In the previous session of Mortal Souls, the party completed the second section of the ancient Sentinel proving ground, the Trial of the Body. Facing a series of puzzles, they eventually came to the third and final trial: combat against a monstrous creature known as the Guillotine Demon. Before beginning the fight, however, Gopal found a crack in the walls of the chamber that seems to fit the monster's tremendous blade, presumably acting as a key to whatever lies beyond… >Tourmaline is at 7/5 >Maali is at 4/5 >Timber Hoof is at 6/6 >Gopal is at 6/5 >Abenad is at 7/5 >Gloria is at 6/5 >Galehaut is at 6/3 >Known monolith locations: Lunemark, Serpentine Keep, The Dreaming Spring
Recovering from the shot it has taken to the chest, the Guillotine Demon fumbles to pull the bolt out, running its bloodstained left claw across the surface of its gigantic cleaver. The weapon seems to absorb the blood, glowing red slightly. Facing the party again, it lets out another bellow of rage and agony as it beats its chest, pallid yellow eyes burning with fury.
>>653244 The creature snatches you out of the air as you make your attack, throwing you away and into a nearby statue like a ragdoll. It cracks and falls to pieces from the impact, leaving large dents in your armor. >Gloria takes 6 hits, helpless
>>653242 With a hideous ripping sound, you sever its leg at the knee. You are sprayed with foul black ichor as the fiend collapses to the floor, glaring at you as it lets out another snarl.
>>653243 You begin to heal your companions. >Tourmaline is at 5/5 >Abenad is at 4/5
>>653246 >>653247 Your combined attacks send it toppling to the floor, struggling to get back up.
>>653245 You shoot it right between the eyes. It seems to shudder for a moment, shaking its head as it staves off death through sheer willpower. The demon tosses its blade aside and crawls towards Abenad, biting at him with its jagged maw. [1d10+1]
>>653249 >>653253 Still holding on his healing, Maali turns to Gloria, rushing to her side ''D-do you need hel-oh…'' He is stunned as he watches her stands up from the shattered statue ''um…Nevermind…'' He turns to Galehaut then! And helps him recover from some wounds from earlier '1d10' natural remedy
>>653250 You can't shoot it there at the moment, crawling as it is on its belly, but you manage to shoot it in the side instead. In retaliation, the demon bites deep into your neck, drawing heavy blood and sending you toppling over. >Abenad takes 7 hits, helpless at 0/3
>>653251 Another hiss as you dig deep into its bristly flesh. The demon roars again, followed by a choke of blood.
>>653252 You stab it deep in the side, embedding your weapon firmly in it. It draws blood, but the creature does not seem to notice, hellbent as it is on pursuing the fallen Abenad.
>>653253 You manage to get back up despite your injuries.
>>653254 Your attack does little to hurt the creature.
>>653255 You heal your companion in return for his protection. >Galehaut is at 6/4 >Abenad is at 0/4 >Tourmaline is at 7/5
>>653256 >>653260 Now it was Abenad's turn to get help. Maali pranced his way to the Cervitaur's side, and despite the great difference in their size, he still tried to help Abenad up ''Don't worry mister Abenad, your neck is very thick, I am sure you will be fine!'' '1d10' help him up despite the odds
>>653260 You are in too much pain to stand up right now.
>>653261 Abenad proves too heavy for you to lift. >Tourmaline is at full H/W >Abenad is at 0/5
>>653257 You deal a singular strike to the creature, ramming the bolt Abenad fired into its forehead in even deeper. The monster stiffens and its pupils contract, and with a low groan its eyelids slowly droop closed, its tremendous frame lying still at last. Kivoda slowly pokes his head out from his hiding place, looking around at the group in awe. He seems to be lost for words. "I… I can't believe it. You were incredible! I've never seen anyone fight the way you did to take that thing down. I'm sorry I couldn't be of much help, I… er… I panicked." He looks apprehensively at the carcass, poking it tentatively to ensure it's truly dead. A faint white glow appears above the corpse, emitting a faint chiming sound.
>>653264 Abenad moves into a sitting position, bunching his cape up and holding it to his neck wound by leaning his head over and pushing the cape against it with his shoulder. "I should probably try to shoot the big ones between the eyes, to start with," he says, "Then try to go for just the eyes, then the sensitive parts. Damn lizard." >>653265 "What, is that one of the souls you've been looking for?" He asks, "Imagine what would have happened if we never came down here, we probably would have missed it entirely." >>653266 "Thanks, I can get up by myself, now, just give me some time to complain."
>>653264 He sighs and sits up, getting off from trying to help Abenad up ''It's fine mister Kivoda, it was good that you stayed hidden, or you could have ended up causing more trouble for us, so good job!''
>>653269 "Yeah, get yourself a lance," Abenad says, "It's important to have the three kinds of damage a weapon can do- slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning. I'd really like a bludgeoning weapon, something weird like a wheel, but I haven't seen a cart or anything I can pry one off of since I thought of it, besides the one Clean Slate had."
>>653267 >>653265 ''Mister Abenad is right. We are bery lucky to have found a soul here…How many have we gotten so far?'' >>653270 He frowns as well ''I saw that…the whole statue crumbled and your armor was left in that state…And still you stood up with almost no problems after that!''
>>653273 "Yeah, but when I was a colt I remember everyone gathering around the town square to punish lawbreakers by breaking their knees and tying them to wheels to die. It was great, we'd bring sandwiches and eat them while the preacher talked about what they did wrong."
>>653273 ''You know, mister Galehaut…'' Maali looks down at his own shield ''Would you consider a shield a weapon?…'' >>653275 ''Yes, and I was worried for both of you…He should really wear armor too, instead of clothing like that'' He accentuates that by knocking on his own armor a little
>>653271 "You would prefer a wheel, utterly unfeasible for use as a weapon for one of your stature, or anything outside a torture room, to a far more useful cart? It will be quite useful when it breaks and spits splinters in your eyes. Aren't you always hiding behind me with your bow anyway?"
>>653279 ''No..no…I just…Just a thought that went over my head…I am not actually allowed to use weapons… So I thought…Wait, is this actually a weapon?…Because…Well, I only used this shield to protect myself and the others…but now I wonder if I should leave it behind…'' >>653280 ''That too, he is even talking about using a wheel…now I know for sure those were not intended as weapons…''
>>653265 >Boss soul acquired! >Soul of the Guillotine Demon, that ravaged the Rinish countryside and brought ruin to a dozen villages. Tanari the Sundering Sentinel bested it, however, and it was locked away in her proving grounds to await worthy adventurers. >Such creatures being spawned are a rare occurrence, brought about only by foolhardy warlocks that tamper with forbidden knowledge. The Wretch of Syro's Mire is another example of such a being, but it too was destroyed in time.
>>653267 "Souls?" Kivoda parrots. "You're looking for souls? …Might I ask why?"
>>653272 Between you, you have the following souls: >Soul of the Pale Mother >Soul of Marshal Waymar >Coronus' Core >Soul of the Guillotine Demon There is also the matter of the Immortal Soul that was given to Dreamcoat temporarily.
>>653268 "Well… thank you, I suppose." He doesn't seem too sure if it was a compliment.
>>653269 "Every Cael knows the story of the Sentinels. We hear about them from when we're small. They were great warriors and keepers of ancient knowledge, until their library was destroyed by marauders and the Sentinels were disbanded. Tragic, really. As for my own interest, it's merely scholarly. I've read up on them in the past, but never had any true fascination with them until now. So strange that they existed all the way out here in Rin of all places."
Kivoda clears his throat. "We should keep moving. I have a feeling we're almost done here." Noticing the cleaver-shaped crack in the wall, he strains to pick up the gigantic weapon and tries to drag it over. "Could someone lend me a hoof, please? This isn't really meant for folks of our size."
>>653265 >>653285 >I'm retarded Placing the cleaver in the crack opens yet another illusory door that leads down a long flight of stone steps. As you progress down, you eventually reach a tremendous marble chamber far larger than any you've seen yet. It is circular, and boasts dozens and dozens of equine statues knelt in prayer. Each statue holds the six-pointed star of the Sentinels in one hoof and an eternally burning torch in the other. They are all facing the very center of the room, where can be seen an ostentatious throne of stone and brass, encrusted with jewels of all different colors. What truly grabs your attention, however, is the skeletal figure seated on the throne. It is of a Cael, tall beyond belief and clad in armor that looks like it could have once been a work of great beauty, but is now rusted, battered and shapeless. A moth-eaten scarf is draped around her neck and lower face, and on the ground next to her are a polearm and a round shield identical to the replicas Abenad and Kivoda found. Whether she is alive or not is impossible to tell, obscured as her face is. Kivoda inhales, looking thunderstruck at the sight of the dead Sentinel.
>>653285 "I can't recall if I was ever told, I've just been following along with them since they haven't tried to kill me and the majority of them aren't terrible." He listens with interest to Kivoda's story. "That's a shame. Interesting, though."
>>653287 Abenad goes down the steps with Kivoda and the rest of the party. "This is quite some fine detailing and work," he says on the way down. Once they reach the tomb, he looks down at Kivoda, then up at the corpse. "Oh, is this her? She looks pretty good for a dead horse." >>653289 "I'd disagree with the phrasing, but yes, we're in a tomb."
"Would you be against me approaching him? I would like to see his weapons. I know they're important to you, but I would not like to leave with nothing but a soul, may it be my avarice or prenatural sense."
>>653303 Galehaut goes on one knee (or the pony equivalent to that gesture) and places a hoof over his heart, before going to retrieve the weapons, brushing the dust off of them as he silently thanks their previous owner.
>>653306 Despite their considerable age, the weapons seem to be in good condition. >Sundering Hammer >A long polearm with a carven whalebone handle, typical of the Sentinels of Ibergal. The sharp wedge on the end makes it ideal for piercing through armor. >When the Sentinels disbanded, Tanari was the one to travel farthest, crossing the great eastern sea and establishing an offshoot of her order in Rin. This was short-lived, however, and as the centuries passed the world forgot she ever existed. >Great weapon, +2 on Cleave rolls, crit acts as per Blast
- >Whirligig Greatshield
An ornate circular shield forged of solid brass. Flanged with broad toothlike serrations, and mounted on a handle of sorts.
This strange contraption is as effective at defending as it is as a weapon. The shield can be made to spin at a frightening velocity, the serrations on its edge tearing flesh and other materials into shreds. >automatic skill, recharge 2; change from Shield to Dual
Kivoda turns in sudden anger. "Hey, don't you take them! They belong to…" But then he looks at the corpse again, and nods after a moment. "Do as you will, friend. They'll only gather dust here." He sighs in defeat, standing up after a moment. "Let's get moving now. There's nothing left here but dust and echoes." >pausing
In the previous session of Mortal Souls, the party ventured further into the ancient Sentinel ruins, passing the Trial of the Mind and facing a terrible monster as their final challenge. After defeating the imprisoned fiend, the party were awarded with the creature's soul as well as two ancient weapons discovered in the Sentinel's tomb. Having come to the end of the ruins, they are left to either search for more treasures in the tomb or leave to continue their journey towards the city of Jevel, seeking the power to craft items with the powerful souls that they have gathered as well as a mysterious artifact in a place called the Asclepius Tower… >Tourmaline is at 7/5 >Maali is at 6/4 >Timber Hoof is at 6/6 >Gopal is at 6/5 >Abenad is at 7/4 >Gloria is at 6/4 >Galehaut is at 6/5 >Known monolith locations: Lunemark, Serpentine Keep, The Dreaming Spring >Old thread: >>652866
Kivoda gets up from kneeling at the Sentinel's body after a moment and clears his throat. "Let's, um… Let's get going, shall we? I mean, if you're finished sightseeing, that is." He pauses. "That reminds me, where exactly are you heading anyway? Haven't really thought about it until now, what with all the other things we've been up to."
Timber leans over for Tourmaline to get onto his back. "I'm afraid I've been rather useless lately, so feel free to make use."
He looks to Kivoda. "We must eventually make our way over to The Far Cairn to meet with Doom's armies. Though, if we miss the battle with The Shells, it wouldn't be a terrible thing. I care more about the diplomacy that may or may not transpire afterwards."
>>654535 You find a large silver pendant inset with a brilliant green emerald. Kivoda takes note of it. "You know, they say some emeralds grow pale when evil is nearby. They also grow pale when… Well, I can't remember the other one. In any case, you should keep that close. It's quite a find."
>>654536 You find a stash of coins in one dusty corner. They are rusted and worn with time, but still usable. You gain 13 golden dillies.
>>654540 You find what appears to be a stone idol in the likeness of a Sentinel. They sit cross legged on a square pedestal, looking down in contemplation. The artifact is rather large, roughly 12-14 inches tall, and quite heavy too. It looks valuable.
>>654537 >>654543 He blinks in confusion. "I don't know anyone called Doom, but if he's an enemy of the enemy then I guess we should be working with him. And what's all this about a dead person? I thought everyone here was cursed to come back from the grave."
>>654534 >>654536 >>654539 "Jevel?" he parrots as you begin to file out of the chamber and make your way back towards the entrance. "Well, alright, but I'm not sure that's a good idea. I've heard some nasty things about the state it's in today. It could be dangerous, perhaps even more so than anything we've faced so far. Besides, I don't know about you but I have no clue which way to go to get there…"
>>654548 Abenad puts the pendant around his neck, along with his other jewelry. "I'll just keep checking it," he says, "See what it does with who."
"Is that nasty in comparison to everything else, or nasty compared to how it used to be? Because it's not as if anything's in good shape right now, just because Jevel's bad doesn't mean it's worse. Unless it is."
>>654548 "So, the real Doom is already dead and even has a grave somewhere, so he probably died before this. You can go look if you want. But this new fella is pretending to be the old one for some reason. I can't be arsed to support him."
>>654549 "Me? No, not really. I was mostly getting by on my own until I ran into you lot. Truth be told, if it wasn't for your friends I'd be locked away in some Shell camp by now. I mostly travel from here to there, having adventures, seeing the world." He shrugs.
>>654550 "Well, Jevel was essentially the place to go if you dabbled in any sort of magic. The whole city was probably enchanted with who knows how many spells. Now that no one's around to keep it in check, the magic contained there's probably gone wild. I don't know what to expect, but it probably won't be pretty."
>>654551 >>654552 "Well, that certainly is odd. Like I said, I've never heard of anyone called Doom before, and I doubt the grave is of someone important. Maybe if you find some sort of annal or archive of Rin's history in Jevel or somewhere else, it may have some answers."
>>654554 As it turns out, Gopal is still holding on to it.
You eventually return to the entrance to the gauntlet and take the spiral flight of stairs back up to the ritual site where all this began. You can see that it is mid to late afternoon now. The dead trees are moving in the hot breeze. It will most likely be sundown or nightfall by the time you reach Jevel, if you reach it at all.
>>654557 ''Ooh I see…Wow it's funny how similar you are to me in that…I used to travel alone as well before I met with Tourmaline, Timber and Gopal…Well… 'met' is a way to put it…'' He shakes those thougts of the past aside ''Still, what do you seek by traveling?''
>>654558 ''Mister Abenad, what you plan to do with the souls again? craft them into weapons, was it?…''
>>654564 "I suppose only if you all don't care much about what I do with them. We haven't been doing anything with them so far." >>654565 "I think so? It's a little fuzzy to me right now, but I'm always happy to get something good."
