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An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

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    An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

    Status:
    Spoiler


    Demilon Fiefdom, Southwest Elynsor
    932 A.R.


    Tessa sat in the confessional booth of her newest chapel--one that, as of the past week given its original minister's death, she could officially call her own, as the ordained Cleric of Erion was the only one in the area qualified to take the position for the time being. Placed in the city of Cerawal, mere miles from the horizontal border between the northern Kingdom of Elynsor and the southern Greybourne Republic, it was one of the few places in the region where one could pay their respects to Erion, the god of order and purity.

    However, the community she lived in was not known as the most pious of them all when it came to paying tribute to the preferred deity of most Elynsorians; instead, it lent itself to an eclectic blend of other religions. Pagans, they were called, by those living up north. As such, it didn't carry the most spotless reputation when brought up in the conversations of those living in the capital of Elynsor. Because of that, Tessa's position as someone to spread the word of Erion in Cerawal's faithless community was a respected yet unenviable one, as she awaited any worshippers desperate enough to engage in the rites of confession.

    For a small fee, it was her duty to hear their sins and grant forgiveness on behalf of Erion, ultimately granting them greater hope to a better afterlife. Above all, the thought of such chances gave them peace of mind--a much sought-after commodity these days, it seemed. But even then, it wasn't to be so easy for her. Confessions occurred sometimes up to three times a week, and the past two sessions had Tessa sitting alone for two hours without a single visitor. With the 'competition' in no short supply, taking the form of shamans, herbal healers and the like, many of whom promised other benefits than what Erion offered, it wasn't a surprise. The grasp of the Elynsorian Church was weakest here, and she could tell.

    Then came two knocks on the booth's rosewood exterior, followed by the sound of a door opening on the other side. It was, without a doubt, her first customer for the entire week. Just as it was designed, Tessa could see relatively little of her client through the wicker lattice separating them. But one thing she did notice of the confessor was that they clearly reeked of alcohol, even before having spoken a word. The scent was something that the nun was quite familiar with. Their audible breaths, taken in and out through their mouth, most likely belonged to that of a man. The gruff voice confirmed the subject's gender when they finally spoke.

    "Uh... I've never really done this before, but mebbe it's about time. Gotta... *hic* tell somebody." A few coins were dropped into the slot on their side, landing neatly in a basket at Tessa's feet as the man began in a low voice. "Sister... Erion, whoever's listenin'. Hahaha... ahhh, don't even know why I'm sayin' this. But I feel like I gotta let someone know, or I'm just gonna go nuts here. You see, years ago, ages ago--don't even remember now--I had a thing for my uh... my daughter in law. But it wasn't a crush or anythin', I mean it went both ways, ya hear? When nobody was around, she'd always kinda... flirt with me, ya know, little things here an' there. The looks she'd give me, that sort o' thing. So I, had a little bit to drink one night and told her she should stop playin' the games and... and tell me how she felt."

    His voice grew louder as he went on. "But that's when things got really messed up. Instead of being honest with me, she told me I was "scaring" her, like I was some kinda freak for saying what I did! Can you believe that? Like she never gave me those looks to begin with... what a fuckin' fake bitch! She was the one who started it all, and then she had the nerve to act like she never did?!" His fist could be heard slamming on the side of the booth's interior, causing it to shake slightly. "I... *hahh*... I knew it was just a matter of time until she said somethin' to everyone else. Ya see, at that time, we were in a lotta debt. Even my wife didn't know how deep we were in the shithole. So I sold my daughter-in-law... to the Redclaws. Just looked the other way while they took her in the middle of the night. It's a pretty common thing they do, I guess."

    He paused before stuttering in his explanation. "B-But I mean, keepin' her in my home would've RUINED me, my marriage, everything! Ya know?! Plus, the slavers paid us a lotta money. Thing is, nobody thinks I did it. I just told them I hit it big at a casino in Greybourne. So everyone in my family's happy again. My son wasn't for a good while, but he eventually found a new wife anyway. A better one, not some two-faced bitch who lies and cheats and pulls all that fake shit on everyone around her just 'cause she wants a little somethin' on the side. No more homewreckers in my home, heh. I guess I'm just here 'cause ah... I don't wanna be outed as a liar or anythin' like that. I mean, I'm not, y'know? It's just not somethin' I could tell my wife... and definitely not my son. I did it for everybody, and we're all better off for it."

    The stranger took a deep breath. "That's it though. Man, amazing how good that makes me feel, gettin' it off my chest like this. Thanks, Sister... I really needed that, heh."
    Last edited by Takimaru; 25th June 2013, 11:31.
    Developer of Despair Labyrinth and primary GM of the PbP.

    #2
    Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

    Spoiler


    It started off a day just like any other. Tessa awoke with a headache which was made worse as she sat up to examine her surroundings. It had already been a week and she still wasn't used to waking up inside the church. The foreign room which now served as her bedroom was formerly an office where the former minister would do paperwork and meet with visitors. At the center of the room was his wobbly desk, more a modest table with only three legs remaining and with the fourth substituted by a stool that was slightly too short, and a simple wooden chair, both evidence of what the room once was. At one point a half-finished book detailing the revelations bestowed upon the departed minster during his service to Erion in such a faithless land sat opened upon the desk but it and all his other personal effects had been delivered to his relatives, and now only half of a candle, a scribbled upon parchment, and an inkwell still remained.

    That wasn't to say that the desk was the only thing of note. There was a single bookshelf off in the corner behind it, though it was filled largely with books and treaties on Erion and the various truths He had bestowed upon humans so that they could thrive under His law. Since Tessa moved in, there was also a bedroll in the corner of the room, beside which rested a small lockbox containing most of her personal belongings. And, of course, there was Tessa.

    She was a young woman of twenty-two, though she often felt much older. The stresses and rigors of life had been quick to catch up with her, and her face had long since lost the energy of her youth. Bags seemed to be omnipresent beneath her eyes. She was a thin and waifish woman, not out of a particular desire to be so as much as a lack of the amount of food necessary to be anything else. Her long, fiery red hair was her most striking feature. Generally, especially as of late, she was described as average when it came to her appearance, and while she might bump that up to striking or even beautiful with a generous application of makeup and a bit of time and effort, it was a far cry from the days of her teens when all she needed for the same result some water, the proper accoutrements, and a few minutes.

