Between I11a-I11b

Consider as well the infestation of the Undersiders/Travellers in to the city. They are setting their hooks in with little intention to leave.

Hm, yeah, I guess that works. It’s not really the meaning that comes to mind when I hear the word “infestation”, but looking at the word, it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s its origin. Let’s check…

[Wiktionary]

Verb

infest (third-person singular simple present infests, present participle infesting, simple past and past participle infested)

  • (transitive) To inhabit a place in unpleasantly large numbers, to plague, harass. Insects are infesting my basement!
  • (pathology, of a parasite) To invade a host plant or animal.

infest (third-person singular simple present infests, present participle infesting, simple past and past participle infested)

  • (transitive) To inhabit a place in unpleasantly large numbers, to plague, harass. Insects are infesting my basement!
  • (pathology, of a parasite) To invade a host plant or animal.

Hm, well, not quite, but invading a host is one of its meanings.

And this comes right after an Arc called Parasite… hm. I wonder if we’ll have a parasitic theme going forward in this portion of the story, or Wildbow just happened to use two closely related bug terms in a row.


“Faultline’s Crew beat up the Merchants and stole back their super juice and papers from Cauldron”. Given that the paperwork identifies the clients as one person, his two daughters, and three of their friends, how to you think this lines up with Faultlines Crew?

It doesn’t.

That sentence was written while assuming that the super juice and papers were likely stolen from the Crew in the first place (after they had recovered it somehow in their efforts to find out more about Cauldron), which I now realize probably wasn’t the case. I came to that conclusion before finding out how mercantile Cauldron was and that they do distribute the juice (which would make the chances of Merchants coming across it without the Crew’s involvement much higher), and then forgot to reevaluate it with the new information.

As a bonus, this changes the main question from “how did the Merchants successfully raid the Crew” to the more easily answerable “how did the Crew find out that the Merchants had obtained super juice and Cauldron papers”.


It took almost five days, but I finally caught up! I just wanted to say I love your style for doing this, because I’ve never read Work before, and this way I get the full story along with the commentary, without any of the text being left out. I also have ADHD, so somehow reading the story in chunks like this makes it much easier to get through. Thank you! …Whoops, I need a question. Who do you think would win: The Undersiders or the Crystal Gems, with whichever team configurations you prefer?

I’m glad I could help! 😀

As for the question… Let’s see.

Steven Universe and Worm spoilers ahead.

The Gems have fairly basic powers, but they have a lot of them.

  • Garnet: Fire resistance, future vision, shapeshifting, strength, toughness, weapon summoning (gauntlets), rocket gauntlets, fistkind proficiency, gem bubbling, fusion, super jump, passive gravity adjustment, weighted hair.
  • [only available if Garnet splits] Ruby: Strength, passive heat manipulation, fire resistance, probably shapeshifting, weapon summoning (gauntlet), gem bubbling(?), passive gravity adjustment, fusion.
  • [only available if Garnet splits] Sapphire: Passive cold manipulation, future vision, probably shapeshifting, gem bubbling(?), passive gravity adjustment, fusion.
  • Amethyst: Shapeshifting with proficiency, spindash, weapon summoning (whip), electric whip, whip proficiency, gem bubbling, passive gravity adjustment, fusion, super jump.
  • Pearl: Hammerspace (slow retrieval), weapon summoning (spear or sword), finesse, spear and sword proficiency, laser spear, allegedly shapeshifting, projections, summoning holographic duplicates with swordfighting capabilities, minor fog/cloud and sand manipulation, gem bubbling, fusion, passive gravity adjustment, super jump.
  • Peridot: Toughness, metallokinesis (weak), gem bubbling, passive gravity adjustment, fusion(?).
  • Steven: Weapon summoning (shield, throwable Captain America style), defensive bubble (optionally spiked), gem bubbling, fusion, healing spit, active gravity adjustment, ability to create sentient plants, resurrecting tears that bestow pink powers, dreamwalking, body hijacking.
  • Lion: Force shouts (similar to Triumph), creating portals, walking on water, mane portal to pocket dimension, cat.
  • Connie: Fusion (with Steven), sword proficiency, being great.

