Gabriella Montague sat in the cockpit of a giant furry robot that was also pusheen. She was in love. She gripped the joysticks with both hands. they seemed to respond exactly how she wished. There were no clumsy motion controls or slowed movements. She held the stick, she thought about a direction and PusheenPrimeSprite responded.
EC: My love! I am inside a giant robot that is also pusheen. How are you?
MS: I’m trying to figure out how this blasted door opens. There’s a keyhole but I thought I could open it with my crowbar. But it just won’t budge.
EC: Sounds like you already know the solution to this problem.
EC: duh. Go get the key. But get some rest first! Allison is sleeping inside our house all alone! The lonely damsel needs the help of her best friend!
MS: What am I supposed to help with.
MS: also weren’t you the one telling me to go on this personal quest.
EC: I most certainly did and that was dumb and I’m dumb and I’m just a big ole doodooface. Hey.
EC: I didn’t say that. Oh yes I did my name is Gabriella and I like yelling at people and hurting their feelings.
MS: I agree with this sentiment wholeheartedly. Yes quite. Hmm hmm, I’m so fancy with my mustache and cool fancy hair.
EC: Stay your course.
EC: No! Don’t stay your course. Take the high road that is going home and taking care of sweet precious Allison.
Why are you doing this? You’re ruining the story.
I’m making it better.
No. You’re ruining things and making them worse. This is a carefully planned out narrative. You were supposed to stay on derse and do political things. Not kill both the black and white queen and threaten the two kings into giving them their scepters.
Why can’t I control Xavier outside of his chat messages.
Why should I tell you that.
Because I can kill these characters if I want to.
You wanna bet.
Gabriella was distracted with the dumb cat robot. She didn’t notice another ogre smacking a highway line. A smack. Smack. Smack. The four ogres at all four corners smacked in unison while the girl was distracted by her cat robot.
No no. I’ll do it.
Trickster. Talk some reason into her.
Why are you doing this.
Allison needs help.
No she doesn’t She’s fine. She single handedly took down Jack Noir and saved Gabriella from an assassination attempt. She has the power to become what she wants and change the laws of paradox reality. She can take care of herself.
But I can fix her. I can fix the things she feels.
You don’t need to fix her. She’s already going to get that gift later. She’ll suffer for now but that will help her cherish the inevitable prize.
But if I help her now, she won’t have to suffer anymore. She’s suffered for so long. And now I have the power to stop that.
The only thing that will do is stunt her growth. You have to play within the rules of the game. That planet and these trials are all made for her growth. Your trials were meant for your growth. And Gabriella’s are meant for hers. This is a game of helping.
Fat lot of help it does if everyone else she ever loved and cared about are dead.
That may be so but the prize at the end is worth it.
You keep talking about this prize. This strange arcane prize. But you never mention what it is. Stop being dodgy. Or I’ll finish the scene. Also dont think I didnt just ignore the fact that you said everyone dying was “worth it.”
You do realize that by doing so you’ll create great emotional distress for both Allison and Xavier.
You just said that you wish to stop Allison’s suffering. By creating more you’re only creating different suffering. More suffering. Suffering that takes a different form. You won’t be solving anything.
But I want to help her.
You don’t need to help anyone. What you need to do is to give the black and white kings back their staves so that one may fall and so the other can start the reckoning.
A cataclysmic event that sends a swarm of meteors from the furthest ring to attack skaia, skaia will then create portals to your world. The meteors will then be sent to all manner of times to create the exact situation that will create you.
So by playing the game I kill everyone.
Everyone dies Charity. You know this very well. Unfortunately some people’s time comes sooner than others. The question you need to ask yourself is, are you going to die a hero, or a villain.
But what If she tries to kill herself.
Allison is strong charity. She will not end her life this early. And if she does, you can just kiss her dead lips and she will rise as a dream version of herself.
Like snow white?
Kind of. Moreso like getting an extra life.
