Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 07: settling in

Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 07: settling in
#1
Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 07: settling in
[Image: MLx6zjt.png]

Death.

[Image: KUvrrxz.png]

There's nothing so invisible, nothing as swift and sudden, as death.

So many treat it as a ghost; a specter, from far away. Doom in the far-flung hills, in the far-above clouds, in the secret places beneath the earth. Always far away, yet watching.

[Image: hNsh3IU.png]

Not here. Not now.

Never here. Never, ever here. And yet ...

[Image: csG20pB.png]
[Image: 73KPgOE.png]
[Image: YoHwgdn.png]

My name is Colin Wardenclyffe Cowden.

Somehow, someway, I have died.

[Image: mRfjyK3.png]
[Image: d6xHqco.png]

I don't know how, I don't know why.

I don't remember the event of my demise. I don't remember anything about today - when I try to remember, my mind comes up short...

But somehow, I *know* that I have died. The same way you simply know when you're hot or cold... the same way you simply know when you're sad or angry.

I'm dead. I know this to be true... It is just so. I can't explain it.

[Image: 9mp8GhE.png]

[Image: U0rW7ht.png]This is probably going to make it harder to start that bakery.



[Image: cSJP1ts.png]

I don't know what's happened, but I like to think of myself as a smart kid. So I know that I should gather information before doing anything else. I look around myself and find that I'm in a cave, probably somewhere underground. There doesn't seem to be anything else here with me, nor any obvious entrances or exits.

[Image: hOIiukZ.png] Dead people probably don't have to care about walls, when entering or exiting somewhere.

[Image: U0rW7ht.png] That's one perk of this, I guess. One pro.



I blink on reflex. Despite being in what I assume to be a cavern in the ground, a bubble in the world mantle, I can see just fine. As if the cave is illuminated... no, not illuminated. As if darkness itself simply could not get any darker than "vaguely dim" in this place. Weird...

[Image: DFOfPMU.png]

Speaking of weird - I wasn't wearing these when I died. Well, I don't think I was. I don't own these, and I hope I didn't shuffle off the mortal coil in something this ostentatious.


[Image: 25MdnSd.png] Maybe this outfit is the key to figuring out this whole  situation... ?

[Image: d8AHj4J.png]
[Image: 1No6LXZ.png]
[Image: qAtzDik.png]
[Image: MAqhGKz.png]

[Image: U0rW7ht.png] Maybe not.





[Image: 3XncmXO.png]

So that's the situation I'm in. I'm dead - I know this to be true, as naturally and as casually as one would know that they were alive. But I don't remember how that happened, and I don't know where I am, why I was brought here - or what to do next. I shiver a little. The cave feels cold, but, strangely, it doesn't feel wrong to be so, either - like it'd be more weird or uncomfortable if it was warm here instead. It's silent in this place, without even my heartbeat to give a sense of sound - or of time.

I'll need to decide on what I want to do now, I think. Don't have any reason to wait until later - I don't feel sleepy, so napping's a bit of a no-go.

[ ] Ruminate. I can't remember the events of my death, but maybe I can remember something else that could  give a clue to this situation. It doesn't feel like it's been a long time since I was... well, alive.
[ ] Explore. I gave this weird little cave a once-over, but maybe a closer inspection of the various surfaces will reveal something helpful - like a trapdoor. Or a message. Or a sugar cookie. (The latter would helpful in its' own way.)
[ ] Experiment. I have this.. skull wand thing. I know wizards use something like this to cast spells, but I'm no wizard, and I don't recall hearing about ghosts doing the same. Maybe I should give it a few swings.
[ ] Something creative.
- [ ] Write here what you wish to try!
at
carrot cake
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#2
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookes: to Rule an Underworld - 01: the beginning of the end
[X] Experiment. I have this.. skull wand thing. I know wizards use something like this to cast spells, but I'm no wizard, and I don't recall hearing about ghosts doing the same. Maybe I should give it a few swings.

Pretty art! Simple but effective!
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#3
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookes: to Rule an Underworld - 01: the beginning of the end
None of the options are mutualy exclusive and it's not liek character seems to be on any sort of schedule so
...
[X] Ruminate. I can't remember the events of my death, but maybe I can remember something else that could give a clue to this situation. It doesn't feel like it's been a long time since I was... well, alive.
[X] Explore. I gave this weird little cave a once-over, but maybe a closer inspection of the various surfaces will reveal something helpful - like a trapdoor. Or a message. Or a sugar cookie. (The latter would helpful in its' own way.)
[X] Experiment. I have this.. skull wand thing. I know wizards use something like this to cast spells, but I'm no wizard, and I don't recall hearing about ghosts doing the same. Maybe I should give it a few swings.

in order.
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#4
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookes: to Rule an Underworld - 01: the beginning of the end
Experiment! Experiment! Wack the walls with your wand !
SpoilerShow
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#5
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookes: to Rule an Underworld - 01: the beginning of the end
(09-02-2019, 04:34 PM)Myeth Wrote: »Experiment! Experiment! Wack the walls with your wand !

See if you can tap a message to the person in the next cave over.
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#6
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookes: to Rule an Underworld - 01: the beginning of the end
Voting closed! Looks like we're messing with our wands
carrot cake
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#7
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 02: wacky wand-waving
[X] Experiment

Yeah, that'd probably be the most proactive thing to do. I won't get anything done just sitting around or hoping to find some secret hidden in the walls. Then again, I'm not sure I'll get anything done swinging around a miniature skull on a stick either, but it can't hurt to try, can it? I've always liked messing around with things. Even if my brother had to bail me out of the trouble I usually got myself into.