>>654565 ''Well I believe so, yes…And I agree! It just sounds so…So strange…And a bit wrong >>654567 ''Do you remember what Dreamcoat has told us about the souls?…Maybe we could ask him again what other uses we can find to them instead of turning them into weapons''
>>654571 Maali just gives him a stare of sad disappointment >>654572 ''I agree…Weapons can be lost, or worse, fall into wrong hooves… a weapon with the power of the souls could backfire horribly against us and everything we want to protect''
>>654561 He thinks for a moment. "Knowledge," he answers. "Fortune, glory. Thrills, even? I just want to explore the world and see what else is out there. It's better than living in the Shifting Sands and trading for goods my whole life, at least." >timeskip
You begin your lengthy trek across the barren westerlands. The expanse of dry nothingness seems to be fading the further you move; the occasional tuft of grass or stagnant, muddy stream indicates more life and plenty in the direction you travel. Every so often, you come across the remains of a small village or hamlet, laid to ruin and disuse through time. There is never anything to salvage in these places, and only blanks inhabit them. More than once, you think you see a faint green light lingering behind you, but when you turn to get a better look it vanishes. The wind is blowing harshly and the last rays of light are peering over the horizon when you reach the entrance of Jevel. The city stretches for miles in every direction, a solid wall of gleaming marble protecting myriad towers, turrets and other buildings jutting out on the landscape. You also notice something strange. The barren brown waste all around you cuts off abruptly near the city, replaced by a ring of greenery. Tall grass, flowers, shrubs and other plants grow in an unnaturally perfect circle all around Jevel. Before you is a vast carven archway with motifs of unicorns rampant, leading into a dark round tunnel that acts as the city's entrance. You note the lack of any sort of security protecting it; apart from the marble wall you see no gate, no portcullis and no guard watchtowers to have prevented the city from invasion when it was still inhabited. It is open for anyone to freely walk in and out. Taking in the sight of the archway fills you all with different emotions.
>>654561 Taking in the sight of the ancient city reminds you of your own childhood somehow. It feels homely and inviting, and the almost palpable magic contained within the marble walls fills you with courage and resolve. You feel like this trip will be very successful for you and your brave companions.
>>654563 The sight of the marble city intrigues you. You feel there is much to be learned from whatever lies inside, knowledge of great benefit to your party. With that feeling of curiosity, however, there is also one of apprehension. You get the feeling there is great danger within the city, danger you will have to thwart if you are to enter.
>>654565 Taking in the sight of the ancient city reminds you of your own childhood somehow. It feels homely and inviting, and the almost palpable magic contained within the marble walls fills you with courage and resolve. You feel like this trip will be very successful for you and your brave companions.
>>654558 >>654566 >>654573 The city puts you on edge, although you cannot put your finger on why. It looms over you, austere and foreboding. You get the feeling that you shouldn't be here. The longer you stare, the more you are filled with a sensation of nameless dread.
Kivoda looks unsettled by the sight of the place also. "Perhaps we should turn back," he suggests warily. "I would feel much more comfortable entering this place with more supplies and perhaps even more companions. I have the feeling something very bad happened here."
>>654574 "Hey, I'm not talking about anyone, I'm talking about somebody who ignites and stokes the fires of absolute hatred in the depths of my being by their actions and continued existence. That's the kind of thing I'd skip any kind of democratic action to just turn their soul into something I can use so that they'll be at my disposal until I die or lose it." >reading GM post, will reply when finished
>>654575 He smiles ''Well, Knowledge is a very nice reason!''
A little smile lingers on Maali's face as he walks past the others towards the circle of plants, pausing for a moment before threading on. He lets out a little hum as he feels the lush grass in his hooves, and even starts prancing around in small circles under the arch ''Oh come on mister Kivoda, how can a place so beatiful seem bad for you? Besides…'' He lowers his head and takes a bite of one of the flowers ''There is plenty of food in this place…'' He speaks up with his mouth full >>654576 ''That is still wrong…Do you really want to be that low and let your hate and anger cotrol your actions?''
>>654578 ''B-but…But I…'' He gives the donkey a very sad look
>>654575 Abenad grumbles to himself as they look over the city. "Hm, I'm not feeling too good about this right now," he says, taking the silver pendant off his neck and wrapping it around his left wrist, checking to see if the emerald's color has paled or changed. >>654579 Abenad frowns as he sees how much Maali's enjoying himself, in the same way someone who was seasick on a boat would look at one who was playing shuffleboard.
Timber observes the circle of fertility around the city. "Interesting," he muses. "Some spell here appears to be keeping everything alive. I wonder, is it actually keeping the plant life alive or is it simply making the soil able to support more life? If it's the latter, then I wonder how exactly. If it's the former, then I wonder if this is somehow related to our curse. Forcing an organism to stay alive is much like what we are suffering from now."
He puts a hoof to his chin. "In fact, that is an interesting thought. Perhaps our curse was originally intended to be a spell for plants? Suffering mental deterioration would not have mattered for plants."
"Regardless," he concludes as he heads toward any nearby tree to collect/observe some of their presumably healthy leaves. "This magic could have a variety of important impacts on the world."
>>654577 He shakes his head. "No, this place is cursed, and not in the same way that we all are. I can feel it in my gut."
>>654578 "That would be wise," he says as he begins to forage for food. You see him pluck a few berries from a nearby bush and tentatively eat one, only to reflexively scrunch up his face and spit it out.
>>654579 The flowers taste… wrong somehow. All bitter and rotten despite looking perfectly healthy. Perhaps this place isn't as inviting as it seems.
>>654580 You pitch the tents and begin to gather stones to make a campfire. Before long you are finished, and you have a merry fire blazing outside the city entrance.
>>654581 The emerald doesn't seem to have faded. At least not yet.
>>654584 The leaves have an unpleasantly bitter taste to you, as well as a doughy sort of texture. Disgusting.
Kivoda begins to look for anything edible, soon finding a small pond nearby. Warily, he takes a sip, then fills his canteen with it. "There's water over here if any of you are thirsty," he calls. "I know I am."
>>654587 "The overgrowth gives me a bad feeling," he says, "And if it turns out to be a problem for us, we'll need to be able to overcome it." >>654588 "Don't be drinking just anything!" Abenad reprimands, going over to Kivoda, "You need to distill water so it'll be safe to drink. There could be diseases or some sickness in the water."
>>654591 ''…Oh…well okay…Oh! Can I use some to make some evening tea?'' >>654592 ''Well…We are looking for Dreamcoat's orb…But it would be glad if we could find some magical knowledge…Or maybe some magic scrolls like the one Dreamcoat gave me'' He pulls out a scroll out of his bag to show Gloria
"Ugh," Timber wretches as he spits out the leaf. "Makes sense, I suppose. You can't keep something alive for so long without pulling it apart it some way. Like our minds with this curse. These plants are hardly what they are supposed to be anymore."
He wanders over to the water and takes a sip to see if he can find anything wrong with it. [1d10] for detecting
>>654589 He jumps in surprise. "I… I suppose you're right. Still, beggars can't be choosers, and we don't really have any distilling equipment that I know of. Besides, I don't know about you but I'm parched."
>>654593 It goes up in flames without any further ado.
>>654597 It tastes perfectly fine to you. Unlike the plants, the pond seems to be unaffected, and is safe to drink.
Kivoda takes a seat slightly apart from the fire, lost in thought as he gazes on the ostentatious archway.
>>654601 >>654600 "Well, we can take your canteen and set it up over the fire, then I could put my longsword over the opening to catch the steam, which would condense on it, and the tip of the sword would be in Maali's tea pot, so the condensed water would run down and end up in Maali's pot."
>>654615 ''Hmn…yes…mine too…I hope that after this curse is over, I can continue to look for my kind'' He sits down on his haunches ''I miss them, and this place only makes that feeling stronger'' >>654616 He glances at Timber and Abenad ''…I should not be the one saying this but…Don't you think you are being a liiiittle overly safe?''
>>654618 He chuckles ''Yes…hopefully My tribe should live on…'' ''Thank you miss Gloria, you never fail to cheer me up'' >>654619 ''Well what is the worst that could happen if the water was just a bit bad?''
>>654603 Kivoda turns and frowns. "I… Don't think that's a good idea. Foul as the plants are, I have seen nothing harmful here yet. It wouldn't be wise to disturb the area further."
>>654604 They don't seem poisonous, just foul-tasting.
>>654606 "I've drunk the water, and so have your friends. I don't feel ill at all, at least not yet. If you do not trust the water, then no one is forcing you to drink it," Kivoda replies curtly as he takes another swig from his canteen.
The rest of the night passes rather uneventfully, the meal consisting mostly of bread derived from the No-Bakes purchased by Gopal. On the first watch, Galehaut sees a faint green light on the borders of the greenery, but it vanishes quickly. The noise of scurrying animals is heard intermittently during the night, but not a single sound comes from the ancient city. >10 642, Myna's Day of Commotion. Morning breaks over the city, waking you all quickly due to the lack of shade in this place. A few birds are heard in the dawn chorus, but not much else. Kivoda wakes last, slowly stirring and rubbing his eyes as he gathers his belongings. He looks again at the archway and takes a deep breath. "Let's pack quickly. I don't know about the rest of you but I want to get this foray over with as fast as possible."
>>654621 ''Bleeeh…Still, Mister Timber looks just fine for me, see?'' he points at the large stallion >>654622 Maali wakes up early as usual ''Maybe we should skip the morning tea then? Mister Kivoda?'' He asks while foldin his blanket
>>654622 When Gloria awakes, she takes a moment to stretch and warm up before putting her armor on. "Kivoda, you have nothing to worry about. Those trials were a lot more fearsome than this city, right?"
"As well they should," Timber comments. "The sound of animals is a sign of peace. If there were a threat, the animals would be silent to hide themselves. But, there are no sounds coming from the city. This is foreboding. We should tread carefully."
>>654627 "I certainly hope so," he replies, although he doesn't look very sure.
>>654624 >>654625 >>654626 >>654628 You pack up your camp and enter the tunnel. At once, you are surrounded by blackness and swept by a tingling chill, like being plunged into a pool of clear, cool water.
>>654623 >>654627 The sensation is strangely invigorating in a way, and you feel determined to keep moving.
>>654624 The sensation fills you with ineffable dread. It takes every inch of your willpower to keep moving.
As you move through the tunnel, time seems to stand still for a moment, and you lose all sense of where you are and what you're supposed to be doing. Then the sensation fades, and you find yourselves standing in the magical city of Jevel. Unlike other places in Rin, this city looks completely untouched. The entire place is made of gleaming white marble that seems to glow faintly in the fading sunset, each building carved out of the ground. In truth, the entire city is formed of one enormous slab of marble stone. Each round domed building rises immaculately from the ground, perfect in every detail. Whatever you felt gazing upon that archway, it is replaced with a sense of unease. Where the wind was blowing outside, here there is none to be felt. You hear nothing save your own steps. There is no one else anywhere to be seen. The city is completely empty, as if it had been evacuated only five minutes ago. The entrance is flanked by two colossal marble statues of unicorns rampant. These seem to be a recurring motif in Jevel. There is a great plaza ahead of you with a running fountain surrounded by rose bushes, with three branching paths ahead of you. Nearby is a signpost identifying this place as "Prosperity Plaza". According to the sign, to the south is a place called "Library of Abjuration", to the east is "Asclepius Tower" as well as "Heart of Jevel", and to the west is "Novice Academy". You are approaching from the north. In the distance, at the city's core, you can see a series of three spiral towers, the middle being the largest of the three. Kivoda stays silent as he takes in the sight of the eerie city, offering no input for the moment.
In the previous session of Mortal Souls, the party began their preparations to head into the ancient marble city of Jevel to seek knowledge and a certain artifact. On their arrival, they found a marbled archway leading into the city as well as a ring of greenery surrounding the area; however, the leaves and flowers tasted foul, although the water nearby was drinkable. During the night vigil, they discovered that they were still being observed by the witch Tascheter from afar, as well as finding the city eerily silent. Upon entering, they found Jevel completely empty as if its inhabitants had evacuated minutes before their arrival… >Tourmaline is at 7/5 >Maali is at 7/5 >Timber Hoof is at 6/6 >Gopal is at 6/5 >Abenad is at 7/5 >Gloria is at 6/5 >Galehaut is at 6/5 >Known monolith locations: Lunemark, Serpentine Keep, The Dreaming Spring >Old thread: >>654533
>>655024 >>655025 >>655029 >>655031 >>655033 >>655035 You stand in a place once known as Prosperity Plaza. Like all of Jevel, it is as immaculate as the day it was built, yet devoid of any signs of life or undeath. Before you is a great plaza in whose heart sits marble fountain surrounded by rose bushes and trees bearing a disparity of fruit. This place acts as a crossroads for those entering the great city, as marked by the great signpost at the fountain pointing north, south, east and west. You are approaching from the north, and behind you is what the signpost calls "Kether's Archway". To the east is "Great Library - Abjuration Wing", to the west is "Novice Academy", and to the south is an area called the "Heart of Jevel" as well as "Asclepius Tower". Looking around, you can see three spiraling towers at the center of the great city, the middle tower being the largest of the three. These are tall enough to be seen from every point of the city, acting as a sort of guiding beacon for lost travelers. There is also a sort of square plinth near the fountain, the surface of which seems to ripple and reflect light in strange ways.
>>655039 >>655033 "Well Maali, we might be able to find those books we talked about last night. Which one should we check out first, Great Library or Novice Academy?" She asks the little deer, also hearing the rest of the party's suggestions.
>>655039 >>655043 "Why wouldn't we just go to the Tower straight away to fetch what we were told instead of blowing away our time getting worn down by traps, old magic, and the plethora of creatures with nothing better to do with themselves but attack us? We know the thing is right there."
>>655039 As unsettling as this place was, Maali felt an oddly sense of peace and even excitement >>655043 "The library first would be nice… But like miss Tourmaline said, maybe we could try to go straight for the tower to find Dreamcoat orb first before exploring around…" >>655050 "Yes, but if the others want to go somewhere else, I have no complaints… We are not in a deadline, so we can take our time…"
>>655045 You find 2 golden dillies at the bottom of the fountain, but not much else. Kivoda frowns disapprovingly.
>>655068 >>655069 >>655070 >>655071 >>655072 >>655073 You push on to the east. Halls, houses, towers and shops rise shining on either side of you. Through tall windows and open doors you can see rich hangings, silken rugs and fine furniture. Fruit trees thrive in some courtyards, and tables of food and drink can be found on occasion. But if you take some, you find that it is just as foul-tasting as the greenery outside. The city of Jevel is utterly deserted. As you wander the abandoned city, you begin to notice strange things about it. For instance, outside the city walls there was a rather strong wind blowing, but inside there is none to be felt despite the sky being clearly visible above. You also can't help the feeling that some of the buildings are oddly shaped. It is impossible to pinpoint where this feeling comes from, but sometimes the buildings just look wrong, like their geometry or the angles aren't quite right. This ineffable sensation persists throughout your foray, and you simply cannot shake it off. Every once in a while, you think you hear a faint whisper from nearby. You would blame the wind, were there any. You also pass the same building more than once, despite being quite sure you're following the correct path. Kivoda begins to look nervous, fretting about getting lost in this haunting place. Eventually, you come across an ostentatious garden decorated by plants of various shapes and sizes, some of which you have never seen before. At the far end is a hedge containing a white swirl-patterned gate, upon which are formed the words "Great Library of Jevel". Beyond is a large grassy courtyard leading to a disproportionately small marble building, no larger than the average house. Kivoda looks confused. "So where's the library?" he asks out loud, to no one in particular. Taking another look around, you can see that there are several of the strange plinths you saw at the fountain not long ago. They seem to be a staple of Jevel's architecture, although whether they serve some purpose is yet unclear.
"Yes, I know very little of cities, but I do know that when an area is restricted on the sides like a canyon or city streets, the wind has but the one direction to go in. As a result, more wind is usually generated. And yet, there is absolutely none here."
Timber looks up at the sky to see if there are clouds. If there are, are they moving?
"Well, these buildings don't seem to be made of wood," Timber says absentmindedly as he stares up at the sky. "In fact, I don't think they were constructed at all. They appear to have been enchanted out of the ground itself. A rather clever use of alteration magic, in fact."
>>655099 "I'd imagine it would leave the underground hollow, but not totally. Maybe the buildings can go back down into the ground, even, in the event of an invading army or some big beast like a dragon."
