>>594957 "I have no idea. I was not born at the time. It is my suspicion that Morgana pressured them into it when the Triumvirate was founded. Bad for your image if ponies hear the Triumvirate is slaughtering ponies and drinking blood."
>>594958 "My name was chosen by the collective hivemind. Do you mean different in powers compared to Morgana?"
>>594963 "Yes and no. How should I explain it… The higher up in the rank you are, the more…personality one has. For example the Queen is part of the Hive, but she also has her own personality and can act on her own, and issue orders on her own, as is her duty. A captain is a bit more bound but still has his own personality and can offer his own input, same with Ladies. We cannot directly disobey orders, but we can offer input on it. Overseers are lower but they usually have a bit of freedom in the practical application of the orders. For example, a Queen can order to take care of a rogue organization in the City, and the Overseer decides whether its best to send Infiltrators and take them down from within, or gather a force of Warrior drones to attack directly. Drones have the least personality, but theirs is a bit colored by their Queen as well. Morgana's drones are very quiet, Nefertiri's savage."
>>594973 Missed that. Lemme retroactively answer that. "I am somewhat weaker in terms of raw magical power. The ascendance to Queen strengthens a Changeling significantly. But Morgana's strength lays in subterfuge. I believe I know more than her about magic, I've studied with Varash after all."
>>594979 ''I will attempt to educate myself in reading I apologize for that. I should have known it would be needed'' He said in shame ''Of course,only in my free time. I will still be putting all my efforts in any mission I am assigned to''
>>594986 ''Yes…That is a complicated matter… Maybe we could allow it…But only if we have someone to watch her at all times. We can still get very useful information with her,and she seems…Cooperative…'' He said a bit more serious
>>594988 "The Hideout was designed to prevent outside intrusion. Getting out would be relatively easy if she's allowed to go everywhere in the Hideout and I don't really want to assign somepony to watch her constantly, there's enough work already."
>>594987 "My main concern is her escaping. I don't trust her."
>>594991 "Yes, that's disturbing to say the least. I wonder what the implications are of this in the Triumvirate power structure."
>>594990 "I fear it wouldn't be too hard if she was motivated. The defenses are primed to prevent intrusion. We can lock down our defenses but then we wouldn't be able to leave ourselves."
>>594992 "What of the crystal we used to investigate other potential hires? Could she have to keep that on, that way everyone would know what she is and keep an eye on her? That way, even if she escapes, some citizne is likely to take care of her for us."
>>594992 ''I do not either…But if we keep constant vigilance in some way,she wouldn't dare to do anything,unless she were really,really bold…'' He thinks for a moment. ''I still think we should assign at least someone to watch over her,honestly,would be a very effective way…And if the watcher is required,he can take her along…Or have someone else watch her''
>>594992 "Really? If she's honest about her wanting revenge, she has no reason to escape. If she isn't honest, I doubt escaping would be a wise move considering she could feed the queens information about our operation."
>>594998 "If you don't doubt she wants revenge, then there's really no problem now is there? Bug wants to take down the queens? Fine by me. I don't think she'll find anyone else with any chances of doing it and I'm pretty sure she knows that."
>>594998 ''No…Miss Phamtasm work here is much more important than most others I offer myself to watch over her…If you allow me Sir… I am simply a medic,I can quickly do my work and continue to watch over her And if she tries to escape,I can summon roots or something else to tie her down with absolutely zero chances of escaping.'' ''How's that?''
>>595003 "You are a field agent. You're not spending every day here locked inside."
>>594999 >>595000 >>595001 >>595002 "Strange times make for strange bedfellows then. We'll allow her some freedom for now. Phantasm can look over her without her knowing, then we'll find any deception quicker. Whisper, could you bring Myziri here?" Whisper walks out and returns with Myziri. The Master coughs. "We have decided to allow you to walk freely in the Hideout." Myziri smiles. "Thank you, Master."
>>595005 "I…I understand sir…" he said bowing his head. He then turned to Myziri "Hello,it is a pleasure. If you are honestly on our side,then I hope we can be good friends. I have always been fascinated with your kind…"
>>595009 "I'm sure there is much we can learn from each other."
>>595010 "I don't know, do you steal things from here?"
>>595012 >>595008 "I can call in a limited military force. But that would be a last option, we are not prepared for a long siege. What you see here is what we have." Myziri thinks for a minute. "I see, then this might be a little more complicated. But not impossible, the idea would be to take out the lesser ranks first before we engage the Queens."
>>595015 "I-I wouldn't dream of it miss-A-Antlers!?" he says indignated. "W-what is wrong with my antlers?" as he says that,a small leaf feel from his tree-like antlers. Fluttering slowly into the table…
"Yes, that's what would make it more complex. We'd have to strike hard and fast. You see, the hivemind means that all information of the entire hive becomes known to every member of the Hive. But that doesn't mean it's instantaneous. Not even the Queen could handle the information of a thousand drones thoughts, sights, hearing at once. So the information is filtered. From the drones to the Overseer, who then decides what is important what not and sends it up through. This all happens instinctual till the most important information requiring the attention of the Queen is left. A Queen knows all her hive does, but if her focus is elsewhere we could surprise her. And if the lower ranks are dead, then she would have to deal with all that unfiltered information herself, making her weaker until new Overseers can be spawned."
>>595021 "They will become leaderless until a new Lady-In-Waiting ascends. Therefore it would be good to have them killed first as well. The Hive will tear itself apart afterwards."
>>595023 "It would not be simple at all. A hit should be fast and quick, it would be imperative that while they'll know they're being attacked, that they don't know by who. Secondly, we'd have to incite things in the City, something that would distract the Queens attention in the City. Like riots, unrest,… if the Queens have only us to focus on, they'll find us, no doubt."
>>595020 "I will scour the hivemind of Morgana. A moment please."
Myziri's eyes roll back for a few seconds as she scours the hivemind. She turns back normal but seems very weary.
>>595026 >>595027 "Yes. As long as the hierarchy exists, the Hive is strong. If we can take out vital elements like the Captain and the Ladies first, the Queen will become vulnerable. Combined with other unrest in the City, they won't be able to react anymore."
>>595028 She sighs. "Morgana's attention is currently fixed upon the Scarab District. She has sent Overseers there to observe the Temple of the Elements. If you can kill them, it would be a start. The Hivemind believes the Scarab District is on the verge of infighting. If we could somehow trigger a riot there, it would distract the Queen enough to have the disappearance of her Overseers go unnoticed." She sighs. "I do not feel powerful enough to scour the other hiveminds yet…I need time to gather my strength…and feed."
>>595029 "Precisely. The City is a delicate balance, a push at the right place and fighting will happen."
>>595030 "Might I suggest we take down two problems with one stone? We could bait the members of the warring faiths into doing the deed for us. We're clear if anything goes wrong, and we'll gain some trusts with them."
>>595032 "Every day…perhaps more if you want me to scour the other hiveminds faster."
>>595033 "Love, affection, happiness it all works. I hate bad emotions however. That's more something for Harvesters to toy with."
>>595034 "I believe that could work if you pull it off. I do remember Varash was very active in a Vilitian Cult named the Circle of Mages. As for Nefertiri, she'd be busy in the Leviathan District or Crocodile." Lightning Swift was part of that!
>>595035 "We don't have accurate numbers. I believe 100000 wouldn not be far from the truth." Myziri answers "Morgana…around 7000 drones in total. Varash, I don't know now, but she never had much, perhaps 1000? Nefertiri, at least 20000 if not more. She was always a breeder."
>>595035 He turns to her "B-by the way,I never really ask this to anypony but…You think they are being well kept?" he said motioning to his antlers "I-I was trying to take good care of them…But I'm not sure…"
>>595044 "They were a secretive group controlling the Arachnia District…three centuries ago. I have no idea what they're up to now."
>>595048 "She wasn't too though…three centuries ago. Her Hive is weird….she experiments with magic and strange evolutionary strains in her drones. I don't know what she did until I can scour her hivemind."
———————————————– The Master looks all of you over. "I see. It seems prudent we act quickly then. Melville, Ambrosia, Maali, I would like you to go over to the Scarab District, see if you can find out why they're watching the Temple of Elements. If you can find a way to kill them undetected, do so."
