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File 156393346605.png - (177.57KB , 533x700 , 10-1.png )
940228 No. 940228 ID: 7816e7

18+ adult content
Chapter 10: Heart of the Mountain

First thread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/860238.html
Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Moot_Point
Previous thread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/932953.html
473 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 948343 ID: 91ee5f

>>948332
To Gabe: Wow, good going. You had one job and you fucked up big time. You should’ve known better than to let yourself get distracted like that. You better hope you can find Kol’s body before the spirit possessing it can get away!

You’d better go and alert the others, right now!

To Cecil: There is a time and a place for trying new things. This was neither the time nor the place for that. You’ve only got yourself to blame for distracting Gabe.
>>
No. 948344 ID: 0f57ee

Oh boy.
Alrighty, Gabe make a shouting portal in the garden. Up high to avoid any traffic. Yell out that Kol is gone and to run out here. Look through another portal to see if the other elevator is back at the warren.
>>
No. 948420 ID: f57349

Raise your shorts, and the alarm.
>>
No. 948421 ID: eba8a7

Dammit, Kol is gonna be furious at you that you let his body get hijacked by getting a handjob. And if you don't get his bod back...

Get your shorts then your ass up. You need to locate the second elevator which whoever hijacked Kol's body presumably took ASAP. Look down the tunnel you came in via to see if it's there. If it is then you need to Gate to it before it gets out of sight. Then you can either drop possessed-Kol into your extra-dimensional closet or use a Gate to dump him... Where? Back on the platform he could just take the other elevator. Drop him in the Garden instead.

If you can't see the elevator block, then hope that the vertical shaft that you came in on is the only way to get to all the destinations it could go to and open a peephole Gate to the vertical shaft. Use it to look up and down the shaft for the elevator. Whether you locate it or not, run back into the Garden and yell for help. If you do locate the elevator, keep re-positioning the Gate to keep it in view. If you don't locate the elevator... I dunno what can be done.
>>
No. 948492 ID: a9af05

>>948332
Gabe, since Cecil was high, that means he's unable to think clearly. Do you know what that means? It means this is entirely your fault. You've got no one to blame but yourself for how badly you've fucked up.

Instead of sitting there and feeling sorry for yourself, get up of your ass and do something! If you can see the other lift, put a portal in front of it to redirect it back to you.

You've obviously gotta punish yourself. Since sex got you into this mess, that means you're not allowed to have any kind of sex for a whole month! This also means that you're not allowed to go on any adventures with the others, until you can prove that you can be trusted to handle your responsibilities without your dick out of your pants.
>>
No. 948493 ID: 7816e7
File 157256846916.png - (126.03KB , 700x500 , 10-130.png )
948493

“Oh lichfire.” Mr. Ochre points to the missing space next to them. “The other transporter is missing! What do we do?”

Gabe takes a deep breath. He stands and pulls up his shorts. “Okay, let’s not panic. He can’t get that far then. Spirit guides are taught to prepare in case something like this happens.”

He waves a hand and opens a gate a couple feet across. Sticking his head through, he gazes out into the lush jungle growing underground. “Woah, cool...”

“Hey, Casey! Delilah!” Gabe calls out, scanning the underbrush.

“Gabe? What’s up?”

“Something nabbed Kol! He took off in the other transport! I, uh- let my concentration slip, I guess.”

Casey sighs and stuff the last of her mushroom harvest in her pack. “Alright, we’ll be right out.”

The party reconvenes on the remaining transport. Gabe hangs his head anxiously, “Sorry, I fucked up. I shouldn’t have gotten distracted.”

He’s pulled into a hug by Casey and she pats reassurances into his back. “Hey, it’ll be okay. Kol trusts us and we’ll get his body back.” She turns to their kobold guide. “Zafi, we’re assuming a sprit of some kind has taken control of Kol’s body. Is there anywhere a ghost might want to take him?”

Zafi fidgets and thinks, “They say the sanctum once held a place of power. Its possible they might go there.”
>>
No. 948494 ID: cdabe3

By the spirits, y’all are some salty suggestors! Kol’s body is probably fine, and I’m sure he’ll forgive Gabe’s slip in concentration, especially since we helped influence it.

