The Vilitian Desert stretches to the more forgiving San Palomino Desert of Equestria in the north and the Crescent Wasteland of Saddle Arabia in the south.
Old mares say that the Vilitian Desert is unnatural, a dry wasteland created by dark forces beyond comprehension in an age long past and that those forces still linger underneath the sand, preying on those foolish enough to venture into their domain.
The Vilitian desert is not a sea of white sand but an ugly brown waste. Here and there rocks and even small trees can be found, but these oases of life are a death trap for the unwary traveler for elemental beasts and monsters make these their home.
You'll leave before dawn. The maps and information you collected should make this trip quite easy and barring terrible misfortune you should be able to reach Ra'Drihur, the supposed resting place of the weapon used against the Triumvirate.
>>584068 Muk hats light, but if you keep him in your saddlebag for the journey that should work. In the afternoon, even in your saddlebag he might fry however. If you left him here he would grow feral again since you're not there to control him, but you could lock him away if you like, he'd be safe.
>>584071 Water, weapons, rations. The staff recommends taking some Red Guards with you to protect you. But that would compromise your cover.
>>584070 Many-Legged Spider as found dead in an alley in the Snake District this morning. Red Guard officials are unwilling to comment on the situation as of printing. An anonymous source claims that shortly before his death, damning evidence came to light that he was involved in filly molestation. It is suspected he was killed by somepony wanting revenge. A noble mare from the Snake District says "I don't condone violence, but think of the children! Our streets are safer now with that creep gone."
>>584115 >>584116 >>584117 >>584118 The sun is rising and it seems with every minute the temperature is increasing. The thought of being exposed to this scorching heat at noon is unbearable. You make quick progress however. Rustlefeather quickly guides you to Desolate Rock. It is one huge pointed rock in the middle of a wide open wasteland. Underneath it is a bit of shade. Rustlefeather checks the place before motioning for all of you to come. "Good, it's still an hour before we reach the ruins. But we're doing good so far. Let's take a little rest before moving on again."
>>584126 "You can find some dead trees from time to time. Even a few live ones near small pools of water. But overall? Rocks, more rocks, sand, more sand. It is amazing anything can live here. Look, let me show you something, grab a bit of sand."
>>584134 You let is go from your hooves, but small black pieces keep sticking to your hoof. They look like large black specks of sand. "Weird stuff isn't it? It gives this desert its more brownish look. Put that stuff in a pot with your favorite plant and in a few days the plant will die."
>>584138 "Possibly. Some ponies say that they poisoned the desert to make it even more deadly to hostile armies trying to cross it. Less plants to eat, you know. But that doesn't make sense to me. Old reports of the desert already describe it that way in the earliest days of the Triumvirate. Unless they found some way to spread that stuff all over the desert during those days I doubt it could be them."
>>584139 You've heard about the stuff in the desert. It's called Locust Dust, you don't know more than what Rustlefeather just told you.
>>584140 "Imagine one of those. But their body is made of solid onyx, and they're on fire. And then you've got a good idea what they look like."
>>584141 "Neither do I. Perhaps this desert was lush and fertile once, but that would have been a very long time ago. This stuff can only be found here as far as I know. It's what sets the Vilitian desert apart from San Palomino."
>>584143 "Save that energy for later. You're gonna need it."
>>584145 "It's even in the City you know. The big shots in Aurora have to dig out the ground before they can even start building their fancy gardens. It's what makes the Scar more amazing. It doesn't seem affected by this stuff."
"The city has some fields in the Bee District but it needs constant magic to keep it fertile. Most of the food is imported from other places. The pockets of the Triumvirate go deep. You guys ever heard of the Treasure?"
>>584153 Of course, it's an urban legend of desert explorers. That the Triumvirate has a gigantic vault underneath the Oasis filled with gold would be logical, since they can afford to buy slaves on a daily basis. The desert explorers claim there's more to it however. They claim that the Triumvirate not only has a lot of gold, but actually have a machine that creates gold.
>>584154 "Not that one. Lots of treasures around here. And nopony that has seen them." He laughs bitterly.
>>584175 >>584176 >>584177 >>584179 You go into the desert again. After 30 minutes, Rustlefeather stops you. He makes a motion to be very still and then points to a small mount a bit further. "A buried giant scorpion." he says. "We'd better try to go around it." Roll for taking a very sneaky way around it.
Another 30 minutes pass and then it comes into view. You had expected it more grand probably. What you see is just a couple of columns sticking out of the sand. But Rustlefeather quickly shows you a tunnel amidst the columns and rubble. There's a dark stairs down. "I just wanted to say, if we don't make it out of here alive, it was a pleasure knowing you all." says Rustlefeather.
You've entered the dark tunnel and lighted some torches. You emerge into a large antechamber. The architecture looks Fillilonian. There are 3 passage, a main one north (not pictured on the picture), one left and one right leading into smaller chambers. There are several skeletons of Changelings on the ground here.
>>584320 "Yes, this is it…I remember it like it was yesterday. The main chamber should be up ahead and then we're close to the Lemarian site. I didn't find anything but rubble in the smaller chambers to left and right."
>>584335 "When you're ready." North, left small chamber, right small chamber?
>>584333 Despite the withering there's enough for you to make sense of it. The pillars attribute the building of this temple to King Zerbaia the First, an ancient Fillilonian King. The temple was erected here to "cleanse away the Demons of Metal." Apparently the Fillilonians believed dedicating this temple to their gods would make these gods keep the demons at bay. There are several hymns to all the gods but especially the Sun and Moon. There's also a carving of a pony with a sun halo, flanked by two mares with a moon in their hooves, the sun stallion carries a crystal. There's also an etching of what you guess must be this room, it shows this room and the two smaller chambers, each the same size.
>>584343 The crystal has six sides. It shines with light. At least, on the engraving there's etchings that indicate light.
>>584348 "We explored the smaller chambers, but didn't notice anything there but rubble, then we went north. There's a large chamber up ahead, and then to the left it goes straight to the Lemarian site."