>>655080 You look at the plinth for a moment. The swirling patterns on its surface intensify for a moment, then you all see ghostly, translucent figures begin to appear nearby. They are of two unicorn stallions in robes, one clearly a youth and the other elderly one seemingly his teacher. They are both seated on a nearby bench, conversing happily about certain forms of magic. You catch a few key words here and there, but for the most part you don't understand the nature of their conversation. After a while, it changes to a different topic. "Master, can I ask you something?" says the younger unicorn. "Of course, small one," replies the older unicorn warmly. "…Do you really believe in the Administrator's words? He's barely seen anymore, and he hasn't shown any results. Not to mention Archmage Tascheter's disappearance…" The youth looks around, then speaks again. "Please don't tell anyone this, but I don't really believe in the Administrator anymore. Ever since he came back from Ortague to reassume his title he's been… different. I can't place my hoof on it." The elder smiles patiently. "Small one, I have been around long enough to trust the Administrator whole-heartedly. I served Prince Kether when he was in the position, and when he had his accident, I myself voted for the new one. Now he has returned from his service as Royal Sorcerer. You know he is wise and powerful. He is not the Administrator for nothing. If anyone can find a cure for this curse, it is him. Do as I do and trust him. He will know what to do." "I… I understand, Master Echo." The youth smiles back. "I shouldn't doubt his wisdom. He's doing everything he can, isn't he?" "Yes he is. He can save us all. He MUST save us all. …Now, let's go get some lunch, shall we? I'm famished." The two ghostly figures stand and begin to walk away, quickly fading from view. The plinth returns to normal.
>>655090 The clouds are moving sluggishly across the morning sky as usual. It is a pleasantly sunny day today.
>>655083 >>655089 >>655091 >assuming everyone is following You enter the small building. You are met not by the inside of a house, but by little more than a set of marble stairs spiraling downwards. As you follow them down, you eventually exit into a tremendous atrium lined with gargantuan shelves of ancient tomes. Everywhere are the swirling plinths that seemingly contain lost memories. Great marble pillars hold the subterranean structure upright, and portable ladders can be found in every nook and cranny to access the tops of the shelves. You are on the top level, and nearby ladders and flights of stairs lead even further underground. Yet again, you get the inkling that the architecture of this place is wrong somehow. Looking over a nearby balcony, you see that the level below you contains an ivory signpost pinpointing the different wings of Jevel's great library, although you cannot read it from here.
>>655103 Abenad considers shouting at the translucent figures that one of them are going to turn into a giant crow monster, but decides against it, reasoning that the rest of the party wouldn't see the humor in it.
"Oh, it's not a portal. What a disappointment," Abenad grunts, following down the stairs. As he heads to the balcony, he squints at the sign.
>>655085 "Why don't you go down there and tell us what's where?" Abenad says, pointing to the sign below.
>>655103 "Wow…. Wow… Woooooooow… This place makes me feel to… Small…" he spins in place, taking in the sight of the huge underground archives It would take an eternity to find what we look for… Do you think there is a spell that helps us find what books we want?" he asks the party
>>655113 >>655103 "That's a good suggestion," Abenad says, before clearing his throat and saying loudly while waving his hands and arms around, "Abracadabra, locate subject: soulcrafting." He then looks down at Maali. "Oh, right, what exactly are we looking for, here?"
>>655116 "Well, I am looking for books on shamanism… But that is a personal research… I do not know what the others are looking for" >>655118 He latches himself carefully to her. He barely weighed anything besides his armor "What does it say, miss Gloria?"
>>655110 >>655128 The tomes contain information on various types of spells and rituals relating to the dispelling and discovery of magical occurrences. While perusing the shelves, you find a single scroll with arcane runes written on it. >Scroll of Recanting >automatic instant >Remove magical ailments and afflictions on the caster or a specific target. One time use only. May not work on more powerful forms of magic.
>>655118 >>655114 You fly down with Maali in tow, reading the sign. Maali can't do so very well, but Gloria can read it just fine. You are standing in the Abjuration Wing. Across the atrium are the Higher and Lower Arcana Wings, ahead of you is the Ancient History Wing, behind you is the Occult Wing, and below you is the Restoration Wing. There are dozens of other sections to this library, but the signpost only indicates these four. Looking ahead, you can see several portraits and busts of historical figures decorating the shelves. There are a few you recognize by face. Behind you, you can see that some of the plinths have been removed, leaving imprints of where they once were.
>>655122 You see a passing conversation between two seemingly high-ranking mages. They keep looking around furtively and whispering in hushed tones, but you hear the name of Dreamcoat mentioned quite a few times.
>>655125 You see a middle-aged unicorn mare, presumably a librarian, conversing with an important-looking unicorn. You recognize the latter as being Dreamcoat, the royal sorcerer to Doom. He seems to be asking for access to certain books in the Occult Wing, but the librarian seems reluctant to do so. Eventually she gives in and escorts him down a flight of stairs, but the memory is cut short there.
>>655132 >>655135 Abenad heads down with the rest of the group, grumbling in disappointment. "I think I'll pass, actually," he says, "I'm looking for something else, but I'll go down if or when I find it." Abenad sets out to find a book on Soulcrafting. [1d10+1]
"I'm most interested in this 'Restoration Wing'," Timber says (assuming that someone actually relayed the information about what was just read). "It seems an oddly specific topic for an entire wing. It seems fairly safe enough in her for us to split up."
Timber heads in the direction of the Restoration Wing (again, assuming someone actually relayed the information).
>>655136 You wander into the Higher Arcana wing. After browsing some of the books, you find that there is something called the Soul Forge in the very center of the city. According to the book, the Soul Forge, also known as the Heart of Jevel, was a source of tremendous magical power created by Prince Kether VII, one of the former Administrators in the city. The Heart not only amplified the magic of the city, but created a form of magic known as Soulcrafting, in which a powerful being's soul was sacrificed in the Heart to form a wondrous object derived from the memories of the soul's owner. A variant on this new magical technique was used to create the Memory Plinths stationed around Jevel. The book also says something about Kether having destroyed part of himself to create the Heart in the first place, but it doesn't elaborate on this.
>>655142 The Occult Wing is suitably darker than the rest of the library, the bookshelves being made of dark wood. Many of these are empty, or the books are illegible. You get a strong feeling of unease standing in this place, like someone is watching you intently. As you activate one of the plinths, you see two figures seated around a table. One is Dreamcoat himself, and the other is a young griffon with dark fur and feathers. There is a candle on the table, presumably lit in the time this conversation took place, now little more than a lump of wax. "Gaspard," says Dreamcoat, "did I ever tell you about Prince Kether's fate?" The griffon shakes his head in confusion. "But you know who he was, don't you? I won't bore you with the details. Everyone says he disappeared, after he had that accident with his creation. But I have learned the truth." Dreamcoat leans in excitedly. "He was seeking to share his immortality with everyone. When he fell into the Heart, he… ceased to exist. People don't talk about him much nowadays, assuming he died. But he didn't just die. He became one with the next world. Do you understand the implications of this?" Gaspard looks confused. "He… was shattered across eternity, across time and space," Dreamcoat continues. "His body was destroyed, but his mind, his soul, they live on in a way. He ultimately failed to replicate immortality, but now that I am the Administrator, perhaps I could finish what he began…" He looks at the plinth with a frown. "Well, we shouldn't stay here. Let's go finish this somewhere else. It's not polite to talk about people in front of them, after all." The memory ends there.
>>655140 >>655141 >>655143 The Restoration Wing contains information on all sorts of holy healing magic. Most of it is familiar to Gloria, but some of it rings true to Maali and Timber Hoof, being very similar to their own naturalistic magic. Activating the plinths shows more activity from Dreamcoat in this area, asking for access to Kether's writings. He is granted this without any resistance.
You hear voices coming from nearby. Looking around, you can see that Kivoda has wandered into the Ancient History Wing and is listening to some of the memory plinths as he looks through the archives. He seems very interested in what he's hearing.
>>655150 Noticing some of the familiar texts, Gloria decides to continue searching. She wonders if she might be able to find old text that might relate to the same Light as her people do, or possibly searching for other variations of spells spawned from the same Light. >Searching through light related holy books [1d10]
>>655150 Saddened by his inability to read, Maali simply browsed through books idly while paying close attention to any of Gloria's discoveries. He hoped to find at least one book written in the ancient language that he could understand, even knowing the odds of finding one were microscopic
Timber looks toward Gloria and says, "If they know this much, then surely they must have had something which could combat the curse. Have a look around, please. See if you can find anything. I'm looking elsewhere."
Timber heads into the Ancient History Wing and looks for Kivoda.
>>655157 He smiles back, skeeming over a line of books "Well… Any book is good, as long as I can read it!" giggling, he puts the tome he was holding back in place "It really is a shame to be surrounded by knowledge and being unable to learn…" he says With a sad smile
>>655151 >>655155 As you arrive in the Ancient History Wing, you see Kivoda playing back one of the many memories in this place. It is of a unicorn with a large mustache teaching a history class about the Ten Kings that have ruled Rin in its. You pick up that the last king, Endon III, was predated by Lucan I The Builder, who stopped something called the Third Stormender Rebellion. Overall, however, the memory provides little of worth for those who have no interest in ancient history. Kivoda, however, seems fascinated by it. As the memory fades, you notice some of the portraits hanging on the back wall. They presumably depict all of the Administrators that have been in charge of Jevel. A few stand out to you; a spotted, somewhat pretentious-looking Diamond Dog is labeled as 'Sathlat the Shrewd', the mustached unicorn you saw in the memory just now is labeled as 'Boreal Breeze Jr.', and you also recognize Dreamcoat hanging among them. On Dreamcoat's left, however, is someone else you've seen before. It is a portrait of a gaunt, snow white alicorn with a shoulder-length brown mane. Unlike the avatar of Death itself the party encountered so long ago, however, the eyes of this one are not filled with stars, but are rather a light blue color. The portrait is labeled as 'Prince Kether VII'.
>>655152 You find a copy of a holy book you recognize, important to your people's religion. The text within contains information on how to cast a powerful healing miracle known as 'Perseverance' that can even bolster those who have no need for mending; however, the ritual required to do so seems difficult to master, and if you are to learn this spell you will have to practice for a while.
>>655153 You find a book bound in what appears to be leather, but you suspect to be something far more grisly. The implications of what is written within in spidery narrow letters is deeply disturbing to you, and you decide not to read on for fear of what you might learn.
>>655156 You move into the Restoration Wing, meeting up with your companions there. Timber Hoof leaves as you do so, however, meeting up with Kivoda.
>>655159 Abenad whistles at Timber as they pass by each other. "Hey, I'd like to stop at the Heart of Jevel before we leave," he says, "That's where the Soulcrafting all happens. Also, it turns out these plinths that are everywhere are the result of soul sacrificing, or something." He passes by Timber to let him think about that.
>>655158 >>655157 "Hey, you two," he says with a smile on his face, "Find what you're looking for, yet?"
>>655159 >>655158 Gloria smiles when she finds the book, looking to Maali after she has inspected it. "Well, I found something very interesting. Let's find something for you too, maybe miss Archie can help teach you."
>>655160 "Well, I think I finally found my first tome to keep at my side. I still need to help Maali find a book."
She then assists Maali in search of a book on shamanistic healing magic. [1d10]
>>655159 "So the whiny white fru-fru talking mysterious however long ago was actually the Prince who jumped into something and turned into the whiny white fru-fru." she observes. "Pompous. I bet he can hear but chooses not to help."
She tugs on Kivoda's clothing and gives him bright gleaming eyes. "Don't suppose you might share a snack with me?"
>>655162 If only he received proper education >>655160 "I have not, but miss Gloria is helping me" >>655161 He smiles and nods "I really hope she can! And what have you found miss Gloria? What is it about?" '1d10' not sure if necessary but rolling to look for books
>>655159 Galehaut dainty places the book back in it's place, heading back with no books in his possession. He decides to head to the history section next, to learn more about the city itself. He touches even more pillars along the way, in case any catch his attention.
>>655163 Kivoda jumps, looking completely perplexed at your actions. "I… what? Fru-fru? I don't… Er… I mean… I think I have something around here…" He begins to rummage through his satchel, eventually unearthing a small bag of nuts and dried fruits. "It's not much, but… here, you can have some." He passes you the bag.
>>655161 >>655164 You eventually find a hefty tome called "Cultures and Races of the Known World". As Gloria peruses it, you two soon find a complete record of the discovery of Maali's people. There are only a handful of pages written on them, however, but the information within is accurate to Maali's knowledge. Notably, it calls the spells and rites of the Guarira a "lesser" form of magic than what is commonly used, listing it alongside pyromancy as being primitive and "baser".
>>655165 You rejoin Tourmaline, Timber Hoof and Kivoda in the history wing. The plinths consist mostly of history lessons from a mustached unicorn. You soon learn about the mythical foundation of Jevel; under the reign of King Adin the Conqueror, the first King of Rin, his royal sorcerer Sevenseals used his nigh-limitless power to carve an entire city from a single titanic slab of marble. This was soon named Jevel, and became the center of magical learning in Rin. Contact was also made with the Sentinels of the far eastern lands, but little is written of their contributions save that they had a hand in creating the library in which you stand.
>>655167 You find a shelf labeled "Kether's writings on immortality"; however, it is empty. Presumably Dreamcoat made away with them at some point. >pausing
>>655172 She nods and smiles. "It is something that I will carry with me… Each great paladin in my order carries one by their side once they have earned them. I will earn mine by learning the spell it has to hold. Who knows? It might also have healing properties that I don't know about yet."
>>655173 "Oh, what did you find Maali?" She says, looking it over.
In the previous session of Mortal Souls, the party continued their exploration of the abandoned marble city of Jevel, venturing into the subterranean Great Library in search of information useful to their quest. Here, they learned something strange, and of dizzying implication: the mysterious white alicorn that had appeared to them throughout their adventure was identical in likeness to one of the Administrators of the city, Prince Kether VII. According to the Memory Plinths stationed around Jevel, Kether was searching for a way to replicate the immortality of alicorns, and in doing so created a great fountain of magical power known as the Soul Forge, or the Heart of Jevel. This source not only bolstered the attunement of the mages residing in the ancient city, but gave access to a new branch of magic in which the soul of a powerful being could be sacrifice in return for the creation of an object of wondrous power. In time, it is said that Kether was consumed by his own creation, and became "one with death", although the true meaning of this is unclear. Furthermore, they discovered that the wizard Dreamcoat was not only Kether's successor as Administrator but had also been conducting certain research following in his predecessor's footsteps, asking for access to Kether's journal as well as other less mentionable tomes from the Occult Wing. While exploring the Restoration Wing, Gloria happened upon a book that described a healing miracle named 'Perseverance'. This ancient ritual contains the power to bolster allies, granting them enhanced abilities in combat; however, training is needed in order to be able to make proper use of the miracle, and it will be some time before Gloria is able to use it. Having learned this, the party are left to either keep exploring the Library or return to the surface, and press on to their goal: a mysterious artifact at the very top of Asclepius Tower, which may be of use in defeating the Shells of Light… >Tourmaline is at 7/5 >Maali is at 7/5 >Timber Hoof is at 6/6 >Gopal is at 6/5 >Abenad is at 7/5 >Gloria is at 6/5 >Galehaut is at 6/5 >Known monolith locations: Lunemark, Serpentine Keep, The Dreaming Spring >Old thread: >>654533
>>656008 >>656009 >>656012 >>656016 You stand in the Great Library perusing the information therein. All of you have made your way to the Ancient History Wing; the most notable aspect of this place is the collection of busts and portraits on the shelves and walls depicting notable figures from world history, as well as the size of the wing in general. You could very easily get lost in this place. Kivoda seems to have left his unease behind him, moving from shelf to shelf poring over the volumes enthusiastically.
>>656011 >>656013 Maali and Gloria, however, are still in the Restoration Wing. Here, they have found a misfiled book labeled "Cultures and Races of the Known World", in which is written a page or so about the culture of Maali's people, the Guarira. While Maali's reading skills are not advanced enough to be able to truly make head or tail of the passage, Gloria notes that it speaks rather crudely about the Guarira's rites and magic. It is referred to as "primitive" and "baser", listing it alongside elemental magic such as pyromancy as a lesser form of magic, whatever this means.
>>656022 >>656011 "Hmn… If it is listed along with other elemental magic, then perhaps we could find spell books similar to your Guarira magic." Gloria says to Maali, hoping she can inspire hope into the little deer.
Timber decides to keep the empty book bindings in a "pocket" in his armor.
"It seems Dreamcoat knows more than he's let on," Timber says in a reserved tone. "We'll have to talk more with him later. For now, look to your heart's content, but once Maali finds the book we are looking for, we have no real need to be here any more."