"Spruce and Ruby, I'd like you to look into this Circle of Mages, but don't take too many chances yet. We need information first."
>>595056 "Most likely. Ms. Swift was amongst them before joining our ranks. She suffers from a particular case of 'memory loss' pertaining to them. That alone should give you an idea of what we'll be engaging with."
>>595079 "I have something to let you know about. Lightning Swift, the Mage we recruited, was formerly in that group. Unfortunately, her memory has been wiped. I'd like to let you know before we go further, and whether we should let her know now or gather information first."
>>595080 >>595081 "Okay listen up, here's the plan. Ambrosia, you pretty me up and make unrecognizable. We figure out who the overseers are. I go jihad on their asses, blowing up in that pretty new face of mine, and you finish any collaborator in the following panic."
You all make your way to the Scarab District. It's not as busy as usual, there's a distinct tension in the air. The temple of elements is a series of monoliths placed in a circle. The Shrines of the Elemental Lords are there and a tree symbolizing Mother Nature in the middle.
>>595097 >>595095 Lightning is in one of the houses. As you come in you find her pouring salt on the ground in intricate patterns. "Watch out, don't step on the salt."
>>595099 >>595104 "That's fine, just don't step in the salt. I'm trying to summon one of the Genii of the Astral Plane here. If that salt isn't placed right, it might escape. So, what kind of duty are we talking about?"
>>595101 There are not too many, but you don't notice anything special at first glance. Roll for perception.
>>595102 You bump straight into a saddle-arabian pony. He seems irritated. "HEY, watch where you're going!"
>>595107 "Just let it go, Vine. We have to hurry." The two Saddle-Arabian ponies walk off. You keep walking.
>>595108 There's a few ponies out of place here. An armored pony looking over the crowd, a hayburger sales pony, two saddle-arabian ponies running towards the side of the temple and a cabbage merchant. But who could it be?"
>>595612 Many things have happened. >Myziri was detained by the Lordblades >She was questioned, you can read the report of that in the OP, and some extra questions underneath the OP. >She currently has been given permission to walk freely in the Hideout but not outside.
The current plan to deal with the Queens despite overwhelming numbers is to slay their lieutenants, weakening the Queens themselves indirectly through the Hivemind. See >>595024
Currently, Earthbound, Melville, Ambrosia and Maali are in Scarab District following a lead by Myziri.
Hokkaido and Spruce are still in the Hideout preparing to infiltrate the Circle of Magi, an old magical society because they suspect Queen Varash has an influence there.
>>595622 "Myziri mentioned them as having been tools of one of the Queens, so the boss is having us look into them and see what we can gather. Lightning Swift, the amazing Mage you see before you, was once among them and can lead us to the following two: >>595611"
>>595622 >>595623 >>595625 Swift nods. "I can bring you to either Cracking Bone or Glowing Tears place. Both heavily guarded, but I know they're members of the Circle. I believe Duchess Mana must be one of the Circle as well otherwise she would never have become Duchess of the Arachnia District."
You make it to the Arachnia District. "Cracking Bone is a necromancer, he's very reclusive unless he meets some fellow necromancer or one of the Circle." says Swift. You go to Nocturnal Plaza, long ago this place was cursed to be eternally shrouded in night, though details have been lost in time. On the corner of the Plaza stands a tower a bit separate of the others. There's a little garden of silvery pale glowing flowers in front of the gate. Most windows are dark and shrouded, except the top window on the fifth floor. There's a light burning there.
>>595652 "New fellas, I haven't seen them before today. Not salesponies at all. If ya want to sell you need to have some salesmanship, talk to ponies and shout. They're just standing there." He hoofs you your hayburger with hayfries.
>>595655 "Crazy? Miss, lemme give you a little sample." He gives you a few free hayfries. He shows you his shotgun. "This is my darling. Ain't she a beauty?"
>>595658 Keep up with them. "Yes, I'd assume so, since in a few seconds we will all blow up." Hold the bomb out, but be careful not to let them catch it. "I'm an explosive expert…" Show my own hidden explosives. "And I can make it go off at any time. So let's begin the questioning. Who sent you?"
"They're reliable, that's what matters. You just press the trigger and any problem in front of, just ain't a problem no more."
>>595668 >>595669 >>595661 You do that as a pro. The inside is unlit and dusty. There is no furniture on the first floor except some tapestries, broken mirrors and perhaps more worryingly, meat hooks. There's a stairs up and a stairs down. The skeleton quickly follows you. "Sir, I'm afraid the lord of the tower is not receiving any visitors today. I'll have to ask you to leave."
>>595670 "Hmm? All kinds of weirdos in this town, all the time."
>>595671 You're surrounded by temples of Love, Discord, Sun and Moon, and the Elements as well of course. Lots of ponies though. "We don't know, he asked us to plant it…" says one quickly.
>>595677 You can't stealth here. The inside is unlit and dusty. There is no furniture on the first floor except some tapestries, broken mirrors and perhaps more worryingly, meat hooks. There's a stairs up and a stairs down. There's two ways, up or down.
>>595675 "I do not recognize you as one of the Circle."
>>595678 He gasps and throws the bomb away. It lands at 1. Temple of Love 2. Temple of the Elements. 3. Temple of Discord 4. In a crowd. 5. An empty alley '1d5'
>>595679 No, in fact they seem moldy. And that mold is moving slowly.
>>595680 "Lemme tell you, once they see what happened to the problem in the front, they won't be coming from the back no more." He laughs heartily.
>>595683 "Why thank you, I do try to blend in as best I can. Now, are you out of the white? I can drink red, but it gives me awful headaches after a few glasses, so I must insist on not more than two."
>>595691 You don't have any skills to summon roots, but since you're close I'll allow you to grab the bomb with your hooves and throw it.
You quickly grab the bomb among the confused crowd and throw it to an empty alley It explodes in a smoke and fire. You see one pony running up to you.
>>595687 Before you get there, you see Maali rushing for a bag and throwing it into an empty alley. It explodes. In the confusion, one pony is rushing towards Maali, another is holding Earthbound down, and two others are going after two Saddle-Arabian ponies. The cabbage salespony is overlooking the scene undisturbed while ponies are fleeing.
>>595685 The cabbage pony looks towards another group of ponies that start running to capture Maali, Earthbound and a few other ponies as a bag explodes in an empty alley.
>>595684 As the bag explodes in an empty alley by intervention of Maali a pony suddenly grabs you and pushes you down from behind. "No sudden moves, you're going to answer some questions." He holds a gun to your back. You're helpless.
>>595690 The skeleton seems to not pay attention to you. You could go up or down.
>>595686 "The Master only drinks grey wine." He points to an old dusty bottle.
>>595693 Maali then turns to Earthbound,then to the pony after him,he quickly calls to the land again ''Sa ela sa kiri'vi!'' He shouted stepping backwards THis time summoning vines FOR REAL this time '1d10'
>>595698 Sickle manages to stealth very easily. But you have a hard time inbetween all these panicking ponies. You remember what Myziri said, an Overseer controls a group of drones. Strike when he's occupied with the drones.
>>595696 "I work alone on the first floor. I'll allow you to be here until the Master decides whether you're guests or not."
>>595694 "They'll get caught too. Now come with me." He grabs you and leads you towards an empty house. Maali is struggling with another pony, and the Saddle arabian ponies are overwhelmed by three others.
>>595695 A voice from behind you says "shut up." You turn around just in time for a left hook to the face "and come with us." Maali 1/5
>>595699 He tumbles at the strength of the hook He spits blood and look up at his attacker "Daina,kiivi" he mutters,the way he said it sounded almost like a curse as he healed his injuries '1d10' the healing skill which I forgot the name of
Battlefield description per request: You are on a square close to the Temple of the Elements, the earlier explosion did not kill any ponies nor did much damage but the crowd scattered and only a few stragglers are left scuttering away.
Melville, Ambrosia and Sickle are on one side of the square attacking the Overseer. On the other side, Maali is being held down by one pony which you presume is a changeling. Two changelings (also disguised as ponies) are holding down the two bomber saddle-arabians. And Earthbound is free.