Gabe, do you have any magical means to track kol? Maybe he left a trail of magic or footprints behind.
>>
No. 948495 ID: 695467

>>948492 >>948421 >>948343
Stop. This is counterproductive, nothing good can come of heaping negative thoughts on Gabe. Think of it this way: A spirit nabbed Kol's body while Gabe while they were distracted, if Gabe wasn't distracted then that doesn't necessarily mean we could've kept Kol's possessed body here, the spirit could've used Kol's body to overpower Gabe and escape. Keep your focus on resolving this, not pointlessly demoralising Gabe further.

I suggest following Zafi's advice and heading to the sanctum, but keep an eye out while you travel. It's possible the transporter was sent down as misdirection.
>>
No. 948496 ID: ce39da

Pop a portal to warn the village to be on the lookout, too. This is a pretty ballsy move on the spirit's part, considering what these kobolds are capable of. Then head to the Sanctum; even if the spirit isn't there, we need to check there because that's supposedly where the spirit can do the most damage. Have Zafi point out the correct option on the platform.
>>
No. 948497 ID: b1b4f3

Okay, let's head there. Hmm, any chance we could open a portal to deliver the mushrooms and retrieve Kol's spirit before we head to the Sanctum?
>>
No. 948498 ID: a9af05

>>948493
>Zafi fidgets and thinks, “They say the sanctum once held a place of power. Its possible they might go there.”
Then let's go there.

>>948495
>nothing good can come of heaping negative thoughts on Gabe.
The negative thoughts will keep him focused on fixing his mistake.

>if Gabe wasn't distracted then that doesn't necessarily mean we could've kept Kol's possessed body here, the spirit could've used Kol's body to overpower Gabe and escape.
Incorrect.

If Gabe wasn't distracted, then the spirit wouldn't have been able to possess Kol's body in the first place, since that's the whole reason Gabe had a ward set up around Kol's body.

>pointlessly demoralising Gabe further.
It's not pointless if it teaches a lesson to not repeat the same mistake in the future.
>>
No. 948499 ID: e7848c

>>948497
Let's go ahead and drop off the mushrooms real quick so we don't have that weighing us down. To the Sanctum.
>>
No. 948500 ID: eba8a7

Considering how massive this place is and how easily Kol's body could be lost down here, you've gotta try to get better than "possible."

Ask Zafi if the transport that left here would have to go through the central vertical shaft to get to any of its destinations. If so, or if for most of them, then it'd make sense to open a "peephole" Gate to the shaft at the same level as the Garden and look up and down it for the transport. If you spot it then Zafi can say where it could be going based on if it's higher or lower. Gabe could even open a mini-Gate well above the transport and use a spyglass or binoculars to get a look at its controls and see exactly where it's going. He might even be able to widen the Gate to allow Casey to glide in on her mana wings and subdue Kol's body.
>>
No. 948502 ID: b1b4f3

If we CAN get Kol's spirit quickly, then he could possess that golem body in the garden and use it to help get his real body back.
>>
No. 948503 ID: 91ee5f

>>948493
>Spirit guides are taught to prepare in case something like this happens.
You were taught to prepare, but were you taught what to do when something like this actually happens? Because there’s a big difference between preparing to prevent this from happening and what to do when it does happen.

Does any of your training involve forcibly removing a spirit that’s possessing a body that doesn’t belong to them?

>>948497
If either Three Horns knows how to deal with these stray spirits or if we need Kol’s magic to remove the spirit from Kol’s body, we can portal down there, since taking the lift would take too long.

However, if we don’t need either of them, we might just end up wasting time going back to the kobold village instead of chasing after Kol’s body right now.

>>948495
>if Gabe wasn't distracted.....
If he wasn’t distracted, this wouldn’t have happened.

>>948502
I think that one is too damaged to be used.

And even if it was operational, I don’t trust using it. It’s a machine that’s meant to enslave spirits, so whoever built it wouldn’t have included a way for the spirit to get out of the machine.
>>
No. 948677 ID: 7816e7
File 157282850480.png - (148.70KB , 700x499 , 10-131.png )
948677

They pass though the threshold into the central shaft and the transport slows to a halt. A moment later it begins descending, traveling further into the mountain.

“Is Kol going to be okay?” Cecil asks, squinting his eyes as long streaks of light blur past him. “Will you be able to take it back from whatever’s using it?”