Timber goes back to the Restoration Wing to help Maali find a book.
>>656022 After she snacks she give sthe food back to Kivoda. She flips through a few books here and there but has reservations about taking or holding any for longer than a few cursory glances' worth of time.
>>656022 >>656025 "That is a good idea…still, not to sound negative miss Gloria… But I have a feeling we might not find the kind of magic my people was blessed with easily… Like the book said it was ancient knowledge given to us by Gaia herself… What we might find are just altered, different Spells that ponies and mages created…" he turns to the vast shelves of books "Where should we even start looking…"
Timber remembers the name from the painting. The painting of Death.
He stares at Galehaut for a moment. He turns and points to the painting of Prince Kether. "We've seen this pony before," Timber says as he points to it. "But, he did not go by Kether when we met him. He was known as Death. No, not just a title. Literally a physical embodiment of death. Based on what you just told me, I don't think the appearance is a coincidence. I think this Prince Kether had an accident in his research. I think he became death."
"It was surmised that death is here in the physical world because he is angry that that which is supposed to be his is not being returned to him. However, if this embodiment of death is so new - nearly as new as this curse… The opposite may be true."
Timber looks at the painting. "It may not be that Death is here because we can't die. It may be that we can't die because Death is trapped here."
Timber continues to contemplate. "Well, perhaps this theory isn't perfect. If it were simply due to death existing in the physical plane, then everyone would have been cursed immediately. But, it's supposedly SPREAD. And, not everyone is cursed. Just our kingdom."
Timber silently muses before shaking his head. "Whatever the case, this Prince Kether is definitely behind much of this. And, Dreamcoat knows what he was doing. We need to speak to him."
>>656027 You cannot manage to restring your bow. Perhaps it would be better to find someone who has more experience repairing weapons.
>>656028 You find a book labelled "The Stormender Rebellions". Perusing it, you learn of a group of dissidents in Rin's history called the Stormenders, who followed an illegitimate son of King Lorn the Wretched as they supported his claim to the throne. The Stormenders attempted to lead a rebellion against the crown three times before they were quelled in the time of King Lucan the Builder. You recall Doom having mentioned something about the Stormenders at some point. "Hm?" His hears perk up. "No, not really, just passing the time. I just love reading about the past, and I don't think I'll ever get a better opportunity to do that than now. Isn't history fascinating?"
>>656030 Much like its owner, the food is bland and uninteresting. As you casually browse, you read some facts about the last King of Rin, Endon III. In his time, he stopped an incursion from Sarnathi invaders and led the defence of Ortague against a terrible Archdragon, but in time he was deposed by the gathered Alorian army that stormed the city and fled to parts unknown. His fate remains a mystery.
>>656029 >>656031 You rejoin your companions as they move to the Lower Arcana Wing. Seeing his companions begin to leave, Kivoda hurriedly follows behind.
>>656039 >>656035 >>656029 >>656031 The Lower Arcana Wing is almost as large as the Ancient History Wing. It is draped in a blue hue, with strange brass devices on many of the shelves. In one corner is a gigantic astrolabe, although it doesn't appear to have been used in quite some time as it is covered in dust. Kivoda pulls a book off the shelf nonchalantly, but frowns as he can't make head or tail of anything written within. "What are we hoping to find here?" Kivoda asks.
>>656041 "I was just hoping to find something of my tribe… Spells, records, Anything really… Although I'm sorry to take everyone's time for this… As soon as I find something we'll leave immediately!" >>656042 "Well not yet… We were looking for books that had more knowledge about the ancient, elemental magic" >>656043 "U-uhh… Imply what?…" '1d10' search search
>>656041 Abenad grunts in annoyance before getting up and wandering around to hook up with the rest of the party.
>>656040 >>656039 >>656038 >>656037 >>656036 Abenad gives out a bird-whistle as he gets together with the rest of the group and joins them in the Lower Arcana Wing. He curiously goes over to the astrolabe and touches it to see what it does.
>>656043 >>656044 >>656053 Through your combined efforts, you unearth a book containing information on a certain ritual used by some zebra shamans in the jungles of southern Ibergal. It is similar enough to the magic of the Guarira for there to be a possible connection between the two cultures. The ritual describes how to summon and commune with the spirit of the caster's ancestor; however, it seems to require great effort and skill to pull this off, and if Maali is to learn how to do this it will take some time to train.
>>656045 The astrolabe starts to spin violently as you touch it, dust flying in every direction. It calms down after a while. You can't make head or tail of what it was used for.
>>656054 They appear to be mostly for measuring things or for studying the skies, although some have no purpose that you can imagine. One strange device appears like a set of scales but with only one counterweight cup; when you place something in, the device makes a harsh buzzing noise and a strip of parchment darts out of a slot on the bottom, covered in magical symbols that mean nothing to you.
>>656061 "Ma-maybe it just.. . Is… it is…your…Rear?… >>656062 >>656064 "Huh… A spell to speak with those that are gone?… I never saw that among my tribe. It must have been the zebra changing the way that we learned how to speak with plants…" >>656066 "Yes, that took enough time already…"
>>656066 Abenad follows after. "Did you mean the forge, Timber?" He asks, bringing the astrolabe with him, "The forge isn't in one of the towers, it's in the Heart of Jevel. Or rather, it IS the Heart of Jevel."
>>656063 Upon closer inspection, you see that it is marked with symbols depicting stars. Presumably, the rings it is comprised of are intended to mimic the movement of celestial bodies. The central, unmoving ring has numbers on it, most likely depicting the known world. Therefore, the device is meant to chart the heavens. A remarkably advanced piece of technology, and rather out of place in a library.
>>656065 Among the shelves, you find what appears to be a wooden puzzle box, no larger than your hoof. It is carved with swirling patterns, and its lid seems to be prevented from opening by four wooden rods. Shaking the box reveals there is something inside, but you cannot figure out how to open it right now.
>>656068 The astrolabe is too large and cumbersome to take with you.
>>656070 >>656072 >>656073 >>656074 >>656075 >>656077 You leave the library behind you, returning upstairs and out of the hypogeal archives. You begin to make your way back towards the plaza you originally entered, this time heading to the south, wherein lie both the Heart of Jevel and Asclepius Tower. As you trudge through Jevel, the faint whispering you swore you heard before seems to grow stronger at times before dropping off completely. You know by now that you are definitely not imagining it, and you get the strange feeling of being watched by someone or something. As your progress, you begin to notice the same few buildings over and over again. Even when you go a different way, you always seem to end up at the same place. Kivoda frowns unhappily as he finds himself lost with the rest of you. "What is going on in this place? Where is everyone?" he gripes out loud. "Now we can't even turn back because we're lost." He slumps down onto a nearby bench and pouts; however, his expression soon changes to one of confusion as he notices a nearby building. There is an inn at the far end of the road, not made of marble like the surrounding structures but of wood and cobble. It is two stories high with a thatched roof and barred windows. It seems to be in a state of disrepair, unlike every other building in Jevel; however, the sign on the front is still legible and familiar to most of the party: "The Pale Mare".
>>656080 >>656073 >>656072 Abenad quickly becomes unhappy with this bullshit. As he sees the pale mare, he gives Timber and Tourmaline a respective nudge. "That's the same inn we were in the other night, right? With Death?"
>>656082 "Good, so do I. Namely, an order for food and drink." >>656083 "Don't worry about it, he's probably just franchising." >>656084 "Well good, you get to experience this for the first time with Kivoda, Galehaut, and Gloria."
>>656088 "Then why not just say it was a second store… Or second Inn in this case… " >>656090 " Oh mister Galehaut I think you will like this place! It's safe and comfortable although a bit creepy… But they had nice fresh milk and everything!"
>>656091 "it is a strange Inn we found before… It might look suspicious but it is safe, miss Gloria. They have a nice fireplace, comfy beds, and nice food too… But after we left it for the first time it disappeared… Though I have this bell" he pulls out a bell from his bag "I was told if I ring this, the Inn will appear again with open doors to offer us a place to rest"
>>656092 "I-I'll stay out here and er… stand guard. You go on ahead," says Kivoda. He looks very unsettled by the sight of the place.
>>656081 >>656082 >>656083 >>656084 >>656090 >>656091 You see a little bell on the sign ring cheerily as you enter. It looks just like the one Maali carries. The inside of the inn is just as disheveled and in shambles as the outside. You notice a large, dusty portrait of Kether hanging over the dormant fireplace. It credits him as being the founder of the inn in the year 9 302. Upstairs, you find that your names are no longer on the rooms, but instead they are marked with numbers. Other than this, it looks exactly the same as when the party, sans Gloria and Galehaut, first encountered it. Or at least, something like it. There is a large open area to the right, where customers would have lounged, and there is a bar to your left. Scavenging the area offers little, save for a few dillies. Overall, it looks like the inn would have once been a comfortable place to stay, but now it is little more than a ruin.
>>656095 "Yes! It is really amazing, you could look inside, really… Mister Abenad is just being silly… There is nothing out here to stand guard for… Right?" >>656096 Maali looks around "Huh… I don't remember… Was this place like this when we first entered? I remember it changed at some point…"
Timber looks around in confusion at first, surprised at the lack of… anyone. However, realization quickly crosses his face.
"Interesting," he says at last. "It would appear this is the 'original' Pale Mare."
He walks up to the painting of Kether and stares at it. "So, he founded this place. I wonder if this place is special physically and/or magically or if it was just special to him personally and the version of this inn which appears to lost travelers is just a reincarnation of that which was dear to him."
He goes back outside to see if the building itself 'belongs'. As in, does the road actually seem to lead to this building? Is there anything past it, if it's even possible to get past it? Does the foundation actually seem to be in place? Is there a foundation at all?
[1d10] to discern if it should be here
"But, if this is the original, why would it be so different from all the other buildings?" Timber muses out loud. "And is it simply a coincidence that it appears now when we are most lost? Or, is this an enchantment like the many others in Jevel? For those who have no destination or place to go in the city, is this place enchanted to appear to them?"
>>656102 "Maybe it could be another result of Soulcrafting," Abenad suggests, "Where the soul of someone with a strong bond to the inn was used to make it so that it would appear anywhere that a weary traveller would need it. It could be coincidence that we came upon it- but I feel that maybe there's some kind of magic in this city that could lead to whoever wanders in it becoming lost."
"Either that or we were just unlucky at finding the Heart of Jevel."
"I agree with you that the inn we encountered in the woods is the result of some sort of soulcrafting," Timber responds as he inspects the building. "But, I don't think that this is the 'same' inn as the one we encountered in the woods."
>>656105 "Definitely not," he says, as he gets up and goes to the front windows to look outside. "Hrmm, I don't remember what happened last time very well… who was the innkeeper? Was that Death, for real?"
"I wish I had some chalk so we could mark our path and make sure we weren't getting lost."
"We were greeted by a mare behind the front desk. We only saw the innkeeper from glances and paintings, but we were told later that the alicorn by that description is Death. There were also many other guests in the inn. Yet, there is absolutely no one here."
>>656100 You rejoin Kivoda outside. He seems to be thinking hard about something, barely acknowledging you as you exit.
>>656102 It is built on a solid foundation, and is as much a part of the landscape as any other building, if rather incongruous with Jevel's usual architecture. Perhaps it is chance you found it now. Or perhaps you are being guided by some invisible hand.
>>656110 The rooms are just as disheveled as the rest of the room, with the portraits of Kether being mostly broken and torn apart. You see that the iron door which was previously sealed is now wide open. Inside is a perfectly ordinary dormitory, presumably once the owner's.
>>656114 You can see three tremendous spiraling towers jutting out from the center of the city. The center is the tallest, and the other two seem to be connected to it by beams of light. By your reckoning, you are about an hour's walk away from the place, assuming you can get there without any further interruptions.
>>656118 Abenad pulls Maali aside, keeping a firm grip on one of his front shoulders. "Listen, I heard the way you were talking to Gloria earlier," he said, "Don't bother getting friendlier with her than is necessary. Romance is a problem you don't want to deal with, and females are more temperamental than the weather."
>>656117 There's not much of note, but you find a dusty thin blue book among the shelves. It is labelled "Gems and their Properties". Reading through it, you find that it appears to detail the magical traits assigned to "powerful" gems. For instance, it says that topazes can strengthen and clears the mind, and that their power waxes and wanes with the moon's cycles. Notably, you read that emeralds, symbols of honor, can act as a remedy for grievous injury and as antidotes to poison. They go dull in the presence of evil and when a vow is broken. Looking down at your amulet, you see that it has gone dull.
>>656121 You feel one of the rods start to give way. "Hm? Oh, nothing. I was just trying to remember something… The other property that makes emeralds go dull… What was it again? Don't suppose you know?"
>>656123 You feel the ground beneath your hooves tremble slightly as you ring the bell. You feel a vague sensation of dread wash over you. Nothing else happens for now.
>>656126 Abenad swears as he sees that the gem's gone dull, then looks through to see if there's anything for tourmaline. >>656127 "Just don't act like you want to romance her, compliment her appearance or physical attributes, and don't grow close to her." He then makes his announcement and goes downstairs before heading out the door, not leaving you time to reply. >>656123 >>656124 >>656120 >>656119 "Hey, all of you, according to this emerald I picked up in the tomb, there's some evil stuff going on around here. I haven't been paying attention to it until just now, but I think we should shuffle on outta here in case things get bad."
He says this as he heads down to the ground floor and puts his things back on and all together before heading out the front door, crossbow in hand.
Until this is said. He then looks at the bell in his hoof and back to Abenad.
"Yes," he says quizzically. "There certainly does seem to be something… off about this place. This bell of Maali's is like the one on the sign out front. I rang it just now and it made the ground tremble slightly."
>>656128 Quickly flipping through, you soon find a small passage on tourmalines. They are symbols of strength, give courage to those in need and act as a powerful talisman against disease and pestilence. A tourmaline gained through treachery or violence, or coveted through envy or greed, is an ill omen and will bring misfortune on its bearer.
In the previous session of Mortal Souls, the party departed from the Great Library of Jevel after finding a book detailing how to perform a ritual to contact one's ancestors. As they continued on their journey to Asclepius Tower, they became hopelessly lost, and by chance (or perhaps some eldritch intervention) they came across the original Pale Mare, upon which the dreamlike replica they had previously seen was based. While exploring this abandoned building, Timber Hoof took the bell Maali had acquired from the replica inn and rang it, and was greeted with a sweeping feeling of dread. Abenad also learned that the emerald he had found had some magical properties, fading when evil was nearby or when a vow had been broken. Looking at his amulet, he found the stone dull as a pebble… >Tourmaline is at 7/5 >Maali is at 7/5 >Timber Hoof is at 6/6 >Gopal is at 6/5 >Abenad is at 7/5 >Gloria is at 6/5 >Galehaut is at 6/5 >Known monolith locations: Lunemark, Serpentine Keep, The Dreaming Spring >Old thread: >>656022
>>656794 >>656795 >>656796 >>656797 >>656798 >>656799 You stand gathered outside the Pale Mare inn with an air of unease hanging over you. According to Gloria's scouting, Asclepius Tower lies about an hour's march south of your current location. Kivoda looks tense, and unnerved by the sight of the inn. "Are we… Are we done here? I'd like to get moving, if so."
>>656803 Kivoda gets the hint and stays quiet as the party file out.
>>656801 >>656802 >>656803 >>656804 >>656805 >>656806 You leave the inn behind you and continue your wary trek through the abandoned city. After about an hour of silent progress, you arrive at Asclepius Tower, the leftmost of the three towers that make up the city's center. The path to it is decorated by an archway similar in design to the one marking the entrance to the city, and the marble tiled path leading to its gaping entrance is flanked by statues of ponies rampant. They are unicorns for the most part, but there are some bat ponies, pegasi, earth ponies and even an alicorn. You note that they are in the likeness of many of the busts and portraits you saw in the library, including statues of Kether and Dreamcoat. The tower itself is, like the rest of the city, made of solid marble. It is a cylindrical shape, with the very top having several structures jutting out; however, you cannot make out the details from the ground. On the highest floor, you can see what appears to be a beam of light connecting Asclepius to the central tower to its right. The entrance to Asclepius consists of a heavy iron door decorated in magical runes, with a brass knocker shaped like a face on the front.
