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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:23 pm 
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Yeah, that was definitely a good one. Thanks for sharing, Raven!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:46 pm 
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That was an effing bomb!

It bombed? Dang. :(

:D

I like the concept that both Nasperge and the Aubedore cards are able to sense the aura of disaster that follows Raiker.

Yeah, this story seems to hint that, as we've suspected in the past, there might be something more to Nas's prognostication than just reading the cards. The fact that The Poet is ominous to Nasperge without even having heard of Raiker before is pretty telling.

I wonder what exactly the Poet learned about the Magician in that encounter, because we certainly know what Nasperge will discover about Raiker in the future... (I thought Nasperge would already have encountered some of Raiker's famed opus, but this could have happened in the far past)

I think Raiker got just a glimpse that Nasperge is perhaps a bit more powerful/dangerous than he thought he would be, but I'll return to that in a few moments. As far as Nasperge knowing of Raiker, it appears that Raiker is new to Thorneau at this point in the timeline, so he wouldn't know him yet from here. And even if Nas had happened upon Venn's name on some other plane, there is no reason, necessarily, that he would have paid particular attention to it. It is possible, though, that Nasperge has heard of him and is at least somewhat aware of what is going on with him, but this is the first time that Raiker's ever come into his particular sphere of perception.

Suppositions aside, the contact of these two opposite performers is predictably intense (I knew there was potential in that gauntlet) even as the two showmen hide that intensity from the poor Claire. I'd have thought Nasperge would try to help her in some way, but I may forget his strong tendency to act more like an advisor than taking the matter in his own hands. He may also have respected, to some extent, the reading's corruption as the depth of the claws Raiker has sinked in Claire and her narrative. The parting shots showcase both characters very well, with Nasperge picking a turn of phrase with ominous undertones while Raiker, extremely confident in his "victory", drops the "monsieur" and addresses Nasperge with a smug and barely veiled threat. This makes me think of Aversion for some reason.

I think Nasperge recognizes that he's out of his weight class. I have no doubt that he wanted to help Claire at least somewhat, but he knows Raiker is Bad News with a capital "B" and a capital "N", and maybe even a few more capital letters, too. And while he was (or will be, technically) willing to tangle with Madame du Collet, even then, he leaves the entire plane afterward. Nas is highly non-confrontational, unless he's very sure he'll come out on top. And it seems like against Raiker, he doesn't think he will.

Of course, there's still a lot we don't know about Nasperge, so who knows what's really going on?

I must admit I thought Raiker used reality-shaping to change the reading at first, which made the double Merchant weird (unless he didn't call for the chance of Nasperge drawing the Merchant but directly changed the card itself) but from the last lines it appears the Poet used simple illusions. Or maybe he did use shaping, and Nasperge is skilled at unmaking such rare magic?

So, the way I pictured it, Raiker is reshaping reality, but he's changing the cards as Nasperge reveals them. So the cards, as Nasperge lays them out, has The Merchant at the Lake position. When Raiker changes the Upper Course, originally The Poet, into The Merchant, there are in that moment two Merchants on the table, the revealed one in the Upper Course and the unrevealed one in The Lake. Admittedly, I probably should have had Nasperge be a bit more surprised to seeing a card that had already come up, but at that point, he's basically figured out that Raiker is doing something, and Claire asking about The Ghost card distracts him a bit.

What's interesting to me is Raiker's reaction to Nasperge when the Magician goes on his short tangent about dreams and their "realities" changing with no "reason or rhyme." I think Raiker thought Nasperge would be unaware of the changes he's making, and this little comment tells the Poet that Nasperge is aware, which he "shouldn't" be. And that's why I said earlier that maybe Raiker is learning something about Nasperge here. And then as you say at the end, when Nas returns the cards to their original state, it suggests something potentially powerful about him.

Having said all that, though, I think it's easy enough to read all of those things as illusions, as I imagine both of these two people would be adept at illusions.

Thank you so much for sharing! (I didn't forget your Halloween piece, I swear)

Thanks for reading! And enjoy the other one when and if you get to it.

Aaarrrgh wrote:
Yeah, that was definitely a good one. Thanks for sharing, Raven!

Thanks, Aaarrrgh! I'm glad people enjoyed this one.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:59 pm 
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I always had the impression that Nasperge is incredibly powerful, but only in subtle and indirect ways. Which makes him a good foil for Raiker, who also operates in the subtle and indirect. The difference is that Nas is stuck there, while Raiker is just visiting for pleasure.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:39 pm 
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@Welcome to My Parlor, Said the Fighter to the Spy: Something must have spooked that spy terribly, back in Eshgar, but he seems reluctant to discuss it. I love his reaction to seeing a human, too. Meanwhile, Darah's spidey sense certainly plays well with the title; it might be interesting to find out whether it's unconcious magic, or seriously honed attention to the tiny sensations our brains usually filter out. I also wonder whether she wants to relive the glory days, or would be content to sit back and let her enemies take each other out.

