“Filming is paused, a contestant is missing, and Vladislaus Straud has not appeared!” Simeon roared, as he burst onto the Magic HQ rooftop. “We have risked everything and we have nothing to show for it!”
L. Faba took one look at Simeon’s furious expression and went back to reading the paper.
“Missing, probably dead,” Morgyn sighed, helping themselves to another plate before signaling to one of the attendants.
“Do you have any of those little salmon croquettes? I just love a finger food.”
“That is precisely my point!” Simeon seethed. “Some set of befouled creatures have already taken steps and yet here we sit.” When no one responded, he conjured a ball of magic, holding it aloft. “Am I the only one concerned with the whereabouts and activities of Vladislaus Straud?”
The waitstaff gasped and began to whisper. L. Faba set her paper down in huff. “Leave us!”
Plates, cups, and serving dishes clattered as the staff quickly made their way through the portal door.
“Damn it, Simeon! Do you know how much magic it takes to hold open a portal to the finest restaurant in San Myshuno?”
Simeon straightened and glared at her.
“A lot! It costs a lot and you are ruining it!” she hissed.
As Simeon and L. Faba continued eye each other angrily, Morgyn rose from their chair, delicately dabbing at their mouth with a napkin. “Simeon is wound entirely too tight, but clearly one of the groups vying for The Owl is…what are the kids calling it? Coming in hot. I have plans in town, I’ll meet with our contacts and get a status update.”
“You propose to go out at a time like this?” Simeon jeered, voice dripping with criticism. “When our power is needed to—”
“Give it a rest, Simeon,” L. Faba sighed, reaching again for her paper. “We all know Morgyn needs his little diversions. Why don’t you work on something useful. Like getting an update from those witches you love so dearly and their hunt for the God of Death.”
Simeon looked put out. “Even if they found whatever vicious creature he has surely taken up residence in, what would you have me do?”
“Kill him,” L. Faba muttered with a roll of her eyes. “And save me the headache.”
Simeon looked decidedly uncomfortable.
This chapter marks the first time in recent memory someone’s mentioned Magnolia Promenade. I’m also appreciating the shift from Alice having a huge secret to Alice being oblivious to everyone else’s secrets. So now it’s not even just what’s going on, it’s who knows what. Who Jimena’s master is, for example; it seems like she has some seductive abilities? Are the seven deadly sins in on this or something?
“You could be an inanimate object without a spell.” Dang. That one hit me. How much things have changed, and still we’ve got so far to go…
Since I have zero interest in any of the supernatural gameplay, I did have the treat of looking up Vlad Bloodvein for real and seeing what that mofo actually looks like. Hooooo boy that’s some good camp. I was like, isn’t this tame for one of these outfits? I mean if I saw someone wearing that blazer I’d elbow the shit out of my friend, but it’s tame for him. AND THEN I SAW THE SHOES.
– I like to think of those shoes as some of my best work. HAHAHA. Yeah, EA Bloodvein was already bringing so much to the table, I didn’t have to do much to draw inspiration.
– I literally forgot about Magnolia Promenade until I was like: damn it, where is a place she can be from that I haven’t already mentioned? I can’t believe that even counts as a “world.”
– Miss Hell is 100% All For Self and chaotic neutral (goals) so she is always dropping truth bombs. I think if I don’t write her saying it so I can laugh, I’ll cry.
– Oooohhh you are so close on Jimena’s master. There are a key set of Gods and their respective “patrons” definitely excel in the domain they rule over. Every player is on the board at this point, now I’m just in the business of reveals so you’ll have your answer by the end of this chapter.
– I’m glad you noticed the shift and liked it! In the first part, everyone is the protagonist of their own story. The most important secret Alice was keeping was about herself. The world largely operated in a way that she understood and she was an expert at navigating it. Then shit got weird. Now she’s in this place where she’s having to consider that the world is bigger and more complex than she realized. And she ain’t the weirdest thing in it.
