/q/ - Quest

ADVENTURE!

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 No.616276[Last 50 Posts]

The year is 296 UE. Seven years after Odyris Hippoi assumed the role of steward to Doux Arravani of Thema Agria. Seven years after Marcus Hippoi, Odyris' eldest son and heir, left for Thema Peneia. Six years after Marcus met Celye at the Peneian coastline. Five years after Nolin Hippoi, son of Prokopios Hippoi, followed his cousin there. Three years since Mereghyl the dragon met Neera the seapony in Bazos Bay. Two years since Flavia Hippoi and her twin sister formally joined the Church of the Mother.

But those were better times. Today is not a day of good memories. The last two months have not brought many good memories. Thema Agria, your home, is embroiled in a civil war. The doux and his heir are dead following a strange accident, leaving his crown to his eldest daughter who has proven to be inept at her new position as doux of Agria. A vassal house, house Styra, has risen up against their new liege on the grounds of their family claims to the Agrian crown. Supported by forces of the doux of Anadolus in their war, the rebels delivered a decisive victory over the loyalist forces and laid siege to the capital of Agria; the city of Cantria.

Following the fall of the capital and the subsequent death of the doux, the patriarch of house Styra has crowned himself the new doux of Thema Agria. Odyris Hippoi - steward to the late doux - was imprisoned and stripped of all his lands and titles by the new doux, rendering House Hippoi effectively homeless. Prokopios, Odyris' brother, has disappeared from the radar while his own family fled to the capital of the empire.

It's quiet in Hippoi's hold. What was left of its guards and servants have fled the keep after news of an approaching army reached the holding. There's not much time. They could arrive within a few hours if they force their march. Staying here would surely lead to… well, let's not think about that too much.

You must go. Leave the castle you've called home all your lives behind.

 No.616281

>>616276
Marcus and Nolin
When you left Peneia, the latest news from Cantria seemed bad, but things deteriorated further into a full disaster. By the time you arrived at the shores of Nouplos, Cantria was under siege with Marcus' father stuck in the city. The doux was kind enough to let you hitch a ride on one of her sailing vessels, which dropped you off at Bazos bay, south of your family's holding. The commander of the ship told you he would wait no longer than four hours before he would leave again, not wanting to complicate Peneia into the matter.

Getting to your family holding doesn't take long even on hoof. After a half hour at a fast walking pace, you reach the castle's gates. They're closed… and you don't hear any activity inside.

Mereghyl
Terrible news has reached your ears. The patriarch has been imprisoned by the pretender rebels. Cantria has fallen, the doux is dead. The war has been lost.

You're one of the few people left in Hippoi's hold. But even you must realize that defending it would be suicide. You must flee if you wish to survive.

Flavia
Your father has been imprisoned! And they even took his title and lands! All the servants and guards are gone… the castle seems so empty and creepy right now. Who can blame them? There's an army headed this way to take possession of this place, if you stayed here they'd probably do nasty things to you. Your mother and siblings are very much on edge right now, they're packing whatever they can carry and are preparing to run away. Livia has ended her packing and is now praying on the ground. Despite everything she seems to be taking it fairly well compared to your other siblings.

 No.616726

>>616281
I better keep watch. If any scouts dare show they faces here, they will have a very bad time.
I must guard the castle since all the cowards fled.

 No.616727

>>616281
Step lightly and put a hoof on her shoulder, calling her back to reality.
"It's time."

 No.616728

>>616281
Dammit.

"We need to get in here, fast."
Is Karabi here?

 No.616729

>>616726
The main force won't be here for another few hours, judging by their movement. Even the vanguard is still at the very least an hour away.

That said, you spot a figure flying near the castle perimeters. Looks to be a gryphon.

>>616727
She turns to look up at you. For a moment she doesn't seem to register your words, but eventually she gets up and nods in agreement.
"I… guess it is. We have to leave home behind. And… dad too, I guess."

>>616728
She is your bodyguard, so she always stays near unless ordered otherwise. She's flying along with the two of you, making sure to stay relatively close to the ground.

Also, as said in the second post, you're just about arriving at the closed castle gates, which doesn't seem to be manned.

 No.616730

>>616729
In my memory, was Mereghyls home reachable from the outside?

 No.616731

>>616729
Take her by a hoof and lift her up, hugging her close, stroking her mane from behind, sighing slightly.
Let a moment pass before giving way to the hug, stepping back and looking at her.
"We can't carry much. Make sure you have only important things…"

 No.616732

>>616729
Take to the air and fly closer to see who or what the gryphon is.
Fly above, so I can't lose sight of him or her.

 No.616733

>>616730
There are tunnels leading to the basements of the castle that go under the walls, but these entrances are hidden and sealed off. You know where they are, but busting through them would not only be hard, but also dangerous at the risk of collapsing said tunnels onto you.

Karabi suddenly dives down and lands.
"Your drake is here. He's seen us."

>>616731
"Don't worry, I've packed light. I just hope they won't mess too much with our other stuff. I've hidden a few things away… You know, old toys and stuff with a lot of memories tied to them."

>>616732
It's a she, you can see. She dives down towards two other figures as she spots you and lands next to them.

As you get closer, you sort recognize the ponies on the ground. The colors, that mane, those clothes… That's Marcus! And Nolin too! They're right here at the gates!

 No.616734

>>616281
>>616729
Lets just kick open the gates.
"They.. probably aren't inside even."

 No.616735

>>616734
These gates are designed to withstand minor battering rams! Earth pony hooves are strong, but this is too much!

 No.616736

>>616733
>>616734
Ah! It is them!
Touch down and land behind them.
"You are back! It is not safe to be out here."
Extend my two front claws.
"I can fly you two inside. We must not be out here."

 No.616737

>>616736
>>616733
Look up and see Mereghyl landing.

Run to him and climb aboard.
"Mereghyl. Good to see you, where is everypony?"

 No.616738

>>616735
Well.. At least I got the dragon's attention.
>>616736
"Actually we need to get you lot to the docks." I explain quickly and grab onto your claw. "Best take us inside Cousin, to the others so we can leave together… There are others right?"

 No.616739

>>616738
>>616737
Nod and take off as soon as I got the two of you. The gryphon can fly on her own.
Get us inside.
"They are all packing what they can. They are very disteressed. Everyone is. The coward guards and servants all left."

 No.616740

>>616733
Whimper slightly, thinking about them.
"M-maybe if they find them, they won't know what they are…"
Then, take her by a hoof and head towards the exit.
"Let's leave now."

 No.616741

>>616739
Get off.
"We have to save who we can. Where are they?"

 No.616742

>>616737
>>616738
>>616739
Mereghyl picks the two lost sons up and flies them over the wall, putting them down in the courtyard of the castle. Karabi seems unimpressed and flies over as well.

The castle is very silent, seemingly abandoned by most of its souls.

>>616740
"We'll have to hope…"
You take her out of your chambers and head down, rejoining your mother, sister and brother. They appear to be arguing about where to go and don't even notice the two of you entering.

 No.616743

>>616742
>>616741
"They are in their chambers, preparing to leave."
Grimace.
"I only have my hoard to get. We must leave. We cannot stay here."

 No.616744

>>616742
Which brother?
"The sea is our best chance."

 No.616745

>>616743
Frown.
"I'll be back soon."
Look to Karabi.
"Karabi, please keep watch for any enemies."
Hurry inside the castle.

 No.616746

>>616742
>>616743
"Talk about a ghost town! And I came here to pick up ponies." I laugh and poke the dragon's side. "Come on, lets go surprise them."

 No.616747

>>616745
Nod.

>>616746
"Even I would be surprised if I could fit in their chambers. Go with Marcus. I need to get my hoard myself. Hurry. Tell the girls to hurry too."

 No.616748

>>616747
"Alright. Don't hoard too much."
>>616745
>>616742
Follow Marcus into the castle.

 No.616749

>>616748
Nod at him, then head off to my dwelling.

 No.616750

>>616744
Niphon, the only brother around right now! With father gone, Anthe is technically the regent of the castle right now, but your mother and brother don't seem to be willing to follow her instructions.

Your brother Niphon seems to be agreeing with your suggestion. Your mother, however, argues for thema Pindos up North as she has family living there. Your sister Anthe on the other hoof seems set on going west towards thema Nouplos where the capital of the empire lies.

And then… Marcus, your cousin Nolin and a gryphon you've never seen before burst into the hall. Marcus has grown since you last saw him 7 years ago.

Like… a lot!

>>616745
>>616748
Both of you head to the great hall where the rest of your family has gathered to discuss where to go from here. Though it seems to have devolved into an argument rather than a simple discussion.

When the two of you step inside the room though, the room goes silent. Marcus sees his siblings, who were still mere foals when he left, now all young adults. They see two stallions who left as colts years before, now having returned to their homelands during dark times.

Marcus' mother is the first to move, forgetting the argument and running over to quickly hug her son whom she hasn't seen in years.
"Marcus! Oh my sweet child, you came back!"

She has aged too since you both left of course, but the changes are more subtle than those of her children.

>>616749
To your hoarding room? There's a nice pile of stuff here the enemy could steal from you…

 No.616751

>>616750
Snort smoke at the very offensive idea.
Can I take it all with me? Or do I have to leave some of it behind?

 No.616752

>>616751
You can probably take most of it, yeah. But you know what moving a lot of stuff around is like, you tend to lose things that way.

 No.616753

>>616752
I'd rather lose some of it than leave it all here for those mongrels to find.

 No.616754

>>616750
I'll let them have their moment.
It might be the last good one for a while after all.

 No.616755

>>616750
Hug her tightly.
"Of course, I did. I'm here to get all of you out of here."

 No.616756

>>616753
Then you better get to rounding it all up. You've got a big ol' pile of junk lying here and not all that much time to collect it.

>>616754
>>616755
After a fairly long hug she does release her son, noticing Nolin and giving him a hug as well.
"Oh Nolin, it's good to see you too. Look at how much you two have grown! If your fathers were here to see this…"

Niphon wanders over as well. While he was a smaller than average colt before you left, he's now grown into a young stallion who looks like he could physically overpower either of you if he wanted to.
"Marcus… well, at least you care enough to show up now, but we're not staying here."

 No.616757

>>616756
It's not junk, it has sentimental value!
My first real hoard!
Start getting ALL of it!

 No.616759

>>616756
"Its always a pleasure to see my favorite aunt." I hug her back.
And then after she's done, I sigh and get serious.
"We should get to the harbor and sail somewhere else, Have you decided where you want to go?"

 No.616760

>>616756
"No, we're not. Mereghyl is ready to leave, we can fly on him out of here."

 No.616761

>>616750
>>616755
Gasp as he bursts into the hall, and run up to him, ready to squeeze my big brother into a hug-
Just to stop a moment short, and shuffle awkwardly on my hooves.
"Brother…"
I say in a low voice, looking at the ground.

 No.616762

>>616757
You scramble to get it all together and put it bags large enough for you to carry.

>>616759
>>616760
Anthe strides forward.
"We've decided to go west, to the capital of the empire like the rest of the family."

Niphon rolls his eyes.
"That's a stupid idea, I've already explained why. We should just get a ship and follow the coast out of Agria. It'll be much faster that way."

Your mother clears her throat and speaks over your siblings. "I was thinking we should go North… towards the shudderpeaks of Pindos. There's family of mine living there we could ask for shelter."

 No.616763

>>616762
>>616761
Snap back to reality, whoops there goes gravity.
"Brother, if I may…
We should reach the sea. There's an army a thousands strong behind us, but once at seas any advantage they have will be gone.
Travelling by land they could cut us off in any possible way."

 No.616764

>>616762
Once it's all collected, get back to the courtyard. Is the gryphon here?

 No.616765

>>616762
>>616763
Look at all of them.
"Nipon and Flavia are right, we should head for the sea. I have a boat waiting there, once we're out on the sea and out near the coast. If we go over land, we'll be too vulnerable."

 No.616766

>>616762
I sigh and rub my forehead with a hoof.
"That's not really one decision at all.."
"But we need to travel with ponies we trust, so family is a huge plus there."
>>616763
Nod in agreement. "As long as we can trust the ponies we're sailing with it is."

 No.616767

>>616764
The gryphon seems to be glued to Marcus. She looks fairly dangerous but keeps quiet during the exchange. Since they're in the main hall you can actually reach them.

>>616765
>>616763
Niphon hits his head.
"Thank you for talking some sense."

Anthe seems unconvinced.
"What kind of boat? How can we trust strangers? What if they sell us out!?"

 No.616768

>>616767
I could, but first, take off to get a good look if we still have time or not.

 No.616769

>>616767
Look to Anthe.
"They're in employ of the Doux of Penneia. We can trust her."

 No.616770

>>616767
>>616769
Nod in confirmation. "Yea, the Doux is trustworthy, helped us get down here to see you. We should get going to the boat before something happens."

 No.616771

>>616767
>>616770
Suppress the idea this migh all be a setup to catch us all.
"We need to hurry."

 No.616772

>>616769
>>616770
"Peneia? How are they trustworthy! They refused to help our doux fight the rebels when asked!"

Niphon looks annoyed.
"Maybe because our new doux was completely incompetent?"

>>616768
You still have time, but you should probably get moving sooner rather than later if you don't want to risk running into scouts.

>>616771
Your brother picks up one of your bags.
"Let me take that for you. If Marcus and Nolin have a ship we can use, we should not waste the opportunity."

 No.616773

>>616772
Sigh.
"Thanks Niphon…"

Walk up to mother.
"Please. Mother. Stop this…"

 No.616774

>>616772
There's gonna be a lot of explaining to do.
"I trust them, that should be enough.
Are you all ready to go?"

 No.616775

>>616772
"We don't a lot of time to think of a new plan.."

 No.616776

>>616772
I told Marcus to hurry everyone along. Better keep an eye on those potential scouts.

 No.616777

>>616773
>>616774
>>616775
Your mother snaps at Anthe.
"Just listen to your brothers, Anthe. I don't like our situation either but we'll have to trust their judgment. We can't afford to wait around much longer."

Anthe begrudgingly picks up her bags and walks out the room to the courtyard.

It appears you are set to take your bags now and go.

>>616776
Anthe comes outside first, carrying some bags and looking somewhat displeased.

 No.616778

>>616777
Go pick up mothers bags.
"We should get going. Mereghyl is waiting outside"

 No.616779

>>616777
And we pick our bags.
>>616778
Step by his side, watching him in wonder, but not daring to say a word.

 No.616780

>>616777
Make sure to grab my own belongings.
"Hurry. We have not much time."

 No.616781

>>616777
Pick up any leftover bags and get going.

 No.616782

>>616778
>>616779
>>616780
>>616781
Then the time has come to leave your home - the castle that has been in the Hippoi family's possession for generations - behind. From Mereghyl's hatching to Flavia's cutie mark appearance, it all happened here inside this old fortress of stone. When the enemy comes, they will claim it as their own and render you all effectively homeless.

Marcus has suggested to use the ship he came in with to flee from Agria. The coast isn't that far away, but with all you're carrying it may take a while longer than it should.

I'd like an Athletics roll from all of you.
'4d20'

Roll #1 6, 19, 18, 16 = 59

 No.616784

>>616782
Running is not my style.
'1d20'

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.616785

>>616782
'1d20+3'

Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5

 No.616786

>>616782
Running in a dress is a mess!

Roll #1 17 - 1 = 16

 No.616787

>>616785
I'll try and boost that with an action die
'1d4'

Roll #1 4 = 4

 No.616788

>>616782
'1d20' rollin'

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.616789

>>616788
might as well try an action die to boost it '1d4'

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.616790

>>616784
Just one action die '1d4'

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.616791

>>616782
>>616784
>>616785
>>616786
>>616787
>>616788
Marcus, his mother, Nolin and Mereghyl are the slowest of the group, but as a whole you manage a quick enough pace to get to the shoreline within thirty minutes! As such you are ahead of any trouble that could have slowed you down.

The galley from Peneia on which Marcus and Nolin came in with is still there, but they appear to be preparing to leave. There's a rowing boat you can use, but you'll need to do the rowing yourself, which will require a Strength roll.

Niphon takes one of the oars '1d20+4'
The girls don't seem eager to row themselves and you need at least two rowers to get this thing going. Four if you want to be sure to be quick enough.

Roll #1 13 + 4 = 17

 No.616792

>>616791
I am not a strong poni
'1d20'

Roll #1 20 = 20

 No.616793

>>616791
'1d20' rolling

Roll #1 5 = 5

 No.616794

>>61679
Look worried at the horizon, striking a dramatic pose!

 No.616795

>>616793
You can't keep up with your cousins at all, so you stop rowing to prevent slowing down the boat. Looks like they can get you there fast enough without needing help, so no worries.

>>616794
You're dramatic, but not much help otherwise. Looks like your brothers have the rowing completely under control though, as you quickly reach the sailing ship.

>>616792
>>616791
Those are two strong rowers, enough to make up for the lack of extra help. The galley crew notice your approach you and lets down a rope ladder along the hull as you touch with the ship.

You all start climbing up the ladder one by one. The captain is waiting on you on the deck, holding a scroll under his wing.

"You've returned on time, my lords and ladies. We were preparing to set sail again."

He hoofs Marcus the sealed scroll he's holding.

"This came in with the latest batch of mail just now. It's addressed to you, lord Hippoi, sent from Clopantinople."

 No.616796

>>616795
I'll just quickly hover by the ship to deposit the bags that have my hoard then land back at the shore.

 No.616797

>>616795
Grab it and read it.

 No.616798

>>616797
You break the seal, which is blank, and unfurl the letter. Its contents are brief and very vague.

Marcus Hippoi,

I must speak to you.
Come to the Oily Olive inn in Clopantinople and ask for the keys of room IX on the evening of the new moon.

By the tides,

- A friend


>>616796
Everything is now safely set down on deck. You hear the captain shout some orders and the anchors of the ship are raised. They're setting off, heading west as expected.

 No.616799

>>616798
Once they set sail, I will follow them in the air.

 No.616800

>>616795
>>616798
I'm sure Marcus will tell us if anything is wrong. Just wait around near the others below deck.

 No.616801

>>616798
That doesn't seem suspicious at all.
"by the tides" that seems curious, have I ever seen that before?
Also when is the next new moon?

 No.616802

>>616795
Step on deck and help my sister up as well!
>>616801
"Grave news?"

 No.616803

>>616801
By the tides is a saying often used by followers of Aqualia, which you are familiar with thanks to your time in Peneia. Clopantinople doesn't have as many followers of Aqualia, they are most prominent in Thema Saddlonica and Thema Peneia.

The new moon is in four days.

>>616800
>>616802
The captain clears his throat before you leave to grab your attention.

“I’m sorry my lords and ladies, but we’ve also just received orders from Peneios. We have to set sail for Thema Saddlonica immediately, the Peneian fleet is mobilizing there together with the Saddlonican fleet. Without the Agrian fleet we’ll be lower on ships than usual so the doux has ordered all her vessels to be deployed with great haste.”

The postmaster of the ship runs up to the captain and hoofs him another scroll of parchment. He excuses himself and begins to read.

“Hm. A message forwarded by the imperial maritime office… The threat level along the south coast of the empire has been raised from ‘mild concern’ to ‘deep concern’. More attacks from corsairs perhaps… that may explain the naval mobilization. In any case, the journey to Saddlonica should be about a week given the weather conditions. I’m afraid that once we get there you will need to disembark the ship. If it’s any consolation, our doux is headed to Saddlonica as well.”

 No.616804

>>616803
>>616802
"Perhaps."
Turn to the captain.
"Captain, I need to talk to my family in private."

 No.616805

>>616804
He lowers his head as a sign of respect.
"Of course. You have the bow of the ship. If you need me, I will be at the stern."

 No.616806

>>616803
"But what if anything comes our way as we sail?"

 No.616807

>>616806
He smiles slightly, looking back at you as he walks off.
"Then we ram them until the way is clear again."

 No.616808

>>616805
Once he's gone, I show the letter to all of you.

 No.616809

>>616808
"Seems kind of sudden, considering everything. What do you want to do?"

 No.616810

>>616808
Anthe pulls up her nose in mild disgust.
"That smells like a ruse! I remember you being the smarter of my brothers, Marcus. Surely you must see the shadiness of this."

Niphon rolls his eyes.
"We're not important enough for someone to cause trouble on the Empress' front yard just to get to us."

"Horrible hoofwriting. Do you think a doctor wrote this?" your mother comments.

Livia inspects the letter carefully.
"By the tides? I think that's a saying from Saddlonica."

 No.616811

>>616808
"What a horrible friend, not signing his letters…"

 No.616812

>>616810
"A ruse? Quite a weird ruse. If whoever wrote this wanted to capture us, why ask for just me?"

Look at Livia.
"It's a saying of followers of Aqualia."

Look towards Karabi.
"Karabi, what do you make of this?"

>>616811
"His…or her?"

 No.616813

>>616812
Look slightly surprised at that.
"Of course. Her…"

 No.616814

>>616812
"Uh, because you're the regent now? They're going to try peeling us layer by layer like an onion."

"Makes sense, Saddlonica is probably the biggest hub for Aqualians in the empire."

"I think this letter is too vague to draw any conclusions. Whether or not this friend of yours wants to help or put a knife between your ribs is impossible to say to me. I'm not good with following your pony logic."

 No.616815

>>616814
>>616813
Sit down.
"We have few allies these days. If this pony might provide help, I think I should take that chance…"

 No.616816

>>616815
"You would be a fool to go alone!"

 No.616817

>>616815
>>616816
"It doesn't say he has to go there alone." Livia notes.

 No.616818

>>616817
>>616815
"I'm coming along. They'd not hurt a priestess."

 No.616819

>>616817
Scratch my head and fold up the letter.
"It will be a few days before we reach Cloptantinople. We can decide on this matter tomorrow.
Let's take some time to rest."

Though if you want a decision now, Groves, we could do a little timeskip, unless other (N)PCs want to decide now

 No.616820

>>616819
If you wish to timeskip, that's fine by me. If you prefer not, that's fine by me too.

"I should go write some letters… let people know we're okay…" your mother mumbles to herself as she walks off.

Anthe gives you a look, but stays quiet and walks off to the belowdecks.

Niphon goes to the stern of the ship.

>>616818
Livia nods in agreement.
"I will too, sister."

 No.616821

>>616820
Step by Livia's side and give her a smile and a flank bump.
>>616819
"I'm with you, if going to Clopantinople is what we want to do."

 No.616822

>>616820
This also gives me some time to talk to mom, , flavia, livia, nipon and anthe.

>>616821
Give you a smile.
"I wish we could have reunited under different circumstances. I didn't even get to tell you how much you've grown yet."

 No.616823

>>616822
"I'm the one who should be saying that…
You've changed so much, brother!"

 No.616824

>>616823
Give you a hug.
"It's good to see you. All of you."

 No.616825

Timeskip then?

 No.616826

It's been a long day and it's decided to rest for a while to regain your bearings. The ship cruises on along the coast and eventually night falls. One by one you all head to sleep, even Mereghyl who has to awkwardly perch himself onto the stern of the ship while resting.

In the morrow, you are awoken by a bell being rung to signify the change of watch.

 No.616827

>>616826
Stretch my wings and tired limbs.
This is rather uncomfortable.

 No.616828

>>616826
By Aquilia's mane, this bed is uncomfortable.

 No.616829

>>616826
I'll take a look at the situation on deck.

 No.616830

>>616827
>>616828
This is your life now. Comfort may not be as common as it used to be for you.

>>616829
The crew is changing shifts, so ponies are walking everywhere. You see the helmsmare rechecking the ship's heading up on the helm, an officer checking the oars for damage and the postmaster setting loose a few pigeons.

 No.616831

>>616830
Fuck that.
If this keeps going, I might need to switch to a cheaper morning wine in 10 years.

