/q/ - Quest


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Lubuck, the centre of the Germane industrial revolution.
A small trade town only 10 years ago, it expanded rapidly when the great alchemist Bropp discovered a way to extract a powerful fuel from the nearby underwater corals.

Now the city is a bustling port as industry rises and new discoveries are made almost every day.

For example the new train you are on speeding rapidly through the city towards your destination.

You make a colorful bunch, two earth ponies and a crystal pony, a rare sight in Germaney. But the train is less crowded than it usually is.
A sign "SNIFFLES EPIDIMIC. In case of coughing, sneezing, or red snout, report to your local physician at once!"

Your train rolls into the harbor.
You've been sent here by the Adventurers Guild to visit the Bropp Refinery. But more you do not know yet, except to report there.

The train stops…


You know the way to the Bropp Refinery, it should be just through the main harbor street from here.


Set aside today's paper and pass a hoof through my grey mane, trying to look dignified despite being unused to train rides.
Off we get, without a word and with all the haste I can muster, onto the plantform.


The worst case about the sniffles is that you're not allowed to work anymore!
"Mein Gott. That was fast. As long as these trains don't crash they are amazing."


Uncertainly step out onto the platform. Look at the skies. What are we in for, today?


"I can't quite get over the noise yet. Follow what I say?"


You step out of the train.
Another sign of progress, that's what the mayor called these steel platforms planted inbetween the old stone warehouses. Reactions in Lubuck range from praising them as another sign of the coming technological age, to ponies deeming them ugly among the traditional Germane houses and parks.

As you step of the stairs down you come into the busy harbor street.
In front of the warehouses there are marketers trying to outshout each other on who's got the freshest seaweed and a few griffons selling fish.
The street is bustling with ponies, many wearing the new primitive masks to protect them against toxic fumes in the refineries.
Ever since the sniffles these have started showing up in town as well as some believe they protect against the disease.
Other ponies carry carts full of chemicals, food or other wares.

The sky is grey.
Might be rain soon.


"Not much worse than a tavern filled with drunk Prench."

"Ah, the charm of a big city. We should head on to the adventurers guild with haste."


Stare thoughtfully at the booths, and then locate one where I can buy a mask.


A small mare with a loud voice has some for sale a bit further.

You mean to the Bropp Refinery? As the adventurers guild asked you to.


"Well yes but one does not suffer the company of a Prench."
State matter of factly.
Make haste to the warehouse.


Well, then that's where I want to go, but let's be quick about it. It looks like the other two are already moving on.


Shhhh! That's what I said!

Follow suit.


Norrin: M British eartpon
Liesl: F Germane eartpon
Feldspar: F Crystal Pon


A mask is 10 coins but guarantees you protection against airborne toxins.

You have about 43 coins left.


"Surely you can part with it cheaper. I am here on business that will take me to the refinery."

Haggle '1d20+9'

Roll #1 5 + 9 = 14


Haggle '1d20+8'

Feldspar is haggling again!

Roll #1 2 + 8 = 10


"8 coins! Because I like your mane!"


I'm not sure the germane like hagglers.


Goddamn crystal ponies.

"Are you telling me these things protect us from the sniffles?"


"It can't be helped, right? 8 coins it is."


"Exactly right!"
She shows one.
"See! It protects your snout, no way any sniffling can happen!"

She takes the coins and hoofs you one.


"What kind of sinister witchcraft is this?"


"What if the sniffles come from food, water, or a cut.
You are selling hot air, old pony."


"If you're not going to buy, you're just slowing us down for the sake of rabble-rousing. Come on, now."


They use these in the Bropp plants to protect their snouts.
Ever seen a pony without one of these near those coral liquifiers?
Their snouts go red, and worse!"

"Everypony knows the sniffles come from bad air!"


"And yet nopony found a fix to it yet.
Makes you wonder, doesn't it?"


"We're waiting on you, blümchen!"

"Bah, I'll buy one of your dark contraptions."
Give her 10 coins.


There is a way.
By not getting it!
And these masks are the way!"

"Great decision, you won't regret it!"
You have a Bropp gas mask


"Come on, then."


"Ja. Let us move."
Put the mask on my forehead, just not in front of my face yet.


"Give me one, old man."


Mask on, for me.

Lead Liesl to the Warehouse.