“It happens. There are times where a medium needs to lend a spirit their body to help them complete unfinished business before passing on. Its to be expected that some spirits aren’t willing to part with a living body so easily.“ Casey explains. “Wards are supposed to keep a borrowed body from running off, or protect  a medium while spirit walking. We’ve never had to deal with it before, but we’re not exactly novices.” She smiles sideways at him as the transport changes directions again.
>>
No. 948678 ID: 7816e7
File 157282851471.png - (98.88KB , 700x499 , 10-132.png )
948678

The stone block begins to slow, and pulls up to a docking station. Before it lies an immense iron door, forced open wider to accommodate someone much larger than a kobold. A single set of bootprints scuff through the dust, leading deep inside. The gloom within reveals a tunnel braced with stone arches like the ribs of the earth itself.  
>>
No. 948679 ID: e7848c

>>948678
Only a single set of tracks. Perhaps it was a spare that took him? Onwards.
>>
No. 948680 ID: 66815b

Do we have any magical means to stealthily scout ahead for traps and whatnot? Do that, and then carefully walk through.
>>
No. 948681 ID: ce39da

He can’t have too much of a head start. Full sprint time.
>>
No. 948682 ID: 91ee5f

>>948677
>We’ve never had to deal with it before, but we’re not exactly novices.
That’s not very reassuring. Never having to deal with it before means that you have no experience in recovering a body that a spirit has possessed.

What’s worse is that you didn’t even explain how you were going to get the spirit out of Kol’s body, which make me think that you don’t even know how to do it!

>>948678
>Before it lies an immense iron door, forced open wider to accommodate someone much larger than a kobold. A single set of bootprints scuff through the dust, leading deep inside.
Kol’s body is bigger than a kobold and was also wearing boots. Seems like this is the correct way to go, so let’s go!
>>
No. 948683 ID: eba8a7

Looks like Kol's body got boosted by the hijacking spirit to push that door open. Gonna have to keep that in mind when we confront them 'cause they're very likely gonna fight us. That may also mean the speed of Kol's body has been boosted, so we gotta get the lead out to catch up.

Ask Zafi if she'd agree to being carried by Delilah or riding piggyback on her. We only ask because we need the greater speed our longer legs would give us right now. If she doesn't agree, then ask if she'd be okay with catching up while we run ahead.

Ask Zafi just why a spirit that has been wandering about down here would want to come to this place of power, how they'd know about it and what they'd need a body to do once there. Presumably the spirit could have slipped into this place of power at any point, barring anti-spirit wards, so what do they need to occupy a body for? Is there something in there that they need to physically move? Or maybe something hazardous to loose spirits, like a giant version of that crystal Three Horns had, that they couldn't get near? ...And could the spirit be that of one of the kobolds' old masters?

Also ask Zafi what she knows of what this place was used for, back when her people were still enslaved by their old masters.
>>
No. 948685 ID: 91ee5f

>>948683
>a giant version of that crystal Three Horns had
Three Horns didn’t have a crystal. She made the crystal with her magic.
>>
No. 948703 ID: eba8a7

>>948685
Oh, right. Still, there could be spirit trapping wards in there that'd do similar.
>>
No. 948717 ID: a0dfd2

>>948678

Speaking of, where's Delilah?

She's the only one I can think of who has the kind of strength to do that, and ... we've not seen her in the last several minutes.
>>
No. 948724 ID: 91ee5f

>>948717
She’s with everyone, she’s just not on screen.
>>
No. 948923 ID: 7816e7
File 157309343472.png - (155.67KB , 500x700 , 10-133.png )
948923

“Why would a spirit want to get in here?” Delilah asks. She tests the door and it groans as rusted bearings grind in place.

“The lord of the mountain ruled from here many years ago.” Zafi explained. “Its said this place granted him power, and he had the walls built to keep spirits from entering.”

“It looks like your people haven’t come here in a long time.” Casey notes, eyeing the dust. “Why not? It seems like that kind of power would be hard to resist.”

Zafi seems to stand up higher, her skinny chest puffed up proudly. “Kobolds were slaves to that power, and refuse to let it control others! The danger of it being misused is too great.”