>>597200 >>597202 The Overseer shakes you off and flies up, but with a few acrobatic jumps Sickle manages to jump on top of him and stab him in the neck, killing him off.
>>597206 The frustration made the deer grit his teeth,annoyed. Suddenly he remembered The master and Phantasm. ''Get…up…Get up!'' He muttered under his breath and he tried to get up on his thin legs '1d10+2'
>>597216 >>597217 >>597219 >>597218 He's dead. The target has been neutralized. Thanks to Melvilles talent for cleaning no real evidence is left it was your doing, however, the hive will surely come investigate, you better leave.
>>597222 >>597217 Wasting no time at all,Maali does what he was hired for,being a medic He chanted something,in an almost singing manner as his body began to change… Buds sprouted from his body,his antlers grew flowers and he was surrounded by a faint glow coming from his necklace. ''Let me help you…'' He said calmly as Ambrosia could feel a relaxing spell on her body as her wounds were healed slowly
>>597222 >>597224 "We need to move out quick. From what Misery told us, their attention is already focused on this place and we've failed to create a riot to distract her. We've got to retreat back to base."
>>597223 The hall is eerily quiet, there's one left and one right door here, and another set of stairs leading to the next level. Suddenly all hell breaks loose inside the doors. You hear ponies smashing glass and smashing against the walls. From far upstairs the fourth floor you hear something large coming down fast.
>>597226 He's looking at you…then he cackles, all former dignity lost and tries to strangle you. You're grappled!
>>597240 >>597236 "I happened to overhear some fighting upstairs. Of course, it could just as easily be a magic deception to scare us off, but I am inclined to think based on your near-strangling that there are hostile forces at work inside this building."
>>597239 Give him a mean look. "Miss Phantasm is not in charge here and she sure as heck doesn't have any authority over me. Got that?"
>>597240 Soften my expression. "Hey~ some fucks were trying to blow up civilians in the Scarab District. Bomb went off but didn't kill anyone thanks to our deer friend here. Killed an overseer and his drones and took the bombers captive."
>>597240 ''Oh…Have they told where have they gone off to?'' ''Additionally…Well…See for yourself…'' He said motioning to the bombers ''These changelings and their fellows were causing a lot of mischief on the Temple of the Elements square…There was a bomb and well…no one is hurt as far as I saw…'' He said looking at the party to help him explain the situation…
>>597242 When he turns to Ambrosia,oh boy was he intimidated. ''O-oh…I..well I did not meant to imply that…'' He said looking down,his ears pressed against his head. ''I…I apologise miss Ambrosia…Um…I just… ''Sorry…''
>>597250 "Sorry, let me clarify. I wasn't speaking in general terms. There is something very large and loud traveling down the stairs toward us and we will probably meet it on the second floor landing."
>>597245 >>597243 Note for americans: Here in europe the first floor is your second floor, our ground level is first floor in american I believe. so in american language he started from the fifth floor and kept going down. I'll now continue in american.
You reach the second floor, there are two doors here. Both have sounds of thumping and smashing. Whatever is making the noise on the stairs in on the floor above you and coming down fast.
Earthbound makes them swallow a potion and suddenly every touch on their body shocks their entire body sending them into maniacal fits of laughter. "Please…stop" one of the fighters says between the laughter. "I…can't….breath."
Whisper looks them over. "Well done. Make em talk, what do they know?"
>>597255 >>597257 >>597258 Just making sure to avoid possible miscommunications! You both bash open the left door and close it. Whatever comes down the stairs rushes past the door and goes further down.
You take a look behind you to see a clinical room. There are multiple advanced medical tools, scissors, one pot with an embryo inside on alcohol. There are two zombies here wearing white clothes shattering the delicate equipment and furniture in blind rage. They turn to you and shuffle towards you… You're being attacked by two Doctor zombies.
>>597253 "W-we'll tell you…make it stop please hahaha"
>>597265 >>597267 "I'm just not interested in being run over by it, following is fine." '1d10+2' lets see if we can give the doctor his voice back. "Hey, doctor bones. You know if the owner of this place was making some huge zombie?"
>>597268 >>597267 The streets are undisturbed. Judging by the hoofprints left you're dealing with a huge six legged creature. It went down the stairs straight for the cellar, slammed Hokkaido, who was there, unconscious and is now doing…something in the cellar, you can't see what from here.
>>597271 He speaks in a Manehattan accent. "I do not believe so, or I was not aware of it. My task here was to dissect some eggs."
>>597269 >>597270 "They don't like each other…I think…I don't understand either of them."
>>598516 Start speaking with a lecturing/nostalgic voice. "I was young once, you know, and boy the things some of the jennies and even a few mares could ask! There's no shame if you like it rough." Smirk ever so slightly at you. I haven't lost all my humour yet.
>>598517 Look you over. "No offense, but I really am not attracted to donkies at all. And y'know, it's not that rough stuff doesn't happen, but it's not to the point that the room is filled with a layer of blood."
>>598519 "Regardless of age, I wouldn't want to wake up next to a donkey and not remember a thing about what happened the night before. You never got married though? Not even once you started nearing your uh… twilight years?"
>>598522 "A sense of security while I worked as a jack who got rid of every filth that happened in the city, knowing that they know I am the only person that knows all that dirt about them? I don't think I can relax and feel secure until I'm lowered in the ground in a nice and comfortable casket."
>>598523 "You should learn to relax. Fretting is bad for the heart. Plenty of people would like to see me dead as well. I've seen and heard a lot of stuff that people don't want others to know, but I don't fret. If they want to take me out, let them come and try."
>>598524 "I don't fret. As much as they know, they need me more. Until I have some young upshot who can get rid of corpses better than me, I'm not worried. Even then, I doubt the Master would have brought anyone who can't defend him or herself here."
>>598543 "I wish. No, I just… hung out at the bottom of a river for a few centuries. Until some ponies found me and sold me, thinking I was a statue. That's how I ended up here in Vilitus. You can imagine how happy I was with the move."
>>598561 "I can't speak for Equestria, but some people seemed to think the alicorns were slowly going mad and were preparing to launch the Moon into the planet. Some of the others thought Celestia's fucking with the sun would cause some kind of a planet warming chain reaction or whatever. I think you can see a theme going on here."
>>598577 >>598576 Leaving the interrogation,he looked away from the bomber that was turning blue. He did NOT wanted to see that He just goes to Ambrosia and Melville. ''Phew…That was a good first um…Field Mission…Right?'' He said looking at them,hopefully not interrupting anything
>>598589 He freezes… ''I um…'' ''I just…Thought he was girl at the b-beggining…S-sorry… O-oh no no H-he is not a slut,really I just… Oh…S-sorry I…Should have kept my mouth shut…'' He said head hanging low
>>597272 As Maali finished hearing the interrogation,many questions went though his mind But one in particular was bothering him ''I…Excuse me'' He said to Ambrosia and Melville as he left Heading back to the same tree he was trying to talk to earlier before
>>598995 Once there,he looked around,ever since he first came to the place he felt something inside And that tree… It allured him in some way… The shrines,which he didn't paid much attention before,drew his attention as well ''Water…Wind…Earth…F-fire…'' He stuttered a bit at the last one ''What is this place?'' He asked himself. And went for the nearest pony. ''Um…Exscuse me…What…What is all this?'' He asked motioniing to the shrines
>>599043 Maali eyes widen a bit as he see the flames He almost stopped and NOPE-ed his way out of there. But against his better judgement,he carried on… He examined the blazier,the busts and took extra time to examine the king He did not knew why But he could feel someone there. ''He…Hello?'' He asked meekly
>>599044 "As far as I'm concerned, yes. We'll have to wait on the report of Spruce and Ruby."
>>599054 >>599055 "She's been requesting more emotions to feed on actually. If we're going to keep her around we'll need to figure out how to…provide that."
>>599048 The statues are widely different. Pyrrus is shaped like an alicorn Asharr like an eagle with a gigantic mouth. Utumno like a giant fiery griffon.
The statues seem to be staring at you but nopony else is here. As you call out hello, you hear a crack behind you and jump up. But it was only a crack of the fire. The eyes of the busts twinkle as if amused.
