|Vittorio with his (s)Maul.|
In Which Magic First Invades the World
Game Summary for Echoes Book 02 S01E01(played on August 30, 2014)
PIACENZA - CELEBRAZIONE DI NAVI DI PENTI
LARISSAIt is time. I hope everyone else is on schedule--
VITTORIOYou are under arrest! Put down that statue; we know what you are trying to do.
LARISSAYou cannot stop the shadow!
Mara Conti smacks her down, Larissa Deluca shrieking in protest. Vittorio restrains her with binders, while Mara sweeps the room. Deeming it safe and otherwise unoccupied, she heads back out to join Baldesario Greco and the rest of their team in searching the locus.
LARISSANo! This is a mistake! Let me go! You have to let me go!
VITTORIOWhy? What are you waiting for? Make it easy on yourself and tell us.
She spits at him, struggling. Then, inexplicably, she begins to laugh.
IL PICCOLO DI OFICIO DI MUSICA, DISTRETTO DI CULTURA
MAN 1Who are you? Who is here?
Dolce slips away in shadows, as she was trained. The man sees that the statue is missing.
MAN 1(shouting) No! No!
He runs up toward the roof. Dolce shadows him, hoping he will call the guard inside, and she can sneak out the way she came, while they check the more accessible ground-level door.
MAN 1Cirocco! Cirocco!
He shakes a flat vial, waking the fish inside and causing them to glow. It is larger but otherwise identical to Dolce's, which is a tool exclusive to the thieves' guild. Thankfully, her stealth training holds, and she takes the opportunity to note the distinctive scar on his face.
GUARD 1(from outside)
Are you all right? I'm sorry, I cannot open the door, the combination--
MAN 1Fool! We are doomed, do you understand?!
(whispering in dread) We are doomed.
IN THE SKIES
CESAREWe need height. We're still just seeing the Science building--
RINALDO(irritated) I know we need height!
CESAREIs there a problem, Rinaldo?
RINALDOYes, I don't know how to fly this thing! Look around and figure out how!
Cesare obeys and delightedly discovers the navigational console--a wondrous thing that uses intricately-veined leaves, backlit to display several choices of maps--as well as:
CESAREThe controls! Those, there, are the controls! Go! Go, and do the control thing!
RINALDOWhat do I do?
CESAREBut how do these leaves show these maps? Are we saying that nature--? No, it cannot be. But then who did the micro-mapping? Could they have grown this?
RINALDOAll plants are grown. Now what do I do?!
Following more of the now-becoming-typical Cesare-Rinaldo productive confusion, they eventually manage to get moving and fly over the Diplomacy district.
CESAREThis is brilliant. I never want to leave this ship.
RINALDOYou'd probably have to, because we don't have much food.
CESAREBut we could map the entirety of Piacenza-- Do you see that?!
RINALDONo, because you're hogging the viewing mirrors.
CESAREHere, look--see that rectangular building? It is not on the map. As far as I know, it is not on any map. Like the island in Gran Lunga, Rinaldo, do you think--
RINALDOCesare. The canals are turning green.
For a second, they see a flash of red. There seems to be something glowing red in the clouds.
OVRINO FETE, DISTRETTO DI CULTURAPio bursts in the door to the locus, the noise going unheard beneath a tremendous cheer emanating from the harbor. There is a man within, facing an ominous shadow figure. Pio expertly attacks the man, while Viatriz tries to comprehend what the shadow is saying.
Pio takes the man down. Unnoticed, part of the chalk pentagram on the floor is scuffed in the fight. The shadow reaches out and grabs hold of both men. They struggle to get free.
VIATRIZStop, I command you! Anhalten, ich euch gebiete! Parada, que yo te mando! Arrêtez, je vous commande! Durdur, I komut! Bari, na umarce ka!
The other man breaks loose, while Pio is abruptly pulled into the shadow.
VIATRIZ(in a certain language)
Stop! Return him. You will return him, mind and body, now!
IL PICCOLO DI OFICIO DI MUSICA, DISTRETTO DI CULTURA
Dolce's purloined statue begins to emit a powerful coldness. The dejected doomsayer having trudged downstairs, she hurriedly picks the rooftop lock from within and yanks it open, causing the hapless guard to tumble inside. She bulls past him, locking the men in.
Now she's effectively trapped on the roof, refusing to chance pole-walking while carrying a statue that is evidently capable of quite unexpected behavior, not to mention the additional distraction of red skies and what she presumes to be one of the Transportation airships.