I get up off the floor again, the skull-wand-thing clenched tightly in my hand. I crane my arm backwards, focusing an eye on a... thing of pointy rocks (Stalactite? Stalagmite? I think it's stalagmite), aaand...!


[Image: zq2v3Im.png]

[Image: U0rW7ht.png] ...

[Image: BYAEvaR.png] Thinking about it... I don't actually know how wizards use these things.



[Image: NEWBXOl.png]

[Image: XzvJRDB.png]

[Image: 3OIhkvP.png] This isn't working. Like trying to draw blood from a stone, this thing.

[Image: QGF0aK4.png] Maybe it only works on, like, not-rocks.


[Image: U0rW7ht.png] Hm.

[Image: NbxFRHW.png]

[Image: xbEmY66.png] Alright, testing inconclusive.

[Image: ycc67l6.png] I'm doing science, here.



I spend a while doing things like that - smacking things with the weird wand, waving it in the air, incanting the first thing on my mind ("Lemonade! Thatch! Weasel!"), all without really knowing what I'm doing.

This is really frustrating.

[Image: 3OIhkvP.png] This is really frustrating.

I don't know why I keep trying the same things, over and over again. I guess part of me hopes it would do something, no matter how much time it took. But as it becomes more and more obvious that nothing was happening, my heart sinks lower.

For a brief moment, a thought flickers across my mind - I wonder if my brother knew anything about wands or rods or whatever - and when I next swing the wand forward, a motion made with that same sort of silent plea for the thing to do anything, I find that it feels - heavier. Filled with some weighty fluid. No, more like - something was flowing out of my palm and through the rod, as if that quick thought opened some hidden floodgate within it, which now freely lets through what it once sealed.

[Image: 2YFyQj8.png]

Before me, a shape coalesces. I watch, stupefied, as it collects itself, flickering motes of strange black spots gathering and forming up, up, and up, into a form that dwarfs me.

[Image: bJhRemq.png]


...[Image: zVjQXQu.png]

[Image: U0rW7ht.png] ...

The skull-faced figure and I stare at eachother, its' black mass remaining amorphous, churning invisibly even as it detaches from my wand. Silence reigns over the little cave for a long while, then a while longer.

And then a while longer-er.

I should probably make the first move. But what should that move be?

[ ] Ask it something. Like "who are you", "where am I", and "what in the heck is going on". Info-gathering is good. I'm not sure why it would know these things, but even just getting a neutral nod in response is better than losing a staring contest for eternity.
[ ] Fighting stance. I haven't the first clue of how to defend myself, but if this thing tries to attack me, I'm not going down without a fight. Besides, I have a magic wand now - if it can conjure a scary monster, it can conjure a fireball, can't it?
[ ] Command it to do something. Maybe wave the skull-wand thing at it. Maybe it's, like, a familiar? An elemental? I have very little knowledge on how magic works, but wand-waving got me into this situation and by Vestus it will get me out.
[ ] On second thought, maybe staring contests aren't so bad. I'm okay with just staring at a giant scary entity for a bit. It hasn't gotten me into any trouble... and maybe I'll find something odd about it from looking a little closer.
[ ] Yell.
carrot cake
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#8
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 02: wacky wand-waving
Ask it something. We're trying to get information here.
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#9
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 02: wacky wand-waving
Better introduce yourself and ask its name! Refusing to acknowledge another social being in a social situation is highly insulting, you know.
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#10
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 02: wacky wand-waving
Votes tallied! Questions and answers are coming your way
carrot cake
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#11
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 03: q&a with mx. aspect
[X] Ask it something

[Image: BlrPYpx.png] Um...

[Image: BwPt41c.png] Hell... hello.

... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: BwPt41c.png] My name is Colin. What is - what is yours?

... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

For a moment, I thought that that was going to be the end of its' response - that it would just not reply to any attempt at a normal...ish... conversation. Or perhaps it simply doesn't understand what I'm saying...? I open my mouth to try again, before it makes me snap it shut.
... I HAVE NO NAME. [Image: NK77O73.png]

[Image: dO5V7F9.png] !

IF YOU WISH IT, YOU MAY GRANT A NAME TO ME. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: UrOETKf.png] Wait... what?

[Image: BwPt41c.png] You mean... I can name you?

YES. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

This is... exceedingly strange. I didn't even name the family dog, let alone - whatever this thing is. That should probably be my next question, actually. I shift gears.

[Image: BwPt41c.png] Well... what are you, then?

... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

I AM THE MANIFESTATION OF LIFE'S CESSATION. [Image: NK77O73.png]

THE IDEA AND CONCEPT OF THE ETERNAL DISREPAIR WHICH WAITS FOR EVERY BEING. [Image: NK77O73.png]

I AM THE ASPECT OF DEATH; DEATH INCARNATE. [Image: NK77O73.png]

...

[Image: x0omeGY.png] ...


... Yeah, you're going to take a minute to process that one.


[Image: OY8GnR6.png] Hoo, okay.

[Image: UrOETKf.png] I'm... I'm guessing this is the afterlife, then?

YES. [Image: NK77O73.png]

I probably could have guessed that, actually, but confirmation's nice. Explains a lot. Though...

[Image: NMeUOG5.png] This doesn't... really, look like how I imagined it.

... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: BwPt41c.png] ...

I'm dead. That fact... starts to sink in.

[Image: nrfpPgn.png]

I... really am dead. All my hopes, all my wishes, all my ambitions... my time playing in the flower garden with my brother... gone.