Yes. all you have to do is just smooch their dead lips and their dream self awakes as them.
That is good to know.
Perhaps this meeting can then serve a final purpose Charity. Would you like me to do a tarot reading for you?
What will that do?
If we are lucky, it will help you reacquaint yourself with your true self.
Am I really that far off?
When we let anger and resentment rule our hearts, we can say and do things that destroy certain parts of our journey. Though all is not lost. Your true self is designated by the Strength Arcana.
But I’m not that strong?
It does not meant physical strength my dear. It denotes inner strength. Compassion and ironically, charity. It’s focus, and dedication towards a solid goal. You dedicated yourself to fixing your friend but that is not true compassion and you have become inverted. The inverted Strength Arcana is represented by Self doubt, weakness, and insecurity. You are unsure of yourself and are therefore losing that which makes you strong. But it is not irreversible. Your wellbeing is in the Moon. The Moon is when dreams and fantasies rule your heart and instincts that have been laid buried have come to life. But the dreams and things we see in them can be illusions and can lead us to lose sight of our true goal.
So I’ve been asleep this entire time and I need to wake up?
I normally do not give direct answers to questions about the cards but this is a special circumstance. You need to wake up in more ways than one Charity. You need to wake up physically, and you need to wake up as your true role. Your desire to help your friend came from your role as a Hero of Heart. But the way of the heart leads to multiple selves and sometimes splitting ones minds to places. You’ve done that for most of your life, but now is the time to take your own personal journey.
So I need to wake up.
You first need to return the sceptres to the king.
Then you need to wake up.
Charity Farelli woke up from her long nap. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and felt two flecks of gold fall from her hands. She looked down and saw two rings. Each adorned with two black and two white circles. She kissed them and they appeared in her modus. She looked up and was immediately assaulted by the bright flashing lights of RonaldMcdonaldSprite staring at her.
RonaldMcdonaldSprite: Please kill me.
Charity looked over at the 8 hour old mcdonalds drink that was sitting on her bookshelf still. She grabbed it and opened the lid. No ice. She gave a distressed groan and put the lid back on and took a long slip until the straw started slurping. She maintained direct eye contact with RonaldMcdonaldSprite as she continued to slurp out of the cup. When she was finished she wiped her mouth off with a sleeve. “No.” and she launched herself at the sprite. .
A bright flash of light came from the sprite, signalling another transformation. Where a long tail once rested, now lay big clown shoes. Hips bulged outwards and her body begin to fit to the ronald mcdonald signature outfit. Standing in the place where the sprite had been, was now a strange ethereal Charity in a ronald mcdonald outfit.
CharityMcdonaldSprite: Ah yeah baby.
The circle of stupidity is finally complete.
That’s a little generous wouldn’t you say?
Fair. The circle of stupidity spins eternal.
Charity looked down at her massive clown feet and walked over to her computer to check on her client player. There were four ogres all slamming away at the support beams that were holding the stretch of highway up. Her eyes widened and she started using the build grist to build a few more support beams, so that if they were felled, the stretch of highway would still be able to stand.
An incoming discord message brought her attention.
EC: I see sleeping beauty has finally awoken.
RA: hey those words are kind of hurtful and while playful and funny in banter, i don’t really appreciate them at this time considering our last conversation.
EC: Ah so hostility is the way this is going to go.
RA: no. I am explaining to you my feelings. I thought Allison had died since her house literally disappeared while i was inside it. I then grabbed some food to calm my nerves. Sure it may have been at the wrong time but I was dealing with a lot Gabriella. I was dealing with a lot. I’d appreciate if instead of dismissing my feelings as if they were nothing but party tricks, you would actually take me seriously and apologize for what you did. And to extend the olive branch, I would like to apologize for putting you in danger. I went to a bad place and I don’t plan on going back there. I’m going to change and try and be a bit more of an active member in this party. Which I know might be hard to take given my current form.