>>599086 He looks confused for a moment,then had a small flashback Back when he was a young buck… His teacher,taught him about the elemental lords ''Oh…right…'' He then bows for a bit to the bust of Utumno,and heads for the fire,and bows to it as well ''Great lord Utumno…I,Maali humbly call for you as a servant of nature,and as a child of Gaia,please…Let me be h-honored by your presence.'' He said regally,like he was talking to a king
>>599088 "She's the one always saying we have to give more to the team. She can give some emotions then."
>>599092 Shall we just go all the way to the top or do you want to see one of the floors inbetween?
>>599090 Whisper frowns. "We'll have other prisoners before this is over. This one doesn't matter."
>>599093 The flame flickers and the light seems to fade from the room. All you can see here anymore is the brazier and the busts which seem to glowing. You feel as if there are eyes watching you in the shadows.
>>599095 "She's not here at the moment I'm afraid. The Master and Phantasm are out. But I'm sure Vilina won't mind waiting."
>>599096 You enter Bones' living room. The room has been torn apart. Books and documents lay sprawled across the floor. Furniture is torn up. It seems Bones was doing some kind of ritual here. There are strange symbols drawn on the floor and candles places around it. Bones himself, or at least who you think is bones is laying in a pool of blood on the floor. His head is in pieces as if it exploded from within. Strange metal wires lay out between his flesh. Roll for perception.
>>599100 "Oh, and what you did? Slitting the throat? Makes one of the biggest mess. Even a stab in the heart is more clear. If we are on a covert operation, I might not have time to scrub up everything."
>>599141 ''B-because…Because my respect for the lords of nature is much stronger than my fear… I would not dare disrespect you by fleeing like a coward my lord…'' He said,still rigid,but his head still bowed in respect
>>599147 ''I…I am Maali. I have come for I felt inside…Something was calling…'' He said motioning to his necklace. ''And I found this place…I never thought such place could exist here…'' He starts,glancing over to the other busts before again looking at him ''I have not come here knowing you would show before me,oh mighty Utumno,that your flames rage and inspire the hearts of ponykind.'' He spoke regally,trying his best to flatter him and stay on his good side ''I am always seeking for wisdom from the elements,but I would be honored if you allowed me to…Pay you a tribute in your honor.''
>>599155 He browsed in his saddlebag for his flute. ''For you,I bring this melody. that it may incite the flames of your divinity,and for the other lords as well…'' And with that,he gently placed the flute on his lips,sitting down He began playing And a melody of war filled the room It started slowly,and calmly,like a calm before the war And then progressively became more and more vivid,like bursting flames The deer played with fervor,eager to please the fire elemental >Lemmie use a fate point for dis
>>599162 Please refrain from posting images in a quest thread unless absolutely necessary.
>>599161 >>599162 You play your beautiful music yet the flames erupt from the brazier whirling around and your flute catches fire and drops to the ground.
"You summon me, the King of all Fire, Lord of Will. You seek to please me, while deep inside you merely seek to placate me for your own purposes. Fire does not please. Fire takes what it wants." Your flute burns to cinders. "Like the flute, like your forest, all returns to ash. You seek to learn from me? Then go forth into the city and seek the one called Rhyming Word. Many years ago, he sought our help to gain the spark of inspiration. Now he has become a famous writer and poet because of my help, yet he has not paid his proper due. Go to his home and get his writings on poetry. Bring it here. And return it to the Fire."
>>599160 You manage to get down. The creature seems to have dug a long way. You emerge in a small sewer. There are a bunch of coffins here the creature dragged with it. The creature itself is nowhere to see. Next to the coffins is a notebook.
>>599164 >>599167 "Okay then. The stairs to the morgue is the second door to the left."
>>599165 It was written by a demented mind. It talks about Changeling eggs. Apparently the writer has been busy with an experiment to alter them into some fusion of flesh and machine. Yet most experiments have gone wrong so far. The next one to experiment is Short Wand, in Bronzelane manor. You don't see the creature around but you're sure it won't be long before it gets back. You could quickly sneak a peek in the coffins.
Maali looks at the scene before him,tears pooling in his eyes as his flute became ashes And when He mentioned the forest… That struck him hard. really hard He just wanted to get up and run. Or punch him in the fiery beak Inside the deer,there was a war of fear And pure rage,burning inside him but he held on. All those feelings,he bottled them inside of himself,and calmed his mind ''Yes…I shall do that,thank you. Lord of fire,Lorf of Will…'' As he said that he bowed. But the rage started burning again How did he dare burn his flute?the only memory from his teacher. How did he dare mention his forest?his home? Rage just grew inside (''Dont…Don't'') he repeated in his head as he turned away and slowly left ''I will return,and I will bring the writings…'' He said calm in the outside
>>599171 You are faced with some weird inconsistencies. The handwriting and perfume is not from the goldfeathers. Yet the paper and envelope is the way they usually send their messages. Either somepony got intimate knowledge of the Goldfeathers, or this is done deliberate, to let you know it's somepony else with the permission of the Goldfeathers.
>>599173 "I see the fire rage within you inside. It cannot be contained, yet you try." He laughs. "How futile."
>>599172 >>599169 The guards pay little attention to you as you step down in the cool morgue. There's a stallion here, dressed in white and wearing an amulet of the Sun. "Yes? I didn't expect somepony here."
>>599174 I suppose I should get one of my good suits ready. As well as a concealed pistol and dagger. I do not trust this, but this isn't something I want to run to the others for. I'll get to the bottom of this.
>>599174 He stopped there All sorts of insults ran over his head Thoughts of him crushing his head on the wall Choking him with vines Drowning him on the water. He almost opened his mouth to tell what he thinks ''I am not containing it…I will use it.'' ''Not here.not now,but this fire…This flame will singe someone yet…'' He says ''Thank you,lord of the flames,today you taught me a lesson,a very important one…'' he said almost grinding his teeth,facing away from the gryphon.
He blinks his big eyes ''I…Oh gosh what…''He got up ''Yes…Yes I am fine mister,thank you…Just had…a small lesson from the lords…'' He said glaring to the shrine of fire,with a calm anger in his stare. ''A lesson I needed to learn…'' With that he headed back to the base Impatience grew in him He felt a bit different When he realized he was prancing quickly on the way there determined Full of energy And with a name in his head ''Rhyming Word…''
>>599181 "Hmmp." He opens the magic freezer. Inside lay 10 bodies, each neatly on a table. The first one to the left is your target. "This is him, in quite good state still. It's lucky we got there as fast as we did."
>>599183 Aw fuck, sorry getting late. He is Saddle-Arabian.
You leave the confused saddle-arabian there. Prancing back to the hideout. You arrive at the same time as Spruce.
>>599182 You are back in the base. You arrive at the same time as a prancing Maali.
>>599188 ''Oh…I see… My mission went well. I did almost nothing,really Except save ponies from an explosion that someone we know very well thoght it was a good idea to throw around…'' He spoke with annoyance ''And we captured and interrogated two bombers as well,so I suppose it was success.'' ''Would you like help with something by the way?because I am about to report something to the Master''
>>599192 ''Well…I am not sure…But I want to do that as soon as possible,and if you cannot come with me in the next two days,I will have to go on without you'' He said That sounded rather rude on the way he said it ''I…Sorry I did not meant that…''
>>599193 Shake my head. "Matters like this are usually urgent, we don't always have the luxury of social graces." "That said, I must ask if you have a plan, if you can approach the pony directly, in disguise, do you need him dead or simply need to steal the thing back?"
>>599194 ''The plan is to go inside…And get a few papers of poetry…I know it might sound odd,but…I lost something very important…To me…T-to get the opportunity to do this…'' He said as he stuttered a bit again. He shook his head,determined again. ''But that does not matters.We can try to do the following,I can distract him,while you get the papers,how does that sound?'' ''And no…We do not need to kill him,and the pony does not knows me yet…''
>>599195 "Sounds like a simple enough job. I'll lend my hoof to it, and we should get it done by lunch time." "Hmm I wonder if ruby could could help out so we can make a copy of papers before the target knows they are missing."
