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Once and Future (WormxFate)

Discussion in 'Questing' started by Aldsan, Aug 26, 2023.

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  1. Extras: Omake - A Tiger Dojo Christmas
    Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

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    “Hashire sore yo–”

    “None of that here!” A bokken swung, banishing the pretender from the sacred space. Task accomplished, Taiga turned. “Hello everyone and welcome to this Tiger Dojo! This time we’re here for a special Christmas Edition.”

    “Hello, thank you for having me along this time.” Artoria stepped in and bowed.

    “Ah, yes, thank you for being a guest this time, Saber-san. Though, eh… Isn’t your outfit a little off?”

    “Hm?” Artoria looked down at what she was wearing. A white kosode with a red hakama. “What seems to be the issue, Taiga?”

    [​IMG]

    “I mean, what’s with that cosplay! I’m not going to have any presence at all if you start wearing costumes!”

    Artoria frowned in thought. “Is it that large an issue? I was informed that these were the traditional clothes in which to greet the New Year.”

    “No! Shrine Maidens are banned! First of all this is a dojo, not a shrine!”

    “Is that so? I shall keep it in mind for the future.”

    “Who told you to wear that anyways?” Taiga asked.

    “OSU!” The Senior Student popped through the door. “It’s the holidays, Sensei. We can’t just do things the same way as always!”

    “Geh – I mean, that’s why we brought Saber here to begin with, Ilya.”

    “No! We brought her because we needed someone actually related to this story. And who else were we going to bring? Amy?” Ilya sneered. “That girl would only bring down the mood.”

    “I do not think Amy is as bad as you make out,” Artoria interjected. “She certainly has a rough tongue, but so too did my brother Kay. She just needs someone to encourage her. In fact, she lacks many of Kay’s vices. She is not off indulging in alcohol or lusting after women at all times.”

    “Ehh…” Taiga looked at Artoria with pitying eyes. “Sometimes I can’t reconcile how positively you speak about your brother with the actual stories you tell about him.”

    “Do not be ridiculous. My brother was Seneschal of Camelot. He looked after our finances and ensured that not a single coin was misspent. That just goes to show how responsible he could be when he put his mind to it.”

    “In other words… doesn’t that just mean he was a tightwad?” Ilya asked.

    “Your are mistaken, Illyasviel–”

    “Wait, wait,” Taiga interrupted. “I feel like we’ve already had this argument in another timeline. Let’s just move on.”

    “Yes, Sensei~”

    “Right then, before we wrap things up, do you have any advice to give our viewers, Saber?”

    “Yes. Thanks to the vote to focus on examining my memories in Chapter 1.2, Elaine is much more in tune with my personality than she otherwise would have been at this point. Unfortunately, that does not necessarily convey skills.”

    “Ah… Yeah, we’ve noticed. Elaine has been getting into all sorts of dangerous situations, hasn’t she?”

    Artoria nodded. “Indeed; and such situations are likely to continue. However, no one is an island. Your best hope at victory is not to do everything yourself, but instead to recruit dependable allies. Even when I led my armies, I did so with the help of many others.”

    “Aw,” Ilya complained. “But all the coolest heroes go solo. Like Spider-Man and Superman.”

    Taiga put her hands on her hips. “Untrue, my young apprentice. Spider-Man has been a member of the Avengers and Superman leads the Justice League. Even a loner like Batman is accompanied by Robin. Now, if only there were a Tiger-Man to look up to.”

    “Hmm, I guess… Who would Elaine even partner up with though?”

    Taiga scratched at her head. “She doesn’t really have too many options right now. She could always train up a sidekick herself?”

    “I will avoid giving too much input on that matter, as I do not wish to bias the voters,” Artoria replied. “Besides which; now that Elaine is venturing out as a hero with more regularity, she may find more opportunities to ally with other heroes in the future without compromising her identity.”

    “Alright, with that established there’s just one thing left for this Tiger Dojo.”

    “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”




    Merry Christmas everyone. On top of the Omake, I also bring you a Christmas gift.

    Five hundred Glory, giving you a free Glory upgrade. (This would normally be every 1000 glory in an actual tabletop session of Pendragon, but I have decided to accelerate things for this quest). This gets you two rewards!

