Malelos's Secret Research Project

Maleos: "So Esme. To answer your first three rejoinders: It's not for me it's for my father, because you owe me for cutting Darcy down a peg, and because I know you have more money where that came from because of course you fuckin' do. Wanna invest in a long-range trading company? Or you can trade it all in to invest in Maleos's Secret Research Project."
Esme: "Well, the MSRP has a 0% average ROI, but I'll admit to bein' curious about it."
Maleos: *peers around*
Maleos: *goes to warded tent or whatnot*
Esme: (she hasn't been your master for 8 years without learning a thing or two about merchantspeak)
Maleos: "So what's the single most ambitious thing you think I'm capable of attempting?"
Esme: "Well, you tol' me you tried to steal the Butter Knife of the Gods, so…."
Maleos: Also I can't believe Maleos's Secret Research Project spelled MSRP, that's hillarious.
Maleos: *scoffs at the memory* "Go Bigger."
Maleos: "And I didn't try to steal it. I threatened to cut somebody with it, then asked nicely for it."
Esme: "Bah. Order of operations was all wrong."
Maleos: "I thought I was dead. It was either that or fight my way out of the underworld without a knife."
Maleos: "In retrospect, it was a bad plan. Moving on."
Esme: "All right, yer aimin' for Bigger Than a Butter Knife, so… tryin' to turn yourself into one o' them things took over Aida durin' the fight?"
Maleos: "And wait a minute, you consider bein' godtouched 0% ROI? Maybe I can't sell this to you."
Esme: "All right, I suppose that was a kind of a benefit, that did come with this big target hangin right on my back."
Maleos: "Apply Mythic Spell Formula to Protection Form Arrows and layer it with Mythic Mage Armor… which reminds me, I should teach you that if you don't already have it, it's pretty great… and nobody around these parts will be able to hit that target. I'm talkin' 'bout going all the way. Right now, we're partially divine. And I don't know all the implications yet, but I know what the theory and formulas are screaming at me. In theory, all we need is a Shrine and Observers, and we could start the long slow process of pullin' ourselves the rest of the way up by our bootstraps."
Esme: "Wait, I guessed right? Shit, I been spendin' too much time with you recently."
Maleos: Sense motive. Is this a joke.
Esme: Mostly!
Maleos: "You got nobody but yourself to blame for making me this way, and anyway the word 'ambitious' was a dead giveaway. You in? Cuz if not, you better start talkin' me out of it now. I figure we don't make it a shrine shrine, we make it in the form of an amulet. Carry it around with us while we go around saving the world. It may not be enough faith to take us all the way. But it might do something. Maybe we could use it to recharge our 'special powers' or something. At the end of the day, it's all just energy. Unless I'm missing something essential and important and I need to be talked back from the brink of madness, a' course."
Esme: after you walk her through some theory info you've surmised "You know me, I'm up for some risk, but this is an area of magic I'd wanna dig into a little bit. There's a couple whole new fields we're looking at here, and I'm a little leery of puttin' myself in as an experimental subject without a little more research. But I'm not totally against it."
Maleos: "Worst case scenario, we die and go to the hall of judgement anyway, and the gods who sponsored us will be surprised to get change."
Esme: "Or they'll cut off our hand's fer stealin'."
Maleos: "We brought Pelor's brother back from the dead. Is he really gonna be the type to begrudge us starting our own lives? The answer is no. I met him. He's a nice guy."
Esme: "He's also a Bridge. Do you wanna be a cottage, Maleos? Do you wanna be a silo?"
Esme: "I wanna find out if I'm gonna be a piece o' masonry BEFORE I commit to the trial is all."
Maleos: *chews lip* "Flying ship. Planar teleport when I can afford it. Polymorph. I mean, once we get big enough to project an Avatar, nobody's gonna really know or care what we LOOK like. I mean… no offense. Honestly no offense. But you're in a position to know better than anybody what a poor choice of building material meat and bone are."
Esme: "Don't see Perai Luun explorin' too many planes, eh?"
Maleos: "He's not at his best right now. He's spent the last ten thousand years dead. Pretty energetic, considering the circumstances."
Maleos: "And he cleared the way for our planar spelunking adventures, remember?
Esme: "well, shit, I wanna rest when I'm dead"
Maleos: *sighs*
Maleos: *smiles*
Maleos: "Well. I guess I won't begrudge you that. The problem is I don't."
Esme: "Think it's probably best if ya aim ta not die, then."
