/q/ - Quest

ADVENTURE!

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465651

Previous thread: >>445165

This is a story about 5 ponies ready to face the world.

465652

>>463543
The gate closes behind you, safely shut.
You have the dodecahedron in your sacks.

>>463548

He nods. "Anything you want to know about Golden Puzzle before you go?"

465653

>>465652
"Is there anything you think I should know about him?"

465654

>>465652
"We need an army now."

465655

>>465653
"He's a collector of Trotantine artifacts and historical objets d'art. He will want you to talk about Trotantium. Whatever you can remember."

>>465654
Slow Shell nods.
"How big an army are we talking about?"

465656

>>465655
"Thanks Whisper, never would have figured that out on my own. Now are you going to escort this lady to her rendezvous or am I supposed to walk alone?"

465657

>>465655
"Big enough to cover our retreat out of the Scarab district if we are cornered."

465658

>>465656
"I'll make sure you manage to get there without losing a leg."
He gets up.
"Let's move."

>>465657
Slow Shell nods.
"We might need lots of ponies for that, we should go to the taverns, see if we can't hire some."

465659

>>462838
Incline my head.

465660

>>465658
"Good. We must make haste.
I fear neither one of us will get much sleep done tonight."

465661

>>465658
"I take offense to that, I already lost an eye."
Follow him.

465662

>>465659
"For some reason, this Otsuro character has been harrassing some of our members, even killing a few. Would you have any idea why he would do that? And more importantly, if he ever crosses our path, would you hesitate to attack?"

>>465660
"Good, boss."
Go to a tavern?

>>465661
He leads you through the maze of the Snake District again towards the mansion on the hills of the Aurora District.
On the way you notice a preacher on one of the street corners, attracting a few interested ponies.
"-nd you shall see their power soon. The new Gods will send their angels to restore Vilitus to glory again. The first sign of their coming has already happened. The second will come very soon…."

465663

465664

>>465662
"No."

Straight face through this. I don't care to let her know we have history.

465665

>>465662
I don't care about their new gods. I already worship one of my own. Keep walking.

465666

>>465663
You find a tavern called the sour spittoon.
The bouncer stops you before going in.
"Welcome to the Sour Spittoon. How tough are ya?"

>>465664
"Good. Let's not waste any more words then.
You seek to kill the Red Prince and I can assure you he and his bug masters will die.Before we can strike at him certain other obstacles must be cleared out of the way."
She walks away a bit turning to now face you and the other aspirants.
"A few days ago, some of our Heralds got murdered in cold blood. We have found the culprits to be servants of Tirek.
Tonight, we will let them know it is not a good idea to cross us."

You may either RP a little bit here at the base or leave immediately for the raid on the Temple of Midnight if you're ready.

>>465665
You do?
You keep walking and you notice some guards walking towards the preacher.
The rest of the journey is without trouble and you arrive again at the grand mansion.
Whisper walks away outside as a butler leads you to a big salon, where Lord Golden Puzzle sits in a chair.
"Welcome."

465667

>>465666
Let me see how tough he is.
What's his biggest weakness?
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

465668

>>465666
I think I mentioned it before.
Nod at Golden Puzzle.
"Thank you for the invitation, milord."
Ugh, this fancy shit… I guess I just sit down somewhere myself? Or actually, maybe I should wait for him to tell me to sit?
Ah fuck it, just sit down.

465669

>>465667
His biggest weakness is that he believes any story that first mentions something unimpressive, pause, then adding a detail that makes it impressive.

>>465668
"Can I offer you a drink?"
He motions to a few bottles of sprits on the table.

465670

>>465669
"Uh… yes, thank you."
Just pour myself something in.

465671

>>465669
>spirits

465672

>>465669
"I read the paper…"
Pause for effect…
"…Every morning!"

465673

>>465666
Have a look around. Any interesting characters aside from the mare? Leadership? Events?

465674

>>465670
>>465671
You get yourself some pone scotch.
"How do you like Vilitus so far?"

>>465672
"That doesn't sound very…"
-
He gasps.
"R-right this w-way…"
He lets you through.

The bar looks basically like you'd expect a filthy sailor pub to look. Drunk ponies talking, gambling. Loose wenches everywhere.
Take a look around for what you can find here.

>>465673
You take a look around the base.
Most ponies seem to be busy smithing weapons and armor.
The armor they're making is unlike any you've ever seen. Completely black, covering the entire body. You don't even notice any airholes in the helmet.
Others are practicing their weapons against each other.
It is blatantly obvious they're preparing for war.

You notice one place that has been sealed of from the rest of the base, guarded by a number of black armored guards.
One large chamber seems to have been furnished with a number of benches, obviously for sermons. Behind the altar you see a strange ornately decorated black rectangle, about twice as big as you.
A pony is sitting there reading a book and praying to the rectangle.

465675

>>465674
"It's uh… charming. Certainly on the top of my holiday hotspot list."

465676

>>465674
Sit at a table and order to drink for both of us.
Now, look around for some though ponies.
'1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7

465677

>>465674
>Moon Wok

I just realized rectangle is not a good word.
It's 3 dimensional, but not a cube, elongated.
Not unlike a casket

465678

>>465675
He grins
"It must seem pretty uncivilised compared to Trotantium, I suppose."

>>465676
You find a group of stronk earth ponies sitting on a table in the corner, playing poker.

465679

>>465678
"Well I didn't want to say it outright but… yup. Guess that's what happens when a bunch of bugs call the shots."

465680

>>465678
Go over there.
"Mind if I interrupt your game for a minute?"
Signal the waitress.
"A round for all of them. On me."

465681

>>465679
"It is a true shame.
Those insects have no concept of refinement, of culture. They only think in practical terms.
How to make something work as efficient as possible.
And most of those who visit the city are sailors who want to get drunk and who have no eye for the more delicate things in life."

465682

>>465680
The barkeep nods.
The ponies look up from their game.
"Hey, thanks stranger. Take a seat.
You know poker?"

465683

>>465682
"A bit.
I play from time to time. But ponies don't like when I do."

465684

>>465681
I grin.
"They lack the souls ponies have. They don't care about anything but their hive and how to keep it running. Bunch of workaholics."

465685

>>465683
Some shrug.
"Well suit yourself.
So did you buy us that round out of the kindness in your heart or did you like to discuss something."

>>465684
"They are. Makes you kind of glad to have been born a pony, doesn't it?"

465686

>>465685
"Eh. Can't miss what you never had. Bugs don't know freedom at all. Their hivemind shi- uh… stuff doesn't allow it."

465687

>>465685
Sit down.
"A proposition.
I can see it in your eyes you are no-nonsense group.
Let me cut to the chase.
I need body guards for a short while. A long while, if you are good at the job."
Roll a few of my coins in front of them.
"There's more where this comes from."

465688

>>465686
"I can't really imagine what that must feel like. Then again, I doubt they really feel anthing unless their Queen wants them too.
I've had to deal with a few Changelings over the years and they all sound like exact compies of each other. Arrogant and emotionless."

>>465687
There are 7 of them here.
A few grab the coins.
"What kind of trouble do you expect?
If it doesn't have anything to do with Changelings we're in."

465689

>>465688
"No. At least none I know about, but that's seldom the occasion with changelings, isn't it?
A meeting on neutral ground. Inside town."

465690

>>465688
"I just try to avoid them altogether. Never trust those insectoids."

465691

>>465689
"Tell us where and when. We can scout out the place first…"
Arachnia District, Optica Fountain

>>465690
"Don't worry about that.
Unless something goes really wrong, you're never going to meet them.
We don't want to kick the hive too much."

465692

>>465691
"The fountain in the temples district.
Less than 12 hours from now."

465693

>>465691
"You can torch the whole thing for all I care. World would be a better place for it."

465694

>>465692
Mages district actually. But that's what you said right.

"We'll be there. We'll scout out the place first.
Want to play a game of poker?"

>>465693
"You're not the only one who thinks that.
The Heralds have been screaming it around for days now.
Not that too many pay attention, Vilitus might be messy, but there's lots of bits to make here if you can stand living within a day from the Oasis Hive"

465695

>>465694
Right.
"Sure."
Grin.
"But I play to win."

465696

>>465694
"Oh, no doubt about that. Until they mess up and become changeling food themselves, of course."

465697

>>465695
"As any gentlecolt should….Buy-in is 40 bits."

>>465696
He shrugs.
"This is a place for the strong. Weakness doesn't have a place in Vilitus.
It might not be much to look at and we don't have any sort of significant export, but you can still find anything in the world you could ever want somewhere within it because of that strenght.
There are always ponies who cannot work under an authority or who simply want a place where they can restart their life without questions asked, in that respect you could say Vilitus fills some needs of ponies as well as those of the Changelings."

465698

>>465697
"I suppose you got a point there. At least those alicorns aren't around to boss ponies around either."

465699

>>465697
Sure, I'm loaded.
How many players, who's the blind and how far I am from him?

465700

>>465674
I have no need for arms or armor… no need to talk sermons. Still, good to know what I'm dealing with.

I'll spill a little Tirekian blood if I have to get back at that Prince that made a mockery of me. Making me play games.

To the Temple.

465701

>>465698
"The Queens don't take any direct actions in ruling Vilitus.
They do everything through the Prince, sort of the mayor of Vilitus, and he's only in charge of the Leviathan District and ensures the 4 laws are observed.
The rest of Vilitus is controlled by Dukes who control a district because they've become powerful enough to regulate it and they can create their own particulars for a district.
Which over time led to all the diversity you can see in the Districts.
Anyone can become a Duke, so you don't have to be an alicorn or born in some royal family to make it here in Vilitus."

>>465699
There are 7 players.
One of the earth ponies to your right is the blind, the 4th one, so you're number 5. In the middle, more towards the end.
We're playing Texas Hold Em Poker.
Blind is 1 bit for now.

You get a Heart Ace and Heart 10.
One player before you folds, the others bet.
What do you do?

465702

>>465701
See their bets.

465703

>>465701
Too bad I don't give a shit about politics.
"Right right, but still. At least it's not like Equestria."

465704

>>465700
At last the call echoes.
You, the mare and 5 other aspirants make your way through the dark sewers towards the Scarab District.
"Let's see what your style is, newcomer.
Shall we go in through the main gate, catch them with their pants down?
Or will we infiltrate the temple through the sewers, it might get us closer to our target before we have to fight."

>>465702
Pot: 12 bits.
Here comes the flop:
Clover 2; Heart 3; Spades 3

Guy 1 checks, Guy 2 bets 2 bits, Guy 4 sees that bet, You?

"Where you from stranger?"

>>465703
"I think dinner will be served soon. But I would like to show you something first…"
He gets up.

465705

>>465704
See the bet and raise 2 more bits.

"Beyond the sea."

Mind read the cards off the guy that raised.
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4

465706

>>465704
Wordlessly climb up the nearest exit to the sewers and make my way for the front doors.

Take a look around. What do I see? '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3

465707

>>465704
"Hmmm?"
Get up and follow him.

465708

>>465705
You can't quite see it.
"Equestria, I suppose? Did you try to get away from the war or something?"

Guy 6 folds, Dealer sees your bet, guy 2 sees your bet, guy 4 folds

Bits in the pot now: 26
The turn is: Spades 9
Guy 2 checks.

>>465706
You see one of the ancient temple buildings of the Scarab District in the faint moonlight.
This particular one has had its ancient glyphs dedicated to the Moon scratched out and crudely a heart has been painted above the gates in red paint(?)
The gates are open but you can't see what's inside from this angle.

>>465707
He leads you through a corridor and lights a candle next to a painting.
"I acquired this a few years ago. I thought you might like to see it. It's supposed to be painted about 300 years ago…"
It is a painting of old Cloptantinople, showing the palace, part of the city and the river.
"One of the few more classical pieces, in contrast with all the more symbolical Trotantine art."

465709

>>465708
Time to see what's what.
Read Dealer.
'1d10+2'
Then read guy 2.
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5 / Roll #2 7 + 2 = 9

465710

>>465708
Appraise those gates. Do they look forced? '1d10'

Turn to the group leader, "Heart?"

Roll #1 3 = 3

465711

>>465708
Oh fuck. I'm not an art expert thingy!
"So this piece is about as old as I am? Heh. Funny."

465712

>>465709
You can't quite get an exact reading of the dealer.
But he does feel good about his hoof, despite his poker face.

Guy 2 holds a Heart 2 and Heart 6, giving him 2 pair in the current situation. The only way you could beat him is if you had an Ace or 10 on the River. of course, you don't know what the dealer has….

>>465710
Not as far as you can tell.

She nods. "The Heart of Tirek, it is said that the source of Tireks power beats like a heart."

>>465711
"I thought you might like to see it again.
Does it look accurate?"

465713

>>465712
Very well then… advance to the door. Peak in.

465714

465715

>>465714
There's no calling.
Guy 2 checked. Either you bet or you check.

465716

>>465712
I nod.
"Yeah it does… Heck, I even remember the spot where he must have painted it from. Merchant District from the looks."

465717

>>465715
Derp, I meant check.

465718

>>465717
With a tiny smile, the dealer bets 6 bits on the table.
Guy 2 sees the bet after some deliberation.
What do you do?

"Equestria, I suppose? Did you try to get away from the nightmare war or something?"

>>465713
There seems to be some sort of preperation for a ritual going on in the middle of the temple.
A large crowd has gathered around a stage in the middle, On the stage surrounded by candles, is a large statue of Tirek, Lord of Midnight.
The crowd seems to be anxious. Waiting for it to start.
The mare nods.
"I don't like waiting, but if we didWuntil whatever they want to do starts, then we can get their High Priest as well in one swift blow…"

>>465716
"What was it like, living there in those days?"

465719

>>465718
"Yes. A war is a no place to run a proper business in."
Read the dealer already.
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5

465720

>>465718
No need for words when we're this close. Nod.

Wait, and watch.

465721

>>465718
"I'm really not sure how much different things are these days. I mean… Vilitus seems like a whole different world, but that's because it IS a different world. Different culture, language, government, land, customs, food, everything."

465722

>>465719
Nope nope nope.

"Amen to that. I left the Army after the battle of Manehattan. You might have heard them saying that was a mess. Well let me tell you, it was more of a meatgrinder."

>>465720
You wait a while. Standing next to the gates, some other ponies enter and right at midnight out of a corridor in the back, come a group of 2 mares, one clothed white, another in black.
Each carrying a cup with something in it you can't see.
Behind them comes a stallion dressed in red and black, wearing horns and carrying a real heart in one hoof.
He takes place on the stage right in front of the statue.
The 2 mares approach on both sides.
It seems the ritual is about to begin.

465723

>>465722
"On which side?"
Throw down the bits to match their bet.

465724

>>465722
Alright. We move soon.

Appraise the stallion and the mare in black.

'1d10' '1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3 / Roll #2 8 = 8

465725

465726

>>465723
There is now 45 bits in the pot.

River: Heart 9
You have Ace High.

Guy 2 checks.

"Equestrian Side. But after seeing all that shit, I decided it simply wasn't worth it. There's something just very very wrong about a country that's supposed to be founded on Harmony fighting against itself."

>>465724
You can't quite get a good look at him underneath all that ceremonial dressing.

The mare seems quite frail physically but you get the sense that she might very well be a healer. Taking her out first might avoid a whole lot of trouble.

The 2 mares approach the priest each from a side, bowing before him and offering him their cups. He slowly looks over both of them.

>>465721
"Trotantium is very different but I love the country myself and I love it's history, that's why I'd love to hear what you can tell me about it.
It might be small, it might even seem ordinary, that doesn't matter, I'd love to get a picture of Trotantium in that time…"
He motions to follow him towards the dinner table.

465727

>>465726
"So what's worth fighting for you, now?"
Raise with a smirk.
Put in there 15 more bits.
"I like round numbers."

465728

>>465727
"Bits. Makes things much simpler. And you play a hard game, stranger. But it isn't over just yet…"

They both fold and you win the pot.
But it isn't over yet.
Roll a '1d10+4' to see if you win the game.
+4 because Mind Reading.

Roll #1 1 + 4 = 5

465729

>>465728
Ignore that roll, you must roll

465730

>>465728
Just smile at that.
Let's finish this game.
'1d10+4'

Roll #1 7 + 4 = 11

465731

>>465726
Follow suit.
"I 'met' the empress once if that interests you. Or rather, my 'friends' met with her and I was along for the ride."

465732

>>465730
You win.
Congratulations.
Here's a victory song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iwC2QljLn4

>>465731
For the first time since you met him, he actually seems surprised.
"The Empress? You mean Lavinia XVIII? Who were your friends?"
The servants brings some bowls full of delicious looking fruits, vegetables and pastas.

PAUSE

465757

>>465732
"Uh, yeah. Her. As for them, they worked for her. They were knights or something, doing her bidding."
Shit, I have to mind my manners here. Wait for him to start eating before taking something myself.

471520

>>465757
The servants put some food on your plate.
"What were their names?"

471521

Where was I?

471522

>>465732
"Are your men back yet?"

471523

>>471520
"Falkmar, Zivur, Erumal, Dusk, Sol, Crescent… oh and Tasia."
I grimace at the last name.
"I think most of them were foreigners or something. Equestrians."

471525

>>471522
Are you talking to the poker guy?

>>471521
You just had your bath and are about to talk to Morgana, who just walked into your room.

>>471523
"Hmm. I don't recall ever having read those names in any records… How did you meet them?"

471526

>>471525
She has what she needs, right?
Look at her seriously.
"Morgana, I need some help."

471527

>>471525
"Uh…"
I gulp.
"You know… just… ran into them and they conscripted me…"

471528

471531

>>471526
>>471526
The suitcase is laying on the table, yes.
Morgana's tone is a bit softer as she asks "What's wrong?"

>>471527
He eats a few tomatoes.
"You were a guard then?"

>>471528
After playing poker for a few hours the men return.
They've found some spots to easily overview to covertly guard the whole scene, in addition to a few guards with you in full view.

471533

>>471531
"Now my friend, we wait."
What was his name again?

471534

>>471531
"It's Green Tea… We need more medicine. And don't think that will even cut it this time. I need to get her to a hospital.
I'd do anything."
Motion at the suitcase.

471535

>>471531
I snort, then immediately try to regain my composure.
"Uh… no. I uh, did something bad and they conscripted my aid instead of killing me for some reason. Or well, until I was turned to rock and dumped into a river."

471543

>>471533
The giant earth pony is called Ursus.
And his seven nameless henches.

You may wait until it's time for the meeting if you want.

>>471534
She nods.
"Of course, I'll make arrangements right away. She'll have the best care in Vilitus, you have my word on that."

>>471535
"Curiouser and curiouser. And you have no idea why they conscripted you?"

471544

>>471543
First, I require an escort to this town's best jeweler.

471546

>>471543
Give her a thankful nod.
Try to maintain my voice so it won't weaken.'1d10'
"Thank you so much… You know how much she means to me."

Roll #1 4 = 4

471547

>>471543
"One of them was a paladin I think… I guess he was trying to help me redeem myself or something. They were a weird group. Like… really weird."

471548

>>471544
Done.
It's the middle of the night when you arrive at the Glittering Road in the Vulture District.
The jewellers are closed but there's a light burning upstairs in one of the houses.

>>471547
"From what I read, Empress Lavinia XVIII surrounded herself with lots of weird ponies.
As did her descendants, must be some sort of family trait."

>>471546
"Hey…"
She puts a hoof on your shoulder and looks at you empathically.
"You're not the only one who cares about her, you know. She's gotten better before and we'll make sure she'll get better now."

471550

>>471548
Good. Knock.

471551

>>471548
"I know… but it still worries me sometimes…"
I sigh and look her in the eyes.
"I need to get her out of this district. Whatever that takes."

471552

>>471548
I shrug.
"I never really payed much attention to history…"

471553

>>465726
Give our leader an expectant look. Better wait for her mark. I may not like playing games, but I can do teamwork.

471559

>>471550
No answer.

>>471551
"You know I can pull a lot of strings in town.
I've got some friends in Mercy's hospital in the Snake District. I can arrange something in an hour or so…"

>>465726
The mare nods at you.
"We'll strike now and strike them hard. You and me will kill the High Priest and those priestesses. The rest will surround and slaughter the audience. "
She looks at them.
"Leave one alive. To tell the story."
You may attack when ready.

>>471552
"Maybe I should stop talking about Trotantine history then, at least for a few minutes.
What are you interested then?"

471560

>>471559
"It's business!"

471563

>>471559
"Morgana, I mean permanently.
Everything I can save up goes to the medicine, but I can't let this go on. I know it's not a small thing to ask, and even just a pipedream… but I want to move out of the Diamond District."

471565

>>471559
I shrug.
"I just lived from day to day, you know… the capital had shi- errr… bad parts in it, but also nice parts. Watching the ships roll into the docks of the merchant's district while bathing in the sun with a bottle of wine… pretty relaxing."

471569

471574

>>471560
A small opening at eye height opens and two eyes peek out.
"What kind of business? And watch yourself, I'm armed!"

>>471563
She looks into your eyes for a few seconds and then nods.
"Right…you're a good friend, Grey. I'll see what I can do, but I can't promise anything."

>>471569
Got mislinked somehow >>471559
third one is for you

471578

>>471574
"You know I'd work extra hard for that.
I know you can't promise anything, but thank you… I don't know what we would do without you."

471579

>>471574
"A well paid appraise."

471580

471585

>>471574
Well then, sprint in. No battle cries. No weapons drawn. Just a dead sprint to the healer.

Throw all of that momentum – all of that power into a Tumble. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

471606

>>471565
"Treasure those moments, Ambrosia. When all's said and done, those moments are often the ones we remember the fondest."

>>471578
"Hey, hey, don't worry about it. You do us a lot of favors and I don't want you distracted when you're at work. I'll go talk to some ponies, look for a solution. Meanwhile, you should go to Green Tea, she must be worried about you.
I'll make sure there's room for her at Mercy's in an hour, you can count on that."

>>471579
"Hmmmm."
He snorts.
"Show me what you have before I let you in."

>>471585
Right when the 2 mares bow deeply before the High Priest with their tails in the air, you and the others storm inside.
The surprised crowd is immediately engaged, while you and the mare storm forward and you deliver a quick rolling punch to the surprised priestess in black.
Your mare companion doesn't waste time and strikes the High Priest in the chest with her Axe.
Instead of blood however, 3 black tendrils spring out. The eyes of the High Priest glow menacingly.
"Heretics! How dare you defile this sacred place."
The tendrils push the mare and her axe back as they envelop the High Priest and both mares stand beside him ready to fight.

Mini Boss: High Priest of Tirek.
Minions:Solar Corruption, Lunar Corruption.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xlsy3cC03o

471609

>>471606
Dangle the piece of jewelry I gathered inside the monolith in front of the fissure, but far enough for it to be mostly shrouded in darkness.

471610

>>471606
Nod again.
"Thank you. We'll be there."
Give her a thankful hug, then leave.
Go home ASAP

471612

>>471606
"Oh I know that. I sure do. As weird as that group was, we did some memorable stuff."

471619

>>471606
Spit. "Come."

Appraise the High Priest again. '1d10'

And hit Solar Priest with another attack. This time, a Stagger. '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9 / Roll #2 5 = 5

471654

>>471609
Even from here you can see his eyes twinkle.
"Right, leave your men at the door. Only person can come with you."
You hear a lock open.

>>471610
You arrive home. You're welcomed by the barking of your dogs and you find Green Tea in the couch where you left her.
Despite looking a bit pale, she manages a smile.
"Hey sweetie, I was worrying about you~"

>>471612
Food must be almost done by now.
"Any anecdotes you'd like to share?"

>>471619
The mare hacks away at the mass of black tendrils vaguely resembling the red unicorn from before, but it does little damage and the Priest merely laughs at her.
Your trained eyes manage to see through it and you notice a weakness in his Qi. Striking it in that one moving point might severely hurt him.