EC: Your… what?
RA: I became one with the clown man. I am the new Ronald Mcdonald now that his empire on earth has fallen.
EC: I can’t tell if you’re being serious.
RogueAscendant has shared a photo with you.
EC: Anyways I accept your apology and I want to apologize to you. I belittled your emotions and that was not okay. You were clearly going through a lot and I should have been aware of that.
RA: I accept your apology. Also there’s a bunch of ogres trying to take out your support beams.
EC: >.> Yeah. And it doesn’t help that Even if we had been building up this highway, it still would not be very… good? Like I don’t know how you can build a highway. Houses are easy. But highways?
RA: Oh that’s easy. A highway can be changed into something else easily. Watch this.
EC: what are you- Oh.
Charity reached out towards Skaia and the medium, and something shifted. Suddenly where asphalt and concrete once was now existed Quartz.
Hold up what?
She was getting that narrative power from the two scepters right?
You know, I’m honestly not sure now. It doesn’t even make any sense now that I think it over.
EC: How did you do that?
EC: you know what, I believe you. Though how come everyone gets some cool special power and I seem to have nothing.
RA: Idk gurl but those cool robots you’ve built? Stellar. Now excuse me as I make a cool wall.
Charity grabbed one of the support columns and copied it and then pasted it outwards. She flipped it sideways and lay a thick wall around the bed of concrete.
EC: Hey, are you making LOTAQ Great again?
RA: what’s lotack?
EC: the Land of Tombs and Quartz.
RA: oh lol.
She continued and made a support column smaller and leaned it on top of the wall so it held against the wall and the highway. She then revised it so that they would connect and she copied and pasted it across so the wall would stay connected to the highway.
RA: hey is there like
RA: a helicopter somewhere
RA: toy or not. Y or N
EC: Yeah. I think I saw one. Let me check.
EC: Here it is!
RA: dope. Hold it up.
Charity saw the helicopter and picked it up with her mouse. She made it big using the revise function and then chopped off the propeller. Using one of the fallen cars, she pulled out the engine and attached it to the propeller. Using a fan belt from the fallen car she created more support beams with stretchy rope attachments that connected to the top and copy pasted the engine propeller combo. She copied a car dashboard and placed it at the center of the makeshift airship.
EC: This can’t possibly work. The propellers are made of plastic and the car engines aren’t compatible. There is no way it could even lift this much quartz. Plus we’re going to need an endless amount of fuel and
EC: This is literally impossible.
RA: oh ye of little Faith. Do ye not know that through Charity, all things are possible?
The stretch of highway had lifted into the air and begun flying. None of it should have worked. It was impossible. Physics said so. Yet despite this, the airship flew anyways because it does not care what humans think of it.
Should we do something?
I do not know. I think I want to see how far this goes.
Charity smiled and leaned backwards. The power she had gained in her stint on Derse was paying off. She felt that she shouldn’t use it that much. As if it was some sort of power that held a dark secret inside. Or maybe it didn’t. Guess she’d just have to find out. Access to that special Celestial log was a bonus that required nothing.
She can read all of this??????
I think I’m gonna be sick.
RA: now I don’t need to build anything and you can just fly anywhere you wish. You’ll just need a crew to pilot and maintain the thing.
EC: Where are we going to get fuel?
RA: Bold of you to assume my creations need fuel. What percentage is your battery at. Don’t tell me. It’s full. You’ve got an iPhone. Isn’t that strange?
EC: … What the actual fuck?
EC: Okay, but if this thing comes crashing down on me then I’m blaming you.
RA: well there’s not any fuel or oil even going into it. The engines shouldn’t even technically work.
She was right. They shouldn’t. Yet they persisted.
EC: How do I pilot it?
RA: idk like follow your heart or something.
EC: Isn’t that your deal?
RA: Eh, probably.
RA: I think it’s definitely something royal, but the name feels way too masculine. So I’ll probably need to change that.