@Little Runaway: Having been a bit closer than average to the foster care system, this kind of thing always hits me in the feels. I have to believe that those parents weren't always thinking of the bedtime story in terms of good or bad behavior, much less the orphanage sisters, but the effect on a growing young mind is devastating. And oh, my, that last line. I'd forgotten how much effort Trotter had spent teaching her, relatively late in life.

(One story kicking around in my head, that may or may not find its way out, involves a mother teaching her daughter to read. Probably inspired by real-life frustrations.)

Yes, all that, but I was mostly referring to Jackie :blush: I'm madly in love with the tale of the conclusion of her career, so to speak, and it would have been fine to leave her riding to the sunset, but exploring what it means to hold together a community of abuse survivors for a woman who until then mostly coordinated bandits and kicked serious ass it's very interesting.

And now I have half a picture of what happens when those survivors grow up, look at the Duchess-inspired society around them, and host a hell of a reunion.

@Reading The Poet: I wouldn't have considered the River for such a vague question, but I'm not the expert, and it works spectacularly here. It's sad, though, that Nasperge once again plays things so close to the vest that he allows a tragedy to unfold. Not that the young lady would have changed her course no matter what he said, but I'd still like to see Raiker taken down another peg sometime. Then again, he's all sorts of fun, and connected to most of what I've written here, so...

Thank you!

Aaarrrgh wrote:
I always had the impression that Nasperge is incredibly powerful, but only in subtle and indirect ways. Which makes him a good foil for Raiker, who also operates in the subtle and indirect. The difference is that Nas is stuck there, while Raiker is just visiting for pleasure.

That makes so much sense. The question, then, is whether Nasperge would actively seek a way to make a difference, or just keep floating and fleeing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:00 pm 
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Brentain wrote:
@Welcome to My Parlor, Said the Fighter to the Spy: Something must have spooked that spy terribly, back in Eshgar, but he seems reluctant to discuss it. I love his reaction to seeing a human, too. Meanwhile, Darah's spidey sense certainly plays well with the title; it might be interesting to find out whether it's unconcious magic, or seriously honed attention to the tiny sensations our brains usually filter out. I also wonder whether she wants to relive the glory days, or would be content to sit back and let her enemies take each other out.

I really like Null. I should expand on that character at some point.

Mostly, I just really like the title. :)

Brentain wrote:
@Little Runaway: Having been a bit closer than average to the foster care system, this kind of thing always hits me in the feels. I have to believe that those parents weren't always thinking of the bedtime story in terms of good or bad behavior, much less the orphanage sisters, but the effect on a growing young mind is devastating. And oh, my, that last line. I'd forgotten how much effort Trotter had spent teaching her, relatively late in life.

Yeah, this story really gets to me, too. I suspect that the belief that the bedtime story is related to Slue being "good" has some basis in reality, but was probably given disproportionate meaning in the poor girl's mind. It is probably something her mother said to her once or twice, but then just became a thing to Slue. There's a hint in the story that her father's refusal to read the story had nothing to do with the good/bad thing. She always asks him "through his door" and he "ignores her," but when she explains how the Sheriff knew her father had a daughter, he was described as having been there "every night from just after dinner 'til closing." I imagine that the father snuck out after dinner and went to the saloon every night. Slue assumed he was there, but ignoring her. Which is still not good parenting, but it fed into Slue's preexisting troubled sense of self.

Brentain wrote:
(One story kicking around in my head, that may or may not find its way out, involves a mother teaching her daughter to read. Probably inspired by real-life frustrations.)

Nice. I hope to see this.

Brentain wrote:
Yes, all that, but I was mostly referring to Jackie :blush: I'm madly in love with the tale of the conclusion of her career, so to speak, and it would have been fine to leave her riding to the sunset, but exploring what it means to hold together a community of abuse survivors for a woman who until then mostly coordinated bandits and kicked serious ass it's very interesting.

And now I have half a picture of what happens when those survivors grow up, look at the Duchess-inspired society around them, and host a hell of a reunion.

Haha, yeah, that would be an interesting flash-forward, wouldn't it?

Brentain wrote:
@Reading The Poet: I wouldn't have considered the River for such a vague question, but I'm not the expert, and it works spectacularly here. It's sad, though, that Nasperge once again plays things so close to the vest that he allows a tragedy to unfold. Not that the young lady would have changed her course no matter what he said, but I'd still like to see Raiker taken down another peg sometime. Then again, he's all sorts of fun, and connected to most of what I've written here, so...

Thank you!

I liked the River here particularly as an avenue of a changing reading. Nasperge is an interesting character, and I think it is absolutely true that his perpetual inaction does endanger people. It's unfortunate, but it is his personality. As for Raiker being taken down a peg, I suspect that will happen, although I do not currently have an idea in what way that's likely to occur.

Thanks for reading!


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