>>584346 You make an etching of the map of this room on the pillar, it looks like this! >
>>584359 >>584364 You move into the next northern chamber. > This one is large. The walls are covered with pictures of all kinds of ponies, the Fillilonian gods. Centrally there are 3 statues. The middle one is a stallion with his hooves outstretched as if holding something. Above him is a beam of sunlight from the ceiling. He is flanked by two mares, one on each side carrying the insignia of the moon.
"By the ancients.." exclaims Rustefeather. He walks to the right passage. "It collapsed, the stupid passage collapsed!"
In the first chamber: Ambrosia, Earthbound, Ruby and Zachiarias. In the Statue chamber: Deep Root and Melville
>>584397 >>584401 >>584402 Since you know there's one here you check thoroughly until you find the switch in a hole in the wall. The wall slides aside. Inside there is a table with some intact bags. The first one seems to contain healing powders. This should heal some wounds, there's enough for two portions. There's also another bag with powder. It seems to be an antivenom, enough for 2 portions as well.
>>584399 >>584399 You hear cracks coming from the other side, from the eastern small chamber.
>>584415 >>584417 >>584413 >>584412 As you all move back to the middle room (still the first picture) you see from the other end a Giant Scorpion slowly coming out of the eastern room. It hisses at you.
This one is large. The walls are covered with pictures of all kinds of ponies, the Fillilonian gods. Centrally there are 3 statues. The middle one is a stallion with his hooves outstretched as if holding something. Above him is a beam of sunlight from the ceiling. He is flanked by two mares, one on each side carrying the insignia of the moon.
>>584798 This one is large. The walls are covered with pictures of all kinds of ponies, the Fillilonian gods. Centrally there are 3 statues. The middle one is a stallion with his hooves outstretched as if holding something. Above him is a beam of sunlight from the ceiling. He is flanked by two mares, one on each side carrying the insignia of the moon.
The right passage which according to Rustlefeather leads directly to your goal has collapsed.
>>584799 The light scatters across the room, lighting up various points on the walls, but nothing happens.
>>584818 You open one up. There's a mummified pony corpse in there, buried with his sword. The sword is in bad condition, your stuff is better.
>>584819 As you expect the coffins hold servants and guards, companions on the journey to the afterlife. You find some bottles next to them, they are empty but smell foul. The corpses are well preserved. A testament to the art of mummification in ancient Fillilonia.
>>584822 >>584821 >>584823 "Ah, you see, this is an excellent example of ancient Fillilonian embalming. Just look at this glasswork, hundreds of years without a scratch. Well, we'll have the support staff carry it out once they arrive, best to head in deeper."
You emerge in yet another burial chamber. This one has more clutter all around. Opened chests, smashed vases. It is clear some other raiding party has been before you to loot all treasure. The tombs themselves look unscathed however. There is Fillilonian text on all of them. There's another passage to the north, a yellow light shines from it. >southern passage. You emerge in a small chamber. In the back is a large statue of a horned centaur, Tirek. In the middle is a circle etched in the floor with glowing runes. In the circle sits a creature made of shadow. Its form constantly changing, as it looks up and sees you, it becomes a pony. It sits up and it's hollow eyesockets stare at you. "Travellers…"
>>584839 >>584837 "Chirrzo bids you welcome, travellers. You need not fear me, I am bound to this place well and good." He slowly looks you over. "Hmmm, you are not those who summoned me here…perhaps you would be so kind as to finish the ritual they started?"
>>584839 A shadow dweller. A lower demon in the hierarchy of Tirek, but still powerful enough to cause havoc. They prefer dwelling in the darkness, whispering to unwitting ponies, twisting their minds for whatever purpose the demons see fit. It's rare to see one in the open like this. The glyphs on the floor bind it to this place.
>>584846 >>584847 "It's a simple matter really, one well within your capabilities. You seem far superior to those who brought me here. They had their petty squabbles interfere with more important concerns and left my summoning unfinished. I was promised release if I crushed the guardian spirits of this place. I have done so…yet I am here. If you're willing there's a crystal of great power further north…if you brought it here, I could be set free."
>>584863 You enter the northernmost chamber. More tombs. In the middle is a pedestal with a bright shining orange six-sided crystal. There's a passage to the east.
>>584871 >>584872 >>584870 >>584857 You're all still in the middle large burial chamber. Earthbound moved on north. You emerge in yet another burial chamber. This one has more clutter all around. Opened chests, smashed vases. It is clear some other raiding party has been before you to loot all treasure. The tombs themselves look unscathed however. There is Fillilonian text on all of them. There's another passage to the north, a yellow light shines from it.
>>584903 You follow the passage to the east and emerge into a circular room. There's another passage across the room. In the south is a platform high above. In the middle is a large statue of a mare holding flowers. The statue is spattered with goo and eggs are laid next to it. There are three Giant Scorpions here and several tunnels. They immediately attack as you enter, slashing you with their claws before you can defend yourself.
You are fighting 3 Giant Scorpions. Earthbound 1/6
>>584902 "The ones who summoned me here wanted me to crush the guardian spirits of this place. In return they promised me freedom, I have done my part, they have not."
-Crystal run- The crystal has been disturbed. A howl echoes throughout the temple and the dead are waking from their graves, intent on returning the crystal to its rightful place.
Rules >The pony holding the crystal is the courier. He must roll each turn to go towards the goal. >a courier can only roll to move not attack. Dropping the crystal is an automatic move. >If a dropped crystal is not picked up by a party member next turn it will be magically drawn again to its spot on the pedestal. >Each turn all non-attacked zombies in the chamber with the courier will attack the courier. >The courier must go all the way to the end of the black arrow, once you pass it and decide to bring it to the demon or the statue, the zombies will fade again.
Current status Courier: Northern Chamber All others: Demon Chamber Amount of zombies in the Northern chamber.
>>586852 >>586853 You start running towards the south. The 4 ancient Fillilonian mummies try to stop you but only manage to get a few glancing blows in you. Luckily your friends are arriving for help.