EC: We can do that?
RA: why couldn’t we?
RA: Also hey, u really need to start dreaming btw. Derse is gonna send assassins after you once they get their shit together after the… what’s the word for regicide only if it’s the queen?
EC: I don’t think there is one.
RA: yeah okay. Just get dreamin cutie.
RA: Anyways I’m gonna go start my cool personal quest. Byyyyyeeeeeeeeeee
EC: I will never understand you.
Charity moved her floating clown-like form to her bathroom and grabbed a makeup wipe and destroyed the clown makeup. Or at least she attempted to. It stuck on her like glue. Oh no. She definitely removed it. There is no way that I- I mean. There is no way that Charity is gonna get stuck with clown makeup on her face. The clown makeup came off.
Her fusion with the Sprite, regardless of how silly, had allowed a special connection to Skaia. Secrets and info flowed into her brain in cryptic hints and outlandish stories. Riddles, puzzles, and everything else swirled around her brain.
She shrugged them all off and put them in the back burner. Sure a lot of stuff made sense now but where was the fun in knowing all the answers?
She walked outside and wandered off into the Land of Frost and Melody.
LoFaM. More like YOFAM amirite?
Heh. Okay that actually is kind of funny.
Trickster, don’t encourage her.
Can I do a transition? Pleeeeaaase
Fine. But we’re moving to Xavier next. Specifically a three day future version of him.
>Be Xavier from the Fuuuuuuutuuuuuure.
Allison’s warm demonic hands held against Xavier’s temples. He felt some sort of magic reach into his brain. He didn’t have enough energy to resist.
Allison furrowed her brow while concentrating.
After a few minutes, she opened her eyes.
“Hm.” She mused
“What?” His head was starting to clear as the wounds seemed to heal a lot faster than he had anticipated.
“You don’t have any memory of the past 3 days. Nothing. Not at all. You have from the moment you first discovered this door. But there’s also something else inside your head. Something…. Massive? It’s hard to describe. Travisprite do you got anything?”
A small head poked out of her hair and Xavier stared at it. It had a magnificent beard.
“Riddle me this! A memory lost, gone forever? It may come back, if you’re feeling quite clever. The thief is strong, but not in the head. Better fix that soon or you’ll wind up dead!”
“That wasn’t a riddle,” Xavier said pointedly.
“Fuck off,” he said with an upbeat tune to his voice.
Xavier frowned as the head poked back into Allison’s hair.
Xavier looked back at the small demon child. Allison shrugged, “I don’t control him dude. They’re just always like this.”
Xavier moved his head slightly and pain shot through it, “Forget it. What happened to me?”
Allison smiled and pulled her knees closer to her chest, “So after a certain progression point on your house, you can’t build any higher until the player goes through their first gate. However once the house is high enough it apparently attracts a dragon. I got pretty far with mine but I almost died too but I think it could have taken a few more hits. So I ran. There is now one on top of your house that is blocking the way to Gabriella’s planet. You got super gungho about beating it so you could go see her, but it kicked our asses. I think it was much tougher than mine. We got close.”
Xavier gave an affirmative Hm, “Did it have Mickey mouse ears and a Ronald McDonald outfit?”
Allison shook her head, “Even worse. They’re actually just dragons and it looks like someone just spray painted those designs on. They’re also covered with fur. It’s gross and I want them to die.”
“Yes. Die they must.”
“But not right now! You gotta rest and I gotta rest so I can recharge this beautiful devil child’s spells and powers. Luckily this area is secure so we can just chill. Sleep well best friend.”
He saw Allison quickly open a journal and jot down a few words. In seconds a bed much like the one in his house appeared underneath them. He felt his body sink into the memory foam mattress and his eyes closed shut.
So is this where you go when Stuff needs to transition.
Yes and it is my turn. Please do not take this from me.