    But that was okay by her, she had enough other things to worry about. That day, like the week before it, those things started with her morning routine. She stood up and stretched briefly, trying to work the soreness out of her muscles. Once she was satisfied with the amount of tension she had worked out, she slipped out of her nightgown and laid it on the desk. Clad in nothing but her birthday suit, she picked up her habit from its most recent home, the chair, and unfolded each piece individually in order to inspect the various items for stains and tears which would need cleaned or mended that she might have missed during a similar inspection the night before. When that was done, she got dressed, taking the time to put her hair in a bun so that it could easily be stowed away beneath the veil.

    Afterward, she unbarred the door and exited the room. The church hadn't been big on locks or keeping people out during the former minister's reign, but this had changed when Tessa had assumed control. He had lived in a house not far down the road, but she actually had to live inside the church for the time being and so a little extra safety was appreciated. Supposedly the previous conditions were part of his strategy toward pulling in more people to the faith. She had been told that he'd said if people could come and go at all times, take whatever they felt they needed, and those without homes could sleep within the main hall, then they would understand the gifts of Erion. Tessa couldn't say anything about the effectiveness of that particular plan, but it hadn't escaped her notice that the pews and the pulpit were firmly nailed down, and that the only other remaining pieces of furniture and items were either broken, nearly broken, or not valuable in some other way.

    She entered into a hallway, one end to her left side and the other to her right and the latter with another barred door on it. In addition to that door, there were three more including the one Tessa had just used. The layout was a bit of a peculiar point, if one were used to the more typical Elynsorian church. It was divided into the main hall, where worship was conducted, with a hallway behind that leading to two rooms, one of which was the office-slash-bedroom and another that Tessa had designated for storage, with another door off that hallway used to enter or exit the church without using the main doors. The stain glass windows, what few there were, were not original to the building and were found near windows of the more common variety, there weren't any meaningful building shapes or layouts, and there was nary a belfry in sight. It was also very small compared to most churches, and might seat fifty people if they were all willing to squeeze together. From what she had discerned via her questioning, most of those points could be attributed to the place not always having been a church--which might have also explained why there were a few points in the ceiling of the main hall that sagged so badly that only the most faithful would dare to sit in the pews beneath them.

    The door for the storage room happened to be further down the hallway on the same wall as the one she had just come from, and it was her target. It had an actual lock on it, the only one in the church and installed by a locksmith on her own personal funds, and so she had to retrieve her key, which she hung on her woolen belt, in order to open it. The room was disorganized and generally in bad condition, but for the moment it was her storage room. It held tools, food, and her personal items that were too large to store in her lockbox, and entirely through her own fault it was very disorganized.

    After several minutes of searching she got what she came for: food and a cup of water. The bread had become old and hard and was impossible to bite into without first dipping it into the water, she would have to consider shopping for more after her day's work was over. But she couldn't complain, as some food was better than none, and at least her headache had subsided after she had finished her water. After she had broken her fast, she entered into the main hall and opened the main doors. Nobody was waiting, but she was well used to that by now. On the bright side, it was another confessional day, and that meant that once she had swept the steps, done a little bit of dusting, and done a little bit of repair work on the building itself, at least she could relax a little while waiting for repentant worshipers who would never show up. Or so she had thought, as it turned out that stepping into the confessional would be the end of her average day.

    When the first confessor of the day had entered the booth, she expected him to be just like most others in the area. The various pagans and nonbelievers tended to misunderstand the purpose of the booth. Sometimes they came to complain or rant, one particularly drunken one thought it was a toilet, and a few others had considered the idea of confessing to something and needing to pay for the privilege preposterous and stormed out. Of course in the cases where they did pay her the money she collected it in the name of the church, whether they had misused the booth or not. But perhaps that's why her hopes went up when he correctly addressed her as Sister.

    "Erion is listening, brother," she responded softly. Most ministers would have used child, son, or daughter, or another honorific to signify that, while the priest would care and listen to them, they were beneath the one they were speaking to. In such a pagan place, however, Tessa had quickly discovered that a young nun referring to most potential converts or less than pious individuals with such titles was the quickest path to wounding their pride or otherwise angering them and driving them away from the church, so she had quickly adapted.

    Her hopes soon began to fade as his confession began though. She knew in her heart where this story was going. The man was surely a rapist or worst, and now he hoped to expunge himself by confessing. Though it was her duty, Tessa wasn't sure she could offer him forgiveness. When he told what had become of his daughter-in-law, of the slavers who had taken her, used her, raped her, and even broken her, she knew she couldn't forgive him. Erion surely wouldn't forgive such a monster. Erion wouldn't forgive his wife, who had obviously turned a blind eye on her wicked husband. Erion wouldn't forgive his son, who had so easily forgotten about his wife. Erion wouldn't even forgive his son's new wife, for lying with the whelp of a monster. Tessa would show him no forgiveness either.

    The red-haired nun ground her teeth as the man continued by defaming the woman he had sold off to slavers. She ground them until a pain shot through her gums and caused her to stop, although that hadn't taken too long as the former two years had left her teeth with far fewer points than they once had. When he was done, she wanted to scream her wrath at him... but she didn't do that. She could be patient in exacting her wrath. She could be patient in punishing this man for all his sins. Or at least she told herself she could, that she needed to, because she needed to prepare a punishment great enough for him and all his family.

    "Erion forgives those who seek it, brother, as long as they accept their penance," she forced herself to say. The teachings taught her to give him a number of prayers to say in penance for his crime, based on the severity. Sometimes a greater penance was called for, such as a humbling or performing acts that brought physical discomfort. They taught her that it wasn't her place to judge or condemn, that was Erion's alone. She found solace in none of those things at the moment, Tessa had something else in mind for him. "For your penance, visit and pray every morning for the next two weeks."