My brother...

[Image: YTXldgu.png] If... this is the afterlife...

[Image: UrOETKf.png] Where are the other souls?

NOT HERE. [Image: NK77O73.png]

[Image: UrOETKf.png] What do you mean?

... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

... ALL DEAD SOULS ARE CURRENTLY IN THE MORTAL WORLD, UNCOLLECTED. [Image: NK77O73.png]

NOT A SINGLE ONE ADORNS THE UNDERWORLD. [Image: NK77O73.png]
[Image: dO5V7F9.png] Uncollected?

YES. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]
NONE ARE AT WORK ADMINISTERING THE PROCESS BY WHICH SOULS ARE ESCORTED HERE. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: x0omeGY.png] That doesn't sound like a good thing.

NO. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: apDVqUG.png] As- as in, shouldn't - shouldn't someone be doing that? Shouldn't you be doing that?!


WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO?[Image: d4FAfcB.png]

My train of thought crashes into itself. There it is again - it - Death, apparently - is asking me to command it. Asking me to name it. I stand up, pursing my lips together in bemusement.

[Image: BwPt41c.png] I don't understand. You're talking to me as if I'm in charge of you. But - shouldn't you just - like - do these things yourself?

... [Image: NK77O73.png]

... I AM THE MANIFESTATION OF DEATH. I AM THE REPRESENTATION OF CESSATION. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]
I AM NOT ITS' ARBITER, ITS' COMMANDER, ITS' LORD. I AM NOT ITS' GOD. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: YTXldgu.png] I still don't see how I'm capable of telling you to do these things. If you need to be commanded, shouldn't someone else do it?

IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO? [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: BwPt41c.png] Well, if you're not them, then... probably... the God of Death?

YES. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: UrOETKf.png] Okay... If that's the case, why are you taking orders from me?

... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: 0cu4aDZ.png]

YOU ARE THE GOD OF DEATH. [Image: NK77O73.png]

[Image: BwPt41c.png]

[Image: YTXldgu.png]

[Image: x0omeGY.png]

[Image: apDVqUG.png]

I lean forward, just a little bit.

[Image: apDVqUG.png] What the fuck.

I barely even register that I said a bad word.



I spend a few minutes simply curled up, gently processing the words that were just said to me. The Aspect (that's what I'm calling it for now) merely stood by my form, not moving, not speaking, still frozen in the position it had when it made its' claim. I tried to deny it when I recovered a little bit - telling it that it had it all wrong, that there was no way I was a god, much less one of death. I've got a list of aspirations, sure - but being the arbiter of hell is not on there!The Aspect wouldn't budge, however - telling me over and over that, no, I was, indeed, its' rightful lord.

For whatever reason, I now have a strange skull-faced shadowy giant who believes I am the Lord of the Underworld under my "command". Perhaps I should give it a name?
- [ ] Write-in a name for the Aspect.
- [ ] Or just keep calling it the Aspect.

More importantly, I should probably do something with my new... "servant". If only so that it doesn't loom over me while I contemplate some more. It feels uncomfortable to be in charge of something like the Aspect... but it'd be weirder to just sit around in this tiny cave and do nothing.

[ ] Ask it about...
- [ ] What being a God of Death entails, responsibility-wise. You've no idea what you're supposed to do next, so you should probably get on knowing that.
- [ ] What happens to souls when they die. If they actually have to be escorted here, souls must be a tangible thing, right? What are they?
- [ ] Why it came out of your wand, and if anything else is going to come out of there. You want to know if you'll be next summoning the Aspect of Candy Corn who'll hail you as the Confectionery Monarch. Actually, that doesn't sound too bad...
- [ ] What's the deal with your outfit - you didn't die in these, after all. At least, you're pretty sure. And why does every single piece of it involve a skull?
[ ] Command it to...
- [ ] Start ferrying dead souls. Hey, it asked you if it should, so you should give an answer.
- [ ] Make this place look prettier. You don't actually know it if it has the ability to do this, but maybe it can at least do away with those stalactites. Stalagmites. Rocks.
- [ ] Just... leave you alone for a bit. You need more time to adjust.
carrot cake
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#12
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 03: q&a with mx. aspect
[NAME: Barold]
[Why'd ya come out of the wand, and all questions that entail that]
(Bonus action.........poke Big Guy. What's it made of? Lets find out)
SpoilerShow
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#13
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 03: q&a with mx. aspect
Votes tallied! What a name
carrot cake
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#14
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 04: autothantography
[X] Ask it about why it came out of your wand.

I manage to regain enough of my composure to stand again. I take a moment to breathe. I don't feel like I really am the God of Death just yet, but maybe I can use the Aspect to my advantage. For starters...

[Image: BwPt41c.png] Well... first thing's first.

[Image: BwPt41c.png] Your new name is Barold.

... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

Again, for a second I imagine it won't have any response to that, and open my mouth before quickly clamping myself shut.

VERY WELL. [Image: NK77O73.png]

DEATH WILL HENCE BE KNOWN BY THE NAME YOU HAVE GIVEN IT. [Image: NK77O73.png]

MORTAL-KIND SHALL WHISPER MY NAME IN HUSHED TONES AROUND THE SHRINE OF MY IMPLACABILITY. [Image: NK77O73.png]

I AM THE END. I AM THE ETERNAL. [Image: NK77O73.png]

I AM BAROLD. [Image: sZKrGfq.png]

[Image: x0omeGY.png] ...

[Image: BlrPYpx.png] Right, anyways.


