you deserve this, then
sophie way better than you anyway tbh
you deserve this, then
sophie way better than you anyway tbh
Too late, Matilda, Alyx is with me now.
(fuck u katze)
Note: CRich will be modkilled postgame due to his behaviour in the final trial.
Everything made has a start and an end
so for kings, so for worlds, so for stars, so for men
so for nations that rise and are slaughtered again
for my brother, my enemy, traitor, my friend.
This world’s end is now.
Around the seven of you, the world seems to grow more fragile. The walls of the Senate disappear into dust. You grab at the furniture around them, only to find that their hands pass through it as though through dust and smoke.
Suddenly, a portal opens in the center of the room. On the other side stands Sonja Eriksson, wearing a badge labelled 7131, her hair tied back behind her head in a ponytail. “Hurry!” she shouts, beckoning you towards the portal. “There’s not much time!”
Most of you start to run towards the portal, the ground seeming to dissolve beneath your feet, but Alicia shrinks back nervously. “I don’t trust Project Jormungandr!” she says. “You had decades to figure out what Timoleon was doing, and none of you noticed.”
“For God’s sake, Alicia, don’t be an idiot!” says Sonja. As the first of you reaches the portal, Sonja runs into the center of the Senate, grabs Alicia by the wrist, and pulls her through the portal. Just as the two of them cross the threshold, the portal closes.
You find yourself in a room with five strangers – or, strangers to most of you. A middle-aged woman rushes over to Geoffrey, a glittering circle on her head. “Geoffrey!” she says. “Are you alright? I’m so sorry-- I never should have allowed you to go to that school–”
Geoffrey hesitates for a moment, before wrapping his arms around her, wiping tears from his eyes. “I missed you so much, Daphne,” he said.
“You call your mom by her name?” says Alicia. “Weird.”
Albert Abode strides across the room to Harleck. “Son,” he says, his face impassive.
“Father,” says Harleck, looking up at him. “…Father? Are you proud of me? After all the times I must have killed…”
Albert hesitates for a moment. “Yes, Harleck,” he says. “I’m proud of you. Besides … you aren’t responsible for what they did. You helped make it possible to get everyone else out.”
“So did they, though,” says Sophie, her hands in her pockets. “We didn’t just make it out because of what we did. We had help from – people who didn’t make it, writing down everything they could think of, even though it would never help them.”
Alyx reaches up to ruffle her hair. “Don’t be so modest, Sophie!” they say. “You didn’t tell them how you were the one to solve the puzzles–”
“Both you and they played an important role,” says a Japanese woman; Dennis and Harleck recognize her as Kobayashi Asuka. “Very little of what we accomplish is accomplished alone.”
A middle-aged man with a long beard looks at Alicia and Dennis. “Speaking of that, the two of you’d best follow me,” he says. “There’s people waiting for you.”
Alicia and Dennis follow him out of the room and into a sprawling complex. The man leads them down the hallway to another room, where two groups of people have gathered.
In one half of the room, a group of eleven people is standing around talking to each other. When Dennis enters, they look up and beckon him over.
“–We’re your old archery team,” one of them explains. “We heard you had a shot of actually getting out this time, and we figured we’d come and say hi.”
“Oh,” says Dennis. “You still care? After all this time? I wasn’t sure if anyone I knew would even be alive.”
“The time flow between the Knot and the real world is – was – neither linear nor one-to-one,” says the man. “It’s been forty-eight years. Most of the people you know are alive, though some of them are much older.”
Meanwhile, Alicia turns to the other group of people, looking at them. Some of them look almost exactly like her, while others look like they could be a relative a few years or decades older than her. All of them are wearing little badges with numbers on them, like Sonja’s badge earlier.
“Hey, Alicia!” says one of them. “We’re you!”
“You are?” asks Alicia. “–Are 5955 and 6263 here?”
Two of them nod. “That’s us,” one of them says.
“What do you know about becoming the Ultimate Mage?” asks Alicia.