Get out and look for the others.

 No.616832

>>616830
Not for long.
Only for as long as it takes to free father.

 No.616833

>>616831
>>616832
Anthe is sleeping in. Niphon seems bored already and is munching on some grapes. Your mother seems to be observing the helmsmare doing her work. Karabi has been awake for gods know how long already. She doesn't seem to sleep often at all and has taken over the crow's nest.

 No.616834

>>616833
That reminds me… does this ship have provisions that I could eat?

 No.616835

>>616830
That all seem normal enough.
I'll just go to helmsmare.
"Good morning. How's the course look?"

 No.616836

>>616833
She'll be better in there.
I'll walk to Niphon.
"You're up early."

 No.616837

>>616834
No meat. There's some fish and a lot of seaweed, dried fruits and salted stuff. Not a great diet for your bowels, but you'll need to deal with it unless you want to go hunt.

>>616835
"Jus' fine. Not much need for calibrations, only got to follow the coastline visually and we'd be fine even at night. Jus' nice to have a proper heading in case visibility drops. You never know when Aqualia will drop a fogbank on us."

>>616836
He spits out a seed.
"So are you, brother. I figured your beauty sleep would last at least as long as Anthe's."

 No.616838

>>616837
I'll eat some fish for now… but I will have to hunt once I have the time.

 No.616839

>>616837
It's time for a morning prayer.

 No.616840

>>616837
"Ah, nature is truly our most fickle ally."
I give her a kind smile and glance at what she's doing to be sure.

 No.616841

>>616837
Glance at the seed and back to him.
"You should try it sometime, it might make you less grumpy."

 No.616842

>>616838
You ask one of the crew to bring out the crate of fish. Karabi is watching you like a hawk from her position up top. She probably really likes fish.

>>616839
Livia is still sleeping! Do you wake her to join you or let her be?

>>616840
She's using the compass and the map to check the heading of the ship, comparing it to the route it's supposed to take to get to its destination.

>>616841
"Sorry if I'm not overfilled with joy right now. Father is locked up in a dungeon and we're forced to run away from our home. All because of that moronic mare. Hmph. Good riddance."

 No.616843

>>616842
Of course I wake her!

 No.616844

>>616842
…I can always go out and hunt.
Offer her some, but she will have to come down for it.
Unless I am tall enough to just reach up.

 No.616845

>>616842
>moronic mare
I guess he's referring to that Doux?

 No.616846


 No.616847

>>616842
Alright, I'll head off to where the rest of the family is then.

 No.616848

>>616842
Flop my ears.
"Niphon, we'll get father back and we'll make each and every one of them pay for what they did. That I promise you. They'll regret the day they attacked our House."

 No.616849

>>616843
Her eyes flutter open and she looks up at you.
"Flavia? What's wrong?"

>>616844
You're not. And she doesn't seem inclined to come down. She seems very alert.

>>616847
Marcus and Niphon are talking to each other. Your cousin Anthe is still sleeping, she seems like a lazy type. Your cousins Flavia and Livia seem to have woken up and are chatting.

>>616848
"Easier said than done. I'm no fool Marcus, I see how bleak our situation is. I'm not going to give up though. To hell with them all."

 No.616850

>>616849
"They can't keep us down, not forever.
As long as our family stays united, we are unbreakable."

 No.616851

>>616849
Take her hoof.
"Nothing, sister."
Smile warmly.
"But it's prayer time."

 No.616852

>>616850
"Great. We're not even united. We weren't even united before father got imprisoned."

>>616851
"Oh no, is it that late already? How long did I oversleep?"
She quickly scrambles to get on her hooves with your help.

 No.616853

>>616849
"Good morning, you'll be happy to know we're making good time and the weather is lovely."
I inform my cousins.

 No.616854

>>616852
"What's that supposed to mean?"

 No.616855

>>616849
Snort.
Fine.
Eat most of the wish, but leave a gryphon-meal sized part of it.
Once I'm finished, fly just high enough to give her some.

 No.616856

>>616853
>>616854
Niphon blows his breath.
"Mother and father don't get along anymore. You two were gone for years. Father was always busy and less home as time went by. Anthe is delusional. Flavia and Livia spend so much time praying I sometimes worry they've become detached from reality."

>>616855
She follows your every move. As you fly up, she tenses up.
"Breakfast on bed?"

 No.616857

>>616856
Nod.
"You barely sleep, you barely eat.
If I did not know any better, I might say you are a construct of the necromancers to feast so."

 No.616858

>>616852
Steady her as the ship rocks back and forth, and sit down, taking her hooves in mine.

 No.616859

>>616856
"And yet here we all are, together. What does that say?"

 No.616860

>>616856
"….Cousin.. What kind of family would I be if I didn't come back at a time like this?"

 No.616861

>>616857
She narrows her eyes at you.
"I'm not some foul necrotic creature."

>>616858
She steadies out as her groggy brain catches up to her body.
"Okay, I'm awake now. Should we go pray on the deck?"

>>616859
"That we're all running away from the same thing."

>>616860
"It's the least you could do. Just a shame it had to take you so long."

 No.616862

>>616861
"And what would you have us do?"

 No.616863

>>616861
Shake my head.
"We do the best we can with the choices given to us. I doubt we would be any better off If I had stayed here."

 No.616864

>>616861
Stare back at her.
"Are you not familiar with the concept of humor either? I might be not as proficient at it as my cousin Nolin, but I tried nevertheless."

 No.616865

>>616861
"The fresh sea air might help us, yes."
Up we go. What are the others up to, in the meanwhile?

 No.616866

>>616862
He shrugs.
"Keep running and find someplace to bide our time."

>>616863
"We'll never know, I guess. Just try to make a difference now that you're here. We'll need it. Desperately."

>>616864
"So it's true what they say about dragons from Trotantium then. Ponified to the core."

 No.616867

>>616866
"We should find a place to stay, but we can't wait. We must take the initiative somehow and fast."

 No.616868

>>616866
"I have not had the chance to read up on the culture of gryphons yet. If only the time was right to learn about it, yet we face far more troublesome tasks ahead of us."

 No.616869

>>616866
"Oh, and here I was thinking of going back to bed and dreaming about pretty mares until lunch." I grin and poke my grumpy cousin.

 No.616870

>>616867
So, late yesterday night, I trot along, looking for something on the ship…

 No.616871

>>616870
I'll be outside on the bow.
Looking at the sea.

 No.616872

>>616871
Oh my, such a strong and romantic stallion~
Slowly, trying to conceal the squeaking of the wooden planks under my small hoofshoes, I approach, wordless.

 No.616873

>>616872
Notice '1d20+9'

Roll #1 12 + 9 = 21

 No.616874

>>616873
>>616872
Wanna roll against that?

 No.616875

>>616874
>>616873
No use, my Sneak is unbonused and as such caps at 15.

 No.616876

>>616875
Flop my ears and look over my shoulder quickly but smile when I see you

 No.616877

>>616876
Gulp and blush intensely as you notice me, recoiling by a single step on my tracks.
"H-hey brother."

 No.616878

>>616877
"Hello sister."

 No.616879

>>616878
"I… Uhm…
Couldn't sleep."

 No.616880

>>616879
"Neither could I. Come over here."

 No.616881

>>616880
Trot silently over, smiling just a bit, and sitting by the railing of the ship, covering my back in my coat as I look up at Marcus.
"The first thing I wanted to say when I saw you at the castle was how much you have grown…
But it really wasn't the time."

 No.616882

>>616881
"No…no, it wasn't."
Sigh.
"I imagined my coming home would be very different."

 No.616883

>>616882
"I had hoped you'd visit the chapel's garden, once you came back…"
Sigh.

 No.616884

>>616883
"I've read you've become a priestess?"

 No.616885

>>616884
Nod slowly.
"And you became the stallion of the family…"

 No.616886

>>616885
"I did…I suppose."
Look at the sea.
"…I've become a bit of a believer myself while I was in Penneia."

 No.616887

>>616886
"Found the ways of Mother?"
Slide closer, easing up on my worries.

 No.616888

>>616887
"Mmmmm, maybe not the Mother…
I…uh..I met a seapony…"

 No.616889

>>616888
Gasp and look at him with big, amazed eyes!
"Really?
What was it like? Did it speak? Did it try and bite you? Was it tame?"

 No.616890

>>616889
"She…was actually quite a lovely pony. Seeing her in the sea like that….it was the first time I really started wondering about the gods."
Pause for a second.
"Do you believe there's a plan? Like all of this, our father being captured…that it's all jus part of big plan?"

 No.616891

>>616890
Blink in surprise at the question, looking quite unsure on how to answer that, trying to find the words over your face at first, and then into the vastness of the ocean.
"I know there are plans.
But wheter or not our father's fate is part of them…
And if it was…
I could never forgive myself."

 No.616892

>>616891
Turn to you.
"What do you mean?"

 No.616893

>>616892
Time for graceful recovery.
"I should have known. Prayed harder.
Heed the signs of impeding disaster!"

 No.616894

>>616893
Turn around and put my hoof on your cheek.
"It's not your fault, Flavia."

 No.616895

>>616894
Look away, avoiding your gaze, but nuzzling softly into the hoof.
"Thanks for coming back, big bro."

 No.616896

>>616895
"I missed you, lil sis."
Smile.
"And here you are, an aspiring priestess of the Mother.
I think Father would…is very proud."

 No.616897

>>616896
Sigh at his lapse.
"Don't take me for a kid still…
I know what could be happening to him in this very moment."

 No.616898

>>616897
Frown and look back at the sea.
"…we will free him."

 No.616899

>>616898
"What if this contact of yours doesn't come through…"

 No.616900

>>616899
"Then we'll find another way!" I say a bit more loudly.

 No.616901

>>616900
"Right. Another way. Let us not lose faith!"
Smile up and…
Look at him, clearly trying to change subject.
"So! Sea pony!"

 No.616902

>>616901
I smile and turn away from the sea to stand next to you.
"Let's make a deal.
I tell you about the seapony and Penneia and in return you tell me everything about your time as a priestess?"

 No.616903

>>616902
"Is that when you started having all of these girl friends?"
Smirk and poke his side.

 No.616904

>>616903
Wander with her over the deck.
"Girl friends? Why, dear sis, who would give you that idea?"
2tired4me. Continue later?

 No.616905

>>616904
"You went thinking about a she as soon as you got the letter!"

 No.616906

>>616905
I chuckle.
"I guess I gave myself away.
But who I was thinking about was not a girl friend. It was a mare I met in Penneia, she's a priestess of Aquilia."
Scratch my head.
"But…come to think of it, it would be rather odd for her to go to Cloptantinople to meet me instead of just going to Saddleonica with the Doux…"

 No.616907

>>616906
"The mystery grows deeper.
Do you still think it'd be wise to meet with… Her?"

 No.616908

>>616907
"The way I see it…we could use any ally we can get. Cloptantinople might be dangerous but it's not the territory of our enemies."

 No.616909

>>616908
"Just to be safe. If things get hectic, we might run for a church.
They are gonna help us!"

 No.616910

>>616909
"I'm sure they will."
Sit down.
"But…I don't want to bring everypony. It would be too dangerous for mother…"

 No.616911

>>616910
"She was hit so bad when father left…"

 No.616912

>>616911
"This must all be very hard for her…
I don't want to put her through more."

 No.616913

>>616912
"Wouldn't it be wise to leave her on the ship? Let her reach Saddleonica as we stop by Cloptantinople?"

 No.616914

>>616913
"Yes, I think so too.
But not alone…
She needs somepony who can support her…
Do you think Livia could do that?"

 No.616915

>>616914
Gasp!
"I don't know!
Me and Livia have never been separated!"

 No.616916

>>616915
"I don't like leaving her behind.
But Mother needs somepony to be with her while we're gone.
Anthe and Nipon would bring her more worries.
And I want you to come with us.
Livia is the only one I can think of…"

 No.616917

>>616916
"But… Why Livia and not me?
We are twins! One and the same!"

 No.616918

>>616917
"Do you want to stay with mom?"

 No.616919

>>616918
"No…"

 No.616920

>>616919
"We could use your help in Cloptantinople.
And once we found out who the pony that sent the letter is, we'll go back to Mom and Livia as quickly as possible."

 No.616921

>>616920
Look down in sadness.
"I guess extreme times ask for extreme measures…
I will talk to her."

 No.616922

>>616921
"Do you think we should bring Anthe and Nipon?"

 No.616923

>>616922
"I don't know… You know Anthe. She ends up trying to take the lead of every situation…"

 No.616924

>>616923
"That's why we should keep an eye on her.
Besides I think she'd be thrilled to visit the big city."

 No.616925

>>616924
"You seem to be putting a lot of faith into the words of a sister you haven't seen in years, big brother."

 No.616926

>>616925
"If I can trust my family, who can I trust?"

 No.616927

>>616926
Look at him with a blush, soaking in the silence.
"So! Poneia! How was it?"

 No.616928

>>616927
"It was great. I saw so many things I never would have imagined. Penneia is so different from Agria."

 No.616929

>>616928
"Is it true ponies there live under the sea?"

 No.616930

>>616929
"Just the seaponies.
The Penneians are perfectly happy to live on the land."

 No.616931

>>616930
"What did you learn?
I mean, you are so… Different now."

 No.616932

>>616931
"The ways of the court.
How to manage gold.
How a courtier properly behaves."

 No.616933

>>616932
"Just like father, uh?"

 No.616934

>>616933
"I suppose that's why he sent me there."

 No.616935

>>616934
"…"
Look around, unsure on what to say.
"It's because he will be gone for real, isn't it?"

 No.616936

>>616935
I pause for a second.
"I doubt it, not yet at least.
He is far more valuable to them as a hostage right now."

 No.616937

>>616936
"He knew about this for so long… But they told us nothing.
Neither him, nor mother, nor our other brothers told me and Livia a thing about this…"

 No.616938

>>616937
"They probably didn't want to burden you both…"

 No.616939

>>616938
"We spend our days in prayer and attending a single chapel. How much of a burden could it be?"

 No.616940

>>616939
"You haven't told me anything yet about that.
How do you like being a priestess?"

 No.616941

>>616940
"It's everything I ever dreamt it to be."
Smile proudly at Marcus.

 No.616942

>>616941
"Doesn't it get a bit…boring?"

 No.616943

>>616942
"I just take it as an occasion to meditate and think about what is to come.
Boring… It's not a nice word."

 No.616944

>>616943
"I don't mean it negatively.
I just wondered if you're truly happy praying all day."

 No.616945

>>616944
"I know there are things to come. And praying is the only way I ca-
The only way I could prepare for them."

 No.616946

>>616945
"Does the Mother talk to you back?"

 No.616947

>>616946
Kind of shrug, making a strange face.
"At times. She comes as inspirations. Small ideas. Hints."

 No.616948

>>616947
"Did she say anything about our family?"

 No.616949

>>616948
Shake my head.
"There are bigger concerns moving the world…"
Smile at him.
"But not my world. Not now."

 No.616950

>>616949
"Good.
Because we'll have to act fast if we're going to reclaim our house."

 No.617216

Three days since departure…

"Large vessel, heading 3-4-7. Speed around… 5 knots!"

"Longboat, heading 1-0-4. 4 to 7 knots."

You've entered the busy waters around the great city of Clopantinople on the dawn of the fourth day. The journey took longer than anticipated after bad weather on the two previous days, but now things are calm again.

"Dromons in triangular formation heading 1-8-4! Unknown speed!"

Spotters in the crow's nest scour the waters for other ships as a dense fog lingers about the shore of Thema Nouplos. The captain has agreed to venture closer to the capital city than he was initially willing to. This way you can use one of the ship's rowboats to get to shore.

"Arabian dhow, heading 1-5-9. Speed is 3 knots!"

There's not much wind and the sea has calmed down, but navigating the fog is no child's play with this much traffic in shallow waters. You should probably ready yourselves in the rowboat that was lowered for you behind the ship.

 No.617217

>>617216
At times like these wings would be really helpful!

 No.617218

>>617216
I'll wait for the pony sized passangers to embark

 No.617219

>>617217
>>617218
You're leaving your mother and sister Livia behind on the ship as they continue on to Saddlonica. It's good that you've said your goodbyes.

"Germane cogs, heading 2-8-9! Slow!"

Anthe is the first to get into the rowing boat, followed by Niphon who takes one of the oars.

 No.617220

>>617216
Put on something casual.
I don't want to stand out too much from the crowd.

 No.617221

>>617219
Last minute hug with Livia.
"I will be back soon, with great news about dad."

 No.617222

>>617221
"R-Right."
It's clear that she's not entirely comfortable with being separated like this. But still she tries to stay strong.

>>617220
Karabi ticks on your shoulder with a talon as you put on your outfit.
"We will need to go to the shore fast. And have an eye in the sky to avoid any ghost ships colliding with your dinky boat."

 No.617223

>>617222
"We can have Mereghyl flying above our boat. No ships will dare to move close."

 No.617224

>>617222
You think I am?
It's all Marcus' plan!

 No.617225

>>617223
"It's not about daring. Have you seen that fog? They won't even be able to see him unless they either get close or there's a break in the fog."

 No.617226

>>617222
Maybe it's not the best of ideas for me to tag along.

 No.617227

>>617224
>>617226
It's somewhat late to be having doubts about it now. You should hurry, every moment you waste is more rowing you'll have to do to get to shore.

 No.617228

>>617226
"Mmmm, point taken.
I suppose it might be best you and Mereghyl fly together then.
Say, how do you like the family?"

 No.617229

>>617228
"What do you mean?"

 No.617230

>>617229
Oh fuck, that was supposed to be linked to Groves, sorry.
I'm still in my cabin.


>>617225
Seee >>617228

 No.617231

>>617228
"Dromon, heading 2-2-9! Speed is 6 knots!"

"Am I supposed to like them at all?"

 No.617232

>>617231
"Not at all.
I'm asking what you think of them."

 No.617233

>>617232
"I will tell you all about it once we actually don't have a shortage of time."

 No.617234

>>617233
"That's a promise.
Let's face the day."
Step outside the cabin and look for the family.

 No.617235

>>617234
They're already embarking into the rowing boat! Niphon looks annoyed at how slow things are going.

 No.617236

>>617235
Is mom here?

 No.617237

>>617236
Yes, she's with Livia and Flavia. Livia looks saddened. Your mother wasn't happy with the plan but she understood the logic behind it.

 No.617238

>>617237
I walk up to her.
"Mom, we'll be back before you know it."
Turn to Livia and put a hoof on her chin.
"Livia…I'm counting on you to get mom safely to Saddlonica. You'll be representing our family there.
…And once this is over, I promise I'll make sure you and Flavia can visit Cloptantinople as long as you want."

 No.617239

>>617236
>>617237
Head towards Marcus, hard stare on my face.
"Brother, we must talk."

 No.617240

>>617239
"…yes?"

 No.617241

>>617238
She looks at you wide-eyed.
"Y-Yes brother! Whatever you wish."

 No.617242

>>617240
Bite my own lip.
"I mean, if we can…"

 No.617243

>>617242
"Can it wait till this is over?"

 No.617244

>>617241
Tell the mares to be careful while we are not around.

 No.617245

You can see a source of light in the distance, hanging in the air… That must be the lighthouse of the capital's harbor! It's not very noticeable in this fog, but at least you have a vague idea of where the entrance to the port is.

"Dhow, heading 1-9-7. 5 knots! New heading on those Germane cogs at 2-5-4!"

 No.617246

>>617245
Flying is not restricted here, is it?

 No.617247

>>617246
Only above certain parts of the city.

 No.617248

>>617243
Sigh and nod, going back to my place on the rowboat.

 No.617249

>>617248
Go to the rowboat as well.
As I sit down, look at Anthe, how is she doing?

 No.617250

>>617245
I'm pretty sure we're gonna be okay like this?

 No.617251

>>617249
It's early in the morning and she looks like she's still in the land of dreams and happiness. It appears she's not a morning pony. Or an industrious pony for that matter.

Karabi is flying overhead on watch for ships. Mereghyl can do the same.

Niphon will row, but he can't do it alone.

 No.617252

>>617249
It's early in the morning and she looks like she's still in the land of dreams and happiness. It appears she's not a morning pony. Or an industrious pony for that matter.

Karabi is flying overhead on watch for ships. Mereghyl can do the same.

Niphon will row, but he can't do it alone.

 No.617253

>>617251
Use muh strength '1d20'

Roll #1 11 = 11

 No.617254

>>617251
'1d20'

Roll #1 12 = 12

 No.617255

>>617251
Do so, fly up.

 No.617256

>>617253
>>617254
Then it’s time to set out. All of you have gathered in the rowboat, allowing the crew to untie you from the ship and move towards the coast. Karabi and Mereghyl are on spotting duty so they must roll a Search or Notice check.

Niphon's strength check to row '1d20+4'

Roll #1 16 + 4 = 20

 No.617257

>>617256
'1d20+6'

Roll #1 18 + 6 = 24

 No.617258

>>617256
Look down to Notice anything that comes close to their boat.
'1d20+8'

Roll #1 7 + 8 = 15

 No.617259

>>617256
Karabi '1d20+5'

Roll #1 16 + 5 = 21

 No.617260

>>617258
>>617259
Excellent. Enough to keep track of ships that could potentially collide with the rowboat.

>>617257
You're on the rowboat itself, so while you try hard to spot, it's no use unless you're up higher.

The shouts of the spotters on the galley fade away in the mists as you pull away.
"… ship …eading… four… ots…"

You're completely surrounded by the dense fog. All there is to hear is the flapping of wings above you and the splashing of water as you pull the oars back and forth. For a moment you think you hear singing coming from somewhere nearby.

You can still see the light from the lighthouse ahead of you. At least you're going the right way…

 No.617261

>>617260
Would Glow I be enough to pierce the fog?

 No.617262

>>617261
It would certainly make you easier to spot and avoid for other ships, but it doesn't reach far enough to really give much visual aid in fog as dense as this.

 No.617263

>>617260
Check my bag for my money.
I might have to bribe some people.
I brought 260 gold of my skill for bribes.
And 100 gold for other expenses from my stash

 No.617264

>>617260
Keep soaring up above then, without losing sight of them.

 No.617265

>>617263
Wait, I'll just use the 260 for bribes and supplies.
I won't take anything from my stash

 No.617266

>>617262
Step forwards on the rowboat, standing tall by the front, and begin humming a low tune to praise Mother.

"As I close my eyes
As night draws near
none of you is gone
so I shall not fear"


Glow I

 No.617267

>>617263
>>617265
>260 silvers from your skill
Exactly right.

Your stash remains untouched at 255 silvers.

>>617264
The rowboat lights up suddenly. Looks like Flavia cast one of her light spells.

>>617266
Your horn sparks to life and begins to glow bright. Anthe groans and covers her eyes, muttering something about five more minutes. The immediate area around you lights up further, as it is still not fully day yet. Other naval traffic will surely be able to notice you now.

 No.617268

>>617267
"Good work…" I comment on the light.

 No.617269

>>617267
"We should be there soon."

 No.617270

>>617267
Makes it easier to track.

 No.617271

>>617268
>>617269
It takes a bit of effort, but eventually you begin to see buildings shrouded by the spooky mist as you enter the city through one of its canals. On both sides of you there are houses bordering the water, with bridges connecting both sides of the small canal.

For Mereghyl, all he sees are the rooftops of these buildings, with the canal snaking through them. This must be the outer city district where the average citizens make their homes… this district alone is already far bigger than any other city in the empire.

There's a small dock where you can disembark your rowboat and tie it down… from there there's stairs leading up to the street level.

 No.617272

>>617271
I'm should get servants to do this work…
Time to steer to the dock and get off.

 No.617273

>>617271
OH GOSH I CAN HARDLY CONTAIN IT!
I CAN'T WAIT I CAN'T WAIT I CAN'T!