    First, you may increase any Trait, Passion, Characteristic, or Skill by one, ignoring any usual restrictions. Right now, I would recommend using it on Characteristics for the raw stats, but this does potentially allow you to increase Skills past the hard limit of 20. Every point above 20 increases critical threshold range (So a threshold of 22 would crit on a roll of 18-20), so something to keep in mind for the future.

    [ ] [Glory] (Write-In Increase)

    Second, you get another Parahuman Power upgrade:

    [ ] [Power] Spiritual Armaments
    >Manifest your arms and armor using mana. Be the magical girl you were meant to be and never be caught without your equipment. (You still need to purchase equipment to use it).
    [ ] [Power] Chivalry (D)
    >Gain an additional 3 armor and 4 hit points.
    [ ] [Power] Mana Burst (E)
    >Deal an additional 2d6 damage on Melee and Charge attacks.
    [ ] [Power] Instinct (E)
    >Enemy attacks suffer a -2 threshold penalty.
    [ ] [Power] Riding (E)
    >Automatically pass checks to stay mounted if you take a hit exceeding your Knockdown value.
    [ ] [Power] Charisma (E)
    >Roll Parahuman Power at -10. On a success, gain a +5 threshold bonus to any Social roll.
    [ ] [Power] Magic Resistance (E)
    >Roll Parahuman Power at -10 opposed to parahuman powers that target you. On success, the effect is negated.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2023
  2. DannyPhantom619

    DannyPhantom619 Not too sore, are you?

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    [X] Stay Independent
    [X] [Force] Lethal
    [X] [Gender] Female
    [X] [Social] Theo Anders
     
  3. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

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    should be “[/spoiler],” the rest of the post is messed up.

    PADORU PADORU!!!

    [X] Stay Independent
    [X] [Force] Defensive
    [X] [Gender] Ambivalent
    [X] [Power] Instinct (E)
    >Enemy attacks suffer a -2 threshold penalty
     
  4. Knoxov

    Knoxov Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    [Wards] Join
    [Force] Defensive
    [Gender] Ambivalent
    [Social] Amy Dallon
     
  5. Filo

    Filo Not too sore, are you?

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    [X] Stay Independent
    [X] [Force] Lethal
    [X] [Gender] Ambivalent
    [X] [Social] Amy Dallon
    [X] [Power] Instinct (E)
    [X] [Glory] STR
     
  6. Methuselah

    Methuselah Getting sticky.

    Joined:
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    [X] [Wards] Stay Independent
    [X] [Gender] Male
    [X] [Social] Dean Stansfield
     
  7. Threadmarks: 3.3 - First Steps
    Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

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    The next day saw me more tired than I expected. There was a time when staying up late into the night to work or to train would not have presented me with any issues. Now, I had an entire four hours of sleep, yet I still found myself yawning the next morning. Truly, this easy life had made me far too indolent.


    Still, I pushed on through the day, rubbing the sleep from my eyes as I listened to Mr. Harrison discuss early Mespotamian settlers and the Indus River Valley. It was interesting, hearing how historians had come to regard the period, but staying awake proved more of a fight than I had expected it to be.

    No matter. Difficult or not, I would not be defeated by my own body. I bit down on my tongue, letting the pain shock myself back awake and pushed through the day – and when my classes finally ended, I forced a smile upon my face and went to meet with the students.

    “Hello, I am running for Student Council.”

    “I would hear any concerns you might have.”

    “Have there been any school events that you particularly enjoy?”

    “How can the school improve?”

    “Has your club run into any issues?”

    “Please keep me in mind while voting.”

    It was exhausting in a different sense. Things had changed. Supreme executive power was now derived from a mandate from the masses. To speak with each individual student was a bit much, but I could not just speak to them from on high as I would have as King. I had to instead approach them as equals.

    Considering that I was not a familiar face and had no deeds to my name, they were not inclined to listen to me.

    Most brushed past. A few heard me out, but gave no promises. Many did not seem interested in the election at all – they saw the student council as being largely ceremonial and not terribly important. If they were interested, they were more likely to be inclined towards the rival candidate, who had served as Vice-President the previous year.

    Even still, I persevered.


    “Please tell me your hopes for the school.”

