved with their world and render judgement.

    And in the twin-cities, the haunted field of the last war, deep within the untouched rubble of a collapsed factory-laboratory, humanity's reluctant saviour opened an eye and commanded the broken construct-beasts to free her.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • DelmainDelmain Registered User regular

  • DelmainDelmain Registered User regular
    Well, I mean noooooo that it's over, but holy shit!

  • CindersCinders Whose sails were black when it was windy Registered User regular
    Thank you for running this! It was awesome and a lot of fun!

  • TipharethTiphareth Registered User regular
    This was awesome. Thanks for hosting.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Glad you enjoyed it

    As with the other games I'll collect my thoughts about what went well and what didn't and do a post mortem in the generic cyoa thread

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • DelmainDelmain Registered User regular
    If you don't mind linking it here, that'd be nice. I don't actually know what thread you're talking about. =P

  • zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    Really great and fun game, thank you Mojo, you're writing is amazing.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Delmain wrote: »
    If you don't mind linking it here, that'd be nice. I don't actually know what thread you're talking about. =P

    Will do

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    I am no artist.
    Let's hotlink something.
    Huh. Didn't work.

    Thanks Mojo!

    discrider on
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Here's a link to my rambling post mortem

    And thanks again to everybody who voted, especially the long suffering types who stuck it out all the way. These games can't work without players and you were a fine bunch of them

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
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