>>586859 >>586857 >>586855 >>586856 You all rush towards the northern chamber, in the mummy and middle chamber everything is fine however. Once you enter the Northern chamber you find Earthbound holding an orange crystal and trying to dodge 4 Fillilonian mummies. You may now engage combat.
Current status: Courier: Northern Room All others: Northern Room Nr of zombies in northern room: 4
Another rule I forgot to mention: >When you're in the same room as the courier, the courier may make a roll to pass the crystal to another PC who automatically catches it.
>>586861 You focus on one of them but the zombie bashes you with the hilt of his blade and continues towards the courier.
>>586862 You keep running. The next chamber is so close. You manage to only get a glancing blow from one of the zombies.
>>586863 The zombies are stronger than they look. One of them simply slams you aside to make way for his real target.
>>586864 You charge into the room, dodge the swipe of one of the zombies before planting your dagger firmly in its back. It staggers back.
>>586865 You kick one of the zombies back before delivering 3 precise blows to its abdomen. It staggers back. Meanwhile Sickle flips over one of the charging zombies and with a well placed strike cripples it.
Current status: Progress: 12/?? Courier: Northern Chamber All others: Northern Room Nr of zombies in northern room: 4
>>586868 Earthbound has reached the Middle chamber. As you step in you hear cracks and two more join the battle. The zombies from the previous chamber give chase and slash your leg.
>>586869 You go in for another attack but get rammed aside. You're helpless!
>>586870 You take out your greatsword and quickly strike back 2 of them. They're heavily wounded.
>>586871 As you try to strike a second time one of the zombies grabs you by surprise from behind. You're in a headlock and the zombie before you strikes you several times in the stomach before you can get yourself out and drop to the ground. You're helpless!
>>586872 You let them come and with a quick turn ram Razortail right in one of their faces. Sickle is less lucky however as she gets slammed aside by one of the zombies.
Current status: Progress: 15/?? Courier: Middle Room Nr of zombies in pursuit: 6
Earthbound: 1/5 Melville: 0/4 HELPLESS Ambrosia: 6/6 >Sickle: 4/5 Melville: 5/5 Deep Root: 4/5 Dr. Z: 0/3 HELPLESS
>>586900 Why did anyone ever tell you using this is dangerous. You just swing your butt and a zombie turns to dust. Sickle finishes another zombie with a quick strike to the gut.
>>586901 You get hit by 2 zombies but most of them seem to struggle to get past your companions. You take a deep breath and start sprinting to your goal. Earthbound has entered the final chamber As you set hoof into the last chamber, 3 graves spring open but out of one of them floats a larger zombie dressed in ornate garments. He glows green and you feel yourself slow down. As long as the Vizier lives your rolls only count half as much.
>>586902 You get struck to the head by one of the zombies. You're helpless! Zombiebro keeps strong however, smashing another zombie to bits.
>>586898 You get slammed by one of the zombies. You're helpless!
>>586880 You get slammed by one of the zombies. You're helpless!
Current status: Progress: 39/55 Courier: Middle Room Nr of zombies in pursuit: 7, 1 close to death The Viziers influence is strong. Vizier 6/2
>>586907 The Vizier unleashes a torrent of lightning upon both you and Sickle, knocking both of you helpless to the ground, writhing in shock. DC+1 to get up for one turn. The shockwave kills some zombies as well.
Current status: Progress: 39/55 Courier: Final chamber Nr of zombies in pursuit: 4, 1 close to death The Viziers influence is strong. Vizier 6/2
Earthbound: 3/2 Melville: 0/3 HELPLESS Ambrosia: 6/6 >Sickle: 4/5 Melville: 5/5 Deep Root: 5/4 >Zombiebro: 5/2 Dr. Z: 5/1
The crystal glows and shines and bursts into light. All of you feel a burst of power inside you.
Zachariah summons stranglevines, constricting the Vizier, and then slices the chest of the helpless Vizier open exposing its innard. Hokkaidos motes soar straight into the vizier exploding him into rays of energy and color. With the Vizier dead the zombies seem to lose focus. Sword and axe and dagger and rapier form a symphony and hack the remaining horde to pieces. When the dust settles there is only you and a pile of undead flesh.
The statue glows and a spirit moves out of it, smiling. He disappears again and a passage behind the statue opens up.
The sun is high in the sky, the city is baking beneath its glow. You don't know it yet, but this is how it always is. Vilitus City, the stomping ground of the infamous Triumvirate, a city avoided by all but the bravest or most foolish of souls. As you go off the ship that brought you here, you see the city stretch out before you. Sailors, whores, merchants, slaves, all are busy with their work. You have been sent here by the Lordblades, your first task is to make contact with the unit deployed here. You were informed to make your way to a place called the Scar.
>>591758 >>591752 >>591749 >>591747 >>591751 The chamber you enter is round. It is dark but in the middle is a set of faintly glowing swords and axes. As you light a torch you notice beautiful tapestries on the walls, depicting Fillilonian ponies fighting undead and some kind of black ponies with green glowing eyes with the shining weapons.
You have found Blessed Weapons +1 when attacking undead or Black Lemarians with these weapons (not skills, just the regular attack) There's a passage to the north and east.
>>591830 >>591830 ''I uh…I meant the place…Called the scar maam…'' He says trying to hide his slight disgust. I am required there,can you inform me the place or not?'' He says trying to keep his polite tone
>>592345 With a click the wall moves into the floor, revealing another passageway.
>>592347 It is covered in rich hieroglyphs depicting pony warriors fighting weird creatures. There's a theme of pony-shaped armored enemies. It also shows these enemies worshiping a demonic looking figure on a throne. The wall slides into the floor, but similar paintings adore the walls beyond.
I have reconsidered my position to award all awarded P during the dungeon at the end, instead I'll reward P achievements as they're reached.
Awarding current P for all dungeon players >Surviving Zombie Run 500P >Protective Spirit 100P +600P
>>592350 >>592351 >>592353 You enter some kind of old dinner hall. The tables are dusty and old, and the food in the cupboards is rotten and moldy, the stuff that's not completely disintegrated that is.