    “Well… I suppose if I had a complaint, it’s that the cafeteria could use a bit more variety. We get a lot of the same every week,” one boy said.

    I nodded seriously in response. A student could not learn on an empty belly any more than a soldier could fight on one, and poor food led to poor morale. It would be an important issue to address.

    “Well, I mean, everyone knows that the athletics clubs get most of the budget, right?” Another replied. “It really ought to be distributed more evenly.”

    A more thorny issue. As far as I was aware, that sort of thing was dictated by the school itself, not the student council. Moreover, schools tended to favor athletics departments because said departments helped to generate revenue for the school in turn. Still, if things had become unbalanced to the point that regular students were noticing, then perhaps it bore looking into.

    “Not a student council thing, but if you’re just looking for problems in general, then some of our equipment has gone missing,” a girl in a sports jersey said.

    “What do you mean by it being missing? Was it stolen?”

    “I assume so. I can’t imagine why else someone would go around taking balls and bats from the storage shed except maybe to resell it. Weird thing is that we actually found some of it – not all of it, just some – stashed under one of the bleachers. One of the other girls on the team swears we’ve got a ghost, but it’s probably just some punks looking to make a quick buck.”

    “A ghost?” I asked, lifting a brow. “That seems like a strange conclusion to draw.”

    “Don’t ask me. She was here late the other day and is convinced she saw something out there.”

    “...I will look into it,” I said after a moment. Ghost or no ghost, theft of the school’s property could not be tolerated.

    “Sure,” the girl said, clearly not expecting anything to come of it.


    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    Thud. Thud. Thud.

    The sound of my hammer rang throughout the empty house. It was said that a kingdom could be lost all for want of a nail. Fortunately, I had brought plenty with me to fix my previous bout of recklessness.

    “Are you… sure you know what you’re doing?”

    Correction. The almost empty house. I glanced over at Amy who was watching me with a bemused expression from her desk. “Of course. Even I can do something as simple as this. Rest assured, I should have the door returned to its rightful place soon enough.”

    “Not really what I meant.”

    I hammered another nail into place. “What do you mean then?”

    “Nothing,” Amy sighed. “Never mind.”

    A brooding silence fell over the both of us. I continued my work, trying to think of something to say, before finally asking, “Where is the rest of your family? You did not mention it when you said they would be out today.”

    “On patrol. Where else?” Amy’s lips twisted in a strange grimace. “I’m the only one who doesn’t have powers, so they’re all out being heroes while I’m left here by myself.”

    “You would prefer to be out there with them?”

    “I don’t know. Maybe.” Amy drew her knees up to her chest. “I… When you got hurt at the mall, it might have been one of the most terrifying moments in my life. Not just seeing you get hurt, but seeing how that could have almost been Vicky instead. I can’t imagine having to feel that sort of fear every single day.”

    “There is no shame in that, Amy.”

    “Isn’t there? Every single person in my family goes out and saves people except me. Even you – When that bus crashed, you started evacuating anyone while I was so paralyzed I couldn’t even think of what to even do next. Even if I got powers, I would be too scared to actually use them.”

    Frowning, I tapped a final nail into place before answering. “A year ago, when we were confronted at the mall, you were the only one to speak up against the injustice of it all. Not me and not your sister.”

    “And I fucked things up as a result.”

    I met her eyes. “It was an incredibly reckless thing to do. However, it was not the action of a coward. You may not have the abilities that your family does, but that does not mean you lack for bravery.”

    Amy looked away, her face turning red. “Well. Thanks for the vote of confidence, I guess. It doesn’t really change that I’m useless though.”

    Sighing, I stood up and flicked her forehead. Ignoring the ensuing cry of pain, I said, “You are not useless, Amy. Or if you are, it is simply for a lack of training and motivation.”

    “You’re saying I lack motivation?” Amy glared up at me, her hand covering where I had struck her.

    “Amy. When the Protectorate goes to battle, they do so alongside the Parahuman Response Team, do they not? The PRT troopers do not have powers – are they useless?”

    “So what? Instead of being a hero I should join the PRT?”

    “What of the doctors who tend to the heroes when they have been hurt? What of the analysts who study their opponents for weaknesses? Are they useless? What of the lawyers who strive to see that those arrested stay behind bars? Are they useless as well?”