 No.617274

>>617272
You get your boat lined up with the dock and jump off, followed by Niphon who immediately ties it to a wooden post. You hear hoofsteps coming from the street above, though it seems like the great city of Clopantinople has yet to fully awaken.
"Damn fog…"

 No.617275

>>617274
Turn to face this newcomer.
If it was somepony looking dangerous Karabi would have said something by now.

 No.617276

>>617274
"Do not fear the fog. It is but a soft shade over the world of waking ponies."

 No.617277

>>617271
Keep circling up above them.
I can't really touch down here.

 No.617278

>>617271
Lets get this boat tied down and get moving then!

 No.617279

File: 1425858104509.png (2.6 MB, 1296x803, To do list.png) ImgOps Google

>>617275
That was Niphon speaking.

Your current list of clues and tasks is fairly small for such a huge city. Your date with your friend is set for the evening. Until then, you can spend your time usefully or uselessly.

>>617277
No, this is indeed a pretty dense part of the city.

 No.617280

>>617279
>>617275
Rush by his side with stars in my eyes.
"Marcus, please, can we go to the Basilica?"

 No.617281

>>617279
Take out my list.
"We still have some time. We can bisit the Basilica first."

 No.617282

>>617279
I'm gonna try to notice a place where I can find a map of the city.
'1d20+6'

Roll #1 7 + 6 = 13

 No.617283

>>617281
Anthe yawns.
"You guys can go ahead. I'm going to find the nearest thermae and take a proper bath."

 No.617284

>>617283
"And how do you figure you'll get back to us?"

 No.617285

>>617283
Just keep in the air then.
Is the gryphon still here too?

 No.617286

>>617282
Easier said than done in this era! It's early in the morning and the people living in this area don't waste money on luxuries like city maps.

>>617284
"Well… we have this boat don't we? And that inn we're supposed to go to to find your secret admirer."

>>617285
She is still flying circles above Marcus and the others, keeping an eye on the streets above them. You see some ponies going about their business, but not all that much activity yet. Some glance up at the two of you to check you out.

 No.617287

>>617286
I suppose I do cast quite a shadow…

Still, do not pay mind to them, just focus on not losing them.

 No.617288

>>617287
It's dawn and there's a heavy fog bearing down on the city, you don't cast much of a shadow at all.

 No.617289

>>617286
>>617282
Rub my head.
"Well you're not going alone. Nolin, do you go with her or shall I?"

 No.617290

>>617289
Niphon rolls his eyes.
"I'll go with her, I'm sure Nolin would like to get together with his own family, you know."

 No.617291

>>617290
"For the record, I was hoping the bath would be over by the time we went to Nolin's family.
I'm not that dense."

 No.617292

>>617286
I never said I wouldn't pay for it, geez.
What about a sign then?
>>617289
"I don't think we need to stop and bath just now to be honest."
>>617290
"You say that as if they aren't also your family." I frown.

 No.617293

>>617288
Not physically.
Poetically.
I am large and easy to notice is the bottom line.

 No.617294

>>617291
"It's Anthe we're talking about here, she'll be lazing about there until the evening unless I drag her away."

Anthe huffs in annoyance.

>>617292
He gives you a blank look.
"I saw them two weeks ago. You haven't seen them in years."

There's a sign here which reads Melamnia street.

 No.617295

>>617294
If Niphon and Anthe go together they'll probably kill each other.
"I think me and Karabi better go with Anthe. We'll meet again at the family house."

 No.617296

>>617294
Tell you what, as the others discuss how to babysit Anthe I will look around for ponies awake.
'1d20+11' notice.

Roll #1 17 + 11 = 28

 No.617297

>>617294
Roll my eyes. "And what, did you get so many pinches on the cheek last time so you don't want to go?"
>>617295
"Shouldn't we go investigate the inn?"

 No.617298

>>617297
"We have time until the evening.
Besides after that boat trip I'm sure a bath will do Anthe well."

 No.617299

>>617295
That may solve some of your problems though!
"Alright then, we'll meet again at that lord's estate. Lord Omnidus was his name I think. Be a good girl while I'm away, will you Anthe?"
"When you stop being an ass, Niphon."

>>617296
The stairs leading up from the dock end on a small bridge crossing the canal. More houses in this street here… but actual ponies as well! Those who are awake already seem to be leaving their homes to go work. Given the size of this city, getting to their workplaces may take a while on hoof…

>>617297
"No, all I was saying was that you probably have more need to go see them than I do."

 No.617300

>>617299
I need them alive….for now.
"Anthe, we don't have all day."

 No.617301

>>617299
Rush up to some of the least-grumpy looking fellas!
"Excuse me sir!
What's the way to the Basilica?"

 No.617302

>>617299
>>617298
"Oh, alright. I'll go there first and catch up to you later then."
Time to head home then.

 No.617303

>>617300
"But we do!"
She trots up the stairs and looks around the street.
"We need to get some directions here…"

>>617301
You approach a stallion carrying a ridiculous amount of small bags smelling of herbs.
"The Basilica? Oh girl, you're in the wrong district for that. You'll need to follow the shoreline further west. It's built on a hill so normally you can spot it from a nice distance, but with this fog…"

>>617302
Your home is currently occupied by the enemy in thema Agria.

Your family fled here to this city and was given shelter by a local lord named Omnidus. He has an estate somewhere here, but you're not sure exactly where.

 No.617304

>>617303
"Is it unusual for there to be so much fog?"
Walk along with him, asking every question with youhful glee.

 No.617305

>>617303
Ask around for a thermae.
Investigate '1d20+8'

Roll #1 19 + 8 = 27

 No.617306

>>617304
"Well it's not too uncommon at this time of day for fog to roll into the city from the sea. Once the sun breaks out and a breeze sets in, this fog will go away in no time."

>>617305
Do you want a fancy one or a normal one?

 No.617307

>>617303
Okay, what buildings are nearby. Notice '1d20+6'

Roll #1 12 + 6 = 18

 No.617308

>>617306
I know a thing or two about spas, should I be able to afford a fancy one with my 50 bucks?

 No.617309

>>617306
"I see. Thank you again sir and might you be blessed in your endeavours today and for all days to come!"
Time to run back to Marcus!

 No.617310

>>617309
I'm here

 No.617311

>>617307
This district of the city homes the majority of its population, which consists of mostly commoner citizens of the empire. As such there's mostly just simple housing here. Nothing too fancy, but still decently sized houses for the average citizen. There are some shops and stores here along the winding streets which snake their way through the district, but clearly this is not the main commercial district.

>>617308
Yes, definitely.

>>617309
"Sure thing, girl."

 No.617312

>>617311
The fancy one then.

 No.617313

>>617310
"I found the way to the church, brother! If we hurry we might make it in time for the morning blessing!"

 No.617314

>>617313
"Aw, I'm sorry Flavia, but I have to stick with Anthe for now."

 No.617315

>>617314
"O-oh. I see."

 No.617316

>>617311
Oh, alright. I'll go to a store then.

 No.617317

>>617315
"Besides…I think Niphon could use some divine help more than me

 No.617318

>>617317
Blink once or twice, not sure what he means.

 No.617319

>>617318
"He could use a morning blessing. Might make him less grumpy."

 No.617346

>>617316
Not all of them are opened yet, but you spot a few ones that have.

Otio's wineshop
Chez Abelix: Menhir store
Thur's Anvil
The Empty Wine Cask
Mosaics And You
Trajan's bakery


There's also the local Forum where market stalls are being set up as per usual.

>>617312
You ask for directions to the nearest non-public thermae and get pointed in the right direction. It's only twenty minutes away from here on hoof, can't miss it! If you're lazy, you could just hop on one of the omnibusses going into that direction.

 No.617349

>>617346
Get an omnibus.

 No.617354

>>617346
The gryphon is looking over them, and it would be bothersome to commute in the city together….

Fly towards the center, somewhere where there is actually enough place for me to land and move around.

 No.617359

>>617349
There aren't many out and about yet, but it doesn't take long for one to stop at a nearby bus stop. These things are pretty much large carriages pulled by four ponies designed to fit as many ponies in it as possible. Anthe looks somewhat uncomfortable being surrounded by all the commoners already on the bus.

Karabi seems to keep to travel by flight.

>>617354
It's kind of hard to see where the center of this stone jungle even is with this fog! Roll Int for navigation.

 No.617361

>>617359
'1d20'
Not sure if I get any bonuses for that

Roll #1 9 = 9

 No.617363

>>617359
She'll just have to get used to it.
"How do you like the omnibus, anthe?"

 No.617366

>>617361
Your Int is 13, so that's a +1.
>10
Houses…
Houses…
Houses…
Different houses? Nope, they're the same. The fog made them look weird for a minute.

Does this sea of bricks ever end? Are you flying in circles or what? And what is with this fog? Can't the weather team get rid of it already?

>>617363
She's doing her best to avoid every form of body contact with the common folk on here.
"It's… certainly a thing."

You arrive at the Thermea you were looking for. Unlike the other nearby thermea, this one is not free for the citizens of the city, meaning it’s less packed and also fancier. Anthe looks ecstatic to be leaving the bus for the bathhouse and quickly trots over to the entrance, paying the fee for her own entry which looks to be 15 silvers today. You wager that price increases during the busier seasons.

 No.617369

>>617366
I also just want to get rid of it myself, but I do not need the attention…

Just keep flying, for now.
Following a large street below from the air might be a good idea.

 No.617371

>>617366
Maybe she'll calm down with a bath.
Get in and pay 15g as well.
What does it look like?

 No.617372

>>617366
Oh yeah, and I imagine Karabi won't be joining us?

 No.617375

>>617369
You follow one of the streets winding its way through the jungle of housing. Eventually you do seem to be transitioning into a different district. Training fields, archery ranges, several hippodromes and even a large pool of sparkling blue water. Barracks, blacksmiths and manufactories… this is some kind of a military zone.

>>617371
>>617372
She stays in the air, if you want her to come down and join you, you can motion her over. If not, she'll just keep an eye on the entrances!

 No.617376

>>617375
I doubt the spa is something for her.
Go into the spa.

 No.617377

>>617375
It might be best to avoid district lest they claim I was spying.

 No.617379

>>617346
Go find brother Niphon then!

 No.617410

>>617376
You follow Anthe inside the marble building, the floor is cool to your hooves but the air inside immediately feels warmer. The first room you come across as you walk through the entrance way is a changing room. There are cubicles here where you can go and get changed in, as well as a whole bunch of chests with locks on them to safely store your belongings.

Anthe takes off her toga and tosses it into one of the open chests.
"What should we do first, dear brother? A steam bath? A mud bath? A foam bath? A cold bath? A bath bath? Or should we go swim in one of the heated pools? Or get a massage?"

>>617377
You skirt past the military district and almost fly into a cloud billboard floating about in the mists.

It reads:
Cloud District above

Please fly slowly



>>617379
It's just you and him left now, standing on the streets.
"You know the way to that shrine you're so excited about?"

 No.617414

>>617410
Cloud District?
That seems interesting.
Fly there.
Slowly.

 No.617415

>>617410
Take off my toga as well.
"A steam bath is always a good start of the day."

 No.617416

>>617410
"It's not just a shrine! It's the grand Basilica of the Mother! The seat of the Primarch!
And if we don't hurry, we might miss morning mass!"
Say all of this as I excitedly drag him along the foggy streets.

 No.617443

>>617410
Most major cities have cloud districts where pegasi and gryphons make their homes. You slowly ascend further until you almost bump into a pegasus stallion descending from the clouds above. He's wearing very fancy clothing and scoffs at you, speaking with a very pretentious sounding tone in his voice.

"Do you get to the Cloud District very often? Oh, what am I saying, of course you don't."

>>617415
You leave the atrium and move through the Tepidarium, a room where it's warm and wet serving as a way to prepare the body for the heat of the actual steam bath. There are very few ponies around at this hour as most only have the time for this kind of thing in the evening after their work hours.

There are several steam bath rooms, so you can just enter an empty one if you wish.

>>617416
"Shouldn't we just take one of the buses? It might be faster than just walking you know."

 No.617445

>>617443
"Indeed I do not. Why would you mention it?"

 No.617446

>>617443
"You want a steam bath for yourself, anthe?"

 No.617456

>>617445
He moves on without saying another word. What a strange pony.

>>617446
"Marcus please, we're family aren't we? Unless you have something to be ashamed about…"
She gives you a shit eating smirk.

 No.617460

>>617456
What an arrogant fool.
Keep flying towards the Cloud District.
He might have meant that because there is a certain way for traversing the air here that I am not aware, though…

 No.617463

>>617456
"I just figured you were the type of mare that likes to soak in sweat alone for hours"

 No.617467

>>617443
"Buses?
Gosh this is such a huge city! Where are they?!"
Let's look for them!

 No.617472

>>617460
You suddenly break free from the mist and see the sun resting on the horizon in all of its red glory. Above you, you see a large clouded area with buildings shaped out of the very clouds themselves. You see some cloud manufactories spewing out rainbow colored smoke, a cloudy hippodrome and even a cloudy amphitheatre!

This is the home of the capital's feathered residents, capable of moving around wherever it pleases. It can cast a large shadow on the city, an ability sometimes used on the hottest days of summer.

>>617463
"What are you… hmph."
She scrunches up her muzzle and enters one of the steam baths.

>>617467
"Yeah, they're big carriages which tour the city free of charge. Clopantinople is so big, they're kind of necessary…"

You don't have to wait long for one to pass you by. Like Niphon said, these are pretty much long carriages pulled by a team of four ponies. It's very full already, this is rush hour! You'll need to squeeze in, so it won't be very comfortable, but it'll be a faster way of getting around at least.

 No.617474

>>617472
Follow her in and close the door.
Sit down and let the steam come in.

 No.617476

>>617472
Look a bit worried at Niphon.
"You will be protecting me if anything happens, right?"

 No.617480

>>617472
Well…
Is it only the feathered residents?

 No.617485

>>617474
Even with the preparation, the wall of moist heat hits you hard at first. This must be one of the warmer steam baths here.

Anthe settles down on a bench with a content smile on her face.
"Ah… finally…"

>>617476
He ruffles your mane.
"Of course I will, sister. Now come on, hop on."
He jumps onto the carriage and pushes some ponies back to make room for you.

>>617480
There might be a dragon or two here, but they're not the most social of creatures and even though they get along with ponies, they often can't keep up with their incessant chattering and prefer to stick to less busy areas. I'm sure you can relate.

 No.617486

>>617485
Jump up and stick close all the way to the Basilica!

 No.617487

>>617485
Of course I can.
Was just curious, is all.
Check the hippodrome and the amphiteathre if they have anything going on at them at the moment.

 No.617488

>>617485
Stretch out on the bench opposite her.
"That's quite good after that boat ride."

 No.617489

>>617486
The carriage takes off, forcing you to grip onto Niphon to stay in place. Let's hope you don't get groped by some pervert on here. The ride will take a little while still…

>>617487
The amphitheater is empty and devoid of any action right now, but the hippodrome seems to be getting some action right now! A bunch of pegasi are racing along the track, while others observe. As they get close to the finish line, they tap one of the pegasi waiting on the sidelines who then takes over in the race. Must be some kind of special game. Judging by their clothing, they're part of the Imperial Institute of Weather Regulation.

>>617488
"Mmmm… Four days of pure torture… I can still picture the horror in my mind."

 No.617490

PAUSE

 No.617491

>>617489
"Let's enjoy this, there might not be many thermaes in our immediate future."

 No.617492

>>617489
I do have my church robes on! If anypony tried that, especially in this holy city, it'd be profanity!

 No.617493

>>617489
Stay around and watch, for a while.
Observe what this game might be.

 No.617494

>>617491
She opens one eye to regard you.
"What makes you say that? Aren't we going to stay here in Clopantinople where it's safe?"

>>617492
It's perfectly natural to want to grope butts though.

The carriage bus cruises through the district, eventually leaving it behind for a slightly less dense area where larger buildings are present. From the looks of it this is some kind of a administrative area with archives, libraries and courthouses.

And in the distance… as the fog begins to slowly dissipate, you see the Basilica perched on a hill. Even from here it looks impossibly large and obviously of great importance.

>>617493
Looks like these are weather ponies being tested or trained for speed. You only now notice there are other pegasi generating crosswinds for the racers to deal with. There are also cloudy obstacles on the course, some of them seemingly charged with lightning.

You hear someone clear their throat from behind you to catch your attention.

 No.617495

>>617494
Hmm?
Turn around to see who it is.

 No.617496

>>617494
"Of course not, once we find out who wrote that letter and why he or she wrote it, we go directly to Saddlonica."

 No.617497

>>617494
I can hardly contain myself!
Squal in joy as I press against bro's chest, pointing him at the Basilica!

 No.617498

>>617346
That's a lot of wine stores for one small area, but I'll head to the bakery.

 No.617499

>>617495
It's a pegasus wearing the same attire as the racers. She has her front legs crossed and looks peeved.
"Do you think that just because you're a dragon that you can do whatever you want?"

She points at some small clouds floating around you.
"You messed up the entire flow!"

>>617496
"… Why? They're useless! They didn't even help us during the civil war!"

>>617497
The carriage pulls closer to the Basilica, allowing you to get a clearer view as more of the fog fades away.

The hill around the building itself is filled with plantlife, fountains, brooks, large torches and marble statues depicting various things ranging from mere ponies to big scary dragons. It's almost like a huge park. There are several large staircases snaking their way along the hillside all the way up to the Basilica, which appears to be split in several sections. One main section and four smaller (Relatively) sections around it. Each has its own domed roof.

 No.617500

>>617499
Look unfazed.
"I was not aware this was part of the track. One would suppose the building meant to house the tracks would include them."

 No.617501

>>617499
The mass would be held in the central section, right?
As soon as the carriage stops, take my bro's hoof and jump down, rushing ahead in excited glee!

 No.617502

>>617499
"And we'll be sure to ask them why they didn't.
But they have an army, and a vested interest in a peaceful Agria. They're one of the few themas we might actually convince to come to our aid."

 No.617503

>>617500
Her face goes red.
"It isn't! But I'm building clouds for the hippodrome here and you just ruined that one! Aren't you going to apologize?"

>>617501
The carriage stops near the foot of the hill, the surrounding area of which is remarkably empty of buildings. It's right at the shoreline too, you can see the harbor and its massive lighthouse further ahead.

You pull your brother out of the bus as soon as you can get the doors open and rush outside.
"Easy, easy. It's not going anywhere, sis."

It's fairly busy around here, you should beware not to lose your brother in the crowd!

>>617502
"Hmph. So what else have you planned then? How do you see us surviving?"

 No.617504

>>617503
"But we might miss the Primarch's blessing!"
Quicker and quicker!
Just keep a tight hold of his hoof!

 No.617505


 No.617506

>>617503
"I did not see any signs that would warn anyone of this."
Take a pause.
"I am not going to, but perhaps you would find it more useful if I helped you recreate the cloud?"

 No.617507

>>617503
"I have some ideas. And we have some money stashed away still.
We need to find friends first.
And I'm of the opinion we'll find them faster in Saddlonica than here."

 No.617508

>>617504
1At least he's athletic enough to keep up with you. You start rushing up the stairs without so much as paying attention to the surroundings. You only barely avoid a few collisions with other ponies making their way up and down the stairs.

And more stairs…

And… more… stairs…

Finally… you near the top of the hill, very much exhausted.

>>617505
Sorry.

Trajan's bakery it is. You open the heavy wooden door and hear the telltale ringing of a customer bell. An elderly stallion and mare are both standing behind the wooden counter, tending to some other customers. The air here is filled with the smell of freshly baked bread. Delicious.

The decor of the bakery is very homely and warm, with the one exception being the ornate, but somewhat rusted, broadsword that is being displayed on the wall behind the old couple.

>>617506
"I like freestyling when I'm building clouds! Not that I expect a layman to understand the intricate process behind cloud shaping."
She seems rather arrogant. You could try reassembling the cloud with a DEX roll.

>>617507
"… And what about father?"

 No.617509

I can totally-
Do-
This.
For NATURE!

 No.617510

>>617508
I could, but she does not seem eager to accept my assistance.
Sense Motive. '1d20+9'
Is complaining truly what must she be aiming at with this?

Roll #1 6 + 9 = 15

 No.617511

>>617508
Be silent for a moment.
"We can't do anything for him at the moment."

 No.617512

>>617509
Your brother supports you.
"I tried to warn you. Come on."

He guides you to a nearby fountain.
"Have a drink and calm down for a second. You don't want to go inside a holy temple looking like a dried out mess do you?"

>>617510
Some people just love to complain, you could just move on and tell her to shove it, not like she can do anything about it.

You think she's mostly aiming at condescending you, maybe she doesn't like dragons very much.

>>617511
"So you think they're… treating him badly? Did they just lock him up in some prison? Or place him under house arrest?"

 No.617513

>>617512
What would an educated guess be on that?
Do I need to roll sense motive?

 No.617514

>>617512
Shake my head quickly and sit by the fountain, breathing long and calming breaths.
And after I'm back to not-dying on the stairs, drink a gulp or two of water.

 No.617515

>>617512
Snort disapprovingly.
"Since you did not take my offer of help, I can only suggest being more careful with how and where you pursue your art."
Fly off.
Lets see if there are any more interesting sights up here.
If not I might just fly back down to the city proper.

 No.617516

>>617513
What's most likely in these kind of events is that he will be locked up in prison for some time, then be allowed to be put under house arrest if he cooperates and doesn't cause trouble.

>>617514
"Good girl."
He pats you on the back.
"You alright now?"

>>617515
She looks shocked to be disregarded like that as you fly off. She shouts some obscenities but soon enough she's out of sight again.

There are the weather manufactories that you could visit.
There's an amphitheater made completely out of clouds as well.
If you want to find more, you'll need to roll a search or investigate check.

 No.617517

>>617516
Amphitheater?
I wonder about pegasus drama.
Visit that.

 No.617518

>>617516
Nod, wiping my mouth with the side of a hoof.
"Thank you so much for bringing me here, Niphon.
Now. Shall we?"

 No.617519

File: 1426112970677.png (7.85 KB, 636x596, Basilica.png) ImgOps Google

>>617517
It's more like a stadium for fights! There's already quite a crowd seated and ready to watch some rumbling, but it doesn't look like there are any ongoing fights.

A pegasus mare with a red coat is standing on a pedestal with a speaking-trumpet mounted on it.

>>617518
"Let's."
You head over towards the basilica itself, crossing a large plaza which you reckon is used as a meeting point for when the patriarch wishes to appear on the balcony of his personal chambers to speak to the followers of the Faiths who gather here.

Do you wish to immediately go for the main section or to scout out one of the smaller sections first?

 No.617520

>>617519
Let's take a long tour around, going counterclockwise from the nearest subsection.

 No.617521

>>617519
I suppose if there is a crowd, a fight is soon to commence.
Seat myself nearby.

 No.617522

>>617516
"Locked up in prison, maybe. But I doubt they'll treat him very harshly. He's still valuable to them."

 No.617523

>>617520
You and your brother head to the nearest subsection first. The large set of doors and the walls themselves (Which appear to made out of sandstone) are decorated with seashells and beautiful mosaics of seaponies, fish and general underwater sceneries.

You press on to the inside and are met with a truly unique sight of the atrium. The walls… they have water in them! Water behind glass, massive aquariums! There's sharks in them! And dolphins! Not only that, but the floor itself isn't solid, it's sandy like a beach from up north! You look up and notice the ceiling is a massive tank of water as well! You see fish in all the colors of the rainbow, in various shapes and sizes.

>>617521
Perhaps so.

But wait.

"You there! Dragon!"
The amplified voice of the mare on her pedestal carries itself throughout the stadium.
"Come hither!"