Xavier’s eye opened and he blearily looked out over a sea of black and white. He shook his head, it didn’t hurt. He adjusted his glasses and looked out to see that the sea was actually ground. The ground was like a chess board and there were chess people on it.
“My love!” A familiar voice echoed out across the battlefield.
He turned to face it and a small frame slammed into him. His wife clutched him tightly, the yellow velvet jammies with the symbol of a moon clinging to his purple. She nuzzled her face in his chest and then kissed his face a number of times that is way too high to count.
She gave a soft sigh of happiness and closed her eyes, “I missed you so much.”
He placed a hand on her head and he kissed the top of her head, “So did I.”
The two held each other in their arms for what seemed like a long time. Eventually she pulled away and held his hands in hers, “Xavier! It’s so great. I don’t feel tired and out of breath all the time in this body. It’s like everything is fixed. Allison mentioned that she felt different body wise, but she didn’t mention how different. This is just like… It’s everything I imagined myself as and more. Do you feel any different?”
“I mean despite the fact that I can fly, not really. Flying isn’t exactly a thing I can usually do.”
She cocked her head, “Hm. I wonder why. Oh well! Let’s go sit down somewhere.” she almost pulled his arm out of his shoulder from how quickly she jumped. She dragged them over to one of the empty castles that littered this strange black and white battlefield. Battlefield. Something about that word seemed right.
They walked through the front doors of the castle. Inside was more of the weird black and white tile, and all around them were these strange tapestries depicting battles and symbols. Bookshelves lined the walls filled with old arcane tomes likely to hold some sort of secret. He felt he could spend an eternity in this room and still not take them all in.
Gabriella dragged him past a set of four tapestries that caught his eyes. He stopped. Gabriella looked back at him, confusion in her eyes. “What’s up?”
He let her hand go and stared at the tapestries. There were four of them. And each had a unique symbol on it that he felt that he had seen before.
The first one was a tapestry of black with a white symbol that was swirling in on a point. It looked like a black hole that depicted with white. Underneath it the words “she is the Sylph of space, who will heal all of creation with her power and make new the things that have fallen.she will rise and be reborn in the way that she loves”
Gabriella took a few steps passed him and stared third one. It was beige with a squiggle that looked like vines sprouting out of the ground, “This one speaks to me!”
He walked over to her side, “What does it say?”
“She is the witch of life, the one who will give life to those that are barren. She will rise in the manner that will heal her body and soul.”
He glanced over at the second one. He felt something radiating from it that felt familiar to his very soul. He reached his hand out towards it and then pulled it back.
Gabriella pushed her face against his shoulder and grabbed his arm, “whatsit say”
He cleared his throat, “He is the Thief of Time. He will take back what was stolen only to find that it was his to begin with. He will rise in the manner of things unknown.”
“Sounds like you my love,”
He wrapped his arm around her and held her close. They both did not mention the fourth one. It seemed… strange.
Gabriella broke the silence, “I don’t suppose we want to ignore that last one.”
Hold up, why don’t they want to check the last one? That’s me right?
It must be disgusting. I need to go change it.
Should we stop her?
No, this is strange. She appears to have already tampered with it.
Done. Hey why can’t I see what you two just said? Also I can’t change the title? It’s a gross man thing.
Hm? We didn’t say anything. And these things are sealed in Skaia. They cannot be changed.
Wait, why not?
Certain parts of the story are fixed in stone and must happen. We cannot change them but we can influence the events leading up to them. Our powers are words, and that is what we hold dear.
Have you tried to break it?
Weird. Well I changed the the tapestry.
The tapestry which the two were avoiding had a symbol of a heart on it. It looked super cool like it was made for someone super great and powerful.
Xavier read it out loud. “She is the Lord of Heart. She will come to power almost immediately and just be really cool overall and everyone will love her and be her best friend and Xavier will give her the beats she so craves. She will rise in a manner that requires great sacrifice. A choice will be made that will decide the fate of all.”