"I didn't get your name, Herr…?"


"My name? How can you not know? I am Liesl von Trott, fräulein."


She snorts, but gives you one.
You've got one as well!

You make your way through the street.
You see the large chimneys of the Bropp refinery up ahead, belching dark clouds into the grey sky.
The sour stench of processed coral invades your nostril. The Bropp AG and the Rathaus assure that as long as you're not in the liquification chambers themselves it's "perfectly harmless".
The Refinery is right next to the water and you see ships directly offloading large chunks of brightly shining coral to the workers.

The Polizei is here as well, leading away three ponies in chains from the building. A mare is cleaning off a large painted slogan on the walls. "DOWN WITH BROPP. STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CORALS"

There's an office building next to the main plant.

Liesl is a Frau


"Perhaps the same as the reason you don't know mine? Or at least, I presume you don't. Und Arztin, kein fräulein, bitte."


The office seems the likely place to start. Let's head there, first.


Put on the witch mask.
I agree, the offices are the best starting point.

"We work for the same guild, nein? Did you not care to look who you would be working with for this task? You break my heart!"


Put the mask on, I have enough fumes going through my mind to worry about already.
And use Investigate as I cast a glance at the ponies being led away and the slogan painted on the walls.

Roll #1 15 + 12 = 27


You head into the office building and are greeted with a small lobby.
There's an orange mare just saying her goodbyes to a police officer, she seems tired.

She looks towards you. "Welcome to Bropp. Can I help you? Are you looking for the employee entrance?" she says while looking at your masks.

Your brilliant deduction skills deduct that they're probably members of the ABL, anti-bropp league.
They are a relatively small group of ponies protesting what they perceive as the destruction of nature by Bropp. In particular the forests around Lubuck and the shining coral basins within the ocean.
You also deduct that one of the arrested recently had a fight with his girlfriend from the red spot on his face.


"I looked at your blood type and medical history, that's all that's necessary."


"We are here about the Guild business."


"We were sent here by the guild, fräulein."

"Wait what?"


"You have several complex fractures in your background. I trust they are healing properly? Not putting too much strain on old wounds?"


She smiles.
"Ah, of course, we've been expecting you.
May I have your names?"


Ponies are amazing detective.
"Blake, Norrin."


"How did you get access to my super private medical files!?"

"My name is Liesl von Trott. I see you had some trouble with vandals."


"What are you so worried about? I do have an oath to worry about."



"I don't like letting people know my weaknesses."


"And now both of you are being quite improper about this in public nonetheles.
Could I suggest you fix this disagreement behind closed doors?"

But just because I'm curious, how many fractures does Vein seem to have?
>ib4 poke every single bone

Roll #1 3 + 12 = 15


She carefully presses each of your names on a card and than enters this card in a small machine. "Just a second, you'll need a visitors pass to enter…"
The machine clicks open and produces three brown badges with the 3 triangles of Bropp AG and each one has one of your names.
"These badges will make sure you can pass through the Lightning Gates unharmed. Wear them at all times on these grounds.
Now please follow me, the boss will want to see you."
She walks from behind the desk through a large opening flanked by metal tubes.
A light on the tubes turns green as she passes through.

"That's the second time that group vandalizes our walls this month."
She shakes her head.
"As if we don't have anything better to do than write paperwork on it."


You'll have to ask Wf.


Wear my badge and through I go.


"Talk about improper in public!"


Take le badge and get to following her.
"They must be very concerned about the corals."


Don the badge and follow.

"In any case, I have your interests at heart, Liesl."


"I've met very few crystal ponies up to this point. I don't know what you're capable of."


"Some questions need an answer."


"Yes, they seem to believe the corals are alive or something and that we're "murdering" them. They say just the same about the trees of the Herz forest.
Can you believe that? How ridiculous.
These ponies use the trains every day, live in houses warmed by our new electrical heaters and than they have the nerve to accuse us of these things?"

You pass unharmed through the lightning gate and follow the mare through the clerk offices.
She knocks on a door.
"Mister Bropp, the gentleponies from the Guild are here."
You're let into a small office. At the desk sits an older, fat pony.
"Ah yes, I was expecting you. Please take a seat."
The window looks out over the harbor and the sea. There are paintings of various Bropp buildings in the office. On the side of his desk is a small cump of shining coral.