While your eyes are following the weakness, a single tendril manages to strike you at an amazing speed.

Moon Wok 4/5

471666

>>471654
Nod for shell to follow and pocket the jem again before stepping in.
"Age and original forger?"

471671

>>471654
Walk there and give her a kiss.
"I'm fine… more importantly, how are you feeling?"

471673

>>471654
"Well one time we went and took out this… underground necromancer project somewhere in the North. Undead dragons and stuff… pretty nasty."

471681

>>471654
Fine, strike true. Leap up and roll past, striking the spot! '1d10+2' Tumble

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11

471706

>>471666
Slow Shell follows you as you go in.
You notice the older bearded pony puts a shotgun away, before guiding you to his workshop.
"Sorry, about that, can't be too careful with all those weirdos around."
He nods at a microscope and a few other tools.
"Please hoof it over for a few minutes and I'll answer any question you might have."

>>471671
"I'm fine…now that you're here."

>>471673
"Now you're pulling my hoof!"

>>471681
Before the priestesses can react you roll over and strike the Priest right in the Qi weakness.
The mass screeches and the tendrils wrap around themselves, fumbling around.
The Lunar Corruption (Mare in blackà turns towards it, trying to heal it while the Solar Corruption fires a fire bolt at you.
If the next roll fails (DC6) you must roll an Instant action to avoid the fire bolt in addition to your attacks.

Roll to have the mare leader fight off the fire bolt and solar corruption '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

471717

>>471706
Shake my head.
"Nope. There was this inquisitor bitc- uh… mare helping out as well. Crazy messed up stuff, I'm telling you, all the necromancers inside got killed and the whole place was blown to bits."

471721

>>471706
Caress her and give a long kiss on her forehead.
"… honey, I know you aren't in the mood for moving about, but we are going to the Mercy's hospital soon."

471722

>>471706
Nod for Shell to remain near the door, and nonchalantly throw the item at him, then sticking close.
Start reading his mind as he works.

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

471729

>>471706
Okay, so the roll failed, right?

Swap to Tiger Stance and give Lunar Corruption a hoof to the throat. '1d10+2'

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

471733

>>471729
Yes, the mare didn't attack, but that doesn't mean you can't dodge.
You must roll a dodge roll as well.
I'll take that roll as your attack roll.
>If the next roll fails (DC6) you must roll an Instant action to avoid the fire bolt in addition to your attacks.
I might have worded "next roll" better as "this roll"

471735

>>471733
So to recap.
That 9 is your attack roll and you must still roll a dodge roll.

471744

>>471733
>>471735
Dodge with ki speed! That's not really a thing, but I'm doing it. '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2

471766

>>471717
He shakes his head.
"Well, if I ever have trouble with necromancers again, I'll tell your Master to send you."

>>471722
Slow Shell remains near the door, hoof on his weapon, while the old bearded pony takes the gem.
"Gold Stone's the name. Now let's take a look at it."

He looks at it under an eyeglass and performs all sorts of magical tests on it.
"My, my, very curious, the grains, the small impurities, this could only mean that…but that's quite impossible…made by magic?"
His thoughts.

"This gem is old, I can't date it precisely but it must be at least a thousand years old if not older. I do not recognize the manner of cutting however. I might be able to learn more if you could tell me where you found it."

>>471729
>>471744
You manage to strike the mare quickly causing her to go helpless but don't quite manage to avoid the fire bolt, causing you to go helpless as well!

Moon Wok HELPLESS 0/4 [Burned MIN+1 to get up]

The tendrils unwrap again and the High Priest rises from it, immediately engaging the Leader who swings her axe at an amazing speed to keep the numerous tendrils off her and you.

471767

>>471721
She looks worried.
"Mercy's…are you sure we can afford that?"

471768

471769

>>471766
"Hey I don't have anything against them. I was just along for the ride, you know."

471770

>>471767
Smile, and place a hoof on her cheek.
"There is nothing too expensive when it comes to your well being."

471772

>>471766
"Why don't you just take a wild guess?"
Look at him with a glacial stare.

471774

>>471770
Then stand up.
"Stay here and relax. I'll get your stuff ready."
Go ahead and do that, pack everything she might need quickly.

471778

>>471766
Roll up to attack that High Priest in his weak spot! '1d10+3'

Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5

471793

>>471769
"Well but you have experience with their like then.
And I think necromancers 300 years ago aren't THAT different from necromancers now.
Who knows, it could even be the same pony!"
He laughs.

>>471772
"Well, the cutting is quite strange. But I have heard of its like before.
Found in some ancient ruins scattered everywhere, some ancient civilisation, they call it Lemaria. Legends say it was a very advanced society. They…made these sorts of diamonds, out of thin air!"

>>471774
You don't quite manage to get up.
(You also have to use Appraise again to find the new weakness)
The mare shouts over her shoulder.
"Now would be a great time to help, you know!"

>>471774
You're packed and help her up.
Travel to the hospital.

471797

>>471793
Pull myself up the old fashioned way. '1d10+1'

"Survive."

Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3

471798

>>471793
Tell the doges to guard the place good.
And make way to the hospital with her right away.

471800

>>471793
"That's true, I did help take a few down. I'm no inquisitor myself yet though."
Smirk.

471801

>>471793
"I see."
Take out half of my poker hearnings and throw them on the table.
"For your services."
Then, the other half.
"For your silence."

471816

>>471797
The attacks get fiercer.
One tendril goes for you but is torn of by the mare before it hits.
"Get up, I need to know how you hurt it!"

>>471798
You arrive at the hospital and at the mention of your name a team of doctors immediately appears to take care of Green Tea.
You wait a few hours while they perform their tests.
The doctor comes to see you.
"Mr. Grey?"

>>471800
"Luckily" He raises his glass.

>>471801
He takes it.
"If I may be so bold, I might be have an interesting proposition for you as well, regarding these gems."

471818

>>471816
Look up.
"Yes?"
Try not to show my worry.
'1d10'

Roll #1 8 = 8

471821

>>471816
"Go ahead."
Keep my detatched tone.

471824

>>471816
Tumble up and into the beastie, I can't appraise until I'm up!

'1d10+3'

Roll #1 8 + 3 = 11

471825

>>471816
"Oh yeah, absolutely. To hell with those assholes and their rampant zealotry. Should have stayed in Equestria where they belong."
I sigh and shake my head, then raise my glass as well.

471826

>>471824
Now follow that up with an Appraise! '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2

471836

>>471818
"We've performed some tests on miss Tea.
According to her file, she has a chronic autoimmune disease and we've been able to confirm this is indeed another episode of it.
We've given her some medication and we advise to let her stay here for a couple of weeks.
But rest assured, she's not in danger, a couple of weeks of rest and treatment and she'll be fine again. Shall I lead you to her?"

>>471821
"These are some excellent diamonds. But of course diamonds are often no good if you can't find somepony willing to buy them.
I have a number of contacts that would buy these types of diamonds quick, no questions asked and at a correct price, minus a small commission fee for me of course.
I could guarantee you full client confidentiality, should you be interested."

>>471825
Dinner must be over by now.
"Why don't we serve desert up on the balcony? It's a lovely view over the city and the desert."

>>471824
You get up like a motherfucker, slamming against it, but you're unable to find it's qi weakness again. But you see the Lunar Corruption you knocked helpless try to get up and take the opportunity to slam her unconcious.

>>471826
The Solar Corruption grins and channels a spell into the High Priest for a moment.
He seems to grow a bit. His next attack will be stronger than usual.

471837

>>471836
I let out a relieved sigh.
"Yes, please… but did you say weeks?"

471838

>>471836
"Sure, why not? Never really been around deserts before. Actually I've never even seen one."

471839

>>471836
"I will remember your address."
Leave and take the diamonds with me.
"Shell, do you remember that lovely mare from the temple?"

471845

>>471837
He walks you to the room.
"That would be best. Her immune system is a bit weaker at this time, so we'd like to keep her in a controlled environment.
Of course, you're free to visit anytime, even outside visiting hours. Your friend made sure of that."

>>471838
He leads you to the balcony.
From here up on the hills of the Aurora district you can see the entire city lit up by numerous small lights and harbor. And further ahead the endless desert and at the edge of the horizon, in the middle of the desert, what appears to be huge tree-like structures with numerous little lights on them. Some of them go out, others light up. It is too far to make an accurate appraisal what it is.
Golden Puzzle sits down on a comfortable chair, there's one for you as well, and servant bring the wine and a bowl of fruit salad with ice cream as desert.
"I love to sit here sometimes.
Puts things in perspective."

>>471839
"The priestess that healed you?"

471847

>>471845
Smile.
"Thank you. I can't even say how thankful I am for this. And as long as she'll recover, and I can visit, everything will be fine…"

471849

>>471845
Sit down and take a sip from the wine.
"What's… that? That tree thing?"

471850

>>471845
"We should pay her a visit. I need an expert in holy magic."

471857

>>471847
And you're in her room and she's safe and sound and unf

>>471849
He looks. (Just for the record, those tree things are far away in the desert, not part of the city.)
"Ah, that, mylady, is the huge hive spires of the Vilitus Oasis, there are a bunch of them over there. That's where the Changelings are, the Triumvirate.
You see those pretty lights around them? That's what's known around here as the Ghostlights, a favorite thing to look at for young couples around here. Sometimes there are a lot, other times just a few and sometimes in different colors. Nopony knows what they are exactly.
But there are a lot of theories. Some crazier than others.
Some ponies say they are the work of Sesheta, one of the Triumvirate Queens. Others say they are some form of fluorescent Changlings that are found only at the Oasis."
He turns to you.
"Wanna hear my theory?"

>>471850
He nods.
"You really think this out, boss. If we run we might catch her right after the Lunar sermons."

PAUSE

471861

>>471857
"Uh… sure, milord."

471862

>>471857
"Let's make haste."
As swift as the wind!

474241

>>471861
"They're just normal lanterns. The Changelings hang them there to remind us they're always near. Always watching."
He takes another sip from his wine.

>>471862
You arrive at the Scarab District.
Inside one of the sidehalls of the Great Temple, you find the Shrine of the Sun and Moon.
Evening sermons are just over and you notice the priestess walking out with a few other ponies."

474242

>>474241
"That seems pretty reasonable. Just like those bugs to play mindgames like those on us."

474243

>>474242
"Exactly! All these stories like it's some unknown magic or special types of Changelings never seen before. What is the result of it? Changelings seem more intimidating. They're the ones who win with it. I would even bet they were the ones who came with those stories."

474244

>>474243
I just nod along.

474245

>>474244
Silence for a little bit as you both watch the view.
Then a servants walks up and whispers something in the Lords ear.
He nods to you.
"It seems there are some matters requiring my attention."

474246

>>474245
"Don't let me stop you, sir."

474247

>>474246
He walks over and grabs your hoof.
"I hope you had a pleasant evening."

474248

>>474247
Huh?
"Oh yeah, it was nice alright. Uh… thanks for the dinner and… I don't think I ever said thanks for bringing me back either, did I?"

474249

>>474241
"My dearest!"
Approach her.
"I have a mattero f faith of the utmost importance to discuss with you!"
Take her hoof and start confidently and hastily leading her somewhere in private.

474250

>>474248
It's a gentle grab.
"No thanks needed.
I'd be honored if you'd share more about your adventures in Trotantium sometime."
He plants a kiss on your hoof and walks out, flanked by the servant.
One of the servants is waiting by the balcony to lead you out again.
Friendly reminder that you've completed everything necessary for your timeskip and that you're basically free to do as you want.

>>474249
She waves awkwardly at the other ponies.
As you take her to a more quiet part of the Scarab District she looks at you expectantly.

474251

>>474250
Glance back at the structure in the desert one more time and then walk over to the servant to be lead out.

474252

Nuzzling Green Tea is approved by doctors, right?

474253

>>474251
It twinkles in the distance.
You're outside.
Where to next?

>>474252
He hasn't said you can't.
Her room is quite big and for her alone.

474254

>>474253
Shit man, I'm so free I'll probably start growing wings soon.
First things first, go back to base to toss off this ridiculous crap I'm wearing and see if Whisper is around.

474255

>>474253
Nuzzle her in that case, then sit by her side while caressing one of her hooves.
"You'll have to stay in for a few weeks, honey…"

474256

>>474250
"I need a spellbreaker. Something afoul is up in this city, my dear."

474258

>>474254
You drop it off in your room.
You look around but can't find Whisper anywhere until you hear a faint tune coming from the roof.
Whisper is there playing a flute.
He stops as you walk up.
"Back already?"

>>474255
She nods silently.
"The doctor told me…"
She bites her lip.
"Grey….I'm scared"

>>474256
She raises an eyebrow.
"Something afoul is up. Have you read the newspaper anytime for the past few months? Something is always afoul in this city."

>>474257

V is running. MH is not.
This is V

474259

>>474258
"Well I meant something that concerns us more closely this time."
Smirk and pull out the diamond.
"A beauty, isn't it?"

474260

>>474258
"Yeah. He had stuff to attend to."
Look at the flute.
"Didn't take you for a musician."

474261

>>474258
Hug her very gently and kiss her on the forehead.
"Shhh… Tea, it will be fine… I'll get you the best care there is… you will be right as rain in no time, you'll see…"

474262

>>474259
She looks at it suspiciously.
"If you're trying to bribe me, it won't work."

>>474260
"A little something I picked up from the time I was a snake-charmer."

>>474261
She nods.
"Of course, I'm just being silly.
The doctor said it would be okay…"
She says, seemingly more to convince herself than you.

474263

>>474262
"You what? Really?"

474264

>>474262
Shake my head.
"I would never be so rude.
It is, indeed, to show you what forces are at work here!
I suspect this to be magic forgery!"

474265

>>474262
"I'll get the best of everything for you and visit a lot, okay?
Then…"
Take a deep breath.
"It'll take a lot of work, but… I'm planning to have us move out from Diamond District."

474266

>>474263
He smiles fondly as he looks at the old flute.
"It was one of the first things I did around here when I got to Vilitus. Learned it from an old snake-charmer on the streets. I was flat broke and he was too old and too slow to keep practicing safely. So he taught me and we both got bits to eat."

>>474264
She looks at it again.
"Why would you say that? I know a thing or two about magic. Magical constructs are extremely hard to make, especially permanent ones, it simply isn't worth the effort to use it to create diamonds or gold."

>>474265
She blinks.
"Honey…"
She touches your cheek with her hoof.
"You know we can't afford that…and this place must already cost so much…"

474267

>>474266
"But what if someone had found the way?"

474268

>>474266
"I'll take double or triple shifts then… but I want the best for you."
Nuzzle her hoof a bit.
"It will be healthier for you too."

474269

>>474266
"Huh. See, you needed a permit to do shit like that back home. Permits for everything. Goddamned bureaucrats came up with all of it."

474270

>>474267
She sighs.
"It's possible, it's just horribly inefficient, with the amount of magical energy needed to make gold or bits one could just as well construct a magical house. But fine, let's suppose somepony did that, why do you need a spellbreaker then?"

>>474268
She looks in your eyes.
"You're already working so hard for us…for me.
I don't care where we live, as long as we're together…"

>>474269
"One of the great things about this place. You can just sit down and make some bits without all the bureacracy.
Of course, you have to be able to deal with ponies trying to take that money for themselves, but I never had problems with that.
It's how I met the Master eventually."

474271

>>474270
"To set up a little show, mon cherié~"

474272

>>474270
"He liked your snake stuff?"

474273

>>474270
"I know, but it will be better for us out of there, I swear… it might take a bit, but after that, I'll work regularly again. You just need to be strong until then."

474274

>>474271
"….a show?"
She snorts.
"You think this is a game or something?
I thought you'd came because you realised the wrongness of mind magic. That you wanted to learn how to use those powers for a good cause."
She points to the Temple Entrance.
"In there are 3 former Inquisitors, they could plow through any magic instantly, if I told them what you are, they wouldn't hesitate a second to put you to the stake."
She puts her hoof down.
"But I won't, since I believe there's still a potential for good in you. But asking those Inquisitors to go with whatever show you got in mind would dishonor them."

>>474272
"Yeah right, he took me because he absolutely loved that."
He laughs.
"Nah, I suppose he had been watching for a while, because when we met, he already knew pretty much everything about me.
I thought he was just another thug at first but I soon learned a lot better when I tried to take him down."

>>474273
She nods silently.
"Just..hold me for a little while.."
She embraces you.

474275

>>474274
"You got your ass kicked."
I smirk.
"Precious."

474276

>>474274
Close my eyes and hold her silently…
Please Luna, keep her safe…

474277

>>474274
Sigh deeply.
"Oh my dear, I know.
But Celestia and Luna put us into this world with a mission, and mine, mine is to make good with the power I have.
There is just so much I have to do before I can lie it-
Lie this curse!
To its rest."

474278

>>474275
He smirks back.
"I would love to see if you'd still be smirking like that if you ever had to fight the Master."

>>474276
The full moon shines outside the window.
You can feel her frail body relax in your embrace, her soft skin against your cheek, her breath in your neck.
It is so quiet, so peaceful, a rare thing in this city.

>>474277
There's a hint of compassion on her face.
"…what mission?"

474279

>>474278
Just enjoy the moment for now then…
I think we both need to do so…

474280

>>474278
"The mission of each true knight…
His duty… nay, his privilege!"
Can I break into a musical number?

474281

>>474278
"It's not on exactly something I have on the top of my to do list. I'd rather not step on any of my employer's toes."

474282

>>474279
Close the door and shnoo shnoo?

>>474280
She has a slight grin on her face.
"Don't tell me, you're going to slay an undead dragon."
>musical number
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BMw-ZzTjys

>>474281
"Not curious to see why he's the Master?"

474283

>>474282
Well the doctors didn't say not to and I don't want her to suffer from neediness while she'll be here…

474284

>>474282
"You know that saying about how mares are relentlessly curious? Yeah, that's bullshit. I don't want to get murdered."

474285

>>474282
Gotta keep it dark and gritty.
"Oh no, you see, for there are bigger enemies in the cunning of ponykind than there are in all the vastness of the wild!"
Bow and kiss her hoof, then pull her close.
"This is my Quest, to enlighten the blind,
No matter how hopeless, no matter how dark.
To fight for the right
Without question or pause."

474286

>>474283
Maybe you should be quick and close the door then before one gets in.

>>474284
"Smart. I'll try to give you an impression then.
The Master moved so fast at times I could barely follow him. The first 5 minutes of the fight I hit nothing but air, as he avoided all my strikes just like that.
Then when I started to get tired, he suddenly knocked me to the ground."

>>474285
"You've got a talent for saying a lot without really saying anything. Why do you need a spellbreaker? I promise, if it's for a noble cause I'll do what I can, but if it isn't no honeyed words will convince me."

474287

>>474286
Good thing I can close doors with magic without even leaving the warm embrace of my wife, huh?

474288

>>474286
"He tired you out, heh. Classic tactic."

474289

>>474286
Take out the diamond again, hold it close to us both.
"Scientific curiosity, my dear."

474290

>>474287
Of course you can.
"Grey…what are you doing?" She says with a tiny hint of playfullness.

>>474288
He grins.
"So, what brings you here? Besides my conversational skills?"

>>474289
She looks at it and looks back to you.
"You want to see if it's a magical construct?"

474291

>>474290
Nod slowly.
"The lives of many good ponies might hinge on this."
Hey, I'm not lying!

474292

>>474290
Better close the shutters of the window too.
"Let's try some experimental medicine, shall we?"

474293

>>474290
"Well, you're probably the only friend available to me right now. It's either this or I go into town to find that towelhead and have her try to murder me."

474294

>>474291
She sighs
"Fine, if you come with me inside, I'll ask somepony to test it."

>>474292
You're on like the 5th floor, but okay.
"You're bad. This is a hospital…what if somepony sees us~"

>>474293
He gives you a costanza face
"Don't tell me the great and powerful Ambrosia is scared."

474295

>>474294
Move closer.
Much closer.
Gaze into her eyes.
"Fairest of maidens, I will not fail you."

474296

>>474294
Pegasi exists. And it's for setting the mood!
What exactly she is wearing by the way?
"They wouldn't disturb a doctor administering treatment, would they?"

474297

>>474295
She softly pushes you back a bit.
"Riiight…just coming along will do fine.
Your friend can come as well."
She starts walking towards the stairs of the Temple.

>>474296
Simple white hospital gown with only pink panties underneath.
She lays down on her back, looking at you with bedroom eyes.
"Oh doctor…I'm not feeling too well~."

474298

>>474294
"No, I'm just not stupid. You never know with those Easterners."

474299

>>474297
Well those need to go ASAP.
"Be calm, good citizen, I will performe a check up at once."
And then horsesex happens

474300

>>474297
Follow, but not too closely.

474301

>>474298
"So how much have you seen of Vilitus already?"

>>474299
Time for a check-up~
'5d10+10'

>>474300
You go inside. The priestess talks to a heavily armed pony who walks towards you.
"This is the pony I talked about."
The stallion merely snorts.
"You say you have an unusual magical item?"
He holds out his hoof.

Roll #1 5, 9, 10, 1, 7 + 10 = 42

474302

>>474301
Give him the diamond with a completely serious and unexpressive face.
He ain't gonna scare me.

474303

>>474301
"A little bit. Went for a nice walk in a park somewhere."
I smirk devilishly.

474304

>>474301
Let's be a good doctor.
'5d10+10'

Roll #1 7, 10, 1, 7, 4 + 10 = 39

474305

>>474302
He takes the diamond and focuses on it for some time.
"It is not magical in nature" he says eventually.

>>474303
"Ah the Scar District. Nice place isn't it?
Strange place too, ponies avoid it at night."

>>474304
81/100
Somepony must have heard that.
But probably thought it sounded too hot to interrupt.
The nurse will have a lot of work cleaning those sheets tomorrow.

474306

>>474305
"Why?"

474307

>>474305
Raise a brown.
Well that's a jeweler I can cut off my list of contacts.
"Thanks for your help, mylord."
Bow slightly and turn to leave.

474308

>>474305
Morgana did say she'll get the best of everything.
"Feeling better, love?~"

474309

>>474306
"We're in a desert climate. There aren't supposed to be any plants around here.
The farmers in the Bee District have their hooves full growing the few crops they can with lots of water and the trees in the Arachnia District are purely magical.
But the Scar District? I heard it once wasn't there. But about 200 years ago, in one night it popped up out of nowhere, all those trees, the grass, the bushes. In a perfect circle.
Lots of houses got swallowed up in it, you can even find a few of them still, if you go off the paths of the district. The inhabitants just disappeared. Poof.
Ever since it's been there, the plants are always green without ever getting water.
And it's safe during the day. But ponies have disappeared there during the night.
They went in and never got out."

>>474307
"You're welcome. Sorry I couldn't be of more help."
The stallion and the priestess watch as you leave again.
Slow Shell sighs as you stand outside again.
"The meeting is soon, boss."

>>474308
"Maybe you should call the doctor. I think I'm cured~"

474310

>>474309
"Gotcha Shell.
Too bad this was a dead end…"
Off to the meeting point!

474311

>>474309
"Glad I was able to help. Now I just need to make sure you take your medicine regularly."
Chuckle and kiss her.

474312

>>474309
"… Wow. Alright, I'm going to have to go back there."

474313

>>474310
"Things don't always work out as we hope.
But we can still get the Prophet, right boss."

The meeting point is near the fountain of the Arachnia District.
Your seven companions are there.
5 have found hidden vantage points to overlook the scene.
The 2 others will stay with you in addition to Slow Shell to protect you, unless you want them hidden as well.
The meeting will begin once ready

>>474311
"Mmmm…every day~"

>>474312
"It's a creepy place. There's a clearing in the middle with a shrine to Nature and some Druids and Witch Doctors who live there.
Though they claim they don't know what happened exactly.
Anything else that caught your intrest?"