    And then she waited for the man to either respond or leave... except after the man left the church, she realized that truly she couldn't bear to wait even another day to punish him. Her mood swung into a violent and vengeful fury. She needed to act today, she needed to act then! Vengeance couldn't wait for such a loathsome beast! But how? She was not particularly strong, and unarmed even a drunken lout might easily overpower her, but an idea crossed her mind and she exited the confessional anyway. Upon confirming that nobody else was around, she would race toward the pulpit and attempt to pull the holy symbol of Erion off, but would fail as she discovered it was nailed down. With that plan gone, she rushed for the backroom, fumbling with her keys in order to unlock the door and then rushing inside, but it took her several minutes with all the clutter to find the tool she was after and by the time she had secured it to her habit and rushed back to the main hall and out the front door, the man might have already been long gone. If luck wasn't with her, maybe the man's justice would have to wait after all.
    Last edited by Hafnium; 12th March 2014, 10:44.

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      #3
      Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

      Status:
      Spoiler


      "Two weeks... I-I mean uhhh, y-yes, Sister. I'll be sure to!" promised the stranger in response to Tessa's suggestions, though he did so with obvious hesitance in his voice. Praying every morning for that span of time wasn't a terribly tall command for the more pious worshippers of Erion, especially as penance for such a sin, but the nun could easily tell that he was not one of them. She had encountered his 'type' before, and if he wasn't, he sounded just like them--the fair-weather believers. They came here because the peace of mind granted by their confessions were convenient for them, no doubt. Because Tessa's kind words and guidance drove the demons of their guilt away for the time being. But when everything went well with their lives, never again would she see such people in the chapel. They were the most common type of visitor in Cerawal.

      The man could be heard heaving a sigh of relief after admitting his darkest of secrets. He didn't sense even a tinge of hostility that seethed beneath the cleric's brittle facade, instead believing her words as nothing but those made from genuine kindness and forgiveness. "Again, really appreciate it. You didn't even, uh, try to judge me or... give me a naggin' lecture, or nothin'! Shuh, shame that they have ya take those vows o' chastity an' all that, or I'd say you'd make the perfect wife, heh! I mean, my ol' woman doesn't even listen to a damn thing I say. Instead, she's the one doin' all the talkin'! I'm just sayin', a guy's gotta be able to rant too, y'know? Anyway, I'll uh... I'll come visit ya sometime if I'm feelin' down. Somethin' about bein' here, even if it's my first time, makes me feel alright. Like I don't gotta worry anymore."

      Tessa then heard the creak of wood as the man sat up from the seat provided on the other side of the confession booth. Then, the door swing open, only to shut somewhat loudly after he stumbled out. Though he had finished his confession, the smell of alcohol still lingered in the cubicle. The cleric of Erion could hear the drunkard leave, step by step, thanks to his loud, plodding footfalls, though it would be difficult to keep track of his distance from the church once she began the frantic search for the tool she desired. As her mind spun with distress, the chapel lay eerily silent, with the only sounds being limited to those made from her hasty search; the clinking of her keys, the click and clack of her own shoes upon the floor, even her own burdened breathing. Once she did find the object she needed, however, and shot out the exit, she would find that he was already gone.

      Or so she thought. A look ahead and to the sides told her that the confessor wasn't in the immediate vicinity. But a glance down to the ground showed her something that might normally be upsetting--yet today, it was a blessing in disguise. Dirty shoeprints, left all over the floor of her chapel where he had walked, served as a dead giveaway for his position. Indeed, he had trudged rather carelessly through several muddy puddles formed from yesterday's rain on the way in, making an obvious mess in the process. But these were still relatively fresh, and should she follow them, Tessa wouldn't have to travel very far at all; perhaps only around a block at most, given the man's relatively slow speed. She would find him just around the corner, in a dark, filthy alleyway, of which Cerawal was known for having many of. There he was, leaning against a wall and making a horrible wretching sound as he vomited a few short bursts, only to wipe his mouth with his sleeve afterwards. "Huuuurrrkccckk... g-guhh," he muttered to himself, spitting out what he could.

      The drunk hadn't noticed her yet, leaving Tessa free to approach him however she wished.
      Last edited by Takimaru; 9th July 2013, 15:56.
      Developer of Despair Labyrinth and primary GM of the PbP.

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        #4
        Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

        The muddy prints must have been a blessing from Erion Himself. It was as sure a sign that this was what the god of order truly wanted as she had ever seen. Tessa could feel her heartbeat quicken as she followed that trail which seemed to be built just for her, carefully keeping her chosen tool out of sight as she went for fear that somebody might pass and notice the nun acting suspiciously. A mixture of nervousness and anticipation took root in her stomach. The redheaded nun felt so very light, as if she was connected to the actions of her body by only a strand. Vengeance for the girl who had been so wronged would be hers, and she would exact it thoroughly, if she could just see this first part through. None among the wretch's family would escape their rightful punishment, not the father, the mother, the son, nor even the new daughter-in-law.

        But when she came into the alleyway, she was equal parts terrified and gleeful. It was harder when she looked directly upon another human being, even one so foul as the drunkard, to want to enact her bloody punishment. Tessa was not emotionally unarmed though, and even the realization that she was considering murdering a human being wasn't enough to quell her vengeful rage in the end. Few might expect it from the unassuming nun, who had tried so hard to fit into her life among the most devout of Erion's followers, but her life before becoming a nun had left years of anger waiting beneath the surface, waiting for an outlet. There were few more perfect targets for her fury than this man.

        Her nervousness soon became a wicked smile as she surveyed him. She silently readied the tool she had grabbed for the purpose of ending the man's life. Even she would be able to handle this man, drunk and unaware as he was, so long as she made her first strike well enough. But, in her heart, Tessa knew that wouldn't be enough to offer her any respite from her anger at him. A quick death in an alley was too good for him, too easy an exit after what he had done. That he thought he could be forgiven simply by sitting in a private booth and saying his sins was absurd, and only highlighted how harsh a punishment he needed. He needed to go through worse, as the girl he sold had. Still, she was hardly strong enough to drag him back to the church and somebody might notice...