“Well said.” Casey smiles and beckons, “We better hurry then before whatever took our friend seizes it.”

She hurries off into the dark, followed by her friends. After a moment of worry, staring at the threshold, Zafi scurries after them.

The tunnel spirals down, into the bones of the earth. Lit by the same strange crystal fragments, wedged into stone sconces, strange shadows seem to lunge at them as they run past. The dusty, unused air scours at their lungs as they race deeper: privately glad of Delilah’s stamina training.
>>
No. 948924 ID: 7816e7
File 157309343969.png - (137.17KB , 700x388 , 10-134.png )
948924

They come to a halt the the end of the tunnel, beyond which lies the sanctum of the vampire lord. Built in a low dome held up by stone ribs, the chamber is empty, save for three stone chairs set in a semicircle around the rim of a circular pit. Each of the thrones is occupied by a pile of bones, strewn about by time and decay.
>>
No. 948925 ID: 83bf07

>>948924
Investigate pit, but keep your eyes open. You don't want to be pushed in there.
>>
No. 948926 ID: b1b4f3

Look around in all directions. A possessed body could jump quite high I imagine.
>>
No. 948932 ID: 91ee5f

>>948924
Could they be on top of those arches that’s holding that green crystal up there? Or perhaps they’re hiding behind one of the thrones?

This place is supposed to be covered in dust, right? Look for more boot prints and follow them!
>>
No. 948936 ID: d004e0

Check floor for bootprints to locate Kol's hijacked body. Failing that, there's few hiding spots in here to check. Behind the three thrones and possibly between the ribs near the apex of the chamber. (The spirit could brace Kol's body between them.) If Kol's body isn't anyplace you can see, then barring invisibility magic he very likely went down the pit as it's the only other exit.
>>
No. 948976 ID: ce39da

Yeah, footprints should be a dead giveaway to where he went; don’t hesitate in following.

“If the spirit wanted to seize this power, how would they do it?”
>>
No. 948998 ID: a9af05

>>948924
Have we ever considered the possibility that maybe the spirit is a follower of Ms. Moot? They could've died before they completed their final mission, which was to seal the mana well.

Although, even if that's what's going on, it doesn't change our objective: Stop the spirit. Because even if they're just here to seal the mana well, we know for a fact that the process involves the sealer sacrificing their body. So we'd better stop that spirit before they sacrifice Kol's body!
>>
No. 949006 ID: 7816e7
File 157318512120.png - (161.38KB , 700x500 , 10-135.png )
949006

Casey follows the trail of bootprints, squinting into the dust as they lead her closer to the pit. She stands at the edge, squinting into the yawning void for signs of movement.
>>
No. 949007 ID: 7816e7
File 157318513010.png - (161.71KB , 499x700 , 10-136.png )
949007

Dust trickles past her face and the sound of a foot scuffing echoes from above. The mouse half-turns and extends a hand. Aura flares around her fingers for a second and arrests the falling figure, shackling it in midair with a bracelet of light.

Kol’s body grins back at her, dangling from one arm. He chuckles, twisting Kol’s voice with an unfamiliar sharpness, “Very well, then. I suppose we should talk.”
>>
No. 949013 ID: b1b4f3

>>949007
I think so, yes.
Who are you, and what do you want so badly that you'd steal a body to get it?
>>
No. 949021 ID: 8b43ab

Quite. But we are NOT talking in here.
>>
No. 949022 ID: a9af05

>>949007
We can talk after you leave our friend's body.

>>949021
I agree with this. Let's move the conversation to a different location.

How about the kobold village? Three Horns might be able to help us evict this spirit from Kol's body, if we can't negotiate them to leave on their own.
>>
No. 949025 ID: feecd8

>>949007
If wards are supposed to stop spirits from running off with bodies, then Gabe better put one up to prevent this spirit from running off.

>>949022
>Move to Kobold village
Yeah, let's do that. Gabe, give us a portal to the village. That way both of the lifts will be up here and the spirit can't use them. Then he can set up a ward to keep the spirit in place.

Or would Gabe prefer fucking up and letting the spirit run off with Kol's body again?
>>
No. 949029 ID: 91ee5f

>>949025
>portal to kobold village
>leave the both lifts up here to prevent the spirit from using them
>place a ward to hold the spirit in place
That sounds like a good plan. Just as long as we move the spirit away from this place.