"Certainly, perhaps you should apply for medical clearance, if you too are a doctor."

"Don't be silly dear, I don't bite."


"They were very quiet about the nature of our summons, Herr Bropp."


"Danke, Herr Bropp."
Take a seat.

"We will see about that."


I'm gonna get slapped for this but.
Investigate the room itself at a glance, see if anything catches my imagination.

Roll #1 16 + 12 = 28


One of the paintings shows the Bropp family.
Clearly from some time ago as this shows the current boss in his prime youth with his many brothers. The father looks pretty frail on the painting.

The large window looks out on the harbor, you remember the look of the walls and figure that a skilled climber could circumvert the lightning gate through the window here.

"Yes, I would like this matter to be handled confidentially.
I'll get right to the point.
The past few weeks several of our sensitive machines have been sabotaged, luckily as of now without any wounded.
I have informed the Polizei of this but they have as of yet not found the culprits.
I want all of you to find out who is doing this and how they got in."


"As we are being confidential, do you have leads as to ponies with a motive beyond the obvious anti-Bropp groups?"


"Could be those vandals, herr Bropp. Or a rival company? Corporate sabotage?"


"Tell me, when does this very office close, and how is it safeguarded for the night?"


"Indeed, I considered the Anti-Bropp groups. But there would be a serious hole in our security somewhere if even those lowlifes could break into our facilities.
One of my advisors has suggested magic is at work here. But we have the latest magic silencing equipment around.
My guess would be our competitor Tysstahl is at work here. They are new to the coral processing business and would love to get an advantage on us. But I have no proof."

He perks a brow.
"Around 7PM. The security dogs keep watch over the plant grounds as well as this building. Doesn't seem to stop those vandals however."


Shake my head.
"Nevermind. Allow me."
Stand up and go by the windows, start looking them over for possible signs of effraction.

Roll #1 12 + 12 = 24


"That sounds like a likely culprit. Where are they based?"


Does he seem to be hiding anything ? Sense motive


Roll #1 20 + 14 = 34


A note about criticals.

If you roll a 20 and pass the check you can spend an Action Die to activate that crit, ADs have many uses and you get only a limited amount (3) per session.
Want to use one?
Next time you simply say you want to activate it before I post the results.


You don't notice anything.
Still it's a serious security gap, might get some extra rewards for bringing that to his attention?

You don't get the feeling he's directly lying.
But when he was talking about Tysstahl you got the feeling he wasn't telling the whole truth either…there's something he's not telling.

"Tysstahl is close by, they have just opened a small plant at the other end of the harbor. It would be hard to get an appointment however. I hear they have guards patrolling the grounds day and night."


"And of course, you're free to examine the machinery yourself if you wish."


"Listen, Herr Bropp, you can trust us, we're professionals. But you also need to be upfront with us about what you know about Tysstahl. Are you sure there isn't something else we should know before going in ?"


Let this Tysstahl matter play out first.


Please roll a Persuade roll.


"Very unfortunate! Do you know the pony in charge?"


That's Impress.
You can add +1 Appearance bonus to it for being so fabulous.



Roll #1 14 + 13 = 27


Vs Resolve '1d20+12'

Roll #1 10 + 12 = 22


"Tys himself is in Coltogne, I believe the plant is run by an unsavory donkey called Bronco."

Herr Bropp mulls it over for a few seconds.
"Mmmmm, yes. I believe I can. There is something I haven't told you.
But make no mistake, it was not because of any attempt at deception on my part, more because it's something very harmful to my companies reputation if it came out.
You see, the reason my advisors warn me about the use of magic is that in one of the smashed machines a mess of…cotton candy."


"Cotton… Candy how?
Inside the gears? In place of the gears? Around the machine itself?
Be more specific."


"Unsavory? Is there a problem with this donkey?"


"Now that IS mystifying. I must agree, please elaborate."


"Around the smashed gears to be exact. Clearly put there by the saboteurs.
Now I do not know if the saboteurs are Chaos worshippers or not.
But if the workers got the idea that there's chaos activity in the plant…well I'd have trouble finding any workers no matter the recompensation."


"I assure you, Herr Bropp, that if Chaos is involved, we'll teach them the meaning of Love and Intolerance."