        An idea struck her, and she hid the instrument of his punishment behind her back. Tessa carefully masked her emotions as best she could, taking on a neutral expression. "Brother?" She asked of the vomiting man, all the while reminding herself to be patient, even remembering that some of the clergy would classify impatience as a sin. "I know this is a bit improper, but I came after you because I believe you left something at the church. There was a large bag of coins outside the confessional," she lied. "I did not touch it for fear that you might think me a thief, as it seemed very heavy with gold, but I wanted to make sure its rightful owner came and retrieved it as soon as possible." A very, very small part of her hoped that he said no, that he would either be honest or be the wrong person entirely and maybe that would give her a reason to let him go. Unfortunately for him, that part was completely dwarfed by the side of her that wanted him to unwittingly follow her to his own painful death, and that made it all the harder not to smile at the thought of venting her bloodlust on the worm before her.

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          #5
          Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

          Status:
          Spoiler


          The man remained blissfully ignorant to the bloodlust pooled up just beneath the surface of Tessa's fragile facade, unaware of the danger he was really in. His response to her query was delayed, showing that his reflexes and senses were still thoroughly impaired due to the sheer amount he had imbibed, despite his body's recent attempts to remedy the situation.

          "Huuwhhghh... is uh, is that you, Sister? Huhck..."

          He turned, looking up at her to show a familiar face, one that would instantly trigger a sudden rush of mixed memories. Whether or not it was the nun's mind playing tricks on her was difficult to tell. But either way, the man's visage--despite some minor changes thanks to age and wear--had taken on a form that she quickly recognized from her past. However, despite her identification of the alcoholic, he hadn't quite done the same for her, at least not yet. It might have been the habit, or the alcohol, if he hadn't already taken some sort of drugs to go along with it, but to him, she was just a nun.

          "Hohh... woow, you're actually kinda nice-lookin', heh... *hic* Reminds me of this one floozy I used ta know," he commented, pausing only to hear her out about the bag of coins. He paused, allowing the thoughts to sink in as the only natural outcome of such a proposal formed in his head.

          "Uh, yeah! Shit, you are really a saint, y'know that? Dunno how I woulda gotten home from here without my cash, ahehehh. Allllrighty, so it's still over there? I'll just go pick it up then if ya don't mind, and I gotta be able ta pay ya back for being so honest, thank Erion! *hic* Can you just uh, lend me a shoulder or somethin'... just a lil' off-balance today I guess." With a dirty right hand he reached for her shoulder, in an attempt to use her as support. He hadn't yet noticed what the cleric had been hiding behind her back, though that could change soon enough if she wasn't careful about how she handled such a request.
          Developer of Despair Labyrinth and primary GM of the PbP.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

            The nun's eye twitched. Floozy? The drunk's insults, slights, and sins seemed to pile up with each word out of his mouth. That his face was a familiar one did him no favors in her eyes. The memories of her life before becoming a nun weren't the most pleasant. Her parents had been kind and good to her, but after she had left their home she had fallen out of contact with them, and it was after she had left that everything had gone so poorly. She had ended up homeless and didn't want to face her family again for the shame. Even if she had wanted to reconnect, they were far away for a girl on foot with no access to horses or carriages or easy means of transportation. Every day was a degradation simply to survive, and she took up many vices simply to deal with the mental anguish of it all. It had been the church that had saved her from that homelessness and (most) of her pain. Her recognizing him from a time before the church would only deepen his eventual punishment.

            She was so lost in memories and bloodlust that his request to lean on her shoulder surprised her. "What? Her question carried an incredulous tone. Her first thought was outrage at the notion that she would offer him any support at all. That quickly changed when she realized how perilous a thread her opportunity for revenge was dangling on. "Oh. Yes! Yes, of course." The woman hastened closer to him, carefully keeping her back out of sight, so that he could not only put his hand on her but to put his arm around her shoulder. At least in that position she would have a better chance of keeping him looking straight ahead and lessen the risk of him figuring out what really awaited him back inside the church. She swiftly traded her chosen weapon to her other hand in order to support him with her newly freed limb.

            "It is the duty of all devoted to Erion to lend a man support when he needs it," she would say if he accepted the amount of support she was offering. She then took on a smile in which the only legitimate trace of happiness came from the prospect of torturing the drunkard until he begged for his own death. Behind that smile, she ground her teeth to keep her hatred from seeping out into her words. "Come then, let's retrieve your gold so that you can get back to your loving family," she suggested as she began to help him advance. Somehow, despite the fact that she very much intended to violently torture and exact judgment on the man, she couldn't help but find some annoyance that now she'd have to clean his dirty hand prints off of her habit and his shoe prints off of the floor of the church.

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              #7
              Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

              Status:
              Spoiler


              Rolls:
              Spoiler


              "Uohh, you're the best, Sister," remarked the man, already having tossed an arm around her shoulders even though she exhibited obvious hesitance in even supporting him. Either he was unaware of her internal conflict, or he simply didn't care, as he merrily trudged along with her help. She could feel him swaying from one side to another, threatening to throw her off-balance as they headed back towards the church, even if it seemed unintentional for the most part.

              Just before they turned the corner out of the alleyway, Tessa felt a slight groping sensation upon the upper part of her left breast for a brief moment, made by none other than the one she was helping. However, he made no lewd comments to go along with such a cheeky gesture, and it could have been possible that it was an accident--though given his previous behavior, it being intentional certainly wasn't out of the question. If she somehow did manage to keep herself from losing her temper from the action itself, she'd still have to deal with the fact that his grimy handprints were now upon her white coif and collar, making it look even more conspicuous.

              But none of the people in the street seemed to take extra notice, unless the redheaded cleric chose to make a scene of it. The pair hadn't even earned so much as a second glance from those about their daily business. All they saw was a nun helping what looked like a troubled soul move along, perhaps to help him clean up and find Erion as many did. Those who took a closer look behind her might have spotted the item she was carrying, but if they did, no one said a word. Though the city Tessa lived in wasn't quite as pious a city as the capital of Elynsor, the uniform she wore still had a way of commanding a certain amount of respect--and in turn hiding a certain amount of malice, much to her own convenience. It was effective enough on the one next to her, who looked completely oblivious to her hidden intent.