>>599196 ''No…No they must be the original papers…And…Well I think it would be best if only you and I went to get it… And…Could you keep this a secret?I do not want the master and Phantasm know about this…Yet… I want to tell them in the right time''
Hoddaiko You wake again from the darkness. As you were looking down in the cellar, some giant shadow ran at you from behind and simply ran over you cold. As you rub your head, you look down to see giant hoofprints and in the cellar the coffins you saw earlier are gone, replaced by a freshly dug deep hole. The others are way on top of the keep.
Dr. Z and Spruce Spruce arrived a bit earlier at the top of the tower and now the good doctor comes in.
You enter Bones' living room. The room has been torn apart. Books and documents lay sprawled across the floor. Furniture is torn up. It seems Bones was doing some kind of ritual here. There are strange symbols drawn on the floor and candles placed around it. Bones himself, or at least who you think is bones is laying in a pool of blood on the floor. His head is in pieces as if it exploded from within. Strange metal wires lay out between his flesh.
>>599185 "Yes. Just around the corner actually. They heard a sound like thunder, and then shouts. This guy dropped dead. Large wound straight to the chest. The bullet itself is even more interesting."
>>599198 ''Yes…That sounds like the best idea actually…'' He spoke going inside with Root ''Well…I will prepare myself to go,if there is anything you needed to get done,I will be waiting for you at the waterfal''
>>600516 >>600522 It's a large hole. Must have been one hell of a bullet. The doctor shows a bowl with a bullet as large as a hoof. "Yes, silver…with a top made of Astral Lead…how did you know?" The bullet is inscribed with BLANK in Common Equestrian on one side. And a spider symbol on the other.
>>600536 >>600537 The outer circle is a written message in High Equestrian (ye olde Equestrian), a standard banishing phrase to prevent negative entities to enter or leave the ritual area. The inner circle consist of 8 runes intended to strengthen the ritual. 4 of them, in pair opposite each other say LIFE, a rune often used in necromancy. The other 4 translate to TRANSFORM, intended to reshape the object, EARTH, calling the powers of the earth element usually to work with metals or plants, REBIRTH, a complex rune used in resurrection rituals, DECAY, often used in curses. The last one seems out of place to you, why would a ritual so seemingly focused on bringing something to life call upon an opposing force. It's like he tried to kill something while bringing it to life.
>>600535 You tumble down. But luckily there's no one here. The tunnel is long, but you see light in the distance.
>>600549 Oh right. You could plant it near the temple, or in the Warrens.
>>600550 Maybe this wasn't a good idea… The tunnel seems so long, you keep walking but the end doesn't seem to come closer. Some liquid drops on your head…
>>600556 You take a look through the documents sprawled everywhere. Schematics, theories, essays, notes on the Circle, scraps of a diary. Where to start?
>>600530 "The guards checked all nearby roofs, nothing to see. Not even a trace. A slippery guy. Unless he shot from hundreds of meters away, but he'd have to be some kind of supernatural being to do that." The doctor chuckles.
>>600533 "It is. Astral Lead is incredibly rare. I wouldn't even know where to get it in the City."
>>600561 He headed to near the temple,sounded good enough Once there,he performed his super secret shaman ritual,and planted both the ''bonsai'' trees on his head. In the end,he was antlerless,one could even mistake him for a doe. calmly he then swallowed two seeds of Acassia trees. and headed for the Master's office.
>>600569 You collect all scraps you can. After some puzzling you manage to get them in the right order. The earlier pages are ideas and theories about soulbinding and fleshcrafting mixed with mocking of his peers in the Circle, the names Blue Mana and Endless Tone are mentioned. Then come mentions of a Shining Queen. "As I woke I saw her beside my bed. Fangs sharp as razors, eyes burning with intelligence, her carapace like obsidian. She was shining, but she was not a ghost. I never saw these energies before. I asked her how she did this, but she merely laughed and told me it was because she willed it so." His writings take a turn from there. He frequented his brothers at the Circle less, instead communing with this Queen. "I have seen the shrine she inhabits in my dreams. It was more beautiful than I could have imagined. She has a purpose for me." [Text missing] "The trial rituals have gone awry. This is the second failure. The Queen grows impatient. Tomorrow she says she will bring the brood for the final ritual. I have gone over my notes again and again but what she asks, it cannot be done. I fear this is getting to me. For the last few days I have the feeling something is crawling right beneath my flesh. I can feel it, but when I in desperation carved into my flesh, it is no longer there." You can't find any more recent pages.
>>600563 "Nothing special. Some gold, key to the house, another key we haven't determined yet, his clothes…"
>>600571 "The only mines that have Astral Lead are far to the East in the dark vales of the Shadow Steppes. It is illegal in many countries. Yet there's always a market for those with money."
>>600580 Another drop on top of you. Blood! It starts seeping from the walls…
>>600570 The Master is not here. Perhaps you need Whisper?
>>600584 "It's only been used recent. Just a few days ago there was a shooting in the Diamond District. Two low-life Diamond Dog thugs, both found with these kinds of bullets. They didn't have a spider mark on them however. I wonder if it means anything."
>>600583 You run off crying until you get to the edge. You bury your head in your hooves, but when you dare to peek again, there's no blood to see anywhere.
>>600586 You're okay, no blood, just an episode. It wasn't real. You peek out at the end and see the coffins. The monster is nowhere to be seen. But you hear growls and stomps in the distance. It might be coming back any second now.
>>600587 "They're quite big, whatever gun it is, it must be standing out. Somepony somewhere must have noticed it."
>>600588 The notes on the circle contain some invitations for meetings and letters with his peers. One of the papers mentions a seminar on Astra-dynamical physics in the house of Endless Tone. You get the picture that Bones was a mid-level initiate into the Circle. All the signs are there. Mentions of orgies mixed with intermediate seminars on magical studies. These kinds of secret societies usually have a number of lower initiates given the illusion of power and extravagance, while the true power lays in the hooves of the top. The notes mention a Hierophant as their leader, but no name. It does mention Blue Mana and Dead Tree as high-level initiates. You also find a correspondence with Endless Tone, discussing a recent hot-headed apprentice of Dead Tree who was banished from his side. No details are mentioned except that it was "brutal"
>>600589 You can find Whisper looking in a box near the armory. "Oh." He quickly closes the box as you approach. "Maali. What can I do for you?"
>>600590 He spreads it out. Nothing unusual. Two keys, one for the house, another smaller. Clothes, poach of money.
>>600594 They seem to be attempts at new medical tools to help his research. You don't notice anything groundbreaking. You do have an engineer at your base. Maybe he can separate the trash from the interesting stuff.
>>600596 "For the moment, no, we're actually waiting on the report of the doctor, spruce and Ruby. But maybe there's…wait, didn't you used to have antlers?"
>>600598 He looks up ''Oh…that…Well I did a ritual,and Planted them down near the temple. You see the Guarira,my tribe grows plants on their bodies,and they feed on our lifeforce and nutrients. And when they grow big enough,we plant them down and let plants grow on our bodies again. It is called the Aghethi Karuke. Or the ''harvest'' in your language'' he explained everything with a smile
>>600608 He listened attently. ''What kind of order?'' He finally asked tilting his head to the side. ''Oh,and I would gladly do it,no problem,really'' He said with one of his trademark cute smile. In his mind he was a tad worried about delaying the task he was previously assigned to
>>603445 He took the paper in hoof. ''I see…well then excuse me,I will be back as soon as I can'' he said with a bow as he immediately dashed outside,heading for th-wait… He couldn't read… He suddenly stopped in place and looked around,for anyone who could help him with that…
>>603451 Whisper is in the base. Gear might be around too. And Ambrosia is here too!
>>603453 You were investigating a murder most foul. You found out the bullet that killed him was made of Astral Lead inscribed with BLANK and the mark of a spider. You also discovered something else if I recall.
>>600612 Home sweet home. Whisper is here. As well as a bunch of others you haven't talked to yet, such as Gear the Engineer.
>>603454 You should do something about that cough. Anyway, you just had a nice dinner with the patriarch of the Goldfeather family. Where to now?