>Or would Gabe prefer fucking up and letting the spirit run off with Kol's body again?
That’s enough of that.
>>
No. 949042 ID: 83bf07

Yeah, let's talk, thief. Name first.
>>
No. 949045 ID: d3a7f5

>>949007
Yep! But not here! We can't talk to spirits without our trusty medium, y'know?

Tuck him through a portal to the kobold village (if possible - given this is a sanctum, it might be warded against outtrusions as well as intrusions).

It should probably be far better we have this discussion under Kol and the auspices of someone familiar with the local spirits - not to mention someone with a gem they can yoink uppity spirits into!

That said, should someone stay behind to see if the guy's fiddled with anything here that seems important? Would suck if he pressed the 'evil lair self-destruct' switch or 'activate security' button.
>>
No. 949047 ID: a0dfd2

>>949007

Oh boy. Here comes the cliche monologue about how long they've been waiting here for some mortal of superior biology to blah blah blah blah blah and finally they've a chance to blah blah yammer blah and will soon be able to--

Anyway, let's ask that they leave Kol be, since it's really rude to run off with him like that. Then we can all have a nice, civil discussion and figure things out. Like proper Spirit Guardians (or whatever we're called; I forget).
>>
No. 949067 ID: d004e0

Whoever took Kol's body has already demonstrated bad intent by the theft and their actions afterwards, including trying to drop on you. They get no benefit of the doubt and whatever they say will be taken with a grain of salt the size of a cinder block.

Conjure binds around his ankles, wrists, waist and neck, pull him into a hogtied position and carry him along in the air towards the exit. "No, you're going to vacate my partner's body you stole, thief. Then, maybe, we'll talk." Tell Delilah to pull the entry door shut once we get past it.
>>
No. 949097 ID: 10c408

>>949067
seconding this.
>>
No. 949101 ID: d004e0

>>949067
In addendum to my suggestion: Use your god-tier binding magic to hold Kol's body and whoever is inside. They've already shown they could juice it up to the point of shifting massive rusty metal doors, so they're not getting any chance to break free.
>>
No. 949127 ID: a9af05

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if this spirit is one of the kobold's old masters and they're here to get enough power to reclaim their "property".

They might even try to offer us some of that power in exchange for helping them enslave the kobolds.

Obviously, we're going to refuse helping them.

>>949067
>Bad intent
I agree with this. I mean, do you see that evil look the spirit is giving us with Kol's face? That's clearly not a look a trustworthy person would use!
>>
No. 949259 ID: 7816e7
File 157351502182.png - (113.82KB , 500x700 , 10-137.png )
949259

“Of course, but I suggest a change of venue first.” Casey nods to Gabe.

The sender consults his mental map of the tunnels, does a few quick calculations and rounds things out a bit. His hands move in a series of mage signs and a gate opens to the kobold village.

Casey clamps the wayward spirit with a few more magical bindings and floats him through the gate. As he passes through, the thief stares at the gate spell with growing interest; as if finally understanding some long hidden puzzle. As a few kobold faces peer out of the ramshackle structures, he smiles. “Ahh! The servants! Good to see they’re still thriving.”

A square of red flares on the ground around Kol’s body as Gabe wards him in place.

“Okay, first off: who are you?” Casey demands.

Head held high, the spirit adopts an imperious tone, “I am the lord of this mountain! Muir the Mountain King! The-“

“Yeah okay, we get the idea. Question two: may we have our partner’s body back?”

“Had my other bodies not crumbled into dust, I might have relinquished this form. But no. Its been several hundred years since I last had a body and I quite like it.” He tries to cross his arms in defiance, but the shackles hold him in place. He settles on closing his eyes stubbornly.
>>
No. 949263 ID: cdabe3

Well that’s no good!

