Elandera

MR37/AN6 - Aftermath: Never Quite Thought We Could Lose It All

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A small figure lurked in the shadows, observing the masquerade with interest. Not interest for the dancing and political positioning. No. He was looking for someone.

Someone to kill.

The MaiPon forger had one goal, and one goal alone. Destroy the Rose Empire, once and for all. He’d heard rumors of an imbalance in power, and knew it was time to strike. If only he could remove those in power and those vying for it. No one else would be strong enough to take control.

Glory was getting too close, though. They were on the cusp of seizing the empire, and his window would be closed.

The masquerade, though, made it nearly impossible for him to find the right targets. It’s why he lurked, waiting for the right moment.

---

It’s time.

Daasu edged his way through the thinning crowd. One person stood out among them. One person whom Daasu knew was leading the rebellion.

The mouse.

Daasu’s red eyes, veiled by the swan costume, kept focused on the person who stood in the middle of the crowd. Several people were accusing her of being a traitor, but no one was acting. 

This was not a time for talking. Daasu approached the group, knife concealed in his hand.

“I’m not the one you all seem to be hunting,” said the mouse. She pointed toward a figure standing by the food table. “That man, there. The albatross. He’s done nothing to help us find the culprit.”

A few people began to nod in agreement. Daasu glared at the woman. How did no one else see it? She was manipulating them. 

Gritting his teeth against doubt, Daasu stumbled forward, knife concealed in one hand and a glass poised in the other. He crashed into the woman’s side, pretending to catch himself on her arm. The glass shattered and the knife slid smoothly through the fur and fabric, into skin.

The mouse cursed, shoving Daasu away and lifting a hand to her now bleeding arm.

“I’m sorry,” he said, feigning subservience.

“You’re too drunk, man. Go home.”

Daasu nodded and bowed, leaving quickly with the blood he needed.

---

The mouse pulled her hand away from her arm to find a lot more blood than he’d expected from a simple broken glass. She cursed again as she watched the drunken swan retreat. She’d need to get this seen to before carrying out the rest of her plans.

With a heavy sigh, she waved for servants to join her at the edge of the room.

“How can we help you,” one said with a bow.

“Just get me a bandage for now. I have more important things to do than this.”

They complied, and within minutes had her arm bandaged and costume roughly sewn back together. It wasn’t beautiful, but it would function.

The mouse stood and made her way toward the falcon. “Would you mind joining me? I’d like to discuss some matters with you.”

He looked up at her, picked up a few strange items from the table next to him, and followed.

“Are you enjoying yourself this evening?” she asked kindly.

“Not entirely. It feels strange to still be holding a masquerade even after the emperor died. Shouldn’t we all be in mourning?”

“We can enter mourning when this is done. For now, we honor his wishes to continue the festival.”

The falcon nodded. She was leading him through the hallways behind the hall, usually used only by the servants ferrying food to and from the parties.

“Are you concerned about me? I know you’ve had your doubts.”

“Not as much as others. The albatross does seem rather strange, though. Maybe he’s the murderer?”

The mouse smiled. It was the response she’d desired, but she still couldn’t trust him. She looked forward in the hall, finally finding what she’d needed. An open doorway with a lock.

“The albatross is my concern as well. They’ve seemed content to let us remove ourselves.” The doorway was only a few steps away. Keep him distracted. “I think we should remove him today.”

“I agree. However-”

The mouse didn’t let him finish. She shoved the falcon through the doorway, slamming it shut behind him. With all her weight and strength, she kept the door pressed closed as she fumbled for the key.

Something hit her in the side - her cut arm - and she recoiled with a cry of pain. She turned and found a skeletal looming over her. Behind the skeletal was a pale figure with red eyes.

Daasu. The cursed bloodsealer.

“How dare you,” she screamed. “You dare attack an arbiter?”

“Yes.”

The skeletal struck forward again, swinging a club toward her head. She ducked away, but still felt the wind from the club. She backed away, panicking. The skeletal advanced. It’s menacing grin chilled her to the bone.

It struck again. She could not move fast enough. I

---

“That’s enough,” Daasu commanded. The skeletal stopped, standing above the motionless body. His only command was to disable the woman, not kill her.

A breathless falcon emerged from the room. His eyes grew wide as he looked at the skeletal and down at the fallen woman. The skeletal turned to him, but did not move. The falcon grasped something in his hand and hurled it toward the bones.

The object - a small statue of a fish - crashed into Daasu’s creation. The heavy object shattered the skeletal’s skull, and the whole construct collapsed into a heap of bone and armor.

Daasu ran before he could be the next victim of a crazed falcon.

