Oct 01, 2020 3:18 PM
Daémon Fleet characters dropped on The Untamed
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"I have dungeons that can hold cultivators."  Most notably demonic cultivators, though not always.  Even those who walk the traditional path can be thieves or murderers.

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It looks like Sect Leader Jiang is going to say something else.  Instead, Kerul can lunge away before any more attention can be drawn to him or in particular what moves Ojiohlia currently has.

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He can be grabbed again!  

Really, what was he thinking?  He's outnumbered and surrounded.

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"What sorts of techniques does he know?"

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"Hard to tell without anyone with a ditto or drowzee around.  Liepard in general are immune to many forms of paralysis.  The Grass Knot - technique to tie people up in grass - was probably him."

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"He was the one with Grass Knot.  Also Thief - they took my phone."

Emerimis also has Thief, but he's not going to say that.  Non-dark types sometimes get strange about their traditional moves, and he doesn't know these people other than by reputation and they are all Very Important.  And the alien Sect Leader dislikes him and he's still not sure why.

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Kerul refuses to speak, standing still in Verity's grip and staring sullenly at the wood of the pier.  

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Alizara will translate the Move names into descriptions.  

Grass Knot creates grass that will tie up the opponents legs and trip them.  Healthy daemons are too strong to be held for more than a second, but repeated castings of the move on a weaker human can act as a makeshift binding when done by someone skilled.  

Thief causes a painful burst of dark energy which can also teleport small items to the user.  Perhaps don't leave the keys to the cell in view of it.  

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Noted.  They can bring him to the dungeons.

"Once he's in the dungeon, I'll have someone make up guest quarters for you.  Whether or not you can earn a permanent place here will depend on whether you can become cultivators and how well your daemon techniques compare to what we do."  Jiang Cheng explains as they walk.

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Kerul-and-Ojiohlia are being stubborn and refusing to walk towards the dungeon.

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Verity is more than up to the task of dragging Kerul.  

Ojiohlia can be picked up and carried by the scruff of the neck in Araeneve's mouth.

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About two thirds of the way to the dungeon, the Substitute breaks. 

They are left holding rough dolls in vaguely the shape of a human and large cat.  The skin is made from a rough papery substance like a wasp nest.  The inside is packed with cottony fibers which burst out in a cloud of fluff as the imbued energy fades and the shell loses cohesion.  Kerul-and-Ojiohlia are nowhere in sight.

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Araeneve curses around a mouthful of stuffing and bits of paper.

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"What was that?"

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"Substitute.  A move where someone sacrifices a fraction of their energy to create a fake version of themselves.  It can trick everyone into ignoring the real version for a little while."

They probably should have expected it, when he'd stopped speaking and refused to walk.  

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There are still some Jiang cultivators following around them at a distance, partly as extra guards but mostly out of curiosity.  They can be shouted at to go search the area.

Jiang Cheng hesitates.  He has other things to do.  (He had other things to do even before this started...)  There are four others who need to be escorted elsewhere and he can finish that before going in search of the criminal.  They don't need to go to the dungeon.  Instead, he turns them around and starts heading towards one of the meditation areas.  

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They are led to a quiet room not far from the library and lecture hall, coming off of a courtyard where a few teenage disciples are sitting.  They look over, curious at the strangers who are wearing odd clothing and being followed by even odder creatures.

Within this room is a man from Jiang Cheng's grandfather's generation.  He has a very long beard, one of his legs removed at the knee, and a yellow-green robe beneath his blue one.  His previous clan had been destroyed by the Wen during the Sunshot Campaign, and he'd answered the call to rebuild Lotus Pier as an instructor and scholar.

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Jiang Cheng is more than capable of sensing gathering energy from meditation himself.  However, the unusual souls-in-animal-bodies is something he's going to want a more experienced eye to look at.

After some formalities (much more than the Fleet natives are used to), Sect Leader Jiang explains the situation.  "Five people appeared in the lake from another realm, via some form of accident.  They claim that the creatures following them are their external souls.  They've shown themselves capable of feats which would normally only be possible through cultivation, though claim to have no knowledge of it.  

"I want you to examine them, and check them for the ability to gather life energy through meditation."

As infuriating as the prisoner escape was, it shows potential.  If the four remaining ones have anything on the same scale, they will earn their way into the Jiang sect even at their age.  That would be the most favorable outcome.  They don't have a way back, and he isn't going to use Yunmeng Jiang resources on helping people who aren't members for nothing in return.  

With that, he will take his leave.  "I'll return in an hour or so."

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They are examined.  Alizara volunteers first.  This, to those who are not yet sensitive to the energies involved, seems to be him hovering his fingers a few inches away from Alizara and Salanaya in turn.

"Ah, fascinating. This 'daemon' does in fact seem to contain your soul and spiritual cognition, and isn't like anything else I've ever seen or read about.  It's neither standard cultivation nor demonic cultivation.  I admit I'm quite baffled as to how you managed this, as well as why."

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"We're all born with daemons.  They appear naturally as soon as we take our first breath."

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"Hmm."  They don't look natural to his senses.  

He's tempted to ask after more information.  Instead, he'd better start leading them in an attempt to gather spiritual energy.  

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The daemons catch on to the concept quickly.  It's not quite the same thing that they do when they access their moves and abilities, but it has similarities.  Unfortunately for them, the energy doesn't seem to be sticking correctly.

The humans, sharing the same subconscious, also easily pick up the described techniques.  They don't have the same issue, and well within the allotted time each of them has managed to gather a trace amount of energy. 

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Salanaya is curious.  They decide to try moving energy into Alizara instead.

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Their instructor notices this, and leans forward to prepare to interrupt her.  There are reasons that cultivators don't just throw energy at people to form golden cores for them. 

He pauses.  The fact that they 'both' are the same person might make those reasons irrelevant.  (He's still not sure exactly what is going on with their spiritual configuration.  It does seem alarming, but he's choosing to be optimistic.)  And at this level of energy, the worst that'll happen is a day of lost progress. 

He decides to merely watch very carefully.

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Nothing unusual seems to happen in the next ten minutes.  Alizara is now fractionally ahead of the others, as if she'd spent twenty minutes meditating instead.  The 'flavor' of the power from both Alizara and Salanaya is the same, just as it would have been looking at someone's left hand compared with their right.  Which would make perfect sense to them, being as they're two halves of the same person.  

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