Kno-check to see if I know which magic could create cotton candy.
Second kno-check to see if I could do that with chemistry.

Roll #1 16 + 3 = 19 / Roll #2 17 + 5 = 22


"We found it a forthnight ago while doing repairs to the smashed machinery. It is curious because at the first incident a week ago there was none. That room has been sealed off for the time being if you wish to investigate, but please do not mention this to any of the workers.
You know how superstitious they can be. Perhaps causing panic is what those saboteurs are trying now.
And Tys is more than willing to hire them."

"I've heard stories…just stories mind you.
He used to be a mercenary during the last Prench engagement for our side.
After the conflict he's been hired as a security officer for Tys."

Cotton candy is usually the domain of Chaos worshippers. And even you have a hard time figuring out what exactly they want, if anything.

If it was you, you could just open up the machines, throw some cotton candy in there, then smash the thing.
But perhaps seeing the scene itself would give more clues.

"That is what I like to hear miss Vein."


"So, can we see the sabotaged machinary now?"
Which language are we all speaking?


"I think I'd be more useful at this other plant. Would you like to go ahead with me, Liesl, while Herr Blake has a look around?"


"Ja. But no more sneaky health checking."


"You can be sure of it. In fact, you can be O Positive of it, if you catch my drift."


You two to the other plant?

You splitting up?


"I don't."



"Just as well! Let's try diplomacy at this other place first. Maybe we should conceal the badges, and perhaps come up with a story on the way?"


No I want to check out the cotton-candied machine, go with the ladies.
"By the way…
Whoever did your security was a thief.
This sparkly gate of yours? It can be jumped over like any other fence.
Why, you could climb right into this office."


Bropp responds.
"Your badges will disintegrate as soon as you leave the grounds. A security measure for all visitors badges. You'll need to report back to my secretary if you need another one."


But the ladies are going to the other place?


"That's interesting… is it electrical?"


"Shouldn't be hard. We can pretend you're a foreign delegate wanting to learn more about our great land."


I lost track. What other place?
Up since 4pm of the 19th


"I don't know all the details but all visitors badges disintigrate themselves once they're out of range of a central machine in the plant itself. It sends out some kind of waves.
I hear one of my brothers is using the principle to make something he calls a radio."

The tysstahl plant.
The boss looks at you…
"But…this wall faces the water.
You think somepony could scale it?"


Let's move on now.


"I'm surprised somepony hasn't already! Even moreso if they can survive the water of this port!"
No then, I will stay here and check that machine.


As Bropp leads you away to the plant he notes.
"I'll have my security chief reprimanded.
But what you say about the water, I can assure you the junk we dump into the water has no harmful effects to ponies. The ocean obsorbs it marvelously unlike what some would have you believe."
You pass another Lightning Gate unto a sealed bridge.
And then another into the plant itself.
You see large processing plants. Ponies in masks are mixing coral oil, rainbows and other alchemicals you can't detect (or can you?).
"Please, this way."

You go back onto the streets.
Once you're a few hundred meters away, the badges spontaneously disintegrate.


Number one: Sense motive the thing about ocean dumps.
It's a well known fact ports are shitholes, industries or no industries, so this defensive stance sounds suspect.
And then k-check the chemicals.

Roll #1 10 + 10 = 20 / Roll #2 4 + 5 = 9


Boost the first roll.

Roll #1 4 = 4


So, do we arrive?


Well, let's get to that place.

"Are you a good liar?"


"I can do alright, I think."


"I'm fairly good at it, so that shouldn't be an issue."


You cross the streets again.
As you go about your way, you are only halted when the polizei block the street to bring a diseased mare from a home into a prepared carriage. The doctors look grim in their uniforms.

Yeah, you definitely get the feel he's lying here.
The stuff in these vats, byproducts of the coral liquidation process looks nasty as Tartarus.

Your keen senses don't pick up the other ingredients though


I will have a more through ispection later.
"Forgive me if I don't go for a swim right away."
And just to be sure, put the mask on as well and tighten my butt.


Can we just go around? I don't want to walk disease street.


Yes, let's take the long way.


You take the safer path and take a detour through one of the alleyways.
As you're walking there you're struck by how dirty it is compared to the main street.
The walls are vandalized with graffiti. "WHERE IS GERMANEY????" "BROPP = TODT"
You pass an old mare sitting on the sideway. She clutches a small medaillon. It seems to emit a strange sound. She listens to it intently.