Deciding that necessity outweighs secrecy, she wildly hails the airship.
DELUCA LOCUSThe statue Vito confiscated from Larissa is also pouring off waves of cold. She keeps laughing.
VITTORIOStop it! What are you trying to do?
THE BITTEN MAN FROM VITO'S DREAMSIt's too late. We are all coming back.
MARADamn it, get out!
BALDESARIOTake her! Everybody, out!
SOVRINO FETE, DISTRETTO DI CULTURA
Pio's body is flung out of the smoke, which then envelops Via instead.
IN THE SKIES
CESAREThere is a person on that rooftop--
RINALDODolce! That's Dolce!
They fire a unit of their payload at the rooftop. It looks like a large pod of wheat, which opens, releases chaff, then twists, beginning to be pulled along by the airship. Caught between being imperiled and stuck, or imperiled and at least mobile, Dolce grabs hold and is shortly dangling over the water, the pod in one hand and the freezing, smoking statue in the other.
CESAREWhat is she doing?!
RINALDOI don't know what she's doing! She's a model!
CESARECan you retract it? She's going to kill herself!
The airship swerves, and the smoke from the statue rises into Dolce's face.
CESAREUh, Rinaldo? I think your woman has-- She fell in the water, I think.
Despite Rinaldo's dismay, they quickly realize they will never be able to find her in enough time to perform their task. They proceed to the Culture harbor and release their payload.
Then the roof of the airship is ripped off, and they glimpse an obsidian dragon as they fall.
SOVRINO FETE, DISTRETTO DI CULTURA - VIOLAZIONE +2
Via wakes, painfully struggling to breathe. She pulls out the healing potion her mother forced on her--it's gleaming. She unstoppers it and sips a bit--finding even its consistency altered, to that of honey--and instantly feels better, as well as able to see in the dimness.
VIATRIZI'm hallucinating. But it's working; I'm breathing-- Pio!
He's not moving. She dribbles some potion; it restores healthy color where it touches.
VIATRIZDon't mind those wails and screams from outside; I might just be hallucinating them anyway. Let me help you up, and we'll go see if others were affected--
Her hand passes through him.
PIOI cannot touch you.
VIATRIZI cannot touch you, either, but it might be hallucination, so let's not panic--
The entire under-stage shudders.
VIATRIZLet's go. We have to go. We'll think about it once we're safer.
VIATRIZWait, there you are! Look, right there is your body-- Obviously, there's a scientific explanation as to why you are here, and your body is there, and we will think about it later, but for now, just go back. Go back to your body.
He tries, but only suffers severe pain.
PIOWhy--? What is happening? I'm dead--
VIATRIZNo, because obviously you're talking to me--
PIONo, if I'm dead, or even if I'm just--vaporous--then I won't be hurt, even if the stage collapses. So you go, since I can't. Come back for me when it's safe.
She goes, to find a horrific, pitiable scene. The grand floor is strewn with dead people, as well as dazed, confused, and still-panicking people. Her mother is standing in the orchestra pit.
VIATRIZMother? Are you all right?
AZURRAThe music stopped.
VIATRIZAre you hurt? I have that potion you gave me--
AZURRAI am all right, but the music stopped. There must be music; it is my job.
VIATRIZWe will resume the program later, Mother--
Shaking off Via's hand, Azurra raises her conductor's baton--and music plays.
IL PICCOLO DI OFICIO DI MUSICA, DISTRETTO DI CULTURA - VIOLAZIONE +10
Dolce is unconscious, sinking deeper down into the water. Then her eyes open, and at the sides of her throat, gills flare. All but effortlessly, she shoots up to the surface. Just as easily and swiftly, she glides to the nearest landing and begins to clamber up.
A long, filmy-fringed piscene tail slaps against the embankment.
She just reels in shock for some moments, before noticing that plants have begun to spring up around her. She swims quickly away, past several floating corpses and debris from various buildings. She ducks underwater, seeing perfectly clearly--though she doesn't realize that she shouldn't--and finds, instead of the statue she was hoping for, even more plants.
Something begins to form in her mouth, and she coughs up a particularly lustrous pearl. She swims back toward the plant and thwacks the pearl at it with her tail. The plant immediately shrivels--but then another plant instantly sprouts in its place.
DELUCA LOCUS - VIOLAZIONE +30
VITTORIOMara! Where are you?