>>592360 You notice a lot of ponies staring at you as you pass. "Name's Foil. Don't spend too much attention on these ponies. Most of 'em ain't never seen a deer before. Neither have I to be honest. I thought ya'll lived in lush forests. You must have a special reason to come all the way out here."
>>592361 You could disarm them pretty easily. They're not too complicated.
>>592362 ''yes…My kind is usually related to the forests… But it's no problem at all…I'm used to that,after all,I have those tatoos,necklace and this huge earring,makes me the center of attention all the time ehehe… Yes…I was uh…called here for an important reason''
>>592373 "Ah well, perhaps better. News spreads like wildfire in Vilitus." A dirty, hungry colt walks up to both of you. "Mistah, do you want to buy some water?" Foil simply shoves him away without much attention to him. "Watch out for those street colts and fillies. Thieves and pickpockets, all of them."
>>592372 There's a solid lock on the door. It would require a thief to pick it.
>>592371 Sickle snorts. "Don't get too big a head. Those were filly traps."
>>592370 You stick in your hoof narrowly missing the poisonous spider showing up and grab… two bottles of ancient Fillilonian Rum. This rum is deep, deep dark and probably centuries old. Ancient Fillilonian Rum: 100% chance to make the drinker drunk as fuck. Can be set on fire. >2 bottle put in Deep Roots inventory
>>592380 Maali shakes as he hears the colt ''oh goodness…'' ''Mister Foil…It's not his fault…really…Here you go little one…I have no bits but if you're needing food that badly…'' Maali opens his saddlebag,picks up a small wrap with a daisy sandwhich and two oranges and hands them to the colt ''Be good okay?'' He then continued with Foil
>>592383 ''Oh…Well let's make a deal then…I don't have more food with me right now…But next time we meet,I'll uh…I'll treat you some warm food somewhere okay?you and your friends too. But now I must depart…Good luck little one…May your prayers reach the land.'' He continued following Foil
>>592396 'There it is!" He points to the distance, where you see a forest. Unusual in this desert climate. "Be careful now, this part of town here we need to go through is very unrestful the last few months. Keep yer eyes open."
>>592403 There's a definite tension in this district but you manage to pass through without incident. You reach the Scar. This is a lush forest, reminding you a bit off home. The Scar has a mysterious origin, as can be read in the doc. Right now, it is peaceful however, as the sun shines through the leaves off the forest. You're supposed to meet your contact at the shrine to Nature in the middle of the forest.
>>592405 You bash long and hard at it with only minor results, it would take a significant amount of time to open the lock this way. East or South?
>>592406 It is easy. The forest feels a bit strange however. You get a sense of anger, even wildness from it. You reach a clearing. In the middle is a large tree in veneration of mother nature. An old pony is meditating in front of it. A purple mare is laying in the grass looking bored.
>>592407 You investigate the dining room with little success. Returning to the cupboard, you get bitten by the spider you masterfully avoided earlier. You are poisoned
>>592411 The purple mare looks up. "Ah, Vine, my old friend, so good you could make it. Yes, I was hoping you could look after some plants of mine."
>>592409 >>592410 You go south and enter a hall with a stairwell. The stairs go down into the deep darkness. Rustlefeather clears his throat. "That's it. That's where all the trouble started."
>>592412 You do, but your vision grows blurry and you can't manage to grab it. You need to support yourself against a wall to keep upright and are sweating like a pig. Too bad Earthbound and Ambrosia left, let's hope maybe Melville or Z notices your predicament.
>>592488 He's looking rather pale, he's going to sink through his knees.
>>592489 Yes, it is locked. The runes on the walls depict presumably the old warriors of the temple. You translate the runes and learn this temple was built over a cursed place. The warriors here trained every day to make sure the monsters deep down would never threaten the outside world. They used Blessed weapons like the ones you're holding to do so.
The monster depictions are unknown to you. Black ponies with green eyes.
They are shown worshiping another figure on a throne that is known to you. Kronox, one of the demonic gods, second only to Tirek. Little is known about this god publicly, but an expert like you would know that he was once a minor deity like Love but deserted the Sun and Moon during the First War to serve as Tireks second in command. Whatever these enemies are, Kronox hooves in this are a bad sign.
>>592505 "These glyphs tell of an ancient evil – a cursed lair of demons who made their nest below this temple. It was constructed solely to keep them at bay. If they still lay here, it is possible only blessed weapons may hurt them. In any case, they are servants of Kronox."
>>592501 >>592502 >>592504 >>592505 >>592507 >>592509 >>592521 "Perhaps the Changelings hid the weapon there so the demons would make it impossible to retrieve?" offers Rustlefeather. You enter the easternmost tunnel and soon find a partially collapsed chapel. Near the ruined statue, covered by a pillar sits a weakly glowing orb. You recognize it from when you placed the crystal into the main chamber. You hear it whispering in your mind, thanking you for resurrecting it from its demise at the hands of the Shadow Dweller.
>>592523 "Don't go too far off then. Maybe my luck will shine on you and you won't be bitten by poisonous spiders anymore. Maybe, just maybe, you'll be bitten by non-poisonous ones! I mean, a little of my luck can only do so much for you."
>>592537 It's a minor spirit, probably created through magic. The chapel here was part of the worship to keep it intact. You see it is quite weak, having spent whatever power it had left to banish the demons, it will probably fade in a few months.
>>592552 Yes. They came here 4 centuries, 23 years, 30 days and 17 hours ago last.
>>592554 >>592555 I do not know of such a weapon here in the temple. The Changelings who came here carried a large coffin and boxes, many boxes, and took it with them in the dark. Many died but they left without the coffin and boxes, perhaps this is the weapon you seek?
>>592557 You bash at it for a while, with no success.
>>592572 They still are. When we came here, we feared they would escape…but they have not, they stay there for centuries. Our coming here was unnecessary, our vigil useless. The Metal Demons will stay there until the End.