PAUSE

474314

>>474313
Nope, They can stay with me.
But the ones in vantage points should watch their back.

474315

>>474313
"Well fuck the rest of Vilitus."
Get up.
"I'm going to check that shrine out."

476605

Hokkaido's last reply was here >>454387
You're still waiting to enter the hotel.
To speed up things quick, tell me what your hopes are for the party?
>getting closer to the rich and powerful Duke Blood Diamond
>Meet other ponies
>other things?

>>474315
He looks up.
"Did you hear the part about ponies disappearing at night?"
It's night.

476609

>>476605
Well. Shit.
I sit back down again.
"Why do you always shit on my parade?"

476611

>>476605
"Blood Diamond is a fine catch, but a lady like me never puts all her hopes in one basket. A fortune teller might be fun, and she might be able to tell me what others of value have been asking her about."

476617

>>476611
Okay, precious.
You enter the ball room and are greeted by Blood Diamond, who kisses your hoof and compliments your lovely appearance.
He has just been talking to a fortune teller who introduces himself as Scrying Eye with a small bow.
"At your service, mylady."

476619

>>476609
"Why is that so important to you anyway? I didn't think you were a tree hugger."

476622

>>476617
"A fortune teller, how interesting. But I guess you don't need one to tell you how wealthy you are, eh Mr. Diamond? If you don't mind, I ever do love having my fortune told and I'd like an opportunity with him, if you don't mind my absence for a moment?"

476623

>>476619
Give him a mean look.
"Don't call it that."

476629

>>476622
Diamonds smile fades a tiny bit, but he nods
"Not at all. I have some other ponies to attend to.
Please enjoy yourself."
He trots to another group, leaving you alone with Scrying Eye.
"What would you like to learn miss? Future business endeavors, family or maybe fortune in love? I'm afraid the lottery is beyond my skill however."
He chuckles at his own joke.

476631

>>476623
He grins.
"So there is a spiritual side to you.
You keep surprising, Echo."

476634

>>476631
"Lots of ponies back home worshiped Mother Nature! It's what earth ponies do, so it's not weird or anything."

476636

>>476629
"I was interested in the fortunes of others, to a degree. As much as Mr. Diamond tries to hide it, he is always worried about something. So I would like to know my fortune as it relates to him, what can I do to help him? He is ever so kind to me, and I would be grateful to return the favor."

476640

>>476636
"Allright."
He looks at your hoof.
"My, my….this is interesting.
Your path and that of Blood Diamond are very entwined, yet….there are others as well."

476642

>>476640
"Others? Like whom? What other things do you see?"

476649

>>476642
"It's hard to make out.
Other ponies. Together with them you will decide the fate of many.
And there's another line right at the end of it.
…there might be a choice you'll have to face.
Aid them or aid Mr. Diamond."

>>476634
"Earth ponies in Trotantium maybe, but it's none of my concern. As long as you don't let it cloud your judgement.
So…do you really hug trees?"

476650

>>476649
"You've given me a bit to think of. Thank you for your time. If you could just direct me back to Mr. Diamond."

476653

>>476649
"Oh shut up. Nature suits me just fine. Survival of the fittest and all that."

476656

>>476650
He points you back to Blood Diamond, who seems to be chatting with another regal looking pony and a rather drunk looking younger pony.

>>476653
"But why honor mother nature for that? Genuinely curious.
It seems rather contradictory."

476658

>>476656
"Sorry to keep you waiting dear, but when the opportunity comes up to pull one over on fickle fortune, I tend to take it. Oh, and who are your friends here?"

476661

>>476656
"What? Why?"

476664

>>476658
"This is Lord Golden Puzzle, another member of the Council and a dear friend."
The regal looking pony nods.
"Pleasure to meet you, I had heard there was a crystal pony in town, I didn't think she would be this lovely."
Diamond turns to the drunk younger pony who is quite obviously staring at your flank.
"….and that is Bitter Tongue, the son of Infinite Light." Diamond says without hiding his displease
He looks up.
"Nicshe to meet you."

476667

>>476661
"Well, most of the time when ponies honor the gods, they plea for something, luck, health, wealth, you name it.
Divine Assistance.
Meanwhile Mother Nature has her system, the most strong or smartest of the bunch survives and wins so to speak. And she won't change that, not for any pleas in the world.
So why honor her? Wouldn't simply becoming strong be enough?"

476669

>>476664
To Lord Golden Puzzle:
"You flatter me, but the pleasure is all mine. I never dreamed of meeting nobility like yourself. I must say, it's an honor."

To Bitter Tongue:
"Yes, well, it is nice to meet you, Bitter, uh, Tongue."

Whispering to Mr. Diamond:
"Shouldn't we get someone to take him home before he hurts himself?"

476671

>>476667
"There's more to Nature than that. Remember how I told you about food not being a problem back home?"

476674

>>476669
"Let me hoof it."
Blood Diamond gives an almost unnoticeable sign to a servant, who walks over.
"Mister Tongue…"
"Yea wahsa want?"
"We have found your guest, she's waiting in your room."
"Ahh. Later fellas"
He walks away with a wink.

There's an audible sign of relief from both stallions as he walks away.
"There."

Lord Puzzle shakes his head.
"That kid. He'll get into a lot of trouble that way."

476675

>>476671
"And that's because of Nature?"

476677

>>476674
"How long has he been that way? Has his father simply left him to his own machinations like that?"

476678

>>476675
"What do you think? Sure, Nature's neutral in the sense that there's she doesn't look at good or evil. But she sure as hell provides for those who admire and respect her!"

476682

>>476677
Lord Puzzle shakes his head.
"His father, Infinite Light is the Duke of the Scarab District, that's the religious district.
He claims to be deeply religious stallion, but everypony here knows that's not true."
He and Diamond exchange looks of understanding.
"Infinite Light knows how to hide that, his son doesn't seem to have that subtlety. I've heard Infinite Light spends ridiculous amounts to pay off the press to keep a lid on it.
But, everypony can see clear as day that won't last forever…"

Puzzle smiles again.
"But enough gloom, how do you like Vilitus so far?"

>>476678
"How nice of her. Maybe you should ask her what she did with all those ponies that disappeared?"

476683

>>476682
"I bet it's changelings. It's always fucking changelings."

476684

>>476682
"I love it. I never expected this kind of charm from it, nor did I ever really expect to come upon such kind ponies as yourselves. It has all been a great experience."

476687

>>476683
"That's of course a possibility as well.
But they usually pick less visible targets, the homeless, the poor, ponies who won't be missed."

>>476684
"Glad to hear that, not everypony would say that. Still, be sure to keep in touch with my friend Diamond here. There are some rough parts in this town where a lady shouldn't move without protection."

476691

>>476687
"I'm a capable mare," I stand up and lift my hoof into the air, "but I also understand what you mean, the world is dangerous enough for one, which is why I'm so grateful to have run into my Diamond here." Use my hoof to lean on Mr. Diamond and stroke his chest.

476694

>>476687
"Yeah yeah, but still. I'm not a priestess, so I don't exactly talk with nature. I used to know a neat trick that could heal wounds and stuff, but I forgot how to do that for some reason."

476697

>>476691
Diamond coughs.
"That reminds me…Puzzle, could you give us a moment?"
"Of course, I'd hope to meet you again soon, miss Hokkaido."
He walks away and Diamond leads you to the dance floor.
"Would you honor me by giving me this dance?"

>>476694
"Ah too bad. That sort of thing would be handy in our profession. Still, you can get some supplies from Nightshade, our healer, and occasional poisoner."

476698

>>476697
"I would be most honored to do so."

476699

>>476697
"Haven't met him."

476701

>>476698
He leads you into a slow dance.
"Miss Hokkaido, I'm sure that an intelligent mare like yourself has figured out I have some…let's call it, responsability in this town."

>>476699
"I'm not surprised, she quite appreciates her privacy. She only really comes out when we need her expertise. She spends most of her time in the basement."

476704

>>476701
"Oh, it's a her. You think I should go introduce myself?"

476705

>>476701
"Yes, but now, it is no longer a responsibility you will have to bear alone. I will be there for you in any way I can."

476709

>>476704
"She already knows you, but you might want to do that.
Fair warining, be sure to knock softly first, and if she doesn't respond leave it for another time.
She's sometimes busy with all sorts of volatile chemicals, you don't want to disturb her at such a time.
And she's usually very busy with her work, so don't take it too personally if she doesn't talk a lot." He grins.

>>476705
He smiles.
"I was hoping you'd say that. You see, the district under my care, the Snake District, is not like the other more lawless districts, here I try to create a semblance of order, an oasis of safety amidst the chaos of this city.
A hard job, but with somepony like you by my side to help me, it might just become bearable…"

476710

>>476709
"Hush, this is our time. Take in the music, the atmosphere, and me. We'll handle everything together."

476711

>>476709
"I promise I wont cry."
Wave him off and head downstairs then.

476712

>>476710
He smiles.
"As you wish, mylady."

>>476711
You enter the dark stairs leading to the cellar.
At the end is a heavy wooden door.

PAUSE

479336

>>476712
Knock on that door.

479337

I had to face a certain guy with shitloads of followers and no ace up my sleeve.

479339

>>471836
Appraise him: '1d10'

Roll #1 2 = 2

479343

>>479339
Again '1d10'

Roll #1 4 = 4

479346

Now where was I?

479353

>>476712
"The start of a lovely new day for me."
Check if the hotel staff have my breakfast ready after giving myself a shine. What is today's schedule looking like?

479364

>>479336
You hear a grunt.
"In." says an annoyed voice.

>>479343
>>479339
Appraisal of the High Priest becomes difficult as his very energy body seems to become a fluid mess.
The tentacles rise up as one and swat you down like a fly.
Moon Wok is helpless.
Moon Wok 0/3

>>479337
You wait at the fountain at dawn.
Right as the sun rises you notice a pony entering the square followed by the donkey from earlier and another mare you've never seen before carrying an axe.
He seems to be dressed in some sort of black armor you've never seen before, yet eerily reminds you of the Vault underneath.
Two green lights shine in the helmet, masking the eyes.
The figure seems unconcerned by the bystanders gazing at the sight.
They walk towards you, stopping a few metres in front of you.
The donkey nods "You made it."

>>479346
You were in the hospital with Green Tea.
You're free to explore as you want though.

>>479353
The hotel staff takes good care of you.
All the same to me. You don't have anything to do till the timeskip.
So you may explore around a bit or should I give you something to do?

479367

>>479364
Oh boy.
Open up and waltz inside, look around the room I find myself in.

479369

>>479364
Stare at the green eyes, ummovable.
Mind Read.
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

479372

>>479364
Tumble back up, then! Hit that sun pony. '1d10+3'

Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6

479383

>>479364
"A wise pony chooses to assess their siuation, I can't rely entirely on you to tell me where to go everytime." Explore the area under the control of Mr. Diamond. Where does it end, what is here in it?

479404

>>479367
It seems to be a cellar you're in.
Around you are numerous racks filled with pots of all sizes and shapes. Some are labelled with common herbs, others have weird names you've never heard of before and still others aren't named at all.
In the middle, next to a small barred window stands a pony next to a table full of flasks, tubes and other things.
The mare who's dressed in a uniform similar to yours turns around.
"Yes, Echo?"

>>479369
There's something blocking your ability to read him. It doesn't seem impossible, but you'd have to probe far deeper to get through (DC10 to read) which could be risky.
The pony seems to have guessed your intentions.
"Are you probing my mind, mind mage?" says a metallic voice.

>>479372
You hit her right in the face causing her to drop down helpless, but not unconcious and you are back up.
The mare leader does an admirable job keeping the creature that once was the High Priest back, but seems to be slowly getting overwhelmed.

>>479383
The area seems to be called the Snake District, it borders the Feline District (rogues district), Scarab District(religious district, Eagle District(griffon district) and the Scar District (Park dedicated to Nature). It is also quite close to the Red Tower (seat of the Prince)

The district is far cleaner and organised than the other ones. Ponies are walking around careless, even colts and fillies, and guards are plentiful, taking anypony trying to cause trouble immediately in custody. You feel like the district might have gotten its name by the way the streets turn and swirl so often.
The buildings also seem quite new compared to the others in Vilitus.

479407

>>479404
Appraise High Priest '1d10'

Roll #1 7 = 7

479409

>>479407
And Stagger him in the weak spot! '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

479412

>>479364
Fucking autoupdated
Maybe after a visit to Tea, I should probably drop by at one of my friends too.
Have a beer or two.

479413

>>479404
"Take it for a very warm kind of handshake."
Smirk.
"I recognize you."
'1d10+2', probe harder!

Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8

479414

>>479404
I snicker.
"Ooooh, straight down to business.~ Just wanted to drop by and say hi. Nice setup you have here."

479417

>>479404
"I shall begin my assesments at the Feline District. Just a peek, to see what it looks like."

How are the buildings and the pomies there? I know Diamond wants to keep the Snake district clean, could the ruffians from here be tryng to make inroads into all we have worked for?

479432

>>479412
So you want to visit Tea now?

>>479407
The energy body is a myriad of different colors shifting in and out seemingly at random.
But you notice a pattern there…an opportunity to strike.
>>479409
As you gaze upon it, the Solar Corruption gets up again, her spell reinvigorates the High Priest and filled with energy he manages to grab the mare leaders axe, disarming her.
You're neighponese, you know what happens next.

>>479413
Getting closer.
There's no sort of expression visible on the helmet.
"Truly? I find that hard to believe."

>>479414
"It gets the job done. Safe, efficient and most importantly, quiet."

>>479417
Roll a 1d10

479434

>>479432
One visit a day is enough.
She needs rest too, and she can't really do that when I'm around, can she?

479435

>>479432
"What is that armor made out of, Prophet?"
Last try.
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5

479437

>>479432
[1d10]
"I wonder what it could be like?"

Roll #1 2 = 2

479439

>>479432
Take a closer look at one of the row of potions.
"Some of these aren't labelled."

479440

>>479432
Tumble into his weak spot! Finish him, quick! '1d10+3'

Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5

479441

>>479440
Should be +2=4

479467

>>479435
"You tell me."

>>479434
I suppose she can't.
So friends?

>>479437
The Feline District seems surprisingly empty and dark.
The temples on the nearby hill casting a shadow on most of the district, combined with the tapestries hanging far above the streets everywhere and the houses being simply darker in color.
The district seems abandoned as you walk through it, you only meet a few merchants every once in a while. The streets are narrow and are more like a collection of alleys rather than a plan, spanning the entire district in a confusing maze.
When you finally realize you're not sure where you are anymore, you check your pockets to find your money has been pickpocketed.

>>479439
"That's because I know them by heart. I'd rather not have everypony walking in here knowing what all of this is. What if one of you was a secret addict to some of this stuff."

>>479440
>>479441
The Solar Corruption tries to block your path, hitting you with the decorated cup.
Mare leader is getting grasped now.
Moon Wok 4/3

479468

>>479467
Friends!

479470

>>479467
"Good way to make your entire collection be useless if you die somehow, but whatever."
Turn back to her.
"So yeah, trying to get acquainted with some more ponies that work around here. Are you busy right now?"

479471

>>479467
"Sure looks nice."
Smile.
"Is that the kind that blows up?"

479473

>>479467
"I should be disappointed in this place,but I'm not. I'm actually rather impressed by their skill. Perhaps, I can use their skills…"

Look around, maybe one of the thieves got cocky and is counting their profits a little too carelessly. [1d10]

Roll #1 10 = 10

479475

>>479468
So what friends are you talking about?
Morgana?
Tea Love?
Others?

>>479470
"I'd rather not have anypony touching my collection even if I was dead, so that works out fine. And my time is quite precious so you should just know that if you ever use a poison or serum or healing potion in your missions, I'm the mare that made it."

>>479471
"Funny, mister Sven.
Let's get to business.
I see you've been able to open the Vault.
What did you think of it?
"

>>479473
Your moneybeg drops next to you, looking up, you see an arabian pony mare smirking at you
"You might want to be more careful next time you walk here, stranger."

479476

>>479475
I guess it's been a while since Tea Love last visited.

479477

>>479475
"Nice. Here's hoping your brewing wont have to save my sorry ass too many times."

479478

>>479475
"Many things.
Trap and danger were the most prominent ones."

479479

>>479475
"Perhaps, but then I wouldn't have met you."

"Mr. Voice, care to give me an assesment of our acquaintance here?" [1d10]

Roll #1 1 = 1

479480

>>479476
You haven't told her Green Tea is sick yet!
Oh joy, you find her house in the Feline District.

>>479477
"I took the liberty of preparing some more of that trotantine sleep serum you used."
she hoofs you some bottles.
"The mixture should be exactly the same as your 300 year old Trotantine serum."

>>479478
"It did not entice you then?
Did you not feel intrigued by the mysteries of old?
"

>>479479
In a flash you see Vilitus bathing in a green light, dark colored warriors silently march the streets slaughtering anyone in their path.
None were spared, not even the fillies.

You blink and the mare looks confused at you.
"You were…mumbling for a second there. Are you from the asylum maybe?"

479481

>>479480
Oh right…
They don't speak that often.
Well, knock on her door patiently.

479482

>>479480
"I'm not gonna rush head in there.
But somehow, somehow I know you might tell me something about it."

479483

>>479480
"Oh hey, thanks! I can make it myself as well though, it's just a big pain in the ass."
Put them away.
"Guess I'll stop bothering you then before I wreck something by accident."

479484

>>479480
"Sorry, I have a habit of thinking out loud that I've been trying to curtail since foalhood."

"Still, you stayed instead of just leaving me here, even asked. I was wondering, after your display, are you under the employ of someone, or are you working for yourself?I might be able to talk to a few and find you some more stable employment if that interests you."

479485

>>479482
"I know you have opened and even entered the Inner Core of the Vault, mister Sven. You have even removed a few diamonds from it.
No use lying to me. I could explain more to you about it if you are ready to accept my proposal.
"

>>479481
Love Tea opens up.
"Heeeey Grey, long time no see!"
She gives you a hug.
"How are you?"

>>479483
"How are you adapting to this time period?"

>>479484
She cocks an eyebrow.
"Who you working for?"

479486

>>479485
"Haven't heard any proposal yet.
And I wonder, what is it you might ever want from it? After all, your followers shun wealth…"

479487

>>479485
"Really, not that much changed from what I've seen. The world revolves around the same old stuff as before. Don't know what home looks like yet though, for all I know everything changed. Never been to Vilitus before now, but I heard about it."
Pause for a second.
"Clothing is kind of weird though."

479489

>>479485
"No point in hiding what would become obvious the moment he set hoof inside."

Motion to her to come to a quieter, more covered place. "I do my best for Mr. Diamond, of the Snake District. I'll do everything in my power to help him and all the good we've done for it, but I might be able to use your skills for that. See, there is a certain hotel I am staying at, and Mr. Diamond has me help him root out trouble before it gets bigger, but having someone with your skills would make our lives easier. What do you think about working full time for me there, but you'll be free to keep what you can pilfer on yourself from any of the more criminal elements that must be neutralized? I will reserve the right to claim any necessary items they may have, but this gives you a more consistent place of employment and opportunity for your own desires."

479491

>>479485
Hug her back, and give a little smile.
"Hey there, Love.
I'm as good as I can be.
May I come in?"

479498

>>479486
"We are not. Our purpose within the Vault is to secure a few artifacts of intrest, valuable to us, worthless to others.
You may keep any other items within the Vault, including the diamonds, gold or other artifacts, which would certainly make you a wealthy pony.
And as a bonus, I could satisfy your curiousity regarding the Vault.
"

>>479487
"I saw some paintings of old Trotantine clothes in our benefactors mansion.
You ponies really wore those hats?"

>>479489
"…..And where is this Mister Diamond?"

>>479491
"Sure. Sure."
She looks around.
"Where's Green?"

479500

>>479498
Sigh.
"That's… one of the things I wanted to talk about."

479501

>>479498
"Such generosity."

479502

>>479498
"I sure as hell didn't. I was a gutter rat, so I didn't exactly have a wardrobe of clothing with me. Thankfully the place was warm enough to go without much clothing anyway."

479504

>>479498
"Mister Diamond chooses to stay at his home for the majority of his time, except when we must entertain guests. A thoroughbred of his stature must greatly value his privacy and those of others."

479505

>>479500
"W-what's wrong?
Is she allright?"

>>479501
"Yes or no will suffice.
Might I add that should you decline, you are no longer of intrest to me, if you understand my meaning.
"

>>479502
"That might have been better than those silly hats".
She giggles.

>>479504
She gets out a dagger.
"And how do I know you're telling the truth? You could be a spy of some sort…"

479507

>>479505
"She is now.
Let's sit down first…"

479508

>>479505
"Might I add if you kill me, the key is lost forever."
Smirk.
"If you catch my drift."

479509

>>479505
"Hey, to each their own, right? Some ponies might think those hats are fancy as heck. Just like how those towelheads think the tablecloth they're wearing is hot shit. Cultures differ, blah blah blah."

479512

>>479507
"O-okay."
You both sit down on her bench.

>>479508
"You do not believe you're the only mind mage in Vilitus, do you? Now that we know mind magic is needed to open it, it is a simply a matter of time. You could choose to shorten that time for me or you could choose to throw your life away senselessly"

>>479509
"Somepony is homesick it seems."

479513

>>479505
"Because you were able to pickpocket me. I'm sure you noticed I'm not exactly carrying assasination weapons, and let's not forget you were the one who robbed me. But I'm a mare who forgives, and a mare with eyes looking for talent. I want to keep the peace in the Snake district, and I'm hoping that his chance run in might give me a better option to do that with you."

479515

>>479512
Take a deep breath.
"I know I should have came to you sooner about this, but I had a lot on my mind…"

479516

>>479512
"Relax, I don't plan on being a hero.
Power and wealth is good enough for me."
Smirk.

479520

>>479512
"Eh… yeah. Kind of. Not that home didn't have towelheads either, I guess Vilitus is similar in that aspect. Lots of different cultures pushed together in one city. Just wish there this place wasn't ruled by bugs."

479521

>>479513
She puts her daggers away.
"You know, there are a lot of ponies keeping tabs around here, but I trust you. I will help."
She moves closer
"But this would be between you and me, if I even think you told anypony else about this, you'll never find me again."

>>479515
"Out with it!"

>>479516
"I'm happy you are a sensible stallion, mister Sven. Let's proceed then to the Vault."

>>479520
She winces at you mentioning bugs.
"Guess there's not much we can do about it…"

479525

>>479521
Cock a brow.
"Don't like them either? Look, it's not like I loathe them or anything, but all I've heard is bad shit about them. Like how they suck away a pony's soul or some shit and then leave them behind as an empty shell. Just doesn't seem right to let them rule over ponies. Call me racist, whatever."

479527

>>479521
"I'll make some arrangements for your employment at the hotel. You'll receive thee occasional order to trail or pickpocket an individual, but otherwise, you shall just be a mare working for the hotel, like all the others. What you do then is yours."

"However, I will need your name, if only to make sure what we put on the name badge."

479529

>>479521
"She's in the hospital. For a while she was really, really sick… She's recovering now, but it gave us both a scare."

479535

>>479521
"Just a curiosity.
There is a whole army of them, isn't there?
Your kin."

479619

>>479525
"I don't like them too much."
She says coldly.
"But they're out of our league. As long as they're not bothering me, I can manage."

>>479527
"Neuraia. I'll come visit the hotel later. I still have some business to attend to."

>>479529
"Where? Which hospital? I have to go see her right away! Is she really allright?"

>>479535
He tilts his head to the side.
"I'm flattered. But they aren't my kin, I'm merely their messenger."

479628

>>479619
Probably has a history with them.
Which I probably shouldn't bring up right now.
"My thoughts exactly."