(If the gems got Lapis to care, the Undersiders would be in some serious trouble. Her hydrokinesis is way stronger than Leviathan’s.)

And then we have the Undersiders:

  • Skitter: Complete control of insects, arachnids and crustaceans within a range of 2-3 blocks (sometimes 4-6).
  • Grue: Generation of gas-like substance that blocks light, muffles sound and provides minor resistance to movement.
  • Tattletale: Superpowered Sherlock, constant influx of information based on what she’s looking at.
  • Regent: Nerve manipulation, body hijacking (requires very slow process).
  • Bitch: Empowering of dogs and wolves.
  • Imp: Who’s Imp?

As we go into this, let’s start off with a very important question:

How does Grue’s darkness interact with beings made of hard light? It’s entirely possible that Grue could singlehandedly destabilize and poof everyone except Steven, Connie and Lion at once, and probably make Steven jittery too. After that, dealing with Steven and Connie shouldn’t be too hard, though Lion might still be an issue.

Let’s assume that isn’t the case from now on.

One other thing I feel is worth noting right away is that Regent’s power is probably of limited use. It is unlikely that Gems have nerves for him to manipulate. He could still affect Steven, Connie and probably Lion, though.

Apart from Peridot, the Gems are highly skilled melee fighters, and are generally tougher than humans. Among the Undersiders, Grue in particular is good at melee, and has been training some of the others, but he is probably nowhere near as well-trained as the superhuman war veterans. If the Undersiders want to win, they should avoid melee as much as possible. Even then, some of the Gems have decent ranged attacks too, with Garnet’s explosive rocket gauntlets, Pearl’s laser spear and Steven’s shield throwing.

However, Bitch’s dogs could cause the Gems a lot of trouble. Garnet might be able to pick one up and throw it, but even so. It certainly helps that Bitch has a lot of them these days – we’ve seen the Gems overwhelmed with sheer force of numbers before, by far weaker enemies (specifically watermelons). Unlike the watermelons, the hellhounds could easily poof most gems and maim or kill Steven and Connie. Lion might put up more of a fight against a single doggo, maybe three, but with the numbers Bitch has now, he’d be overwhelmed too.

Speaking of Garnet, her future vision is very powerful in combat, allowing her to predict the opponent’s next moves in advance. The closest counter to this is Tattletale’s power, but Tattle’s knowledge is far less reliable as far as predicting the enemy’s actions goes.

Tattletale is very good at manipulation. The Gems are good at not listening to people, but do have their sore spots, such as Amethyst’s feelings about herself as a defective gem, or Pearl’s past as a slave. Tattletale might find a way to use this to her advantage, if she can get the Gems to listen.

Imp might be highly useful. With the Gems forgetting her existence each moment, she could sneak up behind them with a piercing weapon, which has usually proven to be the most reliable way to poof a gem. This might be countered by Garnet’s future vision (the same way Tattletale seems immune or resistant to Imp’s power), or it might throw the future vision for a loop and make Garnet’s predictions less accurate.

Even if it doesn’t destabilize the Gems by itself, Grue’s darkness would probably be quite effective. Most of the Gems’ fighting relies on sight, both melee and ranged, and the darkness would take that away. Garnet’s future vision might help her, but the rest would quite literally be left in the dark.

Skitter’s power could probably take out Steven, Connie and maybe Lion quite easily. I doubt it would do much against the Gems, but at least it would let her track their locations and movements.

So far, the Gems have a chance, but the Undersiders have a slight upper hand. But that’s before we pull out one of the Gems’ most powerful tricks: Fusion.