Your butt is secure.
The boss leads you to another section of the facility and uses a key to open the gates.
Inside you see an empty rainbow decolorisator, the machinery next to it is smashed and you see shiny fresh cotton candy inside. It looks delicious.


Anything odd about her? Just glance her over. Investigate.


Roll #1 1 + 9 = 10


wait for it


Roll #1 5 + 12 = 17


boost it.

Roll #1 3 = 3


What's with her? What kind of witchcraft is this now? Investigate.

Roll #1 16 + 6 = 22


You are completely stumped, you have absolutely never ever ever seen something like that medallion.

As you look at it, you recognize it as a talisman. In the old days before the Reich Germanes used to carve these from the corals of the oceans as luck bringers. You've seen the markings only in books though, when the True faith of the Sisters came, these were all destroyed. And nowhere was mentioned they made sound.

You start to investigate every inch of the floor around it.

You make two discoveries.

One: if the cotton candy was applied before the smashing so it would fit nicely round the gears, it wouldn't look so perfectly fresh, there's something fishy, perhaps magical going on here after all.

Two: Whoever it was did a nice job cleaning its trails except the hoofprint you find behind the rainbow decolorisator.


"Eureka! Fetch me a slip of paper and a chalk!"


I'm not sure I want to mess with this stuff but…
"You there, fräulein. What is that you're holding?"


Give a look of curiosity.


The boss looks confused.
But soon the secretary arrives with said items.

She looks up, but not to you in particular.
She seems to look right through both of you.
"You sound nice. A true Germane mare. It's a talisman, my dear, a gift from the Sea. From a time before the seaponies were mere legends, when the Germanes still valued the Sea and the Forests."


And that's what I get for not taking care of my inventory before the game begins.
Take a chalk of the hoofprint.


"So it's a memento? Why is it talking? … Magic?"


"But why would those bums be sneaking around behind the machines? The exit is right over there?"

"A memento? No, it is alive…it sings to us, just like the seaponies once did to priests long gone. You just have to listen to it…"
She holds out the talisman to you.
You see the heretical symbols carved upon it.
This is not something that would be supported by the Church of the Sisters…



Sounds shady.

But I'll give it a good listen anyway. Why not right?


Do you touch it or just listen to it?


Touch it to listen to it I guess?


"What's this?"


As you touch it, the faint melody from the talisman becomes louder. You hear a voice singing in a language you've never heard before. But somehow you know it sings about the sea, the forests and of summer days spent without worry in the ancient groves far from the city.
You feel somehow strengthened, as if you have the power to do anything.
+2 Strength while touching the talisman


"Some magic thing."
I shrug and give it back to the crazy mare.
"I don't know where you got this from, but if somepony holier than me saw it they probably wouldn't be pleased. I don't want anything to do with this."


"Let's keep moving."



"Because it suited their needs, of course!
They must have needed to walk around the machine to plant the cotton candy."


"Ah, such a shame…I had a good feeling about you…."

You make your way back to the main road, having circumvented the roadblock.
Soon you see the Tysstahl compound. It is heavily fortified. A steel fence around all of it, except the gate for transportation and the gate for visitors and employees. Both guarded by Diamond Dogs.


"But..but why? This door is sealed at all times after hours. You can't just walk in here. We checked the circuits, it hasn't been tampered with."


Verdammte Hunde…

Go to the visitor gate.


"Ready? We're going to try to talk our way in first, right?"


Yes, the gates!


"Of course!"


"Then that makes our job much easier. Who has the keys to this door?"


Me, my secretary, and our security officer."

You walk to the visitors gate. The dog looks up from his gentledogs magazine.
"Halt. Employee badge?"


"Hello! I am touring your foreign land, and I was told that the sights to see in Lubuck are the great factories! Do you offer tours? Perhaps I could have a peak inside?"

Impress '1d20+12'

Roll #1 18 + 12 = 30


I nod.
"Oh ja, we would love to tour the factory."


The dog seems quite taken by your sparkly exterior.
"Hmm? Tour? Boss sometimes lets ponies have tours. You'll have to ask in boss building."

He points you to the brick building on your left. It stands out as the only building not built out of steel. At the entrance are two glowing statuettes of ponies holding up lightning.