    A moment of indecision crossed Amy’s face.

    “The work that your family does is important. However, there are any number of people out there whose support they need to be truly successful. No person is an island able to work without any help at all. You wish to be like your family. Of course you do. However, even if you are not on the frontlines, that does not mean you cannot find ways to help them.”

    Even in the past, when a castle was sieged, those who were unable to fight did not just hide away in safety. They would carry water and supplies to the walls, tend to the wounded, and help however they could. There was no such thing as a bystander, because everyone had a stake in ensuring that the castle survived.

    “But I… I don’t want to just sit on the sidelines and watch them be in danger.”

    “Then learn to fight. You do not need powers to be a hero or to save someone’s life. Otherwise, find other ways of supporting them, even if it is simply to welcome them home to a warm meal.”

    Amy frowned. “You make it sound so easy.”

    “Of course it is not. Why should the difficulty of the task stop you, however?”

    “Yeah,” Amy said, a strange note entering her voice. “I suppose you’re right. If I really did care it shouldn’t matter how hard it is.”

    Must she take everything in its most negative light? I flicked her forehead again and she flinched backwards. “You know perfectly well that is not what I meant.”

    Scowling, Amy swiped my hand away. “What the heck, Ellie? Quit doing that.”

    “Hmph. Then listen for a change instead of making up whatever narrative paints you in your worst light. If I wished to say something ill about you, I would say it. I do not need your assistance in doing so.”

    “You’ve gotten awfully mouthy since you woke up,” Amy scowled.

    I lifted my nose, the gesture feeling more familiar to the part of me that was once Elaine than who I was now. “And you became a miserable recluse whilst I slept. Thankfully, my mouth is a small price for you to pay for my company.”

    “You’re certainly not lacking for self-confidence. Whatever. Be that way if you want, I don’t care. ”

    A slow smile began to spread across my face, a hint of mischief in me – only to stop as I realized it. That was… Elaine would have had that reaction, that amusement to Amy’s attempt at aloofness, as if she were a grumpy cat that wanted attention but would not allow anyone to actually get close. Elaine would have had that reaction, but the King I once was would not.

    I brought a hand to my head. I had thought I had replaced Elaine in her entirety. I had thought Elaine was dead and gone and I walked in her place, a stranger in a strange land. And yet… My vision swam.

    “Ellie? What’s wrong?”

    “Nothing,” I lied. “I was just suddenly dizzy for a moment.”

    Naked concern shone in Amy’s eyes. “Do you need to lie down?”

    “No. I am fine.” Taking a deep breath, I plastered on a smile. The same smile that Elaine had worn thousands of times. “Do you want to go outside? Get some fresh air?”

    Amy’s face scrunched up. “Do we have to?”

    “Yes,” I said definitively and reached out to take Amy’s hand, pulling her to her feet. “Come with me. Do not worry. We will not be going far.”

    “Fine,” she grumbled, but followed my lead downstairs and out to her backyard.

    Like most of the house itself, it was an odd mix of suburban normality and paranoia. Several chairs and tables were set up near a grill on the patio area, a few scattered trees gave light shade to the yard, and the flat grassy expanse made it easy to use. However, the fence was higher than most, high enough that someone could not easily look in. The trees were trimmed back so that someone could easily be spotted if they were among the branches. Padlocks kept the gates shut tight.

    “So?” Amy asked. “What did you have in mind exactly?”

    “Sparring. I have said so before, but it is important for you to learn at least the basics of self-defense. This is especially true given who your family is – you are a natural target.”

    “It’s not like I don’t know anything. Uncle Neil’s taught me to throw a punch before.”

    “Humor me then. I would like to judge your skill for myself.”

    She squinted, the glare of the Sun in her eyes. “Do we really need to do this out in the heat? I could do without the tan.”

    I raised an eyebrow. “I suppose that is true. You could use the reflection off your skin as a weapon to blind your opponents.”

    Amy scowled and swatted at my arm. “I’m not that pale!”

    “You have yet to burst into flame, so we may at least be assured that you are not a vampire,” I said blandly.

    “Ha ha,” Amy said humorlessly.