              Things appeared to be going smoothly enough, until a constable walking down the road took notice of the two, motioning for them to stop. The guard, dressed in mail, kept a hand firmly placed on his hip, not far from the loop of his swordbelt, exuding an aura of authority. He was considerably taller than Tessa, with skin only slightly touched by the sun and the same shade of red hair. Noticing the drunken stranger's haggard look, he raised a brow.

              "Everything alright here? It's a bit early to be drinking, isn't it?" Under the laws of Demilon Fiefdom, drunkenness in itself wasn't illegal per se, but it sometimes came hand in hand with public disturbances. City guards like the one who stopped them had to find ways to at least make it look like they were keeping the peace.

              "Ohh, yeahh, Sir... she's just ah, helping me back, no problems here, eheh," slurred the man supported by Tessa. Best not to alert any attention from officials if large sums of money were involved, especially if they weren't originally his.

              "Is this true?" The guard looked to the nun, taking her word over that of someone who was obviously intoxicated. "He isn't actually causing you any trouble, is he?"

              Provided she didn't bring anything else up, he would then nod and wave them along, trusting in her words. "Very well," was all that the constable would say before strolling off, only to steal a passing glance at their backs. However, a few careful moves by Tessa would ensure that her chosen weapon remained out of sight for both her potential victim and the city guard. It was a potentially nerve-wracking experience, but she was in the clear from then on.

              When they arrived at the chapel, the drunkard heaved a sigh of relief, for reasons that he would not share with the nun who assisted him, and then looked towards the confessional. "Whew! Alrighty, heh... sooo, where's the... err, my money? I oughtta give you a nice share of it for being so kind. It's only right," remarked the man.
              Developer of Despair Labyrinth and primary GM of the PbP.

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                #8
                Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

                The nun began to wonder if this man existed solely for the purpose of testing and further infuriating her. After everything else she had already endured, the lewd man -- no, creature was more fitting -- the lewd creature dared to grope her? Even revenge wasn't enough to hold her tongue. "Brother," she started through her teeth, having barely even made it a minute before she was grinding them again. "Your hand," she said as she paused, waiting for the drunkard to remove the offending appendage before continuing their journey. I'll cut it off later and feed it to you in a stew.

                Tessa was still seething over the latest offense when the guard noticed the drunk and her. Careful. Play it smoothly, you're almost there, she silently reminded herself as she forced herself to smile. "Yes, sir," she started, again using a deference that a cleric in a less pagan place wouldn't have needed. "No, sir, he's not troubling me at all. He asked for my assistance and I offered it willingly. You need not worry for me," she replied, mustering the will to widen her smile slightly. Indeed, the nun found herself completely calm as she responded even though she had every reason to be nervous. Despite that a single glance at the wrong moment from this guard, a small mistake on Tessa's part, another of the drunk's despicable actions, or any combination of the three could blow her cover, an easy serenity covered her simmering rage without a trace of fear or concern to be found. She had actually begun to convince herself that Erion wanted this man punished.

                It was probably only the calm that allowed her to successfully hide her weapon from the constable as he passed them, which was fortunate as it was truly a weapon. Its blade was thin and intended for thrusts, though it still had an edge to allow for some slashing, and it had a swept hilt with a plain grip and a lightweight pommel similar in shape to an acorn, though for the moment it was still in its scabbard. The first time in years that she'd had any coin to her name and it had been the first thing she had purchased, even coming before food. She had been in such a rush that she took the merchant's advice at face value and ended up buying an overpriced sword of cheap make. Ironically enough, her rush had been because she wanted it for self defense.

                As she calmly entered the church with the drunk man still leaning on her shoulder, she knew that soon the weapon would find a new purpose. She momentarily felt as if her every day spent in the church had been leading up to that moment. "Hm?" She made the noise in response to the drunkard's inquisition about where the money was. The adrenaline was beginning to pump through her veins and it felt like she was getting drunk on a form of twisted giddiness and anticipation at the man's coming punishment. "Oh, I'm so absentminded. I bet I nudged it inside the confessional so that nobody picked it up while I tried to find you. Why don't you check in there?" She struggled to keep her rising glee from entering her voice as she asked.

                And if he moved to do as she said and made the fatal mistake of turning his back on her one last time, he likely wouldn't even get the chance to survey the interior of the confessional he was knocked into unconsciousness by the pommel of her still sheathed sword being smashed into his undefended temple with all the strength the malnourished and increasingly psychotic nun could offer.

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                  #9
                  Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

                  Status:
                  Spoiler


                  Rolls:
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                  "Huh? Oh, sor-ree, ehheh... wasn't thinkin'," uttered the stumbling alcoholic, and after a slight delay, he finally slid his hand from over Tessa's bust, though in doing so he left the filth from his hands plain to see upon the previously unblemished white collar of her outfit. Luckily, the sentry who had stopped them thought little of it. The square-jawed individual was apparently not one with an eye for as much in the way of fine details, and simply didn't care to be from the way that his expression relaxed given the excuse fed to him. That, combined with the appropriate politeness of Tessa's response and his own failure to spot what was truly wrong with the scene, led him to move on in good time, allowing the nun to continue unhindered.

                  ~~~~~

                  Tessa's inner turmoil went completely unnoticed by the one next to her. Of course it did--the man's concerns regarding her well-being, if any, paled in comparison to the reward he would soon claim. Surely it must have been Erion's will that he be compensated for actually bothering to go to confession, and he wasn't to be shy about receiving it. As such, he turned his back on the cleric without hesitation, his eyes settled on the right door of the confessional.

                  And though the first gait he took was a bit quicker than what Tessa might have anticipated, a proper lunge forward on the nun's part ensured that she would still manage to deliver a good strike with the pommel of her weapon, one that she could simply feel to be an effective one. She didn't even need to look to know the results; the inebriated victim collapsed on the ground in an instant, his body nearly lifeless enough to make a convincing death, with his legs crossed over one another. A quick check would reveal to Tessa that the man's somewhat heavy frame was frozen stiff from the knockout.