>>656807 Gloria looks among the statues, her eyes settling on the alicorn for a bit longer than the others. She then gazes up at the tower as the group arrives at the door. "Do you think we may come across a few magical defenses against intruders?" She asks more generally to the whole group.
>>656810 "Not particularly, but I get the feeling that it's here for a reason. If we were thieves, we wouldn't knock, would we?" >>656809 "Could be, I wouldn't expect whoever put the thing together would have more trust in locks and guards than wards and hexes."
>>656809 "I hope not… I would say that we should be careful for blanks but there are not even a single one…" >>656811 "… And what would we do if we were?" >>656812 "Please no… I just wish that those things left us alone… But they still stalk us… I just hope they did not follow us even here"
>>656815 "No. The forge is called the Heart of Jevel, and it's in the middle of the city." >>656814 "We'd bust the doors down, climb or fly up to the top and go in through a window, something like that."
>>656808 The runes flash and the door swings open silently as you knock, allowing entry to the tower.
>>656809 "It wouldn't surprise me if there were," Kivoda chimes in, "but I doubt there's anyone left here to intrude."
>>656815 "I think that's it over there." Kivoda points to the adjacent tower that is connected by the beam of light. It easily dwarfs Asclepius, and seems to have a central spire jutting out from its top. Every now and then, the spire seems to crackle with blue lightning. This reminds you of something, but you can't quite remember what right now.
As the door opens, it reveals a surprisingly homely and comfortable environment for a wizard's tower. Polished wooden bookshelves line the back wall, and couches and chairs are lined in front of a merry green-tinted fire that blazes eternally in a stone hearth. On the floor is a lavish yellow and blue rug, with a small lump in the center revealing a trapdoor under it which presumably leads to a lower level. To your left is a flight of spiraling marble stairs leading to the upper floor. You recall that Dreamcoat said that the artifact he sought was on the topmost floor. Strangely enough, you can hear a faint scrabbling sound coming from below. This is followed by a strange cawing sound, like a crow. Kivoda jumps slightly at the noise and frowns. "Should we go up or down?" he muses to himself. "I don't like the idea of either…"
>>656820 Maali steps over the carpets and hops on one of the coaches "What a comfy place…" he mutters, turning to Kivoda "Let's see what is making that noise first… Maybe it is someone in need of help"
>>656822 >>656823 >>656827 >>656828 "I think I'll follow suit," says Kivoda, and he does just that. You go up the stairs. This floor contains even more books, neatly arranged in shelves along the walls. There are also even more tables with scrolls on them, although the writings on these are nigh-illegible. At the far end of the room is another flight of stairs, presumably leading to the next level. There is also a table containing a hefty-looking leather tome; however, many of the pages seem to have been torn out in a haste, as if Dreamcoat - or whoever else visited this tower - left hurriedly. The book appears to be a journal of some sort.
>>656821 >>656824 You descend into the basement. It is lit in a purple glow by certain crystals hanging from its ceiling. Any sense of comfort you had investigating the lobby is immediately broken. The smell is indescribably horrid, and you have to fight to suppress the urge to vomit as you peer around. You can see cages and boxes in varying states of disrepair here, containing several animals. You notice that most of them seem strangely despondent, and they have a glazed look in their eye that you have seen before; they are blank. Most of them are small like rats or insects, but you notice that there are an unusual amount of birdcages containing crows. There are also many glass boxes with snakes inside, some of which appear broken.There are also some plants on some of the tables. You recognize a few from the eerie garden at the gates of the city. Also abundant are strips of parchment scattered about, most of which are written in nigh-illegible chicken scratch and are stained thoroughly besides. You can make out the name Kether written several times on the notes.
>>656830 "Hmn… not much here. We're looking for an orb, correct? Maybe we should look higher." She says, making her way slowly up the stairs to inspect the next floor. "I'll go check ahead if you guys want to look around."
>>656831 "Sure, go up ahead," Abenad says, as he looks over the room. >>656827 Abenad pats Tourmaline on the back. "So, I found a book on gems while we were in the inn," he says, "Do you know what your namesake represents?"
>>656830 He scrunches his muzzle at the foul smell ''Maybe we should have gone upstairs mister Galeaut…'' He mutters as he walks up to one of the cages with the crows, leaning close to it ''Hello little friend…'' He says in a friendly tone, followed by a short, low whistle
>>656848 Abenad bristles his coat at the suggestion of him being hypersensitive, but answers her. "A tourmaline's a symbol of strength, gives courage, and is strong against disease and pestilence. Bit strange calling citizens of a magic city yokels, though. If there's any magic or symbolism related to gems, these'd probably be the horses to draw it out. You've no talent with magic, do you?"
>>656831 >>656834 >>656832 >>656836 >>656847 The third floor contains an enormous map of Rin on its far wall, with several locations marked on it. They correspond roughly to the locations on your own map. Next to it is a list of three names: "Archdragon Veldr", "Einord the Fettered" and "The Afraid". Under these is scribbled the name "TASCHETER" hastily, as if it were added much later. Aside from the map, there are a plethora of strange contraptions and artifacts in the room, much like the ones you saw in the library. Notably, there is an astrolabe here too, although this one does not move of its own free will. A strangely patterned urn on one shelf hosts a fleshy-looking plant or fungus, whose thorny tendrils wave lazily about despite there being no wind. On another shelf are a variety of phials, beakers and decanters containing liquids of all manner of colors. There is also a chest in one corner, although it appears to be locked. As with all the rooms, the stairs are at the far end of the room.
>>656844 You open the journal. Many of the pages seem to have been transcribed from a disparity of different books from cultures all around the world. The one thing tying all these pages together are references to evil entities from traditional stories and texts. There are also diary entries, presumably written by Dreamcoat. They are difficult to read, but you do your best. "found kethers notes… should be able to access sarahi manuscripts in occ wing. alicorn immortality soon???" "took the stone of communion… wait until full moon to contact kether… need to clarify the meaning of senh lorna in sarahi manuscript 5. does pearl orchid suspect something? must question her" "full moon soon! topaz will reach full power… [illegible] bury the bodies" A page is ripped out here. "kether does not exist anymore" "perhaps it is possible to harness senh lorna? will need to be careful… gaspard disapproves" There is a large break of removed pages here, save for some containing certain diagrams that for some reason deeply disturb you. The next entries are dated much later than the previous ones. "MUST find immortal souls… they are the key… making contact with earthmover in south to ask for help" "E.M. will help! disciples will try to find the souls. tascheter is growing suspicious" "if souls cannot be found, then i will have to make one… need vessels to experiment" Another page ripped out. "no souls yet… made a substitute" "experiments working! test subject came back as if nothing had ever happened. must consult tascheter in regards to [illegible]" What follows are several pages of almost manic scribbling in a language you do not recognize, although the alphabet is readable. You see the names of Kether, Tascheter and Gaspard come up regularly, but other than that it's gibberish to you. The words "Senh Lorna," "Sheol," "Nkai" and "Karad" are repeated frequently. Every now and then, a page is missing. After a while, the journal is legible again. "perhaps karad=SL=first shadow=pain of ages - first fall of rin connection????" "the work continues… dying seems to have a mental toll on vessels but it seems impossible to truly destroy them" "EUREKA" "need a stronger vessel to hold the soul. vessels are starting to come apart, losing their scales…" "tascheter has the soul now. she didnt want it but i forced her." "shes changed. no one here can know." "experiment overall was a failure. too late to turn back now. gaspard will be next." That's all there is. The rest has been removed.
>>656849 >>656848 >>656844 >>656831 ''Me and mister Galehaut found a very bad smelling room down there. It had many cages filled with animals a-and…They looked like blanks… I wanted to free them but Mister Galehaut insisted that we did it if everyone was together…'' He rolls his eys >>656851 not knowing how to read the names in the walls, Maali's attention was drawn more to the urn in the plant. Walking up to it, he tried to identify it >Woodscrafty deer
>>656850 "Interesting," Abenad says as he looks on the map, "Dreamcoat must have been keeping track of the different holders of Immortal Souls, but why didn't he mention this to us earlier?" He heads over to the staircase and goes up to the next floor. >>656852 He grunts in reply. "So, where are you a yokel to?"
Timber continues to stare at the book after he finishes reading it. He is torn between disgust, anger, sadness, and of course curiosity, unable to figure out how to react.
"They were experimenting on them," Timber says, shaking his head at the book, but not looking away. "Dreamcoat, Kether, and Tascheter. Yes, that name should be familiar. That's the snake creature we saw. It was working with them. If I'm reading this right, it has an immortal soul."
Timber closes the journal and puts it away in a pocket (if it's small enough to do so). "Dreamcoat has much to answer to. And, I won't allow him to deny this evidence."
>>656856 ''I don't know…Maybe they were trying to discover if the effects of the curse were different with animals…Or… Or they were using them to test spells to end the curse before trying them on themselves…'' >>656857 He lowers his ears, sadly lowering his gaze ''Let us take the orb then and bring it to Dreamcoat…I feel that he might be expecting those questions when we return''
>>656860 >>656861 "That's what these kinds of scholars do though, isn't it? Testing and the like. Not to mention they'll have been locked down there for a long time, we should go and let them out. As for mad ravings, that's probably just shorthand."
"I don't want to jump to conclusions, but it may be that he GAVE them that curse," Timber says angrily. "I don't completely understand it. There are many missing pages - most likely removed to hide the evidence of their mistakes - but, I believe this book may be chronicling the probably accidental creation of this curse. At the very least, this doesn't seem to be the result they were looking for. Still, they were meddling in a place and a way they shouldn't have."
>>656862 "But giving you two the benefit of the doubt or whatever it's called, I'll go down there with you and I can see for myself." >>656863 "This could be his fault, entirely?" Abenad pauses and thinks about what the implications of that would be, and how much of the current state of Rin would be the fault of Dreamcoat. "Yeah, that's not something we can let slide."
>>656858 >>656857 "I see…" She mumbles, making her way over to the book to read the journal that timber had opened.
As she's quickly reading through the journal, Gloria continues to talk. "How was this Tascheter working with them is what I'm wonder…ing…" She trails off, her eyes widening as she notices something within the journal. Although she doesn't point it out right away as she seems to be slightly stunned because of it.
>>656854 It's actually a fungus, but it doesn't look like any fungus you've ever seen. Must be foreign to Rin. You get the feeling you shouldn't touch it.
>>656853 "Wasn't he one of the Administrators here?" says Kivoda in confusion. "I remember hearing about him back at the library."
>>656856 It's just about the same as the map you carry among you, except the only places that are marked are Ortague, the Tower of Silence, the Shrine of Order and Mount Venn. This last one seems to have been circled much later. See >>654557
>>656852 >>656855 >assuming the rest of you are following This seems to have been Dreamcoat's former bedroom. There is a cupboard containing a plethora of robes, and a very unremarkable bed in the corner. There is a desk at the far end with more books and quills, as well as a framed scroll hanging over it. It seems to be some sort of oath taken by every Administrator of Jevel, swearing to do everything they can to protect the city and never leave their post until their death. Abenad notes that just like before in the Pale Mare, his emerald pendant has gone dull. At the far end of the room is a ladder leading up to a trapdoor. This must be the topmost floor. Presumably, what you seek lies above.
>>656867 "Everything they can do to protect the city and to never leave the post until their death," Abenad sums up, "Think he's being literal with that? Did he seem undead to any of you?" >>656869 "I was asking where you were from, but that doesn't seem as important right now."
>>656872 "Sheol… Why…. Why is this foul creature's name written over and over…?" She asks herself, holding the book up as she looks to see the numerous times it's mentioned.
"I don't like this… Seeing it's name here once wouldn't have made me so nervous, but the fact the pony who wrote this has written it's name numerous times…" She says, setting the book down as she takes a deep breath to calm her nerves.
>>656868 You find a thick faded blue book. The cover reads "Birdsong Tales - transcribed from the Briom scrolls by Asuandil of Geldra." As you flip through, you find it is filled with traditional folk stories, an important part of Rinish culture. One in particular has been left bookmarked. http://pastebin.com/Mjp1EyJY
>>656872 The robe is far too big for you. It should be at least three times smaller to fit your stature. Still, you feel important wearing it.
>>656874 Kivoda looks over your shoulder at the scrawlings. "'Senh Lorna'… What was he doing researching that? This is troubling, to say the least…"
>>656869 >>656875 >>656877 >assuming everyone else is following You move up the ladder and onto the top of the tower, looking down at the vast city all around you. You feel dizzy from the height, and have to look away after a while. A great beam of glowing white light extends in front of you, leading to the adjacent tower. It radiates warmth. In the middle of the area is a sort of altar consisting of three clawlike pillars of black stone that seem oily to the touch. These are the structures you could see from the bottom of the tower. In the center of these is a stone basin, inside which is a small round orb made of a green glasslike material. It is only slightly larger than a marble, and is shining brightly, illuminating the whole area.
>>656876 "I… Guess you could call it that. My people fight to protect our land from the undead threat, seeking necromancers in attempts to, as we would say, 'Kill the beast by cutting off it's head'" She says. Gloria turns to inspect the map further "But I and quite a few of my brethren believe that the only way to do that is to kill the being that first brought necromancy into this world… The first undead to have risen, the first scholar of necromancy." She says, hoping Maali would piece it together so she wouldn't have to speak that name anymore.
>>656878 >>656876 >>656875 >>656874 >>656869 "Wow, I do not like this at all," Abenad exclaims, "I have a strong feeling telling me that this whole thing's going to come down when we pull that orb out. I think everyone but Gloria should get to the ground and move away while she pulls it out, and in case it falls she can just fly down."
>>656880 >>656878 "It's rather implausible that an entire building would be contrived such that the thing at the top would be the linchpin holding it together. But I'll go along with that idea anyway. But I doubt it'll matter because something is going to attack us any minute anyway for being up here."
>>656878 ''Yes…I will keep this'' He says regally before giggling, folding the robe back and putting it on his bag
''This must be it! the orb!'' He walks up to the altar, eyes shining as they reflect the glow of the orb >>656879 ''Oh…T-that…That can't b e good…Are the curse and Sheol related as well?…'' >>656880 ''But what if instead of crumbling down it just activates a bunch of traps and miss Gloria is left to deal with them alone? We don't know what will happen if we take off that orb…it might not cause anything at all even''
>>656888 "If it kills you…" He says, rubbing his chin, "Well, there's a chance you could be resurrected, but I'm not that informed on who the curse effects. In any case, thanks for going with the plan. I promise I'll do my best to get back up if anything goes bad."
Abenad heads down the stairs to the ground floor and heads out the door quick as he can.
>>656888 >>656892 It's definitely not just a paperweight. You notice that it looks incredibly heavy for its size. As you look into the green polished glass, you catch a glimpse of a pale equine face staring back at you. It happens so fast that you can't be sure if you imagined it or not.
>>656893 Maali goes to lay down on Dreamcoat's bed, opening the book he found with his friends in the library just to see if they had any pictures or something non-text that he could understand >>656894 ''Oh! yes let' do that right away!'' He hops off the bed and walks to the door downstairs''
>>656898 With some effort, you haul the orb down the stairs and meet up with the rest of the group. Kivoda, who until now was occupying himself drawing patterns in the dust with his staff, looks up as you approach. "Are we done here, then? Let's get going." >paused
In the previous session of Mortal Souls, the party began to search Asclepius Tower, the sorcerer Dreamcoat's old home, for an artifact that Dreamcoat had requested they retrieve for him. While doing so, they found disturbing evidence in the tower that not only suggested that he had created the squamous creature stalking them, but that he had had a hand in the advent of the undead curse that plagues Rin today. Galehaut also found a strange book in Dreamcoat's bedroom filled with what seem to be fairy tales from Rin's folklore. At the very top of the tower, they discovered the object of their quest: a small green orb that glows strongly. As Gloria took it, she glimpsed a pallid face inside the orb staring out at her… >Tourmaline is at 7/5 >Maali is at 7/5 >Timber Hoof is at 6/6 >Gopal is at 6/5 >Abenad is at 7/5 >Gloria is at 6/5 >Galehaut is at 6/5 >Known monolith locations: Lunemark, Serpentine Keep, The Dreaming Spring >Old thread: >>656800
>>656904 >>656905 >>656906 >>656907 You are currently outside of Asclepius Tower. To your right is the tower containing the Soul Forge, also known as the Heart of Jevel. Kivoda looks at the orb Gloria carries with wonder. "Well, that's that done with. Can… can we leave now? I'd much rather be done with this place as fast as possible. It's… unnatural…"
"I dislike unnatural cities in general," Timber agrees. "But, there is still more that must be learned. And, regardless of what we learn, I believe that our allies wish to use it to make their souls that they have gathered into weapons."