>>603455 >another day You and Dr Z and Spruce haven't given your reports of the wizard tower to Whisper yet!
>>603456 >>603461 Maali headed to Ambrosia,who seemed like the best choice at the moment. ''M-miss Ambrosia,I need your help…Um'' He picked the paper he hid in his saddlebag and showed to her ''I need to get to this address quickly,could you help me with this?''
>>603467 ''No but I am asking you a simple favor,it would not take you more than a bloody minute so PLEASE,could you just read the paper and tell me the flipping address!?'' He spoke,almost shouting with his frustration.
>>603484 He sighed. ''yes,yes I will remember that thank you'' he said dismissively and ran the heck away from there Onwards to Glittering road. He was still grumbling a bit about Ambrosia but shook these thoughts away,he had more important things at the moment
>>603472 Right. And my next plan of action was to identify the key. Or maybe go back to the Party and see if anyone had seen the comedian around after his death. So inspect the key for any peculiar sign, and then head to the party.
>>603490 There we go. Directly to the Saviours HQ?
>>603489 It's a very normal key. By its size you figure it's from a safe or something.
>>603486 You go find him in his quarters. The room is a mess of schematics and prototypes you don't have a clue what they do. He's looking over some kind of fungus with a looking glass, he didn't notice you coming in.
>>603485 Glittering Road is the heart of the jewelers district. Each shop is more extravagant than the next. You quickly walk into the one indicated. A neighponese pony is at the counter "yes, may I help you?"
>>603494 He took a few moments to stare at the shops,but quickly dismissed them,he had an assignement at hand… ''Um…yes I am here on behalf of the one known as Whisper,there is something I need to get here He had an order,one of the boxes of whatever it was and I came here to retrieve the other one'' He said quickly and respectfully
>>603494 "Very much so Sir." continue with an even tone. "I did find this.. next to a stock of changeling eggs. The implications are terrifying to say the least." show off the journal. "experiments on unborn bugs.."
>>603494 "Not only that, but when I got knocked into the cellar, I kind of fell into a hole there. After a little travel, I found a 'peculiar' room filled with coffins. There where some non-pony sounds coming from nearby, but I couldn't stay long to investigate."
>>603496 You go back to the party. As you go in you're greeted by a grinning shark head. Oh wait, it's just a pony dressed up as a shark. He pops his head out through the fake teeth. "Hah, gotcha!"
>>603498 He looks up. "Oh, I'm sorry…I mean…uh…how long have you been standing there?"
>>603500 It's an older building. By the signs on it, it was once a warehouse, but now overpainted with the grinning mare face that represents the Saviours. You see some homeless ponies outside, eating.
>>603505 He looks through the journal. "I'll need Gear to take a look at this…but experimenting on unborn Changelings…how have the Changeling Queens not torn him apart yet. They love those larva as much as they can love in their rotten hearts. I thought Myziri said the Circle worked for the Queens, or at least that Varash or whatever."
>>603508 ''oh,yes I do have them'' He said openning his saddlebags and peeking his muzzle in there,picking up the paper Whisper gave him he handed them over to the pony ''Is that right?And um…could you be a bit quick with that?I am rather…busy…''
>>603510 He straightens up. "Ah, Ambrosia, I've heard about you. You seem to be very respected around here. My name is Threading Gear, at your service."
>>603509 He scrunches sadly. "He died…I heard. I'll miss him." He sniffles. "I'll try to cheer everypony up in his honor, it's what he would have wanted." He quickly wipes away a tear. He pulls the shark head back over him and quickly runs off. He seems very shaken by what happened.
>>603511 Out here, yes. You glance inside and see a few ponies in white robes with a smiling mare drawing on it distributing food inside.
>>603512 She looks it over. "I'll just be a moment." And disappears into the backroom. All these shinies everywhere here.
>>603520 "And again, I found them in a hole full of coffins. I don't think just any beast that wandered in from the wilds would be so, deliberate? Is that the right word? It just seems odd that it knocked me over instead of anything else."
>>603519 You have some moneys. Depends on what you're looking for.
>>603516 You are not discreet at all. One of the party goers whistles. "Hey, looks like Grind Dust has a stalker of his own now!" The whole party laughs as if it's some joke you're not in on. Grind walks back. "I name you my official stalker!" he mockingly touches both your shoulders as if he's knighting you, which makes the revelers laugh even more.
>>603517 A white robed goat looks to you. "Greetings friend, don't be shy. We are all friends here. Would you like a warm meal to fill your belly?"
>>603518 "Engineer, somewhat of an inventor really. The Master hired me since he wanted somepony to strengthen the defenses of this facility. I have tons of ideas, but I seem to be a bit twarthed by a fungi if you can believe that. Come take a look." He points to some cultures of the fungi in a corner. The fungi look normal on top but the roots of them have bursted outside the bottom of the pot and grow over the floor. "I had to cut them once in a while. I'm afraid more for the structural integrity of this facility. If the roots of these fungi in the Warrens are the same size as these, they might already be inside our walls."
>>603520 >>603521 "Hmmm, disturbing. Ruby in your opinion, is this Varash lead in the Circle worth further investigating?"
>>603529 ''No problem…'' He said,picking up the box ''just make sure that you pay attention to your work next time…'' He spoke in an unusually harsh tone as he ran as fast as he could back to Whisper. prancing around and being careful with the car-wait… He stopped for a brief moment,wondering if it was a fragile object inside the box… Should he open it? would Whisper notice? Would he be mad?… … He placed it down and opened it slowly and carefully,He could tell Whisper that he just opened it to be sure But stopped to check around if he was alone you can never be too careful after all…
>>603535 He squits a bit,examining the blade and all of it's details then quickly closed it and ran back to the base A few questions ran throught his mind,but he dismissed them as he headed straight for Whisper…
>>603536 Before he can say more one of the other hobos grumble. "he just wanna gobble yer food. Robes threw him out. Ain't that right Nose?" Nose wants to say something but quikly runs away as one of the Saviours steps out. "Nose, come back! We don't mind what you stole, we already forgave you!"
>>603537 If he is, he's hiding it well, he doens't look at all like the body in the morgue, but you can't see him wholly because of the shark costume. "Come, let's bring merry to these ponies!" Perhaps some of these ponies know him?
>>603538 You're back. Whisper is where you left him.
>>603539 He rolls his eyes. "I'm engineer not a botanist, if it's not from metal, it's a plant or an animal. Luckily for me, these things are metal."
>>603543 It looks like a fungi, abnormally purple and glowing, but a fungi. "Here." He hoofs you a looking glass and then you see it. Very tiny sheets of some kind of glowing metal, far too small to be made by anything else than magic. As look at it, you see how on the roots, a few more sheets slowly appear, making it seem like it grows.
>>603544 "Well done. Thanks. Here for your trouble." He hoofs you some bits. +500XP for Maali
''Good,very good,I had time to do a favor for Whisper as well,but that does not matter,let us go and find those papers.'' He said as he waved to Whisper. ''If you need anything at any other time,do not hesitate to ask,I will love to help'' He said with a slight smile as he ran to the gates of the base with Spruce
>>603557 What he said hanged on Maali's mind for a few,that confused the little deer they barely talked at all actually… Well…Maybe he was just that friendly Which…was actually nice of him He smiles and nod. ''Of course''
>>603555 Whisper looks curious as you leave "Shaman papers?"
>>603556 You can't quite see it underneath the shark head. "Yes…she must be distraught…" he says sadly.
>>603551 "I have no clue. I'd like to study this further. But I'd have to find some books at the local academy. What is even more worrisome is how those things got in the Warrens…or who put them there…"
>>603554 "I ain't seen ya around before. What's yer name?" says one of the hobos.
>>603567 He stood still for a moment. A small flashback ran throught his mind — A tall doe,looking down at a smaller buck infant,who seemed to have a few scratches throught his body.He was burying his hoof on a small pot,filled with sand and stones,and as he continued,the stones scratched his short fur… ''Enough'' Spoke up the doe. ''Head to your house Maali,tomorrow,your training contnues,but for now… Look twice and leap once…'' Her voice echoed on Maali's head as the memory ended… — Maali seemed to be in a small trance for a moment,but shook his head and looked up to Spruce ''Y-yes yes certainly…'' He stuttered out as he waited for Spruce.