He took a deep breath as he exited into open air. The loss of one of his creations would be nothing in the end. Not if it meant saving the Empire.

A force struck him in the side and a searing pain erupted. He looked down to find a crossbow bolt lodged between his ribs. Another one struck, just a few inches above.

Daasu looked to where the bolts came from and saw a pale mask in the shadows.

Another bolt struck and he fell.

The pale mask appeared above him, stark against the black sky. “You cannot stop us now, bloodsealer.”

---

The forger kept an eye on the mouse and falcon as they left the room.  Were they conspiring together?

A consensus had been reached, and albatross had been dragged away. Another member of Heritage, taken to be slaughtered at the will of a paranoid aristocracy. It had to end.

The forger - clad that night as a tuatara - decided to find the falcon and mouse.

Stepping quietly into a darkened hallway, he pulled out a small box. A box he would never leave behind, and never lose. His soul was in that box.

His hand passed over the Grand. The vote had already been made. It hesitated over the Urchin. Maybe he should hide another night. Survive just one more time. 

No. The time to strike is now.

He grasped the Warrior stamp, and placed it on his skin. It sank in after a moment’s resistance, and he turned it, sealing the stamp for now. 

Years of training in the art of ChayShan flooded his mind. It was not time to hid, nor time to manipulate. It was time to kill. 

The forger stepped out of the shadowed hallway, muscles suddenly more tense, more responsive. Soon, he came across the scene he’d not quite expected.

The mouse, unconcious or dead on the floor. A pile of bones - he recoiled with a hiss. A bloodsealer. Standing above them was the falcon.

“So you are one of them,” the forger said.

“What? One of the Glory? No!”

The protests seemed forced. With a lithe grace only accessible to the forger as the Warrior, he stepped forward. 

The falcon reached down, picking up a small statue. He held it up menacingly. “Don’t come any closer.”

His words meant nothing. The forger advanced.

With a grunt, the falcon hurled the statue forward, but the forger easily dodged, closing the distance between them.

Sweeping his leg low, he kicked the falcon’s legs from under him. He fell with a thump and groan of pain.

There was no time to waste. The forger pounced, striking vital organs and breaking bones. Within moments, the falcon was nothing but a motionless heap on the floor.

The mouse stirred beside him. 

She’s not dead?

She lifted a hand to her head, then looked around at the scene. A deep laugh burst from her, echoing with a haunting air in the stone hallway.


Magenta Albatross was lynched! They were a member of the Heritage Faction.
Coral Swan was killed! They were a Bloodsealer for the Heritage Faction.
Emerald Falcon was killed! They were a member of the Heritage Faction.

The Glory Faction has won! Congratulations!

Vote Count:

Azure Mouse (1) - Cream Tuatara
Magenta Albatross (3) - Azure Mouse, Emerald Falcon, Melon Dingo

Player Count

Spoiler
  1. Amber Vulture Head Arbiter of the Heritage Faction
  2. Amethyst Scorpion Rememberer of the Heritage Faction
  3. Azure Mouse Head Arbiter of the Glory Faction
  4. Charcoal Hyena Heritage Faction
  5. Chartreuse Penguin Heritage Faction
  6. Coral Swan Bloodsealer of the Heritage Faction
  7. Cream Tuatara Soul Forger
  8. Emerald Falcon Heritage Faction
  9. Fuchsia Ostrich Striker of the Heritage Faction
  10. Indigo Weasel Glory Faction
  11. Ivory Dragonfly Heritage Faction
  12. Magenta Albatross Heritage Faction
  13. Mauve Crocodile Emperor
  14. Melon Dingo Glory Faction
  15. Mint Heron Heritage Faction

Docs:

Dead/Spec Doc
Glory Faction Doc
GM Spreadsheet
Rules

Remember to log out of your anonymous accounts. If you want copies of any PMs, best to save them now before the IMs go through and purge. Thanks again everyone for playing! I'll post thoughts later.

Edited by Elandera
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Thanks for the game Elan, t'was fun, goodnight all. 

And now my watch has ended. 

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Good game and good night ! :D

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Exciting game everyone! That switcharoo at the very end of the cycle, oh, that was exhilarating.

Yes, I must say that I accept our new overlords, I mean, majority party. 

Thank you Elandera for the game, very fun.

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NOOOOOO It's My Fault!!!!!!! I'm sorry everyone! Melon you led me astray! Now time to find out who you were.

Edit: Randuir....<_<

:ph34r:Well done Randuir. 

 

Edited by Cadmium Compounder
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First I'd like to thank @Elandera for creating this game.  And the write-ups are excellent! Also blackout games are something very special to me, and I really enjoyed the twist that this game is really not all that complicated. I did forget, to my potential detriment, the idea that there was (at least) a neutral in this game.