Vito sees only red and white. He blinks--and his eyes shift subtly, allowing him to see clearly.
MARAI can't breathe. I can't see.
VITTORIOI see you. There's something on top of you. Wait, I'll try--
Despite his feeling of great heaviness, Vito hauls himself upward. He notices a hand beside him, about four times larger than a regular human hand. It moves when he moves.
He blinks, and sees in red and white.
VITTORIOThe plant. It must be that stupid plant again.
He blinks again, and his eyesight returns to normal. Ignoring the apparent hugeness of his muscular arms and hands, he begins to pull debris off of Mara--and realizes that the reason she can't see is because there is nothing but smooth flesh where her eyes ought to be.
MARAThe plant? Then I'm not blind?
VITTORIOI don't think so, because it's like I'm impossibly enormous, and it can't-- Oh, no.
MARAWhat is it?
VITTORIOIt's Greco. His tongue has swollen-- I don't understand-- He's dead.
LARISSA(muffled) Help me! Help me!
Vito first takes Mara outside, where he finds more corpses, and people wandering around in shock and distress. There is a man cradling the body of a dead child. There is another man writhing helplessly on the street, as if in an epileptic fit, because his head is that of a squid's.
IN THE SKIES
Cesare is looking at a map, which he soon realizes is not a map, because he's actually gazing down at Cultura, because he's flying. There are beautiful feathered wings at his shoulders.
CESAREHal--hal--lucinating. Yes. Stomp my feet-- I can't stomp my feet. Apparently you cannot stomp your feet when you are flying. I would like to go down, please.
He is able to figure out the appropriate muscle group to move to head downward.
He looks around, and fairly easily finds a plant that has grown to the monstrous height of over two storeys. Around its base, there are human limbs, trapped, and, near the top, Rinaldo. He clumsily but successfully climbs through the air toward him.
His muscles are aching, and he notices that blood is trickling from his back. He hastily decides to land on the plant near Rinaldo. His wings then vibrate tremendously--and the seagull that was somehow plastered against his back falls off, dead. His wings vanish.
CESARERinaldo! Wake up!
Entangled, Rinaldo sees Cesare clambering toward him, but the plant is starting to entwine him as well. Gradually being constricted, Rinaldo can only manage to fumble in his pocket.
CESAREWell, it's good you're awake, because we're both about to be eaten!
Rinaldo draws an acidic tuber from his pocket, scratches its skin, and scrubs it against the plant. Then he is standing, or floating, elsewhere, with a representation of the enemy plant behind him and a detailing of the tuber's root system in front of him. He moves the tuber image on top of the plant image--and the massive plant dies. They carefully climb down.
As they do, several more plants sprout into existence.
CESARENo, no-- Stomp my feet. Stomp your feet, Rinaldo.
RINALDOHere, take some of this; it's Clearmind.
As Cesare's mind clears from the herbal remedy, his body takes on the appearance of glass. He drops the Clearmind and returns to normal, but more plants bloom around them.
SOVRINO FETE, DISTRETTO DI CULTURA
GUARD 2You have no clearance here! Can't you see something terrible has happened?
VIATRIZWhich is why I would like to help. I am Viatriz Portinari; I'm just trying to--
GUARD 2We don't need your help. For all we know, you could be the cause of this.
VIATRIZI am not. But if you have everything under control, then I will leave you be.
Via walks respectfully away. The guard's face turns red, and two knobs protrude from his forehead. He attacks her! She is barely able to block his blow. He pins her arm.
VIATRIZGet off me!
He lets go of her.
VIATRIZI will not be assaulted; I'm a Portinari! If you don't need my help, just stay there.
He stays. Via returns to Pio, not quite aware of what she has just done.
PIOI've tried so many things. If you can find Aless, between us, maybe--
VIATRIZI was thinking--the last thing I said, when you were unconscious--I was commanding the shadow, in a language. What if I ordered you back to your body, in that same language? Do you think it might help?
PIOI'm willing to try anything.
VIATRIZI don't want to hurt you, but I think we should try, because strange and terrible things are happening. I was assaulted by a guard, can you imagine?
Incensed, Pio simply slips into his body, and marches out onto the grand floor.
It turns out that Pio can enter his body when possessed by some strong emotion, but then becomes something of a mindless brute within it. Via can only stop him by ordering him back out of his body, and moving in and out proves to be an enervating endeavor. They come up with a cautious plan for Via to follow Pio out, in hope of finding Aless.