First off, ask about the mechanical body we found earlier, and then suggest building a new body if that isn’t suitable; leaving the spirit in Gabe’s body ain’t gonna fly.
>>
No. 949277 ID: 3ce8ff

rather than think all that hard about this, sex usually seems to solve problems. (or cause them I suppose) So offer sex in exchange for body?
>>
No. 949278 ID: a0dfd2

>>949259

So not even like, that cool mechanical body we saw in the garden? Something like that would last for at least ... well, several centuries.
>>
No. 949281 ID: 094652

>No spare bodies
Easily fixed; we have a necromancer on call!
>>
No. 949282 ID: 3ed3c3

>>949259
Well, that's bad for you, buddy boy. Because if you can't think of an alternative for yourself here soon, we'll exorcise your spectral ass and slam dunk it into the GHOST ZONE.
>>
No. 949309 ID: b1b4f3

>>949259
Hey, get Kol over here. Can't he reconnect and regain control over the body once released from his crystalline prison? After all, we did live up to our end of the deal.

The spirit doesn't *really* have to leave the body. As we've seen before, Kol can share.
>>
No. 949318 ID: 91ee5f

>>949259
Alright, we’re back in the village. Let’s call Three Horns and have her bring Kol over here.

We brought her mushrooms and now the spirit of someone that enslaved the kobolds has invaded our friend’s body. We’d like her help to get our friend’s spirit back into his body and to pull this guy out of our friend’s body.
>>
No. 949320 ID: f57349

Ask the kobolds if permanently neutralizing Muir for them would settle our debt and get diplomacy back on track. I mean, given that he's not willing to negotiate, they've kinda got the more legitimate claim in our eyes just by default.
>>
No. 949335 ID: 83bf07

Well we happen to know of a spare body. We need our friend back first.
>>
No. 949344 ID: d3cb99

I don't think we'll be able to please both this guy and the kobolds, because I'm pretty sure he still wants to be their boss.
>>
No. 949352 ID: a9af05

>>949318
This
>>
No. 949375 ID: 7816e7
File 157361202477.png - (128.04KB , 649x700 , 10-138.png )
949375

“Are you sure? Why can’t you use one of the hollow machine bodies?” Casey asks.

Muir scowls. “Useless to me! They have... limitations built into them. Fit for a servant or a guard perhaps, but completely beneath me.”

Casey clicks her tongue and shrugs. “Well, we tried things the nice way...” She looks around and spots Three Horns striding her way.

“We brought you the supplies you asked for.” Casey opens her pack to show the kobold a varied collection of mushrooms.

“And another present, I see.” The binder holds up the gem with Kol’s sprit in it. “A deal is a deal. I’m very interested in seeing how this plays out. Oh ho ho ho ho!” She releases the crystal and it unweaves itself instantly, letting Kol’s spirit float free.
>>
No. 949376 ID: 7816e7
File 157361203030.png - (113.60KB , 700x499 , 10-139.png )
949376

“Oh, that’s so much better! What’s happening?” Kol stretches his ghostly limbs.

“Uh, I kind got your body snatched. Sorry man.” Gabe shrugs.

“It sounds like he doesn’t want to leave. We were hoping you could get him out without too much of a fuss.”

“I’ll give it a shot.” The spirit plunges back into its body, settling in like a comfortable pair of clothes.
>>
No. 949377 ID: 7816e7
File 157361203723.png - (16.24KB , 700x700 , 10-140.png )
949377

Within Kol’s consciousness, two flames burn in the dark.

One says to the other, “What is this?”

The other says, “A memory.”

>>
No. 949387 ID: 2f854d

Oh dear. This might get interesting
>>
No. 949389 ID: b1b4f3

Well let's see it then, and no funny business. Optimally it'll have something to do with Augustine Moot.
>>
No. 949391 ID: ce39da

Stay vigilant. If the other flame makes a move, act in kind.
>>
No. 949393 ID: 91ee5f

>>949377
Uh, are we supposed to wait for Toxo to finish the update or are we supposed to suggest for something to happen?

Because this seems like an unfinished update and we’re supposed to wait for Toxo to upload the picture or pictures with the memory we’re supposed to be looking at.
>>
No. 949409 ID: a9af05

>>949393
I agree, it does look like there's supposed to be more.

To be honest, this is a really awkward update. It kinda looks incomplete.
>>
No. 949410 ID: 3ed3c3

>>949377
Buckle up, spanky.
>>
No. 949415 ID: 83bf07

Perhaps you've seen it, maybe in a dream.

A murky, forgotten land..
>>
No. 949457 ID: 7816e7
File 157369289908.png - (52.37KB , 700x700 , 10-141.png )
949457

”A memory? Of what?” Asks the first flame.