Alright, Beauty for Jimena’s master and that’s my final guess. And while we’re in the business of predictions, if William brings a date to the filming and Bernard flips out on him for being in a gay interracial relationship, I am going to lose my shit. Other than that, Miss Hell’s probably going to get a lot more likeable and I still have no clue what the hey Miko is up to. That’s all.
Miko’s plans are going to become clear soon…like next chapter. I love Miss Hell she is…complicated. I can’t wait to get into her story arc.
After Bernard’s debut, I think it’s safe to say that’s exactly how he’d react. Though to be clear, that’s not part of his introduction 🙂
Ah ok, that explains Ben’s absence, kind of. I adored Vlad and Alice’s moments as always, hough honestly, maybe he’s too good for her (plot twist!). There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for her, while she’s attracted to him, but not all that invested, I feel like. She cares for him, sure, but she’s still subconsciously looking for excuses to cast him aside.
Jimena is actually surprisingly composed through all of this. Is she not a regular mortal? I feel like any regular human would have pooped their pants. My theory is that she’s a double agent.
The meeting in the restauruant, is Morgyn adopting a particular twist on things? I don’t feel like what was discussed exactly reflected the sages’ conversation… so what’s Morgyn’s game here?
You know, despite the strings being pulled behind the scenes by literally everyone, and the backstabbing, and the supernatural threats and the literal hand of fate orchestrating this grand event of getting the owl of undoing, I can’t help but laugh every time I remember that all these superpowers and monsters and spellcasters and vampires are focused around… a baking contest. 😂 It gets me every time, lol.
HAHAHA Thank you! I mean my brain works in wacky ways so I’m glad you’re enjoying it. And listen, you’ve described my story in a nutshell: everyone is backstabbing, the hand of fate is everywhere, strings we don’t even know are being pulled are being pulled. It’s wild.
I like how L.Faba is like, dude we’re trying to have a fancy feast in the comfort of our own magical HQ, get your shit together Simeon.
Morgyn is absolutely terrifying in BBD, in comparison to The Strauds (even though Morgyn in The Strauds is far more powerful). Turning Jimena into a child’s source of comfort is quite hilarious. Jimena is neither comforting or cuddly, and I doubt she has a heart.
Despite the passaging of time, Ana still holds onto memories of her former life, and they cause her distress/PTSD. It’s a very VERY different Ana from The Strauds, this one is more vulnerable and I never thought I’d see her cower. Goodness. I prefer my Ana with a backbone of steel.
Vlad: Did she call me her BOYFRIEND??? lol he’s a plasma pack away from jumping on Oprah’s couch and claiming how lucky he is. In case that reference is too obscure: https://www.today.com/video/10-years-ago-tom-cruise-jumps-oprahs-couch-449205827898
Ana to Jimena: You are useless. Why are we keeping you alive.
Jimena: I am useful. Wink, wink, wink.
Ana: Hmmmm. Let’s see where this goes…
Muhgawd, who let the dogs out! Werewolves cause some havoc.
God, Faba is just out here living her best life. She is a survivor and I LOVE writing her. You can see why she and Morgyn have such affection for each other.
Speaking of Morgyn, I think I already mentioned this but since the Strauds is a BBD AU where some of the characters have crossed over, they are the same Morgyn. It may be good to keep in mind the level of ruthlessness that Strauds Morgyn is capable of hehe.
You and me both prefer that backbone of steel! Strauds Ana is definitely an evolution of BBD Ana.
Vlad has no chill. He would jump on that couch and also throw it through a window.
Oh Jimena. Sigh.
(REMEMBER WHEN WE DIDN’T EVEN HAVE WEREWOLVES IN GAME?!?!?!?)
I know right?! EA GAMES YOU POOP CHUTE WHERE WERE YOUR WEREWOLVES WHEN THEY WERE NEEDED?!?!
At least Penny werewolf looks fierce af!
Yeah I’m not taking my eye off The Strauds Morgyn for one minute. The calm before the storm sounds about right for them.
LMAO OMG VLAD THROWING THE COUCH. I’d die. Why wasn’t THAT on Oprah?!?
God, Tom Cruise really missed an opportunity LOL