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[LP CYOA] Epic

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Interlude: Escape

    How many cycles did you endure?

    Hundreds?

    Thousands?

    There were cycles in which you watched as they were killed, and you did not lift a finger to save them.

    There were cycles in which they killed you, and you did not lift a finger to save yourself.

    You clung to only one thought. "Wait."

    You waited.

    ***

    The ground shook as you opened your eyes again. This time there were no friends to greet you, no family to mock you. Your hunger-sharpened senses detected, from a great distance, a presence akin to one you had only felt once before, near the peak of Olympus. At last, they were here. Were they on a routine trip? Were they attracted here by the piece of Vajra?

    You did not know why exactly, but you knew what to do. For countless cycles you had been gathering your strength, meditating and conserving energy, all for the day when the sphere was distracted from its games with you. You hold Vajra out in front of you, stained dark with the blood of your countless deaths. At the end of every game, everything you had was always returned to you - even your clothes, though they were ragged pieces about to fall apart by now. You suppose it was part of the game.

    Vajra flares to life. Immediately, your surroundings begin to dissolve into uniform whiteness, the sphere noticing the oddity within. "Too late," you grin, and you put all of your power into Vajra. A massive blue spear of electricity roars out from the outstretched artifact, melting through the sphere. Gritting your teeth, you sustain it until you feel the last of the resistance fall away as the lance thrusts out into the void. You fall to the ground, spent. The ground shook violently as the sphere attempts to mend itself, but something was assaulting it from the outside. For the first time, you are able to pick up an emotion from the sphere itself. Panic.

    A glaring white light shines in from the hole that you have made, but despite the brightness, you slip away into darkness.

    ***

    "It is a pleasure to meet you at last. My colleagues have told me plenty about you."

    The male voice speaks to you in fluent Akkadian, his accent natural. When you open your eyes next, you are sitting in a garden. You are not surprised. A man sits across you, one leg crossed neatly over the other. He had a thin, hard face, with a pencil thin moustache and sparse black hair that was swept back from his forehead and somehow kept there without the use of any instruments. A circular, flat piece of glass sits on one eye, and he raises the immaculately kept eyebrow above it.

    "Why are you looking at my hair?"

    "It's... thin."

    "In the mood for jokes, I see. No matter. I believe you are the specimen that calls yourself Ean, are you not?"

    You nod. "You must be a friend of Zeus."

    "Not exactly. He was in some ways, my superior. We have... had... a working relationship, but that is no concern of yours." He raises a gloved hand - in it you see the piece of Vajra that you had. You instantly realize that you no longer had any connection to it. It had been ripped away, unsettling your powers, but doing no major harm to your body. The man continues, as he snaps his fingers and Vajra vanishes into thin air. "We thank you for bringing this piece back to us. It might be a mere bauble in the greater scheme of things, but it is a very costly bauble. As a reward, you may have tea."

    "What is tea?"

    "The discovery has not been made yet? How primitive. Very well, enlighten yourself."

    Two cups appear on the table in front of you. Within there was a steaming, clear brown liquid.

    "I hope you like it black."

    You are about to say that it wasn't black, but you shake your head. Evidently you were still not free of strange things happening to you.

    "The tea can wait." As you say that, the cup disappears. "You saved me from the sphere, didn't you? What are those things?"

    "Ah, curiosity. Those 'things', as you put it, are protrusions of higher beings from a realm above this one. Think of them as their fingers, poking, sensing, touching, learning. You were but a curiosity to them - granted, you are a unique aberration that interests even us - and your entry certainly made them even more curious about the world you came from." says the man nonchalantly, as he raises the cup to his lips lightly and sips the tea within. Before you can say anything else, he gives you a smile. "Do not worry, your world is still intact. After some observation, it has now been given the designation of a test world. Hopes are high, especially with the legacy you had left behind."

    You narrow your eyes. "That sounds too good to be true."

    "It's not. We expect results from test worlds. If they do not meet our exacting standards, they will also be disposed of."

    "What results are these? What do you expect from us?"

    "Well, there's no harm in letting you know. It's simple. There are many other test worlds in your reality. As your technology grows, you will encounter them, sooner or later, and there will be a clash of civilizations. The eventual victor, out of the countless test worlds, will be admitted to the Gate, and there we will ask them what they have learnt from their experience." After a pause, he adds, "Of course, there will be a reward: we will grant one wish of the victor. Any wish, as long as it is within our reach, and as you well know, our reach is long indeed."