  • Sardonyx (Garnet+Pearl): Probably everything Garnet and Pearl can do, weapon merging (gauntlets+spear=hammer), considerable size, fourth wall breaking, 360 degree torso spin.
  • Sugilite (Garnet+Amethyst): Probably everything Garnet and Amethyst can do, weapon merging (gauntlets+whip=flail), considerable size, toughness.
  • Opal (Amethyst+Pearl): Probably everything Amethyst and Pearl can do, weapon merging (whip+spear=laser bow), considerable size, acrobatics.
  • Alexandrite (Garnet+Pearl+Amethyst): Probably everything all of them can do, weapon merging (every combination), even more considerable size, fire breath, 360 degree torso spin, possibly other abilities of the previous three fusions.
  • Smoky Quartz (Steven+Amethyst): Probably everything Steven and Amethyst can do (definitely including active gravity adjustment), weapon merging (shield+whip=yo-yo), strength, rapid spinning.
  • Stevonnie (Steven+Connie): Probably everything Steven can do (minus active gravity adjustment and possibly shapeshifting), sword proficiency, Yoshi hover.

Fusion is incredibly versatile and can cause a lot of trouble for the Undersiders as some of their human-sized enemies become bigger and more powerful at the cost of numbers.

Surprisingly, this might be a thing for Tattletale to deal with. The fusions need to keep their state of mind focused on their task and on working together in order to remain stable. Tattletale, if she can get them to listen, would probably be able to manipulate some of the fusions’ component personalities and pit them against each other, causing the fusions to fall apart.

But until that happens, the fusions will have a much easier time dealing with threats like Bitch’s dogs or Grue’s darkness (by way of being tall enough to look over it, though he could adjust to that). Not to mention the fact that some of the fusions could squash all the Undersiders in a single attack, provided they were gathered together.

So I guess my conclusion is this:

Despite a large amount of powers for each member and numbers slightly on their side, the Crystal Gems might find themselves at least reasonably challenged by the Undersiders, if not necessarily defeated, and they might have to resort to fusions in order to beat them.

(#i mentioned worm spoilers in the warning because i’m putting this on the su tag too and sharing it in an su-centric server)


I don’t know about others but I certainly appreciate the “next update: [day]” posts, even if you sometimes end up delaying the update. You didn’t do a “next update” post ofter the mid-arc thoughts and in my opinion not knowing when to expect the interludes is more frustrating than having a scheduled update be delayed. That said, proceed as you like, I just wanted to add my two cents to the discussion.

Don’t worry, they’re not going away. When I brought that possibility up, I was just making a point.

I’m sorry about the lack of a #next post after the Mid-Arc Thoughts – the previous #next post before them had mentioned the intended time for the session after them, but I should probably have repeated it. Especially considering the Mid-Arc Thoughts got postponed, which could’ve caused the same to happen to the chapter session by extension.


Someone just posted a really nice Alec fanart on the subreddit. WB even really liked it! 🙂

(Art by /u/aslovefromlies.)

Ooh, this is really cool! I love… well, everything, really. The shading, the colors, the pose, the shirt design… This is a fantastic Alec.


“AWOOOOOOO” Werewolves of Londooooon

Hehe :Å)


“Better to terrorize and inflict light wounds than to maim or murder.” Rachel dogs confirmed as D&D 3e Clerics with Inflict Light Wounds prepared

Pfft, sure. 😛


We get introduced to my favorite Slaughterhouse 9 member (for power, not character. thats someone else) on my birthday!

Sweet! Happy belated birthday!


Oh hey what’s going on in that dnd session of yours?

Well, a couple days ago, we finished the first arc of the campaign. Here’s a recap of what’s happened so far:

Our characters got hired (except for Icarus, who was there against his will because he got caught in a scam) by the Outermoor Abbey to travel to the nearby village of Starkmoor to gather intel on a supposed demon cult in the village. On the way there, we got attacked by bandits, one of whom told us afterwards that the bandits were afraid to go into Starkmoor because of the cult.

As we arrived in Starkmoor, we were welcomed by the cult leader, Farrengold, who allowed us to stay for the night provided we left in the morning. So naturally we went sneaking around town at night to find some proof of demonic cult activity to bring back to the abbey. Three of us, including Icarus, went to a small mine next to an isolated, dilapidated house, and the remaining two went into the larger mine that used to be the town’s source of income.

