The execution
of a plan

Well, we did all the preparation we could, got everything into place, and then there was the waiting. We had some visitors to pass the time, which was nice. Alexei dropped in from a dream for a visit with Leo. He seemed in good spirits. We got to speak to Elysse who apparently got diverted here on her way to commune with Calliech. She had some interesting things to say, and it was good to see her. We also spoke to the Arbiter and the small ones who are somehow related to the arbiter? They had some business with Varys that they wished to conclude while there was still time. Perhaps in more than one sense. Cinnamon returned from within the tree within, and it was time to act. It was at this point that the Builder decided to make his appearance. He was going to do something, but not before I was able to activate the device.

He was however able to somehow interpose himself between the device and it’s target, in an attempt to batten on the power of the void and become a God. It was at this point that Angela and her army of broken toys attacked. We managed to intervene and remove the Builder’s hands from the tree whereupon Angela’s blows began to make some headway. Meanwhile, the DOLLMAKER had been cutting her way through the constructs, misfit and non towards our scene.

Byron's View: A Fine Victory Luncheon
Or, the end is nigh.

Once the Wizards softened the Eater up, I managed to get the fatal blow in on him. The Referees conferred amongst himself and decided in my favor, as was only correct. In order to distract the Wizards from moving on, I proposed to the Referee that there should be some sort of Ceremony followed by a celebration. He agreed and there was a medal ceremony followed by lemonade and cake. a large number of Gelt were in attendence. It was quite a good luncheon.

We managed to slip away to the side to work on the Machine. Meanwhile Alice had sat on the throne of Takara. in a move that was reckless, perhaps even for her and got herself transformed into some sort of automaton-construct thingy. Oops. I realized that we needed to clear the place out of wizards and other assorted hangers on and in order to do that I would require the help of a Gelt. So we approached the keeper of hidden knowledge, who it turned out had bet against me in the duelling. But, no matter we were able to convince him to assist us. Which he did by moving the party to his place. you can’t argue with results, as much as Varus would like to.

Chip then chose to break some rules and share with us some of what was going on behind the curtain as it were. It seems that we are one of a number of groups who are acting not only on our own behalf, but also to attempt to influence the pattern of the Gods behavior. At this revelation, Varud lost all composure as you would expect. He began freaking out about how high the stakes were now, as if they had changed in some way. After he had calmed down we were able to speak to Chip about what he had to tell us. Now we will attempt to do what we decided, and build the device for good or ill.

A Short History of Two Kalbs, A Bard, and a Concerned Prostitute: Part 56

We saw the various choices (or realities…) fade away as the Gods attempted to show us the various paths leading from our current point in time. We sat at the edge of the battle as wizards pummeled into the void dragon being pulled back to the earth. We debated joining in this battle when we felt something happen to Alice and saw her struggle to sit back up from the Throne of the old creator. I was aghast at what had happened. Why did Alice do that? Was this Alice? She looked more akin to a porcelain doll than whatever she was before.

After some debate, with moderate reassurance from those who can better determine her disposition, we turned back to the problem at hand. Then Chip appeared and things… went weird. Things seemed to have stopped within his range and he/it started talking about how important our decision to come would be. This would not only decide the fate of Valenci, but also dictate the directions the gods take in the future. I wanted more answers- what will happen next? How can we even achieve our goals? Chip was evasive. Unsurprising for a Watcher.

As we returned back to reality, we began helping to construct the device that may save Valenci or doom it…

A Short History of Two Kalbs, A Bard, and a Concerned Prostitute: Part 55

We traveled with the Builder to what we hoped was the final arena only to arrive at a place torn apart by fighting factions. Wizards were heavily engaged with Voidlings that fell from the rip above while the dragon continued it’s ascent. We opted to head towards the dragon and I used my levitation spell to boost people into the sky. Together we reached the dragon and had begun fighting it when-

We were fighting the dragon the battlefield once again. Spiders crawled everywhere while it continued to breath on us. We fought valiantly against them when-

We stood as we felt the Builder’s plan came to fruition. We felt power slowly seeping down to us while we talked with his “Avatars” when-

We stood in a dark room while the Avatar of Maka slaughtered everyone outside. We waited in fear while she broke the door down when-

We were playing cards with the little girl, trying to learn what secrets we could to try and ascertain the correct path when-

We were still playing cards, but now things were… better? We keep shifting from one reality to another, praying to find a reality that would work for all of us and that may be the problem- the only one that we would all compromise on is one where the world stays the same. I don’t think that is something that can be achieved anymore. The world is at a precipice and the only thing we can do is determine where we land.