Next @Hemalurgic Headshot and @DeTess for being my teammates. HH did an great job of pocketing some people towards the mid game, and Rand carried us through the end with great distancing and redirection.

Also a great job to @Cadmium Compounder and @Haelbarde for coming so close to catching us despite how little info you all had.

I've actually wanted to be evil with Rand for a while... but unfortunately I think that I'll still have to wait for that game.
While my faction won, I don't consider this to be a win for me personally.
Part of me reads the spec doc, and takes pride in how no one was certain of my alignment, even when there were so few people for them to choose from. But then I remember that I only made a handful of posts throughout the entire game, didn't PM, and only posted one attempt at analysis.

As the game started, I decided I was going to intentionally overdo some of my writing tendencies and underdo some of my others, and see how people reacted... Shortly after starting the game however, all my motivation for... everything... just dropped. And I had to struggle just to get out of bed to go to work. This left this game in a difficult spot as I now had much less energy to devote to it, and being in a game took much more energy than it should have.

Last night I was going to make a long analysis post about why everyone should switch their votes off of Mouse, but I instead just played video games. (edit: which to be clear, I personally needed... but it came at the expense of my final chance of activity this game)

Anyways, I'll make it up in my next game.

(Oh, and fun fact: LG49 I worked closely with Emerald Falcon/Ialai/MetaTerminal, and in AG5 Emerald Falcon/Dalinar Kholin was in my faction.  : ) Thanks for PMing me CadCom, though I was really looking forward to trying to work with you to catch the elims... :'(    )

Edit:
...
...
...
Sorry @Sallom!!!!
didn't mean to kill you C1! xD

Edited by Furamirionind
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Well that was a fun game! :P

I had a lot of fun altering my speech, but no one seems to have noticed.

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7 minutes ago, Straw said:

Well that was a fun game! :P

I had a lot of fun altering my speech, but no one seems to have noticed.

I mean... I never would have guessed you were Swan, but I don't think I've played with you enough to feel like I know your speech pattern.
I caught Devotary and CadCom (to an extent) because I know them much better than the average SEer.

I also thought Kas was Rath... But as Rath wasn't in the game, I feel kind of fine about that guess xD

The only other person here who i think I might have even had a chance of guessing is Bard, but I didn't interact with them enough. : /

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Alright, for those of you (like me) who just skim the dead doc for references to myself, let me explain a few things. 

Related image

The reason this was blackout? There really wasn't one. At least not with the rules as they turned out to be. The original iteration of this game had the Soul Forger as an eliminator, with a neutral Thief role. The Soul Forger would have had access to four anonymous accounts, and could post from each of them. It would have been a one-person elim team. After some wise advice from the balance committee (Thanks @A Joe in the Bush and @Fifth Scholar), and seeing some of the low player counts at the LG, I decided it would be wise to make it a more standard elim set-up. By then, though, I'd been so excited about it that I'd posted more than once about it being anon/blackout. So blackout it remained.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how the rules themselves played out. As I said more than once in the spec doc, it was a series of unfortunate events for the village this game, compounded by a lack of activity (I was not quiet about that in the doc, either. Sorry about that. I really do love you all :D). 

A huge congratulations goes out to @DeTess. You did a fantastic job becoming trusted by some key players in the game. @Hemalurgic Headshot and @Furamirionind also played very good games at staying under the radar. Fura, thanks for sticking around, even though you've not had the motivation. Focusing on yourself is definitely more important than a game.

Thanks to @Kasimir, for enduring my ramblings in the dead doc. It was good to have you in there, even if it meant a loss for the game.

Oh, and congratulations to @Haelbarde. RNG really wanted you to be the Soul Forger. We were all rooting for you in the dead doc :D. You had good strategy overall, clear up until you trusted the wrong person.

Oh, Fura! Art dies with the person who holds it. Sorry I kept PAFOing you on that.

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2 minutes ago, Elandera said:

Oh, Fura! Art dies with the person who holds it. Sorry I kept PAFOing you on that.

I was so paranoid if Mouse died, and someone else got the Scepter... Lol

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1 hour ago, Furamirionind said:

I mean... I never would have guessed you were Swan, but I don't think I've played with you enough to feel like I know your speech pattern

I just kind of threw in a ton of random quirks (two spaces after sentences, emojis before periods, british spelling, votes in the forum text colorer instead of BBcode, and no contractions or abbreviations.

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Part of me reads the spec doc, and takes pride in how no one was certain of my alignment, even when there were so few people for them to choose from. But then I remember that I only made a handful of posts throughout the entire game, didn't PM, and only posted one attempt at analysis.