>>617522
"I hope so, he really did nothing wrong. That scum accused him of all kinds of imaginary crimes for an excuse to lock him up."
You think you hear her voice waver for a moment there.

 No.617524

>>617523
Oh?
Well now.
I suppose I should. This might be interesting.
Fly over there.

 No.617525

>>617523
But this is amazing! Think of the faith you'd need to build something like this, of the minds and hearts singing as one-
But don't lose my composture. Hold my breath and steady my heart, rather, looking for the altar.

 No.617526

>>617523
This is a whole other side of Anthe.
"Father is strong, he'll make it through without breaking a sweat."

 No.617527

>>617508
Probably a family relic or theirs.
I'll wait in line and try to relax, the scent of bread helping the effort.

 No.617886

>>617525
This isn’t even the main portion of the building! This is the pronaos or the entryway. It alone is already bigger than the chapel back home!

The naos is further ahead, the central part of the building where the altar and whatnot is located. Interestingly enough, the door that leads that way is closed and has to be opened by hoof every time someone comes through. It’s strange they don’t just leave it open.

“This place is like the marine part of the zoo… I didn’t expect it to be like this, did you?”

>>617526
"I hope for his sake you are right. Though honestly, it's good that you're in charge now instead of me. I won't have to deal with Niphon's jealous whining as much now."

 No.617887

>>617886
"I would have never!
But now that I'm here it makes so much sense!
It's everywhere, Niphon!
Can't you feel her?"
Walk in amazement over to the large door, and respectfully, open it.

 No.617888

>>617887
"Uh… maybe?"

He scratches the back of his neck awkwardly.

“Well, let’s keep moving anyway.”

You press on and reach the door to the naos. The brass handles are cold to the touch as you pull at them, opening the heavy door with remarkable ease. Then, something unexpected happens. Something you’re not all that used to down here in the south of the empire.

Freezing cold. The air behind the door is freezing cold! Not only that, but the main room lying beyond the door is filled with ice! The walls are frosted, the ceiling has icicles hanging from it and there are statues displayed here shaped out of blocks of ice. Even the seats are made out of ice blocks, with pillows on top of them to make it bearable to sit on. You’ve never seen anything like this in your life.

In the middle of the room stands a beautiful translucent icy altar, intricately crafted with the finest tools out of blue ice.

 No.617889

>>617886
"Niphon? Jealous?"

 No.617890

>>617888
AH!
I'd cry out in surprise wasn't this a holy place!
Cling close to my brother, but still, curious, move forth towards the icy altar itself.
Is there a chaplain here?

 No.617891

>>617889
"Of course he's jealous! He knows I'm far more intelligent than he is and he can't stand that. At least I can acknowledge that he's physically fitter than I am, but he'd never admit that I'm smarter than he is. Before you got here I was the one in charge and all he did was criticize me!"

>>617890
There's currently no service being held here, no. There are ponies about though, but most of them are outsiders and visitors admiring the building like you are. There are a few priests of Aqualia that you can spot though, dressed in their telltale blue and cyan robes.

 No.617892

>>617891
Speaking of, which color are my robes?
Approach one, and see if she/he is busy.

 No.617893

>>617892
Priests of Mother Nature most often dress in robes using green and yellow colors. Each faith has a color code like this.

For future reference:
Priests of Ignis dress in red and yellow.
Priests of Terra dress in light grey and brown.
Priests of Aer dress in light blue and white.

You approach one of the Aqualian priests observing the ponies coming and going.
"Yes, sister?"

 No.617894

>>617893
"It is my first pilgrimage to the Capital, sister.
I do not know where to begin!
Is there anything that is expected of sisters coming here?"

 No.617895

>>617894
He looks you over.
"You're a priestess of the Mother, so normally I'd advice you to attend the morning and evening sermons held by the Primarch himself but… well you know he hasn't been doing very well and the last few days he's been unable to hold such sermons."

That's right, the Primarch's health has deteriorated the last few weeks from what you hear.

"Still, if you haven't seen the basilica I suggest you at least walk through the entire thing. It's a marvel of engineering, unrivaled in the entirety of the world. And it's all dedicated to the five faiths."

 No.617896

>>617895
"This very room, and the pronaos of this chapel itself, have me doubting my own eyes!
Was this all pony engineering or was there magic involved?"

 No.617897

>>617891
Wave my hoof.
"You know Niphon, he's prideful.
He's not humble enough to admit mistakes."

 No.617898

>>617896
"This basilica was built over two hundred years ago under the orders of empress Lavinia Dawnsworn and Primarch Odylon. The last temple that stood on this hill was destroyed in an earthquake less than a decade before that. The divine aura surrounding this hill is provided entirely naturally. This… coldness. It's not something we decided on. Or could decide on. It's Aqualia's will and thus it merely is."

>>617897
"No, but he's really quick to point out any mistakes somepony else makes. He's an ass. It's that simple."

 No.617899

>>617898
Fall silent for a moment, before bowing my head in respect and understanding.
"May I go pray by the altar, before leaving?"

 No.617900

>>617898
"Perhaps, but he's resourceful."

 No.617901

>>617899
"Of course, feel free to sister."

 No.617902

>>617900
"Oh really?"
She doesn't sound very convinced by that statement.

 No.617903

>>617901
Silently, but with a happy smile, approach the altar and sit beneath the cold aura, saying a silent prayer for the well being of the Church.
Then, back to bro.
"Want to see the others?"

 No.617904

>>617902
"….I hope so at least."

 No.617905

>>617903
Your brother went to admire some of the ice sculptures, turning back to you as you address him.
"Definitely. I'm curious to see them."

>>617904
"Well at least you're confident." She says sarcastically as she gets back up and walks out of the steam bath.

 No.617906

>>617905
Smile and head to the next tower.

 No.617907

>>617905
I guess it's time to leave the steam bath as well.
Time for some cold water.

 No.617908

>>617906
You leave the cold behind and head back outside through the other exit out of the building, heading up to the next section. It quickly becomes clear that this one is dedicated to Ignis, the fiery deity. On the edges of the building, four large fire pits with big roaring fires are on display. The outside walls are decorated with mosaics as well, just like the Aqualia section. These depict powerful fire elementals and violent volcanic eruptions.

The main entry doors are black, shaped out of obsidian. Beyond these doors lies the pronaos. It, too, has been themed according to its god. The walls around the room are covered in flames, which seems like quite the fire hazard to you. The flames are quite tall too, starting from between gaps in the floor and almost reach the ceiling. You try not to get too close, as you can feel the heat pressing down on your face. The floor is made out of some kind of black rock.

Niphon taps it with a hoof. “Basaltic rock. This stuff used to be volcanic lava if you can believe that.”

>>617907
To the caldarium!

There are basins of cold water here, some of them big enough to jump in entirely while others are there to just splash water on yourself.

Anthe does the latter, delicately splashing water on her steaming body to cool off.

 No.617909

>>617908
"And I'm ready to bet Ignis made it himself."
Loosen the garb a little, just not to pass out of heat exhaustion, and proceed deeper, entering the naos.

 No.617910

>>617909
You go further, into the naos. Once again the doors that lead there are made out of pure obsidian. But these ones are open, allowing you to immediately see what lies beyond. Lava pouring from the ceiling into four pits of lava in the ground, causing a lot of heat to be spread in the process. The altar here is made out of obsidian as well, colored as black as the night. The seats surrounding it seem to be shaped out of some type of other volcanic rock.

 No.617911

>>617908
I'm more of a jump in pony.

 No.617912

>>617910
Gasp, and immediately regret my action as hot air pours though my lungs.
Cover my muzzle with a hoof and wince away, catching my breath, only to slowly move further a moment later, kneeling on the hard rock before the altar to pray.

 No.617913

>>617911
You jump into one of the cold water basins, almost splashing some water on Anthe in the process. She lets out a surprised yelp and dodges the water.
"Marcus!"

>>617912
The ground is warm, but not painfully so. It's pretty hot in here though… you can feel your throat drying up!

Niphon coughs.
"Lavafalls… How is this possible? What magic is behind this?"

 No.617914

>>617913
Recite my silent prayer, and bask in the warmth for just a few seconds more.
Finally, stand up again, reaching for Niphon.
"No magic. Only the power of Ignis."
Give him a smile-filled gaze with my now red and dry eyes, as I take his hoof and head outside.

 No.617915

>>617913
I laugh.
"Don't be so grumpy, Anthe."

 No.617916

>>617914
"Ignis sounds like a hothead."

Further out you go, leaving this section behind.

The next section is clearly one dedicated to Aer; the god of wind, lightning and the sky. The mosaics here depict mighty whirlwinds, pearly white clouds and vicious lightning storms. You head inside the pronaos and are confronted with an amazing sight. The ceiling is entirely covered by clouds. Indoor clouds! They seem to be swirling in a whirlwind pattern around a central point which illuminates the room. A ball of lightning seemingly captured in a large crystal container suspended from the ceiling beyond the clouds by a chain. You can hear the soft crackling of lightning even from down here. The air is charged with electricity… it feels like the prelude to a thunderstorm on a hot summer day.

>>617915
"Hmph! I'm going to go get a massage!"

 No.617917

>>617916
Walk circles around the prenaos itself, all the while staring starstruck at the ceiling.
"Amazing…" escapes my lips, as I stop to admire the entrance to the naos.

 No.617918

>>617916
Stay in the water for a few more minutes to cool off until I go for a massage as well.

 No.617919

>>617917
The entrance to the naos is a marble archway sculpted to look more cloudy.

The naos itself is less dramatic but by no means less impressive, with little white clouds floating about the room and a dome roof made entirely out of glass, allowing for a great view of the sky even when inside! A few larger clouds shaped into statues of birds and other flying creatures float around here as well.

The altar is made out of marble and surrounded by patches of cloud as well.

>>617918
Do you want to keep talking to Anthe or should I skip forward somewhat? It's entirely up to you.

 No.617920

>>617919
This is so relaxing…
Such a change from Ignis' domain!
Look at the sky and walk towards tha altar, sitting down and trying to just… Relax.

I miss sis.

 No.617921

>>617919
Skip forward till after the mudbath, I'm not doing the mudbath.

 No.617922

PAUSE

 No.617924

>>617524
You fly forward and land near the red mare. She jumps down her pedestal and glides over to you.
"What is your name, oh noble servant of Ignis?"

Judging by her accent, she's a foreigner. Possibly Equestrian.

>>617921
But Anthe does. So you are left alone for some time until she returns, all cleaned up again with her mane wrapped up in a towel.
"Oh Marcus, this is fantastic. I missed being able to do this. We really need to live someplace where we have access to facilities like these."

 No.617925

>>617920
>>617924
[missing sis intensifies]

 No.617926

>>617924
The capital provides safety, so I do not see why not.
"I am know as Mereghyl of House Hippoi."

 No.617927

>>617920
>>617925
Sis is with momma now. At least they still have each other. Your mother probably appreciates the company, and Livia is far easier to handle than Anthe or Niphon.

She'd probably find all this very pretty though.

>>617926
"Mereghyl… my name is Red Rose, and this is my domain. Do you know where you are?"

 No.617928

>>617927
"I do not, however, I suppose you will share that knowledge with me, considering you were the one to call me over in the first place."

 No.617929

>>617927
I shall make it up to her!
I promise!
But for now…
Enjoy the breeze for a moment longer, before leaving.

 No.617930

>>617928
There's a glint of… something in her eyes as she hears your response.
"The clamour of our bloodthirsty crowds reaches every corner of the Empire, but I'll pretend that your ignorance doesn't offend me. This is the Rosethorn! Where champions from all over see their chance to battle against beasts of all shapes and sizes. You can observe and bet on the fights… or participate in the fights yourself. Be warned though, the Rosethorn demands respect. Defile the Rosethorn, or offend me in any way, and I'll gut you open for all to see."

>>617929
You leave the cloudy area behind.
"That was the first time I saw a temple dedicated to Aer… most of them are up in the skies."

The last subsection is the one dedicated to Terra, the god of minerals, stone and mountains. The mosaics on this building show golems of stone, mountain peaks and various types of gemstones. The doors leading inside are even decorated with gemstones!

Inside the pronaos, it looks as though you’ve entered a cave. But not just any cave, a cave with hundreds of gemstones stuck inside its walls and ceiling, glimmering in all the colors of the rainbow. Big stalagmites and stalagtites pierce through the floor and ceiling all around you and boulders of all shapes and sizes lie scattered around the room. It’s crazy to think that this is indeed a building and not some cave deep underground.

 No.617931

>>617930
Raise an eyebrow.
Sense Motive on her.
'1d20+9'
"My judgement tells me you did not invite me over in hopes of placing a bet. Do you expect me to fight?"

Roll #1 8 + 9 = 17

 No.617932

>>617930
And all of this, too, must have naturally erupted from the ground itself as Terra willed it.
Amazing.
Go straight for the naos, expecting something equally amazing.

 No.617933

>>617931
You're a big dragon in a sky arena dedicated to fighting against dangerous beasts. Her thought process is quite clear here.

"If you dare. It is not for the faint of heart, I must warn you. The beasts that you will face are most dangerous."

>>617932
Further on lies the naos. Unlike the previous cavelike room, this looks more like a traditional marble temple with golden and silver statues decorated with gemstones. The altar is composed of all kinds of different metals, some of which you don’t even recognize. Are those special alloys? They must be!

 No.617934

>>617933
"What would be the reward for slaying said beasts? Fame and glory? Wealth?"

 No.617935

>>617933
That I simply must ask!
Approach a brother/sister and ask about the statues and metals!
Speaking of, what are the statues of?

 No.617936

>>617934
"Money, prestige, glory… perhaps some special reward if you manage to truly impress me. Be warned though, the Rosethorn does not sit still."

>>617935
The statues depict miners, blacksmiths, rocky golems and so on. You know Terra is most popular in Thema Pindos, which lies in the Shudderpeaks up north.

You approach one of the priests and ask him what these alloys are.
"That, sister, is Draconian Steel. The pride of our empire's metal production!"

 No.617937

>>617936
"You mean it's made by dragons?"

 No.617938

>>617936
Nod.
"I will fight."

 No.617939

>>617937
He nods.
"Yes indeed. The smiths from up north don't just use furnaces and smelteries, but also dragons to temper their steel! It's a very difficult process, but draconian steel is the best material out there to make weapons out of. It cannot rust, it's extremely sturdy and it doesn't dull. Unfortunately, it's also very expensive."

Niphon whispers to you.
"Our family sword is made of draconian steel, remember? Father had it with him when he went to Cantria…"

>>617938
"Excellent. Nothing will please me more than to see you fight. Get down there in the arena and I will release your first foe. We shall start small for your sake."

 No.617940

>>617939
Just smile at that.
Fly down to the arena.

 No.617941

>>617939
"Ooooh…"
Realization dawns upon my eyes as Niphon reminds me.
"Thanks, brother." Nod in respect at the priest who just answered me and walk slowly to the altar.
Make this last prayer about Father.

 No.617942

>>617940
She's back on her pedestal.
"Today, beast will fight beast in the Rosethorn. No mere champion, but a dragon is taking up the role of challenger against nature! Our lives are cheap, and fragile. Death is our assured fate, striking when least we expect it. The Rosethorn awakens us to the truth. Here we escape from our bonds, and choose the moment of death against the will of destiny.

It is time. Time to fight!"


You land in one corner of the arena. There's a gateway behind you but it's closed down. Across the battleground, there's a similar gateway. As Red Rose finishes her speech, it opens up. Out comes a giant eagle! Okay, that thing is really big to be called an eagle!

It's a fight! Roll initiative!

>>617941
You say a prayer to father, wishing for his well-being even during these trying times.

You sure hope he's doing alright…

Roll #1 19 + 6 = 25

 No.617943

>>617942
As I stand up, my legs will shake slightly, dreading what's ahead.
Time to visit the central shrine.

 No.617944

>>617942
It is probably faster than me, but it probably cannot combat my own size.
'1d20+3'

Roll #1 11 + 3 = 14

 No.617945

>>617943
You’ve seen the outer sections of the building, now it’s time for the main portion. The mosaics on this section depict animals and plants, scenes from nature both at day and at night with either the sun or moon guarding over it.

Now that you're facing the building this closely, you feel something well up inside you… it's odd, you're not sure why but for some reason you feel safe and at peace like never before for a brief moment. Then the feeling disappears again.

"Flavia? You alright?"

>>617944
It is counted as a Large creature, just like you. It's not as big as you are, but it's certainly bigger than a griffon. The eagle is far faster than you are and flies towards you, striking at you with its talons.
'1d20+4'

Mind you that since you're flying, your error range increases by 2.

Roll #1 15 + 6 = 21 / Roll #2 4 + 4 = 8

 No.617946

>>617945
Its talons fail to make contact with you. You remain untouched. It's your turn now.

http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=110622

 No.617947

>>617945
Though note that you can just walk on the cloud cover as well.

 No.617948

>>617946
>>617945
>>617947
Since it is an eagle, I will fly for now.
Try and make it quick, bite it ferocity.
Practiced Blow.

 No.617949

>>617945
Blink once, letting the last tingling remains of that feeling wash away from me.
"Wa-
Y-yes Niphon.
I just… Zoned out, for a moment."

 No.617950

>>617948
Rolling damage
'1d8+1'

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8

 No.617951

>>617948
>>617950
You have Bite II. As a large creature, that means damage is more like 2d10.

 No.617952

>>617951
Oh, I see, rerolling then
'2d10+2'

Roll #1 10, 2 + 2 = 14

 No.617953

>>617947
>
>>617527
Just gonna wait in line for my turn to talk to the old couple.

 No.617956

>>617949
"You hungry? We'll eat soon, don't you worry."

>>617950
>>617948
You snap your large jaws at the giant eagle, putting enough force behind it to inflict a fair bit of damage on the eagle.

>>617953
Your turn comes soon enough. The elderly stallion smiles kindly at you.
"What can I get you, sir?"

 No.617957

>>617952
And another bite
'1d20+5'

Roll #1 12 + 5 = 17

 No.617958

>>617957
Damage
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6

 No.617960

>>617956
"Yes, brother."
Answer without too much emphasis, still focused on that feeling…
Take a big breaht and head in, closer to the building itself.

 No.617961

>>617956
"I'll take a dozen sweet rolls, and some directions. I'm honestly horribly lost." I chuckle softly.

 No.617963

>>617957
>>617958
You're quick enough to get another bite in on the bird. It squawks in pain, annoyed at the retaliation.

It tries to claw at you with its talons again '1d20+4'
Then flies off, putting some distance between the two of you. It's now 60 ft. away.

http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=110637

Roll #1 9 + 4 = 13

 No.617964

>>617963
The bird misses its attack completely, being too hasty with its retreat.

 No.617967

>>617963
Fly closer and smack it with my tail!
'1d20+5'

http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=110638

Roll #1 6 + 5 = 11

 No.617972

>>617961
"Oh, not from around these parts, are you? I understand, the outer city is too vast for outsiders to make much sense of it."
He packs twelve sweet rolls into a brown bag for you.
"Where are you looking to go? Inner city? Commercial district? Financial district?"

>>617960
You head inside the pronaos of the basilica proper. The roof here is made out of glass, like back in the temple to Aer. Sunlight is pouring inside onto the interior, which seems to be an indoor garden! You hear birds and crickets chirping all around you. A frog croaks from behind one of the bushes where a small pond of water lies. The somewhat humid air is rich with floral scents, filling up your nostrils as soon as you step inside. You can hardly see the walls of this place, that's how thick the plantlife is!

 No.617974

>>617972
So fitting for a place blessed by Mother herself…
Step slow through the garden, taking in every scent and sound.

 No.617975

>>617972
"Actually, I'm supposed to go to some noble's house.. Omnidus. Any idea where they might be?"

 No.618023

>>617974
It's like you're really out in the middle of nature on a beautiful summer day… There must be thousands of different species of plants here. Not to mention all the animals lurking about! This place is nothing short of magical, you can feel it in your bones. The Mother's influence is strong here.

>>617975
"House Omnidus… Yes I've heard of them. The lord has a villa in the city itself. It's in the inner city, near the imperial archives I believe."
He puts the bag of sweetrolls on the counter.
"That'll be 6 silvers please."

 No.618024

>>618023
pay him for the food.
"Many thanks, and a good day to you."
Time to wander into the inner city.

 No.618025

>>617924
"Perhaps you should marry a Cloptantinople noble and you can spend every day here."

 No.618026

>>618023
Well, if this is the place…
Then here I might actually be blessed by divine guidance as I pray!
But I dare not pray beside the altar itself. Instead, I will kneel down on the grass here, and begin.

Signs & Portents

 No.618027

>>618024
It's pretty far from here, so you decide to take one of the carriage buses. The monotonous rows upon rows of houses soon make way for larger, more impressive buildings. Banks, mints, courthouses and other marble buildings whose purpose you're unsure of.

Then, at last, you reach the imperial archives. A colossal building spanning four times the area of the old castle you called home. According to the stallion, lord Omnidus has a villa here in this area. You could ask for further directions (Investigate roll) or just Search for it without help.

>>618025
She gives you a sour look.
"Wouldn't you miss me? We've already been separated for so long."

>>618026
The altar is also not in this room, you're still in the pronaos!

You kneel down on a patch of grass off the path and begin to pray. It takes mere seconds before you feel yourself slip away from this world. Your vision fades and you black out for a minute. When you open your eyes, you're no longer where you were before. You recognize this place, it's where you found yourself on the day you were admitted as a priestess! Somewhere behind the trees, there's a babbling brook nearby that you can hear, just like last time.

 No.618028

>>618027
"Of course I would. I missed you when I was in Penneia."

 No.618029

>>618028
"I thought so. We're cut of the same wood, you and I. So when I get married to a good suitor… we need to make sure it's not one who lives across the country. … Unless he's really suitable."

 No.618030

>>618027
What was the dryad's name?
Approach quietly, almost afraid to break the silence of this beautiful painting.

 No.618031

>>618029
"And make sure he lives close to a spa?" I add with a grin.

 No.618032

>>618027
'1d20+2' I'll give it a try I suppose. I'm sure glad Niphon isn't here to see me asking around for directions.

Roll #1 18 + 2 = 20

 No.618033

>>618030
Eurydice
Last time, she was somewhere downstream from here… you followed the brook and just ran into her.

>>618031
"Or that he has a spa of his own, ideally!"

>>618032
You ask a noble lady passerby for directions. She points you at a villa further down the street.
"Are you here for the ball they are organizing tonight? It'll be wonderful, darling."

 No.618034

>>618033
And this time too I shall follow the stream.

 No.618035

>>618033
"Of course, you deserve the best, Anthe."

 No.618036

>>618034
You follow the sounds of clattering water and soon find the stream hidden behind the trees. You begin to follow it downstream again and soon enough hear the sound of a lyre being played. Using the music as a point of reference, you quickly find the dryad you were looking for. She's once again propped up against a tree, playing on her golden lyre.

>>618035
"What about you, brother? You're older than I am, yet you don't even have a spouse yet! You're not into colts instead, are you?"

 No.618037

>>618033
"Well, if somepony as nice as you is going then I'd be a fool to miss it."

 No.618038

>>618037
"Well I do have an invitation. And I hear there are some interesting ponies coming over."

 No.618039

>>618036
"Of course not, I simply haven't found the right mare yet."

 No.618040

>>618036
Silently, scoot before her, bowing before her.

 No.618041


 No.618042

>>618038
"Really? What kind of interesting?" I ask with curiosity.

 No.618043

>>618039
"What are you even looking for in a mare?"

>>618040
She smiles as you approach and stops playing the lyre, setting it down next to her and stands up.
"Flavia Hippoi. Please, No need to be so humbled."

>>618042
"The captain of the inner city watch, the Germane lord ambassador to Clopantinople, the famed natural scientist Lilybaeum and one of the Concords!"