Timber walks with determination to the other tower.
>>656915 "Well, I didn't join Doom. I had spent what I think are months -it felt like years- protecting some of the last remaining citizens of Ortague when his band of scouts came by. I didn't care for his talk of becoming king of all Rin, I couldn't care less. But I suppose living alone out there with no one but those citizens wasn't doing anything to help fix the problem of undying, and joining with Doom seemed like the natural progression of how I could contribute to this one day being all over."
He looks at the relatively small deer,
"It helped that he allowed the others there to join him as well. They offered food and shelter, protection. Something I was having trouble doing by myself."
>>656909 >>656910 >>656911 >>656912 >>656913 "Wh-what? But… Well, alright." Kivoda begrudgingly trudges on towards the city's core. As you approach the enormous structure, you feel a faint rhythmic pounding under your feet, as if of a beating heart. You can almost hear a thudding sound as you move towards the Soul Forge. Unnerving as this is, you do not feel afraid. It seems to draw you in. It is a familiar sensation. You have felt it when in the presence of a yet undiscovered monolith. Kivoda, however, seems to be unaffected by this. He seems very eager to run as fast as possible away from this place. The Heart of Jevel looms over you ominously as you approach. The entrance is, for some reason, much less decorated than the entrance to the tower to its left. It consists merely of a black and blue tiled pathway leading to a set of stone doors. Above this is an intricate bas-relief depicting a myriad of unicorn mages. Just like the previous tower, this one sports a brass knocker on its doors.
>>656916 "I see… You just did what you felt would be best… You don't see him as your leader… Just A leader… Right?" >>656917 "It's okay mister Kivoda, I will… Well… Mister Galehaut will protect you if anything bad happens" he bumps the scaredy stallion while following Abenad
>>656919 "Of course not, I have relative distrust for him in general. My loyalty lies to Rin itself, and seeing that future generations can do more than just survive, but once again live and feel safe."
>>656918 >>656919 >>656920 >>656921 >>656922 You step into the tower. Immediately, you are engulfed by dizzying darkness, just like the tunnel you passed through at the start of your journey. Yet again, your head begins to spin, and you are engulfed by a feeling of ineffable dread. Just like before, the feeling passes as quickly as it came, and you are left standing in an enormous marble room. The room is enormous, the ceiling reaching all the way to the top of the tower. A glowing, pulsating pillar of light shoots from the epicenter all the way to the top, surrounded by stairs leading to a ring-shaped structure surrounding it. There are basins or vessels of some sort at regular intervals all the way throughout the structure, very similar to the one at the top of Asclepius Tower that contained the artifact. The walls of the place are decorated in cyclopean bas-reliefs depicting mages of all different races. At the far end of the room is a colossal marble and onyx statue of Kether himself with hooves wide open, towering over you all like some primordial titan. You can't help but feel intimidated by the size of the monument and by its stern visage. As you look around, you feel drawn to the altar and the beam of light, as if being pulled by some otherworldly force. All around can be heard and felt the rhythmic pounding and pulsating of the Heart of Jevel. Kivoda's breath catches in his throat as he takes in the sight of the place, his awestruck gaze lingering on the gargantuan sculpture.
>>656926 His ears perk up "Oooh! My mistake then… Well, do you think he might not make a good leader then?" >>656927 "This place… It makes me feel so small…"He looks around at the statues of mages of all races, hopeful to find a deer mage
>>656927 "What an egotist," Abenad says with a sneer, "When I get my castle and land, I'll just keep it toned down, probably have some paintings and put my head on the coat-of-arms. Just because you can build a statue of yourself, doesn't mean you should." He walks around, looking at the bas reliefs and saying, "Yeah, these look nice, too, but it's just a forge, if you're going to be making weapons it should look like a forge, not like a church."
He walks around the edge of the room, looking for instructions, diagrams or the like. "If these mages didn't write this stuff down I'm going to knocking Dreamcoat in the face twice for not telling me. He's so important, why doesn't he know how to do it in the first place?"
Timber barely looks at the rest of the room. He stares at the pulsating light for a while. The same thought has been in his mind since he felt the same feeling he felt around an undiscovered monolith. It must be touched.
Timber walks up to the light and touches it slowly. His hoof approaches cautiously, every inch a laboriously slow effort. Every moment he reconfirms that his hoof is not burning. If it is, he quickly pulls it away. If not, he touches it.
[1d10] for reaction time on whether he pulls his hoof away if it's too hot
>>656928 >>656931 As you look around, you spot a carving of a great bearded stag. He does not appear to be a deer akin to you, as he appears much larger than your kin and has long branching horns that almost resemble hands. He is depicted standing austerely in the middle of a snowy forest.
>>656929 As you look around, you take note of the basins stationed around the beam of light. They look like they are meant for something to be placed in. You also notice a plaque at the feet of the great statue. "In memory of Prince Kether VII, Administrator of Jevel, and his great boon granted to this city. May he never rot."
>>656930 "I think your friend here wants to figure out how to use this… thing," says Kivoda with a nod towards Abenad.
>>656934 There don't seem to be any threats nearby for now.
>>656935 The beam of magical energy is not burning, but rather pleasantly warm. As you hold your hoof out, the small V-shaped marking on it flashes and you feel an uncomfortable trickling sensation down your scalp and neck, as if someone had cracked a raw egg over your head. >new monolith location: Heart of Jevel
>>656928 >>656929 >>656930 >>656934 >>656935 As you move around, you notice something strange. The ground and walls have a sort of malleable, almost fleshy texture, despite being made of solid marble. Kivoda wrinkles his nose in disgust and confusion. "Ugh! What… what is this?"
>>656936 Galehaut slowly lowers his shield like a spinning saw blade onto the floor, seeing if the fleshy texture gives way. If it does without causing harm to the blade, he plunges it about 1/4 of the shield deep.
"I do not know, Kivoda. I wonder if it rends like flesh."
>>656936 There's a glint in his eyes as he admires the stag "Wow…" Howev he can't admire for long as he notices the change in the floor" Well…this is strange…" he hops off, looking for somewhere to jump into that was not fleshy
>>656937 Your shield whirrs noisily as you tear into the "marble"; however, any sort of damage just results in the floor melding back together without any visible lesions.
>>656939 Kivoda tilts his head in confusion. "Wh-what do you mean? Leave? How? To where?"
>>656940 To your dismay, you find that the floor has this consistency everywhere.
>>656943 You place the soul in. The pillar of energy begins to resonate with its presence, the heartbeat of the great forge getting faster and faster. You begin to feel light-headed, and the room spins. Suddenly, through the power of the Heart, you gain great insight into the nature of the souls your companions carry. http://pastebin.com/zpuwerk5
>>656944 There is a spiraling stairwell at the back of the room. As you take it up, you get to a balcony overlooking the entire forge. Unlike the other monoliths you have encountered, it seems that the building itself is the object affected by the strange magic, with the energy beam providing the focus point for teleportation. You suddenly realize why the blue lightning at the top of the tower seemed familiar; the Lunemark monolith had the same energy surrounding it.
>>656946 >>656942 >>656944 >>656940 >>656937 Abenad leans onto the wall after his head starts spinning, then steps back and holds his hands out. "I see the future of these souls," he says, squinting as he speaks, "And they're all only good for me, none of you would like them."
He gives the core of Coronus back to Tourmaline. "Here, give me the one for… the giant maggot. Was I not there for that one?"
>>656947 >>656946 "This is really starting to get old and I just want to teleport back to the old folks and give them the thing they wanted. Yeah right they're only good for you. Share with the rest of us or I'm leaving to shove these up Dreamcoat's ass with that other thing we found." she says, getting close to the teleportermajig.
"Well we have a fast way out, regardless," Timber calls down as he walks back to the party. "But, if we are to keep our ability to communicate with Dreamcoat open, I believe we should follow through with our commitment to Doom's forces first. I still would like to have some words with the Shells of Light anyway."
>>656948 "Well, the giant maggot or roly-poly or whatever it was will be transformed into a great bow and a set of armor. Waymar's soul will give us something for the blade Tourmaline took from him, and an old music box. I see Gopal in my mind, as well, he might have something to do with it. The soul of the clockwork two-legs will give us a great axe and a sword that hurts to be used, and the reptile that we slew will allow us to conjure his weapon and a blade of great strength."
>>656949 "Fine, teleport back you humorless nag, I wasn't serious."
>>656951 >>656949 "And give me the soul of the big bug mother, I want the bow. It'll be good to replace my own." >>656952 "I feel like Gopal has something to do with it, saw him with one in one of my dreams lately."
>>656961 "Hmm… I seem to have misinterpreted it, it's one or the other with this." He sighs. "Well, I suppose it'd be better for the group to take the armor for someone." >>656964 "Well, clearly he's somegoat who wouldn't mind getting hurt terribly, most would rather try to avoid pain altogether. Anyway, we'll make the armor for you, if you're so keen on it."
>>656968 "Weapons don't have to be made from souls, and there's great magic in the work that goes into making a tool. And why don't you lord your magic over us some more, you and Timber are about the only ones here who can use it." >>656969 Abenad takes the soul of the Pale Mother, then leans over and takes the hammer back from Tourmaline. >Reclaiming the Sundering Hammer He then pushes the soul into the basin, humming in what seems to be a magical way to him.
>>656971 As you put the soul in the basin, the beam of light begins to pulsate. In a flash of light and a sudden smell of ozone, the soul is consumed, and a thick chestplate appears in its place. It is a bluish-black hue with a smooth texture and claw-like pauldrons. Between its cracks, bristles poke out here and there, and it emits a quiet chittering sound every now and then. >the Soul of the Pale Mother is no more
>>656973 >>656974 "That it is. And it's for Tourmaline, since she decided the sound and smell of burnt flesh are perfectly appetizing to her," he says as he pulls it out. >>656969 "Need any help getting it on?" He asks, holding the newly created chestplate out to her.
>>656975 >>656976 With some assistance, Tourmaline dons the armor. It's a slightly tight fit, but not uncomfortable. Kivoda looks both thunderstruck at the armor's creation and intimidated by its looks. >pausing
In the previous session of Mortal Souls, the party ventured into the Heart of Jevel, unlocking it as a warp point as well as using the arcane forge's power. As they sacrificed one of the souls they had acquired on their journey, it was transformed into a cuirass of wondrous properties, granting bonus HP and counterattacking critical blows. As they explored the structure, however, they soon found the floor and walls to have a strangely malleable, fleshy composition. With this location available to return to at any time, they are left to either continue to explore or return to the Dreaming Spring, where the Resistance await them… >Tourmaline is at 10/5 >Maali is at 7/5 >Timber Hoof is at 6/6 >Gopal is at 6/5 >Abenad is at 7/5 >Gloria is at 6/5 >Galehaut is at 6/5 >Known monolith locations: Lunemark, Serpentine Keep, The Dreaming Spring, Heart of Jevel >Old thread: >>656908
You stand in the Heart of Jevel, wary of the unceasing thumping sound it emits. Kivoda shifts nervously, put on edge by the soft texture of the marble floor. "Never seen anything quite like this before," he comments as he gazes at the beam of light and the colossal statue of Kether.
>>657381 She goes to the front door of the palace, then sticks her tongue out and blows raspberries at everything in the immediate vicinity, then at the floor, at the interior of the palace, then at the statue, then at everything else not already given one. She then teleports away to the Spring with the teleporter.
>>657381 Abenad walks to the door of the tower and opens it, looking outside. "So right now, we could teleport back to the Dreaming Spring," he says, "But that Tascheter creature is still nearby, I think we should stay around to confront her. We did well against her last time, I think we could finish her off." >>657382 Abenad doesn't notice Tourmaline's juvenile display until she teleports out, scowling where she just was.
>>657384 >>657383 ''I would like to think so…But she might just go there and try to solve things on her own… Maybe we should go after her…'' >>657385 ''It feels like… Flesh? Maybe this place is alive somehow? Or just an illusion to scare us.''
>>657392 "Wait, did you think I was talking about waiting here and getting Tourmaline's attention? I'm talking about Tascheter, the snake creature we fought the other night." >>657391 "One of us should go after her and bring her back so we can go out and slay Tascheter." >>657393 "He can wait, it's not like his lab is on fire."
>>657382 Kivoda looks surprised and amused by your antics.
>>657383 >>657396 Blackness engulfs you as you teleport, and you feel that familiar yet horribly uncomfortable sensation like being squeezed through a narrow tube. As usual, the sensation and darkness vanish as quickly as they come, and you find yourself at the foot of the thorny ashen stone that marks your arrival in the Dreaming Spring. Nearby is a crystal clear pond surrounded by smooth white stones, while beyond that you see the boulder that conceals the entrance to Doom's fort. You recall that to enter you must find a strip of parchment concealed nearby, knock on the boulder three times then two more, then when prompted give the password written on said parchment. For the first time in what feels like forever, you are alone.
>>657385 It's as cold and smooth as marble, but pushing against it causes slight depressions that reform as you take it away. It's almost fleshy in composition, despite looking like stone.
Kivoda jumps and gapes in confusion at the loud whip crack of Tourmaline and Maali teleporting away. "What? Where did she go?" He looks around wildly, clutching his staff. "Wh-what is going on?"
>>657397 "Well we still need to report back to Doom as well, so I hope you don't mind if I finish that up before venturing further." She says, before following after Maali and Tourmaline.
>>657398 Before making her way back to Dreaming Spring, she turns to speak to Kivoda. "Do not worry Kivoda, we're simply taking a quick trip away from here. I'll be back shortly." She says with a smile, before taking her leave with the orb in possession.
>>657398 He heaves and pants as he arrives on the other side, still not used to the feeling ''M-m-miss Tourmaline? We need to…Oh cursed-Gah…We need to go back…'' He groans as he realizes he'll have to face the same feeling again
Abenad leaves the tower, then goes over to the other one where Dreamcoat's laboratory is to start pulling books and things off the shelves, before taking them out and laying them down. He then goes back in and starts dismantling and pulling out furniture and floorboards to use as kindling and fuel.
>>657400 "B-but… H-hey, wait!" He shuffles over to you and reaches out as if to stop you just as you leave. Blackness engulfs you, and the crushing feeling wracks your body. When you recover, you see Tourmaline and Maali standing near the boulder guarding the entrance. You hear a groan from behind you; Kivoda got teleported alongside you, and is lying flat on his back looking dazed. After a while, he struggles to get back up, hodling his head and blinking as he looks around. "Urgh. What happened? Wh… where are we?"
>>657402 You join Gloria in teleporting away back to the Dreaming Spring. It seems Kivoda got caught up in it as well. He looks like he's about to throw up from the sensation.
>>657399 After some scrabbling around, you find a piece of parchment hidden in the bushes. You knock on the boulder and recite today's password - "Bulwark" - and the boulder rolls aside.
>>657403 You gather a few books and dismantle the couch on the lower level. You can't help but feel like you're being judged for burning books.
>>657399 >>657400 >>657401 >>657402 A thin, grubby-looking green unicorn with rough stubble and a ginger ponytail stands guard within. You recognize him as Boiling Point; he along with Candy Claws guided the party to Doom's stronghold in the first place. He shuffles over to you looking agitated. "Hey, it's you!" Boiling barks. "Doom was expecting you back yesterday. Where where you? He's going to kill you if he survives the battle."
>>657407 Once left alone, Abenad pulls off his cape, shield, and jewlery, then opens up his shirt, and sets his things down on the ground.
He starts opening the books and arranges them in a sort of pyramid on top of the couch, then lights the pages on the topmost book and steps back as he watches it start to burn, before sitting down on the ground and leaning back on his hands, wishing he had something to drink.