I walk around the newly-named manifestation of Death, twirling my rod around in my fingers (slowly - it's pretty bulky and I'm not actually that dexterous).

[Image: BwPt41c.png] Second thing's second.

[Image: b3tSNFn.png] Why did you come out of my wand... Barold?

[Image: UrOETKf.png] Should I worry about more Aspects coming out of this thing?

NO. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

AS THE GOD OF DEATH, YOU ARE A SOURCE OF A NEAR-INFINITE AMOUNT OF RAW DIVINE POWER. [Image: NK77O73.png]

HOWEVER, IT CANNOT YET BE CHANNELED THROUGH YOUR FORM. THUS, THE ROD OF DEATH. [Image: NK77O73.png]

MY MANIFESTATION IS SIMPLY AN EXPRESSION OF YOUR POWER AND DOMINION OVER DEATH. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

A SINGLE WAY YOUR DIVINITY CAN PRESS UPON REALITY.[Image: d4FAfcB.png]

THERE ARE FAR MORE WAYS THAN MERE SUMMONING. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

I AM THE ONLY ASPECT YOU YET HAVE.[Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: BwPt41c.png] So that's what it's called - the Rod of Death?

NO. [Image: NK77O73.png]

[Image: dO5V7F9.png] ?

IT IS CALLED WHATEVER YOU WISH IT TO BE CALLED. [Image: NK77O73.png]

Is this what it's like to be a God? You point at something, call it something, and it has to live with that name forever?

The weight of the responsibility you now have to carry starts making itself apparent, regardless of how much you don't want to believe yourself to be the Lord of the Dead.

[Image: Epe7FkY.png] Oh, man...

[Image: Epe7FkY.png] ...

[Image: BwPt41c.png] You said something about other ways I can use my... divinity?


YES. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: YTXldgu.png] I should probably know about them, shouldn't I?

YES [Image: NK77O73.png]


[Image: BwPt41c.png] ...

... [Image: NK77O73.png]

[Image: UrOETKf.png] Well-

ALLOW ME TO SHOW YOU SOMETHING. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: 9jsrog9.png]

I see Barold shift, slightly, before revealing a shimmering purple tome, holding it towards me, apparently held in its' shadowy... being. I reach out to take it, and flip it open.

[Image: dO5V7F9.png] What is this? Why is my name on there?

IT IS THE BOOK OF THE DEAD. USEFUL IN MATTERS OF MANAGING YOUR UNDERWORLD. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

YOUR NAME IS THERE BECAUSE YOU ARE THE GOD OF DEATH. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: BwPt41c.png] I'm guessing I can rename myself too, then?

YES. [Image: NK77O73.png]


[Image: dO5V7F9.png] ...

Now that I think about it... that in particular is pretty tempting. I'd have to pick a good name if I'm naming myself... maybe a little less silly than 'Barold'. I could make a new identity. Or just keep being Colin.

Barold manages to point out a part of the book while continuing to have no obvious limbs.

ALL THE TABS OF THIS BOOK SHALL BE UNLOCKED IN TIME. FOR NOW, FOCUS ON THE FIRST TWO. [Image: NK77O73.png]

THE FIRST CONTAINS INFORMATION ABOUT YOU, THE LORD OF THE DEAD. [Image: NK77O73.png]


My lips tighten, my attention grabbed a little bit tighter.

AND OF THE FIRST, FOCUS ON "LORDSHIP" AND "STRESS" MOST OF ALL. [Image: NK77O73.png]


ALL STATISTICS WILL BE IMPORTANT IN TIME. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

BUT THESE SHALL BE THE MOST USEFUL ONES TO KNOW OF FOR NOW. [Image: NK77O73.png]

[Image: NAmyhOc.png] Lordship and Stress, huh? What do they represent?

LORDSHIP IS THE MEASURE OF YOUR CAPABILITY TO RULE THE UNDERWORLD. [Image: NK77O73.png]

THE HIGHER THIS NUMBER IS, THE MORE SUITED YOU ARE TO RULE. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: YTXldgu.png] ... Oh.

I mean, I guess that should be expected. But 15/100 is still a bit of a stinging figure. I look at the book with furrowed eyebrows.

DO NOT WORRY, HOWEVER. [Image: NK77O73.png]

FOR AS YOU MANAGE THE UNDERWORLD, THIS STATISTIC SHALL RISE. [Image: NK77O73.png]

[Image: YTXldgu.png] ...

STRESS IS, IN TURN, YOUR INABILITY TO RULE THE UNDERWORLD. [Image: NK77O73.png]

THROUGH WHATEVER MEANS THAT DISPOSE YOU. [Image: NK77O73.png]

AS YOU MANAGE THE UNDERWORLD, THIS STATISTIC SHALL RISE AS WELL. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: XHSHO7E.png] ... That doesn't sound like a good thing.

NO. [Image: NK77O73.png]

REMEMBER TO REST OFTEN. EVEN A GOD MUST BE WARY OF BURNOUT. [Image: NK77O73.png]

IF THIS MEASURE REACHES HALF OR MORE OF ITS' MAXIMUM CAPACITY, RUIN WILL BEGIN TO BEFALL US. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: BwPt41c.png] You really like using big, fantastical words and phrases, Barold.

YES. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: BwPt41c.png] ...

... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

TO BE A SUCCESSFUL GOD OF DEATH, YOU MUST MAKE CHOICES. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

YET EVERY CHOICE, EVERY DECISION YOU MAKE, HAS BOTH REWARD AND RISK ASSOCIATED WITH IT. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

RISK IS INSURMOUNTABLE. YET YOU MUST OVERCOME IT TO CREATE A FLOURISHING UNDERWORLD. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

TO OVERCOME RISK, YOU MUST HAVE COMPETENCE. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

LUCK MAY SEE YOU THROUGH FOR A TIME, BUT SKILL BEGETS STABILITY. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

THE HIGHER A SKILL YOU HAVE, THE MORE YOU WILL SUCCEED AT EVER MORE DIFFICULT ACTIONS. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: NFfPBW0.png] I have a feeling this is a roundabout way of saying something obvious.

BUT YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO IS ABLE TO TEND TO THE UNDERWORLD. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: YTXldgu.png] The second tab...

YES. [Image: NK77O73.png]

THIS IS WHERE YOU WILL FIND INFORMATION ON YOUR SERVANTS, AS YOU OBTAIN MORE. [Image: NK77O73.png]

... I guess I should have expected that too. I'm not sure I can handle commanding a whole army of "Angels of Death". Matter of fact... I don't even know where I'm going to get new servants.

MY STATISTICS ARE NOT SO IMPORTANT FOR NOW. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

THE ONLY ACTION WE CAN DO AT THIS TIME INVOLVES YOUR POWER. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: x0omeGY.png] Which is?

... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

Barold presses down, its' giant form spreading across the ground like it was made out of inky black honey, its' skull head almost reaching down to my height. I step back a little, before its' body spreads over my feet. Its' eyes shimmer again, and suddenly...

[Image: ECdv2lT.png]

... Circles cover the whole of the cave. Somehow, that feeling from when I summoned Barold comes back - something, a liquid inside me, feels like it's being pulled into these rings, spreading across not only the floor, walls, and ceiling, but the entire space of the cavern, flooding it with the flowing something.

A part of me realizes that this might be that "divine power" Barold was talking about a while ago.

[Image: YTXldgu.png] What's going on?

YOU ARE TAKING CONTROL OF THIS SECTION OF THE UNDERWORLD, PLACING IT UNDER YOUR DOMINION. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

THIS IS THE FIRST STEP TO ALL YOUR OPERATIONS HERE - [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

CLEARING SPACE. [Image: sZKrGfq.png]

The lavender spreads across the whole of the space, spreading and spreading, washing away the cavern from view, until...

[Image: 2Q2ojrn.png]

[Image: BwPt41c.png] ... Where did the cave go?

WOULD YOU LIKE IT TO COME BACK? [Image: NK77O73.png]

[Image: dO5V7F9.png] ?

UPON PLACING A LOCATION UNDER YOUR DOMINION, IT IS FORMED INTO A PURE, GENERIC NOTHINGNESS. [Image: NK77O73.png]

YET ONE FILLED WITH YOUR DIVINITY. THIS IS FOR EASE OF RENOVATION. [Image: NK77O73.png]

[Image: UrOETKf.png] Renovation? Like, I can make whatever I want in this place?

... NOT EXACTLY. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

AT THIS TIME, YOUR CONTROL OVER YOUR DIVINITY IS MORE COARSE THAN CAN BE DESCRIBED. [Image: NK77O73.png]

ONLY A FEW THINGS CAN BE REFINED FROM YOUR ESSENCE FOR NOW. [Image: NK77O73.png]

IN THE FUTURE, HOWEVER, YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO CREATE EVER MORE AMBITIOUS ARCHITECTURE. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

THE SPECIFIC DESIGN OF WHICH WILL BE AS YOU DESIRE, AS WELL. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

[Image: NAmyhOc.png] ...

[Image: UrOETKf.png] Every single thing about this is really, really surreal. But I guess it makes an internal kinda logic.


More coarse that can be described, huh? I take a glance at my wand, before turning back up to Barold.

[Image: UrOETKf.png] What can I create now, then?

It tells me.



Turn 1

Time passed since death: ???

the Book of the Dead

- Lordship Actions -

[ ] Well, It's a Start - Look, you're not going to go into this wands blazing. You need to start small and simple. Like a chair. Chairs are small and simple. How could you possibly heck up making a chair?
Result: Create a chair for Colin to sit on. Unlock more Lordship actions. Negligible Risk.
- [ ] Select location to place this construct.

[ ] to Create - An Altar of Creation, the Aspect called it. Something like your unnamed wand-thing, but bigger, and more personalized. This should allow you to refine your control over your divinity.
Result: Create an Altar of Creation at a specified location, which unlocks more Lordship actions. Low Risk.
- [ ] Select location to place this construct.
- [ ] (OPTIONAL) Describe, roughly, how it could look.

[ ] to Transform - A Crucible, the Aspect called it. Not actually a big pot, but a room, or a chamber, where your essence collects - where it is dense. Somewhere you could fill or change something with your divinity, for a variety of effects.
Result: Create a Crucible at a specificed location, which unlocks certain Omen and Mask actions. Low Risk.
- [ ] Select location to place this construct.
- [ ] (OPTIONAL) Describe, roughly, how it could look.

[ ] to Judge - A Hall of Judgement, the Aspect called it. Much less flashy than its' name sounds, it would merely be a place where you could store dead souls - once you start collecting them, that is - and decide which part of your underworld they should be sent to.
Result: Create a Hall of Judgement at a specified location, which unlocks certain Lordship and Omen actions. Low Risk.
- [ ] Select location to place this construct.
- [ ] (OPTIONAL) Describe, roughly, how it could look.

[ ] Renovation - You're thinking of a new look for one of your locations. Your control of your divinity is still low, but you think you can create a good aesthetic regardless... Result: Change how a location in the Underworld looks, roughly. Free action (Colin can perform another action even if they take this one, and can take it multiple times).
- [ ] Select a location to renovate, and how, roughly, you change its' appearance.