    "Your reach isn't that long in my world, it seems. As far as I know, you were locked out by some tentacles."

    "So you know of the Gieloth damaging the system," he chuckles. "A temporary setback. By the time a victor emerges from your reality, it will have been long fixed. In fact, by providing us with the piece of Vajra, you have only sped up the timeline. I must thank you for that."

    "Ah, this is all crazy. Give me some of that tea." you complain. Since you were here, you might as well taste the fruits of his hospitality.

    "Gladly."

    The cup reappears again, and this time you drink it. It had a light, slightly sweet taste, with an underlying smokiness.

    "Oh... This is good."

    The man beams. "I'm glad you like it. Now, what to do with you... we would like to see what you can do with the world you are from, but unfortunately, your tentacled friends damaged the system. We can't access it directly just yet, not without going through the rift that my brilliant friend created, and even we do not want to spend more time in that particular place than necessary. It is out of the way anyway. I'm afraid I will have to drop you on one of our more accessible test worlds. You can always make your way back from there, if you find out how."

    "I thought I was a unique aberration. Should you be dumping such a unique specimen anywhere?"

    "You are unique, but that also means that your interactions wherever we put you should be unique and enlightening. Some advocated putting a new set of voices inside you, but I personally think it's a waste of time. You'd probably just eat them," he winked. "Alternatively, you can come back with me to our home, where we will find a way to put you to use. It might not be a pleasant experience, I warn you. Finally, we dump you back where we found you. If you're quick enough, you might be able to get back without attracting the attention of any of the things in there, I suppose. You would have to be very quick."

    He chuckles, and you ponder your options.

    ***

    A. You head to one of the test worlds that the Master is offering.

    B. You return to the Master's homelands.

    C. You go back into the void.
     
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  2. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    I'll vote A for now, since I think it will be our best chance of getting back swiftly. C would be more timely, but I think it carries an unacceptable risk with it. However I'm willingly to take it if others are. B's pretty interesting too
    Edit: Flipped to B. Let's learn what we can about presumably the most powerful beings in the multiverse so we can steal their shit
    B
     
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  3. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Ruh-roh. I'm torn. :salute:
     
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  4. newcomer Learned

    newcomer
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    A for now

    C
     
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  5. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Okay, a little plan is coming to mind here. If we go back to the Masters' homeland we'll learn more about them, start to understand them and their motivations, and potentially learn of their weaknesses. treave does option B imply that we will be able to return home when the connection is repaired?
     
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  6. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Masters' homeland? Nope, I'm still not for being their lil' bitch.
    Back into the Void? Hmm, I'd do it just for the lulz. Of course, that means a very, very very high risk. But the rewards, ho, the rewards.
    Test world? Most apparent choice.
    C
     
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  7. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    No, B implies that you'll be their lil' bitch, but a lil' bitch that understands their motivations and potentially their weaknesses.

    And... funny how this turns out. It's almost like the exile that Zeus offered.

    Some explanation here: The test worlds that he's offering are not in Ean's reality, if that was the impression. They can't access Ean's reality, and the worlds within it directly, without something as a proper conduit.
     
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  8. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    treave, how about a character sheet?
     
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  9. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    No real measurable progress, you've only been eating just enough to sustain yourself when you were Emperor, and you haven't had anything to eat while you were trapped in the sphere, which means you're really, really hungry right now (and your powers are unstable from losing Vajra after binding to it). But your experiences have taught you something, and there will now be a chance to attain an upgrade when the time calls for it.
     
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  10. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    I think if we choose to go to the Masters' homeworld, we could become a Prometheus expy. Steal power from them and give it to mankind. We'll have to be a good little bitch for a while, but the long-term payoff seems like it could be worth the struggle. Flipping.
     
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  11. m4davis Scholar

    m4davis
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  12. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Don't forget that Earth really, really needs Ean. I doubt they fixed the Rift, even if the Gieloth situation did settle itself. Being Prometheus is all fine and dandy, but only if we'll have a Mankind to give power to.

    I'm almost torn between A and C, counterintuitive and retarded as it may sound.
     
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  13. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    If you want to get back in time to help our kingdom, then the only option I see available is C.

    A seems more like a wildcard option.

    Also I think the new master is competent enough to keep the test world from being destroyed.
     
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  14. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    C is a very, very simple choice: do or die. And look how that ended up last time.
    A has the added benefit of us going through another civilization and picking up some useful tech/new followers. Just think about it: if the new planet will at least have firearms and we pick the discovery up.
     