    “More seriously, I am sure you will appreciate the grass a great deal more than the wooden floor when you hit the ground.”

    “Again, not sure why you’re so confident. Pretty sure I’ve had more self-defense lessons than you have.”

    “Then show me.”

    So she did. Amy threw a punch. She did not put her full weight into it, clearly expecting to catch me off guard and not wanting to hurt me. I grabbed her wrist and pulled her through, sending her falling into the dirt.

    “Again.”

    Amy stared up at me, blinking in surprise for a moment, before scrambling to her feet, her face hardening in determination. Again, she came at me and again I put her on her back. A smile floated across my lips. There was something nostalgic to this. It was not the same as having a training sword in hand, but she showed the same determination that someone else I had once known had.

    The name and face floated just out of reach. It felt as though I could picture him if I could try a bit harder, focus just a bit more.

    Amy managed to reverse my hold and I went flying. I allowed myself to turn, getting my feet under me so that I could land on them and avoid falling prone. The memory was gone.

    “The hell? I finally got you and you still manage to land on your feet? What are you, a cat?”

    A grin came unbidden to my lips. “My mother signed me up to be a gymnast when I was younger. I will admit to be rather out of practice these days, but controlling a fall is simple enough.”

    My past life could have managed it through sheer agility, but I did not have that advantage in this body. I had to rely instead on the training that Elaine had once had. It was a strange thing to rely on her memories instead. How much of her was left?

    Amy huffed, but a smile flitted about her lips. The girl was clearly enjoying herself, even if she would no doubt refuse to admit to it. “Well, good. You’ll need it, because I’m going to keep throwing you from now on.”

    “We shall see,” I replied simply.

    In the end, she only managed the one throw and spent the rest of the afternoon gathering bruises.


    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    The red setting sun cast its shadows over the classroom. The room was empty, but for me, the students long since gone for the day. I had spent another afternoon campaigning for the student council, but for this moment, I simply wanted time to reflect.

    Stretching a hand out, my sword appeared in it. Not the sword I had in my past life, but the one I had found at a pawn shop. I let go of it and it disappeared in small motes of magical energy.

    I did not understand.

    This was not a skill I had in my past life. This was the skill of a spiritual entity. The skill of a Servant.

    However, I was flesh and blood, not a ghost. Moreover, Servants were able to summon their weapons because the weapon was an inherent part of their being – a physical object purchased in this age should not be capable of being summoned and dismissed in this manner, even by a Servant. Yet, I suddenly found myself able to do so.

    What was I? Every time I came to a conclusion, I found new facts to contradict it.

    Who was I? Elaine; A girl with memories of the past? Artoria; A king reborn into the present? Or something else entirely?

    I paused. That had been the first time I had acknowledged my past name to myself. Artoria. Even though I had known it instinctually, I had never thought it before. Why? Biting down on my lip, I scrubbed a hand through my hair, frustration mounting.

    A card materialized in my hand. The card that Velocity (and I made sure to commit his actual name to memory) had given me. A team to work with would not be so bad. As I had told Amy, no person was an island. The Wards stood to give me support, equipment, and legal standing.

    Yet, how could I ask them to trust in me when I could not even trust in myself?

    I allowed the card to vanish, just as I had my sword. For now, I would continue on my own path.




    It is August of 2010.

    Where does Elaine patrol?
    [ ] [Patrol] North End
    [ ] [Patrol] The Docks
    [ ] [Patrol] Midtown
    [ ] [Patrol] Downtown
    [ ] [Patrol] Stratham

    Choose someone to spend time with.
    [ ] [Social] Dean Stansfield
    [ ] [Social] Victoria Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Amy Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Chelsea and Morgan
    [ ] [Social] Erin Archelot
    [ ] [Social] Theo Anders
    [ ] [Social] Tammi Herren
    [ ] [Social] (Write-In)

    The election is here. Elaine can give one final push for more votes. What does she focus on?
    [ ] [Election] (Write-In)
     
  8. 48Tarantulas

    48Tarantulas Not too sore, are you?

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    [X] [Patrol] The Docks
    [X] [Social] Victoria Dallon
     
  9. Emiya Pendragon

    Emiya Pendragon The Boundary Muted

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    Demiservant? Reincarnation? Pseudo Servant?
     
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