5955 grimaces. “Well, given some of the rumors going around about what happened to Tim, I’m not sure if it’s going to work. The two of us have been discussing other research projects, though, and you can join us if you want.”
Thus having pass’d the night in fruitless pain,
I to my longing friends return again,
Amaz’d th’ augmented number to behold,
Of men and matrons mix’d, of young and old;
A wretched exil’d crew together brought,
With arms appointed, and with treasure fraught,
Resolv’d, and willing, under my command,
To run all hazards both of sea and land.
Sonja decides quickly that she doesn’t want the reputation of being the only escapee from the Knot’s final run to escape by killing someone, even if that someone was the Mastermind. She changes her name to Rakel, her middle name. She goes back to school for a degree in biochemistry and gets a job doing pharmaceutical development – close enough to her talent for her to be one of the best employees at her company, far enough from her talent that most people aren’t going to suspect that the clever young employee is secretly Sonja Eriksson.
In her free time, she writes mystery novels. They’re inspired by the Knot – not just her experiences, but the experiences of all the other Sonjas. She’s vaguely surprised that none of the others took that niche first, but she’s not exactly inclined to complain.
When Rakel is forty-three, she has a flash of insight from her Ultimate, falls unconscious for an hour, wakes up, and draws the chemical structure for an Alzheimer’s cure on the nearest piece of paper. She can’t particularly keep the secret from her coworkers, after that, but by now they like her well enough not to hold what happened in the Knot against her. “It’s not a situation I’ve ever been in,” one of them tells her, patting her arm. “I can’t judge you for it.”
The day after escaping, Suzannah decides to go for a walk outside of Project Jormungandr’s complex. She takes two steps into the road and is immediately run over by a drunk driver, dying instantly.
Harleck goes back to helping out his father as a private investigator. He’s mostly successful – cases in the real world are rarely half as mystifying as some of what he encountered during the Ultimate Hunt – but occasionally he doesn’t manage to figure it out in time. After managing to track down a kidnapping victim, only to find her corpse in the Thames, he sneaks into his father’s study and steals (borrows, he tells himself) his father’s opium. It’s floaty and pleasant and peaceful and it’s so easy to just – not stop. It’s just this once turns to it’s just until this case is done turns to my father does it too.
When he skips a day and wakes up sweating heavily, his heart rate rapid, he realizes that something is wrong. He writes his father a letter explaining exactly what’s been happening and asks his blessing to enroll in an inpatient treatment program. It’s not an easy process, but with the help of decades of advancement in treatment quality, he manages to avoid returning to it.
Eventually, Harleck realizes that although he’s a good private investigator, it isn’t making him happy. When he’s twenty-five, he figures out the fastest way to get a law degree and becomes a defense attorney, working pro-bono, with a literally supernatural instinct for identifying defendants who are innocent, but who for whatever reason would otherwise likely be convicted. People start writing him letters from prison, explaining that they were wrongfully convicted; some of them are lying, but others aren’t, and he figures out which ones are telling the truth and does everything in his power to help them appeal.
His father tries to get him to follow in his footsteps and run for office, but he refuses. He’s seen how politics wears on his father, and he has no interest in repeating his mistakes. He’s happy to periodically suggest a reform for the criminal justice system to his father. Some of his changes are popular, others less so, but all of them make the courts a little more just.
Dennis considers for a long time whether he wants to try to make a career out of archery, but ultimately decides that he doesn’t want to stop enjoying it, and looks for other work. He keeps going to archery clubs in his free time.
He considers what he most enjoyed about his talent and decides that what he really needs is a career where he can work with his hands. Project Jormungandr pays his way through welding school and he spends the next several decades as a welder. As automation improves, he stops being able to find work nearly as consistently, but he manages to live off of his UBI stipend, and occasionally technophobes hire him.
A couple years after escaping, Dennis hears about the MIT Mystery Hunt from another Dennis, and puts together a team of Dennises to compete. Their third year together, they place first. Dennis puts the medallion in the trophy case next to his old archery trophies.