"To the boss building it is!"

Let's go.


Follow the mare.
"Do you think the boss will be a diamond dog? You'd better watch out with that gemmy coat."


"No point assuming – let's get straight to business and find out!"


"Then if it wasn't you-"
Turn around, staring the secretary in the eyes.
"-or you-"
Sense motive to see if she weavers.
"-Or the guard. Or it was just stolen."

Roll #1 1 + 10 = 11


As you walk into a comfortable lobby with on the walls oil paintings of industry in the valleys around Ponn, you see the secretary, a white unicorn mare with brown mane talking to a pegasus in employee uniform. His coat is brown but his feathers are slightly tinged yellow from factory fumes.
"Look, Fritz, this is final time I make a new badge for you. Don't lose it again. You know the boss, if you lose it again, he'll throw you out. Nothing I can do about that." as she enters a card into a small machine and a blue colored badge comes out.
"Thanks, Karla, say do you wa-"
"Just go."
The pegasus walks out again.
She turns to you.
"Can I help you?"

The secretary flinches. But you're not sure if it's because of your sudden movement or hidden guilt.


"Ah, yes, good day, we were hoping to tour the facilities, we are enjoying the sights of Lubuck today, and this place was spoken of highly!"

Impress? '1d20+12'

Roll #1 18 + 12 = 30


She opens a book.
"Do you have an appointment?"


"No, it was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing."


"We only just heard about this place. Perhaps we could make a short-notice appointment for today? We will only temporarily in the city…"


Let's see your Persuade roll against her Resolve.
Breaches of protocol are mild retribution for her plus no apparent incentive so your roll is -6 = 24.
Her resolve roll '1d20+7'

Roll #1 9 + 7 = 16


Wink wink~
AD boost '1d4+2'

Roll #1 14 + 9 = 23 / Roll #2 3 + 2 = 5


"Hmmm, it's normally not allowed without an appointment one day ahead, but I don't see the harm. And I do have some time right now. Very well."
She prints out two grey visitors badges for both of you.
"Here, these will let you pass beyond the Lightning Gates. Now, you'll have to stay close with me. If you're seen wandering alone in the factory, you'll be removed from the premises."
She walks to the painting.
"Tysstahl was founded 200 years ago by Siegfried Stahl, a blacksmith from Coltogne whose steel was renowned throughout the Reich. He passed his knowledge on to his children who over the years expanded the business to every corner of Germaney. Today there are 20 plants throughout the Reich. We deal in machinery, transports and weapons. Tysstahl values progress so our plant here is the newest to become part of the coral industry. We believe this technology will only become more important in the future and are committed to becoming the number one in coral processing and its various applications."


"Oh, we have heard about this coral. It is quite famous, I am excited to see it."


"Is there a lot of competition on the market?"


She walks outside.
"Now I shall first show you our state-of-the-art Loading Bay."
She doesn't walk to the factory but a large building next to it, partly over the river.
There's a giant open hangar door, facing a similar one into the factory. On both sides they're protected by Lightning Gates.
"I think they're not offloading right now, so we can go in right through here."

"Coral processing is a new booming industry, so every day new competitors want to grab a piece of the pretzel. But having a boat and scavenging for coral is not enough. One needs to have the know-how, capital and horsepower to make high-quality coral oil. Our biggest competitor now would be Bropp."


"And this is for loading in what? Coral? Or products for delivery? And forgive my foreign sensibilities, but what exactly is this 'coral industry' used for producing? This… electrical essence?"


"We noticed there's some groups who don't like ponies damaging corals, don't they give you any trouble?"


You step into a hangar, high enough to let in a ship. The middle is full of water and directly connected to the river.
There are lockers, crates, benches and a large amount of tools here. The hangar is right now empty except for a single pony brushing the floor.
Klara walks to one of the crates. "And here we still have some unprocessed coral. You may touch it if you want."
The large pieces of coral glimmer, constantly shifting color and emitting a soft hum.