- Misc Actions -

[ ] Relax - I've been feeling unwell lately. Maybe I should spend some time with my thoughts, lest they grow dark. Result: Lowers Stress. Taking this option too many times will have detrimental effects on the Underworld.

[ ] Q&A With Mx. Barold - Curiosity burns in my mind. I should talk to the Aspect about this. Result: Ask a question or questions to Barold, who will answer as best as it can. Free action.
- [ ] Ask a question, or questions, to the Aspect.

[ ] A New Name - I've come up with a great new name for something! Result: Rename something, from the Aspect, to an Angel, to a construct, to a location, the Book of the Dead, to even Colin themself, and more things besides. Free action.
- [ ] What do you rename, and what to?[/align]
carrot cake
Quote
#15
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 04: autothantography
"Votes" tallied?
carrot cake
Quote
#16
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 04: autothantography
I am late... but I would have posted "Create a chair, floating in the air".

Intriguing story so far, I shall follow it : o
Quote
#17
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 04: autothantography
[] to Transform - Can we have a room with walls made of endless bones stacked upon each other? Sorta like the Catacombs in Paris, but a large room?
Quote
#18
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 05: making metaphysics
[X] Well, It's a Start
- [X] Location 1
Roll: 55+15=75
Amplified Success

[Image: 8OERhmC.png]

Ambition is good, but caution is what keeps it in check. I start collecting the divinity that infuses the space around me, willing it to press denser and denser into itself, the very fabric of reality gripped tight by this strange substance that seems so connected to me, and pulled into form.

[Image: zZ5aqJC.png]

[Image: dO5V7F9.png] That was... surprisingly easy.

YES. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO START SMALL.[Image: d4FAfcB.png]

I HAVE NO COMPLAINTS TO THIS DECISION. [Image: NK77O73.png]


I make a quiet "mm" noise. A good base to start us off - from here, I can set my goals higher and higher, building on the foundations of the predecessor. And judging by how easy it was, my goals can be set quite high indeed.

[Result: Chair created in Location 1 - Relax action slightly upgraded. New Lordship options unlocked. Colin's Lordship increases by 1 + 1 (Bonus from first action of the game) +1 (Bonus from amplified success]



I take another look at my handiwork. It isn't much, but that's exactly what I was going for. Now, it's time to move on.

[Image: BwPt41c.png]  So, what should I do next? Maybe one of the other buildings you mentioned?


NO. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


[Image: UrOETKf.png] ?


THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SPACE. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

YOUR CREATION HAS TAKEN UP ALL AVAILABLE SPACE IN THIS LOCATION. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


[Image: dO5V7F9.png] Seriously?

[Image: YTXldgu.png] But I only made one chair...



... I DID NOT MEAN PHYSICAL SPACE. [Image: NK77O73.png]

METAPHYSICAL SPACE. THIS PLACE IS CONCEPTUALLY TINY FOR AN UNDERWORLD. [Image: NK77O73.png]

ONLY A SINGLE IDEA CAN PERSIST IN THIS LOCATION, UNTIL WE INCREASE ITS' CONCEPTUAL AREA. [Image: NK77O73.png]

WE MAY UPGRADE YOUR CONSTRUCT, OR DESTROY IT AND REPLACE IT WITH ANOTHER. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

BUT TWO CREATIONS ARE UNFEASIBLE IN THE CRAMPED IDEA THAT THIS PLACE REPRESENTS. [Image: NK77O73.png]


[Image: apDVqUG.png] ...


... [Image: NK77O73.png]

ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT IT IS THERE IS NOT ENOUGH DIVINITY TO CREATE ANY MORE.[Image: d4FAfcB.png]

AND NOT ENOUGH SPACE TO SAFELY LET IN MORE OF YOUR UNFATHOMABLE POWER.[Image: d4FAfcB.png]

SO WE MUST ATTAIN MORE SPACE TO RESUME CONSTRUCTION. [Image: NK77O73.png]


[Image: BwPt41c.png] ... So we need to convert more places into... 'my dominion'?

[Image: BwPt41c.png] Like what you did for the cavern?


PRECISELY. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

BUT THE DEEPER WE PLUMB THE ABYSS FOR CONCEPTUAL LAND... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

... THE MORE MALEVOLENCE WE MAY ENCOUNTER. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

SIMPLY PUT, WE WILL FIND DEMONS. [Image: NK77O73.png]


[Image: x0omeGY.png] D-Demons?

[Image: 8Z5MAKB.png]


YES. BEINGS ANTITHETICAL TO THE ORDER YOU REPRESENT AS LORD OF THE DEAD. [Image: NK77O73.png]

YOU HAVE GREAT POWER, YET WITH NO WEAPON, STRENGTH IS USELESS. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

YOUR ANGELS ARE THAT WEAPON. [Image: NK77O73.png]

FOR YOUR SAFETY, YOU MUST STAY HERE, WHILE I ENACT A CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE ABYSS. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

A "HARROWING". [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

THIS TASK WILL REST SQUARELY ON MYSELF. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

YOU WILL BE FREE TO TAKE YOUR OWN ACTIONS, WHILE I TAKE MINE, TO TEST MY CAPABILITIES. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

PARTICULARLY MY MILITARY ACUMEN, COMBAT PROWESS, AND ABILITY TO ENACT ORDER.[Image: d4FAfcB.png]

MY "GRIP", AS THE BOOK OF THE DEAD PUTS IT. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


I breathe a quiet sigh of relief, knowing I won't have to personally fend off a dangerous demon, no matter how divine I am. Again, I'm a peasant child in a big cloak - not a warrior! Not yet, anyway. Maybe some small part of me wants to do battle with villainous monsters, like the heroes of old. But that part's dumb.