Geoffrey moves back to the Atlantic Wastes with his mother. He tries not to think too hard about the notes on his application record. He goes to therapy.
As the only living Geoffrey who hasn’t killed someone, his family decides that it’s best for their image to name him the heir. It hadn’t occurred to him to consider any other future, and he’s adjusted enough to the idea that he is to be the future Duke of the Atlantic Wastes that this news isn’t disappointing.
His mother helps him found a nonprofit for re-acclimating the victims of magical accidents to society. He poses for photo-ops and does interviews with any journalists who will talk to him. He adjusts to fielding the same questions, over and over – do you talk to the other yous? how do you feel about the ones who kill people?
Geoffrey befriends one of the Josephines from a previous run, and after learning about historical traditions of nobility being patrons of the arts, he sets up a scholarship fund for artists and musicians and poets and authors. Half the applicants in the first year submit portfolios that are overtly propaganda, but after a few years people figure out that the way to get accepted is to appeal to his extremely niche taste in art and fiction.
Eventually, his mother decides that he needs an heir, and sets him up with a sweet Norwegian princess, who happens to be the Ultimate Composer. Princess Anja moves to the Atlantic Wastes, and the two of them attempt to influence obscure points of tax policy. Geoffrey and Anja have a single heir, and otherwise remain platonic friends. Their heir is an Ultimate like their parents, and becomes the Ultimate Classical Literature Scholar.
Alicia reluctantly gives up her goal of becoming the Ultimate Mage after re-reading all of Timoleon’s research notes and concluding that it’s genuinely impossible, at least within a human lifespan. She and a group of other Alicias decide that if they can’t become the Ultimate Mage, they might as well try to find another way to surpass the limitations of normal humanity.
Using the knowledge they learned from the Reverse Biology Lab, and their own research, they develop more reliable rituals to fuse humans and animals. Alicia #7131 gives herself functional eagle wings and nine foxtails; the others come up with other combinations of features they like, ranging from ‘bat wings, a forked tail and horns’ to ‘Gallade’ to ‘three pairs of arms’ to ‘scales covering her entire body’ to ‘literally a centaur.’
Eventually, they have the procedure developed well enough to market it to other people. With that project out of the way, their research group sets their sights to finding a way to use their rituals to prevent aging, or even reverse it.
Epilogue: Alyx and Sophie
Alyx and Sophie accept Project Jormungandr’s offer of a double apartment, and share a bunk bed. Sophie modifies the technology in their apartment, adding an elevator to the bed and creating the first functional popcorn cooker on a microwave. Alyx tracks down a copy of the latest Pokemon game, Pokemon Spectrum, and starts a playthrough. They nickname their Pokemon after other people from Feybrook and don’t evolve any of them.
Sophie sells the patent for the popcorn cooker, and they use the money to rent an apartment in Suffolk. They adopt a cat, and name it Bulbasaur. Sophie gets a job doing research and development for a furniture company. Alyx decides that they aren’t comfortable earning money off of gaming if the reason they’re so successful is that they’re subconsciously manipulating RNG, and enrolls at a regular, non-murder-based university to study zoology.
While sitting on the balcony one night, holding hands, Sophie reaches into her pocket and slips a ring onto Alyx’s finger. “There are a thousand Sophies out in the world,” she whispers, “but I’m the luckiest, because I have you. Will you marry me, Alyx?”
Alyx smiles. “Of course, Sophie,” they say, and kiss her.
In an empty Feybrook stands Matilda Martell, and the Three Fates before her. She trembles.
“W…why have you called me here? I-I failed.” she said, shivering. Clotho grinned.
“No, you succeded.” she spoke “The loops have ended. Ironically, you acheived exactly what you wanted to acheive, making the game so shocking that Project Jormungandr would kill Timoleon Silverheart. You gave us enough time to figure out how to get the others out. Buuuut. The rules stop us from doing that for you”.