479632

>>479619
"Mercy hospital in the Snake District.
She is resting now, though… we can visit her tomorrow."

479634

>>479628
"Anything else, Echo?"

>>479632
She's silent, weighing your words.
"….okay. I-if you think that's best for her."

479636

>>479634
"Nah, I'll stop talking your ear off… for now."
I smirk and turn to leave.

479641

>>479634
"I know you are worried, but she is getting better. I'm sure that she will be absolutely overjoyed to see you, but she needs to sleep a lot."

479644

>>479619
"Neuraia. I'll make sure to note that. They staff will probably catch on to why I hired you eventually, but please don't worry about it too much. They've been helpful to me, and I'm sure they can help you as well."

479686

>>479636
"Be sure to close the door properly as you leave." She turns back to her work.
Where to next?
You can also go to the next day and visit the shrine of Nature.

>>479641
She nods.
"I understand."
She sighs.
"Oh Luna, why did this have to happen to her?
Green Tea did nothing to deserve this…she's always been the sweetest mare…"

>>479644
She nods.
"I certainly hope so."

479690

>>479686
Maybe I can just go around Feline sneakily and see what happens first.

Roll #1 5 = 5

479699

>>479686
Nod.
"The sweetest I know."
Sigh.
"At least she takes it well most of the time but this time… now even she was scared."

479707

>>479619
"Eh.
What did they promise you?"
Start walking for the monolith.

479718

>>479690
It's quiet and dark.
Of course in Feline, that doesn't say much.

>>479699
"S-she was?"
Her voice breaks a little.
"Poor girl….I wish there was a cure…"

>>479707
"They gave me a chance. To do something good for the world, to make it a little bit better for future generations."

479721

>>479686
"Not what I was expecting on my walk, but I can make this work."

Next destination, the Scarab district. What does it look like? Any guards? How are the ponies?

479729

>>479718
Of course not… any easy targets I can spot?

Roll #1 4 = 4

479734

>>479718
"Believe me, if there was, I'd do anything to get it for her.
By Luna, I'd give anything for it."

479736

>>479718
"How generous of you."
Keep the smirk up.
What did they really offer him?
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11

479777

>>479721
The Scarab District lays on a hill.
The top is dominated by the majestic Grand Temple, dedicated to an unknown ancient god and sealed for as long as ponies are aware.
Sidechambers of the Temple and other more or less ruined temples stand here.
Each of them dedicated from the most mundane religion to the most exotic.

>>479729
You walk around, not seeing too much movement until you spot a familiar arabian mare in an alley.
She seems to be occupied with something in a box and looks around her frequently.

>>479734
She sighs.
"I know you would…
Maybe we'll find something some day.
There has to be something, we just haven't looked hard enough."

>>479736
You glimpse a vision of an ancient temple not unlike this one. A pony you know is the Prophet kneels before a black sarcophagus.
The sarcophagus lights up and suddenly you see different visions.
Slavery, death, misery, poverty, not just in Vilitus but worldwide.
It all meshes together into a web almost beyond comprehension but you feel like it is telling you that the existence of Vilitus and the slave trade here doesn't just effect Vilitus but forms the center of a worldwide slave hunt, resulting in untold suffering over the centuries.
Destroying Vilitus and the Queens would end it.
A sacrifice for the greater good.
That's what he was told and that's how he sees it.
"Somepony has to do what is necessary."

479788

>>479777
"One a brighter note, it seems we are moving out of Diamond."

479791

>>479777
Well well well.
Sneak up on her and take a look at what she's busy with.

Roll #1 4 = 4

479793

>>479777
"I wonder if she has a temple here as well. Not like she ever did me any good, though."

Look for a temple dedicated to Cadance, if one is available.

479795

>>479777
One more thing I need to know.
Where does he hide?
'1d10+2'
"To you the glory, to me the gold."

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11

479810

>>479795
You see a vision of the deep sewers within the Diamond District.
There an army of followers is preparing the way for the new Gods.
The place is heavily fortified, lots of guards, protection and detection spells, special tools to identify changelings and other shapeshifters.
Within the most protected part are the chambers of the Prophet and right next to it the Chapel of the Sarcophagus, where the black sarcophagus mentioned earlier now rests.

"We are here."
You're near the entrance of the Vault. and the monolith.

>>479793
There doesn't seem to be one.
Worship of Cadence is relatively new and hasn't come here yet.
There's a more general temple dedicated to Love though.

>>479791
Seems like she knows somepony is watching.
She looks around.
Roll to hide.

>>479788
It takes her a few seconds to register that.
"…What?"

479813

>>479810
BE THE SHADOW

Roll #1 7 = 7

479815

>>479810
It is done.
Have my hired guns followed?
"Now, after you."

Start a contact with the monolith.
Administrator javier reporting. Open the door.

479817

>>479810
"I'm already here, I should just sate my curiosity and see if fortune favors me again." Go into that temple.

479818

>>479810
"I… I got us a house.
In Snake District.
If everything turns out allright."

479825

>>479815
They are not too far away.

Acknowledged. And the door opens up.
"My servant will find what we need. I'll wait here."
The donkey runs inside while the Prophet and the mare with the axe wait here.

>>479817
The temple of Love seems pretty old and is located next to the Scar District park.
Inside the temple are a number of priests and priestesses leisurely enjoying the day next to a fountain.
There are many symbols and dedications to Love, from the most innocent to the less innocent, on the walls.
A priest approaches you.
"Welcome to the Shrine of Love."

>>479818
Blink.
"H-how?"

479826

>>479467
Quick! Tiger Stance and punch that weak spot good! '1d10+2'

Roll #1 4 + 2 = 6

479829

>>479825
>
>>479813

Roll #1 8 = 8

479830

>>479825
Shake my head.
"You don't want to know."

479831

>>479825
"Take a few load of cash, I will need liquidity now."
Rest upon the monolith.
"What if what you are looking for is not there?"
What exactly is he looking for anyway?
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 10 + 2 = 12

479834

>>479825
"Thank you my dear, but I must interject at the moment and mention that I am just passing by. But, what can you tell me about your temple here. It seems far more, pleasant, than the ones I am familiar with."

479843

>>479826
The High pries collapses upon itself and writhes around. It drops the mare leader and her axe.
She grabs her axe and charges it with a shout, slashing the remains to pieces.
You can help if you want by rolling a 3d10

>>479829
You hide in the shadows.
She looks around and quickly drops something in the box before locking it up and walking away.

>>479831
"I know it is."
You see the dodacehedron you found.
Apparently it is the key to reactivating the Black Sarcophagus somehow.
There should be 3 locked away in the Vault.

>>479834
"Here we worship that most sublime of forces called Love. Love is a force that flows through the Universe forming connections between all beings in different forms.
Friendship, relationships and everything inbetween. We seek to understand this force and become attuned to its flow by exploring all forms of love."

>>479830
She bites her lip.
"That bad?"

479846

>>479843
Well shit, I didn't see what it was.
Hmmm
'1d3'

Roll #1 1 = 1

479847

>>479843
3d10

+2 to each maybe? I dunno.

479848

>>479847
'3d10'

Roll #1 3, 3, 9 = 15

479850

>>479843
>>479846
Welp.
Follow her for now.

Roll #1 6 = 6

479851

>>479847
It's not impotant.
It's to write the final blow fluff.

479854

>>479843
"…I'll have to work a lot, but it is worth it."

479858

>>479843
"All forms of love? How many, pray tell, are there?"

479872

>>479843
All according to keikaku.
"The stuff in here is old.
You might find, things have changed in a few millennia."

479903

>>479847
>>479848
As the mare leader starts hacking away like a madmare shouting things like "Don't. You. Ever. Grab. Me/ Again." and some words that just aren't part of a christian imageboard
You backhoof the Solar Corruption into unconcious submission before delivering the final blow to the heart of the High Priest.
The mass withers away, stinking like rotting corpses.
It seems the crowd has been slaughtered as well, partly by your group and partly by the tentacles.
As for your group only 2 remain of the original 15 who want with you and the mare.
The mare breathes heavily, slowly putting her axe back again.
She shakes her head. "Tirekians….they should all be exterminated."
She looks defiantly at the Giant Statue of Tirek, loaded with sacrificial gemstones, plants and a few pony hearts.

>>479850
>>479846
Where did she go?
You look around.
Oh shit, she didn't go away, she was looking at the box from a vantage point, clearly expecting somepony to open it.

>>479858
"Endless forms specific for each pony.
The broad categories are Friendship, Affection, Romance and the purest, Unconditional love."

>>479872
"I doubt it. I know what's in there and that it hasn't opened in millenia, so if what I seek isn't in there. There's only one pony who could have gotten it."
The donkey comes back with another dodacehedron, pretty much identical to yours.
"…I couldn't find any others…"
The Prophet looks at him and than at you.
"Have you seen anything like this by any chance?"

479907

>>479903
Smart towelhead.
I'm not moving out before she does.

I would love to throw a rock at her or something, but that's just bad taste.

479909

>>479903
Good thing I knew this would happen.
"Not really. I just saw the capsules with dead ponies inside, and the gems on the ground."
Poke the dodecahedron.
"What's this?"

479916

>>479903
I hork all those gemstones.

Nod.

479918

>>479903
"Frienship, huh. Out of all of those, it seems the hardest to acquire. What advice would you have for a wandering mare like myself to find it?"

479934

479976

>>479909
She waits for a while and then moves again.
Opening the box and getting something out, then moving over the rooftops.

>>479909
The Prophet takes it.
"The key to the future, a device far beyond your or my understanding. A gift from the Gods."

>>479916
You feel a weird twist in your stummick as you take the gems. Tirek doesn't like that.
Then again, you did just slaughter some of his followers too, maybe it's that.
Get out of here?


>>479918
"True friendship is already within you.
It binds us with each other, even before we know each other.
In reality, there are already bonds of friendship between everypony, yet we are too blind to see all but the strongest.
Know that everypony you meet is already your friend and the strongest friendships will reveal themselves naturally."

>>479934
"She's lucky to have you…"

PAUSE

479980

>>479976
"I wonder what gods could do with it…"

479982

>>479976
Absolutely.

479984

>>479976
Follow. Stealthily.

Roll #1 4 = 4

479986

>>479976
"That might be true, but I feel those bonds of mine had withered long ago. I was merely passing around, thank you for your time."

480641

>>479980
"You could see for yourself. If you tell me where the other 2 are."
His eyes lock on yours.

>>479982
Before you leave one of the followers etches a number of runes on the door of the temple.
You escape the way you came, through the dark sewers beneath the Scarab District. However instead of going back to the base the group splits up and you and the mare emerge in an alley of the Vulture District.
"We're going to stick here a little while before going to base. In case there are ponies following us." she says.
"What's your name again?"

>>479984
You manage to keep up with her.
She enters a window of one of he buildings a little further and closes it.

>>479986
"Friendship never withers away completely.
It's there whenever you try to rekindle it."

480648

>>480641
"Other two?
You mean there are more of these things?"
Quickly glance into the monolith.
"It's huge in there. I didn't even search it all!"

480649

>>480641
Ooooh, maybe this is where she sleeps~
What's the building look like?

480666

>>480648
"Then clear up something for me. When this Vault was sealed there were 3 in there.
And now there aren't. And the only pony with access to it before now is you. And suddenly there aren't 3 in there anymore. Just 1.
"
He tilts his head sideways.
"How would that be possible?"

>>480649
It doesn't seem too different from the other buildings in the district, dark and unmarked

480667

>>480666
I bet this is the harem she belongs to.
Now as much as I'd like to sneak in there at night and cause some havoc, I'm not brave or stupid enough to do shit like that.

I'll just head back 'home' and catch some sleep. Maybe I can do something tomorrow. Rolling for dreams.

Roll #1 7 = 7

480668

>>479976
I let out a laugh.
"I'm lucky to have her!"

480670

>>480666
Look him in the eyes, narrowing mines and keeping my head perfectly straight.
"Maybe your benefactors are not as smart as you think they are.
Maybe, a race that was capable of dying out entirely in their most safe facility and at the height of a power you call unfathomable to us, isn't just that smart."

480680

>>480670
He keeps silent.
Slow Shell and the few mercenaries you brought with you, those that aren't hidden, suddenly seem uncomfortable.
As you wonder why they're shaking their head, you start to hear a low beeping sound in your head steadily growing higher.

>>480667
You dream of laying on the beach while the fat mare from earlier serves you drinks, you never ceasing to give snappy comments about her physique.

>>480668
"Oh shut it. You take such good care of her.
Where would she be without you…"

480682

>>480680
COUNTER THAT MIND READING WITH MY OWN POWERS!
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 7 + 2 = 9

480684

>>480680
Sassy!

Get up. Clean up. Eat up.
Then leave for the park. I want to check out the shrine now that it's day first.

480691

>>480682
There's something in your head.
But it's not reading you, it simply wants to hurt you.
Your mind reading abilities keep it at bay, this turn but your companions aren't doing so well.
Slow Shell suprisingly manages to keep standing but 2 of the other mercenaries fall on the floor writhing in agony.
You hear 3 distinct clanks coming from the corridor. Must be your back-up.
"Is something wrong?" asks the prophet with a sadistic sneer.

>>480684
After a long walk you find a clearing in the middle of the park. There are 5 menhirs standing in a large circle, in the middle of the circle are another bunch of rocks on top of each other. Each one inscribed with numerous glyphs.
You see a few ponies sitting there.
A mare and a stallion playing guitar together, an older gentlepony with a pipe sitting a bit away from them meditating and a zebra looking at the menhirs.

480693

>>480691
Connect with the door.
Close.
Then, stare back at the Prophet.
I can play this game too.
"Be. Off."
AWiYE.
'1d10'

Roll #1 6 = 6

480694

>>480691
Slowly walk around the menhirs, running a hoof over them as I go, then walk over to the rocks and sit down in front of them as I inspect the glyphs.

Roll #1 7 = 7

480701

>>480641
"Moon."

Raise a brow inquisitively and expectantly, to indicate an expectation of reply.

480703

>>480680
"Hey, I wouldn't do all this for any other mare.
She's… well, she gives me reason to live.
She is the 'something' I look forward to when waking up every day."

480711

>>480693
The same shield blocking your mental powers from reading, holds your suggestion at bay.
The door closes however.
"One last time….Where?"
The noise intensifies.

>>480694
The glyphs seem to be etched in here on different times and in different styles.
Some you recognize as Trotantine and are hymns to Nature. Others are beyond your comprehension, but you assume they are similar praises to Nature from others.
One of the guitar playing ponies waves at you.

>>480701
"Pine."
She offers you her hoof.
"You didn't fight too bad back there."

>>480703
She grabs your hoof.
"You're a good stallion, Grey.
I'm sure she'll get better soon."

480713

>>480711
Roll my eyes but walk over to him anyway.
"Yeah?"

480715

>>480711
"Go to hell.
I didn't even check the place."
Grunt and stare defiantly through the pain.
But start to back towards the exit.
'1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

480717

>>480711
Survey it for a moment, then accept it.

Nod. "And you."

I do wonder what kind of pony this Pine is, who hates Tirekians and serves these priests? What's her angle? Mine is simple… but pettiness can pay when placed properly. Frankly, if I'm honest with myself perhaps some of it is just that I like to beat things up. It takes a true mastermind to appreciate their own simplemindedness. Or at least, I like to think so.

Appraise her. '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

480720

>>480711
Look at her and nod.
"I know she will.
She is stronger than she seems."
Chuckle.
"Suprisingly so, sometimes."

480740

>>480713
The mare smiles at you while the stallion puts the guitar down.
"I haven't seen you around here before. Are you here to pay your respect to Nature too?"

>>480715
You struggle towards the exit.
The sounds gets louder and louder…
and stops.
A sigh of relief is audible from the other mercenaries.
Even Slow Shell, the only one who managed to stand, he even tried to get closer to the Prophet.
"Very well. Is it possible in your opinion that somepony else breached the Vault while you weren't here?"

>>480717
Who cares about her opinion when she's got a but like that?
"Hey. Eyes up here, Moon."
She says pointing at her face.
Maybe you should meditate more on losing desires, clearly you haven't lost all of them.

>>480720
"She always was…You know, even when we were fillies, I always could go to her if I was hurt or sad…"

480746

>>480740
Look up and raise a brow but say nothing.

We will see what she has yet planned.

480748

>>480740
"It's a small wonder you could find such a selfless and kind pony these days."
Chuckle again.
"I really like your family, you know that?"

480750

>>480740
"Take a guess. …Yeah I'm new in town."
Look at the guitar.
"Nice instrument. Some kind of a mutated lute?"

480751

>>480740
Snarl at him in evident disgust.
"I did it in two days.
And as you said, I'm not the only one in all of Vilitus."

480791

>>480746
"Okay. Follow me."
She walks into one of the bars and orders a drink.
"I need a drink after all that. What do you want? My treat."

>>480748
She raises a brow.
"Because of Green?"

>>480750
"It's called a guitar, silly. And how wonderful to meet a new pony. My name is Long Leaf and this is my special somepony, Soy Bean."

>>480751
The Prophet looks you over and then starts to trot away with his guards.
"Enjoy your wealth, mister Sven."

480793

>>480791
"Never heard of it. My name's Ambrosia."
What do these two clowns look like?

480794

>>480791
Do they have a menu somewhere? If so, scan that for options. If they have tea, point to that on the menu.

480795

>>480791
Grunt.
Round up my homies.
How hurt are they?

480802

>>480797
"Not your fault.
He's got some mental fuckery going. on. Even better than me."
Look around.
"Now, gentlestallions, I'm about to make you all immensely rich."
Back to an inn.

480805

>>480795
The Prophet leaves the Vault entrance.
Your mercenaries seem mostly okay.
Two of them are laying down to rest for a minute but there doesn't seem to be any bodily damage except for a very bad memory.
Slow Shell nods to you.
"I tried to get him, boss. I'm sorry."

>>480794
They do.
The bartender gives you some hot water and herbs and you sit next to Pine. After some silence, she turns to you with a grin.
"Stallion of few words, are you?"

>>480793
Like goddamn hippies, unkempt manes, clothes that look more like curtains stitched together.
"Nice to meet you, Ambrosia" says Long.
"How do you like this place? Amazing isn't it?"

480806

>>480805
It seems unlikely I know the concept of hippies, or even bohemians for that matter.
Just nod absentmindedly as I look around.
"Best part of this shithole of a city so far."

480807

>>480805
Give the slightest of nods.

Grinning? I wonder why. I should survey her more closely.

480808

480811

>>480806
It's more of a way to describe to you what they look like, as a meta person.
"I love it so much too. Have you heard the story of how it got here?"

>>480802
You gather everypony up and get all of you in the inn where you stay.
By dropping some bits you manage to get a private table away from all the regular customers and some drinks for your new mercenaries. They look expectantly towards you, Slow Shell sits by your side, a bit away.

>>480807
She takes another sip from her drink.
"…That was quite a fight back there. Ever seen anything like it?"

480817

>>480811
Anything like the fight, or anything like the energy monster? Hm. Her phrasing implies the fight, but her question is more likely about the monster. Maybe it doesn't matter. Still, if she misinterprets a nod and inquires about the nature of the monster, that may require more extensive discussion. I am caught in an awkward spot. I'll just settle on another nod.

480818

>>480811
"Uh… no. I'm guessing it's some kind of oasis in the desert where the city was built around though."

480823

>>480811
Order a paper.
"You and me both know, my friends, that it's been long since you set roots.
Had a place to call home.
Look around you.
I want to reshape Vilitus, and now, I can.
We could start something much, much bigger than you can imagine.
All for us. All from nothing."
Grin at them.
"It's a one time offer.
Join me forever or go back to your old work.
Just know, I pay better."

480829

>>480823
They all listen intently.
"Those are nice words…
What's the plan?"

>>480818
The mare shakes her head.
"No…it appeared here a few centuries ago.
Because of…Love." Her eyes twinkle.
The old meditating stallion near the central glyphed rocks rolls his eyes visibly before closing them again.

>>480817
"You fought Tirekians before? I thought so, by the way you fought them, you seemed to know right where to hit them…"

480834

>>480829
"Love?"
Shake my head.
"Guess it would explain all the bugs in the area, but I'm thinking that's a whole lot of bullshit you're telling me, lady. Love doesn't make Mother Nature grow."

480838

>>480829
"But why, it's just easy."
Relax back in the chair.
"Take over the whole city."

480839

>>480829
Hm. She'll probably want elaboration on this. She sure is talkative. I wonder if all western ponies are like this… like to talk all the time. Where is my tea, anyway? Take a long draw on my tea to buy time.

Right. I've got it. Tap a hoof on my face, next to my eyes.

480840

>>480834
"Well, not necessarily make it grow.
But the reason this place is here is because of 2 lovers who were supposed to meet here, next to this rock." She points to the glyphed rock.
"Wanna hear the story?"

>>480838
They all look surprised.
Even Slow Shell.
"What?"

>>480839
"You….saw it?"

480843

>>480840
Give her a bored look.
"I don't know, do I?"

480844

>>480840
Another slight nod. At least she has some brains behind all that blabber. I know they say that mares should be seen and not heard, but I don't honestly mind as long as they can take a hint.

480854

>>480840
"The details are trivials.
Know I have the power to."

480856

>>480843
"Of course you do! It's such a great story.
It starts with a mare and a stallion who were in love. But their parents forbade them to meet each other, so they came up with a plan to escape!"
The old stallion moves up and walks away to meditate a bit further away.

>>480844
"Right…."
She takes another sip of her drink.
Awkward silence.
"….So how do you know Otsuro? Or don't you want to talk about that as well?"

>>480854
They all look a bit uncertain at each other.
"You want to take down the Dukes, the Prince?"

480865

>>480856
Draw in a deep breath, taking in the very essence of my tea through my nostrils.

Then, exhale, slowly. Serenely. What word describes us? We were brothers, once. And now? We'll see.

"Patricide."

480866

>>480856
What happened to the times when Nature was the one deity that didn't have long-winded preachings and other bullshit stories behind it?
"Go on, don't have all day."

480869

>>480856
"Oh no. Neither I nor you will do much work.
But that's as far as I'm willing to go.
Now, it's time for decisions.
Just consider it one more big contract."

480875

>>480869
"How's the pay?"

>>480866
Who says it's even a story about Nature?
This story seems like the nonsense treehuggers like her tend to make up to seem like they know Nature and give Nature worshippers a bad name.
Maybe that older stallion would be more open to serious discussion about Nature.
But there's no stopping this mare.
"…and she was a follower of Nature at the time, so she and her stallion agreed to meet up at the shrine to Nature, right here.
It wasn't a park back then you see, just another temple of the Scarab District.
But her parents had heard of the plan and followed her to seperate them again…"
Dramatic pause.

>>480869
She almost chokes on her drink.
"You're family?"

480881

>>480875
"I've got so much money I could buy this place bit by bit and ruin the value of gems and gold worldwide.
So yeah, it's good."

480883

>>480875
Too bad we aren't alone here. I could have my way with these two otherwise.
"And then what? Huh?"

480884

>>480875
"Not blood."

480906

>>480881
One by one they all agree.
Time to clink your glasses on this unholy alliance.

>>480883
"Well long story short, the 2 lovers got surrounded at the temple and she pleaded to mother nature for help.
And Nature responded and all sorts of plants sprouted of the ground, swallowing the family.
And since that day this park was here."

>>480884
"…I see."
She looks at her glass for a little while.
"He's been causing a lot of trouble for us. We don't know why."

480909

>>480906
"I don't buy it. It's not how Mother Nature works. But whatever you want to believe, go ahead. Don't care."
Let's see what this old guy has to say.
Stroll over and plop down on the ground next to him.
"You don't look like the type of pony who believes that love crap."

480910

>>480906
Now, since it's morning, my paper, please.

480914

>>480909
He sighs.
"You'd have to be a giant moron to believe that.
It simply isn't Nature's way."