[Image: BwPt41c.png] ... Well, okay. I guess that makes sense.

[Image: NAmyhOc.png] This seems simple enough. I build things, while you give me more places to build?



YES, BUT NOT ONLY THAT. [Image: NK77O73.png]

I WILL LIKELY NOT BE YOUR ONLY SERVANT. [Image: NK77O73.png]

INDEED - SOME OF THE DEMONS I FACE WILL BE WILLING TO REBUKE THEIR ALLEGIANCE TO CHAOS. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

IF YOU WISH IT, AND I DO PARTICULARLY WELL IN BATTLE, WE WILL BE ABLE TO RECRUIT THEM - [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

TURNING DEMONS INTO ANGELS. OR, SPECIFICALLY, INTO "PSYCHOPOMPS". [Image: NK77O73.png]


[Image: YTXldgu.png] So that's where I get new... angels. I see.

[Image: BwPt41c.png] Aren't there any drawbacks to this...?



WELL. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

THEY TAKE UP CONCEPTUAL SPACE, JUST AS BUILDINGS DO. [Image: NK77O73.png]


[Image: BbeMJMQ.png] Darn it.


BUT LESS SO THAN SAID CONSTRUCTS. [Image: NK77O73.png]

TWO MAXIMUM FOR A LOCATION THIS SIZE, COMPARED TO THE MAXIMUM OF ONE CONSTRUCT. [Image: NK77O73.png]


[Image: XHSHO7E.png] Oh, geez...

[Image: YTXldgu.png] Scratch anything being simple enough, this is really complicated already. And I have the feeling I'm still scratching the surface of this whole thing...



YES. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


... [Image: NK77O73.png]


RUNNING AN UNDERWORLD WILL BE FAR FROM PAINLESS. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

BUT I BELIEVE YOU WILL EXCEL. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


[Image: YTXldgu.png] You believe in a lot of things, Barold.


I DO. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


[Image: ip7zy23.png]




Turn 2

Time passed since death: ???

the Book of the Dead

- Lordship Actions -

[ ] to Create - An Altar of Creation, the Aspect called it. Something like your unnamed wand-thing, but bigger, and more personalized. This should allow you to refine your control over your divinity.
Result: Create an Altar of Creation at a specified location, which unlocks more Lordship actions. Low Risk.
- [ ] Select location to place this construct.
- [ ] (OPTIONAL) Describe, roughly, how it could look.

[ ] to Transform - A Crucible, the Aspect called it. Not actually a big pot, but a room, or a chamber, where your essence collects - where it is dense. Somewhere you could fill or change something with your divinity, for a variety of effects.
Result: Create a Crucible at a specified location, which unlocks certain Omen and Mask actions. Low Risk.
- [ ] Select location to place this construct.
- [ ] (OPTIONAL) Describe, roughly, how it could look.

[ ] to Judge - A Hall of Judgement, the Aspect called it. Much less flashy than its' name sounds, it would merely be a place where you could store dead souls - once you start collecting them, that is - and decide which part of your underworld they should be sent to.
Result: Create a Hall of Judgement at a specified location, which unlocks certain Lordship and Omen actions. Low Risk.
- [ ] Select location to place this construct.
- [ ] (OPTIONAL) Describe, roughly, how it could look.

[ ] Death the Gardener - You can make inanimate objects with divinity. Maybe you can create life, too, despite the, ah, reason you have that divinity in the first place. A garden would be nice... Result: Create a Garden at a specified location, which lowers Stress gain slightly and unlocks ??? next time you take the Relax action. Obtain Nature affinity. Below Average Risk.
- [ ] Select location to place this construct.
- [ ] (OPTIONAL) Describe, roughly, how it could look.

[ ] Renovation - You're thinking of a new look for one of your locations. Your control of your divinity is still low, but you think you can create a good aesthetic regardless... Result: Change how a location in the Underworld looks, roughly. Free action (Colin can perform another action even if they take this one, and can take it multiple times).
- [ ] Select a location to renovate, and how, roughly, you change its' appearance.

[ ] Deconstruction - The old must give way to the new - maybe that should be part of what Death represents. Result: Remove a construct from a certain location.
- [ ] Select a construct in a location to remove.

- Grip Actions -

Advisor of Grip: Barold

Pick 1

[ ] Harrowing Hell - The time has come to expand. More locations, more angels, more of the Abyss to be placed under your dominion. Death must be more ineffable, more unyielding than almost any other thing in existence.
- [ ] Pick a direction. Any direction. Even ones that usually don't exist.

- Misc Actions -

[ ] Relax - I've been feeling unwell lately. Maybe I should spend some time with my thoughts, lest they grow dark. Result: Lowers Stress. Taking this option too many times will have detrimental effects on the Underworld.

[ ] Q&A With Mx. Barold - Curiosity burns in my mind. I should talk to the Aspect about this. Result: Ask a question or questions to Barold, who will answer as best as it can. Free action.
- [ ] Ask a question, or questions, to the Aspect.

[ ] A New Name - I've come up with a great new name for something! Result: Rename something, from the Aspect, to an Angel, to a construct, to a location, the Book of the Dead, to even Colin themself, and more things besides. Free action.
- [ ] What do you rename, and what to?
carrot cake
Quote
#19
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 05: making metaphysics
Renovate: make this underworld look like the bakery you mentioned you wanted to have.