 No.618044

>>618043
"Hmmm, a pretty face, a good lineage, and a strong flank."

 No.618045

>>618043
"That does sound grand, I'm certainly glad I stayed an extra week." I smile at her. "Ah, I mustn't keep them waiting, I'll see you tonight my lady."
And I'll head off to the villa.

 No.618046

>>618044
She chortles.
"A strong flank? Maybe you should marry one of those viking ponies then."

>>618045
You head on further towards the villa. It's fairly big, bigger than the villa your father owned back in Agria. It's also surrounded by a nicely maintained garden. This district is certainly more open than the outer city, where everything was packed together. At least you have some room to breathe here.

Two guardsponies stop you from entering the garden though.

 No.618047

>>618046
"If there were any viking territories worth a damn, why not? She could double as a bodyguard."

 No.618048

>>618046
Of course they do.
"Good day, I'd like to see Lord Omnidus."

 No.618049

>>618047
"The Doux of Saddlonica is married to one of those viking mares, you know. It's a shame really, I hear he's quite handsome."

>>618048
They both eye you carefully.
"On behalf of whom?"

 No.618050

>>618049
"Can't blame him. The sparkling does have a certain charm don't you agree?"

 No.618051

>>618043
"I did hope not to interrupt your music, Eurydice.
It was soothing and peaceful to my soul."
Message didn't send.

 No.618052

>>618050
"They're mean characters though. I don't see what he'd see in such a barbarian savage. They're not cultured like us."

>>618051
"You've come here for a reason, Flavia Hippoi. Your feelings are more important to me than this song. What is troubling you today, sweet child?"

 No.618053

>>618049
"On behalf of a my Lord Rusttin, who is in town this week. He insists that I come arrange a proper meeting between them." '1d20+9' bluff

Roll #1 16 + 9 = 25

 No.618054

Arena?

 No.618055

>>618052
"My father has been kidnapped. My family is on the run. Without land, without power, without friends.
And yet my mind still spins around the things you told me so many years ago, and how with the years, I though I'd grow to understand my role in this.
But I am what they call a priestess now, and am no closer to any truth about saving the church."

 No.618056

>>618052
"They do say barbarians are feisty underneath the sheets."

 No.618057

>>618053
"Lord Rusttin?"
They look at each other and shrug.
"Very well, you may pass. Just go on and ring the bell at the door."

>>618054
>>617967
The bird is faster than you are this time, swiftly dodging your slow tail smack.

It uses the opportunity to claw at you again. Twice.

>>618055
"I have sensed your struggles, my child. But worry not, there is time left yet. And you are not alone. As it stands however, you will need to help your family recover from their misfortune. I cannot say how difficult the road ahead of you will be, but I believe that you will persevere in the end. And then, only then, will you be ready to fulfill your destiny."

>>618056
She looks a little disgusted.
"I bet they smell awful too, I wouldn't want to be under any sheets with them."

Roll #1 9, 3 + 4 = 16

 No.618058

>>618057
Both times it misses. This bird is not the brightest of its kind.

 No.618059

>>618057
"Ah, thank you."
Go on up and ring the bell.

 No.618060

>>618058
>>618057
Time to tailsmack it.
Twice.
'1d20+6'
'1d20+6'

Roll #1 7 + 6 = 13 / Roll #2 14 + 6 = 20

 No.618061

>>618057
I laugh.
"What if it was a viking prince with a spa?"

 No.618062

>>618057
"But where to begin?
What do we need to look for?
What will a tiny mare like me even be able to do to help the family?"

 No.618063

>>618060
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5

 No.618064

>>618059
You walk through the garden all the way up to the front entrance to the villa and ring the bell hanging there.

A servant mare opens up the door.
"… Yes? I don't recall the lord expecting anypony this early?"

>>618060
You fail to hit it the first time, your tail being too slow once again. But fourth time's the charm it seems, roll for damage.

>>618061
"Hmmmm… As long as he actually uses the spa to wash himself…"

>>618062
"Even I don't know all the answers, I'm afraid… But perhaps I can help."
She holds out a hoof and amazingly enough, an object materializes out of nothing. It's a small wooden cube-like object.

 No.618065

>>618064
"Oh, I'm here for another matter entirely dear, may I see Lord Omnidus?"

 No.618066

>>618064
"Now then, shall we go see our uncle?"

 No.618067

>>618064
Reach out, almost enchanted by it, and stop halfway looking the dryad in the eyes, as if to ask if it is okay to touch it.

 No.618068

>>618065
"You wish to speak to the lord? Very well I suppose."
She steps aside.
"Please follow me then."

>>618066
"I guess we should. I'd be rude not to, wouldn't it?"

>>618067
"This, Flavia, is my gift to you."
She takes your hoof with her own and places the cube on it. As soon as it touches your skin, it glows slightly, runes appearing on its sides.
"If you ever need guidance… and you are not surrounded by divine energies or even any form of nature. This will allow you to speak to me. It will be our link between worlds."

 No.618069

>>618068
I follow her inside.

 No.618070

>>618068
Gasp and hold the cube close to my chest, feeling my heart beat against it.
"Eurydice…
I don't know what to say!
I will put all of myself towards completing the task, I promise!"

 No.618071

>>618068
"Not looking forward to it?"

 No.618072

>>618069
She leads you down a hallway, past a few doors until finally coming to a halt at the end, where she politely knocks on the left-hoof door.
"Lord Omnidus? There's a gentlepony who wishes to speak with you."
"Let him in."
The mare opens the door for you, bowing.

>>618070
"I will be honest, Flavia. There may be times where I will only be able to offer you little advice. But even then I may be able to tip fortune into your favor in subtle ways."

>>618071
"We just don't really get along. He thinks I'm 'spoiled'."

 No.618073

>>618072
"Why, the very idea!"

 No.618074

>>618072
"Please Eurydice, the very thought of you being so close to me…
It's a huge honor.
What is your council now, as I am about to step inside the heart of the Basilica itself?"

 No.618075

>>618073
She frowns.
"You think I'm spoiled too?"

>>618074
"Beyond a place for meditation, the basilica will provide you no more insight as of now. You came to Clopantinople in the hopes of meeting a 'friend', I see. Risky, yes, but lucky for you the pony there is not one who is against you. He wishes to see your father freed, among other things. I imagine he may have some useful information for you and your family."

 No.618076

>>618075
My eyes will shine, and in joy I will almost jump up to hug Eurydice…
Before stopping myself in my steps, realizing what I was about to do.
And once again, bow down.
"Thank you oh Eurydice, I am your humble servant."

 No.618077

>>618075
"No, you just have high standards, like me."
Bluff '1d20+12'

Roll #1 2 + 12 = 14

 No.618078

>>618077
AD to boos a bit '1d4'

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.618079

>>618072
I step inside quickly and greet him with a "Good day Lord Omnidus."

 No.618080

>>618077
'1d20+10'

Roll #1 1 + 10 = 11

 No.618081

>>618080
Can I activate that threat?

 No.618082

>>618081
Eh, don't think it's necessary

 No.618083

>>618081
If you want to.

 No.618084


 No.618085

>>618076
"I will watch your progress with great interest, Flavia Hippoi."
And with that, your vision darkens again and you black out.

You come back in the indoor garden with a start. Looks like only a minute or so has passed. Not only that, but there's a small wooden cube lying in the grass in front of you. It looks very inconspicuous.

>>618077
"Hmmm, well we are patricians with noble blood in our veins. We deserve a high standard of living. You went to Peneia, they know this lesson better than anywhere else."

>>618079
The lord is sitting behind a marble desk, writing away on a scroll of parchment with a feather. He's fairly young, you wager he's around thirty years old.
"I bid you a good afternoon, sir. Weirdly enough I don't recall anypony meaning to meet me at this hour, so I must ask you… who are you and what is your business with me?"

 No.618086

>>618085
"Indeed, but our uncle is our family too, we have to humor him a bit. It's only proper."

 No.618087

>>618085
Gasp, and grab it before anyone else sees it!
"Niphon!
We have to go inside now! This might occasion never happen again!"

 No.618088

>>618085
"I'm Nolin Hippoi, and I don't mean to drop by unexpectedly, but It was hardly wise to send notice given the state of things."

 No.618089

>>618086
"I suppose you're right. Let's go out then. I'll go grab my clothing."

Time to leave?

 No.618090


 No.618091

>>618087
Niphon wandered off, but you catch up to him.
"Flavia? What's gotten you so excited?"

>>618088
"Ah, Nolin Hippoi?"
He says as he looks you over.
"You do take after your mother. She hoped that you would come here eventually, so she'll be very happy to see you I imagine."

>>618086
You get dressed and leave the thermae. That's a +2 appearance bonus for you for the rest of this scene.

Where to go? You know your sister and brother went to the basilica. You have no idea where Nolin or Mereghyl went though.

 No.618092

>>618091
We were gonna meet at Nolins family place, so that's where to go first.

 No.618093

>>618091
Smile and keep trotting towards the naos.
"Things~
Today might be a wonderful day!"

 No.618094

>>618091
Smile at that, and with sudden realization.
"I'm glad to hear she's safe after the long trip here I was concerned.. Is she here now? can I see her?"

 No.618095

>>618092
Right. For the sake of speed I'll imagine that you find your way there by asking directions since you know the name of the lord.

The lord lives in a villa in the Inner City district. Apparently he's hosting a ball tonight which will see a few notable guests.

The guards at the gate to his domain do not let you pass, however.

>>618093
The naos is… quite different indeed. The floor is made up of a blue grey type of smooth stone while the ceiling has been built using a lighter type of sandstone. The ceiling also has a line of windows showing the outside built in it, which so happens to coincide exactly with the orbit of the Sun! At night, the Moon follows that exact same path, allowing anyone inside to view either the Sun or Moon while they are up in the sky.

There’s also a circular railway suspended to the ceiling, surrounding what appears to be a spherical representation of the known world. Two more spheres are suspended to the railway itself, representing the Sun and Moon respectively, circling around the world at a slow pace.

The seats surrounding the altar are crafted out of simple wood and treebark, while the altar itself is crafted out of a material known as ironbark, a rare natural substance known for its strength and sturdiness.

Several statues crafted from the same material stand in the room, depicting dryads, ents, breezies and so on…

>>618094
"Of course. I believe she is up in the solar with my wife. My servant can show you the way."

 No.618096

>>618095
!
"I'm lord Marcus of House Hippoi.
My uncle, your master, will be happy to see me."

 No.618097

>>618095
"Ah, thank you. I'll leave you be then, I'm sure you have much to do before the dance.. Oh, and my cousins will be coming by later I expect."

 No.618098

>>618096
Slight confusion there, this villa belongs to lord Omnidus. Nolin's family were granted asylum here because his mother is related to the lord's wife.

 No.618099

>>618095
Slowly walk through the naos, looking over the statues one by one.
Honestly Flavia could just lose herself into this for a few hours.

 No.618100

>>618098
!
"Then call your master and tell him Lord Marcus of House Hippoi is here."

 No.618101

>>618097
"I see, well, you're all Hippois so the guards will know you're welcome here regardless."

The servant mare waits for you outside in the hallway.

>>618099
We could do a cheeky timeskip if you want to get moving.

>>618100
"House Hippoi?"
They look at Anthe and Karabi.

"… Very well, you may enter. Lady Orytha Hippoi is present on this domain. Just ring the bell at the entrance and somepony will come tend to you."

 No.618102

>>618101
I'm good with that…
But first I want to have a look around and see if there are any high ranking members of the clergy here.

 No.618103

>>618101
"Naturally."
Go to the maid. "Will you show me to the Solar please?"

 No.618104

PAUSE

 No.618105

>>618101
>>618101
Time to go in.

 No.618131

>>618102
There are normal priests of the Mother here, but since it's not Priest's day, there's no higher clergy wandering about.

>>618103
She walks back down the way you came from.
"Of course, please follow-"
She's cut off as the bell at the front door sounds.
"I'm sorry my lord, but I have to take this."

>>618105
You head to the entrance of the villa and pull the bell hanging next to the door. Very quickly, the door is opened by a servant mare.
"My lord?"

 No.618132

>>618131
guess I wait here.

 No.618133

>>618131
Would it be rude to ask to see my family directly without seeing the lord of the house first?

 No.618134

>>618133
>>618132
Maybe, but it seems Nolin is standing in the hallway behind the maid. Perhaps he went to see the lord already?

 No.618135

>>618134
I look over her shoulder.
"NOLIN!" I shout with a smile.

 No.618136

>>618135
The servant winces and takes a step back, looking between you and Nolin with wide eyes.

 No.618137

>>618135
>>618136
"Hey Cousin!"
I wave at Marcus with a chuckle and pat the maid on the shoulder and try to calm her down. "Sorry about that, he's just excited to be here."

 No.618138

>>618137
"Yes, sorry my dear."

 No.618139

>>618137
>>618138
She looks sort of embarrassed. Anthe quickly pushes her out of the way and walks inside.
"Well cousin, you don't know what you missed out on. The baths were divine, it's a shame you missed it."

 No.618140

>>618139
Step forward.
"Had fun here?"

 No.618142

>>618138
>>618139
>>618140
"Actually I just got here, the way here was pretty long, I don't think I have to tell you that thou, since you came the same way. All these crowds feels almost like home by now."

 No.618145

>>618131
No group activities like a prayer together, right?
Okay, I'm good to timeskip.

 No.618147

>>618142
"Just too many commoners if you ask me. We were surrounded by them on the carriage!"

 No.618148

>>618142
Let's pretend we pretend talked and timeskip?

 No.618149

>>618145
Go seek out your family? It's a bus ride away from here to the Inner City.

 No.618150

>>618147
>>618148
"Ah, well I spoke with the Lord already so he knows you're in town. He's over in the study working on something."

 No.618153


 No.618154

>>618150
"Ah, that saves us some time."

 No.618155

>>618154
"That's one way of looking at it I suppose. I was headed up to the Solar to see my mother if you want to join me."

 No.618157

>>618155
"I'd love to."

 No.618159

>>618157
>>618155
"But…are you sure you'd not rather have a moment in private?"

 No.618162

>>618153
Well then, you get to the right place after asking around about the whereabouts of lord Omnidus' villa. Niphon deals with the guards on duty and the two of you arrive to find the front door open already. Anthe, Marcus, Nolin and Marcus' silent griffon friend have seemingly just arrived here.

"… More ponies?" says the female servant, exasperated.

 No.618165

>>618159
>>618157
Grin a bit.
"Its hardly private when she's with the Lord's wife is it?"

 No.618167

>>618165
"If you don't mind, we'll follow you."

>>618162
"Flavia! Niphon! How was it?"

 No.618169

>>618162
Ignore the servant and bolt in, after Marcus!
>>618167
>>618165
"Sis! Brother! Cousin!
The Basilica was amazing!"

 No.618173

>>618162
>>618169
Laugh and welcome her in with a grin.
"Ah, lets all go together then cousins."
Then I turn to the maid.
"Miss please show us all to the Solar."

 No.618175

>>618169
"My, my. You sound happy."

 No.618179

>>618175
Nod quickly.
"You have to see it! I met it'd please even your strange tastes!"
>>618173
"Oooooh! Is this your family, Nolin?"

 No.618185

>>618179
"Oh no, this is Lord Omnidus's estate, my family is around here thou, I know my mother is up in the Solar and we were about to go see her.. And as long as you're talking about it, Flavia, I'd love take a moment to see the Batista with you while we're in town, its been too long since I've been to proper church."

 No.618195

>>618179
"Fine, if we have time I'll go as well."

 No.618196

>>618169
Anthe rolls her eyes.
"Don't be so loud, Flavia."

>>618173
She may suffer a nervous breakdown soon, but she still leads you to where you want to go. The solar is located in the eastern wing of the villa. It's a room where there's less noise from the servants doing their work, often used to entertain guests or simply relax and enjoy the sun.

Lady Orytha Hippoi sits here with another mare, nursing a glass of wine while enjoying the warm rays of the sun casting down on them. As she hears the sound of your hooves entering the room, she cranes her neck to look behind the couch she's relaxing on. Her eyes widen, first in disbelief, then in happiness. In a show of remarkable agility and a remarkable lack of etiquette, she jumps over the couch entirely and practically flies into an embrace with Nolin.
"Nolin, you've finally made it here! Oh it's been so long, just look how much you've grown! I can't believe my eyes!"

 No.618198

>>618185
>>618195
Smile happily.
"Then what are we waiting for? Let's go meet her!"
>>618196
Offer my proper respects to Nolin's mother.

 No.618204

>>618198
She pinches your cheek.
"Hello there Flavia! Or is it Livia? I still can't tell for sure after all this time, how embarrassing."

She also gives Niphon and Anthe a hug. Anthe is seemingly still not a fan of her aunt. Nor does she like her uncle, as far as you know.

 No.618205

>>618196
Watch this teary reunion.

 No.618206

>>618196
I hug my mother. Tightly.
"I missed you too mom."

 No.618214

>>618206
"I hoped you'd come here… I wasn't entirely sure you'd pull the same stunt your father did or not, going in hiding like that. You wouldn't believe the hassle I have to go through just to send a letter to him."
She shakes her head and snorts some air.
"You've missed out on seeing your sister though. She left for Thema Kalimare just yesterday!"

 No.618217

>>618214
"Did she now? I'm sure she'll send word soon as she's safe. And don't worry, if dad doesn't reply to your letters I'll go track him down for you."
I grin at her with truly happy eyes.
"And what about you? How are you holding up?"

 No.618218

>>618217
"Given the circumstances, I'm holding up well. Your aunt Elybe was kind enough to invite me here after she heard what had happened. I've been very comfortable here."

 No.618219

>>618205
Poke his side and whisper.
"Brother! I have something to tell you!"

 No.618221

>>618219
Perk my ears.
"What is it?"

 No.618222

>>618221
"Let's talk in private!"

 No.618224

>>618222
Nod.
Nolin and his mom want to talk, I walk outside the door.

 No.618227

>>618224
Off we go!
"The letter is from a friend!
Not a trap at all!"
Say this with incredible calm and a huge, wide smile.
"So we don't have to worry at all!"

 No.618229

>>618218
"I'm so glad. We'll probably be here for a few days at most sadly, we need to catch up to the rest of Marcus's family."

 No.618230

>>618227
"…and how do you know this?"

 No.618232

>>618230
Puff my chest out and close my eyes in a large smile, showing off proudly my robe.
"The Basilica is such a nice place!"

 No.618233

>>618229
"Oh. Well I suppose that's to be expected. Poor Marcus must be under a lot of pressure to solve this whole mess for his father. Being banished like this from our own homes can't have been easy for them either. You are looking after them, aren't you?"

 No.618234

>>618232
Check the robe.
"You're absolutely sure we can trust this info?"

 No.618235

>>618234
It's just my robe.

Nod.
"Of course I do! There are no words I'd trust more!"

 No.618237

>>618235
Smile.
"Fantastic, great job, Flavia."

 No.618238

>>618233
Nod. "Of course, we sailed over together to collect his mother and siblings, Even the scaly one." I chuckle to myself.

 No.618241

>>618238
"Well, I'm sure you'll be of much more use with him than here. Sadly, I'm getting older myself, Nolin. I'm still in good shape, but I don't think I'm suitable for whatever kind of plan you're undertaking.."

 No.618243

>>618237
Look almost radiant.
"Now you just have to go pray at the Basilica though!"

 No.618244

>>618241
Blink in surprise. "What? Mom please, I don't want to put you in more danger."

 No.618245

>>618243
"…I do?"

 No.618246

>>618245
"That's these things work!
Or She might just not help our family any more!"

 No.618247

>>618244
"That's why I think I'll just lay low here for a while. Make sure your father doesn't lose himself completely in his own hidings."

 No.618248

>>618246
"She? You mean the Mother?"

 No.618249

>>618248
"Not the Mother per se…
But it came from around there."

 No.618252

>>618247
"I'll be sad to leave you behind, but it makes sense.." Think a smile. "And this way I know where to send my letters."

 No.618254

>>618249
"What do you mean?
You're speaking in riddles…"

 No.618256

>>618252
"Please do write every so often, sweetheart. But don't worry too much about me either, I know how to handle myself."

 No.618259

>>618254
Bite my lip.
"…Brother, promise you won't tell anyone, not even other priests, not even mother or father, okay?"

 No.618260

>>618259
"I promise."

 No.618263

>>618260
Take a deep breath and squal these words out, as if afraid of them.
"I can speak to a spirit of Nature."

 No.618266

>>618256
"I know you do.." Relax and then offer mom a roll. "Oh, would you like a sweet roll? I bought them on my over here."

 No.618267

>>618266
She giggles.
"Oh you shouldn't tempt me… but since you insist!"
She quickly takes it and chows down.

 No.618269

>>618267
Smile at that and then look around the room, my cousins have been gone a while.

 No.618272

>>618269
They're still talking, those blabbermouths!

Your other two cousins are awkwardly standing around the room. Karabi is glaring at Anthe for whatever reason.

 No.618274

>>618272
Waiting on Marcus, but I'm ready to move on.

 No.618279

>>618272
Offer a roll to those two grumps as well.
"Want one? They're pretty sweet."

 No.618280

>>618263
"…Really? You're not pulling my leg, are you?"

 No.618282

>>618280
Shake my head.

 No.618286

>>618282
"Hmmmm, you're a lucky mare, Flavia. Now I'm really intrigued to visit the Basilica."

 No.618287

>>618279
Comically enough, they both shake their heads in synch.
"Not hungry."
"That's commoner food."

 No.618289

PAUSE

 No.618290

>>618287
Chuckle at their reaction. "Fine, I'll just keep them all to myself then."
And then I chow down on one myself in front of them.

 No.618291

>>618286
"If you are not a good follower and pray to Her, she might not be there for us in the future!"

 No.618329

>>618291
"Why would the mother help us?"

 No.618334

>>618329
"She is the Mother, we are all her children.
Would you not help your children?"

 No.618335

>>618334
"I thought the Mother didn't intervene in the affairs of mortals."

 No.618336

>>618335
"Everything which happens to us is, in some way, linked to the Mother-
Seriously Marcus, it's like you never even went to mass!"

 No.618337

>>618336
"Influencing things is one thing, talking is a whole other level…I just wonder what would make our family so special."

 No.618338

>>618337
"Maybe we are not the only ones. Think about that."

 No.618339

>>618338
"…an unsettling thought honestly."

 No.618340

>>618339
"The Mother loves all of her children.
There is little to fear, because those she decides to talk to are sure to be pure of heart!"

 No.618341

>>618340
"Then it's no surprise she talked to you."

 No.618342

>>618341
Smile and blush a little.
"But no matter what, you have to tell nopony!"

 No.618343

>>618342
"Promised."

 No.618344

>>618343
"Good! Now I'm so curious to meet this friend!"

 No.618345

>>618344
stop here?

 No.618346

>>618345
Yeah, thanks for faff.

 No.618385

SCENE END

Evening falls and the sun drops down the horizon, cooling the city after an average day of springtime. With the exception of Nolin, you're all getting a bit hungry now. You should probably think about eating something before you head to bed for the night.

Luckily, you've been drawn to a district where you'll find plenty of food if the need arises. The Merchant's District lies connected to the massive harbor of Clopantinople and is filled with warehouses, stores and taverns. It's also one of the busiest parts of the city, with traffic coming in and out of the city constantly. You'll find many sailors, merchants, military folk and simple travelers here, the majority of them coming from all over the empire or even from outside the empire. Indeed, you're running into just about every species imaginable as you walk the streets.

You're not here for sightseeing of course, you're here because you've tracked down the inn you were looking for to this part of the city. You soon spot the facade of the building ahead of you. A large sign confirms that this is indeed the Oily Olive inn. Looks pretty average from here.

 No.618388

>>618385
Head to the inn.
"You all hungry too?"