Matilda turned to Aretena, then to Monkeuma, as if trying to stammer out some kind of answer, shakily slam the keys of the typewriter into a belated expression of VICTORY, but could do no such thing. She clutched herself by the arms, and sat down on the floor, twisted adages burrowing deep into her mind.
“…I was the villain. That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it? I was the tragic hero of this fucking GREEK TRAGEDY that you make me play and… I deserve it. But so do you. And what is there to do now? I get a moment of empty… what is it, anagonrisis, after seeing everything I wanted come to fruitiion, and then I realise that I’m empty inside becuase… I gave up something. The nuns were right. I really am just hellspawn. My death approaches.”
Lachesis stepped forward. "Not… exactly. We’re moving on out of here, and after that… well, this whole pocket dimension will collapse, and we don’t know what will happen to you. Maybe you’ll somehow flourish. But we have a better offer.
"Who fucking said there can’t be four Fates?" said Atropos. Matilda froze in place.
“Oh, you’re never going back to your world, but… We could use some company. We’re going elsewhere again, to another world, establishing a new Knot, and we’re probably going to be accosted by some other asshole who thinks he understands magic, and forced to… I don’t know, host a singing contest where if you sing badly we have to kill them. You know, something like that.”
Matilda, stone-faced, held out her hand. “Fine. But… can you do one thing for me, first? Before… I submit myself to the unknown.”
"What do you want"
“I want you to kill Matilda Martell. Not… me, but I want you to kill every last second of that miserable girl’s life. Burn away my memories.”
The Three Fates thought for a moment. Then grins spread across their faces. A wave of miky warmth spread across Feybrook, as the city of death folded in on itself, wiping away every trace of Matilda Martell, her body and her life, leaving nothing but The Four Fates. Clotho, Lachesis, Vaféas, and Atropos.
“I feel better already.” said Vateas, her face empty, her eyes staring with near-hypnotised glee at not remembering a second of herself. “Where are we to go next, bretheren?”
“I don’t fucking know. Maybe we could go to the fucking Among Us dimension or something like that?”
“By the gods, no. I vote we go to say… a version of the world we just visited but without magic. I’m sure one exists.”
“…What exactly are we going to do there?”
“Clotho, are you going to try and set up another killing game? Because, well, I veto that for a few thousand years. The human that was once me is still screaming in the back of my skull not to do that.”
“Really? But I had an excellent idea! We could manipulate events such that one happens in the real world using something called the Wellspring…”
“That’s already happened, actually. Saw it happen back when me and Lachesis were the Two Fates.”
“Are you sure that’s not just us from the future who caused that, Atropos?”
"After over seven thousand iterations of timey-wimey bullshit, I quite frankly don’t fucking care, we’re not doing it until I fucking forget about it, which thereby resolves the bootstrap paradox. Time travel authors think they’re so fucking clever that they don’t realise the solution to their contrived-ass paradoxes is just being a complete fucking dumbass. I cannot stress this enough."
“Well, wherever we’re going next… We should probably not be here.” said Lachesis.
“Agreed” said Vateas.
“I suppose.” said Clotho.
“Fucking finally.” said Atropos.
And then Feybrook dissapeared, and Fate left the universe forever.
Thank you all for playing. You may discuss this game freely.
Rolecards will be posted shortly.
((and also like
((the fact that hosting any DR in any capacity is a lot of work
((so serious thanks to all of you guys for hosting
next DR I wont get so emotionally invested
I’ll probably have a worse character for it but /shrug
(i am become fate, destroyer of WIM and sanity)
If you have any questions about lore/puzzles/random things around the castle now is a good time to ask
I’m sad I had to replace out
I probably could’ve gotten away with my murder plan, but my WiM drop was too much.
(this final trial was hell)
i think this is reasonable, even though i think both of these things personally didn’t effect my judgement much (hard to say, tbh), i know it effected others and noticed it
i think trochi played well and the theatre thing being considered “too blatant to actually be real but holy shit is actually real” to some is… unfortunate for them
@Arctic I can make a functional wings apparently now.
Want to get them?
How do you kill someone by heavenly light?