>>592569 It's a stronk door. If only you knew someone good in thievery.
>>592592 >>592594 >>592595 >>592596 He's dug out. But the passage has become unusable. Perhaps one day, with laborers and proper equipment as Zachariah hoped, this passage can be unearthed and its priceless secrets unlocked.
>>592683 >>592685 You both walk down the stairs and Spruce trips up rights as he's berating you. He tumbles right into Dr. Z and you both tumble right to the bottom of the stairs. It's dark down here and you land into some kind of sticks, cracking under you.
Rustlefeather follows and lights a torch, you seem to have fallen right into a pile of old bones. The room here is in disarray, bones everywhere and in front of you there used to be a large stone gate, now broken down revealing a dark passageway. There's a soft but distinct buzzing coming from that passage.
>>592689 I suppose you went down in time to see Deep and Z tumbling down into the pile of bones?
>>592703 These ain't no demon bones. Demons usually physically completely disintegrate and their essence sent back to their home plane when defeated, they don't leave bones.
>>592704 I'll assume you did the Cleaner check. Yes, these are clearly Changeling bones. Quite a lot of them in fact. There has been a terrible fight here, judging by the state of the bones a very long time ago. The wounds are unusual, some seem to have been inflicted by spears or something, but the edges are burned. As if it was some kind of glowing hot spear.
>>592707 >>592706 "They were changelings. They've been dead for a while now. Killed by some sort of enchanted or blessed weapon from the looks of it, since they got burn marks aside from the visible physical trauma."
You enter the broken gateway and as you shine your torch forward you're greeted with another sight entirely. The bleak sandstone ends and in its place is solid smooth black rock arranged in squares. The place smells of oil and there's soft buzzing. In the middle there are strange…coffins for a lack of a better word in your vocabulary. The front is translucent and inside you can see metal forms of ponies. Next to each coffins are lights blinking and hieroglyphs lighting up and disappearing again.
>>592739 You concentrate and after a little while "Where…is….Queen….
>>592743 Even an expert like you only knows bits and pieces. Long ago there were the Lemarians, a supremely advanced civilization of ponies that destroyed itself in a cataclysmic civil war. The one side lived in what is now modern day Equestria and Trotantium. The other, the so called Black Lemarians, lived in modern Vilitus, Saddle Arabia and the Broken Isles. This architecture is definitely Black Lemarian but the coffins are something you haven't seen before. You are reminded of a report you read about a group of adventurers four years ago in Equestria. They reported walking metal ponies commanding strange and terrible powers and making nature itself scream in pain by their presence. One of the adventurers wrote a paper theorizing the Black Lemarians reshaped themselves into metal constructs through unknown means. Standing here, before these coffins these theories suddenly become frightfully real.
>>592742 "…Queen commanded we cleared the way so we did. Cyborgs fought well but we kept them at bay long enough. He starts sounding scared "Queen…where is Queen…where are my brothers….Can't feel them…"
>>592768 "Betrayed her brother. BETRAYED THE HIVE. Siding with Ponies. Nearly all was lost until we caught Her again. Queen wants to punish her for eternity. Hide her away from the Hive. Away from her brothers. All ALONE amongst the sleeping cyborgs." The Changeling sounds angry. "She was no Changeling. Changelings do not betray their Queen. We are One. Forever." Then he sounds scared again. "One…Queen…Queen…where is my Queen…why can't I hear her?
>>592765 >>592764 There's some kind of metal spiders in the small chambers. They do not move as you approach.
>>592769 "..I see.. what is your queen's name? She must be very smart to know how to deal with metal monsters. And to build a prison for a changeling here." '1d10' check the walls for marking or writing
>>592771 >>592770 The walls are smooth and almost unnaturally clean. Something must have been keeping all of this clean. Except for the northern gate which has been heavily damaged. You see marks of changelings and burn marks.
>>592771 "Queen VARASH is wise and all knowing. She learned the secrets of the cyborgs deep within the Oasis….She knows…my…Queen…I have failed her….why else would She not hear me…."
>>592796 >>592797 Ambrosia slams her fat butt repeatedly and lewdly against the gate until it slams down.
You're all greeted with an alien sight. In here on both sides of the walls, there's another row of coffins but they're wired to a cage in the middle. The wiring seems almost childish compared to the advanced technology of the Lemarians. In the cage sits a large female changeling, almost a Queen but she misses the trademark crown appendage on her head. The Changeling looks up towards you with a franctic look in her eyes. "Love…I smell….Love…are…are you real?"
>>592807 >>592806 >>592803 >>592802 >>592799 "Hm. We should take it alive, I'd say. This would be a good time for a support crew to arrive with pack animals and sleds to drag away the cages. If only the Lordblades had planned ahead!"
>>592815 They're metal, hastily put up obviously, it wouldn't take much force to tear it down. But what is more worrisome is the wires attached to the coffins. The wiring looks primitive compared to the Lemarian magitech around you, but is still far above your comprehension. But the fact that it connects the cage with the coffins suggests to you that if you try to tear down that cage, bad stuff is sure to happen.
>>592817 "My name…I…I…" She closes her eyes thinking deep. "Myziri…that was my name…It is my name."
>>592829 She lifts up her eyes. "A long time ago…I broke free from my Hive and helped ponies to defeat my Queen…but I got captured and as punishment the Triumvirate buried me here. Far away from any emotion, from anypony."
>>592838 She sniffs it. Then opens her mouth and something ethereal flows from your hoof into her mouth. You feel numb. The Changeling stops again, savoring the taste and leans against the bars. "Thanks." She starts getting a bit more color again.
>>592839 "Ponechadnezzar did. And he almost defeated the Triumvirate. If only we had had a few months more…"
>>592858 "I broke free because of an experiment of my Queen…it broke me loose of the collective mind…but I could still hear them and even the other Hives. The Triumvirates strength lays in their ability to stay hidden until the trap closes. But I could read their movements. Ponechadnezzar knew everything the Triumvirate was planning through me."