 No.618389

>>618388
The Oily Olive inn looks like any other inn in the Merchant district of the great city of Clopantinople. Busy, rowdy and with a scent of wine in the air. These kinds of places are frequently used by the many sailors, merchants and other travellers passing by the capital. The innkeep is an older earth pony mare busying herself with cleaning up mugs from the counter. It's fairly busy in here, with patrons talking in languages you can't understand all around you!

 No.618390

>>618385
I can't get hungry either.
>>618388
"I'm fine, brother."
Smile.
"If anything, I'm excited for who we are about to meet!"

 No.618392

>>618385
>>618389
I'll try to notice anything about the ponies inside the inn. '1d20+8'
"I could use something I suppose."

Roll #1 3 + 8 = 11

 No.618393

>>618390
I meant to write Flavia there, not Nolin. My mistake.

 No.618394

>>618389
Step to the innkeeper.
"Good evening, sir.
A meal for all of us.
And the keys to room IX."
I'll pay with my supply and bribe mone

 No.618398

>>618392
They look like simple sailors enjoying some R&R to you. The wine is flowing quite freely in here, you should probably not anger any of them in their drunken state.

>>618394
>The innkeep is an older earth pony mare
"Five meals? Our vegetarian options are either the salad, the stew or the pasta. Either way that'll be 3 silvers."
She takes one of the keys hanging on the wall and puts it on the counter.
"Should I bring the meals to your room, sir?"

 No.618399

>>618398
Cast a glance across the inn itself, looking the patrons over.

 No.618400

>>618398
Certainly not, that wouldn't be good for my cousins.

 No.618401

>>618398
"The stew for me please."
Let the rest decide for themselves.
"And yes."
Take the key.

>>618390
"You might get hungry later, Flavia. It's good to eat while you can."

 No.618403

>>618401
Sigh defeated.
"Okay brother…"
>>618398
"A salad. Small. Very small."

 No.618405

>>618401
>>618398
"Might as well go for a pasta."

 No.618407

>>618400
Just don't look any of them in the eyes…

>>618399
They're laughing, playing cards and talking. Some of them are being fairly indecent about showing each other affection, but that's to be expected. This isn't a temple.

>>618401
>>618403
>>618405
Anthe and Niphon both ask for the pasta. Then change their minds and decide to pick something different from each other, opting for the salad and stew instead.

It appears Karabi is opting out of dinner.

 No.618409

>>618407
Karabi might be more served with going to a griffon restaurant later.
"Now let's go to our room and get settled."
Go to room IX, but don't go in yet.

 No.618410

>>618407
>>618409
Wonder what Marcus is waiting for.

 No.618411

>>618407
>>618409

'1d20+8' notice anything about the door to see why my cousin stopped without knocking.

Roll #1 7 + 8 = 15

 No.618412

>>618409
>>618411
Room IX… it says so on the door in iron letters. The keys you have with you should open this door. This is your last chance for second thoughts.

It's really just a normal door.

 No.618415

>>618412
>>618409
Nudge Marcus forward.

 No.618416

>>618412
"Karabi, would you do the honors?"

 No.618418

>>618412
>>618416
"Are you afraid of the door Marcus? I'll open it for you."

 No.618422

>>618416
She presses herself quietly against the door and grasps the handle with a talon.
"This could be all kinds of terrible."

With a twist of the handle and a swift push, it swings open. The inside of the room behind it looks entirely normal, like your average inn room for a moderate price. Four beds, some windows with a view on the street and a table with some chairs.

There’s an earth pony stallion awaiting you in the room, though he doesn’t look very… healthy. At all. There’s bags under his eyes, his mane is a frazzled mess and his eyes themselves are bloodshot. He looks like he’s quite ill indeed as he sits behind the table, regarding you.

He clears his throat with some effort and speaks up. “The family Hippoi, I presume?”

 No.618426

>>618422
Step in as well.
"In the flesh, I'm Lord Marcus, who do I have the pleasure of adressing?"

 No.618427

>>618422
"Indeed, and at no small risk either." I say and trot in side carefully taking in the old stallion. cold read on him pleasewhat does he do? Is he a noble or commoner? Does he have any family?

 No.618431

>>618427
"Marcus… you're Odyris' eldest son. My name is Victus-"
He coughs quite nastily.
"My apologies for the secrecy. And that I'm not able to meet you in good health. It's nothing contagious, don't worry."

>>618427
You don't actually think he's that old, his current state of health just makes him look very withered.

You regard the stallion and attempt to figure him out.

You realize that this pony is a Concord. The Concords are a group of the Empire's finest ponies who operate under direct orders of the Empress and her council. They're agents of her will, being above the law and free to act as they see fit. Their primary purpose is to safeguard the empire from both outside and inside threats and to preserve stability for the sake of the imperial family. The authority they are given means they are able to operate completely independently from each other. Concords have no other authority than the empress and the council and rarely work together, unless their missions coincide.

He's nobility, but not from an important family. He climbed the ranks of the military without the help of his family's status.

 No.618432

>>618431
"A pleasure to meet you."
Take a few steps forward to the desk, hoping he won't cough too much.

 No.618436

>>618432
"Somepony gave me a nasty dose of poison on a business trip of mine. This is the result even after days of treatment. I wouldn't recommend Peneia as a holiday destination anymore."
He wipes the sweat off his brow with a piece of cloth.
"Now, I should probably elaborate on my position here. Like I said, my name is Victus. I'm a Concord, I'm sure you're familiar with the organization, yes?"

 No.618437

>>618436
I suppose I do?
I nod.

 No.618438

>>618436
Am I?
'1d20+3'

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4

 No.618439

>>618436
Sigh a bit and get comfortable in the room.
"Ah, since you're so forward about it, your mission involves our family somehow?"

 No.618443

>>618437
>>618438
No need to even roll, they're not exactly secret.

As for you, Flavia, you feel something light land on top of your head. None of the others seem to have noticed, all of them facing away from you to regard the stallion.

>>618439
"I'm not actually on active duty right now, I'm supposed to be spending this time recovering my health. That being said, I would like to ask you a few questions if that's okay with you. About Odyris Hippoi who has been accused of conspiring to murder the late doux of Agria and his heir."

 No.618444

>>618443
"I see…
Very well, but I must say we don't know much either."

 No.618445


 No.618448

>>618443
I roll my eyes.
"Is that what they're saying about him now?"

 No.618451

>>618443
Uh?
Try to reach it.

 No.619293

>>618444
"Does your father and family have any outstanding feuds with other families? Does he have any particularly tenacious enemies?"
As far as any of you know, your house has no feuds with anyone.

>>618448
"Lord Odyris Hippoi has been accused of these things not only by the new doux of Agria, but also by my fellow Concord: lady Cassicia. She was assigned to investigate the case back when it first developed. At first she ruled the death of the late doux and his son to be an accident, but she recently came forward with more intel, implicating lord Hippoi in the matter."

>>618060
>>618063
You hit the eagle once with your tail, knocking it about and causing it to lose control for a moment. When it recovers, it's flying below you and charging in for another good clawing, aimed at your belly.
'2d20+4'

>>618451
You move a hoof to reach for whatever landed on your head and feel something soft and fuzzy. It moves forward under the pressure of your hoof and comes into view as it lands on your nose instead. It's a miniscule, slender looking pony with buglike wings. A breezy! Not a common sight here in the south, as they tend to hide themselves north of here, deep in nature.

Roll #1 20, 12 + 4 = 36

 No.619295

>>619293
Ho boy. Activating that threat.
Let's see if it can penetrate your armor.

'2d8' With AP2

Roll #1 3, 8 = 11

 No.619297

>>619295
The critical attack takes away one wound. Your armor mostly protects you, but that still smarts. Just another reminder that this is no mere game.

 No.619307

>>619293
"Not that I know. My father took care not to get involved in family feuds."

 No.619308

>>619293
>but she recently came forward with more intel, implicating lord Hippoi in the matter.

!
"That is impossible, my father was far too loyal for that."

 No.619309

>>619293
Gasp, but don't jump back as not to startle it!
Instead, bring my hoof forward, as if forming a cup, and help the tiny creature onto it by bowing my head downwards.
Wordlessly, look it over in awe.

 No.619311

>>619297
Yes, time to finish this.
Breathe fire at it with Armored Assurance.
'1d20+7'

Roll #1 14 + 7 = 21

 No.619312

>>619293
"Hmm and no one would doubt the word of the Doux and a Concord of course.. Any proof we could find would be suspect as fake under such circumstances" I shake my head "But that doesn't sound like the uncle I knew.."

 No.619313

>>619311
Reflex save. '1d20+3'

You roll for damage.

Roll #1 20 + 3 = 23

 No.619315

>>619313
'2d6+3'

Roll #1 2, 5 + 3 = 10

 No.619317

>>619307
He nods silently.

>>619308
>>619312
"Yet lady Cassicia insists that her investigation was sound."
He sinks further back in his chair.
"But listen… what I am about to tell you is something very troubling. Something that, if true, would cause quite a stir. I believe that lady Cassicia, a fellow Concord, has gone dark. I believe… I believe that she's corrupt. Unbeknownst to her, I've also been investigating what I could. Of course, since I'm not really in service right now I haven't been able to operate on quite the same level as she has. I don't really have proof just yet, and you may think these are the words of a delirious pony whose brain has been mellowed by poison… It's why I've been reluctant to approach the empress about this matter. There are other… things on her mind right now than my ravings about a corrupt agent she puts her full trust in. Since you and your family have lost so much because of this, I figured you would be some of the few willing to listen to what I have to say."

>>619309
It jumps off of your nose and lands silently on your hoof. It's so light! You see it's wearing a set of miniature saddlebags.

It's eying you curiously, tilting its head from side to side.

>>619315
You hit it, but it manages to dodge the full blow of the fire quite handily. Rolling again to see if it catches fire though '1d20+3'

Roll #1 16 + 3 = 19

 No.619318

>>619317
Nope, it's just a little burned.

Unfazed, it continues its assault.
'2d20+4'

Roll #1 6, 6 + 4 = 16

 No.619319

>>619317
Perk my ears.
"But…why?"

 No.619320

>>619318
And misses miserably, probably still shaken by the fire attack.

 No.619321

>>619317
Tilt my head with him, entirely estranged from the conversation around me.
"Who are you?"

 No.619323

>>619317
"If we weren't willing to listen to you, we wouldn't have even shown up to this meeting." I point out.
>>619321
can I hear you say that? If so I look back at you.

 No.619324

>>619320
Now is the time to bite.
'1d20+7'
'1d20+7'
Armored Assurance on both

Roll #1 8 + 7 = 15 / Roll #2 12 + 7 = 19

 No.619326

>>619319
He shakes his head.
"I can only guess what would drive somepony to betray their country and empress… Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps the poison has made me paranoid, seeing things where there aren't any. I suppose it's a more comfortable explanation, one most ponies would be inclined to fall back on if I told them about this. The Concords have existed for over 200 years. In that time, there hasn't been a single occasion where one of us was charged for treason. Dishonorable discharges, yes… just never something… of this… scope."
The stallion starts into a coughing fit. It takes a minute for him to recompose himself, covering his mouth with a piece of cloth. You see there's some blood on it as he removes it again.
"Now… her stories don't quite add up. It's subtle, but there's inconsistencies in her reports… not only that but she falls back on her words as well from time to time."

>>619323
He takes out a piece of parchment.
"Officially, Doux Arravani and his son died during a fire in an inn they were staying at while on the road. Further investigations by lady Cassicia showed that the fire was caused by a pile of manure which was stored in a barn next to the inn. It somehow exploded… possibly because of the fumes that had been building up. At first she theorized that this was caused by the warm weather. Then she changed the story to a lantern being the source of ignition. And only then she theorized that the fire could have been purposefully started. Only… there were no lanterns in that barn at all. And the weather on that day was not particularly sunny or hot. So perhaps she was right that this was murder… but why did she bring out these initial nonsensical theories at first? To cover up for somepony?"

>>619321
It flares its wings out and babbles something in a language you don't understand.

>>619324
You snap your large jaws at the eagles, missing once. You manage to catch it the second time though. Roll for damage.

 No.619327

>>619326
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4

 No.619328

>>619327
You wound the creature further, causing the crowd to holler. The flying creature does not give up, however. It retaliates with attacks of his own '2d20+4'

Roll #1 18, 1 + 4 = 23

 No.619329

>>619326
"But why are you here? I'm not sure how we could help."

 No.619331

>>619326
Sigh a bit rubbing my head.
"Maybe she was just under a lot of pressure to come up with an answer she didn't have? Can't be easy investigating alone all the time."

 No.619332

>>619329
"I don't have the strength to solve this mess… not yet anyway. The reason why I wanted you to come is because I know you're invested enough in this matter that you wish to see it solved. I want you to get me some proof of my suspicions. She must have done this for some reason or the other… like… money perhaps? Or perhaps it was blackmail. Or perhaps something more sinister. Or a combination of these things."
He coughs again and clears his throat.
"Lady Cassicia is attending a ball tonight while she on leave, here in Clopantinople. It's hosted by lord Omnidus who lives in a villa located in the inner city district. If you could get in there and somehow approach her close enough to search her belongings for any clues that could help me see the bigger picture…"

>>619331
"Falsifying reports to cover up personal failure is every bit as treasonous. We are supposed to be some of the empire's finest, there is no room for these kind of transgressions. It puts everypony living here at risk."

 No.619334

>>619328
I bite back twice again, I suppose.
'1d20+7'
'1d20+7'
AA

Roll #1 4 + 7 = 11 / Roll #2 19 + 7 = 26

 No.619335

>>619323
I think so, yes.
>>619326
Look around, remind me who is in this room, between pcs and npcs.

 No.619336

>>619334
Roll damage once.

>>619335
You, your sister Anthe, Niphon, Marcus, Nolin, this breezy and Concord Victus.

 No.619337

>>619336
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10

 No.619338

>>619335
Try to lock eyes with Marcus and Niphon, while holding the breezie up with a distressed face.
"I d-don't understand what you are saying, oh noble creature!"

 No.619339


 No.619341

>>619332
"I see…it is no small thing you ask, my Lord. Stealing from a Concord…"

 No.619342

>>619332
"I see where you're going with this. What's this mare look like.."
>>619338
"Huh? Where did you find that Flavia?" I look confused.
"Hello there little thing."

 No.619344

>>619337
It's starting to really get worn down… you think it might just drop dead from the sky soon.

>>619341
>>619342
"I understand that much. I can only guess what would happen if you were to get caught. But surely you must also see that I just can't do it myself. Not only am I severely weakened, but she already knows who I am. But you… you could just lie your way in. Make her think you're low nobility… or foreigners, something she can't check for truth on the spot. Charm her, get her drunk, just find some way to distract her attention away from her belongings so you can get access to them."

>>619338
Niphon glances at you and frowns as he sees your predicament.
"Flavia? Who's that?"

Victus looks over as well, his attention attracted by you now. He says something to the breezy none of you understand, to which it responds in kind. The stallion then looks at you.
"Don't mind Nio. He doesn't mean you any harm, Sister. He's merely curious, that's all."

 No.619345

>>619344
The giant eagle decides to fly away from you this turn. You can catch up to it quite easily in half a turn.

 No.619347

>>619344
"Oh but… So am I! But I don't understand a word he says!"

 No.619348

>>619344
"I see."

Look to Nolin.
>>619342
"What do you think Nolin?
Can you get to her belongings?"

 No.619349

>>619345
Catch up and swat at it with my tail.
'1d20+7'

Roll #1 7 + 7 = 14

 No.619351

>>619348
>>619344
Nod. "It shouldn't be that hard just to look at her stuff. If we work together it should be even easier, after all she's just one mare." I smile at Marcus.

 No.619352

>>619347
'Nio' says something to the sickly stallion, who narrows his eyes somewhat as he scrutinizes you.
"Nio says… you're different. I don't see how, but you seemingly are to him."

>>619349
In its state, it's unable to dodge even this relatively normal attack. Roll for damage. This could be all that's needed to finish this fight.

 No.619353

>>619351
>>619352
"We'll do as you ask. Do you have any more information we could use?"

 No.619354

>>619352
It better be a big smack
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8

 No.619355

>>619352
"…Well, you are very different too, Nio!"
Gently pet his head.

 No.619357

>>619352
>>619355
"Well, how about Flavia. A tiny suitor." I chuckle at the idea.
>>619353
>>619352
"Hmm, yea like what might she look like? Or what's she like to drink?"

 No.619359

>>619357
"H-hey!"
Blush and hold Nio to my chest, shielding him with both hooves!

 No.619360

>>619351
>>619353
"Yes. If it's not written in code, it's probably not worth taking. Also…"
He quickly looks over the parchment, then smiles.
"She likes white wine. Hates red."

>>619354
You smack the oversized bird one last time with your tail, sending it careering through the air until it starts plummeting down. It crashes in the cloudy arena with a thud.

"Amazing! Arousing! The puny drake has won this skirmish!"

The crowd roars, the vast majority of them cheering. And a few boo's as well.

>>619355
The pony fey babbles something back at you.
"Ahem, I think he means different in a very literal manner."

 No.619361

>>619360
"If we help you, could you help us prove our fathers innocence?"

 No.619362

>>619360
Snort smoke at the word 'puny', but hover proudly above the arena.

"Was that all?"

 No.619363

>>619360
"Well he is a tiny cute pony with butterfly wings, that's the most different I can think of!"

 No.619365


 No.619367

>>619361
"That is what I hope to do here, yes."

>>619362
"One of the weaker creatures we had in storage. If you feel ready for something stronger, then we can continue… but not today. For others have reserved a place in the arena."

 No.619368

>>619359
I snicker.
"Look how close you are already."
>>619360
I tilt my head at him as he enjoys some old memory.

 No.619369

>>619363
The Concord chuckles.
"Don't underestimate him, sister."

 No.619370

>>619367
Look to Anthe and Nolin.
"Then you'll have our help."

 No.619371

>>619367
Nod.
I suppose I should fly wherever the competitors should go in downtime

 No.619372

>>619369
"O-oh."
Hold up the hoof again, looking at the breezie.
"Which language does he talk?"

 No.619374

>>619367
>>619370
'1d20+7' just a quick sense motive to see if he's lying about wanting to help free my uncle.

Roll #1 9 + 7 = 16

 No.619376

>>619370
In a rare display of wisdom, they've let you take the word so as not to drown the room in voices.
"Thank you. I hope this will end up helping us both, even if that means one of our own is corrupt."

>>619371
Perhaps you should claim your reward as well.

A couple of pegasi fly down to clean up the arena as you leave.

>>619372
"It's a language unique to breezies living on this continent. He actually can understand Imperial, as you may have noticed."

>>619374
He does appear to be telling the truth.

 No.619377

>>619376
That is exactly what I had planned.
Maybe the mare with the speaker knows where.

 No.619378

>>619376
"So tell me, Nio, how am I different?"

 No.619379

>>619376
"Where is this party?
How should we get invitations?"

 No.619381

>>619377
You land at her pedestal again.
"I wasn't sure you'd survive, but you have proven me wrong, Mereghyl. Very pleasing."

>>619378
He babbles something again.

Victus shrugs.
"He says he doesn't know exactly."

>>619379
"As I said before, at the villa of lord Omnidus. I pulled a few strings and took care of the invitations to get you in."

 No.619382

>>619379
>>619376
"Lets ask the lord himself directly." I suggest.

 No.619383

>>619382
>>619381
"That will certainly save us some time."

 No.619384

>>619381
>>619383
"Ah, yes. That's fantastic. You know I heard about this party and wanted to find a way to go anyway."

 No.619385

>>619382
>>619383
"Whatever you feel is best. Do you know the lord?"

 No.619386

>>619381
"It was more of a nuisance than a danger."

 No.619388

>>619385
"He's a friend of our family's actually."

 No.619389


 No.619391

>>619381
"Oh well. It was nice knowing you, Nio."
Put him back atop my head and rejoin the conversation.
>>619389
Step by your side.
"What is happening? The Breezie kinda distracted me…"

 No.619392

>>619386
"Hmmm, we'll see if that talk continues. Now let's see about how much money you generated…"
Roll for treasure. Just a 1d20+5.

>>619388
>>619389
"All the better. Just don't let lady Cassicia know you're from house Hippoi or she'll be on edge."

 No.619394

>>619391
Perk my ears.
"Breezie?"

 No.619395

>>619392
"We shall see."
'1d20+5'

Roll #1 15 + 5 = 20

 No.619396

>>619394
We are in the same room, there's no way you haven't seen us talk with and about it!
Pat the tiny pon atop my head.

 No.619398

>>619396
Look at it…

 No.619399

>>619395
You've gained…
220 silvers
55 XP
5 Reputation

"Not bad… for a beginner. The Rosethorn may suit you better than I thought."
She watches the sun in the sky.
"Now go, the next fight will begin shortly. If you ever feel like fighting in the Rosethorn again, you'll just have to follow the sound of cheering. We never settle for one location, in a few days we will move on with the arena to the next city."

>>619398
It's a very tiny pony with slender long legs and large bug wings. It's wearing a set of miniature saddlebags on its back.

 No.619401

>>619399
Nod.
"I will keep that in mind. I would like another trial when I will have the chance."
Grab what I earned and fly down, away from the cloud city.

 No.619402

>>619396
"Oh…"
Look at it curiously.
"Uh…we decided to go to a party.
There's a pony there who might know something about dad."

 No.619404

>>619401
Hmmm… the others are probably at the inn by now. The merchant's district should have room for you to land there without destroying anything though.

 No.619405

>>619402
"But I don't have a dress for that!"

 No.619406

>>619404
Fly off to there then.

 No.619407

>>619405
You sense something… roll Notice.

 No.619408

>>619405
Look surprised.
"Not one?"

 No.619409

>>619406
You fly away from the cloud district and head for the merchant's district near the massive harbor of the city. Roll Search.

 No.619410

>>619407
'1d20+11'
>>619408
"I left home with the one dress I was wearing!
But I do have some coin on me…"

Roll #1 9 + 11 = 20

 No.619412

>>619409
'1d20+2'

Roll #1 13 + 2 = 15

 No.619413

>>619410
"Maybe we can ask to borrow one?"

 No.619414

>>619413
"Or I could just stop by a sailor in town!"

 No.619415

>>619410
You feel your gut twisting…

Looking into your bags, you see the cube's runes are lighting up. It's glowing softly. This may be important.

>>619412
It takes a bit of looking around, but you manage to find the Oily Olive inn. Doesn't look like a particularly remarkable place. Just another beer temple for ponies to drink away their worries.

 No.619416

>>619414
>>619415
"I can afford you a dress, but we'll have to hurry."

 No.619417

>>619415
Gulp!
"Brother, lord Victus, I need to exscuse myself for a moment!"
And as soon as they allow me, rush out with a dignified trot.
Find a bathroom!

 No.619418

>>619415
I do hope they have fish.
Land nearby.

 No.619420

>>619416
"Indeed. The guests are no doubt arriving as we speak."
He starts into a nasty coughing fit again.

>>619417
Doesn't look like he's paying attention, too busy coughing!

You find the restroom for mares downstairs. It's… not very clean, but still bearable.

>>619418
You land on the cobblestone street. Behind you lies a small canal, no doubt part of the sewer system for the city. You can't even imagine all the garbage these ponies must be generating.

 No.619421

>>619420
Wait patiently for Flavia…
………………….

 No.619422

>>619420
A large city like this… so filthy.
Now I only need a way to check if my family is here.

 No.619423

>>619420
Pull out the cube and hold it in my hooves.

 No.619424

>>619421
Quite literally,
Nature calls

 No.619426

>>619420
I'll quickly eat that food marcus paid for while we wait!

 No.619427

>>619422
You could 'politely' ask one of the waitresses serving the ponies sitting outside the inn.

