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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 6:14 am 
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The Seeker rises into the air, it wings buzzing as it gains height, turning slowly, surveying the landscape...

...one can't help but notice that, with this new body, the restraints made for Sir Ulath to wield will no longer fit and are thus quite useless...

...and then, with a sudden burst of speed, the Seeker zips toward the horizon.

Piper relaxes, and leans her head into Sam's shoulder. "That's not the Eldritch Horror," she murmurs. "That's just the tool wielded by the Eldritch Horror."

Felix heads up to the remains of the outer layer of the juvenile Seeker. There's the original jaw, and there, after a brief incision, that little gland must be -

- Piper suddenly tenses up, jumping in Sam's arms. She looks over to Felix - "No!"

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 6:44 am 
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Felix freezes for a short moment to take stock of his surroundings and where his hands are so that a sudden jerking away doesn't cause a reaction from something. Then he pulls his hands back slowly and carefully and backs away from the shell.

"What's wrong? We need the venom to try and work out an antidote. We might not be able to restore the Seeker's victims to their original persona, but we might be able to restore them to personhood. Will something happen if I mess with the husk?"

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:53 am 
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Piper hesitates a moment...

...and then sighs. "I can't - I can't see every future. But I can see one or two futures. It's not - I don't see certainty. But I can see some possibilities. I - I didn't see a future where any of the Seeker's victims got cured. It might exist, but - it's not probable."

Deep breath.

"I did see a future where, about a hundred years from now, someone manages to copy the Seeker's poison. From the sample you take now. And... uses it. On entire cities."

Piper gives Felix a plaintive look, from her position in Sam's arms. "I don't want that future to happen. And this is the best place to stop it."

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:48 pm 
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"I..." Felix stops, unable to find words. He takes a steadying breath before trying again. "I just wanted to help the people that the Seeker took. We had so many chances to stop it and each time we didn't even more people were lost..."

He doesn't make any further effort to get at the gland.

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:58 pm 
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Noting that Felix isn't gathering the venom, and unsure why, Arkady drives over. Avoiding the mud if it's still there.

"Is something wrong, Felix?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2021 7:13 am 
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"Just my dreams and the burden of my sins intersecting in unfortunate ways," Felix says. He dashes his hand across his eyes and stands up. "No time for regrets. I can't save those already lost, so I'll have to endeavor to do better in the future. Thank you for your concern, my friend."

Unless he is stopped Felix will pop a flare and drop it down on the fanged maw of the Seeker's castoff shell to destroy the venom sack. He then steps back and walks away from it.

"We still have a job to do. Thank you for doing what I couldn't, Piper."

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:33 pm 
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When Felix stands up (before he take out the incendiary), a confused Arkady asks: "What of the next Seeker's victims? They might appreciate a vaccine against it, since their only other protection would be the elimination of Azash."

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:11 am 
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The mud is still there, but Arkady has no trouble avoiding it.

Piper relaxes into Sam's hug, and in fact hugs Sam back. She seems quite happy to let Felix and Arkady work through this on their own, if they want.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 8:23 am 
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"The risk of replicating the chemical formula of the venom is too great," Felix says. "If we want to stop Azash from hurting anyone else then we have to stop Azash."

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 12:54 pm 
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Arkady looks at Felix for a few seconds, then says "You are saying 'replicating', but you are meaning 'weaponizing'?" He glances over at Piper, then looks at the husk and says slowly: "Easily turn the enemies of the people into loyal servants. Execute the criminals and still put them to work. It is being a great gift for the next would-be dictator." He shrugs. "So much for being the next Andrei Sakharov. Hopefully no one decides to teach his priests how to do it."

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 5:19 pm 
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"CAN Azash be stopped? He is a GOD after all..."

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 5:35 pm 
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"Where there's a will, there's a way. And if there isn't a way, I'll build a better railgun and make a way."

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2021 6:12 pm 
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"Does Azash ever manifest himself on this world? or does he prefer to act through his champions? Speaking of champions, what are the odds he press-gangs the Troll once we find it? Or will the Blue Rose protect the Troll?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 6:06 am 
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"Azash can't manifest himself," says Piper, her eyes closed as she buries her face in Sam's shoulder. "Not anymore. He was... wounded, before. Trapped in a small idol. I guess that counts as a manifestation, but - he can't leave the idol. He can't move the idol. He has to rely on champions because he doesn't have anything else left."

"As to Ghwerek - trolls are really very difficult to press-gang. And Ghwerek - he's a bit of an idiot in a lot of ways, but like all trolls he's very much devoted to the Troll-gods. And the Troll-gods are staying very, very neutral. It's possible that Azash might try to press-gang Ghwerek - but it wouldn't be worth having a few hundred other trolls immediately start rampaging through the entire Zemoch lands."

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 3:34 pm 
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Arkady looks at Piper. "And idol. Like the one we broke?"

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