>>603576 You climb into what seems to be a kitchen. You hear a mare singing in the living room. She stops and walks to open the door. There's another door.
>>603574 An older mare opens the door. "My, a deer, I've never seen a deer before. What brings you to my home, young one?"
>>603577 "Why the gloom talk, traveler? This is a place of revelry and happiness…"
>>603572 "About the same as the temple. But I don't like the folk there. Easy to get in minsunderstandings with them." He grins. "Didn't know this place was here until I heard about it from a friend just yesterday."
Dr. Z. You're in the hideout right now. Whisper is near in the War Room. You see Ambrosias friend, Silver Sickle talking to the quartermaster Morning Star. Other NPCs in the Hideout currently >Glowing Path, a nun >Rustlefeather >Lightning Swift
>>606815 You notice a guy on the side of the building, quickly running off when he spots both of you.
>>606816 He perks his ears. "He didn't find me did he?!?"
>>606817 You find Rustlefeather near the waterfall, pacing around with a bottle of ale, and several empty bottles near him.
>>606814 "Dunno much 'bout 'im. He jus' tol us bout this here place. Never seen 'em before. Thought he was pullin me hoof. But free food is free food." You're starting to feel sleepy…roll 1d10
>>606819 She seems a bit nervous suddenly. "W-why?" —-You'll have to wait for Spruce to continue—-
>>606820 The closest thing approaching a shower is the waterfall and pool nearby, used for bathing by a lot here. It's not very private, but the water is pleasant. As you approach you see Dr. Z on the edge, who's approaching a drinking Rustlefeather.
>>606830 He looks around spooked. "Oh…oh dear, I should have known, you better come inside, they won't see us there."
>>606828 Success you grab a book filled with poems
>>606827 Either that or you've got the worst case of needing an afternoon nap yet. But you feel like you can power through it. Roll to willpower through it, +2 because donk.
>>606832 He shifts his weight. "Not here then, follow me." He walks to a door in the back.
>>606833 >>606835 He looks up. "Oh, sorry doc I didn't hear you coming. The inaction, doc, it's weighing on me more heavily than any worries." He gives a bottle of ale to Ruby. "Here, I know it's not too classy, but it's good stuff."
>>606836 "The word of…" understanding seems to dawn. "You're one of those preachers, aren't you? I'm donating nothing and you're not coming in!"
>>606837 He puts his hooves up in defense ''Oh please no! Gaia does not asks for material things at all,all Gaia wants is that you place…a small potted plant on your window and practise the way of the Guarira'' He said with a cute smile ''This experiece will be healthy for your whole family and for your soul as well. how about it?'' [1d10+3] convince? >Using a fate point here…
>>606839 You manage to keep yourself steady and up while the other slowly fall asleep. You hear someone coming. What do you do? You're a bit drowsy but can still move, however if you get in a fight, you'd temporarily get a negative modifier.
>>606840 You get back outside, meanwhile you see Maali still talking.
>>606841 You enter a room with a giant mirror. The pony in the shark suit closes the door. "Okay, now first things first, who are you? What are you looking for?"
>>606846 >>606843 "I didn't ask to be here in this secret base. I can't even flap my wings out over the City or those guards might see me. I need some action."
>>606847 "This is why I asked you to come with me. Some very pesky figures who like extorting me…"
>>606857 ''Well Because the word of Gaia is something everypony should hear,at least once,regardless if they will accept nature in their hearts or not. Our mother…'' He said putting a hoof on his emerald necklace ''She only desires what is best for the land and her children…And Integrating yourself on the Guarira grants MANY advantages!Ranging from ancient practises of meditation and even mastering the art of controling nature to help you in any difficulty,as well as extended lifetime!''
>>606869 His eyes wander of to where Spruce was and he smiles to him before bowing to the lady ''Buuuuuut I see you are not quite interested in our services,oh well I can come any other day,if you change your mind please look for the only deer on the city,who would be me,thank youuuuu'' He said prancing to Spruce's general direction,but not quite heading for where he was He gave him a wink as he passed by him and slowly walked along
>>606863 He grins. "I arrived about a few days before you did. I knew about that temple of that crazy changeling and I have some trouble with one of the Dukes so Ambrosia offered me money and a safe haven in return for my aid. I'm not one of those Lordblade types."
>>606861 "They seem to think they're protecting me and that I owe them money for that. I'm not a fighter, I wouldn't hurt a fly!"
"Ah, but that's the important part. IFA Duke wants you dead, they're pretty hard to stop. Why don't you try to learn from some of the people here while the heat dies down? And I mean the heat from the Duke after you, it never stops being hot here."
>>606883 Shit, sorry, I thought this was Horizon and that the guy I was talking to was the textiles vendor with his family there. Ignore my last post. >How did you know? "I've been on their tail for a long time. And you might say this is my job."
>>606887 >>606889 Maali turns to Spruce ''Oh boy that was perfect and flawless mister Spruce,thank you so much!'' He said looking at the book ''So,could you…give it just a little read of it for me please?you know I…um…I can not read…''
>>606917 >>606916 "You do not seem to understand your situation. In this very moment I could walk out of this door and make your second shot at life hell on earth… There are many things worse than death, and I have the means to make all of those become true for you. But we are not enemies in this. I want to find the books, consult them, and then return them to the priests here. So to you the choice. Living hell or the book, right now?"
>>606920 Your crit does give you some leeway. roll a 1d10+3 against this to remain hidden '1d10'
>>606921 He looks down. "I hid it in a safe near the harbor."
>>606919 You walk through the tunnel and suddenly reach a metal wall, part of it is broken and a mountain of gold flowed out.
>>606918 "Good and bad. I cannot find something like this. But I found something similar. An organism made by an arcane metalsmith. I think I know how to stop it, but it's gonna be tricky. We need a mage, an expert in lightning magic."
>>606923 "It's opened with a small key." He shows a small key, similar to the one you got off the body.
>>606924 They don't find you. You see them drawing a lot of blood. But not enough to kill him and remove the waterskin and needle. Later he wakes up a little pale. "Oh what happened?" The goat steps up "You fell asleep. We put you here to be more comfortable." "Oh…uh, thanks ah guess." "Come back tomorrow for more food…" The pony walks away shakily.
>>606935 >>606932 "ehem, Three white horses in a field spell magic through the moment pass and cloud extends through the grass on three white horses standing there" keep an even tone and stare at the deer. "What's this for anyway?"
>>606939 ''Well,It was for a friend of mine…Nothing important,honestly.'' He said as he picked up the book ''But thank you SO much mister Spruce,I would's have done it without you'' He said patting his shoulder gently before heading away with the book
>>606944 As he got closer,the smile on his face faded he started remembering why he was there and he assumed a silent,respectful posture as he entered. He then headed to the head of the gryphon and prayed ''My lord…I have returned. And for you,I have bought the book…'' He said placing it in front of him as he bowed
>>606950 Maali took a short,deep breath and examined the book for a moment,running his hoof throught it's cover… Then took it upon his hooves and carefully placed it above the fire,it warmed his hooves a little… His eyes were focused into the fire for a few seconds,watching the beautiful and alluring dance of the flame as the jumped and cackled,A orange glow in his eyes that turned the usual bright green into a rather sinister,focused stare. Not taking his eyes off of it,he let the book fall into the fire,watching the particles of the paper darken and disintegrate before breaking of and falling off,becoming part of the fire…Being consumed by it… He then bowed again,waiting for the response of the fire lord
>>606951 As you walk through town you get dragged into an alley, a stinking diamond dog presses a dagger to your throat "Hoof over the gold, and quick!" she says.
>>606952 The shadow disappears again. Maybe a play of the li- You fly through the air as whatever down you slammed right against you. You fall into the water again, coughing. You better get to the side quick.
>>606954 As the pages slowly burn, an older pony enters the room. The flames spit out the book towards the shocked pony, letting it burn to a crisp before his shocked eyes. "My book!" You hear a laugh in the fire.