>>619423
With a prayer and some concentration, you black out again.



You're back in Eurydice's domain… but this time, it's nighttime. And what a beautiful night it is. It's cool out and the rustling of leaves as the wind plays with them.

You're in the little grove where Eurydice always sits near her tree. This time is no different, though obviously she was expecting you. She immediately walks up to you, looking as serene as ever.

“Flavia. I have called you here on short notice for a specific purpose. I'm afraid that whatever you were doing will need to wait. I need you elsewhere.”

>>619421
Victus recomposes himself. Nio babbles about something to you, then to Victus. You have no idea what, since you don't speak the language.

"If… you feel like you need help. Nio could join you."

>>619426
You're filled up for a while! Good thinking.

 No.619428

>>619427
Motion one of them closer with a claw.

 No.619429

>>619427
"I appreciate the offer. But wouldn't the lady recogize him?"

 No.619430

>>619427
Bow down on the ground.
"OF course Eurydice.
What is it you need of me?"

 No.619432

>>619428
One of them shakily approaches you.
"C-Can I take your o-order sir?"

>>619429
He shakes his head weakly.
"No, she doesn't know him. Concords usually work alone."

>>619430
"I have sensed something. A chaotic presence not far from where you are. In the very temple you were in earlier today."
She walks to a small pond on the edge of the grove and dips a hoof in it.
"And I know who and what it is. One of Discord's spirits. This spirit… it will be your test. Your first major test. I need you to go there and neutralize it as a threat."

 No.619433

>>619432
"Then I'm happy to have him as well.
Now where is Flavia…"

 No.619434

>>619432
Point at the building.
"Is anyone from the Hippoi family in there?"

 No.619435

>>619432
Take a deep breath and let it out, relaxing.
"I will go there, and stop it."
I have no fear, for I trust Nature.

 No.619437

>>619433
"He's small… so he'll be able to squeeze into small places if need be. And he can understand our language just fine."

>>619434
"W-Who?"

>>619435
Eurydice looks back at you and smiles.
"It is good to hear you are indeed as brave as I thought. The spirit in question has manifested into pony form. It has been posing as a member of the Church of Aer for some time now, trying to plant seeds of chaos where it can. However… it has been severely weakened. Its powers are waning and it's beginning to fall. Like holy warriors and priests, us spirits are susceptible to the same threat of losing faith. It's this loss of faith that weakened this spirit enough that you will be able to take it on. You cannot kill it, only banish it to a different realm. Perhaps… you could even hasten and ensure its fall instead."

 No.619439

>>619432
"Excuse me sir, but we can't understand Nio."

 No.619440

>>619437
"How will I recognise it?"

 No.619441

>>619437
Is nio the breezie?

 No.619442

>>619437
Narrow my eyes at her.

 No.619443

>>619439
"He can understand you, if that puts your mind at ease. If not, he was only merely offering his help. You are free to refuse it, there's no shame in that."

>>619441
Yes.

>>619440
"You will sense it. And… it will sense you."

 No.619444

>>619443
ooooooh.
"I think we can better take you with us. And it seems Flavia likes you."

 No.619445

>>619443
"Then I will head for the Basilica post haste.
But… Eurydice?"
Look up, as if begging.

 No.619446

>>619442
She tries to hide behind her platter.
"I'll… I-I'll go ask!"

She speeds away.

>>619444
Nio floats over and lands on your nose.

>>619445
"… Yes, Flavia?"

 No.619447

>>619446
"Once that is over… Can I see you again? I want to explore this realm…"

 No.619448

>>619446
"Would you mind sitting on my head?
I can't see like this…"

 No.619450

>>619446
Now we wait.

 No.619451

>>619443
"Ooh, alright. I don't mind him coming in that case."

 No.619453

>>619447
"Of course, Flavia. One more thing before you go…"
She approaches you and lays a hoof on your cheek.
"The spirit can fly. You may want to bring your dragon friend along…"

You black out again. Then… you're back in the stinky restroom.

>>619448
>>619451
He flutters away and goes sit on Nolin's nose instead.

>>619450
And wait…

 No.619454

>>619453
Start impatiently tapping my claw against the cobblestone.

 No.619455

>>619453
Blink at his wings as they flutter in front of my eyes.
"Got a suit Nio? This is a fancy event."

 No.619456

>>619453
Take a deep breath and focus.
I need to find Mreghyl!
Back to Marcus!
>>619448
"Brother! have you seen Mereghyl anywhere?"

 No.619457

>>619455
He shakes his head. Looks like he'll go in nekkid.

>>619454
Perhaps the waitress is dying of a heartattack while hiding in a closet somewhere…

 No.619459

>>619457
"Ha, maybe no one will notice since you're so small."
>>619456
"Oh welcome back, are you ready to go?"

 No.619460

>>619457
Make sure the cobblestone and my claws are loud enough to hear then.

 No.619461

>>619459
"I'm so, so sorry! I can't! Something came up!"

 No.619462

>>619456
"No…but I think he should be close. Why?"

 No.619463

>>619461
"Oh, alright. So you want Meregyhl to go with you to whatever it is, for safety?"

 No.619465

>>619462
>>619463
Nod.
"Trust me, it's really important!"

 No.619466

>>619465
>>619457
"I believe you Flavia. Lets not waste more time."
take the invitations and go outside.

 No.619467

>>619465
"Fine. But don't get into trouble."

 No.619468

>>619467
Nod.
"There's no way anything bad might happen!"
>>619466
Outside I go.

Now I just need to find Mereghyl…

 No.619469

>>619465
Anthe rolls her eyes.
"Really, Flavia? Ugh."

>>619466
>>619468
>>619460
Mereghyl is out here! He seems to be annoyed about something.

 No.619470

>>619468
"Then we'll go to that party.
We'll be back as soon as we know anything."

 No.619471

PAUSE

 No.619474

>>619469
"Really!"
>>619470
"Meet you here then, okay?"
>>619460
"Mereghyl!
You gotta help me tonight, okay?"

 No.619475

Also, this is the end of this scene.

 No.619476

>>619474
Smile as you approach.
"Ah, so you are here. The waitress kept me waiting. Gladly, with what?"

 No.619477

>>619476
"It's a secret~"
Grab one of his huge legs and start trotting away from the mansion.
"I will tell you as soon as we are alone."

 No.619478

>>619477
Start following you with a nod.
"If you say so."
After a few moments of silence, speak.
"I fought in an Arena. I won and got the prize."

 No.619479

>>619478
"The arena?"
Gasp!
"Are you hurt?!"
Look him over.

 No.619480

>>619479
Shake my head.
"It was nothing. A mere nuisance."
I only lost one wound

 No.619481

>>619480
"I knew you were just as strong as you said you were~"
Squeeze his leg a bit more…
Until we are in the clear, away from anyone else.
"Now I must ask a huge favor of you."

 No.619482

>>619481
Nod.
"I am listening."

 No.619483

>>619482
"There is a thing I have to do at the Basilica. And it might be a little dangerous, but I need a strong flyer for it."

 No.619484

>>619483
"What kind of danger are you facing?"

 No.619485

>>619484
"I might fail the Mother's test!"

 No.619486

>>619485
Raise a brow.
"I do not understand."

 No.619487

>>619486
"Promise to keep this a secret, Mereghyl?"

 No.619488

>>619487
"You know you can count on me."

 No.619489

>>619488
Take a deep breath and say all of this at once, in a rush.
"Ireceivedadivinecubefromadryadandnowshewantsmetofindaspiritofdiscordwho'shidinginthebasilicaanditmightflysoIneedyourhelptogetitbeforeitcandoanymoredamagetothechurch!"

 No.619490

>>619489
Hold up a single claw.
"Calm down.
Speak clearly."

 No.619491

>>619490
Shake my head.
"I can't repeat all that!
Look, we might need to fly around the Basilica a bit! Is that okay?"

 No.619492

>>619491
"I have no objections. Any particular part you will want to land at?"

 No.619493

>>619492
"You just be ready to take off if I tell you, okay?"

 No.619494

>>619493
"Understood. I will assure your safety."

 No.619495

>>619494
"Thanks Mereghyl!"
Give him a big hug and then fly to the caaaaastle.
Thanks for faffing.

 No.619496

>>619495
Thanks too!

 No.619655

>>619495
>>619496
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-x1LVYXrKE

You take off, flying over the city as darkness begins to spread further and further. The moon has already appeared, providing some extra illumination on this hot evening.

>>619470
>>619455
You'll be taking Nio with you.

Before you head to the ball, do you wish to make any further preparations? Will you take Anthe and Niphon along or would you rather not take the risk?

 No.619656

>>619655
Gonna wait for Sylt

 No.619657

>>619655
>>619656
I'm here niggas.
As I hold tight on Mereghyl's back, I will offer the Moon a prayer for my success tonight.

 No.619658

>>619657
>>619655
Glide and fly straight to the destination.

 No.619659

>>619655
I'll ask Anthe and Niphon if they want to come

 No.619660

>>619659
>>619655
We need to agree on what house we're pretending to be from.

 No.619661

>>619660
"I suppose House Hippoi would be too obvious?"

 No.619662

>>619657
>>619658
You land near the grand basilica of Clopantinople. Perched on a hill, this colossus of a building overlooks most of the city as well as the sea ahead. You notice the building is divided in sections, each having their own theme and distinct style. Now that night has fallen it's far less busy here on the hill, though there are still ponies about here and there that you can see.

At first Flavia doesn't feel much out of the ordinary, but a sudden jolt in her spine tells her all she needs to know. There's something near which isn't quite natural.

She can roll a Search or Notice check to see where exactly it's emanating from. Or just piece what Eurydice told her together.

>>619659
Anthe starts.
"Marcus, I'd love to come along. You'll need a lady's touch if you're going to pretend to be somepony else. This is Clopantinople after all."

Niphon shakes his head.
"I'll pass. I think I'll go to the thermae instead to relax. This isn't my kind of thing. I don't feel like skulking around like some weasel."

>>619660
That would be wise. And probably have the best liar take point as well. You're both fairly filthy liars.

 No.619663

>>619661
"Well, we were explicitly told that she'd be suspicious of us if we told her that.. So.. yea."

 No.619664

>>619662
Keep alert.
Flavia will know what to do.

 No.619665

>>619662
Let's Notice stuff as I head for the tower of Aer.

Roll #1 5 + 11 = 16

 No.619666

>>619663
>>619662
Think of a good house to house pretend '1d20+5'

>>619662
>anthe and niphon
"Very well."

Roll #1 2 + 5 = 7

 No.619667

>>619664
Flavia walks off. You're alone outside now.

>>619665
It's definitely coming from in there. There's a couple of ponies still here in the pronaos of Aer, but none of them catch your attention. These are just pegasi coming down from the Cloud district to say some evening prayers.

>>619666
Hmmm… How about house Lavinia?

 No.619668

>>619667
Look at the walls. Wasn't there something which caught my attention about them, earlier today?

 No.619669

>>619667
It's too small to fit me, isn't it?

 No.619670

>>619666
>>619667
I snicker softly. "Of course, we'd look off without a fine lady around."

 No.619671

>>619670
>>619667
"What about house Lavinia?"

 No.619672

>>619671
>>619667
'1d20+2' do I know anything about house Lavinia?

Roll #1 18 + 2 = 20

 No.619673

>>619668
>The ceiling is entirely covered by clouds. Indoor clouds! They seem to be swirling in a whirlwind pattern around a central point which illuminates the room. A ball of lightning seemingly captured in a large crystal container suspended from the ceiling beyond the clouds by a chain. You can hear the soft crackling of lightning even from down here. The air is charged with electricity… it feels like the prelude to a thunderstorm on a hot summer day.
The walls are brick with mosaics on them.

>>619669
You might be able to fit inside, but it's not exactly a building you want to mess around in and damage something.

>>619671
>>619672
"Are you thick, Marcus? You're going to pretend to be part of the imperial family when there's an agent of the empress herself we're hunting?"
House Lavinia is the family who united the empire three centuries ago. They've ruled as the imperial family ever since.

 No.619674

>>619673
Grumble.
"…I thought it might have given us some credence…"
Try to think one more time '1d20+5'

Roll #1 19 + 5 = 24

 No.619675

>>619673
I better wait out here then.
Be alert though, listen if I hear her.
I don't want her to get into trouble.
Observe some of the ponies who are still around in the meantime.

 No.619676

>>619674
And another AD '1d4'

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.619677

>>619674
>>619673
"You're a lot less funny in the day time.." I scratch my chin as if trying to think of something as well. '1d20+2'

Roll #1 18 + 2 = 20

 No.619678

>>619673
That is both marvelous and forebonding.
Enter the naos and Notice again.
'1d20+11'

Roll #1 6 + 11 = 17

 No.619679

Adrianos

Today you stand guard in the Dawnsworn park in Clopantinople. Named after the empress who built the Basilica of the Holy Omnipotence of Mother Nature centuries ago, this park is located in the biggest district of the city. The Outer City District or the Common District is home to hundreds of thousands of plebeians. This district alone is larger and more densely populated than any other city in the empire. During the day, this park sees thousands of visitors seeking peace and rest, away from the bustling city surrounding it. You've been standing guard here for several hours now, but thankfully your shift will be over in less than an hour, at which point you'll need to close the gates leading inside.

Make sure no filthy hobos are stinking the place up! That's your glorious duty!

>>619674
>>619676
>>619677
Being a bunch of smart ponoes, you reckon that pretending to be from a lower house somewhere far away from here might be a better idea. Like Thema Peneia! There are a few lower houses there you could pretend to come from. House Komomene, for one. Marcus met the matriarch from there a few years back, she was very fond of masks. Alternatively, you could pretend to be from house Kastati, another Peneian house, this one without any land under their banner.

You could of course also pretend to be from another land such as Prance or Germaney and make up the names yourself.

>>619675
None of them seem suspicious, these are pilgrims and priests, surely they're not here seeking trouble?

>>619678
You leave the pronaos and enter the naos of Aer's section. Like before, it's filled with small white clouds floating about, as well as various statues made from cloud. The glass ceiling shows the beginning of a starry night sky.

You look around the hall for your quarry and notice there's only one other pony here, a pegasus mare dressed as a high priestess of Aer. Except… she's no mere pony. There's something… different about her which you can't quite place. She looks normal enough…

You see her ears perking up as she turns her head to look at you. For several seconds, it's a staredown. Then she rolls up one of her sleeves, revealing a small solar 'clock' attached to her front leg. Not exactly useful if the sun isn't even out.

“Hmmm, that can't be right! Am I in the wrong scene again or… Oh! How silly of me, I forgot to account for daylight savings!”

 No.619680

>>619679
"House Komomene!"
Do I still have that mask she gave me!

 No.619682

>>619679
I have one of those sundials as well, must come with the outfit.
Start walking sideways, in a circle around her, slowly letting my hooves echo one after the other on the stone floor.
"So many words, so little meaning to them."

 No.619683

>>619679
If it is my duty, then I will discharge it with honor. Is my backup around here?

Search for those who would defile the laws set forth by the Empress and the reverence of those who worship here. '1d10+12'

Roll #1 8 + 12 = 20

 No.619684

>>619680
>>619679
Nod approvingly.
"Hmm nice choice, I'll let you take point on this then, since you know more about their house personally."

 No.619685

>>619679
Even vagrants need beliefs to soothe their troubled minds.
Yet so few of them ever recieve a blessing or even the sign from the deity of their worship, unlike the priests and paladins who use the power of the divine.

I will never understand them.

 No.619686

>>619684
"We would need a few more masks. They love masks."

 No.619687

>>619686
"Hmm, can't be too hard to find a couple nice masks in town right?"

 No.619688

>>619680
You do. It's the same panther mask you were given a year or two ago.

Anthe cocks her head.
"Komomomeme?"

>>619682
“Sorry, but we can't play right now! Bye! Tell Eurydice I said hi though!”

She spreads her wings and takes off, flying backwards. She kicks one of the ceiling windows open with one of her hind legs and flies through it in one swift motion.

>>619683
Your friend Sonja is also patrolling this park, no doubt slightly less enthused about the boring shift so far.

You hear some rustling in a nearby bush, right off the road…

>>619685
Your inner monologue is interrupted as you see a pony flying backwards out of the building Flavia was just in at high speed. With a few wild corkscrews, she flees past you, dumping her clothing onto your face before you can react.

 No.619689

>>619688
>>619687
Take out the mask.
"They're a house from Penneia and love to wear masks."
Put mine on.
"We'll be unrecognizeable."

 No.619690

>>619688
It's probably just a bird or amorous teens, not many deadly assassins that rustle park bushes.

Still, can't hurt to have a look.

 No.619691

>>619688
Shake it off!
"I advise you to stop!"
Take off quickly to follow her!
Rolling Acrobatics!
'1d20+4'

Roll #1 3 + 4 = 7

 No.619692

>>619688
Waste no time and rush outside, running to Mereghyl.
>>619685
"Chase her!"
Point at the flying mare running from the Basilica.

 No.619693

>>619691
I'm going to spend two action die on this one
'2d4'

>>619692
"She is fast but I will try!"

Roll #1 1, 2 = 3

 No.619694

>>619689
>>619688
"I might have something that will work.."
'1d20+10' I can just use disguise for this right?

Roll #1 2 + 10 = 12

 No.619695

>>619689
"But this isn't a masked ball, Marcus!"

>>619690
Roll a reflex save.

>>619691
>>619692
>>619693
>10
You take off quickly, shaking off the pair of robes on your head, and give chase.

She speeds away from the hill, now flying upside down.
"No fair! Two on one is cheating!"

>>619694
Exactly! You have the actor props and Trotantine theater loves using masks! You can also roll to give others a disguise. The result of your roll is also the DC someone needs to beat with a notice check if you do something suspicious.

 No.619696

>>619695
"Then stop before you hurt yourself."
Try to be intimidating.
A huge dragon trying to catch up to you mid-air might be something, right?
'1d20+9'

Roll #1 19 + 9 = 28

 No.619697

>>619695
'1d20+1'

Roll #1 16 + 1 = 17

 No.619698

>>619695
"Don't be jealous. I have one for you too.."
'1d20+10' pretty mask disguise for Anthe

Roll #1 5 + 10 = 15

 No.619699

>>619697
'1d20+7'

Roll #1 5 + 7 = 12

 No.619700

>>619695
Shout over the wind howling past us.
"You know why I'm here, spirit.
You know it's because finally your eyes opened to the truth."
>>619696
Pat Mereghyl on the back.
"Please, let me try just talking to it."

 No.619701

>>619700
Nod at that.

 No.619702

>>619696
Let's see if she's impressed.

Roll #1 5 + 13 = 18

 No.619703

>>619695
"They wear it all the time!"

 No.619704

>>619696
>>619702
Seems like it had some effect. She dives down for a landing, touching down in one of the city parks below.

>>619700
She can't hear you! Though it seems like she landed right below, in a clearing of one of the parks.

>>619697
You only narrowly avoid getting hit in the face by a purple umbrella which was hiding in this bush! It flies out of the greenery, flitting about as if controlled by magic.

>>619698
>>619703
You get her a fox mask.

For yourself, you get an elephant mask. Not very fitting, but that's not the point.

"Hmmm, well if you say so… I guess it at least makes it so she won't remember our faces."

 No.619705

>>619704
"If she says anything about it, just say you love them. We all do."

 No.619706

>>619704
"Hmm what you don't like it?"
Marcus, myself, Anthe.. everyone has masks now?
then we might be ready to go

 No.619707

>>619704
Land in front of her and let Flavia climb down.

 No.619708

>>619704
Mereghyl u so best.
"Land us there!"
And once we finally make landfall, I will jump down the Drake.

Time to step forth, towards the spirit.
Stare her in the eyes and be very quiet for a very long moment.
Then, let the words flow out pure and unfiltered, straight from the bottom of my heart.
"Everything seems so chaotic, to a young mind.
Afraid and unclear on the mechanics of the world, we spin around in wonder, unable to place a name on what happens around us.
But in all of this there is a guiding light."
Draw my sickle sword, and point it upwards, lighting it in the Glow of Nature.
"The same light you glimpsed at, the same light which now torments you."

Let those words sink deep.
Do I have to roll something?

 No.619709

>>619704
Disarm '1d20+6' and search for the source! '1d20+12'

Roll #1 10 + 6 = 16 / Roll #2 7 + 12 = 19

 No.619710

>>619708
'1d20+16'

Roll #1 18 + 16 = 34

 No.619711

>>619710
And let me AD that too because 35 is better than 34.
'1d4'

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.619712

>>619705
>>619706
"Alright, alright… I guess you should take point then, since you know so much about this family and all. You should probably make sure lord Omnidus knows what we're doing there though. The guards won't let us in if we don't tell them we're Hippoi's."

Nio doesn't have a mask yet.

>>619707
>>619708
>>619710
She giggles.

>>619709
Thinking some unicorn is playing a trick on you, you attempt to take down the umbrella out of the telekinetic grip. Unfortunately, this is not actually the case. This thing has been awoken by magic and turned into an animated object with a will of its own, but without an actual weapon to take from it.

It flies away down the path you came from, so you follow it as quick as you can. After less than a minute you run into what seems to be a hostile confrontation between a white pegasus mare and a dragon accompanied by a unicorn mare dressed in priestess robes who seems vaguely familiar to you.

The animated umbrella comes to rest next to the pegasus mare.

>>619708
>>619710
>>619711
There's no beating that. But will it be enough?

She giggles.
"You're good with words, I can see why Eurydice made you her champion!"
A flying purple umbrella lands on the ground next to her. She picks it up and leans on it, regarding you for a moment.
"I'm surprised she sent you after me so quickly though! I thought she'd at least wait a little while longer until you'd get a bit stronger! What did she tell you about me? Tell me! Tell me! I'm curious!"

 No.619713

>>619712
"Perhaps Nio can hide under our clothes to get in? Or does anypony have a mask for him?"

 No.619714

>>619712
"We can just whisper it to them and go in, I mean they know about our situation at least so it shouldn't be hard."
'1d20+10' disguise a tiny mask for the tiny pony.

Roll #1 5 + 10 = 15

 No.619715

>>619712
>>619710
>>619707
"In the name of the Empress, stop right there!"

Hopefully the shouting will draw Sonja's attention.

 No.619716

>>619712
Nui pls,
pls.

"All that needed to be said, she did."
Smile at her-
>>619715
>>619707
Before the sudden interruption.
"Mereghyl, take care of that."

 No.619717

>>619715
>>619716
Slowly turn towards the pony who interrupted Flavia and take a few steps forwards, spreading my wings.
"This does not concern you. I suggest you leave."

 No.619718

>>619716
>>619717
>>619712
"Citizens, I am a member of the Scholae Palatine, and if you do not put away your weapons, I will be forced to carry out the Empress's Peace."

 No.619719

>>619718
Flash my claws and curl my tail around me.
"I am afraid that is not possible."

 No.619720

>>619713
>>619714
Nio gets a tiny fly mask for his tiny face. He can also hide in one of your bags and pockets if need be.

>>619715
She can't be far away…

The pegasus mare turns her head to you.
"Uh-oh, the fuzz is here to get us!"

>>619716
"Is she still mad about that Neighponese redwood tree I grew in her grove?"
She snickers.

>>619717
>>619718
"Yes! Fight! Fight!"

 No.619721

>>619718
…We have no weapons out other than a ceremonial sword which is currently acting as a torch. At night.

 No.619722

>>619721
You're still holding up a sword!

>>619719
>>619720
>>619721
"Enough! Once I settle this dispute, I will be taking this mare in for creating a dangerous hazard with that umbrella. I want names for the paperwork. Are the three of you carrying identification papers?"

 No.619723

>>619720
>>619713
"There, anything else we need or should we head to the house now? Also I thought we had invitations.."