>>592869 "Yes I would." She glances over to the coffins. "I hope you know how to fight."
>>592870 "I do not believe so. But I'd have to be careful in the City. If I try to scour the hivemind too long they might see me. But I can explain that better once we're out of here."
>>592871 "I used to work with Varash…she knows more of them than anypony on this earth I believe. Her Librarium was stacked with books of them, of demonic lore…she's a master. We called them the Sleepers. I believe the ponies call them Black Lemarians. They were ponies once, the most powerful of them alicorns. They worshiped the God of Order, Kronox who taught them forbidden technologies. They came to see their flesh as prisons and transformed themselves into these cyborgs. They were defeated and the survivors are in tombs like these. Varash said they would wake up at the end of the World to remake the world in their image."
>>592876 "As would I. But we should count ourselves lucky they decided to wait until then."
>>592879 "If you want to defeat the Triumvirate, you'll need somepony who can know their plans. If you're going to stumble blindly on their territory, you'll end up on Nefertiri's dinner table before you know it."
>>592881 >>592879 "I believe her.. That dead changeling truly hated her for a reason after all." "And we're a sort of specialized soldiers. We could use your help, but do you think you can fight your way once we break the cage?"
>>592894 >>592893 >>592891 "Bear with me one moment. Imagine for a moment we all get exhausted fighting, walk out the front door, and then this one flies away. None of us have wings. What's our plan for that?"
You storm forward and with little difficulty pry open the bars. A spark of energy is sent across the wires into the coffins, causing small explosions and breaking the translucent barriers. The walls starts shining a blood red. On all the coffins in the room the lights start blinking red and a small text rolls over the screens. EQOGDUFK MXQDF. NKBMEE PQFQOFQP UZ ODKASQZUO EFADMSQ FIQXHQ. OAZFMUZYQZF RUQXPE OAYBDAYUEQP. MXQDF. GZUPQZFURUQP NUARADYE PQFQOFQP. PQBXAKUZS EFQDUXULQDE."
As Myziri struggles out of her cage, the empty sockets in the Lemarians metal skulls turn a bright green and they move out of their coffins. Their spears ready, the tips glowing green and smoking. From behind the cage, a larger metal alicorn bursts out of a coffin. Her wings spread open she takes to the air. Her horn grows green and she conjures a torrent of magical fire blocking your escape.
You are fighting: BOSS: LEMARIAN DEMIURGE >Lemarian Slave >Lemarian Slave
>>592919 You run up to the first slave but it blocks your attack with his hoof and pushes you back before swinging his spear. You smell burned flesh.
>>592924 Vines reach up and attempt to strangle the target. The demiurge is brought back to the ground but those vines won't hold her long as they're already withering at her touch. Demiurge is Silenced for 1 turn.
As Deep is attacked by the Slave, you see your chance to strike your dagger in its side, doing minor damage.
>>592949 The magical fire badly burns you. Luckily Earthbound helps you up, you grit your teeth in determination.
>>592950 Melville is badly burned, but you manage to get him up.
>>592948 The Demiurge turns to you and focuses on you. You feel the creature trying to Silence you. Roll higher than '1d10' to resist its spell. This is an instant roll. Your hacking at the Slave produces results as another stab breaks through the metal casing, revealing part of the machinery within. It turns to you, it seems you are a low priority target no longer.
>>592956 Before you can turn around, you get hit on the head from behind by the unwounded slave and go helpless!
>>592964 You are silenced for 1 turnNot that it matters much.
It is a lot harder to stab now that the slave actually faces you. It doesn't allow you to get close, blocking off your attacks with his spear and stabs you in the leg. Ambrosia sneaks up from behind and stabs the creature in the opening you created.
>>592965 The Slave has been heavily damaged by Z. You see an opening and stab it in the inner machinery. While Sickle puts her back legs to work again, giving it a good buck.
>>592967 You miss but the Demiurge misses her new flurry of elemental motes as well. You dodge most of them, only getting superficial wounds.
>>592970 As you try to aid, the second Slave swings his spear into one of your back legs.
>>593017 >>593018 >>593028 The three of you immediately swarm the spiders. Pushing them off the fallen Slave and while they attempt to fight back with their tools, your daggers and pistol make short work of them.
>>593034 >>593035 >>593022 The Slave sees his chance while you're distracted by the spiders and gets in quite a few hits.
The Lemarian Demiurge is unstrangled again. She flies up and fires a beam at the remaining Slave. He glows red and moves faster.
>>593040 Your whip cracks and brings the Demiurge down again. The Slave swings around wildly hitting many of your colleagues, but you yourself manage to slip by slamming your dagger against the iron hide.
>>593041 >>593043 >>593046 The overcharged Lemarian goes on a rampage, swinging his spear wildly around and burning flesh left and right as it pushes you all back. Both Melville and Earthbound fall down helpless.
>>593055 you flawlessly coordinate your attack. You jump in front, stabbing your dagger right against the eyes of the Slave while Sickle sneaks up from behind and stabs the iron armor.
LEMARIAN DEMIURGE SILENCED >Lemarian Slave FALLEN >Lemarian Slave BLINDED +2 for attacks against this enemy Badly Wounded
Health Spruce 1/5 Melville 0/3 BURNED (-1 Max Wounds) HELPLESS Ambrosia 2/5 >Sickle 3/4 Doctor Z 3/5 Earthbound 0/5 HELPLESS
>>593068 The Slaves auto repair systems fix its eyes and it turns to you with a cold glare. It swings its spear around displaying its speed and strength. You simply shake your head and throw your blessed dagger right into its metal chest, slamming it to the ground.
>>593077 Right. To make up for it, I'll pretend this attack goes to the Demiurge.
>>593077 >>593079 >>593080 The Demiurge, already slightly wounded by the repeated strangling tries to get into the air again as Earthbound jumps on top of it, pushing it back on the ground with a slam. Ambrosia takes her chance and with a fast blow pierces her dagger right into the chest of the Demiurge. It keeps sticking in and Sickle runs up and with one buck pushes the dagger straight through. The Demiurge shudders and collapses.