We shift again.

Byron's View(s)?: The Final Battle?

With a flash of green we found ourselves transported to the place of the Eater once more. Above us, the rip into the Void, surrounding us columns of differing substances representing… something… From the void would fall small creatures that would then rush to attack the large group of wizards who were also present. (Everyone loves a party) The Eater had leaped off of one of the towers and was very slowly flying through the air towards the void. I resolved to fix that problem. To that end I took off into the air, and at the same time Varys levitated the others towards our foe.

We got in a fairly successful first attack against him, but he was still on an upward trajectory, we just had to

survive the fight a little longer. We’d been holding off the voidlings from the Eater’s corpse and Macha was stuck in the hole, but if the sword were removed from the corpse then all would be lost. Just a little

longer. We’d been in the square all day fighting the godsforsaken Eater and now that it looked like we were about to get the upper hand the Wizards show up. I managed to grapple with our foe to prevent him from taking out the rest of us, so that Leo could get into position

to finish installing the Builder in his rightful place as a god. Having defeated the Eater things became desperate very quickly and we formed a Community with the Builder and followed through with placing the Builder in the crack to the Void. Alice started ranting about how all of this was Wrong, and now that I began to think about it this did seem a little like something we wouldn’t do. It seemed more likely that we should be

fighting the Eater above the arena, where Leo managed to tie a rope around the spine of our enemy, and I gave it a mighty heave, pulling him out of his trajectory so that he wouldn’t be able to make it to the void without climbing back up the tower. Suddenly I was simultaneously fighting him in the square, wrestling him and keeping his head out of line with the others so that he could not breathe his weapon on them as well as pulling him down.

able to take care of the Eater(just) and so we fled back down the well that he came from as we saw THE DOLLMAKER laying waste to the wizards on the field of battle. Our respite didn’t last long, as the little girl turned up in our hiding place in a remarkably short time. She had apparently been officially graduated by Macha, and was there to kill us. We managed to stay her hand by some card trickery involving a game of blackjack, which she did not know the rules for. We did get some helpful information that should help us in our efforts

With Macha mostly through the hole and Devlin at her side it didn’t really matter anymore what happened with the sword, so we abandoned that position, and left it to the Voidlings while the gods contended with each other above. Gelt’s referee avatar/aspect was hanging around waiting to give us the lemonade and cake that we were due for winning the duel, and since there wasn’t much left for us to do, we decided we might as well partake

with Virginia’s help the installation of the Builder was going quite smoothly. We were talking to the dollmaker, who was now the avatar of slavery and asking her about our current state of being where we seemed to be slipping between versions of things. She gave us some quite useful info but we weren’t completely sure how to put it to use when

we noticed that while we were getting the upper hand on the Eater above, below the Wizards were handily mopping up the Voidlings and would soon be turning their attentions to what was going on up here. And they likely would not be, strictly speaking, an ally to us.

Byron's View: A History Lesson?
Or, Two strange reunions.

Having exited my ersatz Cafe, we found ourselves once again in the government district. Again in the past, but this time during Hator’s reign. During the troubles. It was all anyone around us was talking about. The tenor of it didn’t seem to match what we remembered of our history lessons , things were worse even than we had been taught. We set off through the district and saw there was something wrong with the Palace district wall. There were bodies hanging from it. Mostly subhumans, but some demihumans as well. This didn’t fit at all. None of Hator’s orders had ever really been carried out, as far as anyone could remember.

Something was walking along the wall, and behind its passage the wall was unmarked by any of the horrors of the area we have found. We wisely decide to approach the entity. The entity apparently a godling usually assumed to be a servant of Eiram, but who is actually a leftover godling of Takara who is responsible for keeping the laws of reality in order. This is a memory of a shard of an event that didn’t happen and it was here correcting the error when the memory shard was made.

It seems that Hator made a loop in his lifeline, which is against the rules so it was here fixing it as best it could. It wouldn’t offer help to any of us who were affiliated with a deity, but Terabeth’ei is not, so we moved away and he talked to her.