>>607342 ''Well…No…I mean yes…But you cannot be…'' He turned to the fire ''He is the author?His wife told me he was at home,he cannot be the author of this book'' He turned to the pony again ''Did you write this?''
>>607345 "YES I WROTE THAT!" The pony angrily, but slowly steps towards you. "WHY DID YOU DO IT?" The fire is silent.
>>607346 You resist the urge perfectly. "We gonna need more than 1 bag." You quickly make it back to the base.
>>607344 You kick and trash the thing that seems to hold the middle between a pirhana and a spider.
>>607343 Nope, that was quite a kick, as you lose conciousness, you see a set of leather white horseshoes approaching. As you wake up again the white horseshoes are gone, the second key lays next to you and the key it fit in, is open and empty. Many other safes are destroyed.
>>607348 ''Because…'' He took a small step back… But then narrowed his eyes and stepped back fowards ''You are Rhyming Word are you not?The famous writer? You were the one that sought the inspiration from the fire lords and have not paid your tributes to them.'' He said serious
>>607359 He faltered for a moment ''Why…Why did you need time?weren't you rich and famous because of your poetry?Or were you too busy enjoying the fame to properly thank the ones who gave it all to you in the first place?'' This time Maali was walking towards him. ''I was told you took a long time Mister Word…Too long…''
>>607374 >>607365 You sniff it. There's something off with it. It is pure gold that you are sure off. But there's some kind of magic radiating from it. You remember these from studying some old books. A strange magic that made ponies sick over time.
>>607364 "You don't understand what these fire beings asked of me? They wanted what I owned, my gold, my belongings."
>>607363 Where to? The note is a newspaper article claiming there have been weird sights seen at the abandoned mansion in the Aurora District.
>>607384 ''Then why did you accepted?You should have already known that fire does not please…'' He took another threatening step ''Fire takes what it wants.'' Another step…His necklace was emitting an eerily green glow…
>>607390 Maali considered running after him,that guy was for some reason…getting on his nerves But he brushed it off and went back to the fire ''It is done my lord…Are you pleased with my service?'' He asked with a respectful bow
>>607390 >>607389 "I am not an expert in toxins, but I believe lead casing will insulate it. Maybe Rustlefeather has access to lead in his workshop? The metal is sometimes used for piping due to its softness."
>>607405 "This radioactivity is not specific to gold. It is a rare phenomenon, though. I've only read about it in very old texts. I've got a bad feeling like it might be connected to these metal ponies and their foreign technologies somehow, but that's just a hunch."
>>607409 >>607411 You can walk, but you lean on Threading. You need a nurse when you get back. You enter back into the hideout. You see the ponies gathered near Hokkaido. Whisper runs to you. "I'll get glowing."
>>607412 You see him entering the hideout with a wounded Ambrosia.
>>607407 "Hmm. We'll need to find the source of it then. I don't want any metal ponies showing up unannounced." He looks at something behind your shoulder. "…and we've got a wounded." You see Threading entering the hideout with a wounded Ambrosia. Whisper runs to her.
>>607421 "Right." He turns to Hokkaido. "Ruby, bring her to Glowing Path." He turns to Threading. "Mister Threading, we need lead casings as quickly as possible." He then turns back to the Professor. "We shall go find the source of this."
>>607429 Well I'm just a voice in your head. Go and do what you want.
>>607430 >>607432 You get to Glowing Path who's praying in the temple. She gets up as you enter and looks at your wound. "These are strange bitemarks…hold still."
>>607431 "You're not ready. You did a miserable job. Get out of my sight."
>>607434 You both leave through the Warrens, past the purple mushrooms, into the underground pits. Soon you see it. A pile of gold flowing from above. You note a metal wall there, partially cracked through which the gold fell. "We'll have to do some climbing. Do you need a hoof, professor?"
>>607441 He stuttered a bit ''Miserable?I beg your pardon master but I did exactly what I was ordered to,I brought the book and took it to the fire and as a bonus he even watched it burn in his hooves''
>>607463 ''I want to learn with you…I have not finished my training in the Guarira…I was hoping I could finish it with the help of the elementals…Anything I could learn from you would be precious to me'' he hesitated for a moment as the image of the ashes that once were the flute of his teacher flashed into his mind He could barely remember her face by now…but he certainly remembered the sound of her voice…
He blinked a few times and focused again on the flame,breaking of his little daydream
>>607467 "I'd tell you to take it easy for a few days, but who am I kidding?" She gives you a waterskin. "Here's some medicine, if you feel pain, drink some."
>>607464 You climb down and take a peek through the crevice. You see a mountain of gold inside. Wires, copper, you note that the wall itself is made of lead. No surprise it got torn open. You note something else. A glowing red gem attached to some kind of metal spike. It's way on the other side of the room. You could make it without too much trouble if you're quick.
>>607466 "Fire can only be understood by those who are ready. You have some skill but there is only so much I can teach you right now. But I shall give you a gift, place the shield on your chest in the fire."
>>607483 "A wall exploded in my face, and a ghost stole my book. But he was kind enough to leave me a clue. Literally." Flash the piece of newspaper to her. >>607485 "Why, instead, don't you come with me for a walk?" Slip by her with a wide, skull splitting evil grin.
>>610350 Oh yes, you make it to the Office of the District Duchess Mana in the Arachnia District. The building is small but richly colored and decorated with runes. A big contrast with all the brown hovels around. You enter a huge hall, far bigger than you'd have imagined from the look outside. A lone mare sits at a desk, writing. "Are you here for a petition to the Duchess?"
>>610352 Success. You manage to wrap your stranglevine around and slowly pull it back to you without setting hoof in the infected chamber.
>>610355 "Only your tribe can sufficiently teach you."
>>610356 >>610358 You both make it to the wild front garden of the abandoned mansion. It looks empty from the outside. Perhaps there's a few bums inside.
>>610359 You take a few steps into the basement and immediately come to a few doors, left door, right door, or keep going?
>>610366 "Well how about the lords?my tribe learned from The elements and nature. I was positive that you have the knowledge to aid me in finishing my training." He said putting the shield in place. Any visual changes in it?
>>610375 >>610379 You don't notice anything out of the usual. You step through the guard into the door. The entrance hall must once have been beautiful but is now nothing but a looted husk. You note 3 I symbols etched in the walls.
>>610376 He looks up. "Ambrosia! I'm so glad you're better. I'm sorry, Whisper told me I had to gather all the lead I had as soon as possible, some matter of life and death."
>>610378 You see another door at the end of the hall.
>>610380 "One is far away, back near your tribes ground. The other is…near. In the Lair of the Spider."
>>610381 She notes it down. "She's on the fifth floor." A set of circular stairs descends from the ceiling next to you
>>610386 The room is too dark to see, but stinks of death.
>>610388 It's quite a way, but it's pleasantly cool here. On the fifth floor you enter into a huge hall, all kinds of ponies are working on different books and studying patterns on the walls. You see Elana reading a book near the end of the hall
>>610389 "Then…I must find them immediately. Thank you my lord. You have done a lot for me today." He said nodding before he left in a hurry for the base "My tribe lives…" he said to himself as he pranced away. Smilin "Haha!MY TRIBE LIVES!" He shouted Loudly for the ponies around to hear his happyness
>>610404 >>610405 You jump down the basement. Paradoxically, it seems a lot more well preserved here. In the dark cellar you can clearly see the outline of many bottles of wine. On the other side you see another door.
>>610403 She looks around. "I'm not supposed to say."
>>610413 Head out to look for Ambrosia. She was a nice pony Scary. But at least not nearly as scary as Phantasm even though she didn't sounded so scary now he smiled at the silly thought of Phantasm in his nightmares hehe…nightMARE… "Oh Maali you should be a comedian." He said to himself with a laugh
>>610414 It's not too cold and very refreshing, tho if you want a steaming hot bath, you might want to go to your private one. Lightning Swift is a blue mare with white hair. She seems lost in thought.
>>610416 You spill 20 year old wine on the floor. You hear voices behind the next door.
>>610415 You put that precious bottle in your bag.
>>610418 No, it seems like just a storage room. Or trash room depending on your perspective.
>>610417 She's in the waterfall pool with another blue mare with white hair.