It cautiously explores its surroundings, any light it casts instantly swallowed up by the dark.

“A place where I go when I need to think.” Says the other. “

The flame reaches some kind of wall, sensing roughly hewn stone blocks, icy cold and held together by mortar. A quick circuit reveals a space barely large enough for a person to stand in, only a few meter or so across.

“Why did you bring us here?”

“To die.”

>>
No. 949463 ID: b1b4f3

>>949457
Incorrect. Ghosts don't die, and must be Sent. To be Sent, you must leave the body.
>>
No. 949467 ID: 015bf2

>>949457
Dramatic! So he's reliving the memory of his death, then?

Wait... would that be death death, or just death?

Either way, interesting. Perhaps it'll be related to Augustine's attacks on Vampire Lords? She did have something to do with Hekal's disappearance around five hundred years ago, and this guy has been a spirit for several hundred years - which give or take sounds like it could be in the same region. Mountain King Muir is definitely some manner of Vampire Lord ghost, too. Guess he didn't get his spirit dispersed when his kingdom came apart, which fits with this place not being closed down properly by the Guardian Alliance.
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No. 949473 ID: a31c7b

Were it so easy..
>>
No. 949513 ID: 008e66

>>949457
Then, now or forever?
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No. 949582 ID: 7816e7
File 157386407524.png - (46.84KB , 700x700 , 10-142.png )
949582

”To die? This is the memory of your death?” Says the first flame.

“Correct.”

The flame snickers, “You think its that easy? I can’t pass on unless I want to.”

“Are you sure about that?” The second flame flickers, growing noticeably dimmer.

The confidence in the first flame wavers as the cold of the stones seeps through it. The darkness seems more immediate as its light starts to fade.

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No. 949583 ID: 824a3f

The place the dead go isn't cold. In the world of the living, the dead can be cold - Kol's felt the chill of a dead man who tried to stay in the living world. But the world that they depart to, that's not cold at all. Kol's seen through that door. This isn't the place.

There's a ring hanging from the arch. Is it just hanging there? Supposed to be pulled? A tiny shackle?
>>
No. 949584 ID: b1b4f3

>>949582
Okay so he's trying to kill Kol like this. Best to try to actually do something rather than talk.
Can you summon up your own memories? Warm ones. What's with the chain on the ceiling, can you interact with that?
Another thought is to eat his flame or otherwise attack directly.
As a fallback plan could you just leave the body to recover?
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No. 949585 ID: 7816e7
File 157386577664.png - (51.58KB , 700x700 , 10-143.png )
949585

The flame runs itself across the stones once again, in desperation. As it does, a simple ring made of metal bumps against it. It twists gently, hanging from a metal chain.

“Looking for a way out? That won’t help you.” Says the second flame.

The first flame pulls on the chain. Mortar crumbles as the links grind through the crudely cut hole. Somewhere on the other side of the wall a small bell rings. A shaft of dingy, secondhand light threads through the hole like a single grey hair.

>>
No. 949586 ID: a9af05

>>949582
That fucking bastard is trying to kill you within your own body so he can take complete control!

Kol, think back to your training. You were properly trained on what to do in a situation like this, right?
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No. 949588 ID: b1b4f3

>>949585
Flames are shapeless. Squeeze through the hole.
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No. 949589 ID: 015bf2

Hm. Psychology and Spirit Guardian-ing might do us one better. Don’t panic, Kol. You’re a medium. You’ve talked to spirits and demons and fey fair. Dealing with the tricks of a disembodied Vampire Lord is just another facet of your job.

And since you’re here, talking, you can still do your job. Find common ground. Establish what keeps them here on the mortal coil.

“Oubliette. But one with... room service? Was this an end of your own making? If not, who’d you even piss off to get thrown in here?”
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No. 949592 ID: 7816e7
File 157387066623.png - (56.20KB , 700x700 , 10-144.png )
949592

”Not long now.” Comments the second flame, the last few flickers of its light slipping away.

The first flame tries to cram itself into the hole, squeezing but not quite fitting yet. It heaves on the chain, sawing back and forth as the bell jangles alarums. Gritty chunks of mortar rain down into the oubliette as the hole grows wider by whiskerbreadths.

