Sep 19, 2021 4:25 AM
The la(te)st castoff continues to fix everyone's problems
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Tahir's latest quest was a strange one.

An artist, a sculptor to be precise, had been having rather a lot of trouble getting inspiration for his latest piece. He wanted to capture the likeness of a recently deceased castoff whose body was in the Dendra O'hur's possession, but he doesn't understand the castoff's last moments and it's driving him crazy trying to figure it out. While of course Imbitu's main reason for siccing Tahir on this mission is getting the guy off his hair, Tahir himself is intrigued by his investigation into the castoff's life, and

A QUEST IS A QUEST

which he can't really argue with.

So the castoff turns out to have been the surrogate father figure to a girl who had been suffering from this psychic condition endemic to Sagus Cliffs. Many girls like her start losing their personality and sense of self over time and becoming someone else, a specific someone else. That castoff decided that taking care of her would be his penance for... something... but when she died of an unrelated cause, he gave in to despair and walked into the Sorrow's arms willingly.

The artist has a breakthrough when Tahir tells him about this, and runs off to finally finish his sculpture, so that's... quest complete, he guesses?

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It appears so, yes! At least the artist paid him? Admittedly by shuffling a bundle towards him while not looking at him and muttering something about the essence of the deceased, but. Still. It's better than nothing. And this strange quest is probably relevant to the OVERALL MYSTERY OF SAGUS CLIFFS. Because, clearly, there are some overall mysteries going on in this city.

But it's not immediately obvious how to disentangle them just yet, so he is left to his own devices for a while without any obvious quests to complete.

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Fortunately, by this time Aleks and his castoff have ventured out from his apartment! Here they are, venturing forth or something.

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"Aleks! Vetmera! You are walking in a direction! Is that direction perhaps aimed towards the psychic bar?" And... it seems the quest reward bundle he got as a quest reward included a fairly peculiar cape. It has no defined edges, like a wrapping cover, but someone seems to have fitted onto it a dozen metal hooking fasteners. It has an ethereal and mistlike quality, entirely white except almost not...?

GHOST CAPE GHOST CAPE we can almost feel the death emanating from it GHOST CAPE

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"Oh, hello. We are, and it is! How'd you guess?" She spots the ghost cape and smiles. "Oh, and that's pretty!"

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"It is fate! For I, too, am heading in that direction."

QUEST HOOKS LED US THERE the trail of death led us there

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Why is he always so loud.

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Poor Aleks. She reaches out to take his hand and give it a comforting squeeze. Sorry, dear.

"Oh? Why's that?"

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"I am investigating! There is a mysterious psychic phenomenon that afflicts young women in Sagus Cliffs and turns them into someone else!"

it is like death but without the good parts IT IS MOST MYSTERIOUS

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"Huh. That's... weird. Have you talked to anyone that's been turned into the someone else? Is it the same someone else each time? What's the criteria for picking young women, clearly not all women are affected."

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"I have not, yes it is, I do not know!"

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"And you're going to the psychic bar to consult a bunch of experts on the subject and see what they know?"

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"Exactly!"

we also heard about a ghost GHOST CAPE GHOST CAPE

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Maybe Aleks should actually consider that despite the... way... this man behaves... he may actually know what he's doing. Maybe.

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It's actually really impressive that he's this functional while being possessed!

"Reasonable! Do you know how long this phenomenon has been going on? It's, uh. Kind of alarming."

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"It seems like it has been at least many decades but I don't actually know."

so many wasted deaths WE COULD HAVE COME TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM SO LONG AGO

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"Eugh. Okay. Well. I think I want to solve that too, then, people are dying and I have some psychic nonsense going on."

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"All the more reason to go, then."

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"Yes, I was just verbally acknowledging that regardless of any of our intentions, we seem to have nonetheless become an adventuring party."

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Hooray.

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HOORAY it will be easier to eliminate the competition if we keep her near WHAT WAS THAT nothing

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Vetmera snorts.

To the bar!

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To the bar! At Cliff's Edge is where it is, and Tahir strides in before the other two.

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...and then freezes as soon as he gets in.

WHAT... IS... THIS PLACE it is doing... something to us... WE DO NOT LIKE IT LET US GO AWAY

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"Hmm," says a beautiful and timeless looking woman with unblemished dark skin and a cloud of black, wavy hair. She looks at Tahir, critically. "Think this one's mine, Dhama."

And then she vaults over the table she was sitting at to leap towards the door and grab Tahir by the scruff of his neck before he can run.

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This is precisely when Vetmera makes it into the bar. "Wh—"

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