Sorry. Mobile's a pain. 

Anyway I disagree. It did make it difficult to figure out your allegiance and if the Village had more room to play in, I'd probably have bit the bullet and suggested a terminal Seek on you. The point is that deliberate (undeliberate) inactivity in your case, is a fair Eliminator tactic. This game is an illustration of where that's effective. 

If anything, I'd put the onus on Villitage. There are ways to counter inactivity as a strategy. Contribution Crusaders, as Bard calls them. The Wyrm Inquisition, as I prefer. Or a kill role going Meta and killing inactives to flush people out into activity. It's not great but it's not terrible either.

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13 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

Sorry. Mobile's a pain. 

Anyway I disagree. It did make it difficult to figure out your allegiance and if the Village had more room to play in, I'd probably have bit the bullet and suggested a terminal Seek on you. The point is that deliberate (undeliberate) inactivity in your case, is a fair Eliminator tactic. This game is an illustration of where that's effective. 

If anything, I'd put the onus on Villitage. There are ways to counter inactivity as a strategy. Contribution Crusaders, as Bard calls them. The Wyrm Inquisition, as I prefer. Or a kill role going Meta and killing inactives to flush people out into activity. It's not great but it's not terrible either.

I quite agree with this. Activity can never be guaranteed from anyone. Life happens. We understand.

@Furamirionind, you were, by no means, the least active player in the game. Had you been the only lesser-active player, it wouldn't have been an issue. Village would have been around enough to look at all the players more and hopefully glean something from your content. As Sart once told me as an elim, village activity was not my responsibility. Their lack of effort (still love you all, even with lower activity :D) is not your fault. There wasn't a ton, compared to your usual contribution, but there was enough there to provide hints.

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@Haelbarde, you lied to me! You weren't village at all! :P 

Oof, this game. The final result might not show it, but this really came down to the wire in the end, and some very minor changes could have changed the entire game. A good example would be @Young Bard redirecting my action on the only cycle I didn't submit the kill, and that final cycle could have gone a lot of different ways.

So, first of all I'd like to thank @Furamirionind and @Hemalurgic Headshot for joining me on the elim team. You all did a very good job (yes, even you Furami. Real life happens but despite that you kept posting when you could find the time and energy to do so). I'd also like to thank @Elandera for running the game and writing a bunch of enjoyable write-ups.

I've also got some other game-thoughts. First, my act of pretending to be a new player was something I'd decided on in advance, and was not at all influenced by my alignment. I've been rather busy these past months, and hoped that acting like anew player would keep people from expecting too much from me, leaving me free to contribute exactly as much as I had time for. That having been said, I'm now 2/2 on perfect elim games for my first games, so... :D

Regarding how things went down in the end, @Haelbarde, what spurred your decision to kill falcon? I'd like to think it was my expertly engineering the situation to make it look like falcon tricked me into joining the hammer, but that's giving myself way too much credit for how things went down.

I might have more thoughts later for now, I'd like tot hank everyone I haven't thanked yet for making this a pretty enjoyable game!

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It's honestly taken me this long to respond because I was pretty angry about the conclusion to the game - without the village being active for me to interact with them, it was hard to do much in the last cycle or two (@Elandera - I wasn't given much choice on who I could trust... It's not like trusting inactives would have made things any different - it's not like they would have voted with me) (@Kasimir I would have probably murderised inactives if Elandera had actually given me permanent night kill immunity), and I was pretty angry with Weasel too - I felt emotionally manipulated by their sharing of life being hard for them, which I don't think is okay, particularly for eliminators. Say you will be/have been busy, apologise, then move on. I had otherwise had a kill order in on Weasel for most of that last cycle.

@DeTess I'm pretty sure I never said that I was village. You take that back. :ph34r:

(I don't actually recall if I did or not, but I'm pretty sure I didn't claim to be village. Not my style)

After I was guilt tripped out of killing Weasel, my thoughts were as follows. I wasn't sure if I trusted Swan, probably thought they were evil but they were bascially guaranteed to not have been putting in the kill or the sooth, so low priority. Mouse was probably getting lynched, although they then claimed to have a protect item in the end, so I figured they weren't a good option to kill once the lynch shifted - well done with that. I think I'd actually had the kill on Albatross for most of that, but then the hammer came. I figured if the hammer was happening, it was the eliminators doing it, and my very sleep deprived self (I stayed up until the end of cycle at 3:30 am local time because I knew there'd most likely be a hammer) had to decide in the moment between putting a kill on Falcon or Dingo. In the end, with no time to think about it, I went with Falcon as Penguin and Dragonfly had been suspicious of them and Falcon had been saved from a lynch in the past, while I had more of a non-read on Dingo. 