"Both. It is mainly used to offload coral. Right now we have 3 ships working at different times in the day and night to collect coral and bring it here. And if we have a shipment incoming overseas, we schedule that delivery so we can offload it inbetween.
As you will see we produce coral oil. A mixture of corals with certain chemicals that contains vast amounts of energy. Through it we can power things that have up till now been only the domain of magic. Like the trains in Lubuck or the Lightning Gates. It allows us to power giant machines that would have required vast amounts of coal in the past. Our scientists are working on all sorts of new inventions. Our new lightning bulbs aren't common yet, but in Ponn they're already the rage amongst the nobility."

"Our security team is top notch and we have not had anypony breach our facility."


Must be the creepy stare.
Calmly turn to the owner.
"First, your hoof if you don't mind.
I know the idea is ludicrous, but there might be a deeper meaning."


"Sehr gut."
Touch the coral. I'm a tactile ponoe.


"Oh my, I don't think I'd want to touch something so powerful. Let's go on, then!"


It feels…warm.

"Please follow me to the factory."

The boss shows a hoof.


Lick it.


Does it match the hoofprint?


To the factory!


Not at all.
But something is off here.
The hoofprint is in such a weird spot. A pony would have to be on two legs, leaning against it to make it. Why would anypony do that?
And it's not a smudge in the dust, it's some kind of waste on the hoofprint, where would it come from?

It tastes salty and your mouth is tingling.

You see Liesl licking the coral and her tongue becomes multicolored. Good thing the secretary is already walking outside and didn't Notice.



Now let's go follow that secretary.


Whisper: "Don't poison yourself!"


Indeed, where could it come from?
Let's think.
'1d20+3' know.

Roll #1 3 + 3 = 6


It stinks.
Probably from the toilet or the sewer. But while you have spent nights sneakily obtaining thousands of sewer samples from different homes in Lubuck so you could immediately use it as evidence, you're not familiar with this one. But you haven't done a sample here yet.

You enter the factory gates and are immediately enveloped in heat.
Large furnaces are burning and you see pegasi in masks pouring fresh coral into them. Through a small window you see the coral slowly turning green and dark before liquifying into a bright blue substance.
"This is the first step of the liquification. We melt the coral at high temperature and pressure. Under normal circumstances the coral simply evaporates when it comes into contact with fire. But with our furnaces we can directly harness its power."

Roll for Perception (investigate)


Investigative horse! '1d20+9'


Roll #1 3 + 9 = 12


Boost it! '1d4'

Roll #1 3 = 3


The furnaces roar loadly, but underneath it, you distinctly hear something else…
It's the corals hum but now it's more like a wail…
You notice the pegasi working here are all wearing ear dops.


"What's with that strange noise?"


"Noise? What noise? I don't hear anything." she says quickly.


"That uh, sort of, you know, ghostly sound. Oh come on, you can tell us – we're leaving the country to continue our tour tomorrow anyway!"


She seems irritated.
"It's…the sound the coral makes when it's being liquified. I don't like talking about it. It's very…unsettling somehow. The pegasi here complained about it so we gave them the ear dops."


"Spooky! Where to next?"


Waiting on Groves


"That is pretty unsettling. Question though, why are there so many pegasi here?"


"Their wings and manouverability makes them more flexible when it comes to maintaining and operating the machines, so we prefer to have pegasi here. But we employ many earth ponies and unicorns in other plants for manufacturing."


She's a pegasus too, isn't she?
"I guess that makes sense."


First of all, take a sample of this.
"Where to, for the sewers?"


Check ceiling for entrances


Roll #1 9 + 9 = 18


A unicorn actually.

"Let's go to the next part."
You follow the tubes to another door.
Before you go in, roll Notice.

"The sewers. The only entrance is on the other side of the compound. Well except for underneath the floor of course. But no pony could fit through there."
You look down. The floor is metal with slim openings to allow any spills to go through. You see small pipes to lead any spills into the sewers, but only rats would get through there.

You see several vents for ventilation.
You bet if you could get on the roof without the guards seeing you, you'd be able to sneak in here.


Or shapeshifters.
Do I know of shapeshifters in town?
"I will go check them out."
Off, down to the nearest pony-sized sewer entrance.

Roll #1 15 + 3 = 18



Roll #1 20 + 2 = 22


Activate it.


Oh my.

Roll #1 4 + 9 = 13


There are still followers of the old ways in town. You don't know them personally, but you're sure that with some asking around the right people (canvass outside) you'll find somepony willing to spill the beans.

The boss leads you to one of the maintenance rooms and opens the hatch.
It is stinky!