                  But while she had found success in the first step, time was already working against her. A look back revealed that the doors to her chapel were left halfway open. Did she forget to close it as she entered due to the anticipation that had built up to the moment of the assault? Did someone open it only to see the grisly scene and leave in a hurry? It was difficult to tell for sure in the brief excitement of it all. Either way, she needed to get it closed again before binding the unconscious fellow properly and carrying out the plan she had in mind.

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                  Last edited by Takimaru; 5th August 2013, 21:40.
                  Developer of Despair Labyrinth and primary GM of the PbP.

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                    #10
                    Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

                    Once the blow was delivered, Tessa eyed the man's unconscious form for a few moments. Her heart was racing and there were a lot of thoughts rushing through her head. What if she didn't do it right? What if he was going to jump up at any second and attack her for what she'd done? What if she had accidentally killed him? Was this right? He was a human being, after all, even if he was a rotten one. This should have bothered her, right?

                    But with every second that he didn't rise and every second that she simply watched his unconscious form, those thoughts faded. They were consumed by the sense of giddiness that had been rising in her chest earlier, and as her adrenaline began to die down they changed to a mixture of nervousness and anticipation. Not the nervousness of being caught, but rather wondering what she would do and what she would say and what vengeance she would take upon him once he regained consciousness--if he regained consciousness. It was a feeling that she could only compare to the very first time she'd ever been asked on a date, so many years before she became a nun. Tessa giggled in the presence of the unconscious drunk, what a feeling to have for a man she would see scattered into a thousand pieces and fed to wolves.

                    That feeling only lasted long enough for her to begin taking stock of her situation, however. Upon noticing the open doors, the nun cursed her lack of forethought. Someone might have already seen her and been rushing to get a guard. There wasn't much to be done about it now though; she could only play the hand that Erion dealt her. Quickly stirring herself into action, she rushed to close and bar the doors just in case the town watch would be knocking on them soon. As an additional precaution she barred the other outside entrance as she passed by it in order to get some rope and a sheet. She might have used that sheet to cover the few windows the main hall did have, if she'd felt she had the time, but at the moment getting her captive secure and into the locked room was priority one.

                    When she arrived at the man's side with the sheet and rope she immediately went to work, tying the drunkard as securely as possible. She would also check for a pulse, but even if the man didn't have one the only difference in her actions would be that she wouldn't bother tying him. She had no talent for rope knots or tying others, so she substituted for that by making the knots as tight as she could without regard for his well-being. Once he was secured, she spread the sheet on the ground and attempted to roll him onto it. With any success, she would be able to use the sheet as a means of both keeping him from spreading anymore of his filth onto the interior of the church and to lessen the difficulty of her efforts to drag him into the only room with a proper lock.

                    Assuming she managed to get him in without any further interruptions or danger, she would then proceed to empty the room of almost everything but the man himself and relocate the various tools and supplies into her already cramped bedroom-slash-office. If she succeeded in that without interruption, then all that would be left to do was to lock the man in the newly emptied room and then clean up all evidence that he'd ever been in the church. Then, if no guards came rushing in, she would just have to reopen the church and proceed throughout the rest of the day as normal, and in the meantime try to keep her excitement down for the night ahead.

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                      #11
                      Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

                      Status:
                      Spoiler


                      When she looked at him, Tessa's fallen victim did none of the things she imagined him doing in her mind's worst-case scenarios. He didn't jump to his feet, nor was he actually dead, as a check for a pulse or a heaving chest would confirm that he was, in fact, still alive. Instead, he only lay silently. For once, he wasn't rambling, making lewd attempts at advances towards her, or wheezing his alcohol-laced breath everywhere, though he still reeked a bit. It allowed the nun a short window of opportunity to hurry towards the front doors to close them.

                      Once she reached the entrance, a glance outside revealed that there was no one fleeing the scene, at least that she could see, with the only people in the vicinity appearing to be passing by and about as interested as most of Cerawal's citizens were in the chapel itself--that is, not at all. Even as she barred the entrances, no one came along to question her activities, nor did they even bother knocking. It served as a grim reminder of sorts that Tessa would be without help if some unruly individuals thought to raid her little chapel, but on the other hand, there wouldn't be anyone to assist the man laying on the floor. Perhaps it was Erion's will that he be punished, after all.

                      There were several windows on each side of the main chapel, but they were set rather high and covered only in stained glass, which effectively hindered most if not all would-be toms from peeping inside, while serving to allow the entry of a fair amount of sunlight into the hall. It spared Tessa the trouble of having to cover those as well, and she blocked each entrance in good time. The building's design granted her much in the way of convenience, as another look to the floor would show that she had a lot of cleaning up to do; the drunkard had left no small amount of muddy shoeprints in his trip to and from the confessional. He made no struggle--or rather was unable to--when she tied him up, only stirring slightly as if genuinely asleep.

                      However, after she brought him to the room and began to clear it out, he finally came to, just a few minutes later. The scraggly alcoholic flickered his eyes open, squinting them, then surveyed the relatively empty chamber around him with a bewildered look. "What, uh... w... what's goin' on?" he asked in a weak voice, though still clearly inebriated despite the very sobering nature of the situation he found himself in. He then frowned, realizing that he was tightly bound only after his initial survey of his surroundings. Night had not fallen yet, but Tessa's victim was now awake. Keeping him quiet the entire day might be a challenge, especially if someone were to come in. She could gag him, but it wouldn't keep those inside the church from hearing him if he tried to squeal out somehow.

                      But Erion was with Tessa that day, or so it appeared, with no one coming to her the rest of the afternoon. It was a fairly common event, and she could even enjoy a meal in relative peace and solitude, save for the occasional whine from the crude man. While it might have felt like a longer time than it really was, thanks to the tension involved in such an activity, nightfall finally came. The cleric could then do as she pleased with the sinner who had arrived at her doorstep that morning. For someone who never had control over another in such a direct fashion before, the anticipation of what lay ahead provided an understandably exciting feel for the redhead.
                      Developer of Despair Labyrinth and primary GM of the PbP.