Barold: Travel "upwards" in the Abyss in your harrowing... Ascension feels appropriate
Quote
#20
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 05: making metaphysics
Votes tallied! Upwards we go
carrot cake
Quote
#21
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 06: better bread than red
[X] Renovation
- [X] Location 1: Make it look like the bakery you wanted to have

I wave my wand around idly, thinking to myself. The Aspect said there wasn't enough divinity in here to create anything else... but that didn't stop me from changing what was already there, did it? I gather some of the energy around me again, before I gently tap the "ground".

[Image: u3NqRxh.png]

It's a weird feeling, manipulating this "divinity". But the more I do it, the more natural it feels - like smoothing something over with my hands.

But what I create is... a room. An empty one.

[Image: aZRNKF3.png]

[Image: YTXldgu.png] ... This doesn't look like a bakery.

A BAKERY? [Image: NK77O73.png]


[Image: BwPt41c.png] Oh, um.

[Image: YTXldgu.png] It's like - a place where you make n' sell sweets and pastries n' stuff. I wanted to turn this place into a bakery.

[Image: BwPt41c.png] I like them.


... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

IT SEEMS AS THOUGH SUCH A LOCATION WOULD BE DEFINED BY ITS' FURNITURE. [Image: NK77O73.png]

MERELY CHANGING THE ENVIRONMENT MAY NOT BE ENOUGH... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

TO TURN THE UNDERWORLD INTO A 'BAKERY'. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


[Image: YTXldgu.png] Well, that's phooey. Do I need to add a bunch of cake stalls or something?

IN A MANNER OF SPEAKING. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

BUT PLACING SPECIFIC CONSTRUCTS WOULD BE INEFFICIENT. [Image: NK77O73.png]

RATHER, YOU SHOULD CHANGE THE APPEARANCE OF MORE GENERIC CREATIONS. [Image: NK77O73.png]


I see Barold ghost over to the chair, still standing in the middle of the room, unperturbed by the sudden makeover of the space around it.

THIS CONSTRUCT, FOR EXAMPLE. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

WOULD THERE BE AN EQUIVALENT TO IT MORE ALIGNED WITH THE IDEA OF A BAKERY? [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


[Image: x0omeGY.png] Um.

[Image: BwPt41c.png] Maybe a stool...?


THE MORE ALIGNED THE CONSTRUCTS AND LOCATION ARE TO EACHOTHER... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

... THE MORE COHESIVE OF AN IDEA FORMS. [Image: NK77O73.png]

THIS IS A GOOD THING. [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


[Image: YTXldgu.png] I just wanna bake cookies, Barold.

[Result: Location 1 renovated. Renovation action upgraded to work on constructs.]


[X] Harrowing Hell
- [X] Upwards

After that, there wasn't much else to do except send the Aspect to go get more land.

[Image: BwPt41c.png] Okay, um... I command you to go and perform a Harrowing in my name!

[Image: x0omeGY.png] Was that - was that good?


... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]

WHAT DIRECTION? [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


[Image: x0omeGY.png] What?

IN WHICH DIRECTION SHALL I HARROW THE ABYSS? [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


[Image: x0omeGY.png] Uh. Um.

[Image: UrOETKf.png] ... Up?


... [Image: d4FAfcB.png]


[Image: uBYUrWr.png]

[Image: 5ugs7BQ.png]

[Image: IgVvANX.png]

[Image: XHSHO7E.png]

[Image: YTXldgu.png] I'm hungry.



Outside of my sight, Barold races upwards. Not that up really has any meaning, considering that...

[Image: fRwmGpi.png]

It immediately finds a coursing river, flowing into the distance. How the deeply red liquid isn't flooding into my room (or at least dripping through the ceiling) is beyond my understanding. It's rather big, though, which would make it quite suitable for conversion -

[Image: opBoXnB.png]

- if it weren't for a pack of fearsome demons to accost the Aspect!

[Image: BwPt41c.png] I think they were fearsome, anyway. I'm just paraphrasing the report.

Grip Combat RollsShow

The turtle-demons' shells were oddly impenetrable at first, despite their appearance.They even tried to swarm Barold with a flurry of snapping jaws. But they were ultimately paltry against the might of the Aspect, quickly being driven off.

One, however, remained, hiding in its' shell, however dilapidated it may be. Seizing the opportunity, my angel offered a deal to it to come under my dominion - if I willed it.

Roll: 41+30=71
Success

An easy decision to make, and after being presented to me Barold gave me the choice of whether or not to keep the strange turtle-demon as a servant. Or pet.

[ ] Keep the turtle. Two angels are better than one!
[ ] Don't keep the turtle. We barely have enough space as is!

I'll probably have to make this decision before planning out the rest of my actions. Either way, a successful Harrowing - with a section of the Underworld twice as large as my starting room placed under my power, split up into two different locations.

[Result: Harrowing complete. Locations 2 and 3 added. Expanded "up".][/align]
carrot cake
Quote
#22
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 06: better bread than red
[x] SLAM that MF KEEP BUTTON
Quote
#23
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 06: better bread than red
Turtle time........
Quote
#24
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 06: better bread than red
[X] keep the turtle. Ask the turtle for their former name, though.
Quote
#25
RE: Death, Taxes, and Cookies: to Rule an Underworld - 06: better bread than red
[x] keep turtle
Noot noot doot doot.

EGGS AND UPGRADED EGGSShow
[Image: 47325.png]
Quote