>>657402 >>657400 ''M-miss Gloria? Mister Galehaut? why are you here too? I was about to get miss Tourmaline to come back with us and all…'' >>657407 ''Oh, Boiling Point! I have not seen you in a few moons'' He chirps ''Doom? Survive a battle? Where did he go?'' >>657409 ''Well… I would not mind leaving that Monster aside…But she might become dangerous if we do not deal with her''
>>657408 The books begin to burn. Nothing happens. You remember that you haven't seen a trace of Tascheter since before you entered the city.
>>657409 >>657410 "Everyone's gone and left," Boiling explains. "They're off to the Far Cairn to help defend against the Shells. Didn't he tell you? He was waiting for you to come back from your scouting mission so you would accompany him to the fort, but it's too late for that now." He shrugs. "It's just me, Candy and a few others keeping the peace around here until they come back. If you're going to stay here, you might as well get comfortable. No telling how long they'll be gone."
>>657411 "Why's that? You run into some trouble out there or something?"
>>657412 "Dreamcoat? Well, you're out of luck. He left not long after you did, with his… uh… protege? I guess that's what she is now. The mare that was with your friends before. Pearl, I think her name is. He said they had urgent business to attend to elsewhere, but they'd be back by today. So if you want to talk to him, you ought to stick around here."
Boiling suddenly notices Kivoda among you. "Here, who are you then? Don't remember seeing you around before. You new around here?… You're not a Changeling, are you?" He squints suspiciously. "Me? No, no! I've been accompanying them for a few days. They saved me from a Shell ambush." He moves to the front of the party and extends his hoof. "I'm Kivoda. Pleased to meet you." "The name's Boiling Point, and uh… same." He returns the friendly gesture. "Normally this'd be the part where we lock you up to see if you're a Changeling or not, but, you know, the boss isn't around and I'll trust these guys' word that you're not a big bug. Plus it's a hassle anyway." He gives Kivoda an encouraging grin. It reminds you a lot of the merchant Clean Slate's signature smile. "Hey," Boiling says to you, "do you mind if I borrow him for a bit? Someone ought to guide him around, show him how things work around here, that sort of thing."
>>657418 ''Well If he does it is because he wanted to stay alone and some big monster jumped on him! Let us…Just do what we are here for and go back…I don't feel well leaving anyone behind like that'' >>657419 ''Wait…Did… Did Master Dreamcoat leave as well?!'' He asks just before Point aswers Gloria, and the deer as well ''Pearl?…Who i-Oh! Miss Archie!'' ''Yes yes, please show him around…'' He turns to Kivoda and puts a hoof on his chest ''You will be safe here with him Mister Kivoda. I hope we were not such a terrible company. Now excuse me''
''Okay…Where is miss Ar-ermm… Pearl…Where is she?''
>>657419 >>657417 Gloria sighs after hearing the news that not only did she fail to get back in time but that Dreamcoat was able to avoid being questioned by her. "Sure, let me just drop this off at Dreamcoat's room and we'll be returning back to Jevel. If Dreamcoat or Doom ask where we are, inform them we are dealing with a beast called 'Tascheter'." She says, before delivering the orb so that she can return to Jevel.
>>657419 Abenad considers this knowledge, then gets up and starts going to the edge of the city, keeping his eyes on the towers as a landmark to find his way back. He walks along the border of the wall as best he can until he comes to one of the entrances, at which point he would leave the city to get a look around.
>>657420 "B-b-but I'm not a changeling!" he stammers in panic, startled by the sudden movement. "You know I'm not! Why would you… Oh. Very funny." Boiling stands there, thoroughly amused by the spectacle.
>>657421 "Like I said, she left with Dreamcoat. Odds are they'll be back soon. He said they had some, uh, research to complete. I don't know anything about it, but I'm sure it's important."
>>657420 >>657421 >>657423 "Thanks a million." Boiling beams again. "Come on now, changeling scum. I'll show you the ropes." He gestures for Kivoda to follow him down a nearby corridor, which he does so after giving you a brief and slightly awkward parting wave.
>>657422 You make your way to Dreamcoat's office. . It looks a lot messier than you remember; many of the books are missing, some of the tiny artifacts on the shelves have fallen and broken, and there's bits of parchment all over the place. Seems like there was a struggle here. You leave the orb on his desk before rejoining your friends.
>>657425 As you patrol, you don't see any pale green lights on the horizon or any abnormally large snakes. It seems to have given up on following you for now.
>>657428 Kivoda yelps and looks at you strangely as he leaves with Boiling Point. Where before the hideout was bustling with activity, it is eerily silent now, the only sound being the occasional snippet of conversation from Boiling. Looking around the mess hall, you manage to swipe four mandarins and a slightly stale slice of what appears to be vegetable quiche.
>>657429 >>657431 >>657432 You return to the Heart of Jevel. After recovering from the unpleasant sensation, you soon find that Abenad is nowhere to be seen.
>>657430 You explore the surrounding garden where you camped a few nights ago. You can't seem to find anything worth reporting. Tascheter is nowhere in sight.
>>657439 >>657438 >>657437 >>657436 >>657434 "Well, it doesn't seem like she's been following us," Abenad reports, "I can be sure of this after a thorough search and baiting process. We might even have to travel back to the garrison where we first encountered her."
>>657439 >>657440 He sighs ''He is just being obscene… I'm glad'' He runs up to Abenad >>657435 ''Heeey! Mister Abenad why are you shouting like that?'' >>657441 ''Wait…So she stopped following us now?…That's strange…Maybe she does not dares enter the city?''
>>657439 >>657441 "So we came back for nothing. Well, a problem that never becomes a problem is almost as good as a problem fixed. Abenad, I recall carrying you for a time once. How about you carry me, and I lead us to… to somewhere else." she says. "Wherever the next important spot is."
>>657441 "Yes but once we find an opportunity to strike, how do we strike her? I'm sure that an immortal soul wouldn't be as easy to take down as any other wild beast." She mentions, getting a pondering look as she begins to think of ideas.
>>657444 Abenad picks Tourmaline up and puts her across his broad shoulders. >Strength "We will have to slay the creature at some point. Her closeness to Dreamcoat and her great powers lead me to believe that she may have an Immortal Soul." >>657445 "She's composed of snakes, so I suppose we'll have to kill all the snakes. We killed Dreamcoat's apprentice, thinking that he had in Immortal Soul, and all we had to do was shoot him full of arrows and cut him up."
>>657443 ''You were prepared to die you mean! Don't fight without us!'' >>657444 ''Well What else was there for us to do?'' >>657446 ''Oh, I would not mind exploring around some more until the end of the day!''
>>657448 "It's not that." Abenad pulls the hammer from his back and holds it out at arm's length. "I just got this and haven't smashed anything with it yet. Who better to fight with the weapon of a legendary hero than a vile beast?" "As for exploring, I don't think there's much here to garner exploration. The food all tastes bad and everything gives off a bad feeling. What happened at the fort? Did you all meet up with Dreamcoat and collectively punch him in the face?" >>657449 "No, he was a mutant of sorts whose soul was halfway there. We had met Dreamcoat in that cave, and the assclown offered to take the soul in order to assist his research- which, as far as I know, has borne no fruit thus far."
>>657451 >>657439 "That's why I wanted to fight her with the hammer- even if she turns into a bunch of snakes, I'll still be able to smash them." >>657452 "No, I'm eager to kill Tascheter to advance our quest and achieve glory. Speaking of which, we should get back to the tower, and then go join the fight!"
>>657453 Abenad starts running towards the tower with Tourmaline on his shoulders.
>>657454 >>657455 >>657456 >>657457 >>657458 You soon return to the tower and warp away. When you come to, you find yourselves back at the Dreaming Spring. You are not alone in this place. Near the crystalline pond is an all too familiar grey unicorn in a conical straw hat. He has replaced his usual greyish green robe with a tattered dusty-looking black coat. He looks gaunter than last you met. Dreamcoat looks up as you arrive, meeting your gaze. He gives a benign smile and holds up the green orb you retrieved. You notice that his right hoof has grown even more withered and cracked, having a sickly red hue. "Ah, you're finally back," he says warmly. "I am sorry I was not there to welcome you before, but I had some business to attend to elsewhere. I trust your journey went well?"
>>657460 Abenad approaches Dreamcoat. "Pretty well, yeah, we met your old squeeze Tascheter, tried to kill Maali before we chased her away and she turned into snakes, and we also found out that all this curse business is your fault, pretty much. You think you might have considered telling us this, earlier?"
>>657461 "Yes, this is the one. And don't worry about this. I'll be fine." He tucks the orb into his coat pocket. "Thank you, sincerely. This will come in very useful once the next full moon comes around. There is much work to be done before then, so if you'll excuse me…"
>>657463 "A journal? How curious. What did you read?"
>>657462 "…Ah. So that is how it is." His expression shifts and he straightens up, his grandfatherly demeanor falling instantly. He looks austere and calculating now. "Why would I have told you beforehand? You wouldn't have done what I asked you if you knew. Yes, I started the curse with my experiments. You see, Kether was trying to replicate his own immortality. That of the alicorns. After he had his… accident… and I replaced him, of course I followed in his footsteps. How could I pass up that opportunity, after all? And I succeeded. For the most part. Everyone in Rin is now effectively immortal, but if they are killed, then they begin to lose themselves. You know this already. But, if I were to have the Immortal Souls, I could undo this. I would be powerful enough to reverse the negative effects of the curse. I could even break it altogether, and make things the way they used to be. …But that won't happen." "I really do owe all of you a huge thanks. Not only can I continue my work with the help of the orb, but now I have an Immortal Soul, albeit one I fabricated. So you can forget about having it yourselves. I absorbed it as soon as I was able to stabilize it. A limb is a small price to pay for being one step closer to my goals. Why are you searching for the Souls anyway? You wouldn't know what to do with them. I don't think you even know why." He laugh dryly. "So here's what's going to happen." He meets your gaze. His icy blue eyes look through you. "You're going to leave. You're going to find the Immortal Souls and bring them to me. Together, we can save this land from its destruction. What do you say?" >pausing
In the previous session of Mortal Souls, the party traveled back to the Dreaming Spring to rejoin Doom and his freedom fighters; however, they had arrived too late, and the Shells of Light had already begun their assault. After bidding farewell to their ally Kivoda and a fruitless search for the witch Tascheter back in Jevel's outskirts, they encountered the sorcerer Dreamcoat, who told them of his true intentions; he had created the curse in an effort to give immortality to the people of Rin, and seeks the power of the Immortal Soul to do away with the loss of memories and eventual blankness upon one's rebirth. He also revealed that he had already absorbed the Immortal Soul the party had given him earlier, suffering no ill effects save for the withering of one of his limbs. Now he asks the party to join him in his endeavor, and bring him the Immortal Souls they find on their journey… >Tourmaline is at 10/5 >Maali is at 7/5 >Timber Hoof is at 6/6 >Gopal is at 6/5 >Abenad is at 7/5 >Gloria is at 6/5 >Galehaut is at 6/5 >Known monolith locations: Lunemark, Serpentine Keep, The Dreaming Spring, Heart of Jevel >Old thread: >>657381
The glade is bathed in a deep orange glow as Dreamcoat faces you. Birds are singing in the distance. "This is your only opportunity," he says sternly. "If you aren't with me, then we'll be at an impasse. I can't hurt you and you can't hurt me. I am one of Doom's most trusted, and I have an Immortal Soul. And even if we battled, you would be determined enough to rise again and swear vengeance." He shrugs. "Still. I may not be able to hurt you now, nor do I have any desire to, but you'll have made an enemy of me. And if you truly insist on fighting, then I suppose we'll have to at some point. But that won't be here, and that won't be now." "There is no time to waste," Dreamcoat urges. "Make your decision now, travelers."
>>657876 Maali glances to the rest of the party, before turning back to Dreamcoat, looking slightly taken back at the sudden revelation and change of mood ''Master Dreamcoat…I have a question, first…Why did you continued with the research of Kether?…It was an opportunity, yes…But that did not mean you had to do it…Why give everyone in Rin immortality? for what reason? What did you think would be made better because of that?''
"I do not believe anyone should ever be immortal," Timber states flatly. "Even without the part where people are being slowly driven insane, it puts an infinite strain on the limited resources of the world. Even worse, these immortals can have children. And, should those children be immortal, then they too will add to the infinite strain. Obviously, such a system -regardless of the number of people involved- would spell eventual doom for the world. I hope that you are wise enough to see that."
"But, I can also see the allure to immortality. I find it entirely understandable why you would not want to give it up. So, the rational course of action to be taken when two parties have reached an impasse is to compromise. I certainly loathe the idea of anyone achieving immortality, but if it must be allowed to reach a compromise, I will allow it. In return, I ask that you make everyone else mortal again. The world simply WILL NOT be able to handle the strain of so many ponies living forever."
"This deal is not without benefits for both parties. We know how and where to find Mortal Souls. You know how to use them. We need each other. The natural and reasonable thing to do here is to compromise and work together. Are these terms agreeable to you?"
[1d10] to ruin a well constructed argument with a shitty roll
>>657876 "I will not assist you, Dreamcoat. My order has sent me here to assist the people of Rin, to bring the light back to the land once more and cleanse them of this curse. You are a monster for afflicting it with your sickening curse." She says that last part with venom. "Don't think I will let you go easily either, I will deliver punishment to you for your sins… Whether it be today, tomorrow or even months away from now." She adds, glaring down at him. >Intimidation [1d10]
"He clearly didn't do this on purpose," Timber says, trying to calm Gloria. "There's no sense in punishing someone for a mistake. Correcting them, maybe. But, punishment for a first accidental offense is a bit much."
>>657882 "You treat him like a victim even with his crimes of making these people suffer for years, simply because it was an 'accident'? I am not allowing him to gain the power of the immortal souls, not after what he has done!"
>>657882 >>657881 ''He Did do it on purpose Mister Timber. He said it himself that he could not pass the opportunity of continuing the research to give everyone the immortality…He is completely responsible for this''
"He purposefully continued the research. But, he also said himself that he didn't mean for THIS to be the result. THIS is of no benefit to anyone, even him. If it was, then he wouldn't even be trying to accomplish anything right now. THIS was clearly not what he intended. It was an accident."
"While you make a good point that we do need some sort of guarantee that he will uphold his end of the deal, there's no reason to believe he would spread this curse more. It would be of no benefit to him. This curse was not what he intended to make in the first place."
>>657886 "Well, that's a fair argument, but right now it's hard to think about how to prevent that from happening." >>657888 "I mean permanently killing him." >>657889 "It seems like what he wants is immortality for everyone, and that's not what you want. So while not everyone will be undead, they won't die naturally."
>>657876 "We're going to be figuring this out for a while. Do you know where any of the other Immortal Souls are besides the dragon in Ortague and Tascheter? Is Tascheter anyone important to you, by any chance?"
>>657891 ''…I don't know if I can negotiate with him after what he did mister timber…Not after he hid all that from us…'' >>657892 ''But how? the worst we could do is kill him until he becomes a blank, but then what?''
>>657880 Dreamcoat looks at you curiously as you leave the party behind you and enter the Resistance stronghold. You soon find Kivoda talking to Boiling Point in the northern dormitories. They look up as you approach and the Cael gives you a friendly wave. "You're back!" says Kivoda cheerily. "Are we to continue our adventures together? I'd like that very much." "Your friend here was telling me you've met my brother Clean Slate," says Boiling Point with a wide grin just like the merchant's. "How's he doing nowadays? I haven't seen him in ages."
>>657877 >>657878 He looks at you quizzically. "What do you mean by that? Don't you realize the implications of an entire nation, or perhaps eventually the entire world, existing forevermore? No longer would it be limited to the kings and queens of this land, but everyone would have that power. Ancient histories would not be limited to books and artifacts, but they would be in living memory. We would be as gods among mortals." There is a strange look in his eye, one of intense devotion to his own beliefs. Perhaps it is madness, or perhaps just stubbornness.