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No. 949593 ID: b1b4f3

>>949592
In the event you break free of the memory, bring him with you. He's dying more than you are.
>>
No. 949594 ID: a9af05

>>949592
Keep pulling!
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No. 949596 ID: e7848c

Keep note that he's showing you that he died inside his tomb. stringer pulling on is attached to a bell that alerts gravekeepers that they mistakenly buried someone still alive. Doesn't seem like anyone was around answer his calls though.
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No. 949598 ID: 91ee5f

>>949596
>Doesn't seem like anyone was around answer his calls though.
Either that or his call were heard, but were purposefully ignored because everyone wanted him dead.
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No. 949599 ID: 824a3f

Hmm. What makes a flame go out? I don't think it's lack of air, especially now a gap is open. The cold is being emphasized. Cold can make a flame go out.

Let's see... the one flame is staying in place. Which would heat up the air around it, and delay the rate it's going out slightly compared to the other, which by moving around would expose it to new cold things and get its heat drained faster.

So the best way to keep the cold at bay would be to... keep the flames together? Though a flame sticking itself straight into a stream of fresh air could help too. Perhaps the one flame should try grab the other and bring it with. "That won't help you", but staying isn't helping either, so nothing to lose, right?
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No. 949600 ID: 7816e7
File 157387611672.png - (60.34KB , 700x700 , 10-145.png )
949600

”Are you prepared?” Asks the second flame, almost to itself, its voice reduced to a whisper.

“Nice try, but I’m not sticking around!” Gasps the first flame, its voice filled with determination as it digs. Suddenly the chain snaps off, dangling limply in the dark. The flame curses and hurls itself into the hole, pushing with its last remaining ounces of strength.

It claws its way between the stones towards the grey, unwashed light outside its prison...

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No. 949601 ID: 7816e7
File 157387612191.png - (126.16KB , 700x500 , 10-146.png )
949601

Kol’s body heaves. Light pours out of it and resolves itself into a triumphant shape. It turns and its expression turns from celebration to realization.
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No. 949602 ID: 094652

Grab the other flame, stuff him in the hole, and continue sawing until the pressure from the squirming flame is enough to get you both through.
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No. 949603 ID: b1b4f3

>>949601
Oh that's a fine trick. Was the perspective switched somehow, or memories mixed up? How did Kol pull that off? I'm sure the ghost will want to know.
...wait, was that played straight? Is part of Medium training experiencing death?

Casey grab that fucker. Time for some interrogation and hostile negotiations.
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No. 949604 ID: e7848c

>>949601
Grab it!
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No. 949605 ID: 91ee5f

>>949601
>It turns and its expression turns from celebration
He thought he won...

>to realization.
...until he realized he’s being kicked out.

Gabe or Casey or Three Horns, would one of you please grab that spirit and hold him in place? It’s time for us to interrogate him.
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No. 949606 ID: b1b4f3

Three Horns capturing this spirit would be real poetic, I wanna see that.
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No. 949607 ID: 5b0071

Hoo boy.. is that how Kol learned how to leave his body?
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No. 949613 ID: 10c408

>>949607
I'm not sure on that. It's way too risky of an approach for teaching, though it is perfect for driving out an enemy spirit trying to bodyjack a binder who knows it.

Deliliah, Kol could maybe use an infusion of life energy. (apply directly to the lips!)
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No. 949621 ID: ce39da

Looks like we got switcharoo'd on the perspective there. Where'd you learn that little trick, Kol?
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No. 949631 ID: 91ee5f

>>949605
Actually, now that I think about it, Casey keep holding Kol’s body in place until we’re absolutely sure it’s Kol in there and not the spirit.

I want to make sure this isn’t a trick where the spirit somehow changed Kol’s appearance so that we’d catch him, while the spirit is still in Kol’s body.
>>
No. 949671 ID: 10c408

>>949631
If the hostile spirit was capable of such subterfuge and needs a living body to accomplish goals AND was powerful/skilled enough to kick out a binder from their rightful body, why hasn't he done so already to Three horns, or any of the other kobolds who aren't binders?

Obvious answer: he can't. He's relied on opportunity and stealth to try and accomplish whatever his goal is, but those can only get you so far and now that he's been caught, he's got nothing left.
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