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Throw the Gauntlet (an M:EM Challenge)
https://nogoblinsallowed.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=11397
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Author:  Aaarrrgh [ Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Throw the Gauntlet (an M:EM Challenge)

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

Author:  RavenoftheBlack [ Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Throw the Gauntlet (an M:EM Challenge)

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.

Author:  Aaarrrgh [ Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Throw the Gauntlet (an M:EM Challenge)

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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