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@Haelbarde what would you do In my position? 

I had no motivation to do anything this game. But I tried.

I could have just gone 100% inactive. Would you have preferred that?

I WANTED TO DIE. so please. I would have loved for you to kill me.

I tried to get my faction to bus me. I specifically said in thread I wanted to die. Will you fault me for telling the truth?

I'm sorry I ruined the game for you. This is the third game in a row. Three strikes.

Edited by Furamirionind
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1 hour ago, Haelbarde said:

 and I was pretty angry with Weasel too - I felt emotionally manipulated by their sharing of life being hard for them, which I don't think is okay, particularly for eliminators. Say you will be/have been busy, apologise, then move on. I had otherwise had a kill order in on Weasel for most of that last cycle.

If you feel that way, then there's little I can do about it, but I disagree that Furami did anything wrong. If he'd tried to leverage his situation into trying to get some respite from the lynch or whatever, sure, but he did the opposite, stating that he'd be completely okay with getting lynched/night-killed for reasons unrelated to the game. If I'd been a village striker, I would probably have submitted a kill there as the worst-case was hitting a villager that'd indicated they wanted to step out of the game.

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1 hour ago, Haelbarde said:

It's honestly taken me this long to respond because I was pretty angry about the conclusion to the game - without the village being active for me to interact with them, it was hard to do much in the last cycle or two (@Elandera - I wasn't given much choice on who I could trust... It's not like trusting inactives would have made things any different - it's not like they would have voted with me) (@Kasimir I would have probably murderised inactives if Elandera had actually given me permanent night kill immunity)

The build of the Soul Forger is something I would change in hindsight. Along with my original plan to have had that role be the elim faction with four accounts came a longer survival ability. The Forger would not have been out of the game until all Marks and the main Forger body were dead. Unfortunately, you had the poor end of some last-minute rule changes. 

The village activity was also one of my biggest problems this game. You were placed in a very tough position, and the loss of big village players early was absolutely unhelpful. The Striker was taken out super early (before being able to act), as was the village manipulation. The Rememberer, who could have added more blocks/protections/kills was inactive and then dead.

Also, personally, I think that if any player no longer feels up to playing for any reason, they should inquire about a pinch hitter. I largely agree with DeTess's statement that Fura pushing to die because of circumstances wasn't in and of itself bad, but I think a pinch hitter is a better way to resolve it than sacrificing yourself.

I should have offered a pinch hitter, but as it was my first time GMing, and with no co-GM, I was focused on other things.

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@Elandera Honestly, it was fine. A different player would have used the other abilities, and if I had actually been attacked at any point during the game, I'd have immediately followed that up with my own kill. Just for whatever reason the eliminators didn't target me, and the striker unfortunately died. You just got stuck with me who didn't think it was worth sacrificing safety to use the more fun abilities.

@Furamirionind Oh, to be clear, you didn't ruin the game for me - I had a lot of fun that last cycle or two trying to work everything out. And while I was angry at you, I didn't have a good reason to be, and I'm certainly not upset about any more

The post that got to me was this one, rather than this post the cycle before. Those two posts are both fine, and there's little difference between them. For some reason the first one got to me and caused me change my actions while the second didn't, but that's certainly not your fault.

I think the main reason for my reaction was my lack of sleep anyway - I had stayed up all night till 5:30 am to be online for the end of cycle and the posting of results, which is something I never do. My sleep deprived brain then had to react to the game suddenly ending, and a player I had felt sorry for had ended up being an eliminator, so my brain decided to be unreasonable and leap to anger. It's just taken me have a week to actually confront that feeling and realise it was silly because I'd been trying to ignore it. But that's all on me, and not at all your fault. So sorry if I took out any of that on you.


Other thoughts - I tried to 'pretend' to be in a US time zone by trying to only post while the east coast would reasonably be awake. I referenced waiting for the west coast to wake up early in the game in hopes of implying I was east coast too. Don't know if that worked though. I tried also to avoid using my signature style of vote tallies. That was annoying because it was annoying not being able to compile the information I would normally include in such things. I mostly gave up with all that in the last cycle though.

Thanks everyone for the game, and thanks for running it @Elandera - I really enjoyed all the writeups!

Edited by Haelbarde
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“Aren’t we missing someone?” asked the head arbiter.

“Hmm?” The emperor had developed quite a talent for ignoring the droning of the head arbiter. The man liked to hear himself talk, even if no one else was listening.

That part where @Elandera presciently figured out how many pages I'd add to the dead doc out of sheer deceased boredom :P 

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