~Beyond the Border~ > Rumia's Party Games

Murasa Quest Continues 3 - A Z-Machine Adventure

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It's Purvis!:

>YOU ARE MINAMITSU MURASA! Everyone’s favorite nautical disaster!
>You are, to put it bluntly, dead. You’ve been that way most of your life, really and are used to it. In particular, you died at sea, and spent a good long time haunting and sinking ships. But that was a long time ago and you don’t do that sort of thing anymore. Not in any sense that counts… These days, you inhabit the Myouren Temple, doing your best to adhere to its brand of buddhism. You aren’t the best monk, to be honest, but you do your best and that earns you praise enough. Realistically, you tend to do various jobs around the temple, or sometimes work in the clinic in Former Hell. Other times to you wander about, sometimes inviting yourself to drop in the various manors in Gensokyo when they’ll have you.
>Today began like any other day, but you’ve been feeling...strange. As a ghost, there’s some things that just bother you. You do not like the direction north, you try not to sit facing that way, you don’t like having to walk further north than the temple. Higan is that way, and you are not ready. Funerals and such fascinate you, and you can’t say why, so too do ghost stories. It’s not uncommon for you to be drawn toward a little get-together on summer nights and scare the people there. And there’s boats...best not to think about those. You make model ones, sometimes... But today...today is different. There’s something in the air, something that sinks down to your bones… It’s set your teeth on edge.
>The strangeness you've experienced seems to manifest in you randomly getting drug into some other world, which resembles Gensokyo buried under and ocean. You have roamed around human town and the hakurei shrine, trying to find someone who could help you understand this. Sadly, at this point, most people who might know something are either not to be found, or simply have only guesses to offer. The most concrete advice you'd managed to get is from Reimu, who suggests that it might be some kind of dream-related thing, and suggested that you find Doremy Sweet to help you out.
>This turned out to be a challenge, as Doremy comes and goes as she likes, requiring you to ultimately track down a tengu journalist to get an idea where to look. During this, yo ended up encountering Tojiko, who witnessed you disappear firsthand, and has decided to try and assist you out of a sense of ghostly solidarity. With the advice of Hatate, you managed to track down Doremy to Eientei, where you arrived in time to find it under attack from a pair of dancers who were in the process of kidnapping the baku. You attempted to stop them, but were untimely drug into the ocean world again. That time, you met someone there, a sort of ghostly jellyfish entity that identified itself as Stargazer. You attempted to bring her back with you, but have no idea if you succeeded. Returning to Eientei, you found that Doremy had been taken, but thanks to your efforts you were able to catch one of the dancers, identified as Mai.
>Interrogating Mai, you learned that she worked for Okina, the hidden god, and that being captured and separated from her sister was causing her her great distress. Eventually taking pity on her, you decided to take her in exchange for an opportunity to speak with Okina on the matter.
>Okina, you found, was sending her two dancers to hopefully persuade Doremy to assist in dealing with a mental deterioration the pair had been undergoing. The dancer misinterpreted her orders, or perhaps simply decided on their own to kidnap Doremy, complicating things. Okina agreed, as a way to set things right with you and with Eientei, to refer you to Yukari; as a god of hidden things she was unwilling to do much more. You and Tojiko split up briefly, as the other ghost went to smooth things over with Eientei. Okina delivered you to the Yukari's doorstep, which resulted in a brief tussle with Chen. Afterward, you were invited in, and spoke with a Yukari who was doing her best not to look perturbed at the world.
>The discussion did not produce as much as you might hope; just some sense that something was going wrong on a larger scale. She did say what was happening shouldn't be happening, at least. She claimed to have a few theories, but didn't seem to want to commit any. She did reveal that Stargazer managed to come with you, in a sense, but needed a vessel to possess in order to really come back with you. To help with that, she provided a plant that Patchouli would later call a cactus for the odd spirit to possess. Then she sent you on your way to deliver a message to Sakuya.
>You delivered the message, whose contents were a mystery but Sakuya seemed to take very seriously. You visited Patchouli briefly, but concluded it was too soon for her to help you. Leaving the mansion, you saw Sakuya leave and then journeyed northward on your own. After a brief stop at Kourindou, now under Nazrin's management, you went back to town to rendezvous with Tojiko, and found her in an argument with Shou, who thought she was up to something. After setting that right and briefly visiting Byakuren to update her on things, you decided to have lunch with Tojiko. This went well, save that you were drug back into the ocean world again. Stargazer was there again, and you were able to get her to possess the cactus successfully before returning to Gensokyo once more and finishing lunch with Tojiko.