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  15. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    A mitigates your argument about us returning in time to save the world, assuming it needs saving, which I don't think is the case anymore. I can see other reasons for choosing it like discovering new technologies, like you said, but I doubt the amount learned there would compare with what could be learned on the masters' homeworld. Yes we would need to be humble for a time, but the amount of information and power that could be gained there makes it the superior choice under that criteria.
     
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  16. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    I'm easily amused, and Smashing Axe has me convinced. My vote goes towards B
     
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  17. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Oh, you think the new voices and our new leash will be anything like the old ones? If the Masters get their hands on Ean, they'll make sure he's ball-and-chained to them for good. We're not dealing with petty Immortals anymore. All of these "higher beings" are way, way out of our league. No, tricking these guys will be almost impossible.

    And my arguments don't necessarily mitigate one another. Perhaps it makes it superior in the criteria of tech, yes. But I don't think we'll be let off that easy. A at least gives us the chance to get back to Earth as soon as we can. The masters, treave was pretty clear on that, will give us no such courtesy.
    Edit:
     
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  18. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    :lol: Smashing Axe bro, I like the way you think, but let's keep in mind that Zeus had the last laugh when Prometheus gave humans fire.

    The main conflict of the chapter is already evident: The Masters have managed to speed their return with all the pieces of Vajra in their grasp. The barriers between their world and ours are fading, and Ean's choices here will involve learning more about them and potentially stopping them before they achieve their goal. I see the choices like this:

    A) Safe, takes the longest. Teaches us very little of the Masters, and it potentially gives them a lot of time to set their plans into motion. Gives them lots of information on us too. Eventually we make it back to Earth and hopefully form a plan to break up Vajra again. It's all very vague - I just don't see much of a plan here. Sek can maybe create wormholes and maybe she now has a bunch of other Gieloth following her, but I am not sure about our options here.

    B) Risky, but it has a lot of potential increase our knowledge and power, and to really hurt the Masters. However, I must stress that for this to work, we basically have to out-Naram Naram. The Masters in their homeworld will be far more powerful than Ean will be in a very long time. We really have to make them trust us before we slide the knife in their back, and this will mean doing a lot of crazy shit so that they put their guard down. First and foremost, we're probably going to have to reveal Sekhenun's knowledge of wormholes, followed by handing her off to the Masters before they really start seeing us as another harmless dog.

    Ean's experiences in the gulag have probably given him an iron will, so I'm not concerned about the Masters exerting mental control. Better yet, we can make them think that their little tricks are working on us.

    C) High risk. Potential benefits here are the ability to return to Earth in record time. Considering Vajra has just been torn from us, prospects of escape... aren't very good. Fuck this, really.

    Not a problem. If Shulgi was able to make the voices his bitch with only his innate dickishness, Ean's centuries of fasting in an transdimensional torture chamber will make dominating any voices child's play. Mentally at least, Ean should be free from the Masters.

    A fair point:

    The spheres we fought are only the protrusions of the actual beings that exist far beyond our world. Also, we would be among the Masters within their reality, where they're strongest. Scraping and bowing are going to be necessary skills for survival, but if we make the right choices, the Masters will never know what hit them.

    B Flopped to C
     
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  19. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    I... I'm torn. I REALLY want to return to Earth. And, given our new understanding of the Terasphagos' dimension, I think we actually stand a pretty decent chance of pulling C off. On the other hand, B is possibly the best chance we can get to thwart the Masters' plans. Or, for that matter, to finally decide if they're WORTH thwarting.

    Damn you, treave, damn you to hell!
     
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  20. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    If you choose to submit to the Masters they will rebuild you. They have the technology. They'll make you better than you were.

    Better... stronger... faster.

    A. Dragon Age
    B. Mass Effect 2
    C. Planescape: Torment

    edit: Regarding hunger... they'll harness it. But let's not spoil it too much.
     
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  21. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Not hungry anymore?
     
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  22. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    Decided to vote C.

    And you better make good on that promise!
     
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  23. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Hunger in a harness, sounds interesting. :smug: I stick to my vote, even if treave cheapened it by likening it to Mass Effect..
     
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  24. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Yeah, once you drop into the void you'll get raped assaulted by eldritch abominations and lose your memory.
     
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  25. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    This, and haunted by the shades who take our place in death for every time we cheat it. Our only companion is a decapitated and snarky fellow who gets us into even more trouble than we'd manage on our own.

    Not sure this sounds very appetizing to me. :roll:
     
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