The two looked at each other and in unison said “Charity.” they then laughed and leaned on each other for support.
“What do you think those words mean? I mean thief of time is pretty simple. You steal time. And witch of life? Yeah that makes sense. It’s like being able to manipulate the forces of reality via their life force. But what’s a Sylph? And what is a Lord of heart?”
“Skaia works in mysterious ways apparently.”
Gabriella led him towards a room deeper inside the castle and a strange familiar face waved back at him. She was dressed in the same yellow pajamas that Gabriella was but she had short messy purple hair an a feminine frame that was much smaller and less broad then what the real life version looked like.
“Xavier, don’t freak out but this is-”
She ran up onto the table and slammed her body into him. It shook him a little bit but he maintained their balance.
“I knew you’d recognize me.” She said a bit teary eyed.
Xavier ran a hand through her messy hair and returned the hug, “How could I not recognize my best friend?”
Tears streamed down her face and he kissed her head.
“Not that I want to end this teary reunion but you two are literally sleeping on the same bed and I’m trapped on a stretch of highway because Charity seems to still be missing in action.”
Hold on. I built her an airship and came back. Why is she saying I didn’t?
Hm. I wonder why.
Yes I wonder why indeed.
Oh this is a doomed timeline. Oh no! They’re gonna die??? D:
All doomed timelines result in death. Though maybe not everyone’s. Sometimes great ruin is necessary for us to move forward and be reborn.
Okay, but why am I not around? I talked to Gabriella didn’t I?
That may be true but these events were already in motion before you did that. You cannot stop what has already Happened and you cannot change what is set in stone. But after the tower falls comes the star, a symbol of Hope and rejuvenation and a surety of one’s own self and what they are capable of. Now let’s resume the story shall we?
“I brought you all here for a strategy session. A plan of attack since we can’t talk when Allison is on her planet. The reckoning is coming in four days and we need to prepare for that day. None of us have gone “God Tier” as my cat keeps screaming Nor have we finished any of our personal quests. Allison, what is your quest as far as you know?”
Allison let go of Xavier and plopped down on the table, “after a lot of questing, I’ve found it’s to ‘become as a Star’ still not sure what that means but my planet is covered with stars and I don’t think I need to become a burning ball of hot gas.”.
Xavier chuckled. Gabriella continued, “Xavier, I’m aware of the memory situation so let me refresh it.. You said to me a day ago that your personal quest is to ‘take back what’s yours and make fresh beats,”
Gabriella nodded, “And mine is to give life to that which is barren.”
Allison leaned her face in her hands, “This is why you’re our leader Gabriella.”
“I’m not your leader, I’m your best friend.”
“Statements like that are also why you are our leader”
Gabriella blushed, “Now,” she slammed her hands down on the table, “Do any of us know what the hell these quests mean?”
Xavier did not get a chance to respond.
An explosion echoed in the room and the three of them died instantly.
Thats dumb. Who did that? Why would they do that?
Probably someone with bitterness, anger and malice in their heart. Do you know anyone like that?
Xavier gasped for breath as he came to and immediately winced in pain.
“XAVIER LOOK OUT!”
Xavier felt his already broken body get thrown off the bed. His body screamed in pain. His vision began to fade as he saw the small devil girl get it’s brain ripped out of its head by a strange black creature with a squid for a head and the rest of the usual getup that monsters had. Allison’s body crumpled to the ground, her form changed back to her usual self but the wounds remained.
“Illithid.” He spat. Blood fell out of his mouth and he tried to push himself up to crawl away but his body wouldn’t respond.
This isn’t the end.
A familiar voice rang in his head. He felt his consciousness began to fade.
The squid person sauntered toward him, confidence oozing from his steps. Xavier’s brain began to fade as blood poured out of his chest wound.
No. It wouldn’t end like this. It couldn’t. He wouldn’t allow it. Something awoke inside him. Something powerful, yet something that has existed since he was created.
Xavier jumped back.