BOSS CLEARED +500P
The magical fire disappears. In the halls beyond, more coffins are opening, blocking the way to the regular temple and you already hear the ticking of more spiderbots approaching to repair their masters. "Hurry, I know a quick way out." says Myziri. She runs to the eastern gate.
>>593108 "They won't go out. You wouldn't believe how many times Varash woke other tombs. They'll go to sleep again once the tombs are cleared of intruders and they've repaired everything."
>>593094 She stops at a monolith next to the eastern gate and closes her eyes. You can easily grab her hoof then. After about 10 seconds of silence, the eastern gate slides open, revealing another hall but devoid of coffins. "There's another gate on the other side, there's an elevator straight out of here behind it."
>>593127 "Can it wait until we're not being chased by them?"
>>593120 >>593122 >>593125 You follow her across the hall. Once again she stops before the monolith next to the gate and closes her eyes. After about 10 seconds she says "Damn, there's some kind of security lockdown in effect. Give me a few minutes to circumvent it…"
The giant northern gate opens and a giant metal monster walks out. It walks on four large legs, two on each side. Its fat body is covered in what seems to be cannons. A thin red beam shines towards you.
You are fighting BOSS: LEMARIAN ARTILLERY >L Front Leg ?? >R Front Leg ?? >L Back Leg ?? >R Back Leg ??
Spruce 1/5 Melville 5/3 BURNED (-1 Max Wounds) Ambrosia 2/5 >Sickle 3/4 Doctor Z 3/5 Earthbound 2/6
Now things suddenly go very fast. As the Artillery locks onto all of you, Doctor Z swings his vine around both back legs and with a tug binds them together. The artillary loses its balance tumbling backwards and its cannons upwards.
As it tries to rebalance, Ambrosia and Sickle attack the right front leg, crushing the bindings keeping it attached. Spruce cleaves the bindings of the left front leg allowing Melville to shoot it through from afar with one shot.
The artillery now crashes forward onto the ground. Parts of its delicate machinery tumble on the ground. A vat filled with a green liquid and a ball with a number of rings floating around it. You pick up these items quickly.
Now Earthbound climbs the fallen body of the Artillery, jamming all his explosives inbetween the torpedoes putting them on a timer. The gate opens revealing an elevator platform. You all run inside and the elevator platform moves upwards. "We might have to dig the final few meters through some sand I fea-…" BOOM The building quakes as the explosives and torpedoes explode. The explosion sends the elevator upwards at a massive speed bursting you through the last layer of sand and tumbling into the desert. Besides a bit of ash on your coats all of you are fine. Where the elevator was is now a smoking deep hole. You see the temple a bit further got a bit of the blast damage as well. Rustlefeather lays at the entrance. Shaken but okay. Myziri looks towards the crater. "….that's going to take them a while to repair."
The Sun is setting.
DUNGEON CLEARED You have found Vat of Lemarian Oil Can be used at the Armory to give your weapons temporary extra burning damage. You have found Lemarian Power Source This would be of great interest to an engineer.
>>593456 "…Mizzy, very quaint but if it makes things easier for you, you can call me that."
>>593454 "Hmmmm, I do not know everything about them. During our excavations we found they usually do not see ponies as a threat as long as they do not mess with the machines or do not carry enchanted weapons. It's probably to make sure their bases are unharmed."
You make your way back until you see the lights of the City in the horizon. Myziri gasps. "…I had given up on ever seeing it again…"
>>593458 "It's quite charming compared to three centuries of darkness and an occasional repair drone."
>>593459 "…Of course, I'm not stupid." With a green glow she quickly changes into a yellow mare with orange mane. Apart from her mane being terrible oldfashioned there is no sign of her not being a pony.
>>593468 ''o-oh…Oh sorry Miss Daisy…Um…H-hello again'' He says blushing in embarassment ''O-oh…Alright…'' He gets a bit red with holding hooves but proceeds anyways ''(She's just being friendly,I'm sure)'' He thought to himself as he went with her ''S-so um…How have you been miss Daisy?''
>>593469 Once you're alone her tone shifts dramatically. "You weren't followed I hope. I know you're Maali. You may call me Phantasm. I'm the one you were supposed to meet here, I'm bringing you to the base now." she says short and to the point.
>>593470 "…Trust me and I can help you defeat them."
>>593477 She facehoofs. "Command didn't tell you anything. Oh Luna…." She stops. "Listen, we're here on a dangerous mission to kill a group of Changeling Queens called the Triumvirate. Command sent you here because you're a healer and we're in desperate need of healers. You can heal?"
>>593478 She nods to another old pony selling ice cream. "Changeling Overseer."
>>593479 He looks like a simple disinterested guard laughing with a joke one of his colleagues just said.
>>593483 She grabs you and stops you. "Have you ever been on an infiltration mission before?"
>>593482 >>593481 You guide Mizzy through the tunnels into the base. As you approach the last few meters, the floor starts glowing and bars slide down on both sides of you. The glowing floor zaps Mizzy sending her back to her natural form. The Master, Phantasm and Whisper appear on the other sides of the bars. "Intruder!" growls Phantasm, grasping her daggers.
>>593488 >>593489 The Master speaks up. "You're saying…she's the weapon used by the Fillilonians?" Mizzy frantically nods towards him. "Yes, I like ponies! I wouldn't hurt a fly!" Phantasm pulls a dagger against her chest. "If you value that tongue, you'll be silent, bug."
>>593491 >>593492 >>593493 >>593494 The Master thinks for a few seconds. "Phantasm, take this bug to our Vault. We'll lock her up there until I know exactly what's going on here." Mizzy jumps backwards. "What?!? Lock me up, I'm not getting locked up again, not again!" Her horn glows green. But Phantasm smirks hitting the horn quickly. "Thanks for the excuse bug." She grabs Mizzy's head and smashes it against the wall. Mizzy drops down unconcious. Phantasm grabs her by the horn. "Okay, open the bars I'll drag her to the Vault." The bars open again. The Master turns to Whisper. "Whisper, go to the sewers for a while. If she was connected to the hivemind, there might be a swarm of Changelings on its way, be sure to warn us." He turns to all of you. "To my office, I need to know everything you've seen."
