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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
523 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
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


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

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

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

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

No. 949375 ID: 7816e7
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“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
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“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 )

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

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

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

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

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

A murky, forgotten land..
No. 949457 ID: 7816e7
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”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

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

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.
No. 949473 ID: a31c7b

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

Then, now or forever?
No. 949582 ID: 7816e7
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”To die? This is the memory of your death?” Says the first flame.


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.

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

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?
No. 949585 ID: 7816e7
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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

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?
No. 949588 ID: b1b4f3

Flames are shapeless. Squeeze through the hole.
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?”
No. 949592 ID: 7816e7
File 157387066623.png - (56.20KB , 700x700 , 10-144.png )

”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.

No. 949593 ID: b1b4f3

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

Keep pulling!
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.
No. 949598 ID: 91ee5f

>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.
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?
No. 949600 ID: 7816e7
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”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...

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

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.
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.
No. 949603 ID: b1b4f3

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.
No. 949604 ID: e7848c

Grab it!
No. 949605 ID: 91ee5f

>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.
No. 949606 ID: b1b4f3

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

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

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!)
No. 949621 ID: ce39da

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

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

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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