 No.619724

>>619722
Narrow my eyes and lower my head.
"You might think you are brave, yet you are only a fool."

 No.619725

>>619723
>>619720
"Yes, let's go!"

Move to the party!

 No.619726

>>619724
"The Palatine do not travel alone, Drake. I suggest you not make yourself an enemy of the Empire."

 No.619727

>>619726
"We merely wish to attend to this matter among ourselves undisturbed."

 No.619728

>>619720
>>619722
"Palatino, this is a delicate moment. I'm acting on behalf of our Mother's powers and you are in the presence of, an albeit weavering, spirit of chaos.
I'm afraid apprehending or killing a spirit is not possible. Let this be in the jurisdiction of mares of Faith."

Then, to the spirit.
"This brave face you put up, Eurydice saw through it.
And if she did, so did your ex-patron."

 No.619729

>>619728
>>619722
>>619720
Also, sheathe the sword.

 No.619730

>>619727
"Mereghyl, stand down. Let the Palatino be witness to what is happening."

 No.619731

>>619727
"I understand that, plenty of citizens enjoying an evening stroll. I'm only stopping the ones who look like they are about to kill each other."

>>619728
"Spirit?"

Sense motive on her. Is she telling the truth? '1d20+7'

Roll #1 19 + 7 = 26

 No.619732

>>619728
Give her a long stare, but finally ease up into a more relaxed stance. "I see. Well, far be it from me to muddle the Secular and Ecclesiastical."

 No.619733

>>619732
"Thanks for your understanding, Palatino."

 No.619734

>>619723
>>619725
You decided not to take invitations before.

You head to the villa of lord Omnidus. It's evening now, the stars are out already and the ball has started in the estate. The guards from before are still here, they let you through without the masks.

>>619724
>>619726
"Yes!-"

>>619728
She deflates as you interject in the argument.
"Aw… wait… ex-patron!? Don't be silly! Discord is my best pal!"

>>619732
Sonja arrives on the scene.
"What's going on here, Adrianos?"

 No.619735

>>619731
>>619730
Fold up my wings and relax.

 No.619736

>>619734
Without the masks on*

 No.619737

>>619734
>You decided not to take invitations before.
I think that was Nolin?
I trust him.

Follow my trusted spymaster.

 No.619738

>>619734
"In the park named for the patron of Nature, now battles a Spirit of Discord with one of the Mother's daughters."

 No.619739

>>619734
Put a hoof on her shoulder.
"Does it take kindly to betrayal, even that which is only in the deepest recesses of your mind?
You have awoken to the realization.
You saw the world for the ordered beauty of causality Mother intended it to be.
And everyone knows."
Smile.

 No.619740

>>619734
>>619737
Did we decide that? Well, I'm sure this will work out.
put the masks back on and seek out lord Omindus inside.

 No.619741

>>619738
"What in Grogar's name are you talking about?"
She looks over the scene.
"Where's this spirit of Discord? Surely you must be joking."

>>619735
A nanny goat has arrived to the scene. She looks barbarian, probably a Hircurian.

>>619739
"Oh no… no no no, I don't like the words coming out of your mouth now."
She taps her hooves together nervously, looking at nature surrounding her.
"Why don't we… why don't we play a game, huh? If I win, you go away!"

A nanny goat has arrived to the scene. She looks barbarian, probably a Hircurian.

>>619737
>>619740
You decided to ask lord Omnidus!

The ball has started! There are dozens of ponies here, most of them obviously patricians like you. A pair of servants welcome you to the villa.
"The ball is taking place in the grand hall, my lords and lady. We don't expect many more guests to arrive now."

 No.619742

>>619741
So…did we ask off-screen?
Can we go in?

 No.619743

>>619742
Let's say you did, for the sake of speed.

 No.619744

>>619741
"Trust me."

 No.619745

>>619743
Put on my mask, nod to the others and go in.
"Noi, do you see our friend around?"

 No.619746

>>619741
Keep myself between Flavia and them so she can do her thing.

 No.619747

>>619741
"It still won't deny the truth."
Take a few steps back, looking at the goat.
"Do you know who you are serving?
How it won't lead you to any sort of prize in the eyes of your higher lord?"
Impress. I'm assuming he has no appearance bonus.
'1d20+17'

Roll #1 11 + 17 = 28

 No.619748

>>619743
"Ah, a wonderful party. We should try to have a little fun while we're here.."
'1d20+8' notice the spooky spy mare

Roll #1 19 + 8 = 27

 No.619749

>>619746
>>619747
"Sonja, with me."

 No.619750

>>619749
Raise a hoof.
"We do not fear what we do not know, isn't that right, Palatinai?"

 No.619751

>>619750
"There is nothing to fear but fear itself."

 No.619752

>>619751
"Then stay your hooves, for there will be no spilled blood tonight."

 No.619753

>>619752
"I'll want a statement by the end of this. Until then, I'll stay out of it."

 No.619754

>>619744
"Well, are there any procedures we're supposed to follow during scenarios like this? I sure can't recall any."

>>619745
Nio.

You enter the great hall where the ball is being held. There are thirty or forty guests here you reckon. You don't recognize any faces aside from the lord, his wife and your aunt. A few ponies give you second looks because of your mask.

Nio points at a mare talking to a stallion dressed in a guard captain uniform. The mare is wearing a nice purple toga. She looks to be in her early thirties. The stallion must be in his late twenties.

>>619747
"Why do all you Hippoi's have such silver tongues! Gah!"
She grabs her umbrella more tightly.
"If your friend Eurydice is soooo powerful, let's see if you're worthy of being called her champion or if this is just hot air! No more games, it's party time!"

The umbrella pops open. Launching a torrent of streamers and confetti around it.

DRAMATIC SCENE ACTIVATED

EVERYONE ROLL INITIATIVE

>>619748
Concords aren't spies. Nio seems to be pointing Marcus in the right direction.

 No.619755

>>619754
Uh-oh.
'1d20+1'
And protect my face!

Roll #1 4 + 1 = 5

 No.619756

>>619754
'1d20+3'
She asked for it!

Roll #1 11 + 3 = 14

 No.619757

>>619754
Get myself a drink and then go to Nolin and Anthe.
"A Komenene enjoys fashion. My word, look at all these different clothes."

 No.619758

>>619754
'1d20+7'

Roll #1 1 + 7 = 8

 No.619759

>>619754
'1d20'

Battle plan : +2 melee to all allies

Cadre: All allies gain +2 to attack a flanked opponent

Roll #1 7 = 7

 No.619760

>>619757
"It really is amazing how different things are over here." I comment with a nod.

 No.619761

>>619757
Anthe seems giddy.
"This reminds me we haven't had the time to really go shopping yet!"

>>619755
>>619756
>>619758
>>619759
OOB:
Sonja
Mereghyl
Adrianos
Chaos Spirit
Flavia

http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=112555

Sonja runs up to the spirit and tries to headbutt it. '1d20+6'
'2d6'

Roll #1 19 + 6 = 25 / Roll #2 6, 3 = 9

 No.619762

>>619761
That's a solid hit. The spirit is hit from behind and staggers as the horns hit her backside.

Mereghyl's turn.

 No.619763

>>619761
'1d20+1' search check to see where Mrs Concord's things are?

Roll #1 18 + 1 = 19

 No.619764

>>619761
"Now sister, let our niece go around while we go compliment the fine lady on her dress."

 No.619765

>>619762
I'm going to see if Spirits can be crushed by tails too. Smack Smack. Use Armored Assurance.
'1d20+7'
'1d20+7'
Damage if it hits
'1d10+2'
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 3 + 7 = 10 / Roll #2 4 + 7 = 11 / Roll #3 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #4 3 + 2 = 5

 No.619766

>>619763
She's wearing a satchel on her side… aside from that it's hard to tell. There may be more hidden under her toga.

>>619764
She nods. Nio decides to hide in your mane.

You approach the two talking guests, they seem surprised by your masks as you come closer.

>>619765
She giggles and dodges your slow tail attacks while doing some impressive acrobatic tricks.
"It's like rope skipping! This is fun!"

Skipping Adrianos' turn if he can't play.

 No.619767

>>619766
Turn to Anthe
"My sister, look at that charming purple dress. What do you say?"

 No.619768

Coordinated attack, on the drake

"Don't just stand there and let it regroup!"

 No.619769

>>619766
'1d20+10' blend with the crowd and get close to her.

Roll #1 16 + 10 = 26

 No.619770

>>619768
>>619766
Snarl at the spirit and nod.
"It will not be for long."
Try some faster bites then!
Pick on the Little Guy
'1d20+8'
Armored Assurance
'1d20+10'

'1d10+2'
'1d10+2'
Damage if it hits

Roll #1 6 + 8 = 14 / Roll #2 16 + 10 = 26 / Roll #3 2 + 2 = 4 / Roll #4 5 + 2 = 7

 No.619771

>>619767
Your sister gasps. You're pretty sure it's genuine one too.
"Is that Anadolian silk? It looks exquisite, so it must be! There's nothing that can rival Anadolian tailorship."
She doesn't even need to act like she's impressed!

The mare raises an eyebrow.
"You're right, it is. I'm sorry, but who are you…?"

>>619769
You get an additional +4 modifier because of the busy scenery, noise and distraction.
'1d20+15'

>>619770
Your first attack misses, but the second time you try and bite her you actually get a hit in!
"OW! You big bully! Do I really need to bring out my party tools?"

She swings her umbrella around.
"Get cursed!"
You have all been put under the Black Cat effect, this raises your Error range by 2.

She also raised her own Threat and Error ranges by 4 each!

"Now! Witness the power of lord Discord!"
She slams the umbrella into the ground, rocking the earth with enormous force and sending streamers flying all around her. When the streamers have fallen '1d4+1' copies of the spirit, stand spread around the area.

Roll #1 15 + 15 = 30 / Roll #2 2 + 1 = 3

 No.619772


 No.619773

>>619771
I'm just gonna stalk my cousins and this concord for a while from the crowd..

 No.619774

>>619773
You're not hidden, she can still see you if you do something suspicious.

 No.619775

>>619771
Look up from the dress.
"Oh excuse me, where are my manners?
My name is Dalmatius Komene.
And this is my charming sister.
We were simply admiring the capitals fashion. It is somewhat of a family tradition."

 No.619776

>>619771
Move up here with no fear, and shine the bright light of Mother's love in the face of the chaotic spirit and most of her clones!
http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=112563
Does night makes this harder to resist?

 No.619777

>>619774
I just want to be nearby in the crowd in case he needs me and not in the way, I mean there probably aren't a lot of places to even "hide" properly

 No.619778

>>619777
You're just another guest to her as long as you observe. Blending is not about hiding, it's about blending in. Her notice check beat your blend check so if you do something suspicious she'll be alerted.

 No.619779

PAUSE

 No.620095

>>619775
Komomene. That's the name.
Roll Bluff for believability!

"Well, this toga isn't from the capital. Like your sister noticed, it's Anadolian craftsponyship. I am lady Cassicia, imperial Concord at your service."
She gestures to the stallion with her.
"This is captain Curtos, commander of the inner city guard."

The captain, bows his head as a sign of respect.
"It's a pleasure."

>>619776
'1d20+4'

Roll #1 14 + 4 = 18

 No.620096

>>620095
Doesn't look like your attempt to blind the spirit worked…

OOB reminder because the map tool messed up:
Sonja
Mereghyl
Adrianos
Chaos Spirit
Flavia

It's now Sonja's turn.

 No.620097


 No.620098

>>620095
I'm a Bluffy poni.
Trick: Silver Tongue, so her wisdom score drops by one.

Bluff '1d20+12'

"A pleasure to meet you both. It is an honor to be in the presence of one of her majesty's Concords."

Roll #1 2 + 12 = 14

 No.620099

>>620098
One AD with it '1d4'

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.620100

Sonja attacks!

'1d20+6' '2d6'

Roll #1 7 + 6 = 13 / Roll #2 3, 6 = 9

 No.620101

And again!

'1d20+9' '2d6'

Roll #1 18 + 9 = 27 / Roll #2 6, 2 = 8

 No.620102

>>620100
>>620101
The spirit easily dodges Sonja's first horn charge by jumping on top of her head. It did not count on Sonja grabbing onto her and headbutting again though.

Mereghyl's turn.

 No.620103

>>620096
It didn't even work on any of the clones?
Ahw.

 No.620104

>>620098
>>620099
'1d20+7'

Roll #1 9 + 7 = 16

 No.620105

>>620098
You're not sure whether she bought your lie or not.
"I don't believe I've heard your name before. You're not from around here, are you?"

 No.620106

>>620102
Now with correct numbers!
Bite the clone between me and Adrianos twice, with Armored Assurance
'1d20+13'
'1d20+13'
And damage if they hit
'1d10+8'
'1d10+8'

Roll #1 6 + 13 = 19 / Roll #2 2 + 13 = 15 / Roll #3 8 + 8 = 16 / Roll #4 5 + 8 = 13

 No.620107

>>620106
You bite down on the 'spirit' ahead of you. It immediately poofs out of existence. That was just a mirror image!

Adrianos' turn.

 No.620108

>>620105
"No, our House is in Penneia."

 No.620109

>>620108
SCRAP THAT.
I need to check where it was again to be sure

 No.620110

>>620106
>>620105
Move down to flank the one Sonja hit

"I think this is the real one! Move in!"

http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=112959

Attack!

'2d20+12'

'1d8+2' '1d8+2'

Sneak attack die bonus! '2d6'

Remember: ANY configuration is a flank with me, because of Wolf Pack Mastery

Roll #1 7, 15 + 12 = 34 / Roll #2 8 + 2 = 10 / Roll #3 5 + 2 = 7 / Roll #4 6, 4 = 10

 No.620111

>>620108
>>620109
She nods.
"I think I've passed through your lands before on occasion. Peneia is a nice place, probably one of the safest places in the empire… as long as you don't stick your nose in places it has no business in."
She gives you a look you can't quite interpret.
"You must be acquainted to the lord if you're here. Business?"

>>620110
You attack the 'spirit' next to Sonja and… it pops out of existence! It was a mirror image!

The remaining two spirits giggle out loud.

They both rush away towards the foliage and turn around as they're backed against a tree.
"It's time for my special surpriiiiise!"
She takes a bottle filled with brown liquid (chocolate milk?) and throws it in the middle of your group…
'1d20+6'
'3d6'

Roll #1 2 + 6 = 8 / Roll #2 2, 4, 3 = 9

 No.620112


 No.620113

>>620111
>can't quite interpret
Or can I?
Sense Motive '1d20+9'
"Of a sort. Our house is small so it is important to keep in close contact with friends and allies. And to take the opportunity to make new ones."

Roll #1 10 + 9 = 19

 No.620114

>>620111
"There – an opening!"

Exploit Critical Fail

 No.620115

>>620113
You're really not quite sure.
"Isn't that just the truth."

A servant offers you and Anthe wine. Anthe gracefully takes a glass of red.
"What brings you here, lady Concord? Are you on leave?"

"I am, I'll be leaving the capital in the morrow however. There's only so much time I can afford not working. Concord's have busy lives."

>>620111
>>620112
>>620114
At least someone has the decency.

The bottle slips out of her hoof as she attempts to throw it, falling down on the grass next to her and shattering as it explodes. Her attack only served to hurt herself this time. The mirror image that was left is goners, while the spirit herself was hurt by the blast.

Flavia's turn.

http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=112968

 No.620116


 No.620117

>>620115
Take a glass of red as well.
"Travelling is such a bother. And I imagine you must do quite a lot. How do you manage it?"

 No.620118

>>620116
Take two steps forth.
She better believe I'm gonna show her the light. Bitch.
http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=112974
Flare again.

 No.620119

>>620118
And I fixed the turn order because it was bugging me.

 No.620120

>>620118
'1d20+4'

Roll #1 5 + 4 = 9

 No.620121

>>620120
'1d6'

Roll #1 2 = 2

 No.620122

>>620117
"Ships and air transports. We move quick and need to be able to deploy in any corner of the world. Traveling in itself can be dangerous, more so than our actual missions in certain parts, but it's part of the job."

>>620120
>>620121
>>620118
You send a flare her way, obscuring her view somewhat.

Sonja's turn.

 No.620123

>>620121
http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=112978

'1d20+9'
'1d20+9'
'2d6'

Roll #1 18 + 9 = 27 / Roll #2 16 + 9 = 25 / Roll #3 6, 2 = 8

 No.620124

>>620123
Sonja moves up to the spirit with a charge and slams her horns right into her once.

http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=112984

Mereghyl's turn.

 No.620125


 No.620126

>>620122
"Air transports? I should try that myself sometime. Sounds way more exciting than a dreary ship."

 No.620127

>>620124
Fly closer and smack the spirit with my tail!
'1d20+11'
Pick on the Little Guy
'1d10+8'

http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=112988

Roll #1 5 + 11 = 16 / Roll #2 3 + 8 = 11

 No.620128

>>620127
"Hop! Hop! Too slow! No hugs for you!"
She simply jumps over your tail, seeing it coming from miles away.

Adrianos' turn.

>>620126
"Mmmm… you bet."
Roll sense motive again.

The captain excuses himself and walks off.

 No.620129

>>620128
Sense Motive '1d20+9'

Roll #1 12 + 9 = 21

 No.620130


 No.620131

>>620129
You get the distinct feeling that she's not fond of snobby ponies.

 No.620132

>>620131
But I'm a snobby noble.
FFS. And I'm wearing a mask, I can hardly be more snobby!

>>620131
"Are you enjoying the party, Lady Concord?"

 No.620133

>>620130
Spirit's turn.

"Don't get too close!"

She once again slams her umbrella into the ground, causing a powerful explosion all around her.

Everyone must roll a will save.

>>620132
Perhaps you should try to make an impression on her.
"I can't complain much, I'm here to have a good time and enjoy my leave from work."

 No.620134

>>620133
'1d20+4'

Roll #1 18 + 4 = 22

 No.620135

>>620133
'1d20+5'

Roll #1 17 + 5 = 22

 No.620136

>>620134
>>620135
You manage to avoid the brunt of the explosion…

'2d4'/2
'2d4'/2

Roll #1 4, 4 = 8 / Roll #2 3, 2 = 5

 No.620137

>>620133
'1d20+6'

Roll #1 2 + 6 = 8

 No.620138

>>620137
Two AD to boost.
'2d4'

Roll #1 3, 1 = 4

 No.620139

>>620136
But still take some damage from the heat that it creates. Your armor stops most of it though.

>>620137
>>620138
>DC 14
You get git by a particular powerful part of the blast…
'2d8'

Roll #1 1, 2 = 3

 No.620140

>>620139
Though lucky for you it doesn't do much damage! She's really weakened!

 No.620141

>>620140
Luck?
IT WAS NEIGH BUT FAITH!

Stand tall upon the defeated form of the spirit.
"Do you see it yet?"

 No.620142

>>620140
Healing up using 5 GM AD's.
'5d4'

She throws another bottle of chocolate milk, right behind Flavia…
'1d20+6'
'3d6'

Roll #1 3, 1, 1, 2, 2 = 9 / Roll #2 18 + 6 = 24 / Roll #3 1, 2, 3 = 6

 No.620143

>>620142
Flavia and Mereghyl need to roll a Reflex save.

 No.620144

>>620142
OH COME THE FRACK ON!
Groves, I want to slap a bitch.
Just tell me when.

 No.620145

>>620143
'1d20+1'

Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7

 No.620146

>>620143
'1d20+3'

Roll #1 10 + 3 = 13

 No.620147

>>620145
>>620146
Mereghyl doesn't even feel the ensuing explosion. Even Flavia barely feels it, only getting very lightly hurt.

http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=112994

Flavia's turn.

 No.620148

>>620147
http://pyromancers.com/media/view/main.swf?round_id=112997
Run up to the Chaos spirit, maneuvering around Mereghyl, and in one swift if inexperienced motion draw my blessed, ceremonial blade.
Blinding Strike.
'1d20+9'
'1d8'

Roll #1 19 + 9 = 28 / Roll #2 6 = 6

 No.620149

>>620148
AND I ACTIVATE THAT THREAT!

 No.620150

>>620133
Influence '1d20+12'
Swirl the wine in my glass.
"You are right. You only live once.
Perhaps we could ask our host to open a bottle of his best red wine. That always makes for a good time."

Roll #1 6 + 12 = 18

 No.620151

>>620150
ffs another action die to boost '1d4'

Roll #1 1 = 1

 No.620152

>>620148
>>620149
You flip around Mereghyl and draw your sword as you leap at the spirit and slam it down on her. Being of opposing alignments, the contact has a spectacularly explosive result, sending the spirit flying into the tree behind her. She slams into the wood and falls to the ground, eyes glowing dark purple and gasping for breath. Her puffy mane deflates somewhat, becoming slightly less wild looking.

The battle for Dawnsworn park has ended.

>>620150
'1d20+10'

Roll #1 2 + 10 = 12

 No.620153

>>620152
Snort smoke.
Flavia can handle the rest.

 No.620154

>>620150
>>620151
"Hmmm…"
She smiles.
"I do like red wine. Do you think you could convince lord Omnidus to crack open a bottle from his special stock?"

 No.620155

>>620152
Shine bright with Mother's Light, casting my Glow all around me as I slowly walk up to the defeated spirit.

"You have forsaken your old master.
Chaos has forsaken you.
Your weakness in this battle is undeniable proof of this.
Repent now, and you might have a place with the Mother."

 No.620156

>>620155
A purple stream of raw chaotic energy exits through her mouth, her lit up eyes slowly dimming back to normal as the very essence of entropy leaves her earthly body. The energy dissipates into nothingness as it hits the ground, being absorbed harmlessly by nature. The spirit has fallen, her beliefs in the lord of chaos ultimately destroyed by her own defeat against nature’s powers. Her purple umbrella spontaneously combusts into blue flames and poofs out of existence.

“This… can’t be… Ooooh, I feel dizzy. Like I’ve been on the merry-go-round for way too long…”

 No.620157

>>620154
"He can be a bit protective of them." I smile behind my mask. "But when one asks nicely strange things can happen."
Let Anthe talk to the Lady while I go see Lord Omnidus

 No.620158

>>620156
>>620155
"Hm, it seems like I judged you correctly. Well fought, Sonja."

 No.620159

>>620156
"Close your eyes now. It's all over."
And with those words, I lean forwards, enveloping the spirit's head in a warm, motherly embrace.

 No.620160

>>620157
"Good luck lord Komomene. I'll be praying for your success."

The lord is speaking to another guest elsewhere. You have no idea who said guest is.

>>620158
"How are we going to report this?"
She looks up at the moon in the sky.
"The park should be closed up very soon."

>>620159
She lays it down with a grunt in defeat.

REWARDS:
200 XP
Treasure rolls: 2M, 1L, 1G
+ 10 reputation.
+ One slide whistle which is seemingly magical

 No.620161

>>620160
Can I at least get an idea from the dress of the other guest?
Investigate '1d20+8'

Roll #1 15 + 8 = 23

 No.620162

>>620160
>Treasure rolls: 2M, 1L, 1G
What does this mean?


Let go and take a step back, wondering what will happen now.
Maybe I should tell Eurydice…

 No.620163

>>620161
Yes, she's wearing a small insignia which shows you that she works for the capital's university of natural sciences. She's likely an intellectual of sorts.

>>620162
Four d20's need to be rolled to determine your treasure rolls.

Each letter stands for a category of treasure, like Coin, Loot and Magic items.

 No.620164

>>620160
"That was a breach of the peace and an assault on an officer of the Palatine School. These bystanders were… temporary deputies."

Gesture vaguely.

>>620162
"Now aside from the paperwork, I do have a few other questions to ask you, priestess… Hippoi, was it?"

 No.620165

>>620163
Approach, what are they talking about?
So I know what to say first.