You notice a blue workers badge named "fritz" underneath one of the tubes.
You get a +2 to predistigation if you want to snatch it without the secretary noticing.

Nope, nothing.


Gently elbow Liesl.

"Grab that badge!"


I cock a brow and look around until I spot it.

Try to sneakily grab it. AD boost '1d4+2'

Roll #1 17 + 5 = 22 / Roll #2 2 + 2 = 4


Notice '1d20+7'

Roll #1 6 + 7 = 13


You quickly grab it and hide it away.

You enter a sealed chamber.
There are windows into chambers where masked ponies are mixing a number of chemicals into large vats of liquid coral. The oil gains its characteristic deep purple shine.
"Here is where the actual oil is made, for your security you cannot enter those chambers."


"What sorts of chemicals get mixed in?"


"Could you drink the oil and survive?"


"I don't know and even if I knew, I wouldn't tell."

"I suppose it would be extremely painful."


"Liesl is a big girl."


Both get an extra action die for effortlessly entering a bane joke into this stuff.


"Now gentlestallions, I'd very much like you all to wait for my return. Shouldn't take long."
Jump down!"


"What else is there to see? Do you have a showroom perhaps?"


She opens a door.
"The last floor is where we bottle the oil and ship it to our clients and other facilities throughout the Reich." She walks to the next chamber where you see huge stacks of vats filled with Coral Oil.
"Do you have any final questions?"

You land in some smudge.
The sewer is what you'd expect from a sewer.
Roll Investigate.


"Who runs this factory? The owner, like a family business, or are there managers?"


"No, that about does it I think."



Roll #1 6 + 12 = 18


Fuck that, AD it.

Roll #1 2 = 2


"It is owned by the Stahl family, but this plant here is run by Brick, our very capable manager."

You indeed discover the hoofprints of a pony down here, ending abruptly at one of the pipes.
You also find a Thysstahl badge named "Fritz" conveniently next to it.


Thysstahl industries?
Oh, wow.
Well, guess I have a lead now.


"Oh my, he sounds very strong! Is his name accurate?"


Back up?

"He's a donkey, you know how they are."


Back up.
Time to part ways with the president and reach the industries.


Do you tell him about the badge?


Nah. Just say "A path has opened! Must go!"


"Interesting stuff! Say, I've heard there are a lot of protest groups – have you had trouble with that sort of thing?"


"I already asked her that!"


"Oh, sorry my dear, you know how I can be a bit of an airhead at times. Say again, please?"


You make your way back on the street.
A beggar, covered in scars comes to you, his nose covered in a hoofkerchief.
"Coin for a war veteran?" he says in a weak voice.

"For the moment, we've had no trouble with them. Some tried to break in, but our security took care of them. They won't try it again."


"Oh my – I hope he's in jail. Is he?"


Notice anything wrong with him?
Oh, and give him 2s.

Roll #1 13 + 10 = 23


"Of course."

Those hoofkerchiefs around the nose are often used to hide the Sniffles.
You give him two bits.
"Bless you, sir."
He quickly shuffles away.
One extra AD for kindness.


"I think that's all, then. Thanks!"


Should we…

Leave now? Or…

I mean, I know where I want to go.

To Liesl: "Got a plan?"



You both leave the grounds again, just as Norrin arrives!


Shake my head.
"No, but we do have a way in. I think we should go check the jail or the city guard for more information on the ponies who allegedly attacked this facility."


"Oy, just the lasses I had been looking for.
Take a look at this wanka'."
Toss'em the badge.


"That was my thought as well, I'd like to check out the jail first."


"We found one as well – from the same pony. We also got a lead at the local jail. Someone broke in here too."


"He is a shapeshifter."
Announce plainly.
"Now, you might not know what that means, but it means he was able to sneak into the plant and destroy the machine.
Also, I have found his hoofprint on the scene of the crime!"


"What? How did you find that out? And why are shapeshifters so clumsy with their badges?"


"Are you sure? How can you know?"


"Probably when he changed size to fit in them wee tubes from the sewers he climbed onto.
There are a few ponies we can ask about shapeshifters I know."


"Did you see that? Or… that's a lot to take in."


"I analyzed all possibilities and let me assure you, once we remove all that is impossible what remains, no matter how improbable, is still the truth."

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