>>480910
A servant is going after the morning paper for you.

PAUSE

482952

>>480914
Papers, please.

482954

>>480791
"And you too, don't worry."
Chuckle.

482960

>>482952
This days headlines are
>Diamond District Slaughterhouse: 3 teenagers killed
>Flesh Eating Plants!
>3 arrested in Viliri laboratory
>advertisements for various shops and bars
>Results from yesterdays horseraces.

>>482954
"More tea?"

482966

>>482960
Nod.
"Yes, thank you."

482967

>>482960
Shops and bars?
That might be a good place to set up shop in.
Check those out.

482975

>>482966
She gives you another cup.
A silence falls as Tea seems consumed by thoughts.

>>482967
Most of them seem in the Vulture District but you find an adress for a place in the Snake District. A restaurant called Manehattan Dining.

482976

>>482975
Sounds like the perfect thing for me.
Smirk.
"Boys, how do you like Prench cousiné?"

482977

>>482975
Sip my tea for a while before speaking.
"And… haven't heard about you in a while. Things going well for you?"

482984

>>482976
The restaurant is a classy enough place, yet there are few customers this time of the day.
The maitre'd welcomes you and smiles politely at your question.
"We have quite a variety of dishes, mister."

>>482977
She looks up.
"Oh…The usual.
Hard work at the bar, but it makes ends meet."

482985

>>482984
"Nothing out of the ordinary?
There must be something!"

482986

>>482984
"Bring me the best.
And for my friends too."
Smirk and sit.
MR to see who's the owner.
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11

482990

>>482985
She thinks.
"There are a lot less customers lately.
It's weird. It might have something to do with that new cult."

>>482986
"Of course."
He leads you and your men to a big table.
And scrambles to hoof you a menu.
You quickly spot the owner sitting near the bar, taking care of some paperwork.
You detect some significant mental tension in the bar. These ponies are having issues, there's anger at somepony, Blood Diamond.
He owns another restaurant close by, one that does way better than this one, because Blood Diamond owns it and pumps a lot of money in it.

482994

>>482990
"Which one?
I'm having a hard time keeping up with news recently."

482995

>>482990
Ah, 'Blood Diamond'.
I see how things are.
Well, for now, with a smile on my face, enjoy the meal.

482999

>>482994
"Uh…what's their name again…
Heralds or something."

>>482995
It's an okay meal.
Rich salades and sauces, you could turn this place around with some cash injection.
And it would form an interesting base within Diamonds territory.

PAUSE

483269

>>480914
"Damn right it isn't. Those two are with their heads in the clouds if you ask me."

483273

>>482999
But this Blood Diamond…
He worries me.
So, I guess it's time to ask a few questions around.
Once I'm done eating, stop the maid.
"The dinner was excellent."
Smile fondly.
"Might I congratulate the chef?"

483274

>>482999
"What sort of cult is it?"

483282

>>483269
"A sad state of affairs. A great number of ponies are turning to the worship of Nature, yet refuse to understand Her, to learn about Her.
Instead they make up their own fantasies and legends about the Mother, based on nothing but fantasy.
They may consider themselves lucky the Mother has far more important things to do than show them the error of their ways."

>>483273
The maid smiles.
"I could ask him if he could spare a moment if you'd like?"

>>483274
She shrugs.
"Another one of the dozen that pop up every year. Or so I thought…this one is…creepy. A lot of customers at the bar talk about how either one of their friends or family became a member and then just spend all their time with them.
And those Heralds are so creepy, talking about catastrophes and plagues and how we will all be destroyed…"

483283

>>483282
"They'll fall flat on their asses eventually. Mother Nature is no goddess of Love."

483284

>>483282
Shake my head.
"Bullshit.
Don't listen to things like that. You'll just give yourself a scare."

483288

>>483283
He nods.
"Silence is the voice of Nature. I come here to meditate in this holy place. To find Nature's guidance within her silence."

>>483284
"Yeah, I know I shouldn't.
But a lot of people are nervous about it, it's weird."

483292

>>483288
"Yeah well, I'll let you get back to that. I'm glad to see not everypony around here is ignorant though."

483294

>>483288
"That's how mass hysteria and panic ensues.
You're safe, don't worry.
And you know you can count on us too, if you are ever worried about something."

483297

>>483282
"Oh that would be wonderful actually."

483308

>>480906
Give her the shrug.

I wonder if the other two survivors went back. I wonder if they have necromancers in their employ. They're some kind of church, right? The question of what she is after in particular comes up again. She doesn't strike me as a zealot… but then, I don't know much about this organization either. Still, day one and I'm already laying low priests. It should be interesting to see how this progresses. I need to learn more about their structure… leadership… the position they have in the city. If they can get away with this without having the guard on their backs, they must have political connections. In any case, that begs the question of why he has caused them so much trouble. What's he after? I haven't been with them but an afternoon. How did he know I showed up in the city? Does he have spies? Why can't they stomp him out? In any case, I'll have to be the one to deal with this mess, no doubt.

Indicate myself with a hoof. "Soon."

483324

>>483292
"Perhaps you should sit down and give it a try yourself. These rocks have special significance. It was here that the Mother, for whatever reason, allowed her children to grow and form this oasis of rest in the midst of this city.
Her presence is very strong here. Be silent and let her inspire you through her voice."

>>483294
She nods.
"Allright, I'll remember that."

>>483297
She nods and a few minutes later a chubby pony with a moustache comes to your table with a smile.
"I hope everything was to your satisfaction? If there's anything else you need, I'm fully at your disposal."

>>483308
She nods.
"I guess it's time we move again then. Back to base."
She gives a sign to the bartender who opens up a backdoor for the both of you.
Roll for perception once you go outside.

483325

>>483324
Smile.
"Should I come pick you up tomorrow?"

483326

>>483324
"Absolutely.
I loved everything.
It's a shame to see such a wonderful place so empty, though."

483328

>>483324
"That was the plan, yeah."
Walk a few steps away from him, still near the rocks, and sit down. Close my eyes, breathe in and out slowly and relax my muscles. Concentrate on those rocks in my mind and meditate.

Roll #1 8 = 8

483329

>>483324
Right, head on out.

Perception: '1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10

483356

>>483325
"That would be lovely."

>>483326
"Ah…it's a bit of a quiet time for us, I'm afraid.
There used to be far more guests here, but…circumstances have changed a bit.
But we plow on."

>>483328
You see a vision…
A grey wolf is chasing 2 hares, a black and a white one across a desert hill. The hares suddenly split and run each in another direction, leaving the wolf bewildered as you open your eyes again.

>>483329
You both step outside and quickly run to a nearby alley. As Pine opens another entrance into the sewers you feel a chill run up your spine.
In a split second you focus your inner Qi and quickly strike behind you.
You "hit" the immaterial form of what looks like a pony tattood with a number of symbols and wearing ethereal chains.
A Bound Spirit! Bound by the forbidden teachings of the ancient lodges of Neighpon.
It breaks apart at your strike but other silently move through the walls.
"Shit…" says Pine as she quickly grabs her axe and hits the first one.

483359

>>483356
Use the walls! Tumble off them, bouncing to strike at a higher angle! '1d10+3'

Roll #1 1 + 3 = 4

483363

>>483356
"I can't believe such a fine establishment met such a fate!
Please, sit a moment, do share your worries."
Motion to the wiatress.
"One of your finest wines."

483368

>>483356
Stand up and levitate the teacup down to the table.
"Tomorrow morning then."
Step closer, and give her a hug.
"It was nice to see you again. And don't worry. I'm here for you as much as I'm there for your sister."

483371

>>483356
The hunter who chases two rabbits catches none…
Stand up and contemplate this for a moment, then shake my head and start leaving this grove.

483480

>>483359
You miss and crash into the wall, you're helpless.

>>483363
"Oh you're too kind mister."
He sits down.
"It is a sad state of affairs, my friend.
Little less than a year ago, this restaurant was overflowing with customers.
But it seems the other local restaurants have deployed some questionable tactics to keep customers away from here."

>>483368
She hugs you back.
"I know. I know. Just…come back soon, okay?"

>>483371
Where to next?

483491

>>483480
Nod.
"First thing in the morning tomorrow.
See you then!"
Leave.
What time of the day is it?

483496

>>483480
Hm.
Maybe I could have some fun and 'hunt'. Any suitable targets around the park?

Roll #1 4 = 4

483499

>>483480
Pull myself together and get up! '1d10+1'

Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10

483519

>>483491
Late in the afternoon.

>>483496
The park seems mostly deserted.
You see a carriage with a number of guards beside it though.

>>483499
You get up like a motherfucker as Pine's magical axe slashes through one of the Bound Spirits.

483523

>>483519
Right. No more Mr. Nice Wok. Give em the Tumble. '1d10+3'

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7

483524

>>483523
Should be +2=6

483525

>>483519
I'd rather not tangle with guards.
Guess I'll just go for a walk around one of the districts I haven't been in then. Diamond district maybe?

Roll #1 6 = 6

483526

>>483519
…I guess a beer or two with a friend can't hurt, can it?
Let's drop by someone else.

483552

>>483480
"Questionable?"

483570

>>483523
>>483524
You smash and disintegrate another one.
The mare slashes one more as well.
The ghosts retreat again.
"That damn Otsuro…"
Pine looks around furiously.
"I KNOW YOU'RE WATCHING!" she shouts.

>>483525
The Diamond District is a mass, literally.
One half of the district is a garbage dump.
The other is full of slums with a half-decent heavily barred home once in a while.
The streets are dirty, the ponies are dirty, even the rats seem dirtier than the ones in other districts.
You find a tavern called "The Solution"
Go in?

>>483526
There's a tavern in the Diamand District where you could meet up in a bar called "The Solution" because alcohol is the solution to all the worlds problems.
Do that?

>>483552
"They have connections with a few local authorities…but I'd rather not disturb you with my private affairs, mister."
He seems nervous suddenly.

PAUSE

483596

>>483570
Wow. And they call this the Diamond district? Holy shit.
Let's head inside that tavern though. Assess the ponies inside.

Roll #1 9 = 9

484547

>>483570
I'm sure I have some friends I could visit, don't I?

484551

>>483570
Raise a brow and push the entrance to the sewers back open.

484577

>>483596
I'll get back to you in a sec.

>>484547
Sure, my question was wether you'd like to meet them in a public area (the bar) or in their house.

>>484551
It is open.
Pine looks around furiously.
"Let's go…"
She jumps in and waits for you downstairs.
"That was done by your brother. Do you have any clue how he summons those ghosts?"

484579

>>484577
Public is fine.

484580

>>484577
Strictly speaking, I do have a clue. But she might want me to elaborate on that. Still, it might be worst to just flat out lie. Nod.

484586

>>484579
You find Don Juan, a grey earth pony and Deep Glass, a white unicorn in the bar.
"How's it going, man?" asks Deep in his usual cheery demeanor.
There are already a few empty glasses on the table.

>>483596
It's pretty packed, you notice a table with 2 unicorns and an earth pony talking.
There are a few griffons speaking in a corner.
A buffalo with one eye is cleaning the bar.
There seem to be a few poker games going on and the smell of tabacco is heavy in the air.

>>484580
"Is there any way to stop them?"

484587

>>484586
"Hey dudes.
Eh, I've been better."

484589

>>484586
Nice.
Walk up to the bar.
"Mug of ale. Stat."

484591

>>484586
Nod.

"Go and take."

484593

>>484587
"Bad day at work or something?
I know what will cheer you up."
He trots over to the bar to order some more beer and flirt to the new mare who just walked in.
Don Juan turns to you.
"What's going on?"

>>484589
The buffalo nods and starts filling a large mug.
Another stallion comes next to you, while waiting to place his order, he turns to you with a grin. "Hey there, you new here?"

>>484591
"Take…take what?"

484594

>>484593
Tap my chest with a hoof.

484596

>>484593
"You could say that."

484598

>>484593
"Green Tea hasn't been well recently. Had to take her to the Mercy."

484602

>>484594
"The heart…."
She whistles.
"That's….well that's interesting…if we could find out what happened to the bodies of those pests."
She starts walking towards the base again through the sewers.
"Maybe a visit to the graveyard is in order."

>>484596
"Well, I'd love to show a pretty lady like yourself all the nice places around here." he winks.
You get your huge mug of beer.

>>484598
He nods slowly.
"The same disease again? How's she doing?"

484603

>>484602
"It's not a disease, it's not infectous."
Sigh.
"She's getting well, thank Luna."

484605

>>484602
I snicker.
"What, like which garbage dump you prefer over the other? Not many nice places in Diamond from what I've gathered."
Take a swig.

Roll #1 7 = 7

484606

>>484602
Follow her in. We're done here, after all.

484611

>>484603
"She'll pull through, she's a strong mare.
How are you handling it?"

>>484605
"There are lots of really comfortable places as well." he gets his mugs of beer.
"Hey, why don't you join us at the table, it will be fun!"
He nods towards the table.

>>484606
You make it back to the underground base without incident.
"You did okay, Moon." She hoofs you a small bag of bits.
"I'll have to talk to the boss about this. Do what you want in the meantime.
If you want a bed down here talk to Clear Memory, he handles all that kind of stuff. Feel free to look around."
She puts a hoof on your shoulder.
"You're one of us now."
She then trots away towards the restricted area.

484612

>>484611
"A pony needs a place to drink, so why not?"
Swagger over to the table and plop down on one of the seats, raising my mug in the air.
"Gentlecolts."

484613

>>484611
"Good I think… but I already got myself into debts so we can move out of Diamond.
I'm hoping the change of scenery will do her good."

484616

>>484611
Watch her go. Nothing says I can't enjoy the sights. Anyway, look around for a rations officer.

484621

>>484613
He nods.
"So you're moving t-
Aw shit, Deep found another mare. One-eyed, that's new."
He takes a sip from his pint as Deep, as usual when there's serious matters, arrives with a chick.
"Hey guys, this is…uh…" he looks questioningly at the mare.
He gives you your beer as the one-eyed mare plops down in the seat next to you

>>484612
The stallion announces you
"Hey guys, this is…uh…" he looks questioningly at you.

>>484616
After a bit of searching you find a donkey in one of the corridors supervising a number of ponies cooking. He himself wears an apron and has a few burn marks.
"Food?" he asks you without any conversation pleasantries.

484623

>>484621
We have that much in common.

Nod.

484625

>>484621
"Mango Punch."

484626

>>484621
Take the beer.
"Thanks."

>>484625
Eye her up non-sexually.
"Grey Leg."

484638

>>484623
He grabs a bowl and pours some ,what you assume to be, stew in it and hoofs it to you.
"Bon appetit."
Memo: you've done everything before the timeskip, you are free to explore, talk or go your way throughout the city. There are no plot missions for the moment.

>>484625
Deep Glass nods.
"A pretty name, fits you like a glove."
The grey earth pony simply nods.
"Don Juan, a pleasure to meet you."

>>484626
"No problem mate. It's on me."

484640

>>484638
I store the memo in my bag, just in case I need it later, then enjoy my stew. After that, I'll head out into the city to enjoy the NIGHT LIFE.

484642

>>484626
I do the same.

>>484638
And check them out as well. What do they look like? Tramps?
"So what brings three stallions to a bar like this at this hour? Misery or celebration?"

484644

>>484638
Smirk at him.
"It better be. Last time you got drunk from my money."

484645

>>484642
"Alcohol, mostly."

484653

>>484645
"No doubt. But hey, don't let me spoil the conversation. Hate to be a buzzkiller."

484658

>>484653
"Oh, we were just talking about boring life stuff."

484665

>>484658
"Diamond district doesn't seem boring to me. It's shit, sure, but nothing average. How's life then?"

484666

>>484640
Oh you.
The best place for all kinds of entertainment is the Vulture District.
>shops
>bars
>restaurants
>brothels
>a fair
>casinos
>various kinds of shops in alleys where all manner of illegal wares or services are bartered.

Other districts that might be of intrest to you is Arachnia (mages), Scarab (religious).

>>484642
Don Juan and Grey Leg seem properly dressed, not fancy but proper.
Deep Glass is far more casual in his fashion choice.
"If it's up to me celebration!" he says loudly.

>>484644
He looks flabberghasted.
"Hey now, when was the last time I got drunk of your money?"
Last week.

>>484665
"It goes on. Most ponies who come here are either down on their luck or hiding from other ponies in the rest of the city."

484668

>>484666
Check out that fair. Maybe something worth seeing there.

484669

>>484666
"Seems like the better way to hide would be to just hightail it out of this place. I may be new to town, but I've already seen how dangerous it is."

484670

>>484668
The fair seems rather out of place in Vilitus.
Situated at the edge of the Vulture District, the endless house make way for a huge open space where the Viliri Fair is.
Entrance seems to be free of charge.
There are a multitude of attractions, a merry-go-round, mirror house, ghost house, a rollercoaster, various smaller games, numerous food courts and many many more. All decorated by numerous lights. The fair seems to be quite tightly packed this evening, there's an almost tangible buzz of excitement in the air.
A pony with carrying a tray of hay candy beckons you "Free samples here! Hay candy, Crystal soda, be sure to try"

484671

>>484669
"Well, not everypony has the means for that. But we make due. What brings you here? Since you're obviously not looking to settle down here, exploring the city maybe?"

484672

>>484670
I don't partake in sugar. Look for some skill games and wander around looking for events like musicians.

484673

>>484671
"You'd be correct in guessing that. Good to know your surroundings and all, y'know. Couldn't pass up grabbing a drink in this charming little tavern either."

484674

>>480641
"I don't know what to say to that, then. Maybe I should try to start new ones since I've arrived. Before I go, tell me who is the head priest, or at least the one you might report to, is."

484675

>>484672
The first performance you find is a zebra group playing an assortment of exotic music. There are a number of (younger) ponies dancing near them.
Not too far from there you see a Hammer strength game (slam the hammer against the pole with the gong) , a throw-the-ball game (3 tries) and a fishing ducks game.

>>484673
"The beers good and cheap. That's the most important part." says Don Juan.
Deep Glass who has drunk quite some glasses already nods at you "Very charming here, and you make it even more charming."

>>484674
"That is Priestess Pink Marble."
He points to a mare in skimpy clothing near the altar.

484676

>>484675
"That's very considerate of you."
I smirk and look back at Don.
"What else is there about this district? Nothing special aside from slums?"

484677

>>484675
"Thank you for your time."

Think about it, and decide to play it safe over here at the moment.

"He's right, I should make a few more friends. What do you think about starting with that one?"

484678

>>484677
Rolling for 4th Eye
[1d10]

Roll #1 9 = 9

484679

>>484666
"When I paid for everything."

>>484665
"Yeaah… anyway, I was just telling my friends we moved out of Diamond recently."

484680

>>484679
"In favor of which district?"

484681

>>484678
You mean Pink Marble, darling?

>>484676
"Main reason ponies come here is drugs. So if that's your fancy you won't have to look far." says the Don.

>>484679
"I-I paid you too sometimes!"

484682

>>484681
"Of course, but if you could throw in this dashing fellow who has been more than agreeable with us, that would be acceptable."

484683

>>484681
"Sometimes."
Give him a deadpan look, but then smile and roll my eyes.

>>484680
"Snake."

484684

>>484681
"Nah, can do without that stuff. Got to stay with four hooves on the ground. Well, booze is an exception, of course."

484685

>>484683
"Snake… isn't that where the middle class lives?"

484686

>>484685
"I did say I got myself into a bit of a debt too."

484687

>>484686
"Don't we all?"
Take a swig from my mug.
"Must be nice though, Snake. Feline's pretty good too though, I suppose."

484688

>>484682
Well, where to start.
You know she's a priestess of Love, so that means she gets around. She knows lots of ponies around here…but she's not interested in cash. You'd have to be friends (or more~) with her to learn what she knows.
The boy is called Bronze Chisel. He's not that interesting from an informant point of view.
His talents lay elsewhere, as a priest of Love.

>>484684
Don nods.
"It's nothing but trouble around these parts. But I must be boring you. Which district do you live?"

>>484687
Deep Glass coughs in his drink. "Did you say Feline?"

484689

>>484687
"It's the best I could get."

>>484688
Snort amusedly at that.

484690

>>484688
"Yeah, what of it?"

>>484689
"It's an upgrade from Diamond, at least. You live alone?"

484691

>>484690
"Of course not. With my wife. That's why I wanted to move in the first place."

484692

>>484691
"Bet the lady appreciates moving out of this dump."

484693

>>484689
As does Don Juan.

>>484690
He looks to you.
"Like…as a merchant?"

484694

>>484688
"I have to start somewhere. Just knowing her could be useful."

"Take care, young man. If you ever find yourself in the my District, come stop by for a chat."

Prepare myself, make sure my clothes are in properly, and go ahead and introduce myself to Pink Marble.

"Hello, I'm Hokkaido, the lady of Mr. Diamond. I found myself wandering around here, and after a brief discussion with one of your priests, I wanted to come in and offer my thanks. He certainly knows how to talk to a lady in doubt."

484695

>>484693
Nod.
"Mango stand. It's how I lost my eye."

484696

>>484692
Smirk.
"You should have seen her face."

484697

>>484695
He nods quickly.
"I see…uh..I mean…I understand. No offense…uh what with the…uh…"
Don Juan cough and slowly shakes his head.
Deep stops talking.

>>484694
She gives you a hug '1d10+2'
"How nice to meet you. How are you feeling today?"

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10

484698

>>484697
"Exceptionally well. I was just wandering about, but now I'm rather grateful to have arrived by chance here."

484699

>>484697
Look at Don.
"How much did he have?"

484700

>>484696
"I think I can picture it. I know what it's like, living in a place like this."

>>484697
Let out a laugh.
"I'm just fucking with you. Don't get your panties in a bunch."

484701

>>484698
She smiles adorably.
"It was not by chance, those who need Love always find their way here."

>>484699
"You know him, he's been drinking since this morning."

>>484700
He chuckles nervously. "Heh, yeah yeah."
He takes another gulp of his beer.

PAUSE

484702

>>484701
"What's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost there."

484703

>>484701
Smile as best as I can.

"I guess… I just wanted to take the chance to show my gratitude, if you have the time for it. If you are ever in the Snake district, I'd love to chat some more. I'm staying at the hotel owned by Mister Diamond."

486138

>>484701
Where was I?

486139

>>484702
"I heard like…all sorts of crazy stuff about that district. Do you ever see one of them?"

>>484703
She gives you a wink.
"I'd love to get to know you~"

486140

486141

>>486139
"Oh yeah, they're all over. Only thing is that you can't actually see them. They're just passing shades. Sometimes they like to play games on ponies passing through. Hunting them for fun."

486143

>>486140
"Well now, this place seems like the busy kind.
I bet a good 'injection of capital' could turn it around…"

486145

>>486141
"Doesn't sound like that much fun to me, to hurt innocents like that."

486146

>>486145
I shrug.
"It's just a game, nobody gets hurt. They move stuff around and try not to get seen. To test their skills."

486147

>>486146
"Creepy."

486150

>>486147
"Yeah. You get used to it though. At least they're not out to rob me."

486154

>>486143
The chef looks up.
"Sir?"

>>486145
Deep laughs nervously.
"I'm surprised you take it that lightly…they creep me out."

>>486145
Don Juan nods

486156

>>486150
"How can you know?"

>>486154
Shrug.
"I try not to give it too much thought."

486163

>>486154
"What if somedonkey wanted to…
Help you out?
For a fair price, of course."

486164

>>486156
"Because I haven't been robbed once? Oh sure, sometimes I could swear there's a mango less than there was a minute before but I'm not going to cry over that. I haven't been raped, mugged or murdered yet, which is a real achievement in Vilitus."

>>486154
"Oh you should be. They could be watching you at any moment. Ready to kill you if somepony wants you dead. You'd be dead before you hit the ground."