Maleos: "I intend to! Only problem is there's an upper bound on how far clean livin' will get me. Or maybe there isn't. Maybe Pelor's just 20 billion Mythic Surges away from dying of a heart attack."
Esme: "His brother already died somehow, so maybe you're right."
Maleos: "He didn't just die. He was killed. Yeah, I know. Target. He tricked the Usurper one time too many and the trick stopped working. I've got proof of that but it's kind of hard to read right now." *hands over cold crystal, more to see her reaction than anything else.*
Maleos: Oh if she hasn't used one yet I'll show her how to use it.
Maleos: But I really wanna see how she reacts to ten Aida goddesses shouting at once.
Esme: She scrubs through it like 3 or 4 times. "We gotta transcribe this. I can barely make out a word in 10, all the simultaneous voices, and most of em sound so close to Aida… It's… It's gonna take time. But there's a lot of information there in two minutes."
Maleos: "Yup."
Esme: She looks a little stunned. The reality of what Aida was experiencing is just astonishing to her.
Maleos: "We can get there. We can get at least as far along as Perrai Luun's Leuitenants. And we can do it with or without joinin' anyone's army. We're Life. Let's evolve."
Maleos: *slams hand down on table, brandishes charchol pencil, leans back* "So how many can I putcha down for?"
Esme: "You seem to think I said yes or no. I didn't say either. I said, 'let's get to the damn lab and figure this out.'"
Maleos: "It's research. That's yes. That's what yes sounds like."
Esme: "Nah, research involves a lab, not plugging an untested shrine into my ass"
Maleos: "I'm not gonna… that's the end goal. Of course we'd make a stationary one first. Maybe feed it to Perrai Luun until we can figure out how to feed it into some other storage vessel. When we can draw energy from the veseel and do spells and stuff with it, we're halfway there. Then it's just a matter of figuring out how to use it to refuel our divine powers. The gods already laid the groundwork for us, there. We just have to copy what they're doing. From there it's just a matter of figuring how to use that energy to run the powers they have that we don't yet. Including, presumably, life beyond meat."
Esme: "alright, better. Now, brass tacks: whattdya want from me specifically?"
Maleos: "What do you have I lack? Good Sense, yes. That's why I came to you first and practically begged you to talk me out of it. Also Money. Possibly materials. But good sense and money would be a great start. And there's also the Trading company, if you'd like a literal return on your money. Can't promise a return on your Good Sense, I'm afraid. If you ever find any, it'll be gravy."
Esme: "I know ya want money, ass. I meant, how much?"
Maleos: Well let's see. For starters, we'd need to know how much a shrine costs. Fortunately, Perrai Luun is teaching his clerics how to make them. I'm not sure I know how to make them. Did we make a prototype shrine when we made the statue, or is he only entrusting that secret to the clerics?
Esme: Shrines vary, but you're really looking at 100-200 gp for kind of basic nice shrine materials. You can go cheaper, too, though.
Maleos: Oh, wow! that's less than I thought! Let's go cheaper for the proof of concept. We want a thing that can relay energy to the existing Perrai Luun shrine. Or… would it be safer to try and make a reciever first and beam to that instead? If nothing else I should be able to make a statue like a smaller version of the one we made.
Maleos: I think we should assume if we beam energy to Perrai Luun's statue, he's going to realize soemthing weird is going on. If he's not already observing this conversation.
Maleos: The problem is I don't know where the energy goes after the statue.
Maleos: I mean it goes down to a big bright mess of chronomancy and I don't know what a smaller version of that would be.
Esme: It's mostly a matter of just having the shrine consecrated properly for, say, Perai Luun. You can do that easily with only minor help. Then you have to study it
Maleos: Ah lovely.
Maleos: *long pause as we look over our notes* "Think we should ask permission first?"
Esme: You can even consecrate the shrine yourself if you study up on how first
Maleos: Tempting. I can give Esme the formula for Divination.
Maleos: I can't quite cast it yet.
Esme: "Didn't you say you wanted to get shrines up as quickly as possible? Permission takes time."
Esme: Nice. Useful
Maleos: "Not talkin' 'bout the church. Talkin' bout the guy in charge of the church."
Esme: "Hell, that might take even more time. I say we make it, and he can throw a rock on it if he don't like it!"
Maleos: "You know how big a rock he threw the last time he saw something he didn't like? Here's a hint: We live on it."
Esme: "He had help."

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