Keegan (half-elf ranger) and Nikolai (human bard), in the larger mine, found some crystals imbued with divination magic, and runes that didn’t make much sense when read.

Meanwhile, Icarus (my tiefling warlock), Venus (elf wizard) and Allura (dwarf barbarian) ended up finding Farrengold’s personal chamber down in the small mine, but got caught by Farrengold. After a short match of showing off magic powers (turned out Farrengold was a wizard), Icarus charmed him.

Thanks to the charm, Farrengold was willing to tell Icarus the truth about Starkmoor: The demon cult was all a ruse to keep the bandits out. (Icarus, being a charlatan himself, loved this, and became a lot more invested in the town than before.) After the charm wore off, Icarus told Farrengold the truth: That the party had been sent to Starkmoor to find out whether their unspecified employer should attack it, and it was in the town’s interests to let us go back and tell the truth.

Problem was, when we did, the bandits happened to be within earshot. Whoops.

So the party went on a lengthy chase after the bandits, fighting them on the way and disabling the carriage they’d stolen from us at the abbey, but Tremor Sun, the bandit leader, made it to Starkmoor (though with us right behind him). He grabbed Farrengold and brought him into the larger mine.

Icarus came into Starkmoor in the back, and as the rest of the party pursued Tremor down the mine, Icarus saw something in the town’s bonfire that told him there was an actual demon.

Icarus turned and rode backwards as fast as he could. He really didn’t want to deal with another actual demon.

Meanwhile, in the mine, the rest of the party learned that a) the crystals were keeping a demon shrine in check, b) Tremor Sun had once lived in Starkmoor, until the influence of demons on his skin (in the form of burning rashes) had caused Farrengold to make him leave. Now, after learning that the demon cult was fake, he believed the town was safe for him all along and Farrengold had tricked him. He also wanted to take the crystals, which of course was bad news.

Icarus was met along the way by the abbot, a group of paladins, the remaining bandits, and the “riders of the falling star”, a group the arrival of whom we had heard of in intro and outro segments that our characters didn’t know about. This group, with the help of a mental nudge from Icarus’ patron, successfully convinced Icarus to join them in defending Starkmoor from the demon he told them about.

When Icarus returned to Starkmoor and the rest of the party came out of the mines, the bonfire had been replaced by the burning Demon Lord Halsuupreon.

We were tasked with distracting the demon while the abbot, paladins and riders of the falling star set to work on banishing Halsuupreon back to where he belongs. We also had to deal with getting the crystals Tremor had stolen back where they needed to be.

During this boss enconter, Icarus decided to turn Halsuupreon’s flames blue, Venus got in the line “Hey! Tall, dark and ashy!” and Nikolai did some cool knife-juggling, among other things that happened. 😛

Afterwards, we learned that the riders of the falling star were agents for a sort of organization similar to Interpol, tasked with protecting the world of the Firmament, and the Falling Star was the name of their spaceship. As these things go, we got hired by them, and we were on our way to their mountain base in the Feywild at the end of the last session. 🙂


Wildbow has stated that what the foster mother did to Rollo were based on true events that happened to him and his pet, (I THINK it was him and not someone he knew) though I don’t know the details.

Oh jeez.

Fuck whoever did that to him too, seriously.


Surely you can think of another reason Aisha might go unmentioned… >:D

Hah! Yeah, I suppose she might’ve been using her power right then.


“ and ’ are the same button, you press shift to get the quotation mark instead of the apostrophe.

+

” and ’ are on the same key on the English keyboard, you need to use the shift key to choose one over the other. An easy mistake to make and an easy one to miss.

+

“Also, are “ and ’ next to each other on an English keyboard or something?” They’re the same key, with “ being shifted (upper-cased).