486167

>>486163
"What kind of price would this donkey ask?"

>>486156
"Right. It's just a job for those guys, like any oth-"

>>486164
He drops his glass and gets out of his chair.
"DON'T SAY SHIT LIKE THAT."
Don Juan turns to him in surprise.
"Deep, what the fuck is wrong with you?"

486168

>>486167
I smirk.
"Or maybe they're not even hiding at all. Maybe they're just sitting in plain sight. Just because they can."

486169

>>486164
"It really is. I wonder what keeps this place running."

>>486167
Glance at him.
"Calm down Deep."

486170

>>486169
"Those bugs keep things running, that's who. Steer clear of them. They're more dangerous than any damn shadow."

486172

>>486167
"A few free meals.
A safe heaven.
Some basic stuff."
Smirk.

486173

>>486170
"I never planned to get near them."

486176

>>486173
"Good boy."

486177

>>486168
>>486169
"I'm fine. I…I need to get some air."
Deep trots out.
Don Juan looks up.
"I should go talk to him, this is weird.
Even for Deep."
He gets up and follows Deep.

>>486172
"Well, it would be an honor to work with such a generous investor."

486178

>>486177
Sigh.
"Some friends, huh?"

486179

>>486177
Motion with a hoof around.
"I'll buy it."
Smirk.
We can skip ahead for me.

486181

>>486179
I'm not moving on this session.
Maybe you could go recruit a spymaster?

486182

>>486178
I laugh.
"Maybe this is my cue to leave then."
Finish up my mug.
"Swing by feline sometime, it's really not so bad."

486183

>>486181
It'd require a lot of infos first…
Well, let's get a saferoom in here first.

486186

>>486182
"Would that I could, but I have my hooves full as it is."

486187

>>486183
Sounds fine.

A few days later….
You send a team of trusted contractors to create your lair.
What kind of lair are talking about here?
Give me some details.
Above or underground?
Defenses?
Luxurious?

486188

>>486186
"Yeah I'm sure."
Get up and start walking out.
"But if you ever need a mango or mango accessories, you know who to call."
I snicker and leave. Where is that guy?

486190

>>486188
"I will."
Damn it.
Get myself a beer.

486191

>>486187
I was just thinking of turning the freezer of the restaurant into a saferoom…

How much coin on my hands are we talking about?

486196

>>486191
You've got more than enough.
Your problem is time to make it without catching attention.
You wouldn't be able to make an entire underground base but a few rooms and perhaps even an escape tunnel are acceptable.
I'll roll for quality of the work, if you tell me what exactly you want.

>>486188
He seems to be talking to Don Juan outside.
He's shouting loudly while Juan tries to calm him down.

>>486190
Friends like those huh?
What would be wrong with Deep?
He was always a bit weird, but not this weird.

486198

>>486196
Pfffft.
Slip into Stealth and try to eavesdrop unnoticed.

Roll #1 6 = 6

486199

>>486196
Follow them outside after I got my booze.

486200

>>486196
First I'd buy some old mansion, and restructure it.
Then place a one-use teleporter to a panic room built underground.
Use the mansion to be nefarious in general.

486204

>>486198
You're stealthed, see next post.

>>486199
You get some booze.
Don Juan: "You're not making any sense Deep."
Deep: "Listen, I know this sounds crazy but you've got to believe me…they've been following me, I've seen them all over…"

>>486200
You can buy an old mansion in the Aurora district. Consider it done.
The panic room is underneath the restaurant?

486206

>>486204
Underneath the mansion.

486208

>>486204
Well now… Just continue listening in.

486209

>>486204
Take a loooong swing of the drink, then to Deep.
"Do I need to slap some sense into you?"

486217

>>486206
So….what you're doing with the restaurant?

>>486208
>>486209
He looks towards Grey.
"Grey please. Listen, I'm sure there are some of them…maybe even right here."

486220

>>486217
"And what if there are? You are a grown stallion, for fuck's sake. We worked as dogcatchers for a while together. You handled rabid dogs biting and scratching but you are going to shit your pants over some guys hiding in the dark?"

486221

>>486217
Good question.
I'm not really in the mindset for this.
It requires a lot of planning I am not really willing to deal with right now.

486228

>>486217
I just smirk.
… Just to be sure though. Spotcheck.

Roll #1 5 = 5

486229

>>486221
Uh….faffing with one of your bitches? Valentine or maybe even Firethorn?

>>486220
Don Juan nods.
"You haven't been doing more than drinking, have you Deep?"
"WHAT?!? Don, you know I stopped with that shit, years ago…"

>>486228
You don't see anything. But you are stalking him right now….

486230

>>486229
True, but still…
Keep observing.

486231

>>486229
Put a hoof on his shoulder.
"Deep…"

486233

>>486229
It'd feel like a waste of time. I'm just too distracted, you know?

486234

>>486233
So nothing then tonight?

486237

>>486230
>>486231
Deep seems really nervous.

486238

>>486237
"Calm.
Down.
You're making us concerned, okay? Maybe we should just get you home tonight. You had enough I think."

486241

>>486237
This guy…

486242

>>486238
"Huh….right…right…Grey…I'm sorry, bro."

486244

>>486242
"Don't worry about it."
Sigh.
"Let's just head home now. Come on."
Usher him to start moving, and follow close by.

486246

>>486244
Follow from the shadows.

486247

>>486244
>>486246

You get him home pretty fast.
He goes to bed.
Don Juan shakes his head.
"That Deep…I love him but…sometimes I just want to beat the shit out of him, you know."

486249

>>486247
Nod at him.
"You're not alone.
But we just got to deal with his issues, that's all. It's not like he's a bad guy."

486253

>>486247
Hue hue hue~
The things I could do here… But nah.
Enough time wasted here. Let's go check out the Snake district. I think that's where that guy moved to.

486256

>>486249
He nods.
"He isn't…he just can't help him himself sometime.
I'm sorry you had to deal with this…you've got too much on your mind already."

>>486253
The Snake district is a whirling district full of quiet streets, gardens, playgrounds, fancy restaurants and lotsa guards.

486258

>>486256
"I can handle it.
I guess alcohol isn't the solution after all, is it?"
Snort.

486259

>>486256
Fucking guards. Dammit. I'm allergic to those!
Get out!
Back to feline! What time is it?
Maybe I could poke around Arabland.

486277

>>486258
"Nah, but it helps."
He grins.

>>486259
And there you go.
Late in the afternoon.

PAUSE

486278

>>486277
Nod at Deep's house and start walking away… somewhere.
"Sure does."

486281

>>486277
Goody.
Let's poke around the area around that building where all those heathens are hanging out.

Roll #1 9 = 9

487305

>>486278
Roll.

>>486281
The building seems abandoned.
Then again, the whole neighbourhood would seem abandoned to those who don't know better.
You discover a small crevice near one of the sides. Maybe you could try to climb in through there.

487306

>>487305
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAYhNHhxN0A

Let's do it. Squeeze myself inside that gaping slit.

Roll #1 7 = 7

487308

>>487305
'1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

487331

>>487306
You manage to squeeze through fine.
You come out in a storage room. Nothing too fancy, some cleaning products and brooms, the door is closed.
You don't hear anything outside it.

>>487308
You end up walking randomly into the Snake District. You see a not too shabby house for sale in the outskirts of the District.
Check it out?

487333

>>487331
Look through the keyhole if possible. If not, just carefully open up the door and sneak out. Stay alert.

Roll #1 2 = 2

487339

>>487331
Of course!

487342

>>487333
Somepony passes around the corner.
Hide (you may add a +2 to this roll for being stealthy)

>>487339
You knock and an older pony opens up.
"Yes?"

487344

>>487342
BE THE NIGHT

Roll #1 2 + 2 = 4

487349

>>487342
"Good day. I hope I am not bothering, I'm here to ask about the house."

487353

>>487344
You close the door a bit too fast.
There's somepony coming fast.
You may either automatically escape now.
Or try a surprise attack (add +2 to basic attack roll. Does not work for skills.)

>>487349
"Ah yes, come in, come in."
He holds the door open for you.

487355

>>487353
Run!
Find a new place to hide!

487359

>>487353
"Thank you."
Enter and look around.

487364

>>487355
I didn't specify this but the automatic one is going outside again. the crevice will be covered up and you won't be getting back in through here. Continue?

>>487359
It's a house about as big as your old one. But far older, in a good way.
It has that stately feel. High ceilings, large rooms. Even a heartfire in the living room for those comfy winter nights that never happen in Vilitus.

487366

>>487364
Can't I roll to run and hide somewhere else?
If not, then yes. I will leave and try to find a new spot to enter.

Roll #1 5 = 5

487369

>>487364
Not bad… Is the number of the rooms the same?

487374

>>487366
It's a small room, no room to hide here, especially from trained stealth specialists.
The only other entrances you see are the windows the arabian mare went through last time.

>>487369
Let's see.
I think the last place had about 5 rooms.
Rooms here '1d4+3'
"There's also something really nice you might want to see."
He guides you towards the cellar.
"A cool cellar, perfect to store wine."

Roll #1 4 + 3 = 7

487376

>>487374
Fuck it, let's try. Live free or die hard.

Roll #1 4 = 4

487382

>>487374
That's a real nice big house!
Follow him.
"I'm more of a tea fan, but I guess it's time I start collecting wine too."
I chuckle.

487411

>>487376
You look through the window.
There's nopony there.

The door is closed.

>>487382
"It's a worthwhile hobby. And it helps making friends in this part of town."

487415

>>487411
"I see. Anything else? Might we see the kitchen?"

487416

>>487411
Open the window and slink inside. Let's try to stick to the shadows once again. Stealth.

Roll #1 2 = 2

487422

>>487415
"Of course."
He leads you to a small kitchen.
Not too fancy, but it looks like most of the necessary appliances are there.

>>487416
You stick to the shadows, unfortunately there's already somepony there.
A shadow grips you and pushes you into a room.
It's the Arabian mare who locks the door.
"By the 7 Stars, how did you get in here."
She seems angry.

487426

>>487422
FUCK
IS THERE A WINDOW I CAN BAIL FROM?
"Uh…"

Roll #1 5 = 5

487427

>>487422
How's the layout? Would the sun be able to shine in enough in the morning?

487431

>>487427
'1d10'

>>487426
Yes, but it's up high.
Only a really good jump would save you, you'd be caught easily if you miss.
"Do you have any idea what sort of mess you got into? What's wrong with you?"

Roll #1 9 = 9

487433

>>487427
Loadsa sun in the morning
Sunny house

487435

>>487426
I'm guessing no.
Take a few steps back and put some distance between us.

>>487431
"What mess? I'm just poking around."
Look around.
"This your brothel?"

487439

>>487433
"I like it a lot so far…
So, how much?"

487447

>>487435
She twitches.
"You're here. I'm the only reason you're still alive and still you're mocking me? You have no honor?"

>>487439
"A small price really. Yes, siree a true bargain."

PAUSE

487450

>>487447
"I left it in Trotantium."
I laugh.
"Seriously though, did I come in at the wrong time? Is this one of your weird holy grounds where mares aren't allowed or something?"

488700

>>487450
She holds her head sideways.
"You really have no clue, do you? I just have to shout and 20 stallions will storm in here, capture you and nopony will ever find a piece of you again."
She snorts.
"Is that what you want?"

488701

>>488700
"Twenty? I'm not a fan of orgies, so I'd rather not."

488702

>>488701
She stomps her hoof.
"Is this some kind of game to you?!?"

488703

>>488702
Take another step back.
"Not at all. Now stop being so loud, those stallions are going to hear us. Don't you know anything about being stealthy?"

488704

The place here, we should pimp it out.
The restaurant I mean.
Make it my official meeting place. The face of my operation.

488705

>>488703
"Oh I'll make sure they hear us if you don't shut your whore mouth right now!"

>>488704
You arrange for some construction crews to come along.
They'll spruce up the place. Make it look nice and official, meanwhile they also put in some custom constructions. A few rooms underneath the restaurant to hide and plan, a secondary entrance to the side of the restaurant to sneakily get in and out, listening crystals in the decorations to listen in on conversations going on.
It will take a few days to finish.
The chef knows a bit about your constructions but supposedly could be trusted since you're paying his salary after all.
Unless that's not good enough? Kill him?

488706

>>488705
I nod and grin, watching her in silence.

488707

>>488705
The chef?
But why!
I love to cook.
We should cook together, a day or two.
Give him a raise.

488708

>>488706
She snorts again.
"You didn't see anything here, got that?"

>>488707
Well he certainly likes you now.
Best boss ever.
Things are going smoothly for your operations.
You find a large deserted mansion in the Aurora District and make to buy the property and start sprucing it up.
Meanwhile I suppose you spend your nights still at the Inn.
It is there, a few days later that we find you again, as you wake in the middle of the night to find your windows open.

488709

>>488708
Goddamnit this is too soon!

Get a feel for the dagger under my pillow and scan the room for a mind.
'1d10+2'

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5

488710

>>488708
Keep watching her with a grin.
"Of course I didn't."

488711

>>488709
The dagger is not under your pillow.
You look to find it impaled in the wall, not too far from where you slept a few seconds ago.
"If I came here to kill you, I'd have done so already." says a voice from the shadows.

>>488710
She steps closer to you and grabs you.
"I'm not kidding around, you slut. You didn't see nothing and I better never see you here again." She hisses seething with anger.

488712

>>488711
"Seems like I will have to be more harsh on my staff."
Smirk towards the voice.

488713

>>488711
"Slut? Hey now, I'm not the one insisting on grabbing ponies. You doing this because you want to grope my flanks?"
I move closer to her ear and whisper.
"You little pervert."

488714

>>488712
"Good employees are so hard to come by these days.".

>>488713
"Just. Get. Out.
Or I'll put my hoof so far up your butt you won't trot for a year."

488715

>>488714
"Indeed.
But at least they are loyal."

488716

>>488714
"Really? Again with the sexual implications? You've got twenty stallions to choose from, mare. If you're that frustrated, just ask one of them for a rutting. I'm not into mares, sorry."
I smile and casually extend a hoof to her.
"My name's Ambrosia. What about yours?"

488717

>>488715
"Are you sure?"

>>488716
She pauses, astonished for a second.
"….If I shake your hoof, will you leave?"

488718

>>488717
Time to call Shell from this room.
'1d10+2'

Come to me. Danger.

"Sure enough."
Keep the smirk.

Roll #1 5 + 2 = 7

488719

>>488717
I shrug.
"Can't stay here forever after all. A pony needs to sleep and eat, you know. Hey that reminds me, you got anything to eat lying around here? I was thinking about raiding your food larder, but seeing how you don't want me around…"
I look her over.
"… What's your name again?"

488720

>>488718
Out of the shadows flies a piece of paper and lands next to you, on it are 3 names.
"Traitors. All 3 of them work for Duke Diamond. Have them shadowed, you'll see for yourself soon enough. If you want more, put 2 candles near your window before you go to sleep."
Silence again.
Slow Shell stomps open the room with sword ready and 2 henches at your side.
They have candles to light the room but there's no one here except you.
"What's going on, boss?"

>>488719
"You arrogant little…"
She moves closer and whispers with barely contained anger.
"Since you're obviously new I'll make this clear to you. If any of my associates here find you, they'll drag you to the dungeons below and me with you. Once you're there they'll slowly tear you from limb to limb, you'll spend the rest of your little life in perpetual agony until there's nothing left of the arrogant slut you are. Only then they'll kill you, chop you up to pieces and feed the pieces to the dogs so nopony will ever find a trace of you.
They might do the same to me, since I know you must have followed me here. But they might not kill me, I might spend the next few months in isolation, I might have to work years to get back in good standing, but they might not kill me.
So what's it going to be, Ambrosia or whatever your name is, are you going to leave through that window, or are we going to face the fireworks together?"

488721

>>488720
Look at the piece of paper.
Do I recognize the names on this?
"Bring me two candles."

488722

>>488720
"I'd rather that not happen to me, so I'm inclined to leave."
Tap my hoof against my chin as I think.
"Your friends are terrible hosts, you know that? If you're that afraid, let's just leave together and hit the pub for some beers. They wont kill you for that, will they?"

488723

>>488721
You recognize 1, one of the thugs you hired.
The other 2 might be underlings hired by some of your servants, you don't know their names.
Slow Shell nods towards one of the thugs who quickly does as ordered.

>>488722
She looks you over, seizing you up.
"Sickle, Silver Sickle is my name. Now go, I'll find you…if I'm interested in that kind of thing."

488724

>>488723
"Where are the others, Shell?"

488725

>>488723
"Nice. Vulture district, this evening at 7? Deal. You better be there, I haven't spoken to an Easterner in far too long."
Let's get out of here then. Through the window.

488726

>>488724
"Working on the mansion and the restaurant mostly. Do I need to gather them all?"

>>488725
She's silent.
You're out, timewarp to the evening?

488727

>>488726
"No. I want you to point me to the sneakiest of ours."

488728

>>488726
There's a few other things I could do first, but yeah, let's just warp.

488729

>>488728
No pls, let's do some more stuff.
Really, I still need to do Wfs thing.
The more the merrier.

>>488727
He scratches his head.
"Uh….I met a bunch of smugglers yesterday, it's their job to make sure they are unseen. We could use them."

488730

>>488729
"Good.
Pay them plenty to keep their mouth shut and come here."
Motion at the others.
"You can leave now."

Then explain him the whole thing.

488731

>>488729
Right. Find Whisper then, let's hope he's not out on a mission.

488732

>>488730
He looks over the names himself.
"Shit….I know those names, one is one of the guys we hired and the other 2. Well I had a run-in with them since they were acting oddly. But their leader assured me they could be trusted….that was that same guy now I think about it."

>>488731
He's working on papers back in the Bureau.
"Yes?"


>>488731

488733

>>488732
"Hey, whatcha doing?~"

488734

>>488732
"We have a benefactor it seems.
What do you think is his angle?"

488735

>>488733
"The most exciting part of the job, paperwork."

>>488734
"I'm not sure…he wants to show us we can trust him…and that he can do a job…maybe he wants money?"

488736

>>488735
"Paperwork? … Exactly what kind of paperwork? Mission reports?"

488737

>>488735
"Well be ready for later tonight.
I'm calling him back.
Oh, and say, do you remember that sweetie, Firethorn?
I might just need a necromancer.
No idea how much will be left once I'm done with the guy."

488738

>>488736
"Mission reports, scout reports, news reports, inventory, all sorts of orders, etc. You don't think all these weapons and food get restocked magically do you? Or that our archives write themselves?"

>>488737
"I'll make sure to call her.
Shall I have those smugglers shadow the ponies on that paper?"

488739

>>488738
Nod at the mention of the smugglers.
"Call her? Oh no, that would be extremely rude.
We go meet her in person, my friend."

488740

>>488738
"Nah. I'm painfully familiar with bureaucratic shit already. Just figured somepony else took care of that."
Watch him write for a moment.
"Saw more of those Saddle-Arabians today."

488741

>>488739
"As you wish."
Go over to Firethorn?

>>488740
"The Master insists we do it ourselves."
He looks up at your mention of Arabians.
"Did you now? Those Immortals?" He says the last part mockingly.

488742

>>488741
"Mmmhm. Not a fan of them, are you?"

488743

>>488741
Nah.
I need to make another stop first.
Gotta stack up on 'tools'.
The kind of tools a smith would not have the stomach to forge.

488744

>>488742
"I try not to get too friendly with the competition."

>>488743
Not a regular smith, but there are all sorts of smiths in dark alleys with very strong stomachs.

488745

>>488744
And a chair too. Made of magic-conductive material.
Always healing the one sitting on it, but extremely receptive to any spell cast upon it.
And with strong bonds.
I think this would be enough.
Into the restaurant's basement it goes.

488746

>>488744
I shrug.
"Guess I'm more of a 'keeping private life and business separated' type of pony then. I'm hitting the pub with one of them later today. I've got the entire day off right?"

488747

>>488746
"You do. You sure you want to spend it with the pony who almost killed you a few days ago?"
He says without looking up.

>>488745
And…there it is.
So what do we do first? See what the smugglers came up with or put up the candles?

488748

>>488747
Smugglers report.
Take them in a private room with a large table and sit on the side by the windows.
I like my mansion.

488749

>>488747
"I'm a very forgiving pony, Whisp."

488750

>>488748
They're a bunch of dirty ponies, donks and zebras. But they seem quite glad to be here.
The half finished rooms still under construction must seem like heaven compared to their usual place.
"We followed dem ponies, milord."

>>488749
"Apparently….Just do me the favor, don't slip anything about us, and if she slips anything about them, you tell me."

488751

>>488750
Have Shell talk in my stead.

Tell them to go on.

488752

>>488750
I laugh.
"I promise I wont tell her where your secret porn stashes are hidden."

488753

>>488751
Slow Shell coughs.
"Go on."
"We saw the leader of them try to send a message away. One of the underlings acted like a messenger. He slipped that message to one of the Snake District guards. Don't know about the second underling. But we only checked for just one day. But there's definately something fishy going on."

>>488752
"Good, if anypony ever touched that collection, I might just feed you to the dogs."

488754

>>488753
What kind of message? Written, spoken, coded?

488755

>>488753
I give him a fake pout.
"I thought you loved me…"

488756

>>488754
Slow Shell asks.
"We didn't intercept the message. We were ordered to look, not to steal."

>>488755
"Sorry baby, I'm married to my job. And I'm faithful."

488757

>>488756
"I've heard stallions say the same thing before. They were usually turned out to be the biggest perverts of them all."

488758

>>488756
Open my mouth to talk.
"That's enough.
You can go."

Now…

The messanger will disappear tonight.

488759

>>488758
Once they're gone, Slow Shell nods.
"Just the messenger? Shouldn't we have a talk with their leader and the second one as well? Just in case?"

>>488757
"You sound like you have lots of experience with that."

488760

>>488759
I look a little sour.
"I'm sure you know how things go for stupid young mares on the streets."

488761

>>488759
"One low grade soldier, nobody minds him if he disappears.
I don't want to give ourselves away.
Not so soon.
But I want to make him suffer for opposing me…"
Grimace with a shimmer in my eyes.

488762

>>488761
Shell nods.

>>488760
He pauses writing and looks up.

PAUSE

488763

>>488762
"… Forget I said anything. Is the boss around?"

488766

>>488763
"In his office, as always."

488767

>>488766
"Right. Anything else you want from me? … You know, we should grab a few beers some day as well. When we're both free. I bet you're a funny drunk."

488770

>>488762
Time to have a chat with that little pony.
Have him brought to the secret chamber in the night.

488771

>>488767
"Tomorrow maybe. I'll tell you about that time I infiltrated the Celestial temple full of nuns, disguised as a statue."

>>488770
At night…
You patiently wait at the restaurant until a struggling pony is brought in. There's a bag tied around his head to make sure he can't recognize his surroundings and he's tied up tightly. The thugs put him on the chair and tie him down.
His breath is loud and fast. This will be fun.

488772

>>488771
"Oh right, you mentioned that one."
I pat him on the head.
"Good boy, it's a deal. See you!"
Let's go see the boss in his office then.

488773

>>488771
Indeed it will be.
But just to be quick and enjoy this as much as I can, read his mind.
Is he actually a spy?

Roll #1 3 + 2 = 5

488774

>>488773
Reroll for time's sake.

Roll #1 8 + 2 = 10

488777

>>488773
>>488774
His thoughts are chaotic but you clearly see him delivering messages to known thugs working for Diamond.

>>488772
He shakes his head as you trot away and gets back to his notes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D5PED2o_sk
The Master is sitting on his cushions smoking a hookah.
"What brings you here?"

488779

>>488777
"Curiosity, mostly. About that little scene I encountered in the sewers."

488780

>>488777
Good.
What was his name again?
Sit a few meters from him, wicked smile on my face.
Leave the sack on.
"Hi."
Motion one of my ponies to punch him.