We then decided to find the soul bits of the Eater that might be here, which required combining the two bits we had already. They led us to a surprising reunion with my second. It turned out that he had defeated the piece of the Eater in this shard. We then discussed how to find our way out and he suggested going somewhere no one in the construct would have seen, so we suggested the Fosukubuzu compound. It turns out that that was not the case. We entered the compound, and after making it through the outer doors found ourselves in a kind of records room. In this room we found a construct that was clearly made by the Builder. It seems we didn’t get so far away from him after all.

Byron's View: The Builder's Origin?

Having escaped the void, we found ourselves in a familiar alleyway. We were in the Government District, though things were not quite right. it was night, and it was clearly quite some time ago. A memory, then. We approached the only lit building (also the only one which seemed to have any real substance to it.) Upon entering who should we find, but a much younger version of the Builder dressed in his seer’s robes. Varus immediately joined him in conversation. The rest of us took the opportunity to look around. This house was clearly a place that had suffered from bad fortune. Cinnamon, Leo and Alice decided to explore the basement while I continued to look around the upstairs and Varus questioned the builder in the alley.

There was then a commotion from below, so I went to investigate, and found the three of them fighting each other. I tried my best to keep the damage to a minimum and was somewhat successful. It seems that this basement was an earlier iteration of the Dollmaker’s training ground. she was making eyes, and had apparently come across a powerful magical eye to study somehow that caused this whole hullabaloo. I crushed it, and we returned to the ground floor where we studied the builder more closely. It was here that we determined that this was the place that the builder became The Builder, as a tiny sliver of Macha was implanted into him.

We allowed the memory of the Builder to go on his way, and I determined a way out. Simply enter the Cafe at the end of the alley, close the door and then exit to where it took us.

A Short History of Two Kalbs, A Bard, and a Concerned Prostitute: Part 54

The fazuku butzu compound seemed… prosaic. The only difference between this place and any other fort was the bureaucracy. Files upon files of items to be repaired and the quiet of a place with no one else besides us. Except for one. We had cornered the Builder’s construct, an amalgamation that looked like a perversion of the god-touched himself. We launched a series of questions to ascertain his motives, but it became apparent that it was just a puppet of the Builder.

In fact, the Builder literally took control of it and we had the strangest conversation where the Builder laid down all of his cards. Apparently his goal was to seal the hole himself and ascend in the process. In doing so, he would become a force “for humanity”. We obviously had serious reservations about this process, but the other options were simply not good either. The Wizards wanted to drain Maka of her energy and would allow the world to become ground zero to speak. The Dollmaker wishes for Maka to return. Of the others, we could build a pump to force back the Void and then hoping that Gelt would be able to save us if all else failed.

After talking about this a great deal, we put things to a vote and decided against the Builder in favor of the pump. Gods help us if we are wrong in that decision.

A Short History of Two Kalbs, A Bard, and a Concerned Prostitute: Part 52

The issue with winning in a duel is that there are rules. And rules are meant to be a gigantic pain without a proper lawyer. Makka’s Avatar was slowly making her way towards us as it finally dawned that we had not yet won. The dragon wasn’t dead and Byron hadn’t won. After much debate with the official, we reframed the battle as one to be done in the Astral. The Girl opened a temporary gate (thank goodness) before we went through.

Rules are a strange thing. When broken so consistently, it becomes a rule in and of itself. I watched Byron and then Leo disappear into a hole dug in the ground. Visualizing it ourselves, the rest of us followed. A new arena was being arranged and I couldn’t help but feel that this was a silly dream. What are we doing here? Then Cinnamon appeared and I felt myself give a sigh of relief. Cinnamon! I gazed at the tower and wondered…

Insatiable Hunger

Why did I come here? I don’t belong with these people, fighting this fight. I’m useless. Sure, I sing a good song, play a good tune, and can help make people feel a little better, a little wiser, a little less afraid, but really I’m freaking useless! Hell, when I didn’t know what else to do, I ran! I never even thought to check on Lady C. Maybe if I had done so instead of running, she we could have had a chance. She’s fighting. She doesn’t even know time is passing. But her body wont last, I know! Dammit! Fuck this! We can’t even kill the 99.9% dead dragon, and one of ours is in the damn tree, and I don’t even know what else can go wrong. Oh, right, little girl. Ugh. Coward. That’s what I am. And weak. I couldn’t stave off the hunger. I remember eating… oh gross! I’m going to go puke now.


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