+

” and ’ are the same button on the english keyboard. You have to hold shift for it to write “

Honestly, this makes a lot of sense, though I think I prefer the Norwegian layout (” on the 2 key, * on the ‘ key) specifically because of the risk of unnoticed mistakes like this.


Tbh this chapter flipped my begrudging sympathy for Bitch into full on burning hatred.

Hatred anon here: I legit hate stupid, trigger happy dumbasses like Rachel. They’re why Trump won, and I just want her dead, man. I just want them all dead.

Yeah, I have to admit that it’s hard to be sympathetic to Bitch most of the time. She has very good reasons to be as awful as she can be, but that doesn’t make it okay.


Hi krixwell, what do you think of birthdays in general, especially of your friends?

Birthdays are pretty neat as a concept. A day to celebrate a particular person, for no other reason than that they’re still here? I like that.

In practice, it mostly amounts to saying some variation of “happy birthday”, these days. I still think that acknowledgement is important, though. 🙂

(#happy birthday to my friend emma #and to dan avidan

#and to albert einstein #and happy pi day for that matter)


In the moment that Rachel screams, from the way the phrase is written, with the verbs being “screamed” instead of “had screamed”, it is highly likely that she is screaming in the present about remembering her past, the wounds are so fresh it almost physically hurts her to think about it. Also, from Interlude Doggo: “Take care of your fucking child”. And lastly, there is another, quite plausible, reason Rachel might have not included Aisha in her train of thought

Hm, perhaps.

Also, yes, that quote really takes on a bit more meaning with this context.


I love that in this chapter we finally get to see Rachel’s struggles with human expressions and social nuances, if she is going for a quick interaction, she just has to eye-ball every single expression and go with whatever paints a picture where she can make herself look stronger, which means, lots of hostility where there is none

Yeah… It ain’t easy.


“Maybe she’s recruiting.” Let’s go to the Ding Board for that one… Donnnng!

Hehe 😛

Every once in a blue moon, I do get something right 😉


cats and dogs is an acceptable ship.

(#if you feel like some fun family entertainment #watch this movie)


This chapter is only five days after the Wards find the bodies the Nine left, but they were apparently there for some time before they did those murders.

Ah. Yeah, I thought that might be the case… Seems they’re fairly decent at staying low.


The eyes are a direct hole to the brain and Siberian definitely stuck her fingers in deep enough to scramble that.

Hm, yeah, I guess so. RIP.


So now that you know the Nine are recruiting (and how they recruit), any guesses as to who else might be a nominee?

Hookwolf. I’m almost certain. The dude’s brutal as hell, with more murders on his file than Weld remembers seeing on anyone who wasn’t already in the Birdcage (though as I mentioned back when that was established, that’s partially because he keeps escaping the transport to it). Also, if we get to see him and Bitch interacting at the test, that ought to be interesting.

Other than him… maybe Night? I don’t know.


Not so much an ask as a comment, but I feel compelled to tell you that dog handling is not one of WIldbow’s many talents. Pushing the dog down to ‘show your dominance’ is actually a very harmful and wrongheaded training method. (feel free to ignore, it just puts my shoulders up around my ears to see it passed on uncritically :P)

Ouch, yeah, that does sound bad when you put it like this.

…I feel like it’s worth noting that it’s a lot like how Rachel herself was raised, too.


[reblogging the “Inflict Light Wounds” ask]
Maybe that’s why her first dog was named Roll-o.

(#ba dum tish #take 7 pun damage)


You spoke about bystanderism in your arc thoughts. What do you think about the contrast between Taylor engaging in anti-bystanderism to save Charlotte and then letting the Merchant bleed to death? I personally think it’s a sign of how she’ll act to do what she thinks is right but is willing to be ruthless if it’s an enemy.

It’s a very fitting contrast that highlights something I’ve been pointing out about Taylor since Agitation: She can be quite cruel if she thinks it justified somehow.

It would be hypocritical of me to judge her for her actions regarding Thomas, but this is a consistent character trait that I quite enjoy.

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2 thoughts on “Between I11a-I11b

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