488784

>>488779
"In our line of work curiosity is a dangerous trait."

>>488780
He gets punched in the jaw. You hear the sound of bone cracking and a muffled scream.
"Just stop. Please stop…"

488787

>>488784
"Really, curiosity is always a dangerous trait. Still, I'm just wondering whether or not you've learned anything more about it."

488788

>>488784
"Stop? We haven't even begun.
It was just a punch.
Can't a strong guy like you take that?"

488794

>>488787
"I have."

>>488788
"Go to Tartarus, whoever you are!"

488796

>>488794
I flutter my eyelashes and give him a innocent look.

488800

>>488794
"No doubt that's the place that awaits me."
Nod to the others, they can leave.
I just want Shell in here.
Time to start working on the traitor…

488801

>>488796
The Masters expression doesn't change even a little.

>>488800
They leave.
Slow Shell takes his place near the door.
Blocking all possible escape and hoof on his new axe.
"Who the fuck are you?" says the traitor.

488803

>>488801
He's tied to the chair, no?
"The donkey you had the not-so-wise idea to cross."
Recline the chair before he's even able to talk and start.
Waterboard him.
'1d10'

Roll #1 3 = 3

488804

>>488801
"No dice then? Fine, I know when to back down. Sorry for wasting your time then."
Leave. Guess we can skip ahead now to the evening.

488809

>>488804
You try to leave.
"Echo. I did not give you permission to leave."
The Master points towards the cushions before him.
"Sit."

>>488803
He is.
He manages to keep his lips tight shut though.
Quite impressive actually.

488810

>>488809
Turn around and walk over to settle myself on the cushion.

488811

>>488809
This is just the warmup.
I haven't even asked a question yet.
And it's hard to talk while drowning.
Now, keep him upside down and finally remove the sack from his head.
"Hello there, [insert his name here]."
Smile.
"How much?"

488817

>>488810
There's a few moments of silence between the both of you.
"You have been performing quite well, Echo. Your training is progressing rapidly.
Yet, training you in the shadow arts is not enough. To become a true assassin you require discipline, maturity, a sense of duty.
Virtues you lack."

>>488810
Right, his name is Low Brow."
"What how much?" he sounds confused.

488819

>>488817
Pour the whole water canister over his face.
"How much they pay you."

488820

>>488817
"Fair enough. I can't exactly deny I'm not the most disciplined or dutiful of ponies. Maturity though? Really?"

488823

>>488819
"Look you've got the wrong guy. I don't know what you're talking about."

>>488820
"We do not work here with big teams for each mission. Every agent in the field is expected to carry their own weight, to correctly appraise and respond to any situation.
This requires maturity and experience."

488826

>>488823
"Experience requires time. But maturity? … Do you think I lack it because I don't appear to take things seriously enough?"

488828

>>488823
Smile wickedly.
"There's just a certain… Something, to torture.
Isn't there?
Even knowing all that goes on your mind…"
Choose one of the instruments.
'1d10'

Roll #1 10 = 10

488831

>>488826
"Are you saying that's a wrong impression then?"

>>488828
"You're a sick fuck, you know that! Everypony told me that you were a sick fuck, but you're even worse than I imagined."
How about the tongue shears to rip out a tongue, that hurts or maybe the crocodile shears to tear of those bits he won't need anymore?
Of course the lighting and fire elemental rod is always a classic.

488836

>>488831
"Is it? Who I am during my private time isn't the same pony that I am while I'm doing a mission. I think I have the right to be myself when not at work. In a fucked up city like this, I need something to take my mind off of things. Otherwise I'll just become another pile of misery, devoid of emotion like those empty husks in the changeling hives."

488838

>>488831
'1d3'

Roll #1 3 = 3

488840

>>488836
Rods it is!

488842

>>488836
"It is extremely difficult to keep private time and professional time seperate in our line.
It simply bleeds through.
We all have to deal with that in our way.
If you say that your way works for you, I will not interfere as long as you get results.
But I know from experience that that way usually doesn't work forever."

>>488838
>>488840
You start with a good electric shock.
He screams in agony.

488844

>>488842
"I want to know-"
Again.
"-everything."

488847

>>488842
"At least I can enjoy it while it lasts. And hell, one day I'll have to retire. That or I'll die. Remains to be seen which one of the two will end up happening."

488851

>>488847
"You speak very lightly about death."

>>488844
More screaming.
"This guy, the griffon (memo: the other leader thug on the list of names is a griffon), he paid me a lot of bits to pass messages."

488852

>>488851
"Believe me, I have no intentions on dying. The very thought scares the shit out of me. But what am I supposed to do? Death is part of the Natural cycle. There's just no way around that."

488853

>>488851
"Poor, poor boy."
Okay, time to call it quit.
"Shell, you can leave."

Keep this going all. Night. Long.
And try to learn their modus operandi.
'1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

488856

>>488852
He nods.
"As for your question, I can tell you that I've identified the runes as similar to a set of runes found in the temples of the Scarab District.
So I believe this is the work of some kind of extremistic cult.
That's all you need to now.
Anything else?"

>>488853
Shell leaves.
The whole night is one long agony for the guy before you send him screaming and insane to the afterlife. The guardians of the afterlife will have a field day getting this guy back together.

He didn't know much. His employers made sure he couldn't spill too much. But you do know the place where the messengers meet up with Diamonds thugs.

488857

>>488856
"Nope. Thank you for sharing… and understanding."

488860

>>488857
"You're free to leave." he simply says.

488862

>>488860
"Right."
Now, let's skip ahead to the evening. Wear some casual clothing, but be sure to take my old dagger with me.

488866

>>488862
You find yourself in the Vulture District.
Roll for perception.

488867

>>488866
Be aware!

Roll #1 8 = 8

488869

>>488867
You quickly notice Silver Sickle approaching, she's wearing a more casual attire as well.
A set of blue robes, decorated with numerous small arabian trinkets.
"Hello again…Ambrosia."

488873

>>488869
I smirk.
"Well well, good to see you again too. I was just thinking… you are allowed to drink right? Otherwise we might be in for a boring evening."

488874

>>488873
"You're not implying that just because I'm Saddle-Arabian that must mean I follow all tenets of the 7 stars? Pony islam"

488876

>>488874
"Actually, that's exactly I'm implying. It's been a while since I last spoke to one of you, so maybe things have changed a little."

488878

>>488876
"If I were that kind of mare, you wouldn't see me here in Vilitus, I'd probably be taking care of my foals back in Saddle-Arabia."

488880

I should tell Morgana about that perfect house I found

488883

>>488878
I shrug.
"Unless you're part of a harem and were brought along with your husband or something. Hey, I've seen that kind of stuff happen before!"
Let's find a place to drink.

Roll #1 9 = 9

488885

>>488856
Fine. Time to put up those candles.
In the meanwhile, feed false info to the gryphon.

488889

>>488880
Next session.

>>488883
"I know a place."
She brings you to a bar called the Fata Morgana.
It seems to be a rather boring old bar at first sight.
But she drags you through a door marked "Private" which leads to a stairs and another door guarded by a large bouncer.
Inside soft lounge music is playing, there are lots of soft seats, a richly decorated bar, and a lot of sexily dressed waitresses walking around.
"This is such a good place, in most places some idiot tries to pick you up every few seconds. Here with all the bouncers, you can actually talk in peace."

>>488885
Let's meet up with stealthy voice next time.

PAUSE

488890

>>488889
"Not too shabby indeed. Heh, remind me to break into places more often."
I look around and spot the waitresses.
"Too bad there's no stallions walking around in the same attire."

489072

>>488890
She chuckles.
"I'm sure they can supply whatever you need if you ask."

489074

>>489072
"Hmmm… alright. Let's order something first though. How'd you find this nice little place?"
Try to catch the attention from one of the waiter ponies.

489077

>>489074
She goes to sit down at the bar.
"Oh everypony knows about this place, well everypony important anyway."
She points at a tall mare talking to one of the customers.
"That's Morgana, the owner of this place, she has a lot of influence in Vilitus."

489080

>>489077
"Is that so?"
Order a mug of brown ale if at all possible.
"Guess I'm not important then. I'll just cry myself to sleep tonight with that piece of knowledge on my mind."

489085

>>489080
You get a mug of brown ale
"Oh poor dear. Don't worry, I'm sure there's still a bright future for you as secretary if you keep slutting around like that."
She gets a glass of rum

489087

>>489085
"You're a really vicious mare, you know that? Calling me names like that, didn't one of your mommies teach you to be more polite than that?"
Drink. Let's taste this stuff.

Roll #1 2 = 2

489249

>>489087
It's pretty strong, you're getting pretty tipsy already.
"They were too busy being not there."
She takes a swig of her rhum.

489250

>>489249
"Mmmm… I figured you were a gutter rat. You've got that look in your eyes."

489251

Boop

489252

>>486139
Suppress blushing, keep it cool Crystal Pony. [1d10]

"Thank you for accepting my offer, but I should be off now. I've lived here for a bit now, but I am still not quite familiar with the city. Any place you would recommend I visit?"

Roll #1 6 = 6

489253

>>489252
You keep your dignified appearance intact.
"If I were you, I'd go talk to Morgana, at the Fata Morgana in the Vulture District.
Her family has lived in Vilitus for more than a century and she knows many, many ponies and things around here.
When you go in the bar, go through a door marked "Private", nopony will stop you, and you'll get to the real bar. You should find her there."

>>489251
Uuuuuuuhhhhh…. You wanted to talk to Morgana about the house right?

>>489250
"It's a hard life. Saddle-Arabia isn't the best place to live on the streets."

489254

>>489253
"Thank you for your time and suggestion. Have a wonderful day."

Offer a courtesy bow and step out into the light and towards the vulture district.

489255

489256

>>489253
Nod at that.
"Neither is Trotantium. But it sure as heck beats Vilitus."
Take another swig '1d10'

Roll #1 1 = 1

489257

>>489254
"Have a nice day yourself.
And you're always welcome, cutie~"
The Vulture District is rough, rowdy and smelly as always.
You ignore the occasional whistling from less dignified stallions and manage to find a large ancient stately building with a withered sign "Fata Morgana".
The inside is rather small and cheap, with wooden chairs and tables.
A small mare is cleaning some glasses at the bar and a few old stallions are smoking their pipes.
There's a door marked "Private" on the other side of the bar.

>>489255
You arrive again at the Fata Morgana.
One of Morganas girls asks you to wait at the bar, since Morgana is occupied with important matters for a little while longer.

>>489256
You're drunk as shit.
"It's no joke around here…even worse than Saddle-Arabia to live on the streets here.
I had to do it for a little while when I got taken here. Before I found a new job."

489258

>>489257
Order a Hot Toddy as usual then and wait.

489259

>>489257
Try not to slur '1d10'
"Shit… how'd you… manage? With all those bugs. And stuff."

Roll #1 10 = 10

489260

>>489257
"Alright Hokkaido, you have to do this."

Head in through the private door and take a look around.

489261

>>489259
"The bugs? Shit, they weren't my worst problem when I got here.
Sure, there are some of them in the sewers, and let me tell you, when they take somepony those are never seen again.
But it was more the ponies chasing me at the time I was afraid of.
You see, I came here on board of one of the slave ships. I managed to get out and sneak out while they were anchoring here. Suffice to say they didn't like that when they found out."
She takes another swig of her rum.

>>489258
The fuck? There's a pony entering unlike any you've ever seen before.
A mare, and she's all shiny like. Like she is made of crystal.
She attracts a lot of attention.

>>489260
You go through a small corridor and enter a richly decorated bar. Soft music fills the room and you see this is definately a gentlestallions club. A few sexy clothed waitresses are carrying drinks around while a singer is performing on stage.
More than a few heads turn when you enter.
You must be the first crystal pony they saw ever.

489262

>>489261
Rub my eyes.
I didn't even drink that much…

489263

>>489261
"Hold on… slave? You're an ex-slave? When they'd capture you?"

489264

>>489261
Keep my cool and head towards the bar. I'll order something small and light that I can see the bartender prepare before me.

Hold off on the direct questions and look around. What do these other ponies look like? Have I seen them before in my district?

489265

>>489262
Well you can see her up close now.
She comes to sit next to you at the bar.

>>489264
You order a light fruity cocktail.
Most of them you've never seen before.
They look like the more wealthy visitors of Vilitus, captains and businessponies mostly.
One of them stands out amongst the rest.
The stallion next to you. He seems a bit different from the rest.

>>489263
"While I was on the streets in Saddle-Arabia, I was what you'd call an easy target. They brought me here with a bunch of others."

489266

>>489265
Squint my eyes, then sigh.
"The stress must be getting to me. I really should stop drinking on top of that."

489267

>>489265
>>489266
Smile.

"Go ahead and take another sip. You aren't drunk, and you aren't the first to say that when first meeting me. But you can make up for your disbelief by getting me another drink to make up for such a lousy introduction, Mister …?"

Take a drink from the fruity cocktail.

489268

>>489265
"What a bunch of fucking bastards… guess I got it luckier than you then. I just lived it out… stole food… sold myself when things got hard during a war… ran with gangs. Shit, at least it was all by choice!"
Drunkenly lean forward and try to hug her without just falling onto the floor.
"I'm sorry mare! I'm sorry! Fffffuck!"

Roll #1 3 = 3

489269

>>489267
"Grey Leg.
I'm sorry if I insulted you by staring, I didn't mean it."
Let out a short laugh.
"And as much as I'd love to get you a drink, I'm afraid I'm a bit short on money I can spend on charity right now. Will you still tell me what exactly makes you look like that though?"

489270

>>489269
"Me? I'm just another pony who ventured out of a recently-liberated kingdom you may have heard about, hoping to find her treasure in this world."

Take a drink.

"Perhaps I could have made a few better choices earlier, but sometimes we have to make jewelry out of more difficult gems. It's rare for me to meet someone so upfront, so how about you share next and I'll consider your debt paid?"

Is Hokkaido getting tipsy from this little thing? [1d10]

Roll #1 2 = 2

489271

>>489270
She is.

>>489268
What an awkward drunk hug.
Silver Sickle is torn between cringing and genuine appreciation.
She settles on patting your shoulder.
"T-thanks but really I'm quite happy I got to Vilitus. In the end."

489272

>>489270
"You won't find much treasure here."
I sip of my drink as well.
"That's a fair deal. I live in this town. Have been for a good long while. I'm here at this bar because I want to speak with somepony who would allow me to get a better view out of my window when waking up.

I still don't know your name though."

489273

>>489271
"Alright… Alright…"
Take a few deep breaths and calm down.
"Jus' stay calm Ambrosia… don't get all emotional again."
Push away the mug of ale.

489274

>>489271
Head and hooves on the table, then. Don't want to show these ponies what a shattered Crystal Pony looks like.

>>489272
"It's considered good manners for the stallion to offer his name first, but I'll make an exception. I am Hokkaido, rather recent arrival to Vilitus and hoping to claim my future from it. If you ever happen to find yourself in the Snake district, come talk to me again."

"Now, might you offer me your name and the name of the one you are waiting for? We can chat in the meantime."

489275

>>489274
"My name is Grey Leg, as I said before. I was not refering to the color of my coat."
Chuckle.
"In fact, I'm hoping I'll be finding myself in Snake District very soon. That's why I'm here to talk with Morgana."

489276

>>489273
"So how did you get here?"

489277

>>489274
Good thing your shinyness detracts from your drunkenness

489278

>>489276
Lick my lips and look at her unevenly.
"Boat… I think."

489279

>>489275
Open my eyes at that.

"She seems to be rather popular today. I was simply invited to speak with her, but if she can help you move to there… Tell me, what is it that you seek there? I'll admit that it is a very nice place."



>>489277
"Shush, you. I'm trying to have a simple conversation here."

489280

>>489278
She chuckles.
"You think? You sure you wouldn't rather have a nice cup of tea?"

>>489279
How dreadfully boring.
Maybe I should start a fire around here or something to liven the place up.

489281

>>489279
"It's nothing in partiucular. I found a house that is much better than the one I own in Diamond District. And I had enough of living there. It's not safe anymore these days."

489282

>>489280
"No no… I wasn't… really there. 'Woke up' in Vilitus."
Rub my head with a pained expression.

489283

>>489280
"Me running for my life to start anew won't help me or whatever plans you have boiling in your head, Dear. So try to enjoy the basic things of existence."

>>489281
"That is a good reason to move out. So many ponies cling to old ways and things, even if it drags them to the bottom of a furnace to be forgotten and burnt away to nothing. So Mister Grey Leg, what do you do for a living? The Snake District is nice, but it does come with its own set of costs."

489284

>>489282
"You'll have to be a little more clear. You're speaking in riddles now."

>>489283
Pffft. Like you have a clue about the basic things of existence.

489285

>>489284
"I was… found. Uh… right, found! Encased in rock at the bottom of a river… 300 years old. Somepony dumped me there. Turns out some smartypants figured I wasn't a statue eventually and… unfroze me."

489286

>>489283
"As my friend would say, I'm a jack of all trades, master of none. I take any occasionaly works I can, which is mostly fixing things that break all the time in Diamond. Used to work as a skinner, but the pound had to close."

489287

>>489284
"Shame on me for assuming so much, but you've probably been so consumed with your machinations, you probably forget to even enjoy a simple drink like this. Or are you living vicariously through me?"

>>489286
"Well then, I must presume that such a career brought you to many ponies in the know, since you are here now and thinking about moving up. So, how about I offer my own deal? I have considerable authority at the hotel I'm staying at, and I can see to it that you get a consistent job there. Someone doesn't end up here without knowing a few important people, and I'd like to see if I can find a few more here who I can rely on. What do you say?"

489288

>>489287
"I think you misunderstood me. It's not hard for me to find jobs, the jobs find me. I wasn't complaining, because it doesn't get monotone at least. And I have regular day offs."

489289

>>489288
"A freelancer who gets the jobs piled on, you must be really good at your job. The offer stands, since you seem to be making yourself a better catch, but I can see if I can offer a job here or there if you ever need it."

Take another sip and try to keep from slurring too much. [1d10]

"You're quite intriguing Mister Leg, and I would like to meet you again if you do move there."

Roll #1 5 = 5

489290

>>489289
I nod.
"I will keep that in mind. And I'm sure we might run into each other. The world is small in Vilitus, after all."

489292

>>489285
"So wait, you're 300 years old?!?"

>>489287
A bit of both and none.

>>489290
After a little while Morgana arrives from one of the side chambers, putting her dress in order quickly.
"Sorry to keep you waiting, Grey." She says with a smile while she trots to you.

489294

>>489292
Smile back.
"No big problem. I had company at least."

489296

>>489292
"Uh… yeah, something like that… or something. Maybe 330? Don't really know my exact birthdate."

489299

489301

>>489294
She looks the crystal pony over.
"I see, I'll be right with you, miss. Please have a drink on the house."
She motions for you to follow her.

>>489296
"Wow….I never met somepony of 330 years old before, I think. You look quite good for a granny."
She grins.

489304

>>489301
And follow her I do.

489307

>>489301
"Well… I was petrified into stone for most of it… It felt like being asleep for a long time… except I didn't dream."
I burp loudly.
"'scuse me… I guess stone keeps the skin young or something? I don't know."

489308

>>489304
You enter a room.
She motions you to sit on a chair, while she goes to sit on the bed.
"So how's it going? Are the doctors treating Green well?"

>>489307
"How weird. Do you remember how it happened?"

489309

>>489308
Sit.
"Yes. She is getting better by the second. I'm very thankful, but there's something else I want to ask you about…"

489310

>>489308
I scrunch up in anger and slam a hoof down onto the bar.
"Yeah, that fucking whore stabbed me, that's what! With a speshul enchanted dagger of… of… petrification or something. Stab somepony with it and that pony turns to solid fucking rock immediately… like with those cocks… uh… cockatrishes or whatever."

489316

>>489309
"I'm all ears."

>>489310
She thinks for a second.
"Right, I know what you mean. I saw one of those before. In the Vulture District somewhere."

489317

>>489316
"One of those cocks, you mean?"

489320

>>489316
"I saw a really great house over in Snake district…"
Sigh.

489321

>>489317
"I'm sure you'd find plenty of those in the Vulture District as well.
Two of those daggers of petrification, in a small antique shop."

489324

>>489320
She nods.

489326

>>489324
"And I want to move in there. With Green."

489327

>>489321
"Well there you go! You ever want to turn into stone, be dumped into a river and brought back three centuries later, you know where to go!"

489332

>>489326
"I see…."
She sighs.
"Give me an adress. I'll have to talk to Mr. Chill.
But, Grey, you know what this could mean right?
Chill is not the one to hoof out freebies."
She looks worried.

>>489327
"I'd keep it in mind. But really, I'd love to have one if they really work as good as you say."

489333

>>489332
Nod. I must have written the adress down, levitate the paper over to her.
"Whatever it takes."

489334

>>489332
"That's the thing. It was mine. And she used my own weapon against me. Heh. I wish I could kill that cunt."

489344

>>489333
She grabs it and looks at it.
"Grey, we've known each other for a very long time now. And it's been good, I hope I've been a good…friend as well as a business partner.
And as a friend…I'd ask you to reconsider this.
Green…she doesn't need a new house, she needs you most of all."

>>489334
"Too bad we don't have any time travel spells huh. Well, except maybe Ahrimina."
She orders another shot rum, and keeps the bottle.

489346

>>489344
I yawn.
"Ah-who-a?"

489349

>>489344
"You've been nothing but good for me, Morgana. But I must do this. She… She wants a kid. And Diamond is no place for that. She'll get better, I'll make through whatever I'll have to do to pay this, and we'll be living happily after that."

489351

>>489346
She takes another sip.
"Right I keep forgetting you don't know shit about this place."
She talks a bit lower.
"Okay, you know what the Triumvirate is, right?"

>>489349
She sighs.
"It's your choice….Just give the word and I'll go talk to him.
He'll do it, I'm sure of it, but he'll make sure you pay him back….."

489354

>>489351
"Bug central?"

489356

>>489351
"I would go to Hell and back for Green. This is to make her happy.
I know what I'm getting into, Morgana."

489361

>>489354
"You could say that. The 3 Queens that live in the Oasis. Anyway, not much is known about them.
Their names are supposedly Wadjet, Ahrimina and Umbra.
Wadjet has the biggest hive and does most of the soldiering.
Umbra sends her scouts far and wide.
And Ahrimina….she's a Queen interested in magic.
She supposedly has a great Library in her hive, even bigger than the one in Canterlot and Trotantium combined."

>>489356
She nods sadly.
"You're a good pony, Grey. She's very lucky to have you."

489363

>>489361
I roll my eyes.
"Those parasites can't write, let alone read. I'll believe it when I see it."

489368

>>489361
"I hear that a lot."
Smile.
"But why should we be sad? I'll have to make a new-house party soon, and you're invited."

489369

>>489363
"That's what I heard. And don't worry about it, neither you or me will ever see it."

>>489368
"Oh, I'll try to make it, but you know how hectic things can get here. Sometimes I get the feeling like this whole place would fall apart without me here."

489370

>>489369
"We all have our own set of problems, but at least we can we happy while we solve them."

489371

>>489369
"Good. They should all just burn."
Let out an angry snort and take another swig from my ale without thinking. '1d10'
"You know you're really not that bad without that mask on. Much less of a uptight cunt and all that. It's nice."

Roll #1 2 = 2

489373

>>489371
"You're still a huge cunt off the job.
But somehow the nice type of huge cunt."

>>489370
"That's true. What's the story of that Crystal Pony out there?"

489377

>>489373
"We… should do this more often. Don't really have anypony else to get drunk with. Tell me a bit more about good old Arabia. How's it doing these days?"

489379

>>489373
"She came to make a living in Vilitus, the poor, misguided girl."

489388

>>489379
"She did? Well, I'll need to have a chat with her then."