>The two of you then journeyed toward Scarlet Devil Mansion, determined to start trying to find something in the library. Along the way, you managed to coax Stargazer from her cactus, and was surprised to find her jellyfish-like form had changed to a more mammalian one, which she seemed to be very pleased with. Asking her about the ocean world and events in it, you were not able to learn much, it seems her recollection was not very strong. Eventually she directed you toward trees, and your suggestion about a specific type of tree sparkled some kind of a memory within her, though not enough for her to tell you anything.
>Moving onto the mansion itself, Stargazer hid herself away before entering. Speaking with Patchouli about Stargazer, she suggests that she looks a lot like Keine's youkai form, which seems obvious in retrospect. You and Patchouli, alos with Tojiko, worked to narrow down your problem with little headway, aside from Patchouli moving away from it being the work of some ancient unknowable entity. She devised a way to measure your experiences, but requires a blessed leaf to do so. You then went to visit Keine, and learned that Stargazer used to be a manifestation of her youkai nature that was separated from her at one point. In theory, she shouldn't exist independently anymore, but it seems that she retained enough will to do so.
>Following Keine's advice, you went to find Utsuho, who also knew a lot about Stargazer, and tracked her to Youkai mountain where she was attending the kappas' university. While she did not have much useful to add, she did seem to buoy Stargazer's spirits considerably. While on the Mountain, at the suggestion of Hina, you went to the Moriya Shrine to try and obtain a blessed lily pad for Patchouli's use. Suwako agreed to this, and shared what she could observe about your condition; in particular she described it as you having a foot snared someplace else, being drug in by some force that she could only describe as newish or youngish, and vaguely familiar but not quite.
>Thus informed, you returned to Patchouli. providing her with the leaf and allowing her to empower a gem that would read the watery world. On her urging, you tried to force yourself into that world, and found you can do so without too much effort. You obtained a reading for Patchouli while exploring the flooded Scarlet Devil Mansion and surroundings, then returned back to Gensokyo. After a brief argument with Meiling about your authenticity, having already entered once, you returned to the library and gave the gem to Patchouli. Upon analyzing it, she found that it showed the flooded world seemed to be entirely fake; describing it as a paper filled with zeroes. After some looking, she managed to some tiny bit of substance, but she didn't know what.
>Needing guidance, you returned home to the Myouren Temple and spoke with Byakuren, convincing her to let you have some temple funds. Tojiko spoke with her mistress in the meantime, but turned up little but well wishes. You were then approached by Okina's dancer, who told you the baku was mostly awake. She brought you to Okina's realm, where you learned that Okina blamed Doremy's situation on your own desperation. Despite this, Doremy heard you out and offered her own insights that whatever you were experiencing was not a dream, and hypothesized it might be memories, which would be unusual in her experience.
>Reporting this to Yukari, after leaving Tojiko to deal with her cat, she agreed it was unusual. You also probed more deeply into Stargazer's experiences with trees, learning little, and trying to sort out her experiences between leaving Keine and coming to flooded Gensokyo, which seemed to be generally unpleasant. The two of you decided the best next step would be to take a more formal exploration of the flooded gensokyo, accompanied by Sakuya who arrived mid conversation and reported that there were no irregularities in the flow of the deceased. Upon returning to the flooded world, the three of you decided it would be best to examine the Forest of Magic.
>Eventually, you found trees that simply were not native to Gensokyo, a small grove of them, which gave you a bad feeling as you approached them. After gathering the others, you decided it would be best to head back to Gensokyo and do a few final things. This included getting back a spellcard you had traded away, which one Kagerou had since obtained and required you to trade away a Ship in a Bottle for. You gathered Shou and Tojiko to help with the effort, and with Sakuya the four of you went between the trees.
>You found yourself in a strange place, flooded with marble floors and red curtains; littered with outer world trash that had been waterlogged. Roaming it, you quickly found Shou had passed out somehow, and that Sakuya was locked in a bitter struggle with an unseen opponent whose places she kept switching with whenever she got an advantage. You found a doppelganger of yourself, reawakening memories of a time when Gensokyo was taken to the Outside World and history was different. Fleeing at first, you eventually demonstrated perfect courage and vanquished her, then journeyed toward the center of this strange place.
>There you found sensations of life in the human village that slowly overwhelmed your own senses, until you sudden blacked out and found yourself struggling to retain control of yourself as a vast yet basic entity engulfed your being. Working through its strange though processes, you have discovered it was the memories of the ocean, awakened when it was brought to Gensokyo during the safesame incident that resulted in Gensokyo being in the Outside World. As near as you can tell, the memories of life in the human village had agitated it to a kind of wakefulness. Now you are tied to it, at least for the moment.