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                        #12
                        Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

                        A brief burst of nervousness and a desire to turn back before it was too late overtook Tessa when the bound man came to so quickly -- after all, she didn't knock people out often and had no idea how soon victims of such usually regained consciousness -- but it was gone just as fast. This drunkard wasn't even a human in her eyes, why should she feel guilt? Why should she feel any remorse for what she was about to do after he had admitted to his own terrible crimes? She simply ignored the nagging voice in her head telling her to stop before she did something that she could never truly wash her hands of. The vengeful nun was in total control here, and the sinner would be punished to the full extent for his transgressions.

                        "Your penance of course, brother," she ended up replying once she had regained enough control of herself to do so. The words inspired more confidence in her, and in doing so cemented her determination to continue down the path she was already on. Her lips spread into a sickly sweet smile that didn't even begin to reach her eyes as she stared at the helpless man, and in a tone more cruel than any she had used with him to that point she added; "So shut up or I'll cut your tongue from your mouth and feed it to you as your first meal here." Then, with that same smile, she ripped off a piece of the cloth she had used to drag him into the room, balled it up, stuffed it into his mouth, and then finished the work of emptying the room of any potential escape implements. Once that was done, she locked the door and left him there in darkness.

                        The rest of the day was spent almost as if Tessa didn't have a man whom she intended to gruesomely torture locked in her church. She cleaned up the filth he had left, silently plotting at how she would go about enacting his penance as she did so. Once the evidence that he had even been in the church was gone, she reopened the doors to the public, finding nobody, which didn't surprise her but did relieve some of her remaining worries. As night came closer, she almost forgot that the drunk was even present in the building outside of the noises he occasionally made, and she hummed a merry little tune to herself as she got lost in the business of attempting to repair parts of the building. Once the sun had gone and night was truly upon them and she locked up the church, however, there was only one thing on Tessa's mind: the drunkard's penance.

                        She skipped her meal and instead first visited her bedroom-slash-office-slash-new storage area in order to change into the lone set of casual clothing she kept, a simple shirt and pair of pants in the style of the peasants of Elynsor, so that she wouldn't get any blood on her habit in what was to come. The nun also grabbed her sword, a construction hammer, and took a quick swig for courage from a flask still a quarter-full of her own little transgression against the church (along with the usual cause of her morning headaches) that she stored in her private lockbox. With her preparations as complete as she imagined they could be, she reminded herself once more that the man clearly deserved what she was about to do and that there was no turning back anyway and then unlocked the door and entered the room.

                        "Hello again, brother," she started as she entered the room she had stowed the drunk man in, her voice lacking any trace of the kindness or courtesy she had forced earlier. The nun began to circle him, simultaneously watching him suspiciously and trying to steel herself for the bloody toll she intended to extract from him for his crimes. Once she had gathered the resolve to make her fellow human being suffer, she pulled the gag from his mouth and continued. "Do you know why you're here?"

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                          #13
                          Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

                          Status:
                          Spoiler


                          As Tessa went about her day, one seemingly like any other--save for the new 'guest' locked in her new makeshift prison--she could hear a few muffled attempts at grunts and screams, which just barely penetrated the wall separating the man from the main portion of the chapel. Whenever she gave a hint of opening the door, however, he would quiet down immediately, and at times the helpless drunkard would stop on his own. It was easy to get an idea of his thought processes, the journey between realms of hope, despair, guilt and anger... all based on the sounds he made alone. But when the day came to a close, the nun knew that all of that would be under her control now. It was a feeling she hadn't tasted very often, if at all; the feeling of having absolute dominion over another.

                          "Huuuhh... hrmmff!" he squeaked, eyes wide as she entered the chamber. When the fiery-haired cleric yanked the gag from her captive's mouth, she would find it soggy with his phlegm. He looked like even more of a mess than before, tears having carved clean trails down his dirty face. While he was yet to suffer physically, he had no doubt managed to suffer emotionally--that, or he was very convincing in making it seem like he did.

                          After a few bouts of sputtering and coughing, the drunkard finally managed summon his voice. Instead of protests, however, there were only pleas now. Tessa's initial question went fully ignored for the sake of the man's blubbering request. "P-Please... I... I have a family, a-and, everything I've done was for THEM! You can't do this to me... uuhuhuhuuu, kuhhhkkk! Did... did someone pay you to do this? Whatever they paid you, I'll give you even more! Double! No, triple, even! I-I have ways of finding the money, I swear..."

                          He kept his gaze glued on her intently, hoping to extract even the smallest drop of sympathy from the nun. "I mean, aren't you a cleric of Elynsor? They wouldn't do something like this, r... r-right? What happened to forgiveness?! I said... I said my penance already! WHY AM I HERE?!" Though it was phrased somewhat differently, Tessa ultimately got her answer; clearly, he had no idea why he was there.
                          Developer of Despair Labyrinth and primary GM of the PbP.

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                            #14
                            Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

                            It remained difficult not to feel another few pangs of uncertainty and guilt as the man begged and pleaded with her, as Tessa was only human. Her latest feelings of trepidation wouldn't save him anymore than her earlier such leanings would though, as outside of the doubt she felt coldness and rage and, unfortunately for the drunkard, he was not a charismatic or wise enough man to feed anything but her anger toward him. By the time he had finished, he had only managed to further cement his own fate for the night.

                            "Yes..." she began, creeping closer to him as she trailed off. "You do have ways of finding money, don't you, brother? You told me that earlier in the confessional, if you recall." She dropped her sword to the ground behind her with a clatter and shoved it away with her foot. It wasn't something she would have done if she hadn't been growing more confident in the power she had over the drunk, but the longer he remained subject to her whims the bolder she grew. As her rage built and the desire to inflict terrible pain upon him was becoming too overwhelming to suppress, it was beginning to feel good to have the wretch at her mercy, and, more importantly, to have the power to enact retribution on him.