>>657879 "With the power of immortality - the power to never die, no matter what the circumstances - we could expand our exploration of the known world with no real risks. We only know of a minuscule portion of the world we live in. Who knows what resources can be found outside of Arineau, or Ibergal, or Sarnath? And when we have used up everything in this world, then… Then we can leave this world behind us, and move on to the next. You have no idea what lies beyond this plane of existence, do you? "Still, I am glad to see that at least one of you has some common sense. If you are all in agreement, then let us work together to bring about a new era of existence." He extends his unwithered left hoof in a friendly gesture, though his expression remains as cold as ever.
>>657881 He scoffs at you. "Spare me your sanctimonious drivel, 'Ashbringer'. I've lived too long and learned too much to be frightened of the likes of you and your dogma."
>>657891 "Listen to your friend!" Dreamcoat urges. "There is no downside to any of this. It is for your own good."
"I have spent my life negotiating with ponies who don't deserve it," Timber responds with a tinge of frustration in his voice. "You need to fight one battle at a time. Right now, our battle is against the curse. And, Dreamcoat CAN help us fight it."
Timber shakes his head. "That's disgusting. Just bleed a world dry then move on to another? What about everything and everyone not immortal?"
"More importantly, the more you meddle in the nature of existence, the more you will harm it. If you leave this world with an entire world of immortals at your back, who is to say you won't damage the very nature of existence? Who is to say you wouldn't just destroy everything? Immortality won't matter if there is nothing to exist in. And, then what will happen to you? What hell will your existence be when you can't exist but you also can't not exist?"
"Maybe you can prevent these outcomes as an individual. MAYBE. But, bring the whole world with you, and you are GUARANTEEING the worst possible outcome. The masses are stupid. The masses are selfish. The masses do not care for caution. They care for results. And, they will destroy anything to get them, even against the wishes of those who would try to lead them. If there is a way to destroy existence, it is an absolute certainty that an infinite amount of ponies living a life for an infinite time will eventually find it."
"You are clearly the sort of person who understands the depth of stupidity to which groups will fall when they are allowed to do so. Giving everyone immortality is nothing short of the single worst decision anyone COULD EVER make."
"I repeat my stance. You can keep your own immortality. But, for the sake of everything that exists, you must see that letting everyone else stay immortal is simply foolish."
[1d10] for not failing to not convince him that he is right
>>657898 ''We are not gods, Master Dreamcoat. We are mortals and that is what we have to be.'' He sighs, drawing a circle with his hoof on the floor ''All things have an end Master Kivoda…Plants, animals, and even ourselves. It is the circle of life and the law of this world…I-I'm sorry Master Dreamcoat but I cannot help you… This goes against my beliefs and is an insult to the blessing of life we were given…'' He speaks softly in a calm and non threathening way, as if sadly stating a fact ''Even if you promised to use the power of the immortal souls to end the effects of the curse completely, I would not be sure if I would trust you. What you want with this curse is sick Master Dreamcoat…'' >>657901 He climbs up on Timber's back to lean close to his ear ''But what if he is lying to us Mister Timber? What if he is just hiding the truth and trying to use us like how he just did?''
>>657901 "You know what else, what if on the quest for more resources the Rinish run into something more powerful than they are? Like some kind of plane where everything's a godlike entity that makes immortality a moot point?"
>>657898 "Yes, put on your nice boots, we're going to be going soon. The others are bickering about awfully idiotic things out front so you have no motivation to go out there yet. Your brother continues to be greedy and dry and petty or so I've seen from the limited perspective of our group."
>>657900 "She was my colleague back when I was Administrator in Jevel. When she learned of what Kether and I had been working towards, she tried to stop me. But I silenced her. I forced her to absorb my first attempt at creating an Immortal Soul, and… well… you know the rest. She fled to Mount Venn, from the reports I've heard. And she spawned two creatures that serve her in her madness."
>>657901 "I think you misunderstand me, Timber Hoof. I'm not in this for myself. I'm in it for everyone else, for civilization as we know it. I do not want power or influence over people. If I did, I would have done away with Doom long ago. And if existence itself is destroyed, then I don't think I'll be here to witness it. I don't plan on staying around this mortal realm once my plan succeeds, you see. There is so much more to learn outside. And I won't make the same mistake Kether did either. He doesn't even exist anymore, save for some vestigial fragments here and there." He touches the green orb in his pocket absent-mindedly.
>>657902 "You know I can hear every word you're saying, don't you? I'm not deaf."
>>657903 "That's a shame," he says nonchalantly. "I don't suppose I have any leverage to make you change your mind, do I?" There is something unsettling about the way he says this.
>>657905 Boiling Point chuckles. "That sounds like him alright. He always did have a fondness for coin. Say, if you run into him out there, could you give him this?" He rummages in his pocket for a moment before offering you a bone pendant in the shape of a fish. "Tell him it's from me. He'll know what it means." "I'll do that right away!" Kivoda says eagerly. "Only, I don't have any boots… I'll go find some in the armory though. I'm sure I can grab some in my size!" Just like that, he takes off down the hallway. "He's not very bright, is he?" Boiling Point comments as he watches Kivoda leave. "I can't imagine him lasting long in combat. He'd get ripped to shreds. If I were you, I'd do him a favor and keep an eye out for him."
>>657906 "Shit, really? You fucking asshole rhino motherfucker, I was pretty set on killing her not too long ago, and it was your damn fault she's like that in the first place! How are you this much of an unrepentant shit-eating dickfuck?"
"To be clear, when I say existence itself, I did not simply mean the mortal world," Timber says. "I meant the very nature of existence. I meant the ability to be a thing of any kind. A thing that exists and thinks. If you give mortals immortality en mass, all you are doing is guaranteeing that they will destroy it. With infinite time and an infinitely growing number of individuals with infinite time, it's not just a possibility thrown about by the paranoid. It is literally guaranteed to happen. Everything happens in infinity."
"There will be no mortal realm. There will be nothing past the mortal realm. The very nature of existence - the ability for there to be anything that exists in any realm in any way will be destroyed because everything will have happened - which includes it being destroyed."
"You keep escalating the stakes which will only lead to greater escalation of destruction. Destruction beyond the borders of the mortal realm. And, I do not wish to discuss it further. Either you tell me you see the reason in my words, or we are done and you get nothing from us."
>>657912 You got the Fish Bone Pendant. You enter the stronghold's armory, little more than an excavated cavern containing armor stands, weapon racks and work tables. At the far end is a blacksmith's workshop. No one is around right now save for Kivoda, who is rummaging through a pile of armor trying to find something in his size. He looks up as you approach. "Hello! Could you help me find something in my size? Most of this is too big for me…"
>>657908 He takes a step back, looking amused by your outburst. "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?" he says dryly. "Or did you even have a mother, halfbreed? Probably not. I am curious to know what pit you crawled out of, though."
>>657909 "Haven't you guessed? I may not be able to hurt you now, but that unfortunate little waif…" He shrugs. "You care about her, don't you? We'd both hate to see harm come to her."
>>657911 He thinks for a moment. "Perhaps there is some truth to what you say. Or perhaps not. In the natural world, immortality is only reserved for a select few, after all. But who are they to hoard their gift? Would you not like to have it? I… We… could be free of the constraints of this life. Is that not glorious?" Even as he speaks, you can feel the shadow of a doubt start to grow within him.
Dreamcoat clears his throat. "Travellers. Perhaps immortality for all is not as foolproof an idea as I had originally thought. But still. If you want to break the curse, you will work with me. If not, then we will go our separate ways. There is no time to waste with this. This is the last opportunity I am giving you. Join me, or you will regret it."
>>657914 Maali's eyes widden as he gets exactly what Dreamcoat meant. For a few seconds he only silently glares at him until a slightly hushed, but fierce response is heard from the deer ''Where is she, Dreamcoat''
"I do want to break the curse and I agree that working with you is the best way to accomplish this," Timber says with a thankful nod and smile. "I am glad that you at least acknowledge what I have to say. It will likely be some time before we find another Immortal Soul. In that time, I ask that you contemplate my words further. I will consider what you have said as well."
"If we both agree from the bottoms of our hearts by the time we return that immortality for all is tantamount to the ultimate destruction, then our cooperation is guaranteed. But, I think that committing to anything yet would be foolish for both of us. I would like for us both to meditate on what has been discussed. It is necessary to digest such important ideas."
"And, again, thank you for seeing a path to compromise," Timber turns and leaves the room to retrieve Tourmaline and Kivoda.
>>657914 "Fuck you and your mother's cunt, you're a goat with a missing horn. I've actually got a different kind of curse. I spent months in the woods hiding from others, worried about being seen as a monster, but when I started up on this journey with these guys I realized that compared to the freaky shit you whipped up, I'm not so bad. And you know what else? After this is done, I'm going to move to whatever country Gloria came from, build myself a castle, get some peasants to work for me, and I'm gonna be a lord of some sleepy little hamlet. But before that happens, I'm going to slay monsters, win duels, and amass a fortune so that WHEN I DIE, they'll tell stories about the hero beast Abenad. That's real immortality, isn't it? Being known, talked about, and told about for ages, not just living forever. You can be a dirt farmer and live forever, but that doesn't mean you're immortal."
>>657918 "I'll come with, comrade," Abenad says, putting his hand on one of Timber's front shoulders.
>>657917 >>657915 "Let's talk about this somewhere else, I'm curious about what you're after, Maali, but I'd rather do it after having something to eat."
>>657922 "I-I've never been very comfortable wearing armor, you know. I prefer to travel lightly, and it just weighs me down. But you know more about adventuring than I do, so I guess I'll trust your word for it."
>>657915 "Where indeed." He smiles slightly. "If I were you, I'd be reconsidering your stance right about now."
>>657919 "You're a fool if you think you'll ever be lord of anything more than the dirt under your hooves. Why would anyone ever willingly serve a monster like you? You don't belong in this world, or any other. You're a vagrant. A freak. A wandering vagabond with no direction home. You'd do best to remember that."
>>657916 "I'm sure we'll be close friends in the future."
"As merciful as I am, I will give you this final warning. If you want to see Pearl Orchid ever again, you will do exactly as I say. If not…" He trails off.
>>657925 "We all," Abenad says, moving his hand around to signify the whole group, winking at Maali to show that he had something in mind, "Can talk elsewhere in private." >>657926 "Please, the only things that have been afraid of me are the rabbits. Everyone else looks at me like any other pony. Hell, my name isn't even DOOM, I'm already more appealing than the guy you're working for."
>>657926 ''And I once thought you were wise…'' He sighs
>>657927 He nods ''Ooh…I…Well I suppose you are right…A meal with be grand by now…'' >>657928 ''No…Miss Gloria, please don't…'' He puts a hoof on her talon, gently holding it down ''this will get us nowhere…''
>>657929 >>657930 "We can talk about Archie in another room that doesn't have the guy that's responsible for turning an entire nation into mindless undead." He looks back at Dreamcoat. "It is all your fault. Everything relating to this situation. All you."
>>657931 He does as you say, putting on a set of steel plate armor complete with a full face helmet. He stumbles around in it uncomfortably. "How can you stand this?" Kivoda gripes. "I can barely see, let alone move!"
>>657934 >>657935 >>657936 Dreamcoat's expression grows as stony as his red right hoof. "You will regret this," he says coldly. "I may not be able to kill you now, but I will hurt you. I will hurt her. …You should have listened to me. You fools." With that, he warps away to places unknown with a loud crack. An ominous feeling hangs over you. You soon find Tourmaline and Kivoda in the armory, a shabby-looking place by all standards. Kivoda is clad awkwardly in a suit of armor, trying to adjust himself to wearing it. He doesn't seem to be succeeding.
"I warned you," Timber said flatly. "I had no intention of giving him anything if he remained so unstable. I'm not an idiot."
"But, part of not being an idiot is also not unnecessarily burning bridges. All you've done now is bring the ire of a powerful immortal mage."
"I'm sorry if I have not done enough to gain your trust. So, please, in the future think more highly of me than to think that someone that uses the lives of others as leverage is someone I would ever consider making immortal."
>>657943 ''…Could we even? I don't know if she wants to reason with us…Dreamcoat said she is insane'' >>657944 ''And now he hides behind Miss Archie…I had doubts if we should or not work with him, but after seeing that…I know that we cannot trust him.. We must find another way to break the curse ourselves…And find a way to get her out of Dreamcoat's clutches…'' >>657945 ''Maybe back in Jevel? There must be something more there that will help us…If we search in Dreamcoat's old office…''
"A promising idea. Though, to be fair, he wouldn't entirely be wrong. I have no abandoned the notion of redeeming Dreamcoat yet. Now that he has revealed his true nature, I trust him for the first time. And, from there, I feel we could change him. Save him from himself. He gave serious consideration to my words. That is a promising start."
"A thought comes to me," Timber says. "Keither began the research. Dreamcoat merely picked up from where he left off. And, we know where Keither is. If we could just find a way to communicate with him, perhaps he could help."
>>657947 "I don't know, but now I feel like we should at least try- she deserves someone to reach out to her for what she's been through. If we can't make her our ally, or persuade her to a peaceful death for our cause, combat should be the last resort." He sighs. "And after I was ready for one-on-one combat for glory." >>657948 "Yes, that was some excellent negotiation on your part." >>657946 "So what do you want to do now? We're not exactly tethered to Doom anymore."
>>657947 "Possibly… My new tome may teach me a spell that could give us an advantage in battle."
>>657948 "You may believe that, Timber. But sadly I do not see the same way. He is a monster regardless of what or who he is, even if he was a normal pony. He still condemned this land with the curse."
>>657946 He stumbles about the armory for a bit half-blindly, bumping into a table in the process. "Do you really think this is necessary?" he asks, lifting his visor after a moment. "This is just weighing me down. I'm fast enough on my hooves, really I am."
>>657948 ''Hmn… Yes that is a good idea… We can also try to talk with Keither'' >>657949 He beams up at Abenad and stands up on his hind legs to hug the Cervitaur's legs >>657950 ''Oh right…We should study our tomes further together when we can!''
>>657956 "Well I guess this just goes to prove I'll kill anything so long as I don't know its tragic backstory." >>657957 "Hey, I'll trade places with him, I wouldn't mind bein' a deity. That's even better than being a noble."
>>657957 "How? Because of him others suffered. An entire land was cursed. He committed a sin against nature itself by breaking the laws of life and death. When one has done wrong, they must be punished for it. If they are sorry… they will accept their punishment without resistance."
"If I were to step on a tile right now that happened to have been loose and it started a chain reaction that brought this entire building down and killed hundreds of ponies, does it not matter that I did not intend for it to happen? Am I as accountable as if I purposefully murdered them all?"
>>657960 "Maybe. I'm trusting you on this. You know best, after all."
You hear the faint crack of someone teleporting in the distance. This is shortly followed by several more, and you hear a great commotion coming from outside. In the hallway, you see Boiling Point, Candy Claws and an earth pony you don't recognize begin to gather and leave the stronghold, going to see what's outside. "What's all that about?" asks Kivoda, joining the group as he shuffles towards the exit curiously.
>>657963 Abenad follows along with Kivoda, pushing through the ponies and whatever else is in the way as he moves towards the commotion. "What's going on in here?" He shouts outs, dropping the head of the Whalebone Hammer onto the floor and leaning on the heft of the weapon.
>>657962 "Timber your examples are horrible. A loose tile won't set off a chain reaction like that, but if you killed hundreds and did not die in the process, you should be punished for it since their blood is on your hooves. Plus, you keep comparing Dreamcoat's 'accident' to lesser ones. He still intentionally sought to break the laws of life and death and caused something horrible to happen."
>>657963 Gloria listens to the crack and takes this chance to change the subject with Timber. "We'll leave this for another time." She says, before making her way to see what's outside.
>>657964 >>657965 >>657966 The boulder blocking the exit rolls aside, revealing a gruesome sight. Dozens of ponies and other races are shambling about in the once peaceful glade. You recognize some of them by face. They all look injured to some extent, staggering forward with deep wounds on their bodies and faces. Some have collapsed on the ground altogether, groaning with pain and weakness. In the center, supported by two other ponies, is Doom. He is only barely holding on to his consciousness, and there is a terrible gaping wound in his belly. He has turned pale from blood loss, and can barely walk without his companions' help. "Idiots!" bellows a nearby bat pony with side whiskers and a yellow cloak. "Help your king! Get him inside!" >pausing