>>489377
"Arabia? Same old, same old. Only now ponies are printing newspapers instead of having shouters in the streets.
Arabia clings too much to the old traditions of the 7 Stars to evolve."

489391

>>489388
"And you're not a religious type yourself at all, it seems. Interesting."

489392

>>489388
"That's why she is here, from what I heard."

489393

>>489391
"What's so interesting about it?"

>>489392
"Ah, smart pony she is, she knows who to talk to."
She winks with a grin.

PAUSE

489394

>>489393
"It's interesting to see one of you arab ponies that isn't a goddamn maniac about their religion."

489955

>>489394
"Most of those maniacs are the biggest hypocrites ever. The 7 Star Path has some good tenets but most of the Preachers don't follow them.
There's corruption and all that bullshit everywhere."

489957

>>489393
Smile back.
"She sure does."

489959

>>489955
"So what?"
I lean in closer, still looking at her unevenly
"Religion isn't about how the others around you follow it… it's about how you choose to follow it yourself! I mean fuck, there were these two… morons talking about how love inspired Mother Mature to create that patch of green in Vilitus. That's bullshit, but if they wanna believe it… that's their business. Fuck 'em. I do my own thing."

489961

>>489292
"A bit is still pretty good, dear. Why don't you regale me with stories of your adventures? Might put me in a mood to help, if you tell me the right ones…"

489962

>>489957
"I'll try to get a meeting arranged with Chill soon.
I'll send a message to tell you how it went."
She pauses for a second.
"How are you holding up?"

>>489959
"Maybe that's easy for you. But in Saddle Arabia we grow up with it.
It's not that easy to put behind you."

489963

>>489962
"You still did it anyway."

489965

>>489962
"Worried…. it's been a long time since she had to go to the hospital for anything but the regular checkups, the medicine was working wonders…"

489966

>>489963
"Sorta. I'm not as devout as the ponies in Saddle-Arabia. But I still try to keep it in honor."

>>489965
She sighs.
"Maybe she's been feeling a bit more stressed lately. These kind of things usually get worse during times like that.
But I'm sure things will get to normal soon."

489967

>>489966
"I hope. The next few weeks won't be easy on either of us, I'm afraid."

489968

>>489966
"Good gal."
Lean back and pat her on the mane… if she's not too high up for me to do that.
"You know I still ought to thank you."

489969

>>489967
"Just keep your head straight.
Focus on the little things, the big things will usually solve themselves."

>>489961
Do you want to talk to Morgana now?

>>489968
She chuckles.
"For what?"

489970

>>489969
"When did I ever lose my head?"

489972

>>489969
"For not letting me get ripped to pieces by a bunch of dogs… or whatever it was that you told me. And this was after I beat your ass. I figured you'd hold a grudge for that."

489973

>>489969
"She's busy with her other friend still. But uou, my dear, you seem like a far more interesting subject."

Ask the waiter for the second drink.

489974

>>489970
She smiles.
"I guess you got me there."

>>489972
She takes another sip from her rum.
"I suppose you followed me back to my…residence, right? That's how you found us?"

>>489973
You know, dear. I could just rip apart time for a second and have the future happen right now.
It's a bit messy, but it works.
The barkeep hoofs you another cocktail

489975

>>489974
"I did.
Curiosity is a vice."
I smirk.

489977

>>489974
"Oh, such a strong voice inside my head. How could I ever think of not obeying your whims. Tell me then, what is it that you want? What you really want. You spend all this time in my head that I don't have to tell you what it is I seek, but a little exchange could improve relations, dearie."

489978

>>489975
"Well you'd be doing me a huge fucking favor if you don't come back. So you can all us even."

>>489977
I want to see some entertainment.
To make sure my players are satisfied.

489979

>>489974
"Sometimes I feel it's a curse to be not as careless as my friends. I have to keep them from losing theirs too."
Shake my head with a chuckle.
"The things I do for love."

489980

>>489978
"Sure. But in return, we should go drinking more often."
Rub my head.
"Next time, I'm ordering a different drink though."

489981

>>489978
"Well, you know a lady like me likes her sparklies. It's all I'll have after I had to run off over here."

Take another sip.

"In the end, after all you machinations and prophecies are done with, will I be happy with you, or will I be another doll of yours that lays forgotten?"

489983

>>489979
"We do a lot of crazy things for the people we love.
But I feel that in the end, it's worth it."

>>489980
"You should try some of the rum. I love it."

>>489981
I'm sure you'll be completely satisfied if you stick around.

489984

>>489983
"Of course it is.
Wouldn't life my life any other way."

489985

>>489983
"You mean that you haven't been drinking apple juice the entire evening? Damn."

489986

>>489983
" Oh ho ho, now this is going to a place I like. Why can't you be this talkative on most other nights and days? I'd be more willing to act in your favor if you let me in more often, honey."

489988

>>489986
I do not need you acting in my favor.
I need you to act.
Any action you make I can twist in my favor if I so desire it.

>>489984
"Can I help in another way?"

>>489985
She grins.
"If this was apple juice, I'd be eating apples all day."

489989

>>489988
"Ooooh, I bet you would. Still where'd you learn to drink?"

489990

>>489988
"I don't know… do you know a book club in Snake District?"

489991

>>489988
"Such a proud, strong Voice in my head. Do you tell that to all the ladies you inhabit?"

489994

>>489990
"A book club…come to think of it, there is one there. Near that restaurant, Manehattan Dining or something it's called. Just a few houses next to it."

>>489991
So now you're trying to seduce the voice in your head? I figured you were getting desperate.

>>489989
"Right here in Vilitus. They frown upon alcohol in Arabia."

489995

>>489994
"You think you could help Tea get into it? You know how much she loves books."

489997

>>489994
"You must be a male to think this is seduction. This is just idle lady chat. Maybe if you talked to other voices in other people's heads you'd understand."

"How about you do your favorite trick. This bartender, he looks like a nice enough fellow to talk up, what can you say about him? He does look pretty cute?"

[1d10]

Roll #1 6 = 6

489998

>>489995
"I doubt a club like that has so much members they'll deny her. But still, if they give her trouble, I can pull some strings I'm sure."

>>489997
He's a changeling. But I guess he's a pretty cute changeling.
And that dashing disguise is to die for, I agree.
And that moustache, oh."

489999

>>489998
"Thanks. I'm sure she'll fit in nice though. She's too sweet not to."

490000

>>489998
"For once Mister Voice, I agree."

One last sip then look at the bartender and smile. "Bravo, young uhh, whatever you choose to be. Your skills with the drink are simply divine."

490002

>>489999
"I'm sure she'll enjoy it. It would be good for her to finally get outside the house a bit. She was withering away in the Diamond District."

>>490000
"Thank you miss. What brings you here?"
He says in a deep voice, while cleaning a few glasses.

490004

>>490002
"Yes, that's why I had this idea… but I would have been afraid for her there."

490005

>>490002
"A new friend of mine suggested I come here. As you might know, a lady likes to be in the know, or at least know some she can trust her secrets too. Miss Morganna was highly recommended, so much so that I thought I should take the time to meet her myself."

490007

>>490004
"Who wouldn't? The Diamond District is not a place for ponies like her."

>>490005
"She's talking to a fr-..oh wait she's there."
You see Morgana walking towards you.
"Hello, my apologies to keep you waiting.
I had some business to attend to. I trust my staff took good care of you while you waited?"

490008

>>490007
"See, that's exactly why I wanted to move.
Especially after this."

490011

>>490007
"Their skills are simply wonderful. Even a light drink was almost able to floor me. You must be proud of them."

"Excuse me, where are my manners? I'm Hokkaido, of the Snake District. A recent friend mentioned that I should meet you, and thought it a wonderful idea. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

490013

>>490008
"I understand that…but the Snake District is such a heavy cost. You could come to the Vulture District. I know a place not too far from here.
And it's not that bad here."

>>490011
"I am Morgana, owner of this fine establishment. Such a joy to meet you. I had heard there was a crystal pony in the company of Mr Diamond lately."

490015

>>490013
"I won't die if I'll have to work a bit harder or take less day offs."

490016

>>490013
"That is correct. Mr. Diamond took a shine to me, and I've been helping him in his endeavors at the nearby hotel by taking care of all the preparations and staff. As much as I rely on my, unusual, appearance, I must be able to offer other skills if I want to achieve my own dreams."

490018

>>490015
"Well, I suppose I can't convince you otherwise then…"

>>490016
"A lady who has her own dreams and aspirations and not afraid to get her hooves dirty? Good, we need more of those."

PAUSE

490120

>>489994
"They frown upon everything fun, to be fair."
I snicker.
"No offense."

491632

>>490120
"It's true…in a way. Parties in Saddle-Arabia where mares and stallions are seperated aren't that fun."

491636

>>491632
"Of course they're not, you dumb-dumb! You can't even waggle your ass at a stallion and have him buy drinks for you!"

491639

>>491636
She giggles.
"You'd be surprised how creative some mares can be though. Even those wearing a burka.
The only thing the stallions can see are the eyes and the hooves, and the mares make sure to make those look extra, extra nice.
And the occasional little meeting in a sidehall. It has its charms in a way."
She drinks another rum.
"Well, if you've never known anything else."

491642

>>491639
"I can't believe some ponies walk around with that tablecloth covering their entire body. That must really affect your ability to move around quickly."
I sigh and grasp my head with my hooves, letting out a groan.
"Tomorrow morning is going to be awful."

491644

>>491642
"Drink some Tailroot tea with a tiny bit of Flutterdust mixed in before you go to sleep.
It will taste like hell but you'll feel fresh in the morning."

491645

>>491644
"I don't even know what those are…"

491646

>>491645
"Just ask an alchemist about it, he'll give you what you need."

491648

>>491646
"Mmmm… I will. This recipe of yours better not fuck me over though!"

491649

>>491648
"Oh it's not a pleasant one. You'll feel really bad for about…5 seconds. Then you'll fall asleep and you'll be fit in the morning.
And uh….try to be in range of a bucket when you take it."

491651

>>491649
"Well as long as it doesn't give me diarrhea I'll gladly take that over a hangover while at work."
Stand up and try not to stumble. '1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

491652

>>491651
You get up pretty nicely.
Your companion gets up as well.
"Time to go home, I guess."

491654

>>491652
"Yyyyup."
Lean onto her.
"We're doing this again sometime soon. Don't you forget that!"

491658

>>491654
"Ambrosia, you're drunk."
She leans onto you as you walk into the cool evening.

491659

>>491658
"I may be drunk… but at least I'm not ugly as you are! Hah!"
Snicker and look around, do I remember the way back 'home'?

Roll #1 5 = 5

491662

>>491659
Vaguely.
"Hey, kid, Feline is that way." She points towards the north and tries to move you that way.

491663

>>491662
"Kid? You watch your damn mouth! I was born before your grandmother!"
Start moving toward Feline then.

491664

>>491663
Roll for what 2 drunk mares might meet at night in Vilitus while walking home.

491665

>>491664
'1d10'

Roll #1 9 = 9

491667

>>491665
A carriage stops next to you.
Out of the window peeks a richly dressed older stallion.
"Excuse me ladies, might I offer you a ride? It is dangerous to walk these streets alone at night."

491669

>>491667
"I'd offer you a ride instead, but I'm not neaaaarly drunk enough to do stuff like that again."
I laugh and look at Silver Sickle.
"Whaddya think, Silver?"

491673

>>491669
Sickle chuckles at your comment.
"Eh, my hooves hurt, I'll take that offer."
The carriage door opens for the both of you and Sickle climbs in.
There are very comfortable seats inside, with rich Corinthean Leather.
The older pony simply nods at you. "Where to?"

491677

>>491673
Climb in as well.
"Nice seats. Feline please."

491682

>>491677
The carriage starts moving
"Ah, you're one of the Shadowdancers from the Feline District?"
Sickle nods.
"That's an old term…but yes."

491689

>>491682
"I don't dance, no. Last time I did, some ponies called the guards."

491694

>>491689
Sickle bumps you.
"It's an old term referring to the assassins of the Feline District. Because we move so silent and unseen."
She turns to the older pony.
"But I have not heard that term in a while. My mentor only mentioned it was used in the older days."
The pony nods.
"I have been in Vilitus for quite a long time."

491699

>>491694
"That's kind of pretentious sounding."
Look at the old nigga.
"Was it always this… shitty?"

491704

>>491699
Sickle giggles.
"Ponies took everything more serious in those days."
The pony shakes his head.
"It seems to go in cycles. Why, about 30 years ago even the Diamond District was an pleasurable place to live. However, about 30 years before that it was an even worse dump than it is currently.
Perhaps the Queens want it so for some reason beyond our understanding."

491705

>>491704
"Ups and downs, huh? That's nice."

491707

>>491705
"Isn't it that way with everything in life?"

491708

>>491707
"Yeah, except it isn't as methodical as you make it sound…"

491713

>>491708
"Untrue. There are larger patterns to all of life. Most ponies merely ignore them, to avoid seeing the true picture."

491718

>>491713
"Are you saying the flow of life is being controlled by something? I guess Mother Nature works with patterns as well, but some things are still random."

491726

>>491718
"Such as?"

491728

>>491726
"Death."

491737

>>491728
"Many ponies believe in the concept of fate. That our life and thus our deaths are largely decided for us. You speak of Mother Nature.
She governs in her own way the birth and life of all plants and animals. Do you think it unreasonable that she governs their death as well?"

491744

>>491737
"She governs all, as far as I'm concerned. But Mother Nature is neutral. Fate is not something that exists in my eyes. She has a way of creating patterns, like seasons and shit… but not everything is patterned."

491748

>>491744
"You like to think that. But that doesn't necessarily make it true."

491751

>>491748
"Doesn't make it necessarily untrue either!"

491755

>>491751
"I suppose that's true."
He looks out of the window.
Sickle chuckles.
"In Saddle Arabia, we say that our lives and dead are written in the stars."

491758

>>491755
"I think I've heard of that before… Sounds a bit megalomanic to me."

491763

>>491758
"I see it as humbling actually. It implies we are merely tiny ponies compared to the cosmic..uh…things." she laughs.
The older pony listens as well.

491764

>>491763
"Yeah but… you really think the stars give a shit about a bunch of ponies?"

491766

>>491764
"How am I supposed to know what stars think about? They must be doing something. It must be pretty boring out there in that black stuff and having the Moon and the Sun push you around all the time. They might look down and say let's mess a bit with those ponies down there."
She chuckles.
"Well I would."

491773

>>491766
"Maybe… holy shit, get this… what if… stars are little holes mother nature uses to spy on us?"

491775

>>491773
She blinks.
"You really think Mother Nature has that many eyes?"

491779

>>491775
"Maybe… or maybe she switches holes to look at the world from different angles!"

491781

>>491779
She looks at you "Woah…"
The old pony chuckles.

491782

>>491781
"What's so funny? This could be a whole new breakthrough on understanding the universe!"

491785

>>491782
"It is quite amusing to see you both talk like this.
The Universe is far weirder than even that."

491788

>>491785
"And how do you know that, huh?"

491792

>>491788
"I've seen it. Experienced it."
The carriage suddenly seems very quiet.

491794

>>491792
Give him an odd look.
"How?"

491803

>>491794
"There are gates…gates that lead to the reality beyond this one. Enter one and your life shall never be the same again. For then you will have glimpsed. Merely glimpsed at what lies behind this thin veil. I studied it, for years. Went there many times…."
He grows silent again.

491804

>>491803
"Gates. Really. Hey, take us to one of them gates, I'd like to see behind reality!"

491808

>>491804
"We are already here."
The carriage stops and the older pony trots out.
You look out to see you're in the Scarab district. The Temple to the Sun and the Moon and the shrine of Discord are close by.

The old pony ignores both and slowly walks to an alley. He stops without looking back, waiting.
Sickle looks out as well. "Okaaay, this is creepy."

491809

>>491808
"Come on, let's go to creepy town!"
Jump out and trot over to the old pone.

491812

>>491809
"Right, not like he can hurt the two of us."
She follows you.
The older pony enters the alley and knocks on a door at the end.
The door opens and loud cheery music sounds inside. The older pony calmly walks in.

491814

>>491812
"Uh… that sounds like a party? Is this some kind of a surprise party?"
Peek inside as well

491817

>>491814
Holy shit it's a large hall with a large fucking party.
There's loud music, bright lights, tons of booze, cakes everywhere. And then you recognize the symbols of the Laughing One on all the walls.

The old pony calmly walks through the revellers. Some ponies who notice him give a quick greeting before continuing the party.
Sickle peeks in as well.
"Ooooooh, so it's here the Laughing followers come to party. I've been looking for this."

491822

>>491817
"Who?"

491823

>>491822
"The Laughing One. You know, the god of all parties?"

491826

>>491823
"Uh… Right! Sure."
Walk in and look around.
"Nice place but… not what I expected, really."

491829

>>491826
"Where did that guy go?"
You see the older pony has reached a door on the other end of the hall.
He opens it and walks in but doesn't shut the door.
The beer is flowing freely here on the other hand. Free food, all the pleasure you can imagine.

491832

>>491829
Hey I'm drunk enough as it is! Follow him!
"There!"

491840

>>491832
You both walk in and the door shuts itself.
The same symbols of the Laughing One are hanging here. But in contrast to the party, these here are black.
"Many know the Laughing One as the god of parties. But those do not understand the true nature of him. Or why his worshippers party.
Not even most of his so-called followers do.
But here in the Inner Sanctum, the Laughing One offers you a chance to understand."

He motions to a large mirror on the wall.

491841

>>491840
"Uh… right…"
A… mirror?
Carefully approach it.

491843

>>491841
"It is your decision. If you'd rather leave and join the revellers outside you are free to leave.
The Laughing One is the Keeper of Secrets.
And once a secret is learned you cannot unlearn it…"

It looks like a normal mirror albeit very large.
Sickle walks towards it a bit wearily as well.

"This is your last chance to go back…
Gaze into it…or leave…"

491845

>>491843
"You've gotten me waaay too curious with all this talk to turn back now!"
Gaze… into it?

Roll #1 2 = 2

491846

>>491845
As you gaze into it, Your mirror image suddenly vanishes, as does the one of Sickle and the old pony.

PAUSE

491847

>>491846
"Whu… what? Am I a vampire?"

493449

>>491847
"Are you? There are many kinds of vampires…" says a soft voice from behind you.

493450

>>493449
"Alright then mister creepy, what's going on here? It's not a mirror anymore if it doesn't show a reflection."

493451

>>493450
You turn around and the room is empty.
No sign of Silver Sickle, nor the old pony.
The room still looks the same though.

493452

>>493451
Goddammit, I bet this is some sort of joke.
I stagger off to find those two again. '1d10'

Roll #1 5 = 5

493453

>>493452
You open the door and the great party hall you first entered is now completely empty. The colors on the walls have changed into a drab grey tint. It still shows the same decoration.
The comfortable cushions and tons of beer are gone though.
You can't see any sign like there's ever even been a party here.

493454

>>493453
Great. Anywhere else I can go to? Outside perhaps?

Roll #1 5 = 5

493455

>>493454
You go outside.
The nightsky has turned to an eerie grey color without stars, casting the whole city into a grey tint. A cold wind is blowing.
All sound has died down. You can't see anypony in the streets. Not even a rat. As you set a step forwars you step on something painful.
You lift your hoof to see a ten-sided die.

493456

>>493455
"… What the heck?"
This must be some kind of illusion. Or any old kind of mindfuck!
Pick up the die and inspect it.

Roll #1 6 = 6

493457

>>493456
It definately is something weird.
The die is red, has 10 sides, each one numbered white.
There doesn't seem to be anything too peculiar about it. Except that it is the only thing besides you that actually is colored right now.

493458

>>493457
… Roll the die?

Roll #1 3 = 3

493459

>>493458
The die rolls over the ground, it lands on 3.
It glows for a moment and start hearing hooves galloping fast towards you from behind.

493460

>>493459
Draw my blade and turn around!

493461

>>493460
It's a grey armored stallion, just as colorless as the rest of the city.

He looks at the die and then towards you.
"You are not supposed to be here, pony. Step aside."

493462

>>493461
Take a step aside.
"Sure thing, pal."

493463

>>493462
He grabs the die and starts trotting away again.

493464

>>493463
"Hey! I found that first! It's mine!"
Trot after him.

493465

>>493464
You gain on hom quick, he's not trotting that fast.
"It is not yours. It belongs to my master.
I am here to secure it once again.
"

493466

>>493465
"Oh yeah? And who's your master then, huh?"

493467

>>493466
"He has no name. Not one that can be comprehended by mortal minds anyway.
Some mortals refer to him as the Laughing One. But even that doesn't really describe him.
"

493468

>>493467
"Whoa there! Is this like… his world then? I wanna meet him!"

493469

>>493468
"You have already spoken to him. And he speaks to you always. Yet you will never be able to meet him. "

493470

>>493469
"Why not? How about I just follow you to him? Not like I got anything else to do in this place! It's all grey, boring and deserted!"

493471

>>493470
"You cannot meet him, because you speak to him all the time. It are his words that weave the world into existence, mold and change it. You cannot walk in the world without speaking to him. And I am not going to him. I merely return this tool to its proper place. It is a vital piece of the Grand Design.
And the world is supposed to be this way now. We're pausing.
"
He keeps trotting forward through all sorts of alleys.

493472

>>493471
"Pausing? What the hell are you implying? Just stop time? Then why aren't there any ponies? And what do you mean his words? These are my fucking words!"

493473

>>493472
"You will see soon."
He stops at a small home and opens the door to walk inside.

493474

>>493473
Follow.

493475

>>493474
You enter an enormously long hallway with thousands of different the doors.
The grey pony moves quickly and enters one of the doors.
You find yourself in a comfortable room with a heartfire. The walls are covered with red drapes. In the middle is a giant table. Next to it are 10 seats. One marked with a sun, the other with a moon, another with a heart, another with a tree and so on.
The table itself shows a board. On it are many different miniatures of ponies.
All of them are colored and most have bronze bases, 5 of them have silver bases and one a gold base.
The grey pony opens up a closet on the side and puts the die away.

493476

>>493475
"What's all this stuff!?"

493478

>>493476
"The Grand Game."

493485

>>490016
"Thank you for the praise, but it should be me who thanks you for taking the time to see me. You seem to be quite the sought after one."

493486

Where was I?

493487

>>493485
"As head of the Merchants Guild of the Vulture District I have lots of ponies vying for my time. But that doesn't mean I don't have time for new visitors."

>>493486
Tonight

493491

>>493487
"If you are the head of the Merchant's Guild, then I must praise your abilities. It's no exaggeration that I've been awed by the cities size and scope. If you are the one who brings in the goods and services, you've done a marvelous job."

493493

>>493491
"You've certainly have a silver tongue. That is something important to have in this city.
What brings you to my establisment?"

493494

>>493493
"I'll be straight. I've been looking for a few more ponies I can put my trust in. The reason I left the Crystal Kingdom, while something I intend to keep to myself, I partially attribute to having no one I could confide in. As such, I vowed to try and find that wherever I ended up. I won't run away with my tail between my legs again. I have something I decided to acquire on my own, and I hope I can come to confide in you."

493498

>>493478
"What?"

493501

>>493494
"As we say here, I rub your back, you rub mine. I'm sure an alliance between to confident mares such as ourselves can only yield benefits."

>>493498
"The Game. This is where the gods play their games. The bronze miniatures are the lesser pawns, the silver ones important, the gold ones are special because the Laughing One talks to them directly."

493505

>>493501
Look at these pawns.
"You have got to be kidding me! This has to be a damn joke!"

493506

>>493505
The grey knight gets a broom and starts cleaning the place.
"The Laughing One says the same all the time. He doesn't take the game too seriously. Some of the others can get pretty worked up at times. Tirek especially."

493507

>>493506
"Tirek!?"

493508