                            "How much would your new daughter-in-law fetch, I wonder? I bet I could eat well with the gold you'd bring me after selling her. We could both profit from her misery..." She gripped the hammer tightly in her hand as she paused and stalked to the side of the man's legs. In fact, she gripped the handle of the tool so tightly that she wouldn't have been surprised to see the shape of her fingers imprinted into the wood. "But I digress, as that's only partially relevant to why you're here. I can tell that you're not very pious and woefully ignorant at that. You've obviously never read the books of what trials and tribulations men have suffered in order to redeem themselves for doing wrong in the eyes of Erion, and I would say that you aren't even half the man that most of the men in those tales were. So I will have to educate you, starting with your first lesson..." she slowly dropped into a crouch beside the drunk's legs. "Unless I tell you otherwise, I am asking the questions here."

                            And then she lashed out in a violent and terrible rage, finally too overwhelmed by it to hold back any longer. She raised her hammer and then struck him in his right kneecap. Then she did it again. And again. There was no delicacy to her actions and certainly no subtlety or mercy. Tessa was simply lashing out at the drunk. Her blows had no accuracy at all even before the thrashing and flailing he likely resorted to once she had begun physically attacking him, and she probably struck him in his upper and lower leg and even his other leg as many times as she hit her intended target. Half of the blows she managed to deliver against his knee deflected and ended up doing as much damage to the floor as they did to him. But while she wasn't a terribly strong woman, the weight on the head of the hammer and the sheer amount of bludgeoning his surroundings and him had suffered would end up leaving his knee pulverized and probably broken. Several more blows after that the nun would finally gain enough control over herself to stop herself and return to her feet.

                            She surveyed the result of her efforts, a little horrified at what she had done, a little excited at punishing the drunken wretch, and very much out of breath from the physical exertion of it all. "Now, let's try again. Why are you here?" Tessa coldly asked the now-beaten man again, still without any intent of giving him any hint as to what he might say to appease her.

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                              #15
                              Re: An Empty Confessional (Hafnium) GMed by Takimaru

                              Status:
                              Spoiler


                              "I... yes, I do! B-Back at my house, I have, ah, property I can sell!" he exclaimed abruptly, practically interrupting Tessa as she confirmed that she heard his initial offer correctly. "Like I said, i-if it's money you want, I--hauuhhgh!" he cried out, startled by the noise that the nun's sword made as it hit the floor. Making a face, he cringed sharply, as if the sound itself had injured him. Just as Tessa began to enjoy the power she had over the unfortunate man, she could sense him shrinking away beneath the overwhelming pressure. It was no secret to him now that she had a weapon of sorts. While sobering, the realization had its own way of inducing a different kind of panic in the man. The facade he first wore into the church began to crumble away to reveal the pathetically small man underneath it all, making it that much easier for Tessa to get drunk off of the feeling.

                              But when she began to speak again, he also raised his voice, still clinging onto the frail hope that he might be able to talk his way out of the dilemma. "W-Wait... my daughter-in-law...?" For once, he appeared to hesitate. As if his newest in-law somehow had more worth than the first, that she would be someone he truly could not sell off.

                              Then, he finally spotted the hammer in the woman's grasp, and everything changed. His eyes widened as the trickle of cold sweat rolled down the sides of his face, the fear serving as a catalyst for his values to rearrange themselves. "Nonononono, I... I mean, yes! I can sell her! I'll get as much gold as you need! Please, just, have mercy," he pleaded yet again, his gaze gluing itself to the steel head of her weapon.

                              "Hiiiiiihhh... please don't, please don't! I can be! I can be one of those men in the tales! I can change!" he cried, trying to convince the crimson-haired nun that he could indeed one day compare himself to the redeemed men in the tales of the Iriadei, Erion's holy book. Even the most patient of clerics might have raised a brow at such a claim. But for Tessa, it was simply proof that he hadn't read a single word of it. Now he was just saying something, anything to satisfy her.

                              As she lowered herself near his legs, he went quiet, save for the occasional whimper from his shivering frame. He intended to listen wholeheartedly to whatever 'lessons' she had to give. Perhaps, if he behaved properly, he would be let free... wouldn't he? He had to cling onto that single ray of hope. A slight smile even returned to his face as he looked into her eyes, carrying with him a newfound determination to heed the woman's first lesson.

                              His mistake, however, was in assuming it to be a verbal one. His foolish hope was enough of a sin to earn him swift punishment--which would soon come in the form of a brutal hammer blow to his knee. Not one, but two. Then three. With each dull strike, Tessa could feel the gradual caving in of bone, its structural integrity weakening by the second. On the fourth blow, she felt considerably less resistance, with the softening crunch of the striking surface confirming for her that she had indeed broken his knee into pieces.

                              It was a new, potentially intoxicating feeling for anyone who had a drop of sadistic tendencies laying within. He shrieked in pain, holding nothing back as his cries pierced Tessa's ears, no doubt extending well past the wooden walls of the room.

                              "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHHH!!! HYAAAAGGGHGHHHHHH! NOOOOOO!!! SAH... STTOOOOPPP! FUH... FOR THE LOVE OF ERION!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHGGHHH... huuuuhh... huuuukkkhh... n-no, p-please... AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!"

                              By the time she finished, she had felt at least several good cracks. The drunkard's lower leg was caved in at some points and slightly bent, hinting that it wasn't just his kneecap that had taken some damage. Additionally, a few tears in the fabric of his trousers would show a bit of black and blue underneath, his skin discolored from the repeated strikes.

                              The reality of the situation finally hit the drunkard. This mysterious cleric had no qualms about inflicting the most severe of injuries upon him. He couldn't reason with her, nor was he in a state of mind to calmly answer her questions anymore. He had to escape... to find help somehow. Taking a deep breath in, he paused before releasing a blood-curdling scream. "HEEEEEEEEEEEELP! S-She's... she's going to kill me! HEEEEEEEEEEEEELPPPPPP!! SOMEBODY!" It was clear that his intent was to get the attention of somebody from the neighboring buildings, hoping that they would investigate the source of the disturbing calls. From where she was, Tessa could easily silence him, but she had to act fast before somebody nearby did wake up.
                              Last edited by Takimaru; 10th November 2013, 07:34.
                              Developer of Despair Labyrinth and primary GM of the PbP.

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