--- Quote from: Kilgamayan on October 18, 2022, 04:01:58 PM ---> ...
> Oh piss.
> Either we stay here forever
> or we bring it back with us.
> That's what we're looking at, isn't it?

--- End quote ---

>If you cannot separate yourself or do something else, that may be what happens. And were you to press into Gensokyo as you are now...it would likely be catastrophic.

>_

Kilgamayan:
> But we can't even find our original body anymore! How would we even get ourselves back to- oh.
> Right.
> The whole 'being able to freely switch between normal and flooded Gensokyo' thing.
> Yeah, that would mondo suck for everything and everyone, wouldn't it. Drowning everyone without them first being on a ship for us to capsize. Blech, that's just unthinkable!

> Okay. Okay okay okay. We may suddenly be a giant mass of water instead of the most pulchritudinous ghost this side of Japan, but we're still at least a Buddhist monk. In training. But that's okay! We're...a sufficiently satisfactory student of the best teacher ever!
> Perhaps thinking about this Formless One's stain in any sort of physical sense has been a bit self-misleading. Our regular physical form is gone, and it doesn't have one to begin with. But it's still attached to us somehow, attached to our sense of self...which means it's more of a spiritual stain on us, right? Does that seem Buddhistically reasonable?

It's Purvis!:

--- Quote from: Kilgamayan on October 18, 2022, 05:18:46 PM ---> But we can't even find our original body anymore! How would we even get ourselves back to- oh.
> Right.
> The whole 'being able to freely switch between normal and flooded Gensokyo' thing.
> Yeah, that would mondo suck for everything and everyone, wouldn't it. Drowning everyone without them first being on a ship for us to capsize. Blech, that's just unthinkable!

> Okay. Okay okay okay. We may suddenly be a giant mass of water instead of the most pulchritudinous ghost this side of Japan, but we're still at least a Buddhist monk. In training. But that's okay! We're...a sufficiently satisfactory student of the best teacher ever!
> Perhaps thinking about this Formless One's stain in any sort of physical sense has been a bit self-misleading. Our regular physical form is gone, and it doesn't have one to begin with. But it's still attached to us somehow, attached to our sense of self...which means it's more of a spiritual stain on us, right? Does that seem Buddhistically reasonable?

--- End quote ---

>That seems plausible. You aren't certain that's correct at this point, but it's a model to work from.

>_

Kilgamayan:
> Let's use that as a starting point for our meditative ideas, then.
> Because we are totes a Buddhism expert, refresh our own memory on Buddhism's approach to spiritual impurities, such as they are.

It's Purvis!:

--- Quote from: Kilgamayan on October 18, 2022, 05:45:31 PM ---> Let's use that as a starting point for our meditative ideas, then.
> Because we are totes a Buddhism expert, refresh our own memory on Buddhism's approach to spiritual impurities, such as they are.

--- End quote ---

>This is a complicated question, and there's a variety of ideas about it. But the short, generalized version would be that they are the result of attachments that have become particularly foul or unhealthy. This gets a bit complicated when extrapolated to youkai, given what youkai usually are.

>_

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