>>593501 It means I assume you have told everything to the Master and he'll go in deeper through questions. But if there are certain things you definitely want to say we can do that. Doesn't even have to be the entire story, just the parts you'd like your own view to be told.
>>593510 >>593511 "This is a rather unexpected twist. I had hoped it was some kind of weapon or poison especially effective against Changelings. An informant like her is useful…but we'll need to rewrite all our plans. The fact that these Changelings seem to have advanced knowledge of the Lemarians is alarming as well. I will have to interrogate her."
>>593518 "Yes, I believe so. Phantasm hit her pretty hard, I believe it will take about 40 minutes for her to wake up. You're free to help us then." This means that once the Day is over, instead of sleeping you'll be assumed to have helped with the interrogation, but for now you can still finish some stuff if you like.
>>593519 "And we will not harm her. We merely need to know if she is genuine. If she is, then she'll be free to walk around our base and help us."
>>593521 "Don't bring it in just yet. She might be a valuable ally if she decides to help us willingly. I don't want to use force unless we absolutely have to. You should bring that table to Lightning Swift or Gear. Perhaps they could find other uses for it."
>>593523 "Yes, if you'd like. It could take a while."
>>593522 He nods. "Indeed. Do not get me wrong, I see the opportunity here. But I need to know for sure we're not walking into a trap here, allowing a Changeling into our base could mean our downfall in seconds."
>>593530 >>593528 >>593531 "Before all of you go, I should inform you that a new deer has joined our group as a healer. I'm not sure where he ran off to now, but be sure to welcome him when you see him. Tomorrow morning we'll meet in the War Room to discuss whatever we uncover during the interrogation."
>>593545 "Been through some troubles. The recruiters sometimes choose such ponies. Truth be told, that's the same reason Spruce got chosen, and I must say he's been adapting quite fine to this line of work. Still…." He scratches his chin and shakes his head. "I'd need to see how he behaves first."
>>593547 It is something. His head is quite squishy but he doesn't seem to care. He slides back in your pouch.
>>593549 The purple mare comes over. "Mind if I pop one too?"
>>593555 She shrugs. "I thought you were so good at defending yourself."
>>593554 She doesn't let go "You know what place this is? Ponies die here daily. If the Changelings catch you, you'll wish you were in hell. Believe me, if you're afraid of me, you might as well pack up and go home."
>>593557 ''I know…'' He looks down. ''That is why I want to help…I don't want anypony dying…'' He tried to squirm out of her. ''I already faced hell…quite literally in a way…Don't worry about me…I'll be fine''
>>593559 "It's not his lack of strength. I think he's afraid. Once he sees some of the stuff that goes on here, he might go running, I don't like it."
>>593560 You're low by the ground slithering forward in the deep dark sewers. You're near a large cistern. In the middle are five old coffins and a hooded figure. He talks to himself. "Yes, mistress, it shall be done…" The vision fades. Done for today, see ya next day
>>593561 She lets go. "I hope that's true. For your sake. Come." She walks forward again.
>>593562 Most have already been recruited, you can see the list of new ponies iin th doc under addendum. You still wanted to recruit a Crusader I believe.
>>593558 "But you've got a way bigger mouth than me."
>>593566 You go through a tunnel underground and enter the Hideout. You can find a full description of the Hideout under Sanctuary in the doc. Suffice to say, it's big and well hidden. Phantasm leads you to an upper office. Here behind a desk sits an older serious pony. He walks up and offers you a hoof. "Greetings, Maali, welcome to Vilitus City."
>>593571 "Hmmm, yes. Let me inform you why you're here, mister Maali. We, the Lordblades have been sent here to infiltrate and destroy the Triumvirate, an organization consisting of three Changeling Hives. Our job is to gather information and pave the way for the eventual assassination of the Triumvirate Queens. To do this, you'll be working together with our team, who are right now away in the desert, if all goes well you should meet them tonight. I'll be your supervisor. You can take my word as equal to the word of Celestia as far as the mission is concerned."
>>593576 ''I don't serve Celestia…'' he said a little monotone. ''But I will do your orders as I can sir…'' ''I understand what I must do…and I'm eager to meet my teamates…'' ''Anything ele I should know?''
>>593579 "Hmmm, yes. We shall talk more later, for the moment I think it better you meet your teammates." You can now visit others in the Hideout if you want or talk further to the Master Ponies in the Hideout >Ambrosia >Melville >not sure if Spruce is here
>>593580 "It stinks. Stinks worse than the Underworld."
>>593581 "Quite an…unusual profession you have. We Lordblades get trained in the arts of vanishing as well. Did you learn from somepony or learnt it on your own?"
>>593582 She looks up. "Oh, well it isn't really settling in…I'm going back to home when the Sun rises." She smiles. "But…it's nice to have an own room, even for a little."
>>593583 "On my own. When I was a young jack, I worked as a bodyguard of sorts. Made sure a pony, not going to name any names, who had his share of money, was safe. One time, something went wrong, and they showed up with a dead guy. Told me to take care of it. The new guy can take the fall, I knew I'd be a goner if I was discovered. So I took care of it. And the next. And the next. Until you realize that you spent the better part of your life scrubbing blood out of the floor."
Maali walks up to melville ''Um…H-hello there sir…My name is maali and I'm..uh…I-I was assigned to your team…'' He bows his head a little ''My name is Maali…it's a pleasure…'' Melville could see mali was a petite,fragile loking deer…He had green tatoos all over his body that looked like leaves of sorts…His eyes were a ridiculously bright shade of green and he had a necklace wih an emerald hanging on it… He looked rather fuzzy…
>>593589 "This morning. It was weird, you could hear the shot from far away. It was like a thunder. BOOM. Hit him with some strange bullet the guards said, but they dragged him away before we could see it…"